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Thursday 30 November 2017

BBC In A Far Right Mess

The BBC has been caught before trying too hard to achieve “balance”: inviting on a scientist with decades of research in the field of climate science and then a self-appointed climate change denier like James “saviour of Western civilisation” Delingpole, who would not understand climate science if it leapt up and fly-hacked him in the undercarriage, for instance. The Corporation went similarly awry over the EU referendum.
Ann Coulter

This search to be shown to “balance” the mainstream by giving loudmouths, cranks and bigots airtime has continued in the wake of the row over Combover Crybaby Donald Trump Retweeting three dodgy videos from not-at-all-racist-honest Britain First, the group that inspired Thomas Mair, who murdered MP Jo Cox last year. Rather than just mention the kinds of people out there on the far right, the Beeb had to give them airtime.
Sebastian Gorka

Not content with interviewing Sebastian Gorka, someone with suspected neo-Nazi links and an Islamophobe whose view of Islam is shared mainly by the “Alt-Right” and fringe oddballs, the BBC decided to do more of that “balance” on the Radio 4 Today Programme this morning by inviting Ann Coulter to be interviewed. Gorka had declared that the murder rate in the USA was down to “Black African crime”. What would Annie say about Trump?
Nick Robinson soon found out. As the Guardian has reported, “The interview with Robinson became fiery, with the BBC presenter and Coulter disputing the accuracy of the videos shared by Trump and the claims attached to them. Robinson called for Coulter to ‘answer the question’ about whether Trump should have criticised May and Coulter responded by telling Robinson that she had a ‘little tip for him’ - that he should spend time on Twitter and ‘figure out’ that people retweeting videos do not research the biographies of the people who originally shared them”. This was supremely disingenuous.
Not only has Trump left the Tweets up, he has aggressively and dishonestly defended them. He and his staff have now had plenty of time to “research” the content, something Ms Coulter had not - hence her claim “it’s not a faked video”. At least one of them was.
Could it get any worse? As if you need to ask: Radio 4’s World At One doubled down on Today and back came Sebastian Gorka to spin another pack of lies that will be half way around the world before they get fact checked. The reaction was as predictable as it was hostile. The discussion starts about Trump’s endorsement of the far-right and ends up with another phoney scare story about supposed Islamic terrorism.
We know that the BBC agonises over balance in its presentation. But to so cravenly give the far-right - neo-Nazis, white supremacists, racists, Islamophobes, segregationists - hold of the megaphone is beyond the pale. The revulsion at the presence of both Coulter and Gorka on the airwaves should have sounded alarm bells at New Broadcasting House. But, given the regularity with which this sort of thing occurs, maybe it did not.
The Beeb needs to get wise about the false promise of “balance”, and the vicious modus operandi of the US far-right. Otherwise they risk losing that Gold Standard trust rating - and none of us wants to go there.

Daily Mail Racism Rides Again

Clearly emboldened by sham press regulator IPSO letting the Murdoch goons at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun off the hook for Trevor Kavanagh’s recycling of Holocaust-era hate speech in his talk of “The Muslim Problem”, the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre at the Daily Mail has decided to indulge in a little hatred of its own, a hatchet job on what it has declared to be “The Disloyal Other”.
Tulip Siddiq MP

Selected to perform this task has been Dacre apologist Andrew Pierce, a self-confessed Tory who has been putting the boot in on a Labour MP for no other apparent reason than the colour of her skin. Tulip Siddiq, who represents Hampstead and Kilburn, had been involved in a heated discussion with a reporter from Channel 4 News earlier this week - but that was not the reason for Pierce’s attack.

