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Sunday 30 June 2024

Farage Paranoia Boils Over

As the going gets progressively more difficult for Reform UK, the limited company pretending to be a political party, so its self-appointed Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage and his pals sink deeper into a world of paranoia, conspiracy theories, and pathetic self-pity.

Mr Thirsty has already instructed Carter, Ruck (that means it will be expensive, whoever ends up paying) over a story emanating from the Northcliffe House bunker. Then came revelations by Channel 4 News that some of Reform UK’s supporters, and even candidates, had been engaging in blatant racism. Well, colour me surprised. But Nige had a get-out clause.

One of those supporters, a man called Andrew Parker, is by profession an actor. Cue Farage paranoia: “Andrew Parker was the man that made the astonishing racist comments that have given us so much negative coverage. We now learn that he is an actor by profession. His own website says he is ‘well spoken’ but from the moment he arrived in Clacton he was doing what he calls ‘rough speaking’. This whole episode does not add up”. Yeah, right.

Farage’s sidekick Richard Tice (he’s not very nice) declared “Ch4 caught fibbing again … They said they did not know Parker … he works for them”, but Richard Bartholomew corrected him: “Andrew Parker is ‘known for Channel 4 News’ because IMDb has logged his appearance as ‘Self’ on 27 June”. Also, he might just be a Reform UK supporter.

The paranoia had already been stoked up when Mr Thirsty decided that Ofcom were agin him. “Ofcom are engaging in election interference. Their new rules will only give Reform UK 8% of the coverage. They are trying to protect the cozy club and stop new challengers like us”. He’s never been an MP, but demands more coverage because he’s going to win this time. Or he will do if he has the coverage. Perhaps. Circular argument time again.

And then came BBC Question Time, where Farage has, over the years, enjoyed the equivalent of a season ticket. The audience had to represent a range of views - it was, after all, broadcast in the immediate pre-election period - and he was roundly ridiculed by many of them. So guess what?

It was a fix! It was part of the conspiracy against Reform! He would write to the Times about it! “I have just been invited to appear on Laura Kuenssberg. I’m refusing until the BBC apologises for their dishonest QT audience. Our state broadcaster has behaved like a political actor throughout this election. Reform will be campaigning vigorously to abolish the license fee”.

He would abolish the dastardly BBC for the heinous crime of giving him a platform to spout his drivel for decades. But there was something he was not being totally honest about (again). He could not have appeared on the Laura Kuenssberg show because he was already down to attend his party’s victory rally in Birmingham. Adam Bienkov of Byline Times was tiring of the circus.

Vetting websites, audience members, TV producers and even his own activists are now conspiring against him. This is rapidly turning into one of the biggest extended sulks in political history”. LBC host James O’Brien addedThe speed with which he resorts to pathetic whining & bogus victimhood whenever he’s exposed to the mildest scrutiny is extraordinary. Whenever the bullshit & bluster fail, the bleating begins”. And then another thought enters.

What happens when Reform UK wins fewer seats than The Great Man has decided they merit? One poll claimed as many as 73 seats: if the actual number turns out to be in single figures, or they win no seats at all, expect Trump-style claims of a stolen election, and refusal to accept the result.

There was derisive laughter when Farage claimed the EU had interfered in a member state’s internal elections. There won’t be any of that if he kicks off next Friday; it will be deadly serious. The Tories believed they were entitled to power, some in Labour believe they are entitled to become MPs after purging the Rotten Lefties™. But Farage entitlement is the really dangerous kind.

Reality is, for Reform UK’s leaders, a state of mind. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

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Thursday 27 June 2024

Tory Press In Blind Panic

The realisation that, no matter how apocalyptic the Labour-bashing headlines, none of the press attacks are cutting through, and that as a result The Red Team is set to win a crushing victory in next week’s General Election, is now hitting home among the right-leaning part of our free and fearless press.

Spectator editor Fraser Nelson ...

As a result, the scare stories are being ramped up: Net Zero, Small Boats, Tax Hikes, and every last lame culture war issue, all are being thrown at a readership that long ago ceased to be interested. Other scary terms being bandied about include the alleged Supermajority about to be conferred on Labour, despite the term having no significance in the UK. At all.

But some voters may recognise it from the USA: the Supermajority has to do with the Senate, and describes a scenario where one party holds 60 or more of the 100 seats. This allows the majority party to legislate without any filibustering by the minority party. But legislation in the UK does not involve an elected Senate, and it matters not whether the party in power secured a majority of 80 or 180. If they can get a majority, their view will prevail.

All of which brings us to the increasingly alt-right Spectator magazine, and its editor Fraser Nelson, who has, over the years, used his faux-posh Scots accent to talk well, but lie badly. Nelson has seen the Labour future, and he is sore afraid. In an article for the magazine titled “How Nigel Farage became the left’s greatest weapon”, Nelson reveals his detachment from reality.

Some opinion polls say the Conservatives could be looking at as few as 50 seats, perhaps fewer than the Liberal Democrats. Starmer is believed to be on course for about 450 seats … Labour is looking at ten years of power” he splutters, forgetting that the Tories just had 14 years and screwed over the country and its economy so badly that 10 years is the least Labour needs.

But do go on. “It’s not hard to see what happens next. If the polls are right and Starmer ends up with a majority out of all proportion to his support, he will be urged to use this freak moment of power to make the political landscape more favourable to the left, just as the Thatcher revolution promoted home ownership, share ownership and other causes more favourable to the right”. Ah, the boot so firmly on the other foot.

... and his idea of press freedom

Then he loses it completely. “State regulation of the press could be forced through, stifling commentary that challenges the government”. Ah, the old “Leveson equals state regulation of the press” ploy. This is total crap. What it’s about is totally independent press regulation. Which we don’t have.

The press marks its own homework. It pleases itself. It absolves itself of racism and other hate speech, illegal information gathering, illegal surveillance, bullying, blackmail, doxxing, harassment, and other elements of its penchant for creative behaviour in order to gaslight the public, bend Governments to its will, and do all this with no-one to tell it to desist.

Have another go. “GB News, the television channel where Farage and Rees-Mogg are both presenters, may end up being taken off air”. One, GB News is not a news channel, but what Jon Stewart called Opinutainment. And Two, the only thing that will be needed for GB News to be taken off air is the plug finally being pulled on its obscene levels of loss-making. There is more.

A crushing majority will make it easier for Starmer to water down Brexit. He can sign Britain up to various regulatory schemes, taking it back into the EU’s orbit while stopping short of rejoining. Not a single member of Starmer’s front bench backed Brexit, so his team is unlikely to seek new trade deals to make Brexit work”. There is no trade deal on offer anywhere to make Brexit work.

