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Tuesday 31 August 2021

Spectator Pushes Replacement Theory

Fraser Nelson, editor of the increasingly alt-right Spectator magazine, has in the past affirmed his support for immigration. To this end, he has commissioned material from the likes of Lionel Shriver, a foreign-born author who has recently immigrated to the UK. Ms Shriver wants it to be known that she will not be cancelled, which, freely translated, means she will say more or less anything in order to move copies and get clicks.

Lionel Shriver. Not to be confused with a journalist ...

In the recent past, this has meant her telling the Independent, in an interview last year, that “Two-thirds of coronavirus fatalities would have probably died within the year anyway”, a claim so devoid of reality, or indeed empathy, that even self-promoting TalkRADIO host Julia Hartley Dooda might have stopped and thought before making it.

Yet more recently, she told readers of the Speccy that “The UK’s immigration figures are a fantasy”, going on to muse “This is purely anecdotal, but in my formerly white, working-class neighbourhood of south London, the proportion of Africans on the streets is high. In the 11 years we’ve lived there, that proportion has palpably risen. One inevitably puzzles over the aegis under which all these people from a different continent took up residence”.

One of those from a different continent being herself. But now, Ms Shriver has gone full Replacement Theory as she declares - once more, in the Speccy - “More than a third of UK births now involve at least one foreign-born parent; in parts of London, 80 per cent of births are to foreign-born mothers”. Foreign-born parents like our alleged Prime Minister, and indeed the late Duke of Edinburgh. Or Fraser Nelson’s wife.

Fortunately, Adam Rutherford, who you can tell as he’s a doctor, has read the article, so you don’t have to. The author of How To Argue With A Racist has concluded “Thanks to everyone flagging up Lionel Shriver’s piece in the Spectator. I have read it, and it is very unsophisticated Replacement Theory, and lands straightforward far-right conspiracy theory talking points which haven’t changed in more than a century”. There is more.

These ideas, robustly present by racists such as Madison Grant and Lothrop Stoddart in the 1st decades of the 20th century formed the ideological basis for eugenics policies in the US, and later in Nazi Germany. Hitler cited Grant’s work as ‘his Bible’ … Shriver’s piece echoes these sentiments very specifically. She is biologically and historically illiterate on this matter”. He then segues neatly into an aside on F Scott Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald was acquainted with many of the key founders of US eugenics, notably Mary Harriman - widow of railroad tycoon E. H. Harriman and her daughter, who was so into eugenics she was nicknamed Eugenia … Harriman funded the Eugenics Research Office from its foundation, lead by Charles Davenport, and run by Harry Laughlin. Laughlin wrote eugenics legislation in the US that was the basis for the 1933 Nazi ‘Law for the Prevention of Offspring with Hereditary Diseases’”. Yes, “Mr E H Harriman of the Union Pacific RR”.

... or anyone with a twitchy right arm

As Sir Sean nearly said, I think we got the point. And all this at the same time that Tucker Carlson, top-rated host at Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) “says the Biden administration is allowing Afghan refugees to enter the US in order ‘to change our country. They'll never lose another election. That's the point, as you know’”.

The Spectator is not yet on a par with Der Stürmer. But you can see it from there.

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Monday 30 August 2021

Michael Gove - We Have To Talk

The absence from public gaze of Cabinet Office minister Michael “Oiky” Gove had been accompanied by a swirl of rumours, not least because of his recent divorce from appalling self-publicist Sarah “Vain” Vine. But press coverage came there none. Until the human embodiment of Elmer Fudd rocked up - literally - in an Aberdeen nightclub.

And it was then that radio silence was broken as the Daily Record told readersMichael Gove raves at Aberdeen club in bizarre clips as ‘merry’ Tory minister leaves punters stunned … The senior Tory MP displayed some questionable dance moves in the small hours during this solo visit to Bohemia in Aberdeen city centre last night”.

