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Saturday, 16 November 2019

Tories - Not Getting Brexit Done

The Tories have just shown the waiting press and public their variant on the 2019 General Election battle bus, emblazoned with the rallying cry “GET BREXIT DONE”. And if they are returned to power, they will play hardball with those Rotten Eurocrats™: should the free trade deal on offer from the EU not be to their liking, they will be more than happy to leave on WTO terms. After all, what’s not to like for freedom loving Tories?
Bozo sells out to German bus no shock horror

Countries like Australia are going to be queuing up to trade with us, no questions asked. Or rather, they aren’t, at least, not without a hardball game of their own, as the Australian edition of the Guardian has made plain. “Australia demands compensation over Brexit trade disruption … Country’s claim that meat exports are suffering wins support from 14 countries” is the headline. And this is what awaits the UK at the WTO.

There was more. “Australia and a host of non-EU countries are demanding compensation from the UK and the EU for Brexit-related disruption to trade. During negotiations at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Australia said its beef and lamb exports had already been adversely affected by Brexit confusion”. Anyone supporting them on this?

The answer to that one is yes. “The country’s claim that Australian farmers suffered losses and could continued to do so won immediate support from 14 countries including the US, India, New Zealand, China and Canada”. Would that be the same USA with which we are supposed to be getting a great trade deal? Well, yes it is. So what’s the problem?

The EU limits the volume of agricultural imports from the rest of the world that can come into the trading bloc without full tariffs being applied. A certain amount can come from outside the EU, subject to a finite number of ‘tariff rate quotas’ (TRQs) which allow for lower or reduced duties … Britain’s departure from the EU would take with it a portion of the ‘tariff rate quotas’ available to Australian companies, but the two sides cannot agree on how meat should be carved”. So the dispute has now ended up at the WTO.
Britain and the EU say no compensation is required. But “The US called the EU and British proposals ‘unjustifiable’ and New Zealand said it undermined the general principle that no change to existing WTO arrangements should leave WTO members worse off. Brazil also commented, saying that trade arrangements proposed for Northern Ireland could breach WTO rules”. What you will not see on the side of the Tory battle bus.

The Guardian Australia article concludes with this observation: “Australia is in the midst of negotiating a free-trade agreement with the EU and has signed a ‘mutual recognition agreement’ with the UK after a globe-hopping trade mission by Liam Fox, the former trade secretary”. It’s rather obvious which of those is more beneficial to the UK.

And we only get the less beneficial one if the charade that is Brexit is followed through, to the supposed sunlit uplands of the WTO, where we can enjoy years of trade disagreements and a final judgment handed down by a body where we don’t have a vote.

You thought the WTO was more democratic than the EU? You were sold a pup.
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Tommy Robinson Says Vote Tory

As the parties look to gain vote share in next month’s General Election, the endorsement of well-known individuals is a sought-after commodity for them. It is one of those rare occasions where minor slebs find their opinions in demand, although those of major slebs are rather more useful. But what parties do not want is the endorsement of serial lawbreakers, racist bigots and thugs with a track record of intimidating opponents.
Sadly for alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, that is exactly what he has just received, and thus far he does not seem to have a problem with the idea. The endorsement he has received is, to no surprise at all, from Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, who gave Bozo his blessing while on his way into court where he is facing proceedings for defaming a Syrian refugee.

The endorsement should not have caught the Tories on the hop: in September, as the Scotsman reported, “Yaxley-Lennon, who was jailed for nine months in July after being found guilty of contempt of court, is believed to have told supporters via an affiliated news channel that Mr Johnson's decision to expel 21 Tories who rebelled over Brexit was ‘refreshing’”. He had already backed Bozo. And he said it again outside court.
Everyone should vote for Boris Johnson”. Those were his exact words. And just in case anyone didn’t get that, he added “If we want Brexit, if we believe in democracy, we have to have Brexit. So yeah. Go Boris”. So it was no surprise when the HuffPost told its readersBoris Johnson has been urged to publicly reject the endorsement of far-right activist Stephen Yaxley-Lennon”. Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson had passed adverse comment.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had also picked up on the event, although he merely showed Lennon’s endorsement of Bozo to his followers with the comment “The Trump - Johnson - Farage alliance has a new member”. No further observation was necessary.
So what has the right-leaning part of our free and fearless press had to say about Lennon backing Bozo? Well, it hasn’t. The Mirror is running the story, as is the Independent, but don’t expect the Mail, Sun, Times, Telegraph or Express to follow suit. I mean, it’s not like the claim that David Duke of the KKK had endorsed Corbyn (he hadn’t), or that the Labour leader had the backing of former BNP man Nick Griffin (that was a hoax).