What Fraser Nelson, and all the other right-leaning hangers-on, really fear is this: the voters, having shunned the Tories and consigned the party to the electoral oblivion it so richly deserves, may follow that with shunning the right-wing press, without whose superior insights the country would not have been reduced to an international joke. First the Tories, then their backers.

The likes of Fraser Nelson were for a time, but not for all time. Rejoice!

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Tuesday 25 June 2024

Oh Tommy Tommy - You’re An Illegal

One thing Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, dislikes is when he believes people are not being totally honest. “You’ve been telling lies about me” was his opening gambit when he rocked up on my doorstep in the dead of night. It is so very different when the boot is firmly on the other foot, as it was yesterday evening in Canada.

The Mail, friend of right but not far right, told thatRobinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, appears to have been detained by officers outside the Carriage House Hotel and Conference Centre in Calgary. Video footage showed the far-Right activist being taken away in handcuffs by a team of police as he laughed and protested that the arrest was 'absolutely insane’”.

Do go on. “He could be heard asking an officer: 'What have I got a warrant out for?' They replied: 'You've got an outstanding immigration warrant, we'll talk about it in the vehicle.' Robinson was then put in a car and driven away. It appears the 41-year-old was later released, but he claims to have now been prevented from leaving Calgary”. Are they keeping the SOB? Good!

There was more. “The English Defence League founder later tweeted: 'OK I'm free, well sort of. None of this makes sense, I'm now detained in Calgary, prevented from leaving the city … These conditions stop me from continuing my tour of Canada and meeting with guests for podcasts. I'm not even allowed to leave to travel home’”. Cos they took his passport. Carry on.

Robinson had been speaking at an event called 'An Evening with Tommy Robinson', organised by far-Right media website Rebel News and its founder Ezra Levant … He also had a speaking event booked in Edmonton tonight, with the exact location not revealed to ticket holders until this morning - but this is now in doubt. Then this Sunday, Robinson also had a similar engagement in Toronto”. A bad case of Griftus Interruptus, it seems.

Levant could be seen in the video of Lennon’s arrest pleading with Police officers to let him know where his pal was being taken, so bail could perhaps be arranged. The Great Man confirmed later to Levant that his passport had been taken and he could therefore not leave the country.

Why he got nicked was spelled out by Nick Lowles of Hope Not Hate. “Stephen Lennon (AKA Tommy Robinson) has been arrested in Canada on immigration violations. It appears that he entered the country claiming he had no convictions .....whereas of course he has loads. He will claim to be the victim, but the truth is he lied. Simple as that”. Telling lies, is he?

He won’t like that a bit. He might even have to drive 150 miles or so and doorstep himself loudly in the dead of night, doxxing the address as he goes. Then he can loudly blame someone else and doorstep them loudly in the dead of night, doxxing their address too. Then he can loudly start another grift from his adoring fans. By that time he will of course be telling THE TROOF.

After being released by Calgary’s finest later last night, Lennon took on an air of mild panic as he realised that being told that when he goes home is not down to him might mean he gets held in Canada for long enough to stop him attending his own celebratory event in late July. This, too, will be someone else’s fault, rather than his own doing for lying to get into Canada.

Which means that, yes, he is now an illegal immigrant. One observer of this situation musedTommy Robinson must be delighted to see how effectively Canadians deal with illegal immigrants”, and Louise Raw, who you can tell as she’s a doctor, reminded us that Lennon “has previously been caught travelling under TWO DIFFERENT FALSE PASSPORTS”. So he has.

So Lennon might miss his July event? Tough. He should have thought about that before lying to the Canadian authorities. If he doesn’t appear before the courts on the 29th, he’ll be in even deeper shit. And that appearance - linked to his facing a contempt of court charge and yet another stretch - really would put the lid on his freedom. Which would, once again, be all his own fault.

Stephen Lennon’s comeback tour got cancelled. Just rejoice at that news.

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Monday 24 June 2024

Tories - Bent Beyond Redemption

With its polling numbers now widely below 20% and entering wipeout territory, it might have been thought that the Tories’ situation could not get any worse - except that it has got worse, and is about to get worse still. What hundreds in and around the party are being investigated for - making a fast buck rather than governing the country - will not go down at all well with the electorate.

Or rather, that part of the electorate still prepared to vote for them before the latest scandal unfolded. That latest scandal is now being referred to as Gamblegate, Fluttergate, Betgate or Bettinggate, and allegedly involved using knowledge that the General Election was to be called for early July to nip down to the nearest bookies’ shop to get a few Bags of Sand on it.

Although some of those involved are thought to have only pitched a Monkey-sized stake, the impression of impropriety is now inescapable. Advisors, hangers-on, prospective candidates, retiring and now former MPs, and yes, even one or more Government ministers are, it seems, under investigation.

Even the Murdoch Times was reporting it, with George Grylls telling “a dossier containing a list of all bets that stood to win more than £199 has been compiled by the Gambling Commission. An industry figure said this list contained ‘hundreds’ of names. Among those known to be under investigation are Sunak’s aide Craig Williams, the Tories’ chief data officer Nick Mason and party candidate Laura Saunders - all of whom insist they did nothing wrong”.

HOWEVER. “Though Williams has admitted to a ‘huge error of judgment’, which is certainly one phrase for it”. Jo Maugham mused “When you have learned that the rules are for the little peopleand also askedIf you watched other Tory VIPs make PPE gazillions from who they knew, you might well think, 'why not grab a little for myself?’” Why not indeed.

Edwin Hayward addedSeems the Tories have learned absolutely nothing from Partygate … Back then, they hid behind ‘the police are investigating’ to avoid commenting or taking action … Now it's ‘the Gambling Commission are investigating’, but in all other aspects it's the same mistake all over again”.

By yesterday, Sky News had more, with Beth Rigby declaring “Betting scandal crisis deepens: Many more people than Tories already identified being investigated by gambling regulator re bets on election date. Watchdog widened inquiries to investigate whether people with inside knowledge may have asked third party to place bet, via [Jon Craig]”. Soon after came news that bookies’ odds were on Sunak to lose his seat come polling day.

Strangely, one thing that could help the embattled Tory leader - taking action against those betting - is not happening. But the kinds of papers that might be seen as sympathetic to the Tories, like the Times and indeed the Telegraph, are reporting the news alongside their latest lame efforts to blunt Labour progress by dredging up culture war stories that few care about.

