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Thursday 31 May 2018

Tory Islamophobia EXPOSED

While the Tories and their pals in the right-leaning part of the Fourth Estate were hammering Labour for alleged anti-Semitism, it should have occurred to them that their record on racism was not exactly squeaky clean - neither the harbouring of it, the doing of it, nor the turning a blind eye to it for fear of upsetting someone important.
So The Blue Team did nothing about Harrow East MP Bob Blackman, who endorsed anti-Muslim sentiment on social media, hosted a known hate preacher at the House of Commons, and supported moves to preserve anti-Dalit prejudice, the effective importation of the racism of the Indian sub-continent to the UK. That last item also had Blackman’s Parliamentary colleagues Matthew Offord and Mike Freer on board.

As Sky News has reported, “Baroness Warsi, the first Muslim woman to serve in cabinet, revealed she has spent two-and-a-half years raising the issue within the party. The Muslim Council of Britain has now called on the Tories to launch an independent inquiry into allegations of Islamophobia. The group said the last month had seen weekly incidents of Islamophobia from Conservative representatives and candidates”.

There was more. “Baroness Warsi told Sky News the issue was a long-running one for the Tories and ‘was an issue for us long before the issue of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party became public … What's really concerning for me is that the frequency of these incidents seems to be now increasing, whether that's because there's now more public awareness about reporting these issues”. And more.

Harun Khan of the Muslim Council of Britain has written to Tory chairman Brandon Lewis detailing a whole host of particularly nasty Islamophobic acts from Tories - before reminding Lewis about Zac Goldsmith’s vicious campaign against Sadiq Khan in the run-up to the 2016 London Mayoral election. But it is what is not mentioned that is worse.
The Tories’ press pals have been piling on the Muslim-bashing for some time now: whether it’s the Daily Mail’s talentless and unfunny churnalist Richard Littlejohn, professional slob and amateur human being Rod Liddle at the Sun, Andrew Norfolk having his credibility trashed by the Murdoch press in order to push a totally untrue narrative over the “Muslim fostering” case, or any number of Islamophobes at the increasingly desperate Spectator, the impression of rank and rabid bigotry is inescapable.

That’s before wheeling out faithful Murdoch retainer Trevor Kavanagh and his now infamous Sun article which talked aboutThe Muslim Problem”. All those publications mentioned in the last two paragraphs back the Tories, Theresa May and her pals having made the ultimate Faustian pact with the press in exchange for sweeping all the years of bad behaviour under the carpet and shelving Leveson Part 2.

And that is where the Tories really do have a problem: they cannot truly cleanse their own Augean stables without their press pals backing off as well. The problem they have is that the relationship with the press barons for which they have volunteered is distinctly asymmetric: they do what they press wants (bin Leveson 2), but the press won’t drop the Muslim-bashing bigotry even if Theresa May goes cap in hand and asks them nicely.

As David Lammy told them, you lie down with dogs, you get fleas. Get that one scratched!

Raheem Sterling - Sun Racism BUSTED

The Super Soaraway Currant Bun no longer dabbles in explicit racism - well, not much, anyway. But when management deems that the occasion demands it, the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker are as good as any other bunch of smear merchants at getting out the dog whistle while claiming to have rather more noble motives for going after people who are not white. Which brings us to footballer Raheem Sterling.
Raheem Sterling

Sterling lost his father when he was around two years old; his dad was gunned down in his native Jamaica. So when the Manchester City player appeared with a gun-like tattoo on his right leg, it should have been glaringly obvious to all concerned that he was not about to join the NRA. But the Sun was not going to wait to find out.

Having already gone after Sterling for allegedly turning up a day late for a training session, and invented the hostile headline “England manager Gareth Southgate furious with Raheem Sterling after turning up late for World Cup duty” (Southgate, sensibly, has not commented publicly), the agenda had clearly been set.
So after merely commenting on that tattoo - “England ace Raheem Sterling shows off new leg tattoo as he prepares for World Cup in Russia” - out came the smear merchants in search of clickbait. “England ace Raheem Sterling sparks fury by unveiling M16 assault rifle tattoo on his leg … Sterling, 23, triggered fury among anti-gun campaigners who called for the striker to be axed from the World Cup squad over 'sick' tattoo”.

