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Tuesday 30 January 2024

Laurence Fox - Maybe More Lawsuits

And so it came to pass that former minor thesp, failed chanteur and never-even-started politician Laurence Fox was gripped by very temporary candour on the subject of legal costs. He was, he confessed to anyone not yet asleep, in it for two million. That’s a 2 with six zeros and no decimal points.

Dear Larry. Dear Dear Larry. Dear Smearing Larry

So what did he then do? What would a suitably contrite individual have done? What would a rational and sensible person have done? What would Nietzsche have done? Sadly, Dear Dear Larry does not operate at that intellectual level, instead opening mouth and inserting foot in no style at all, premiering a new film, Carry On Defaming. He demonstrated sufficient idiocy for Bill and Ben to have called him a Complob Floggin’ Wonker.

His first target was Nicola Thorp, who had declared “We won. On all counts”. Fox snappedI’m not sure you did. Anyone who hires [Nicola Thorp] does so in the knowledge that she is unequivocally, unashamedly and publicly a racist. Sue me”. He chose his words … poorly. It was, as Sir Humphrey might have put it, a brave action. Maybe it was a little too brave.

Some of the responses should have let him know he loused up: “responding to loosing a defamation case by defaming the same person, great work Einsteinwas one. A more contemporary reply wasI see you’re pursuing the winning E Jean Caroll v Trump strategy. Keep going mate”. Plus a statement of the bleeding obvious: “It’s as if you’ve got a fetish for getting sued”.

And it got worse: as the Tweeter known as GB News Spin Room has told, “Fox’s statement outside The High Court revealed he’s ‘two million bloody quid in’ and intends to appeal the decision”. Like he has a chance of success. Not when that Tweet added “He proceeded to call Gary Lineker a ‘massive racist’ adding ‘good luck Gary, you’re not suing me’”. Oh dear!

Unlike Fox, Lineker has both current career and significant reputation, which could suffer serious damage were he not to take action, even if it went no further than Fox being prevailed upon to say sorry, promise not to repeat the statement, and make a donation to charity by way of amends. And do it now.

Fox smeared WHO?

What Fox seems not to understand is that his own past behaviour sets him apart from those he slags off, as the Guardian report on his loss reveals. During the trial, “Fox suggested there were contexts in which the phrase ‘I hate black people’ was not racist. He said: ‘If a man is just released from a Ugandan jail where he’s been gang-raped by several men and he walks out and he goes: “I hate black people”, it’s a sort of understandable response.’

Could it get worse? Don’t ask. “Asked whether it was racist to say ‘Black people in the UK should go home’, Fox replied: ‘Depends on what context.’ During the trial, Fox dismissed the Black Lives Matter movement as ‘grift’ and ‘a Ponzi scheme’. He added: ‘We’re all equal in the eyes of god, so all lives matter.’ Fox also insisted that he had been subjected to anti-white racism”.

Ah, the old phoney Anti White Racism ploy. Foot in mouth any more than that? “He also described the idea of white privilege as ‘disgusting racism’ and added: ‘I choose to understand white privilege as a racist insult because it’s about the colour of your skin, and it’s not about the content of your character.’” No, it’s about a fact. Called White Privilege. And there was more.

Fox also told the court that footballers who took the knee were cowards, and loudly chanted a New Zealand haka to try to illustrate his point. He told the court: ‘The New Zealanders going to a rugby game going, “Whakaka tu ka pu pu", you know, it’s to intimidate your rival because you’re about to beat your rival. I think kneeling before your rival makes you look like a bit of a coward who’s going to lose the game.’” Thus did he not dispel the racism claim.

As to “career ending”, Matthew Black had this caution. “Laurence Fox & his opinions first surfaced on #bbcqt in Jan 2020. He'd made just two films in the previous decade. Aside from 'Lewis' which ended in 2015, he had appeared on TV just 5 times in the previous decade! He'd barely worked in years. What acting ‘career’ has he lost?” But he could lose even more money.

Laurence Fox may not yet be finished. But you can see it from there.

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Monday 29 January 2024

Laurence Fox - YOU LOST

Due to the inability of Himself Personally Now and his cheerleaders to keep their Norths And Souths shut, we knew that former minor thesp, failed chanteur and never-even-was politician Laurence Fox was to have judgment handed down at 1500 hours today in the defamation action brought by two individuals whom he had smeared as paedophiles.

Dear Larry. Dear Dear Larry. Dear Losing Larry

He had told his followers on Twitter, X, or whatever Muskrat is calling it this week, that “There aren’t many days which one can narrow down to definitely say the outcome will define the direction of travel life takes moving forward. Tomorrow, after many years is one of those rare days for me. Just after noon I will know my path moving forward”. Yes Lozza, it’s in front of you.

But do go on. “I will be making a statement outside the Royal Courts of justice tomorrow at 4pm”. Does he have to? Oh, hang on a minute, there’s been a change of schedule. “I will now make my statement at 3:30 outside the Royal Courts of Justice, because I’ve read the judgement and absorbed it”.

You’ve lost, haven’t you? But he did have some supporters, not least flap-mouthed bigot of no fixed vanity Julia Hartley Dooda, who trilledGood luck [Laurence Fox]. It's easy for people to sling outrageous slurs around but freedom of speech doesn't include the right to lie about someone's character”. But she made no more sense than in her TalkTV rambles.

Larry’s exhibition of FREEZE PEACH had one effect, and that was to alert his critics, who, verily, number as the grains of sand in the desert. And yes, he lost. He lost twice over. As the Guardian has reported, “The actor and rightwing activist Laurence Fox has lost a high court libel battle with two men he called paedophiles after they called him a racist. The former actor defamed the men when he used the slur on social media”. There was more.

The Reclaim party founder was sued by Simon Blake, a former Stonewall trustee, and Crystal, a drag artist, over a dispute on Twitter, now X, in October 2020. Fox, 45, called Blake and the former RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant paedophiles in an exchange about a decision by Sainsbury’s to provide a safe space for black employees during Black History Month”. And more.

Fox’s call for a boycott of the supermarket had prompted claims by Blake, Seymour and Nicola Thorp, a former Coronation Street actor, that he was a racist. Fox counter-sued, telling the high court that being accused of racism was a ‘reputation-destroying allegation’ and ‘career-ending’”. Well, as Kenneth Wolstenholme once said, it is now. His counter claim failed.

Mrs Justice Collins Rice concluded “Mr Blake’s and Mr Seymour’s claims succeed. Mr Fox’s counterclaims are dismissed”. So they sued him, and he lost. He sued them, and again, he lost. So Dear Dear Larry will now be liable for all of his own costs, and all of theirs, in addition to any damages that may be awarded. What d’you reckon, a cool half million all up?

As Fox had already stated “Just after noon I will know my path moving forward”, one has to wonder what role Jeremy Hosking will play in all of this. The Brexit backer and twelve-inches-to-the-foot trainset owner had previously given significant funding to the Reclaim Party, Fox’s political vehicle. Maybe his generosity has reached its limit. Maybe Fox will declare bankruptcy.

