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Tuesday 31 December 2019

Danny Tommo Buggered In Bognor

Very little happens in Bognor Regis, or at least very little that is considered newsworthy elsewhere in the world. But the South Coast resort once made infamous because of what George V allegedly said about it on his death bed has at last made the national news, and for all the wrong reasons. It has become the latest opportunity for the far-right to try whipping up the mob against all those Scary Muslims™.
Danny Tommo

The lead-up to this national news event is straightforward: three women in their 20s bought takeaways from the Istanbul Grill on Bognor High Street late one night recently. All three had bought kebabs; all three then discovered what looked like capsule pills in their food. The local Police attended and have arrested two men “on suspicion of administering poison with intent to endanger life, or inflict grievous bodily harm”.

As the BBC has reported, “Officers said they were investigating why the pills were in the food … Ch Insp Jon Carter said: ‘The investigation is at an early stage, and exactly what happened, and the motivations of those involved are not yet fully understood … However, there is nothing to suggest that any other food outlets are involved.’”
That was not sufficient to assuage the logic-leaping and ability to generate groundless conspiracy theories that is the speciality of Amateur Comedy Kidnapper Daniel Thomas, aka Danny Tommo. Thomas, who appears to have learnt the odd trick from his pal Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, decided that this was not just a case of pills in food. He decided that it was about Grooming Gangs.

And off he went. “Please RT, so parents are aware! … Gemma Hood please get in touch! … I’ll be in Bognor tomorrow to report on this!” Parents? The women were all in their 20s. But now he’s put together a video message, which is a masterpiece of fantasy.
I just wanted to give you a really quick update about the Bognor situation with the potential grooming gang [this means there isn’t one]. We’ve had it now confirmed from various sources that [the kebab shop] has been raided and those that were inside have been arrested [none of those sources are the cops, and most likely none are reliable]”.

There was more. “And now there are multiple stories coming from various people within the community that have had experiences in that kebab shop. Young girls, mothers telling stories about young girls being inappropriately touched and another story about a nine-year-old girl being dragged into the back of the shop [no reliable citation, and there probably won’t be one]. There are unconfirmed reports [see what I mean]”.
Danny Tommo has no idea what happened in the Istanbul Grill in Bognor. He’s spreading unsubstantiated gossip as if it were fact, in order to whip up the mob against More Of Those Scary Brown People™. But he claims he will be meeting those “affected”. Sadly, though, another of those “unconfirmed reports” suggests he’s having problems.

Sources tell me that, the jerk-off-journo that is [Danny Tommo], has had a bad day in Bognor. Apparently, Daniel pulled his live-feed after self-doxxing his own address and phone number, and then got pulled for having no MOT”. No further questions, m’Lud.

That’s Danny Tommo - so inept he can’t spin a conspiracy without screwing up.

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Monday 30 December 2019

Jennifer Arcuri And The Bozo Diaries

Hardly has our free and fearless press finished congratulating itself on getting alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson returned to power than another of what Harold Macmillan called “events, dear boy, events” has returned to haunt both of them. While Bozo The Clown tells the world that he has settled down - for the time being - with partner Carrie Symonds, his most notorious past liaison is once more in the news.
And it’s down to the Murdoch Sunday Times, which has been allowed on occasion to publish stories that may not always reflect well on the Tory leader. The paper has revealed that Jennifer Arcuri, who enjoyed a relationship with Bozo when he was the very occasional Mayor of London, kept what is being called an “intimate diary” of their conversations. Moreover, she appears to be casting round for a publisher.

Here’s what she told the ST: “I have about seven years of diary entries, and it’s been fascinating for me to go back and read what I wrote … “Because many times he would call me and I would pick up the phone and write down our entire conversation verbatim … And let’s be very clear here - I don’t have an ode to Boris Johnson, it’s not like I have a diary about Boris, I have a diary about my life. I have over 50 of them”. How many?
Fifty of them. And there is more. “When this was coming out I went back to that diary to see am I just remembering this wrong? Because it’s been a few years and I’ve had a lot of growing up, etc. But there’s very much a story there”. One account adds “The Independent Office for Police Conduct is still considering whether there is sufficient evidence to mount a criminal investigation against Johnson into alleged misconduct in public office”.

Just in case anyone forgot that Bozo managed not to declare his relationship with Ms Arcuri, who was in receipt of significant amounts of money from City Hall funds during the period of that relationship. She is certainly proving persistent, as witness her telling “There is a deeply human side to this - one that will surprise both sides of this divided country. I’ve lived it and since reading back on my diaries I’ve surprised myself how much is there; the real story is nothing like that which the media have printed”.
And following it with “I am exploring the options of what I am prepared to say and share with the world and what I want to keep private. what’s interesting is I’ve kept diaries through all these years and I find that sharing excerpt(s) help put some context to what actually happened”. This gives Bozo’s press cheerleaders a problem.

