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Friday, 21 September 2018

Theresa May - Time To Go

The act of national delusion continues: today, delayed by power problems at 10 Downing Street - there’s a metaphor to savour - Theresa May stood at the lectern, two Union Flags behind her, to deliver yet another pointless speech on the progress, or lack of it, with Brexit negotiations. It was so well received that Sterling tanked on the foreign exchange markets. It was supremely pointless. It addressed no issues. And it solved no problems.
As the BBC has reported, “In a statement at Downing Street she said for EU leaders to reject her plan with no alternative at this ‘late stage of negotiations’ was ‘not acceptable’”. They were supposed, perhaps, to allow her crock of crap to be considered as a serious negotiating position, as well as flagrantly bypassing Michel Barnier.

There was more. “A defiant Mrs May added: ‘I will not overturn the result of the referendum nor will I break up my country.’” But no-one was asking her to do that. Then came the part of the speech for domestic press consumption only. “At this late stage in the negotiations, it is not acceptable to simply reject the other side's proposals without a detailed explanation and counter proposals. So we now need to hear from the EU what the real issues are and what their alternative is so we can discuss them. Until we do, we cannot make progress”. Christ on a bike, they told you two years ago.

What happened yesterday in Salzburg was the entirely predictable result of several factors: proposals that had already been dismissed as unworkable; trying to short-circuit the negotiating process by attempting (unsuccessfully) to pick off member states one by one; trying to cut out Barnier; not bringing proposals forward until the last minute.

Also, the duplicitous nature of some ministers did not help, especially Michael “Oiky” Gove claiming the final agreement could be reneged upon at will. Nor did all the futile braggadocio over “not paying the divorce bill”. Some of the Tory right still think that the prospect of No Deal is A Very Good Thing. The currency markets think otherwise.

But one conclusion in inescapable: Theresa May’s credibility is now shot. Her leadership is a contradiction in terms. Her party is a shambolic rabble. Many in her own cabinet are “on manoeuvres”. Many outside the cabinet are manoeuvring to get rid of her. She cannot deliver on Brexit. Worse, she is unable or unwilling to contemplate any common sense alternative - such as extending the Article 50 period, or not doing the deed at all.
As she has outlived her usefulness, there is only one option left for Theresa May, and that is for her to go. The manner of her departure matters less than her getting on and doing it. She could, of course, if she believes she has the country with her, call a General Election, in which she and her rabble of a party would be soundly thrashed.

Blaming the EU will no longer work for her. Nor will blaming Labour: they are not in power; it is not for them to ride to her rescue. Nor will any other kind of blame-shifting. Nor will calling on sympathetic media outlets to shill for her.

We see you, Theresa May. You are no less inept than your cowardly predecessor. Your party has screwed over our country. You have no idea how to extricate yourself from this mess. You have reached the end of the road. In the name of God, go.
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Why The Guardian Grovels To Murdoch

The actions this week of Guardian joint political editor Heather Stewart, where she went in to bat for the Murdoch mafiosi after Labour grassroots organisation Momentum declined to accredit Sun hacks to their The World Transformed event in Liverpool, may have surprised as many observers as they dismayed. But there is very straightforward method in this particular madness, and it is, as so often, all about money.
For so long, the Guardian lost money. Now, following rounds of staff cuts, those losses have been stemmed, but there is always the need to secure advertising revenue. And it is in bringing in the advertisers that the paper has cosied up to Murdoch. Worse, this new closer relationship has involved compromising the paper’s reporting on matters that may reflect aversely on their new pals - a blatant case of self-censorship.

As the Guardian told earlier this year, “The Guardian’s parent company has joined forces with rivals News UK and the Telegraph to create an online advertising business … The Ozone Project has been launched in response to demand from advertisers for a one-stop shop to buy digital adverts across multiple leading news sites. When it launches in the autumn it will be possible for advertisers to buy online ad space on the Guardian, the Times, the Sun, and the Telegraph from a single site”.

