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Sunday 31 December 2017

Who’s Afraid Of Andrew Adonis?

We are constantly being told that people need more conviction politicians, those who don’t slavishly toe the party line, who are prepared to make their own choices and trust their own judgments. But when politicians stand on their convictions - as with the Commons rebellion recently on having a final say on the so-called “Brexit Bill” - all they receive in return is a tsunami of abuse. So it has been with Andrew Adonis.
Andrew Adonis

Adonis had been a member of Gordon Brown’s cabinet as Transport minister. His CV includes academy schools, railway electrification programmes, and the HS2 project (the last mentioned being subject to derision from across the political spectrum, usually by those who can’t bother to do their research, or who would rather others didn’t). And he has recently chaired the National Infrastructure Commission.
When he resigned recently from the NIC chair, he laid out his reasons for so doing. On some of them, this blog would disagree - the East Coast non-bailout being the obvious candidate. But on Brexit and its dangers to the UK economy he is spot on. And in any case, he is free to make those choices and speak to them.

Not all approved of his freedom to speak freely: the Mail called Adonis’ resignation letter “an extraordinary rant at Theresa Mayand told readersBrexiteers told MailOnline Lord Adonis was 'condescending' and had refused to accept the result of the referendum … A Government source made clear Lord Adonis was going before he was pushed”. Political pygmies Michael Fabricant, Jacob Rees Mogg, Andrew Bridgen (always on speed dial) and Iain Duncan Cough passed suitably adverse comment. 
That many in and around politics have instead sought to denigrate Adonis’ choice, and his reasons for making it, shows exactly what they really think of conviction politicians. It shows an inability to come to terms with dissenting views and inconvenient thought, a real dislike of free speech, and a fear of those prepared to think clearly and then put their thoughts into words. The roll of shame is not a pretty sight.
The assembled silliness included failed hack and freeloading Kipper Patrick “Lunchtime” O’Flynn sneering “So Andrew Adonis decided to resign while on a skiing holiday in Austria. Possibly the most Remainery thing ever”. At the opposite end of the political spectrum, Owen Jones also disapproved of Adonis visiting Austria over Christmas: “Everything that is wrong with the ‘just pretend the referendum never happened and overturn Brexit’ summed up. Yeah, this is the sort of figure that'll convince the Leave-backing voters of Oldham, Burnley and Rochdale to change their mind. I mean, wow”.
While Jones considers the imperative of Healey’s Dictum, the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog have opted for mental health smears, one of their favourite weapons. So Adonis is called aRemaniac”, and readers are told ofAdonis’ Shouty Crackers Resignation Letter In Full”, “10 Bonkers Things Adonis Said About Brexit”, plus the totally untrueBarmy Adonis: Farage Is PM”.
It was left to others to put the counter argument, notably Helen Lewis from the Staggers who told “Andrew Adonis is the son of a Cypriot immigrant whose mother left the family when was a toddler, and he spent years in a council children's home before getting a place at a boarding school (then Oxford). I'm … kinda ok with him going skiing?
TUC National Organiser Carl Roper added “Confession time. I went to a Liverpool Comprehensive school in the early 80s and guess what? We went skiing on a school trip. #classtraitors”, and Michael Skapinker of the FT stressed “I worked with @Andrew_Adonis for 7 years. Utterly principled, ferociously intelligent, with an up-from-nothing life story most Labour hacks would kill for but which he wears lightly. We’re lucky to have him”.

With his considerable abilities, Andrew Adonis had no need to subject himself to the bear pit that is mainstream UK politics. That he did so will most likely benefit the country overall. Plus he has demonstrated that he is a conviction politician. Yet that quality supposedly admired by our free and fair press, and their hangers-on, is swiftly denigrated to the point of sneering and gratuitous abuse as soon as it does not accord with their agenda.

We are constantly being told that it is others who hate and abuse freedom of speech. It is not. Our Press and Pundit establishment has demonstrated in its crude and bellicose response to Andrew Adonis’ principled stand that it is no more tolerant of dissent than the Soviet Politburo of the past, or the clerics of Tehran in the present.

Some people cannot be easily pigeonholed. Others, in the tradition of John Maynard Keynes, change their minds when the facts change. Their views may be inconvenient to some of us. Well, that’s just the way it is. So get over it.