The story is already out there. If Ms Arcuri publishes in the USA, no amount of legal intervention in this country can stop her. Worse, as we saw with the phone hacking scandal, there is only so much mileage in shouting “non story” before the dam bursts and the whirlwind is reaped. Bozo and his media pals cannot hold this one back forever.
Moreover, it’s not just about a friendship, intimate or otherwise. It’s about, potentially, the ease with which the man who is now Prime Minister can be corrupted, with all the implications that has for national security, especially when his visiting the Lebedev Palazzo without his Metropolitan Police close protection detail is factored in.

Most of all, when it concerns someone so senior, it is vital that our supposedly non-partisan media - hello BBC - reports this one properly. I’ll just leave that one there.
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Sunday 29 December 2019

Jolyon Maugham Foxed But Not Fawked

Only one thing distinguishes real libel bullies from those who merely pretend to behave thus, and it is the sure and certain knowledge that the latter are full of crap. The mere threatening of legal action, knowing that it has zero chance of being followed through, is the true sign of the empty vessel, the paper tiger, the abject and total coward.
Jolyon Maugham QC

Which brings us to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines, who, as Zelo Street regulars will recall, threatened a defamation action against me, only to be told by my lawyer in no uncertain terms that his initiative was going nowhere. This was a considerable disappointment to one well-known QC, who was rather looking forward to cross-examining The Great Man on the subject of his reputation, or lack of it.
After his bluff was called, one might have thought that Staines would desist from threatening legal action in the future. Not a bit of it: after Brexit busting barrister Jolyon Maugham revealed that he had killed a fox which had become caught in netting and was causing distress to his chickens, The Great Guido has blustered once more.
Following the RSPCA’s response to Maugham’s admission that he had killed a fox - “We're aware of a situation regarding a fox, and would like to reassure people that we're investigating. Due to a very high volume of tweets, unfortunately we can't respond to every single one, and are unable to provide further comment right now. Thank you for your understanding” - Staines sprang, or perhaps that should be waddled, into action.
If necessary we will organise a private prosecution” he announced grandly. And so a new round of non-celebrity Call My Bluff began, soon followed by “A leading law firm has come forward and offered to work pro bono on this animal welfare case”. Yeah, right. And who might that be? If it’s Griffin Law (Donal Blaney’s outfit) then no-one, especially a seasoned QC like Maugham, should be even slightly concerned.
After all, Griffin Law was the source of another legal threat against this blog, sent on behalf of the odious flannelled fool Master Harry Cole. That one didn’t even need a lawyer’s letter in response. But Staines appears serious, and has now started goading Maugham, even though the latter probably isn’t taking any notice of him.
He’s openly mocking [foxes] … Don’t [fox] lives matter? Also what kind of conditions were these chickens being kept in? … What kind of life is this? … He obviously won't let them leave … Massive metaphor. He can make chickens remain, he can't stop British lions Brexiting”. So says someone who talks the Brexit talk while choosing to live in an EU member state from which said British lions were banished around a century ago.
Worse, Staines’ faux concern for animal welfare stands in marked contrast with his past willingness to become involved in gun-running to murderous terrorists, and his support for the Apartheid rĂ©gime in South Africa. Then there is his own criminal past, alluded to by one Tweeter whose response to Staines’ talk of a private prosecution was simply “Did he drunkenly drive his car into the fox?” He has no room to get righteous with anyone.

Jolyon Maugham’s fox killing exploits may have made the front page of the Daily Mail. But the likelihood of Paul Staines making anything out of them is not unadjacent to zero.
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Saturday 28 December 2019

Iain Dale Knighthood Congrats Hypocrisy

After confirmation that the singularly unpleasant Iain Duncan Cough had been awarded a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours list, the dismay from those who wished someone in the Tory Party had engaged brain beforehand was palpable. The architect of Universal Credit, that most cruel of welfare reforms, had been given a K. Honoured for tipping hundreds of thousands at the bottom of the pile into yet more poverty.
Iain Dale

Those passing severely adverse comment on the new Sir Cough included Faiza Shaheen, who had stood against him in Chingford and Woodford Green at the General Election. “Iain Duncan Smith is going to be knighted. Knighted! After all the pain, poverty and hunger his policies have caused. Knighted! After running a campaign filled with lies and misinformation, + with a known Islamophobe at its heart. Knighted!!!The system is truly morally bankrupt” she exclaimed. But someone very righteous was watching.
Faiza Shaheen

