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Thursday, 23 May 2019

Tories - Murdoch Backs Boris

Theresa May has not yet resigned as Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party. But as far as our free and fearless press is concerned, she is yesterday’s news, and they are now looking to anoint a successor. As so often with those who scrabble around the dunghill that is Grubstreet, it is the Murdoch mafiosi who lead the way, and their choice for Tory leader has already been decided. It will surprise no-one.
It has been decided by those on the 13th floor of the Baby Shard bunker that the next PM should be London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, thus demonstrating that the Murdoch goons are incapable of seeing the world outside their hermetically sealed bubble. They think Bozza is electable, the Lobby thinks he is electable, their pals think he is electable. Therefore he must be electable.

The thought that Bozza is a congenital liar, a serial philanderer, terminally inept, unable to get his mind round such elementary concepts as budgeting and money being a finite commodity which you can’t just spray up the wall, and not even slightly popular outside the M25, as well as less popular than is assumed within it, is not allowed to enter.
So the word has gone out to talk him up, and this has been done in two very obvious ways, firstly through sycophantic articles in papers like the Super Soaraway Currant Bun, and secondly through new media outlets who know which side their bread is buttered.

This last brings us to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, who know that when Rebekah Brooks calls and orders them to jump, their only question is to ask how high. That The Great Guido is ready to do the bidding of the Murdoch mafiosi was demonstrated by their lame puff piece for TalkRADIO’s TV aspirations earlier this week, which should have been marked as advertorial.
That post included “[Murdoch] is convinced that where he went wrong with the [Sky News] was that it was too middle of the road and boring. Why, he asks, did he lose £20 million-a-year with Sky News UK and make billions-a-year with Fox USA? See Murdoch-owned Sky News Australia to get an idea of the more opinionated news channel he perhaps has in mind. A more lively broadcaster would do much better than the old Sky News”.

Sky News Australia is a nailed-on purveyor of racist bigotry, especially Islamophobia. That is what the Fawkes rabble mean by “lively”. That’s how high they jump for Rebekah. So today’s “Mercer: We Have To Pick Someone Who Wins - That’s Boris” is entirely predictable. As is the detail: “Johnny Mercer formally announced on Peston that he wouldn’t be running - and gave a ringing endorsement of Boris Johnson instead”.

There was more: “there has been a big softening of attitudes towards Boris among many longtime ‘anyone but Boris’ Tories, he has been publicly courting the ‘One Nation’ caucus, even Ruth Davidson has now said she can work with him. Panicking Tory MPs are watching their party’s catastrophic slide in the polls and desperately looking around for a winner, many are coming to the same conclusion as Mercer”. Good doggies!
On top of that is a gratuitous and gushing article in today’s Sun about Bozza’s Islington house being for sale. The headline tells readers what to think: “ON THE MOVE … Boris Johnson puts £4m family home on the market as he plots move to 10 Downing Street … The Tory leadership hopeful could formally launch his campaign in days”.

The totally superfluous detail just keeps on coming. “He's put up his 3,000sq ft property in Islington, North London, up for sale. It has five floors and comes with a private roof terrace with fantastic views … The home was also used for Brexit strategy meetings with allies David Davis and Michael Gove”. Then comes more reader thought direction.
Boris revealed last week he WILL run to be Tory leader when Mrs May finally steps down … He’s already the bookies' favourite and grassroots say they are behind him too … Labour members in a poll this week said he would be the Tory they most feared coming up against in an election”. That means Rupe and Rebekah are backing Bozza.

And with all that dirt safely locked away in the safe, he’ll do just what they say if he’s allowed to get his hands on the levers of power. Which means bending the rules to allow TalkRADIO to morph into Fox News Channel UK, for starters.

