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Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Tory Brexit Economic Assessment ISN’T

The Brexit deal negotiated on behalf of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson has been panned because of its potential hit on the UK economy: the effect has been estimated at around three times worse than the 2008 recession. The problem is that there can be little certainty without the Government’s own figures. So Labour MEP Julie Ward put in an FOI request to find out what their assessment would look like.
An absolute Muppet. And Elmo from Sesame Street

Her request were straightforward: “All documents in relation to the Government’s economic impact assessment of leaving the European Union based upon the Agreement of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community dated 19th October 2019”.
Stephen Barclay - asleep at the controls

There was more. “How much of the economic impact assessments have been commissioned internally within the Civil Service and which have been commissioned externally … When the economic impact assessment (a) began and (b) finished … The scope and terms of reference for each sector of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland economy … If the economic impact assessment of the new (19th October 2019) has not started when [will] the Government commence this analysis?
Imagine her shock when the reply arrived. “The Department for Exiting the European Union does not hold information within the scope of your request. There is no ‘economic impact assessment’ based upon the Withdrawal Agreement, nor is there a date for an ‘economic impact assessment’ to take place”. The most blind of blind Brexits.
Have a think about that. This is a deal destined to hurt millions of citizens and their families, and Bozo The Clown and his pals care so little about them that they are not bothering with an economic impact assessment. It’ll mean a serious hit to much of the population? Well, that’s their problem, eh? They wanted Brexit, and here it is.
Ms Ward was singularly unimpressed. “The government doesn't even know, or don't even seem to care, what their new Brexit deal will mean for the economy, business and families across the country … a complete dereliction of duty that the Government have no plans to do an economic impact assessment on their deal ensuring the public will not know what it means for them in the upcoming general election”. And there was more.
A government's number one responsibility is to protect its citizens but the Tories seem to be happy to take a leap of faith without knowing the true cost of Brexit no matter the consequences … The Conservatives seem to have no regard to facts or figures on the most important issue the country faces today and potentially for the next decade. The public are being kept in the dark about the true cost of Brexit”. Quite.
As Business Insider has pointed out, “Almost all economists agree that a deal of this nature will cause significant damage to the UK economy”, while the Independent has addedMinisters have dropped plans to publish a Treasury assessment, amid estimates of a hit to the UK economy of anything between £70bn and £130bn, leaving people thousands of pounds worse off”. Many other media outlets are keeping schtum.

The Tories claim to care. But only about themselves. I’ll just leave that one there.
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Tory Anti-Semitism - Candidates BUSTED

We are constantly being told that it is Labour that has the problem with anti-Semitism, yet time and again, the Tories are caught dog-whistling. Whether it is Suella Braverman talking of “Cultural Marxism”, Jacob Rees Mogg smearing Oliver Letwin and John Bercow and then claiming George Soros was behind the Remain campaign, Priti Patel channelling her inner Viktor Orb├ín, or Michael Gove conflating “Jews” and “Israel”, the intention is clear.
So it should have come as no surprise that the party shown to be riddled with Islamophobia is now exposed as riddled with anti-Semitism too, as the Tweeter known as Mates Jacob told yesterday: “Last night I started vetting the Tory election candidates, working my way through a list of constituencies in alphabetical order. I got as far as Aberdeen North before I found a stinker”. A, Aa, Ab, You’re Nicked.
So what did they find? As The National has Tweeted out, “Tomorrow’s front page exclusive: Scottish Tories forced to axe candidate after we uncover sick internet history of Holocaust denial, homophobia and Islamophobia”. The Daily Record has more.
The Conservative candidate for Aberdeen North has been suspended by the party after comments he made several years ago on an online forum emerged. The Scottish Conservatives said it had withdrawn its support for Ryan Houghton, while condemning ‘all forms of Islamophobia, homophobia and anti-Semitism’”. And Houghton’s response?
Houghton said the National newspaper had taken a ‘selective look’ at comments he made in discussions about terrorism, LGBT rights and anti-Semitism and vowed to clear his name. He said that in the discussions seven years ago, when he was 20, he referenced the views of discredited historian and Holocaust denier David Irving but had made clear in subsequent posts that he was not defending them”. Of course he did.
But while Houghton tried to cling on to his candidature, telling “I apologise unreservedly for any hurt now caused by these comments and have been in contact with members of the Jewish Community in Aberdeen”, the Scots Tories were having none of it. “The comments contained in these blogs are unacceptable and Mr Houghton has been suspended as a member of the Scottish Conservative party as a result”. And it gets worse.
Houghton is not the only Tory candidate under fire, as Politics Home has discovered. "The Tories have come under pressure to ditch a general election candidate after it was revealed he had described British Jews returning from Israel as ‘brainwashed extremist’ … The party’s Leeds North East candidate, Amjad Bashir, was forced to apologise for the remarks”. Bashir had formerly been an UKIP MEP.
He has “also accused the chair of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee of being an ‘apologist’ for Israel’”. Leeds North East has a significant Jewish population. It was represented at Westminster for many years by Keith Joseph. So the Tories have a stark choice: get an electoral hammering, or get a new candidate.

