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Monday, 26 October 2020

Bozo Admits Brexit Means More Migrants

After Brexit, we were promised freedom: freedom to do as We The British pleased, freedom from all those rotten Euro-regulations made by people who talk foreign, freedom to make alliances with whoever we like (providing they’ll play ball), freedom to import crappy chicken from the USA, and for some Brexiteers, most importantly, freedom to decide who gets let in to the UK. We would take back control of our borders!

Still your hero, is he, Brexiteers?

Indeed, when Theresa May was PM, it was spelt out: skilled migrants would have to be offered a job paying over £35,000 a year. We would therefore be able to pick and choose who we let in. Migration would come down to just tens of thousands a year. But as with all those other Brexit promises, this turned out to be another mere chimera.

Which explains why there have been so many dead cats slung recently by alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his chief polecat Dominic Cummings. But the Mail has found out. “Boris Johnson has scrapped the target to lower net migration to tens of thousands as he slashes the £35,800 salary cap for skilled UK migrants”.

There is more. “The plan, which ditches the aim put forward by Theresa May's government, was announced in a 507-page rulebook on Thursday. Under the new proposal, the cap needed for skilled migrants to stay in the UK without any time restrictions will be reduced to £25,600”. More migrants! Hello Brexit boosters!

And what kind of excuses are Bozo and Co pitching this time? “It comes as Mr Johnson pursues an Australian-style points-based immigration system, which will take earnings into account along with a myriad of other factors, and comes into effect from January next year”. Yeah, right. If we had the same rate of immigration per head of existing population as Australia, inward migration would be a lot higher - not lower.

What we do know is that the Tories tried to sneak this one out without telling the press. However, “The move, which has been confirmed by the Home Office and will be introduced from December 1, was spotted by Oxford University's Migration Observatory”.

And The Usual Suspects were not at all happy. “Migration Watch UK's Chairman, Alp Mehmet, described the move as 'outrageous', adding: 'To make matters worse, these major changes are being sneaked in through the back door with scant detail and a lack of advance warning’”. Another idiot who trusted Bozo. You never trust Bozo.

Nor do you trust his pals: “It follows figures revealing in August that net migration to the UK soared to its highest level since the Brexit referendum in 2016 in the build up to the coronavirus outbreak … Meanwhile, Home Secretary Priti Patel has been grappling with a surge in migrants crossing the Channel in recent months”. Course she has.

But remember, there’s always the spin. “A spokesperson for the Home Office said: 'We have changed the salary threshold required for settlement from £35,800 to either the general level - £25,600 - or the going rate for the individual's profession, whichever is higher.’” Which means there will be lots more migrants from non-EU countries.

The Gammonati will be close to self-combustion. You won, Brexiteers - get over it.

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Julia Hartley Dooda Endorses Vandalism

As from last Friday, Wales is under what is being termed a “firebreak” lockdown, while the rest of the UK is not. This should not be newsworthy, but such is the desperation of the right-leaning punditerati that no opportunity to score clickbait can be ignored. So it was that self-promoting TalkRADIO host Julia Hartley Brewer decided to wade in.

The Welsh lockdown has also included restrictions on supermarket sales of non-essential goods; this was discussed during The Andy Marr Show™ yesterday morning when the host interviewed Vaughan Gething MS, Health and Social Services Minister in the Senedd. As Gething explained, the purpose of this was, partly, to stop people spending too much time in enclosed spaces, browsing, maybe mingling, and potentially transmitting Covid-19.

That, though, was not enough for the FREEM brigade. This, to them, was dictatorship. And Ms Hartley Dooda is one of them. So when someone Tweeted video of a young man in what looked like an almost empty Lidl store, with the comment “Welsh lad ripping down the plastic in a supermarket. We need more heroes like this, instead of the idiots in the senedd making ridiculous country destroying rules”, she was in full agreement.

Hero” she exclaimed, managing to ignore the inconvenient fact that (a) the person depicted was committing an act of criminal damage, (b) the supermarket’s workers, probably not earning much more than the minimum wage, would now have the additional task of clearing up his mess, and (c) since the pandemic struck, violence and abuse directed at such workers has doubled. None of this troubles Ms Hartley Dooda.