In exchange, Bozza gets the Murdoch propaganda machine behind him. The devil’s deal that so many have done before him. Be afraid, voters. Be very afraid.
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Tommy Robinson Rally Ends In Violence

As in Oldham, so in Salford: Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, turns up for one of his allegedly family friendly gatherings, and soon afterwards, there is violent disorder. He, along with his supporters, will claim that it was all the fault of what Lennon quaintly calls “An-TEE-fa”, and of course the Scary Muslims™, but it then turns out that his side started it. And in Salford, this has been backed up by the Guardian.
What happened yesterday evening is not difficult to relate: Lennon was holding his final campaign rally, as part of his attempt to become an independent MEP via today’s European Parliament elections. There was a protest attended by around 50 people, with Stand Up To Racism organising. After the rally, the protesters were being led away under Police escort when they were attacked by a barrage of missiles.
The projectiles being thrown included eggs, sticks - and rocks. The Guardian’s Josh Halliday was on the scene: “Police have made arrests after anti-racism campaigners were pelted with bricks and eggs following a Tommy Robinson campaign rally in Salford. Three anti-racism activists suffered bruising and cuts after they were hit by rocks”.

There was more. “Trouble flared when objects were thrown at a group of about 50 counter-protesters who were being escorted away from the event by police. The Guardian saw a boy and a man being arrested as about 30 police officers struggled to contain the disorder. Eggs and sticks were also thrown at police officers”. Halliday also Tweeted “Eggs thrown at police to chants of ‘Scum! Scum!’ after Tommy Robinson rally in Salford tonight”.
Halliday later reportedPolice have confirmed they made two arrests following the trouble at a Tommy Robinson rally in Salford earlier. Greater Manchester Police said: ‘Police arrested two people during a disturbance following a planned event in Lower Broughton, Salford … Two people were arrested on suspicion of assault and public order offences. Enquiries are ongoing.’” And it wasn’t the protesters who got arrested.
It was those who realise that Stephen Lennon is trying to manipulate the deprived and forgotten for his own advantage. Like Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, he doesn’t give a flying foxtrot about the welfare of those whose votes he seeks. It’s all about him.

Anyone still unsure what Lennon represents should consider this from the Guardian report: “Nahella Ashraf, chair of Stand Up to Racism in Manchester, said she saw some of the supporters make the nazi Sieg Heil salute. Ashraf added: ‘Tommy Robinson is a fascist and has no place in mainstream politics … We urge everyone to use their vote to ensure he does not get elected as an MEP”. Got it in one.
Electing Stephen Lennon would make all his intimidation, all his lies, all his bigotry, somehow more acceptable. So there would be more of it. Because he’d have been elected, and so he’d have the privileges and immunities given to MEPs. Think about that.

No-one’s life would be improved, of course. That’s the whole point - to maintain a disaffected underclass to be exploited for his own advantage and advancement.

Yesterday evening in Salford, we saw Lennon’s vision for the future. Today, voters have the chance to make sure it never becomes reality.
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Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Theresa May - She’s On Her Way

With rumours over the finances of the Brexit Party gathering pace and the Electoral Commission not exactly giving Nigel “Thirsty” Farage’s new one-man show a clean bill of health, his pals must have been praying for the 24-hour news Speculatron to move on. And move on it has, because Theresa May has reached the end of her Prime Ministerial road. This time the Tories really have had enough.
Not even withdrawing the Tory whip from Michael Heseltine, who has decided he will vote Lib Dem tomorrow, has stopped the rot. It has, instead, merely accelerated the rush to find some way, any way, to remove Ms May from 10 Downing Street before she wipes out the Tories’ election prospects altogether. The party is polling at a level where it may not have any MEPs elected at all. For a Government party, that is unconscionable.
Those minds that have been focused most sharply include Paul Goodman at Conservative Home, whose post for the site today bears the stark headlineIf May isn’t on her way out by the end of today, don’t back her in tomorrow’s European elections”. A Conservative site advocating voting - but not voting Conservative. And there was more.
Justine Greening, that most Remain of Tory MPs - as befits an ABBA aficionado - who has previously called for a second referendum, was not going to back the May deal. “Last July I said this Brexit deal was a fudge and the worst of all worlds. We’ve had 10 months of division instead of decision. Now even a second referendum is being fudged too. This deal pleases no one. I won’t be voting for it. Game’s up”. Ouch!
And the London Evening Standard, edited by former Chancellor George Osborne, which went out of its way to attack Sadiq Khan and promote the Mayoral campaign of Zac Goldsmith, is now deserting the Tories. Today’s editorial dismisses both the Tories and the new Farage Falange. It isn’t taken with Change UK. But the Lib Dems?