But there is good news for The Blue Team: Mates Jacob has also revealed “But you'll be pleased to know that their candidates in Aberavon and Aberconwy don't seem to be too awful”. What will be revealed when the search moves on to Ac? Not a good look.
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BBC Boosts Bozo U-Turn

With the General Election beginning to come to the boil - the first head-to-head debate between Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is this evening - broadcasters are supposed to be at least attempting some measure of even-handedness in their reporting. But someone deep in the bowels of New Broadcasting House, it seems, has not yet got the message.
So it was that yesterday, Bozo The Clown panicked, executed a screeching 180-degree U-Turn, dropped Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid in the mire once more, and the Beeb managed not to notice, despite their own political editor having not only noticed, but said so openly. The subject was Corporation Tax rates.

Labour has declared that, if elected, it will raise that tax from the current 19% to 26%. This is still lower than the 28% which was levied before the Tories began their cuts, and it is still lower than the rate in many other countries, not least Germany at 29.8%, France at 34.4%, Italy at 27.8%, Belgium at 29.6% and Portugal at 31.5%.
That did not stop Bozo claiming that “The alternative [to the Tories] is Jeremy Corbyn, who would whack it [CT] straight back up to the highest levels in Europe”. Bozo lying again. But then came that U-Turn, as the Independent has reported: “Addressing the CBI conference, the prime minister claimed the U-turn – leaving the tax at 19 per cent next April, instead of 17 per cent – would free up £6bn to spend on the NHS and other public services”.

However, and here we encounter a significantly sized however, as the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg mused, “Also this morning, who said this? 'Every time corporation tax has been cut in this country it has produced more revenue’?” answering her question “It was the PM who has cancelled the planned tax cut this morning saying that it will save 6bn”.
Bozo told us that cutting Corporation Tax was good for tax receipts and good for the economy, slagged off Labour for wanting to increase it, then increased it himself, his reason being the same one that Labour is using to justify its own plans.

So how did the Beeb report this? Did they highlight Bozo’s lies? Did they home in on his hypocrisy? Did they point up that this was a panic measure? As if you need to ask: the answer is that they did none of the above. Instead, we were given the stirring “General election 2019: PM puts corporation tax cuts on hold to help fund NHS”.
Only by reading down the page do we get to any critical analysis: “The announcement does not mean any new money for the NHS, on top of the £20bn extra a year the Conservatives are promising to give it up to 2023. The BBC understands the cash will be used, in part, to fund existing pledges on GP training”. No new money for the NHS.

But the headline worded, as with right-wing papers like the Mail, to suggest to the casual reader that this is exactly what Bozo has done. No mention of the admission that cutting Corporation Tax means less money in tax receipts. A blatant and panicked U-Turn massaged as if it were anything but Bozo flying by the seat of his pants.

