Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Tuesday, 5 July 2022

Don’t. It’s The Lie That Gets You

Thus the warning from Gordon Brown to Damian McBride not to cross the line into actual, and potentially provable, dishonesty: once one lie gets told, the possibility that a lot more lies will have to follow as part of the cover-up becomes stronger. This is now proving true with the Chris Pincher saga, and the behaviour of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.


What makes the Pincher fallout that much more spectacular is not only that Bozo lied about it, but that under his less than benign leadership, Downing Street staff followed his line and lied about it, perhaps unwittingly at first. Then came a procession of variously senior ministers who also followed the given line, and who therefore also lied. Now the house is falling in.


The situation is so bad that, looking at the grim countenance of some around the cabinet table this morning, the prospect is now being faced: Bozo’s departure may come sooner rather than later, and with it their own demotion to the back benches. That departure may be forced by the Pincher lies: those cabinet colleagues fed up of being sent out to lie for their leader.


Beginning yesterday, the stench of decay became not merely rank, but overwhelming: Adam Bienkov of Byline Times summed up the ever-changing definition of reality. “Downing Street first said the Prime Minister wasn't aware of ‘any allegation’ against Chris Pincher, then said he wasn't aware of any ‘specific allegation’ against him. Now we're told the PM wasn't aware of any ‘serious specific allegation’”. And all the while there was that policy vacuum.


Which was noted by Peter Geoghegan of Open Democracy: “Friday it was 50 year mortgages. Yesterday it was taxing [the] childless. Today it's a consultation on increasing how many kids a child minder can look after at once … Increasingly it feels like UK government isn't even pretending to have actual policies, just endless blether balloons”. Something to brief to the right-leaning press. Just to give the impression that something is happening.


And with this morning’s media round came further humiliation of all those prepared to go out and cover up Bozo’s lying, some of whom may have had enough. The Guardian’s Gaby Hinsliff caught up with one of those thus humiliated: “Dominic Raab moving in the space of 5 mins from ‘that’s not accurate’ to ‘that’s news to me’ (on claims PM was directly told of a formal complaint against Chris Pincher in 2019) to admitting that he didn’t directly ask the PM if he was told about this”. But that merely begs another question.


Did he just keep schtum when Pincher was made deputy chief whip? Did he look the other way in order to keep himself in the style to which he had, perhaps undeservingly, become accustomed? It got worse for Raab when he was skewered by co-host Susanna Reid on ITV Good Morning Britain. By contrast, her co-host, former Labour MP “Auguste” Balls, did not need to intervene. Raab may not be winking at Angela Rayner tomorrow.


And then it got a lot worse, potentially terminally worse, as Pippa Crerar of the Mirror told “Simon McDonald - who had a glittering four-decade career in government - publishes bombshell letter to Parliamentary Standards Commissioner saying No 10’s claims about Chris Pincher aren’t true”.


Whoops! Once more, Adam Bienkov had the detail. “Boris Johnson's spokesman said yesterday that there was no formal complaint against Chris Pincher upheld against him prior to the Prime Minister appointing him. The former head of the diplomatic service, has now written to the Standards Commissioner to confirm this is false”. And there was more.


So far we have been told the PM was: Not aware of ‘any allegations’ against Pincher - Not aware of any ‘specific allegations’ - Not aware of any ‘serious specific allegations’ - Not aware of any allegations that were substantiated … All of these claims now appear to be false”. He may not be too surprised by the news, knowing Bozo from his days as occasional Mayor of London.


And then it got even worse, as Matthew Harris of LBC observed “a serving senior civil servant rings in to say our democracy is in danger due to lies coming from No.10 Press operation. Says he was felt a duty to ring in after watching Dominic Raab call into question Simon McDonald’s account in his letter”. The caller also called on Simon Case to resign.

Like Pincher, the Tories knew what Bozo was like before they made him leader. It was “priced in”. Now his continued presence may price them out - of power. And the Tory party knows how to hang on to power by disposing of leaders who have outlived their usefulness. The end approaches.

The only question now is who will wield the knife. Decisions, decisions.


Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by becoming a Patron on Patreon at

https://www.patreon.com/Timfenton

Monday, 4 July 2022

Julia Hartley Dooda Bullying WRONG

With the Covid-19 pandemic still not completely over, and hospitalisation numbers climbing by the day, it is not OK to trivialise the virus and its potential effects on those unfortunate enough to become infected by it. But that thought has not been allowed to enter at Murdoch loss-maker and noise floor occupant TalkTV, and self-promoting host Julia Hartley Brewer.