Well, one anti-gun campaigner. And Piers Morgan, to no surprise at all (Piers is still big pals with Rebekah Brooks, so the story gets amplified by him too). Was the tattoo of an M16? What was it really about? But Sun readers don’t get to find out. Instead, it was on toDamilola Taylor’s dad slams Raheem Sterling for reckless gun tattoo and demands he apologises to families of gun victims”. Er, WHAT?
What happened to Damilola was terrible. But it had nothing to do with guns. Nor did the bizarre “Stabbed teens die on streets” article, which told “TWO more teenagers were killed over the weekend as Sterling revealed his controversial gun tattoo”. What the hell has his tattoo got to do with someone getting fatally stabbed?

As Maurice Mcleod has observed, “Raheem has money now and some parts of the media don’t like how he spends it”. He goes on to bring the inconvenient truth that the Sun would rather not confront: “When Stormzy has the cheek to comment on Grenfell or when Mario Ballotelli gives money to a homeless person they are not pleasing some middle-class commentators. The subtext seems to be, ‘your talents may have earned you some cash, but don’t get uppity – know your place’”. And the targets are rarely white men.
The problem is that those shouting the loudest are, like Piers Morgan, those in commend of the largest megaphone. Those like former England footballer Gary Lineker, who has accused the Sun of unfairly targeting Sterling, do not have the privilege of being able to rock up to Good Morning Britain and shout the odds about the issue.

And that issue is, as so often, racism going under another name, defended by white men ready to shout down anyone and everyone who calls them out. No change there, then.

Evening Standard IN UBER’S POCKET

If it were to be alleged that the Evening Standard was giving driver and rider matching service Uber a rather easy time of it, that would not be the first time such an allegation had been made. Such allegations have been made with good cause: the Standard has been almost fawningly pro-Uber more or less from the word go. And what is worse, that stance is not going to change any time soon. I fact, it’s going to get worse.
We know this after the good people at Open Democracy rumbled the Standard’s latest money-making wheeze, overseen personally by its new editor, the Rt Hon Gideon George Oliver Osborne, heir to the Seventeenth Baronet. Gathering the incriminating information has been James Cusick, who put together the John Whittingdale story during his time at the Independent, only for Amol Rajan to get cold feet and spike it.

The headline is damning. “George Osborne’s London Evening Standard sells its editorial independence to Uber, Google and others - for £3 million … Newspaper promised six commercial giants ‘money-can’t-buy’ news coverage in a lucrative deal, leaving millions of Londoners unaware of who’s paying for their news”. There is more.

The project, called London 2020, is being directed by Osborne. It effectively sweeps away the conventional ethical divide between news and advertising inside the Standard - and is set to include ‘favourable’ news coverage of the firms involved, with readers unable to differentiate between ‘news’ that is paid-for and other commercially-branded content”.

That means articles favourable to those companies prepared to bung George and his pals a few hundred bags of sand won’t carry the usual “Advertisement feature”, or any other health warning. They will just look like normal news features. And yes, Uber watchers, “Among those that have paid half a million pounds each to be involved are international taxi-app firm Uber, which is facing an imminent court appeal against the decision to cancel its licence to operate in London”. A half a million quid bung. Think about that.
Cusick also notes “The Evening Standard has previously come under fire for not declaring Osborne’s £650,000-a-year part time job with the fund managers BlackRock, who hold a £500m stake in Uber”. London’s cab trade has good reason to think that the publicity deck is stacked against them - because it is stacked against them.

To its great credit, Starbucks walked away from the Standard’s offer. “One Starbucks senior executive, who asked not to be named, told openDemocracy: ‘Buying positive news coverage is PR death…something you might do in Saudi Arabia, but not here. This wasn’t right for us. We do engage in advertorial [a hybrid mix of advertising and editorial] but that’s just marketing. We don’t need to buy our reputation.’” Quite.

