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Tuesday 31 October 2017

Katie Hopkins - Racist Sucker

The old adage that something that looks too good to be true probably is too good to be true has been superbly demonstrated together by none other than pro-am motormouth Katie Hopkins, as she exhorts her followers to sympathise with white farmers in South Africa, whom she has concluded are being murdered at a disproportionate rate. In doing so, she has once again demonstrated her total and utter gullibility.
Viewers may still want to look away now

Hatey Katie (for it is she) has become convinced of the farmers’ alleged plight, and has Tweeted out a video with the comment “Support farmers in South Africa facing white genocide. An unsavoury truth MSM prefers to deny”. White genocide, eh? A favourite catchphrase of the far right: the “others” (whether brown or black people) are coming to get them, they are powerless, and someone must Stand Up For Them.

As with so many subjects beloved of the far right, Ms Hopkins assumes that because the mainstream press is not mentioning the subject - and nor are broadcasters - it does not mean she has got it wrong. No, it is they who have it wrong, white people are victims, and are all going to be “swamped” or “overrun” by Scary Muslims (tm), or some other group who do not share her superior taste in interior decor.

So off she has gone again, telling her adoring followers “Where are you @CNN /@guardian / @BBCNews - or is it that white lives don't matter?” A hillside filled with crosses - and because there is a good Boer name at the top, they must be white peoples’ crosses - plus an article backing it all up. But then the source of the story can be seen, and it is here that Hatey Katie should have stopped and thought.
That’s because the article quoted is in Country Squire, an online magazine whose name will be instantly familiar to anyone who has followed the subject of terrorist hoaxers over the years. Specifically, the kinds of hoaxes perpetuated by fantasist and shyster Dominic Wightman, who may have been of limited ability and even lesser intellect, but managed to con former Tory MP Patrick Mercer something rotten.

Mercer made a significant sum of money selling his alleged “insider knowledge” on terrorism and security matters. But he had been conned by Wightman and his equally stupid side-kick Glen Jenvey. This was to prove his downfall. A BBC Panorama programme exposed his propensity to take “cash for questions”. Then he was gone. Now, Wightman has conned Katie Hopkins. Country Squire is one of his many creations.
As Africa Mail And Guardian has told under the headline “South Africa’s farm murder statistics are more political than accurate”, “A recent analysis by Africa Check, an organisation that promotes accuracy in media reporting, has called into question the accuracy of commonly cited farm murder statistics for South Africa. By looking at the available data, they concluded that it is near impossible to accurately calculate farm murder rates. This calls into question the popular narrative that South Africa’s white farming minority is under siege … Farm murders in South Africa are a highly politicised issue”. But Hatey Katey would rather believe “news” that bolsters her prejudices.

Katie Hopkins is Dominic Wightman’s latest victim. There will be more. But then, she never was the sharpest knife in the box. Another racist bigot hoist by their own petard.

Nigel Farage’s Jewish Problem

In a story that is well-known, former UKIP Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage was prone to making blatantly anti-Semitic remarks in his schooldays, referring crudely to the techniques used by the Third Reich to massacre Jews and others whom they had declared to be Untermenschen. But then, we are assured, he matured and shunned such crude bigotry. Sadly, though, this maturation has not been without its lapses.
Squeaky bigoted finger up the bum time

Farage’s European Parliament group, the EFDD, needed to recruit MEPs from seven different member states in order to unlock more of those EU expenses that he slags off when others get them, but willingly trousers himself. Jonathan Arkush, deputy head of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, was ashast at Farage’s willingness to welcome a far-right Polish MEP into the EFDD ranks - and said so.

The Board is gravely concerned by reports that UKIP may sit in the same parliamentary grouping as a far-right Polish MEP in a bid save its funding.  Robert Iwaszkiewicz belongs to an extremist party whose leader has a history of Holocaust denial, racist remarks and misogynistic comments … Extremists and racists should be roundly rejected, not embraced. Even France’s far-right Front National rejected the JKM as being too extreme ... For Ukip to choose such a figure as Robert Iwaszkiewicz as a bedfellow, apparently for money, is beyond belief”. Too extreme for Marine le Pen.
(c) Steve Bell 2016

Then, during the EU referendum campaign, came Farage’s “Breaking Point” poster, which echoed Nazi stereotypes. He was called out for it: in reply, he told Robert Peston he was a victim, and told Dermot Murnaghan “That poster reflects the truth of what’s going on”.