Still, at least Ms Hartley Dooda, full of worthless opinions but with no legal qualifications, is still in Lozza’s corner: “This is a ridiculous ruling. It was blatantly clear in his posts that [Laurence Fox] did not believe the two men were paedophiles. He was simply trying to point out that it's wrong to make horrible unfounded claims like ‘racist’ or ‘paedo’. against people that hurt their reputations”. Like he did. Which caused him to come unstuck.

They never learn, do they? Settle as soon as you can and live to fight another day. As Nicola Thorp put it, “The same man who later told a black man to ‘fuck off back to Jamaica’, posted pride flags in the shape of a swastika and shared blacked up images of himself and his children. It’s time that Mr Fox accepted that any damage to his reputation is entirely his own doing”.

There goes Laurence Fox, on his way … out. Just rejoice at that news.

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Sunday 28 January 2024

Labour - Press And Pundits Wrong

The right-leaning part of our free and fearless press has, since the Tories’ poll lead vanished and Labour went in front by a margin now over 20%, tried every tactic in order to instruct their readership to vote in line with the superior insights of their editors, hacks and pundits. Every trick in the book of dirty tricks has been deployed. And the result thus far is total abject failure.

Soft left? Extremist doctors? How shall I put this ...

Some of the scare stories are off the scale batshit, exemplified by Janet Daly of the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph, someone who can be located in the no man’s land between “has-been” and “never was”, today bringing readers “Capitulation to the soft Left has ruined Britain”. Another who, in the days of Bill Deedes, would not have got in the Tel’s door.

Tory attempts to stop the Tel being sold off are pointless, though: free markets are wonderful until they mean your main propaganda conduit getting sold, all right-wing hands on deck, wittering about FREEZE PEACH, all this will be to no avail, sale or no. Hello press and pundits - you are facing an electorate that cares only about securing one outcome - sending the Tories packing.

Sure, there has been some unhappiness at Labour’s stance on the behaviour of Israel and its security agencies recently, and some high profile resignations, but this, as the saying goes, has been “priced in”. Many of those voters will return to the Labour fold come the General Election, and those that don’t are not going anywhere near the Tories. And it gets worse.

The more traditional attack lines, like trying to pick apart your opponent’s tax and spending plans, won’t work either. So the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog wetting themselves over Labour’s environmental commitments “only being an objective”, and not a spending commitment, is also pointless. The public mind is made up.

Worse, the filter being applied by many voters is merely entrenching their view: tax and spend attacks are filtered out, but the horror show of post-Brexit realisation that many who voted Leave were conned is not. Attempts to deflect the Post Office scandal onto either Labour, the Lib Dems, or both, have failed. As for the broadcast cheerleaders, no, that ain’t working, either.

... that's what that is. And pointless with it

Fiona Bruce realised that when she told a BBC Question Time audience that many of them would be voting Conservative, only to realise that they would not. Laura Kuenssberg has tried a variation on that today by telling Yvette Cooper that many viewers would disagree with her. She doesn’t have the immediacy of a studio audience. But she’ll find out that was wrong.

If the Tories and their hangers-on want to know what is going on, they need to stop and think: contrary to all the talking up of Tory Prime Ministers from Young Dave to Treeza to Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson to Liz Truss to Rishi Sunak, voters know all of them do not measure up to who went before, whether it is Tone or Pa Broon they use as a comparator.

Voters also know that Ms Truss and her pals from Tufton Street came mightily close to totally screwing the UK’s finances. They know Sunak is irredeemably out of touch and dishonest with it. They know, especially, that the media class, yes, including Ms Kuenssberg, talked up Johnson when the bloke was monumentally inept, dishonest, selfish, lazy, and totally uncaring.

Yes, a few on the fringes will listen to pundits from Gammon Broadcasting™ News (“Bacon’s News Channel”) and believe the barrage of lies being broadcast. To a lesser extent, this is also true of Murdoch media noise floor occupant TalkTV. But these people will not swing constituencies from one party to another. Nor will the increasingly cruel Government policies.

The Rwanda plan, apparently thought up on the fly by Bozo as another of those wizard wheezes to get through another news cycle, is unlikely to see anyone deported. Cutting already inadequate benefits may get a few bigots on board, but so many voters will move the other way as to negate them. The next two by-elections, Kingswood and Wellingborough, are highly likely to be lost by the Tories. Heavily. Whatever the press try to dream up.

Save your breath, Tory backers. The voters want your team out. That is all.

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Wednesday 24 January 2024

Robbie Gibb - A Suitable Case For Sacking

Showing a taste for investigative journalism that gives the impression of having evaded the Guardian since his departure from the editor’s chair, Alan Rusbridger has been tenaciously following the money on the saga that is Gibbgate. In doing so, he has exposed the incestuous relationships behind the Tories’ arguably malign influence on the BBC.

Robbie Gibb

It was now former MP for Mid Bedfordshire (yes, it’s her again) Nadine Dorries who let slip that Robbie Gibb, Tufton Street regular, rabid Brexiteer, allegedly active agent of CCHQ, and BBC Board member despite also being the 100% owner of another media outlet, had lobbied her to appoint Stephen Gilbert as head of Ofcom, rather than Michael Grade.

William Shawcross allegedly backed Gibb’s bid for the Jewish Chronicle, a title that has launched a campaign against the BBC. As Commissioner for Public Appointments, he is now charged with the decision whether to investigate Gibb’s role in nearly getting Gilbert the Ofcom job. Samir Shah, who helped appoint Gibb to the BBC board, is now being urged by MPs to investigate Gibb. Yet the Beeb is loath to dispose of Gibb.

Rusbridger has notedGibb was nominated by a friend, the mysterious Downing Street fixer, Dougie Smith - even if Downing Street strangely doesn’t list him, or answer for him. He’s the Man who Never Was … He was interviewed for the role by Samir Shah, nominated as next BBC Chair”.

There is more. "Gibb - clearly a partisan figure - is now the most powerful BBC Board voice on ‘impartiality’ and has clearly influenced Government thinking - on show this week with Lucy Frazer touring the studios”. Ms Frazer did not make much of a case for lack of impartiality, and allegations of leftward bias. But then another facet of the story is opened up.

He’s the key voice on the most critical BBC Board Committee - which will rule on any issues to do with Israel-Gaza. He is, simultaneously … the sole owner of the Jewish Chronicle … The attempt to fix the Ofcom chair may be investigated by William Shawcross, commissioner for public appointments. But … he was part of Gibb’s consortium to buy the Jewish Chronicle”.

And then comes the most likely reason that Gibb is still in post, and still allegedly interfering at programme level with BBC content. “BBC journalists told me he has intervened at story level. Senior execs told me he’s seen as key to the BBC getting funding. Bit by bit I began to understand why the BBC might want to circles the wagons around him”. Which begs one question.