This is its conclusion: “They had the courage from the start to say the referendum result was a mistake - and Britain needed to think again. As a result, voters have started to think again about them … We wish them well”. Tory Standard backs Lib Dems.
With support haemorrhaging, many Tory MPs are now trying to find some way, any way, to force May out. Sky News political editor Beth Rigby suggests moves are being made: “[Cabinet] source tells me some in cabinet furious with May. Told what was agreed in room was not what she set out. Unhappy about promises on 2nd [referendum] My source reckons rule change coming, party about to move. ‘We’ve reached the tipping point’”.
There was more. “So, whether via her cabinet telling she has to go now, or via a 1922 [committee] rule change to force another confidence vote, the walls closing in on TM. She had wanted until June to try once more to get her deal across line. But looks like her party & cabinet aren’t going to let her”. For Theresa May to go before June, that would mean in the next nine days. She’s been hanging on for months. But now, it seems, it’s over.
The real problem, of course, is that the field to succeed her - and therefore become Prime Minister - is even less appealing than she is. Which means one thing has to happen next.

And that one thing is a General Election. Time for the Tories to face the music.
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Based Amy Harasses MP

Tory MP David T C Davies got rather more than he bargained for when he went out on to College Green to do a piece to camera yesterday afternoon. He might have expected to be given the occasional joshing by someone like Steve Bray, the Stop Brexit man - as Davies is an arch-Brexiteer - but he cannot have imagined that he would have been smeared as a Remainer, and even a traitor, by what appeared to be a passer-by.
Amy Dallamura aka Based Amy

But that is what happened. After Davies had told the interviewer he was switching on his own body camera to take a record of the interview, he noted the presence of that passer-by, who had her own microphone. “Why’s he feeling intimidated? Well, you’ve got a bloody big camera there on him for God’s sake, what’s the difference with my phone?” she ranted. She had been talking. She was told this. “I was quiet … I stopped talking” she protested.

Then she became abusive. “I was going to listen to what he was saying but now I can tell he’s a ‘remoaner’ … he must be a a … did you vote Remain? Are you an MP?” Davies is an MP, and he did not vote Remain. “Why are you acting like a snowflake then?” she taunted. “You are [a snowflake] because you’re intimidated by me”. And on she went.

You’re not acting like a Brexiteer” she complained. Davies nearly lost it with her, but then admitted that he voted for Theresa May’s deal. That did not go down well. “You voted for the deal! Oh my God! It means not to leave. And it means we don’t leave. So you’re a liar. You did not vote to leave … You’re a liar. Shame on you. You’re a traitor … Is that what a traitor feels like? You should feel uncomfortable, you’ve betrayed 17.4m people”.

The encounter ended with her demanding to know how much the BBC had been paid to promote the European Union. But although Davies and the interviewer may not have known who the passer-by was, rather a lot of those who have now viewed the video know all too well. To no surprise at all, it was Amy Dallamura, aka Based Amy.
David T C Davies - Amy's latest fall guy

Moreover, Based Amy is not interested in any kind of intellectual process. She is, as can be deduced from her ranting at David T C Davies, interested only in aggravating her targets. That was what she did last month, when she ranted at the Metropolitan Police and was arrested for her trouble (she has since been bailed to appear in court later).