That much was bad enough, but last night live on LBC - still giving him a platform, despite all the lying - Mr Thirsty was off and running again. As Labour councillor Adam Langleben has told, at around 1930 hours he told listeners “there are other very powerful foreign lobbies in the United States of America, and the Jewish lobby with its links to the Israeli Government is one of those strong voices”. And there was more.
Well, in terms of money and influence, they [the Jewish lobby] are a very powerful lobby … There are about six million Jewish people living in America, so as a percentage, it’s quite small, but in terms of influence it’s quite big”. Where do we start with that?
The howler that leaps off the page is the idea that the “Jewish lobby” in the USA is a “foreign lobby”. Someone at LBC should have had a word in his ear as soon as he had said that. Many Jewish families can trace their time in the USA back two centuries - or even more. The “foreign” slur feeds into the anti-Semitic “disloyal Jew” trope.
Following right along, we get another old anti-Semitic trope, “Jews are all wealthy”, and then it’s on to “Jews are running everything behind the scenes”. All he needs to chuck in after that are “Goldman Sachs”, “globalists”, and a reference to George Soros.

The maturing out of Nigel Farage’s Jewish Problem seems to have been incomplete. Whether we see a more complete retraction and apology this evening is also doubtful. But don’t forget, some of his best friends are Jewish. Allegedly.

JHB - Groping Is Not Groping

So the Tory sex pest scandal gets to the stage where the Murdoch goons at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun start to fill in the blanks on the 36-name spreadsheet. And, as I suggested previously, one of the cabinet ministers on that list is Michael Fallon, dead cat slinger supreme. The only news is that he has been revealed as the Tory MP who groped self-promotion expert Julia Hartley Brewer fifteen years ago.
The headline milks the shock horror angle for all it is worth, screaming “Exclusive: Commons Sleaze [it didn’t happen in the Commons] … Shock confession as sex pest dossier names SIX Cabinet ministers … FALLON: I FELT RADIO HOST’S KNEE” [she wasn’t a “radio host” at the time]. But the event has been related by Ms Hartley Dooda several times over the years. Still, it sells papers and all that.

This revelation, which has nothing to do with Ms Hartley Dooda seeking attention, or that she now works at Murdoch broadcaster TalkRADIO, has been brought to readers by the odious flannelled fool Master Harry Cole, who tells readers “Mr Fallon confessed that he was the minister who talkRADIO presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer threatened to punch for repeatedly putting his hand on her knee”. And sadly, there was more.
Yes thanks, we know who you are

Married father-of-two Mr Fallon admitted to The Sun he had touched Julia - but insisted he apologised over the incident 15 years ago and that both considered the matter closed”. Yeah, right. You just say sorry and it wipes the slate clean. What else was on offer, apart from two photos of the “radio host” clearly showing her knees?

A pal said: ‘Julia’s a good friend of Michael’s. He overstepped the mark when he put his hand on her knee. She made clear it was unwelcome and he rightly apologised 15 years ago’”. A pal my arse. That is Master Cole indulging in Phil Space journalism, which is the nearest he will ever get to real journalism.
And Ms Hartley Dooda wants the world to know that, despite being repeatedly groped, she does not consider herself to have been groped, or something. Hence her Tweeting “This ‘incident’ happened in 2002. No one was remotely upset or distressed by it. My knees remain intact. I refer you to my earlier statement”. Here, she stresses that she is not a victim. Also, she has made light of the matter this morning.

Full medical check-up this morning and, yes, both of my knees are still intact. Get a grip, people.* *Although not on my knee, obviously”. Laugh? I thought I’d never start. But she does have a point: for one, Fallon has been caught doing rather more than that, having to be pulled off an “attractive Russian blonde” at a party, and for two, many of those names on the already legendary spreadsheet have indulged in far worse behaviour.
Don't give up the day job, eh?

Even so, Michael Fallon did grope her, and his behaviour was out of order. But ultimately, this is starting to look like little more than a Murdoch asset promotion exercise - would so much attention have been lavished on the story if Julia Hartley Dooda had not been a presenter - a weekday morning presenter - on Murdoch’s TalkRADIO?

This is just a brief lull in hostilities. There is far worse to come.