The Tories are facing an upcoming General Election in which they are expected to lose hundreds (plural) of seats. A panic has gripped the party and its hangers-on, to the extent that the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph has today carried an alleged story headlined “Oust Sunak or Tories will go [?] extinct, warns former cabinet ally”. And who is this ally?

Simon Clarke is the name, and witless panic is the game. Clarke got his K in the resignation honours list of disgraced former alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. His intervention is believed to enjoy the support of lauded, but failed, Brexit negotiator David Frost. Most of the party does not agree with him. But it shows how the Tories know they’re screwed.

Which means that, when The Blue Team gets thrown out by the electorate, there will, soon afterwards, be no need for the BBC to depend on Gibb to square a Government that has vanished down the road. At that point, the Corporation could - and should - decide that someone who is a 100% owner of another, and highly critical, media outlet should not sit on its board.

Someone who supports one political party, and sees stories only through the prism of CCHQ, should not be allowed anywhere near the Beeb’s decision making process. At the same time, more than one of the Corporation’s presenters might also, as the saying goes, consider their position.

The time of Robbie Gibb at the BBC was for a time, but not for all time. Soon we will be able to add to that the exhortation Just Rejoice At That News.

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Monday 22 January 2024

BBC Bias? No, Press And Tory Lies

Today has brought a superb example of relentless press falsehood and misinformation gradually seeping into public consciousness, that result then being fraudulently used to peddle yet more falsehood and misinformation. The target is the BBC, whose level of impartiality the press cannot equal, and so it has to be dragged down to the level of right-wing propaganda rags.

The Tories have briefed the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph in pursuit of their target, telling readers “BBC faces tougher scrutiny over bias … Ofcom to police web and social media as minister raises viewers’ impartiality fears”. And those fears are what, exactly? Ah, but that, as Number Two told Number Six, would be telling. So we aren’t told.

That this is just another load of weapons grade bullpucky is then given away in the first paragraph. “BBC audiences think the Corporation is not ‘sufficiently impartial’, the Culture Secretary says today as she announces tougher scrutiny of the broadcaster to deal with perceived bias”. Those quote marks are because there is no evidence to back up the claim.

You think I jest? It did not take much probing from concerned journalists during this morning’s media round for Lucy Frazer (for it was she) to be exposed simultaneously as both utter charlatan and busted flush. It did not help that her interview on ITV Good Morning Britain was conducted by Susanna Reid, who knows a little about working at the Beeb.

What is the BBC not impartial on?” she asked Ms Frazer. Who stonewalled from the off. “A large part of that will be about its news, but also in its programming as a whole”. “What are people complaining that the BBC is not impartial about?” asked Ms Reid, possibly knowing her interviewee had no evidence. More flannelling. More waffle. But then came a specific.

Sort of. “What is BBC News getting wrong?” asked Ms Reid. “Take, for instance, the recent coverage … Gaza and Israel … What we saw there was that the BBC … a significant number of complaints … and what we’ve seen is that it did make an error”. Making an error is not bias, or lack of impartiality. And it got worse as Ms Frazer arrived at Sky News to talk to Kay Burley.

Come on Kay! “Do you think the BBC is biased?” What say Ms Frazer? “I do think that, on occasion, it has been biased, yes”. Ms Burley was not impressed. “In relation to what?” Out came the Israel - Gaza example and the Beeb saying sorry. There was a difference between a mistake and bias. “There is a perception among the public that the BBC is biased” she claimed.

Ms Burley continued to be unimpressed. “I’m talking about evidence of bias. Where’s the evidence?” Ms Frazer offered “The evidence of bias is what the audience believe …”. That, Ms Burley corrected her, was perception, not evidence. There was, though, evidence from Ofcom, who had done questionnaires and studies. So maybe someone could pony up the results?

Until then, all we have is the Tel whining “The BBC was last month accused of offering a ‘steady diet of woke bias’, with a review of its output suggesting prejudice in coverage of debates over race and gender”. Who made the accusation? What review? Why a mere “suggestion”? And while you’re at it, give a definition of “Woke”. And why you’re misusing the term.

This is nothing more than an attempt by the Tories, and their pals in the right-leaning part of our free and fearless press, to go after the BBC on the back of absolutely zero evidence. In the days of Bill Deedes’ Telegraph, this excuse for journalism would have been instantly spiked, if anyone had been foolish enough to offer it up for publication. The culprit may then have been sacked.

But the claims of bias are given the full support of the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog. Who shill remorselessly for the Tories without having to face the inconvenience of questioning. This tells you that the Telegraphstory” was prompted by CCHQ. It also shows why the Tories are so frightened about the Tel changing hands.

No use peddling this drivel if ministers cannot defend it. Just a thought.

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Sunday 21 January 2024

The Mail - Politics’ Malignant Cancer

As the dust settles on the bad jobs news from South Wales, with between 2,500 and 3,000 due to lose their livelihoods this year as the Port Talbot steelworks makes the transition from coal-fired to electric arc furnaces, there is our free and fearless press telling the electorate what to think about the news, with the inmates of the Northcliffe House bunker in the vanguard.

Who might have caused vaccine uptake to fall?

And the Mail hacks are carrying out their orders despite their having called this one wrong. It is the Mail way: call it wrong, be called out, double down, smear those doing the calling out, demonise anyone of inconvenient thought, then at a convenient distance down the track, play the other side of the field, coming over all righteous over something they advocated in the first place.

So what’s caused the job losses at Port Talbot, owned nowadays by Indian company Tata Steel? Mail pundit and former Murdoch editor Andrew Neil was in no doubt. “Port Talbot is the latest victim of the Tory Government's headlong rush towards Net Zero carbon emissions which has pushed up British energy prices and made what's left of our heavy industry uneconomic”.

This evidence-free claim has been taken up by the Mail on Sunday’s political editor Glen Owen: “Critics have argued that the Net Zero target of eliminating additional greenhouse emissions by 2050 was helping to cripple the UK's industrial base. The job losses at Port Talbot, Britain's biggest steelworks, follow the replacement of its blast furnaces with an electric arc furnace that will emit less CO2”. What did former First Minister Carwyn Jones think?

It was put to him that Tory MPs and the likes of former Brexit Party Oberscheissenf├╝hrer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage had blamed the job losses on “Net Zero hysteria or climate policy”. His response? “Why is it that the Netherlands’ plant at IJmuiden, and Tata’s operations elsewhere in the EU, are not being affected … it’s the UK’s operations that are talking the brunt”.

There was more. “We’ve seen what’s happened in the EU, we’ve seen what’s happened in the UK, why the difference? Brexit has created all this uncertainty … When you leave one of the world’s biggest markets, it is inevitable that you will not have the same ability to export unless you put in place … arrangements to enable you to do as you did before”.

