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Tuesday 30 November 2021

Jewish Voices Denounce Spectator

The increasingly alt-right Spectator magazine has got away with it for maybe too long: publishing self-confessed anti-Semite Taki Theodoracopulos, Islamophobic bigot Doug Murray The K, casual not-racist-at-all-honestly Rod “a smile, a song and a four pack of Stella” Liddle among others while remaining “respectable” via the presence of faux-posh editor Fraser Nelson and his boss, former Murdoch editor Andrew Neil.

Éric Zemmour ...

There is also the magazine’s summer party, which many in our media class who should know better fall over themselves in order to secure an invite. Sadly, though, the veneer of respectability has fractured badly of late after the Speccy went on a grovelling promo-fest in order to tell Brits who may not have wanted to know about Éric Zemmour.

... and a magazine that's right on his wavelength

Zemmour, as Zelo Street regulars will already know, is a convicted racist bigot. But he has also declared himself to be a candidate for the French Presidency, though his polling numbers have begun to decline of late. That last fact passed Freddy Gray by as he conducted his fawninginterview” of The Great Man. But some journalists were not happy.

It’s not every day that pundits openly call out fellow pundits, so when Helen Lewis passed severely adverse comment on Gray’s less than elegy, those at the Speccy should have taken notice: “The Spectator has made a bad call in commissioning and printing this softball interview with far right French presidential candidate Eric Zemmour”.

It was an interview that followed the Speccy’s modus operandi all too well: Taki praising the Nazis, Murray demonising Muslims, platforming Andy Ngo (that was Gray once more), and so Jonathan Portes was not surprised. “From Golden Dawn to Thierry Baudet to the AFD to the Sweden Democrats, what racist/fascist/far-right European political movement has the [Spectator] *not* endorsed? Responsibility for this lies not with Gray but with editor [Fraser Nelson] and Chairman [Andrew Neil]”. So it does.

But the establishment turns a blind eye, not least followers of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. Pawel Swidlicki noted “Last week [Liz] Truss was at Spectator awards praising the Spectator which then published laudatory softball interview with Eric Zemmour who has been described by France's chief rabbi as an anti-Semite. Today Truss writes that ‘There is no place for anti-Semitism anywhere in the world’”.

That, though, may be about to end, as Daniel Sugarman, who is public affairs officer for the Board of Deputies of British Jews, signalled his significant displeasure. “I will certainly accuse the Spectator of giving a platform to a Holocaust revisionist … I will also accuse the Spectator of giving a platform to a man who said that the 4 Jewish victims of the 2012 antisemitic terror attack in Toulouse were ‘foreigners first and foremost’ because their families decided to bury them in Israel” (thread HERE).

The Spectator chasing around Europe to find far-right figures which it can shamelessly promote is one Wild West Show on which time ought to be called, but will not be: when those in charge at the magazine discover André Ventura, it would surprise no-one to see Freddy Gray hot-footing it to Lisbon to continue his grovelfest.

It’s high time our media class stopped supping with the Speccy and thereby giving credibility to the mag’s promotion of bigotry. But they won’t. Cos party invites.

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Monday 29 November 2021

Omicron Face Coverings - Dooda Alert

And so the time approaches for reimposition of face covering rules on public transport and in shops, as part of the measures announced in response to news of yet another Covid-19 variant, this one called Omicron. Some parts of the UK - Scotland, for instance - had never relaxed this particular rule, and for Scots the world had not fallen in as a result. But this most minor of inconveniences was too much for some media snowflakes.

Pretentious? Who, moi?

To no surprise at all, the most high-profile toys-out-of-pram petulance display this morning came from self-promoting TalkRADIO host Julia Hartley Brewer, who has clearly concluded that wearing a face covering for a small part of her day is an unwarranted affront to the freedom, and indeed wellbeing, of Herself Personally Now.

Hence her dedicating her show this morning to platforming the kind of guests who would agree with her that face coverings are unnecessary and ineffective. So off she ranted. “We're told it's just for three weeks, it's just a mask, what's the big deal? Prime Minister, forgive me if millions of us don't believe you anymore. You told us time and again we have to live with this virus, and every time we do, you don't let us do it”. Waaah! Not fair!!

