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Thursday 31 January 2019

Dan, Dan The Backstop Whopper Man

Veteran BBC man John Simpson summed up the British political class and its problem with Abroad: “When I was the BBC political editor, in the early 1980s, I was shocked by the ignorance of most MPs about the way the outside world worked. Judging from today's proceedings in Parliament, things don't seem to have changed much”.
And his conclusion, especially where the EU is concerned? “I think MPs can get too bound up with the business and pantomime of Parliament, and believe it's all that matters. Far too many are depressingly ignorant of the world beyond Dover. That drove me crazy in the 80s. Today it's utterly unforgivable”. And there was a greater problem.

Today, more than ever, ill-informed politicians combine with a propagandist press in the kind of toxic mixture that has people believing that all the country’s ills are down to ghastly foreigners in Brussels, rather than the deliberate programmes of austerity implemented, with the enthusiastic backing of that same press, since 2010. If the EU referendum had been held in, say, 2007, Leave would not have stood a chance.

This combination of politicians and press has been shown in its worst light in today’s edition of the Murdoch Sun, where a crude and abusive editorial consisting mainly of bashing the Irish has been placed alongside a characteristically dishonest article on the so-called Irish backstop by nominally Tory MEP Dan, Dan The Oratory Man.
Hannan starts as he means to go on - by dispensing falsehood and misinformation: “at the end of 2017, the EU suddenly came up with the idea of an ‘Irish backstop’. It wanted Britain to promise that, unless it came up with a long-term ­trading ­relationship that satisfied ­Brussels, it would stay in the customs union and leave Northern Ireland under EU regulations. Stupidly, British negotiators accepted the backstop”. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

The backstop was a device created by the UK’s negotiating team. Moreover, it was intended to leave Theresa May’s “red lines” in place but still give us a Withdrawal Agreement. Hannan’s lack of sensitivity to the Peace Process is summed up by the throwaway line “It was ­particularly silly to discuss Ireland before the main trade talks”.

But on he ploughs. “The backstop would mean Brussels continued to control Britain’s trade deals with non-European countries after we left. It would mean placing part of our country under permanent EU jurisdiction”. No, it was an insurance policy, in case a trade deal could not be negotiated, a last resort. And then comes another whopper.
They [MPs] didn’t like forking out more than 39billion quid in exchange for the better part of bugger all”. The clear suggestion that there is a way to avoid paying the agreed “divorce bill”, to settle the commitments the UK has already made. Wrong again.

Hannan appears confused. “Juncker is simultaneously telling us that if we alter our red lines - by, for example, agreeing to a ­permanent customs union - then the agreement could indeed be reopened. So there is plainly no technical or legal reason why the backstop could not be removed or at least time-limited”. Dan, Dan, have a sit down and listen. Perhaps I can get this though to you before one of us dies.

The backstop is because of the red lines. With the red lines still in place, it cannot be removed or time-limited. A permanent Customs Union could not be accommodated in the Withdrawal Agreement because it breached one of those red lines. But do go on. “The EU has calculated the cost will be worse for Britain than for ­Continental states, since cross-Channel trade is ­proportionately more important for us”. No. Just no.
The EU and its negotiators saw the UK negotiate and sign off on the Withdrawal Agreement, only for Theresa May to perform a screeching U-Turn and commit an act of bad faith by attempting to renege on the deal she had already put before Parliament.

Still, there’s always “In private, some Continental politicians are pushing for a pragmatic outcome - one that minimises disruption and ­preserves the long-term alliance between the UK and its neighbours”. Yeah, right. We’ve been told for the past two and a half years that we can pick off individual member states - and it’s never worked.