So when Uber’s appeal is reported in the Standard, we already know what the line to take will be - it will be slavishly pro-Uber. But all those who read the Standard don’t get that explained or even admitted to them. The paper has sold its credibility down the river in order to prop up its finances - and sold out Londoners yet again.

Journalism, so the saying goes, is printing what someone else doesn’t want printed, and everything else is PR. The Evening Standard has abandoned journalism in favour of PR. It is no longer a credible news source. And that’s not good enough.

Wednesday 30 May 2018

Spiked Clown Backs Roseanne

ABC had brought back Roseanne Barr, and at first all was well. Ratings were good, and as the BBC has reported, “critics praised the sitcom for tackling American political divisions in a manner sympathetic to the millions of people who voted for Mr Trump - a group which often complained that TV wasn't made for them any more - while still entertaining millions of his opponents”. Then Ms Barr began to express herself via Twitter.
And that was when it all began to go downhill, because what she Tweeted was neither funny, nor excusable. It was just plain racist. She “said Valerie Jarrett [long term aide to former President Obama] was the child of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Planet of the Apes film”. On top of that, she claimed that George Soros was a Nazi who turned his fellow Jews in to the Germans, while stealing their wealth.
Departures from the team lined up for the second series of the Roseanne revival began. She said she would be leaving Twitter. Then she belatedly began the apologies. It didn’t work. ABC has cancelled her show. But somewhere in Contrarian Land, the excuses were being readied. And there with them was Brendan O’Neill.

Bren starts almost coherently, telling “Her tweet was racist as hell. It wasn’t a joke. It wasn’t ‘un-PC’. It wasn’t a political remark that got a bit too spicy. It was racist … ABC is within its rights to cancel shows. This is what has happened to Barr: her recently resurrected sitcom Roseanne has been pulled” before going totally gaga.

The unrestrained glee with which the liberal media and Twitterati have greeted the cancellation of Roseanne is not about Barr’s comments on Jarrett. Or more accurately, it isn’t only about that. They’re delighted primarily because they hate Barr. They loathe that she is an extraordinarily popular comedienne who bristles at and mocks the liberal elite. She hates Hillary. She has said positive things about Trump, the greatest no-no in LA”.

Er, WHAT? But there was more. “To the new left, anyone who cares primarily about ‘jobs’ is suspect because it means they prefer to focus on economic issues over the identitarian, emotionalist and esteem-driven blather that makes up so much of left thinking today”. Brendan, she was bang out of order. It’s got stuff all to do with the “new left”.
More relevant, as Ken Vogel noted, was that “GEORGE SOROS spokesperson responds to ROSEANNE's claim that he turned in fellow Jews to the Nazis, while stealing their wealth: ‘Such false allegations are insulting to the victims of the Holocaust’ & ‘an affront to Mr. Soros & his family, who against the odds managed to survive’”.
Or that, as Mehdi Hasan warned, Combover Crybaby Donald Trump would side with Roseanne the racist: “Lots of journos joking about the fact that Trump will mention Roseanne and her cancellation tonight. What's not funny is that we know the president of the United States will defend/promote an open racist tonight and the media won't call him out for it. It's baked in. Expected”. And the cries of “censorship” weren’t making it.
Not with Ricky Gervais, who knows a thing or two about rubbing up against the limits of acceptability: “This wasn't censorship. This was business. She hasn't been prosecuted. She hasn't been silenced. She can carry on saying what she wants. It's just that her employers have decided they don't want to employ her any more. This is freedom”.
And yet more relevant, as Bonnie Greer reminded everyone, was that “This #RoseanneCancelled really hasn't happened before. The head of the network-ABC Pres. #ChanningDungey is an African American woman. She did it, and her bosses backed her up It's pretty amazing”. Roseanne had been raking in the money for ABC. The easy decision would have been to continue letting it be raked in .

