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Friday 31 August 2018

Corbyn Anti-Semitism Attack NOT AN ACCIDENT

While the least of media fringe nonentities take it in turns stamp their feet and shout “anti-Semite” at Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, nobody has stopped and asked what substance the claim has, and indeed whence it came. No-one has asked why Corbyn and anti-Semitism were not a thing before he stood for the Labour leadership. And they were not.
You read that right: analysis of the ProQuest newspaper database shows that, until he stood for the Labour leadership, Corbyn’s name had not been mentioned in the same sentence as “anti-Semitism” at all. Before May 2015, when Ed Miliband resigned the leadership, just 18 articles had both Jezza’s name and “anti-Semitism”, with none having the two terms in the same sentence. And after May 2015?

The number of hits since that time is a whopping 6,133. This has been brought to light in an investigation by Patrick Elliot for Medium, “The annual assault of antisemitism … What role has the press played in Labour’s seasonal saga?” It pinpoints the moment the assault began - on 12th August 2015, in an anonymous editorial in the Jewish Chronicle (Jake Wallis Symonds at the Mail started up the previous Friday, and is still going today).

It was by that point that it had become clear that Corbyn was a front runner in the contest to succeed Miliband. And the JC article was treated as some kind of starting signal: almost immediately, (thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch began to screamanti-Semitism” at Jezza, the Murdoch Sunday Times began looking for anti-Semitism smears against him, and JC editor Stephen Pollard gave Corbyn an ultimatum.

He had seven questions that Jezza MUST answer. Jezza’s people duly answered them. So Pollard kept on attacking him anyway. Then at the Telegraph, not even slightly celebrated blues artiste Whinging Dan Hodges first calledanti-Semitism” on Corbyn. Dan’s future employer, the Mail on Sunday, talked of a Corbyn Government using a “Gestapo”. And the Sun suggested Jezza was a fan of Osama bin Laden.
Hardly anything had been said before the first JC article about supposed anti-Semitism. But almost as soon as that article had been published, three major UK media groups, the Murdoch, Barclay Brothers and Rothermere titles, had as one declared that Corbyn and anti-Semitism were one and the same. It was the most miraculous coincidence.

At the same time, the anti-Semitic attacks on Miliband - such as the Mail’s vicious assault on the memory of his late father, using the trope of the “Disloyal Jew” - were forgotten. Also lost in the rush to denounce Corbyn was the mystery of how a party which had a Jewish leader until May 2015 had suddenly become a hotbed of anti-Semitism.

The statistics extracted from that database show how sudden the transformation was: until that day in August 2015, Jeremy Corbyn was just the obligatory Left Slate candidate making up the numbers in that year’s Labour leadership contest. After August 12, he was almost universally denounced as a supporter of anti-Semitism, or worse.

There are two explanations for this: either the papers concerned decided on that line independently of one another, or it was a coordinated and indeed premeditated attack. As to which of those is true, I will leave for others to decide.
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Frank Field By-Election? BRING IT ON

Nothing better demonstrates the gaping chasm that has opened up recently between those in the London-centric media bubble, and the reality of life away from the capital, than the decision of semi-detached Labour MP Frank Field to resign his party’s whip and sit as an Independent. And now that Field has hinted that he may precipitate a by-election in his Birkenhead constituency, that reality is poised to hit home with a vengeance.
While the Daily Mail proclaims this morning “Labour giant Frank Field has quit … the party he’s given his life to” (he hasn’t quit the party, but hey, who needs research or facts?), the realty is that his career has been one of serial failure. Moreover, if he’d “given his life” to the Labour Party, what was he doing working for the 2010 Coalition Government, or indeed, voting against the Labour whip to prop up Theresa May?

Well, now has come the opportunity for the holders of conventional Westminster wisdom to pit their reality against the one operative for the rest of the country: as the Guardian has reported, “Field has refused to rule out triggering a byelection after resigning the Labour whip … The veteran Birkenhead MP, who was due to hold talks on Friday with Labour’s chief whip, Nick Brown, told the Guardian he had yet to decide on his next step”.

But before all those obscenely overpaid and chronically under-researched pundits make their decision, nail their colours to the mast, and tell the world how the respected Field would romp home in a by-election contest and defeat all challengers, here’s a little reality check, just for those who can’t find the Wirral on the map.

Birkenhead may be across the river from Liverpool, but the deep-rooted dislike for certain sections of the media does not stop when the train departs from James Street and arrives at Hamilton Square. Seven of the 96 came from Birkenhead. That matters.

