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Saturday 31 December 2016

Gove Idiocy Exposed AGAIN

The examples of that lack of “intellectual heft” which former deputy PM Nick Clegg correctly identified in both London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and Michael “Oiky” Gove are an ever-lengthening list: Gove, who decried those who have expertise, has demonstrated the lack of his own specialist knowledge in an area where one might have thought he could have done rather better.
Oiky”, having returned to the Murdoch fold after Theresa May rightly relieved him of ministerial responsibility, has been serving His Master’s Voice admirably by pretending to read articles in the now online-only Independent, telling malicious packs of lies about them, and then waiting obediently for Creepy Uncle Rupe to throw him a biscuit. But in doing so, he has opened mouth and inserted boot in no style at all.

Siobhán Fenton (no relation) told readers the other day thatTheresa May is risking peace in Northern Ireland to pursue the anti-human rights agenda of her Little Englanders … Due to the legacy of the Troubles, Northern Ireland has more immediate need than anywhere else in the UK for a robust human rights framework - after all, human right abuses continue here to the present day”. Gove was on to it like a shot.
The idea that the IRA is justified in returning to terror because the UK voted to leave the EU is morally delinquent nonsense” he announced triumphantly, seemingly unaware that he had just told the whole world that he was a 24-carat buffoon. So let’s take this slowly, for Gove and all his adoring followers who think this is the Acme of intellectual superiority (including the loathsome Toby Young, who obediently Re-Tweeted it).
Firstly, Ms Fenton’s article does not mention the IRA even once. The paramilitary-backing mural shown at the head of the article is in support of the Ulster Volunteer Force. Who are protestants. In other words, Gove fans, they are on the other side of the sectarian divide. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly for Northern Ireland, the article is not about leaving the EU. That’s right Gove groupies, your man even got his subject wrong.

Ms Fenton’s article is about Theresa May’s plan to scrap the Human Rights Act and withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights. This is important to Northern Ireland as the HRA and ECHR are central to the Good Friday Agreement, which underpins the settlement which effectively ended The Troubles and brought some measure of peace and stability to the province. Exiting the ECHR would collapse the GFA. It’s that simple.
Small wonder that Jolyon Maugham responded to Gove’s outburst of fundamental idiocy by reminding him “Oi, Mike! You know the article's about the ECHR don't you? And that's a different thing from the EU? And we haven't voted to leave the ECHR?” There is no more clear example of what Clegg meant by Gove’s lack of “intellectual heft”. If anything, Clegg was being kind to “Oiky”. The bloke can’t even tell his EU from his ECHR.

Michael Gove only has a towering intellect in the imaginations of Himself Personally Now, and those of his deluded followers. For everyone else, the King is Stark Bollock Naked.

Sun Editor’s Elite Hypocrisy

The Super Soaraway Currant Bun loves to tell its readers that it is there to champion the cause of Ordinary Hardworking People, and that it is the plucky underdog pitched against the Metropolitan elite. Nothing could be further from the truth: the Sun has for years taken its readers for mugs, with its deeply unpleasant editor Tony Gallagher being the worst kind of elitist - and a stinking, uncaring, sneering hypocrite to boot.
Tony Gallagher - far less pleasant than he looks

Typical of the pretence was an editorial back in October which toldTHERESA May’s war on our complacent metropolitan elite on behalf of working people has been a long time coming … Too many in Westminster sneer at their own voters’ views, lives and patriotism as offensive, parochial and backward. Yet they are there to represent us”.
As, I would remind Gallagher and his increasingly upmarket band of sneering snobs, are the Sun’s staff. Yet they do not: railing against the purported elite on the one hand, they think nothing of putting the boot in on the less fortunate while letting the world know as they lord it around the capital’s most exclusive restaurants and watering holes. You think I jest? Gallagher is one of the very worst examples of conspicuous consumption.
While he and his hacks are maintaining their public pretence of being ordinary people and most certainly not part of the metropolitan elite, Gallagher is flashing his cash and making sure everyone else knows it, Tweeting photos of the posh nosh to which he has become accustomed over his years bullying underlings and dissing beggars.
Typical of Tone lording it over the proles was one meal last August where he told his Twitter followers “Then beef, girolle and sorrel … Venison, courgette, onion and crowdie (cheese apparently) ran it v close”. Last month he was on to Barrafina in Soho, enthusing “Quail at the new @BarrafinaDNst - queues out the door at the fabulous new Hart Bros venue.  Everything is great”, and earlier this month sampling another of their outlets “Pork belly with mojo verde is on the menu all the time @BarrafinaDRln however”.
When Alastair Campbell suggested that this looked “a bit metropolitan elite”, Gallagher replied that it was “Wonderful Spanish food for the masses”. What’s that, then, Tone, the kind of place you can get a pincho of tortilla for two or three Euro? Er, no - suckling pig at the Dean Street branch of Barrafina was on the “lunchtime specials” board yesterday - for just £17.80. For one item. That’s out of the range of most Sun readers.
And just to underscore the Sun editor’s sneering Loadsamoney snobbishness, this was while his paper was endorsing the creepy stalking of a homeless woman. Oh yes it was: two days ago, it wasDanniella Westbrook spotted trying her luck at the bingo in Runcorn after becoming homeless”, while yesterday the Sun hacks sneeredHomeless Danniella Westbrook spotted treating herself to a 95p sausage roll at Greggs”.