One Zelo Street contact put it thus: “if Ford is launching a new car, instead of dealing with THREE different advertising and display teams on THREE different titles, they just deal with one pooled team at Ozone, who will do one set of adverts, which are used across all papers. It’s called ‘programmable’ or ‘programmatic’ advertising because a computer program distributes the adverts across all of the websites, by simply ‘pressing a button.’

Neat, eh? But the consequences for the Guardian’s editorial independence have been grave. Not only did Ms Stewart do the previously unthinkable - back the Sun over a ban on its hacks in Liverpool - reporting of Murdoch wrongdoing has also been scaled back to the point where it has become all but invisible. Take, for instance, phone hacking allegations.
Earlier this year, the paper sided with the Murdochs over Leveson 2, abandoning victims of press abuse. As David Hencke put it, “The decision this week to join the rest of the press pack and welcome the demise of Leveson 2 - the inquiry which would have taken a cold hard look at how mainstream media - in particular the News of the World and the Mirror - indulged in phone hacking and other nefarious practices is profoundly disappointing”.

Independents like Byline Media are now far more likely to report the procession of claimants alleging phone hacking, blagging and other malpractice against the Sun, and indeed other Murdoch titles. The Guardian was distinctly lukewarm on the case of former Sunday Times blagger John Ford, who has now blown the whistle on his former title.

Thus the paradox of the modern-day Guardian: it has stabilised its finances for now, but in the process has joined so many others in selling out the causes it once championed. Expect more support for Murdoch hacks and less talk about The Dark Arts in future.

The cowards of Kings Place are complicit in covering up criminality. Sad but true.
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Brexit Farce - Sun Loses It Completely

Yesterday Theresa May, today our free and fearless press: the inability to accept reality, the insistence that We British are always right and the dastardly garlic-crunching foreigners are always wrong, the unwillingness to accept such concepts as negotiation and compromise, the understanding that all those claims of how easy it was going to be were no more than packs of fanciful lies, the whole delusion is laid bare.
We were told Brexit would be no more than a pleasant walk in the park. The deals would be wrapped up in the blink of an eyelid. They needed us more than we needed them. We held all the cards. And anyway, who won the war?

The reality - that many Tory MPs are still unwilling, or more likely incapable, of understanding - is that the EU wanted to be nice to Ms May, to help her out. Her inflexibility and ineptitude scuppered that idea. Trying to cut out Michel Barnier didn’t help our cause. And thinking we could pick off some of the other 27 member states was plain stupid.

It was, whisper it quietly, a mess of our own making. So what has the right-leaning part of the Fourth Estate to say for itself in apologia this morning? Well, the comedy newspaper that is the Express has just carried on lying, screaming that the EU is “vengeful”. But that is rank amateurism when put alongside the howling denunciation from the Sun.
The Murdoch goons have suffered the meltdown to end all press meltdowns this morning: from the front page headline “EU DIRTY RATS … Euro mobsters ambush May”, to the pointless article telling “Chequers Brexit proposal explained - what is Theresa May’s plan, when will it be voted on and who is for and against it” (because it’s dead), to the hectoring, abusive editorial, the impression of helpless outrage is inescapable.

That editorial is British Euro-failure distilled into powerless ranting. “WE can’t wait to shake ourselves free of the two-bit mobsters who run the European Union … EU leaders promised a fair hearing on our future relationship at yesterday’s crunch Salzburg summit … Instead, Mrs May was ambushed with a cack-handed attempt to sign us up to Brussels’ unacceptable terms there and then”. She wasn’t. But the lies are just ramping up.

