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Saturday 31 July 2021

Piers Morgan Mental Health Reverse Ferret

The effects of elite competition, the training needed to participate at the top level, and indeed the dangers involved in some sports for athletes who do not have mind and body totally focused, have come into public view after multiple Olympic and World champion Simone Biles withdrew from several gymnastic events at Tokyo 2020.

Most onlookers, and indeed anyone who had either competed in those disciplines, or understood the risks involved, sympathised with Ms Biles, who, let us not forget, has already been there, seen it and done it. But former Screws and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan was having none of that. Ms Biles’ reluctance to seriously injure herself, or worse, for his viewing pleasure resulted in an outpouring of ignorance from The Great Man.

And ignorance is the key word: Morgan is not a stupid person, and is more than capable of understanding what drove Ms Biles’ decisions. But to keep the outrage boiler at working pressure, the audience must not be distracted by such detail, and so they are not. Those who read Morgan’s intemperate rant were deliberately misinformed, kept ignorant.

Piers who?

Still, at least he was consistent in attacking anyone at the top of their sport suffering mental health issues. He ranted as intolerantly at Ms Biles as he had previously at tennis player Naomi Osaka. But then came news that would put Morgan in what Spike Milligan once called A Very Difficult Position, concerning England cricketer Ben Stokes.

As the BBC has reported, “Ben Stokes ‘will take an indefinite break from all cricket with immediate effect’ and has withdrawn from England's squad for the five-Test series against India. The all-rounder will prioritise his mental wellbeing and rest his left index finger which has not fully healed, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in a statement”.

What would Morgan say this time? Mental health, and all that? "And due to a busted finger.. I’m sure Ben Stokes wouldn’t call his decision to pull out of the massive India Test series ‘tremendously courageous’, ‘inspiring’ or ‘heroic’, as some are saying. Nor would I. England will be weaker without him & I hope he’s back for the Ashes”. Look at the finger!

But what about all those patronising rants on the subject of letting team-mates down? “If he quit in the middle of a Test match with no physical injury, leaving his teammates in the lurch like Simon Biles did, & complained he wasn’t having enough ‘fun’, then I would have said that. Especially if he had GOAT embroidered on his shirt. But he didn’t. So I didn’t”.

So he’s said … nothing. Not that this has anything to do with Ben Stokes being a big bloke, you understand. And definitely nothing to do with him being white. After all, Morgan claims not to criticise on the basis of skin colour, and so his targeting of Ms Biles, after his targeting of Ms Osaka, is merely a coincidence. As are all the others.

Like, oh I dunno, his attack on Novara Media’s Ash Sarkar. His attack on Jameela Jamil, the latter once more on someone with mental health issues. And his tiresome obsession with the Duchess of Sussex, which shows little sign of abating any time soon.

When the women who are not white have mental health issues, Piers Morgan can’t wait to sound off. But when it’s a big white bloke who might - with some justification - take exception to an ignorant hack sneering at him, it’s rather different. I wonder why.

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Apsana Begum - Say Sorry, Press People

The Parliamentary constituency of Poplar and Limehouse is where great wealth exists alongside areas of poverty and deprivation. And despite the presence of Canary Wharf and its glittering high rises, the seat, and its Poplar and Canning Town predecessor, have consistently returned Labour MPs. In 2019, Apsana Begum succeeded retiring MP Jim Fitzpatrick after winning the seat with a majority of almost 29,000.

Apsana Begum MP

Ms Begum was also a supporter of former leader Jeremy Corbyn, as well as being one of those Scary Muslims™, and so when she was accused of three counts of making dishonest applications for council homes to Tower Hamlets Council, the idea of her being innocent until such time as she might have been proven guilty went out the window.

In the vanguard of this routine exercise in nudge-nudgery were the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, who kicked off in January with “she has been accused of cheating her way to a £300,000 council home in Tower Hamlets”. Earlier this month, readers were told that she “is facing 3 charges of fraud over her mysterious ability to leapfrog the 18,000-long waiting list for a council flat (despite having no children)”.