Mail Tries To Bust Businesswoman

When the Daily Mail ran the front page splashQuestions over ANOTHER Yard contract … MET BOSS IN NEW ‘CASH FOR A FRIEND’ STORM” back in October 2008, the firm at the centre of the paper’s libellous claim was no longer run by the man they had targeted, businessman Andy Miller. Miller was a personal friend of then Met Commissioner Ian Blair; the Mail then concluded that the contract won by the company was therefore dodgy.
The obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre were wrong: Miller’s firm had won the contract fair and square. The subsequent libel action - Dacre declined Miller’s request to say sorry without going to court - took up several years and cost the paper around £3 million. But the Mail could stand that. Miller was sure that, had he still been in charge of the firm targeted, it would have been put out of business.

It may surprise those who believe the Mail titles to be pro-business, and especially in favour of all those small businesses up and down the country, to know that the inmates of the Northcliffe House bunker take such a callous attitude to the potential fate of those they choose to smear. Had that firm gone bust, several employees would have found themselves without a job. Yet the callousness endures today.

Zelo Street regulars will recall that, last week, the behaviour of Mail on Sunday hack Charlotte Wace passed before my inspection. She had used a hidden camera, in flagrant breach of the IPSO Editor’s Code, when visiting single mum Danielle Hindley, who is also the owner of a small business - a beautician’s in West Yorkshire. The resulting “story” has now been published. It is lame in the extreme. But it could be very bad for business.

Under the opening paragraphRogue beauticians are carrying out dangerous and illegal procedures which can leave women permanently disfigured, The Mail on Sunday can reveal”, Ms Wace eventually arrives at the complaint made by a former client of Ms Hindley. No evidence is ponied up to support the claim that a skin tightening procedure left her with “swollen eyes surrounded by a shocking array of burn marks”.

No medical practitioner has backed up the claim. The article carries no photograph in support of the inference of wrongdoing. And only grudgingly does Ms Wace concede that the procedure described is not illegal. But MoS readers are told “Ms Hindley, who has a conviction for a financial crime, said she had two days’ training earlier this year”.

Those who have unearthed the Mail titles’ business relationships with individuals who have rather more than the odd conviction - private investigators, purveyors of illegally gathered information, bent coppers and the like - may allow themselves a wry smile.

But the nastiest thing about Ms Wace’s article is that the power of the MoS’ megaphone - especially as the name and location of Ms Hindley’s business is spelt out in the article - is highly likely to have a severely adverse effect on trade. The way the Mail titles use the No-Smoke-Without-Fire nudge-nudgery is likely to prove harmful over the coming weeks and months. Even if IPSO find in her favour, any damage will by then have been done.

Danielle Hindley has done nothing wrong. The MoS has no evidence to suggest otherwise. Yet their guilt-by-association article could bust her business. And the Mail titles won’t give a damn if it does. That’s our free and fearless press for you.

Margaret Thatcher, Terrorist Sympathiser

Many who venerate the memory of Margaret Thatcher are unable to admit that not all she did was ideologically pure, or based on the most noble of motives. So it is that her Bruges speech is remembered for criticism of a “European Superstate”, and the part about Britain being at the heart of Europe is forgotten. Similarly, the Brighton bombing is held out as her implacable opposition to terrorism. Except it wasn’t quite so simple there, either.
Mrs T’s Government was accused more than once of dabbling in a little terrorism of its own, notably over the allegations of a “shoot to kill” policy in Northern Ireland, and such well-publicised events as the Gibraltar shootings, which led to Thames Television being stripped of its franchise in an act of routine vindictiveness - as well as an avalanche of abusive press coverage smearing her opponents.

So it should surprise no-one that the release of previously secret information under Ireland’s Thirty Year Rule has thrown up yet another episode from the past which Thatcher devotees probably hope will soon be forgotten. Some will already have conditioned themselves to believe that what has been revealed is the invention of Rotten Lefties (tm) and can be explained away in a huff of righteous anger. It can’t.

The Irish Independent broke the news: “Charlie Haughey was warned by loyalist paramilitaries that MI5 ordered his assassination, declassified state papers have revealed … Records from his office while he was Taoiseach in 1987 reveal that the UVF wrote to him to tell him that British intelligence also launched a smear campaign against him … The loyalists claimed their organisation was used by MI5 and MI6, backed up by British Army special forces, from 1972 to 1978 and again in 1985”. And there was more.
Charles Haughey ((c) RTÉ)

The previously secret letter, on UVF headed paper, showed the loyalists told Mr Haughey that the MI5 operative gave details of his cars, photographs of his home, his island, Inishvickillane, and his yacht, Celtic Mist … The paramilitaries also claimed to have been given details of Mr Haughey's trips to Farranfore airport in Kerry and photos of a plane he used”. And to whom do MI5, MI6 and British Army special forces ultimately report?