Yesterday the leaders of the undemocratic European Union showed their true colours”. The European Parliament is an elected body, unlike, say, the management of News UK. But do go on.”This isn’t some grand project, designed to bring the peoples of Europe together in one happy union. It’s a protection racket”. Yes, protecting the people of Europe from shyster capitalists like Rupert Murdoch. And boy, does he hate them for it.
And on it goes. “They have refused to negotiate in good faith. They have refused to compromise, even while Britain has worked day-in, day-out to find agreement”. Britain hasn’t worked at all to find agreement. Also, the EU has been the one negotiating in good faith, while the UK has been trying to pick off member states (see above).

Then comes the self-awareness failure: “Like all good gangsters, they’re trying to rule by fear”. Is that a Murdoch paper trying to call “gangster” on someone else? And denouncing the EU as “an outfit that increasingly looks more at home in Sicily than Strasbourg”?

Hurling abuse at the EU. Because it worked so well before, didn’t it? Or maybe not.
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Thursday, 20 September 2018

The Brexit Charade IS DEAD

The list of The New Guilty Men is seemingly endless: there have been clueless politicians like Young Dave and his pal George, Liam Fox, David Davis, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, Jacob Rees Mogg, Dominic Raab, Andrea Leadsom, Kate Hoey, Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, Nadine Dorries, Bernard Jenkin, Michael “Oiky” Gove, and Dan, Dan The Oratory Man. There have been intellectually bankrupt pundits following in their wake.
That roll of shame is rather longer, containing as it does such luminaries as Isabel Oakeshott, Tim Montgomerie, Iain Martin, Iain Dale, the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines, Trevor Kavanagh, Quentin Letts (let’s not), Richard Littlejohn, Amanda Bloody Platell, Sarah Baxter, Simon “Enoch was right” Heffer, Rod “a smile, a song, and a four pack of Stella” Liddle, Andrew Pierce (in a pink shirt), and Julia Hartley Dooda.

Added to those has been the collective cluelessness of lobby groups such as the TPA, IEA, CPS, ASI, Brexit Central and the rest. There has also been the participation of newspaper editors and proprietors. All knew more about Brexit than anyone who actually did know about the subject. All knew the EU would do what we wanted. And all were talking out of the backs of their necks. Because they knew Sweet Jack Shit.

Let us not drive this one round the houses for too long: We The People have been systematically, cynically and deliberately lied to on an industrial scale for years. So many in the UK have believed that we are the righteous ones, and that the puny foreigners would bend to our will, before the force of our superior arguments. This was bullshit.
And it was in the pleasant surroundings of the Austrian city of Salzburg that all the years of lies and braggadocio came crashing down on their first contact with reality. EU leaders, and heads of the other 27 member states’ Governments, are not stupid people. Nor are they of infinite patience. Nor are they amenable to spending year after year being ritually slagged off by brainless mercenary politicians and pundits in the UK.

So it should have come as no surprise when Theresa May’s “Chequers Compromise”, delivered with a “take it or leave it” attitude, was firmly, almost brutally, rebuffed. This happened because the EU has finally had enough of being screwed around by the UK.

For decades, we’ve been allowed the exceptionalism of not joining the Euro and not joining Schengen. We kept our rebate, moaned about free movement while not bothering to properly implement its provisions, and yes, blamed all our ills on the EU.
So when push finally came to shove, what do you think happened? Those EU leaders finally decided they’d had enough. If we want to behave like the petulant child of Europe, fine. But don’t expect us to do it on their patch, and on their time.

Today’s Salzburg encounter is the day the Brexit charade died. The chance of getting a no-deal outcome through Parliament is not unadjacent to zero. The idea that the assembled gobshites and nonentities like Farage, Rees Mogg, Bozza and the rest could cobble together an alternative plan and rescue the situation is laughable.

Our political class and their press pals have sold us down the river. Now we need someone to step up to the plate before our country gets totally fouled up.
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Tommy Robinson Is Ready To Die

As the time draws near for Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, to face a retrial for alleged contempt of court over his visit to Leeds, realisation has hit home that this could entail his going back to jail. As a result, there has been an outpouring of victimhood, which is always good for getting the crowdfunder numbers moving.
So it was that Lennon’s Facebook page included this gem recently: “The fact that this contempt of court case against Tommy is at the Old Bailey (big terror trials and high profile murders usually) shows just how politically motivated this all is. They want him silenced and they have already shown that they will break rules in order to do just that. They never expected the reaction that would follow”. Inventing politically motivated trials.

