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Sunday, 13 October 2019

Priti Patel Smirking - GUILTY As Charged

This morning, as the SNP are holding their conference in the city, and the question of independence for Scotland has come back to the fore during the Brexit debate, The Andy Marr Show™ came from Aberdeen. So England-based participants had to be interviewed by video link. One of those thus interviewed was the deeply unpleasant Priti Patel, inexplicably made Home Secretary by alleged PM Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.
The smirk that never sleeps

And as always, Ms Patel was utterly incapable of answering any question put to her, in stark contrast with Marr’s other two guests, Rebecca Long Bailey for Labour, and SNP leader, and Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. Ms Patel’s answers combined rather deliberately recited Tory talking points and verbal diarrhoea in a combination guaranteed to put paid to any residual early morning insomnia.
Giving more politicians some stick

There were moments of inadvertent hilarity, though: after Ms Patel had pretended that Labour moving towards a second referendum was “undemocratic”, Marr countered with “I guess a lot of people would say a referendum is inherently democratic, therefore it can’t be undemocratic”. Her autopilot reply? “Andrew, things have moved on”.

But then, among the welter of “the right thing to do”, “get Brexit done”, “quite frankly”, “we have been clear”, “I think it’s important”, and events “taking place” (all basic elements of Priti Patel interview bingo), it turned deadly serious as Marr put it to Ms Patel that a number of trade associations had claimed Bozo’s deal “is a serious risk to manufacturing competitiveness and will result in huge new costs and disruption to UK firms”.

The Patel expression moved from neutral to a visible smirk. Marr was clearly unimpressed, and said so: “I can’t see why you’re laughing”. This spurred Ms Patel on to even greater verbosity: she wanted viewers to know that she was “working assiduously”. In fact, she was “working assiduously” twice. But there was no objection to Marr’s admonishment.
There was elsewhere, though, as a clearly organised pushback began, with the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog frothing “Marr Falsely Attacks Patel For Laughing At Industry Warning”. Replacement sandwich monitor Christian Calgie pretended to be a real journalist with “Bad form from Marr”.

Elsewhere, support for Ms Patel was predictable: tribal Brexiteers, BBC haters, and of course the humourless Laura Perrins of Conservative Woman, which relies on the Fawkes blog plugging its rubbish for a significant part of its traffic.
Sadly for Ms Patel’s cheerleaders, though, one Labour supporter had a Before and After screenshot: “For those too blind to see Smirking [Priti Patel] on the [Marr] show, I've set them side by side from the bit before he reads the list of businesses to the point where he tells her ‘I can’t see why you’re laughing’. You're welcome”. Bang to rights.
Moreover, as Will Thorpe reminded everyone, there is a more serious issue here. “A political system that allows a character like Priti Patel, who was thrown out of cabinet in disgrace for holding secret meetings with a foreign power, to subsequently hold one of the three great offices of state, needs fundamental reform”. Quite.

Priti Patel was indeed smirking. But she should not be in office in the first place.
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Tommy Robinson Faces Football Ban

After Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, visited Portugal last June, he ventured north to the city of Guimarães, where England were playing the Netherlands at the Estadio Dom Alfonso Henriques. But for Lennon, merely supporting the national team is never enough, and so it proved.
As the Independent reported at the time, “Tommy Robinson has been filmed punching an English football fan to the ground before the team’s match against Netherlands in Portugal”. He lashed out “at a man in an England shirt”. Moreover, Lennon admitted He Done It. He was totally unabashed and unapologetic about it.

I said to the man’s friend, ‘Keep that man away from me, he comes back up to me again like that and watch what happens to him’ ... People get physical with me a lot, I’m not going to wait for him to attack me … Twice I warned him, twice I warned his friends … That’s the context of the video. The man should keep his opinions to himself and his mouth to himself”. Like Lennon never does. But now there are likely to be consequences.

As the BBC has reported, “Police are trying to get Tommy Robinson banned from attending England football matches after the former EDL leader was filmed punching a fellow fan … Bedfordshire Police, Mr Robinson's local force, and UK Football Policing have applied for a banning order after the incident in Portugal in June”. There was more.