The BBC may be trying to be impartial. But are they trying hard enough?
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Monday, 18 November 2019

Toby Young And A Sock Puppet Denial

Many people are accused of having sock puppet accounts: this claim has in the past been levelled at Zelo Street, but is totally untrue, but then, it was Dan Hodges pointing the finger. Some actually do have sock puppet accounts. In the no-mans-land between the two right now is the reputation, such as it is, of the loathsome Toby Young, and recent advertisements for another of his piss-poor articles for the Murdoch Sun.
Tobes has told eager Sun readers “From dial-up modems to blocked porn sites, here’s what Jeremy Corbyn’s free broadband could look like”, but then he just starts lying, claiming “the £1.2trillion cost of Labour’s other giveaways”. Tory HQ claims including false assumptions are not fact, Tobes. Try sticking to reality once in a while.
Oh, look at this, Murdoch propaganda: “A similar policy was adopted by the Australian Labour Party in 2006, with an initial price tag of £8billion”. Yes Tobes, and from that point it was systematically undermined by Rupe and his pals who were scared shitless of losing revenue from their satellite broadcasting empire. But do go on.
Ey up, here come the Tobes funnies. “Instead of a wi-fi router, you get a dial-up modem … The service only works four days a week … your monthly bill calculated by Diane Abbott … If you Google ‘capitalism’ you get the spinning wheel of death”. Laugh? I thought I’d never start. This is total crap. But worse was to come.
A racist Twitter feed, now deleted, called @sadjamieross, promoted Tobes’ article, telling “get ready for dial-up modems instead of wifi routers, it only works four days a week and if you Google ‘capitalism’ you get the spinning wheel of death (or worse!)”. Worse still, the Tweet begins “I’ve written the ultimate to Labour’s new broadband communism”.
Then, soon afterwards, that Tweet was deleted, while Tobes’ own feed told “dial-up modems instead of wifi routers, it only works four days a week and if you Google ‘capitalism’ you get the spinning wheel of death”. Note identical punctuation, same use of “wifi” rather than “wi-fi”, and almost identical wording. This, to no surprise at all, has raised suspicion. Suspicion that was only heightened when Tobes began to protest. Loudly.
[Ash Sarkar] just accused me of being behind a vile, racist Twitter account that’s just been deleted - and then quickly deleted her tweet. What gives Ash? Did you discover that the person behind it is, in fact, a member of the Labour Party?” If it had just been deleted, how come Tobes already knew it was “vile” and “racist”? And it got worse.
After Ms Sarkar responded “I asked a question, and deleted when I saw the original tweet had been taken down. More than happy to be led by your clarification in this case!” Tobes decided to keep on protesting. “But when you asked the question the racist tweet in question had already been deleted. So its deletion cannot have been your reason for deleting your tweet”. If it’s nothing to do with him, why is he protesting so much?
Toby Young may have had nothing to do with @sadjamieross. We may never know. But it is never a good idea to start shouting “yah boo it was Labour actually” when challenged.

Why not just say “It wasn’t me”, Tobes? Or did the common sense solution evade you?
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Jennifer Arcuri Cons GMB Again

Yesterday, former model and supposed tech entrepreneur Jennifer Arcuri was back in the news, suggesting she knew rather more about alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his “secrets” than she had previously let on. She had been a “confidante” of Bozo The Clown for four years, the inference being that she and he had enjoyed a very close relationship. Maybe even an intimate relationship.
Jennifer Arcuri ((c) ITV News)

So it was no surprise when ITV breakfast offering Good Morning Britain decided it would be a good idea to get her on the show and maybe spill some of those beans she appears to have been hoarding. However, and here we encounter a warning however, GMB has been here before. And the last time Ms Arcuri appeared on the show, she was tight-lipped but certainly not ashen-faced. And substantially better off as a result.

According to BuzzFeed News, and there hasn’t been any comeback on the claim, “The female tech entrepreneur at the centre of a brewing political scandal involving prime minister Boris Johnson was paid ‘low five-figures’ by ITV's Good Morning Britain to appear on the show on Monday, according to a source familiar with the matter”. So somewhere around the £15,000 to £20,000 mark. For saying very little.

Knowing what went before, one might have thought that this time round, there could have been a little more thought put into the interview. But that thought would have been misplaced, as former Screws and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan showed once more why his appointment as GMB co-host was not because of his interviewing skills.