We’re back to the Italian Job derivative, where Mr Bridger tells Camp Freddie “we need that senior Tory MP - get on to it, Freddie”, Camp Freddie asks “but Mr Bridger, what if the senior Tory MP isn’t bent?” and Mr Bridger responds firmly “Camp Freddie, everybody in the Conservative Party is bent”.

When the choice came between serving the people and making a fast buck, the modern Tory did not hesitate. Nor should the voters. Out they go, then.

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Sunday 23 June 2024

Don’t Mention The War, Sorry, Brexit

Perhaps the most surreal aspect of the General Election campaign is that the party most likely to form the next Government - Labour - is steadfastly refusing to recognise the elephant in the Economy room. The Elephant which has resulted in higher taxes, a decline in the UK’s ability to trade freely with its nearest neighbour, and therefore its attractiveness and competitiveness.

The name of the Elephant is Brexit. And Labour would rather not mention it, so frit are they of the fury that would rain down upon them from the general direction of our free and fearless press should they dare to Go There. This level of cowardice before gaining power gives every impression of enduring after Keir Starmer and Rachel Reeves take up residence in Downing Street.

But at some time, Labour will have to talk about the Elephant. Meanwhile, the Lib Dems are unencumbered by Labour’s cowardice, and John Sweeney, who is now fighting Sutton Coldfield for them, has put it directly: “I remember listening to the Brexit result in my little backyard and then it started to drizzle. Our wonderful country was conned something rotten: we have ended up with a broken economy, a blighted future and our national security endangered”.

And his solution? “The sooner we are back in the European Union the better and, if elected, I shall campaign for that … Vote for me and I shall fight for you”. Fight is the right word. Because the overmonied and intolerant part of the media class, less affected by Brexit, will fight to keep it.

They will always be able to summon a member of the punditerati to tell whoever reads the final article that the UK imposing economic sanctions upon itself is a small price to pay for the benefit of keeping all those FORRINS from making decisions that affect Brits. Screwing over farmers? Throwing the fishing industry under the nearest bus? Not their problem.

While the comfortable part of the media class can still dine at their reassuringly upmarket restaurants, can still summon tradespeople to patch up their over-valued properties, can still get domestic help without breaking the upmarket bank, and can still use the app to hail a private hire vehicle and therefore keep the hoi polloi away from them, Brexit will be excellent.

Typical of that media class is one Iain Martin, who claimed‘The Office for Budget Responsibility says UK GDP will be around 4% lower every year than it would have been had we remained inside the EU,’ reports the [Observer]. This is not what the OBR says”, only to be Community Noted and for Jonathan Portes to tell him “This is *precisely* what the OBR says”.

In the meantime, Edwin Hayward, who has written a little on the subject, has put together a thread (HERE) where he groups the benefits of EU membership under the headings of Economic Benefits, Freedom of Movement, Education and Research, Consumer Rights and Protections, Health and Safety, Workers’ Rights, Environmental Protection, Citizenship and Legal Rights, Data and Digital Rights, Cultural and Creative Industries, Trade and Business, Security, Political Influence, and Future Potential.

Put yet more directly, improving the lot of all those Ordinary and Hard Working People without sinking yet deeper into decline and a vicious cycle of higher taxation, and without Sterling losing all remaining credibility, is going to be, er, challenging without returning to the EU. With or without another poll.

It will also involve not giving con men like Nigel “Thirsty” Farage and his ability to talk well, but lie badly, equal status with leaders of democratically constituted political parties (which Reform UK, being a limited company with no internal democracy, cannot claim to be). Treat him on merit. Or lack of it.

But above all, Labour has to have the courage to talk about the EU. To be straight with the voters. This may well risk the bad faith lobbyists who lied and conned their way to success last time to crawl out of the Tufton Street woodwork. So what? They will have to be faced down whatever happens.

The average Polish citizen will soon be better off than their British counterpart. John Sweeney is right. The UK has to rejoin. That is all.

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Saturday 22 June 2024

Nigel Farage - You’re A Fraud

The potential collapse of Tory support, to the point where consideration is being given to the idea of the Lib Dems becoming the opposition after next month’s General Election, has also seen an increase in poll ratings for Reform UK and its self-appointed Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage. But with the poll ratings has come - at last - serious scrutiny.

Our free and fearless press, and those in the broadcast media, have woken up to this potential threat to the UK: Farage urged what became Brexit for so many years, and the result has been to hobble the country’s economy, to precipitate a state of national decline of the likes not seen before. Now he wants more. That this may mean more decline has not passed unnoticed.

So what never got done in the past - genuine scrutiny of Farage, his team, and his backers - is now happening. After all, that same media gave a free pass to disgraced former alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson too, and look where that got us. Now Farage is under pressure, and the edifice of bonhomie is cracking. He is being exposed as a fraud.

Worse, his sometimes wacko ideas on how the world is ordered have provoked ridicule, and from the right-wing press, disgust. Today’s Mail goes for Mr Thirsty, howling “FARAGE: THE WEST ‘PROVOKED’ PUTIN … Fury as Reform leader suggests Nato was to blame for invasion”.

There is a problem with Reform UK and its supporters claiming that Ukraine looking to join Nato, and indeed the EU, was what triggered the invasion by those in the service of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and his gangsterist régime in Moscow, one of timing: Ukraine’s move to join Nato and the EU came AFTER the invasion. So it could not have been some kind of provocation.

On the domestic front, Reform UK’s Contract With Britain (or perhaps that should be Contract ON Britain) has seen the BBC’s Nick Robinson tell Farage “In your manifesto there are promises to spend more on health, more police, more soldiers, tax cuts for this group, tax cuts for that group, tax cuts for the rich, tax cuts for the poor, everybody gets everything they want. It's like Christmas”, telling him he’s offering 50% more than Labour in 2019.

Exit ... stage right

Worse still, the promise to leave the World Economic Forum is unachievable - mainly because Britain is not a member of the WEF. And the long-standing commitment to leave the ECHR is worrying, given that this membership guarantees the right to a fair trial, the right to due process - when Farage spends so much time talking up deportations. And it gets worse still.

As David Clark has pointed out, apropos the Farage flagship feature, “This is why Reform UK deserves the designation far right. By talking about ‘invasion’ and framing immigration as an issue of national security, Farage is endorsing the conspiracy theory that it is being driven by a hostile foreign interest. It’s a fascist dog whistle”. Couple that with leaving the ECHR.

He blames Net Zero for “de-industrialising Britain”. Because it can’t be Brexit that done it. He claims exports are up, Britain going from 7th to 4th in the export league. Except this is only in services, not goods. Robinson pulled him up again on the infamous and swiftly-reversed Liz Truss “mini-budget”.