When former shadow chancellor John McDonnell appeared as a character referee at the trial, the Fawkes massive sneeredMcDonnell confesses he was hoping to take her on as a PPS had Labour won in 2019, saying he had confidence in her judgment, ability and dedication. Damning”. And their press pals were of a degree worse.

The Mail told its readersLabour MP Apsana Begum, 31, 'conned council out of £64,000 after using her connections as a housing advisor to get a studio flat - then blamed her 'controlling' husband,' court hears”. Last week, that was upgraded toLabour MP Apsana Begum 'acted dishonestly' to 'jump the queue' on the social housing register, court hears”.

And the Murdoch Sun was in its element, as earlier this month it howled “‘HOME SCAM MP’ … Labour MP Apsana Begum accused of cheating a council out of £64,000 in a housing scam”. As the Tweeter known as SunApology has noted, other headlines from the paper included “MP ‘FRAUD’” [subtle, eh?] and “CORBYNISTA’S ‘HOME SCAM’”.

Yesterday afternoon, though, the BBC reported that “A Labour MP has been cleared in court of making fraudulent housing claims … Ms Begum said the accusations had been ‘driven by malicious intent’”. She added “As a survivor of domestic abuse facing these vexatious charges, the last 18 months of false accusations, online sexist, racist and Islamophobic abuse, and threats to my safety have been exceedingly difficult”.

Not that our free and fearless press, and their boot boys in the New Media, care too much about that. Their only regret is that there was no scandal, and therefore no chance of their being able to kick the Labour Party all the way through another by-election campaign.

Something which I’m sure the Labour leadership will be keen to address in the coming days, whether or not Ms Begum was a Corbyn supporter. I’ll just leave that one there.

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Friday 30 July 2021

Farage The Lifeboat Snowflake

Those who thought that there would never be anything pleasurable in watching the output of Gammon Broadcasting™ News (“Bacon’s News Channel”), unless one was a fully paid-up Brexiteer and not really racist at all honestly, found themselves pleasantly surprised this week after former Brexit Party Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage went from dog-whistling bully boy to Uriah Heep tribute act in very short order indeed.

Nige has been flogging his one-trick bigotry pony more or less non-stop since he was given a regular berth at the broadcaster - that being him whining constantly about all those Scary Migrants™ crossing the Channel in small inflatable boats. “Today could set a new record for illegal migrants crossing the Channel. It is out of control. No doubt the Home Secretary will make another tough speech. Priti useless” he ranted on Twitter.

This week, though, he’s decided to venture beyond the pale and go after the RNLI - the charity that runs lifeboat services around the British Isles, those lifeboats crewed by volunteers. They were, he declared, becoming a migrant taxi service. As a result, some of those volunteers were subjected to verbal abuse by the non-racist-honestly Gammonati.

Farage was aghast - well, in front of the camera, anyhow. He wanted viewers to know that he had not been abusive to any lifeboat crews. But that’s not how the game works, is it, Nige? You whistle the doggies and leave them to do the piling on. He also wanted us to know that he had, in days gone by, collected for the lifeboats. The reverse ferret went on.

He hadn’t been meaning any criticism of the RNLI, well, not their volunteers, anyway. His real beef was with the Border Force and the Government, who, he believed, should be sending all those Scary Migrants™ back to France. Even though none of them hailed from France. He did, though, target RNLI Head Office for the crime of defending themselves.

They had gone to the Guardian! How DARE they? They had put out a video! How DARE they? This was PR, dontcha know! And PR is not allowed, unless it’s a broadcast by Himself Personally Now on GB News. So he let RNLI management know that he’d fought bigger and uglier folks than them. What happened then, sadly, was that his campaign developed not necessarily to his advantage. RNLI donations surged.

