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Thursday, 6 August 2020

Darren Grimes - You’re A Wanker

He claims his bad press is because he doesn’t have a degree, comes from a working class area, speaks with a provincial accent, mentions his mam a lot, and is a conservative. But the real reason why so many dismiss Darren Grimes, the UK’s most inept form-filler, as a total and absolute wanker is because, well, he really is one.
Dazza’s latest bout of opening mouth and inserting boot while stimulating himself by hand is all about more of that BBC bashing. After the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog had told readersThe BBC along with ITV are attempting to draw attention to their struggling streaming service ‘BritBox’. (Guido will never understand they didn’t just push the iPlayer brand international). In order to spark attention, and presumably prevent more BBC employees using the established internal name ‘Sh*tBox’, a new series of Spitting Image has been commissioned”, he was off.
The absolute cheek of the BBC pushing its new Spitting Image series via its subscription-based BritBox platform when it already takes £157.50 off of us all” he bleated, aided and abetted by the Lady Macbeth-like figure of Sarah “Vain” Vine, who added “You could just end that tweet after ‘BBC’”, while hoping for more pundit opportunities from, er, the BBC.
Vincent McAviney, who does work for both BBC News and ITN, and so knows a little about the industry, tried to break it to Dazza gently. “It’s an ITV programme on a 90% ITV owner streaming service”. Carl Eve added “Odd. I recall watching Spitting Image (which was on the telly before Darren was born) on ITV. And Britbox is 90% owned by ITV. This is what passes for ‘conservative commentator, broadcaster and Brexit campaigner’ [his words] these days”. Spitting Image is, indeed, an ITV property.
Nick Stevenson took it nice and slowly. “1. ‘Spitting Image’ is an ITV property. 2. ITV are a partner (with the BBC) in Brit Box. 3. Brit Box commissioned the new series. I'm sure even an idiot can work it out from there. Can you Darren?” The Tweeter known as Democracy Fail added “I saw the same piece on BBC website. Was mystified, so I checked out the situation. You have many followers and owe it to them to check the facts before you tweet”.
But recanting came there none, with James Doleman left to remind us “Darren proving again that the High Court was correct to acquit him of electoral fraud because he was to stupid to know what he was doing (That was the actual verdict)”. But then Dazza sprang back into action. Would there be an apology? You jest.
To all of those shouting ‘IT’S ITV!’. Here’s the BBC: ‘The programme, made famous in the mid-1980s, is due to be recreated by the BBC and ITV for their Britbox streaming service.’” So not the BBC’s call. Mikey Smith of the Mirror was on hand to explain once more.
It’s made by Avalon, an independent production company. It’s been ordered by Britbox, which is a co-venture of ITV and the BBC. It’s neither a BBC nor ITV production. And it has nothing to with the licence fee … Most people have the good grace to admit when they’re wrong”. But Darren Grimes is not most people, even if he is wrong.

And he has confirmed that he is a total and absolute wanker. No change there, then.
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Visit Spoons, Get The Rona

Such are the anomalies of continuing restrictions on our movement due to the Coronavirus pandemic that we must wear face coverings in shops and other enclosed spaces, and cannot meet those outside our family group (or “bubble”), but we can go to those pubs which have chosen to reopen. Which means all of the J D Wetherspoon chain.
This, no doubt, has nothing to do with the urging from Spoons head man Tim Martin, who has the ear of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, to reopen this particular part of the leisure economy, despite all the pallets of special offer beer at the local Aldi suggesting the public is wary of venturing back to the Rub-A-Dub.

That caution, it seems, is well merited: one Spoons outlet has been temporarily closed since its grand reopening. The William Rufus, which many folk with time to spare between trains may have willingly frequented in the past, is in central Carlisle on the A6.

But as free sheet Metro told at the weekend, “Coronavirus outbreaks have forced several bars and fast food restaurants to close amid rising infection rates. Wetherspoons and KFC have been the latest chains forced to shut branches and send staff home to self-isolate, as concerns of a second wave begin to gather pace”. There was more.

