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Sunday 31 March 2019

UKIP Embraces James Goddard AGAIN

After all the adverse comment, and a slew of resignations, following Adolf von Batten’s decision to appoint Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, as advisor to the party, it might have been thought that those still drifting around the planet UKIP would be steering well clear of anyone else tainted by actual or even alleged criminality. But that thought would have been misplaced, as last Friday’s events show.
Although James Goddard, the de facto leader of the UK “Yellow Vests” movement, otherwise known as the Amateur Comedy Sturmabteilung, could not be in London for the gathering addressed by Batten and Lennon - because to do so would have breached his bail conditions - someone close to him was in town. That someone was his partner Ashlea, who confirmed her presence in a series of photos from the event.
So who might she have met during her sojourn in the capital? To no surprise at all, there she was with Stephen Lennon, giving us the connection between Goddard and UKIP - an endorsement, too. No steering clear of someone who has been arrested and charged with public order offences in both London and Manchester.
And it gets worse: Ashlea also posed for a photo with appalling narcissist Carl Benjamin, who styles himself Sargon of Akkad. This soon proved an embarrassment to his party leader: after Batten went after Theresa May, sniping “Words, words, & more words that mean nothing. As Home Sec Mrs May restricted stop & search, she ran down & depleted the police & prison service. Now we get more meaningless words & the Tories can’t get rid of her. We are in the biggest political mess ever”, the response was swift.
The Tweeter known as Roblola snapped back “Care to comment on why your adviser Carl Benjamin aka @WarPlanPurple is posing with Goddard’s girlfriend at your event on Friday? The man who is currently on charges of public order offences”. UKIP’s stance on Laura Norder™ not helped by endorsing a creep like Goddard. Also, Benjamin has already been banned by Twitter on his own account, so a bad move all round.
Meanwhile, the kind of content Goddard’s partner personally endorses might raise a few eyebrows, for instance two of the Wall Of Gammon™ with what is supposed to be Theresa May’s coffin, or her backing ofLoyalist Songs - Orange And Blue” (to be listened to, no doubt, while one is going for a quick sash). Plus her publicising the DFLA turning up mob handed at the Guardian’s offices, demanding their letter is published by the paper or else.

But above all, this shows that the current UKIP leadership not only has no problem in associating with those who have a criminal record, it is also relaxed about cosying up to those who are working hard to get one. The scenes of Goddard intimidating MPs and threatening a journalist are widely enough available for the New World Kipper Order to know exactly who it is endorsing by welcoming Ashlea.
Gerard Batten claimed previously when his name was associated with that of James Goddard that “Dozens of people ask for selfies with me at rallies & meetings. I don’t know who they are. I didn’t know who he was”. He did in January. He did before then. And his advisors know now. So stop lying and come clean, Adolf. We see you.
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Gisela Stuart - Pants On Fire

To the BBC’s credit, at least this morning’s edition of The Andy Marr Show™ tackled the issue of Vote Leave spending around £675,000 more than they were legally allowed to during the EU referendum campaign. To this end, VL’s former campaign committee chair Gisela Stuart was subjected to a little light grilling by the host (Michael “Oiky” Gove and Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson were, sadly, attending another hair appointment).
Taking control may involve acts of dishonesty

Marr put it to her directly: Vote Leave broke the law. It had dropped the pretence of appealing against the Electoral Commission’s imposition of a £61,000 fine, and indeed had paid up. What was her excuse? Well, Ms Stuart had plenty of excuses, but sadly for her and her Tory pals, very little credibility to go with them.
Sadly, VL’s data had all been wiped. As innocent parties do. This is the equivalent of saying “The dog ate my homework, and so I had it put down”. This was held up as the reason VL was unable to prove its innocence, rather than fuelling the suspicion that the campaign had something to hide that was even worse than Dominic Cummings.
And if that was eyebrow-raising, there was more to come as Ms Stuart deployed the excuse tried earlier - also without success - by the deeply dishonest Matthew Elliott. VL, she asserted, wanted to cooperate with the EC, but the EC didn’t want to talk to them. This is total crap. The EC wanted to talk to VL; VL refused, and continued to refuse. Later, only after the EC had drawn its conclusions, did VL offer to talk. By then it was too late.
So the EC told them there was no point. VL have been spinning that this was the EC’s fault, and have been called out for it, for months now. But hey ho, and on to the next attempt at deflection. The Government, she claimed, had spent all those millions on one leaflet and this meant the rotten Remain lot outspent VL. This is also total crap.
The Government leaflet reflected the Government’s position, not that of the Remain campaign. The idea that the cost of that leaflet can be classified as Remain spending is therefore spurious. Gisela Stuart and the rest of her merry band know this. So it has to be concluded that she just decided to lie her way out of it.
Still, there was one last change at redemption: Marr suggested an apology might be in order. Would she care to offer one? As if. Being Vote Leave means never having to say you’re sorry, despite, as whistleblower Shahmir Sanni pointed out, “She hired AIQ to work on her organisation after the referendum. Gisela Stuart has been central to the crimes”.
There’s a good reason Ms Stuart was evasive and dishonest on the Marr Show this morning. And that’s because she is in this up to her neck. But at least she was prepared to face the cameras. Matthew Elliott, Dominic Cummings, Gove, Bozza and many others presumably were not. This saga has longer to run. A lot longer.