Based Amy is a regular at Speakers’ Corner, where, you guessed it, she provokes anyone and everyone she can identify as a target. Usually this means going after any of those Scary Muslims™ that happen to be around. Her propensity to get on others’ nerves is what has endeared her to the far-right, and specifically the nascent Yellow Vest movement.

The reality is, though, that Based Amy is a sad and lonely individual desperately in need on psychiatric help. She’s not stupid, she’s just being used by the far right.

In the meantime, she should be banned from Westminster, like her pal James Goddard has been. And then given the help that she might not want, but actually needs.
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Nigel Farage - Buckingham Palace Man Of The People

He rails against the elites. He denounces the establishment. He goes to the lavatory … on Tuesday he does Buck House, and has buttered scones for tea … but, as Clive James might have said, I digress. The image being relentlessly pushed by the Brexit Party of its leader Nigel “Thirsty” Farage is that he is a man of the people, in tune with all those ordinary folk that the other political parties have allegedly ignored.
Squeaky you've been rumbled finger up the bum time

But, as Captain Blackadder might have observed, there was only one thing wrong with this idea - it was bollocks. Nigel Farage comes from a privileged background, he’s a former City trader and insider, and he’s elite through and through. All that this week’s events have done is to show that to the world - well, those who are watching.
That Mr Thirsty was not the mere proletarian he likes his fans to imagine was already well known, thanks to people like Lily Allen, who snapped Nige at a garden party hosted by Evening Standard owner Evgeny Lebedev. The Great Man, resplendent in comedy striped jacket and ridiculous Union Flag shoes, was pictured chatting to Lebedev … and Rupert Murdoch, another member of the establishment who pretends otherwise.
Also “breaking bread”, as Ms Allen put it, was Liam Fox, disgraced Tory politician of no known principle. No man of the people, no outsider, and it was the same this week. After Nige showed what a humourless soul he is after getting the milkshake treatment in Newcastle-on-Tyne on Monday lunchtime, news emerged of another elite event.
As BuzzFeed News has now told, Farage was at the Ritz Hotel last month - not quite your bargain B&B - and “privately sought money and help for his new Brexit Party from fringe right-wing figures including a millionaire Putin cheerleader and a self-proclaimed ‘influencer’ who has posted a string of anti-Islam remarks online”. There was more.
Nige's kind of venue

Farage was among the guests at the event, which was described by the organisers as a ‘tea party’ and not a Brexit Party fundraiser. But in a five-minute speech, he asked the small group for ‘any help, any support, whether it’s verbal, whether it’s getting your friends involved, whether it’s giving us money, whatever it is, we need all the help we can get’”. It’s all £25 donations, is it? Electoral Commission, take note.
And then, just to put the lid on it, came news that Mr Thirsty was taking yesterday afternoon off - as he had a prior appointment. A Royal prior appointment, no less. As ITV political editor Robert Peston observed, “@Nigel_Farage has taken time off campaigning to attend HM the Queen’s garden party at Buckingham Palace. What PR people call ‘the optics’ interesting for him and the home team”. Now there’s a thing.
Of course, the diehard Faragistas will ignore such diversions. They don’t care. They have imbibed so much Kool-Aid that, whatever their hero does, it’s all right by them. But hopefully others will begin to realise that Nigel Farage isn’t a man of the people. He’s a humourless establishment grifter, a spiv, an unprincipled opportunist.

If he were to be given power - and responsibility - he’d shit himself and run away. Under the upmarket presentation and silly outfits, he’s no different to the rest of the far right.
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Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Fawkes Mob Bitter At Marr Show Shut-Out

The choice of guests for the paper review on The Andy Marr Show™ attracts consistent criticism, some of it warranted, what with mercenary pundit Isabel Oakeshott, people from Spiked and right-leaning lobby groups, Amanda Bloody Platell, Julia Hartley Dooda, serially dishonest Spectator editor Fraser Nelson, the loathsome Toby Young, Nigel “Thirsty” Farage and appalling bigot Iain Martin all featuring of late.
But one group never features, and that is the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog. In this, the Marr Show has been implacable: neither Staines, nor the odious flannelled fool Master Harry Cole, nor former teaboy Alex “Billy Liar” Wickham, nor former sandwich monitor Ross Kempsall, nor the current less than dynamic duo Tom Harwood and Hugh Bennett.
Jackie Ashley - regular Fawkes target