On Friday, the William Rufus Wetherspoon pub in Botchergate, Carlisle, closed for a deep clean and 24 staff-members were told to self-isolate after a worker tested positive for Covid-19”. Reassuring, BUT “The pub was able to reopen the following day”. And it gets worse: “The staff member was working in the pub on July 24 and 28. He tested himself on July 21 and his positive result came back on July 30”. Ri-i-i-ight.
On top of that, “Customers’ track-and-trace details have not yet been requested by the local authority”. And why the merry fuck not? In any case, the William Rufus is not an isolated case, as the BBC has told. “Staff at a Wetherspoon's pub are self-isolating for 14 days after a colleague tested positive for coronavirus. A worker at The William Adams in Gorleston, Norfolk, had a test after contact with another person, outside work. who has Covid-19. The venue remains open following a visit from health officials on Sunday”.

Do go on. “Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said only staff that worked in ‘close proximity with the affected employee’ had to self-isolate”. Meaning what, exactly? “The advice Wetherspoon has received from the authorities indicates that those employees working with someone who tests positive should self-isolate if they have been within two metres for 15 minutes or more - for example, working next to someone on the bar or in the kitchen”. Environmental health officers have allowed the Willian Adams to remain open.

Just so you got that, someone who works at the William Rufus in Carlisle tested positive for Covid-19. The test was taken on the 21st. They then went to work at that pub on two succeeding days. And it is now open after what looks like a very temporary closure. The William Adams in Gorleston did not even close. But then, it’s holiday season and there’s plenty of dosh to be made from those worried about venturing abroad.

Those still willing to visit the local Spoons should remember the words of Inspector Harry Callahan: “You’ve got to ask yourself one question. Do I feel lucky”.
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Hartley Dooda CONNED By Dodgy Poll

The good news, for those still paying good money to read the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph, is that Allison Pearson is away (whether this is with or without the fairies is not told). The bad news is that her temporary replacement is self-promoting TalkRADIO host Julia Hartley Brewer, talking mainly about Herself Personally Now.
Ms Hartley Dooda’s latest effort confirms - most likely inadvertently - that something which looks too good to be true probably is too good to be true. It also shows that the difference between Astroturf lobby groups Policy Exchange, and the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance, is so small as to be indistinguishable. Especially when it comes to misuse of data.

Under the heading “The Left can’t stomach the Right’s right to disagree”, she tells readersA YouGov poll of 820 academics for the Policy Exchange think tank has found that nearly a third of those with political views on the right - and more than a quarter of Brexiteers - are too fearful to openly view their opinions at work”. Gosh! And there’s more.

The most bizarre finding was that, while 86 per cent of the academics said they would be comfortable sitting next to a Remain supporter at lunch, only 54 per cent could stomach eating lunch next to a Leave voter”. And, so what? Is there a point to this? Sadly, there is.
What do they think will happen if they dare to break bread with a Leave voter? Are they worried that our love of democratic accountability [ho ho ho] will leave a nasty taste in their mouths? This dislike - even fear and contempt - for anyone who hold a different opinion is a growing problem [pot, kettle]. But it’s not just confined to the senior common room. Institutions like the BBC are, arguably, even worse”. Or arguably not.

Ms Hartley Dooda then goes on to invent an encounter with a cameraman on the set of The Andy Marr Show™. But there is a serious problem with her column, dated as it is the 5th of August. Because the previous day - the article is timestamped 1100 hours - Jonathan Portes of King’s Collage London had written about the poll for the Guardian.

According to a report from the think tank Policy Exchange, Academic Freedom in the UK, pro-Brexit and rightwing academics are being ‘forced to hide their views’. The report cites a YouGov poll of 820 academics, which found that 32% of those who identify their political views as ‘right’ or ‘fairly right’ have ‘stopped openly airing opinions in teaching and research’” he told. However, and here we encounter a significantly sized however …
On the surface, these numbers sound legitimate - but simple statistical detective work tells us that this equates to no more than about 10 academics currently employed at UK universities. The survey has been padded out with a large proportion of retired academics, and the report itself is littered with basic statistical errors.” See HERE for instance.