The article tellsChannel 4 had attempted to question Siddiq, who has been campaigning on behalf of her constituent Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe - jailed in Iran - about why she’s ignored calls to take up the case of Ahmad bin Quasem, 33, a Bangladeshi British-trained barrister … Since July 2016 the father has been detained illegally without charge, according to his supporters, by the Bangladeshi authorities after being abducted by security forces from his home in Dahka”. And then Pierce gives the game away.
Andrew Pierce - obedient Dacre doggie

Despite pleas from his supporters, Siddiq has always insisted the matter was nothing to do with her as Mr bin Quasem is not a constituent - which isn’t really the issue”. Er, hello Dacre Doggies, it is very much the issue. Who is bin Quasem’s MP? It gets worse: “Siddiq’s claim to have no interest in Bangladeshi affairs is further undermined by the interest shown in her by Bangladeshi journalists, who monitor her every move”.

The interest shown does not mean Ms Siddiq has an interest in Bangladeshi politics, the kind of minefield in which it is wise for the uninitiated not to tread, as Zelo Street regulars will know from the unwise and blundering past interventions of former Labour MP Simon Danczuk. But that isn’t what Pierce is driving at.

Telling Mail readers “While no one can fault her efforts to free Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe, one has to ask why, given her impeccable Bangladeshi connections, Siddiq won’t make representations on Mr bin Quasem’s behalf too” is crap. What is Ms Siddiq expected to do, establish herself as some kind of rogue Foreign Office? Is every MP with relatives or friends in other countries expected to do the same?

No, the point of this article is all too clearly explained by the banner headline in the print edition, which thunders “WHERE DO HER LOYALTIES REALLY LIE?” The disloyal other. The kind of thing that was bandied about in the 1930s when it was Jews on the receiving end. Now, with IPSO in their pocket, the inmates of the Northcliffe House bunker think they can get away with resurrecting that smear and daubing it all over Labour MPs.

Reporting on the spat between Ms Siddiq and Channel 4 News is fair enough. Using it as a way of dispensing racism-at-one-remove is not. But the Mail will get away with this latest example of hate speech masquerading as concern. And that’s not good enough.

Tommy Robinson Attacks The UK

One thing that Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, wants everyone to know is that he is not a racist. On this, above all other matters, he is terribly sensitive, so sensitive that anyone of opposing opinion - to which they are entitled - is liable to find him on their doorstep in the dead of night with a film crew in tow, violating their privacy and doing his best to identify their addresses.
All friends together. But not racist at all

What Lennon also wants everyone to know is that he is a patriot, someone who will defend the reputation of the UK come what may. He is proud to be British, so proud that he displays the Union Flag on his (now no longer Blue Tick verified) Twitter feed. But despite his being not a racist, and a good patriot, Lennon still sees no problem in supporting racists, and siding with another country’s head of state against his own.
This interesting state of affairs was demonstrated by the fallout from Combover Crybaby Donald Trump’s Retweeting of three faked videos put out by Britain First, the group backed so vocally by Thomas Mair, who murdered MP Jo Cox last year. After Theresa May passed adverse comment on Trump’s choice of endorsements, he threw a mardy strop and invented a “Radical Islamic Terrorism” problem happening now in the UK.
This was much more to Lennon’s liking - so he Retweeted Trump whining “[Theresa May] don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!” Taking place? Where? Whatever. It was what Lennon wanted to hear, so it was just fine, whereas someone touching on the shonkyness of the videos was not: “Unsubstantiated ? What are the idiots like”.
And then, although, don’t forget, he’s definitely not a racist, Lennon Retweeted Britain First’s deputy leader Jayda Fransen appealing to Trump - who might just be stupid enough to listen - for help. “WATCH: Jayda appeals for Donald Trump's help”. Britain First, an organisation that emerged from the wreckage of the racist BNP, but it has to be stressed that this endorsement does not mean Stephen Lennon is racist. Oh no.
After that, it was on to endorsing Trump’s attack on our Prime Minister. “He’s so right , our country is being destroyed by Islam & our leader is banging on about how wrong it is for Donald to be retweeting videos of Muslims being violent”. It’s “Donald” now, see? They’re on first name terms - bless! And the inconvenient fact that at least one of the videos does not feature a Muslim is ignored. Because others tell lies, not Lennon, so there.
No, he just defends the leadership of Britain First, even though he isn’t a racist. And this morning he’s on a hair trigger when he thinks anyone’s dissed his pals: “Is @Nigel_Farage really referring to @JaydaBF as a Nazi on his radio show? Can anyone confirm if they heard it as I’m just going on what others said at min”. Perhaps he’ll get his film crew together and try to have one of those “polite conversations” with Mr Thirsty next.