Fortunately, the UVF drew the line at bumping off the Taoiseach. “In the letter, the UVF said it had killed 17 men using information from British intelligence … Signed in block capitals ‘Capt W Johnston’, the name used by the UVF in all its formal statements, it closed with the line: ‘We have no love for you but we are not going to carry out work for the Dirty Tricks Department of the British’”. So who in the UK is reporting this story?

A more detailed version, including a claim that Gerry Adams was looking for ways to end the IRA’s paramilitary campaign back in 1987, has been published by the Guardian. The BBC has also carried the news. And some online newspaper sites have now run an item on it. But the issues raised by this revelation - the manipulation of Loyalist paramilitaries by UK security agencies, and what Mrs T knew and when - remain unaddressed.

And one conclusion can be drawn all too readily: when those on the right start calling “Terrorist sympathiser” on the likes of Jeremy Corbyn, they need to be reminded of exactly who the real terrorist sympathisers are. They aren’t in the Labour Party.

Top Six - December 31

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 New Year prep to do later. So there.
6 Nadine Dorries Defends Sex Pests The fragrant Nadine might have been better advised to read the article she cited in yet another ill-advised social media excursion.

5 Tory Royal Yacht Shame 50 MPs from The Blue Team decided, given current levels of homelessness, food bank usage and other deprivation, that awarding the Royals a trophy boat was a good idea. No. Just no.

4 Katie Hopkins Grenfell Smears WORSEN The pro-am motormouth saw all those families still without a place to call home and decided it was all about illegal migrants getting free stuff. She still hasn’t got a paid berth. I wonder why.

3 Sun Bacon Advertorial BUSTED A front page splash dedicated to plugging a posh hipster product that most of the paper’s readers can’t afford. When editor Tony Gallagher gets the boot, it won’t be soon enough.

2 Virgin East Coast Bailout WASN’T Back on the Top Six is the news that some in the press and punditerati got this one just a little bit wrong. There was no bailout.

1 Mail Harasses Single Mum Sending a hack with a hidden camera to snoop on an intended target is not only totally out of order - it busts the IPSO Editor’s Code. But don’t expect our sham press regulator to do any more than wipe the Mail’s backside over it.

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

Saturday 30 December 2017

Katie Hopkins Grenfell Smears WORSEN

Many of the families rendered homeless by the Grenfell Tower fire spent the festive season in what is called temporary accommodation: bed and breakfast houses, nearby hotels, and if they were lucky, somewhere actually designed as housing. Many of them therefore had no cooking facilities, and so the cost to them of putting meals in front of their families increased dramatically. This change was covered by compensation payments.
Viewers may still want to look away now

In addition, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea committed a small sum to cover anticipated higher costs at Christmas: each person still without their own place to call home would receive £140. Few have begrudged the survivors these payments: they were, after all, burnt out of house and home in the most traumatic circumstances imaginable.
But one pundit out there on the right was desperate and bigoted enough to tell her devoted followers that these were non-white people getting something for which honest decent hard-working Brits (make that white Brits) were paying. To no surprise at all, that pundit was pro-am motormouth Katie Hopkins. The lies and smears began immediately.
A Grenfell family’s cash for ONE week in December: £300 per week per adult. £150 per child per week £140 special Christmas payment All hotel accom / bills paid. Family of 5: cash in hand for one week £1750 (plus expenses covered). Surely I have got this wrong?” she ventured, and yes, she has (it’s £1,050, or £1,190 with the Christmas payment).
But that was enough for the false equivalence to kick in. “Do families / victims of Manchester, Rochdale Groomers, Westminster, London Bridge receive similar compensation for their loss?”. Did they get burned out of their homes? Ah, but this misses the point: in Katie’s world, the Scary Muslims (tm) are getting favourable treatment.
From that point, the smears were ratcheted up. First came the inference of not only favourable treatment, but undeserved payments. “Reality TV idea @channel5_tv: STRIFE SWAP - Grenfellers do work of honest Brits. Honest Brits live like Grenfellers”. People from Grenfell Tower were not “honest”, as opposed to “not white and Christian”.
Then came the clear suggestion that those who lost their homes in the fire were involved in some kind of ongoing illegal activity: “WIN 2 yrs free accommodation. Make like a Grenfeller, import your ‘cousins’ & live rent free till July 2019. Text FIRE to ‘0800 free shit’”. Six months’ compensation becomes two years in the retelling. And it gets worse.
So convinced has Hatey Katie become that those who lived in Grenfell Tower were not in the UK legally that she has now come out and said so, not that she can pony up any evidence to back up her smears. “CHRISTMAS BONUS: British pensioners / war widows £10 … Illegal migrants of Grenfell £130 per head”. Yes Katie, and if they really were “illegal migrants”, they wouldn’t be getting anything. Because you can’t if you’re here illegally.

