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Tuesday 31 January 2023

Happy Brexit Day - Or Maybe Not

Today marks three years since disgraced former alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his cabinet of grovelling sycophants “Got Brexit Done”. Three years since the UK was removed from the European Union. A few diehard Brexiteers are today celebrating the occasion with a fresh dose of delusion. Many more are nursing Buyer’s Remorse.

What we left ...

So how are those who worked so assiduously to hobble their own country? One of their number, Camilla Tominey, who in the days of Bill Deedes would not have got in the door at the Telegraph, has used the occasion to have a typically sneering and partisan swipe at London Mayor Sadiq Khan for not providing toilet facilities on London Underground’s Metropolitan Line.

Which her hero Bozo didn’t do, and in any case these have not existed for several decades. Thus the Tel gets yet more desperate and downmarket, and readers are distracted from the grim reality: as a new poll has revealed, almost all those Parliamentary constituencies that favoured Brexit in 2016 no longer do so. A vote today would be emphatically in favour of Remain.

Those who use the Eurostar service out of St Pancras International may be some of the ones changing their minds, as the BBC has reported: “The boss of Eurostar has said its trains between the UK and Paris are carrying 30% fewer passengers. Chief executive Gwendoline Cazenave said with post-Brexit border checks and current levels of border staff, there were ‘bottlenecks’ in stations”. Wow! Benefit! Keeps the Forrins out, eh?

There was more. “Eurostar is currently running 14 services per day between London and Paris, compared with 18 in 2019. Ms Cazenave said the company might not restore some services suspended last year due to the problems … Last year, Eurostar announced it was halting its direct service from London to Disneyland Paris and also stopped services calling at Ebbsfleet or Ashford International stations”. Stops Brits travelling, though.

Does any of this get through to the more rabid wing of the Tory party? You jest: one whiff of Rishi Sunak going for a “Swiss style” arrangement with Brussels was enough to have the ERG suffering the wig-out and collective involuntary bowel movement to stink out all of Westminster.

Nor does reality seem to have landed with sufficient force at Labour Party HQ, with the party’s current leadership continuing to assert that they will “make Brexit work”. The only way they will “make Brexit work” will be to rejoin the Single Market and Customs Union. They need to come clean with voters.

... and those who conned the voters

The IMF has brought the bad news to dampen party spirits: the UK’s economy is set to contract this year. That means we will be doing less well than Germany, France, Italy … and Russia. Much of the developed world has enacted sanctions on Russia. But (a) they will still do better than the UK, because (b) Brexit is effectively the UK enacting sanctions upon itself.

But wherever there is bad news, there is also the opportunity to spin it the other way, and, with a significantly-sized dose of rank hypocrisy, the IMF news has been held up as justifying Brexit by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog. Staines, remember it well, lives in Ireland - an EU member state. Thus the hypocrisy.

The Great Guido this morning celebrated Brexit day, telling readersFor all the refusal by Remoaners to accept the biggest ever democratic decision by the British people, even today’s IMF report on growth forecasts couldn’t bring itself to attribute any faults in the UK economy to our decision to leave the bloc”. It just said the economy would shrink this year. Minor point, eh?

Those at the Fawkes massive get round that one by later putting the boot in on the IMF for getting their forecasts wrong. And they do dishonesty, too, proclaiming “Since this day in 2019 we’ve signed about [?] 71 new trade deals, led the European response to Putin’s war in Ukraine and saved countless British lives with an independent vaccine rollout”.

And as Jon Stewart might have put it, two things here. One, if any country is leading the response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it’s Poland. And Two, the UK was behind Malta and Portugal in getting 90% of its population double jabbed with Covid vaccines. Which, once again, shows that being in the EU would not have stopped the UK responding swiftly to the Pandemic.

Lying. Gaslighting. Misinformation. And all those rich propagandists telling the less well off how we’ve taken back control and put one over on Johnny Foreigner. The reality, as Adam Bienkov at Byline Times has pointed out, is that “Brexit has Left the UK in a State of National Decline”. And looking at that poll and the loss of support for Brexit, it looks like the voters are wise to that.

Just don’t forget who led us here. Don’t let them anywhere near power again.

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Monday 30 January 2023

Bozo Broke Britain

Margaret Thatcher’s abandonment of the post-war Keynesian consensus began the process; John Major did not seriously dissent from that journey. To his shame, nor did Tony Blair. Then came Cameron and Osborne, a double act whose regard for their own abilities was unmatched by reality, and who were foolish enough to offer a referendum on EU membership.

So the widening of inequality, and steady decline of the UK, continued through the interregnum of Theresa May. But Britain was not yet broken as it is today: the distinction for that final coup de grace can be laid at the door of one individual - London’s formerly very occasional Mayor, and then alleged Prime Minister, the now-disgraced Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.

Bozo, had spaffed money up the wall as if it were going out of fashion during his time as London Mayor - vanity buses, vanity cable car, vanity water cannon that never entered service, vanity study for a Thames estuary airport that was never going to happen, the questionable London Stadium deal, and giving up the Government subsidy to Transport for London - are down to him.

There was also the vanity garden bridge, which Bozo’s successor Sadiq Khan had to put out of its misery before it swallowed up even more public funds. Khan has also had to deal with the fallout of Bozo’s “deal” with Osborne ending TfL’s subsidy, thereby worsening the body’s finances. George’s revenge for being sneered at by Old Etonians for “only going to St Paul’s”.

You think I overstate the case for saying It Was Bozo Wot Broke Britain? Let’s consider the charge sheet, which also features the right-leaning part of our free and fearless press, whose conduct has demonstrated a propensity to lying, smearing, bullying, gaslighting, and a dearth of the most basic decency in their shameless investment in The Adoration Of The Bozo.

Jim Pickard of the FT has a summary of Tory shame, much of which is down to Bozo. “[Chris] Pincher [made a whip despite previous known misconduct] … Tractorgate [Neil Parish watching porn in the Commons. He resigned as an MP and the Tories lost the subsequent by-election] … Owen Paterson [desperate attempts to rewrite Parliamentary standards failed and the Tories lost the subsequent by-election] … Greensill Capital”. There is more.

Partygate [Bozo and Rishi Sunak both bang to rights and fined; press lied about it to cover for them] … Mustique [how was Bozo’s holiday paid for? The explanation was unconvincing] … the £800,000 loan [featuring Richard Sharp, now chair of the BBC]”. And more. A lot more.

Taking a congenital liar at his word ...

Wallpapergate [obscenely expensive redecoration of the Downing Street flat] … Lebedev peerage [son of a former KGB officer] … [David] Warburton [misconduct allegations, still sitting as MP for Somerton and Frome, Lib Dems looking on] … secret hampers [£27,000 worth of organic food] … the £150k treehouse [planned by Bozo for son Wilf at Chequers, but didn’t happen]”. Could there be yet more?

