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Tuesday, 19 March 2019

James Goddard Martyrdom Attempt FAILS

Back in the news today has come James Goddard, head of the supposed UK “Yellow Vest” movement, also more correctly called the Amateur Comedy Sturmabteilung. After finding himself nicked recently, Goddard appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court to face charges of racially aggravated harassment (towards a Police officer) and another count of behaviour likely to cause harassment, towards (then) Tory MP Anna Soubry.
As Zelo Street regulars will also know, Goddard is also facing charges related to threatening behaviour towards a journalist in Manchester. That hearing is separate and will happen tomorrow. Also, he may face more charges: as the BBC has reported, “The courts service said it was ‘deeply concerned to hear of intimidating behaviour’ at the hearing [today] … A spokesperson added: ‘We apologise to all those affected and are urgently investigating what happened. This sort of behaviour will not be tolerated.’”

So more popcorn to get in, then. As to today’s hearing, as the Guardian has reported, “The self-styled ‘yellow vest’ protester James Goddard has denied calling the MP Anna Soubry a Nazi and a traitor”. However, as the Evening Standard has also reported, “Goddard is set to argue at trial that it was ‘fair comment’, ‘reasonable behaviour’ and ‘true comment’”. He didn’t say it, but it was “fair comment”. That’ll go well, then.

The hearing was notable only for the apparently deliberate disruption caused to it by Goddard and his supporters. As the Mail has told, “Goddard, wearing a white T-shirt featuring a British flag, a logo for 'The Directory Guys', a motif of three children's faces, and the words 'our boys', used his mobile phone in the dock as he waited for the case to begin”. Using his mobile in the dock. Er, no. There was more.

At one point, Goddard shouted over his solicitor as he spoke in court, claiming: 'It is not illegal to call, to heckle an MP. It says so in the defence statement. How is calling her a Nazi threatening? I get called a far-right fascist.’ [because he is one] … At this, his supporters broke out into chants of 'Anna Soubry is a Nazi', prompting the judge to leave court”. But his trial date has been set for July 19.

It was clear that Goddard and his pals were looking to provoke the authorities. He wanted his martyrdom moment. But in court, all he got was due process, and if it is decided to charge him and his supporters for their contempt of proceedings, that will be dealt with separately. Due process will be seen to be done.

That Goddard and his pals wanted some way in which they could play the victim was shown once more when those pals staged another live-streamed protest: “Right-wing supporters of 'yellow vest' activist James Goddard have stormed the Attorney General's office while chanting 'Anna Soubry is a Nazi' - hours after his trial was suspended due to crowds heckling the judge in court … Demonstrators live-streamed the protest as they occupied a stairwell of the building near Westminster Abbey”.

But that didn’t get them anywhere, either. Goddard and his supporters failed to get their victimhood moment, and the wheels of justice ground inexorably on. Bunch of clowns.
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Tory Racism Worsens - Chairman Must Go

Sayeeda Warsi might have had that “I told you so” feeling recently. As the BBC has reported, “Theresa May has been accused of ‘burying her head in the sand’ over Islamophobia in the Conservative Party … Former party chairwoman Baroness Warsi said the PM had failed to ‘acknowledge’ or ‘tackle’ the problem and this was ‘symptomatic’ of her wider leadership … Shortly after her comments, the party said 14 members had been suspended for Islamophobic Facebook posts”. Now, though, matters are far worse.
At that time, the Guardian noted thatThe party was responding to racist and abusive remarks that were discovered and collected online by the @matesjacob Twitter account and made by people who had said or indicated they were members of the party”. That Twitter feed, also called Racists 4 Rees-Mogg, has now made a serious allegation.