So when someone tried to point out her problem, telling “Glad to see you on the side of the vandals”, she merely doubled down with “I'm on the side of the sane” (no laughing at the back, please). Clare Frances disagreed. “No you're not, Julia. The lockdown is for two weeks. With time to prepare. Throwing kids' clothes around a supermarket that staff then have to clear up whilst wearing no mask so he can get social media exposure is hardly Escape From Colditz”. It was hardly causing her to retract, too.

Nor was someone picking her up on her “sanity” jibe by responding “Sanity involves pretending we aren't in the middle of a global pandemic?” No, she wasn’t having any of that. “Sanity involves not pretending that not selling ‘non-essential goods’ will prevent a virus from spreading”. See above for Vaughan Gething’s comments yesterday.

Some of those responding stood apart from the Hartley Dooda fan club to put her straight. “I'm sure you're intelligent enough to work out that closing down 'non-essential' aisles mean that people spend a little less time in the store. When you're disabled and have to stand outside in the rain waiting for the door security to wave you in .. it makes a difference” told one. She isn’t stupid. But she is appallingly wilful.

And as to that “sanity” idea, “And ‘sanity’ involves directing your complaints at the people who have put the rules in place, not the shops and shop workers carrying out the guidance”. Instead, she’s just encouraging more criminal damage.

Murdoch TalkRADIO is so desperate for listeners - it’s endorsing vandalism.

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Sunday, 25 October 2020

Drugs-For-Food Tory Has His Bluff Called

Mark Jenkinson is the first Tory to be returned at a General Election for the Workington constituency since the seat was created in 1918. Not content to merely rest on his laurels, he has decided to intervene in the debate over free school meal provision being extended to holiday periods, but in his own inimitable manner. Jenkinson, only a Tory since he resigned from UKIP in 2016, has made a claim he may have trouble standing up.

Mark Jenkinson MP

Seeing that his colleague Ben Bradley had been called out by Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner for claiming that vouchers had effectively been used as payment for brothels and drug dealers, and knowing that Ms Rayner was Tory Target Person #1 right now, he latched on to Bradley’s denial, and raised Ms Rayner a whole stack of chips.

Worth a few grams of Snow, d'you think?

Here, [Angela Rayner] is either being disingenuous or really hasn’t a clue what goes on in her constituency. I hope for the sake of her constituents it’s the former. I know in my constituency that, as tiny as a minority it might be, food parcels are sold or traded for drugs”. Would Sir care to double down and leave us in no doubt?

He certainly would. “And that’s parcels, not vouchers - which have greater monetary value. As I said, a relatively minuscule number - but we can’t pretend it doesn’t happen. Pretending, to score political points, helps no-one”. Bernadette Meaden was unimpressed. “So for the alleged faults of a tiny minority, they should all go without? Last year around a third of children in your constituency were in poverty. That's probably increased”.

The people at Evolve Politics sensed an opportunity for a little sport. “Hi Mark! Have you got any evidence for this? Would love to see it!” But they could safely be ignored, as they were mere Rotten Lefties™. We know this as “Middle-class wannabe politicians can virtue signal as much as they want. Pretending helps no-one. I’m a working-class Workingtonian. These are my communities - the communities I grew up in, that I spend my time in, that I live in. I wouldn’t change 99.9% of it for the world”. He knows, you know.

Did his comments help? “No, the work I do on the ground, because I won’t ignore it, does. And the work of every community volunteer, every addiction counsellor, every job coach, every social worker and every police officer”. The Secret Barrister remained sceptical. “In over a decade of prosecuting and defending criminal cases involving the supply of drugs, from street dealing to multi-million pound importations, I have yet to encounter the phenomenon of a drug dealer who accepts food parcels in lieu of cash”.

Mark Hebden was more than sceptical. “Try as I might, I can't find a single drug dealer who will give me a few grams of marching powder for for a jar of Dolmio, 400g of long grain and a banana. Starting to think Tories are liars”. Well, Jenkinson has now been given the opportunity to disseminate his claims before a wider audience.