Portes adds this chilling aside: “Perhaps the thought police really are stalking the corridors of the ivory tower - but they aren’t the same people that the Policy Exchange report identifies. It turns out that academic freedom is only good when your views are defined as acceptable by a right wing think tank with close links to Downing Street”.

Not only did Julia Hartley Dooda get suckered by a dodgy poll, she managed to miss its authoritarian undercurrent. Which makes her journalism fail that much worse.
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Wednesday, 5 August 2020

TalkRADIO’s Far Right Lurch

Those who thought that Murdoch property TalkRADIO could not possibly be a nascent UK incarnation of Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) may have been disabused of that notion recently as more examples emerged showing that the broadcaster has taken a serious lurch towards the authoritarian right, along with lapses into implicit and even explicit racism, sexism, bullying and, of course, client journalism.
The sexism and bullying has come courtesy of craven coward Mike Graham, who back in April told anyone not yet asleep “[TalkRADIO] has become the most trusted source of news without spin and nonsense [no citation]. Join the revolution people”. When Jessica Simor reminded him “You're the man who said Covid is no worse than the flu. Remember?” Graham promptly lost his cool. As well as getting it wrong (again).
It still isn’t when it comes to deaths dopey. Try not to show yourself up as an idiot. Please show me how we have suffered more deaths than last year. It’s not about that. Moron QC” he blustered. All those tens of thousands of excess deaths later, he’s still at it.
So when TalkRADIO told its fans “Nigel Farage has claimed the government is housing 48,000 illegal migrants in hotels and private accommodation, costing the taxpayer up to £4 billion over the next 10 years. What is your response?” Graham was back (leaving aside that someone who claims asylum is not an “illegal” anything).
More news on the big illegal migrant hotel scandal tomorrow [TalkRADIO] from [Serco Group] following the [Nigel Farage] bombshell exclusive last week … The home of common sense” he proclaimed, neatly edging his employer towards the far right. And worse was to come, as the station promoted a Zelo Street favourite.
The TalkRADIO Twitter feed described Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, as a “political campaigner”. This should have surprised no-one; last year the same account described Lennon as an “activist”. One observer asked “Why is [TalkRADIO] giving a platform to far right activist and racist Tommy Robinson? Robinson has been banned by [Twitter] so why are Talk Radio allowed to tweet this broadcast on Twitter?
This Tweet is defamatory
Graham, meanwhile, was in one of those Very Difficult Positions after he defamed barrister Jane Heybroek and then threatened her with another legal action, only to find that her defence prevailed, James Foster gently suggested “Think you owe Jane an apology”. Graham didn’t offer one. He’s a coward, and he’s not big enough to say sorry.
But he is typical of TalkRADIO’s authoritarian tendency, as is the station’s breakfast time host, the self-promoting Julia Hartley Dooda, exporting the TalkRADIO message to readers of the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph. Teachers should, she has decreed, go back to work or face the sack. That almost 150 teachers and other workers in the education sector have already died with Covid-19 is not allowed to enter.
Whether it’s arch-coward Graham, Dan “I’m opinionated, me” Wootton, or Ms Hartley Dooda, the impression of TalkRADIO shouty authoritarianism is unmistakable.

Broadcast bigotry by the back door. You never take a Murdoch promise on trust.
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Sun Returns To Bonking Basics

The premise of the Terry Southern novel The Magic Christian - memorably made into a seriously OTT 60s film starring Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr - was that everyone has their price: people will do anything for money. Some may need paying rather more than others, though. Today has brought a superb example of this concept as the Murdoch Sun has returned to what it does best - leering aimlessly at the prospect of sex. Or lack of it.
What has sent the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker into Finbarr Saunders mode is the local tightening of lockdown rules in Greater Manchester (this also affects east Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire, but this is clearly too intellectually challenging for those at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun). The new rules mean sex is not allowed between people who do not live in the same household. Except if they book into a hotel.