Which had not happened. But for the Mail titles, this could not be admitted, as the Daily Mail had shilled for Brexit. Therefore it could not be Brexit’s fault. Worse, had the Government not bunged Tata £500 million to make the electric arc transition, Port Talbot would most likely have closed completely.

And what happened last time there was a Lawson Boom?

That would have been 8,000 jobs down the pan. And the previous day, the Mail was bemoaning “UK GRIPPED BY MEASLES CRISIS … ‘National incident’ declared over disease we wiped out in 2016’”. Not a shred of self-awareness: the Mail spent years demonising the MMR jab. So take-up fell.

Then Mail pundit Melanie “not just Barking but halfway to Upminster” Phillips churned out article after article. “MMR safe? Baloney” she told, on the back of no medical qualifications whatever. No matter: the Mail declared her to be a “top writer”. Now, people are contracting measles and some will die from it. The Mail does not care. Nor does it care about its backing of dud leaders.

It backed Liz Truss. I’ll type that one again: IT BACKED LIZ TRUSS. It launched a virulently anti-Semitic attack on then Labour leader Ed Miliband - then came over all righteous when Miliband’s successor was smeared as an anti-Semite. It backs the most inept, corrupt and malign Government the UK has known. And today it is openly backing another political wrong turn.

HUNT: TAX CUTS WILL SPARK NEW LAWSON BOOM” it today’s headline. Except, as Jonathan Portes has observed, “The ‘Lawson Boom’ was a catastrophic episode of macroeconomic mismanagement that ended in economic and political disaster”. Which preceded a painful recession. Only after Black Wednesday and the ignominy of another Sterling devaluation did the economy begin to recover. The Mail wants a bit more of that.

Whatever the Mail wants, the UK suffers when it happens. This is not a newspaper. It is a malignant cancer on the body politic. That is all.

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Thursday 18 January 2024

Brave 30p Lee Ran Away

Yesterday evening, the Rwanda Bill came back before the Commons for the vote which would define the scale of rebellion facing Rishi Sunak. There had been predictions of as many as 80 Tories voting against their own party. But cometh the hour, cometh the act of spineless cowardice: the rebellion mustered a mere eleven votes against. The rebels had run away.

As the BBC reported, “Rishi Sunak has succeeded in getting his key Rwanda bill through the House of Commons after a Tory rebellion failed to materialise … Dozens of Tories thought the bill was flawed and had threatened to rebel but in the end, only 11 voted against it … The bill could have fallen if about 30 Conservatives had voted against it”. What a complete damp squib.

So who actually voted against? “However, in the event, just 11 MPs - including [Robert] Jenrick and former Home Secretary Suella Braverman - voted against it. Other Tory MPs on the list include Miriam Cates, Sir Simon Clarke, Mark Francois and Danny Kruger … Eighteen Conservative MPs did not record a vote”. And who might that number have included?

Who was so bullish about voting against the Bill that he resigned as a party deputy chairman? Ah yes, Lee Anderson, set to lose Ashfield big time when the General Election finally comes along, perhaps being relegated to third place. 30p Lee was going to vote against, but then he did a cowardice.

Here’s part of the excuse note: “Tonight, I was going to vote no. I went into the No Lobby to vote no [nowt gets past him, eh?], because I was, you know, I couldn’t see how I could support the Bill after backing all the amendments”. So what was his problem? “I got into the No Lobby, I spent about two or three minutes with a colleague in there. The Labour lot was all giggling and laughing and taking the mick”. So what? He’s big and hard. No problem.

Except that was all it took to cause brave 30p Lee to turn tail and run away. “I couldn’t do it, in my heart of hearts I could not vote no, so I walked out, and come out, so I’ve abstained. I wanted to vote no, but when I saw that lot in there laughing, there’s no way I could support them above the party that’s given me a political home”. Whips leaned on him, did they?

So, I hope the bill succeeds, you know I’ve got my reservations … it’s upset me, honestly, over the past 24 hours, it’s a difficult thing to do, not to support the Government that’s been really good to me, and good to Ashfield, let’s remember this Government has given Ashfield record amounts, investment”. Was he reminded of that before deciding to bravely run away?

Labour’s Ian Byrne was unimpressed. He was very specific on why he ended up in the No Lobby: “Last night I voted against the Tories' immoral Rwanda Bill … Refugees didn't create the NHS crisis … Refugees didn't create the housing crisis … Refugees didn't create austerity … The Tories did all the above to our communities & now they need a scapegoat”. There was more.

I’ve heard of an MPs mind being changed because of pressure from the whips in this place, but never because of opposition MPs taking the mick … Anderson was yesterday called a senior Tory in reports … Churchill must be spinning in his grave”. He added #GeneralElectionNow to that.

Why he might be able to do so with such confidence was explained by Adam Bienkov of Byline Times. “New [YouGov] poll gives Labour huge 27-point lead … LAB: 47% (+2) … CON: 20% (-2) … LD: 8% (-1) … REF: 12% (+4) … GRN: 7% (-1) … If repeated at the election, Conservatives would lose all but 41 seats. MPs facing the axe include Liz Truss, Suella Braverman, Jacob Rees-Mogg and... Rishi Sunak”. And that’s on new constituency boundaries.

The Tories are facing the loss of more than 330 seats. Even in 1997, they “only” lost 178 seats, and retained 165, taking more than 30% of the popular vote. The YouGov poll looks very much as if the racist vote will go to the so-called Reform Party. That’s how pointless the Rwanda Bill has become.

Lee Anderson is finished, and so is his party. Just rejoice at that news.

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Wednesday 17 January 2024

Tories Self Destructing

As if to show the world that they have vanished down the rabbit hole of far right populism, that they know it, don’t care, and think the electorate supports them, so-called Tory “rebels” are now causing their party to self destruct in pursuit of an ideological purity they cannot achieve. It is the ultimate example of politics as a spectator sport. But, meanwhile, no governing is getting done.

At the heart of this self-harm is, once again, the Rwanda Bill, the policy that was never intended to be anything other than a device to claim that The Blue Team was tougher on immigration, and more obviously cruel to the Forrins, especially those who were vulnerable while being not white, than any other party could ever be. It was, and is, a play for the racist bigot vote.

So racist and bigoted was the All New Rwanda Plan that it was, rightly, called out for another bout of cake-ism: wanting not to disapply international law, well, not too obviously - while perhaps doing so. For the rebels, this would not do: they wanted to very obviously disapply international law, even to the extent of denying those who were Not White and Forrin their human rights.

The Tories face electoral wipeout, Rwanda policy or no. The electorate has had enough, and is beginning to see through this charade. But, as with the Europhobic right tearing the party apart in the mid-90s, the nationalist right of the party refuses to back the Rwanda Bill unless it’s cruel enough for them.

As Russ Jones has reminded us, “the Rwanda policy was announced the day after the Sue Gray report came out. It was only ever intended give the Daily Mail a one-day headline that didn't have to mention Partygate. It wasn't meant to actually HAPPEN. And it will never work. It is mad that the Tories have now adopted this electorally unmandated, vastly expensive, gormless exercise in distraction as an ARTICLE OF FAITH”. More than £200 million. For nothing.