It took a brave network head, backed up by brave bosses, to do the right thing. But closeted away in his contrarian bunker, Brendan O’Neill bleats about the “new left”, while pretending the cancellation of Roseanne is some kind of “liberal media” stitch-up.

It’s about someone overstepping the mark, and someone else doing the right thing. If Brendan O’Neill can’t get his head round that, that is very much his problem.

Raheem Kassam - Out Of His Depth

The Walter Mitty-like figure of Raheem “call me Ray” Kassam has recently taken to issuing legal threats against Zelo Street (the post that so distressed him can be read HERE), but following a series of emails, no word has been had from his lawyers, whomsoever they be. Why this might be was explained yesterday, when the true breadth and depth of Kassam’s legal expertise - or rather, the lack of it - was laid bare for all to see.
Ray” Kassam decided to pontificate on the contempt conviction handed down last Friday to Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson. In doing so, he caused ridicule to rain down upon him, and left himself open to legal threats of his own.
He kicked off as he meant to go on - aggressively, dishonestly, and with his woeful ignorance in full view. “For those on the alt left screaming ‘OMG TOMMY PLEADED GUILTY TO CONTEMPT!’ you are about to find out why... his lawyer was told he wouldn’t be charged. I understand he had a (very poor) public defender appointed to him, who urged him under the duress of arrest, to plead guilty”. There was more.
This is yet another tool of the politicized judiciary. No duty solicitor would have the technical expertise, especially not within a matter of hours, to fight a contempt of court charge. Gloat all you want but this court is going to shown up as corrupt v soon”. Keeping up with the lies and defamation? The Secret Barrister certainly was.
Oh my dear sweet Raheem. 1) No-one is ‘charged’ with contempt. It is a purely judicial function. 2) We don’t have ‘public defenders’ in England and Wales. He was represented by a very experienced independent criminal barrister. 3) ‘Duress of arrest’ is not a thing” they told. Was Kassam grown up enough to take the hint? Was he heck.
Wrong again (you’re a fake barrister [er, no they aren’t]). He was given the duty solicitor. Same thing as public defender. Most of my followers are American [irrelevant]. Also, whether he felt under duress is up to him. (Hint: he did)came the response.
Ross McCafferty was looking in, and asked “How can you be under duress of arrest after you've been arrested?” The Great Man was having none of this! “Because he was refused his own solicitor and told to plead something he didn’t want to. He was refused basic and normal access to a good lawyer who knows contempt law. The police also lied to him (told him he wouldn’t be charged). Brush up on the case before judging”.
I know, I know, Kassam clearly knows Sweet Jack Shit on what he’s shouting about, yet there he is swaggering around as if he’s the fount of all knowledge. Nor did he take the further hint that The Secret Barrister gave him: “I hope you have deep pockets, Raheem. That’s three times you’ve defamed a legal professional by questioning his competence and integrity. I hope for your sake the advocate in question doesn’t see your tweets”.
The advocate in question might just be seeing those Tweets very soon. But in the meantime, Kassam just kept on digging himself in deeper as he sneeredYour passive aggressive threats are risible. Everyone knows duty solicitors are on the whole not specialists in contempt and are typically not as good as private hires. Next you’ll be calling it defamatory for me to call Uber drivers shit vs black cabs. You’re a fraud”.
Next to bring the chill wind of reality to Kassam was Ben Summers, who reminded him “You've just been told that Crown Courts do not have duty solicitors (which is objectively true). You're only making yourself look sillier”. So who defended Lennon?
Legal Claret had that answer: “According to the BBC, he was represented by Matthew Harding, a barrister of 16 years call with a wealth of experience in criminal law”. The BBC report confirms this. Harding is at Park Square Barristers, an address which should tell anyone with the faintest knowledge of Leeds and the law of his status. Harding is also on Twitter, which may assist with the transmission of information in this case.

Raheem Kassam has spewed out an aggressive and ill-informed pack of lies about the contempt case of Stephen Yaxley Lennon. He has also managed, intentionally or otherwise, to defame more than one legal eagle. And he has shown exactly how seriously his legal threats should be taken - that is, not seriously at all.

