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Tuesday 30 June 2020

Michael Gove’s Late Night Twitter Giveaway

After author Robert Harris pondered the speech given yesterday by Michael “Oiky” Gove, in which he attempted to channel the spirit of Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal Democrats but failed, he summarised what he saw as wrong with it. “Sorry to bang on about that Gove speech, but when he analyses the ‘morbid symptoms’ of the age he fails to see that he and Johnson - newspaper columnists with little experience of ordinary life but now in charge of the country - they ARE the morbid symptoms”.
Gove was most put out at this forthright expression of adverse comment, and immediately took out a very large onion. “I was a child in care, whose adoptive father ran a business destroyed by the EU, I have family members who live with serious disabilities - let down by Holyrood - I introduced education reforms to help the poorest - but some people won’t learn”. All that and Sarah Vine too. It must be hell in there.
But his response was as instructive as it was plain flat wrong: as the Guardian’s Scotland editor Severin Carrell revealed back in 2016, “Michael Gove's father denies his company was destroyed by EU policies … Ernest Gove says he sold fish processing firm in Aberdeen voluntarily, contradicting son’s claims”. And the pushback was only starting.
Fionna O’Leary was unimpressed. “If you had more respect and gratitude for your adoptive parents you would tell the truth as your Dad tells it. But then. truth telling is not common in your circles (excepting your Dad) is it?" Liz Gerard added “And some people won't listen to their parents. Your father said when you first touted that ‘ruined by the EU’ line that it wasn't true. I guess it still isn’t”. Then we came to the “child in care” claim.
This had been previously contradicted by, er, himself, in an article in the Murdoch Sun. As befits a Murdoch asset, the piece talked about the 2016 Tory leadership election, how “Oiky” had stabbed Bozo The Clown in the back by splitting from him, and told readers “Never mind that David Cameron was a close family friend and Boris Johnson an old university mate. Instead Gove may now seize the throne”. The one in the bathroom?
And he said this about his adoption. “‘I was four months old when I was adopted,’ Gove said in 2010. ‘I don’t know if I was taken from my birth mother at a relatively early age and placed in the hands of carers. All I know is the process of finding and matching me with Mum and Dad was four months.’” So he doesn’t know if he was a “child in care”.
Added to all of that is his demotion from the DfE by Young Dave because he was perceived as a liability - as were his two departmental polecats, one of whom was Dominic Cummings. In that one Tweet, we find Michael Gove flat-out lying, playing the victim, and blaming others for his poor image. As well as another revealing detail.
It was sent at 2324 hours yesterday - late in the evening, the time of day when his wife so often Tweets the kind of comments that she might not have uttered earlier in the day.

The man who would pull the strings behind the throne. No wonder the country is going down the pan.
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Spiv Uses Pandemic To Attack NHS

For some of those out there on the right, no opportunity to attack those institutions which do not obey their ideological world view can be allowed to go to waste, no matter how opportunist or callous they appear as a result. So it is with Mark Littlewood, head man at Astroturf lobby group the IEA, who has used the Coronavirus pandemic to kick the NHS.
Mark Littlewood, inheriting a fine tradition ...

Taking as his starting point a BBC report that toldAnalysis by the BBC shows Covid-19 deaths and excess deaths have been proportionately worse in the UK”, he goes on to assert “There will be more data to crunch. But this is more evidence that the NHS is pretty much the worst healthcare system in the Western world. Once we look at all the info, there may be a good case for going for an EU-style more marketised system”.
... of spivvery, plain and simple