Daniel Hannan is either ignorant, dishonest - or both, and for a long-serving MEP any of those outcomes is unforgivable. Worse is that deeply unpleasant Sun editor Tony Gallagher puts Hannan’s article alongside an editorial mocking Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

This claims “IRELAND’S naive PM Leo Varadkar will deserve much of the blame for the misery and chaos No Deal would unleash on his people and across Europe … It is time, then, for him to stop posing as a hardman and do the right thing … Varadkar’s continued posturing is suicidal. It’s time to be a real statesman”. And it’s dishonest drivel.

Varadkar is not “posturing”. Nor is he “naive”, or trying to be a “hardman”. The problem this country faces has nothing to do with him. It is entirely of our own making, or rather, that of the Tories and their DUP allies - aided and abetted by their less than totally benign pals in the press. It is exactly as Simpson described. And it needs to stop.

Millions of British voters have been swayed by the malice of no-marks like Gallagher and the equally inept hired guns he gets to give supposed gravitas to his comment pages. As a result, they have been viciously and deliberately misinformed for years. The mess we now see, and the sight of the UK becoming little more than a laughing stock abroad, are down to them. They are the new Guilty Men and Women.

It is high time that political pygmies like Hannan, and malicious and unaccountable poison pedlars like Gallagher, were told to get real and own the problem themselves. They drove the UK to this point. It should be up to them to figure a way out.
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Those who look in regularly on Zelo Street will need to introduction to former comedian and now ranting racist bigot Lee Hurst, who has gone from appearing on prime time TV to having difficulty filling modestly sized venues, perhaps because he is reduced to advertising his shows on his Twitter feed. The far right politics don’t help.
Hurst has spoken favourably of Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, as well as the likes of Arron Banks and his equally slippery side-kick Andy Wigmore. In support of the latter, he made a singularly defamatory accusation against the Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr. He also backs Combover Crybaby Donald Trump.
All of that may explain why so many of those who tuned in to watch him all those years ago have since moved in the direction of away. Hence the implicit desperation in his Tweet “Great night at The King's Hall, Herne Bay with my Local Comedy Club last night. Another sold out show with a fantastic audience. Next one is 8th June. It'll be on sale tomorrow”. Can’t sell out his local comedy club more than once in six months? Oh dear.
Still, he did have some Labour bashing to keep him occupied: “It's #HolocaustMemorialDay or as they call it in certain sections of the Labour Party... Sunday”. Laugh? I thought I’d never start. But he did have a serious point to make - that he wanted to blame Holocaust denial not on Labour, but Scary Muslims™.
You think I jest? Here it comes. “5% of adults in the UK do not believe the holocaust happened. Is there any breakdown on who in our society thinks this? In other news, 5% of the UK population are muslims”. Perhaps it’s an inability to find the Shift key. More likely it’s another failed attempt at humour by not typing the word Muslims correctly.
But he was just getting started. After one Tweeter responded “That's a cheap shot Lee”, he sneered “Your party is rife with anti semitism so jog on. I have merely pointed out some facts”. Didn’t type anti-Semitism correctly, either. Equal opportunity bigotry.
The Tweeter Hurst sneered at countered “Your research skills are obviously as third rate as your comedy”, while another respondent added “Hey! He’s gone from prime time BBC to plugging his winter tour of Essex on his twitter profile, what do you mean third rate”. Also, his comeback has been going for almost nine years so far, and he, well, hasn’t.
So did he stop and think? Well, he may have stopped, but thinking was out of the question: “To the swarm of 'Herd' left currently venting their spleen at me. Not talking about something that might be a factor doesn't make it go away. Mind you, you did sweep mass child rape under the carpet for fear of causing offence, so you do have form”.
That’s the kind of thing that may find favour with the likes of Stephen Lennon, but it is also the accusation that got former UKIP MEP Jane Collins hit with a defamation suit brought by three Labour MPs - which she lost. Very clearly and very expensively.