Still waffling her way through her no-sense breakfast show each weekday morning, when she is not jetting off long haul to somewhere very exclusive and very expensive for the benefit and self-promotion of herself personally now, Ms Hartley Dooda has decided that, as a real proper journalist, she knows more about Covid-19 than an experienced immunologist.

As any fule kno, clever people like her who talk loudly in restaurants automatically trump mere expertise, and to demonstrate this concept in action, she decided to target Deepti Gurdasani, who you can tell as she’s a doctor, and also a clinical epidemiologist, who arranges for her daughter to come home at lunchtime, rather than eat at school.


Dr Gurdasani had told “I pick up my daughter from school for lunch every day, so she doesn’t have to take off her mask in a lunch hall with 100 other children - some of whom will have active infection and not even know it because of current [Government] policies”. Mention of Government, along with the knowledge based argument, affronted Ms Hartley Dooda deeply.

So, as she knew more about this situation than anyone else, off she went. “These people need help. In particular, this woman's poor daughter. She's at no risk from Covid but is forced to leave school every day to be with her hysterical mother who BTW is a clinical epidemiologist who should be equipped to make more rational judgements”. It WAS a rational judgment.


That is because Dr Gurdasani, as Professor Christina Pagel has explained, “is clinically vulnerable (as she has explained)”, adding “She also knows the very real risk of long covid in children & adults. Wanting to keep covid out of the family is sensible”. And, indeed, rational, as well as not being hysterical, which any competent journalist would have found out before sounding off.

Dr Gurdasani has summarised her condition: “I have ulcerative colitis - an auto-immune disease. I had a flare >2 yrs ago which only settled a few months ago. This means I have chronic fatigue which is very gradually improving”. She is also in demand for her expertise, adding “Was on [Sky News] just now speaking about the need to for UK govt and public health agencies to get out of COVID-19 denial, and develop a long term strategy for COVID. We can't go on like this”. Which Ms Hartley Dooda will not like.


After all, that could mean her facing restrictions like wearing a face covering, about which she has long been in denial, moaning that they don’t work, or rather, that she has found a study somewhere that claims they don’t work. She might also face restrictions on those reassuringly expensive long haul holidays. But her Tweet is still up, and of course there is no apology.

Because being so important means you never have to say sorry (see also under her advocacy for Brexit, for which she also won’t say sorry, despite the whole thing being exposed as an act of national self-harm that will hobble the economy for decades to come). Prof Pagel has added of Dr Gurdasani “She has been right far more often than most unlike JHB who is just a bully”.

A bully who can’t be bothered with facts or research. Ideal Murdoch material.


Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by becoming a Patron on Patreon at

https://www.patreon.com/Timfenton

Sunday, 3 July 2022

Bozo, Tories And A Mexican Standoff

We should not be surprised: what we had previously been told about now former Tory deputy chief whip Chris Pincher was only the tip of the iceberg, and this morning the papers are full of more lurid allegations of drunkenness and what That Tory Spreadsheet might have called Inappropriate Behaviour.


As the BBC has reported, “Six new claims of inappropriate behaviour by former Conservative deputy chief whip Chris Pincher have emerged, days after he was suspended from the party for allegedly groping two men … The allegations stretch back more than a decade”. There is more.

The allegations reported in the Independent, the Mail on Sunday and the Sunday Times include three cases where it is alleged Mr Pincher made unwanted advances to male MPs, including in a bar in parliament, and in his own parliamentary office … It is reported that one of the MPs contacted Downing Street in February with details of what he said had happened to him and voiced his concerns that Mr Pincher might be made a party whip, in charge of the discipline and welfare of other MPs”.

Which brings us closer to being able to answer the frequently-asked question of why the Tories have still not thrown alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson overboard, given the damage he is causing to the Tories’ reputation, and, more to the point, the party’s poll ratings.

After all, Bozo was another of those names on That Tory Spreadsheet, although what is said about him will not be repeated here. He cannot give a straight answer to the question “how many children do you have?” He has redefined dishonesty. He is obscenely corrupt. His appeal to voters is diminishing all too rapidly. The Bozo joke ceased to be funny long ago.