But the real pièce de résistance has been an appearance via Skype by Lennon for the irredeemably batshit Alex Jones and his InfoWars propaganda machine. Here, Jones claims that “Muslim men” have organised into “rape groups” who target girls at the rate of “a thousand a town”. He talks of “the paedophilia of the UK” and says this is “the religion of the elite over there”. If brains were TNT, he wouldn’t have enough to blow his head off.

Jones then tells Lennon “they want to kill you”. So it should come as no surprise that Lennon then tells that his retrial is because “I was talking on my iPhone about Muslim men raping children”. He also claims misleadingly that “the court case had finished”. But then we get to his retrial. Lennon suggests that he is not going to “walk into court, say sorry and plead guilty”. This would be “meeting the Government half way”.
Was he afraid of what he was doing? “I don’t fear that, cos that’s the truth … the inevitable outcome of this path, which I have chosen … I wrote a letter to my wife when I was in prison explaining all of this, to say I’m not in this position through anything other than choice. I know what I’m doing. I’m not their victim, I’m their target, and I’m not going to wallow in self-pity about a situation that is nothing in comparison to what many other people go through”. And then comes the righteousness.

The other judgment to make is … are we morally right? And if I’m morally right, I’ll do anything [there’s a legal get-out clause for you]. I will go anywhere, and I will not care about the consequences of the problems I’m talking about if I’m morally right”. One can only imagine the expressions on the faces of some of Lennon’s recent targets.

There was more. “Once you go past that as a moral compass, what we’re doing is trying to save the future of our culture [so not just crusading against grooming gangs, then], our children, our country, our history … it’s nothing, what I’ve been through.”

He wasn’t finished. “We are a generation of cowards, born in an era where … and I also take huge satisfaction that so many people have been brought off of the fence. Watch what happened - this last arrest … I’d like to say a huge thank you to Judge Marson who put me in prison, because he has red pilled more people than anyone I’ve ever met”.
So it really is about the publicity, then. “He’s been the most successful in bringing people to our cause. We’re right. We’re telling the truth. It’s a moral battle that we can’t afford to lose”. But this does not guarantee his freedom.

I think next Thursday I’ll go back to prison, and I just want people to know that”. Why, Jones asked, did he believe that? “I sat down with my wife, I explained to her the situation I’m in, and I said look … I just can’t do it … I can’t do it … I don’t accept it [apologising for any contempt] … I don’t accept that anything I said could have prejudiced that trial … tell me why there’s that [reporting] restriction”. So he’s not going to apologise.

Clearly, Lennon has made the calculation that going to jail again is going to be good for business. He gets the opportunity to accept he was in contempt and apologise, he refuses, and thereby gets sent down. He clearly said that being sent down by the judge in Leeds was good for his cause. So he’s looking to do another stretch, starting next week.

And he’s ready todie for the truth”. What a martyr. What a trooper. What a con artist.
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That the bar for allowing people to stand for Parliament is not very high is something that will be familiar to those who look in regularly on Zelo Street, and especially when it comes to the Tory Party: Dominic Raab, Priti Patel, James “not so” Cleverly, Nadine Dorries, Chris Grayling, Bernard Jenkin - the assembled idiocy is substantial. Added to this list now is Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who represents the unfortunate voters of Berwick-upon-Tweed.
Ms Trevelyan has seen something that looks too good to be true, and which really is too good to be true for Brexiteers such as Herself. But such is her enthusiasm for the cause that she has believed it anyway, telling anyone who will listen “There's now a US-UK trade deal ready to be signed says @BrexitCentral”. There isn’t. There really isn’t.