If the order is granted, Mr Robinson - whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon - would be barred from attending England games in the UK and abroad … A spokeswoman for Bedfordshire Police said: ‘We can confirm we have served papers on an individual regarding an application for a football banning order’ … The force confirmed the order did concern Mr Robinson, but said it would not comment further as the case is a civil and not criminal matter”. The Sun and Independent have also reported the news.
So what word from The Great Man? Well, as he’s already been banned from Twitter and Facebook, it’s not always easy for him to communicate with his fans, but he does have the TR News website to get his message out there. Except that TR News has not said a word about it. Nor has his pal, amateur comedy kidnapper Daniel Thomas.

Nor has there been any word from self-confessed child killer Avi Yemini, although he has his own problems right now. As the Jewish Chronicle reported last July, “Avi (Avraham) Yemini, also known on social media as Ozraeli Avi, was convicted and fined at Moorabbin Magistrates’ Court, Melbourne, on Tuesday morning. He was also convicted on the charge of using a carriage service [sending electronic communications] to harass Sarah Lyford, now his ex-wife, on three occasions”. That’ll do wonders for his UK visa.

Strange, isn’t it? Lennon is usually the first to make as much as possible out of moves like this one - by claiming the establishment is out to get him, for exposing what he likes to call “The Truth”. But thus far not a word from him and his pals.

And no sign that the banning order will not succeed. Just rejoice at that news.
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DUP Boiling Frog Leaps Out Of Bozo Pan

While his press cheerleaders tell the world that a new and wonderful deal is about to be struck with the EU, what alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his pals are not telling anyone is that his deal, like that struck by Theresa May earlier, will involve compromise. And a significant part of that compromise involves customs arrangements on the island of Ireland. Including Northern Ireland.
An absolute Muppet. And Elmo from Sesame Street

The idea that the provisions of the Good Friday Accords would be respected has one corollary: no hard border in Ireland. But with the UK outside the EU, and the Republic of Ireland inside, that could not stand - unless Northern Ireland were to be in a separate customs territory to the rest of the UK. That, put simply, is what Bozo The Clown and his pals are prepared to do. And his allies in Belfast don’t like it one bit.
Boris Johnson agreed to WHAT?!?

Those allies are the DUP, with whom the Tories have an arrangement of sorts, struck by Theresa May, to give The Blue Team a Commons majority. And the DUP are implacably opposed to any divergence of Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK. But they, too, understand the need for compromise. This puts them in the role of the frog being slowly boiled in a pan of blue water. Just how much heat are they prepared to take?
After all, Bozo’s deal is nothing more than Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement rehashed. It is a Monty Python Cat Licence Withdrawal Agreement: a Dog Licence agreement, with Dog crossed out and Cat written in in crayon. Peter Geoghegan of Open Democracy correctly identified this last week, talking of “The sound of the DUP being chucked under the bus”. When would they jump out of the pan?
Matthew O’Toole mused “Positive sounds from the Wirral meeting, but … If he has now moved, he will have to sell it and make it stick”. And Antonello Guerrera then brought the inevitable news. “Nigel Dodds rejects ‘double customs’ [Brexit] solution: ‘It cannot work’ … The DUP deputy leader tells me he considers mooted proposals unrealistic: ‘Northern Ireland must stay in a FULL UK Customs Union. PM Johnson knows that…’”.
Then came a reminder that this idea has already been rejected. “Theresa May did not suggest NI remained in a customs partnership with EU. When EU suggested such a thing she said no UK PM would ever stand for it!” … “Boris Johnson resigned from Theresa May's Cabinet for what he's proposing now”. Bozo has previously rejected his own idea!
Nick Reeves spelt it out. “NI would also have to be a de facto part of the Single Market, and the Republicans would have to have a veto to prevent the DUP dismantling the arrangement at the earliest possible opportunity. Over time the NI and British economic areas would increasingly diverge”. That was quite enough boiling for the DUP frog.
Bozo talks of Surrender Acts, but what he is about to do is surrender to the EU, while throwing the DUP under that bus of his. And the so-called deal he will bring back will be inferior to the one Theresa May did. That means, as Jonathan Portes has put it, “UK out of customs union, plus at most a minimal ‘Canada-minus’ FTA, means GDP hit of up to 7%, and fiscal cost of up to £50 billion”. And the Irish question left unresolved.