But then, it wasn’t only Chris Pincher who was also on That Tory Spreadsheet. Pincher’s former boss Chris Heaton Harris also features. So do a number of Bozo loyalists, like oh I dunno, Conor Burns. Who has now changed what he saw when he found Bozo and Carrie in the former’s office - from oral sex to the more mundane “having a glass of wine”.

Loyalists like John Whittingdale, whose relationship with a sex worker was spun as “he met her on Match dot Com” - by Carrie Symonds, as she then was. We know the press has plenty on Whitto - some of it came out after the sex worker story, or rather why that same press wasn’t running that story, was exposed. It looks more and more like a Mexican Standoff.


As we’ve seen with the Murdoch press going after Prince Charles in the aftermath of his passing adverse comment on the Government’s cynical and nasty idea of sending asylum seekers to Rwanda, Team Bozo only has to give the word, the safe full of incriminating material is unlocked, and the target is attacked. Mere MPs will steer well clear of going there if their own personal cupboards have even a trace of skeletons present.

Bozo loyalists are rewarded by unquestioning press adulation, the latest being a shameless puff piece in the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph on Suella “Cultural Marxism” Braverman, who is alleged to be bravely fighting “Remainer civil servants”. How do they know what side those working for her chose in the 2016 EU referendum? Has there been an impromptu vetting? Or is this, more likely, just another malicious pack of lies?

And so the Mexican Standoff continues: Bozo, or those close to him, must know that they can frighten the payroll vote into staying loyal, with so many likely to be sacked or demoted by any other Tory leader. The Rothermere press may now be wavering, but if Team Bozo can keep the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker onside, they have a means of getting their attacks out there, and the strong possibility that press herd instinct will do the rest.

What That Tory Spreadsheet said about Chris Pincher was, it seems, just the tip of the iceberg. Which may be true of others. That’s a lot of dirt Bozo may have on his opponents - maybe rather more than they have on him, or more than the press is prepared to put out there right now. Remember the Times pulling the Bozo and Carrie story? If they won’t publish, voters won’t know.

Getting rid of Bozo may not be so easy. Not while that Standoff persists.


Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by becoming a Patron on Patreon at

https://www.patreon.com/Timfenton

Friday, 1 July 2022

Tory Sleaze Never Went Away

Standards in public life, we are told, have improved immeasurably since the days when Peter Morrison, then MP for the City of Chester, would cruise the Sussex Gardens area looking for young men and casual sex. After his career ended in the Gents toilets on Platform 12 of Crewe station, things were going to be different. The Tories would clean up their act. Honestly.

Chris Pincher. Still a Tory MP

Sadly, they didn’t, and if That Spreadsheet, along with a steady stream of allegations of sexual misconduct, was not sufficient, along with the knowledge that three Tory MPs had attended gatherings of the now-defunct Young Britons’ Foundation with the objective of scoring more of that casual sex, well, those standards were not going to be raised any time soon.

And so it came to pass that the Murdoch Sun blew (I say, is that the right word? - Ed.) the whistle on deputy chief whip Chris Pincher, who then resigned his position after he “embarrassed himself”. There’s a quote doing some seriously heavy lifting, as the BBC has explained. “Tory deputy chief whip Chris Pincher has resigned from the government, as a newspaper alleged he groped two men at a private members' club”.

There was more. “Witnesses told the BBC he was seen ‘extremely drunk’ at the Carlton Club, the Conservative Party members' club in London on Wednesday night … he is said to have assaulted two other male guests … Several concerned Tory MPs contacted the Conservative whips' office to complain about Mr Pincher's behaviour”. And it gets worse. A lot worse.

One of those allegedly groped was another Tory MP. It’s been claimed that they both were. Then it was noted that Pincher should not have managed to work himself into a state of advanced alcoholic derangement because he had been assigned a “minder”. Why would that be? Ah well. It takes very little research to discover that Pincher has significant previous.

Because his name appears on That Tory Spreadsheet, along with the warning “Inappropriate with male researchers and heavy drinker”. And it gets worse still: he had done it before. In November 2017, the HuffPost reported thatConservative MP Chris Pincher has referred himself to the police following accusations he made an unwanted sexual advance at former Olympic rower and Tory activist Alex Story. Downing Street said on Sunday evening that Pincher had also ‘voluntarily stood down’ from the Whips’ Office”.