And remember, even though he’s taking the side of Donald Trump against our PM and MPs across the political spectrum, Stephen Lennon is a patriot. And if you believe that, you’ll believe anything.

Wednesday 29 November 2017

President’s Brain Still Missing

If there was one concern held by those seeking to have Combover Crybaby Donald Trump elected as 45th President of the United States that kept them awake at night, it was the then candidate’s wayward Twitter outbursts. Now that he is in office - and increasingly under siege from Robert Mueller’s investigations - his handlers still have that concern - only more so. Trump’s difficulty telling truth from fiction is one of the reasons.
Donald, where's yer hairspray?

The President has been - willingly, it seems - been fed so much propaganda by the likes of Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) that his grip on the real world has loosened of late. Dependant on his TV for so much of what he believes, like the fictional character Chauncey Gardiner in Being There, when right-wing anti-Muslim hatred is broadcast to him, then right-wing anti-Muslim hatred becomes the new normal.
So it was with horror - but maybe not surprise - when the Trump Twitter feed was observed earlier today Retweeting videos (plural) posted by Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of far-right Britain First, in whose name Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered last year. That’s Britain First, a bunch of rabble-rousing fascists and criminals with a nationwide following of little more than a thousand hard-core fans. And the videos were fakes.
The move was picked up immediately. Hope Not Hate told “Donald Trump just retweeted Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of hate group Britain first and notorious anti-Muslim activist”. BuzzFeed News confirmed “President Trump just shared several anti-Muslim tweets written by the deputy leader of a far-right UK group”. Their man Jim Waterson added “One of the Britain First videos shared by Trump was removed from the internet by Dutch police in May, reports @ikran. And possibly doesn't feature a migrant”.
There was more. Brendan Cox, widower of the murdered MP, observed “Trump has legitimised the far right in his own country, now he’s trying to do it in ours. Spreading hatred has consequences & the President should be ashamed of himself”, to which the Guardian’s Marina Hyde added “Disgraceful and tragic that a man whose wife's murder was preceded by repeated shouts of ‘Britain First’ should have to point this out. Solidarity with the Coxes; shame upon shame for Trump”. And yet more.
Ms Fransen triumphantly Tweeted “THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, DONALD TRUMP, HAS RETWEETED THREE OF DEPUTY LEADER JAYDA FRANSEN'S TWITTER VIDEOS! DONALD TRUMP HIMSELF HAS RETWEETED THESE VIDEOS AND HAS AROUND 44 MILLION FOLLOWERS! GOD BLESS YOU TRUMP! GOD BLESS AMERICA!” while Miles King was not surprised: “I'm not sure why anyone's surprised that Trump endorsed the Fascists at Britain First. What do they think Bannon and Gorka are - Socialists?” Meanwhile, one Trump fan was aghast.
A horrified Piers Morgan tried to intervene: “Good morning, Mr President @realDonaldTrump - what the hell are you doing retweeting a bunch of unverified videos by Britain First, a bunch of disgustingly racist far-right extremists? Please STOP this madness & undo your retweets”. Next he’ll tell us he didn’t realise Trump was a bigot.

And Battersea bedroom dweller Paul Watson of InfoWars mused “Yeah, someone might want to tell whoever is running Trump's Twitter account this morning that retweeting Britain First is not great optics”. The President’s brain is still missing. No change there, then.