Vote Leave broke the law. And all they offer is lies. That’s not good enough.
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Leave EU Seeks Its Gabby Giffords Moment

During 2010, former US Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin, via her Political Action Committee, went after several Democrat Representatives over their advocacy for Barack Obama’s health care reforms. To promote this campaign, SarahPAC put out a graphic, telling “20 House Democrats from districts we carried in 2008 voted for the Health Care Bill  … IT’S TIME TO TAKE A STAND”. The “targets” were picked out with gunsight crosshairs.
One of those targeted was Gabrielle Giffords, then representing Arizona’s 8th District. A week into her third term, while she was hosting a “Congress on your corner” event - a constituency surgery - at a Safeway supermarket near Tucson, she was shot by Jared Lee Loughner. Several others were killed; many more were wounded. The Palin PAC took down its graphic. But it was too late. The incendiary rhetoric had a body count.
The lessons of the Giffords shooting have, sadly, gone unheeded, and not just in the USA. Here in the UK, during the febrile atmosphere of the 2016 EU referendum campaign, we had our own Gabby Giffords moment as Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered outside her constituency surgery by far-right activist Thomas Mair.
After the shooting: Gabby Giffords and Barack Obama

The consequences of dialling up the rhetoric, along with aggressive propagandising, are all too clear - but not to the convocation of inconsiderate bigotry otherwise known as Leave EU, where the kind of campaigning that led to the Giffords shooting is in full swing. The only difference is that, as we have strict gun control laws, gunsight crosshairs are out. Instead, Leave EU have used crude crosses. In red. In the shape of a crucifix.
Jo Cox

You think I jest? Here’s the offending Tweet, telling “Our deselection campaign to boot the worst Tory Remoaners had a big victory last night against ringleader Dominic Grieve - and we're just getting started. Let's save Brexit!” and showing those crucifix-styled crosses over the heads of Anna Souby, Heidi Allen and Sarah Wollaston (all of whom have resigned from the Tory Party), as well as Nick Boles and Dominic Grieve.
The latter two MPs have lost confidence votes held by their local Conservative associations. Next on the Leave EU list is Oliver Letwin, and after him comes Antoinette Sandbach, who represents the Cheshire constituency of Eddisbury. With Leave EU howling after them “Tory Remainers are terrified of their grassroots members rising up and deselecting them after our successful campaigns against Dominic Grieve, Nick Boles, and Sarah Wollaston. Betraying the will of the people has consequences!
Betrayal. Targeting. Blood-red crucifix-style crosses. The memory of what happened outside a Safeway supermarket in 2011. The memory of what happened outside Birstall library in 2016. And there go Nigel Farage, Arron Banks, Andy Wigmore, Richard Tice and their chums ratcheting up the hatred just for laughs.

If it’s time for anything right now, it’s time not for aggressive and hateful propagandising - it’s time to put the rhetoric away. Before the next Jared Lee Loughner or Thomas Mair crawls out of the woodwork intent on striking a blow for history.

Leave EU is a stain on grown-up politics. It’s time to reach for the disinfectant.
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Top Six - March 31

So what’s hot, and what’s not, in the past week’s blogging? Here are the six most popular posts on Zelo Street for the past seven days, counting down in reverse order, because, well, I have places to be out and about later. So there.
6 Brexit Protest - Far Right Out Of Control No admonishment from the new UKIP leadership and its advisors for the thuggery exhibited in central London on Friday evening - because they like it that way.

5 Brexit Day Clash Of The Fash The potential for the far right to kick off, perhaps even against itself, in central London last Friday was all too obvious.

4 Rachel Riley And A Fake News Crusade The Countdown numbers person is now going after websites she dislikes, with the help of an anonymous campaign called Stop Funding Fake News. But targeting two sites regulated by Impress has raised eyebrows.

3 Uber In London - Out Of Control The driver and rider matching service seems to be ignoring an Appeal Court on the status of its drivers - as well as having the potential for password sharing, meaning the driver who turns up may not be the one expected.