Monday 30 October 2017

Nigel Farage - It’s Mueller Time

Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller has had his indictments unsealed; the fun has started - but not for Combover Crybaby Donald Trump and all who sailed with him. That includes former UKIP Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, who may not have been named directly, but along with his pals Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore, is now directly implicated in a scandal which has also pulled in Farage’s pal Paul Manafort.
Squeaky indictment finger up the bum time

Manafort, formerly head of Trump’s election campaign, is charged along with his side-kick Rick Gates of conspiring to defraud the USA. There is also a side order of money laundering. But far worse for Trump, Farage and the rest is “former Trump foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos”. So what is his involvement?

Well, as the Washington Post tells, he “pleaded guilty earlier this month to making a false statement to FBI investigators who asked about his contacts with a foreigner connected to Russian officials, and the agreement was unsealed Monday. The foreigner was described as a London-based professor and Papadopoulos claimed the professor introduced him to Putin’s niece and the Russian ambassador in London, according to the indictment”.

Papadopoulos has come clean and made a plea bargain. So he has already been flipped. And the Russian ambassador in London, Alexander Vladimirovich Yakovenko, is, by Arron Banks’ own admission, very close to UKIP - close enough to have attended the party’s conferences. Banks and his pals first met Yakovenko through a man regarded as the FSB’s man in London (that’s the successor organisation to the KGB).

The hunt is now on to locate the “Professor”, who may be a real professor, and his identity is expected to be revealed shortly. That information was in Padadopoulos’ Facebook account, which he had maintained since 2005, but deleted it in February this year, creating in its place another account from which all the incriminating material was missing.
New UKIP HQ unveiled. Allegedly

Worse, Papadopoulos’ interview with FBI agents, where he lied about his Russian contacts, was on January 27 this year, the same day that Trump asked former FBI director James Comey for a “loyalty pledge”. Comey was subsequently fired by Trump. Whichever way you look at this, it is seriously bad for The Donald. It also makes grim reading for Nigel Farage - as well as Banks, Wigmore and many others.

Remember the interview that Farage gave to German newspaper Die Zeit? He told his inquisitorThere was no Russian money, it's ridiculous. That’s just a conspiracy theory. I would not have accepted a penny from Russia, even if it had been offered to me”, then denied he had met Yakovenko’s deputy, but later admitted “Ah, wait a minute. He came to my office in the European Parliament. Maybe I met him in London. So what?

Well, he met the deputy’s boss, too. So did his pal Banks. And now Papadopoulos has admitted his guilt and is sitting somewhere in the USA singing his heart out. Nigel Farage can take to LBC’s airwaves protesting about Fake News and being harried by the Guardian as much as he likes - his protestations now matter not at all.

Also, that “London Professor” is rapidly being tracked down. Stay tuned.

Guido Fawkes - We Have To Talk

The contempt in which this blog holds the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog is well known. There is good reason for this stance: Staines himself is an unprincipled liar, a lush, a chancer, a hypocrite, a bigot and a fraud. His backstory includes pandering to, and encouraging, totalitarian régimes and mass murderers. He is in no position to call out others for their unprincipled dishonesty.
If you wouldn't do business with him ...

His unappealing array of side-kicks is likewise lacking in such trivial things as moral fibre: whether one considers his former deputy, the odious flannelled fool Master Harry Cole, whose unique blend of cluelessness, arrogance and serial dishonesty was honed while still at University, or the present incumbent, teaboy Alex Wickham, always full value for his nickname of “Billy Liar”, the impression of villainy is inescapable.
... or wouldn't touch him with a barge pole ...

Staines’ rank hypocrisy is legend, typified by his cavalier attitude to legal threats while at the same time ever ready to threaten others. He tried it on with Zelo Street: I stood my ground and Staines was bust. His side-kick Cole also threatened me; he too was faced down and got nowhere. Yet I am reliably informed that Paul Staines, earlier this month, threatened legal action over the revisiting of a verifiably true story about him.
... or trust him any further than you could chuck him ... 

The Great Guido is not someone who should be taken seriously, far less entertained at the same table as the media establishment. But the media establishment is indeed entertaining Staines and his pals at the top table. Those doing the entertaining include broadcasters (plural). Those broadcasters include the BBC. We know this as a result of two high profile moments during the past week.
... and you certainly wouldn't trust him ...

One, the Corporation’s flagship Daily Politics entertained Sophie Evans, the young woman involved in accusations against now-suspended Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O’Mara. Her testimony was allowed to pass unchallenged. But as this blog has pointed out, she is an unreliable witness. Why that should be is not known; nor should any of this detract from the gravity of the accusations facing O’Mara. But she should not be taken on trust.