Frances Barber’s Midnight Meltdown

Twitter. Some find it difficult to talk about. Others find it difficult to do. And someone who finds Twitter just a little too challenging at times - not to do, but to make sense of - is actor Frances Barber, who has form for late-night social media excursions of no fixed direction. On one memorable occasion, she even confessed to being Elephants Trunk and Mozart while in possession of a Twitter feed. Things have not changed of late.
Frances Barber - another Twitter wipeout

Her ranting at Scary Muslims (tm) has been the stuff of legend. Her visceral hatred of Jeremy Corbyn - rather challenging for someone who claims to be a Labour Party supporter - is also well-known. At the time of the Nice attack, she combined the two, to produce the kind of rant designed to satisfy the most discerning rant connoisseur. And now she has been on another late-night Twitter tirade against Labour.
Out of nowhere came the first salvo in her latest outburst: “My distress at @UKLabour knows no bounds. 41 years of support & belief. They are now Stalinists. And not even clever ones. Just thugs. A Clockwork Orange”. They do film re-enactments too? It must be a busy life in the Labour Party. But there just had to be more.
If you think anti Semitic members taking over CLP [sic] all over the Country is simplistic, you haven’t read History”. Er, WHAT? Who mentioned anti-Semitism? What history of the Labour Party is this that she offers up? Who are these people “taking over CLPs”? We don’t get to find that out - it would mean detail, and Ms Barber doesn’t do detail.
What she does do is to find a convenient target to latch on to, and this time her unfortunate victim was Councillor Tris Osborne from the Medway area of Kent. The invitation was suitably sinister and threatening: “Come speak to me Tris. I have a complaint. And I’m so not anonymous”. Coun. Osborne has, understandably, now taken his account private.
This, of course, wouldn’t have anything to do with someone else trying to shout him down and get their pals to pile in on him. But even with only one side of the exchange, we can see the rant volume increasing: “I understand the Politburo has given you the party line. You did it well. But I think you underestimate the real fury of women in this debate”. There is now a Politburo in Labour! Things really more fast in this party!
They move so fast that Labour members - assuming Ms Barber still is one - can run their own transgender smears: “You mean Momentum. We all know that. A 19 year old boy who says he’s now a woman winning the Jo Cox award for women will just evaporate real females from @UKLabour . But you know that . And you hate women anyway, so you won’t care”. The spirit of tolerance is replaced by some other spirit. Allegedly.
In any case, by now she had lost it big time, howling incoherently “I think you underestimate Women. @UKLabour is now anti Semitic, misogynistic ,1970’s throwback to 3 day week pretend anti establishment, whilst mcClusky has a 2 mill pad at the Shard paid for my his members. You utter HYPOCRITE”. As Harold Macmillan once said at the United Nations, d’you think we could have an English translation of that?

Frances Barber’s screaming intolerance may be a good laugh, but some out there actually believe her bluster. For that reason alone, she should avoid the late night rants.

Press Brexit Bill Lies BUSTED

They told their readers that it was the EU which had more to lose than the UK. They heaped abuse on Guy Verhofstadt, Jean-Claude Juncker and Michel Barnier. More recently, they heaped yet more abuse on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar over the Irish border issue.  They enthusiastically voiced support for London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson when he said Brussels could “go whistle”.
Reality - she's caving in ...

Most importantly, the right-leaning and anti-EU part of our free and fearless press told their readers that we would stand firm, and it was the EU who would have to move in our direction. We were the world’s sixth largest economy, we were important, and, dammit, we were British. And as a new day has dawned, those readers are slowly realising that their chosen morning reading has been feeding them a complete pack of lies.
... and he isn't