That allegation can be put directly. “In this thread, I'm going to prove unequivocally that @BrandonLewis lied to us all on Nov 7th 2018. It wasn’t a harmless lie, it was a deeply cynical abuse of his position. He must resign … The lie: in response to @HopeNotHate’s tweet about Islamophobia, Brandon replied ‘We deal with complaints, none outstanding’. The only logical interpretation of this is that, at that time, Brandon wasn't aware of any unresolved Islamophobia complaints. And that was a lie”.
The thread, where the allegation is backed up, can be seen HERE. It then got worse for the Tories, as the HuffPost explained: “Tory chairman Brandon Lewis has been asked if he misled the public over the extent of Islamophobia in the party’s rank and file … Hope Not Hate’s chief executive Nick Lowles has written to the party boss asking him to explain a statement he made in 2018, saying of Islamophobia complaints there were ‘none outstanding’”. Lowles was also unhappy about Lewis’ statement.

We took your statement to mean that there were no complaints of Islamophobia outstanding - but we now know that this is not true … Were you trying to mislead us, and via the statement, members of the public? Or are your systems and processes so broken that you did not know your statement was untrue when you made it?
Lewis has not, as far as is known, replied. But then, he has good reason to be otherwise engaged: as Sky News reported late last night, “Twenty five Conservative members have allegedly been suspended over allegations of Islamophobia, as the party fights off claims it faces a serious issue with anti-Muslim discrimination”. Oh dear, Tories!

There was more. “Among the people reportedly being investigated are a woman who said ‘no Muslim will get my vote’ and another who vowed to ‘stand against the Islamification of our country’ … Another said to be among those suspended was a man who wrote in a Facebook post: ‘I was going through a few magazines the other day down the local mosque. I was really enjoying myself. Then the rifle jammed.’
39 suspensions so far. And there will be many more. Brandon Lewis has been caught with his trousers well alight. Yet no-one has resigned. As Nick Lowles told Lewis, “it appears clear that the time for a proper, independent inquiry into the Conservative Party’s problems with Islamophobia is now”. What also needs to happen is that Lewis has to go.

If it had been Labour and anti-Semitism, there would have been outrage. Just saying.
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John Bercow IS Public Enemy Number One

Is it a reference to Al Capone? Pretty Boy Floyd? Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán? Is it a film? About a modern-day British or European gangster? No, it’s the Speaker of the House of Commons; our free and fearless press, or at least the screamingly Europhobic part of it, has declared John Bercow the villain of the latest Brexit twist.
Yesterday, the Speaker was reminded by a number of MPs, the most memorable and indeed eloquent contribution coming from Labour’s Chris Bryant, that there is a longstanding precedent which dictates that a motion, once defeated, cannot be brought back for another vote if it is the same, or substantially the same, motion. With this Bercow readily agreed, and let the House know so, inducing a headless chicken fit in Tory ranks.
Now, it has caused those who scrabble around the dunghill that is Grubstreet to come close to spontaneous combustion. Theresa May, their champion, their least worst bet for getting the Brexit their proprietors had demanded, could not merely keep bringing her twice-defeated Meaningful Vote back to the Commons. Only one man was to blame.
The increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph knew who that was. “‘A major constitutional crisis’ … Disgust in the Commons and disbelief in Brussels as the Speaker blocks third vote on May’s Brexit deal” it scoffs. Note “constitutional crisis” in quote marks. Because there isn’t one. The Murdoch Times was in the same area with “Bercow is sabotaging Brexit deal, says No 10 … Speaker accused of scuppering third Commons vote on May’s plan”. No blame on the PM for abusing Parliamentary process, mind.
Over in the even more downmarket corner, though, there was no such restraint. The joke newspaper that is the Express frothed “THE BREXIT DESTROYER … Remainer Bercow triggers ‘constitutional crisis’ by ruling out PM’s third vote”. And the Mail was its usual thundering and righteous self. “Fury as grandstanding Speaker ambushes PM with bombshell ruling on her deal … Now Britain must beg EU to delay leaving - and faces up to 20 MONTHS in limbo … SMIRK THAT SAYS: BREXIT BE DAMNED”.
The outburst of Gammonitis was completed by the Murdoch Sun, where righteousness was replaced by straightforward abuse. “17.4M Over-Ridden By One … Smug Speaker torpedoes PM on Brexit vote … B*LL*CKS TO BERCOW”. Subtle, aren’t they? The paper’s editorial heaped on further abuse, calling Bercow a “bent referee”.
Ah, the sound of whimpering impotence, yet another instalment in screamingly anti-European press barons and their editors trying to screw over the country and failing, while all the time pretending that it’s all the fault of the rotten remainers. There has been no disbelief in Brussels; nothing would faze the EU and its officers after all the previous British messing around. What has happened is what the press claimed it wanted all along.