THEY KNEW WHAT HE WAS LIKE. But alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson still appointed him deputy chief whip at the last reshuffle. That’s the same Boris Johnson who proposed that Carrie Symonds, as she then was, be given a £100,000 a year job as his chief of staff at the Foreign Office - a move that was swiftly nixed after she was discovered by a fellow MP giving him a blowjob in his Parliamentary office.

Labour should be putting everything into somehow persuading the Tories in Tamworth to tell their MP that he should go. Because, despite the almost 20,000 majority, Pincher first won the seat in 2010 by just 6,000 votes - and it had been held by Labour from 1997 until then, albeit on older boundaries.

If Keir Starmer’s new-look, inoffensive, centrist, no-strikes-please Labour Party is serious about forming the next Government, it needs to retake Tamworth. The signs are hopeful: while Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has observedWe are witnessing a total collapse of standards in government”, the party’s deputy leader Angela Rayner has gone further.

There can be no question of the Conservatives sweeping a potential sexual assault under the carpet. Boris Johnson must now answer how Chris Pincher can remain a Conservative MP at all. Standards in public life have been utterly degraded on this PM’s watch”. Pincher has previous. He was such a risk he had to have a minder. Labour shouldn’t back off until the SOB resigns.

Then they have to show they, like the Lib Dems, can overturn a 20,000 Tory majority. Tony Blair’s version of Labour took the seat three times. So when is Labour going to turn up the volume and push for a by-election?

The Tories have a sleaze problem. Labour’s problem is taking advantage.


Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by becoming a Patron on Patreon at

https://www.patreon.com/Timfenton

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Bozo And Kangaroo Client Journalism

Alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson faces an inquiry into his conduct by the House of Commons Privileges Committee. That inquiry begins today, and to confirm that Bozo is scared shitless that it is going to conclude that he knowingly misled Parliament - otherwise known as lying - a smear story about the Committee has surfaced this morning.


The Guardian has helpfully given some of the background: “Yesterday the Commons privileges committee held its first meeting to plan its inquiry into claims that Johnson lied to MPs and - in what could be a highly significant move - it decided to effectively invite No 10 staff to give evidence anonymously”. Why would that be significant? Ah well. There is more.

If, as reports suggest, some junior Downing Street officials are aggrieved about the way they were treated during Partygate, and if they can provide evidence that Johnson knew much more about parties taking place or rules being broken than he told the Commons, then this whistleblower provision could prove fatal to the prime minister”. Fatal enough to pull the smear.


And so it came to pass that the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph produced a superbly crafted pile of steaming bullpucky headlined “No 10 fears PM faces ‘kangaroo court’”. The lead name on the by-line, to no surprise at all, is Christopher “No” Hope, and Lee Donaghy correctly identified the nature of the article: “Client journalism. Trashing good people doing important work”. Adam Bienkov of Byline Times had another reminder.

Four out of the seven members of the Privileges Committee are Conservative MPs”. Is Bozo having his own back benchers leaned on? Is he that scared? Or is someone else within Downing Street briefing Hope, or causing him to be briefed? It got worse as Chris Bryant, who has resigned his chairmanship of the Committee to avoid any accusation of bias, chipped in.


This is nonsense and a sign they’re scared of being caught out. The committee members are thorough, fair and meticulous. They’re advised by the former head of the tribunal service. But this is what Johnson always does, throw over the rules or the body that adjudicates on them”, later adding “It is at least arguable that calling the Committee of Privileges a ‘kangaroo court’ is itself a contempt of parliament”. Which is most revealing.

That suggests not only that Hope and his co-writer were merely, in the words of Peter Oborne,”just shovelling it on”, failing to interrogate their source or bothering to do the most basic of research, but also that whoever briefed the Tel did not know their way around the concept of Contempt of Parliament. Which, in turn, feeds back into the idea that the briefing may not have come from one of Bozo’s press people. It also smacks of bad faith.


For instance, the Tel’s report talks of “hearsay evidence”, but the Committee will not be accepting hearsay evidence. What they will accept, though, providing the evidence giver can be identified to them, is anonymised evidence. So no-one outside the Committee will know who give the evidence and - by complete coincidence, you understand - the evidence giver cannot be leant on, or smeared, by Bozo and his enforcers.. So who’s the briefer?