Who, then, would care to lower themselves to peddle a little titillation to the masses? Step forward the odious flannelled fool Master Harry Cole, who is now the paper’s alleged political editor. The size of his wedge (fnarr fnarr) is clearly enough for him to be ordered to demean himself without getting the hump (kersnick kersnick).
So readers were toldBAFFLING new Northern lockdown rules mean couples who do not live together can have sex in a hotel, campsite or B&B but not in their homes, gardens, sheds or houseboats. Emergency coronavirus restrictions imposed on the region last week were signed into law yesterday - banning 4.5 million people from going to each other’s homes”. The headline “Mancy Panky” adds to Cole’s humiliation.

Just to ensure readers knew what he was on about, there was a helpful graphic telling them all about “Romping”. That’s what the Sun used to euphemistically call “Bonking”. Because nobody understands what Screwing, Shagging, Humping, Fornicating or Fucking actually mean, perhaps. Anyway, you can’t do it in a yard or passageway. Nothing about “behind a French dresser in a department store”, but that’s a different film.
Adam Wagner - not his finest hour

Would anyone else care to demean themselves by featuring under a headline telling readers “New Lockdown Blow (yik yik) … Romps banned in Manchester … Rest of UK at nookie risk too”? Sadly for his reputation, which was generally positive until today, human rights lawyer Adam Wagner would. Must have been a decent bung (spab spab).

Attempting to keep a straight face, he tells Sun readers “All gatherings, defined as ‘two or more people present together in the same place in order to engage in any form of social interaction with each other’, taking place in a ‘private dwelling’, are banned. And that includes gatherings for sex”. BUT “This is not legal advice, if you are considering having sex in the North of England please consult a lawyer”.
Most of the North of England is outside Greater Manchester, of course, but to the London-centric press this is a mere distraction. The point is to sell more copies and score more clicks, and this story shows the level of desperation that has set in at the Sun.

No barrel is too low to scrape in an effort to keep their end up. Fnarr fnarr indeed.
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John Hume - Hypocrites Pay Tribute

Of all those who devoted themselves to securing peace in the then troubled northern part of Ireland, John Hume, who has died at the age of 83, stands out as one of the greatest advocates of that cause. Even in the darkest days of sectarian bloodshed, he worked tirelessly to bring opponents together, to inch the cause of peace closer. He has passed at a time of great danger to the peace process he helped to foster.
John Hume

That process is in danger because those who wield most influence in our Government were never truly invested in it in the first place. While John Major, and then Tony Blair, assisted by their opposite numbers in Dublin, urged the Nationalist and Unionist traditions of Northern Ireland to come together in peace, there were always voices out there on the political extremes ready to make capital out of nay-saying.
And that is what makes those peoples’ attempts to pay tribute to Hume’s legacy so sickening in its rank hypocrisy. Those like Michael “Oiky” Gove, now in a position of power which should worry anyone and everyone who cares about the fabric of our democracy. Gove’s loyalty is deeply ambiguous: is it to crown and country, or is it to Rupert Murdoch?
After Taoiseach Miche├íl Martin had told “It is impossible to properly express the scale and significance of John Hume’s life. He was one of the towering figures of Irish public life of the last century. His vision and tenacity saved this country. We owe him and his wife Pat so much”, Gove got out his onion and tried to sound sincere.
The passing of John Hume is a cause for mourning across these islands. A man of great integrity and wisdom who stood against violence and for peace with courage and steadfastness”. A man who, whisper it quietly, achieved what he did while Gove cat-called from the stands. Richard Chambers was on hand to remind him.
This you?” he asked, quoting “Mr Gove, a former journalist, wrote a pamphlet in 2000 called Northern Ireland: the Price of Peace in which he compared the [Belfast] Agreement to the appeasement of the Nazis in the 1930s and the condoning of the desires of paedophiles … The Scottish-born Brexit campaigner said the Agreement was a ‘rigged referendum’, a ‘mortal stain’, and ‘a humiliation of our Army, Police and Parliament’”.
Could the hypocrisy get worse? Sky News ensured it could, by inviting a terrorism apologist on to its paper review, as Otto English observed: “Sky News apparently had Claire Fox on last night to talk about the legacy of John Hume. No mention of the fact that Fox's Revolutionary Communist Party vociferously opposed the Good Friday agreement that is his lasting legacy”. And cheered on the Brighton and Warrington bombings.
He added “I am no Corbyn supporter at all - but if Sky had invited him on there would have been an unholy row. Brexit people would have had a meltdown about it. But Lady Fox - long term apologist of the IRA whose party opposed the peace treaty goes on and gets a free ride”.Jezza was on the side of peace. Claire Fox was not.