While the paper’s bully-boy editor flashes his wad on social media, his hacks leer at someone who’s been made homeless. But they’re not part of the metropolitan media elite, honestly. They’re just into a little occasional conspicuous consumption.

Tony Gallagher - the very worst example of the sneering, overmonied, uncaring, unprincipled, hypocritical, cosseted media class. Pass the sick bucket.

Mail Editor - No Gong AGAIN

What a day Missus! What a day! What a day for borrowing that comedy dildo from Rich Peppiatt, getting one of those Tube things, going over to Belgravia - dead posh thur - shoving it through Paul Dacre’s letterbox and saying “Aye aye - there’s no gong for you again this year!” What a day! Tatty bye everybody! Tatty Bye!!
What's so f***ing wrong with throwing a mardy strop at the c***s who won't give me a f***ing gong, c***?!? Er, with the greatest of respect, Mr Jay

Another year, another occasion for the Daily Mail’s legendarily foul mouthed editor Paul Dacre to come away empty handed, bereft at the lack of recognition given to him in respect of his quarter-century tenure, no reward for 25 years of stirring up hatred and fear among his devoted readers, no thanks for crapping all over all those people who are not white, who aren’t God-fearing Christians, who don’t vote the way he tells them, and who give a damn about the plight of those less fortunate than themselves.

So today’s Mail front page is once again devoted primarily to sneering dismissal of the honours system, telling readers “Honour for mandarin who gives away £12bn of your money … ARISE SIR FOREIGN AID”. Yes, let’s be mean-spirited and grossly un-Christian about foreigners, especially those who are brown and black, and most especially those who don’t follow the religion prescribed by the Vagina Monologue.
Only as an aside does the Mail’s front page mention Ken Dodd’s knighthood, which is deemed acceptable for Daily Mail readers. Similar awards given to Andy Murray (Scottish, and so unacceptable to Dacre, despite his owning an estate in the country), Jessica Ennis Hill (not white), Mo Farah (not white and born somewhere foreign, dammit) and Mark Rylance (Luvvie) are kept tucked away inside the paper.

Even there, we are reminded thatFifteen gongs went to officials at the Home Office, where Theresa May served for six years … Tory donor David Ord, who has given the party £930,000, is knighted for ‘political service’”, with the level of desperation meaning the rent-a-quote MP is … you guessed it: “Tory MP Philip Davies said Mr Lowcock, 54, should be known as ‘Sir Waste-a-Lot’ after presiding over a department that had become a byword for inefficiency”. Yeah, he’s only a plain Mister in the Mail!
What a day to brandish a spur tickling stick, Missus!

And we know that Lowcock, whether Mr or Sir, will be getting more of the Mail treatment: “While it is common for long-serving Whitehall mandarins to be handed honours, the timing of Mr Lowcock’s knighthood looks set to revive anger over the foreign aid budget … He is a close friend of Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood, and is said to have shared a flat with him when they were starting out in the Civil Service”. That’s “Sir Cover-Up” to you.

All the others awarded honours - which include the great Ray Davies of Kinks legend - are relegated to a footnote, such is Paul Dacre’s vindictive bitterness at not being given the gong he believes is his by right. After all, his predecessor David English got one, and, dammit, Max Hastings, who he employs as a mere pundit, got one too. Now he has to have one - and until and unless he does, he will keep on with the mardy strops.

It must be sad to be so full of rage and hatred for the world. And not getting a gong for it.

Friday 30 December 2016

Sun Recycles Fake News AGAIN

The Murdoch goons at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun have once more returned to the subject of press regulation, a concept which causes their slippery and deeply unsavoury editor Tony Gallagher - as well as his bosses - visible discomfort. In a sign that their push-back against moves to commence Section 40 of the Crime And Courts Act, and get going with part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry, is faltering, they have launched another hatchet job.
The target this time has been truly independent press regulator IMPRESS, but sadly, very little of Oliver Harvey’s (that’s Harvey, not Hardy, honest) article, “FIGHT FOR RIGHT TO TELL TRUTH From calling Sun readers ‘mugs’ to wanting to ban Daily Mail, sinister zealots behind regulators want to destroy the popular press” is original. Yes, in the spirit of Good Old Fashioned Churnalism, it was cobbled together from two other sources.