And as Lizzie Dearden has also reminded us, “The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has conducted a legal assessment of the UK government's new Rwanda treaty and bill - and concludes the scheme still violates international law”. The Tory right don’t care. They want more cruelty.

Just to show how much they don’t care, 60 of them voted against their own Government, as in “for some value of Government”, yesterday. The Mail has tried to prod this convocation of stupidity with the “Party Unity” cattle prod, suggesting that carrying on the rebellion will usher Keir Starmer into Downing Street. That falls down with the inference that a little more unity might save the Tories. It won’t. Even Rishi Sunak’s latest sly move has been rumbled.

Aubrey Allegretti reportedI'm told that updating the civil service Code is seen by some as a nuclear option - and another plan is being devised … It would remind civil servants of their duty under the Code to serve the govt of the day with impartiality … In the context of the Rwanda bill, civil servants would be told to adhere to the legislation and therefore follow decisions made by ministers, if they decide to ignore Rule 39 orders”. Dump on the Civil Service.

But the damage is done, with two deputy chairmen resigning to vote against their own Government. Which, in calling Lee Anderson and Brendan Clarke Smith “top Tories”, just made The Blue Team look worse still. The Tories were self-destructing; the only problem for hacks was honest reporting.

Or not. Christopher “No” Hope, at Gammon Broadcasting™ News (“Bacon’s News Channel”), claimedPressure building. Mark Francois, Chairman of the European Research Group, has asked Tory MPs to a ‘special plenary meeting’ of the ERG tonight at 5pm ‘along with the other Parliamentary groups’. The meeting will discuss the remaining stages of the Rwanda Bill”. Idiot.

It was left to, of all people, the odious flannelled fool Master Harry Cole to admit the game was up. “So many ministers, spads, spinners and general Tories just seem utterly done… So many leaving, standing down, moving on, updating their linkedin... etc. The fight has gone. ‘It is what it is’, says one... in a job others would once have given their right arm to get”.

The Tories are not yet totally finished. But you can see it from there.

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Sunday 14 January 2024

Graham v Lennon - Seconds Out

In another of those Hamilton v Fayed moments - meaning you wish they could both lose - two of the most unappealing loudmouths on the right may not yet have come to blows, but have not seen eye to eye. This minor tiff concerns Mike Graham, the Mr Blobby of Murdoch noise floor occupant TalkTV, and Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson.

In one of Muskrat’s less wise decisions, The Great Man decreed that some of those previously banished from Twitter, X, or whatever he’s calling it this week, should, for the purposes of FREEZE PEACH you understand, and nothing to do with promoting the far right, honestly, be allowed back into the fold. And so it came to pass that Lennon was one of the lucky ones.

He has, since his return, been ploughing the same furrow, bashing those out there who do not concur with his world view, and ranting about the Scary Muslims™, while letting anyone and everyone know he’s not at all racist, honestly, and if you say he is, he might just want to rock up on your doorstep and engage you in one of those allegedly polite conversations.

So what happened between him and the deeply unpleasant Graham? Simples. Someone asked the TalkTV feed “Can I ask and hopefully you will respond! Why don’t you interview [Tommy Robinson] onto any of your shows?” Graham was the one who bit. “Because he’s a nasty little individual. I have no time for him”. What say the individual who started the conversation?

I think stating a nasty ‘little individual’ is not a good thing to say! Given some of the awful peeps you have on your show! Would you say that? Or is it just producer/ Ofcom thing free speech is free speech you are clearly accomplished at debating so do it! It will be massive”. Come on Mike! “No it won’t. He’s got a small following of people who think he’s great. I’m not one of them. Sorry”. He later addedI’m not a crook, or a felon, or a liar. I stand by my reputation. He doesn’t even use his real name ffs”.

That’s what they call Farting Talk in the Deep South. So away went Lennon. “Mike the coward Graham”. What say The Great Man? “Are you going to threaten me again Steve? Do f@ck off”. Ah, but it wasonly a debate”: “I’m talking about a debate Mike don’t be a Pansy”. All friends together, eh?

Maybe not Graham: “You couldn’t debate a bloody cat mate. You’re yesterday’s man. Give it up. No one cares what you think”. One of Lennon’s fans tried to goad Graham. “He's got a much bigger following so why would [Lennon] go on a show to debate a nasty little man with a small following”.

After all, “It's not worth Tommy's time”. Which is why “Tommy”, as this poster calls him, wants to “debate” Graham. Who pointed out the obvious: “So why is he begging to come in then?” What was Lennon to do? Of course! He would do what he’s done with so many others - smear them as paedophiles, or at last make a few not at all subtle hints in that direction.

Following his last desperate attack on Graham - “Mike, for someone who doesn't want me on his show, you sure do have an obsession with me. Why have you posted about me nearly 50 times on your Twitter feed? You sure you don't want me on your show? You're just another media establishment shithouse coward, a simp who likes to talk shit about people, but only if you never have to face them on the battleground of free speech” - off he went.

Why don’t you get off Twitter mate and spend some time with those kids you’re always saying you lovejibed Graham. And that opened the door to Lennon. “Why is this strange old man trying to bring the conversation to my young children”. Paedo smears are never far away with “Tommy”.

He might think that’s dead clever, but Lennon needs to stop and think, if such a thing is possible. If he rocks up chez Graham, as he has done with so many others, he’s trying it on with the Murdoch mafiosi, even if it’s a rather fringe part of it. That’s not an ideal way to get some positive media exposure.

But Stephen Lennon is one of those who generates a lot of hot air, then never learns the lessons. It would be wise to drop this one. Sadly, he is not wise.

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Saturday 13 January 2024

Bozo Ultimate Hypocrisy

Even those not well disposed towards Labour leader Keir Starmer are beginning to tire of the incessant barrage of bad faith attacks from the right-leaning part of our free and fearless press. But someone out there among those who scrabble around the dunghill that is Grubstreet, or more likely in a position not unadjacent to CCHQ, must think it a worthwhile idea.

And that applies especially to those with nose to grindstone in the Northcliffe House bunker, whose roster of obscenely overpaid pundits has recently been enhanced by the dubious talents of disgraced former alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. Bozo has warned the Mail’s readership today that they should not trust this Starmer chappie on security matters.

Thus the headlineSir Keir voted to ditch our alliance with the Saudis, which would have allowed Houthi rebels to wreak even more destruction... Starmer needs to tell us why on earth we should trust Labour with our security”. As usual, you have no need to read the supporting article, with the usual Bozo rambling stream of consciousness, as you’ve been told what to think.

But here’s a hint or two of Tedious Maximus in full-ish flow: “Well, the Houthis had it coming. We had no choice but to act … Of course, there will be qualms. People in Britain will be anxious for what follows. But the lesson is clear. You cannot turn your back on a region. You cannot just disengage from problems and hope that they will not affect you in the future”.