Those comedy bookings never do materialise, do they? I wonder why that might be.
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Digby Jones - Pants On Fire

Former CBI head Digby Jones claimed during the 2016 EU referendum campaign that “not a single job” would be lost due to Britain leaving the EU. He was reminded of this claim by BBC Radio 5 Live host Emma Barnett yesterday, and did not take kindly to the suggestion that he was in need of the nearest fire extinguisher.
Oh no they aren't!

It wasn’t due to Brexit, he claimed, but the ineptitude of those elites of which he just happened to be a member. Ms Barnett was unimpressed. “You stand by a statement that’s no longer true. Those jobs have been lost, people are losing jobs because of uncertainty”. She quoted the example of Silicon Roundabout in East London: “there is going to be no more investment in particular startups. That’s a job loss”.
Oh yes they are

Jones wriggled. “Right, but it’s nothing to do with Brexit, it’s everything to do with the uncertainty caused by the debate about Brexit”. Ms Barnett claimed he was just playing with semantics. His parting shot was to tell her “you don’t sit in boardrooms like me”, which may come as a relief to her, if he’s typical of what inhabits them.

But let me put the Good Lord straight on those job losses he claims are not happening. As Edwin Hayward had told (see his full Twitter thread HERE),
Barden Corporation is closing down its Plymouth factory after 51 years - 400 jobs at risk.
European Medical Agency (EMA), Europe's medicines regulator, is moving from London to Amsterdam. 900 jobs involved (total: 1300).
Schaeffler, a car parts company, is closing its factory in Llanelli, Wales, because of Brexit, affecting 220 jobs (total: 1520).
Standard Chartered has applied to turn its Frankfurt branch into its EU subsidiary. It initially expected to move 20 jobs (total: 1540).
France's top banks are moving 500 jobs out of London due to Brexit (total: 2040).
The European Banking Agency (EBA) - the banking regulator for the EU - moved its operations from London to Paris, affecting 160 staff (total: 2200).
Credit Suisse is moving 250 jobs to Germany, Madrid and elsewhere in the EU27, including Luxembourg (total: 2450).
Nomura is moving about 100 staff to a new Frankfurt office (total: 2550).
Morgan Stanley is growing its Paris team in parallel to transferring certain roles to Frankfurt. 200 jobs involved (total: 2750).
95 job losses were announced at Wright Group, a Northern Ireland-based bus manufacturer, in June 2018 (its founder was a Leave supporter). Total: 2845.
The Philips Avent factory in Suffolk is to close with a loss of around 500 jobs (total: 3345).
That list does not include all the relocation of head offices. It does not include the jobs lost as a knock-on effect of those losses listed. It does not include the effects of investment reductions in industries where no decision on job losses has yet been made - like that which manufactures cars. Moreover, all those losses are before Britain leaves the EU.

So many thousands more can be added to that total, and many thousands will follow after the end of March, whatever certainly Digby Jones sees at the end of his tunnel.

There’s no use pretending it isn’t happening. Because it most certainly is happening.
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Wednesday 30 January 2019

Guido Fawkes - The New Pravda

In the old Soviet Union, there were two officially sanctioned newspapers: Pravda, which meant “the Truth”, and Izvestia, which meant “the News”. Given that both titles obediently followed the line handed down by the Soviet Communist Party, it was no surprise that the saying went “In the Truth there is no news, and in the News there is no truth”.
That lack of credibility when a political line is followed a little too closely has not yet, it seems, dawned on the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog. They are not alone: the subject which the Fawkes massive chose as their hill to die on earlier today has also been a staple for the odious Quentin Letts (let’s not).

That subject is Prime Minister’s Questions, and every time Theresa May has a particularly bad one - not exactly a rare event - people like Quent cover up the Tory humiliation by telling readers it was “boring” and all “mud-slinging”. As did the Fawkes mob today, telling readersAnother typically turgid exchange between May and Corbyn at PMQs”.