John Bercow has demonstrated the sovereignty of Parliament. The problem for the Fourth Estate is that they didn’t want it to be quite that sovereign. Well, boo sodding hoo.
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Monday, 18 March 2019

Rod Liddle Disabled Attack REPEAT

Some in our free and fearless press have got the message that kicking Muslims, in the wake of the Christchurch mass shootings last Friday, might not be such a good idea. But whipping up hatred against minorities can be a hard habit to break, and so it has proved for the lard-fuelled semi-mobile amateur human being that is Rod Liddle, who has changed tack in his latest effort for the no longer upmarket Murdoch Times.
The disgrace that is Rod Liddle ...

Back in 2012, kicking the disabled was all the rage: the Daily Mail’s talentless churnalist Richard Littlejohn spent some time demonising the Motability scheme, claiming he had been told all about what a con it was by a BMW dealer in North London, which may have been a challenging proposition, given he lives in North Vero Beach, which is in Florida.
... and his chief enabler

But then it became much more fashionable to put the boot into Scary Muslims™ - until now. So Liddle has gone all retro today in his Times column, attacking those suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, otherwise known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or ME. Readers are told “Such is the success of the provisional wing of the ME lobby that evidence is ignored”. Rod Liddle just talked about evidence. Ri-i-i-ight.
The condemnation was instantaneous. Frances Ryan of the Guardian responded “Rod Liddle has written a horrendous piece in The Times spreading the cruel myth people with ME are faking. If you’re a journalist who rages against Liddle for racism and misogyny, please be an ally to disabled people by calling this out too”. She was not alone.
Patrick Samphire added “The state of this country when a turd like Rod Liddle is paid by a major newspaper like @thetimes to attack disabled people. I would say that The Times should be ashamed, but I think they left shame behind a long time ago. I have nothing but contempt left for it”. Other feedback was in the same vein.
I am sure this is a violation of the Hippocratic Oath and if not, it should be. In the UK, researchers are engaged in a coordinated smear campaign against their own patient population because their science is falling apart … There are so many excellent journalists, yet Rod Liddle gets to use his national platform to attack sick & disabled folks while interviewing precisely zero folks living with #MECFS. Perhaps he plucked a group at random to kick when his usual anti-Muslim stuff got pulled”. Quite.
But the worst aspect of this attack is that it is not Liddle’s first offence. Remember 2012, and the popularity then of attacking the disabled? As Political Scrapbook told in January of that year, Liddle had attacked the disabled in his Sun column, telling “My New Year’s resolution for 2012 was to become disabled. Nothing too serious, maybe just a bit of a bad back or one of those newly invented illnesses which make you a bit peaky for decades – fibromyalgia, or M.E. … being disabled is incredibly fashionable”.

He was called out for it then. And like the proverbial dog returning to its vomit, he’s back doing it now, with the same effect. The message is not getting through: fomenting hatred against minorities is not responsible journalism. It is out of order. It has to stop.