There’s little point shooting your mouth off if you don’t know your subject. I’ll just leave that one there.

Fawkes Campaigning Journalism ISN’T

Sometimes the opposition rides to your rescue. For those in the New Media world who have long held that the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog were operating a borderline Fake News operation, feeding their readers falsehood and misinformation on a regular basis, and were effectively a propaganda site, yesterday they came galloping. The Great Guido’s brazen dishonesty was once again laid bare.
At the weekend, Staines had used the Media Guido Twitter feed to tell the world “We are looking to hire a reporter, should be savvy at video editing and an all round digital native. Must follow politics 24/7, be familiar with and share the values of our campaigning journalism. Send examples of work and a video application to team@order-order.com”. That’s “values of our campaigning journalism”, folks.

Fortunately for those unfamiliar with those “values”, yesterday brought an excellent example, one where the Fawkes interpretation of reality could be tested against that inhabited by real journalists. Proclaiming “Corbynista DEXEU Mandarin Out”, they told “Guido hears senior Dexeu mandarin Mike Hatchett is out. Hatchett joined a year ago in an eye-raising hire from Jeremy Corbyn’s office, where he was Jezza’s economics policy chief before apparently becoming ‘disillusioned’. He has now been placed on gardening leave at Dexeu. Insiders say he did not exactly wow colleagues with his expertise”.
There was more. “Hatchett previously worked at the Treasury and enjoyed a similar cushy taxpayer-funded departure there as well. Nice short-term work if you can get it” claim the Fawkes massive, before conceding “Hatchett has gone back to Labour to run policy under Andrew Fisher”. But there was a problem with this alleged report.

And that was the presence of the real story, courtesy of Paul Waugh at the HuffPost, where the headline was rather different. “David Davis’s Brexit Official ‘Poached’ By Jeremy Corbyn To Become Labour’s Policy And Research Chief … Hire of Mike Hatchett seen as 'great coup' for Opposition” they told. Bit different? Rather a lot different.
There was more. “His appointment is viewed by party insiders as ‘a real coup’, as well as an indictment on the current state of the Government’s Brexit plans … One Whitehall source said that it was highly unusual for a Government official in such a sensitive department to defect directly to the Opposition”. And more.

The policy expert had previously worked for Corbyn as head of economic policy and his arrival at the Department for Exiting the EU (DExEU) in 2017 was seen as a blow to Labour … He has worked in the UK Permanent Representation to the EU, known as ‘UKRep’, in Brussels and is now seen as one of the party’s best assets on the detail of European policy”. The conclusion is all too obvious.
The Tories have suffered a significant loss with Hatchett’s departure. So the Fawkes rabble have tried - unsuccessfully, as so often - to spin the loss by describing him as a mere “Corbynista”, suggesting he was let go, and inventing “insiders” who were allegedly unimpressed with him. This is not “campaigning journalism”. It’s rank propagandising.

To paraphrase John McDonnell, you can be a journalist. Or you can work for Guido Fawkes. But you can’t do both. Another fine mess, once again.

Tuesday 29 May 2018

Piers Morgan Gets A Warning

Away from the Good Morning Britain studio this week, former Screws and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan may not be concerning himself with the potential for his past to reappear and cause him another of those Little Local Difficulties, but at least one media onlooker certainly is. Natalie Rowe, who showed former Chancellor George Osborne what real financial discipline looks like, has been whipping up another of her storms.
Morning, Mr Happy 

It seems Ms Rowe is either in possession of information, or knows someone else who is, which may be deleterious to Morgan’s good name, which would be quite something, given that Britain’s most tedious wannabe Sleb already enjoys a less than glowing reputation among those who really are well-known, as Zelo Street noted recently.
Natalie Rowe