You're laughing but you said on the day of the mini budget: Today is the best Conservative budget since the 1980s.. Is that the judgment of someone who deserves to be Prime Minister?” Ah well, responded Mr Thirsty, “Some of the thinking was right, the delivery was wrong, the timing was appalling”. No, the thinking was wrong too: handing rich people a tax handout is not the way to go for growth. Propensity to save v propensity to spend, and all that.

Also, Reform UK’s stance on climate change is in the wacko category. But, although the increased level of scrutiny is welcome, the thought enters that this may have been too late. Maybe Farage will win in Clacton. Which would, perversely as it may seem, be a good thing. Because then he would have to turn up to the Commons. Where he would get ridiculed more often.

And would finally be exposed as a fraud. Pity the country is screwed, mind.

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Friday 21 June 2024

Corbyn v Bozo - Starmer Was Right

After a party leaders’ special edition of BBC Question Time yesterday evening, the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog concludedthat’s proceedings over. A bit of a snoozefest”. But after seeing this morning’s faux outrage from the right-leaning part of our free and fearless press, that opinion was hastily recalibrated.

The Beeb’s “Key takeaways from BBC Question Time election specialtells why: “why did Sir Keir [Starmer] back [Jeremy] Corbyn in the 2019 general election … Fiona Bruce [asked] whether he had meant it when, in 2019 he said Jeremy Corbyn would be a ‘great prime minister’ … He finally added he thought Mr Corbyn would have been a better PM than Boris Johnson”.

But for the right-wing press, and indeed the Fawkes massive, Bozo was their hero, his defenestration a shameful casting off of someone who had won such a conclusive election victory in 2019, albeit aided and abetted by some downright poisonous attacks on the then Labour leadership, and arguably by some within the Labour Party trying to throw the contest.

So this morning, Staines and his gofers have offered any of their readers not yet asleep this revision of history: “Keir Starmer said last night that Jeremy Corbyn would have been a better Prime Minister than Boris Johnson … An outlandish remark considering Corbyn would have sent the country into ruins”. Bad English, bad argument, bad upcoming losers.

But good for their relationship with the press, where the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph has told readers “Starmer: Corbyn better than Johnson as PM … Labour leader pinned down during debate over support for MP forced out of party”, while the Mail has gone Full Dacre on it.

CORBYN WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER PM THAN BORIS, KEIR CLAIMS … Starmer’s extraordinary answer in TV grilling by voters … The Labour leader was left squirming on live TV as he was grilled over his support for his predecessor, who he twice tried to make PM”. So is the Mail right to go into maximum pearl-clutching mode? We can more usefully consider the Jezza v Bozo question by looking at the one issue to hit the UK early in 2020.

And that issue was the Covid-19 pandemic. Bozo hesitated, acted later than he should have, and somehow became enamoured of the idea that “Herd Immunity” could save the day. Remarks such as “let the bodies pile high” did not help his cause. But Bozo’s worst Covid minus point was the revelation that Downing Street had become Party Central during the pandemic.

While the little people had significant restrictions placed upon their freedom of movement, in Number 10 there were parties where staffers and other hangers-on indulged themselves freely upon whatever bottles were to hand, with the result that many became not only Elephant’s Trunk And Mozart, but physically sick to boot, hurling their hoops on the wall to wall.

Jeremy Corbyn’s abstemious inclinations would not have countenanced such behaviour. And, as John McDonnell would have been Chancellor of the Exchequer, there would have been no chance of Covid-spreading wheezes like Rishi Sunak’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme. Jezza would have done Covid better. But the right-wing press would have moaned all the way.

And on concluding the Brexit negotiations, nothing could have been worse for the country than the frankly inept approach of Bozo and his supposed expert negotiator “Lord” Frost. Nor would there have been the infamous “VIP Lane” via which so many hundreds of millions were spaffed up the wall, to use Bozo’s happy phrase, with precious little to show for it.

So why is Corbyn not still in the Labour mainstream? Ah well. That has more to do with a new authoritarian and control-freak mentality emerging from the Labour NEC than Starmer personally. But he must tackle it sooner rather than later. The control-freak episodes were not Tony Blair’s finest hour. And they will not end well for Labour. Even though Starmer was right last night.

Corbyn would have been a better PM. Although we’re not allowed to admit it.

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Wednesday 19 June 2024

Reform UK - Unfit To Govern Whelk Stall

After reading the headline “UKIP candidate also works as porn star ‘Johnny Rockard’ [Geddit?!?!?]”, Isabel Oakeshott musedBeyond parody. I thought UKIP was grown up enough to vet candidates these days?? Epic fail!” But that was back in 2015, and she is less effusive right now, after UKIP’s successor organisation Reform UK messed up in the very same area.

Another fine mess ...

The party’s self-appointed Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage had already been the subject of media cynicism over the costings behind its manifesto commitments, which he was told directly did not add up. He and his pals then lied about the figures’ veracity. which generated yet more cynicism. But worse was to come. A lot worse. It was back to candidate vetting.

And what made Reform UK and its leading lights look yet more stupid was that they openly admitted what had happened - or, as it turned out, what they claimed had happened, before they were exposed as more stupid still. You think I jest? Rob Hutton’s initial response was “How am I supposed to write anything funnier than this Reform press release?

Several Reform UK candidates had been called out for wacko, racist or downright fascist views. This, the press release told, was someone else’s fault. “Reform UK has consulted lawyers about suing the company to which it paid £144,000 to vet over 400 of its candidates in April but which failed to return a single piece of research”. Did someone see them coming?

There was more: “Vetting dot com is co-owned by Colin Bloom, a former Conservative adviser who once worked as a faith engagement adviser under Boris Johnson, who rewarded him with a CBE … Reform UK is now exploring legal action, as well as potentially involving the Police”. Do go on.

Richard Tice, the chairman of Reform UK, said: ‘They promised a deep dive, particularly on social media, and adverse press checks, received our candidate data but then delivered absolutely nothing … Suddenly, a round of stories appear in the Times and elsewhere after nominations close, including some stories that are 15 years old. Something feels very wrong, and I have instructed lawyers to pursue this matter vigorously’”. Any more claims?

... we got ourselves in to

As if you need to ask. “Mr Farage said ‘This is an establishment stitch-up. The owner of the vetting company has deep links to the Tory party, and they have some serious questions to answer’”. Reform UK may also have some serious questions to answer after what looks like potentially actionable comments from Farage (who is himself part of the establishment).