Why that happened is down to the Fawkes blog pushing her claims. The Beeb ought to know that Staines and his pals are a bunch of liars operating a borderline Fake News operation and act accordingly. They have not. And another example came yesterday.

The claim was made during The Andy Marr Show (tm) that shadow chancellor John McDonnell had joked about “lynching” Tory MP Esther McVey. He had not; McDonnell had been talking about what others had suggested. He was quick enough to get that message to the BBC and for his response to be relayed to viewers before the end of the show. The claim can be traced back to the Fawkes blog.

This matters: the Fawkes version of events rarely conforms with reality, as Wickham let slip yesterday. Berating Diane Abbott and Shami Chakrabarti over their claims that they did not know about the accusations against O’Mara until last week, he claimed “Guido first published the O’Mara sexism stories in June, the other allegations were put to Labour last month”. What they published in June was merely Ms Evans’ allegations.

But while this partial retelling of the story would be sneered at by that media establishment had it come from The Canary or Skwawkbox, it is lapped up by them when it emanates from The Great Guido. So no-one should be surprised when the Fawkes blog attacks Shami Chakrabarti for saying she does not take allegations from the Fawkes rabble seriously, supposedly respected journalists join in that attack.
... then how on earth do you explain this?

You think I jest? There was Tim Shipman, political editor of the Murdoch Sunday Times, to assist the Fawkes massive in its efforts to put the boot in: “Apparently Shami Chakrabarti isn’t interested in any allegations that appear on @GuidoFawkes” he sneered.

The Fawkes rabble are not credible. Yet they have been allowed to break bread with the media establishment. This has to do with many factors: the right-leaning nature of most of that establishment, especially the print side, Staines’ opportunism, the utility of a deniable source, and the relative cheapness of using the Fawkes blog as shock troops in an age when budgets are being slashed - as is head count.

Press players other than the Murdoch titles go along with this: the herd instinct, the tendency to defer to the Murdoch mafiosi out of fear if nothing else, the iron code of press Omertà, all play a part in this. Also, it makes for an easier life.
Laura Pidcock MP

What results from this is the kind of content the Fawkes blog has just published about Labour MP Laura Pidcock, smearing her because of who she “shared a platform with”, the same tactic used by them and others to attack Sadiq Khan during his campaign to become Mayor of London. What is rather more sinister about this apparently routine slice of amateur guilt-by-association nastiness is what lies behind it.

My information is that Ross Kempsell of the Fawkes blog has been indulging in behaviour that could be construed as threatening over the attacks on Ms Pidcock. My contact said of Kempsell’s approach “He’s got info about a young MP they’ve been maligning for weeks about the MP sharing a platform with someone shady. She wasn’t aware of his identity at the time”. It is most revealing that the Fawkes post does not include the MP’s comments.

What they have not told is that Ms Pidcock’s presence was a work engagement for Show Racism The Red Card. Also, she had no prior knowledge of the Imam. And moreover, public sector organisations including the Police were involved. None of that gets into the Fawkes attack. That would muddy the waters, even invalidate the hit job.
I was also informed that “The person [Kempsell has] contacted is an aide and very new to the job, as is the MP … they’ve been under a sustained attack from a lot of outlets”. My information is that this approach was of the “we’re going to get her” kind. Ms Pidcock has been a target for every right-leaning media outlet for some weeks now. She does not conform to their view of what a female MP should be like. Hence the attacks.

After the claims that as many as 36 Tories could be for the high jump, it is all too predictable that the Fawkes blog would try and take out as many Labour members as it could, just to damage The Red Team in case a snap election comes along. But what has been described to me is totally out of order.

Solving this problem is down to the media establishment that let The Great Guido in the door. The remedy is straightforward: if you find you are overrun with vermin, you don’t suggest playing trick or treat with it. You call in pest control.

Sex Pests And The Murdoch Agenda

Last week’s claims by the Murdoch goons at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun that there would be MPs resigning “by the weekend” was, as I suggested, overly optimistic. At present, the resignation count is Zero. But the lack of scalps has done one very useful thing, which is to force the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker to not only up their game, but also reveal both the reason for running the story, and who is doing their dirty work.
So the Sun has launched another assault this morning, and, as I also suggested, revealed that all the MPs on whom they claim to have dirt are Tories - this, remember, after all the packs of lies they invented about the Labour leadership doing nothing about Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O’Mara. Used as the Murdoch mafiosi’s shock troops have been the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog.

