Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Friday, 18 October 2019

EU Deal - What The BBC Won’t Tell You

The media euphoria surrounding alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his jolly spiffing Brexit deal has spilled over from our free and fearless press, most of which hasn’t bothered to tell its readers the bad news, to the BBC, which is also not giving the punters the information that shows Bozo The Clown is interested in perpetuating the myth of Himself Personally Now, and stuff the proles.
While some don't tell the full story ...

While the Corporation, via its senior correspondents like Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg, is tellingThe new protocol replaces the controversial Irish backstop plan in Theresa May's deal. Much of the rest of that deal will remain … Many other parts of the deal, such as the money the UK has to pay and citizens rights, were negotiated by Theresa May and will stay the same”, this is not true. What is being offered is worse than the May deal.
... others let us know the grim reality

Let’s start with a little analysis from Keir Starmer, who, as well as representing Labour, is also a lawyer. “Having reviewed what has been agreed, it is clear that the Johnson deal is a far worse deal than Theresa May’s deal. It paves the way for a decade of deregulation. It gives Johnson licence to slash workers’ rights, environmental standards and consumer protections”. And it enables the Tories to point the UK towards US-style standards.
Or, indeed, the lack of them. David Allen Green has more bad news, and more that the Beeb is not telling us. “Johnson has capitulated. The backstop is now the frontstop. The insurance policy is now the policy. DUP correct to be unhappy. Johnson has gained the quick win, but only by losing in substance. A quick win, the easy way”. Meaning what?
[EU] ultimate objectives untouched by Johnson's capitulation. UK to be just as much Rees-Mogg's (supposed) ‘vassal state’ as before. This is May's deal, but with DUP under a bus”. Nick Tyrone put it bluntly. “Everyone in the political media is backslapping Boris Johnson for achieving the ‘impossible’. All he did was drop all of his red lines with the EU, sign up for he WA the EU originally wanted and hope the DUP and ERG went for it. Half of the last bit he's failed at already”. And the consequence for ordinary Brits?
Adam Bienkov of Business Insider had a hint of what was to come. “Boris Johnson is refusing to release his government’s impact assessments of his Brexit deal. However, previous government analysis suggest it will hit the UK economy by -6.7% with wages slashed and households left thousands of pounds worse off”. That is around three times worse than the worst of the post-2008 recession. Think about that.
Chris Furlong had dug up the figures, confirming the GDP reduction of 6.7% and comparing it with the less bad (but still bad) May deal, which would have reduced it by between 2.5% and 3.9%. Forget the new cars, the home improvements, the foreign holidays, the shopping trips to London. For the 99%, it’s going to be grim.
Small wonder that Lisa O’Carroll of the Guardian had this advice from one of those closest to the negotiations: “Journalist to Juncker, Tusk, Barnier: What would you say to the 48% that voted remain … Juncker: ‘I would like to say to the 48 that they were right’”.

The BBC isn’t telling you that. At a time when the national broadcaster needs to ensure it keeps voters informed, it is once again asleep at the wheel. And that’s not good enough.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at


Brave Nigel Farage Ran Away

He and his pals had devoted their political careers to getting the UK out of the EU. He had told anyone who would listen, and many who would rather not have done, that as an MEP he was campaigning to put himself out of a job. But when the deal arrived, and Brexit day looked more and more likely, Brexit Party Oberscheissenf├╝hrer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage showed what he was really made of. He turned tail and ran away.
Squeaky you're chicken finger up the bum time

Alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson had done a deal with the EU. It may have been a lousy deal, and especially for Northern Ireland’s Unionists, as well as millions of workers who stand to lose rights, workplace safeguards, and rather a lot of money, along with towns and cities that will lose hundreds of thousands of jobs, but it is a deal, and it would see Britain out of the EU. What was not for Nige to like?
But that was to misunderstand the Farage Falange Fringe. The UK has to be in the EU, or they have nothing to moan about. And when the UK leaves, and things get much worse, the prospect of those they conned realising they’ve been had and turning on the conmen is not something Nige wants to contemplate. So no surprise when Nick Eardley of the BBC announced “Nigel Farage backs extension and a general election over PM’s deal”.
Farage has chickened out. Moreover, he did it clumsily and ignorantly. After Jean-Claude Juncker suggested there should not be any further delay, he blustered “So an unelected, retiring bureaucrat says: No extension, take this new treaty or just leave. He is overriding the Benn Act. The EU shows itself to be a thuggocracy - power without accountability. Appalling people”. But Juncker doesn’t have the power to make that decision.
Nige has been an MEP for over 20 years, and he doesn’t know how the EU works. That’s not his purpose - he’s just there to whine about it. James O’Brien mused “On the one hand, this is hilarious. On the other, it’s surely impossible to have spent so long as an MEP without understanding what powers the EU Commission President does & does not  have. So, as ever with Farage, it’s either epic dishonesty or epic ignorance on display here”.
Le vrai Brexit, c'est Moi!