Like, oh I dunno, Afghanistan, perhaps? But do go on. “The spate of Houthi attacks on shipping, if it continues, has the potential to do incalculable damage to the world economy - and to the UK … There was … intensified pressure on the UK government to rescind the historic agreements between Britain and Saudi Arabia - signed under Margaret Thatcher - and stop the flow of arms and military support to Riyadh”. Getting to the point yet?

One evening, October 26, 2016, all five opposition parties voted to stop supporting the Saudis and to end the military relationship … Look at those MPs who voted in 2016 to axe the UK-Saudi relationship, and let the Houthis get on with it. There’s Yvette Cooper, and Emily Thornberry, and oh yes, of course, there’s the member for Holborn and St Pancras, Sir Keir Starmer”.

Nearly there. “He was totally wrong. He was voting against the interests of the UK’s long-term partners, and effectively in favour of the Houthis … He should explain. He should also explain why on earth we should trust Labour with our security”. Boris Johnson calls security risk on someone else. Ri-i-i-ight.

Here’s the Guardian, from 2019: “A trip Boris Johnson made to Italy for a party held by a billionaire socialite ended with the then foreign secretary at an airport ‘looking like he had slept in his clothes’, struggling to walk in a straight line and telling other passengers he had had a heavy night”.

And where had Bozo been, allegedly without his security detail? Palazzo Terranova, owned by Yevgeny Lebedev, son of a “former” KGB officer. Except that you never leave the KGB, or its successor agency, the FSB. As John Sweeney spelt it out in a video [HERE], UK security agencies were not happy.

So, Boris goes to Bunga Bunga parties in Italy. Who gives a damn? I don’t. But, and here’s the rub, MI6 did. What concerned them was not what Boris was doing, but where he was doing it - the Russian mountain. I have two sources who’ve told me that MI6 was worried that Boris Johnson, when he was Foreign Secretary, was a security risk”. A cabinet minister added “Boris Johnson, because of his private life, was open to blackmail”. Kompromat.

On top of that, and, apparently, in the teeth of opposition from those pesky security agencies once more, Bozo made Yevgeny Lebedev a peer. So the son of a Russian spy now sits, when he chooses to exercise his privilege, in the House of Lords. The Government has since refused to release details about the circumstances of that peerage award. When Bozo was PM.

Boris Johnson calling Security Risk on others is jaw-dropping hypocrisy of the most blatant kind. That’s how desperate the right-wing press has become.

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Friday 12 January 2024

Ultimate Dead Cat - Start A War

It worked for Mrs T: arguably, going off to war over the Falkland Islands turned round her Premiership and, with an opposition divided, handed her a landslide victory from which, in her own words, she went on and on and on and on. But there have been so many times when this was not a wise move, not that Rishi Sunak has allowed any of those to trouble him.

Steven Swinford of the Murdoch Times appeared to have been briefed by the Government: “Rishi Sunak is holding a full cabinet call at 7.45 this evening. Ministers believe it’s about UK and US military strikes against the Houthis in Yemen. Move has been heavily telegraphed by Grant Shapps and by senior figures in the US. It is thought UK aircraft and Navy ships could take part”.

Oh goody, let’s go Bomb The Forrins. And there was more. “There was a Cobra emergency meeting of senior ministers this morning followed by a meeting of the National Security Council. Sounds like things are moving quickly … The prime minister has spoken to Egyptian president al-Sisi tonight about Houthi attacks in the Red Sea. He told him that Britain will 'continue to take action to defend freedom of navigation and protect lives at sea’”.

Protect his poll ratings, more like. Economist Richard Murphy will not have been alone when he musedThere is money available for a war tonight, but not to pay doctors. Really?” It was noted elsewhere that the decision to go bombing would not be put to Parliament. And so it came to pass.

As the BBC has reported, “The US and UK have carried out air strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen with the aim of deterring attacks on ships passing through the Red Sea. The strikes were also backed by a number of the US and UK's allies. Missiles were launched overnight into Friday, hitting dozens of sites - with some casualties reported”. And our free and fearless press?

One can almost imagine the blood lust generated in all those newsrooms. NEEEE-YOW NEEE-YOW POW POW POW DAKKA-DAKKA-DAKKA-DAKKA BOOOOOMM!!! Lots of Hairy Plane impressions. Lots of explosion impressions, but sadly, no opportunity for hand grenade throwing ones. Because it’s easier to just missile, bomb and rocket the targets.

Never mind, the headlines were just what Sunak and his beleaguered pals needed. The Mail thundered “After late-night Cabinet meeting, PM gives go-ahead for attacks with US on Tehran-backed Houthis who struck at Royal Navy … UK BLITZ WARNING TO IRAN”. The Express agreed. “BRITAIN AND U.S. AGREE TO STRIKE AGAINST IRAN BACKED REBELS”.

It got worse. Here’s BBC Breakfast: “'We are supporting this action’ … Labour leader Keir Starmer spoke to #BBCBreakfast after US and UK forces carried out air strikes against Houthi rebel targets in Yemen”. But something got forgotten in all the excitement, and that was the chance of this supposedly limited action escalating. Remember the Falkland Islands?

Two lessons from that conflict that Prime Ministers after Mrs T have been exceedingly reluctant to take on board: One, that was a self-contained war, with little prospect of escalation. No country other than the UK, and Argentina, was going to fight, and no alliance with any other country was going to be invoked as a consequence. Not like the Middle East.

And Two, the Falklands conflict had a victor, but also a loser. Argentina went to war as a means of distracting from the unpopularity of its military dictatorship and its domestic policy failure. That dictatorship did not survive for long after losing.This intervention may also turn out to develop not necessarily to Sunak’s advantage. Not after the rationale came clear.

It was all about supply chains - meaning keeping cheap imports from the Far East as cheap as before, while enabling the companies delivering the cheap imports to maintain their profit levels. This level of cynicism sits less than comfortably with the hunger-racked part of Yemen from where the Houthis garner their support. Blow you Jack, we’re all right.

And would rather keep it that way. Two more by-elections next month, mind.

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Tuesday 9 January 2024

Post Office Scandal - Press Desperate

Today’s headlines from our free and fearless press show a realisation among those who scrabble around the dunghill that is Grubstreet that the Post Office scandal, where more than 700 sub-postmasters have been falsely convicted of theft, false accounting and even fraud, was now very much a thing. So the readership of those papers needed to be instructed what to think about it.

Why oh why oh why oh why ...

What actually happened was that supposed shortfalls at Post Office branches were down to its own Horizon accounting software. As the Wiki entry tells, “In 2019, the High Court ruled that the Horizon system was faulty and in 2020 the government established a public inquiry. In April 2021, the Court of Appeal quashed 39 convictions”. And there was more.

