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Saturday 30 November 2019

London Bridge - Media Stirs Up Hatred

Such is the warped view of many who inhabit the world of our free and fearless press, and many of their associates in other media fields, that their first instinct on seeing the news of a terror attack at London Bridge yesterday was to find a judge to blame. And when they then discovered that the attacker had been sentenced by Lord Justice Leveson, this automatically became A Very Bad Thing Indeed.
Allison Pearson - ignorance personified

After all, Lord Leveson had presided over Part 1 of the Leveson Inquiry, which had shown the press in a most unfortunate light - the inevitable result of gathering evidence and asking questions, which that same press believes should be done to everyone else bar itself. Leveson is a press hate figure. It must have been Leveson Wot Done It.
Julia Hartley Dooda - shouting before researching

So it was that any semblance of responsible journalism was thrown out of the window, in favour of whipping up the mob - starting with Tom Savage, from the sewer that is Mail Online. “So the London Bridge terrorist was locked up on an indeterminate sentence for public protection until that was ‘revised’ to a set term by Lord Justice Leveson. Another good day at the office, Brian”. Wrong. But it did the mob whipping up just fine.
Master Cole - should plug brain in. If he has one

The Parole Board was also accused of complicity. So it had to point out that it was not involved in the suspect’s release, which was not good enough for the odious flannelled fool Master Harry Cole, who nudged and winked “Someone must have signed off the terms tho”. The Secret Barrister was left to point out “The Court of Appeal substituted an indeterminate sentence of imprisonment for public protection (IPP) with an extended sentence for public protection (EPP) of 16 years plus 5 years. At the time, this would have meant automatic release after 8 years”. Then came another know-all.
TalkRADIO host Julia Hartley Dooda blamed both the Parole Board and Leveson. The Secret Barrister moved to put out another fire. “This is false. See my thread. The Parole Board played no part in this”. So Ms Hartley Dooda engaged why-oh-why autopilot. “How many more of Usman’s eight fellow terrorists have now been released back onto our streets to kill and maim? We have a right to know”. And then came the Main Event.
A smile, a song, and a few acts of blatant defamation: Allison Pearson had arrived. “Forget the usual self-serving platitudes, focus on the abolition in 2012 of Indeterminate Public Protection sentences. Abolished, no doubt, under pressure from the rehabilitation brigade. Public at the mercy of ‘reformed’ jihadists like Khan”. And it soon got worse.
The Tweeter known as South London John quashed that idiocy. “He was sentenced to IPP in February 2012 and the actual IPP sentence was abolished by Coalition government in May 2012 so when his appeal was heard in 2013 the court was following government policy by changing the sentence to a fixed term”. It was not Leveson Wot Done It.
Then it was back to firefighting, as Ms Pearson said something so blatantly actionable she later deleted it. “This is the journalist who incited criminal offences of harassment against Boris Johnson’s neighbours” we were reminded. Meanwhile, Ms Pearson went off the end of the pier in no style at all, in a manner which she may come to regret.
On the one hand we have the remarkable bravery of ‘ordinary’ members of the public.On the other, we have a criminal justice system - including human rights QCs - who facilitate violent jihadists to get away with murder”. The Secret Barrister reminded her “What we also have are defamation lawyers, who would I’m sure have things to say about accusing a criminal barrister doing their job of ‘facilitating violent jihadists’”. Quite.
Allison Pearson is a Telegraph columnist. Ms Hartley Dooda has been given a platform by a broadcast organisation. Savage has been legitimised by the Rothermere press, as has Master Cole. None of them has sufficient intellectual capacity to realise that their social media output is enabling the same kind of hatred that inspired yesterday’s attacker.