That The Great Guido and the Murdoch press work hand-in-glove is no surprise: their agendas are effectively in lockstep. The Fawkes massive were first out of the traps last night with “Tory Aides’ Spreadsheet Names 36 Sex Pest MPs … MPs Named On Tory Sleaze Spreadsheet”, also stressing “This is not just a Tory problem and there are a significant number of Labour and LibDem sex pests as well”. Yeah, right.

How evidentially sound this spreadsheet might be can be gleaned from the apparently throwaway line “Guido had heard all but three of the stories before. Many of the allegations are historic, others are ongoing”. We are talking allegations only - do not forget that.

Hence “2 serving Cabinet ministers accused of inappropriate behaviour towards women … 18 serving ministers accused of various forms of inappropriate sexual behaviour … 12 MPs who are said to have behaved inappropriately towards female researchers … 4 MPs who are alleged to have behaved inappropriately towards male researchers” [my emphases]. That is the basis for the Sun’s story.
The Murdoch faithful have translated that asTORY SEX SCANDAL Bombshell dossier reveals lurid details of 36 Tories accused of inappropriate sexual behaviour as Westminster sex scandal deepens” and gone on to tell “Accusations range from affairs to specific allegations such as one Minister said to be ‘handsy with women at parties’, and a backbencher who is ‘perpetually intoxicated and very inappropriate with women’”.

We know who the Minister who is “handsy with women at parties” is. He is in the cabinet - as are two other male MPs who Theresa May is also not about to sack. All of which begs the question - why is the Murdoch press indulging in behaviour that could easily take down a Government led by its preferred political party, and why now?

To confirm that the Murdoch mafiosi believe they have the Tories over a barrel, we need look no further than today’s Sun editorial. “It is time for a fair deal for Britain’s hard-pressed motorists … The Chancellor should think very carefully before punishing Sun readers any further in next month’s budget … The whole housing industry needs a shake-up. Removing stamp duty would be a decent policy to start … The Government must abolish old rules that hold back our housing market from truly thriving”.

And why indulge in thinly-veiled threats against the Government? Simples. The Murdochs still want that 61% of Sky that they do not yet own. This has looked increasingly implausible after revelations of Mazher Mahmood’s past behaviour (and the prospect of some of his targets having their convictions quashed), the Sun’s involvement in phone hacking, the use by that same paper of illegal blagging and other tasking of private investigators, and the mire in which Rupert Murdoch personally finds himself as a result of a misogynist, racist and bullying culture at Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse).
No, that's the wrong answer Mr Murdoch, in this country you do not have ANY VOTES AT ALL

Any Government looking at the behaviour exhibited by the Murdoch mafiosi on both sides of the North Atlantic would have to conclude that it would not be appropriate to let them bid for 100% of Sky. But if that Government could be persuaded, by fair means or foul, to ignore all the less than totally principled and often illegal behaviour, all would be well.

The prospect of the Sky bid being waved through against the backdrop of all the appallingly bad behaviour in which the Murdoch empire has been involved might seem implausible. But their mindset tells them they have bent politicians to their will for decades, and so they can do so again.

Hence the pre-budget editorial telling Philip Hammond what to do. The heavy hints that as many as 36 Tory MPs, including three cabinet ministers, could be named and shamed. The demonstration to all those who thought the Murdochs were down and out that the mafiosi are still strong. The demonstration that since Creepy Uncle Rupe appointed his first Prime Minster in 1979, nothing has changed. Given the chance, he will appoint the next Tory Leader - and thereby get his chosen candidate into 10 Downing Street.

In any mature democracy, that level of corruption should never be tolerated. But that is where we are now. As the alt-right likes to say, Let That Sink In.

Sunday 29 October 2017

Gove v O’Mara - Spot The Difference

If one needed proof that the press establishment leans to the right, the behaviour of two MPs tells you all you need to know. Last week, the sticky brown stuff hit the rotating air circulation device all over Labour MP Jared O’Mara, who is now suspended from his party. And yesterday, Tory cabinet minister Michael “Oiky” Gove made a crass and inexcusable remark live on BBC Radio 4 concerning disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Isabel Oakeshott - not worrying about (some) misogyny
Excuse me, we do know who you are, thanks