As of January 2024, some victims are still fighting to have their convictions overturned and receive compensation, the public inquiry is ongoing, and the Metropolitan Police is investigating the Post Office for potential fraud offences”. And then “A four-part television drama, Mr Bates vs the Post Office, was broadcast on ITV in January 2024, after which the scandal became a major news story and political issue”. It was on telly! So the press woke up.

And while the Guardian is playing it straight, telling readers “Ministers have drawn up urgent plans to clear the names of hundreds of sub-postmasters wrongly convicted of theft and fraud in the Horizon IT scandal as the Government scrambles to get on the front foot over the major miscarriage of justice”, others have decided to find someone to blame instead.

Free sheet Metro, having discovered a petition out there calling for former Post Office boss Paula Vennells to be stripped of her CBE, and nothing to do with it being a part of Associated Newspapers you understand, has screamed “Outrage over scandal boss … 1m Say Strip Post Office Paula Of CBE”.

Would anyone care to blame anyone else? Well, the Daily Brexit, still called the Express, would. “Ex-minister Sir David Davis says probe into fraud is ‘long overdue’ … WHY ARE POLICE ‘FAILING TO DELIVER’ ON POST OFFICE SCANDAL?” Except that the Met are investigating the Post Office, which is why those quote marks are needed. Any more Ron Hopefuls?

... oh why oh why oh why?

But you already know that this particular honour has gone to the Daily Mail, which has gone Full Dacre today. “SHAMELESS … As national revulsion over Post Office scandal mounts, former boss STILL clings to her CBE and Lib Dem leader REFUSES to step aside”. Ed Davey represents a party of which the Mail does not approve. So He Done It. He should do what the Mail says.

There has even been a characteristically judgmental and dishonest intervention by tedious and unfunny churnalist Richard Littlejohn. So far, there have been four articles published in the past 24 hours which instruct anyone reading them to consider the Lib Dem leader to be A Very Bad Person Indeed. What none of them tell you is the Mail’s role in the scandal.

And that’s because the Mail didn’t so much as raise a peep for all those years when the only ones doing the serious investigative journalism were the likes of Computer Weekly magazine, and Private Eye. The Mail is actually capable of investigative journalism - their main problem is that this skill set usually only gets deployed when the paper wants to dig up dirt on those it dislikes.

Photo of someone’s house? What it’s allegedly worth? Photo of their car? Any unspent points on their driving licence? Any convictions? Any debt problems? Where they bank? How they voted in the 2016 EU referendum? Any religious or other affiliations that the Mail deems A Very Bad Thing? But no interest in picking up the Post Office scandal for year after year. Until it’s on telly.

Once again, actually dealing in news evades the Mail. Followed by the usual spiteful blame game, along with no acknowledgement whatsoever of those who fought to expose the facts. The Mail titles sum up the state of the London centric press: it’s only worth covering if there’s an opportunity to give anyone not out there on the right a good kicking. Why the country is screwed.

Computer Weekly remains on the Post Office’s case. Unlike the Daily Mail.

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Monday 8 January 2024

Boeing In Max Trouble

After a grim initial entry into service, with two crashes, which between them involved more than three times the death toll of the de Havilland Comet 1, an aircraft which heralded the beginning of the jet age when rather a lot was still to be learned about metal fatigue and other side effects of the step change in speed, Boeing’s latest 737 variant was settling down to safe, routine service.

But not for the first time, this manufacturer has proved to be its own worst enemy, with another of those in-flight incidents which the airline industry, and especially consumer confidence, can do without. What happened can be put directly: a 737 Max 9 lost a fuselage panel at an altitude of 16,000 feet not long after departing Portland, OR, for Ontario, CA.

The panel is used instead of an exit door in some Max 9 configurations. As the BBC report explains, “The rear mid-cabin exit door is used in dense seating configurations on some Max 9 planes to meet evacuation requirements, but is ‘plugged’ on other planes, including the Alaska [Airlines] flight”. The carrier has taken 65 similar aircraft out of service.

Added to that number are the 79 Max 9s previously delivered to United Airlines. In total, 171 aircraft have been grounded following an FAA directive. The scale of disruption is hinted at by the Beeb also telling “Alaska said it cancelled 160 flights on Saturday, affecting about 23,000 passengers”. The “plugged” door area is held in place by four bolts. All must be inspected.

Fortunately, for those living on this side of the North Atlantic, “The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is following the FAA approach, but flight disruptions on the continent are expected to be minimal. EASA said it believes no European airlines operate Max 9s with the configuration covered by the FAA order. One of the world's largest intercontinental airports, London Heathrow, said there was no impact on flights”. So how bad was the incident?

Potentially, very bad indeed: the panel blew out at just over 16,000 feet, with passengers still having their safety belts fastened. However, as the BBC report reminds us, “The cruising height of a 737 Max is around 38,000ft. At this level, the difference between the pressure inside the aircraft and the atmosphere outside is much greater. Had the door blown out here, the sudden rush of air would have been much more violent, and potentially lethal, especially if passengers were not wearing seatbelts”. And it gets worse still.


A more recent Beeb report now tellsAlaska Airlines placed restrictions on the Boeing plane involved in a dramatic mid-air blowout after pressurisation warnings in the days before Friday's incident, investigators say”. Do go on.

The jet had been prevented from making long-haul flights over water, said Jennifer Homendy of the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) … Speaking at a news conference, Ms Homendy said pilots reported pressurisation warning lights on three previous flights made by the specific Alaska Airlines Max 9 involved in the incident”. There was more.

The decision to restrict lengthy flights over water was so that the plane ‘could return very quickly to an airport’ in the event the warnings happened again, the NTSB chief added … ‘An additional maintenance look’ was requested but ‘not completed’ before the incident, Ms Homendy said”. Well, well.

Meanwhile, airlines that have committed to the 737 must be wondering what is going to happen next. A repeat of the Portland incident should be impossible for carriers like Ryanair, who thus far have restricted their new aircraft to the Max 8. But Michael O’Leary and his merry men have an order in for up to 150 Max 10s. Meanwhile, Airbus devotees are sitting pretty.

The problem for the Boeing 737 stems from the original design being rather too close to the ground for newer fan engines. Airbus could take a clean design brief with their A320 family. So the 737 had to have its engine intakes redesigned for the 300 to 800 series, with the infamous MCAS system for the Max. The company now needs to ensure it retains punters’ confidence after the Portland incident. Otherwise it could be in serious trouble.

Also, peak flying could be closer than the industry is prepared to admit.

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Sunday 7 January 2024

Telegraph - It’s Not Worth Saving

Once again, the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph is devoting part of its front page to promoting Itself Personally Now in the face of a takeover bid from Redbird IMI, a company which, it claims today, is “a private equity joint venture that is three quarters funded by the Gulf autocracy [they mean Abu Dhabi]”. And lots of MPs back their stance, honestly.