Happily for Littlewood, this will chime with the IEA’s ideological orientation; it would have been most unfortunate had it come out any other way. But here a problem enters: the reasons for the UK’s poor outcomes are well-known, and do not feature NHS failings, including as they do the failure to lock down earlier, the abandonment of track and trace, and early adoption of a disastrous “herd immunity” strategy.
All of those failings can be laid fairly and squarely at the door of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his chief polecat Dominic Cummings. But with this no right-wing Astroturfer can agree, invested as they all are in The Adoration Of The Boris. So someone else Done It, and Littlewood’s perverse logic means blaming the NHS.
Moreover, he has already reached his conclusion, suggesting that when he and his pals have crunched all that data, the result will match the conclusion he has already reached. It is not only our free and fearless press that specialises in selective presentation of information which matches the headline already written.
Littlewood’s expertise in this area - as opposed to his ideological anchorage - is, sadly, lacking, as witness “I think social distancing is over. If you’re under 55 and okayish you can socialise. You won’t die” and “Social distancing is over, it seems. Probably a good thing. Most things with the prefix ‘social’ turn out to be pretty anti-social in reality”. Those who never attended an IEA social event may count themselves lucky.
The citation-free outbursts have extended to claiming “You can’t blame the medical staff. The NHS system renders them much less effective than their European peers though”. And the aggressive intolerance has extended to denouncing a neurologist, and health spokesman for the Lib Dems - a party of which Littlewood was once a member - by snapping “Yawn. What a tedious cretin. Muted”. Which is most revealing.
He does not wish learn about the NHS, or health provision elsewhere. It is the manipulation of data to serve the agenda, fit the already written conclusion, demonising the NHS and urging its dismantling. The role of the Government which he and his fellow Astroturfers so slavishly support in the UK’s Covid-19 response is therefore ignored.

Using the pandemic to attack the NHS is little short of wickedness. But that thought will not distract Mark Littlewood. He pretends to care about the less well-off, but does not. He feigns concern, but has none. The impression of cheap spivvery is inescapable.
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Bozo Is Not Franklin Roosevelt

Reinvention of history: something that seems so easy to do, given that those intimately involved lived a long way away, and are now dead. Sadly, that history was more than adequately enough recorded to defeat those attempting to reinvent it. Thus the Tories’ latest confidence trick: back to the 1930s, bringing us FDR’s New Deal all over again.
FDR: the greatest of Presidents

So it is that the Murdoch Times has told readers “‘New Deal’ spending spree to boost Britain’s recovery … Johnson echoes Roosevelt with pledge of cash for hospitals, roads, rail and schools”. The Guardian has also led on this “news”, telling “First Churchill, then Roosevelt: Johnson promises ‘UK New Deal’ … PM to lay claim to vision on par with US President during Great Depression”. It sounds magnificent. But it is mere PR hokum.

Leaving aside the inconvenient fact that the administration on whose watch the Great Crash of 1929 occurred, and the Great Depression took hold, was not that of FDR, but of Herbert Hoover, who was dispatched in a landslide in the 1932 Presidential election, there are three very obvious shortcomings in the proposals reported today.
One, the amount to be committed to this “spending spree” is £5 billion. That’s for the whole country, to cover improvements in “hospitals, roads, rail and schools”. The impression that this is mere spin is inescapable. Two, the sudden reinvention of the Tories as modern-day New Dealers has come as a result of one of their number misreading history.

To no surprise at all, that individual is Michael “Oiky” Gove, who has been waxing lyrical about the “Forgotten Man”, and reshaping the machinery of Government in order to deal with the post-pandemic challenge. His problem is that chief Downing Street polecat Dominic Cummings is not reshaping Government in order to face new challenges, but because, in his delusional state, he thinks he knows more about it than all others.
And Three, the Tories and their media hangers-on fail totally to understand that FDR, for all his good intentions, did not cure the ills of the Great Depression overnight; indeed, he made little impact on the crippling levels of unemployment in his first term, hampered as he was by his advisors, who were instilled with the orthodox economics of the day.

At the height of the Depression, US unemployment was 25%. By 1939, this had only declined to 17%. Keynes urged action as early as 1933, telling FDR “I lay overwhelming emphasis on the increase of national purchasing power resulting from Government expenditure which is financed by loans”. But their meeting did not convince FDR to change tack. Kenyes “supposed the President was more literate, economically speaking”.
Beware the deception of a false prophet

What finally brought recovery from the Depression was World War 2. And of that route out of mass unemployment we need say no more. Why, then, was FDR reelected as President? Simples. His opponents had nothing convincing to offer the electorate. He was, at least, trying to alleviate the effects of the Depression.

But today’s Labour Party is, increasingly, convincing the voters, and hence this PR initiative, for that is all it is. Gove read a book on FDR, reinvented it to fit the mayhem being wreaked by his pal Dom, briefed Johnson, then span it to the press.