If you enjoyed Piers Morgan filling his nappy to the brim when Ewan McGregor declined to appear on Good Morning Britain earlier this week, just wait until he finds out that talent bookers for GMB have been having exactly this same sort of discussion with celebrity star guests for months now … Bookers have literally been asking agents directly if they mind their clients appearing on air with Piers and will try, wherever possible, to move guests over to a morning when Ben Shephard is hosting instead” told a recent PopBitch email.
Ms Rowe certainly did not hold back: “Big mistake  #PiersMorgan thinking that by blocking the Nats i’d go away ... I’m going to expose you, you’re dodgy as fuck and I’m about to expose you … Could someone send this Tweet to Pussy Morgan. Cheers”.
Would Madam care to expand on her claims? She certainly would: “OK ! Remember when #PiersMorgan got the boot from #CNN, well apart from low ratings Slimy Morgan was also reprimanded for his unwanted advances towards the ladies, one victim is coming for him in the name of the #MeToomovement this should wipe the smug of his mug .. let’s hope so”.
Unless Zelo Street heard about the same woman, that might be two potential and alleged victims, mused he. But back to Ms Rowe: “#MaxClifford while he was on bail & in the midst of his court trial, invited me to his home for the 1st time ever, he filled me in on many people he had been involved with, #PiersMorgan was one of them, i wondered why he told me back then,but now I realise it was a good move”. Ooh, this is interesting. Do go on.
“.... I asked Max why he was trusting me with the many details he furnished me with about others not just Morgan, he said ‘he trusted me’ I think he had a plan and hoped I’d go to the Press, why else would he have confided in me, we were never that close”. But do we have any idea what might, er, come out in this particular wash?
Well, Ms Rowe took particular exception to this Tweet from The Great Man to Amber Rose, which appears to have been deleted in the last 48 hours: “I can handle your naked body, Amber - relax” it begins. Meanwhile, one can almost hear the sound of one set of lawyers deciding what can be let out of the bag, with another trying their damnedest to keep that bag well and truly sealed. Perhaps everyone else should get the popcorn in.

At least it will give Piers Morgan something else to moan about than Arsenal FC.

Tommy Robinson - It’s All About Him

After Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, rocked up in Leeds last Friday, was subsequently arrested and then imprisoned, the paranoia among those out there on the far right has reached previously unheard-of levels. But one thing has been forgotten: the alleged victims of those on trial in Leeds, over 20 men who had been accused of being members of a grooming gang.
And that’s what Lennon’s followers cannot get their heads around: the Police, solicitors, barristers, prosecutors and many others had dedicated considerable amounts of time, and yes, public money to ensuring justice for those alleged victims. Lennon has claimed many times in the past to be on the side of those people. Now, those who run his social media outlets while he is in prison are making it not about them, but about him.

Think about that. Lennon has banged on incessantly about “Justice for …” whoever he claims to be supporting. But when it comes to his being taken into custody, primarily because of the danger of prejudicing at least one of the three trials taking place in Leeds (there were so many defendants that they were split between three separate, although intrinsically linked, trials), it becomes “Justice for … Tommy”. And no-one else.

So there has been a petition to have Lennon freed; the due process of law should be suspended for The Great Man. It won’t be. His followers are told ofProtests happening all over the world and it also looks like Banksy supports Tommy. Please send us any pictures of your local protest”. Nothing about grooming gang victims.

Plus there is the ever-present paranoia: “Tommy posted this video on his youtube channel back in March. It was titled 'I will not be around much longer'. He was predicting the worrying collusion between state and social media giants to remove his voice (fascism). It looks like the state decided to take it to the next level”. But there has been no collusion. Twitter banned him for breaking its terms and conditions. The state was not involved.
And now has come the ultimate brass neck: “There will be a #FREETOMMY peaceful protest in Whitehall, London on Saturday the 9th of June 3pm. If you have been on the fence previously now is the time to get off the fence. Bring your megaphones, bring your signs, be loud and proud and let the establishment know the people have had enough. They cannot make people just disappear because they do not like their views”.