Who would she invite on to sow doubt in her audience’s mind? No, not Mike Yeadon this time. “Face masks return to public transport and shops tomorrow but Prof Carl Heneghan doubts how effective they really are ‘Germany and Austria mandated medical grade masks. They're now bringing in complete restrictions to deal with the rise in cases’”. The Prof loves his selective analysis. And so does Ms Hartley Dooda.

Meanwhile, despite the freezing cold weather, she wants to know Why Won’t They Think Of The Tourists? “Arrivals from overseas must isolate until they get a negative PCR test from tomorrow, but travel expert Paul Charles warns quarantine will kill off in-bound tourism. ‘The Government has taken a safety first approach but it's not the best approach’”. And what, pray, is the best approach? Stats? Analysis? Nah.

Instead, Ms Hartley Dooda has got an MP to speak. Sadly for her, it is the irredeemably batshit Desmond Swayne. “Tory MP Sir Desmond Swayne: ‘I've decided I'm exempt from wearing a mask due to my genetic predisposition to liberty. This is utter hysteria. Every time I ask for the evidence I'm told it's about sending a message. Well I don't like the message’”. Reduce virus transmission? Nah, Des doesn’t like that message.

And just to prove that there is no limit to her shameless spreading of hysteria, Ms Hartley Dooda goes completely OTT. “Some helpful information on mask exemptions for those who find it ‘severely distressing’ to be forced to wear a pointless piece of cloth over their face to go about their normal lives. Remember, they've never worn masks in No10 Downing Street. It's all just the theatre of safety”. Severely distressing? Shine a light.

Wibble, meet hatstand. But the cause of Ms Hartley Dooda’s mardy strop can be described very simply: this is an inconvenience to Herself and so must be challenged by all the means at her disposal. If wearing a face covering cuts down transmission of Covid to the extent that fewer people become severely ill (and worse) then it has done its job. Feeding the non-compliance lobby is grossly irresponsible, whoever does it.

But Ms Hartley Dooda only asks the question, so she’s in the clear. Not good enough.

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Sunday 28 November 2021

French Could FINISH Priti Patel

As our free and fearless press is once again distracted by the Covid-19 pandemic - with the arrival of a new variant known as Omicron - and the realisation sinks in that the festive season could be derailed, attention has briefly swung away from something that could derail alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his coterie of terminal ineptitude for good. And it’s something totally out of their control.

May not be smirking for much longer ...

Until the Omicron story broke, along with the news that scores of those carrying the variant had arrived from South Africa and dispersed among the population, spreading it all over the transport system as they went, the Government’s major headache was the arrival of refugees from France, crossing the Channel in inflatable boats.

The problem for Bozo and his inexplicably elevated Home Secretary, Priti Patel, was not only that the boats kept on coming, but that their attempt to use the pages of the Daily Mail as a form of diplomacy riled the French, so much so that Ms Patel found herself disinvited from a gathering which would discuss ways of tackling the problem.

Added to this was Bozo’s habit of saying one thing to one person, and then a totally different thing to the next person, which in turn alienated French Président Emmanuel Macron, who right now is the last person our PM needs to lose. Because Macron is the only big French name who is not yet advocating scrapping the Le Touquet accords.

What they? This refers to a 2003 treaty that allows the UK to police its border at locations like the port of Calais. Thus it is easy to turn back refugees before they get aboard a ferry. French border controls, conversely, are performed before boarding ferries or Eurotunnel shuttles departing from the UK. But, whisper it quietly, nothing is forever.

... if he has anything to do with it

The constant stream of hostile invective emanating from Bozo and his pals, and directed in the general direction of the French, has become an issue in the upcoming Presidential Election. And one candidate whose name is familiar to UK politics watchers has already asserted that the Le Touquet agreement should be scrapped.