Because Frank Field has, as part of his being a “maverick”, been an enthusiastic past contributor to the Murdoch Sun, the paper that is banned from many of Merseyside’s news stands for its unrepentant smears of Liverpool FC and its fans in the period immediately following the Hillsborough stadium disaster.

Disrespecting the memory of the 96 is, for a politician on the Wirral, in the category of Totally Unforgivable Sins For Which There Is No Redemption. We saw this at the 2015 General Election when Tory I-Speak-Your-Weight machine Esther McVey lost her Wirral West seat - against the national trend - after her Twitter feed sent out several party political messages during the 25th anniversary Hillsborough memorial service.
Field has also used his Twitter feed to endorse the Sun’s piss-poor attempts at journalism. And that is in addition to the under-reported fact that his constituency party was on the brink of deselecting him. Frank Field would be trounced in a by-election contest.

So bring it on, Westminster know-alls. Take old Frank aside and persuade him to go for a by-election. Then watch him lose, and badly. Give us all a good laugh.
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Andrew Neil - Pants On Fire

Just in time for the return of Westminster politics, and Westminster politics coverage, has come confirmation from one long-serving broadcast host that the media establishment are rather less well-informed than they would like us to believe. And to the considerable embarrassment of the BBC, the admission has come from none other than Andrew Neil.
Neil has, despite his continued participation in programmes where he is supposed to demonstrate even-handedness, been joining in with the right-wing wolfpack to kick those on the left whom he dislikes, and one on the left who Neil dislikes above all others is pundit and campaigner Owen Jones. It is here where The Great Man has come unstuck.
Neil has got it into his head that Jones is not merely disliked, but despised by the Labour leadership. So after he sneered “Frank Field = Enoch Powell. Modern McCarthyism at its finest/worst, depending on your point of view” at Jones’ pointing out the Birkenhead MP’s tendency to xenophobia, things rapidly went downhill from there.
Jones tried to warn Neil that he was batting on a sticky track: “I quoted a Bishop who compared Frank Field to Enoch Powell - who Field praised - because of his anti-immigration bigotry. But given you hired the Holocaust denier and Nazi apologist David Irving, and your magazine publishes defences of Nazis, I’d stay out of this one, old chap”.
The Spectator has indeed defended the Nazis, via the less than good offices of Taki Theodoracopulos, self-confessed racist, virulent anti-Semite and Golden Dawn supporter. This thought was not allowed to enter as Neil sneered “I admire how you do JC’s work, tirelessly and, so far, without reward. Everybody close to Mr Corbyn still despises you. It’s so unfair. Maybe adding to your MCarthyite litany by calling Mr Field a bigot will make them see sense. I do hope so”. A Brillo idea, but not a brill one, sadly.
Labour Party chair Ian Lavery treated Neil’s drivel with the contempt it richly deserved. “What a load of nonsense from @afneil, think you need to get yourself some fresh sources. @OwenJones84 is and always will be a close friend and true comrade. He is an assiduous supporter of the mass movement of people power we are building”.
He was not alone. Matt Zarb-Cousin also weighed in: “Andrew Neil talking shit again is it. What this mess of a man doesn’t seem to realise is when he steps out of the Daily Politics studio and away from the comfort blanket of his studious researchers, he just comes across as another clueless right-wing idiot”. And there was more.
Mike Segalov felt the need to point out “Aside from being a baseless accusation, this is incredibly unprofessional from someone employed to, impartially, present political programmes on the BBC, isn’t it?”. You might wish to ponder thus, I couldn’t possibly comment. But where had Neil got this dubious information?
Simples. As Zelo Street pointed out earlier this year, the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog have been peddling this totally untrue idea for some time. Staines’ former tame gofer, the odious flannelled fool and pretend “journalist” Master Harry Cole, has also pushed the claim. It’s still a pack of lies.