So what is there? Ah well. The anti-EU right has been acting in concert, with lobby groups (let’s not favour these with titles like “think tanks”) and propagandists attempting to turn their spin into reality. Eleven like-minded lobby groups have put together what they would like to see in a trade agreement, and then declared that it really is a trade agreement.

However, and here we encounter a significantly-sized however, one look at the roll-call of those lobby groups tells you what to expect in the alleged agreement. From the UK, there are the ASI, CPS and IEA, and from the USA, the AEI and Cato Institute. The convocation of flat earthers could not be more complete. So what’s on offer?

According to the Guardian, the agreementwould see the NHS opened to foreign competition, a bonfire of consumer and environmental regulations and freedom of movement between the two countries for workers”. Freedom of movement between the UK, with a population of 66 million people, and the USA, with 326 million. As Private Eye magazine might have mused, I wonder who that might favour? I think we should be told.
One look at the kinds of details on offer tells you exactly who it might favour: it “would remove tariffs and throw out the precautionary principle that has guided much EU regulation on GM foods, chlorine-washed chicken, hormones in meat, pesticides and chemicals in cosmetics”. Removing EU regulations and imposing US ones instead.

That this would be a sell-out to US business, and especially Agri-Business, was only confirmed by the news thatLiam Fox is planning to use controversial ‘Henry VIII’ powers to scrap European food standards in order to pave the way for a trade deal with the US after Brexit … Fox believes the UK should diverge from EU rules after Brexit in order to sign wide-ranging free trade deals with countries with lower standards”. Oh goody.

What other delights would be on offer? “The IFT/Cato Institute free trade deal recognises that its proposals are likely to be unpopular. ‘Health services would benefit from foreign competition, although we recognise any change to existing regulations would be extremely controversial,’ it says … It recommends testing the waters with foreign competition in education and legal services first”. Screwing around with education, just for starters.
One commentator who has seen them coming has no doubt what the alleged “agreement” would mean. “Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now, said: ‘The measures supported in this paper represent a free trade utopia, entirely divorced from economic reality. The authors view good government as “getting out of the way” of business, and letting profit drive every aspect of our society. If carried out, these policies would destroy huge swathes of our economy, including farming, and they would lay waste to public services.’” And we have Tory MPs willing to shill for it.

The idea that this “deal” is ready for signature is below the credibility threshold. It would sell out our farmers, sell off the NHS and most likely replace it with a cripplingly expensive US-style insurance-based health care system, and effectively convert the UK, at a stroke, into just another US state. And its proponents talk about freedom and independence.

The IEA, CPS and ASI are not credible trade negotiators. The ritual incantation of soundbites such as “free trade”, as on a tape loop, should convince no-one. And Liam Fox is still a disgraced ex-minister who cannot be trusted any further than he can be chucked.

A UK-US “trade deal” does not exist. Don’t fall for this attempt to sell out the UK.
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Guido Fawkes Promotes Anti-Semitism

The perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog continue their increasingly desperate attempt to associate the Labour Party, and leader Jeremy Corbyn, with anti-Semitism, despite their infamous anti-Semitic attacks on former Labour leader Ed Miliband, and Staines’ friendship with the likes of disgraced former Tory MP Aidan Burley of Nazi stag party fame (see HERE). But then a problem enters.
The ability to play both sides of the field has meant that Staines and his pals are, while pretending to be clamping down on any perceived anti-Semitism, not averse to promoting virulent anti-Semitism themselves. Thus it is that The Great Guido is there publicising former Breitbart Steve Bannon, unabashed white supremacist supreme.

The promotion included this shameless advertorial: “Perhaps it is best to listen to his own words … He has a coherent ideology, it is not as you might have read. It is rooted in a belief in a capitalism in the context of Judaeo-Christian civilisation. He has a critique of capitalism which echoes the traditional Catholic criticism of free market capitalism. He is intellectually closer to Philip Blond than Friedrich Hayek”. Pass the sick bucket.