Wherever the Murdoch press goes, hatred is whipped up. I wonder why. 
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737 Max Crashes - Boeing In Big Trouble

The safety culture that has built up in the commercial airliner industry means we learn from any accident, any incident. Also, if anything is in doubt, the industry errs on the side of caution: we know what happened with the Comet I. One unexplained fatal accident should mean action is taken - like grounding some or all of that aircraft type. And then came the recent crashes involving Boeing’s new 737 Max.
Indonesian Lion Air Flight 610 crashed into the sea minutes after taking off from Jakarta Airport last October; all 189 on board died. We were told that the airline should not have used the aircraft involved as it was not airworthy. Therefore it was some kind of operator error. But when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 fell out of the sky minutes after departure from Addis Ababa Airport eight days ago, doubts began to grow.

One by one, countries banned the 737 Max from their airspace. Ultimately, every one of the aircraft type was grounded. Suspicion fell on the aircraft’s MCAS, or Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, which is new with the 737 Max. The new aircraft has a tendency to pitch nose up when climbing - which could lead to a stall. MCAS is meant to ensure that any such tendency is corrected, by pitching the nose down.

But what happens if the information fed to MCAS is misleading? It can be activated by a single sensor. You read that right. Faulty sensor feeds wrong information to the autopilot, that pushes the nose down, pilot disengages autopilot, MCAS engages, uses the same wrong information, pushes the nose down. Screwed either way. It’s potentially deadly.

Now consider this from the Seattle Times: “As Boeing hustled in 2015 to catch up to Airbus and certify its new 737 MAX, Federal Aviation Administration managers pushed the agency’s safety engineers to delegate safety assessments to Boeing itself … But the original safety analysis that Boeing delivered to the FAA for a new flight control system on the MAX - a report used to certify the plane as safe to fly - had several crucial flaws”.

Boeing did their own safety assessment on the 737 Max. Then they delivered their findings to the FAA, who signed them off. The FAA is, to aviation authorities around the world, the gold standard. If the FAA says it’s good to fly, it’s good to fly. Period.

But that Seattle Times report also makes claims which, if true, mean both Boeing and the FAA have serious questions to answer. Consider this: “[the original safety analysis] Understated the power of the new flight control system, which was designed to swivel the horizontal tail to push the nose of the plane down to avert a stall. When the planes later entered service, MCAS was capable of moving the tail more than four times farther than was stated in the initial safety analysis document”. Got that? There’s more.

[the analysis] Failed to account for how the system could reset itself each time a pilot responded, thereby missing the potential impact of the system repeatedly pushing the airplane’s nose downward”. Put those two flaws together. That is very, very bad. Unsurprisingly, “The people who spoke to The Seattle Times and shared details of the safety analysis all spoke on condition of anonymity to protect their jobs at the FAA and other aviation organizations”. But the real sting in the tail was yet to come.

Take a deep breath. “Both Boeing and the FAA were informed of the specifics of this story and were asked for responses 11 days ago, before the second crash of a 737 MAX last Sunday”. The crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 could have been prevented. Boeing and the FAA were informed on the 6th. The Ethiopian Airlines crash came four days later.

With some understatement, the Seattle Times observes “Several technical experts inside the FAA said October’s Lion Air crash, where the MCAS has been clearly implicated by investigators in Indonesia, is only the latest indicator that the agency’s delegation of airplane certification has gone too far, and that it’s inappropriate for Boeing employees to have so much authority over safety analyses of Boeing jets”.

For the commercial aviation industry, marking your own homework ought to be out of the question. The consequences of doing so are now all too plain: 346 deaths, and serious questions for both Boeing and the FAA to answer. It appears that, in the rush to keep up with Airbus, a rogue aircraft has been let loose. That isn’t good enough.
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Surrey Stabbing - Hello Tabloid Pundits

During her stint as political editor of the Sunday Express, Julia Hartley Dooda penned an article titled “Don’t draw a veil over free speech”. This was back in October 2006, but the framing of the argument will be familiar to anyone conversant with today’s far-right: equate Muslim women covering their heads with freedom to speak out. Claiming that “we aren’t allowed to talk about it”, except of course she was doing.
Last Friday, she confirmed “Yep, in 2006 I wrote that in a column about free speech. Here is the full article. Happy to stand by it today … Bugger all to do with today’s horrific terror attack on a mosque”. Except it had everything to do with the irrational hatred that has built up towards Muslims. Consider some of the low-level bigotry on show.