There certainly could. “[Nadhim] Zahawi tax [OK this is post-Bozo, but the culture of Getting Away With It had been established under him] … [Gavin] Williamson bullying [arise Sir Stupid Boy] … Imran Ahmad Khan [a 2019 intake MP forced out following sexual misconduct, Tories lost the subsequent by-election]”. And yes, Pickard was not finished yet.

[Dominic] Raab bullying [still pending] … [Priti] Patel bullying [bang to rights but she remained in post] … Illegal prorogation [aka Lying To The Queen]”. To this roll of shame can be added breaking of the Ministerial Code by Suella Braverman, whom Sunak reappointed to the cabinet.

... beats bothering with actual journalism

Michael Crick also recalled Bozo’s resignation peerage list, which bordered on the farcical, the election expenses fines, and that Covid PPE VIP lane via which billions was expended; the latest example of this is Tory peer Michelle Mone. Then there is the “Oven Ready” Brexit deal that wasn’t, along with the Northern Ireland protocol that sold out Unionists.

So how much of this can be seen today in that part of the press that backed Bozo to the hilt? And the answer is none. Nil. Nix. Nada. Zero. Zilch. Zip. Not a sausage. Bugger all. But the Murdoch Sun and the Daily Mail want us to know that Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin threatened to assassinate brave Bozo. Which is most likely another flat-out lie.

As well as probably being a breach of the Official Secrets Act. There you have it: Broken Britain has Bozo’s paw-prints all over it, aided and abetted by the least principled part of the Fourth Estate. But he walks away Scot Free to work the upmarket speech giving circuit while the country he claimed to serve has to find a way back from the mess.

For Bozo, laws are for the little people. And actions have no consequences.

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Sunday 29 January 2023

Zahawi Out - BBC Tory Clearout Next

In the end, Rishi Sunak was left with no choice: the investigation into now former Tory chairman Nadhim Zahawi showed that he had breached the Ministerial Code on seven occasions. So Zahawi was sacked, to the relief of all those who wished it had happened rather earlier. And, characteristically, our free and fearless press was nowhere to be seen before the event.

Richard Sharp - now in the firing line

Papers like the Mail titles, with their ranks of obscenely overpaid opinion writers telling the public what to think, are so heavily invested in keeping the Tories in power that they failed to allocate the little they still spend on proper investigative journalism to exposing wrongdoing. In the end, it was tax lawyer Dan Neidle who braved Zahawi’s legal threats and broke the scandal.

Sadly for The Blue Team, though, the parallels with John Major’s miserable run of sleaze stories in the mid-1990s continues: as Zahawi fades from view, back into the news comes disgraced formerly alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, and an £800,000 loan. This involved the presence of one Richard Sharp, who is now Chairman of the BBC.

He was appointed to his role at the Beeb by Bozo himself. And as if the concept of gifting your fixer such a job sets ethical alarm bells ringing, they should be clanging off the wall at what is now being revealed - not merely about what Sharp and Bozo said in their defence, but more pertinently how those explanations have unravelled with giddying speed.

It was the Times and Sunday Times - showing that Bozo is no longer a favourite of the Murdoch Mafiosi - that have been pursuing the story, as LBC host Sangita Myska observed: “According to [the Times], Cabinet Secretary Simon Case ‘appears to have been involved in facilitating and clearing the £800,000 (from Sam Blythe to Boris Johnson) then deciding it could be kept secret’. Simon Case is the most senior civil servant in Government”.

So Case is another who may find himself thrown under the bus very soon. He was also the author of a letter to Johnson telling “Given the imminent announcement of Richard Sharp as the new BBC Chairman it is important that you no longer ask his advice about your personal financial matters”.

There was only one problem with that urging: Bozo had already told, via his spokesman, that “This is rubbish. Richard Sharp has never given any financial advice to Boris Johnson, nor has Mr Johnson sought any financial advice from him. There has never been any remuneration or compensation to Mr Sharp from Boris Johnson for this or any other service”.

Robbie Gibb demonstrates his impartiality

Then came the British Council job. As Gabriel Pogrund of the ST notes, “Unknown to Case, in Nov 2020, Blyth was on Foreign Office list of four recommended candidates for CEO of the British Council … Blyth was top. No one will say why. Govt will not comment on leaks. Blyth says he believes civil service put him there”. Is this a Quid Pro Quo? Because it sure looks like one.

But it is Sharp who looks the most likely to find those journalists who have not yet been hobbled sniffing around his part in the continuing sleaze exposure. Pogrund again: “Sharp went to see Simon Case on 4 December, a week before his final BBC interview. Nobody else attended and - contrary to initial suggestions - official position is now that no minutes were taken”. Ho yus.

Where might they sniff? “Johnson and Sharp continue to say Sharp never provided any financial advice [looks very shaky indeed right now] … Sharp says he had no involvement in the loan by 22 Dec, when PET letter was sent … Ex-PM says he had no knowledge of British Council application”. Bozo is known for his propensity to talk well, but lie badly. What of Sharp?

If he has been economical with the actualité, he has to either resign from his BBC role, or be caused to resign. And then the rest of the Tory infiltration and wrecking of a formerly trusted public service broadcaster has to follow him out the door. The prognosis for Sharp is not good: he has already contradicted himself on whether he interfered in the Corporation’s news coverage.

Who might be in pole position to follow him out? Step forward “rabid Brexiteer” Robbie Gibb, who has probably damaged the Beeb’s credibility more than any one individual. The EU referendum coverage was lame in the extreme, with Vote Leave allowed to lie blatantly and constantly, and not get called out for it, in the name of trying to “both sides” the debate.

Because whatever your view of Kier Starmer, a Labour General Election victory would bring, with the certainty of night following day, a clear out of the Tory infiltration from the BBC, along with banishment of the Tufton Street propagandists from the Corporation’s news coverage. By then, Sharp would most likely be long gone, and if Gibb was still there, he soon wouldn’t be.

The great unravelling of Tory influence has begun. The sleaze and corruption will probably soon sink the Tories. Not even the press can stop it this time.

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Sunday 22 January 2023

Tories - Bent Beyond Belief

Ah, echoes of the 1990s, when John Major’s constant attempts to “draw a line” under whatever latest sleaze episode had distracted his Government - and further alienated the voters - were equally undermined by yet another sleaze revelation. When the Tories were shot out of power in the 1997 General Election, the economy was improving. That was not the problem.

Nadhim Zahawi

What did for Major was the infighting over Europe - now ready to re-emerge as it becomes clear that Brexit has hobbled the economy - and a combination of that sleaze, plus the view that the Government had run its course. Today, there is no improving economy to fall back on, the sense of staleness has returned, and the sleaze with it. Unremitting sleaze. Corruption. Wickedness.

