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Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Roger Daltrey - Would Get Fooled Again

The succession of enthusiastic Brexiteers to discover that Project Fear was in fact Project Reality grows by the day. The fishing industry was an early addition, meat processors and exporters followed soon after, financial services and European stock marketeers have since been added to the list, and now has come Roger Daltrey.

It's the way he tells them

The frontman for The Who, or THEE OO as it is more correctly spoken, has proved the old law that some Slebs are best keeping out of those areas of life about which they pretend to know a lot, but in reality know very little. Daltrey was bullishly, even aggressively pro-Brexit before the event, and did not care who knew it. So we soon did.

Asked in March 2019 if Brexit would be bad for rock music, Daltrey responded “No. What’s it got to do with the rock business?” How would bands tour in Europe? “Oh dear. As if we didn’t tour in Europe before the fucking EU. Oh give it up. If you want to sign up to be ruled by a fucking mafia, you do it … like being governed by FIFA”. And there was more.

Talking to the BBC Radio 4 Front Row Programme in 2018, he claimedIt’s nothing that can’t be solved. I mean, we used to work in Europe before Europe was even thought about [!], or the EU was even thought about [not in his case, he didn’t]. We had the golden period of the 60s and 70s. Come on … wake up a bit”. And yet more. Revealingly more.

I’m not against Europe at all, it’s Brussels and the construct of Brussels and the democratic deficit of it [did he not know about the European Parliament?]. There’s no direct link between the voter, and to get through to those people who run our lives [yes there is], and there’s far too many people on far too many gravy trains soaking us dry”.

One wonders how vocal he has been at the news of all those Tory Party donors and hangers-on securing multi-million pound contracts on the back of the Coronavirus pandemic, and without competition. We should remember that Daltrey just sang the words and Pete Townshend actually wrote them. He can’t actually see for miles and miles.

So today’s news should not come as a surprise. As the BBC has reported, “Some of the UK's biggest music stars have written to the government demanding action to ensure visa-free touring in the European Union. Sir Elton John, Liam Gallagher and Nicola Benedetti are among 110 artists who have signed the open letter. It said they had been ‘shamefully failed’ by the government over post-Brexit travel rules for UK musicians”.

Who else signed? As if you need to ask. “Ed Sheeran, Sir Simon Rattle, Sting, Radiohead, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Kim Wilde, Roger Daltrey, Glastonbury organisers Michael and Emily Eavis, and Judith Weir, Master of the Queen's Music”. As Fred Flintstone might have said, hold it … HOLD IT! Roger Daltrey? The Beeb reporter saw that too.

The Who frontman Daltrey has also signed despite telling the BBC Radio 4's Front Row programme in 2018: ‘It's nothing that can't be solved’”. He also claimed falsely that there was a democratic deficit, no direct link with voters, and no EU in the 60s and 70s, when the EEC, the EU’s forerunner, began life with the Treaty of Rome. In 1958.

Daltrey’s credibility, to paraphrase the words of My Generation, died before he got old.

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1,610 Deaths - On With The Denial

We in the UK are, as alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson likes to tell us, world beating. And in the case of the Coronavirus pandemic, he has been proved right in spades, with the death toll officially at the 90,000 mark, and the actual number of deaths, when those dying after 28 days of a positive test are included, in excess of 100,000. And yet the denial merchants continue shamelessly on.

1,610 more deaths were recorded yesterday. This was a new record one-day total. It was as if six Lockerbie bombings had happened at once. Or 17 Hillsborough stadium disasters. Or more than 14 Harrow and Wealdstone rail crashes (the last rail accident to claim more than 100 passengers’ lives). Or something more deadly than the sinking of RMS Titanic.

Yet not only has there been little media attention paid to this grim news - the daily death toll having been bad for some days now - but those who have peddled irresponsible nonsense about the pandemic have not missed a beat, continuing to pump out misinformation while seeking to direct blame elsewhere. 1,610 deaths, remember.

The grim number (did I mention it was 1,610 deaths, a new daily record?) can be explained very easily: Bozo relaxed household mixing rules for Christmas. Count the time for infections to occur, positive Covid-19 test results to be confirmed, symptoms to worsen, hospitalisations to occur, condition of patients to deteriorate, and there you are. Dead.