But what they inspire is the white far-right, so that’s all right, then.
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Frances Barber’s London Bridge Meltdown

Yesterday afternoon, a lone terrorist carried out a knife attack inside and outside London’s Fishmongers’ Hall, and then on London Bridge. Two people were fatally stabbed before the Met arrived and shot the attacker dead. Three others were injured. The suspect had a past criminal record that included a terrorist conviction.
Frances Barber

As the BBC has reported, “The actions of the public have been widely praised, including by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Ms [Cressida] Dick [the Met Commissioner], who said they had shown ‘extreme courage’”. What set the attacker off is not yet known. But for one minor thesp, the conclusion was clear.
Late in the evening, as so often before, Frances Barber began the kind of rant that will satisfy even the most discerning rant connoisseur. “People died.  Innocent men & women going to work were stabbed by a terrorist. Jeremy Corbyn is on their side. I fucking hate him”. Wasn’t this a bit of a logic leap? “How fabulous! I leapt he’s a total shithead”.
And she was only getting warmed up. It was pointed out to her that she may have been influenced by a fake Corbyn Tweet that had been circulating following the attack, but Ms Barber was having none of it. “No Interest in that. He’s a vile terrorist sympathizer”. How very Stateside of her. In the meantime, another Tweeter suggest she get help, which triggered the paranoia. "Everyone can see what’s happening. Bastardi sent you”.
In Frances Barber’s world, Aaron Bastani is behind all sorts of evil goings-on, when in reality, he sends no-one. And especially not after her. But back to the fake Tweet. “What tweet? He’s loved terrorists all his god damn life”. Then after a pause, she addressed the fake Tweet again. “You are telling me it was a fake tweet. I didn’t even see it. I know he’s a vile anti British nasty communist”. What’s a little defamation between Tweets, eh?
Having ranted about Jezza, she now transferred her ire to Bastani, because, oh I dunno, it was getting late. “Bastardi has released his demons . Nasty upsetting. Who needs it. But I’m ok”. There was another short pause before she replied to herself. “This is the way politics is conducted now? Pillory the enemy. Hateful . It’s why after 40 years I left this poison”. What is she on about? Who knows? And, indeed, who cares?
By this time, some on social media were concerned about her wellbeing. So one of them asked if there was someone Ms Barber could call. “Kate thinks I’m mentally ill because I don’t adore Corbyn. Hahahaha” she snapped. Interesting way of thanking someone. Ian Fraser concluded that she was “just deranged”. So he got the treatment too. “I used to think Ian Fraser was a journeyman. I now know he us [sic]”.
Having dismissed concerns about her, it was back to one last not very glorious attack on, you guessed it, Aaron Bastani. “Asshole Bastardi has sent all you little ants. Honestly guys it’s too tragic”. Would she consider moving away from the keyboard, given it was past midnight? As if you need to ask. “Bastardi is now so desperate he is pretending fake worrying about The Grand Masters life. Oh my days”.
Frances Barber would blame Corbyn and Bastani if her train was late. Sad, really.
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Friday 29 November 2019

Sun Ultimate Hillsborough Hypocrisy

Yesterday, at Preston Crown Court, former Police superintendent David Duckenfield was found not guilty of gross negligence manslaughter over the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans in the crush at the Leppings Lane end of the Hillsborough stadium at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final. Relatives and friends of those who died were deeply unhappy: was no-one responsible for the crush, and the subsequent deaths?
But covering the continuing grief of those relatives was a mere side-show for one newspaper where high principles have never been allowed to stand in the way of pursuing More And Bigger Sales For Themselves Personally Now since 1969. Yes, the acquittal has been splashed all over the front page of the Murdoch Sun. “Hillsborough Cop Cleared … STILL NO JUSTICE” thunders the headline.

The supporting article tellsFURIOUS Hillsborough families branded British justice ‘shameful’ yesterday after police match commander David Duckenfield was cleared of any involvement in the deaths of 95 Liverpool fans … Gasps were heard in the public gallery, while one relative screamed ‘Stitched up again!’ and others collapsed in tears when the verdict was read out”. It’s almost as if the Murdoch goons cared.