Quite apart from much of what has been unearthed about O’Mara coming from as long as fifteen years ago, the way the two are being viewed by the punditerati is remarkable in its inability to condemn unacceptable comments if they come from your own side of the fence. The Sheffield Hallam MP got it in the neck from the word go, while Gove has been given more than the benefit of the doubt. The evidence is all too plain to see.
O’Mara was suspended by Labour last Wednesday. Julia Hartley Dooda was in no doubt that this was A Very Good Thing. “Labour MP Jared O'Mara suspended by the Labour Party. About bloody time” she observed. But Gove? “On #Marr @IsabelOakeshott talking sense about the hysterical portrayal of Westminster as being full of prowling sex pests. It isn’t”. Ms Oakeshott’s claims of overreaction also concerned Gove. Well, well.
Just to confirm this, Ms Oakeshott has Tweeted “Oh for goodness sake. There are SO many bigger things to worry about than this slightly clumsy remark. @michaelgove has already apologised”. Tory says sorry, that is OK, even if said Tory is in the cabinet. Labour MP says sorry, that’s just the signal to dig a bit deeper into his online history for some more dirt and kick him a bit harder. Then sneer at Shami Chakrabarti.
And here's another impartial and even-handed voice

These august individuals were not alone: Mid-Bedfordshire’s Tory MP (yes, it’s her again) Nadine Dorries was tough on O’Mara, and the causes of O’Mara: “So with Clive Lewis and Jared O'Mara, safe to say Labour can no longer pretend to be the party of equal opportunities and diversity”. And then sniping at Jezza: “Was this before or after you tried to persuade Jared O'Mara to remain on the Women and equality select committee following his sexist rants?”. But on her pal Gove? It was all so different.
I think more people are stunned that you have to apologise in response to the faux outrage, than are actually outraged” she told “Oiky”, before doubling down with “Given complete sense of humour fail on Twitter today and the 'let's get him' attitude of people like @bbcnickrobinson I'm off for the w/e!” Where’s these lefties’ sense of humour?
And yes, I know, that’s before we even get started on David Davis trying it on with Diane Abbott (plus the insulting text messages). Or Michael Fallon calling a woman a “slut”, and on another occasion having to be separated from “an attractive Russian blonde” after he gatecrashed a party, or what Davie Mundell shouted at Yvette Cooper.

Or, indeed, the serial racism, congenital lying and deviation from the marital straight and narrow by London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson - someone about whom the fragrant Nadine will not hear a bad word said.

Once again, you choose a subject and the Tory cheerleaders’ attitude to it comes up rank hypocrisy. As Private Eye magazine might have asked, I wonder if the two are in any way related? I think we should be told.

Sunday Times BBC Story WRONG

Our free and fearless press has for many years had to put more copy out there with ever-diminishing resources. Gone are the journalists who specialised in any particular subject, replaced by hired-in expertise, or, all too often, just lifting stories from the competition and putting them in a later edition, or tomorrow’s paper. In has come churnalism, the invasion of PR and lobby group material … and the scouring of social media.
This last has reached the so-called quality press, right down to raiding Twitter feeds for stories and comments. So it should have come as no surprise that the Murdoch Sunday Times has brought its readersTop BBC women expose sex pests” about a social media group at the Corporation. The only problem for the allegedly upmarket Murdoch goons is that the presenter the paper has placed at the centre of it all has called the claim out.

So what is the ST alleging? “A secret group of the BBC’s top female presenters, including Mishal Husain and Victoria Derbyshire, has uncovered a string of suspected cases of sexual harassment at the corporation, including a senior sports presenter … The group, which keeps its membership of senior editors and presenters a closely guarded secret, encouraged and then supported colleagues to report claims to BBC management”.

There was more: “It was formed after the row about the BBC gender pay gap in the summer. Since the Harvey Weinstein scandal it has turned its conversation to sexual harassment, during which the conduct of two men working at the BBC is said to have been raised … On Friday, the BBC suspended one of the men, George Riley”. And there alongside the article is a large photo of Mishal Husain.
Sadly, the ST has inflated this particular soufflé well beyond the point of viability, so much so that Ms Husain felt the need to push back well before the paper’s readership would have seen the article. This is what she has had to say.

Today the Sunday Times used my name and image in a story headlined ‘Top BBC women expose sex pests’. It is an inaccurate portrayal of conversations women at the BBC have been having since the pay gaps were identified in July. Our group acts as a forum for female colleagues to come together, which many of us wish had existed earlier in our careers and which discusses a wide range of issues, offering support and advice when necessary … It is wrong to portray it as being focused on sexual harassment or targeting individuals” [my emphasis].