This is hate speech, pure and simple. But to far too many out there, Katie Hopkins is just “telling it like it is”, another example like the propaganda of the Trump Gang in the USA - everyone else is lying, and the only bastion against Fake News is Katie News.

Except that she’s the one lying, and a racist bigot to boot. So no change there, then.

Daily Mail Stormzy Drug Howler

When it comes to currently illegal drugs, we know where the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre and his obedient hackery at the Daily Mail stand. They are vehemently opposed to any move to ease off the so-called “war on drugs”, despite it having failed miserably, and served only to increase the number of those addicted, and their subsequent misery. The Mail also disapproves of people who are not white - although it’s usually deniable.
Stormzy - under press attack once more

So the hit-job on grime artist Stormzy - for which no-one has owned up to having written it - was predictable. So was the headline “Popular grime artists such as Stormzy are fueling [sic] the use of 'skunk' by treating cannabis as 'product placement' in their chart-topping songs, researcher warns”. Mail readers be warned - keep your kids away from drugs.

But then it became clear why no-one in the Northcliffe House bunker wanted to claim credit for the hit job, which told “Ian Hamilton, based at York University, warned the popular music genre [grime] contains hundreds of lyrics glorifying the use of the class B drug … Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, he described songs featuring mentions of weed, including those by Stormzy, Kano and Wiley, as 'essentially product placement’”.

Hamilton went on to assert “Lyrics can plant the seed of an idea, and it’s not an abstract idea, it’s something they do pretty quickly and at low risk … If the association, viewing it as a product placement, is cool and something that may enhance their status as a young person, then that becomes quite attractive”, but then digressed slightly: “The problem we’ve got in the UK is the way that cannabis is used with tobacco”.

Hamilton’s forte is to warn of the dangers inherent in mixing cannabis with tobacco, because the latter carries known cancer risks. Cannabis alone, as he points out, does not. So he’s not at the same place as the Dacre doggies, who are just trying to scare the crap out of anyone considering going near anything that is currently illegal.
Who's calling me a f***ing racist scare merchant, c***?!?

Consider conclusions from some of the research with which he has been associated - for instanceat a population level, an increased risk of psychosis from cannabis use is low, and those vulnerable to developing serious mental health problems is relatively rare”. The Mail titles are forever telling readers that cannabis means increased psychosis risk.

On top of that own goal, the response from Stormzy has been direct, as he told the Dacre doggies “White rockstars (and pop stars) have been sniffing coke and taking MDMA and singing about it since the beginning of music - just admit you’re anti-black … Imagine raising your child, loving and nurturing them. Sending them off to school and then uni for them to grow up and then get a job working for the fucking Daily Mail. Embarrassing”.

So there won’t be any converts to the Mail’s nudge-nudge nonsense from his fans, then. And “embarrassing” is spot on for an article where no-one wanted to have their name appear on the by-line. Going after Stormzy on the grounds that he’s doing what white artistes have done for more than half a century is beyond contemptible.

But it keeps the readers frightened and ignorant, so that’s all right, then.