Was this now time for the denial mob to stop? As if you need to ask. Enter the loathsome Toby Young, accompanied by no self awareness whatsoever. “Today’s update on Lockdown Sceptics is here. Includes a look at the wildly inaccurate predictions of the lockdown zealots about the risks of mixing over Christmas - it caused no uptick in infections - and a moving plea from a depressed university student”. There are no words.

1,610 deaths. But no uptick here guv, honest. And Tobes is not alone: over at the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph, they’re at it too. “In a new episode of 'Planet Normal' [Liam Halligan] and [Allison Pearson] interview [MP Graham Brady] who says lockdown causes as much harm as it solves and restrictions should be lifted once the top four 'at risk' groups are vaccinated”. Lift restrictions. What could possibly go wrong?

It’s true that pushback against the so-called Lockdown Sceptics has increased. But there are, in turn, those willing to defend them. Like the beings from the planet Spiked. “We’ve had three lockdowns and Covid is still spreading. Yet instead of questioning the efficacy of lockdown, the media elites are witch-hunting lockdown sceptics, blaming them for everything. The intellectual dishonesty is staggering, says Brendan O’Neill”. Ri-i-ight.

Lockdowns, let us not drive this around the houses for too long, reduce transmission of the virus. That in turn brings down the number of infections, which in turn reduces the number of hospitalisations. AND DEATHS. Yes, Bozo and his pals are beyond inept in delaying their introduction when they are needed. But the behaviour of people like Tobes, Brendan O’Neill, Allison Pearson (and not forgetting their hangers-on) is beyond the pale.

It’s not just scepticism. It’s not just “having a debate”. It’s not just FREEZE PEACH. It’s thousands upon thousands of deaths. It’s about a pandemic made worse by a tsunami of misinformation. 1,610 dead. And damn every one of these selfish imbeciles to hell.

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Tuesday, 19 January 2021

The Long Tory Road To Insurrection

The 2020 United States Presidential Election resulted in a win for Democrat challenger Joe Biden, who is due to be inaugurated tomorrow as the 46th President of the USA. This reality, though, has still not been accepted by some out there on the right, who continue to believe that the election was stolen, that there was widespread voter fraud (there wasn’t), and that Combover Crybaby Donald Trump should be declared the winner.

This refusal, when mixed with a little conspiracy and a lot of guns and aggression, is what brought the USA close to seeing a coup two weeks ago, as the Capitol was stormed and trashed. And there are still those talking of making a last stand, one of whom will be familiar to Zelo Street regulars, but what may not are the Tory Party links in play.

Rocking up somewhere near Washington DC yesterday was washed-up motormouth Katie Hopkins, who has recorded a message for Citizens of the Union. “The reason I’m here in your country, and I’ve broke in to this country, is because I need you, because we are looking to you for hope. We need you to stand up for all that is bright and you are fighting for the light, and Europe looks to you for hope, and together we will make a last stand”.

John Mappin

So routine, so desperate from a has-been who lost her LBC show, her Sun column, her Mail Online column, and her access to Twitter. But look closer, at the mug placed next to the mic. THE CANDACE OWENS SHOW. Thus the trail that leads back, through wacko conspiracy land, to supposedly mainstream Tories who might now be wishing it didn’t.

It was Ms Owens who turned up at the launch of Turning Point UK in December 2018 and in response to a question about nationalism told “Whenever we say nationalism, the first thing people think about, at least in America, is Hitler … if Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, OK, fine”. This was excused as a mere “gaffe”.

Candace Owens

Meanwhile, the media spotlight was shone on John Mappin, the Camelot obsessive who was TPUK’s main man, at least, for wealthy donors. Mappin, let us not drive this one around the houses for too long, is a fruitcake. Even Arron Banks called him “a complete fruit-loop”. Mappin’s latest stunt is even more cringeworthy for TPUK backers.