Those bogus claims were splashed across the right-wing press and paraded as fact. But Bozo’s backing from Stephen Lennon is absent. Which is odd, because there is a clear synergy here: Lennon, who likes to rock up on opponents’ doorsteps in the dead of night, but only for a “polite conversation”, you understand, backing Bozo The Clown, who conspired with his pal to have a journalist beaten up.
It’s no surprise that Bozo is not disowning Stephen Lennon’s endorsement. Nor is it any surprise that his pals in the press are keeping schtum about it. A Bozo Government would not be averse to a little gratuitous thuggery and bullying.

Stephen Lennon and Boris Johnson - two peas in a pod. I’ll just leave that one there.
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Tories’ Beeching Reversal ISN’T

The triumvirate that is Grant “Spiv” Shapps, Michael Green and Sebastian Fox has come up with a wizard wheeze to garner more votes for the Tory Party in next month’s General Election, without actually having to do anything in order to get them. Shapps and his alter-egos have devised the so-called Beeching Reversal Fund, which, by stumping up £500m, will allegedly restore the rail network to where it was in 1963.
Would you buy a used rail network from this man?

Except it won’t, and Shapps’ premise is so dishonest that he has already found himself laughed out of court. “Today we've announced a £500m Beeching Reversal Fund to start re-opening rail lines axed under Harold Wilson's govt. Ultimately this saw 5,000 miles of rail & 2,363 stations closed. Our plan will help re-connect towns & villages to the rail network” he declared, showing the rail networks of 1963 and 1984 as an example.

It was not long before Shapps was being reminded that Richard Beeching had been appointed head of the British Railways Board by Tory transport minister Ernest Marples, the original Minister For Roads, who had offloaded his principles, and his conscience, by “selling” his shares in his road building business to his wife. Beeching’s infamous report was published in 1963. The Beeching cuts were a Tory initiative.
Dr Richard Beeching - and That Report

Worse, £500m will not reopen very much railway: as Jon Stone has pointed out, “£500m will get you maybe one, very basic railway line. reopening the Borders Railway as a single track, unnelectrified line cost over £400m in today’s prices. to describe it as a Beeching Reversal Fund is a joke”. The Borders Railway in Scotland is part of the former Waverley Route between Edinburgh and Carlisle. But less than half of it.

Worse still, when it comes to providing funding that the rail network actually needs to expand capacity and meet demand, Shapps totally misses the point. Manchester’s Piccadilly station needs two new platforms at its south side. Shapps’ £500m won’t pay for half of that. Nor will it pay for half of the improvements needed to clear bottlenecks on the West Coast Main Line south of Stafford. Or part of the Western Link.
What that? It’s been on the drawing board for several years: turning Manchester Airport’s terminus into a through station, a new line passing under the Terminal 1 apron and linking up with the Mid Cheshire line, providing a fast link from Chester to the Airport and central Manchester. Shapps is aiming his funds at the wrong target.

The current rail network needs more capacity, and will need it even with HS2. Telling the voters to “look over there” at lines that were closed half a century ago, and whose infrastructure has disappeared beneath road schemes, industrial developments, housing estates and 50 years of undergrowth will not solve the capacity problem.
What will at least help many of those areas off the rail map is ensuring they have decent public transport - even if it is only a bus service. Shapps is proposing nothing to halt the decades of decline in bus services that another of his party’s Governments - that of Margaret Thatcher - precipitated when it deregulated buses outside London in the 1980s.

As so often, Tory transport policy is a series cheap gimmicks which have no purpose, designed to paper over decades of failure. We see you, Grant Shapps.
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Friday, 15 November 2019

Tory Islamophobia LAID BARE

He held off publication until Tory Party chairman James Cleverly had the chance to do something about it. But Cleverly, as with other evidence of racism, did nothing. So the Tweeter known as Mates Jacob has now published the dossier of bigotry accumulated against rather too many Tory councillors and ex-councillors. And it makes particularly grim reading, quite apart from the equally grim level of literacy on view.
For starters, Councillor Roger Taylor of Calderdale Council had a question on Yasmin Alibhai Brown. “Why is she even in the country?” That was quite a mild start, then.

Councillor Beverley Dunlop of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council had something to say about the idea of a party inquiry into Islamophobia. “How about them calling for an inquiry into Islamist rape gangs grooming underaged … white girls?