While the Murdoch Sun continues to sneer at the Taoiseach this morning, the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker know that they have sold their readers a pup, and that their stance on Ireland has been shown to be so misleading as to be worthless. The stream of headlines confirming the cave-in to Brussels - and their omission by the more gung-ho papers - shows who was giving their readers the right story.
The FT puts it plainly: “Britain bows to EU on divorce bill in search of Brexit breakthrough”. The Guardian continues in the same vein, with “UK faces £50bn divorce bill after bowing to EU demands”. Even the Murdoch Times now comes clean, telling readers “Britain to pay EU bills for decades”, a reminder of our continuing obligations in respect of pensions, and in particular, budget commitments already made by the UK.
It’s that simple. And the shrugging off of questions by pro-Leave ministers like Chris Grayling and Liam Fox shows that the cabinet have been forced into an act of humiliating capitulation - so humiliating that all they can do is shrug and smile, saying they’d rather talk about something, anything else. That the £50bn figure is accurate has effectively been confirmed by the BBC: “No 10 has played down reports the final figure could be up to 55bn euros (£49bn)”. The only resistance has come from those outside the loop.
The slippery and now disgraced Priti Patel has wowed her constituency of diehard Leave fans by proclaiming that the EU should be told to “Sod off”, thus confirming that her departure from Government was long overdue, and thoroughly merited.

And out there somewhere between Barking and Upminster, Nigel “Thirsty” Farage has told anyone who will listen “I have always argued that no deal is better than a bad deal. Make no mistake about it - €55bn to Leave the EU is a very, very bad deal”. And, in part, he is quite right, because part of that deal will be to pay the pensions of sponging pissheads like him for years to come - after they used the European Parliament as little more than a place to spend the afternoon sleeping off their expense account lunches.
Remember, Leave fans, who brought you the right story, and who lied to you about Brexit. Then ask yourselves the obvious question: if they lied to you after the referendum, what about all those promises they made before it to get you to vote to leave?

The British people are slowly coming to realise they’ve been taken for mugs. Today’s press cop-out will only mean bigger falls in circulation as voters register their disgust.

Tuesday 28 November 2017

Flannelled Fool IRA Scare Fail

As if to demonstrate that the Murdoch goons at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun are still faithfully doing their master’s bidding and demonising anyone and everyone exposing the Brexit shambles as just that, the paper has today engaged in a highly creative reinterpretation of recent events in the Dáil Éireann after the resignation of Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald over a smear campaign against a Garda Síochána whistleblower.
Leo Varadkar

The Guardian has reported this, telling “Ireland’s deputy prime minister is to resign to avert a parliamentary vote that would have collapsed the minority government and triggered a snap election at a crunch time for Brexit negotiations … Irish lawmakers had been due to vote on Tuesday on a no-confidence motion targeting the deputy premier, Frances Fitzgerald, filed by the opposition party Fianna Fáil”. There was more.

Her position - and that of the prime minister, Leo Varadkar - has come under pressure over her handling of information about the treatment of a police whistleblower … Fianna Fáil sources told the Guardian that once Fitzgerald has gone from office the opposition will not proceed with a vote of no-confidence it had tabled for 8pm, which had the potential to bring down Varadkar’s minority government”. But the Sun knew otherwise.

Such were the superior insights available to the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker that they proclaimedIRELAND’S outspoken premier was left humiliated today by the resignation of his deputy - but fresh Brexit chaos was diverted by the departure to the delight of Downing Street”. Strangely, the Murdoch mafiosi are alone in alleging the Taoiseach was “humiliated” and Downing Street “delighted” . Who made this claim?
The rictus grin of Master Cole

Ah well. The author of this steaming pile of bullpucky is none other than the odious flannelled fool Master Harry Cole, formerly tame gofer to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines at the Guido Fawkes blog, who has in addition claimed “The resignation comes just hours after Brussels signalled a climb down from Mr Varadkar’s hardline demands that Theresa May gives him a written solution to how the Irish border would work after Brexit or he would veto moving onto trade talks at the crunch summit”.

Let’s take this nice and slowly. Brussels does not tell Varadkar what to do, so it cannot signal a climbdown. Also, his concern about the Irish border remains, as does the potential veto. And for Master Cole, it gets a lot worse in very short order.