As the Observer has reported, “A key supporter of Nigel Farage and Donald Trump has provoked ridicule after using his Cornish castle to fly the flag of a prominent conspiracy theory identified by the FBI as inspiring rightwing violence. John Mappin, who owns Camelot Castle at Tintagel, used the hotel to promote a rightwing hoax known as QAnon”.

Viewers may still want to look away now

And as Nick Reeves has shown, Ms Owens has been favourably received by the Member for times long past Jacob Rees Mogg, former YBF Golden Dolphin recipient Steve Baker, as well as Brexit Party Oberscheissenf├╝hrer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, plus the Trump Gang and their hangers-on. TPUK was backed by other Tory MPs, too.

Those others included Bernard Jenkin, and Priti Patel, the latter now mystifyingly elevated to the post of Home Secretary. All of those Tories now have a clear link, through Ms Owens, to an act of incitement to overthrow the democratically elected Government of the United States. With a dash of wacko conspiracy theory on the side.

Will they now distance themselves from Turning Point UK? Don’t all shout at once.

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Monday, 18 January 2021

Mike Graham Breaks Himself

Nothing encapsulates the deeply unpleasant right-wing orientation of Murdoch noise floor occupant TalkRADIO than the equally unpleasant behaviour of the station’s hosts. And none of those hosts is quite as unpleasant as dribbling bigot Mike Graham, the Mr Blobby of the Baby Shard bunker, who has targeted Ash Sarkar of Novara Media, only to discover that this was a campaign destined to develop not necessarily to his advantage.

Blobby blobby blobby

After Ms Sarkar had passed adverse comment on Graham’s equally avoidable colleague Julia Hartley Dooda, Graham wobbled into action. “Ash still won’t reveal who bankrolls the ghastly [Novara Media] shills. But at least Twitter is waking up to her nastiness”. An unpleasant has-been calling nasty on someone who he’s frightened witless of debating.

Ash Sarkar

Mark Coates reminded The Great Man just who was being nasty, observing “As for your own immaculate twitter conduct. Where to begin”, and quote Tweeting Graham’s gratuitously abusive “Sarkar the parody witch”. Iron Mike wasn’t going to take that lying down. So he made sure he was sitting up before attempting a put-down.

I break people who come after me [punctuation missing] Mark. You wouldn’t know what it’s like to get death threats, insults and leftie inspired poison. Don’t be an arse”. How does he break people, then? By sitting on them? Farting in their general direction? Tearing up a copy of the Guardian live on air? Or causing them to die laughing at him?

Few were impressed. And Ms Sarkar was one of them. “The last thing ‘Iron Mike’ over ere broke was wind, but still you gotta respect the tough guy talk from someone tweeting from home at 1am. No instinct for self preservation, could do anything. 10/10 hard man behaviour”. Might not just have been wind. He could have broken the toilet seat.

So what did Graham decide to do at this point? What would a sensible person have done? What would Nietzsche have done? The sensible approach might have involved realising that Ms Sarkar had got the measure of Iron Mike and his assembled bellies. But the equally iron code of the Murdoch mafiosi meant he could not lose face by admitting it.

The result was as predictable as it was pathetic. “Great to see your kind supporters wishing me dead [punctuation missing] you absolute horror show of a woman. Keep shilling those pounds out of the idiots. And how do you think it’s all going to turn out for your rabble?” Why does he have such a problem with an assertive young woman?

While others were contemplating that question, Ms Sarkar returned briefly to the fray in order to deliver the coup de grace: “I’d take your spirited defence of civility a little more seriously if you hadn’t spent a significant amount of your time calling me a ‘bloke with a moustache’ … I don’t wish you dead. I think having to live trapped within the confines of your own personality is punishment enough”. BOOM! OUCH!!

What is his problem? Well, perhaps this exchange from last April answers that one. After the TalkRADIO Twitter feed had told “Border force seen fitting face masks on migrants at Dover”, he sneered “How about just sending them back?

Is it just another case of bigotry? You might wish to ask that. I couldn’t possibly comment.

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Sunday, 17 January 2021

Julia Hartley Dooda Legal Bluster

There is a chasm of difference between threatening to take legal action against someone, and actually doing the deed. Also, those who merely bluster all too often give the game away in ways they may not consider to be significant, but those who know the game will see jumping off the page. So it is with self-promoting TalkRADIO host Julia Hartley Brewer.