LBC host Iain Dale (for it was he) was that righteous person, and there are few broadcasters and pundits whose righteousness exceeds his. “This lack of graciousness is one reason you lost. A better reply might have been: ‘I disagree with [Duncan Cough] on everything but I would like to extend my congratulations to him on this honour.’ I know how painful electoral defeat is, but this is no way to react” he pontificated.
So, in the spirit in which Dale has engaged, perhaps his own back catalogue of congratulating those whose Knighthoods he might not have personally endorsed given half the chance should be examined. So I have. And it does not make for edifying reading.
Take this less than congratulatory response to a K for former Financial Services Authority head Hector Sants, back in 2012. “Knighthood 4 the man in charge of bank regulation at FSA @ the time of the credit crisis. F**k me gently with a giant strap on. Astonishing”. Sants had remained at the FSA at the request of then-Chancellor George Osborne, so Dale’s opinion was not universally held. No congrats from him, either.
More recently, another K which failed to secure the Dale congrats was that given to Tory MP John Hayes. “Perception is more important than reality No 94 … It doesn't matter whether John Hayes' knighthood had anything to do with the Brexit vote or not. Everyone thinks it does. Read my blog on it” he commanded his followers.
This was backed up with a post titledTory MPs Go To War Over John Hayes 'Utter Cock' Knighthood”. No congrats for Hayes, either. Anyone might think that Iain Dale has no room to call out anyone else for lack of graciousness. But then, as the Tweeter known as Ben Claimant has pointed out today, Dale is above parlaying with mere mortals.
Iain Dale has a blog listing his 250 favourite tweeters of 2019. Of those, only 7 of them are from ordinary accounts. Two of those are parody, two are about nature, two are listeners of his radio show. He doesn't take much notice of ordinary people”.

I have news for Iain Dale: many ordinary people don’t take much notice of him, either.
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Arise Sir Duncan Cough

The current received wisdom in politics is that whenever the Tories do, or approve, something that insults the less well off, or gives the finger to those not wanting to see the top 1% get richer at the expense of everyone else, or ignores issues like the climate crisis, their hangers-on and press acolytes tell the rest of us not to be snowflakes, to get over ourselves, and to make sure we know they won, and everyone else didn’t.
But just occasionally, those out there on the right do something so insulting and outrageous that the press and their hangers-on fall silent. So it has been with the news that former Tory leader Iain Duncan Cough has been awarded a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours list. How many front pages carry the news? That would be none.

As the Guardian has reported, “While it is not uncommon for long-serving MPs, particularly former party leaders, to receive honours, Duncan Smith’s knighthood was met with criticism from opposition parties because of his record on benefits … Labour criticised the decision to honour ‘the primary architect of the cruel universal credit system, which has pushed thousands of people into poverty’”. And there was more on the charge sheet.

As work and pensions secretary for six years from 2010, Duncan Smith was the central figure as significant cuts were made to benefit and disability entitlements during the peak of the Conservative-led austerity period … He faced particular criticism for a botched system of assessing people for disability payments and for helping preside over a rhetorical culture centred on ‘shirkers’ and ‘scroungers’, which charities said led to an increase in abuse against disabled people”. Then came Universal Credit.

The Guardian calls UC “his personal brainchild for a system to replace a series of working-age benefits with one flexible payment. However, UC has proved deeply problematic and slow to roll out, with particular criticism about delays to initial payments, which charities said contributed to an increase in the number of people needing to use foodbanks”.

As Ros Wynne Jones has said in a column for the Mirror, “IDS is being rewarded for his loyalty to the Brexit project, his loyalty to the Boris project and his future silence on the direction of the country, bought off for life … If this is one of the first actions of Prime Minister Johnson we should all fear where his government goes next”.
Worse, Duncan Cough has, by implication, been rewarded for his flagrant and deliberate dishonesty. Remember his going in to bat for alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson after Bozo was “empty lecterned” in Luxembourg? Duncan Cough sneered that the country had been saved by Britain in World War 2. But the army that liberated Luxembourg was that of the USA. And that was not an isolated incident.

He lied about discussions over the Irish border during Theresa May’s tenure as PM, and gave us the marvellously wrong-headed “there cannot be any regulatory divergence between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK”. Bozo says there can, and will. His “Action Plan for Brexitwas ludicrously inept, and appropriately short-lived.