There was more. “Bizarre clips shared with the Daily Record show the 54-year-old two-stepping, arm waving, hip jolting and head banging with fellow ravers, who allegedly bought the top-earning politician drinks all night … Gove is originally from the Granite City and was back in his hometown enjoying a night on the tiles following last month's news that he and wife Sarah Vine are to divorce”. But Gove was, it seems, more than merry.

Singer Emma Lament told the RecordMichael Gove walked into O'Neills at around 1.15am, the pub was just about closing. I'm almost sure he was by himself … The Tories aren't too popular in Scotland but people were generally quite nice to him. It's fair to say he'd had a good few shandies when he arrived at O’Neill’s”. He had not merely been to the Rub-A-Dub and become Elephant’s Trunk And Mozart. He was totally wasted.

The article also includes photos showing Gove duly making an idiot of himself, but moving right along, we come to the Press Excuse Brigade, characterised by the Mail tellingNewly-single Michael Gove throws some dad dance moves as he parties the night away 'alone' in an Aberdeen nightclub”. Nothing to see here, but just in case there is, we’ve wheeled out the quote marks. But no-one was making the obvious point.

Gove is 54. He is a senior cabinet minister. The Government of which he is a member has its hands full with Afghanistan, the Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit fallout and a whole lot more. What the merry fuck is he doing off his head in a nightclub? One cynical Tweeter looked at the scene and quipped “Ya da's handlin' the divorce well then”. Others weren’t so sure.

Alastair Campbell, who is also a Scot, responded “Please tell me this is a deep fake done by the Russians to undermine credibility in our government, our politics and our way of life”. But, sadly, it wasn’t. One Tweeter added “ministers have been ‘working tirelessly’ over the last week to evacuate British nationals and Afghans, with the priority being paddle boarding and throwing shapes”. And then another serious point was raised.

This is not a photograph of a 54 year old man in charge of his life. Furthermore, if Murdoch is protecting him he is misguided and doing him no favours”. It had been suggested that there was some kind of injunction involved. Well, if there was, it didn’t stop the Daily Record spilling the beans on Gove’s excesses. Or absence from Government.

Michael Gove gives the appearance of going off the rails. Our free and fearless press would not keep schtum were he a rock musician, a Premier League footballer, or indeed a press regulation campaigner. So which particular cat has got their tongues this time?

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Magna Carta Wackos Seize Public Building

Storyhouse Chester is one of those success stories led by local Government intervention: the re-use of the city’s former Odeon cinema, an art deco building dating from the 1930s and listed at Grade II. It now houses a theatre, a cinema, a restaurant - and the city’s library, which last week played host to a display of significant stupidity.

A group which has since been identified as the True Honourables, many of them brandishing camera phones and other video recording equipment, assembled in the library, fronted by a rambling fool reading from a notepad. He declared that the group had seized the building. The manager summoned the Police.

In the video, put out on BitChute - the thought enters that YouTube or Facebook would have taken it down - the assembled idiocy kicks off by asking the cops “Are you on your oath of office?” before nonchalantly declaring “We’re seizing the building”. Then it was on to the rambling fool reading from his notebook. And citing Magna Carta.

We’re common law standing Chester … Article 61 has been invoked [which has been invalid for several Centuries] law abiding citizens are now seizing public buildings which have been usurped from us by the legislative Government, which is not a lawful Government. Common law is the law of the land. We stand under common law”.

Wibble. Hatstand. Do go on. “We have chosen this building … a public library … should not be usurped and placed into a profit-making organisation”. Idiot. Storyhouse is a charity. “We’ve taken control of this building under Magna Carta 1215, which is our right to do so [no it isn’t] … there is no law in this land that says we have to wear masks, even if the Government brings out a bill and says we have to do so [oh yes there is]”. Enough.

Suffice to say that the assembled idiocy claimed the Covid-19 pandemic was a hoax. The video was promoted by one Vic Button, a locally notorious former market trader whose Twitter feed includesHow the jab works to end humanity”, “Globalist scum wants your kids to be MRNA lab-rat junkies”, “lethal poisons in the Covid jab”, “You can become dangerously magnetic after taking the jab”, and “We have a one world Government”.