Partygate was bad enough, and ultimately even the Tories could not tolerate the antics of disgraced former alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson any longer. The inept but mercifully brief interlude of Liz Truss shredded any lingering reputation for economic competence. And now has come Rishi Sunak, already not in control of events a year before polling day.

One event out of his control is the tax affairs of party chair Nadhim Zahawi, about whom the Guardian was told “The Conservative party chair, Nadhim Zahawi, agreed to pay a penalty to HMRC as part of a seven-figure settlement over his tax affairs”. The total amount repaid to HMRC, including the penalty, was estimated at around £5 million. There was more.

Penalties are applied if someone does not pay the correct tax at the right time. Asked repeatedly about the penalty, Zahawi’s spokesperson did not deny one had been paid. Nor did they offer any explanation or clarification about the sums involved … If Zahawi has paid a penalty, it would be hugely embarrassing, given his previous role as chancellor in charge of the UK’s tax system”. Which has set off a train of further questioning.

Like, did he negotiate the back payment of millions in taxes, plus a penalty, while he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, and therefore the ultimate boss of whoever was calculating the payment and imposing the fine? Tory spokesmen sent out to do today’s media rounds would not answer that one.

What was also not being answered was why Zahawi had issued legal threats against those who covered this story first, not least tax lawyer Dan Neidle, who asked the obvious question yesterday: “If Zahawi just made an innocent mistake and did his civic duty in cleaning it up… why did he threaten to sue people reporting on it? And try to keep those threats secret?

Bad penny turns up once more

On top of the Zahawi affair, we now have another Bozo affair: the Murdoch Sunday Times, which it seems is not keen on seeing the former PM make a return any time soon, told thatRichard Sharp was involved in arranging a guarantor on a loan of up to £800,000 for Mr Johnson. Mr Sharp said he had ‘simply connected’ people and there was no conflict of interest”.

Except that Sharp was in the running to become BBC Chairman, and after apparently doing that business, Bozo duly gave him the job. The ST added “multimillionaire Canadian businessman Sam Blyth raised with Mr Sharp the idea of acting as Mr Johnson's guarantor for a loan. It is not clear where the loan money came from”. And before the loan was finalised, guess what?

According to the paper, Mr Sharp, Mr Blyth and Mr Johnson had dinner together at Chequers before the loan was finalised, although they deny the PM's finances were discussed then”. And although the host grilled James Cleverly reasonably thoroughly this morning, the Beeb’s Laura Kuenssberg show did not exactly excel itself when it came to apparent partisanship.

Their “expert panel” consisted of Tesco chair John Allan (maybe not a raving leftie), former Tory leader Iain Duncan Cough, and Rachel Johnson - yes, SisterBozza herself. So a neutered BBC gives an eventually kinder ride to its chair, Zahawi, and Bozo. On top of all the rest: don’t forget Sunak’s US green card and his wife’s non-nom tax status. And Owen Paterson.

And Neil Parish, caught watching porn in the Commons chamber. Twice. And Imran Ahmad Khan, who was Wakefield’s first Tory MP for more than 85 years before being forced out after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 15 year old boy. Like John Major, Sunak is facing a continuing tide of sleaze, and like Major, can do nothing about it as his poll ratings dwindle.

The question, on seeing the Tories sink to 24% in a recent opinion poll, is not “why are they doing so badly”, but rather “who is still prepared to vote for this shower”? They’ve screwed up the economy, impoverished millions of Brits, driven the NHS to the brink of collapse, and showing themselves to be totally out of touch. But they have, generally, enriched Themselves Personally Now.

It is time we had that General Election. And bin the Tories. Hopefully for good.

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Saturday 21 January 2023

Sunak Fined - Look Over There

Nothing better illustrates the rank hypocrisy of our free and fearless press than their attitudes to party leaders facing Police investigations. The desperate attempts to establish equivalence between disgraced former alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson being fined over Partygate, and Keir Starmer not breaking Covid rules, were legion.

What d'you mean, they won't let me back into the USA?

Those labouring within the Northcliffe House bunker under the less than benign direction of the Mail titles’ editor in chief, the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, were prepared to lie to order, telling readers that Bozo’s birthday cake “remained in its Tupperware container”. Starmer, meanwhile, had to be guilty because, er, Angela Rayner was there. And they had a curry.

How different it all is today, now that the boot is, once again, so firmly on the other foot. Bozo’s ultimate replacement, Rishi Sunak, who also copped a fine over Partygate, was given a fixed penalty notice for failing to wear a seatbelt in the back of a car. As he was over 17 years old, the responsibility for wearing one was his, and his alone. The BBC duly covered the story.

Lancashire Police said it had issued a 42-year-old man from London with a conditional offer of a fixed penalty. No 10 said Mr Sunak ‘fully accepts this was a mistake and has apologised’, adding that he would pay the fine … It is the second time Mr Sunak has received a fixed penalty notice while in government”. So what of the Tories’ cheerleaders at the Mail and Sun?

As if. While the sole Labour backing tabloid, the Mirror, puts Sunak sans seatbelt on its front page with the withering headline “Law-Breaker PM No 2 … ANOTHER FINE MESS … Sunak punished for seatbelt blunder video … Rap comes months after Partygate payout”, the Mail claims Labour is the party in trouble. “LABOUR’S WOMAN PROBLEM” it thunders.

Nah, it's just something on Twitter

Which is a bit rich coming from the paper that invented a malicious and totally untrue claim about Ms Rayner, claiming that she did a “Basic Instinct” at PMQs to distract Bozo (whoever is leading for the Tories cannot, in fact, see the “below the waist” part of their opposite number, due to the furniture and dispatch boxes getting in the way). So more Mail hypocrisy, then.

Meanwhile, the Sun has splashed the King over its front page, with an allegedly exclusive story concerning the wearing of silk stockings and breeches at his upcoming Coronation. Put another way, this is a nothing story, very few of the paper’s readers will care, and it’s just desperate distraction. The editorials don’t do any better. Especially the Sun’s.

Taking only third spot in today’s Sun Says rant, and titled “Crime Wasters”, readers are left in no doubt that He Didn’t Really Do It. “WITH crime soaring [no citation] we can only marvel at police rapidly investigating the Prime Minister for momentarily not wearing a seatbelt in the back of a car”.

Can you now? Do go on. “Yes, Rishi Sunak made a mistake as he filmed a video clip”. See, it’s only a MISTAKE. There is more. “And the cops have made all the Tory-haters on Twitter happy by issuing him with a fine. But would they be so enthusiastic about pursuing a burglar? Fat chance”. Yes, the old Fraser Nelson Spectator ploy - it’s just something on Twitter.