2 Tommy Robinson Abuses Charity Event Stephen Yaxley Lennon used a fundraiser to peddle politics and Islamophobia. Not allowed.

1 Tommy Robinson Linked To Christchurch Killings Stephen Yaxley Lennon’s pal Martin Sellner of Generation Identity Europe received a €1500 donation from someone with the same name as the man accused of multiple murders in New Zealand. Oh dear.

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

Saturday 30 March 2019

Harry Cole Deselection Hypocrisy

As the BBC has reported, “MP and former Attorney General Dominic Grieve has lost a vote of no-confidence by local Conservatives … It followed a ‘robust discussion’ about Brexit by party association members in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire … Opposition to him is reported to have been organised by a former UKIP candidate”. A former UKIP stalwart who ran against Grieve in 2017 and has rejoined the Tories.
Worst Jeeves and Wooster reboot ever

Gabriel Pogrund of the Sunday Times broke the news: “Dominic Grieve loses confidence vote at Beaconsfield Conservative Association by 182 to 131 votes; paves way for deselection”. Why no uproar? As Owen Jones pointed out, “If this was a Labour MP, this would be front page news with talk of bullying, abuse and creeping totalitarianism”.
Dead right it would. And no mention of the aspect Helene von Bismarck picked up on. “Dominic Grieve could have chosen a much easier path, one that many MPs from both big parties have travelled on: think of yourself, support the front bench no matter how bizarre their decisions, put the party first when the country is on the brink. He did not. This is his reward”. Also, there was the entryism aspect, as FT editor Lionel Barber observed.
Dominic Grieve, a principled Conservative, has been toppled by a campaign led by ex UKKipper and pantomime producer.  You could not make this up - except the serious point is entryism now strikes the Tory party”. But out there on the right, the odious flannelled fool Master Harry Cole was unconcerned: “A very British coup”. There’s hypocrisy for you.
After all, when he was pretending to be a journalist at the Murdoch Sun - rather than doing the same thing at the Mail on Sunday, where he is now - Master Cole was not so sanguine on the subject of deselection. “Moderate Labour MPs fear deselection plot after union baron Len McCluskey lunches hard left agitator Derek Hatton” he spluttered in September 2016, having invented another pack of lies for the Sun.
That was not an isolated occurrence. When Michael Dugher, one of Parliament’s most useless occupants, threw in the towel, out came the D-word again: “Lab First: Dugher's crime was ‘speaking out against pernicious influence of Momentum + defending hard-working colleagues from..deselection’”. Rubbish. It was because he was useless.
As well as being in the Murdoch press’ pockets, but then, what you will not read in the Sun, and all that. Cole dragged the D-word up when attacking John McDonnell, too. “Weary Labour stalwart sighs: ‘It would be deselection if normal Labour MP had done it.’”
Yes, deselection was bad back then, although when he was tame gofer to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines at the Guido Fawkes blog, Master Cole was all in favour of it. Providing it was a Tory MP. On one occasion, he actively encouraged a local Tory association to ditch its MP Tim Yeo - that being the one in South Suffolk.
Hence his boast “So remember when i went to the seaside last week? RT @GuidoFawkes: Guy News Special Report: Tim Yeo Must Go” (he went to doorstep Yeo at his home), and his grotesque “gunsight” characterisation of Yeo with the triumphant claim “VICTORY: Tim Yeo deselected on an 82% turn out”.

Fine for Tories to do it, bad for Labour. Another prime example of press hypocrisy.
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Vote Leave Admits Crime - Hello BBC