I’m bored with Muslims. Bored with being told what I can and cannot say about Islam … the professional Muslim complaints brigade … the rest of us are just tired of having Islam thrust in our faces day in, day out … [The Muslim population] is just three per cent of the country. Yet these days we seem to spend 90 per cent of our time worrying whether or not they are offended about the latest innocuous remark about their religion”.
This is where it starts ...

The message is clear: we can say what we like about Muslims, and they have to suck it up. Ms Hartley Dooda would not have even thought about saying this about Jews. And that’s the comparison she should be making: this is where anti-Semitism came from, the idea that it was OK to say anything about Jews, and they should just accept it.

We know where anti-Semitism led, and still, sadly, leads. We also know where Islamophobia leads, after Friday’s mass shooting in Christchurch. And we know that the far-right is becoming emboldened here in the UK, as evidenced by an incident at the weekend in Stanwell, Surrey. The BBC report shows what happened.
... from pundits who still think it's nothing to get fussed over ...

Counter terror police are investigating a suspected far-right inspired attack in which a 19-year-old man was stabbed. The victim suffered non-fatal injuries after being struck by a man armed with a baseball bat and knife and shouting racist abuse in Stanwell, Surrey. The man, 50, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and a racially-aggravated public order offence”. So far, so prosaic, but the eye-witness testimony is disturbing.

One told “He started saying some crazy things about Muslims and just shut the window and went inside … I’m a Muslim and I got a little bit worried”. Another recalled “He was shouting 'kill a Muslim' and 'white supremacy', and then I went inside and I heard a load of banging”. That second eye-witness also told “He's polite, he always says hello to me”.
... and it ends with this thug recycling 1930s Nazi propaganda

A neighbour who says hello to you. Like so many of us know. Just an ordinary person who seems to have flipped. Why? Well, it’s not as if there is any shortage of anti-Muslim comment in the press. And that can be traced back to the likes of Julia Hartley Dooda and her pals telling Muslims to shut up and stop complaining, because it’s only innocuous comment. They’re just moaning, it’s only a bit of fun, innit?

Then it just goes beyond just a bit of fun, but hey, what are they moaning about? And so on, and so forth, until we get all-out hatred and the Sun’s Trevor Kavanagh asking “What shall we do about The Muslim Problem?” The normalisation and ramping up of hate speech finds its predictable end point. But it’s not the press’ fault, honestly.
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Sunday, 17 March 2019

Katie Hopkins Mosque Shooting Shame

After 50 innocent people were slaughtered at their places of worship in the New Zealand city of Christchurch last Friday, many of those out there on the right were unusually quiet; perhaps at long last, some of them had realised where their bigoted attitude towards Muslims had now inevitably led. But now, with the grim inevitability of night following day, they are crawling out from under their rocks once more.
Viewers may still want to look away now

And today’s prime crawling example has been pro-am motormouth Katie Hopkins, who has claimed that she was silent only because of something her mother once told her. It is more likely that she was cutting out anything that would be too excessive, even for her - or which might land her in legal hot water. Bur what remains is unpleasant enough.

Here is a flavour, as it were. “A war for the world is underway. And watching the media, the mouthpieces and the multitudes desperate in their search to be the most sorry, I fear that the sad truth none of us want to face is that the victor has already been declared”. Yes, it’s still the fault of Scary Muslims™. Except written in what Ms Hopkins believes is the style of Enoch Powell’s infamous “Rivers of Blood” speech.