I say it didn't f***ing happen at all, c***

The Mail goes one better, talking about Sunak, not mentioning the fine, but instead reassuring readers that the Tories may still win the next General Election: “all is not lost for Rishi Sunak. With boldness and the rediscovery of his Tory instincts, he has a puncher’s chance of hauling his party back into contention. Top of his agenda must be promoting growth. Sky-high business and personal taxes are choking the recovery”. Criminal record? Not as such.

On they drone. “The Prime Minister must also fulfil his pledge to tackle illegal immigration … Many of those arriving illegally manipulate human rights laws to stay. To end this scandal, the PM must be willing to leave the European Convention on Human Rights. Finally, Mr Sunak must push through tough laws to compel unions in key public services to provide a minimum level of cover during strikes”. Illegally manipulate laws? Yeah, right.

But enough. When it was Starmer not breaking the law, the Mail and Sun were screaming the house down, effectively demanding that the Labour leader be prosecuted because they said so. Now that Sunak has been caught breaking the law for a second time, it’s either trivial or didn’t happen.

The Tories and their press pals are joined at the hip. The rich gaslighting the rest of us to maintain the status quo. Don’t fall for it come polling day.

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Friday 20 January 2023

Tommy Robinson Agrees With Me

Perhaps it was just a stopped clock moment, especially given he has now played both sides of the field on the case of Ellie Williams, a young woman from the town of Barrow-in-Furness. But Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, has now come to the same conclusion as I did earlier this month about one observer of Ms Williams’ case.

As Zelo Street regulars will know, Ms Williams made a number of allegations, mainly that she had been a victim of an Asian grooming gang operating in the town. Lennon went to Cumbria, despite lockdown rules then in place. Another of those grooming gangs? More Scary Muslims™ to demonise? It looked too good to be true. That’s because it was too good to be true.

Lennon got himself nicked, and was subjected to a variety of restrictions, which included, apparently, being excluded from entering the whole of Cumbria. This constrained his activities somewhat. In the meantime, as the BBC has reported, “A woman who falsely claimed she had been raped and trafficked by an Asian grooming gang has been found guilty of perverting the course of justice”. She made it all up. And there was more.

Eleanor Williams, 22, of Barrow-in-Furness, was found guilty of eight counts at Preston Crown Court. She posted photos on social media in May 2020 of injuries she said were from being beaten but the jury heard she inflicted the wounds on herself”. She had, though, attracted some high profile backers.

Ellie Williams

One of those was Countdown numbers person Rachel Riley, who saw retired GMP detective Maggie Oliver’s involvement in the case and told her followers “This should be front page news today. This poor girl, let down so badly. Thank god ex GMP detective [Maggie Oliver] is fighting for her and however many others like her. Warning: very distressing content. #JusticeForEllie”.

Ms Riley can’t have read the Beeb telling “Williams had falsely claimed business owner Mohammad Ramzan had groomed her since the age of 12 … Williams said Mr Ramzan had made her work in brothels in Amsterdam and sold her at an auction there … However the court heard that at the time, his bank card was being used in a Barrow B&Q” without realising her mistake.

Or “Another, she said, was an Asian drug dealer who had threatened to kill her and dump her in the sea unless she had sex with multiple men … He was actually a young white Tesco worker from Essex who she had been speaking to on a dating site”. Which is why Zelo Street said Ms Riley should say sorry.

Rachel Riley

And I left it at that. Now, Lennon has told his followersComing this weekend: [The Phantom Rape Gang] … I have finished my work following up on my investigation into allegations of a grooming gang operating in Barrow. You will be shocked to hear what I found out, BEFORE this issue went to court and BEFORE mainstream media reported it”. Then came Ms Riley.

He wanted her to say sorry (bit late with that one, but whatever): “Hi [Rachel Riley] have you apologised to the men who were falsely accused. You & [Maggie Oliver] gave this story credibility. I’m shocked neither of you have reached out to the men who’s [sic] lives were destroyed”.

It appears Ms Riley saw that one, or that she just coincidentally blocked The Great Man. He wasn’t happy about that. “I know you haven’t apologised. You can’t hide from this Rachel. My doc is out over the weekend”. Yes, he’s done another of his “documentaries”. But if she doesn’t want to engage with him, that’s that.

Where Lennon could end up. Expensively

The problem Lennon has is that that is never that with him, as a series of unwanted doorsteppings, and other forms of harassment, has shown. Well, have I got news for him: Ms Riley will sue the arse off the SOB if he so much as implies anything defamatory about her. And he’s already being pursued for money after declaring himself bankrupt recently.

If he tries one of those late night visits, he’ll find himself all over the papers for all the wrong reasons. Doing it to a few bloggers hasn’t given him too much trouble, but someone who is Actually On Telly? They’ll really throw the book at him for that. So will Stephen Lennon realise that this would be one pursuit too far, and back off? Does he feel … lucky?

Rachel Riley may be about to do the world a favour. Get the popcorn in.

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


Thursday 19 January 2023

GB News Latest Relaunch ISN’T

And so it came to pass that those in charge of watching the money get spaffed up the wall at Gammon Broadcasting News (“Bacon’s News Channel”) decided it was time to address the broadcaster’s problem - a shortage of advertisers, not infrequent referrals to regulator Ofcom, and a talent base that did not possess honesty as its strongest attribute.

Which meant there had to be yet another relaunch, or at least some kind of press release to try and attract all those advertisers driven away by GB News hosts’ proximity to wacko conspiracy theories, or just straightforward lying. The result was published by the Guardian, among others. And it is clear that someone in GB News management is in full Ron Hopeful mode.

The headline contains plenty of Look Over There: “‘Proud to be a disruptor’: GB News faces growing pains as it tries to clean up image … Right-leaning TV channel to cut costs, hire new talent and enforce ‘discipline’ as it aims for growth”. Hiring new talent while cutting costs. How does that work?

Moreover, the photo at the head of the article is of former Brexit Party Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage: if there is a move to “clean up [its] image”, its first problem is right there. Farage is a congenital liar, very much in the style of disgraced former alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, whose dishonesty hit rock bottom in 2015.

Mr Thirsty stood up in the European Parliament and declared that the EU was practicing a modern-day equivalent of the Brezhnev Doctrine, going on to tell that the organisation had interfered in that year’s Legislative election in Portugal. Farage based his claims on comments by the country’s former President Aníbal Cavaco Silva. Along with lots of creative reinterpretation.

Cavaco Silva had not been leaned on by Brussels, or indeed anyone else. He was just being his usual increasingly grumpy self. His comments had everything to do with Portugal’s immediate post-Revolutionary internal politics (bad blood between the centre left and left), and nothing at all to do with the EU. He was not the only one sceptical about a centre-left plus left coalition.

