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Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Wes Streeting’s Sun Shame

Andrew Devine died last week. He had suffered life-changing injuries when he was caught up in the crush at the Leppings Lane end of the Hillsborough stadium before the 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest and had needed round the clock care ever since. He became the 97th fatality of the Hillsborough disaster.

Wes Streeting MP

As the BBC has reported, “In 2016, inquests concluded those 96 fans had been unlawfully killed. Senior Coroner Andre Rebello said the 55-year-old was the disaster's ‘97th fatality’ and as such, the conclusion was the same”. And in the 32 years since Hillsborough, one constant has endured alongside the memory of those who went to watch a football match and never made it home, and that is the shunning on Merseyside of the Sun newspaper.

Hillsborough memorial at Anfield

It was, after all, the Sun, edited at the time by the deeply unpleasant and still unrepentant Kelvin McFilth, that smeared Liverpool fans in the aftermath of the disaster. So it might have been thought that, immediately after the death of that 97th victim, politicians would stop and think before paying fealty to the Murdoch mafiosi.

The paper with which Wes Streeting is doing business

Sadly, this thought was apparently missed by rodent-like opportunist Wes Streeting, who was only too willing to appear in the Sun, proudly Tweeting out “Poorest kids hit hardest after Tory cuts to policing. It’s time to get tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime. This is the Tories’ record. They’re the party of crime and disorder - good for criminals, bad for kids. Me in tomorrow’s Sun”. No link will be provided to that article.

Was he serious? “Yep. Voters read the Sun and we absolutely want to talk to them”. To the paper that not only ran the infamous THE TRUTH smear, but also both blackmailed and deceived the parents of 14-year-old Lee Nicol, who died at Hillsborough. The Sun hack pestering the parents had “stated that without a ‘good’ photo of Lee, the paper would have to use the one taken on the pitch”. A photo of their dead son.

So “To prevent the publication of the photograph of Lee’s death, they provided a school photograph, only to find that the Sun used both, and gave the explicit photograph prominence”. That grim snippet is part of the report from the Hillsborough Independent Panel. It has been available for six years. One wonders if Wes Streeting has read it.

It’s a racing certainty that Ian Byrne has read it. The MP for Liverpool West Derby, whose majority in 2019 was just short of 30,000, has made this observation: “Any Labour MP writing in this rag [the Sun] defies belief but in the week the 97th victim of Hillsborough was unlawfully killed shows little understanding or worse indifference to victims & survivors. I will be asking to address the PLP on what solidarity to my city entails”.

Moreover, not talking to the Sun doesn’t seem to be too harmful to Labour on Merseyside, where their vote share has gone from 39.9% in 1983 to 65.2% in 2019, with only Southport of the 15 constituencies held by the Tories. Those concerned about supermarket shortages and problems travelling abroad might also note that, free from the malign Murdoch influence, the area voted to Remain in the 2016 EU referendum.

Far from needing to talk to the Sun - the paper that has trashed Labour relentlessly for the last four General Election campaigns - it is all too obvious that shunning the Sun and not talking to its singularly unprincipled hacks is the best course of action. Don’t buy the Sun.

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Monday, 2 August 2021

Israeli Oil Tanker ISN’T

Armed conflict, as anyone who has studied the build-up to the Great War will know, can begin with the most insignificant-looking actions and events. This may be exercising the minds of decision makers in London and Washington DC right now, after an attack on an oil tanker called the Mercer Street, which took place in the northern Indian Ocean.

The oil tanker Mercer Street

As the BBC has reported, “The UK and US believe Iran was behind a tanker attack that killed two people, and have vowed to respond, calling it a violation of international law. The MV Mercer Street, operated by an Israeli-owned firm, was attacked off Oman on Thursday. A British national and a Romanian citizen were killed”. There was more.

The statements came after Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said there was ‘evidence’ that its longstanding foe Iran was responsible. Mr Bennett warned that ‘we know how to send a message to Iran in our own way’, while Tehran rejected what it called the ‘baseless accusations’. The attack on the MV Mercer Street appears to be the latest escalation in an undeclared ‘shadow war’ between Israel and Iran”.

Zodiac Maritime - only on Twitter since June

At this point, it might appear that this is an open-and-shut attack on an Israeli asset, and that the reaction of PM Bennett is proportional. But the thought also enters that this might be too convenient a distraction for a régime that is under increasing international criticism for the actions of its armed forces towards those who live in the occupied West Bank - an occupation begun in 1967 that has been declared illegal under international law.