Hard on the heels of that grovelfest came another, where the Fawkes massive chided the BBC and other media outlets with “Rather than learn the lessons from the election the liberal media has reverted to its perennially outraged misfiring attack mode”. Bannon could not be anti-Semitic because Breitbart employed Jews.

Then came a promotion for Bannon addressing CPAC. “White House chief strategist Steve Bannon outlining his worldview of ‘economic nationalism’ at CPAC. With some choice words for the ‘corporatist globalist media’. He reiterates Trump will not moderate his policies”. Quite the Bannon enthusiasts chez Fawkes.
And they’re still promoting him: last month, Fawkes readers were toldTrump’s former right hand man has produced a pro-Trump documentary to try to rile up Trump’s base in the lead up to the mid term elections”. Advertorial for Trump At War.

Earlier this month came The Great Guido’s agreement with Bannon that the “liberal elite” was “the party of Davos”, calling climate change something that “concerns the faddish Davos crowd”. They were also promoting an interview with … Steve Bannon. In which the Economist’s editor, according to Staines, “expected the caricature Bannon, the real Bannon was a bit more complex and clever”. Complex and clever.

So let’s have a look at what the ADL says about him. “Bannon … has expressed his enthusiasm for the alt right, a loose network of individuals and groups that promote white identity and reject mainstream conservatism in favor of politics that embrace implicit or explicit racism, anti-Semitism and white supremacy”. There was more.

The Times of Israel told thatBreitbart ran another column accusing a Jewish anti-Trump writer, the Washington Post’s Anne Applebaum, of helping orchestrate ‘attempts to impose a globalist worldview upon citizenries that reject it’ alongside a coalition that included George Soros - a favorite Jewish target of the alt-right … ‘Hell hath no fury like a Polish, Jewish, American elitist scorned,’ the column continued”. And more.
Closer to home, the Jewish Chronicle observedBoris Johnson has been condemned for attacking Jeremy Corbyn’s approach to antisemitism, while meeting Steve Bannon, the far-right former chief of staff to Donald Trump accused of encouraging Jew-hate … Bannon used to be the editor of Breitbart, a far-right news site. During his tenure, the site ran a number of articles using antisemitic language to criticise prominent Jews”.

In a New York Times op-ed, Bret Stephens told readers of “Bannon’s well-documented links to anti-Semitic white nationalists” and that “[Neo-Nazi Richard] Spencer thinks Jews have no place in the United States. Breitbart has sung the praises of Spencer. Bannon knows all this because he edited the article that sung those praises. Connect the dots”.

Graham Vyse at the New Republic put it directly: “Steve Bannon is absolutely culpable for Breitbart’s racism, sexism, and anti-Semitism”. Yet there is The Great Guido grovelingly promoting him, while laying into Corbyn and Labour.

Anyone still believe that Staines and his goons could distinguish a principle from a hole in the ground? Think again. Another fine mess.
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Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Guardian Editor Bats For Murdoch

It has been reported by Politics Home today thatJournalists from The Sun have been banned from attending a festival organised by the pro-Jeremy Corbyn campaign group Momentum”. Why so? “Momentum said the paper had ‘smeared’ victims of the 1989 Hillsborough stadium disaster - in which 96 Liverpool fans died - and it was backing a long-running boycott of the title in the city”. Quite so. So what’s the problem?
The Liverpool waterfront. And one of the famous Mersey ferries