Harvey says of the Independent Press Regulation Trust, which has awarded funding to IMPRESS, “The Chair of its board of trustees is Wilfrid Vernor-Miles, a London-based tax lawyer and trustee of the charity the Society of St Pius X. This is a breakaway Catholic sect with branches around the world - yet its ideology has raised accusations of anti-Semitism, and worse”. This may be familiar to Daily Mail readers.

That is because the Mail ran a hit piece on IMPRESS back in October, which told readers “The Society of St Pius X (SSPX) is no stranger to accusations of anti-Semitism … Yet the organisation is also a UK-registered charity. At the head of its six-strong board of trustees …  is a man named Wilfrid Vernor-Miles, a London-based tax lawyer to the rich … But Wilfrid Vernor-Miles is also a trustee of another charity. It is called the Independent Press Regulation Trust (IPRT)”. Ah, good old guilt by many degrees of separation.

But it is with Harvey’s second bite at this particular cherry, titled “They want to wreck, not regulate”, that he becomes truly desperate, whining “IMPRESS has recruited lawyers, academics and journalists to its board and code committee, some of whom appear to loathe the popular press - but would be the ones to sit in judgment”. Some of them “appear to”. Like Oliver Harvey “appears to” be a journalist, but does a crap impression of one.

Of Gavin Phillipson, he claims “he wants to ban the Daily Mail”. He doesn’t, but a Sun hack lying is hardly news. Of IMPRESS CEO Jonathan Heawood, he blubs “He has retweeted a number of posts from the campaign group Stop Funding Hate”. And, so what? Of Emma Jones (bit of an old photo of Ms J there) we are told she “was sacked by The Sun”. Must be a rather sound person, then. Oh, and her partner gets a kicking as well.

Why so? “Her partner Graham Johnson got a two-month suspended jail sentence in 2014 after admitting phone hacking while at the Sunday Mirror”. You mean, unlike all those who hacked for the Screws who didn’t own up? But do go on. Of Máire Messenger Davies, we read that she “slammed The Sun’s readers as ‘mugs’”. And the Sun’s own hacks denounced those same readers as “plebs”. Your point is?

Then we read that IMPRESS code committee member “Paul Wragg has openly said he 'hates' the Daily Mail”. So where did Harvey get all this trawling through others’ Twitter feeds? He certainly didn’t do the research himself. But Zelo Street recognised the style (or lack of it) and lack of veracity instantly. And you know what that means.

Yes, the Sun cobbled up the second half of this article by recycling a series of posts published by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog. Specifically, they were authored mainly by newly anointed teaboy Alex “Billy Liar” Wickham, who was full value for his nickname in claiming that a Re-Tweet was an endorsement, which, as any fule kno, it is not (see HERE, HERE and HERE).

Wickham claimed that IMPRESS was state backed (wrong), that it wanted to financially ruin three newspapers (wrong), and more specifically that it wanted to ban the Mail (and thrice wrong). Harvey has obediently taken this less than tasteful confection of fake news and presented it as genuine journalism at his proprietor’s behest.

And the real reason the Sun has now gone after Graham Johnson is that  the latter has written articles that have featured at Byline Media. Which is regulated by IMPRESS. And where Johnson has shown signs of breaking with the code of press Omertà. The smear is just to fire the shot across his bows, to try and bring him back into line.

But all that Oliver Harvey (still not Hardy, honest) has done is to once more expose the desperation of the Murdoch press, which could be seriously damaged by what Leveson Part 2 would potentially uncover. For starters, while we’re talking people who have been sacked by the Sun, there’s Mazher Mahmood. And all those dubious stings he did.

The Sun is lying its arse off to save the rest of its rotten carcass. No change there, then.

[Full disclosure: I am one of the initial funders of IMPRESS, and Jonathan Heawood, Emma Jones, Graham Johnson and Máire Messenger Davies are known to me]

Jan Moir Condemns Compassion

At this season of goodwill, it might have been thought that even the professional misery-mongers in the Northcliffe House bunker might lighten up and cast off their Scrooge-like dismissal of anything that smacked of people giving a crap about others, but, as ever, that thought would have been misplaced, as Jan Moir, the Daily Mail’s Glenda Cattia Maxima, has launched into another of her mean-spirited tirades.
Take cover! JAN MOIR'S giving both barrels to her... Bores of the Year: Make way for the windbag and the wearisome who have made 2016 such a trial for us” is the headline, which proves only that it takes one to know one. And showing that the Mail is now firmly embracing the language of the Alt-Right, her first target is Lily Allen, whom she calls “Champion of refugees, scourge of the British Army and the ultimate snowflake”.

Ms Allen has, of course, not only shown compassion, but shown compassion to brown people who follow a religious faith which has incurred the displeasure of the Mail’s legendarily foul mouthed editor. Ms Allen’s transgressions included “she put her home in the Cotswolds on the market for £4.2 million, complete with its 'party barn' and architect plans to build an orangery off the kitchen”. And, er, so what?