What say Vetting? “Everyone’s working assumption was that the election would be in the Autumn, giving us the Summer to complete this work. Given the explicit need for candidate consent, as well as our systems needing basic personal data like dates of birth, our automated software was not able [to] process Reform’s candidates with the data that was provided when it was provided … Mr Bloom has not had anything to do with the UK Conservative Party since 2022 and remains politically neutral”. It then got worse.

Tom Witherow concludedIn that statement they say ‘our automated software was not able process Reform’s candidates with the data that was provided when it was provided’. That suggests that Reform did not provide the data required to do checks, or the candidates' consent forms, or it did so too late”.

Also, the Vetting FAQs contain this nugget: “Q: Are you an outsourced background screening company? A: No, we provide you with the ability to complete your own background screening in house”. Which suggests this was just a means of helping Reform vet their own candidates more rapidly.

Or, as Frances Coppola told Mr Thirsty, “Nigel ... you bought a licence to use their platform to carry out YOUR OWN CHECKS”. This is shaping up to become an outstanding example of why no-one should trust Reform UK with anything - especially their vote. More stupidity than the stupid faculty at the University of Stupid in Stupid City. And all by their own admission.

Reform UK, who went to catch a toe-hold in Parliament - and dropped it.

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Tuesday 18 June 2024

Oh Tommy Tommy - Facing Jail Again

It had all seemed so promising: Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, had produced another of his mind-numbingly tedious videos, had gathered his fans in central London, and had declared that there would be the ultimate gathering of the faithful on July 27th. He was back! No surrender, no going back! What could possibly go wrong?

What indeed. This blog has not always given groups like Hope Not Hate a free pass - after all, when Lennon came after his critics, including me, in his usual doorstepping, harassing, threatening manner, they were absent elsewhere - but this time they have stepped up to the plate and, by their actions, put The Great Man in one of those Very Difficult Positions.

So what’s going on? Nick Lowles of HnH has toldTommy Robinson has been charged with contempt of court after he is alleged to have broken a court order preventing him from reporting lies relating to the Jamal Hajazi case”. Moreover, “He will appear at the High Court for Directions on 29 July”.

The HnH feed had more. “In April 2023, we submitted a dossier of evidence and an open letter … to the Attorney General, showing how Tommy broke a court order relating to the Jamal Hajazi case … We brought to light that Tommy had aired a documentary … in breach of a court order … Our research team uncovered Tommy promoting the film around the world & interviewing a number of far-right activists”. So what say Lennon?

As if you need to ask. “I'M FACING 2 YEARS IN PRISON … Support my legal fund here”. Ah yes, the grift goes on. There is more. “I'm amazed that I get to hear about this first from a far left Antifa linked Communist hate group run by a man who you would never employ as a baby sitter. What does that tell you?” It tells me that Lennon is on the smear once again.

A man who you would never employ as a baby sitter” is dog-whistle code for PAEDO. “Antifa” is something Lennon doesn’t understand, except that it’s LEFTY and BAD and probably FORRIN. “Communist” is Ye Olde Red Scare tactic from the 1950s. And, as for “hate group”, who is it who turns up mob handed on his critics’ doorsteps in an effort to intimidate and silence them?

Lowles already has enough to fire off a Letter Before Action in Lennon’s general direction. But for Lennon, life right now is excellent: he has arrived in Canada for events in Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton. Sadly, in the meantime, he has demonstrated to the world that he has learned nothing on the subject of Contempt of Court, as one example from his feed shows.

This is potentially in Contempt of Court, and very obviously so: “remember the Syrian child Jamal who had a little bit of water poured over him, it was global news, the Syrian was invited to parliament . Every famous commentator spoke about it yet they all remain silent on these Muslims children abducting a homosexual Scottish child , tying him up & telling him they would behead him, we have a corrupt judiciary & a corrupt media”.

Lennon is, it seems, driven to make such unfortunate statements by his obsession with Islam, trying to frighten his followers with claims that Sharia Law is being implemented in the UK (it isn’t), that Muslims are going off to fight for ISIS (not easy as there isn’t ISIS any more), and suggesting to those who dislike far right attacks on them that they should leave the country.

So hung up on his irrational hatred of Islam is Lennon that he has now posted a graphic from train operator LNER titled “What is the story of Eid ul-Adha?” which goes on to talk of Ibrahim having a dream “which he believed was a message from Allah asking him to sacrifice his son Isma’il as an act of obedience to God”. Those who know their Old Testament will recognise this.

It is the story of Abraham and Isaac. Except, in Islam, they are called Ibrahim and Isma’il. The same story which is also in the Torah. But so full of bile is Lennon - and, apparently, ignorant of the Christianity he claims to support - that he goes off on one about it. And, sadly, so do his followers.

If Lennon is jailed for this alleged Contempt, he will have richly deserved it. Then perhaps he can get himself a real job. And get a life. That is all.

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Monday 17 June 2024

Question Time Bust - Bad Timing

For a supposedly unbiased and impartial political debate programme, what would be the worst time to be exposed as exhibiting right-wing bias? Well, how about two and a half weeks before a General Election, with the party favoured by one of the board of the Corporation that commissions your show expected to suffer a result somewhere between heavy defeat and wipeout?

Moreover, the party expected to come to power has a deputy leader in place who has called for that member of the Corporation’s board to resign. So it was very good timing (for those who suspected right-wing bias), but very bad timing (for those responsible for delivering the programme concerned) when the BBC’s allegedly flagship debate show Question Time got called out.

It was The Conversation (article and data HERE) which sounded the warning with the headline “BBC Question Time: analysis of guests over nine years suggests an overuse of rightwing voices”, going on to tell “Like most public service broadcasters worldwide, the BBC believes that impartiality is a core tenet of its approach to covering political debate”. There was more.

Coverage should be unbiased, balanced and objective, with no favouritism towards any side. This is monitored by the UK’s media regulator, Ofcom … our researchers compiled a dataset of all editions of the programme from September 2014 until July 2023 - a total of 352 programmes with 1,734 guest slots across the nine seasons, filled by 661 different people”.

Some people get to go on rather more than just once, then. But do go on. “Given the format of Question Time, it is not surprising to find that both Labour and Conservative politicians were well represented throughout the nine seasons”. There is a table showing how many appearances some politicians racked up. But then comes bad news for the Beeb.

Removing politicians from the list of most frequent guests shows that several high-frequency panellists are being used, most of whom come from the political right … [these are] typically opinion columnists who contribute to rightwing press outlets such as the Mail or the Telegraph, or who make appearances on right-leaning broadcasters like GB News and TalkTV”.