For which they were deeply and sincerely grateful. “We just want to say a huge and heartfelt thank you from everyone in the RNLI family for the outpouring of support we’ve received in the past few days … We’ve seen a surge in donations over the past 24 hours – both in terms of one-off gifts and hundreds of you who’ve set up a monthly donation. We’re overwhelmed by and incredibly grateful for your kindness”. How much might that be?

Emily Ashton had the answer: “The RNLI says it's received over £200,000 in donations yesterday alone, after lifeboat volunteers told of the criticism they've faced in rescuing people crossing the Channel”. And Mike Galsworthy, who you can tell as he’s a doctor, first noted that Farage was happy to fight with the RNLI, then added this coda.

That’s all the reason you need to donate to the RNLI. Regardless of all else, RNLI are battling to save lives. Farage is battling to save his reputation, according to what he says here”. Slagging off those dedicated to saving lives - Mr Thirsty is totally out of order.

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Thursday 29 July 2021

Piers Morgan And The Kobayashi Maru

Seasoned Trekkies will not need reminding of the opening scene of the second Star Trek film: the USS Enterprise, with a young Vulcan woman, Lieutenant Saavik, in command, receives an apparent distress call from a vessel called the Kobayashi Maru. She orders the helm to plot a course to intercept, despite the location given being in the Klingon Neutral Zone, only to then come under attack and be forced to abandon ship.

We then see that this was a training exercise: the Kobayashi Maru simulation is a test of character. It is a no-win: only one of those to pass through Star Fleet training has ever disproved that, and to no surprise it was one James Tiberius Kirk, who beat the no-win challenge by rewriting the rules. This morning, former Screws and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan may be wondering if he, too, can do something similar.

Because, as is becoming increasingly well-known in media circles, Morgan is in talks - informal, formal, on, off, whatever - with Gammon Broadcasting™ News ("Bacon’s News Channel”). GB News is desperate to score some ratings: its recent hiring of former Brexit Party Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage had some initial success, but by his fourth show, Nige had already lost a third of his opening night audience.

So of course GB News wants Piers Morgan: after all, he got ITV breakfast offering Good Morning Britain level on ratings with BBC Breakfast, although the manner in which he achieved this - by flouncing off set after Alex Beresford criticised his constant bad faith attacks on the Duchess of Sussex - could not be replicated on a regular basis.

Even so, after the Guardian confirmed that Mr Thirsty would be joining GB News, they also toldPiers Morgan, who left Good Morning Britain in March, may step into a high-profile role on the new TV channel. Morgan, 56, is in protracted negotiations with management but must first deal with his contractual ties to ITV”. And there is one more hurdle to jump.

It's GB News, Jim - he's dead already

Morgan needs to maintain the saleability of his brand: just passing the character test will not be enough for him. Like James T Kirk, he needs to be able to rewrite the rules of this particular Kobayashi Maru exercise to avoid any taint from working at a rabidly right-wing channel, alongside not just Farage, but the likes of the deeply unpleasant Dan Wootton.

He managed to extricate himself from his rather-too-close friendship with Combover Crybaby Donald Trump, but to go to GB News would be, arguably, worse than rocking up at Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) alongside wackos like Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham. The Murdoch mafiosi pays FNC hosts well: one reason is that they need tempting to go there, because of the broadcaster’s credibility. Or lack of it.

And for those imagining that Piers Morgan might look on GB News as one great last payday before hanging up his contacts book (and resting his unfeasibly oversized ego), that is not in his DNA: there has to be another berth, he has to still be in demand. All that failing upwards cannot be allowed to come to an end. So there must be a way out.

Of course, there will be no heroic saving the earth involved, but for Piers Morgan, saving Himself Personally Now is just as important. Will he continue to live long and prosper?

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Wednesday 28 July 2021

Piers Morgan - Gold Medal Whinger

Those with the necessary privilege to allow their entry to the media establishment, and especially those who have achieved significant rank within our free and fearless press, know everything about everything. Their expertise knows no bounds: no matter that they have no specialist knowledge on any given subject, they know all about it. As a result, they are uniquely qualified to shoot off their Norths And Souths about that subject.