One suspects that Staines, or someone on his behalf, made a personal and derogatory accusation against Marr, and that has resulted in the black ball not only going in the bag, but remaining in there. But what is more certain is the amont of bitterness going the other way. This goes back at least ten years, as Zelo Street regulars will know.
Master Cole bashing Ms Ashley ...

Back in 2009, it was Master Cole, still running his piss-poor Tory Bear blog, who, soon after the phone hacking scandal had first been publicised, ran a supremely intemperate post titled “Jackie Ashley Talks Bollocks Shock”, where her suggestion that Andy Coulson may be a casualty of the fallout from the affair was haughtily dismissed. Cole called phone hacking “This minor embarrassment from a few years back”.
... and getting it totally wrong

He ended by telling that he “cannot wait until Coulson is running the media show in less than a year and these morons are cast out into the waste heap where they belong”. That won’t have gone down well with Marr. But some people never learn, and so today’s Fawkes rabble have once again gone after Ms Ashley.
Still bitter today, O Great Guido?

They tell readers “Jackie Ashley, also known as, Mrs Andrew Marr, has been given a nice little quango job: acting as the ‘independent member’ of the panel choosing the next trustee of the Theatres Trust quango. On the Whitehall website there is a blank space under ‘political activity’ and ‘notes’. Is this entirely truthful?” And there is more.
No Fawkes paper review presence - a presenter mourns

Ashley was for years a nakedly pro-Labour columnist in the Guardian (her dad was a Labour MP). And is she really that interested in theatre? Our man in the stalls says: ‘I’ve never seen her at the theatre.’” Reporting on the Labour Party, and being the daughter of a Labour MP, does not make one pro-Labour. And the Fawkes rabble doesn’t have a “man in the stalls”, unless he means Gents’ toilets. This is just a gratuitous smear piece.

Still, good of The Great Guido to admit the frustration at being shut out from the Official BBC Sofa. Whatever they sup chez Fawkes, it’s become more bitter of late.
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Dan Hodges Brexit Party Hillsborough Link WRONG

The False Equivalence Express has made its inevitable connection with the Bad Faith Limited this morning, as the Brexit Party’s ban on Channel 4 News has seen one particularly clueless pundit with rather too much time on his hands open mouth and insert foot in no style at all. To no surprise, that pundit is the Mail on Sunday’s not even slightly celebrated blues artiste Whinging Dan Hodges.
He's desperate, Dan
Desperate Dan (for it is he) has seen the Farage Falange dabbling in good old-fashioned fascism and decided to try an awfully clever piece of whataboutery. Sadly, this was a campaign destined to develop not necessarily to his advantage, as he Tweeted “Just to be clear. All those people urging broadcasters to show solidarity with the C4 ban (which I have sympathy with). They believe all print media should show solidarity with the Sun over their football ban? No print media at Anfield or Goodison till the Sun reinstated, right?
Did he just try and liken one of the most vicious, most deliberate and most dishonest excuses for journalism - which the Murdoch mafiosi stood by while others retracted, and a smear on an entire city the Sun maintained for years, bolstered by a welter of knocking copy alleging that anyone from Liverpool was criminally inclined and working the benefits system to their advantage - with a news organisation asking questions?
Looks like he did. After all, Hodges then doubled down. “Banning the Sun is fine because I don't like the Sun. Banning Channel 4 isn't because I like Channel 4. Attacking Nigel Farage is fine because I don't like Farage. Attacking Anna Soubry isn't because I like Soubry. (And vice-versa). It's insane. We either have rules, or we don’t”.
That False Equivalence Express is popular today, and no mistake. But only with Dan Hodges: others were not persuaded of The Great Man’s argument. “Could be wrong, but I don’t think Channel 4 have ever lied about football supporters pissing on dead bodies. That’s probably the reason why people don’t like the Sun” was typical.
Nathan Woodley was on the same page. “Channel 4 didn't lie and smear victims of a tragedy. They asked pertinent questions to someone running for election that should be open to financial scrutiny”. Another Tweeter asked “Walk us through how what Ch4 have done is equivalent to what the Sun did? Also, don't think Anfield or Goodison are standing for public office. You've got this one badly wrong Dan, back down and walk away”.
The Tweeter known as Brexitshambles mused “You can't appreciate the difference between the Sun being banned at Anfield and Goodison for printing, promoting and propagating lies and @Channel4News being banned for investigating and reporting the truth? Don't think you've thought that one through too well there fella”.
It got worse, as Jonathan Fisher figured out the true purpose of Hodges’ intervention: “This is just breathtakingly disingenuous, which I assume is exactly what you were aiming for. Congrats”. And the Tweeter using the handle @SpillerOfTea replied simply “Oh mate”.