Julia Hartley Dooda On Costa Moana

The hurt felt by tedious and intolerant Talk Radio host Julia Hartley Brewer when she found herself ridiculed earlier this year for having her washing machine in the kitchen - TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp had decreed this to be “disgusting” - has endured. Not even the gift of a well-remunerated article in the Super Soaraway Currant Bun whining about the Location, Location, Location star could dim the sense she was being looked down upon.
Yes thanks, we know who you are

So Ms Hartley Dooda has wasted no time taking to Twitter in order to inform anyone who will listen - so not many willing takers, then - that she is A Really Important Person. She is so important that she has done Christmas in Costa Rica. Moreover, she flew on a proper big aircraft. She booked with BA; none of this budget carrier or charter airline rubbish for her. She could hit the beach over Christmas. She was considerably wealthier than us.
But her public needed to be reminded constantly of her magnificence, so on Christmas Day, when most of us were chilling out, off she went. “It’s only 8am in Costa Rica but is there such a thing as a Christmas Mojito? Asking for a friend”. HELLO I’M IN COSTA RICA! THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT HOLIDAY!! And there was, unfortunately, more.
Hope you enjoyed your turkey with all the trimmings. It’s not even drink-without-being-judged o’clock in Costa Rica yet but, on the plus side, there’s a beach with warm water & soft sand, which kinda makes up for the lack of soggy sprouts”. I didn’t have turkey or soggy sprouts, thanks, but I also didn’t have to put up with Ms Hartley Dooda.
Sadly, rather a lot of people in Costa Rica did, hence her Twitter poll “Just back from bodyboarding in Costa Rica and a Brit Remainobore sitting behind me on the beach is loudly explaining to his friends why Brexit is awful. Should I …” Ye-e-e-e-es. Note that none of the options on offer include “listening”, “understanding the counter-argument”, “appreciating freedom of speech”, or “cutting out the gratuitous abuse”.
And talking of gratuitous abuse, she had no problem in doling some out to Jolyon Maugham, who had the audacity to question the benefits of a Press Establishment owned by non-residents, and which routinely peddles falsehood and misinformation. “Little damages our nation more than the poison and lies of the Remoanabores denying the outcome of a free & democratic vote. None has the interests of our country at heart”. But hurling abuse at those who don’t agree with her is fine. Hey ho.
So out with the abuse once more, backed up by projection this time: “Remoaners don’t ever take a day off, do they? Spouting hatred, lies and bile all day, every day of the year. Even if they’re wrong in every conceivable way, at least they’re persistent. They’re a credit to the nation to which they claim they don’t belong”. Ms Hartley Dooda describes herself very well. She’s supposed to be on an idyllic holiday. But she spends the time whining.

All of which merely goes to confirm that those ideologically wedded to the idea of Britain leaving the EU are in such an insecure and fearful state that they can’t stop banging on about the issue, even when they’re supposed to be on holiday. In a very exotic and really upmarket location. Which beats anything Kirstie Allsopp said about washing machines.

Yes, she is in COSTA RICA. Which is VERY WONDERFUL. Everybody wants to be her. She has no feelings of inferiority. And if you believe that, you’ll believe anything.

Friday 29 December 2017

Milo Yiannopoulos Inadequacy EXPOSED

Those who suggest anyone in the public eye should not give away hostages to fortune, especially if they might be used against someone in the future, are issuing wise advice. As such, it was most unlikely to be taken on board by repellant man-baby Milo Yiannopoulos, who has thrown a mardy strop at having his book deal cancelled and is now suing the publishers involved for breach of contract. He should be so lucky.
The real Milo Yiannopoulos - an inadequate nobody

Simon & Shuster canned the deal after evidence emerged of Yiannopoulos apparently endorsing paedophilia. He was also unceremoniously sacked from his well-remunerated job with the convocation of the irredeemably batshit otherwise known as Breitbart. He was reduced to self-publishing his book, claiming initial sales of 100,000, only for the actual sales figures of fewer than 20,000 copies to be released, showing his pants well on fire.

But he was not undaunted, and in came the lawsuit, claiming $10 million from the original publisher. The problem has come now that Yiannopoulos’ manuscript has been released - along with the comments made by editors at Simon & Shuster.

The feedback given to The Great Man will not have been read with any sense of enjoyment: “You cannot say this is true of everyone … Not necessarily true … Not true … Don’t make fun of school shooters - and certainly don’t compare them to liberals … This entire paragraph is just repeating Fake News … Avoid gratuitous insults … Unclear, unfunny delete … Delete entire chapter”. And there was more.
Downfall of the fake Milo - and not for the first time

The ‘Why Establishment Gays Hate Me’ chapter ‘needs a better thesis than the notion that gay people should go back in the closet’ … The feminist chapter needed a ‘stronger argument against feminism than saying that they are ugly and sexless and have cats’ … Delete irrelevant and superfluous ethnic joke … Let’s leave ‘cuck’ out of it here … I will not accept a manuscript that labels an entire class of people ‘mentally ill’.