Andrew Neil loves to call “liar” on others. He should get his own house in order first.
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Thursday 30 August 2018

Bastani Blackshirt Baloney BUSTED

Once again, the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble have gone after one of their favourite bêtes noires, only to find themselves standing in that same old very draughty glasshouse. Their chosen target this time has been Aaron Bastani of Novara Media, who is not at all happy at the style of smear employed. But what Bastani may not have known is that The Great Guido was in the process of putting the ball in his own net.
Black T-Shirt smears, eh? Good thinking, Fatman

Under the less than subtle “Black T-Shirted Bastani’s Rothschild Obsession”, the Fawkes massive tellsBastani has been hitting out at former Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks for calling Jeremy Corbyn an anti-Semite. His recent attack is nothing new, here are a selection of old tweets railing against Goldman Sachs, Rothschilds … and Peter Mandelson”. Oh, and Liam Byrne, too. But there was a problem.
Quite apart from the black T-shirt - rather more appropriate for Staines, given his far-right past - The Great Guido has done a little Rothschild bashing of his own. Including Liam Byrne: “Which party has put a former Rothschilds investment banker in charge of welfare reform? Labour's @LiamByrneMP is reviewing welfare state”. And Mandelson: “Guido Fawkes : Mandy Got Blair to Call Rothschild”. There was more.
Nat Rothschild's divorce papers were pretty sordid - his sexual pecadillos would make Lord Mandy blush - or maybe not”. Nudge nudge, wink wink, nod’s as good as a wink to a blind lush, eh? Do go on. “Mandelson attended a dinner with Saif, Nat, Jacob and Serena Rothschild just in case you forgot”. And yet more Rothschild: “Schillings, lawyers of choice to scum of the earth, are sending out threatening letters to those linking Nat Rothschild and Saif Gaddafi”. “Rothschild” and “scum of the earth”. What does that sound like?
Then there was Goldman Sachs. Jim O’Neill had quit the Tories? “Will allow him to directly represent Goldman Sachs' interests”, opined Staines. Could it get worse? “Maybe he was one of those cuddly touchy feely Goldman Sachs Private Equity types”. Dog-whistle, much? “Goldman Sachs Q4 profits soar. Revenue up 53%. All that quantitative easing worked out just fine for them”. Yep, dog-whistle it is. And there was more.
Goldman Sachs Take Direct Control of Budget”. What might that be code for? “Goldman Sachs” running the country? Is The Great Guido trying to sneak in a mildly anti-Semitic smear as a means of snarking at George Osborne?

Perhaps it was just an isolated occurrence? Oh no it wasn’t. Just wait until you see the pièce de résistance waiting around the corner. “Breaking: Stemcor have appointed Goldman Sachs to negotiate a sale. Could be a big pay day for high profile shareholder Margaret Hodge!” Would that be the recently redeemed Margaret Hodge?
It certainly would. Had those Tweets come from Bastani, or indeed from anyone in the New Left Media, the Fawkes rabble would have been screaming “anti-Semitism” fit to burst. Well, they came from The Great Guido himself. Who is now bang to rights.

The reality is that Staines was more than happy to run with the anti-Semites of the right while it suited him. What a complete, nailed-on hypocrite. Another fine mess.
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Jewish Labour Members Targeted

It seems the veiled threat made against Opera Holland Park’s General Director Michael Volpe, after he revealed that he had joined the Labour Party, was not an isolated occurrence: now news has appeared which shows Jewish Labour Party members, including MPs, are being targeted, with not merely a range of abusive comments, but the distinctly creepy suggestion that they be put under surveillance.
Sharon Klaff and Ambrosine Shitrit gain the implicit endorsement of someone who should know better

The revelation has come from the ever-vigilant Jo Phillips, whose first reaction was “Solidarity to Jewish Labour Party members. I genuinely didn't appreciate that folks might be getting pressure or abuse to leave the Labour Party from within the Jewish community this is awful”. What had repulsed her was singularly disturbing.
In this video Sharon Klaff describes Jews who support Corbyn as ‘useful idiots’, compares Corbyn to Hitler and likens Jews who support Corbyn to ‘those that helped the Gestapo’. Shocking … Ambrosine [Shitrit] and Jonathan Hoffman are joining in with abuse”. Ms Shitrit is a well-known fringe figure, and utterly vicious in her behaviour.
So it should come as no surprise to see that she has told “Labour has always been a party of Jew and Israel hating imbeciles … They destroyed our economy, spent all our gold, destroyed our education system, and took us to hell and back for every decade they were in power. That’s indeed when they paid for the utilities, sitting in darkness with candles as their union friends went on strike and as kids not being able to take a hot bath or cook”.
Thus her tenuous relationship with reality: Labour only ever managed one “decade in power”, and those power cuts to which she alludes happened during the last days of Ted Heath’s Government. A Tory Government. But it’s the threats which are truly nasty.