Michel Barnier (for it is he) has done enough to spook the inmates of the Northcliffe House bunker: “The EU's former Brexit negotiator has dramatically urged France to tear up its migrant treaty with Britain and send asylum-seekers across the Channel as tensions between London and Paris boil over … Michel Barnier … vowed that he would pull France out of the Treaty of Touquet governing Anglo-French border relations if he wins the ballot”.

There was more. “Paris has complained that, in practice, they are managing the British border with mainland Europe. They have also claimed that the treaty has resulted in huge numbers of migrants setting up campsites - such as the infamous Jungle dismantled in 2016 - at its ports as they attempt to enter Britain”. Which would mean what, exactly?

Simples. Refugees would be able to board ferries and present their asylum claims on arrival at Dover, or wherever in the UK they land. No more people trafficking, no more inflatable boats, no more needless drownings, and best of all, no endless stream of images for the press to use as it tries to frighten its readers.

The downside? Priti Patel would be toast. Maybe not such a downside after all.

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Friday 26 November 2021

Left Media Critics In Deep Trouble

Independent press regulator IMPRESS has just published its findings into an investigation it mounted into two of the online publishers it regulates. In doing so, it has not only demonstrated its willingness to cover the territory that press non-regulator IPSO will not, but also has demonstrated a commendable thoroughness and vigour. It has also, whisper it quietly, dropped a number of highly vocal critics of the two sites into the mire.

Doctor, I can't keep my mouth shut

The timeline can be put directly: “Lord” John Mann, the Tories’ unfortunately-titled “Anti-Semitism Czar”, commissioned research from Daniel Allington of King’s College London. The subsequent report, Antisemitism and the alternative media, can be seen HERE. Four publishers were examined: Radio Albion and TR News out there on the far right, alongside The Canary and Skwawkbox on the left. The selection may look familiar.

That is because the tactic used is the same as that used by Stop Funding Fake News, a self-appointed judge and jury representing no-one and hiding its funders behind a wall of anonymity. This, too, used the tactic of throwing in a couple of far-right outlets for alleged balance, but it was all too clear who the real targets were - the left.

One more run out for this faux equivalence

SFFN was enthusiastically endorsed by Countdown numbers person Rachel Riley. It went after The Canary with some vigour, attempting to demonetise the site by frightening off advertisers. And, surprise surprise, the KCL report also talks demonetisation. That report made sufficient noise for IMPRESS to proactively intervene.

It regulated The Canary and Skwawkbox. Did the sites discriminate against Jews? Was there evidence of anti-Semitism? The conclusion from IMPRESS was damning. “The Committee decided that, of the material in remit, none of it reached the threshold which would engage the discrimination clause and, therefore, further investigation would be unjustified. The matter was therefore dismissed”. Publishers exonerated.

Smeared and cleared: The Canary ...

But that will not be the end of it. “Lord” John Mann, who has been so vocal on the subject of anti-Semitism, has also been highly selective in who he pursues: not for him the steady drip of Tories lapsing into anti-Semitic tropes. Worse for him is that he appears to have been prompted, either directly or via his own research, by the SFFN faux campaign.

He also has a grim track record for racism, having been interviewed by the Police over material attacking the GRT Community. Moreover, he has to his name an intervention in an alleged case of anti-Semitic bias that showed a laughable lack of intellectual heft.

... and Skwawkbox

As for Ms Riley and SFFN, the latter apparently linked to the Centre for Countering Digital Hate, they should count themselves lucky: the “fake news” smear against The Canary is potentially actionable, should the publisher find anyone to take on the case. Rachel Riley does not hesitate to instruct lawyers herself: it would be singularly delicious to see how she likes it when the boot is so firmly on the other foot.

One other casualty of the IMPRESS investigation has not yet been named, so I will name it. The Government of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his coterie of ineptitude, by appointing “Lord” John Mann, is also responsible for the smears and the distress caused to two publishers who turned out to have done nothing wrong. The credibility of “Lord” John Mann has finally expired. Put a fork in him, he’s done.

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Covid Is Not The Only Virus

Despite the title of arguably the most OTT Bond film ever produced, you only live once. Sometimes, that one life can seem very precarious, all too easy to let slip in the face of unexpected danger that remains unanswered for too long. When one needs help confronting the danger, it is instructive who comes to your aid.