It gets worse. “The use of phrases like 'Two-faced backstabbing bitches' diminishes your overall point … This is not the time or place for another black-dick joke … Beauty regimen moved to box at end of chapter, after Nietzsche section”. Beauty regimen? What that?

Ah well. Here we encounter the real vanity and vacuity of this truly worthless being. “I have not drunk tap water since 2005 … My figure has improved dramatically from a year ago … Often I will remove my pyjamas and examine myself for a few minutes in the mirror  … my body fat percentage is dropping … I can imagine finding myself attractive in a nightclub”.
Got the sick bucket ready? “In the shower I use a menthol and eucalyptus foaming gel … Because soap can be drying, I apply body butter or Kiehl’s moisturising cream … I use La Mer hand lotion … I use La Prairie skin cream … I enjoy kissing my boyfriend often, so I ensure my lips are plump and soft with a mint or mango lip balm”.

Christ on a bike, what a complete and utter tosser. Milo Yiannopoulos is either devoid of self-awareness, or begging to be laughed out of court. He can’t write competently. He’s got nothing of any interest to say. And he’s still a jumped-up con man.

Simon & Shuster are dead right to defend his worthless lawsuit. Because he’s going to lose the case. Then, perhaps, he might take the hint. And get a life.

Sun Bacon Advertorial BUSTED

When a paper runs the kind of “exclusive” that its competitors don’t enthusiastically follow up, it’s clear that it may well not be much of an exclusive. And when it’s the Murdoch Sun, and the author is the paper’s alleged “Westminster Correspondent”, the odious flannelled fool Master Harry Cole, a known fabricator of no known self-awareness, the thought enters that someone close to editor Tony Gallagher may come to regret not spiking it.
Someone missed ADVERTISING FEATURE off that one

So it is with today’s front page lead, as readers are toldFry-Up Brits Rejoice … THAT’S SAVED OUR BACON … Rashers free of cancer chemicals”. This may look like a typical fun Sun splash, but in reality this is shameless advertorial copy, promoting a product from one firm that the vast majority of bacon consumers will not be going near any time soon.

Of course, in his usual inimitable style, Master Cole manages not to disclose this inconvenient fact to the Sun faithful, instead telling “Revolutionary bacon rashers free of cancer-causing nitrates hit Britain’s supermarket shelves thanks to technological breakthroughs”. This is total crap. The product hits Britain’s supermarket shelves thanks to the firm involved bringing it to the marketplace. But there is more.

New Naked Bacon does not use potentially harmful chemicals during the curing process which can increase risk of bowel cancer”. So now we are told that this is a specific niche product, and not all bacon. Indeed, it will most likely not register as more than 3.5% of total bacon sales and consumption at best. Still, details, eh?

But do go on. “In 2015 the World Health Organisation warned there were significant increases in the risk of bowel cancer from eating processed meats such as bacon that traditionally have nitrites added as they are cured … UK sales plunged 11 per cent the following year as worried shoppers bought 25.4 million fewer packs of bacon”. No, sales declined as bacon became more expensive and less fashionable. And on the Sun’s figures, the new wonder bacon will cost twice as much as typical supermarket bacon.
One step nearer the exit, eh Tone?

How about owning up that this is advertorial? “Naked Bacon, produced by Northern Ireland food firm Finnebrogue, will be available at UK supermarkets from next month”. That’s as close as Master Cole gets to ‘fessing up to his deception. But he does have real MPs (allegedly) to sing the praises of this new product.

And yesterday MPs and scientists hailed a breakthrough that could save the bacon sarnie - Britain’s much-loved hangover cure [hangover cure? F*** right off] … Tory Neil Parish, Chairman of the Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee [actually only one MP] said: ‘It’s a remarkable feat of food technology and a brilliant British success story … UK firms like Finnebrogue are producing some of the best food anywhere in the world’”. Yes, it’s advertorial. And pass the sick bucket.

Advertorial, used to back up the pretence that Britain is better than all those rotten foreigners and will beat the world at just about everything once we are free of the hated EU. Shameless propagandising. Selective disclosure so the readers think it’s news. And underneath it all, dishonesty about bacon. Which is just becoming less popular.