Piers Morgan displays his gold medal haul ...

This mindset is all too often exemplified by former Screws and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan, whose sporting prowess has thus far extended only to On-Set Undisputed World Championship Heavyweight Wobbler Throwing And Flouncing Off Combination, with a side order of rank pettiness and a degree of difficulty not unadjacent to zero. But The Great Man knows everything about competing as an elite gymnast at the Olympic Games.

As a result, he has targeted Team USA’s Simone Biles. For those who don’t follow gymnastics, this is what Wikipedia tells us about her: “Simone Arianne Biles … is an American artistic gymnast. With a combined total of 30 Olympic and World Championship medals, Biles is the most decorated American gymnast and is regarded by many to be the greatest and most dominant gymnast of all time”. She’s been there, and done it.

... to compare and contrast with Simone Biles' tally

However, during the team event, she had a problem executing her vault routine, and a near-fall on landing. There had been mishaps in other disciplines. She subsequently withdrew from the finals of the team event, and then from the finals of the individual all-around competition. After withdrawing from the team final, she said “I have to focus on my mental health. I just think mental health is more prevalent in sports right now”.

There was more. “I don't trust myself as much anymore. Maybe it's getting older … We're not just athletes. We're people at the end of the day and sometimes you just have to step back”. Ms Biles is maybe carrying too much expectation on her shoulders. She also has to manage with ADHD. But that cut no ice with the great Morgan.

Are ‘mental health issues’ now the go-to excuse for any poor performance in elite sport? What a joke. Just admit you did badly, made mistakes, and will strive to do better next time. Kids need strong role models not this nonsense … Athletes are now deemed more courageous, inspiring & heroic if they lose or quit then if they win or tough it out, which is ridiculous. I blame Twitter’s virtue-signallers for fuelling this culture of celebrating weakness. The real world doesn’t think like that”. And he wasn’t finished, unfortunately.

I’m writing a column about Simone Biles. Brace yourself, weak woke Twitter - you’re not going to like it”. Ah, the old “sneering at anti-racism dead giveaway” ploy. But enough. What does he expect Ms Biles to do? Carry on and seriously injure herself? So that, in the retelling, he can call her out for some other sale and click generating reason?

And on mental toughness, a little reminder for The Great Man

Few of us - and I include Piers Morgan and his fellow Pundit Establishment know-alls in this - have the first idea what sacrifices Simone Biles, and indeed thousands of other elite athletes, have had to endure so that audiences can be entertained. What those pundits should know is that it is only those athletes who know when to carry on, and when to stop.

But Piers Morgan couldn’t give a flying foxtrot about that. His only concern is the promotion of Himself Personally Now. Because, don’t forget, he knows everything about everything.

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Tuesday 27 July 2021

GB News Vaccine Hypocrisy

As I noted at the weekend, while Gammon Broadcasting™ News (“Bacon’s News Channel”), had engaged the services of former Brexit Party Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, who wanted to bang on ad infinitum, and indeed ad nauseam, about all those Scary Migrants™ arriving on the south coast in small boats, rather a lot of the channel’s potential audience wanted to hear anti-vaccine propaganda.

And so it came to pass that the wacko fringe was thrown a little red meat by the channel’s array of variously untalented hosts, with this example from yesterday: “‘To all of you who applaud these vaccines passports [sic], ask yourself ‘what next,’ and when will the point be that you start to feel uncomfortable’ … Michelle Dewberry says ‘I guarantee you that vaccine passports is not where it ends’”. Scary stuff! and there was more.

When one Tweeter asserted “Regardless of my Vaccine or antibody status, I will be treated as a 2nd class citizen because I will not carry a Vaccine Passport. I will be part of a minority, segregated, discriminated against and ridiculed. Remember when that used to be illegal?” Ian Oliver responded reassuringly “I will be with you”. Or would he?