But he did know why he didn’t like Bozo’s deal. “The commitment to regulatory alignment in this agreement means that the ‘new deal’ is not Brexit, despite improvements on the customs union”. His party chairman Richard Tice was also urging delay.
As Sam Coates of Sky News told, “Brexit party [chair] Richard Tice has told [Kay Burley] … there [should] now be ‘technical’ extension for an election where he predicts there will be a big Brexit Party majority and they [would] do a ‘clean break’ (no deal) Brexit”.
Tice rushed to clarify his volte face. “CORRECTION SAM: I said our preference is to leave on 31 Oct with clean break but if not, there should be extension for election, which would deliver a big Leave Alliance majority”. But this is just academic.
Alfresco line-up of Brexit Party MEPs

There is no such thing as a “clean break Brexit”. Farage and Tice have let the cat out of the bag: they want to keep on pissing into the tent, selling the gullible a vision of a Brexit that cannot, and never will, be delivered. Meanwhile, they stay on the gravy train.

The Brexit Party, like UKIP before it, is a con artists’ sham. But you knew that anyway.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Uber Crashes - No Longer A Joke

Transport for London recently decided, despite significant evidence that driver and rider matching service Uber had not cleaned up its act on safety - or the behaviour of some drivers towards woman passengers - to give the firm a two month extension to its London operator’s licence. I have to tell the people at City Hall that, on the evidence provided, the situation is not improving. If anything, it is getting worse.
The litany of potentially lethal driving, and the inevitable increase in the number of creatively bent Toyota Prius vehicles adorning the capital’s streets, shows no sign of abating. It does not help matters that Uber drivers are likely to be distracted by their app going off and taking drivers’ attention off the road ahead. Worse, the drivers are also likely to be distracted by their SatNav, as they don’t do The Knowledge.
All of this leads to one place, and while the heaps of twisted metal might look amusing to those not involved, it isn’t funny for the punters, or the Metropolitan Police, the latter having to attend and clean up, along with the emergency services. So what do we have on offer this month? How about this not at all pristine 66 plate Prius, on its roof on the New King’s Road, in Wandsworth? All reasonable salvage offers considered.
That was on Sunday 6th October. Six days later, we have “Westbourne Grove tonight”. A different Prius, a different colour, a different crash. Nearside stoved in. Not fun for the unsuspecting punter. Early the next morning, “Two [TfL]Ubers have had a tear up and are smashed to bits at The Angel. However they are cheap and what Londoners want”.
A white one and a silver one. Three hours later, a black Prius does an Alfresco U-Turn on Vauxhall Bridge road, and, you guessed it, another metal bending display. So, two days later, some wise safety advice. “Handbrakes are there for a reason. “After driving into the van in front, this [TfL] licensed minicab driver got out of his car without applying the handbrake, resulting in the car driving into the van again”. Prius. Uber. Wallop!
Just to show a little diversity, the Tweeter known as Matt Black Taxi had a medley of shunts from mid-October. One clearly shows a dark coloured 12 plate Prius which has abruptly become seriously unroadworthy. Then there’s a white one having an Off into some scaffolding. And another white one, which has managed to not see a motorcyclist: one hopes that the rider was not seriously injured. And yes, there is worse to come.
Caught on video is one (most likely Uber) minicab drawing up in a Mews terrace, the driver switching on the hazard lights before getting out. Has he applied the handbrake and put the transmission in Park? Ah, but you know he hasn’t. So off goes his car, smashing into three other vehicles before coming to rest. TfL’s problem in one 90 second vid.
As Matt Black Taxi points out, this is the predictable result of some seriously bad driving: “There it is in a nutshell, one thinks he’s a taxi and parks on a rank and another,  drives the wrong way through Aldwych, hard to believe”. Who would be so sodding stupid as to drive the wrong way round the Aldwych? But there it is. Prius. Uber. Take cover.