Put directly, during last week I was aware of some kind of virus-like symptoms which were gradually becoming more serious. A volcanic, ribcage-rattling cough was later joined by a shortness of breath and a seriously snotty cold. Was it Covid? I’d been on a pub crawl with friends the previous Friday. Though, more importantly, had also had a booster jab.

But last Saturday, matters came to a head. The breathing got worse and nothing to hand - inhalers to manage asthma - was any use. By late afternoon I knew that doing nothing would see me exit the house feet first. So a call to 999 it had to be. Within half an hour, an ambulance crewed by two paramedics had arrived to try and turn matters round.

They broke out a nebuliser. They were sure this would be familiar to me. It wasn’t. “But you’ve got asthma!” True, but it was a condition well managed, there had been no serious attack for around 40 years, and so nothing more than inhalers and monitoring was needed. Some improvement was made but the decision was made to take me to A&E.

And so, at around 1800 hours, I was wheeled into Leighton Hospital, a chair having been wheeled out as my mobility was deteriorating rapidly. There was a queue, but not a long one: soon, in a side room, medics and nurses got to work administering a cocktail of drugs. I was moved to a quiet corner of the area to get some rest.

Later in the evening, being wheeled by trolley to X-Ray (chest X-Ray is more or less obligatory in such cases), I saw the A&E queue at its longest, a line of chairs and trolleys waiting patiently for diagnosis. It looked grim. But they would all be seen: if necessary, they would be treated, and a few would be admitted. The NHS sees everyone.

The duty doctor eventually got round to me at around 0100 hours on Sunday morning. There was, he declared, no way I would be sent home in that state. This meant being admitted. Another nebuliser followed, along with a call for a nasal cannula. So began my first encounter with supplemental oxygen. It became quite a lengthy one.

At around 0240 hours, there were two news items: it was a virus, but not Covid (it’s RSV, and especially affects older people with underlying respiratory problems). Also, a bed had been found for me. A nurse wheeled my trolley through a maze of corridors to South Cheshire, formerly a private unit but now used mainly for Covid patients. The individual rooms make distancing between those patients easier to manage. The A&E queue had just been cleared. All who came had been seen and treated.

With the attention of the ward team came a stabilised, and indeed, slightly improving condition. There is not much to do when confined to your room on a hospital ward, but it is infinitely better than chancing your life and not bothering when matters are out of your control. RSV can be fatal; let’s say I got the sneak preview. When I had a real Near Death Experience, and really needed the NHS, it was there for me. For now, at least.

Leighton Hospital, Crewe: aerial view looking south

Why the NHS may cease to be there for any of us in future, at least the 90+ percent of the population unable to shell out and go private, as right-wing parliamentarians, equally partisan members of the media class and their hangers-on are, became clear to me as I watched life in the South Cheshire ward play out over my four days there.

The ward is run by a team, all of whom, whatever their rank, wear similar blue overalls. Some, like specialist doctors, wear badges which you may be able to read close up. Otherwise, cleaner, HCA, Nurse, Doctor, Physio and other specialists are just another part of a team providing care. Tories must hate it. Because their press pals will hate it.

In Daily Mail la-la-land, the ward should be a land of hierarchy, where the colour of nurses’ freshly-starched uniforms clearly shows their rank and seniority. This is an unshakeable part of their Back To The 50s reality, as is the presence of an all-powerful Matron, a presence that in reality would do little more than waste everyone else’s time.

Worse still for those out there on the right, a uniformly non-uniformed team makes a highly egalitarian statement. So does the care they provide: the duty Doctor sees every patient, administering to all, listening to all, and favouring none. All patients select their food from the same menu, and all eat at the same mealtimes. All receive their day’s medication on the same Nurse’s round. All those seeing the Physio do so on the same daily round.

There is no-one paying more to jump the queue, obtain the benefit of a more upmarket standard of cuisine, have a little beer or wine brought to their room, or even have a lot of beer and wine brought to their room. But there is a team of truly diverse age, gender and ethnicity. Many of whom are putting in five 12-hour shifts every single week.