So, as the Mirror has observed of Ms Arcuri, “She had taken to GMB to blast his treatment of her in the past few months, with her claiming he hung up on her last weekend when she made contact … But as GMB hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid continued to ask her to admit whether or not her past relationship with Boris was a romantic one, she hinted this was the case but refused to confirm”. No more than she told ITV News previously.
Taken the hint yet, Piers?

The absence of any new information - just the constant bleating that Bozo had cut her off when she called him, that she’d been fed to the press pack, and her alleged friendship discarded - was not lost on Lorraine Kelly, whose show follows GMB.

The Mirror noted “With Jennifer and Lorraine both on-screen via a split screen, the host told her she thought it was pointless her even being on … Looking pretty annoyed she said: ‘What's the point in you coming on air to clear the air and not saying anything.’ … Jennifer remarked: ‘I believe I said a few things. What was it that you were looking for that I didn’t say?’ [Lorraine] said: ‘You didn't answer any of the questions put to you, I don’t see the point of you being on’”. Perhaps it was about the money. Again.

Ms Arcuri said no more to the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire later in the morning. All of which suggests that (a) this is another self-promotion exercise, and that (b) whatever beans she is ready to spill may not be volunteered to any UK media outlet. And given UK media outlets’ tendency to hush up what might harm their pal Bozo, she would be right.

Jennifer Arcuri might yet cause Bozo significant discomfort. But she will do it on her terms, and not on Good Morning Britain. Just in case they didn’t get the hint last time.
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Nonentities Diss Corbyn On Nukes

It took until the last week of 2017’s General Election campaign for our free and fearless press to go after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on the subject of nuclear weapons. Not so this time round, as the Murdoch Sun has pressed the panic button with more than three weeks still to go. Worse for the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker, the sources they have used to back up their attack are the most insignificant of political nonentities.
The paper even makes room on the front page, alongside the Duke of York’s continuing woes over his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, to tell readers “Corbyn blasted in nuke pull-out”, going on to tellPACIFIST Jeremy Corbyn was branded a ‘danger to Britain’ after saying he would be prepared to give up Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent if he becomes PM”. But he didn’t, and note how “pacifist” is bandied around as a term of abuse.

But do go on. “He said the country’s crucial defence system would be on the table in international negotiations as he pledged to give ‘realism to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty’ … And he also refused to rule out scrapping Trident unilaterally as a price for securing the SNP’s support in the event of a hung Parliament after the election”.
This is complete baloney, as even the Sun admits. “Pressed on whether he would be willing to ditch Trident, Mr Corbyn told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show: ‘Well they would be part - obviously - if you enter into a non-proliferation treaty discussions then clearly every country's nuclear weapons go into that equation.’” This is not, repeat not, repeat NOT, saying the weapons would be scrapped. Note the phrase “Non proliferation”.

Then it just descends into flat-out lying: “Mr Corbyn was also lambasted after casting fresh doubt over Labour’s commitment to NATO - just a month before London hosts the military alliance’s annual summit”. He didn’t cast any doubt, and he isn’t part of that summit. So the comment is irrelevant. Then came those slagging him off.
Gammon's a little overdone

Ex-Labour MP Mike Gapes warned: ‘Once again Corbyn fails to support Nato. He is not fit to be Prime Minister.’” Mike Gapes. Mike Gapes. Who is fraudulently trying to use the Labour brand to garner votes, despite having left the party. Who is also lying, because Jezza did not “fail to support NATO”. And look who else the Sun is quoting.

And another former Labour MP John Woodcock … said Mr Corbyn was ‘a danger to Britain’”. John Woodcock. Who has never, but never, done other than slag off Corbyn’s leadership. Not even given him a chance. A bitter has-been who talks about “a danger to Britain” but was more than happy to support every last pointless military adventure of the past 20 years - Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria - despite the blowback for the UK.
John Whocock?

Woodcock and Gapes. Two political pygmies with a record of achievement not unadjacent to zero. Eager to go running to the Murdoch press to blubber that the Labour leadership is insufficiently bellicose. Two self-absorbed nobodies willing to put our armed forces in harm’s way, just so they can tell the world that they are strong. And willing to advocate blowing tens of billions on nuclear weapons, when there are millions living in poverty.