Oh of course, she went to the Calais refugee camp and showed compassion for others. How silly of her. Also being gratuitously slagged off by Ms Moir is Tory MP Anna Soubry, predictably, because she has called out the Mail for its hateful attitude. And for backing the Remain side in the EU referendum, which is also against the dictates of the Vagina Monologue. So she gets smeared as well. As does Michael Sheen.

Why? Because he’s an actor, and has a political conscience. How dare he? So he gets smeared as someone “from the Land of Luvvie” as Ms Moir invents lots of opinions he hasn’t expressed. Then it’s on to Sarah, Duchess of York, “who just won't do the decent thing and retire quietly to the Royal Lodge in Windsor and sob quietly in a corner”. That’s most revealing. It’s exactly what Dacre and his attack dogs want their targets to do.

Back at the “compassion means hatchet jobs”, actor Jude Law also gets it in the neck for visiting the Calais refugee camp. He was awarded the full Moir sneer: “'This seems like a solvable problem,' said self-styled protester Jude Law visiting the Calais Jungle this year … Of course! Jude has played the Pope and Alfie, slept with the nanny and lived in trendy Primrose Hill - what problem is beyond him?” So Ms Moir can’t afford Primrose Hill.

Spending all her life dreaming up yet more sneering and smearing, jumping through every hoop her editor places before her, full of bile, hatred and intolerance, existing only to put the boot into those who displease the Vagina Monologue in order to ensure all those loyal Daily Mail readers know which way to think, to always see the worst in others, while eagerly promoting those traits in herself. Is the money really worth doing that for?

Fortunately, Jan Moir does have one redeeming feature: she’s one of the best recruiting sergeants that Stop Funding Hate could have had. And she costs them nothing. Result!

Kelvin McFilth Border Stupidity

The moment when those Government policies championed by the cheaper end of the Fourth Estate come back to bite their hacks and pundits can be a thing of unbridled joy, especially when you’ve already suffered their effects yourself. So it was when deeply unpleasant former Sun editor Kelvin McFilth discovered that spending cuts and securing the country’s borders were two policies that did not just affect the little people.
Those of you who use smaller airports like Liverpool as their gateway to southern Europe will already know what happens if you disembark from an inbound EasyJet or Ryanair flight and find another plane-load has got to passport control before you - it means queuing. And if you’re at the back of a queue equivalent to two A320 or 737 loads’ worth, it can mean 30 minutes or more of shuffling around. Cutbacks in Border Security Officers.

You got that - a one hour hop from Paris, plus half an hour standing around because we’ve got to have Secure Borders - and spending cuts. Because papers like the Super Soaraway Currant Bun say we should, and keep bullying politicians into doing their bidding. When you’re passing through Paris CdG, Madrid or Lisbon Airport, and the Schengen area passengers just walk on and off their flights, you have to queue. Because the Sun says so.

So reading Kel’s whinge this morning was doubly satisfying. And he wasn’t even one of those doing the queuing: “THE Virgin flight from New York lands at Heathrow at 7.37am carrying my relatives who are staying for Christmas. They finally came into the arrivals area at 9.46am – two hours and nine minutes later. Is this a record?” Do go on.

The delay was caused by a huge queue at UK Borders where a number of the passport booths were unmanned. Surely it won’t come as a surprise to the chaps drawing up the rota that planes are coming in at certain times or how many passengers are on the plane so they can staff up accordingly”. Hello Kel! What do you think they do, magic up extra Border Security Officers? They have a finite number of staff, and that number has been cut back by Government - at the urging of your sodding paper.

Never mind, though, Kel has an answer: “But isn’t the answer just to fill the hall with hundreds of hi-tech passport readers then the whole thing will take five minutes?” Very good Kel. So who do you expect is going to pay for that? Did you not notice that other European airports have installed those passport readers? Did you not think that they might not have listened to the Sun, and failed to cut public spending?

Kelvin McFilth isn’t interested in such details. Instead, he Wibbles “You don’t think UK Border has done a commercial deal with Costa Coffee to be paid for every cup we buy while waiting endlessly for friends and family?” No Kel, I don’t. But I do think that allowing gobshites like you to dictate Government spending priorities is A Very Bad Thing.

Fortunately, not even Sun pundits with offices on the 13th floor of the Baby Shard bunker are immune to the effects of their cheerleading. And another word in your shell-like, Kel: the queues to get through immigration at airports in the USA is usually worse. But as the Sun’s boss is a US citizen, we won’t be seeing any complaints about that.

Kelvin McFilth - too stupid to see the consequence of his cheerleading. What a clown.