Except that the DUP frog has leapt out of the Tory pan. You really couldn’t make it up.
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Top Six - October 13

So what’s hot, and what’s not, in the past week’s blogging? Here are the six most popular posts on Zelo Street for the past seven days, counting down in reverse order, because, well, I have to be out and about later. So there.
6 Tracy Ann Oberman - You’re The Troll The minor thesp called out Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for visiting the theatre where he sits on the advisory board, and helped found.

5 Question Time In The Dooda After tedious self-promoting TalkRADIO host Julia Hartley Dooda had doxxed a lawyer who had received death threats, she was rewarded with an invitation from the BBC. No. Just no.

4 Toby Young Still Obsessed With Greta Thunberg The loathsome Tobes keeps on with his poorly researched attacks on the young campaigner. Creepy doesn’t cover it.

3 Guido Fawkes Ben Stokes Smear BUSTED The perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble suggested the cricketer and his wife had been involved in an act of domestic violence. Except what he claimed was not stood up by his evidence. Another fine mess.

2 Isabel Oakeshott Meets Reality The mercenary hack discovered that what she is selling on Brexit is now meeting significant consumer resistance.

1 Bozo Scottish Court Victory ISN’T Our alleged Prime Minister might have thought he’s won the latest legal challenge to his Brexit plans, but the reality was that he had surrendered to the so-called Surrender Act.

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

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Brillo Credibility Crashes Out

Fresh from stitching up a representative from Extinction Rebellion to the satisfaction of his cheerleaders - not least the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog - former Murdoch editor turned BBC presenter and interviewer Andrew Neil has decided, while he’s on a roll, to have a pop at the FT, but not because it does not adopt a rabidly Brexiteer stance in its news coverage, oh no.
So it was that The Great Man perused the front page of FT Weekend, and decided to pass severely adverse comment upon it. Although for some reason he was of insufficient courage to tag the paper or its editor, the verdict was sure, certain, and suitably stern. “A sober newspaper of record would not use the term ‘crashing out’ in its impartial news coverage. Over to you Lionel [Barber]. ‘Leaving without a deal, which many observers believe would carry great risks’ would be more appropriate. And accurate”.

Sniffy, much? As Sir Sean almost said, I think we got the point. So I’m sure Neil would be equally severe on the article that says of the SNP “they wanted to make sure the UK did not crash out in a no-deal Brexit”. He would disapprove heartily of the piece which contains sub-headings such as “No deal would not crash the economy” and “Would we really be forced to ‘crash out’ on 29 March?”. That would never do.

He would not be impressed by the author who wroteIf we do crash out, most mainstream Remainers face similar judgments”. Or the author whose prose included the text “a crash out, the Tories may have to fight with Britain still in the EU”. He wouldn’t like articles which included21st-22nd of October, which is the week before we would crash out”. Or sayingWeyand told the Guardian there was a 'very high risk of a crash-out’”.
I mean, what kind of not at all sober publication of record would use such language, eh? Language like, oh I dunno, “It remains, of course, to be seen whether we crash out of the EU with or without a deal on 29 March”. Columnists who resorted to turns of phrase that included “So the much-scorned ‘crashing out with no deal’ option is most in line with what people probably thought they were getting”.

The Great Man would blanch at talk of MPs “having to explain why that doesn’t mean that they’re suddenly in favour of Britain ‘crashing out’ of the European Union”. But he might find some of those sentiments strangely familiar. Because all those articles have been published in a magazine over which he has ultimate control, or on its website.
Yes, they are all examples of what is considered fit for publication at the increasingly alt-right Spectator magazine. That’s the Spectator magazine whose chairman is Andrew Neil. So if he’s that keen on expunging those hated motifs “crash out” and “crashing out”, he could do a lot worse that mosey over to the Speccy’s offices and have a word in the shell-like of editor Fraser Nelson. Who wrote one of those articles quotes above.

And when he’s set his own house in order, then perhaps he will have regained sufficient credibility to be able to sit in judgment on the FT. Because at the moment, he can’t.