As with so many of these attacks, this says so much more about the political bankruptcy of Corbyn’s opponents than it does about him. I’ll just leave that one there.
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Sunday, 17 November 2019

Katie Hopkins Admits It’s Her Own Fault

The bad news is that pro-am motormouth Katie Hopkins is back in the Murdoch press today. The good news, though, is that not only has the rest of the press lifted the paywalled piece (see how that works, Rupe?), but also that Ms Hopkins’ latest excursion into the Fourth Estate is a campaign that has developed not necessarily to her advantage.
Viewers may still want to look away now

What the version of the article in the Mirror lets us know is that Hatey Katie did indeed have to sell her family home in Exeter in order to pay the legal costs of the defamation action brought against her by writer and campaigner Jack Monroe. Those costs eventually amounted to around £500,000. A cool half a million. And she could have settled the matter for a donation of £5,000 and an apology. But she doesn’t do apologies.

The Mirror confirms this singularly poor choice: “Asked what her worst business decision had been, she said: ‘Arguably, not settling the legal case brought against me. I could have settled by giving £5,000 to a migrant charity but chose not to’”. That means she ranks the defeat as worse than losing her Sun and Mail Online columns, and her LBC show.

And while the Mirror hints at why she might have lost any or all of those gigs - “Speaking to The Sunday Times, racist Hopkins whinged that speaking her mind lost her her career - having compared migrants crossing the Mediterranean in dinghies to ‘cockroaches’ and claiming she'd use gunships to prevent people from landing on European shores” - there is one incident they missed, which did for the LBC show all on its own.

After the Manchester Arena bombing, she went on a Twitter tirade that included the claim “We need a final solution”. It was Nazi-era language, an exhortation to genocide. Only after that, and a welter of complaints, did LBC decide that they could get along without her weekly show. She was sacked. Mail Online had, by that time, decided they would not renew her contract when it came up for renewal later the same year.
As to the idea that “speaking her mind cost her her career”, consider this. The likes of Allison Pearson, Richard Littlejohn, Quentin Letts (let’s not), Andrew Pierce, Amanda Bloody Platell, Jan Moir, Carole Malone and Julia Hartley Dooda manage to speak their minds and not get sacked. This is not some terrible conspiracy against free speech. It is her own fault for being an intolerant bigot, unable to express herself coherently.

Worse, there has been an intervention from I’m A Celebrity co-host Ant McPartlin on why Ms Hopkins did not feature more when she appeared on the show. “Katie Hopkins was in I'm A Celebrity but you wouldn't really remember her doing it, as she didn't really shine”. In other words, she was crap. So she didn’t get many offers to do more TV in the wake of her appearance. So her only career route was to become a columnist.

But she was too stupid to curb her hatred. So she lost those columns, and her LBC show. She’s still at it now, whinging at the Duchess of Sussex for being Not Totally White. She still doesn’t get it. Now she has to rent a house. And dodgy far-right money.

In any case, she’ll have been paid for her Sunday Times interview. Get the nanoviolin!
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Grenfell Nearly Happened Again

Some in our free and fearless press have short memories: it was less than two and a half years ago that Londoners awoke to find that the Grenfell Tower, a block of high-rise flats in north Kensington, had caught fire during the night. More than 70 people died and hundreds were made homeless, with the building’s refurbishment, using external aluminium cladding, now known to have been a major factor in the blaze.
That was then in 2017 ...

What the cladding, with an air gap to the building, also did because of that air gap was to cause what is known as the Stack or Funnel Effect, effectively turning that gap into a chimney and drawing the fire up through it. The cladding, with its polyethylene core, was not fire resistant; along with the air gap, that was a lethal combination. It overcame the compartmentalisation of the tower, which should have made “staying put” safe.

And in those two and a half years since Grenfell, very little has been done about removing unsafe cladding - or, indeed, deciding whether or not cladding of any kind can ever be safe, given what happens when the Stack effect kicks in. So it should have surprised no-one when another block with a cladded exterior suffered a fire which took hold with frightening speed - this time in Bolton, north west of Manchester.