Do go on. “The Spectator wields significant influence, with the top five most frequently used panellists all writing for the magazine. In contrast, there is no comparable influence from leftwing publications”. So who are these “top five most frequently used panellists”? Who’s top of the Question Time Pundit Pops? Or perhaps that should read “joint top”. Here they come.

Isabel Oakeshott. Well, knock me down with a feather. And flap mouthed bigot Julia Hartley Dooda. Both on 13 appearances. Before we (eventually) get to the most-featured left-leaning voice, who is Ash Sarkar of Novara Media on six invites, we pass Kate Andrews of the IEA on 12, Tim Stanley also on 12, and Camilla Bloody Tominey on a mere ten shows.

The right-wing supporting cast also includes, all on seven appearances, the Speccy’s editor Fraser Nelson, Melanie “not just Barking but halfway to Upminster” Phillips, Peter “droning on and on and on and on and on” Hitchens, and former Screws and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan.

What say The Conversation to that? “The regular appearances of panellists such as Isabel Oakeshott and Julia Hartley-Brewer - the two most frequent non-politician guests in our analysis - raise questions about how producers choose guests”. Liz Gerard observedYou know it ‘feels’ like this, but the statistics are stark. There are no voices from the left in this list. Does it mean there are lots of left wingers appearing once or twice? Apparently not”.

As to that party favoured by one of the BBC’s own board, the name in that frame would be Robbie Gibb, a “Thatcherite Conservative”. As Angela Rayner has already called or him to resign, it’s highly likely that a Labour victory next month could see him sent Down The Road. And an overhaul of Question Time - to represent voices from across the political spectrum more evenly.

Question Time was for a time, but not necessarily for all time. That is all.

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Sunday 16 June 2024

Kate And A Media Obsession

The most telling giveaway of election coverage, the revelation that this is a campaign destined to develop not necessarily to their favourite team’s advantage, is when it vanishes from the front page. Today is one of those days, the impending loss of power by the Tories replaced by an even more inexplicable obsession - the Royals, or rather, the Royals the press likes.

That means Royalty that does not complain about the sick and creepy coverage served up by our free and fearless press. Which leads us to the return to duty of the Princess of Wales. The former Kate Middleton has had her share of creepy coverage over the years, only out-creeped by what was dished out to her sister Pippa, in the years before the latter married.

The Moniker coined - most likely by the Daily Mail, under the less than benign leadership of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre - and applied to Pippa was “Her Royal Hotness”, the kind of toe-curlingly embarrassing, borderline vomit inducing, and bang out of order leering misogyny that only the inmates of the Northcliffe House bunker can get away with nowadays.

So Kate has had treatment for an undisclosed form of cancer. So have millions of 42-year-old women, most of whom then pick themselves up and get back to work, family, home, and the rest. For them, there is no press coverage, and certainly not the fawning, creepy and obsessive diet served up this morning, telling readers in no uncertain terms what to think.

The crawling tone is set by papers like the Sunday Brexit, still called the Express, proclaiming “IT’S JUST KATE TO SEE YOU AGAIN … Princess steps out for first time in six months”, and the Murdoch Sun on Sunday simpering “Princess Back On Parade … Kate wows in return to duty after cancer shock … SUPER TROOPER”. Headline writer revealing their age.

But these were a mere hors d’oeuvres for a much more sick-making entrée: cue the Mail on Sunday telling readers “Day That Lifted The Nation’s Hearts … On cue, the sun broke through the showers to shine on her - and the whole world said in unison … It’s lovely to see you too, Kate”. The name on the by-line, to no surprise at all, is that of Sarah “Vain” Vine.

The underlying aggressiveness in the headline is so obvious: the whole world thinks like this, so if you don’t, not only are you not the Mail’s kind of people, you risk incurring the displeasure of the Vagina Monologue and his attack dogs if you so much as utter a peep in protest. Thus the fear of the press at any thought of the monarchy being binned is revealed for all to see.

Moreover, the MoS is not the worst in the crawl-fest: that honour goes to the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph, and the irretrievably batshit Allison Pearson. “Our Fair Lady lifts nation’s spirits [headline writer even older than the Sun’s] … On a cold, grey day, Princess proves a tonic at Trooping the Colour on her return to public life after cancer treatment”.


Two words. Thank you. Thank you Princess of Wales for being an absolute trouper and attending Trooping the Colour on a cold, grey day when lesser mortals with your illness would have stayed home, tucked up in their jim-jams [that would not have got past the subs in Bill Deedes’ day]. Thank you for sacrificing the privacy that is so much needed to get you back to full health”.

Whatever that means to those not in possession of servants, unfeasible amounts of money, the most upmarket of property portfolios, a Government prepared to step in and foot rather a lot of the bills, and a media class ready and willing to shit all over anyone who objects to the whole circus.

The Monarchy will endure for as long as it enjoys the support of the people over whom it continues to rule. Our free and fearless press shows that it is an integral part of an Establishment frightened at the thought of reality intruding and the Royals vanishing from view. After all, if they go, what part of the power structure not based on merit will go next? Best keep the proles in line.

Which means more fawning copy when deemed necessary. Ho hum.

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Saturday 15 June 2024

Nigel Farage - Real Anti-Semitism

Groups like the so-called Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, so keen to kick the Labour Party over anything they can call out as anti-Semitic, have developed a blind spot when it comes to the far right. And they don’t get much further far right than Reform UK’s self-appointed Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, who has a most interesting back story on the subject.

Anti-Semitic dog-whistling ...

Nige is getting a significant amount of media exposure during the General Election campaign, merely because the Tories are doing very badly, and Reform UK are doing relatively well. Added to this is the usual witless drivel from the Punditerati about Reform UK either replacing, or merging with, the Tories after the latter get the shellacking to end all shellackings on July 4.

As always with the far right, the media class is a major contributor to their rise: as it is in the UK, so it is in France with the Rassemblement National of the Le Pens, and indeed con merchants like André Ventura in Portugal with his one man band Chega. But in Farage’s case, the anti-Semitism remains unchallenged - even by groups who are supposedly there to call it out.

Take, for example, Mr Thirsty’s live-on-air rant on LBC in the days before they disposed of his services: “there are other very powerful foreign lobbies in the United States of America, and the Jewish lobby with its links to the Israeli Government is one of those strong voices”. Jewish in the USA equals foreign.