That’s another clueless pundit not making friends and influencing people on Merseyside. All that money and Dan Hodges still can’t correctly identify reality.
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Brexit Party Bans Channel 4 - Press Silent

Our free and fearless press is hot on freedom of speech issues, especially when it comes to themselves. And woe betide any political party or organisation which attempts to impede that freedom, especially if it is anywhere to the left of Attila the Hun. But that same press is also prone to displaying double standards, so when another media outlet was revealed to have been subjected to arbitrary censorship yesterday, most papers came over all coy.
That may have been because Channel 4 News was the outlet being shut out, and the Brexit Party the organisation doing the censoring. As Paul Waugh of the HuffPost told, “Blimey. @Channel4News says it has been told by @TheBrexitPartly it has been banned from all future events hosted by the party. They have apparently been blacklisted because of an incident involving access to a Leave Means Leave rally 6 weeks ago”.
(c) Steve Bell 2016

There was more. “I'm told Channel 4 News only became aware of the ban after report last [Thursday] into how Arron Banks bankrolled his lifestyle to the tune of £450k”. So the ban has been in place for some days now. And what is yet more disturbing is the attitude shown by those within the party who are standing for election this week.
Take Lance Forman (or is it Lance Anisfeld?), the businessman and hypocrite standing in London. “Preventing them from one rally is a form of saying they’re wrong? Ch4 are not there to report news fairly. They are there to damage the Party. All other press is invited so it’s not a blanket press ban by any means. Channel 4 need to put their house in order and report fairly”. They must report in accordance with party requirements.
Also, anything that is deemed to damage the party cannot be reported. Media freedom can only exist when and if the party approves it. That sounds fascist, because it is fascist. So, apart from the Guardian, who in the press establishment has even mentioned the ban? Right now, that would appear to be no-one. Not even a mention.
Nor, whisper it quietly, is there the usual new media outrage from the likes of Spiked at this blatant act of censorship. No howls of protest, none of the feverish lobbying that accompanied the press campaign to avoid Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act, or Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry. No pushback at Lance Forman.
His disturbing invective continued: “The BP are hosting a ticketed rally. It’s a privilege to attend. Ch4 blatantly breach their own obligations. Snow admitted to bias and recently apologised for his own bias but they continue to act in this way. They should put their own house in order first before attacking others”. They must behave in accordance with the party’s wishes. Insolence will not be tolerated.
Had the ban been of the Murdoch Sun, or Daily Mail, we would not have heard the last of it, especially if it had been Labour, the Lib Dems or Greens doing it. Instead, there is silence. Bad news for the press’ reputation. Worse news for democracy.
As Cyrus Bales put it, “Channel 4 News won seven Royal Television awards this year … The Brexit party has now banned Channel 4 from all of their events”.

Fascism no longer arrives as a military force. But the tactics remain the same.
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