On top of all that, he was the one Tory leader who the party would not allow to contest a General Election, as he was widely considered to be terminally useless. Yet here he is getting a knighthood. Arise Sir Duncan Cough - knighted for services to stupidity.
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Friday 27 December 2019

Bozo v Jezza - Spot The Xmas Difference

Now that the dust has settled on the General Election, the electorate has a chance to see just what it voted for. Who was the better choice as Prime Minister, Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, or Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson? Whose policies were more appropriate for the state in which the UK now finds itself? Which of those two would command respect on the international stage, and gravitas in future trade negotiations?
Well, the electorate looked at all of that, and many of them decided that Bozo The Clown, despite being a congenital liar who had betrayed more or less anyone and everyone who had ever put their trust in him, whose party failed once again to put a properly costed manifesto before the public, and whose policy positions risked breaking up the Union, was the choice for them. They trusted him. And he has taken them all for mugs.
Jeremy Corbyn devoted much of his Christmas break to helping those in need. So, as he has done previously, he helped out at his local homeless shelter, and also helped in distributing presents to children who otherwise may have had to go without. He did not make a fuss about his charitable activities; he just went ahead and did them. So our free and fearless press managed, entirely by coincidence you understand, to miss them.
Those same press outlets might have wanted not to report on the post-Yuletide activities of Bozo The Clown, but here a problem entered. As free sheet Metro has reported, “Boris Johnson is whisking girlfriend Carrie Symonds to the Caribbean to see in the New Year in the sunshine. The prime minister and Ms Symonds will stay on the private island of Mustique for a few days after the Christmas break. According to The Times, the couple will be staying with the Von Bismark family - who are descended from the first German chancellor Otto Von Bismark - in the new year”. Bit obvious, even for Bozo.
How about rubbing it in a little more? “Known for its white-sand beaches, the exclusive island in the archipelago nation of St Vincent and the Grenadines is a favourite of the rich and famous with … Mick Jagger owning property on the island. It is also a favourite of the Royal Family, with the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall having holidayed there as well as Princess Margaret who was gifted land on the island as a wedding present”.
The feedback from those discovering this latest Bozo bash was as might be expected. “'People's Parliament' my a*se! Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds to jet to the private Caribbean island of Mustique after Tories slam ‘elites' … It’s illegal to be gay in Mustique, so he'll have plenty of bigots to chat to” was one. “What a damp squib the mayor of London is. He's decided to spend Christmas with the homeless at city hall. He could have gone to the island of Mustique like our much loved PM  and frolicked around with a pretty girl 17 years junior to him. Merry Christmas everyone!” was another. There was more.
Jeremy Corbyn spent Christmas helping the homeless and giving presents to children. Boris Johnson is flying off to the luxury Caribbean island of Mustique at the hospitality of the Von Bismarck family. Boris is working every day, you see, very hard to get Brexit done … Nothing says ‘man of the people’ quite like Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds' £20,000-a-week Caribbean holiday villa … Nothing sticks it to those ‘elites’ like holidaying on a private Caribbean  island after putting a couple of cronies in the House of Lords”.

You voted Bozo to “Get it done”? It was you getting done. And now you all know it.
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The Idiocy Of John Mann

What, one has to ask, is the purpose of John Mann? The former MP, who was allegedly representing the Labour Party during his tenure as the Member for the Bassetlaw constituency, has recently been ennobled and given the title of Government anti-Semitism Czar, despite the unfortunate connotations of pairing “Czar” with “anti-Semitism”.
Doctor, I can't keep my mouth shut

Mann has effectively given a free pass several public figures who have been called out for anti-Semitic behaviour. Suella Braverman was not censured by him over her “Cultural Marxism” comments. Nor were Priti Patel over “North London Metropolitan Elite”, Michael “Oiky” Gove over conflating “Jews” and “Israel”, or Jacob Rees Mogg over his “Illuminati” jibe at two Jewish politicians, and claiming George Soros funded the Remain campaign.
Did I hear that right?