Thursday 29 December 2016

Gove Incapable Of Debating Brexit

Of all those who campaigned for Britain to leave the EU, the one thought to possess the greatest intellectual heft was always believed to be Michael “Oiky” Gove. Bozza may have been an unprincipled clown, Priti Patel too dependent on the nearest autocue, Chris Grayling too dependent on someone else’s intellect, and Iain Duncan Cough not capable of basic honesty, but Gove was intellectually sound. Or so it was thought.
That was before he was challenged to actually discuss and debate the issues in an open forum, one where he could not cherry-pick his opponents or select the subjects to be debated. Then it all went wrong, as Jonathan Portes - one of those troublesome individuals who deals in facts, rather than soundbites and false assumptions - passed adverse comment upon a group of which Gove is a founding supporter.

As Portes told in a Guardian Comment Is Free piece, “Change Britain - the ‘campaign to make a success of Britain’s departure from the EU’ - published a ‘report’ on the economics of Brexit yesterday. I described it as ‘junk’. But one response to my comments was interesting - and surprising: Michael Gove tweeted that ‘hard cheese and sour grapes are never a good combination’”. Who could Gove have been aiming at?

Portes could not be sure, “but I thought I’d respond. After all, Gove is a ‘founding supporter’ of Change Britain. Surely someone of his undoubted intelligence would have a reasoned view about the claims it made? So I asked him if he endorsed the report. He first responded with some general, and irrelevant, rhetoric. Then I asked him if he’d even read it”. For Gove to have been so certain in his riposte, he must at least have done that.

He accused Portes of “back[ing] Remain”. There was only one problem with this claim - it was not true (the same assumption, that Portes is pro-EU, was also deployed with less than total success some time ago by Dan, Dan The Oratory Man, which resulted in a complaint against the Telegraph, in whose blogs section the claim had been made. Zelo Street regulars may recall the episode. Hannan was, not for the first time, wrong).

Portes requested a retraction. Gove deflected, demanding to know which way Portes voted in the EU referendum. He kept on this course, declining to retract his claim that Portes had backed the Remain side. And no, he still wouldn’t say whether he had even read the report by Change Britain that had got him into trouble in the first place (a report that has been derided across the political spectrum).

But what might be more pertinent as to why Gove is ducking the issue can be found in Nick Clegg’s recollection of the Coalition: “The more I governed with Gove and his team, the more I realised he was just striking a series of superficial poses … There’s this ersatz intellectual heft that Gove and his people have that I don’t think is merited”. Gove, it should be remembered, believed all schools could be better than average.

Michael Gove is not the intellectual heavyweight he would have us believe he is. That is why he chickened out of debate with Jonathan Portes. And he’ll do it again with anyone else who looks like they might have facts to hand and brain engaged.

George Michael And Leveson 2

The Murdoch Sun is in post-Christmas panic mode today, bringing forth an extra editorial telling readersFIGHT FOR OUR FREE PRESS Help fight new law that would silence investigative journalism and stop you reading vital stories like these … MPs’ expenses scandal,  naming the killers of teenager Stephen Lawrence, and Fifa corruption could all have been scuppered by Section 40”. Note use of the word “could”.
Because this is all victimhood playing, another attempt to see off not only Section 40 of the Crime And Courts Act - which would not trouble the press if they joined a truly independent press regulator, rather than the sham that is IPSO - but also Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry, which for the Murdoch goons may be the most worrying. The late George Michael left us rather a lot of clues as to why that might be the case.
Leveson 2 would examine the relationship between the Murdoch press and the Police: it would look at the murder of private detective Daniel Morgan, and the interference of the now-defunct Screws in at least one investigation into the killing. It would also look at the way in which bent journalist Mazher Mahmood co-opted the Police into many of his sting operations. And it would look at some of Michael’s experiences.
Those did not extend just to the homophobic campaign waged by the Sun and Screws against the singer: as he related on Twitter back in 2011, “Rebekah Brooks sat two feet from me in my own home and told me that it was never the public that came to them with information … on celebrities, and that the Police always got there first”. Note the way he worded that “came to them … the Police always got there first”.
One example of this was the case of Amanda Watts, a former officer at a Category C prison where Michael served part of a sentence. She passed information to the Sun, was paid £2,100 for her trouble, and would have thought no more about it until the paper’s management shopped her to the cops. She was jailed for 12 months last December.
Daniel Morgan

And there is potentially a lot worse for the Murdoch goons in George Michael’s Twitter back catalogue: Liberal Conspiracy put together a Storify featuring several of these, in which he reprises the assertions about Police running to the press, and also names one Jonathan Rees, who was Daniel Morgan’s business partner at Southern Investigations. Michael claims Rees benefited to the tune of hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Jonathan Rees

Not only does Rees stand accused of receiving a six-figure sum from the Murdoch empire, he is also named as a computer hacker. Michael reminded his followers that Rees had done a stretch in prison before Andy Coulson re-hired him to work for the Screws. Rees was one of two men arrested in 2012 under Operation Kalmyk, which was an investigation into journalism related computer hacking. The year after Michael made his claims.