Added to which is the off-the-scale wacko claim that over a million have died after taking the jab. Some in Chester have seen enough of the “True Honourables”, not least the folks from the Carlton Tavern in Handbridge: “they made threats to my business, my customers and my staff all because I was complying with government guidelines [on] mask wearing”.

Go on. “They also tried to spout this nonsense here prior to mask restrictions being lifted when they were refused entry. The chap in the vid then proceeded to threaten to hang one of our locals who called them a disgrace from a lamppost whilst quoting the Magna Carta … We then received a 12 page ‘legal’ document from the common law society quoting the Magna Carta and warning us that we committed high treason for refusing them entry”.

Believe what you like, but wasting Police time - and everyone else’s time - talking out of the backs of your necks is not going to win any friends or influence any people.

What this sad shower shows, though, is that once you have gone on down the rabbit hole, you’ll believe anything. The anti-vax crowd do just that. Until The Rona gets them.

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Sunday 29 August 2021

GB News Advocates More Covid Deaths

In yet another demonstration, if any were still needed, that Covid-19 cannot be wished away by recycling anti-mask propaganda, taking unproven treatments, and refusing to get tested, let alone vaccinated, a man from Texas called Caleb Wallace died yesterday at the Shannon Medical Center, in San Angelo. He first got symptoms of the virus on July 26. On July 30, he was admitted to hospital. On August 8, he was intubated and sedated.

Live. Unlike dead Covid deniers

Why is Caleb Wallace’s death significant? Well, as the Mirror has reported, he “organised a Freedom Rally against Covid restrictions in July … His family said that Wallace felt that insistence on wearing masks was a violation of people’s rights. The conspiracy theorist's dad Russell Wallace said: ‘After watching all the government overreach here he decided he wanted to do something about it’”. Government overreach.

Freedom from Government overreach did not save Caleb Wallace from Covid-19: he has left a young wife with three little children, and another on the way. And children are one way that Covid-19 spreads among the population. That is why Governments across Europe have already begun vaccinating 12 to 15 year olds. Less virus spread, fewer infections, fewer hospitalisations, and fewer deaths. This is a no brainer.

So, with new infections in the UK running at an average of over 34,000 a day (or three times the EU average), daily hospitalisations averaging 900, and deaths totalling 785 in the past week, no responsible broadcaster is going to stand in the way of any measure that cuts transmission, infection and all the rest. Unless they’re a host on GB News.

And that host is Neil Oliver, who has done his bit for increasing Covid-19 hospitalisations and deaths by ranting that the West is “not in the grip of a virus, but of delusional madness”. So are you sitting comfortably, children? Then he’ll begin. “I’ll start with the madness, a plan that I consider madness, anyway, that scares me most”. Do go on.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has told the NHS to give Covid-19 vaccine injections to children over 12. There’s talk as well, terrifying to me, inexplicable and appalling to my mind, of setting aside parental consent for that medical procedure. I say this is worse than madness, that it is wickedly wrong. Over and above the safety, or not, the efficacy, or not, of experimental injections rolled out under the terms of emergency use authorisation”.

We’re entering full Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) territory now. And there is more. “And for which we have no long term data [wrong], I am scared to the pit of my stomach by any Government that seeks to come between parent and child … parents decide what does, and does not, happen to their children”. And he’s not finished.

Governments, if they know what’s good for them, stay the hell away from law abiding parents and their kids. Down through history, one totalitarian régime after another … has identified the family as the fundamental building block of society, and, thereby, the most stubborn stumbling block on the road to establishing their brave new worlds”.

Enough. No doubt there will be sufficient plausible deniability to allow GB News to avoid the blowback from the next Covid denier who takes inspiration from this faux libertarian cretin. Meanwhile, Covid denial combined with more virus transmission by kids will, with the certainty of night following day, bring us more like Caleb Wallace. Read and weep.