It may not be entirely coincidental that all of those incidents involved leading Tories, and that Mann has decided anti-Semitism is something that is mostly done by Labour figures. Nor is it going to help his efforts when he starts ignoring, or even shutting out, the views of Jewish voices merely because they do not coincide with his own.
And that appears to be what has happened - with the assistance of the deeply unpleasant Ian Austin, another former MP who benefited from the party’s support and who, during the latest General Election campaign, bit the hand that had fed him in no style at all by doing the bidding of the Tory Party by putting out propaganda on their behalf.
After writer and broadcaster Michael Rosen had investigated the claim that Paul Golding of far-right Britain First had joined the Tories, concluding “From this account, Paul Golding is NOT a member of the Tory Party”, the less than dynamic duo of Austin and Mann sprang into inaction. Austin went first. "Looking forward to [Michael Rosen] a) apologising for trying to belittle and undermine [John Mann]’s work on Antisemitism, and b) resolving not to stupidly give horrible racists like Paul Golding and Britain First the publicity they crave”.
Rosen was not looking to belittle or undermine anyone. He corrected Austin: “I don't undermine [John Mann]’s work on antisemitism: I provide him with examples he hasn't retweeted so that he can slot them alongside the ones that he does”. Mann, it might be thought, would be sensitive to Jewish voices expressing concern about anti-Semitism.
But that thought would have been misplaced, as Mann himself soon demonstrated - by smearing Rosen as a troll and then blocking him. I kid you not: The Great Man responded unequivocally to Austin “All trolls are blocked. Another trolled added. Thank you”. Think about that. A supposed anti-Semitism campaigner blocks a leading Jewish voice.
One observer, not quite believing what they had seen, responded “Lord John just blocked [Michael Rosen] for raising concerns about Anti Semitism. How do you think this looks John, that you, the AS tsar has just blocked a prominent Jewish figure from highlighting areas of concern he has? Cause to me it looks really really bad. Be better”.
And another Tweeter observed “Just take this in for a minute! The AntiSemitism Tsar John Mann has blocked Jewish Holocaust author & educator Michael Rosen for asking for feedback on alleged AntiSemitism in the Conservative Party”.

John Mann gives every indication of not being impartial. I’ll just leave that one there.
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The Shame Of Tim Shipman

Some political editors of national newspapers still cling to the idea that they are serious media players, that their name carries a certain cachet, sufficient for it to be mentioned in hushed tones during the paper review on The Andy Marr Show™. These people are considered the most knowledgeable of pundits. They write moderately well-selling books. They command significant salaries; maybe even rank as high as any in Rome.
Tim Shipman - only talks the talk ...

Prominent among these supposedly august individuals is Tim Shipman, political editor of the Murdoch Sunday Times, a paper whose reputation has been in decline ever since its previously well-regarded Insight team was used for blatantly partisan purposes by former editor Andrew Neil, as he strove to discredit Thames Television’s award-winning documentary Death on the Rock - because it offended Margaret Thatcher.
... while Carole Cadwalladr actually walks the walk

Thus the bar for Shippers is not set particularly high, yet even so, he has been shipping significant amounts of bull recently, culminating in a shameful attack on a fellow journalist, and one whose awards cabinet is considerably fuller than his own. The old Fleet Street adage of “Dog doesn’t eat dog” does not apply when it is those exposing establishment malpractice who get it in the neck. And Shipman is as establishment as they come.
Look! It’s only The Most Festive Thing Ever! Carole going to war with Grimes and Vine, slagging them off on Christmas Day cos she wouldn’t let her hatred of Brexiteers drop for even 24 hours” he gurgled happily, celebrating putting the boot in on the Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr. That much was bad enough; the company he was keeping was worse.
Like, for instance, Tom Harwood, replacement teaboy to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines at the Guido Fawkes blog, a viciously dishonest and malicious nonentity who claims to be a real journalist (no, don’t laugh). “Imagine genuinely trying to play the victim against a young guy you’ve obsessively tried to ruin the life of for three relentless years - off the back of that innocuous tweet. Get over yourself” he scolded.
Worse was to come as Harwood sneered “Wisely deleted [who does he think he is sitting in judgment on others?]. Chill out, stop trying to ruin the lives of people half your age off the back of baseless conspiracies [Vote Leave and BeLeave broke the law. There is no conspiracy], and settle down to a nice bit of Gavin and Stacey this evening”.
And Darren Grimes, in whose defence Shipman had intervened (yes, a supposedly serious political editor went in to bat for a far-right nobody) then joined in the kicking. “Yeah, you should always try to help out those suffering against a cruel media and political establishment, eh?” He must have almost wet himself with excitement over that one.
It was left to Peter Jukes to remind Shipman of his shortcomings. “Since you’ve brought this up again, Tim: exactly how much did you know about Cambridge Analytica in 2016?” One Tweeter added “Unparalleled access to Leave EU. He knows what claret they drink but missed Cambridge Analytica. Courtier”. While Ms Cadwalladr does proper investigative journalism, Tim Shipman recycles gossip and Tory Party propaganda.

In the days of the great Harold Evans, the Sunday Times meant something. Tim Shipman stands as a sign of how the paper and its hacks have descended from gutter to sewer.
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