The Cube, a student accommodation block, caught fire on Friday night. As the Guardian has reported, “Concerns have been raised over the cladding at a student accommodation building in Bolton where a fire spread ‘extremely rapidly’ … Witnesses said what appeared to be a small fire ripped through the upper part of the town-centre six-storey building, which is cladded in high-pressure laminate (HPL) material, ‘within minutes’”.

Grenfell was clad in Aluminium Composite panels, and that has been the focus of attention since the 2017 fire. But, as the Guardian piece points out, “there could be thousands of blocks with HPL”. And Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, while conceding that this was a different kind of cladding to that used at Grenfell, has concluded that cladding is a “bigger issue... than we have so far faced up to”. Any cladding may be dangerous.
... and this is now. Nothing has changed

All cladding systems leave that air gap for insulation purposes. As the Guardian report tells, “HPL panels, which can be made of compressed paper or wood fibre, have a variety of combustibility ratings”. All it needs is for the stack effect to take hold and anything made of compressed paper or wood fibre is going to burn, and fiercely.

It is little comfort to those evacuated from The Cube to know that “combustible ACM panels were banned last year for use on new tall residential and public buildings following post-Grenfell investigations”. Or to those in the “169 private-sector residential buildings with cladding systems unlikely to meet building regulations”.

The only improvement in Government response this time is that alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson turned up after the event and talked to some of those evacuated, unlike Theresa May who declined to speak to any of the Grenfell residents after the fire there. But the threat of another cladding fire remains.

Hundreds of thousands live in medium and high rise buildings that have had cladding applied to their exteriors. Next to nothing is being done about it. Is it because the residents are less well-off? A case of “you might wish to think that, I couldn’t possibly comment”.
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Jennifer Arcuri Won’t Go Away

As the General Election campaign becomes that little more serious, there is one person who our alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson would rather stay out of sight, and indeed out of the country. That person is tech “entrepreneur” Jennifer Arcuri, with whom he may or may not have had a relationship while Mayor of London.
Jennifer Arcuri ((c) ITV News)

The problem for Bozo is that Ms Arcuri has declined to grant his wish, and indeed has railed the stakes by featuring in an ITV Exposure edition to be broadcast later today. Here, she will assert that Bozo has refused to take her calls. She will also assert that her relationship with him lasted for a whole four years, during which time he made nine declarations of interest to the City Hall monitoring officer.

And he did not mention her in his declarations once. Not once. Quite apart from the deceit, which is par for the course with Bozo, is the now very real prospect that Ms Arcuri, always good to spot a financially beneficial opportunity, may spill the beans during the election campaign. She may, whisper it quietly, have already spilled them.

Here’s what she said, addressing him directly: “I’ve been nothing but loyal, faithful, supportive, and a true confidante of yours … I’ve kept your secrets, and I’ve been your friend. And I don’t understand why you’ve blocked me and ignored me as if I was some fleeting one-night stand or some girl that you picked up at a bar because I wasn’t - and you know that. And I’m terribly heartbroken by the way that you have cast me aside like I am some gremlin”. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Hello Bozo.
I’ve kept your secrets”. The phrase that should be sending a chill down Tory spines right now, along with the idea that Ms Arcuri was “a true confidante”. What dirt does she have on him? Indeed, if he confided in her about anyone else, what dirt does she have on them? Which part of the press or broadcast media might already have the story ready to run? What can the Tories do to stop the revelations?

There are, as Jon Stewart might have said, two things here. One, if Ms Arcuri has indeed been a confidante of Bozo, she will know which parts of the UK media will keep schtum on his behalf - and which will not. She might, as a result, spill the beans to a media outlet outside the UK. And Two, this once again reflects very badly on our free and fearless press, which would have been all over this relationship, had it not been a Tory politician.

And a Tory politician who was one of theirs (see also under Michael “Oiky” Gove). Had it been a senior Labour figure, we would have known about Ms Arcuri, or her left-leaning equivalent, years ago. Part of the reason we are only now learning about her and Bozo is not because of what the press chooses to say, but what it chooses not to say.

Worst of all, she suggests she was not his only extra-curricular interest: “On another occasion, shortly after Johnson became prime minister, Arcuri says she was very keen to speak to him because she had heard that reporters were contacting her friends … ‘When I expressed the interest to want to speak to him, I was told: “There are bigger things at stake”, and I was brushed off as if I was one of Kennedy’s girlfriends showing up to his White House switchboard’”. So Bozo was that serious a philanderer, was he?