Darshna Soni of Channel 4 News has been in touch. “Hi Mr Jenkinson, have you any examples of food parcels bring sold or traded for drugs? I’ve been reporting on the issue of holiday hunger and #FreeSchoolMeals for a while now, I’ve never come across this. Would like to interview your constituents if you know of any actual cases?” Nick Martin of Sky News added “Let us know when you find out Darshna. This is certainly worth exploring”.

So come on Mark Jenkinson - show us the evidence. After we get the popcorn in.

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Trump, Morgan, And Transactional Politics

Only last April, former Screws and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan was laying into Combover Crybaby Donald Trump, who was supposed to be his pal, over the latter’s handling of the Coronavirus pandemic. “President Trump’s batshit crazy Coronavirus ‘cure’ theories are not just shockingly senseless and stupid - they’re going to kill people” howled the headline of one of Morgan’s many Mail Online columns.

Donald, where's yer hairspray?

As a result, it appeared that The Donald had had enough, and had unfollowed Morgan on Twitter. Mail Online, and the Murdoch Sun, leapt into action and inflated this non-event into yet more clickbait. Yet still a nation failed to mourn. Worse, more than one alert Tweeter checked out Morgan’s and Trump’s follow lists and found that there had been no unfollowing. In the meantime, Morgan remained critical of Trump.

But then came a moment of realisation: Morgan needed to do no more than take one look at FiveThirtyEight’s polling average to see that Trump was trailing Democrat challenger Joe Biden by a long, long way (yesterday, the margin was 9%, and it had recently been over 10%). Someone who, like Morgan, had been close to the Trump administration would not find themselves in favour with a Biden White House.

And what's more, Ron

That would mean no more of those exclusive interviews. No more tours of Air Force One. No more access. And for a shameless name-dropper like Piers Morgan, that’s not a good prospect. And so, last Monday, the criticism of Trump ended and instead, Morgan began to lay into Biden. By suggesting the Murdoch New York Post claims about Biden’s son Hunter were possibly genuine. Which they almost certainly are not.

The story was offered first to Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse), and they actually declined to run it. Some of the NYP’s journalists refused to put their by-lines to it. And then, it was revealed that the story’s chief cheerleader, Rudy Giuliani, had been the subject of an ambush by Sasha Baron Cohen in his second Borat movie.

So that was Morgan expending a significant part of his remaining credibility for very little return. But he was not downhearted: back he came after the final TV debate, proclaimingLast night’s tamed and muzzled Trump exposed nice-guy Biden’s flaws in a way that the ranting deluded Trump totally failed to do - and may just yet save his presidency”.

Yeah, right. Was he serious? “Instead of the ranting, deluded, narcissistic buffoon we got last time, this was a far calmer, measured, focused, well-prepared, non-scary and even empathetic performance by the president”. Brutus Moriatus, this man is a bit of a crawler.

Would this have any effect? We did not have to wait long to find out. Yesterday, eight days after Morgan had plugged his latest book, telling “My new book 'Wake Up: Why the world has gone nuts' is out now in hardback, ebook & audiobook read by me”, Trump duly endorsed it: “An Apprentice Champion. Check out his very interesting new book!

Thus a glimpse into the world of transactional politics: should The Donald somehow pull next month’s Presidential Election out of the fire, Morgan will still be able to brag that he has the access, that the bloke at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in DC is his pal.

Pity he never does anything useful with the access except brag about it, though.

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Angela Rayner Attack - Er, Hello Tories

Shaun Bailey, who represents West Bromwich West for the Tories, stood up in the Commons last week and told the Honourable and Right Honourable members that his Mum had phoned him at 2330 hours the previous evening. What, one imagines, was the point of that? It was his way of attacking Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner.

Shaun says his Mum rang ...

As the BBC has reported, he “said that his mother received a phone call on Tuesday night ‘using that type of word, because she was my mother’. He added that his staff had also been abused … He said that the language was ‘abhorrent’ and called on Ms Rayner to appear in the Commons chamber to apologise ‘not just to us but to my mum as well’”.