Ms Hartley Dooda took grave exception yesterday to a Tweet from an account called NHS Million. Observing that minor thesp, not very good singer and dead on arrival politician Laurence Fox was parading a badge claiming he was exempt from wearing a face covering, the account told “Laurence Fox, Toby Young and Julia H-B continue to post nonsense like this”. Does that look libellous? Ms Hartley Dooda claimed it did.

Egged on by someone called Laura Dodsworth, she asserted “They say they've deleted it but I can still see it. It's libellous”. Oh what a giveaway! Ms Hartley Dooda does not get to say what may or may not be libellous, or, to use the correct terminology, defamatory of her. Moreover, this is not a first, a one-off slip: back in 2016, she told one critic “You've deleted your libellous tweet. Shame I screengrabbed it, eh? Still libel unless you apologise”.

It’s still alleged to be defamatory, she means. But she does not set out what form of words she claims to be defamatory. One does not merely proclaim airily that something is libellous. Thus another giveaway. Coming back two years to 2018, and we encounter Ms Hartley Dooda’s sensitivity to accusations of racism. This brought another giveaway.

Suing for libel is an expensive business so I’d need to know what you’re worth first” she scolded. Yes, it is potentially expensive, but she’s not without a bob or two. In any case, if it’s supposed to be about defending her reputation, shouldn’t that come first? And talking of her being accused of racism, the latest of those brought a serious slip.

Earlier this month, a Tweeter suggested she was racist. “Please can you tweet me your lawyer’s contact details so we know where to send the libel writ to”. Whoops! Someone’s not been paying attention. One, they don’t do “libel writs” any more. The term is “Letter Before Action”, or LBA. And Two, they don’t have to be posted.

So back we come to NHS Million, and Ms Hartley Dooda claiming that what they asserted was libellous. The account said sorry, but one observer wondered what they were apologising for. “Calling out someone who spouts nonsense on Twitter is not libellous. Should've left it up, it was right on the money. Pity” was their conclusion.

I’ll go further: Ms Hartley Dooda shows by the language she uses that her grasp of defamation law is neither up to date, nor accurate. She has accused several Tweeters of libelling her, but as far as is known, has not taken any action against any of those who have declined to retract and apologise. Which leads to one conclusion.

Julia Hartley Dooda appears to be full of wind and ignorance. But you knew that already.

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Saturday, 16 January 2021

GB News - Agenda REVEALED

Andrew Neil told recently that GB News, which he will chair, and where he will present, “is the most exciting thing to happen in British television news for more than 20 years. We will champion robust, balanced debate and a range of perspectives on the issues that affect everyone in the UK, not just those living in the London area. We've seen a huge gap in the market for a new form of television news. GB News is aimed at the vast number of British people who feel underserved and unheard by their media”. There was more.

Neil said that it "would not provide rolling news, but would, in similarity with some US networks, divide each day into ‘individual programmes, news-based programmes, built around very strong presenters’”. That sounds rather like Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse), or indeed Sky News Australia, an operation that has followed the FNC model. And then, yesterday afternoon, Brillo gave the game away.

Jeane Freeman, health secretary for the Scottish Government, admitted to a mistake over publication of the country’s Covid-19 vaccination rollout programme. She apologised. In came the Brillo late tackle. “I understand Ms Freeman called Health Secretary Hancock to apologise. Scottish friends tell me she’s been a useless Scottish health minister. I think she’s retiring at the next elections. Maybe she’ll rejoin the Communist party”.

So now we knew what GB News would be about: setting up targets, shouting them down, settling old scores, and pushing a blatantly right-wing agenda. We know this as Brillo was soon reminded that he tried his know-all Smart Alec act with Ms Freeman during the Scottish independence referendum campaign and came off second best.

The reception to this outburst showed that Brillo is not universally popular in the land of his birth. SNP MSP James Dornan, hinting at that right-wing allegiance, replied “Couple of things Andrew, first your criticism of Jeane, based on your ‘Scottish friends’ is pathetic and patently untrue. Secondly apologising tor a mistake is something that maybe some of your colleagues in the Cabinet should consider. They certainly have enough to apologise for”.