The problem for these less than totally august individuals was that Silkie Carlo of Big Brother Watch had had first hand experience of what happens when one visits the GB News studios in Paddington. “It’s great that debates on Covid passes are happening on [GB News]. Unfortunately their own studio policy essentially requires Covid passes. Guests currently need a LFT to enter. Recently, two producers separately told me only double vaccinated guests could enter the studio”. Oh dear! And there was more.

Then that changed to a PCR. I’ve been trying to explain to them why this is a bad idea and why I’m not going to put forward staff for health ID checks. Nor will we accept a remote interview as an alternative as differential treatment as the price of medical privacy is wrong … I agreed to do one interview, with [Dan Wootton] as his show agreed to allow me into the studio without showing a Covid pass. Others didn’t”. And more.

I know office managers etc are putting these policies in place with the best intentions … But when we talk about the need for a debate we need a real debate, not just for clicks and views … These big debates should happen internally and externally. The presenters’ monologues about how awful vaccine passes are sit uncomfortably when issued from a studio that, at least until recently, only invites double vaccinated guests”.

What should also be borne in mind is that BBW is not a group of Rotten Lefties™: the organisation began as a project of the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance, and its founder was none other than dishonesty pusher supreme Matthew Elliott of Vote Leave infamy. This isn’t a left/right issue, but one of consistency - and, ultimately, hypocrisy.

While The GB News Twitter feed tells readers “‘Government is very, very good at taking powers during an emergency, but is somewhat reluctant to give those powers back’Nigel Farage tells businessman Hussein Lalani that ‘it’s beginning to feel a bit less like the free world’”. it manages not to include itself in that lack of freedom category.

GB News - do as they say, not as they do. Or why they’re taking their viewers for mugs.

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Priti Patel - All Wind And Piss

Seldom has there been a more glaring gap between the Tory Party press release dutifully recycled by those in our free and fearless press, and the grim reality of life for those less privileged than alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his coterie of variously inept ministers, than the line fed to the Rothermere press today.

The Daily Mail has gone full Dacre as it thunders “CRACKDOWN ON CRIME … Minister’s crime pledge in the Mail … GPS and alcohol tags for offenders … New search powers to beat knife plague … PRITI: I’LL MAKE YOBS CLEAN THE STREETS”. And to that I call bullshit. Our Benidorm holiday rep Home Secretary will do no such thing.

That this is purely for Mail readers’ consumption is clear from the outset: more of the same failed policies, but with added hot air. Ms Patel tells themWe will step up our efforts to go after drug gangs that exploit the young and vulnerable. We have already closed more than 1,100 county lines, there have been more than 6,300 arrests and millions of pounds and lots of drugs have been seized”. The same failed policy on illegal drugs, then.

She can “close” as many county lines as she likes: until the trade in illegal drugs is taken away from organised criminality - and she hasn’t got a Scooby Doo how to even start on that - the cops will do no more than scratch the surface. Hardly anywhere in the UK is off the drug supply network. She has changed nothing, and she will change nothing.

But she is backing the cops: “We’ll make sure that every community in the country has a named police contact - someone who knows your neighbourhood and can act on the challenges your community faces … The significance of this cannot be underestimated - I know that Mail readers want to know who their local bobby on the beat is and who they can turn to when affected by crime”. She knows what Mail readers want to hear, more like.

What she and the Mail have not made plain is that, One, the Tories cut tens of thousands of officers from Police forces up and down the county, and the recent recruitment drive won’t repair the damage any time soon, and Two, as Sky News reported last week, the Police Federation has announced that it no longer has confidence in her.

Still, there’s still the idea of “getting tough” on burglars, all that street cleaning, and making the community feel safer, right? Well, the Secret Barrister has something to say about that. “Boris Johnson ‘gets tough’ on burglars. The burglary I prosecuted this week was from 2018. The trial is Summer 2022. All because [Boris Johnson] and his colleagues defunded the criminal justice system. There’s never been a better time to be a criminal”.