OK, there seem to have been at least one MP prepared to be quoted, but then, around 200 of them backed Bozo in the recent confidence vote. Were I a betting man, I would have a few quid on Carrie Johnson being not unadjacent to the briefing given to Hope as an “exclusive” - as in it being such a steaming pile of bovine by-product that no-one else would run it.

Given that this inquiry finding that Bozo did knowingly mislead the Commons - in other words, lying and knowing he lied - would probably precipitate his removal from Downing Street, even if it does mean dragging the SOB out kicking and screaming, she has motive enough to be behind it.

Who's calling the Tel?

So that’s where my Occam’s Razor is pointing right now. This is an especially nasty anonymous smear of a Committee which has a Tory majority, with, apparently, the sole objective of warning them off saying Bozo Done It. It also says much about the level to which the Tel has sunk that its hacks are prepared to even listen to whoever briefed the smear.

It could, of course, be someone else behind the briefing. Bozo himself, or his other friend, for instance. But one thing is certain: it won’t work.


Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by becoming a Patron on Patreon at

https://www.patreon.com/Timfenton

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

Steve Bray Meets The New Fascism

Those out there on the right sneered dismissively at anyone getting caught up in Met Police “kettling” as a result of protests: the Rotten Lefties™ deserved all they got, the cops were only doing their job. Then the Countryside Alliance protested, the Met drew blood, and all was so different when the boot was firmly on the other foot. It is a reminder few on the right have heeded since.

Steve Bray

They were not heeding it yesterday as the Met’s finest celebrated the new powers given them by Tory anti-protest legislation by swarming and then nicking protester Steve Bray, confiscating his amplifier and telling him that he would be prosecuted. Twenty cops available to pick on a protester, none to catch Downing Street lawbreaking at the height of the Covid pandemic. And some still wonder why the Met has been placed in special measures.


Charlotte Lynch of LBC noted “On the day that ‘noisy’ protest becomes unlawful under the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, at least 20 police officers have just surrounded anti-Brexit protestor Steve Bray outside the Houses of Parliament and seized his loud speaker”. Emma Kennedy was not alone in passing severely adverse comment on the Police action.


20 police officers because this govt wants one man to shut up. This doesn’t happen in healthy democracies”. And members of that Government could not wait to smear Bray, not least the mildly scary Andrea Leadsom, who sniffed “Steve Bray has spent six years screaming abuse through a loudhailer at me and many others as often as he saw us for the ‘crime’ of trying to fulfil the democratic decision of the UK to leave the EU. This action by the police to stop his violent protest is very welcome”. Free speech is now violence!


Mike Fabricant, representing the unfortunate voters of Lichfield, as well as his Irish, applauded the confiscation. “What a joyous day for all who live and work around Westminster!” That’s the same Mike Fabricant who last year warned “Cancel Culture is is becoming invasive and dangerous to free speech”. So he’s just another stinking Tory hypocrite and authoritarian, then.


But the Police action did not go unnoticed, and soon Jolyon Maugham was able to report “We are getting a lot of questions about [Steve Bray]: we have offered our help. And our new law firm, Good Law Practice, is actively recruiting a solicitor to work on right to protest cases”. Bray’s fighting fund has been swelled overnight: the Police action has already backfired badly.


That has not stopped the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog - slow handclap for the great libertarian, folks - from cheering on the Police action, thus confirming that this so-called outsider is just another establishment crawler, fully invested in perpetuating alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson in power, along with the tendency to authoritarian, even fascist, jackbooting of protesters.


Even the Free Speech Union, domain of the loathsome Toby Young - who goes back a long way with Staines and his gofers - has noted its disapproval after seeing Bray’s right to protest curtailed. Libertarians choosing to back Bozo are no longer libertarians. They are enablers of fascism.


This is a further slide down the slippery slope towards the F-Word. Some journalists know this is wrong: Liam Thorp of the Liverpool Echo observed “Just today we’ve had a Tory MP suggest women should not be able to make decisions about their own bodies, we’ve had a protestor the government doesn’t like apprehended by police and we’ve been told that only the Prime Minister can approve an investigation into his own conduct”.


And Bray has not been deterred by yesterday’s events: “Bella Ciao on the amp at Parliament …. We are not going away and we are never giving in to fascism. #UpYoursPriti”. Also, he is determined to force the Met to prove their case in court, which should make for interesting viewing.