And that, folks, explains why the Sun is churning out more panicked editorials. The Murdoch mafiosi do not want Leveson 2 to happen, not because of what it might cost the taxpayer, but because of what it might cost them. And their bosses.

Ignore the Sun’s pleading - respond to the Government’s consultation by following the guidance from campaigning group Hacked Off. And let your MP know that Leveson 2 must go ahead. George Michael was right. The Murdoch press must now be held to account.

Wednesday 28 December 2016

Anna Soubry Takes A Brave Risk

The obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre faced a quandary when reporting on post-Christmas sales: how did they maintain their mission to hate anyone who was not white, and who did not have English as a first language, while cheering all that money that people in those categories - especially those visiting from abroad - spend in the sales? The result has drawn fire from an unexpected quarter.
You ... yes you, you look just like that ghastly newspaper editor

Far East shoppers fuel £4BILLION Boxing Day Brexit sales bonanza: Foreign tourists take advantage of weak pound to steal deals … Foreign tourists spearheaded a £4billion Boxing Day shopping bonanza … About 27million shoppers, many from China and the Far East hit the high street … This equates to more than £121,000 per second, based on nine hours of trading proclaimed the headline on the resulting article.

How do the inmates of the Northcliffe House bunker know what nationality the shoppers depicted in the accompanying photos actually are? And how can they be “stealing” if they are spending money on their purchases? But this does not deter the Mail, which sees shoppers who are not white and captions the photo “Foreign tourists spearheaded a £4billion Boxing Day shopping bonanza as they took advantage of a weak pound”.

One of those so categorised was snapped in Leicester, not usually known as a destination for retail tourism. And the justification is lame: “High-end retailers said tourists were often at the front of the queue as they snapped up luxury items”. But there are plenty of snaps of people who are not white, so for the Mail, that’s all right, then.

But one well-known politician did not think that was all right at all. Representing a constituency not far north of Leicester - Broxtowe in Nottinghamshire - Anna Soubry snapped at the Mail’s crude and hateful characterisation of those it wished to portray as “other”. As the Independent has told, “Ms Soubry questioned how the Daily Mail was able to ascertain which shoppers were foreign nationals and challenged the newspaper’s use of the loaded term ‘steal’ bargains. She tweeted: ‘Daily Mail's magic camera IDs “foreigners” “stealing” bargains. British [businesses should] abandon this shameful rag’”.

She went further: “The MP also tagged the campaign group Stop Funding Hate, which lobbies businesses who advertise in tabloids such as The Sun, The Daily Mail and The Daily Express. The group argues that businesses which pay for advertising in the newspapers are inadvertently funding malicious articles about immigration”.

For an outspokenly pro-EU and pro-Remain MP to turn on the Mail, and by implication question the judgment of its intolerant and vindictive editor, is brave stuff. For Ms Soubry to then tag Stop Funding Hate is yet braver: this could well push Dacre over the edge and provoke a full-scale hatchet job and smear campaign.

Next thing you know, she’ll be joining the calls for Leveson 2 to be commenced soonest. Whatever Anna Soubry chooses to do, fair play to her for standing up to the press’ biggest and most righteous bully boy. It’s a pity more Tories don’t do likewise.

Laura Kuenssberg - Royally Wrong

The saga of the Sun’s infamous - and infamously wrong - “QUEEN BACKS BREXIT” front page splash has been covered here more than once: the initial and wrong claim, the clear motive of prime suspect Michael “Oiky” Gove, and the paper’s grudging acceptance that not even sham press regulator IPSO was prepared to wipe its backside for it this time have all been featured on Zelo Street. It was no more than mischievous speculation.
Laura Kuenssberg ((c) Guardian)

And there it might have stayed, had it not been for the kind of intervention that, in many other professions, would have been disastrous. The BBC’s Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg, already under fire over the way the news of a shadow front bench resignation was timed, and her attitude to the Labour leadership generally, has blundered into the debate over the Sun story, and by so doing has legitimised it.

As the Guardian has reported, “Nine months after the Sun sparked controversy by publishing a headline, ‘Queen backs Brexit’, in March, Kuenssberg recalled what a contact had told her … Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Kuenssberg revealed she had been told something similar but decided not to report it because it came from a single source”. Is she saying she was tempted to report single-sourced hearsay as news?

Here’s what Ms Kuenssberg said: “In a casual chat with one of my contacts, they said, ‘Do you know what? At some point this is going to come out, and I’m telling you now and I don’t know if the BBC would touch it, but the Queen told people at a private lunch that she thinks that we should leave the EU,’ … Apparently at this lunch she said: ‘I don’t see why we can’t just get out. What’s the problem?’” And there was more.
It's still nothing more than Gove gossip

My jaw hit the floor. Very sadly, I only had one source. I spent the next few days trying to prove it. I couldn’t find the evidence. Lo and behold, a couple of months later, someone else did”. No Ms K., they didn’t. The Sun claimed to have two sources. It’s not just possible, but highly probable, that the paper’s second source can be traced back to the first one - whom we can now be confident in naming as Gove.