There was more. “Well, in terms of money and influence, they [the Jewish lobby] are a very powerful lobby … There are about six million Jewish people living in America, so as a percentage, it’s quite small, but in terms of influence it’s quite big”. Anti-Semitic tropes, anyone? Da Jooz running everything, divided loyalties? This, too, was not an isolated lapse.

Take, for instance, those dog-whistles that say “Jews” or “Jewish”, but use the code of nudge-nudgery. Like “Goldman Sachs”, for instance: “Goldman Sachs and big business lost the referendum” [HERE], "If Goldman Sachs are leaving London for the US, why aren't they going to their beloved European Union?" [HERE], and “Goldman Sachs & JP Morgan donating to Remain in EU campaign: the unholy alliance of big banks and big politics” [HERE].

... so why isn't it being called out?

Or the “Globalists” dog-whistle, as in “We are beating the globalists” [HERE] on Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse), “2016 was the year that nation state democracy made a comeback against the globalists” [HERE], and “The globalists are sticking together. They realise that there is a new movement across the West fighting for national democracy” [HERE].

Or how about both those dog-whistles together? “London is ranked the best financial centre while Frankfurt is 11th. We're all sick of the constant threats from Goldman and the globalists” [HERE], and of course “Rishi Sunak is a Goldman Sachs globalist, so this sellout of Brexit is not surprising. The Tories must be crushed” [HERE]. Then comes the ultimate anti-Semitic dog-whistle.

Yes, it’s SOROS! “George Soros' US money has been flowing into Europe in a huge way for many years” [HERE], “George Soros has spent billions in the EU to undermine the nation state” [HERE], “The Soros-funded attempt for a second referendum has failed” [HERE], and “Anyone who attacks George Soros is labelled an anti-Semite; however, the truth is that he funds the most appalling anti-Semitism seen in modern times” [HERE]. Oh What A Giveaway!

Nige, sadly, conflated “Jews” and “Israel” to stand that claim up, which, as any fule kno, is an anti-Semitic trope. He was still at it this week, claiming that he was being attacked by “the mob”, who were “professional protesters”, and funded by “The Soros-es”. So where is the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism?

Not, it seems, on Farage’s case. And this matters: perversely, even with Labour posting leads of over 20% over the Tories, Reform UK may be about to do something UKIP, under Farage’s leadership, could not, and that is to get him elected to the Commons, aided and abetted by many in the media class who he has played like marks for too many years.

You want real anti-Semitism? Forget the main parties. Nige is your man.

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Saturday 8 June 2024

Tory Desperation - Bozo Bigotry

Almost four weeks of campaigning still to go before the General Election, and the Tories’ attempt to remain in power has all but collapsed, after Rishi Sunak absented himself from part of the 80th anniversary D-Day commemorations, apparently because it was Forrin. One of his own cabinet, Penny Mordaunt, has had to distance herself from the action. Today’s headlines are dire.

The i Paper has “Tories in despair as Sunak D-Day gaffe ‘destroys’ election hopes”, while the Daily Brexit, still called the Express, admits “TRULY SORRY! PM’s ‘unreserved’ apology to Daily Express readers for ‘mistake’ over D-Day departure”, while the Guardian simply tells “Furious Tories turn on Sunak over D-Day snub”. Labour need do very little to win next month.

Worse, the fear among many Tories is that this will cede second place in the popular vote to Reform UK and their self-proclaimed Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage. So, in this moment of desperation, who would step forward to steady the ship, hopefully without making things worse?

Sadly for the Tories, that person was disgraced former alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, and worse still, the conduit for Bozo’s latest stream of consciousness rant was the Daily Mail, ruled over by its editor in chief, the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre. It was under Dacre’s editorship that the Mail launched its viciously anti-Semitic attack on the memory of Ralph Miliband, as a means of hobbling his son Ed.

This matters, as can be seen by the headline: “Sir Keir Schnorrer plans to slink into No10 as silently as Larry the cat - then lock us back in to the dungeon of Brussels, like a ball-chewing gimp”. ITV political editor Robert Peston heard the dog-whistle long and loud, and liked it not at all.

Boris Johnson today calls Starmer ‘Sir Keir Schnorrer’ (see attached). ‘Schnorrer’ is the Yiddish word for beggar and scrounger. It is pretty offensive. It was part of the lingua franca of my grandparents and of my childhood. I find it unsettling to see Johnson appropriating it to describe someone whose wife is Jewish - and especially when he says ‘if Schnorrer gets in, he will immediately begin the process of robbing this country of its new-found independence and make the UK the punk of the EU’”.

What the f*** have I got to do with this, c***?!?!?

He ended by adding “What do you think? Am I being over sensitive?” To which those responding in the affirmative were mainly out there on the right, few of whom seem to have noticed that Bozo has form for anti-Semitism, including in a book he wrote titled Seventy-Two Virgins.

As one letter to the Guardian noted, the book “describes ‘Jewish oligarchs’ who run the media, and fiddle the figures to fix elections in their favour … He portrays a Jewish character, Sammy Katz, with a ‘proud nose and curly hair’, and paints him as a malevolent, stingy, snake-like Jewish businessman who exploits immigrant workers for profit”. There was more on The Great Man.

As editor of the Spectator he chose to publish articles in which the notorious racist Taki Theodoracopulos boasted of being ‘an antisemite’, argued black people ‘have lower IQs than whites’ and praised Enoch Powell as a ‘great man'. Johnson defended Theodoracopulos, calling him a ‘distinguished columnist’”. Put that alongside Dacre’s past form, and look what you get.

Had Bozo just used a derivative of the word “snore”, to suggest Starmer was boring, there would have been no grounds for Peston, or anyone else, to feel uncomfortable about the headline. Although Bozo and the Mail could still be in hot water over the obviously BDSM use of the word “gimp” (including the word “dungeon” in the headline makes that one difficult to defend).

Even if action is taken, the Mail will take some shifting to remove the reference. What is worse is that we are still almost four weeks out from the poll - the derogatory content is only going to go in one direction. The problem the Mail has is not lawsuits, though, but the fact that their star columnist Bozo is damaged goods. He resigned in disgrace. Even the Tories wanted him out.

The Mail may have given up on Sunak. But they still want to hobble Labour.

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Thursday 6 June 2024

Why Labour Puts Out The Begging Bowl

Fighting a General Election is an expensive business, especially for parties looking to field candidates in every mainland seat. That means 630 or so candidates to get nominated, an equal number of deposits to pay, and thousands upon thousands of leaflets, along with all the other campaign material that helps to bring those all-important swing voters into the fold.