It was no doubt a Brillo idea to kick the FT. The pity is that it wasn’t all that Brill.
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Isabel Oakeshott Meets Reality

Into each life a little rain must fall, and for mercenary hack Isabel Oakeshott, it has come pouring down after her Brexiteer bluster came seriously unstuck in the face of grim reality and public frustration. Perhaps all those unicorns in her attic had punctured the roofing. Or perhaps it’s another example of a changing mood out there in the country.
Ms Oakeshott had responded to the observations of campaigner Femi Oluwole, who was venting his exasperation at yet another Question Time audience member not making sense on Brexit. “Jesus Christ! ‘I know what I voted for’ and ‘Nobody knows what's going to happen’ … Are two INCOMPATIBLE STATEMENTS!!!” he exclaimed.
Sadly, this is all too typical of many Brexiteers. They want to leave something they don’t understand, because of something it didn’t impose on them, and in any case, foreigners and maybe Scary Muslims™! They want to leave something where they have a vote (the EU) for the WTO (where they don’t). And plots! And conspiracies! Talking foreign!
Ms Oakeshott was having none of this. And she said so. “Wrong. There is no inconsistency here: people voted to take a risk; try something new; accept there are unknowns in the hope and belief we can make a success of it”. Er, if you accept there are unknowns, then you don’t know what you’re voting for. Which was sort of Femi’s point.
So she should not have been surprised at the immediate pushback, with “Seriously Isabel? Evidence free decision making . How far are you taking that? Spend whatever you like without looking at bank balance? Leave Andrew Wakefield unchallenged? Sit on evidence of #Banski’s Russian contacts while telling Cadwalladr she was chasing unicorns?” typical.
There was more. “Wrong. We were told there were no downsides, only upsides, great opportunity, great for the economy, easiest deal in history. Lying, cheating, dishonest, frauds” was one response. Jim Cornelius added “Even if you buy this bullshit argument then you can also argue that we’ve opened the mystery box now and it turns out that it was empty. There’s nothing stopping us now saying no thanks, forget it”. Quite.
Clive Wismayer was unimpressed. “You are lying. Please dig up any pro-leave speech or article from the 2016 campaign with this message. I remember nothing of the kind”. His response garnered its own response. “She of all people should be able to dig them up if they existed shouldn't she?” With that closeness to Nige, Richard and Banksy, well, yes.
Roy Sholey had a message for her, and it was one she doesn’t want to hear. “All I see now from committed Leavers is desperation to peddle further lies and try to somehow present what is now known to be a futile gamble as something to be aspired towards. If after 3 years there’s still no way forward, it’s time to admit failure [and] revoke A50”.
And Femi Oluwole was on hand to point out the obvious problem in her claim. “So.... You didn't know what you were voting for then? By definition, if I vote for a mystery box, I don't know what's inside therefore I don't really know what I'm voting for. I mean you literally just said ‘unknown’ in your tweet”. No further questions, M’Lud.

Reality has already dawned outside the Oakeshott bubble. Maybe she will start to understand that many voters no longer want what she’s selling. Or maybe not.
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Arndale Stabbings - Enter Katie Hopkins

Pro-am motormouth Katie Hopkins is at present on tour in the USA, grovelling at each and every mention of Combover Crybaby Donald Trump, even as the scale of the 45th President’s corrupt and treacherous misconduct unravels before the eyes of the media, a phalanx of lawyers, and Congress. Her absence from UK shores is something that many no doubt hope she will repeat as often as possible. But she’s still watching events here.
So it was no surprise when she latched on to yesterday’s news that there had been a number of stab injuries following an incident at the Manchester Arndale centre. As the BBC has reported, “Three people were stabbed and two others were hurt when a man with a large knife started ‘lunging and attacking people’, according to police. He chased two police community support officers (PCSOs) before being detained, the force said. Greater Manchester Police (GMP) believe he was acting alone”.
Viewers may still want to look away now