And that’s the ones the cops catch - don’t forget those reductions in Police numbers that won’t be restored for years to come, if at all. But there will always be a phalanx of journalists ready and willing to go in to bat for Ms Patel, won’t there? Well, if another of her whizzo wheezes makes it to the statute book, maybe not.

As Press Gazette reported, “Journalists could be treated like spies for reporting on matters of public interest under planned reforms to the UK’s Official Secrets Act … The move has caused alarm at a time when press freedom is seen as being under attack in the UK”.

Priti Patel, like Bozo, cares about only one person. And that person is Herself.

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Monday 26 July 2021

Haz And Megs Turn Screw On Press

When Max Mosley passed away recently, our free and fearless press was initially relieved that he would no longer be on their case, or paying for others to do that, and then resumed its usual sneering and jeering at those who disapprove of all that improper, and indeed illegal, behaviour in which the media establishment indulges. Campaigning group Hacked Off, they declared, would now go bust in short order. Trebles all round!

But, as Jon Stewart might have cautioned, two things here: One, Mosley was not the sole donor to Hacked Off, who have therefore continued their campaign, and Two, another challenge to the press was getting into its stride. Worse for the press, it proved true the old adage that, at what seem the worst of times, the opposition rides to your rescue.

After the Duke and Duchess of Sussex gave an interview to Oprah Winfrey, and suggested that the press had a problem with bigotry, Society of Editors executive director Ian Murray became especially righteous, declaring “It is not acceptable for the Duke and Duchess to make such claims without providing any supporting evidence”. Evidence? As Zelo Street pointed out at the time, there was all too much evidence when it came to bigotry.

And then something else happened: as the Guardian reported, “More than 160 journalists of colour and the editors of the Guardian, Financial Times and HuffPost have objected to the statement, written by the SoE’s executive director, Ian Murray, which argued that Meghan’s claims that parts of the media were racist were ‘not acceptable’”.

One of those objecting was Jess Brammar of the HuffPost, which goes some way to explaining why those out there on the right are so hell-bent on preventing her being appointed to head the BBC’s News Channel. Murray, after the SoE was faced with a mass boycott of its awards ceremony, resigned. But many in the press still didn’t get it.

All they needed to do when cobbling together the next bout of bigotry was to do as they had done for years - get an LGBT hire to defend attacks like the one on Stephen Gately, have a Jewish name on the by-line of the Mail’s anti-Semitic attack on the memory of Ralph Miliband, and yes, the same paper making sure it didn’t get called for racism over the Stephen Lawrence murder by sending its only black reporter to cover it.

A few trendy lefty Woke types wouldn’t be a problem, not with right-wing placemen like Robbie Gibb on the BBC Board, and indeed Tim Davie as DG, cancelling the Mash Report to appease Tory critics. But, as Press Gazette has conceded, the press establishment has reckoned without the pulling power of Brand Sussex.

PG reported on Friday “More than 100 journalists of colour have accused the Society of Editors of only ‘offering a few crumbs’ to appease those angered by its previous statements on diversity, and in doing so failing to offer ‘moral leadership’”. Few took any notice, until today’s update: “Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have spoken out in support of the journalists calling for better action on diversity from the Society of Editors”.

Oh, hello? Do go on. “Through their Archewell Foundation … the couple said: ‘Archewell is a proud supporter of journalistic diversity and news media organizations that are committed to reporting the truth, uncovering untold stories and giving voice to the voiceless’”. But it is the next part that will make the press establishment nervous.

We also applaud the work of independent media, nonprofit newsrooms and trusted local news collectives. They demonstrate the deep need for this critical profession to thrive and evolve, particularly in terms of racial equity and representation … we are seeking to bring awareness to a coalition of UK journalists calling for stronger initiatives to combat the underrepresentation, inequity and racial bigotry that still persist in this important industry”.