This was typical of Farage: no research, shoot from the hip, and declaim the resulting mixture of ignorance and dishonesty loudly enough, and for long enough, to prevail. Do go on. “Alan McCormick, the GB News chairman … said the first step will be a training schedule designed to help GB News avoid repeatedly falling foul of the media regulator Ofcom’s broadcasting code … ‘Initial workshops, on the law and Ofcom, are vital for all with no exceptions’”.

And, so what? That won’t stop Farage lying, nor will it mean The Great Man eats humble pie and says sorry occasionally. The Guardian notes “Ofcom completed 28 investigations across the broadcasting sector last year, finding 17 breaches of the UK broadcasting code, and it currently has two cases open relating to GB News presenter Mark Steyn’s show, which has repeatedly raised doubts over Covid vaccine safety”. That won’t change.

Not when “Recent hires include Michael Portillo, the Daily Mail’s Andrew Pierce, and Camilla Tominey from the Telegraph”. Pierce is a shit. And Ms Tominey is a singularly unpleasant piece of work. It is rumoured that the member for times long past, Jacob Rees Mogg, will be joining them, as perhaps will the recently disgraced non-sexist Jeremy Clarkson.

And while the news is that the advertiser boycott of GB News may be softening somewhat, the channel is losing money. A lot of money. Its biggest investor pulled out and wrote off a significant sum when selling its shares. Worse, all its competitors - BBC News Channel, Sky News and TalkTV - have no issues with financial backing. The Guardian saw that one.

Their analysis noted “which begs the question of whether GB News can ever grow to a point that it is self-sustaining and no longer needs to turn to its backers for further cash injections”. It also mentions “The occasionally mooted potential merger with, or takeover by, TalkTV”. There is a precedent.

Rupert Murdoch’s then fledgling Sky TV operation merged with BSB, but in reality it was a takeover, with singularly vicious cost cutting and a series of sackings following in its wake. The current pot of money is £60 million, but without serious cutbacks, GB News will burn through that in short order. Will the broadcaster be picked off by the Murdoch mafiosi? Don’t bet against it.

The time of GB News was for a time, but not for all time. Good thing too.

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Tuesday 17 January 2023

Clarkson “Apology” NOT GOOD ENOUGH

And so it came to pass that Jeremy Clarkson, yesterday’s blokish and mildly edgy presenter, returned to the site of his most recent controversy and told the world that he was prepared to eat humble pie. He had got it wrong. His column attacking the Duchess of Sussex was needlessly OTT. He had messed up. He was sorry. He was honestly so fucking sorry.

For some reason, the BBC, who some time ago parted company with Clarkson following a violent and racially aggravated attack on one of the Corporation’s producers by The Great Man, relayed the alleged apology straight. Perhaps they did not see him coming, that Jezza was holding his hand over his mouth as he spoke. So what’s his schtick?

Jeremy Clarkson has said he has apologised to Harry and Meghan over his column in The Sun newspaper in which he said he ‘hated’ the Duchess of Sussex. In a statement on Monday, the TV presenter said he emailed the couple on Christmas Day to say his language in the column had been ‘disgraceful’ and he was ‘profoundly sorry’”. There was more.

In his lengthy Instagram post on Monday, the presenter of Amazon Prime's The Grand Tour and Clarkson's Farm and ITV's Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, said he usually reads what he's written before filing his copy, but he was home alone that day and in a hurry”. This excuses the content of the column? And what was the supposed apology doing on Instagram?

Whatever. “He said he picked up a copy of The Sun and quickly realised he had ‘completely messed up … You are sweaty and cold at the same time. And your head pounds. And you feel sick. I couldn't believe what I was reading. Had I really said that? It was horrible’ … He said he had been thinking of a scene in Games of Thrones when he wrote about imagining the duchess being abused in the street, but had forgotten to mention it”.

As you do. But this attempt at faux sincerity did not take long to unravel, with Jezza’s arse being handed to him on a plate by the Sussexes, whose spokesperson revealed that the Clarkson correspondence which he claimed had been sent both of them had in fact been addressed solely to Haz.

And it got worse. “While a new public apology has been issued today by Mr Clarkson, what remains to be addressed is his long-standing pattern of writing articles that spread hate rhetoric, dangerous conspiracy theories and misogyny … Unless each of his other pieces were also written 'in a hurry', as he states, it is clear that this is not an isolated incident”. And then worse still.

Jeremy who?

Jezza’s Instagram post tells “that he had ‘tried to explain’ himself. ‘But still, there were calls for me to be sacked and charged with a hate crime. More than 60 MPs demanded action to be taken. ITV, who make Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and Amazon, who make the Farm Show and the Grand Tour, were incandescent’”. ITV let him off. But, it seems, Amazon did not.

Jeremy Clarkson 'dropped by Amazon Prime' as he posts grovelling Harry and Meghan apology … Reports allege that the streaming service will only continue with Clarkson on shows already commissionedtold the Manchester Evening News. Do go on. “Sources told [Variety] that Clarkson won't be working with Amazon Prime outside of seasons of The Grand Tour and Clarkson's Farms [sic] which have already been commissioned”.

So saying “One of the strange things I’ve noticed in recent times is that whenever an MP or a well-known person is asked to apologise for something, no matter how heartfelt or profound that apology may be, it’s never enough for the people who called for it in the first place … So I’m going to try and buck the trend this morning with an apology for the things I said in a Sun column recently about Meghan Markle. I really am sorry” didn’t work.

Yes, blubbering “We never did ‘women can’t park’ gags [on Top Gear] for instance. Or suggested that powerful cars were only for men … I’m just not sexist and I abhor violence against women. And yet I seemed to be advocating just that” didn’t stop Amazon Prime following the BBC’s lead.

And in any case, this is not good enough: Clarkson should have made his grovelling apology not through his personal Instagram account, but in the pages of the Murdoch Sun, and on the paper’s website, with the same prominence as the original column. And signalled on the front page.

But at least, with the apparent decision by Amazon Prime, and almost eight years since the Beeb sacked him, we can see that the time of Jeremy Clarkson as an influential screen and press presence was for a time, but not for all time. Yes, there goes Jeremy Clarkson, on his way … out.

So one less purveyor of hate to worry about. Just rejoice at that news.

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Sunday 15 January 2023

Suella Braverman - Beyond Belief

Not featuring on the front pages of our free and fearless press today, despite the media appetite for going after those on the left alleged to have dismissed or belittled Holocaust survivors, Suella Braverman, inexplicably elevated to the rank of Home Secretary, has been at her tone-deaf and intolerant worst, refused to say sorry, and appears to have misused Civil Service resources.