After all, the Super Soaraway Currant Bun is banned from an increasing number of retail outlets across Merseyside, and both Liverpool and Everton have banned the paper’s alleged journalists from their grounds. What the Sun, under the then less than benign editorship of the deeply unpleasant Kelvin McFilth, did in the aftermath of Hillsborough was beyond the pale. But the paper did have some defenders.
After Matt Dathan, a Murdoch creep of no known ability, sniped “Sorry to see the @PeoplesMomentum has banned The Sun from attending its World Transformed conference next week. Didn't realise they were supporters of press censorship” (they aren’t, because they are accrediting some real journalists), and the low moaning noise that is Desperate Dan Hodges griped “There we go. Momentum are now banning journalists. Change is coming”, help for the Murdoch goons arrived from an unexpected quarter.
This is outrageous - banning journalists because you don’t like their paper’s editorial line smacks more of Donald Trump than the lovely open, democratic social movement Momentum aspires to be” protested Heather Stewart. Who she? Only the Guardian’s joint political editor (she shares the role with Anushka Asthana). An editor. At the Guardian.
Abi Wilkinson tried her best to gently appraise Ms Stewart of the reality in Liverpool vis-à-vis the Sun. “It would be pretty awkward flouting the citywide boycott when you’ve probably got loads of local volunteers who observe it, though”.
Did this understanding reach its target? Perhaps not, as Ms Stewart then followed up with “TWT in touch to say not *banning* Sun, who were invited last year; but respecting those in Liverpool who boycott it over Hillsborough. But does a campaign against buying/reading paper [for completely legit reasons!] make it OK to lock out its reporters?
Ms Wilkinson once again tried to impart some of those Real World Facts. “They don’t get invited to cover Everton or Liverpool matches either, or to most other cultural events. It’s part of the boycott and TWT has to take a stance - either way there’s no neutral option”.
Indeed. One hates to go all Neil Kinnock, given his reputation in the city is not good, but it’s jaw-dropping to see a Guardian editor - a Guardian editor - being so ignorant of the backstory. As Ross McCafferty put it, “Lot of wilful ignorance floating about in journalism Twitter atm. If you don't know about why the Liverpool/Sun issue is about SLIGHTLY more than censorship I don't know what to tell you”. Got it in one.
Dan Hancox then put the lid on it: “I see the hacks-4-hacks lobby is about one take away from ‘snowflake Hillsborough families should take on Kelvin MacKenzie in the marketplace of ideas’”. And this hard on the heels of the paper spiking a piece critical of Murdoch.

Get knowledgeable about Hillsborough. Respect the 96. And don’t buy the Sun.
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Anti-Muslim Hate Crime AGAIN

It was only last week that the Independent reportedThe number of white suspected terrorists being arrested in the UK has overtaken those of Asian appearance for the first time in more than a decade … Statistics released by the Home Office show an overall fall in terror arrests of 22 per cent in the year, with 351 made in the 12 months to the end of June”. So last night’s incident in North London should have surprised no-one.
As the BBC has reported, “Three men were hurt when a car struck several people outside a north London Islamic centre, police said … Witnesses described hearing the driver ‘shouting anti-Islamic taunts’ in the incident at the Muslim prayer centre in Cricklewood … Two men were taken to hospital following the incident at about 00:35 BST. The driver failed to stop … It happened at the Al-majlis Al-Hussaini centre at the junction of Oxgate Lane and Edgware Road”. But the Met is not yet calling this a terrorist incident.

The Evening Standard has addedThe occupants of the car - three males and a woman all aged in their mid-20s - had earlier been asked to leave a private car park where they were reportedly drinking, using drugs and behaving anti-socially … Visitors to the Al-majlis Al-Hussaini Islamic centre then became involved in a confrontation with those in the car, during which they allegedly made racist remarks”.

The car, a red Nissan Juke, was apparently slightly damaged during the confrontation with the crowd outside the Islamic centre. This may make identification easier. Also helping get this to a wider audience has been the indefatigable Miqdaad Versi of the Muslim Council of Britain, who has shared this first-and account from Ali Salman.