There is even a “30 Years Of No Justice” timeline. But one item is missing from that list, and anyone who has covered the Hillsborough disaster and its long and painful aftermath knows what it is. It is the shameful, deliberate and utterly inexcusable behaviour of the same Murdoch paper that is today pretending it gives a flying foxtrot about all those Liverpool fans it spent so much time slagging off back in 1989.
Then, under the less than benign editorship of the deeply unpleasant Kelvin McFilth, the paper blamed Liverpool fans for the disaster, despite its infamous “THE TRUTH” front page admitting that the cops had given the order to open the Leppings Lane gates, the action that precipitated the crush - because, at the same time, no-one guided fans to the side pens, where there was room. So they went straight on into the crowded middle pen.

Other papers had run the same untrue story, but soon realised the error of their ways and apologised. The Sun did not. Even when Kel said sorry, he made it clear that he was only doing so because Rupert Murdoch had leaned on him to do so. Finally, when he eventually admitted the story was bogus, he blamed his sources - rather than conceding that it was his job as editor to make sure the material they fed him was genuine.

Meanwhile, the Sun was boycotted in Liverpool and later across Merseyside. The loss of sales ultimately forced the Murdoch press to own up. But there has been no forgiveness, and nor will there be. Today’s front page splash is all about trying to bust the boycott, but it will not work. Only at the very end of the article is it conceded “In the wake of the tragedy, The Sun wrongly repeated police allegations that fans were to blame. We subsequently apologised ‘for our gravest error’”. Mealy mouthed and hiding behind quote marks.

The Sun’s so-called journalism was crap in 1989. It’s still crap today. There is no reason why the 30-year boycott should end. Ever. Don’t buy the Sun.
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Tories Threaten To Curtail Free Speech

The last line of the legendary Peter Sellers film Being There could have been written about the UK’s media in our new age of uncertainty: “Reality is a state of mind”. It may be the only way that the right-leaning part of our free and fearless press can justify standing by while alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson claims to be a champion of free speech, while ducking scrutiny and threatening to shut down inconvenient voices.
While Bozo The Clown and his fellow Tories have largely emasculated the now craven and defensive BBC, they enjoy no such subservience from Channel 4, where a failure to turn up for debates means being empty chaired, no ifs, no buts.
So it was that yesterday’s Climate Debate featured the leaders of Labour, the Lib Dems, the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the co-leader of the Green Party, but not those of the Brexit Party or Tories, neither of whom had accepted the invitation to take part. Jeremy Corbyn appearing on the same day that the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph claimed he was “dodging TV debates” showed that the press is now flat-out lying.
Only at the last minute did the Tories suddenly decide that they would take part. But being accustomed to fiddling the rules, they sent a delegation of Bozo’s Dad Stanley, and Michael “Oiky” Gove, neither of whom was the party leader. For this easily understood reason, Gove was not allowed to stand in for Bozo and the empty chairing continued.
Channel 4 News editor Ben de Pear noted “In a last ditch attempt [Boris Johnson] has sent his two wing men best friend [Michael Gove] and dad Stanley Johnson to argue their way into a programme intended only for leaders. they were lovely and charming but neither are the leader”. Krishnan Guru-Murthy added “This #BorisTheCoward hashtag can be easily disproved by [Johnson] turning up at 7pm tonight (and by doing Andrew Neil too)”.
Gove, meanwhile, tried to spin his way out of it. “Tonight I went to Channel 4 to talk about climate change but Jeremy Corbyn and Nicola Sturgeon refused to debate a Conservative”. Bullshit. ITV political editor Robert Peston added “Classic Vote Leave tactics this whole ‘Gove turns up’ while CCHQ complains to regulator Ofcom about Ch4 barring him. It is all about proving to supporters that the London media establishment are against them (don’t laugh) while trying to intimidate all broadcasters”.
In fact, there was not just a complaint to Ofcom - good luck with that one, Tory people - but a threat of censorship. As the BBC has now reported, “the Conservative Party accused the broadcaster of breaking its duty to be impartial and citing other alleged examples of bias … the party says Channel 4 News staged a ‘provocative partisan stunt, which would itself constitute making a political opinion in its own right’”. And then came that threat.
Conservative sources briefed journalists at BuzzFeed News and the Telegraph that ‘if we are re-elected we will have to review Channel 4's Public Services Broadcasting obligations’”. And the rest of the press just nods along. As Sunny Hundal put it, “If Corbyn had threatened Channel 4's license over climate change debate, every newspaper in Britain would rightly be calling it ‘Stalinist'. Yet the press is silent and BBC is treating it as a legit story”. Quite. Same with the Tories banning the Mirror from their campaign bus.