Yeah, it was dead boring, nothing to see here, move along there. Except that there is plenty to see: new Fawkes gofer Hugh Bennett posted a heavily edited video clip with the comment “but it did at least give May the chance to set out a range of alternative arrangements to the backstop. Plenty for the EU to be thinking about”.
So what was edited? Ah well. Almost every other clip out there is longer, by around 24 seconds. Why does that matter? Because Ms May was flanneling, Jeremy Corbyn effectively called her out on it, and the resulting derision from Labour benches - together with stony silence from the Tories - shows it to be another Prime Ministerial mess.

Even Corbyn’s question has been cropped. This is what he said: “Following the vote in the House last night against No Deal, the Prime Minister is again going to try to renegotiate the backstop on the basis of finding alternative arrangements”. The Fawkes blog edited that out - why? But it is at the end that the most blatant editing takes place.

After Theresa May ended her desperate waffle, Jezza simply rose to his feet and mused “None of that was very clear to me - I don’t know about anyone else”, to roars of laughter from the Red Side of the Commons, followed by repeated “Hear, hears”.
The EU does not have “plenty to think about” from a bad faith actor who stands at the Despatch Box for more than a minute and bullshits. And with the BBC having already put out the 24 second longer clip (see HERE for example), there is no point in the Fawkes rabble engaging in Soviet-style propagandising by editing it down to save face.

There is a good reason that Zelo Street regularly calls out The Great Guido for being a borderline Fake News outfit. And that is because the Fawkes blog really is a borderline Fake News outfit. Another fine mess, once again.
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Brexit - Rest Of Europe DOESN’T CARE

Some pundits might be forgiven for believing that other EU member states are devoting just as much press coverage to the Brexit idiocy as their British counterparts. They need us at least as much as we need them, so they will also be talking about it. Except that, I have to tell you all, they aren’t. The rest of Europe has already resigned itself to the UK’s determination to walk away at the end of March, and they no longer care.
That might sound harsh, but it’s the way it is. Remember all those German car manufacturers who were going to ride to our rescue, leaning on Angela Merkel to get us a better deal, because they need us to buy their BMWs and VWs? They aren’t fussed, either. Spanish banks seeing the glut of property, much of which they are holding, because Brits aren’t moving out there? Nor are they. The message is clear. We’re just not listening.

Take, for instance, Die Zeit online. Yes, the lead item features the German Chancellor, but Angela Merkel isn’t telling of her foreboding at the Brits walking away. Instead, “In an unusually candid interview, Angela Merkel speaks about feminism, life as a female leader and the lack of recognition for the achievements of eastern Germans”. There are also posts on social media, the Middle East and climate change. No Brexit.

How about, then, the English edition of El País? Well, yes, here there is a Brexit item, but no, it’s not about what happened last night in the Commons. Instead, readers learnSpanish vineyards send extra wine to Britain before Brexit … In preparation for the possibility that the UK crashes out of the EU, bodegas are shipping as much Rioja as they can in a bid to boost their stocks”. We can drown our sorrows, then.

Also, just to raise the blood pressure among the Wall Of Gammon™, there is an opinion piece from Miguel Otero Iglesias telling “The European Union: More united than ever … Divisions exist, and they are serious, but a calm and collected analysis, with historical perspective, shows a much better situation”. No more exits. It ain’t happening.
How about Italy’s La Repubblica? Nothing about Brexit on the website front page. Not a sausage. Rescue of migrants from the Mediterranean, pension reform, and of course plenty of football items. At least France’s Le Monde has an item about last night’s farcical Theresa May volte-face. But it does not make good reading for pro-Brexit Brits.

The PM, it concedes, has a mandate to reopen negotiations, but reopening the Withdrawal Agreement has already been declined. “Now what do we do?” is the question at the head of the article. Plus it’s not the lead story - that honour falls to the Huawei controversy.

Meanwhile, over in Portugal, the Público has no Brexit items at the top of its website. The highest-placed international story is about Venezuela. Like the Spanish, the Portuguese aren’t worrying about Brits not moving there. Or at least not enough to make the papers.