The car (red Nissan Juke) came flying towards us, my third friend was behind us and I don’t know how he managed to jump out of the way, as the car missed us it he then turned towards another group of men on the other side roughly 20 metres away from us and drove into them full force, we then all started chasing the car down the hill and the car was trying to run over more people and was swerving in groups of people”. There was more.
Thankfully, everyone started dispersing and only one other person got run over, it could have been much worse with the number of people that was there, and the driver was swerving into people trying to run over as many people as possible. We [were] all in a huge shock and could not believe how close we came to death, literally milliseconds away from being run over full force by a raging terrorist”.

Ali Salman also mentions “the security guys” in his Facebook post. Much has been written recently about how people like MPs need extra security - well, here is the reality for North London’s Muslim communities.  The capital’s Jewish communities routinely post security guards at Synagogues, and no doubt other religious groups do too. Moreover, this incident has shades of Darren Osborne’s attack in Finsbury Park.

Yet our free and fearless press keeps on peddling the now discredited claim that terrorism is something only Muslims do, and hate crime is just more of that “PC gone mad” that distracts the Police from pursuing all those Real Criminals™.

Last night’s incident was where press hate speech leads. I’ll just leave that one there.
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UKIP Leader’s Paedophile Shame

With the knowledge that some of their latest recruits have less than stellar character references when it comes to the sensitive subject of Child Sexual Exploitation - washed-up man-baby Milo Yiannopoulos having lost much of his career after appearing to advocate paedophilia, and Carl Benjamin, who styles himself Sargon of Akkad, equivocating on the age of consent - UKIP was in no need of more of the same.
Vladimir Bukovsky and Gerard Batten ((c) Paul Diamond)

But that is what they have coming around the corner, and it concerns the poor judgment of their leader when it comes to supporting those from whom he should be steering well clear. Back in 2006, Gerard Batten cites Vladimir Bukovsky as if he were a confidant. In 2009, we see Bukovsky heading a group called TV Licence Refuseniks, and read of “UKIP MEP Gerard Batten, who is involved in Mr Bukovsky’s campaign”.

And for those who long for the return of Nigel “Thirsty” Farage - well, Bukovsky has been linked to him, too. Plus, for the conspiracy minded, there is the inevitable Assange link: in 2012, we seePaul Diamond was instructed by the famous Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky and Gerard Batten MEP to intervene in the Julian Assange case in the Supreme Court, London”. And there are Adolf von Batten and Bukovsky together.

Assange, sad to say, was denied stay of extradition, despite Batten and Bukovsky (listed, along with Diamond, as “interveners” in the case), and remains holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy, with the occasional visit from his pal Nige. Still, we can confidently conclude that Batten and Bukovsky are friends who go back a long way together.
Squeaky indirectly implicated finger up the bum time

And that is not a good look for the current UKIP leader when put alongside the Guardian’s headline from December 2016, which tells “Soviet dissident had thousands of child abuse images, UK court told … Vladimir Bukovsky downloaded indecent images and films over 15-year period, Cambridge crown court hears”. Oh dear, Kippers!

There was more. “Bukovsky downloaded thousands of indecent images of children over a 15-year period, most of them featuring boys, a court has been told … Bukovsky, 73, is charged with 10 counts of making and possessing indecent photos and one count of possessing an indecent computer-generated graphic”.

The Mail was particularly keen to report every last detail: “Vladimir Bukovsky, 74, would 'constantly' download indecent material of children, with a particular emphasis on young boys, over a 15 year period, the court heard … Police said [he] was downloading child porn when they arrived to arrest him”.
Bukovsky’s ill-health got in the way of proceedings, though, with the BBC later reportingA Russian dissident accused of possessing thousands of indecent images of children should be retried despite his ill health, a judge has ruled … An earlier trial at Cambridge Crown Court was halted in December after Mr Bukovsky was diagnosed with pneumonia and admitted to hospital”. Earlier this year, he was judged too ill to stand trial.

But given he was downloading child porn when the cops arrived, that puts Batten in one of those very difficult positions. His judgment and his friendships are seriously suspect.

On the other hand, maybe there’s a convincing explanation out there. I’m all ears.
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