This was then picked up by party chair Amanda Milling, who sent Labour leader Keir Starmer a letter demanding he take Very Stern Action against Ms Rayner. The letter was signed by more than 100 Tory MPs. That this stunt was pulled at the same time as many of those MPs were getting in in the neck not for what Ms Rayner said, but because they had voted not to extend free school meals to holiday periods, was not allowed to enter.

Poring over Daily Mail deputy political editor John Stevens’ claimed exclusive, former Government lawyer Carl Gardener was not impressed. “Whatever the truth here, you can't have it both ways. If you complain that this kind of remark has led to you being abused, you can't also dismissively say that your bosses' remarks (e.g. about lawyers) have nothing to do with abuse or violence that follow”. Hello Priti Patel.

Also, Labour can play that game too: Ellie Reeves, the shadow solicitor general, has written to Ms Patel on the subject of her inflammatory comments. Worse for the Tories, another thought soon occurs: alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson has been indulging in inflammatory language for many years.

Most specifically, Bozo likened Muslim women wearing the burqa to “letterboxes” and “bank robbers”. And as the Guardian later reported, “In the week following that article, Tell Mama said anti-Muslim incidents increased by 375% - from eight incidents the previous week, to 38 in the following. Of the 38 anti-Muslim hate incidents, 22 were directed at Muslim women who wore the niqab, or face veil”. And there was more.

Johnson has also referred to gay men as “tank-topped bumboys”. He’s talked about people in Africa being “picaninnies with watermelon smiles”. His goat shagging dig at the Turkish President has not helped international relations, nor prejudice against Turks. Yet his MPs seem to have no problem with this. But when a Labour MP, who has just lost a close relative to Covid-19, says a hurty word, all hell breaks looks.

In reality, this is a mere smokescreen, a dead cat: the Tories are taking a caning in the court of public opinion over their inept handling of the free school meals issue, bested by a footballer to whose latest letter Bozo has yet to reply. Moreover, Ms Milling and her boss know that Angela Rayner is a hugely popular politician: their attack is is also a sly and nasty attempt to suggest to the public that she isn’t as nice as she looks.

Instead, more of that public already know that if anyone is nastier than they look, it’s the Tories. You don’t want to be called names, don’t shit on your electorate.

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Top Six - October 25

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’ve now given up trying to find any more domestic stuff to do later. So there.

6 Selaine Saxby - Another Tory Idiot She dissed her own business community - and then played the victim.

5 Manchester - Tories Taking The Piss Robert Jenrick was offering the city region less in financial support than he’d gifted his own constituency.

4 Dan Wootton Meets His Match Shouty pundit invites Labour MP on his show to shout him down - and gets handed his arse.

3 Ben Bradley - STOP DIGGING Did Mansfield MP make those crack den and brothel claims about his own constituency? Looks like he did.

2 Sun Darroch Euphoria Ended By Arrest Former Ambassador affair story is dead cat - the cables informant just got nicked.

1 Cambridge Analytica - Brillo Busted New revelations show that CA was a conspiracy, not a conspiracy theory.

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

Saturday, 24 October 2020

Priti Patel - In Trouble With Herself

Considering she spends so much time talking about migrants and refugees, and how especially tough she is going to be on them, along with promises to deport as many as possible, at the earliest opportunity, and to whichever country may or may not want to receive them, Priti Patel, who has been inexplicably elevated to the position of Home Secretary, shows little sign of understanding the intricacies of the relevant laws.

So it is that she has gone after all those “activist lawyers”, with the result that at least one legal practice that assists those seeking asylum in the UK has been the target of a suspected far-right terrorist attack. Then she turned her attention to marking the anniversary of a tragic incident which was discovered last year at Grays, in Essex.

39 Vietnamese nationals had been found dead in a sealed lorry trailer. As the BBC later reported, “The bodies of the Vietnamese nationals were discovered at an industrial estate soon after the lorry arrived in the UK on a ferry from Zeebrugge in Belgium. Among the men, women and children were 10 teenagers, two of them 15-year-old boys”.