She pauses to heap pity on racist thug Fraser Anning, who happens to be an Australian Senator. Then, after telling everyone who had shown empathy for the victims that they were pathetic, came the main event. “I understand, when bad things happen we need someone to blame … the media chose the media, using the attack to single out competitors and adversaries”. Partly right, but as usual, Katie doesn’t really get it.

The old media blamed the new media, partly in a bid to absolve themselves, and their tendency to cosy up to bigots. Katie Hopkins used to have a column in the Sun on Sunday. Then she comes upon familiar ground. “After every Islamist terror attack in the UK, even as our children lay dead on the streets and we’re still counting our losses, the Police chiefs tell us the real threat is Islamophobia”. They don’t, but this serves her purpose.

Now, after an attack on a Mosque by a white guy, even as the losses keep rising, again the  real threat is Islamophobia … It seems whatever the terror, Islamophobia is the culprit”. Now she has set up the target, she can home in on it.

We are told that Muslims killed Nigerian Christians. That ISIS bombed a Roman Catholic Cathedral. So it’s still their fault. And the underlying message is that it’s OK not to feel empathy for the victims of the Christchurch shootings and their families.

Then comes the familiar refrain. The truth? “You can’t see it, can’t hear it, can’t witness it - because you are not allowed. It can’t be recognised without fear of arrest. You can’t talk about the problems of conflicting cultures. Of being threatened by one religion, seeming determined to take over all that was once ours … the future is grim. People are desperately unhappy and feel lost. Forced out from within, strangers in their own lands, separated by fear. On both sides, all sides”. White Genocide. Great Replacement.
Enoch Powell - the inspiration for the latest funereal Hopkins dirge

The inevitable peroration, styled to match Powell’s infamous lines, is then upon us. “We are sitting on a volcano, the hot lava of anger forced down by the constant suppression of our words, repression of our emotions, policing of our thoughts. Controlled by blatant lies”. Yes, that is Katie Hopkins calling out others for lying. We are though the looking glass.

The paranoid delusion winds to its end as she whines plaintively “No one called this war. There was no announcement over a cracking radio. No Churchillian speech to rally us. But the silent exodus of Jews from Europe, of Christians in Britain looking Eastwards for a new place to call home, makes us refugees all the same”. And to that I call bullshit.

Hatey Katie’s last line confirms that she is still blaming the Scary Muslims™, and this is her desperate attempt to justify her hatred. “And watching the media, its mouthpieces and the multitudes desperate in their search to be the most sorry, waving their white flags in advance, shutting their Churches and Synagogues in deference to the Mosque, I fear that the sad truth none of us want to face is that the victor has already been declared”.

In the world of Katie Hopkins, we should not show empathy for the victims, because she is convinced that Muslims don’t show it to the victims of Islamist attacks, so we should behave in that way too - except, of course, that she is making that bit up. It allows her to conclude that by showing that empathy, we have shown “deference” - her term - to Islam, and therefore that in her imaginary war of cultures, Islam has been victorious.

It is a sad and twisted perversion of reality. No-one is suppressing her views, or repressing her emotions. No-one polices her thoughts. No-one threatens to arrest anyone for having views more in tune with Hatey Katie and her allies. But she has to shape her narrative this way in order to move the discussion on to her own paranoid agenda.

Talk of “conflicting cultures”, “one religion” allegedly threatening us, people being “forced out”, and “strangers in their own lands”. The paranoia of White Supremacism. THEY are coming to get US. There has to be a war, because WE must fight back against THEM.

It is a continuation of the story arc piloted by the likes of Enoch Powell. Then, it was simply about frightening Britons about brown and black people. Now it is about religion, too. But it is still racism, still bigotry, still hatred, and it is still wrong.