Councillor Christopher Newbury of Wiltshire Council told “Marseilles is on course to be the first Muslim majority city in Western Europe … Such things are going to happen whenever you have large numbers of barbarians”. He also claimed “What amazes me is that anyone is outraged by PEGIDA”.

Councillor Danny Scott of Blackpool Council asserted “Muslims have been terrorising anyone who is not Muslim for 1,000 [?] … 1,500 years of continual imperialist, colonialist, bloody conquest and subjugation of others through invasion and war”.

Councillor Vera Walters of Walsall Council said that millions starving in Africa was “nature’s way of depopulation”, and agreed migration from Africa to the UK should stop.
Then, Councillor Duane Farr of Bournemouth Council was “not BNP personally” [but] “I must admit the BNP aren’t afraid to speak the truth on issues others would shy away from because of political correctness”. He doesn’t think Stephe Lennon is racist.

Councillor Alastair Redman of Argyll and Bute Council has promoted video content from Battersea bedroom dweller Paul Watson titled “The Islamic State of Sweden”.

Councillor Malcolm Griffiths of Redcar and Cleveland Council, chairman of the South Tees Conservative Association, promoted far-right content from the Geller Report and the Gateway Pundit. Pamela Geller is an Islamophobic bigot. And the Gateway Pundit, as Wikipedia puts it, is “known as a source of viral falsehoods and hoaxes”.

Councillor Paul Marks of Kettering Council talked of “the Afghan boy who just chopped up some people on a train in Germany [for which read ‘attacked and injured four people’]. No doubt ‘Brexit’ was to blame”. Er, WHAT?

Councillor Nick Colbert of South Somerset Council claimed that “Voter fraud is a massive issue [it isn’t], not just students, shall we get onto Muslim women handing ballot papers to Imams as ordered. ID with prison sentences for offenders needed”.

That’s just ten of them. There are lots more. James Cleverly was given that dossier and did nothing about it. Now can everyone see the problem? There is only one major political party that is institutionally racist. And it is the Conservative Party.
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Farage And A Tory Bribe

While alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson finds himself skewered by what should have been a straightforward interview on BBC Breakfast - Naga Munchetty did the skewering by asking simply “How are you relatable?” - his party has been dragged into the mire by accusations from Brexit Party Oberscheissenf├╝hrer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage of bribery and corruption. Nige is being leaned on by the Tories. And he’s not happy.
Squeaky bribery finger up the bum time

The Farage Falange Fringe, following pressure from the Tories, along with the right-leaning part of our free and fearless press, has pulled more than 300 of its candidates in order to help the Tories retain seats they already hold. Now the Tories want most of the rest pulled, because they are likely to abstract more of their votes than Labour ones.
So far, Farage has stood his ground, perhaps because of all those disgruntled Brexit Party candidates who think they’ve been conned. But back have come the Tories, and just how forceful the pressure is becoming can be deduced from Nige’s Twitter rants - such as “In a free democracy people should be allowed to stand for public office without intimidation … The intimidation of Brexit Party candidates this week has been worthy of a failed South American state”. Why, did he get abducted at gunpoint and shot?
And very soon afterwards came the direct allegations. “Even Boris Johnson’s Chief Strategic Adviser Sir Edward Lister is calling our candidates and offering them jobs if they withdraw. The system is corrupt and broken”. The Mirror has reported on the ruckus.
Tice - serious allegations

Sir Edward and the Conservative party last night denied the claims, with Tory chairman James Cleverly branding them ‘completely unfounded’ on BBC Question Time. Sources close to Mr Farage said he was considering reporting his allegations to the police. Mr Farage said: ‘What we’re seeing is the most incredible, aggressive intimidation of our candidates’told the paper’s report. Which could be serious for the Tories.
Brexit Party Chairman Richard Tice has taken time out from threatening legal action against his opponents to claim “Our people have been offered jobs and titles to stand down as candidates on the last day of nominations, as part of a concerted campaign to undermine our party”. On the record. A very serious allegation.
Lewis Goodall of Sky News has suggested that Bozo’s chief polecat is being blamed: “Nigel Farage alleges that figures from Number 10 (strongly hinting at Dominic Cummings) tried to offer eight senior figures in the Brexit Party peerages if they got him to agree to stand down in remaining seats”. And one Tweeter has been looking up the legal points.
The wording is “Any person who corruptly induces or procures any other person to withdraw from being a candidate at an election, in consideration of any payment, or promise of payment, and any person withdrawing in pursuance of the inducement or procurement, shall be guilty of an illegal payment”. Peers can claim expenses.
So by inference, a promise of a peerage is a promise of payment. And while this may bring one of those Hamilton v Fayed moments - the wish that they could both lose - if what Farage and Tice have alleged is true, the Tories are in deep shit.