That is in addition to being called out by a Holocaust survivor, which, had it happened to someone in the Labour Party, would have been splashed across several front pages. What happened can be put directly: before a constituency meeting last Friday evening, Joan Salter MBE, who is 83 and whose family perished at the hands of the Third Reich, asked her a question.

The exchange was captured on video. “I am a child survivor of the Holocaust … In 1943, I was forced to flee my birthplace in Belgium and went across war-torn Europe and dangerous seas until I finally was able to come to the UK in 1947”. She came to the UK. But the rest of her family did not.

There was more. “When I hear you using words against refugees like ‘swarms’ and an ‘invasion’, I am reminded of the language used to dehumanise and justify the murder of my family and millions of others … Why do you find the need to use that kind of language?” What say Ms Braverman?

The Home Secretary deflected, talking at length about how her own parents came to the UK, as if this excused her use of language, before claiming “There is a huge problem that we have right now when it comes to illegal migration, the scale of which we have not known before”. Claiming asylum is not illegal, something one might have expected a cabinet minister to know.

Moreover, the main reason for what she was discussing - people arriving on the Channel coast in small boats - is because the Government of which she is a member has effectively closed off safe routes for those people to claim asylum, for instance, in their own country or elsewhere in mainland Europe. But she could at least say sorry and agree to tone down the rhetoric. Yes?

Er, no. “I won’t apologise for the language that I have used to demonstrate the scale of the problem … I’m not going to shy away from difficult truths nor am I going to conceal what is the reality that we are all watching … we have a problem with people exploiting our generosity, breaking our laws and undermining our system”. We have, whisper it quietly, a greater problem with dishonest and opportunist politicians. But she knew her audience.

As the Guardian report noted, “Braverman’s answer was greeted with applause from the audience”. That’s mighty white of you, Fareham people. But that was not all: despite this being a constituency meeting and therefore not Home Office business, that office’s official Twitter feed was soon being put to use to defend Ms Braverman. I shit you not.

The Home Secretary attended an event last night and took questions, including on immigration policy … Footage of a conversation with a holocaust survivor is circulating online. The video has been heavily edited and doesn’t reflect the full exchange”. The full video is freely available. But do go on.

The Home Secretary listened carefully to the testimony … She thanked her for sharing her story [no she didn’t] The Home Secretary also expressed her sympathy [no she didn’t] and set out why it is important to tackle illegal migration”. Seeking asylum is still not illegal. But there was more.

Since the footage misrepresents the interaction about a sensitive area of policy, we have asked the organisation who posted the video to take it down”. It’s got Sweet Jack to do with the Home Office, whose Twitter account should not be used for party political ends. And in any case, it didn’t work.

Sonya Sceats, CEO of Freedom From Torture, told her followers “The Home Office asked us to take down our video. But we are standing our ground. Full video here so you can see for yourself how Braverman responded to Joan”. And the full video remains available as I type. Good for them.

Strangely, those who went after the Labour left with such fervour over allegations of minimising the Holocaust or dismissing the experiences of its survivors are today silent on Ms Braverman’s disgraceful behaviour, as tone-deaf as when Dawn Foster called her out for using the anti-Semitic “Cultural Marxism” trope, another Nazi-era conspiracy theory.

If she had represented Labour, though … I’ll just leave that one there.

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Saturday 14 January 2023

Corbyn Era Legal Bills AREN’T

Demonstrating that impartiality is becoming a more occasional concept for the Corporation, the BBC has been telling readers of its website about a potential legal bill coming down the track at the Labour Party. The story was originally headlined to claim that this was a “Corbyn-era” legal action, the inference being that any dent in Labour’s coffers as a result would be down to Jezza.

The headline has since been changed and the article rewritten (it’s no longer about the Corbyn era, but “Ex-Corbyn staff”), but still hinting very strongly that it was Jezza Wot Done It. So what’s it all about? Here’s the Beeb’s account: “three Jeremy Corbyn supporters - Georgie Robertson, Laura Murray and Harry Hayball … have been blamed by Labour, along with two other Corbyn supporters, of leaking a controversial internal party document, which included private emails and messages”. Zelo Street covered that episode HERE.

So what is Labour doing? Consider the new title of the BBC’s piece, “Ex-Corbyn staff court case could dent Labour election fund”, and then this snippet: “Labour is taking the five Corbyn supporters to the High Court for conspiring to put the document into the public domain”.

It might be more accurate to say “Labour high court action could dent party’s election fund”, then. And the reason for the potential dent? “The UK's data watchdog has told the BBC it will not be prosecuting three Jeremy Corbyn supporters - Georgie Robertson, Laura Murray and Harry Hayball”.

That makes the idea of the party going after them into a rather challenging proposition. Hence “some in the party are concerned that the commissioner's decision could make the case less likely to succeed … If it fails, lawyers for the Corbyn supporters say they will seek to recover their costs … The party has said it is confident of the case it is making to the court”. However.

But the stakes are high … The BBC understands the estimated combined legal costs of the five Corbyn supporters, added to Labour's costs, range from more than £3m to around £4m”. But all is well, because “Labour says it does not recognise these figures”. Ho ho ho. In any case, “The case against the Corbyn supporters is likely to reach court in early 2024 - just before an expected general election”. And the party has already failed to find the leaker.

I kid you not. “The party brought in an external investigator to try to find the source or sources of the leak but this failed to reach a definitive conclusion. It then hired a top lawyer, Martin Forde KC, but his inquiry was also unable to identify the culprit or culprits”. Yet here it is naming and shaming.

Which the BBC confirms: “Labour's lawyers accused five prominent Corbyn supporters of putting the controversial document into the public domain. They told the High Court that the five had conspired to leak the document and to undermine the Starmer leadership in the process. The five ex-officials also included Corbyn's ex-chief-of-staff Karie Murphy and his former communications chief Seumas Milne". And it gets worse.

[The five’s] lawyers, Carter Ruck, accused the party of ‘an attempt to deflect on to them [the five] its own liability’ as data holder for the leak, and in a statement said that ‘the individuals will vigorously defend themselves in the proceedings and will seek full reimbursement of their costs of doing so from the Party’”. The Beeb now suggests some in the party are getting cold feet.

This includes a member of Labour's ruling national executive, who told me they feel too many of the party's resources are being drawn into disputes and disciplinary matters … some supporters of the current leadership fear a court case may simply bring some of the old enmities and issues back to the fore”.

I’ll go further: to carry out another act of petty retribution in the lead-up to a General Election campaign could be one own goal too many. Yes, Labour has been winning by-elections of late, but these are one-off contests where the party can throw everything at the campaign (and win without the Rotten Lefties™). It can’t do that at a General Election. Simple as that.