Behold the bringer of the new fascism

But the conclusion is an ominous one: Bozo and his pals have no problem with sliding - not accidentally - closer to outright fascism. The increasingly inept Metropolitan Police have no problem being Bozo’s enforcers. The press boot boys, even those who consider themselves libertarians, have no problem with it either. We were warned; now it is coming ever closer.

Democracy itself may be in the firing line next. Be afraid. Be very afraid.


Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by becoming a Patron on Patreon at

https://www.patreon.com/Timfenton

Monday, 27 June 2022

Strikes - Labour Sells The Pass

The Labour Party was formed to support working people: the clue is in the name. It has consistently stood alongside workers in their struggle to gain better pay, shorter hours, paid holidays, maternity leave, equal pay for men and women, and improved working conditions. Its members, MPs and indeed leaders have shown solidarity with those taking industrial action

Oh hang on, I've just flushed my credibility down the pan

Even Shirley Williams - who was one of the founders of the breakaway SDP in the early 1980s - could be seen on the picket lines during the infamous Grunwick dispute. So when the RMT took strike action over pay recently, what would Labour MPs have been expected to do? What would a sensible party leadership have done? What would Nietzsche have done?

Sadly, the current Labour leadership, like a rabbit caught in the glare of right-wing press headlights, and paying more heed to centrist members of the Westminster media bubble than actual working people, does not concern itself with old-fashioned fuddy-duddy nonsense like anything intellectually challenging. Not while it is trying pointlessly to appeal to the tabloid press.


So it was that Keir Starmer and his team issued a diktat telling shadow ministers and the rest of the payroll vote (like PPSs) that standing on an RMT picket line was Streng Verboten. Perhaps someone advising the Labour leader thinks this will stop the Murdoch and Rothermere press shitting on them come the next General Election campaign. Wrong. It won’t.

Worse, some of that shadow payroll vote went and showed solidarity with the strikers anyway. So now they face a jolly severe talking to from the whips (allegedly). And the Murdoch and Rothermere press happily shitting all over them while they howl “LABOUR SPLIT” at their readers. Worse still, voter enthusiasm for Labour will fall as disappointment sets in.


As that went so well, or not, perhaps the Labour high command would stop and think. Not as such: when shadow foreign secretary David Lammy appeared before the inquisition of host Sophie Raworth on BBC Sunday Morning, matters went from bad to worse as he declined to show support for workers at London’s Heathrow Airport about to take strike action.

So the groans of disappointment grew louder, while none of the right-wing press will be giving Lammy, his party leader, or anyone else anywhere near Labour any credit this side of hell freezing over. Ah, the centrists will respond, but Labour has to be electable. No shit, Sherlock: if the voters won’t turn out because you shat on them, Labour still won’t be electable.


On top of that, it was not long before both Starmer and Lammy discovered that The Internet Never Forgets applies to them too: Tweets showing both men on the picket line, showing solidarity with striking workers in the Further Education sector. And just to put the lid on it, there was the Labour leader, from February 2020, telling “From the Wapping picket line to fighting the mine closures and supporting families affected by the P&O dispute, I’ve always been a proud trade unionist”. Which the press will also have seen.

Meanwhile, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas has reminded us that her party supports striking rail workers, adding “Just putting this here for anyone feeling in need of a new political home following the Lammy interview on #SundayMorning”. Lammy had scored a spectacular own goal.


And for what? A chorus of approval from the Westminster media bubble? Brownie points from the Guardian and Staggers? A few columns in the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph, and the Murdoch Sun? Two papers who will shit all over Labour come the next General Election, no matter how anti-strike and anti-solidarity the party becomes?

You don’t become the next Government merely by telling the country that you’re not bent like the other lot. Because they can figure that out themselves. You do become the next Government by standing for something. Like standing for decent pay and conditions for ordinary working people, rather than meekly accepting the grotesque spectacle of the poor getting poorer while the 1% trouser ever larger pay and bonus packages.


Labour won by-elections like Wakefield (and, let us not forget, retained Batley and Spen) by throwing the kitchen sink at them. That is not possible come a General Election, when all those activists who took all the doorstep abuse in 2019 will be needed to help get the message across and the vote out. Dumping on them while appeasing the right-wing press will not work.