There was more. "The centre was put on lockdown as officers confronted the attacker, with some shoppers taking refuge in stores … Within five minutes armed officers detained the suspect on Market Street outside the centre … GMP said … two women, including a 19-year-old, were in a stable condition in hospital, while a man in his 50s was being treated in hospital for stab wounds”. None of the wounds was life-threatening.
That did not stop the usual far right suspects. As this was a suspected terrorist incident, amateur comedy kidnapper Daniel Thomas pitched in with “Cordon erected around one victim at the Arndale centre terror scene who is fighting for their life”. And once someone had started to shout “terror”, Hatey Katie was never going to be far behind.
And so it proved. “Five stabbed in a shopping centre in #Manchester … 1 male lunging at shoppers … Please follow standard procedures … 1) let them tell you it has nothing to do with terror … 2) listen to politicians tell you about their thoughts and prayers … 3) wear a bumble bee and feel better”. Way to insult Mancunians there. And it’s a worker bee.
On she droned, managing not to say it was about Scary Muslims™, even though many of those responding to her got the dog-whistle. “#ManchesterStabbings … Man held. No description. No motive. No connection with anything to do with religion … Keep drinking the Kool Aid”. Just mention “religion” and they know just what Hatey Katie means.
Whatever she is trying to infer, she is once again plain flat wrong. As Sky News has let us know, “Manchester stabbings: Greater Manchester Police says a 40-year-old man who was arrested on suspicion of committing a terrorism offence has now been assessed by specialist doctors and has been compulsorily detained under the mental health act”.
Mental illness affects many people, and affects them in very different ways. It is a serious issue, and not one to be trivialised and dismissed by the likes of Katie Hopkins in her witless pursuit of More Scary Brown People to blame for the country’s ills.

So she won’t be retracting or apologising any time soon. I’ll just leave that one there.
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Friday, 11 October 2019

Toby Young Still Obsessed With Greta Thunberg

The loathsome Toby Young established his credentials earlier this year as someone worryingly obsessed with campaigner Greta Thunberg. At the same time, he was unable, or unwilling, to acknowledge that he was, er, obsessed with campaigner Greta Thunberg. This obsession has endured, partly due to Tobes’ lack of self-awareness, and partly because he and his pals have to keep up their efforts to discredit her.
In February, he told anyone not yet asleep “In today’s Spectator, I take issue with this idiotic, self-important, schoolchildren’s climate change ‘strike’”. This attracted justifiable condemnation of his trolling Ms Thunberg. So out came his excuses: “I’m not a misogynist, never apologised for eugenics [oh yes you have Tobes] … What you’re doing is trolling”.
Those that called out his trolling were actually trolling. It was a Doubleplus Ungood excuse! But on went Tobes’ whining. “You cannot simultaneously argue that 16-year-olds should have the vote and that debating with them robustly is ‘trolling and bullying’”. Abusive trolling is not “debating robustly”. But do go on.
Challenging a 16-year-old’s views is not ‘trolling’ … She didn’t argue they hadn’t done enough. She said ‘nothing’. That’s fake news”. Cheap attempts to discredit Ms Thunberg. I call that trolling. And he was back on the attack in April, once more in the Speccy, telling of “The trouble with Greta Thunberg” and “Even the Times uncritically regurgitating Greta Thurnberg’s fake news”. Yep, more cheap discrediting shots. And there was more.
In September, he whinged “Cheer up Greta! Someone should tell the furrowed-browed little soothsayer that the number of mammals to become extinct in the last 500 years is 1.4% and no bird has gone extinct in Europe since 1852”. That was a flat-out lie. Which demonstrates the level to which Tobes’ desperation had sunk.
And now he’s back with the cheap shots and personal attacks. First, the Speccy’s serially dishonest editor Fraser Nelson had advertised “Will Greta win the Nobel Peace Prize today? I really hope not, says Mary Wakefield” (RTd by Tobes, and yes, that’s the same Mary Wakefield who is married to Bozo’s chief polecat Dominic Cummings).
Then came the sneering Tobes. “One reason Greta Thunberg wasn’t awarded the Nobel Peace Prize is that there is no scientific consensus about whether there’s a link between climate change and global conflict. Extinction Rebellion please take note”.
Wrong, Tobes, wrong. The WaPo article he cites talks about “a linear relationship between climate change … and armed conflict”. Not global conflict. It also asserts “The link between climate change and conflict is hotly debated” (not what Tobes claims), and that “The Pentagon has called climate change a ‘threat multiplier’”.
Moreover, as the WaPo reminds readers, Ms Thunberg “has said previously that she doesn’t protest to ‘get awards and prizes’”. For her, this is not a big deal. It’s only a big deal for Toby Young because it enables him to put the boot in to someone about whom he has built up a creepy obsession. That is not her problem.

But it certainly is a problem for the loathsome Tobes. Not that he’ll admit it any time soon.
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