This does not trouble the Tories; the party of the establishment may be about to get the shellacking to end all shellackings, but it never seems to be a problem tapping their grotesquely overmonied donors. But Labour is having a problem, if the veritable tsunami of begging emails sent regularly to party members is a guide. Trust me on this: Labour members get lots of them.

Reminders of the alleged funding gap between the two main parties are frequent, usually accompanied by the suggestion that the email recipient bung The Red Team a quid. Or maybe three quid. Or five quid. Remember, they didn’t want to have to ask the favour, but look at that funding gap.

At which point a question occurs: was this not the party that, in the days when Jeremy Corbyn was leader, was flush with cash? Well, yes it was. And then came the lawsuits, along with Labour’s response to them. When an edition of the BBC Panorama strand titled “Is Labour anti-Semitic?” was aired, several of those involved were called out by the party as, effectively, bad faith actors.

So seven of them sued Labour, as did the programme’s presenter John Ware. Then, after Keir Starmer became leader, came the rumours that Labour was to settle with those suing. The Guardian noted in its reportThe Guardian understands legal advice provided to Labour under Corbyn’s leadership suggested the party could win the case”. Was new legal advice sought?

We don’t get to know. But, as the Guardian continued, “The Labour party has apologised 'unreservedly' and paid out a six-figure sum to seven former employees and a veteran BBC journalist, admitting it defamed them in the aftermath of a Panorama investigation into its handling of antisemitism”.

And then came another lawsuit. Make that more than one. A leaked internal report suggested that Labour HQ was working against the Corbyn leadership. For instance, “The report claims private communications show senior former staff ‘openly worked against the aims and objectives of the leadership of the Party, and in the 2017 general election some key staff even appeared to work against the Party's core objective of winning elections’”. There was also criticism of some of those Panorama whistleblowers. And there was more.

Labour took legal action against five people it claimed had leaked the report. Meanwhile, nine people who claimed their data had been misused also sued. But despite the advocacy of, among others, Mark Lewis of Patron Law, the case dragged on until it was dropped in September last year. It wasn’t the first high profile legal action that Lawman Lewis has seen fail recently.

Meanwhile, the action by Labour against Seumas Milne, Karie Murphy, Georgie Robertson, Harry Hayball and Laura Murray dragged on. Until it, too, was discontinued, the BBC reporting todayThe Labour Party has abandoned longstanding legal action against five former members of staff who have been accused of ‘conspiring’ against Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership”. Do go on.

The action is estimated to have cost the party millions of pounds, which critics said could otherwise have been spent on the general election campaign”. Did someone say millions plural? Indeed they did: “The most recent documents presented in open court last autumn showed that Labour had spent £1.5m on legal action, and estimated it would spend nearly £900,000 more … The party's final costs are likely to be higher, as these figures don’t reflect the full cost of the litigation”. Three mil? Four??

Now imagine what many Labour members will think, reading that report, or other similar ones in the press, and then getting more of those begging emails, along with requests to leaflet, canvas, and the rest. The party may well be 20 points ahead in the polls. But that news will hurt.

And it’s all self-inflicted. By the current leadership. Can you spare a quid?

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Tuesday 4 June 2024

Farage - The Con Man Returns

As if there were not enough charlatans, spin merchants, one trick ponies, habitual liars, and other practitioners of self-aggrandisement in play during the run-up to next month’s UK General Election, yesterday brought one more con man into the mix. Reform UK’s self-appointed Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage was back in the swimming pool. As the resident turd.

The inevitable news came as Mr Thirsty told his adoring followers yesterday “I will be making an Emergency General Election announcement at 4pm today”. He would take over as head man of Reform from Richard Tice. And, as ITV News then told, he “has said he will stand as the Reform UK parliamentary candidate for Clacton, Essex, in the General Election”.

Thus performing two functions likely to move the dial: One, taking votes from the Tory right, and Two, frightening Muslim voters, and indeed many others who are not white, back to Labour, or, in some areas, the Lib Dems. The net result of all that, whether Farage is elected or not, will be to move the Tories closer to Absolute Wipeout. And probable third party status.

That, though, was not a good enough excuse to plaster Mr Thirsty all over the media, something that has carried over onto many front pages this morning, with the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph proclaiming “I’m back to lead the revolt”. What intercoursing revolt? More accurate was the Guardian’sTory alarm as Farage takes control of Reform UK”.

What a difference Combover Crybaby Donald Trump’s conviction makes: Farage was on his way to the USA to lend his backing to the increasingly incoherent orange lump; 34 unanimous Guilty verdicts later, no he isn’t. So what would his USP be? Same as before. He’s dog whistling potential voters with scare stories of Scary Muslims™. Same old racism.

Having accused British Muslims of “split loyalties” (recycling an anti-Semitic trope as Muslim bashing to make it acceptable), of their being a “fifth column”, and more recently claimed that a Muslim proclaiming “Allahu Akhbar” was something deeply sinister, rather than merely saying “God is Great”, which he wouldn’t complain about if the speaker were Christian. Or Jewish.

(c) Steve Bell 2016

By this morning, the habitual lying had kicked in, as he told Mishal Husain on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme that there were entire streets in Oldham where no-one spoke English. But Ms Husain, like the Beeb’s Ben Thompson, was not persuaded this time round of Farage’s righteousness. Which caused The Great Man to get tetchy and even abusive. It won’t get any better for him.

Not when he is on record as sayingRichard Tice probably does want me to replace him. But do I want to be an MP? Do I want to spend every Friday for the next five years in Clacton?” As the previously best placed candidate, Labour’s Jovan Owusu Nepaul should have that one ready to roll out to any and every voter who even hints at voting for The Thirsty One.

What Reform UK’s opponents should also point out is that this is a party that still wants to dump the country’s problems on migrants, wants to leave the ECHR (why? Oh, I dunno, maybe cos it’s FORRIN), and even wants to leave the World Health Organisation, because Covid Lockdown Conspiracy Theories. What next, leaving the UN? Leaving NATO?

And why do so many media opportunities open up to someone whose party has (for instance) no MPs and just eight councillors, when (for instance) the Greens can muster a regularly re-elected MP and hundreds of councillors? Why pay attention to Farage, who has no plan, and will take responsibility for nothing? Why take any notice of this flap-mouthed con artist?

He gets to take part in the TV debates. Then he’ll most likely lose - for the eighth time - and work to use his newly heightened profile to drag the Tories even further to the right. Screwing over the UK through advocating for leaving the EU was not enough for him: now he wants to screw over UK politics as well.

Which means he needs to be held to account, and exposed for the Spiv he is, and always was. He has no solutions, no plan, and no right to shit on us all.

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