But Johnson was not Churchill, and he is not FDR. This is more wicked deception.
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Monday 29 June 2020

Nigel Farage - There’s REAL Anti-Semitism

The real anti-Semitism has always come from out there on the right. And to prove that it still does come from out there on the right, the Board of Deputies of British Jews has at long last diverted its attention away from kicking the Labour Party long enough to see just that, and to call out one particular dog-whistler for what he is.
To no surprise at all, the target of the BoD’s displeasure is Brexit Party Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, who has been allowed to peddle a broad swath of racism - any minority will do for Nige - for far too long, aided and abetted by the broadcasters and newspapers all too happy to indulge his Motormouth tendencies.
As the Guardian has reported, “The Board of Deputies of British Jews said Farage’s airing of claims about plots to undermine national governments, and his references to Goldman Sachs and the financier George Soros, showed he was seeking to ‘trade in dog whistles’ … [he] was also condemned by the MPs who co-chair the all-party group against antisemitism”. So what kinds of dog whistles are we talking about?
In a tweeted video message this month, Farage said the UK faced ‘cultural Marxism’ [origins in Nazi ideology] … said companies who pulled TV adverts from rightwing TV shows were being pressured by ‘Soros-funded organisations] [trope of the ‘Disloyal Jew’]”. Then came his interview recently with Newsweek magazine.
Here, “Farage talked about ‘unelected globalists shaping the public’s lives based on secret recommendations from the big banks’ [‘Globalists’ being code for ‘Jews’ or ‘Jewish bankers’] … Goldman Sachs was the only bank he mentioned by name, echoing another common theme from far-right antisemitism”. Whistle those doggies!
But is that right? Sure is. Let’s take a quick sample, starting with his Soros obsession. “Orbán's Hungary is standing up to George Soros and closing him down, I wish we all did the same … Another anti-Brexit plot backed by George Soros. This man will stop at nothing … The Soros-funded attempt for a second referendum has failed”.
And on to Globalists. “London is ranked the best financial centre while Frankfurt is 11th. We're all sick of the constant threats from Goldman and the globalists … We are heading towards a world where the democratic nation state has made a comeback against the globalists … We are beating the globalists! … Obama and Merkel are holding a losing party for the globalists! … The globalists are sticking together”.
Finally Goldman Sachs. “Goldman Sachs and big business lost the referendum … Congratulations to former EU Commission President [José Manuel Barroso], now over at Goldman Sachs. Global corporatism! … If Goldman Sachs are leaving London for the US, why aren't they going to their beloved European Union? … Goldman Sachs Chairman thinks those who want border controls are 'xenophobic'. Badly out of touch”.
Also note that those snippets include Farage being promoted by the Daily Mail, Sky News, and the BBC. By promoting him thus, they are also promoting anti-Semitism.

Serious anti-Semitism always comes from the far right. Nigel Farage is living proof of that.
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Bozo And Polecat Reward Failure

The rumours had been circulating for some time, and yesterday came the confirmation: Mark Sedwill, the Cabinet Secretary and the UK’s most senior Civil Servant, would be leaving his post in September. He had been the victim of a series of hostile briefings from those unnamed “Downing Street sources”, for which read chief polecat Dominic Cummings and his pals. The Guardian made one telling observation.
Cummings is reported to have warned just last week that a ‘hard rain’ would soon fall on the civil service”. Yeah, don’t diss the Polecat, cos he’s dead ‘ard! But the questions were already being asked, as Paul Waugh of the HuffPost noted. “Real unease among some in civil service about this today … [Dave Penman of the FDA]: ‘No.10 - or those around it - has sought to undermine Sir Mark and the leadership of the civil service, with a series of anonymous briefings against him over many months’”. There was more.
‘How would any potential candidate for Cabinet Secretary judge their prospective employers, given how the current cadre of leaders has been treated by them?’ A very good question indeed … One source points out just a few years ago Frost was CEO of the Scotch Whisky Association. It appears he has little experience of intelligence or security”.
David Frost? The Brexit negotiator? Yes, Frost has, as part of the overhaul which Cummings is directing in the name of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, been made National Security Advisor. Bozo told “I am delighted to appoint David Frost as my next National Security Adviser. He is an experienced diplomat, policy thinker, and proven negotiator, with a strong belief in building Britain’s place in the world”.
Chris Mason of the BBC noted that this was a political appointment; Frost will not be a Civil Servant, and therefore not bound by Civil Service restraints. This did not impress Labour MP Chris Bryant, who knows a little about the workings of Government.
So the new National Security Adviser is a minister? Is he advising himself? What’s the point of the Foreign and Defence Secretaries? This is an appalling constitutional confusion. A political appointee as national security advisor who is a member of the legislature. It completely confuses every line of accountability”.
Worse, in promoting someone perceived by the Polecat and his pals as being sufficiently malleable, Bozo has all too obviously rewarded failure. Frost has led negotiations with the EU side on a future trade deal, and his efforts have got precisely nowhere - other than to cause exasperation on the EU side by trying to renege on past commitments.
Frost is a significant part of the loss of trust in the UK, and why countries like Japan have presented a trade deal, telling the Brits that they have six seeks to sign on the dotted line, or face trade disruption after the end of the year. He apparently continues as chief negotiator with the EU. So expect them to lose patience too.
Polecat Dom won’t be getting a white cat on his lap any time soon if all he can muster is “This organisation not only tolerates failure, Mr Bond, it promotes it”.