One look at the reporting restriction placed on “REGINA v Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon”, case S20180448, shows why this is bunk. Here is what it says: “Since it appears to be necessary for avoiding a substantial risk of prejudice to the administration of justice in these proceedings … The publication of any report of these proceedings … Shall be postponed until after the conclusion of the trial T20177360 and T20187130 Akhtar and others”.

It is not a question of someone not liking Lennon’s views. It is, as ever, a question of justice. Justice not for Lennon, but for all the alleged victims of those who are now on trial in Leeds. One of those three trials is still ongoing. Lennon and his supporters need to answer one question: do they want justice for the victims?

Because if they do, they should quit the shit-stirring and get real. What happened to Lennon will be reported after those trials have completed. That is all.

[UPDATE 1520 hours: now that the Independent and Leeds Live have successfully challenged the reporting restriction shown above, we can see exactly what happened to Stephen Lennon, and why it was indeed all about him.

As the Indy has told, "Tommy Robinson has been jailed for 13 months for breaking contempt of court laws with a Facebook live video ... [he] was arrested outside the court on Friday. He admitted committing contempt of court by publishing information that could prejudice an ongoing trial via a live stream on his Facebook page". There was more.

"Robinson made clear that he was aware of the restrictions during the Facebook live video, as well as the danger of being jailed ... 'There is a reporting restriction on this case,' the former English Defence League (EDL) founder said. 'I have to be super careful, you see, because when I was coming to these court cases, part of what the Police did was they dawn raided me and they put me on a contempt of court charge, which would mean that I could face prison'".

It is exactly as I said: he knew what he was doing, it wasn't about the victims, it was about him and his own ego trip.

So quit pretending he's a victim and get real. End of story]

Brillo NYT Smear BUSTED

The New York Times has featured the Merseyside town of Prescot on its front page, with reporter Peter Goodman telling “A walk through this modest town in the northwest of England amounts to a tour of the casualties of Britain’s age of austerity … The old library building has been sold and refashioned into a glass-fronted luxury home. The leisure center has been razed, eliminating the public swimming pool. The local museum has receded into town history. The police station has been shuttered”.
And as so often recently, the reaction of those out there on the right is not to consider Goodman’s essay, but seek to shout him down. Nowhere has this been more evident than in the outpourings of BBC host and Spectator magazine head man Andrew Neil, who has decreed “Coverage of Britain by @nytimes has become a parody of reporting. Almost as hostile to UK now as it was slavish in its support of Stalinist Russia in 1930s”.
Neil was quoting a “fact check”, for which read smear job, from the current incumbent of the Speccy’s Mr Steerpike, on Goodman’s article. He was approving work based on the accusations laid by Christopher Snowdon of the IEA, another of those Astroturf lobby groups out there on the right. What Neil has backed is another example of what happens when the comfortable of London don’t know what they are talking about.
Snowdon justifies being obscenely overpaid by using the web to claim he knows better than someone who actually visited the area. “I haven’t got past the first two paragraphs of this NYT article about British ‘austerity’ but I’m already getting a strong smell of bullshit” he told, thus letting slip his conclusion before presenting any evidence.
"For a start, a brand new police station was opened in Prescot in January, alongside a new fire station” he proudly announces, but Goodman was right - the town’s Police station had indeed been shuttered. Moreover, the fire station replaced two others, and thus was a reduction of one fire station. There would be fewer Police officers in the area, too.
Still, if at first you don’t succeed, suck some more seed, eh? “The museum moved to a new location in 2012 and appears to be still open”. It’s in a rather more modest space in the local shopping centre. Alongside Prescot Pound Store, the Pound Bakery, Home Bargains, Aged UK, and Prescot and Whiston Community Advice. Goodman was right again - it had indeed receded into town history.
On stumbled Snowdon. “Prescot library was tweeting two days ago and I doubt it has closed in the meantime”. It’s in the same shopping centre as the Museum. And its old building has indeed been sold. Goodman correct once more.
But Snowdon is not downhearted. “And I don’t know if an old leisure centre has been ‘razed’ but this is the local leisure centre, fully open with two swimming pools”. Very good. That leisure centre is not even in Prescot - it’s in Huyton. Goodman was right (again).
And to complete his hatchet job, Snowdon aggressively accuses Goodman of lying, which he has not done. But the mission has been accomplished - the NYT has been smeared as somehow peddling “Fake News” by another ideologue pampered by all that money from sources which may include Big Tobacco, but the IEA would rather not disclose.
That Prescot’s local park, a green space used by the whole community, may be the next public asset to be sold off does not get a look in. Goodman has to be shouted down.
As one observer put it, “Absolutely accurate short composite of 'Prescot' which I know well. Is grim. Very grim. Pound shops. Shuttered shops. Life on benefits - zero hours warehousing and carers almost the only work. Life outside the London bubble is not at all the same. UK is in the economic marshes”. There were others.
But for Andrew Neil, endorsing a “fact check” based on a hatchet job from a comfortable Metropolitan ideologue interested only in smearing the opposition, rather than debating the fact of the matter, is all that matters. And he is still there at the BBC, able to supposedly represent the Corporation as an impartial, yet well-informed, ambassador.
Small wonder some do not trust him. Or the Beeb. I’ll just leave that one there.