Your colleagues in the cabinet”. Or, put another way, OUCH! Meanwhile, Ms Freeman wasted no time in reminding The Great Man of their previous encounter. “If you remember [Andrew Neil], last time you made assertions on what I was or what I said, you were wrong then too”. And on the subject of health, William Brown had seen enough.

Brillo wanted to talk about Ms Freeman’s record? Fine, he concluded, let’s consider the seven-day rolling average of new Covid-19 cases. Where Scotland compares very favourably to the rest of the UK. His conclusion? “Looks like we know what to expect, quality wise from your new ‘Trump’ TV channel. Pish analysis”. It is SO!

The idea of “individual programmes, news-based programmes, built around very strong presenters” means taking a shock jock, loudmouth approach, most likely avoiding those guests who might show up the hosts, and instead favouring those who will tell hosts what they want to hear, and a few fall guys who can be shouted off the ball.

But GB News has Brillo’s gravitas and intellectual heft (ho ho ho), so that’s all right, then.

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Friday, 15 January 2021

Toby Young Covid Cobblers CARPETED

There was a hint of menace, backed with cocksure arrogance, about the headline of the column in the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph last July penned by the loathsome Toby Young. “When we have herd immunity Boris will face a reckoning on this pointless and damaging lockdown” it told. Ah, the old “herd immunity” ploy.

Behold the victim - of his own stupidity

Sad to say, the contents of Tobes’ column did not support the headline braggadocio, and so it came to pass that James Whitehead made a complaint to alleged press regulator IPSO on the grounds of Clause 1 (Accuracy). As is the usual Telegraph modus operandi, the first thought was outright denial: “The publication did not accept it has breached the Code. It emphasised that the article was clearly presented as an opinion piece on a topic of considerable scientific uncertainty”. Ah, the old “only an opinion piece” ploy.

But not even IPSO was prepared to wipe the Tel’s arse this time. “The publication had therefore failed to take care not to publish inaccurate and misleading information in breach of Clause 1(i) … The statement was significantly misleading … there was a breach of Clause 1(ii) … The newspaper failed to take care not to publish inaccurate or misleading information in breach of Clause 1(i) … there was a breach of Clause 1(ii) [again]”.

The complaint was therefore upheld, and once again the Tel’s obsession with arguing the toss and failing to own up when it had the opportunity to do so got it precisely nowhere. And so came the grovellingcorrection”: "An article (11 July) about Covid 19 argued that people with cross-reactive T cells ' will have natural immunity' having 'already successfully fought off other coronaviruses '. This was incorrect as such people may still contract and transmit Covid”. It was, whisper it quietly, a pack of lies. And there was more.

The article also wrongly proposed that 'London is probably approaching herd immunity' but cross-reactive T cells do not prevent infection spreading and therefore do not create herd immunity and there was no evidence to support such immunity was being established in London”. Tobes had pretended to know some science. But he didn’t.

So has The Great Man shown a hint of contrition over peddling misinformation to the masses? As if you need to ask. Tobes has, not for the first time, decided instead to play the victim. After Tory MP Neil O’Brien called him out, Tobes whined “A Conservative MP should not be urging media companies to suppress one side in that debate, particularly as the 2019 Conservative manifesto reaffirmed the party's commitment to free speech”.

He’s being silenced! Read all about it in the Spectator, Telegraph, at Lockdown Sceptics, in slots on several broadcasters, and in an exclusive podcast! And it got worse. “I installed an app last week that deletes all tweets more than a week old. This was in response to Twitter's increasing intolerance of people who challenge liberal orthodoxies, including Covid orthodoxy. I would advice other dissenters to do the same”.

He’s a dissident! The totalitarian dictatorship of Boris Nyet So Gudenov is coming to get him! But enough. Toby Young says he wants a debate. So here’s one just for him.

In the seven days to yesterday, 370,839 new Covid-19 cases, 7,507 deaths and 26,999 hospital admissions were reported. Put that in your next column, Tobes. If there is one.

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