If the best the Sun can manage is to get Master Cole to cobble up advertorial, perhaps the time has finally come for Tony Gallagher to go. That would provide real seasonal cheer.

Tory Royal Yacht Shame

The last Royal Yacht, HMY Britannia, having seen more than 43 years’ service, was decommissioned at the end of 1997, with no replacement considered at the time, as this would have had to be resourced from a defence budget already under pressure - and subject to further cuts in succeeding years. Since then, campaigns to fund and build another Royal Yacht have come to nothing.
HMY Britannia - not coming back. Full stop

That thought did not occur to the remaining hacks and pundits at the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph: ever ready to demonstrate their loyalty to the Crown, those at the paper have been campaigning for another Royal Yacht on and off since September last year, when they nicked the idea from the Sun’s alleged “Westminster Correspondent”, the odious flannelled fool Master Harry Cole.

Cole had invented a pack of lies about a new Royal Yacht; the Tel in its desperation took this up as a “campaign”. Now, a group of Tory MPs is equally desperate, and so the Tel’s Christopher “No” Hope has brought forth “Britannia to win the Lottery! Fifty Tory MPs back new lotto game to let public pay for new royal yacht”. This is crap, and going nowhere.

We can see this as the MP fronting the idea of a Boondoggle For The 21st Century is none other than Craig Mackinlay, now under investigation for, er, irregularities with his election expenses after the Tories called in supporters from all over the country to help him resist the challenge of former UKIP Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage in 2015.
No matter, the Tel has gushedUsing funds from a new national lottery game to pay for a new Britannia would allow ordinary Britons ‘the pride of having a stake’ in helping to fund the new yacht which would ‘showcase the best of British business and project our humanitarian role across the globe’, the MPs said”. But it’s still crap.

Britain does not need a Royal Yacht to showcase business, far less to negotiate and conclude trade deals. It does not need a Royal Yacht to “project our humanitarian role”. And we shell out quite enough on the Royal Family as it is. Also, the Royals already have access to whatever transport they need in order to carry out their duties.

But thanks to the Tel, we also now know that David T C Davies, Robert Halfon, Philip Hollobone, Jeremy Lefroy, Jack Lopresti, “Bonking” Bob Stewart, David Amess (no longer representing BASILDON), Andrew Bridgen, Philip Davies, Nigel  Evans, Grant “Spiv” Shapps and many more prioritise a new Royal Yacht ahead of reducing food bank usage, homelessness, poverty, poor housing conditions, and much else.
We also have a superb example of how the Press and Pundit Establishment is totally out of touch with the world outside their hermetically sealed bubble, with Hope expressing surprise at the backlash to his idiotic suggestion: “What is wrong with asking people if they want to fund a new royal yacht? The only bills to the taxpayer would be the annual running costs”. Yeah, right. Britannia had a crew of 271. That’s around £15 million by itself.

You can at least double that with maintenance, fuel and the rest. How many nurses could that money fund? How many food parcels for the needy? How much in housing repairs?

The Telegraph and all those Tory MPs are living in Cloud Cuckoo Land. No change there.

Thursday 28 December 2017

Is Paul Dacre Getting A Gong?

The moment of annual revelation is almost upon us: that time at the end of each year when the New Year’s Honours List is published. A few of the gongs have already been teased to a largely indifferent public, but one thing has been missing: the righteous and thundering denunciation of the whole thing by the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre and  his boot boys at the Daily Mail. It was not always like this.
Why the f*** shouldn't I get a knighthood, c***?!?

Indeed, the Vagina Monologue has serious past form in ordering attacks on the honours system. Six years ago, the Mail blasted “Tainted New Year Honours”, and the following year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours were dismissed as “Dishonours”. Two years ago, out came “Tainted New Year Honoursonce again. Not so far this year, despite one well-known bête noire of the Mail being awarded a knighthood.

Former Lib Dem leader, and now former MP, Nick Clegg is in line for a K this weekend. And, although the Mail has told readersClegg gets a knighthood: Former Lib Dem leader to get a gong in the New Year's honours in recognition of his five years as deputy prime minister” and followed this with the sneering “But the knighthood is likely to be controversial given that Mr Clegg is an arch Remainer and that his party has been showered with honours in recent years”, the front page attack is missing.