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Saturday 28 August 2021

Dog Day Afternoon Awaits Tories

We are a nation of dog lovers. Even the most ardent Brexiteers, who are more than willing to spit venom at anyone called migrants, want us to know that they love their pets. It is a soft spot which has been pummelled relentlessly in the past week by those advocating for former Royal Marine Paul Farthing, more often known as Pen.

Pen Farthing and ... aw look it's a doggie!

Farthing served in Afghanistan in the mid Noughties. He later set up the Nowzad animal shelter and had been trying to get his animals - rescue animals - out of Kabul, along with his staff. And then the arguments began: why should dogs take up space on flights out of Kabul while there were still thousands of people with good reason to flee the Taliban, and who had the paperwork, languishing on the tarmac, or stuck in the city?

As the BBC has reported, “Since the collapse of the Afghan government, Mr Farthing and his supporters have campaigned to have his staff, their families and 140 dogs and 60 cats evacuated from the country in a plan he has named Operation Ark … But Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has complained some of Mr Farthing's supporters had ‘taken up too much time of my senior commanders dealing with this issue when they should be focused on dealing with the humanitarian crisis’”. Dogs and cats, or humans?

All those migrant hating but dog loving voters were getting restive: “Mr Wallace said his advisors and officials had received abusive calls”. But he went from “Fundamentally, as we have seen on the media, there are desperate, desperate people, and I was not prepared to push those people out of the way for that” to the MoD now advising that “[Farthing and his animals] are currently being supported while he awaits transportation”.

Ominously, the BBC report adds “The MoD announcement did not mention the situation surrounding Mr Farthing's staff”. Kate Higgins, who’s a veterinarian, was concerned. “This is great news but includes no word on [Farthing]’s team and their families - including female vets and nurses, children and babies who will be deemed to have assisted the UK and whose lives will be in danger under Taliban rule”. There was more.

Krishnan Guru-Murthy of Channel 4 News asked “The dogs and cats (not pets but rescues) allowed through to Britain but not the Afghan staff?” Amelia Gentleman of the Guardian noted that Farthing and his animals were being allowed through “But British embassy guards employed by GardaWorld are not”. And it got worse.

Deborah Haynes from Sky News mused “Pets safe. But a former Afghan interpreter with [the British Army], who spent the past 5 days outside Kabul airport with his wife, 3-month-old daughter & 3-yr-old son, is not. Asked how he was feeling, he said: ‘Fearful and lost, like a prisoner waiting for his assassination’”. There are desperate people out there.

The chief decision maker won't be making any

Charlie Herbert was one of them. “You put his dogs and cats above the ten Afghan families that I’ve been trying to get into the EHC for the last 72 hours. You utter bastards. I will never forgive you”. OK, the dogs and cats may be able to fly as cargo, but the resources dedicated to getting Farthing and his pets out could mean some actual humans don’t.

Of course, knowing that the US were going to leave by the end of the month, the UK Government could have acted earlier. But the Tory shambles is a hard habit to break.

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Friday 27 August 2021

Allison Pearson GP Smear WRONG

Possibly emboldened by press non-regulator IPSO wiping the arse of the Murdoch press by waving away a justifiable complaint about pundit Matthew Parris recently demonising the GRT community, on the basis that it’s only an opinion column, and no individual was named in the attack - aka the Islamophobia Get-Out Clause - the seriously wayward Allison Pearson has gone after GPs, in a similar lack of style.

Writing in the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph, she has told readers “GPs are improving their work-life balance while worsening the life-death balance of everyone else”. Pejorative and prejudicial, much? The sub-heading is in the same vein. "Distress at being unable to see a doctor in person has hardened into cynicism - it's no wonder long-suffering patients are losing it”. And there was more. Rather a lot more.

There is mounting anger that a highly-rewarded, once highly-respected profession continues to insist that it is ‘fully open’ when personal experience suggests it is hiding behind an increasingly threadbare Covid sofa. I was sorry, but not at all surprised, to read that GP practices are facing a ‘torrent of abuse’ as patient frustration boils over”.