When Uber fans told the world it was disruptive technology, maybe they didn’t mean it in the sense of disrupting so many Toyota Prius. Licence renewal? Think again, TfL.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at

Bozo Brexit Deal Capitulation

It was just what alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson had been waiting for: at the eleventh hour of, er, the seventeenth day of the tenth month, he had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. He had a deal, a real, genuine, deal, agreed between UK negotiators and those representing the EU. Here was proof that Bozo The Clown was no figure of fun, but a real, significant, substantial statesman.
A total Muppet. And Elmo from Sesame Street

Sterling leapt to the dizzy heights of €1.16, which sounds good until you realise that this rate of exchange was normal at the beginning of last April. Still, the BBC has dutifully reportedA Brexit deal has been agreed between UK and EU negotiating teams before a meeting of European leaders in Brussels. Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: ‘We've got a great new deal that takes back control.’” Control. But not for everyone.
The real PM looks on

As the Beeb’s report also tells, “The DUP has cast doubt on its sign off, saying they still cannot support it … it is understood the new plan would see Northern Ireland treated differently from the rest of the UK - something the DUP, among others, has great concerns about”. Northern Ireland could be “treated differently” not temporarily, but in perpetuity.
In fact, the DUP has rejected Bozo’s deal already, not that this has interrupted the cheerleading of the Beeb’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg. “DUP is not on board as I understand it - this is high wire … You can just about see deal going through Parliament without DUP, maybe if you squint - but what does it mean for dozens of Brexiteer tories who often take their cues from them”. It means hypocrisy - and selling out the DUP.
Ms K really doesn’t understand the DUP: “Political momentum matters enormously but so does the text - will it give the DUP any reason to budge ? Will post the link as soon as we have it - beware any politician saying now they def WILL or WON’T support it”. As Sky News ‘ senior Ireland Correspondent David Blevins has reminded us, he understands them very well. "DUP: ‘Read our statement. It hasn’t changed.’
And, as the Corporation’s Europe Editor Katya Adler, who is more in touch with EU reality here, has pointed out, the DUP is not their problem. “EU response to the DUP refusal to accept the draft Brexit agreement as it stands is: this is first and foremost a problem for the UK”. Michel Barnier and his team did their bit. Not their problem.
Also, she has shown why the DUP has refused to go along with Bozo. "This is a massive difference to the backstop in Theresa May's deal which was written up as being temporary. The new text envisages a potential for NI to have different customs and regulatory mechanism from rest of UK permanently. This of course is huge for the DUP”.
Worse, she warns the euphoria is getting ahead of reality: “EU Ambassadors representing leaders in Brussels expected to receive draft new Brexit text this morning so as to be able to read with legal experts in EU capitals before EU leaders discuss. They've not received text. EU diplomat to me just now ‘We are more and more pessimistic’”.
So what’s Bozo up to? Lisa O’Carroll of the Guardian: “So my understanding is: Boris Johnson decided to do deal without the DUP. He knows he won't get the deal through parliament, but he will get what he always wanted - a general election with a deal that he can wave at the electorate”. Except the No Deal At Any Price faction won’t wear it.
The Tory leadership have what Polecat Dom wants: momentary political advantage and a poll bounce going into what is looking like an early General Election. But the rest of this deal is likely to prove rather worse than that negotiated by Theresa May, and any deal which means the UK honouring its obligations to the EU - like paying the divorce bill which is thus far not being mentioned - is going to come under fire from the Brexit Party.
Bozo will look for the shortest possible election campaign. Jeremy Corbyn, and indeed all other party leaders with Commons representation, should make sure he doesn’t get it.

Because what has happened is that our PM has capitulated to the EU side in order to gain a head start in that campaign. He deserves to fail. And hopefully he will do just that.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at

Louise Ellman And Guido Fawkes

Sometimes it is not the action, but the timing; not the arguments, but the conduit. So it has proved for veteran MP Louise Ellman, who has announced her decision to leave the Labour Party. She will, for the time being, continue to represent the constituency of Liverpool Riverside; she has been the MP there since 1997, and at the 2017 General Election retained the seat with 84.5% of the popular vote.
Louise Ellman MP

Thus the action: the argument is, as with Luciana Berger in the neighbouring constituency of Liverpool Wavertree, that she is the victim of alleged anti-Semitism within party ranks. This, though, has been hotly contested by many local members, with Jewish Voice for Labour having compiled a comprehensive report on the matter (see HERE).

But neither the action, nor the arguments, are new or surprising. Louise Ellman has been consistently critical of the party leadership for some time. She is an unswerving supporter of the state of Israel, and of its actions; this is inevitably going to put her at odds with those who advocate for the cause of the Palestinians. That can be seen in the JVL report.
What lifts the Ellman resignation above the routine of Labour disagreements is the timing of her action, and one of the conduits used to disseminate information about it. Right now, Labour stands ready to bring down the current Government, once the Article 50 process has been extended in accordance with the provisions of the Benn Act.

There had not been any significant new accusations of anti-Semitic behaviour levelled against the party for some time, with the EHRC investigation taking its course. Cross-party discussions around bringing forward a Vote Of No Confidence have been proceeding. And with remarkable timing, the anti-Semitism accusations are brought to the fore again.
That much may raise a few eyebrows, but added to the timing is the conduit: at 2159 hours yesterday, Henry Zeffman of the Murdoch Times announced the Ellman resignation. Just three minutes later, her statement was published by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog. That’s a remarkably fast turnaround for a post. It’s so fast - three minutes - as not to be credible. Not without prior notice.