Tory commitment to free speech does not include dissent. Who’s being Stalinist now?
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Thursday 28 November 2019

Bozo Bigotry Back Catalogue EXPOSED

Those opposed to any party that is not the Conservative Party have an infamous track record in trawling social media histories and previous published content in order to attack their targets. How revealing that they are silent today when the boot has been placed so firmly on the other foot, and the back catalogue under examination is that of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. It makes for grim reading.
There is, predictably, racism, as the Guardian has reported. “The prime minister has been under pressure in recent months over a series of comments he made during his career as a columnist, writer and editor, including referring to black people as ‘piccaninnies’ with ‘watermelon smiles’ and arguing Islam has caused the Muslim world to be ‘literally centuries behind’ the west”. So what has been excavated?

The Conservative party leader wrote in a diary piece for the Independent on Sunday in October 1999 that Tony Blair had made people feel good about getting rich. He added: ‘All the young people I know - ie those under 30 - are just as avaricious as we flinty Thatcherite yuppies of the 1980s in fact, they have an almost Nigerian interest in money and gadgets of all kinds.” Stand Up To Racism has rightly condemned the comment.

There was more on the racism front: “On Wednesday Johnson apologised for Islamophobia within the Conservative party”. But not everyone got the message: “the chancellor, Sajid Javid, refused seven times to say whether he would use the terms ‘bank robber’ or ‘letterbox’ to describe Muslim women who wear a burka, as Johnson did last year”. Javid no longer identifies as a Muslim. And it got worse.

Bozo’s time at the Spectator magazine, which he edited for six years, is also coming under scrutiny, as the Independent has now told. “Boris Johnson described the children of single mothers as ‘ill-raised, ignorant, aggressive and illegitimate’ in a newly unearthed article which Labour has claimed shows the prime minister’s ‘dark-age’ attitudes towards women”. Helen Macintyre was, it seems, unavailable for comment.
Plenty of Bozo bigotry from his time here

There was more. “In a column written for The Spectator, the Tory leader said it was ‘outrageous that married couples should pay for ‘the single mothers’ desire to procreate independently of men’ … And he suggested it was ‘feeble’ for a man to be unable or unwilling to ‘take control of his woman’, arguing Britain needed to ‘restore women’s desire to be married’”. Difficult when the father is married to someone else.

And more. "Suggesting swingeing cuts to benefits to tackle teen pregnancy, he wrote: ‘It must be generally plausible that if having a baby out of wedlock meant sure-fire destitution on a Victorian scale, young girls might indeed think twice about having a baby … And yet no government – and certainly no Labour government – will have the courage to make the cuts in the safety net of the viciousness required to provide anything like such a deterrent”.

And yet more. “For the reality, surely, is that nine times out of 10 these girls will go on having babies out of wedlock not because they want to qualify for some state hand-out, but because, in their monotonous and depressing lives, they want a little creature to love”. Labour has condemned that one. Which the party’s researchers have dug out.