Stop selling out working people. You’re supposed to be the Labour Party.


Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by becoming a Patron on Patreon at

https://www.patreon.com/Timfenton

Sunday, 26 June 2022

Bozo’s Hitler Admission

He’d get the hint from the confidence vote, he’d realise that things had to change, he’d get out of the way if the voters turned against the Tories, he wasn’t that bad really. Thus the Tory party rationalised their inertia and the continuing presence of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson in Downing Street. But then came Tiverton and Honiton.

We see you, malignant narcissist

If a 24,000 Tory majority could be overturned, no-one was safe. Minds became a little bit more focused. That focus was only sharpened when Bozo told anyone who would listen that he wouldn’t change. Former Tory MP Anna Soubry came to the same conclusion as Zelo Street: Bozo would not resign. He would have to be dragged out of Downing Street kicking and screaming.

And now has come the fullest demonstration of Bozo’s delusion: his party is presiding over a worsening economy, the act of national self-harm that is Brexit is being rumbled by those who were conned into backing it, there is industrial unrest with more on the way, the cost of living crisis is worsening, and the policy of blaming it all on someone else has run out of road.

The Bozo response to that? As the BBC has reported, “Boris Johnson has said he is ‘actively thinking’ about a third term, amid criticism of his leadership”. Which means what, exactly? “Speaking to reporters in Kigali, Rwanda, where he has been at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, the prime minister was asked to elaborate on his comment, replying that he was thinking ‘about a third term - mid 2030s’”.

Which brings back memories of Mrs T announcing “Yes, I hope to go on. And on”, except that was after a third General Election victory. Bozo is talking after two shockingly bad by-election results. Which causes the thought to enter that he is either beyond delusional, willing to do a little more of that rule-bending to perpetuate himself in power, or rather more of both.

Thus the comparison with other rĂ©gimes that have demonised minorities, blamed all their country’s ills on foreigners, assured the population that they are going to bring back past glories, constantly lie to the public, rely on compliant media organisations to massage their image, ruthlessly shit on opponents, while changing the law to ban inconveniences like protests.

Yes, Germany was still a democracy when the Nazis came to power. It still had effective parties of opposition. Trades unions were legal and free to organise. The judiciary was independent of the executive. And, bit by bit, the rules were changed to perpetuate the Nazis and their leader in power.

You'll have to speak up, I'm a bit Mutt And Jeff

Democracy is a fragile thing: it requires a careful and steady hand. This is well understood in mainland Europe: apart from Germany and those countries that were occupied and fought over, the dead hand of the former Soviet Union is still remembered in states out to the east. In the south, older citizens in Spain, Portugal and Greece can recall a time of totalitarian dictatorships.

But aloof and arrogant England - because, as ever, it is English exceptionalism that is muddying the United Kingdom pool - believes that, as we didn’t get occupied in World War 2, it couldn’t happen here. We are told that our democracy has endured for centuries, although the reality is that unqualified universal suffrage for all men and women at the same age has only been around for 94 years. We have elections. So there.

The problem with that assertion is that, in the past, politicians have played by the rules. No attempts have been made to perpetuate a leader’s stay in office by rewriting the rules in their favour. Elections have been free and fair. But Bozo has been prepared to break the rules, and, worse, has been allowed to get away with it. So he’ll try to break some more. And if he continues to get away with it, some more after that. His pals and the press will back him.

How does anyone think Germany got to the position it did in 1940, with the fall of France? No-one stopped the Nazis. No-one opposed the annexations, the invasions, the increasing authoritarianism. Hitler was just getting on with the job, giving his country its pride back, ridding it of all those things that a compliant press said were Very Bad. It happened because it was allowed to happen. Remember that when Bozo talks about going on for another decade.

The USA came very close with Combover Crybaby Donald Trump, another narcissist and egomaniac who, like Bozo, has broken rules and laws because he has been allowed to get away with it. But the States’ checks and balances stopped him perpetuating himself in power. The UK does not have a written constitution. But it does have a leader who has, in plain sight, told us of his intention to remain in power. Full stop. That’s out of order. He has to go.

It is time for the Tories to remove Bozo while they still can. Before the Johnson cult and its leader tip the UK over the totalitarian edge. That is all.


Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by becoming a Patron on Patreon at

https://www.patreon.com/Timfenton