Cummings and Bozo have broken the law before. This time, it might be more serious.
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Corbyn Health Smear TOTALLY FALSE

Seasoned politics watchers will remember the Murdoch press claiming during the Summer that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was “too frailto lead the Labour Party, let alone be Prime Minister. This, as I noted at the time, was a complete turkey cobbled together by the Times under its tainted and indeed infamous editor John Witherow.
It was Tory Party propaganda under another name. And now that the General Election is less than four weeks away, the Jezza health scares are starting up again, this time with another untrue and indeed malicious pack of lies invented by Tom Harwood, replacement teaboy to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines at the Guido Fawkes blog.

No paper has yet been desperate enough to pick up on this lame invention yet, but with Labour securing several front page headlines this morning with the party’s announcement on bringing free broadband to the population - and saving consumers £30, or even more, a month in the process - the knocking copy will come as surely as night follows day.
Behold a complete and utter shit

After all, the Mail has already gone into full Labour-bashing mode this morning, such is the desperation to see off The Red Team. So what is the latest fictitious claim chez Fawkes? Under the pretentious heading “Guido Investigation”, which usually means spending ten minutes Googling rather than two or three, we are told “Fresnel Prism Lens Points To ‘Corbyn Having A Stroke’”, with the supporting article claiming “Westminster has been loudly whispering about Jeremy Corbyn’s health; specifically, whether he had a stroke”.

Backed up by what evidence? Well, none, actually: the only citations Harwood ponies up are the fictitious Times claim (see above) and another unsubstantiated rumour pitched by the inmates of the Northcliffe House bunker, this time in the Mail on Sunday.
But do go on. “Labour briefed that Corbyn’s muscle weakness was causing him to squint. Photos clearly show Corbyn’s problem is much more than a squint. His right eye has visibly fallen - something that is often a sign of a stroke”. Except his right eye has not “visibly fallen”. But we are assured that “One Labour source told Guido at Labour Party conference this was a clear sign of a stroke”. Yeah, right. Carry on.

The lens for his right eye - clearly seen in the pictures above - is called a ‘fresnel prism’ lens. Fresnel prism lenses are given to stroke victims’ to help with double vision that is often caused by a stroke”. Fresnel Prism lenses correct diplopia. Which can be caused by a whole range of ailments, some of them relatively minor.
For instance, one cause of diplopia is sinusitis. Jeremy Corbyn has had an audible sinus problem for some time. That isn’t a stroke. Nor do the Fawkes photos show any drooping of the right eye, which Harwood claims. There is no credible citation provided to stand up any of the claims made, with even the headline claim having to be placed in quote marks because it can not be substantiated. This is pure malice, but predictably so.

After all, this is the same blog that made a number of disgraceful claims about former PM Gordon Brown, none of which were ever substantiated. Harwood is continuing in that same tradition, hoping the Murdoch press will take up his story in the coming days.

All the “dirty campaign” predictions are coming true. And it will only get worse.
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Thursday, 14 November 2019

Rachel Riley Endorses Anti-Semite

Celebrity endorsements can be a tricky business, and they should never, but never, be doled out on a whim, especially if the individual benefiting is not known to the Sleb. This most basic consideration has escaped Countdown numbers person Rachel Riley, and her pal Tracy Ann Oberman, as they see an enemy of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, and mistakenly deduce that he must be their friend. Because he isn’t.
Rachel Riley