And whose fault might that be? As if you need to ask. “How about the doctors’ union tries being ‘kind and considerate’ to patients by not insisting on strict Covid measures (more unnecessary by the day) which supposedly keep their members ‘safe’ while jeopardising the health of the population. As long as social distancing is maintained in surgery waiting rooms, there will be no return to normal face-to-face service. I’m sorry to say, that seems to suit a lot of GPs just fine”. A big bad UNION did it! Boo big bad UNIONS!!

Go on. “The shameless British Medical Association sought to obscure its role in the crisis … But who is backing those GPs who don’t want to return to normal working because - unlike shopworkers, waiters, district nurses and delivery drivers - they are at risk from a fast-receding virus? That would be the BMA, which demands yet more funding from the Government for GPs who prefer not to see the men and women who pay their salaries”.

The BMA has pointed outTo suggest that family doctors have seen their work-life balance improve during the pandemic and attempt to justify the abuse directed at them and their colleagues serves no good purpose … the number of patients per practice is 22% higher than it was six years ago, leading GPs to report working an average of 11-hour days. These are not figures that show a better work-life balance for the family doctor”.

There is more. “The article also talks of ‘unnecessary’ Covid measures. There is nothing unnecessary about practical steps such as physical distancing, mask wearing and hand hygiene which keep patients and staff safe. Indeed a recent BMA survey of the public found that a majority support these steps … to keep blaming individual GPs and their colleagues for this - and using it to defend abuse - is completely unfair”.

This is bang out of order, but Ms Pearson knows that she will experience no pushback from her paper, or indeed from IPSO. The Tel does not have to be fair. It will get away with attacks on groups. Ms Pearson may even be thrown a few biscuits for her shameless and unhinged union bashing. While giving the green light for more abuse of GPs.

Allison Pearson is not only beyond Barking, she’s plain flat wrong. No change there.

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Laurence Fox Goes Full Racist

From the moment he dismissed the idea that he enjoyed white privilege, while accusing someone who was not white of racism, washed-up actor, not very good chanteur and DOA politician Laurence Fox has veered closer and closer to the racism line. Yesterday, in no style at all, he charged right over it, to the surprise of no-one at all.

Not only that, he may have - twice - committed contempt of court in so doing. What happened can be put directly: as the BBC has reported, “Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy has been charged with rape. The 27-year-old defender has been charged with four counts of rape and one count of sexual assault, Cheshire Police said”.

Ngo West - worst tribute band ever

There was more. “Mr Mendy, of Prestbury, has been remanded in custody and will appear at Chester Magistrates' Court on Friday”. However, “A police spokesman said: ‘Cheshire Constabulary and the Crown Prosecution Service would like to remind everyone that criminal proceedings against Mendy are live and that he has a right to a fair trial’”.

That did not stop Lozza quote Tweeting the BBC headline and adding “Get kneeling, fuckers”. Owen Jones correctly identified the key component of Fox’s rant: “This grotesquely racist tweet underlines that opposition to Black Lives Matter isn’t driven by being anti-Marxist or all the other excuses. It’s driven by racism”. It certainly is.

It may also be driven by contempt of court: demonstrating that he is of less than perfect courage, Fox later deleted the offending comment. But, as Jones’s response shows, the internet never forgets. And to ensure he dug himself in good and deep, The Great Man returned to his vomit this morning and chucked up a whole lot more.

For too long, footballers have been portrayed as saints with the highest moral virtue. When all too often they prey on young women using their fame, then use money & power to buy silence in a way ordinary men never could”. One more for the contempt charge, Sarge. Meanwhile, Lozza wanted us all to know that he is the victim in all of this.

Nothing in my admittedly provocative tweet was about race, although it is with crushing predictability that it was spun this way by my political opponents & the usual media grifters … Instead I was instructing footballers to kneel for the victims of rape & sexual assaults committed by footballers - a point none of the usual, vocal campaigners picked up on as they clamoured to shoot the messenger & once again avoid the inconvenient message”.