Worse, he’ll soon run out of people to blame. Maybe he’ll end up sacking himself.
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Palestine , Labour, And Call My Bluff

United Nations Security Council Resolution 242. You may not have heard of it, and so will not appreciate its significance. This can be put directly: 242 was adopted unanimously by the Security Council in the aftermath of the Six-Day War of 1967. Its first provision was the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied during that conflict.
Those territories included the Gaza Strip, which was part of Egypt, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), which was part of Jordan, and the Golan Heights, which was part of Syria. Continued occupation of the last two of those territories has been deemed illegal under international law, and so Israeli settlements within those areas are also deemed illegal by the same token. Now, though, the Israeli Government is going further.

As early as next Wednesday, it proposes to annex around 30% of the West Bank. This is also illegal under international law. So it was to the Labour Party’s credit that they made an unequivocal intervention, with shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy telling “The proposal to unilaterally annex nearly a third of the West Bank is an illegal act which will undermine the prospect of a peaceful two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, and has serious implications for the stability of the Middle East”. And there was more.
It is a shameful proposition to which the UK cannot be a silent witness. Across the world concern is growing … So far the UK government has been conspicuously absent from this global response … This is now urgent. The government must be clear with the Israeli coalition government that concrete action will follow, including a ban on goods entering Britain from the illegal settlements in the West Bank”. She had a warning for the Tories.

This is a major step, but such a blatant breach of international law must have consequences. It will take a level of courage that so far ministers have not been willing to show”. Alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson has objected to the Israeli proposal. But he has otherwise done nothing. Labour’s move has the backing of new party leader Keir Starmer, who is now under attack from a familiar quarter.
The recently-exhumed Jewish Chronicle, in a piece authored by smear merchant Lee Harpin, has told “Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl has urged Sir Keir Starmer to reject a proposal from his shadow foreign secretary calling for the UK to ban the import of goods from illegal settlements in the West Bank if the Israeli government presses ahead with annexation plans”. There was more.

Ms van der Zyl added “The tactic of BDS is divisive and seeks to strike at the very legitimacy of the State of Israel, the Middle East’s only democracy and the world’s only Jewish State”. But objecting to an illegal act does not impugn the legitimacy of Israel. Annexation is an illegal act; it was illegal when Russia did in with Crimea, and it is an illegal act if Israel does it with part of the West Bank.
But this is about more than the niceties of international law: note that Ms van der Zyl used the acronym “BDS” in the same sentence as “the world’s only Jewish state”. She has chosen her words very deliberately: a principal thrust of the response to the BDS movement is to denounce it as anti-Semitic. What Keir Starmer is being told is that if Labour continues along this path, it will be called out for anti-Semitism.

And coming so soon after the news cycle featured accusations of Labour anti-Semitism, it is clear is that the BoD senses sufficient weakness to bend Starmer to their will (the Tories, meanwhile, increasingly controlled by chief Downing Street polecat Dominic Cummings, who wouldn’t know international law from a hole in the ground, will do nothing).
The problem that Ms van der Zyl faces, though, is that Keir Starmer does not bend to anyone else’s will. He did not hesitate to act last week, whatever the rights and wrongs of Rebecca Long Bailey’s actions, and he has already made up his mind on Palestine.

This is one game of Call My Bluff where Keir Starmer is not going to yield. End of story.
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