Blaming Corbyn for Labour’s financial woes, when his leadership saw a surge in membership and money coming into the party, will not wash. And blaming those against whom the new leadership takes legal action it does not need to take is equally bogus. Redefining reality and gaslighting have their limits.

Labour was about politics once. Maybe, just maybe, it should be about it now.

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Thursday 12 January 2023

Sad Little Man Speaks

It was blindingly obvious from the get-go that the main target of Prince Harry’s memoir Spare was not the Royal Family, individually or collectively, but our free and fearless press. As in so many cases when proof of reality is needed, the opposition comes riding to the rescue. This week it has come galloping, to the benefit of Haz’ publishers and the charities set to benefit from book sales.

You're even more desperate, Dan

When Haz referred rather disobligingly to News UK’s CEO, the twinkle-toed yet domestically combative Rebekah Brooks, the Murdoch Sun went into meltdown as yesterday’s editorial gave readers the print equivalent of a screaming tantrum, the kind of outburst Ms Brooks is rumoured to indulge in when berating the folks in the Baby Shard bunker who actually do the work.

Then it was discovered that the Prince had made an equally disobliging reference to former Sun executive editor, the deeply unpleasant Dan Wootton, everyone’s least favourite economic migrant, who now rants for money at Gammon Broadcasting News (“Bacon’s News Channel”). Desperate Dan reacted as Ms Brooks did, by throwing a mardy strop.

The only difference was that Wootton, a deeply immodest individual with much to be modest about, threw his toys out of the pram at the Mail, another series of titles which would rather not have the Sussex spotlight shone too brightly in its general direction. And another series of titles against which Haz has launched a lawsuit. These events are not coincidental.

So what did Harry say about Wootton? Here’s the relevant passage from the book: “We got word from Sara that the Sun was about to run a story saying the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were stepping away from their Royal duties to spend more time in Canada. A sad little man, the newspaper’s showbiz editor, was said to be the lead reporter on the story”. There was more.

Why him? Why, of all people, the showbiz guy? Because lately he’d refashioned himself into some sort of quasi Royal correspondent, largely on the strength of his secret relationship with one particular close friend of Willy’s comms secretary - who fed him trivial (and mostly fake) gossip”. OUCH!

The Wootton wig-out does not disappoint, although not, perhaps, in the way he might have intended. “Spare shines a light on a life of ultimate privilege and opportunity most human beings could only dream of that is blighted by constant paranoia, bitter resentments and downright nastiness towards those who do their best to try and save this man child from himself time and again”. A better description of Dan Wootton is hard to imagine. And there is more.

Thanks Dan, here's your salesman of the week award

I needed to take a wash after reading [the book] … because of the number of vitriolic and deeply personal swipes he takes”. But here a problem enters: while the press today claims to have spoken to more of those “sources” in and around the Royal Family, the only significant item they pony up for readers is the Duchess of Cambridge driving a car. You read that right.

Women drives car” is inflated to become the Sun’s front page lead as we are told “STANDING FIRM [surely ‘sitting behind the wheel’? - Ed] … Kate defiant while senior Royals urge caution over Harry Coronation invite”, with the supporting article adding “Family members are concerned they would not feel comfortable speaking freely if the pair are there … A source told The Sun”.

A source told the Sun. A sodding “source” told the Sun. Er, hello, this is total crap. And so are “According to insiders” and “Another source said”. What the Sun, and dopey Dan Wootton at the Mail have not twigged is that they are the only ones making all the noise. They and their press pals. The actual Royals aren’t saying anything. Hence “A source told the Sun”.

Which tells you that Haz’ primary target was not the Royals, but the army of sad, self-important, bottom-feeding grotesques that are the press’ Royal “experts”, “editors”, “correspondents”, and other sundry hangers-on. That the target has been successfully hit is shown by the cacophony of whining from them. The press has behaved as Zelo Street has been telling for years now.

The Sun’s howling editorial yesterday, and Dan Wootton today, have confirmed that the press is Haz’ main target. Because it is the press that has been screaming about his book. And by doing so, all that has resulted is a first day sales total of 1.4 million books, e-books and audio books. Haz got an advance of $40 million for four books. It has probably already been recouped.

Our free and fearless press - a bunch of sad losers. No change there, then.

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Wednesday 11 January 2023

Rebekah Brooks Loses It

The saying was that if you wanted to know Rupert Murdoch’s opinion on the topics du jour, you had to read that day’s Sun editorial. Now, with Don Rupioni looking towards the thorny matters of who should succeed him, and who should head up the allegedly soon to be merged News UK and News Corp US operations, the presence behind those editorials has changed.

Now, each morning’s Sun Says rant is more likely to reflect the priorities and prejudices of News UK’s CEO, the twinkle-toed yet domestically combative Rebekah Brooks. And one of her priorities is clearly to kick anyone who is seen as a threat to the monarchy. Which means her prejudices include taking against the Sussexes, something not lost on Haz’n’Megs.

That Harry dislikes Ms Brooks cannot be in any doubt, after a passage from his best-selling memoir Spare became better known. “I asked him to remind me, what was this editor’s name? He said it, and I committed it to memory, but in the years since then, I’ve avoided speaking it, and I don’t wish to repeat it here. Spare the reader, but also myself”. But then he does speak it. Sort of.

Besides, can it possibly be a coincidence that the name of the woman who pretended I went to rehab is a perfect anagram for … Rehabber Kooks?” Then he twisted the knife. “Who is this editor? Loathsome toad, I gathered. Everyone who knew her was in full agreement that she was an infected pustule on the arse of humanity. Plus a shit excuse for a journalist”. OUCH!

What Haz would also have known, especially given he launched a legal action against the Murdoch press, is that Ms Brooks stands accused of snooping on him, using the full resources of the late and not at all lamented Screws, for several years, determined to catch the then under-18 Prince doing illegal drugs, or consuming alcohol while under age.

That snooping was in full swing by September 2001 - five years earlier than the date usually associated with it, as 2006 was the time when those working for the Screws, Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire, were caught hacking not just Haz’ voicemail, but also his brother’s. Sadly, as Mulcaire told, “There was no evidence that Prince Harry was using drugs, soft, hard or otherwise”.

The dossier assembled by Expose News shows that Ms Brooks was obsessed with the Prince. A significant amount of money was sprayed up the wall trying to nail him. It is inconceivable that Haz would not know by now what she had been up to, or, indeed, that she read his comments without being filled with anger, almost to the point of spontaneous combustion.

So it should surprise no-one to read today’s Sun Says, which gives every sign of its writer occupying the no man’s land between plain mardy strop and full-on wig-out. “HARRY’S book is laid bare for all to see. It is an orgy of self-pity and cowardly, baseless abuse. It should shame him forever” is the opening salvo, with “cowardly” and “abuse” beginning the pot-meet-kettle-athon.