Thus was John Hume’s legacy ever so slightly diminished by the sickening hypocrisy of our political and media class. And those who provide a platform to spread that hypocrisy.
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Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Claire Fox - Oh What A Giveaway

While adverse comment has continued to rain down upon self-promoting not-really-anybody Claire Fox, another of those who emerged from the so-called Revolutionary Communist Party via the now-defunct Living Marxism magazine and the planet Spiked, so called because it should have been long ago, not too many people have managed to answer the obvious question: who nominated her for a peerage?
Claire Fox

She had been, briefly, an MEP for the Brexit Party under the less than benign leadership of Oberscheissenf├╝hrer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage. Was it Nige who put her forward? Ah, but Farage’s first priority would, as usual, be Himself Personally Now. And then came a needless and lame intervention from a most unexpected quarter.

There is no greater cheerleader for alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson than the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog. This less than totally august convocation is fully invested in The Adoration Of The Boris, so much so that when they back someone, it is usually because Bozo approves of them.

So it was that The Great Guido told readersLabour MPs are currently incensed at the idea of Brexit-backing former MEP Claire Fox joining the Remainer-stuffed House of Lords, spending the last few days flagging up Fox’s denial of the Bosnian genocide and refusal to condemn the IRA’s Warrington bombing”. Ah, now it’s all The Left’s fault. Do go on.

These are the same Labour MPs, however, who spent years arguing to make Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister – a man who cheered the IRA and attacked the UK for ]intervening in a “genocide” that never really existed in Kosovo’. Genocide denial and IRA appeasement are only bad if you’re not a Labour politician, apparently”.
What time is it Eccles?

Oh dear! Let’s take this one nice and slowly, shall we? One, Jezza did not cheer the IRA except in the Fawkes retelling, Two, Fox denied the Bosnian genocide, and Three, there may have been a five-figure casualty toll and a six-figure displaced persons’ tally as a result of the Kosovo War, but the charge of actual genocide is a new one.

But replacement teaboy Tom Harwood, who wrote this formulaic drivel, is undeterred by mere inconvenient fact and goes on to list several Labour MPs who he believes are “hypocrites”, while not managing to cite any occasion when they criticised Ms Fox’ ennoblement. It’s feeble, it’s weak, and it’s a very obvious giveaway.

What Teaboy Tom has let slip is that Claire Fox is very much a property of Team Boris, and as such, there will be no apology, no reconsideration, and no wavering in the determination to see her in the Lords. Looks like the Downing Street machine is where Claire Fox’s nomination came from, not from Mr Thirsty and his pals.

On top of that, of course, is the excusing by the Fawkes massive of Ms Fox’s backing for the Brighton Bombing. Harwood might not want to mention that, but back it she did, and that should put her beyond the pale for most Conservatives.

Team Boris backing someone who supported the action that was intended to kill Margaret Thatcher and several of her ministers? Funny way of triggering the Libs, and no mistake.
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