Egalitarian. Teamwork. Equality of care, and care for all. For right-wingers, this is hell on earth, almost a manifestation of communism. It is a manifestation that, in going against the false memory planted by the Mail and other propagandists, those propagandists must oppose and seek to either bend to their will - or have done away with altogether.

You want to know why so many on the right come over all froth at the mouth and blind intolerance at the very mention of the NHS? Spend a few days in an NHS hospital.

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Thursday 25 November 2021

Tragedy In Channel - Someone Else’s Fault

More than six years on, nothing much has changed in the attitude of our Government and its hangers-on in the media class: in early September 2015, it took the image of a lifeless three-year-old boy, washed up on a beach in Turkey, to bring the grim reality of those desperate to flee the instability of the Middle East to bring a halt to the sick yet constant drumbeat of migrant demonisation. But then the drums just started up over again.

The grim reality for those who make it ...

After Brexit, and the descent of the Tory Party into a paranoid and conspiracist nationalist death cult, we would have control over our borders. Priti Patel, inexplicably elevated way beyond her abilities to the rank of Home Secretary, clearly believed her own propaganda and so was ill-prepared for the increase in migrant crossings of the English Channel. She made defiant noises, but she did nothing. Because there was little she could do.

Instead, she issued threats: the dinghies carrying all those migrants would be “turned back” in mid-Channel, whatever maritime law said. The dastardly French would have to do better; she managed to miss our no longer being an EU member state. Whatever went wrong would be the fault of people traffickers, as it was their fault when we were not blaming the French. The Tory press duly took their lead from Ms Patel.

... versus idealised history (Kindertransport memorial at Liverpool Street)

And then, yesterday, it happened again. This time, though, it wasn’t in the Mediterranean. It was in the Channel. And it was more than one little Kurdish boy. It was at least 27 individuals who had set off from a beach not far from the Channel port of Calais; their boat sank and they drowned. Two have been rescued and are being treated for hypothermia; in November, sea temperatures are low and getting lower. Five are still missing.

So what would our free and fearless press make of this news? What excuses would they make for their heroine Ms Patel? What excuses would they make for themselves? Would they be able to summon the ability to show a little self-awareness, a little reining back of the foreigner bashing paranoia? Could there be a little less hate and a little more love?

Someone else is to blame

There would certainly be no dialling down on the hatred, and love for anyone not speaking English was out of the question. And the excuses are as lame and as predictable as ever: free sheet Metro was first out of the blocks with “Death In The Channel … WHY DIDN’T FRANCE STOP THEM”? The same photo is used by the Mail.

At 7.15am yesterday French Police sit and watch as people traffickers launch migrants on perilous trip to Britain. Hours later, 31 others drown in horrific Channel disaster. Now despairing PM tells Macron … YOU’RE LETTING GANGS GET AWAY”. Poor PM! Put on by the French!! Boo Macron!!! Our politicians and media class are full of crap, as ever.

Someone else is to blame, but with more words

Let’s take this nice and slowly, for the sakes of those poor put-upon politicians and their grovelling courtesans in the press. One, just because a French Police vehicle can be seen in the shot of a different boat is not relevant to last night’s tragedy. Two, it’s got sweet Fanny Adams to do with Emanuel Macron: it was the UK that stopped up other migrant routes while failing to establish safe routes for those seeking asylum in this country.

And three, the Tories and their press pals need to own this: the tragedy is on them. All the hostility, all the bile, all the hatred, and yes, all the lies and demonisation have to end. They may not end today, but one day they must. Or this country really has lost all its humanity.

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Saturday 20 November 2021

So Farewell Then Paul Dacre

As part of their campaign to hobble the BBC, and any other broadcaster that does not toe the desired line, alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his coterie of supreme ineptitude have gone to exceptional lengths to instal the least credible placemen in jobs overseeing the media. First came comedy Culture Secretary (yes, it’s her again) Nadine Dorries. And then came the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre.