Do all those clueless pundits now get it? The French are deploying a Gallic shrug at Theresa May’s pointless charade, the Spanish are making sure they ship plenty of wine just in case there’s a No Deal, and no-one else cares.

They need us so much that they are no longer listening. Wake up, dozy pundits.
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Theresa May, Bad Faith, And Election War Games

Yesterday evening in the Commons, Theresa May backed a vote which would allow her to reopen the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated with the EU, the intention being to drop or at least amend the so-called Irish Backstop. As befits this most desperate of Prime Ministers, this was in opposition to the stance she had implacably taken for several months previously. So why would she do this? A look at today’s papers may prove instructive.
Across the EU, leaders have stressed that the Withdrawal Agreement is not going to be reopened. It has also been pointed out that the backstop is the creation of UK negotiators, a way of meeting the PM’s “Red Lines”. But the accumulated jingoism, ignorance, xenophobia and inability to face reality in our free and fearless press overrides such niceties. This is us against them, We Brits against Johnny Foreigner.
I mean, two World Wars and one World Cup, Julia Hartley Dooda. You think I jest? One look at the Daily Mail is all you need: “THERESA’S TRIUMPH … On night of high drama, PM wins key Brexit vote, unites her party, crushes Corbyn, and tells EU: let’s do a deal”. There it is, the grand delusion laid out for all to see - if only they could see it.
The joke newspaper still calling itself the Daily Express was on the same page. “In one of the most remarkable turnarounds in political history our indomitable PM unites her party and receives the mandate to return to Brussels with Parliament’s full weight behind her … SHE DID IT! … Now it’s up to EU!” The framing of the story bears close study.
Because it may not be just about Brexit. Consider the Murdoch Sun’s predictably similar line: “PM’s Brexit Mandate … BACKSTOP FROM THE BRINK … MPs’ yes to new border plan … Labour delay bid defeated”. Yah boo Jezza! Bash the Irish! This is, ultimately, for home consumption only: as political leaders and commentators across mainland Europe wonder if the Brits have finally lost it completely, there is a more basic imperative.
As Sky News told before Ms May changed tack and opposed her previously implacably held stance, “I’m also told … that a General Election has been war gamed in Downing Street as perhaps the only way to break this impasse” (big h/t to Skwawkbox for catching that). Knowing the EU will say no, wrapping herself in the flag, citing EU intransigence, bullying, elitism and all the rest? Would Theresa May pull such a cheap stunt?
Don’t bet against it. One look at the front pages from the right-leaning press shows they are already singing from her hymn-sheet. Even the Times is cheering “May unites Tories behind fresh talks with Brussels”, with the Telegraph preferring “May takes the Brexit battle back to Brussels”. It’s not our problem, it’s for the ghastly foreigners to sort out.
What Theresa May will now take to Brussels is a supreme act of bad faith - as well as the confirmation that Brexit always was a Tory project, a last desperate throw of the dice to hold together a fracturing party. But it is also a means to a predictably grubby end: maybe the only way where that Downing Street election war game returns her to power.

The country may go down the shitter, hundreds of thousands of jobs may go - for good - most of the electorate may become significantly poorer, but all that  worries the Tory Party and its delusional supporters is how to keep hold of the levers of power. Read and weep.
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Tuesday 29 January 2019

Tommy Robinson Oz Tour DELAYED AGAIN

After he rocked up in Glasgow and attempted to harass an SNP MP at his library surgery - someone had forgotten about Jo Cox - Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, went quiet - well, for him, anyway. And then something else happened: his latest Facebook post promoting his tour of Australia disappeared.
We knew that Gavin McInnes, who was to tour with Lennon, had been refused a visa to enter the country. And with Lennon’s criminal record, he would not have done any better. So it was no surprise when the organisers admitted, in an email to a Zelo Street contact, that both visas were being appealed, in the hope of making their February tour dates.