Bozo thought his media pals would protect him. This may be beyond their grasp already.
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Top Six - November 17

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 retail stuff to do later. So there.
6 Press Cenotaph Hypocrisy After kicking Jeremy Corbyn for not making a sufficiently grovelling bow during the Remembrance ceremony, there was hardly a word when alleged Prime Minster Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson got his timing wrong and then laid his wreath upside down.

5 Farage On A Roll - BACKWARDS The Brexit Party Oberscheissenf├╝hrer pulled more than 300 of his party’s candidates from next month’s General Election, only to find the right-wing press demanding he pull hundreds more.

4 Tories’ Dodgy Crewe Leaflet BUSTED Serial carpetbagger Kieran Mullan was such a Billy No Mates that he had to get four of his six endorsements from other Tories.

3 Rachel Riley Endorses Anti-Semite The Countdown numbers person gleefully backed the man who heckled Jeremy Corbyn in Glasgow. Without checking his social media history first. Oops!

2 Brexit Party - Lawyers Called In Nigel Farage pulling more than 300 of his party’s candidates out of the election is not going down well with some of them.

1 Rachel Riley’s Anti-Labour Pal EXPOSED David Collier was caught on camera effectively admitting that he gives anti-Semitism in the Tory Party a free pass.

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

Saturday, 16 November 2019

Tories - Not Getting Brexit Done

The Tories have just shown the waiting press and public their variant on the 2019 General Election battle bus, emblazoned with the rallying cry “GET BREXIT DONE”. And if they are returned to power, they will play hardball with those Rotten Eurocrats™: should the free trade deal on offer from the EU not be to their liking, they will be more than happy to leave on WTO terms. After all, what’s not to like for freedom loving Tories?
Bozo sells out to German bus no shock horror

Countries like Australia are going to be queuing up to trade with us, no questions asked. Or rather, they aren’t, at least, not without a hardball game of their own, as the Australian edition of the Guardian has made plain. “Australia demands compensation over Brexit trade disruption … Country’s claim that meat exports are suffering wins support from 14 countries” is the headline. And this is what awaits the UK at the WTO.

There was more. “Australia and a host of non-EU countries are demanding compensation from the UK and the EU for Brexit-related disruption to trade. During negotiations at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Australia said its beef and lamb exports had already been adversely affected by Brexit confusion”. Anyone supporting them on this?

The answer to that one is yes. “The country’s claim that Australian farmers suffered losses and could continued to do so won immediate support from 14 countries including the US, India, New Zealand, China and Canada”. Would that be the same USA with which we are supposed to be getting a great trade deal? Well, yes it is. So what’s the problem?

The EU limits the volume of agricultural imports from the rest of the world that can come into the trading bloc without full tariffs being applied. A certain amount can come from outside the EU, subject to a finite number of ‘tariff rate quotas’ (TRQs) which allow for lower or reduced duties … Britain’s departure from the EU would take with it a portion of the ‘tariff rate quotas’ available to Australian companies, but the two sides cannot agree on how meat should be carved”. So the dispute has now ended up at the WTO.
Britain and the EU say no compensation is required. But “The US called the EU and British proposals ‘unjustifiable’ and New Zealand said it undermined the general principle that no change to existing WTO arrangements should leave WTO members worse off. Brazil also commented, saying that trade arrangements proposed for Northern Ireland could breach WTO rules”. What you will not see on the side of the Tory battle bus.

The Guardian Australia article concludes with this observation: “Australia is in the midst of negotiating a free-trade agreement with the EU and has signed a ‘mutual recognition agreement’ with the UK after a globe-hopping trade mission by Liam Fox, the former trade secretary”. It’s rather obvious which of those is more beneficial to the UK.

And we only get the less beneficial one if the charade that is Brexit is followed through, to the supposed sunlit uplands of the WTO, where we can enjoy years of trade disagreements and a final judgment handed down by a body where we don’t have a vote.

You thought the WTO was more democratic than the EU? You were sold a pup.
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