The British Government were deeply worried the threat of an insurgent Sinn Fein at the ballot box was forcing Mr Varadkar's government to take the hardest possible line against Britain … Ministers believed this fear of the political wing of the IRA prompted the newbie Irish PM's outspoken war of words on Theresa May”. What’s he been imbibing?

Any minister of the Crown coming out with that drivel is, as they are wont to say on Merseyside, not dealing from a full deck. Sinn Féin, as they are at present, would be a political force in Dáil Éireann, as at present, were an election to be called. But they are not being factored into Varadkar’s thinking to that extent - the Taoiseach’s border concerns are more or less universally shared in Ireland. There’s nothing “hardline” about that.

Master Cole knows little enough about his own country, so it’s not surprising he can’t get his head around the politics of the Irish Republic. Don’t buy the Sun.

Monty Drops Gove In Legal Mire

Media commentator Roy Greenslade said of the serially clueless Tim Montgomerie “you have to admire the man for rising from nowhere to become a media ‘star.’ Then again, you have to wonder at journalists for giving him so much unwarranted attention”. Some of those who gave Monty so much of that attention might soon be regretting their decisions - including, whisper it quietly, Environment Secretary Michael “Oiky” Gove.
Still clueless after all these years
Monty launched UnHerd earlier this year. It claims not to follow the pack, yet employs the dubious talents of many in the Press and Pundit Establishment - in other words, that same pack that UnHerd claims not to follow. The advantage it holds over a complete waste of time and money is therefore a slender one. The reality is that this is just another dubious convocation of right-wingers indulging in kicking the Rotten Lefties (tm).
Abi Wilkinson
Also involved - Doug Murray The K

Sadly, that pack instinct has lulled Monty into a false sense of security: everyone says he is wonderful, so he appears to assume he can do no wrong. Thus he seized on a Tweet by freelance and left-leaning journalist Abi Wilkinson, who had mused “I'm not about to defend Stalin, but there's a difference between an *ideology* that's genocidal and one that's based on idea of equality”. This is not a difficult idea to grasp.
No comment

Well, unless you’re a Very Important Media Figure like Monty, that is. “The twenty million people killed under Stalin will find this of huge comfort” he thundered, having either not read and understood what Ms Wilkinson had said, or deciding to take no notice of it. Then this week he doubled down. “Anyone who wrote ‘I'm not about to defend Hitler, but…' would be rightly rebuked. Anyone who writes ‘I'm not about to defend Stalin, but…' deserves little better”. And the significance of this revisiting?
UnHerd has published a podcast, using the name recognition of Anne Applebaum to generate interest. But hosting has been notorious Islamophobic bigot Doug Murray The K, who has decided to insert a smear of Ms Wilkinson into proceedings. “Excuses are often made for the crimes of Stalin. And for Exhibit A in that sloppy thinking, there’s The Guardian’s Abi Wilkinson” he sneers. Bonus point for kicking the Guardian there.
The only problem here is that Ms Wilkinson has at no point excused the crimes of Stalin. As a result, she first requested the right of reply at UnHerd, adding “This is really the least you can do considering you've libelled me and refuse to apologise for it or edit your libellous article”. But only after the prospect of legal action was raised did Monty bleat “You don't have any grounds to sue Abi” and offer the right of reply.
That has cut no ice with Ms Wilkinson, who informed him “Everyone who's read it can see it's defamatory. Retract or I'm going to have to consult a lawyer properly. Had informal advice already”. But in the meantime, Gove had blundered into the room and asserted “Another fascinating piece from the increasingly impressive @unherd”. Not only sharing a blatant libel, but praising and otherwise endorsing it. Oh dear!

Abi Wilkinson should take this clueless buffoon to the cleaners. The libel is so clear, it leaps off the page at the reader. Montgomerie, Murray and now Gove need to retract and apologise right now. But they aren’t big enough. So get the popcorn in.