Ms Shitrit goes on to say “When you have Jews still clinging on to a racist fascist Labour Party with Wes Streeting flip-flopping … clinging on to his paycheck [?] and still bleating about Corbyn … There is no hope for them. They’ve lost the plot … Don’t talk the talk if you can’t walk the walk. Sympathy for you has finished in my eyes 3 years ago - Smeeth Berger and Katz should be ashamed”. Ri-i-i-i-ight.
Ruth Smeeth and Luciana Berger - yes, they are Labour MPs, but who is “Katz”? Does she mean Ian Katz, formerly of the Guardian? He’s not an MP, or indeed the holder of any elective office. If he was a Labour member, he kept it pretty quiet.
Luciana Berger - threatened

That is nasty enough, but in a discussion forum, another poster asserts “anyone who claims to support Labour whilst being Jewish needs investigating, including Luciana Berger. Plus, I found a Jewish Corbyn supporter on a Rabbi’s page last night. He needs surveillance”. No. Just no. That is totally out of order.
Small wonder Ms Phillips concludes “I had no idea that this was part of the experience of Jewish Labour members too. It's dreadful. What awful times we are in … Let’s join together to 1) eliminate antiSemitism in our Party completely 2) resist and call out hate, wherever it comes from”. Absolutely 100% correct.

Once again, this is spinning out of control. Someone has got to call a stop to it.
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Tory MP’s Entryism Hypocrisy

The world of selective reportage has once more ridden to the rescue of the Tory right, but sadly, as with so many previous occasions, it has not taken long for the full picture to emerge and the whole exercise to unravel. This time, the subject is entryism, which is a very good thing when it’s happening to the Labour Party, but very bad indeed when someone does it to the Tories - which is what is happening right now.
Robert Halfon

Leave EU, the group founded by the alleged “Man who bankrolled Brexit” (but cannot afford to live in his own mansion) Arron Banks, has instructed its supporters to join the Tories in order to influence what is believed to be an upcoming leadership contest, where they hope the choices on offer to members will include Jacob Rees Mogg, and London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.

Given the far-right orientation of many Leave EU supporters, this has caused disquiet in Tory ranks, as the Guardian reported recently. So local constituency chairs have been urged to be vigilant, and check new membership applications thoroughly, news of which was, with the predictability of night following day, leaked to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog.

And, as the Guardian has once more reported, while Leave EU’s call has been “leading some remain-supporting MPs, including Anna Soubry and Nicky Morgan, to call for vigilance … Robert Halfon, the MP for Harlow and chair of the Commons education committee, dismissed those fears on Wednesday, and suggested Soubry and her allies instead recruit supporters from their own wing of the party”.

There was more. “‘We must be the only party in history complaining because we have more members,’ he told the Guardian. ‘Seventeen million people voted to leave: 68% in my constituency. Not many of them were robots of the Leave movement.’ … He said membership in his constituency party had increased by 24%, but he regarded that as a positive sign. ‘Even if they are Brexit people, the idea that Arron Banks has put a little chip in them is ridiculous.’” So he wasn’t answering the question, then.
There was a good reason for that: Halfon knows all about entryism, and indeed was for some time a willing party to it. He was, after all, involved with the now-moribund Young Britons’ Foundation, and was on the group’s list of speakers for its late 2015 Conference before he and many other prominent Tories dropped out and the bash was cancelled.

Halfon had been a speaker at previous YBF gatherings. He spoke at the 2012 bash, and also at the 2013 one. And that group had been part of thinly-disguised entryism: indeed, Nick Mutch described the YBF as “worse than Militant”. A Tory Party with an ageing and declining membership was being offered all those young YBF activists - and the idea that this was some kind of altruistic gesture was for the birds.

Yes, Rob Halfon knows all about entryism - because, until the now-disgraced Mark Clarke turned on the MP and apparently tried to blackmail him over an affair with Conservative Future chair Alexandra Paterson, he was a party to it.

No wonder he’s so relaxed about Leave EU’s initiative. I’ll just leave that one there.
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Wednesday 29 August 2018

Corbyn Death Threat Shame

The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, which continues to include among its Honorary Patrons a number of people who have either benefited from racism, welcomed racists into their midst, manipulated racism for electoral advantage, or expressed forthright bigotry, has now become obsessive in its pursuit of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
To this end, such ideas as honesty have been dispensed with as Jezza has been accused of going to Tunisia to “honour Black September terrorists”, laying a wreath at the graves of those terrorists, and making a “Muslim Brotherhood salute”. The group’s website shows that it is campaigning almost exclusively against Corbyn, except for one isolated attack on Len McCluskey, just to inject a little variety into proceedings.