So it seems the “secret group” is secret enough for the ST’s hacks not to know what it actually discusses, or indeed the group’s membership. And to add insult to injury, this story, such as it is, is the kind of abysmally bad journalism which the Murdoch mafiosi expects readers to pay for - most of the article is hidden away behind a paywall.

Pay money this for badly researched, inaccurately presented, speculative drivel? As they say in God’s Own County, I wouldn’t pay them in washers.

Commons Sex Pests - Is That All?

Last week, the Murdoch goons at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun told the world that there were going to be names named - correct - and resignations - not correct - by the weekend as a result of Male MPs’ inappropriate behaviour towards women. Well, here we are on Sunday, at the end of that weekend, and the harvest from the Sun’s crop is looking decidedly thin. As this blog suggested at the time.
Let’s start with what has been turned up. Former minister Stephen Crabb, who ran briefly for the Tory Party leadership after Young Dave took his bat home in the wake of last year’s EU referendum, has been shown to have sent a number of variously explicit messages to a woman who applied - unsuccessfully - for a job in the Commons. He met her on several occasions. But she wasn’t working at the Commons, and he hasn’t resigned.

Indeed, MPs straying from the marital straight and narrow when at Westminster is not the most unusual of occurrences. This story was unearthed by the Telegraph, which has told readers “Stephen Crabb … admitted saying ‘some pretty outrageous things’ to the woman after interviewing her for a job, and that the messages ‘basically amount to unfaithfulness’ … a friend of the woman … accused the MP … of ‘abusing his position’”.

More on the money is the Mail on Sunday’s political editor Simon Walters who has nailed Brexit minister Mark Garnier. He “was at the centre of a new Westminster sexism row last night after admitting he called his secretary ‘sugar t*ts’ and got her to buy sex toys for him”. Can’t the MoS say tits? Bloody hell, what a bunch of prudes.

Apparently not. It is claimed “Garnier called her ‘sugar t*ts’ in front of witnesses … And she said he gave her cash to buy two vibrators at a sex shop in Soho - and stood outside the store while she bought them”. So he’s a coward as well. And a bounder to boot!

Walters also juxtaposes Garnier’s actions with the slight difficulty his party leader now faces: “Theresa May’s spokesman said on Friday that unwanted sexual behaviour was ‘completely unacceptable’ and any Ministers found to have acted inappropriately would face ‘serious action’”. Any appetite for losing yet another Brexit minister?

Indeed, the most serious problem from what has now been revealed faces Theresa May and her party. As the Murdoch Sunday Times reported, and the Mail has now lifted (see how that works, Rupe?) “The announcement comes after reports that the PM gets weekly updates on the sleaze scandals her MPs are embroiled in - but has allowed ministers accused of being sex pests to serve in her Cabinet”.

What happened to John Mann’s Commons bluster last week? So far, it’s all been Tories who are being accused, and in a few cases, exposed. We hear of cabinet ministers who can’t deport themselves decently - but so far no-one will name names, although this blog would have no problem with filling in at least two of the blanks - maybe three.

Why this should be is down to one teensy problem: it’s one thing to drop names during a WhatsApp chat - and quite another to stand up a story for publication. It is no coincidence that the Sun’s splash last week was authored by someone who came to the paper from a group blog that has sometimes had problems understanding this.

Top Six - October 29

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 have to be out and about later. So there.
6 Katie Hopkins Mosque Paranoia The Golders Green Hippodrome is slated to become an Islamic community centre. Hatey Katie is out to stop it. Another failure beckons.

5 Guido Fawked - Bully And Hypocrite The perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog went after Labour MP Jared O’Mara for inappropriate comments about women, while managing to miss their own contribution to this genre.

4 Leave EU Tricks Press - And BBC The “research” by News-Watch has been quoted as proof of anti-Leave bias at the Corporation. But this organisation is another Leave EU front, one of Arron Banks’ many enterprises.

3 Daily Politics Suckered The BBC’s willingness to feature a young woman in the Jared O’Mara affair as a reliable witness may have been misplaced. That’s what comes from taking your cue from the Fawkes rabble.

2 Trump And Farage - Shit Hits Fan Someone is going to be arrested, most likely to rat out others, as a result of the Trump-Russia investigation. It may be someone close to Nigel Farage, or indeed, someone very close to him.

1 Trump Throws Farage Under The Bus Any fallout from that visit to the Ecuadorian embassy, and indeed anything else that Mr Thirsty may have done for his pal in the White House, is now solely down to Farage. Never mind, eh?