So my Occam’s Razor is pointing at The Great Guido having had prior knowledge of the resignation. And anyone opposed to anti-Semitism should not be going anywhere near Staines and his pals, for one very good reason: they have had no qualms about dabbling in it themselves in the recent past - notably during Ed Miliband’s leadership of the party.
Posts like that tellingEvery week Cameron looks easier, calmer, more in control of his party, his policy and his election plan – and every week his opponent dances at the despatch box like a spastic marionette … Ed kept asking, his convulsive string master taking another swig of the meths”. Marionette. Puppet master.

Not long after that post came another containing this gem: “Miliband is no Messiah. Pious, yes. Other-worldly, yes. Crucifixion-material, yes”. Both posts are still live as I type.

But now, all is transformed, and the Fawkes massive are right behind Louise Ellman. One can only hope that their intervention was not prompted by her. That, after all, would be the most appalling hypocrisy, and that would never do.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Brexit Poll Leave Support Claim FAWKED

Times for those who want to leave the European Union, no ifs, no buts, no conditional statement, no listening to inconvenient facts and stuff the reality are not good. The news from Downing Street suggests that alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is about to sell out the ERG, the DUP, and most of manufacturing industry has only darkened the mood. What was needed was yet another pointless gesture.
It was not going to come from the established punditerati. Beth Rigby of Sky News warned “So … legal text submitted but mood in No 10 a little downcast this morning. Govt source tells me it’s going to be tough to get something over line. PM held 3 hours of talks with DUP over past 36, but if he can’t get [Arlene] Foster over line, the ERG falls away & then no chance of majority”. Also at Sky News, Kate McCann had bad news, too.
Brexit Sec confirms Boris Johnson will write letter to the EU on Saturday if no deal has been agreed. This is under the terms of the Benn Act and would mean extension until Jan 31 2020”. David Allen Green agreed. “Unless something exceptional and not in view happens, would now seem virtually certain that there will be an Article 50 extension”.
It got worse: Stewart Wood warned “Apologies for the spanner in the works, but a Brexit deal based on keeping just Northern Ireland in the EU customs union seems to directly run up counter the Government’s Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Act 2018 … As Jacob Rees-Mogg knows: because it was his amendment”. JRM has screwed his own side.
And Jolyon Maugham observed “She 'fesses up. [Liz Truss] acknowledges the Withdrawal Agreement could be the only chance MPs have to say 'no' to chlorinated chicken and to US healthcare giants having full access to NHS contracts”. Was there no-one out there who could get the punters to, well, just “look over there” for a moment?
Sure enough, the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog had just the thing to induce a Squirrel moment among Brexit watchers. Or so they thought. “Huge Poll Shows Britons Want Brexit Deliveredclaimed their headline, suggesting a 54% to 46% majority for Leave. So what had sandwich monitor Christian Calgie discovered?
The biggest poll since the referendum itself, conducted for ITN by ComRes with 26,000 Britons, conclusively shows the public want Brexit sorted, with 54% of respondents saying we should support abiding by the referendum result and leave the EU. Even greater than the original 52:48 split”. That goes against all recent polling. Do go on.
When ‘don’t knows’ are included, leaving still has a majority, with 50% wanting to leave (30% with a deal and 20% with no deal) versus only 42% wanting to remain. The Brexit train rolls on”. As Fred Flintstone might have put it, hold it … HOLD IT!
That’s not the same thing as 54-46 Leave, is it? And Anthony Wells was soon along to sound a cautionary note. “For the record, the ComRes poll doing the rounds today is presented as Leave 50%, Remain 42%. This would be a very unusual result, as almost every poll that's asked a straight Remain/Leave question since mid-2017 has round Remain ahead”. Was it something to do with that 30-20 deal versus no deal?
It certainly was. “The reason is that the ComRes poll was *actually* Deal 30%, No Deal 20%, Remain 42%, and the two leave options are added up. This is far less surprising, when polls split out different options like they they do often find the Leave options sum to more than the Remain ones”. So what is apparently skewing the poll?
The reason is largely that some people who say they back leaving with a deal, will back remain if asked a straight remain/leave question”. So the Fawkes massive is lying. Again.
And while Wells concluded that “I don't think there's anything fundamentally wrong with asking people their preference between those three outcomes”, he also responded to the question “Do you think if you put in "remain with reforms to X" you'd increase the total remain support?” with “Almost certainly!” The ComRes poll is not a Leave endorsement.
All of which means not only that The Great Guido once again has his pants on fire, but also that the news for Leave fans really is uniformly bad.

If you have to lie just to put a positive spin on events, you’re screwed. Another fine mess.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at