The reality is that most people want to end the hatred. Katie Hopkins does not, as it is in her interest for it to continue. She will not prevail. That is all.
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LBC Admits It Has Racist Presenters

Although broadcaster LBC employs the excellent James O’Brien, the station has also, in the past, given a regular show to pro-am motormouth Katie Hopkins. It still hosts a regular show presented by former UKIP Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage. Not so long ago, one of its regular presenters was self-promoting loudmouth Julia Hartley Dooda. Others in its array of presenters have, it seems, expressed questionable views.
Now, following a Twitter exchange between O’Brien and Abi Wilkinson, has come a moment of rare candour from LBC, perhaps too much candour given the implications. O’Brien had been talking about the Christchurch Mosque shootings and the responsibility of many media outlets for hosting those who peddle racism, and especially Islamophobia. Ms Wilkinson was sceptical that he called out his fellow LBC presenters for it.
So far, so routine, but then Sandra Glab, an LBC Senior Producer, intervened in an unexpected manner. “Hi Abi, one of LBC's producers here. James regularly calls out racism and Islamophobia (on and off air) including that of fellow LBC presenters”. WHAT? An admission from an LBC Senior Producer that some of its presenters are racists?
Libcom Dot Org pointed out her problem, and indeed that now facing LBC: “Sandra, do you realise how daft this sounds? ‘Yes, we have and continue to employ racists on our national radio platform. But we also employ a nice non-racist so that cancels out the racist propaganda of the others.’” It doesn’t cancel it out, of course. But the point is well made.
Ben King looked at Ms Glab’s admission from another angle. “Hi James, respectively, did you know that your position on @LBC and your calling out of other presenters racism is being used by a producer to justify the fact that they continue to employ racists?”. Ouch!
And where bigotry in the media is identified, Labour supporters are soon on the scene, one supporter of Jeremy Corbyn observing “.@glabsandra ‘one of @LBC’s producers’ openly admitting that LBC presenters are guilty of ‘racism and Islamophobia’ because ‘James regularly calls [them] out’. Our media is a disgrace. Our media needs to change. They are part of the problem and they know it. Shameful”. That’ll be another Ouch, then.
So if there was racism … Alex Tiffin spelt it out. “So a producer for @LBC is admitting that they allow racists and Islamophobes to work for them. If @mrjamesob has to call this out, which I'll admit he does, why aren't the parent company Global taking action?”. They did kick Ms Hopkins out, granted, but Mr Thirsty (for instance) is still there.
But the overall response was one of amazement at the apparent excess of candour, as Rosie Robertson confirmed. “I’ve read Ms Glab’s tweet several times to ensure I wasn’t *mis*reading it - and I’m still flummoxed. Is she (surely not?) admitting that some of @mrjamesob ‘s colleagues at LBC are ‘regularly’ racist and islamophobic?? I mean, I’m not surprised, merely shocked at frankness!” Quite.

What is LBC and its parent company going to do to address this problem? Will they take the wise counsel of the Muslim Council of Britain, for instance? Or will they just shrug, think to themselves “Ratings”, and carry on as before? Guess which one my money’s on.
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Tommy Robinson Admits Racism - ALMOST

After losing the pointless court case he brought against Cambridgeshire Police, alleging discrimination, harassment and human rights abuses, all of which claims failed, Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, was not downhearted. He would appeal to the High Court, in the belief that he would secure a different result there.
This, as ever, would demand more support from his followers, as in money. There is, in Lennon’s world, one born every minute. Meanwhile, The Great Man has visited Belgium, where he is attending a conference on FREEZE PEACH. That’s the freedom of speech that he demands, while attempting to silence anyone who doesn’t agree with him.

As part of his visit, Lennon sat down for an interview, where he made one most revealing statement - then attempted to row back on it. Here’s his schtick. “We have these NGO organisations, you have them here, we have them in England, who contact your work, they contact your HR department. They demand, and they put pressure, I’ve seen it, I’ve [given] evidence of it in England, where simply giving your opposition to Islamisation, or criticism of an ideology - or a book - can result in your losing your career and job”.