Just give me the f***ing job, c***

Dacre’s pent-up aggression was, for so many years, the fuel that powered the hate machine at the Daily Mail. He conceded on Desert Island Discs that he did a lot of shouting. In Flat Earth News, Nick Davies quoted a Mail insider who revealed that Dacre was “known as the Vagina Monologue, because he calls so many people a cunt”.

Private Eye magazine brought us news of Dacre’s appetite for “double cunting” - he would become so aggressive that he would use the C-Word to an underling twice. He had the manner of a bully: whether the target was Judges, Remainers, human rights activists, social media giants, or anyone who was Not White With Malice Aforethought.

So when the Tories tried to get Dacre appointed as chair of media regulator Ofcom, they knew exactly what they were doing, and indeed what kind of message they were sending. But here a problem entered: despite his being coached for the all-important final interview beforehand, Dacre flunked it. He was deemed unfit to be appointed.

No problem for Bozo and Co: the interview process would be re-run. Panel members proved elusive, but they would be found so that the Tories could get their candidate appointed. All that would be needed would be for Ms Dorries to rubber-stamp the expected recommendation, and not even she was going to make a hash of that.

But now has come shock news: as Times political editor Steven Swinford has revealed, “Paul Dacre has pulled out of the race to become the next head of Ofcom … In a letter to The Times he describes his 'infelicitous dalliance with the Blob' & says senior Whitehall figures are determined to exclude anyone with right-of-centre views”. Yeah, right.

As the Guardian told, he said more. "To anyone from the private sector, who, God forbid, has convictions, and is thinking of applying for a public appointment, I say the following: the civil service will control (and leak) everything; the process could take a year in which your life will be put on hold; and if you are possessed of an independent mind and are unassociated with the liberal/left, you will have more chance of winning the lottery than getting the job”. Leak? It’s called transparency and accountability.

Moreover, he’s just whinging because he thinks there should be no process to speak of, and he should just have the job awarded to him. Besides, he’s not going to be without something to do: he claims to be taking up “an exciting new job” in the private sector. While slagging off two senior Civil Servants who just happen to be women.

In doing so, Dacre shows why he is not fit to be appointed to any job in the public sector. In any case, had he been appointed, he would have been one of the biggest hypocrites going - in charge of regulation, where he had previously railed against all and any regulation where the Mail and other press titles were concerned. Now who will the Tories rope in?

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Friday 19 November 2021

Trojan Horse Hoax - Culprit Escapes

If one event proved beyond doubt that something that looks too good to be true probably is too good to be true, it is what became known as the “Trojan Horse” hoax of 2014. A fake dossier and accompanying letter claimed that several schools in Birmingham were being targeted by hardline Islamists. It also claimed that the take-overs were to be extended to schools in Bradford. It was taken very seriously indeed by our free and fearless press.

As the BBC reported at the time, “The letter … was apparently written by someone in Birmingham to a contact in Bradford, and goes on to outline ways and means by which schools can be taken over … It says: ‘We have an obligation to our children to fulfil our roles and ensure these schools are run on Islamic principles’”. There was more.

It adds: ‘Operation “Trojan Horse” has been very carefully thought through and is tried and tested within Birmingham, implementing it in Bradford will not be difficult for you’. It says that Salafi parents should be enlisted to help, because they are regarded as a more orthodox branch of Islam and would be more likely to be willing to help”.

He doesn't seem fussed that it was a con ...

And that was where Zelo Street began to smell a rat. The vast majority of Muslims in Birmingham can trace their lineage to the Indian sub-continent, countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh. Although there has been a Salafist movement there since the 18th Century, most Muslims in Birmingham are not Salafi. Many won’t even know any Salafi.

Moreover, why does the supposed author of the hoax letter write to someone in Bradford? It’s almost as if the real author is just picking from a menu of items to frighten the press and politicians, and chucking in Bradford because, well, there are lots of Muslims there, aren’t there? Why not the North West? Why not London? Was the author even a Muslim?

... nor does he ...

It is as if the real author knew their audience would bite: then Education Secretary Michael “Oiky” Gove, who had previously written an inflammatory and anti-Islam book Celsius 7/7 (which included a chapter titled “Trojan Horse”), papers like not only the reliably Islamophobic Mail, and the Murdoch Sun, but also the Sunday Times of “Muslim Fostering” infamy, and the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph.