Journalist and filmmaker Edward Lawrence was happy to report last night that the documentary he had been working on recently was a wrap. “It's 12.30am on the 30th March, an hour and a half after we're supposed to have left the EU … IT’S A WRAP!!! Thanks @bbclaurak for the past 9 months. The Brexit Storm airs Monday 9pm on BBC Two. #brexit”. A smiling Laura Kuenssberg was at front of shot.
The BBC’s political editor may not be smiling so much at other Brexit-related news this morning, though, as Jim Pickard of the FT told yesterday: “Vote Leave has dropped its appeal against the Electoral Commission, the elections watchdog has announced”. Steve Peers observed “It's now definitive that Vote Leave broke election spending law. They dropped the case on Friday afternoon in the hope that no one would notice”.
So what was the big deal? The EC put it directly. “Vote Leave has today withdrawn its appeal and related proceedings against the Electoral Commission’s finding of multiple offences under electoral law, committed during the 2016 EU referendum campaign … We have been advised that Vote Leave has paid its £61,000 fine”. That’s what.
And that’s why Ms Kuenssberg might best advised not to smile too much right now: she did, after all, effectively take dictation from Vote Leave’s Matthew Elliott when the lawbreaking was first revealed, the BBC report spinning Vote Leave’s behaviour as mere “rule-breaking”. Ms K even told “it is not thought that the new information was decisive in proving a breach of the law”. When there had been a breach of the law.
Moreover, Theresa May’s adviser Stephen Parkinson was intimately involved in the lawbreaking. VL’s political supporters were suspiciously adjacent to the wrongdoing, too - notably Michael “Oiky” Gove and London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. And here was the BBC sweeping it under the carpet.
Unsurprisingly, Jo Maugham had one question after seeing VL drop its appeal. “Hey, @bbclaurak. As I recall, you offered the BBC up as @matthew_elliott's de facto press agency when he alleged this was all but mere allegation. Any chance of you covering it now he's in effect admitted Vote Leave cheated?” He was not alone.
The Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr reflected “The TIMING! On the day Britain was set to leave European Union, the official campaign finally admits it broke the law. Deliberately. Massively. And overseen by Theresa May’s closest advisor & one of her ministers”. And as to Bozza denying there was any cheating, she had one more question.
Johnson led this campaign. He oversaw a huge deliberate fraud. He’s never been asked questions about it. #VoteLeave did not win ‘fair & square’. Will you now retract this comment?” Well, will you, Bozza? Do you feel … lucky?

Worse for those out there on the right, VL dropping their appeal means flap-mouthed nonentity Darren Grimes is next in line for paying his particular version of Two Dollars. Never mind the documentaries, Ms Kuenssberg - let’s see some credible reporting.
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Brexit Protest - Far Right Out Of Control

As yesterday drew to a close, central London was turned into what looked like the aftermath of a particularly unpleasant far-right rally. That is probably because it was the aftermath of a particularly unpleasant far-right rally. Police officers were roundly abused, and so were journalists. Those stoking the paranoia that led their followers to behave that way remained silent about it. Which really wasn’t good enough.
Behold the architects of yesterday's thuggery

The bad behaviour came after both UKIP and Leave Means Leave held rallies, one at the south end of Whitehall, and the other in Parliament Square - within a few minutes’ walk of one another. Many in the crowd had spent some time in the Rub-A-Dub; others were continuing to consume anything alcoholic they could get their hands on as they pretended to listen to all the speeches, while in reality just looking for trouble.
The culprits were not hard to identify: UKIP leader Adolf von Batten for one - “UKIP leader branded 'dangerous' for spreading Brexit protest water cannon 'lie' - Mirror Online" … “[he’s] just been on Sky and told reporter he has from a very reliable source (or sauce) that 6 water cannons were on the motorway somewhere last night and are probably with the military - told they are illegal, he said the govt will make them legal to use them”.
Hope Not Hate observed “Generation Identity - whose ideas featured heavily in the Christchurch terrorist’s manifesto - are here”. Neo-Nazis. In London. Supporting UKIP. Also, “Absolutely surreal to mingle in Parliament Square and witness Whitehall full of fash ultras listening to weird hoarse-voiced Tommy Robinson screaming about Islam, refugees and English children”. That’s who was winding up the mob. And the result?
Georgina Stubbs observed “Treating the press like this has never and will never be ok. Ever. I’ve seen @Channel4News and @CNN on the receiving end today”. Bill Gardner added “Some weren’t too keen on the Telegraph either. I was called a ‘disgusting Jew traitor’ today”. Antonello Guerrera got it too. “‘Zionist! Scum!’. This guy marching for #Brexit outside Westminster has just attacked me with his rants just because I’m a journalist. Creepy and shameful”. Anti-Semitism from the far-right. What a surprise.
Peter Walker of the Guardian rightly called out those culprits. “Completely, utterly grim. Politicians who openly demonise the media - and the UK very much has them - play a significant role in this”, while over at his own paper it was getting yet more menacing.
As Yusuf Al-Islam noted, “DFLA steamed into the guardian handing a letter, demanding it be printed or threatening they'd be back with bigger numbers, asked for @OwenJones84 … complaining what is written about them by @guardian … Yes, this is the far right taking issue with freedom of press & making threats”. Stephen Yaxley Lennon’s confrontational doorstepping is behind that. Nailed on. And it’s totally out of order.
Tory MP George Freeman saw it too. “Disgraceful abuse and provocation of two young Police assistants by a drunken chanting mob. I’m afraid this is what Brexit increasingly looks like to a lot of people: thinly disguised political thuggery. Brexiteers need to come out and condemn it”. But Batten and Lennon won’t. They like it this way.

It’s time to call UKIP for what it has become: a cesspit of neo-Nazi intimidation and thuggery - which should have no place in civilised society. Media outlets take note.
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