There was more. “And that is intentionally done. And people like me are used as an example, and they’re beaten, and they’re attacked, and their lives are destroyed. They’re supposed to be the example to the rest of the people to sit down and shut up. Sit down and shut up because whether you like it or not, we’re going to replace this population”.

Got that? And he hadn’t finished. “We’re going to bring in mass, mass numbers of Islamic immigration and you’re going to be good about it, you’re going to be quiet about it”. At this point, the interviewer made the obvious point: “That’s the White Genocide theory”.
Whoops! Cue screaming 180º U-Turn. “I don’t have a White Genocide theory, no. I talk about the Islamisation. Not about white, I don’t mention white”. Luigi Vercotti speaks.

So let’s consider what Lennon was on about. The idea that there are “groups” who force people out of their jobs is a reference to Hope Not Hate, who exposed the activities of a young merchant banker called Tom Dupré. Lennon claimed, as part of his lame attempt to stop the Panorama investigation into himself and his activities, that HnH got Dupré sacked because of his views. But he failed to make a full disclosure.

Dupré was fired by Standard Chartered because of his membership - he was UK leader of the group for a while - of Generation Identity, a fascist and indeed neo-Nazi organisation. It is not the only Generation Identity connection with Stephen Lennon.

That interviewer was right: the “Great Replacementis part of the White Genocide theory. It is central to the ideas of groups like Generation Identity, whose leading European figure is Martin Sellner - he and his partner Brittany Pettibone are friends of Lennon.

And there was Stephen Lennon promoting the White Genocide conspiracy theory - except he wasn’t quite doing that. Because he didn’t say “white”. It was all about Islamisation, and in his world, Islam is not a race and so he can’t really be racist.

He talks like a racist, and acts like a racist. But he isn’t a racist. So don’t call him one.
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Tenth Anniversary TODAY

A week is a long time in politics. Ten years is an eternity in blogging. And it certainly feels like it’s been a long time since Zelo Street was launched exactly ten years ago.
Back then, the blog didn’t have much of a focus; that came when Nick Davies began to prise open the can of worms that was the Phone Hacking scandal.
The focus sharpened during the years of austerity, as our free and fearless press showed their appetite for anything but reporting facts. It sharpened yet further with the rise of the far right - also fuelled by a press that remains utterly unaccountable to anyone but itself.

So is blogging about to end, after ten years? You jest.

Top Six - March 17

So what’s hot, and what’s not, in the past week’s blogging? Here are the six most popular posts on Zelo Street for the past seven days, counting down in reverse order, because, well, I have to be out and about later. So there.
6 May Fouls Up - Press Blames Corbyn Yet more Brexit vote shambles from our serially inept Prime Minister - so, you guessed it, her press pals dumped on Jezza.

5 Ezra Levant Warned AGAIN By Judge The personal invitation by Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, to Ezra Levant of Rebel Media to cover the court case where The Great Man sued Cambridgeshire Police for harassment did not work out well, as Levant used his “court reporting” as an excuse to smear and defame.

4 Frances Barber - Wrong Again The latest evening Twitter excursion from the minor Thesp saw her inexplicably having a go at Owen Jones for something a Lib Dem supporter said. Just don’t ask.

3 Corbyn Hatchet Job A WORTHLESS SHAM Peter Oborne - a proper journalist - did some basic fact checking on Tom Bower’s unauthorised biography of the Labour leader. And found it to be totally lacking. Something too many other hacks had missed.

2 Mosque Shooting - This Is Where Hatred Leads All those pundits, editors and hacks pumping out year after year of low-level racism found its end product as 49 innocent people were gunned down at two Christchurch Mosques.

1 Question Time Platforms Chemsex Death Man The latest shouty and opinionated audience member to come to widespread attention turned out to be a disgraced barrister who had been thrown out of two legal practices.

And that’s the end of another blogtastic week, blog pickers. Not ‘arf!