We are told “Harry comes across as he is: A monumentally entitled, thoroughly unpleasant bully driven by ugly, petty grudges and utterly blind to his own hypocrisies”. Pot meet kettle it is. Do go on. “What’s more, many of his endlessly self-serving anecdotes fall apart under even the gentlest scrutiny”. No citation. Nor will there be any. It’s just Ms Brooks losing it.

But the silent majority backs her, honest. “Sun readers have seen enough. Their verdict is overwhelming. They consider the book an unforgiveable [sic] betrayal. They say Harry and Meghan must be barred from the King’s coronation which the public will have to fund. And they demand their titles be stripped from them”. Hardly any of those readers have actually read it.

And then comes the dead giveaway. “We understand the Palace’s desire to keep silent”. That’s what all the howling down of Haz’ book is about: his exposure of the inter-dependent and ultimately highly toxic bond between the monarchy and our free and fearless press. The Haz bashing comes almost exclusively from the UK media class and their hangers-on.

The monarchy sells papers and clicks; by palling up to the press, the monarchy protects itself from any drift towards republicanism. But what neither can countenance is the relationship being exposed before the court of public opinion. Nor can Ms Brooks restrain herself from throwing a full-on screaming tirade after Haz tweaked her tail so publicly.

It will get worse: she is, by now, so used to getting her way, and bringing the resources of the Murdoch mafiosi to bear kicking those who dare to stand against her, that she won’t stop screaming until appropriate retribution has been extracted for Haz’ refusal to bow before her. The words “Harry comes across as he is”, used against her, are far more revealing.

Because Rebekah Brooks does indeed come across as she is - a monumentally over-promoted, psychologically unstable, talentless, dislikable and hateful individual without whom the world would be a significantly better place. She is, like so many of her pals and too many of the politicians she has backed, a prime example of what happens when there is no-one to say “No”.

Harry has the press figured out. We are being told that’s a sin. No it isn’t.

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Tuesday 10 January 2023

Alex Mullen - Creep And Hypocrite

You may not have heard of Alex Mullen. But he has been, albeit briefly, in the news this week, because of the impending release of Prince Harry’s book. What’s the connection? Ah well. Mullen was Caroline Flack’s agent, and the late Love Island presenter dated Haz briefly, before our free and fearless press got wind of it and effectively ended their relationship.

Alex Mullen

Mullen has also passed severely adverse comment on Haz’ book mentioning that relationship, kicking off in no style at all to anyone who would stop by and read his Instagram posts. He wants Haz to be stripped of his titles. If only anyone who really matters were bothered. Worse, Mullen is hardly a disinterested party, and nor does he appear an especially reliable witness.

Alex who?

What’s his beef? Mullen, oddly for a PR, has taken his Twitter feed private, but Zelo Street has the details. This is the one that sums up his case: “Gross for Prince Harry to reveal such private details about Caroline Flack. The way the press spoke about her at that time & the reason they split are both very sad & it’s gross he’s using her name to help sell his book. The Royal Family need to strip him of all titles NOW”. And there was more.

Caroline Flack

Ugh. Prince Harry talks about unconscious bias. Reeks of critical race theory and 21st Century Marxism. As furious as I am with him over Caroline Flack, he’s being indoctrinated by his abuser Meghan Markle. I dread the inevitable divorce”. There speaks someone who does not know about Marxism, or, indeed, critical race theory. But is he an otherwise reliable witness?

How about this one? “Our very own, unelected billionaire Prime Minister Rishi Sunak fits into the pockets of his WEF masters’ pockets. Unfortunately the leader of Sunak’s opposition Keir Starmer is as sinister. Changes bordering on revolution are required if democracy & freedom are to stand a chance”.

He has Retweeted an item posted by The Freds telling “The Path to Defeating The WEF: How We Plan to Fight and Win”, accompanied by a photo depicting Klaus Schwab, Bill Gates and George Soros and showing the conspiracist dog whistle “The Great Reset”. Yes, well. How about politics?

It doesn’t get any more credible here. Last year he told his followersLet’s hope to God Boris isn’t ousted. It’ll be another disaster as with Thatcher’s removal and the next election will be a nightmare. The public still warm to him. We all broke the rules! Let’s move on and get the economy moving and taxes down. Labour will make the majority poor”. Think that shows a lack of self-awareness and detachment from reality? It gets worse.

Yes, it’s insane. The country voted for the Conservatives lead [sic] by Boris Johnson. Only they should have the power to remove him if they wish. Which I doubt they will because the alternative is terrifying”. And then … “The only option is [Liz Truss], from a poor selection. Every other candidate is either inexperienced, woke, corrupt or slimy. I have to support [Liz Truss]”.

None of this finds its way into (for instance) the Mail’s report of Mullen’s mardy strop. Nor has anyone within our free and fearless press tested his reaction for consistency: much of the detail to which he so seriously objects appeared in the Murdoch Sun when Ms Flack had the Bizarre column given over to her in 2017. Did he complain? Did he stuff. He Tweeted it out!

[Caroline Flack] takes over [Dan Wootton]’s Bizarre today with exclusive [Love Island] gossip. Tune in Mon 5th June on [ITV2]”. It gets yet worse: what is in Haz’ book is no more than what Ms Flack herself wrote in her own memoir Storm In A C-Cup. Did Mullen object? But you know the answer.

As Richard Bartholomew put it, “Caroline Flack wrote about media intrusion in her own autobiography (‘Storm in a C-Cup’), including the ‘bit of rough’ framing. For tabloids to claim that Prince Harry has betrayed her memory by drawing on her own public recollections is both absurd and grotesque”. The “bit of rough” line was also in that Bizarre column Mullen didn’t object to.

Bartholomew also notesAlex Mullen's company website has a blurb from Dan Wootton calling him ‘one of the best connected Showbiz PRs in the industry’. His dependency on people like Wootton for his livelihood may explain his intervention against Prince Harry on behalf of the tabloids”.

Close to Dan Wootton? Sure is. After Desperate Dan bagged an award, he simperedAMAZING!! Many, many congratulations to you sir. You should think about taking up this reporter lark full time. You’ve got the knack”. There was alsoHappy birthday to the delightful [Dan Wootton]”.

Brutus Moriartus, this man is a bit of a crawler

And where the deeply unpleasant Wootton stands on Haz’n’Megs we all know. Richard Bartholomew has it spot on: Mullen is merely being not just a useful idiot, but an obvious and sickening creep. Also, a little examination of his Twitter feed shows him to be a weapons grade hypocrite. Not that any of that gets past the press, which is interested only in recycling his claims.

Without doing anything resembling journalism. No change there, then.

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