As the BBC later reported, the heckler was “Rev Richard Cameron, the minister at Scotstoun Parish Church in Glasgow”, adding “It later emerged that Rev Cameron had made Islamophobic and homophobic comments on his Twitter account”. The Twitter account, where he styles himself “Pastor Richard” and uses the handle @thebiblestrue, has also indulged in other practices which indicate bigotry on his part.
No matter: Ms Riley picked up on the incident, and was away and running.”This Scottish church minister asking the question I wish reporters would ask *every* time they speak to him … IRA, Hamas, Hezbollah, he’s supported them all”. Quite apart from this not being true (minor point, eh?), she missed the anti-Semitism. Yes, he went there, too.
So it was that “Pastor Richard” told his followers of “The shocking truth that Zionists stole Arab babies to build the new nation of Israel”. Was this an isolated incident? Sadly, it was not. There was also this gem: “But the 'anti-semitic' card is over-played these days - mostly by Zionists”. Yeah, this anti-Semitism is a bit overblown, innit? And there was more.
Admonishing a Tweeter of whose opinions he disapproved, “Pastor Richard” told his opponent “you are very ignorant. You just spout Zionist propaganda”. He does like to over-use the Z-Word, doesn’t he? And for those who are Zionists, well, he doesn’t think very highly of them. “Someone needs to do a study on IQ and Zionism. The bigger the Zionist the lower the IQ. Zionism is bad for your brain”. Subtle he isn’t.
This was not an isolated slip of the Twitter tongue, as another of his pearls of wisdom shows: “Further proof that the average IQ of a Zionist is just below that of your average sheep”. Moreover, to his accusation of stupidity, he was always ready to add one of hypocrisy: “haha a Zionist calling someone else a hypocrite? Hilarious”. Another unpleasant outburst, another one missed by Ms Riley and her pals.
Could it get worse? It certainly could. After he was asked if someone could be Jewish and Atheist at the same time, “Pastor Richard” responded “Perhaps only if you are a Zionist. They don't believe in God's justice for all, but they like the real estate deal”. And at the utterance of the word “Palestine” he was away once more. “Zionists going off at the deep end because Pope Francis uttered these 4 troubling words: 'The State of Palestine.’
Do Rachel Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman support all of that? Probably not. The problem is that neither of them was looking before either Tweeting or endorsing. And the result of this lapse is that both end up looking even less credible than they did previously.

Rachel Riley’s Jezza bashing campaign is imploding. No outside assistance is necessary.
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Tories’ Dodgy Crewe Leaflet BUSTED

With Crewe and Nantwich high on the list of Tory targets in next month’s General Election - Labour’s Laura Smith won by just 48 votes in 2017, and after two recounts - the thought should have occurred to The Blue Team to put forward a serious challenger. Instead, they have selected Kieran Mullan, who claims to be a local candidate.
Kieran Mullan. A local. Allegedly

The problem he has is that he has been a local candidate twice before, both times in Parliamentary constituencies that were rather a long way from Crewe and Nantwich. In 2015, he stood for the Tories in Birmingham Hodge Hill, garnering just 11.5% of the vote, well behind Labour winner Liam Byrne’s 68.4%. Two years later, he was the local candidate for Wolverhampton South East, coming a distant second to Pat McFadden.
Of course they are. Cos they're mainly other Tories

So perhaps it’s understandable that Mullan is not as well known in Crewe and Nantwich as his Labour opponent. But that does not forgive the blatantly fraudulent election leaflet he has put out, claiming endorsements from a series of supposedly ordinary locals, who just happen to be Tories. Not that any of them are telling you. So I will.
Take Christine Farrell, who is backing Mullan “To Champion Our Community”. She told “Kieran was more than happy to roll up his sleeves and help the Food Festival”. And Laura Smith made me a cuppa yesterday afternoon. So what? Well, what Mullan’s leaflet isn’t telling is that this is not just theChairman ad Director of Nantwich Food Festival”. It is former Tory Councillor Christine Farrell. And former Tory Mayor of Nantwich.
How about an endorsement from someone wanting “To Invest In Our NHS”? That’s Philip Staley, described as “Former patient at Leighton Hospital”. Yeah, right. There are tens of thousands of those across the constituency. He should more accurately be described as Councillor Philip Staley, who represents the South Ward on Nantwich Town Council. Where he sits as a Conservative. Another cod endorsement. And there is more.
Sean Houlston, described as a “University Student”, wants “To Protect Our Environment”. He speaks “as a Geography student”. He is full of gushing praise for Mullan. And so he should be: he is a Parish Councillor. A Tory Parish Councillor. He contested Leighton Ward in the last Cheshire East Council elections (he lost). He has Bozo The Clown as his Twitter header photo. A Twitter feed full of Tory PR and talking points. Next.
John Dwyer, described as “Former Assistant Chief Constable”, advocates “For More Police On Our Streets”. What is not told is that Dwyer was Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner from 2012 to 2016, overseeing cuts in Police numbers. He was defeated by David Keane. Who represents the Labour Party. Dwyer represents … the Tory Party. He, too, was a borough councillor in Nantwich. Another cod Tory endorsement.
If Kieran Mullan really was a popular local candidate, he would have had no trouble securing endorsements from across the community. But as he’s a serial carpetbagger, he’s had to fall back on passing off his fellow Tories as disinterested locals. Which they are not.

Are the Tories serious about contesting Crewe and Nantwich? It doesn’t look that way.
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