It gets worse: because the BBC’s Political Editor has effectively legitimised the Sun’s bogus story, this has emboldened the Murdoch goons and their hangers-on, with the paper claimingSun Scoop Backed”. The equally Europhobic Mail announcedThe Queen 'DID back Brexit but the BBC didn't report it because they only had a single source’”. Metro has gone withThe Queen ‘backed Brexit’ before the EU referendum, according to BBC political editor”. Ms Kuenssberg’s imprimatur used to legitimise mere gossip.

She knew what she was doing by going on the Today programme - that most authoritative of current affairs offerings - and even suggesting that the Sun’s story was a legitimate one, rather than an organised plant based on gossip Gove had shared at a meeting with the Murdoch inner circle a few days previously. We know she is still unsure of its veracity, as she has concluded “the story did eventually emerge, whether it was true or not”.

So why even say anything, knowing what would happen? Why claimI would die in a ditch for the impartiality of the BBC” after emboldening the Murdoch goons to invent yet more fact-free drivel? Laura Kuenssberg has made a seriously bad mistake - the problem is that the lobby mentality which she shares cannot see it that way.

The Sun Sponges Off George Michael

After the Murdoch goons at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun had momentarily put aside their longstanding habit of sneering at anyone who was not heterosexual, and pretended that they cared about George Michael, who sadly died on Christmas Day morning, there has come a cheap and nasty attempt to cash in on his memory - by resorting to type, being a bunch of tightwads, and bullying others into ponying up money.
Dan Wootton’s Bizarre Column has told readersGeorge Michael’s Careless Whisper could raise thousands for charity - stars back campaign to give royalties to good causes ... Help back our campaign to re-release Careless Whisper and raise funds for George's three favourite charities Childline, MacMillan Cancer Trust and the Terrence Higgins Trust”. And why, perchance, should the song be re-released?

GEORGE MICHAEL was one of the greatest pop icons of our time … But following the sad news of his passing, the Brit superstar can also be regarded as one of the most generous … Stories of George dishing out vast sums of his personal cash to various charities only heightened his standing among his huge fanbase”. So the Sun would like to force someone else to continue that charitable streak.

You think I jest? Here it comes: “Now, as a tribute to George, I am launching a campaign with the backing of top DJs including Radio 1’s Scott Mills for his No 1 single Careless Whisper to be re-released … Ideally, I’d like Sony to re-release the single as a new physical package with all the proceeds going to his worthy causes, with publishers Warner/Chappell Music donating the writer’s royalties and Prime Minister THERESA MAY to waive the VAT … But the campaign is also encouraging streaming and music download sites to waive their costs and instead donate the money”. So that’s it, is it?
The Sun has also contacted several DJs and other Slebs, who have agreed that re-releasing the song would be A Very Good Thing. This has then been taken as support for the paper’s campaign. But there is someone who won’t be giving to this campaign.

And that is the Sun itself. That is what makes this such a nasty-tasting and cheap attempt to score publicity off George Michael’s name: Sony Music is effectively being bullied into re-releasing the song, with the bullying also extending to the music publishers, the Government, and indeed the singer’s estate, which would be forced into an act of charity - and woe betide any of those if they decline to go along with the game.

Meanwhile, the Murdoch goons at the Baby Shard bunker don’t have to cough up even the proverbial red cent. They just get to bully everyone else on pain of being smeared across the pages of the Sun, and it’s all free publicity. More And Bigger Free Promotion Exercises For The Benefit Of Themselves Personally Now.

Some of the names put forward as “supporting” this “campaign” may have done so out of far more charitable motives than the Sun. No fault attaches to them. But for the Murdoch doggies at the Sun, this is just another cynical and devious way to get others to pony up the money, while giving the paper all the credit. It stinks. As usual.

You want to show real charitable intent, Sun hacks? Offer to match the money raised by the re-release. No strings, no ifs, no buts. If not - just get back under your rocks.

Tuesday 27 December 2016

Nigel Farage Fans - You’ve Been Had

One has to wonder sometimes how many of those who voted in favour of Britain leaving the EU did so because of their devotion to Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, UKIP’s former Oberscheissenführer, who told anyone who would listen how he wanted to make the UK a properly sovereign nation once more, and how Brexit would help achieve this - as well as ensure our future prosperity. Except perhaps it won’t.
Squeaky sellout finger up the bum time

To see why Nige may have spoken with forked tongue, and prioritised the pursuit of More And Bigger Paycheques For Himself Personally Now over giving a crap about all the mugs who thought he really meant all that patriotism and sincerity stuff, we need look no further than his new Bestest Friend, the Crybaby Combover Donald Trump, who has appointed as his commerce secretary designate one Wilbur Ross.