If he had been so minded, he might have picked up on a Premier League footballer being arrested last July. But he didn’t. Not that this has anything to do with the footballer concerned being white, you understand. Meanwhile, the Tweeter known as Buddy Hell showed just where Fox is heading: “Keep digging, Looza. By this time tomorrow, you should arrive in the Marianna Trench”. And his career was looking so, er, unpromising.

It’s entirely possible that Cheshire Police will want a word with The Great Man concerning more than one of his Tweets. While the Fox career heads, generally, in the same direction as that of folks like Hatey Klopkins. Like downhill at increasing speed.

The time of Laurence Fox was for a time, but not for all time. Just rejoice at that news.

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Thursday 26 August 2021

Peter Hitchens And Alternative Facts

Some observers laughed at the idea that the Trump White House could have its own “alternative facts”. After the 2020 Presidential Election, the January 6 insurrection, and with a third of US Citizens believing that Joe Biden didn’t win, many are no longer laughing. The decision by Trump, his followers, and his media cheerleaders to do away with facts is what leads down the rabbit hole where reality can be conveniently ignored.

Hang on, there's been a hitch

The idea that we can disagree on issues of the day, and indeed on recent history, but keep our disagreement rooted in a common respect for facts, is still powerful enough this side of the North Atlantic for some in the media establishment to try and respect it, whatever the pressures and diversions of their profession. But one of their number has no problem stretching facts beyond the bounds of elasticity in order to satisfy his own vanity.

To no surprise at all, that one individual is the unfeasibly egotistical Peter Hitchens, contrarian supreme and specialist in the art of arguing in his spare time. Hitchens occasionally gets something wrong. But this weakness cannot possibly be conceded by The Great Man, and so, when Jonathan Portes of King’s College London corrected him, this was an affront to Hitchens’ omniscience which could not go unpunished.

Where Hitchens went wrong can be put directly: he got the date of UK accession to the Treaty of Rome - joining the EEC, as it then was - wrong. He claimed it was 1972; it was January 1973 (see HERE, HERE and HERE). Hitchens, though, decided he knew better. “For Jonni Portes … The day in January 1972 when Britain formally joined the Common Market (unlike Jonni, who was at nursery school that day, I watched it on TV)”.

Note the combination of appeal to authority, and patronising over-familiarity (“Jonni”). This, like Hitchens’ recall, didn’t work, as Portes fired back “That article literally says that membership ‘took effect on 1 January 1973’. As does the Parliamentary website, the Commission website, etc. We know you think your ‘opinion’ overrides actual, verifiable, objective facts. But you won't convince anyone”. And there was more.

The hill on which [Peter Hitchens] has chosen to die on today is that - contrary to what the history books and the law say - the UK joined the EEC in 1972 rather than 1973. Because he says so. Time to stop giggling and do some work I think”. Cue the Tweeter known as Steve Analyst. “Article 1(1) of the Accession Treaty 1972 explicitly confers membership on the UK ‘hereby become members of the European Economic Community’, and Article 1(1) does not come into force until January 1st, 1973 as per Article (2)”. It’s still 1973.

So I pointed this out. By now, others would have said “sorry, my bad” and moved on. Not him. “Actually … there is an interesting argument over the significant moment, varying from the Parliamentary vote in 1971 to the coming into operation in 1973. I wouldn't quarrel with any of them. But Bloviating Jonni … told me that I was *wrong* to use 1972”.

Because accession happened in 1973. But Hitchens was, by now, off and running. “This epitomises .. Jonni’s problem, that he mistakes his opinion for fact and cannot disagree rationally, or accept that anyone else might make a judgement different form his on the same facts. Hence his frequent resort to dishonesty in debate”. Projection, much?

Peter Hitchens epitomises the sickness of our media class. Alternative facts, indeed.

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