But that isn’t going to happen: the organisers have now rescheduled the tour - for the second time. Originally, the dates were pencilled in for December, but the excuse given on Lennon’s behalf was that there had been a diary clash. Only later was the tour moved to early February. And now it’s been moved yet further into the distance: the opening date in Perth will be (subject to visas) on March 9.

What all those fans who have already shelled out for flights, hotels, car hire, and the rest will make of yet another delay is not known. But the event’s website is still advertising “General Admission” at $85 a head, “VIP Meet and Greet” at $295, “Backstage Pass” at $495, and “Private Dinner” at $995 a pop. But Lennon would have to turn up.
And right now it is looking increasingly like this feast is going to be movable to the point of mythology. Worse, the idea that Lennon and McInnes could get a decision in their favour before early March does not stand the first encounter with reality.

According to Australia’s Administrative Appeals Tribunal, which would deal with Lennon’s appeal, the average time taken from lodging an appeal to securing a decision is, for a visitor visa, 276 days. For a temporary work visa, it’s 404 days. So the organisers have kicked the can down the road for another month, but they need to come clean with the public - and admit that this tour is not going to happen next month, if at all.
Anyone pretending otherwise is not dealing from a full deck. As Lizzie Dearden at the Independent has told, “Organisers of the ‘Deplorables’ tour, which was due to start in Perth on Friday, said Robinson’s application was still being considered by authorities. Mr McInnes has been refused a visa, with the denial being appealed, and Mr Yiannopoulos is awaiting a decision”. Someone speaks with forked tongue.

My contact was told that the visas (plural) were being appealed. And that means it will be towards the end of this year before they get a decision. The idea that the dates could happen in March is just a con. The organisers should come clean and cancel.

Another Stephen Lennon money-making wheeze could be on the skids. Good thing too.
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Food Shortages - Top Brexiteer Denies Reality

To show that the ill-informed abuse directed at the CEO of Airbus was not some kind of minor Brexiteer aberration, yesterday afternoon brought a warning from the British Retail Consortium warning that a no-deal departure from the EU could mean empty shelves in supermarkets and higher prices. This was widely reported. What was not so widely reported was the act of denial from one top Brexiteer that followed.
Richard Tice

Tom Boadle of Sky News told “NEW: Bosses of Sainsbury’s, ASDA, M&S, Co-op, Waitrose, KFC, Pret, Lidl, McDonald’s, Costcutter and the British Retail Consortium write to MPs warning about the dangers of a no-deal Brexit for choice, quality and cost of food”. He also pointed out that the great KFC chicken shortage happened after two traffic accidents happened outside the supplier’s depot in the West Midlands.
Simon Jack of the BBC concurred: “A no-deal Brexit threatens the UK’s food security and will see higher prices and empty shelves in the supermarket according to a letter from the British Retail Consortium and signed by biggest food retailers inc M&S, Sainsbury, Co-Op, Lidl, Morrison”. Every big supermarket chain bar Tesco and Aldi, it seems.
And Jess Brammar of the HuffPost noted that KFC was among the signatories: “Major supermarkets and cafes warn no-deal brexit could lead to empty shelves - Sainsbury’s, Lidl, Marks & Spencer’s, Co-op, Waitrose and Morrison’s are among the signatories of the letter, as well as Pret, KFC, McDonald’s and Starbucks”. But one person wasn’t convinced.
To no surprise at all, that person was the perma-smiling Richard Tice of Leave Means Leave, who pretended it wouldn’t happen. “Usual Remoan negativity by BRC; note vast majority supermarkets not signed. Many solutions: eat more domestic food, buy from outside EU, unilaterally cut tariffs, do WTO Article 24 arrangement with EU. No deal always better than bad deal”. Yeah, right.
The vast majority of supermarkets did sign. Eating more domestic food would be useful if there was enough to go round. Unilaterally cutting tariffs might sound attractive until it puts UK farmers and producers out of business. And his Article 24 claim was untrue.
Edwin Hayward pointed all of that out, and more, including the lack of airfreight capacity, adding “WTO Article 24 - you mean GATT - doesn't work the way you think it does (ask an expert next time). But hey, 0 for 5 is more accurate than many Brexiters. Well done”.
Ciara McMillan showed why Tice’s Article 24 claim was bogus: “It would require: - Full EU agreement; - A near complete FTA; - A detailed schedule for completion and implementation of that FTA; - Consent of all WTO Members. Not happening”. Quite.
And Ian Dunt put it bluntly: “What exactly is the no-deal Brexiters' response? That the chief execs of Asda, M&S and McDonald's are in a conspiracy against the referendum? That they are inventing lies about storage space and just-in-time production to undermine the will of the people?”. Tice is supposed to be a businessman. He might be expected to know what effect a no-deal Brexit would have on supply chains.