Worse for the press, their attempts to demonise Haz and Megs have resulted only in strengthening the couple’s fan base, and embroiling those attacking them in a series of lawsuits which the press, whisper it quietly, are losing. Worse still is that one figure from newspapers past who had no problem exposing other papers’ illegal acts has, as some media equivalent of George Smiley, been called back to the editor’s chair.

Former Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, who, with Nick Davies, prised open the can of worms that was phone hacking, has just been appointed editor of Prospect magazine. He is already speaking in terms of serious and trustworthy debate. This, in turn, will rile the press establishment - because what they produce usually fails on both counts.

Press reform campaigners washed up and soon to go bust? On the contrary: there has never been a better time to dissent from the status quo of a handful of offshore billionaires and their gofers and hangers-on than the present. Especially with so much of those billionaires’ resource being thrown at defending the developing shambles that is Brexit, and the ineptitude of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.

The old media dinosaurs have not yet left the stage. But you can now see it from there.

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Sunday 25 July 2021

GB News - 1 Step Forward, 2 Steps Back

Accompanied by a less than rapturous endorsement from head man Andrew Neil, the latest hire for Gammon Broadcasting™ News (“Bacon’s News Channel”) was unveiled recently: as predicted, former Brexit Party Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage had been summoned to shore up ratings. As might be expected, Nige duly brought his usual Man-Of-The-People-Honestly-But-In-Reality-Cheap-City-Spiv act to the table.

Farage - what GB News thinks viewers want ...

And ratings, at least for the hour he was on air, responded well. The problem for Mr Thirsty was that his shows consisted predominantly of the one-trick Channel crossing migrant rant pony and very little else. So, as former BBC Robert Coxwell observed, the effect on ratings as the week went on was all too predictable: more dead cat than bright new star.

On GB News on Monday Nigel Farage opened with around 100k viewers, nearly on par with BBC News. What about four days later? … Viewing figures, Thursday 22/07: At 19.00: BBC News: 132k, GB News: 67k … Average for the evening, 19.00 - 01.00: BBC News: 117k, Sky News: 71k, GB News: 27k”. What would Nige bang on about next?

He could tell his audience how wonderful and terribly wronged Combover Crybaby Donald Trump is. But he is likely to find that his audience isn’t interested in what happens outside their patch. He could bang on about the EU, and how rotten it is to the UK, but then, most of our free and fearless press have already been there. And then, and then.

While Farage is both the one step forward and one of the steps back for GB News, the second step back is all those people who want the channel to go full conspiracy theory wacko - on subjects like Covid-19 restrictions, vaccination, face coverings, scientific advice, and claims that there is some great plot out there coming to get them.

This might be otherwise termed Brillo’s last stand: he did claim, in his opening night monologue, that anyone doing conspiracy theories would be dealt with sternly. GB News wouldn’t deal in that sort of currency. The snag is that their potential audience wants them to do just that. Farage congratulated himself with “The media are finally catching up with me... The Times predicts 22,000 will illegally cross the channel this year”. Others didn’t.

Where was [TalkRADIO and GB News] TODAY COVERING 110 PROTESTS AROUND THE WORLD just where are u dont [sic] pretend u care about the people turn up as journalists should do as i did and many others” … “[GB News] are an utter disgrace - any coverage of: #protest #ClotShot reactions #corruption”. And there was more.

I wonder if GB News will cover these World protests and be on the right side of history?” … “Heard [GB News] talking about a protest in London and thought ‘Great some publicity against NaziPass’. No it's about LGBT rights in Uganda”. The audience for seeing FORRINS IN BOATS is dwindling. To keep the numbers up, Mr Thirsty will have to look elsewhere. Dare he ask Kate Shemirani to be a studio guest next week?

Of course, that would mean the last vestige of GB News’ credibility as a source of information being flushed down the pan. But financial survival, eh? Decisions, decisions.

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