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

Saturday 28 October 2017

Trump And Farage - Shit Hits Fan

Last week, I noted that Combover Crybaby Donald Trump, the embattled yet still nominally sitting President of the USA, had effectively thrown former UKIP Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage under the bus. Any unwanted fallout from Mr Thirsty’s visit to the Ecuadorian embassy would have to be carried by the man Wot Did It. Now, although Farage has not yet acknowledged the fact, matters have got rather more serious.
Next one with bars, eh?

It was The Donald’s least favoured network CNN that told the world how serious. “A federal grand jury in Washington on Friday approved the first charges in the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, according to sources briefed on the matter … The charges are still sealed under orders from a federal judge. Plans were prepared Friday for anyone charged to be taken into custody as soon as Monday, the sources said. It is unclear what the charges are”. The investigation concerns Trump, his gang, and Russia.
There was more. “Mueller's team has also examined foreign lobbying conducted by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and others. His team has issued subpoenas for documents and testimony to a handful of figures, including some people close to Manafort, and others involved in the Trump Tower meeting between Russians and campaign officials”. Manafort is close to Farage.

Moreover, Manafort had his home raided by the FBI in August, under what is known as a “no knock” warrant - the Feds just marched in and seized what they wanted. Manafort was given no notice because of a perceived fear that he would destroy evidence.
So what does this mean for all those from the UK who courted Trump so assiduously? Well, that very much depends on what form the courting took. Anything looking like collusion, conspiracy, dabbling in dodgy material, and certainly anything to do with the influencing of the democratic process would put any or all of those people well beyond the mouth of Shit Creek without recourse to any hand-held marine propulsion device.

After CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz broke the news, those consequences were explained by Renato Mariotti, who is not merely some amateur Twitter pundit, but a former Federal prosecutor. Readers are advised to pay good heed to his words here.
To approve an indictment, grand jurors must find there is enough evidence to show there’s good reason to believe the crime was committed … But federal prosecutors don’t present indictments unless they believe they can prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt at trial … Generally prosecutors wait until the end of the investigation to present indictments, so they have all of the evidence beforehand … Sometimes prosecutors will indict someone earlier if they hit a ‘wall’ and want to get someone to flip”.

Who might they have in mind? “Given Mueller’s ongoing interviews of White House staff, it doesn’t appear that his investigation is wrapping up soon … So this suggests to me that he most likely is indicting someone early to get him/her to flip. The obvious candidate is Paul Manafort”. There is also the consideration that Mueller may want to get his foot in the door before Trump tries to fire him. We’ll get on to that part later.
Behold a headless chicken

All of that is bad, but for Farage, there is worse. Information arrived on Zelo Street last week concerning someone whom the investigators may want to flip. The name in the frame was not Paul Manafort. It was someone even closer to Nigel Farage. That ties up with Mariotti’s analysis (for reasons of not wanting to frighten the horses, the name will not be pitched here - yet).

And for anyone still not convinced that this is serious for all within the Trump orbit, all you need is to look at the headless chicken display coming out of Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) right now. All semblance of news presentation and grounding the narrative in reality has been abandoned in favour of turning the network into Trump TV.
Don't panic, Mr Murdoch!

So FNC is running knocking copy on Mueller, signalling panic - and opening the door to nudging a highly susceptible President into sacking the Special Prosecutor. Viewers were urged to look anywhere else but at the prospect of their hero going the same way as Richard Milhous Nixon - except in rather less time.

Professional loudmouth Sean Hannity was on the case as soon as CNN broke the Mueller story. “When will @HillaryClinton be indicted?” Panic indeed. And there was more. “This has been a HORRIBLE week for Mueller, Special Counsel’s office. THIS IS ALL A DISTRACTION. Monday I’ll have the details. TICK TOCK….!”. Drink that Kool-Aid!
It won’t work. And in bad news for the Murdoch mafiosi - remember, Rupert Murdoch is now in personal change of FNC - Media Matters for America is on the case. The attempts by FNC to talk up a “Hillary Clinton uranium story” - one with the paw prints of FNC host Hannity and his Breitbart counterpart Steve Bannon all over it - are not credible. It’s panic propagandising. The shit has well and truly hit the fan.
So should Farage and his pals steer clear of their trips to the USA? But you know the answer to that: Mr Thirsty and his closest comrades believe they’re untouchable. So sit back, get the popcorn in - and wait to see who gets flipped first. More later.