Richard Tice is beyond delusional. No-one should be surprised.
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Sun Labour Brexit Vote Motion Fake News

The Murdoch Sun has once more made a highly creative claim about Labour activists urging Jeremy Corbyn to back a so-called Peoples’ Vote on the deal struck between Theresa May and the EU. The problem is that the activists concerned did not urge Jezza to do anything: the story is a pack of lies from start to finish.
Under the headline “Labour chiefs demand Jeremy Corbyn supports People’s Vote and adopts second referendum as official party policy … Remainers in Brexit-voting Crewe and Nantwich made the plea to leader Jeremy Corbyn”, readers are told “LABOUR chiefs in a top marginal seat have passed a motion demanding Jeremy Corbyn offers voters the chance to reverse Brexit at the next election”. Then the whoppers start.
The Labour constituency party (CLP) in Crewe and Nantwich voted through the emergency motion last week - despite voters in the seat voting overwhelmingly for Brexit in the 2016 referendum”. Overwhelmingly my arse: in Cheshire East, of which Crewe and Nantwich is a part, the result was closer than the UK average, with 51.2% voting Leave, and 48.8% Remain. Still, back the CLP motion.
It sparked fresh infighting within Labour tonight, with other MPs representing pro-Leave seats”. No it didn’t, and for one good reason: the CLP did not even debate that motion, and certainly did not pass it. We know this as Laura Smith confirmed “Whoever provided this story is not a reliable source - the CLP did not pass this motion. @TheSun false reporting!

One local Tweeter added “It wasn't debated due to there being no appetite for it... Which if anything makes this story even less accurate”. So when the Sun claims “But Labour MP for Rother Valley Sir Kevin Barron - one of just three Labour MPs who voted for the PM’s Brexit deal a fortnight ago, warned that buckling to the demands of CLPs like Crewe and Nantwich would see the party being punished by voters at the next election”, one has to assume that he didn’t check with Ms Smith first. Taking the Sun on trust? Not good.
Nor is the Sun’s irrelevant comment “Labour’s Laura Smith … Last year she was reprimanded by the Labour leadership after calling for a general strike in order to oust the Tory government.”. And the admission “The emergency Brexit motion - leaked to The Sun - piles further pressure on Mr Corbyn to adopt a second referendum as official Labour party policy” rather gives the game away. The motion was leaked.

What wasn’t leaked was the fact that it wasn’t even debated, let alone passed. No fresh infighting was sparked, no pressure was piled on Corbyn, and no motion was voted through. The Sun’sstory” is totally untrue, no more than propagandising against a party and a leadership that the Murdoch goons are desperate to keep out of power.
After all, Labour is committed to Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry, and the Murdoch press would rather not have the wider public be told what that press had got up to in its desperation to keep on landing stories and sell more copies.

The inmates of the Baby Shard bunker are desperate enough to invent totally false stories in order to demonise the Labour Party. No change there, then.
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