And now the CAA has decided to launch a petition demanding Corbyn’s removal. Announcing this endeavour, they have told “Gideon Falter, Chairman of Campaign Against Antisemitism, said [Corbyn] … laid a wreath at a memorial for the Black September terrorists behind the Munich Massacre”. The level of honesty isn’t improving, then.
What is worse, the petition on change.org has attracted a number of comments which are not merely derogatory or defamatory, but threatening. Worse still, nothing seems to be being done to moderate those comments. As they include actual death threats.

One signatory, noted by Jo Phillips, tells “I’m signing because Jeremy Corbyn is a terrorist sympathising, Jew Hating, lying Communist prick who should die for what he’s done”. Another, picked up on by Chelley Ryan, says simply “I would prefer for someone to shoot him”. And there are more in a similar vein.
The Prole Star observed one mild-mannered individual asserting “This anti-Semite belongs in prison or better yet between my clutched hands”, and found another resorting to Nazi terminology: “Jeremy Corbyn is an avowed unapologetic anti-Semite and an utter Untermensch”. That much is bad enough, but it gets worse.
He needs to be put out of his mysery [sic] a bullet to the temple perhaps. No rather truss him up and lower him slowly into a vat of boiling Sulphuric Acid and watch that bastard squirm!” The Prole Star observes “Most signatories are not Labour members - many are not even UK voters … Several have made death threats - like this one, using Nazi terminology … We have reported their hate speech - we will take no lectures from hatemongers”. Quite. And a report has indeed been made - to the Police.
The Metropolitan Police Contact Centre has now advised “Police are investigating an allegation of malicious communications made on an online petition. Enquiries continue”.
As with the threat made against someone’s business because they joined the Labour Party, which I noted earlier, this is symptomatic of a campaign that he getting beyond reason, and threatening to spill over into something far worse.
Gideon Falter and his pals at the CAA may be enjoying their crude and often dishonest baiting of the Labour leadership.  But if this carries on, someone is going to get hurt.

Once again, can we please step back and cool off? I’ll just leave that one there.
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Who’s Afraid Of Michael Volpe?

Opera Holland Park, or more correctly nowadays Investec Opera Holland Park, so the blurb goes, “is widely regarded as one of the most exciting, innovative and accomplished opera companies in the UK, with an extraordinary history of producing rarities, alongside popular favourites. Whether novice or aficionado, OHP has something to offer - and all taking place in one of the most beautiful covered spaces in the capital”.
Michael Volpe

OHP’s General Director is Michael Volpe, who, when he is not thus directing, includes a moderately opinionated Twitter feed among his pursuits. On that feed, he has let the world know that he is not impressed with efforts to smear Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, to the extent of joining the party, something he confirmed earlier this week.
His Tweet was to the point: “Consequences of this hourly smear campaign against Corbyn and the left; 1. Joined the Labour party (never done that before) 2. Started following people with images of Fidel Castro in their profiles 3. Thinking [people] I have long admired or respected are complete tosseurs”.

This mood of moderate levity, though, did not last, as Volpe then received what can only be described as a veiled threat to the business in which he is involved. This came from Ben Weich, who covers UK news for the Jewish Chronicle.
I was wondering if you have had any backlash to this Tweet - specifically regarding the ongoing row involving Mr Corbyn and anti-Semitism?” he asked. Then came the less pleasant part. “Another interesting point is that Investec - who I understand sponsor Opera Holland Park - is a company with longstanding ties to the Jewish community … [have] there been any ramifications professionally?
This, of course, could have been a genuine enquiry from Weich, and so Volpe kept the discussion in the polite and reasoned arena. “Hi Ben, backlash in what way? My Tweet doesn’t mention anti-Semitism … it was specifically in response to David Aaronovitch’s reference to the Warrington bomb [and] Red Action, actually”.
Weich was not so jocular in his next response. “I see … so what we [!] picked up on was the ‘smear campaign’ remark … there are some in the community who might see that as undermining their concerns”. Ri-i-i-i-ght.

One hates to be picky, but the difference between Weich’s approach to Volpe, and saying “That’s a nice Opera Holland Park you’ve got there, Michael … it’d be a pity if something was to happen to it”, does not appear to be significant. That’s quite apart from the impression that Volpe was having his Twitter feed monitored.
What is Ben Weich’s problem, and indeed the JC’s? Can’t Michael Volpe join the Labour Party and say that he has done so, without having his business threatened?

The impression is given that some opponents of the current Labour leadership are getting a little too enthusiastic. Perhaps taking a step back is in order at this point.
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