It’s just that very few names are pitched. Instead, we read that “A Cabinet minister and frontbenchers from both major parties are among 73 MPs known to oppose the bid … One Cabinet minister [unnamed] told the Telegraph: ‘I do not support the sale and hope it won’t go ahead’ … Four other Conservative ministers are also understood to have concerns”. No citation. No evidence.

So is the Tel worth keeping out of the hands of dastardly Forrins? Sadly, one look at the rest of today’s front page tells you the answer, and that answer is a resounding NO. Gone is the paper of record, its reputation trashed by pursuit of profit and the abandonment of any delineation of News and Comment. Consider three items teased or discussed on that front page.

We see Dan, Dan The Oratory Man having another go at the NHS, in his effortless stuck record manner. Hannan has been telling stories of, shall we say, variable veracity on the subject since before Zelo Street started up, which means for at least fifteen years. If keeping the Tel away from Jeff Zucker and his backers means keeping Hannan, it ain’t worth it.

Nor is the peddling of climate change denialism dressed up as “News”, as in the headline “Councils in ‘antidemocratic’ dash to beat Net Zero targets”. This piece is underpinned by “Research by … Climate Debate UK”. Yeah, they only want a debate about it! FREEZE PEACH!! Let’s hear from CDUK, then.

New sales of petrol and diesel cars are set to be banned, and ordinary people are being priced off the road [doesn’t follow - no citation]. The domestic gas boiler is due to be replaced with expensive and inferior heat pumps [pejorative - no citation], requiring extensive retrofits of our homes at yet more expense [no citation]”. Got any actual evidence?

Governments, technocrats and ideologues pursue ever more intrusions into our lives, with plans to control our diets and change our behaviour [flat out lying]. Smart meters will ration our energy use through time-of-day pricing, and will switch off our appliances at the push of a button in some far-away office [more lying]. We are going to be confined to ’15 minute neighbourhoods’ [and yet more lying]”. So that’s NO actual evidence, then.

CDUK then pull another whopper by claiming dissenting voices are being shut out, when, with the assistance of the wacko part of our free and fearless press, dissenting voices are all we hear. And with the main headline in today’s Tel, it gets worse. “Sunak: I’ll cut tax by curbing welfare … Help for taxpayers in spring to be followed by additional pledges in run-up to election”.

Which means, as Adam Bienkov of Byline Times observed, “So a plan to cut support for some of the poorest people in the country in order to cut taxes for the wealthiest four per cent of estates”. Many of those on Universal Credit are also in work. What is Sunak proposing? Hitting the disabled, the long term sick, and carers? More likely, this is what the Tel is pushing.

As to the idea that Telegraph Media Group, which owns the Tel, and the increasingly alt-right Spectator magazine, is some kind of British institution, here’s a snippet from its Wiki entry: “In June 2023, the group was put up for sale, after its parent company B.UK, a Bermuda-based holding company, went into receivership”. A Bermuda-based holding company. Yes, well.

Moreover, the idea that Tel equals News is for the birds. As Dave Hill of OnLondon put it, “The [Telegraph] is more and more closely resembling a rogue media organisation - extremely misleading ‘stories’ if not outright lying and a sinister far-right political agenda”. It’s no longer a newspaper, but yet another propaganda outlet, filled with falsehood and misinformation.

Which means it’s not worth saving. Sold to Mr Zucker and his pals!

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Friday 5 January 2024

Julia Hartley Dooda - Consistently Racist

Pride of place on the Zelo Street wall of Acceptable Dinner Party Racism is an article by self-promoting TalkTV host Julia Hartley Brewer, from the days when the Express was a real newspaper, and she was the political editor of its Sunday edition. “Don’t draw a veil over free speech” was the headline.

Pretentious? Who, moi?

And the target was Scary Muslims™. “I’m bored with Muslims. Bored with being told what I can and cannot say about Islam. Bored with Muslims moaning about how they are victims of racism and religious intolerance because someone dares to disagree with them … These are the sort of statements that currently come under the category of ‘things that most of us are thinking but are afraid to say out loud’”. Sadly, there was more. A lot more.

We are regaled with “the professional Muslim complaints brigade … the rest of us are just tired of having Islam thrust in our faces, day in, day out … I look forward to the day the Muslim Council of Britain chooses a female leader”. Hold on to that last one for a few more minutes, it’ll come in most useful. But meanwhile, there was more of that dog-whistling to come.

No other religious group settling in Britain has felt the need to separate themselves from mainstream society to the same extent as many Muslims do [no citation] … why live in Britain if they hate our values so much? Those coming to our shores have a duty to adapt to our society … if you don’t like Western liberal values or Judaeo-Christian culture and history, perhaps Britain is not the best place for you to make your home”. Subtle or what?

Had Ms Hartley Dooda been whingeing about, oh I dunno, Jews and Judaism instead of Muslims and Islam, she would have been - rightly - run out of journalism. And thus the acceptable racism. Demonising Sharia Law is, for the right-leaning part of our free and fearless press, fine, but one peep about the Beth Din and your copy ends up - equally rightly - on the spike.

No matter, Ms Hartley Dooda then goes further: We In The West have a culture that is superior. “All cultures are not equal and some are better than others. Indeed, I would argue that our Western values are superior to the medieval values of Islam [no citation] and more highly developed and, indeed, more moral than anything than anything Islam has ever come up with”.

Well, that’s mighty white of you. Developed? Moral? Superior? Like sticking our collective bugles into other countries’ business, especially if it’s a country in, oh I dunno, the Middle East? Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, the entire Indian sub-continent, Egypt? Bombing the crap out of them? Screwing their economies?

And so we come to the latest example of Ms Hartley Dooda’s consistent bigotry, together with her selective recollection of that all-conquering culture. Now she is no longer a mere hack, but a host on Murdoch noise floor occupant TalkTV, and in the latter role has just “interviewed” Palestinian MP Mustafa Barghouti, who you can tell as he’s a doctor.

Except this was not so much an interview, but more an authorised shouting-down. “Oh my God, for the love of God, let me finish my sentence, man … maybe you’re not used to women talkingwas followed by the doubling down of bigotry as she sneered “Sorry to have been a woman speaking to you”.

Consistent. Consistently racist. Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, who you can also tell as she’s also a doctor, put it directly. “When White women wield the power of White supremacy, it’s intentional. This display of dehumanising Palestinian MP Mustafa Barghouti & disrespect of the Palestinian people is deliberate. Racist-Arab trope & entitled superiority by Julia Hartley-Brewer here is disgusting. Yeah … it’s symptomatic of a deeply racist Britain”.

This is what Sayeeda Warsi has battled against for so long. While the deeply unpleasant Doug Murray The K gets away with similar bigotry, being regularly published by the right-wing press. Ms Hartley Dooda will claim it’s only about FREEZE PEACH. Her pals out there on the right will agree, and applaud her stance. The racism will continue. Those practising it will be duly rewarded.

The only reason we don’t officially have a racism problem is simple: nobody will admit it. Nothing to see here, move along now, rinse and repeat.

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