Chief among the hacks writing increasingly creative copy on the subject was Andrew “Transcription Error” Gilligan, whose attacks on Muslim targets have resulted in at least two defamation settlements having to be reached by the Tel. Meanwhile, Gove used the hoax as a means to suggest that then Home Secretary Theresa May was insufficiently robust on the threat of domestic terrorism. But there was no proof of this.

... and the Speccy probably doesn't care

The effects on thousands of students, and yet more thousands of their families, the teachers concerned and their families in turn, were shattering. Hundreds of thousands of pounds were expended in Ofsted actions, disciplinary actions against teachers and school governors, and investigations by local and national Government.

And yet none of those involved seem inclined to track down the author of the hoax. It is as if the false demonisation of an entire community was, and remains, acceptable. That they were really at it doing Scary Muslim™ things including maybe terrorism. Perhaps.

That’s not good enough. At the very least, the cops should be on the case. Like, now.

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Thursday 18 November 2021

Isabel Oakeshott Shops Sex Pest

The very last thing someone accused of a particularly seedy and gratuitous sexual assault needs is for a supposed friend to come along, only to say that, yes, they done it. But that is exactly what mercenary hack Isabel Oakeshott has done for Stanley, the appallingly behaved father of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.

Stan The Less Than Man had been accused of spanking then future Tory MP Caroline Nokes, and this revelation prompted Alibhe Rea of the Staggers to add that Johnson Père had groped her rather more recently, at the 2019 Tory conference. Ms Oakeshott then rode to the rescue. Except what she did actually shopped Stanley as a nailed-on sex pest.

Stanley Johnson enjoying the company of another much younger woman

Posting a photo of her with Johnson Senior - the latter appearing to be in what Private Eye magazine might have termed an overtired state - she told “The charming Stanley Johnson can be a little over-friendly - indeed handsy - but I don’t believe this is one for the police. Officers should focus their limited resources on investigating real crimes”.

Ah, “handsy” - another of those terms that appears in That Tory Spreadsheet. As in “handsy in taxis”. Ms Oakeshott has confirmed that “the charming Stanley Johnson” practices sexual assault. And whether she considers this sort of behaviour unworthy of Police attention is irrelevant. Because it really is one of those “real crimes”.

Moreover, her problem is that Johnson Père’s behaviour fits the characterisation portrayed by Tom Bower - as Jonathan Freedland at the Guardian noted, “as an absent father and violent husband, who punched his wife so hard he broke her nose … faithless and a creep … a lifelong flake: dabbling in jobs, failing at most of them, then using his connections to find something else. He is a parasite, sponging off his in-laws and ‘a professional guest’”.

James Felton summarised Ms Oakeshott’s foot in mouth in a few words: “In his defence he does do this sort of thing”. The Tweeter known as Buddy Hell put it rather more directly: “In your attempt to defend him, you've only gone and outed him as a groper”.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Jones QC concluded “I’m no criminal lawyer, but if I was accused of criminal conduct I don’t think I’d be helped by a character witness saying ‘oh that’s just dear old Jones, he does that sort of thing all the time’”. If only a jury were to be made up of Ms Oakeshott and her pals. But the likelihood of that is vanishingly small.

And while self-promoting TalkRADIO host Julia Harltey Dooda whined plaintively “Is this the same Caroline Noakes?” as if Ms Noakes having had a consensual affair with a younger man made Johnson Senior’s behaviour OK, and then complained “Why bring it up now? Why not simply wallop him in the face at the time? Or report him to CCHQ? Why bring it up 18 years later?” others were less sanguine about what happened.

Kate McCann of Sky News was one of them. “You might be OK with someone being handsy but other women would find that uncomfortable [especially] if younger/less established (I would). Your tweet suggests they ought to just ignore it - it's their problem if they're offended, not his for being ‘over-friendly’. It diminishes them”.

Isabel Oakeshott needs to think before she Tweets. One for the Metropolitan Police.

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