The Mail has managed the obligatory digs “The Lib Dems have more than 100 representatives in the House of Lords despite their limited electoral success … Their peers will have considerable power over the course of the UK’s departure from the EU and Mr Clegg has called for a second referendum”, and the equally obligatory dig at his wife: “Miriam Gonzalez Durantez is unlikely to take up the title Lady Clegg after her husband is knighted … The Spanish lawyer does not use her married name and has never become a British citizen”. But the tone is almost restrained compared to some Clegg attacks.

All of which begs the question as to why Dacre, who detests Lib Dems with a passion and Clegg especially, has not gone in with both feet on the former MP, despite many from across the political spectrum voicing unhappiness at the award.

So why would Paul Dacre give one of his most despised hate figures a break? It’s an ideal target for unleashing the perfect storm of spite, all those hate objects coming together. But there is another reason for going easy on the honours system.

Paul Dacre saw his predecessor as Daily Mail editor, David English, get knighted. He saw his contemporaries, like Simon Jenkins and Max Hastings, get their Ks too. But the only Prime Minister to give him the time of day - Gordon Brown - didn’t do the dishing out of honours thing. And David Cameron did not meet with the Vagina Monologue’s approval. But Theresa May certainly does. And Dacre’s support for her has been absolute.

So the question has to be put: has the Empress Treeza given Dacre the knighthood he has craved for so many years? She’s given him the unique privilege among editors of one-on-one meetings, even hosting a dinner for him at 10 Downing Street. Yes, favouring the Mail’s editor sends the worst possible signal and legitimises some appallingly bad behaviour. But that hasn’t stopped some deeply unsavoury individuals getting gongs.

My Occam’s Razor says Dacre is getting a gong this time. Pass the sick bucket.

Mail Harasses Single Mum

As if the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre does not already have a grim enough reputation, it seems that they have sunk yet further by sending one of their number to snoop on a single mum - in direct and blatant contravention of the IPSO Editor’s Code of Conduct, which Dacre had a significant hand in devising and maintaining.
She's called Charlotte Wace. And she's bang out of order

The victim of this latest in a series of less than totally professional episodes is a young woman called Danielle Hindley, who has been approached by a representative of the Mail on Sunday. Yes, I know the excuses: it’s a totally different paper to the Daily Mail, with its own editor and often its own editorial line. But the editor-in-chief of the MoS is still Paul Dacre. And its hacks work for the same Rothermere press.

So let’s not have the “look over there” outbursts, just because they’ve been caught bang to rights with their hands in the proverbial till once again. Instead, let’s see who the MoS sent to do their dirty deed, and a little on their past form.
The hack identified as Ms Hindley’s unwelcome visitor is called Charlotte Wace, and her back catalogue includes a credit for the “Transgender lessons for 2 year olds” hatchet job. As Ms Hindley told, “This is the journalist that came in to my home, had a hidden camera on me & my little boy trying to write a story based on lies from a past client that harassed me and was issued a harassment order by the police”.
If the part about a hidden camera is true, the MoS has busted the Editor’s Code. When Ms Hindley Tweeted “Straight from the IPSO website ... Looking forward to getting a response”, she linked to an Instagram post showing the code’s Section 2: Privacy.

What happened then was worrying. “Update: Mail have been in touch with the source, told her to remove and adjust things on her social media that incriminate her as the source. It really is a little late for that now I already have screenshots of everything I need to back my case … @dailymailuk have blocked me too”. Why block her?
The MoS ought to be cooperating with Ms Hindley, not being evasive. The consequence of their participation was all too clear: “And the harassment continues. 6th report to police done tonight. As if the @DailyMailUK are aiding and abetting this nonsense. You tell her to adjust her fb to remove incriminating posts and she tells everyone. She then sets up fake fb profile and fake twitter to troll me”. And the effect on Ms Hindley was equally clear.
Well had about 20hrs sleep in the last week. Haven't fallen asleep before 5am since the @DailyMailUK came into my home undercover and filmed me and my son based on lies from someone who has previously been issued a harassment order. Happy to say it’s midnight and I am SLEEPY”. So a complaint has been submitted.
This came complete with a “Merry Christmas” message. But so far there has been nothing more from the Northcliffe House bunker. After their clumsy intervention, that’s not good enough. The MoS has messed up big time and they now know it.

The least they could do is to say sorry. But the Mail titles aren’t big enough to do that.