Monday 28 May 2018

Laura Perrins Referendum Resentment

The Irish Republic held a referendum last Friday on the country’a ban on abortion. This was essentially whether or not to repeal the eighth amendment to the country’s constitution, which grants an equal right to life to both the mother and the unborn. The result was predicted to be on a knife edge; in the event, more than 66% of ballots were for repeal. Only one constituency, Donegal, voted to retain the eighth amendment.
Laura Perrins almost raises a smile. But not quite

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar called the result “a historic day for Ireland”, talking of a “quiet revolution”, and concluding “It's also a day when we say no more. No more to doctors telling their patients there's nothing can be done for them in their own country, no more lonely journeys across the Irish Sea, no more stigma as the veil of secrecy is lifted and no more isolation as the burden of shame is gone”. But not everyone was happy.
Some No campaigners were not merely unhappy, but resentful to the point of spiteful bitterness. The idea of a country moving towards choice, and away from the iron grip in which the catholic church held The Republic for so long, was too much for them. One of the most bitter was droning and tedious not very good ex-lawyer Laura Perrins of Conservative Woman fame, who was very bitter indeed.
I don’t know what kind of ‘healthcare’ deliberately aims to end the life of another human person”. Historic day for Ireland? “Well, the next generation that are not terminated in the womb”. Ireland more tolerant, open and respectful? “Tolerant of terminating the lives of unborn babies, open to terminating the lives of unborn children and respectful of the culture of death”. Above her head is that dark cloud marked GLOOM.
And there was more on that historic day: “Historic in that 1.5 million people who benefited from constitutional protection while developing in the womb voted to strip that protection away from the next generation. Something cruel in that”. Tolerant? “Tolerant of targeting unborn babies on the womb”. One in the eye for the bigots? “‘Bigots’, people who recognise the humanity of the unborn child”. The grim mood just went on and on.
Varadkar talked of voting for the next generation. “Goodness the lies don’t come much bigger that this. The country literally voted away the constitutional rights of the next generation”. A comment piece in The Journal, suggesting “in modern Ireland, you are invisible without money” was latched on to: “Or if you are an unborn child. Then your rights can magically disappear via referendum”. The record was well and truly stuck.
The Guardian suggested “A quiet revolution has taken place”. Off she went: “A revolution that takes aim at its own children”. And then, kicking the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin for being surprised at the result, Laura Perrins sold the pass. “I don't even live there and I knew this was coming”. She doesn’t even live there.
Leo Varadkar. He's in touch, and Ms Perrins isn't

But she’s happy to live in a country - Great Britain - which has far more relaxed laws on abortion than anything likely to be enacted in the Irish Republic. Apart from the double standards, though, the bile-filled outpourings of Laura Perrins explain one thing to us.

They show the world why she is such an unsympathetic and unappealing presence - and, more to the point, why the broadcasters have stopped inviting her on.