Last April, “Lorry driver Maurice Robinson … pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to 39 counts of manslaughter”. Earlier this month, “Gheorghe Nica … admitted conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration between 1 May 2018 and 24 October 2019”. But this later BBC report ended with the caution “The trial continues”. Which means what, exactly?

The Attorney General’s office, domain of Ms Patel’s pal Suella Braverman, has helpfully provided an explainer: “Interfering with the administration of justice constitutes a serious offence - learn more about contempt of court and the right to a fair trial on our website”.

It seems Ms Patel may have found such a visit instructive: the Crime Line Twitter feed responded to her yesterday “There is a trial in progress, this Tweet is ill-advised”. Later, we learned “Home Secretary deletes Tweet which may have wrecked major criminal trial”. The Secret Barrister mused “I suggest that [Priti Patel] start following [the Attorney General’s Office]. Might save future embarrassment/imprisonment”.

So what’s the connection? Simples. Yesterday was the anniversary of the 39 bodies being discovered in that sealed lorry trailer. And I can reveal that Ms Patel Tweeted out a reminder of that anniversary. She would have been OK leaving it at that. But she did not.

She had to add a comment, which was where Crime Line came in. And, unlike those of us who Ms Patel has blocked, she had not yet got round to removing Crime Line from her field of Twitter vision, and so was able to see the warning before too much damage had been done. Hopefully the trial will be able to proceed without hindrance.

Think before Tweeting. Especially when you’re supposed to know about the law.

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Selaine Saxby - Another Tory Idiot

You may not have heard of Selaine Saxby before, but as a result of her ability to open mouth and insert foot, many people now have, and more undoubtedly will. She is a new intake Tory MP representing North Devon, and she is a signatory to the letter sent by party chair Amanda Milling to Keir Starmer blaming Rotten Lefty™ Angela Rayner for all the adverse comment she and her colleagues have been receiving this week.

Selaine Saxby MP

Commenting on Ms Milling’s righteous upbraiding of the Labour leader (“Will Sir Keir take action against Labour MPs and party members who perpetrate abuse, and apologise for Rayner’s record of unparliamentary behaviour?”), she observed “My team and myself have received nothing but abuse from opposition supporters for 48 hours now and I hope this is a step towards more positive political debate in future”.

Sadly, this was not a totally honest appraisal of where the abuse was originating, leaving aside for a moment the shonky grammar. More likely it had something to do with her response to local businesses in her own constituency: after she and most of her Tory colleagues had voted against extending free school meals for least well-off children through the half term and Christmas holidays, those businesses stepped in to help.

But instead of that, she took to Facebook and proclaimed “I am delighted our local businesses have bounced back so much after lockdown they are able to give away food for free, and very much hope they will not be seeking any further Government support”. Would Madam care to dig herself in a little deeper? Have a guess.

The very unpleasant language used towards myself and my staff in the last few days is not going to be of benefit to any children in North Devon. There are numerous ways to help those who need help the most in North Devon way beyond free school meals over a half term holiday, and I am committed to working towards finding them, in a polite manner, barring as few people as possible from my social media feeds!” Ri-i-i-ight.

Cue intervention from Devon Live. “North Devon Conservative MP Selaine Saxby, who voted against the government providing free schools meals for vulnerable children during half-term, has caused even more controversy after publicly 'attacking' the hospitality industry for stepping in to give away free food … The post sparked huge anger on the site with calls for an apology and her resignation”. Who was in the vanguard of this criticism?

Among those demanding she apologise is North Devon Lib Dem spokesperson Alex White, who said one in six children in Devon live in poverty, rising to one in three in parts of North Devon”. Not anyone from the Labour Party, then. Over to Ms Saxby.

The portrayal of my recent comments on social media, out of context [ho ho ho], does not accurately convey my views - I of course deeply regret any offence that may have been caused … I am proud that we live in a community where local businesses are keen to help others and it is this widespread community spirit that has got us through the first wave of the pandemic”. Then she negates that by playing the victim once again.

The recent behaviour of a small but hostile element toward myself, my office staff and on social media, has become aggressive and personally abusive”. She should have heard the shit many Labour canvassers got last December. And stop blaming her idiocy on others.

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