His pals do it to their opponents. Bozo can have no complaints when it’s done to him.
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BBC Reputation IN THE BIN

There have been misgivings about the BBC’s behaviour for some years, something that was not helped by stunts such as having a Labour shadow minister resign live on the Daily Politics at a time that benefited the Tories. That one was excused by Robbie Gibb, more recently exposed as a right-winger and fervent Brexiteer. But even after Gibb’s departure, the disquiet has only magnified. Now the dam has finally burst.
Lord Hall-Hall - needs to call time on himself

What happened this week leaves no doubt that some at the Corporation should face the sack for their shameless partiality, not least Director General Lord Hall-Hall, serenely carrying on as if nothing were amiss, and Director of News and Current Affairs Fran Unsworth, on whose watch the organisation has given Vote Leave’s lawbreaking a free pass, and failed to keep its political editor in line.
The matter that caused push to come to shove was the round of set-piece interviews of party leaders, which should have been conducted by Andrew Neil, who, despite his back-story of supporting Mrs T while editor of the Sunday Times, and overseeing the increasingly alt-right Spectator magazine, has thus far been an equal opportunity giver or short shrift to those passing before his inquisition.
Neil grilled Jeremy Corbyn; the next to occupy the hot seat would be alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. Bozo The Clown had come off second best to Jezza in last week’s Question Time leaders’ special, and at a head-to-head debate on ITV. He had fared badly the last time Brillo grilled him. The presenter was, he claimed, already working on his preparation. But then Bozo apparently got cold feet, and may chicken out.
While the Beeb told that “As part of our series of leaders' interviews, we have dates for two more next week. Andrew Neil will interview Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage”, they then admitted “For those asking when Boris Johnson's interview will take place, we're in ongoing discussions with his team but we haven't yet been able to fix a date”. So what had they told Labour before the Corbyn interview?
Theo Usherwood of LBC had the answer: “Labour source tells me BBC informed them Boris Johnson would do an Andrew Neil interview next week. Turns out no such agreement had been reached. If Tory leader isn't subjected to same scrutiny as Mr Corbyn, but his team was told he would be, that's a problem for the BBC”. Kevin Maguire of the Mirror didn’t quite believe it. “Unforgivable of both the BBC, which should’ve nailed him down, and a cowardly Johnson if this interview doesn’t happen”.
And Owen Jones hit the nail on the head. “This is an absolute disgrace from [BBC News]. They lied to Labour and said they'd agreed an interview between Andrew Neil and Boris Johnson next week. If that doesn't happen then no one can ever trust a single word the BBC say ever again and senior figures will have to resign”. Could it get worse?
It certainly could. After Randeep Ramesh of the Guardian revealed “The prime minister’s senior aide, Dominic Cummings, has resigned as a special adviser, according to a Cabinet Office source”, up popped Ms Kuenssberg. “Was probably a matter of time.. Dominic Cummings back on his blog …  warns Brexiteers there is 'real possibility of a hung parliament' and a second referendum”. Promoting a Government advisor. Or former one.
Aaron Bastani responded “What on earth is happening to broadcasting impartiality during an election? You’re literally sharing a call to action for Tory activists about what they need to do. I’m honestly gobsmacked”. And Donahue Rogers concluded “Do you know what? Most people wouldn't have seen that if you hadn't provided the link and that includes [Ofcom]. This is election purdah period, can you now provide links to close advisers of other political parties as you now need to do to maintain balance?”.
That Ms Kuenssberg Tweeted that out speaks volumes for not only her hideous partiality, but also for her confidence that she will get away with it - again. If there is any justice in this increasingly wayward media world we now inhabit, her tenure as the Corporation’s political editor must be brought to an end, and sooner rather than later.
Unlike the Thatcher years, when the Tory Party’s assault on the BBC was incessant, and vicious with it, there has been criticism from many on the left, but not from the Labour leadership. Perhaps if there had been, someone in the organisation might have stopped and thought. If Bozo really does chicken out of a Brillo encounter, they will then.
For decades, BBC News and Current Affairs has been the Gold Standard, the bar against which all other broadcast journalism was measured. Now, the Corporation’s currency has not so much decoupled from that Gold Standard, as it has crashed out of it.

If we cannot trust the BBC, what news can we trust? We live in disturbing times.
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