What Ross, and, it has to be inferred, the incoming Trump Presidency thinks about the UK’s future prosperity was signalled as early as yesterday by the Murdoch Times - yes, just to rub it in, another title from the same stable as the Trump-backing Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) - with the ominous headline “Use Brexit to steal UK trade, says Trump aide”. Farage’s pal’s pick says “let’s pick the UK carcass apart”.
The story has also been run by the Murdoch Sun, which has told readersNOT-SO-SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP Donald Trump aide says Brexit is a ‘God-given’ opportunity to steal business from Britain … [Ross] said Britain is facing a ‘period of confusion’ following the referendum and that it is ‘inevitable’ there would be ‘relocations’”. These “relocations” might be to Dublin, Frankfurt … or, it now seems, the USA.

Over at the Mail, the Dacre doggies tell readers thatMr Ross will be responsible for negotiating a free trade deal with the UK, with fears the US could seek to exploit Britain's seclusion following the vote to leave the EU … The billionaire businessman's comments … raises [sic] concerns over the so-called Special Relationship between the UK and the US”. The Mail campaigned relentlessly for a Leave Vote. Now they sound worried.
The Independent reminds its readers that Ross, who was giving his assessment to an audience of Cypriot financiers, positively urged them to go and pick at the carcass: “I recommend that Cyprus should adopt and immediately announce even more liberal financial service policies than it already has so that it can try to take advantage of the inevitable relocations that will occur during the period of confusion”.

Zelo Street has already detailed Farage’s uneasy relationship with the truth - Mr Thirsty has an ever-lengthening track record of needing a fire extinguisher for his burning trousers - and to the list of deceit we can now add his commitment to Britain’s future prosperity. Farage claims he is the only one who can be a bridge between the Westminster Government and Trump. But on Wilbur Ross’ outburst he has said nothing.

That’s because, Farage fans, he’s only doing it for Himself. You mugs don’t count. He’s conned you all. You’ve been had. You put your faith in this snake-oil salesman and ended up looking like so many jackasses. The only mystery is that anyone is surprised.

Nigel Farage is laughing all the way to the bar. After all, someone else is paying.

George Michael - Press Hypocrisy

The media has affected everybody’s consciousness much more than most people will admit. Because of the media, the way the world is perceived is as a place where resources and time are running out. We are taught that you have to grab what you can before it’s gone. It’s almost as if there isn’t time for compassion”.
Thus the words of George Michael, who has died all too soon at the age of jut 53. He was talking as far back as 1990 of the way in which the media manipulates people into being cruel and showing a lack of compassion. That same media, certainly the print kind, is now grabbing as much of his memory as they can before it’s gone. That they either ignored him, or slagged him off at most other times, has miraculously been forgotten.
Top of the amnesia pops this time is the Murdoch Sun, which produced a truly puke-making front page splash today, with “Pop Legend’s Last Christmas … You were someone special, George” before making sure readers knew “Lover found him dead in bed … Star in heart failure aged 53”. That sounds almost considerate.
Or rather, it does before you turn up Michael’s Twitter feed from 2011, when the phone hacking revelations were beginning to gain traction. Then, he reminded his followers “Forget that the Murdoch rags referred to me as 'poof' and 'pervert' several times in response to my campaign against the bombing of Iraq”. You want an example? Matthew Black rounded on Piers Morgan’s “tribute” to Michael, scolding him “Was it part of your Christian belief when you wrote the ‘Poofters of Pop’ column (outing gay musicians) for the Sun? And you talk of respect”. The Sun used that term until very recently.
Over at the Mail, a hatchet job has been ordered on the star’s memory. We know this as Guy Adams is the name on the by-line of an article which suggests Michael was a hypocrite for not coming out as gay earlier than he did. Two things here: one, the Mail is the last newspaper to call hypocrisy on anyone, and two, even when Michael did come out, he had to endure a barrage of abuse from, er, the popular press.
The increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph, now little more than a shadow of its former self and trading very much on its brand, has put a photo of Michael above the masthead title, to the probable bewilderment of many readers who will be far too old to have noticed him much. It’s only when you get to the i that you get the real story.
Yes, what the Sun ignores, and the Mail’s front page merely mentions, is summed up by the i with “George Michael’s secret millions to charity”. He gave millions to Childline. After seeing a contestant on Deal Or No Deal who wanted to raise money for her IVF treatment, he paid for the treatment himself. He volunteered at a homeless shelter. 

George Michael never lost sight of the real world - or of his humanity. That, and his ability to bring happiness to millions, will not be forgotten. All the two-faced creeps and wannabes trying to score a few more sales off his memory not only don’t get that - they never will.

Sadly, he never did enjoy his Last Christmas. But you can. For ever.