For starters, there is this snippet from the Sky News report on the attack: “The UK and US have blamed Iran for an attack on an Israeli-linked oil tanker in which two crew members, including a British national, were killed”. So not Israeli owned, merely “linked”. Do go on. “The tanker is operated by Zodiac Maritime, which is based in London and owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer”. “Operated”? So who owns the Mercer Street?

Not Zodiac Maritime, it seems. As the Independent has reported, “Zodiac Maritime is owned by Israeli businessman Eyal Ofer but its London-based office oversees the ship. The M/T Mercer Street is a ‘Japanese-owned vessel’, the company said, with shipping publication Lloyd’s List stating that the owner is Taihei Kaiun Co., which belongs to the Tokyo-based shipping company Nippon Yusen Group”.

So the Mercer Street is Japanese owned. It sails under the flag of Liberia. The company operating it is based in London. The two crewmen killed were British and Romanian. It had no cargo aboard at the time of the attack. It was sailing from Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania to Fujairah in the UAE. And despite all this, the Israeli Government is sticking its bugle in, using the attack as an excuse to have an escalatory pop at the Iranians.

And before the claims that Israel is the wronged party, consider this claim from, of all publications, the Jewish Chronicle: “The Iranian nuclear scientist who was shot dead near Tehran in November was killed by a one-ton automated gun that was smuggled into the country piece-by-piece by the Mossad”. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was, it seems, assassinated because Iran was alleged to be close to having The Bomb. By the Israelis.

Israel’s supporters brag about a terrorist act. Israel appoints itself the victim to pin an act of terrorism on the same adversary. It’s all a bit Heads They Win, Tails Iran Loses.

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Sunday, 1 August 2021

Andrew Bridgen And Liebling’s Law

The unswerving defence of Brexit has, in the shape of Tory MP Andrew “HS2 ate my credibility” Bridgen, now met Liebling’s Law. This law, devised by A J Liebling of the New Yorker magazine, as J K Galbraith later recalled, “held that if a man of adequately complex mind proceeds in a suitably perverse way, he can succeed in kicking himself in his own ass out the door into the street”. The defence of Brexit shows Liebling’s Law in action.

Brexit was supposed to demonstrate that the UK was a great sovereign nation which had no need of EU membership. It has, instead, demonstrated the opposite, but this no Brexiteer can admit, and so Bridgen has constructed a suitable apologia for the Sunday Brexit, still called the Express, where he lays the blame for labour shortages elsewhere.

TONY BLAIR'S push to get half the country's young people to go to university has contributed to Britain's shortage of HGV drivers and other skilled workers, according to Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen” claims the headline. And there is more.

For many years I have been raising the issue of the shortage of lorry drivers, citing the lack of dedicated apprenticeship scheme as far back as 2015. In the intervening period, the shortage of drivers has doubled and only now have the Government acted and implemented a lorry driver apprenticeship” he claims, but this is total bunk.

There were no supply chain problems - like a shortage of lorry drivers - before the start of this year. But in the past, any shortage could be made up by hiring workers from elsewhere in the EU - as with harvesting all that fruit and veg that will soon be rotting in the fields. Those workers paid taxes, paid for housing, and spent money in the local economy. Some started up their own businesses, reopening shops that had been abandoned.

Now that bold, brave and sovereign UK has gone it alone and decided to be less welcoming, many of those workers are leaving, the benefit to the economy working in reverse. This, as with all Brexit benefits, is, in Bridgen world, someone else’s fault. Under appreciation of key workers, he claims “is one of the major contributing factors to the Brexit result that the metropolitan liberal elite didn’t grasp in 2016 and which they still don’t”.

Ah, that mythical “metropolitan liberal elite” once more. Worse, Bridgen, through his insular approach, is all for keeping out the rotten foreigners™, but manages to miss the Brits who migrated the other way - to other EU member states - under free movement rules. Their education may just have helped them on their way. Now that avenue is closed off.

But not to worry, this Tory MP is now backing higher pay for lorry drivers and other key workers. Perhaps he would care to be totally honest with his audience and admit that this will mean higher prices for goods and services, which would also have nothing at all to do with Tony Blair. His journey into honesty could also concede that all of the problems he highlights are down to the Tory Government of which he is a member.

Instead, he tells us “To deliver on its levelling up agenda, the Government has to highlight the value of skilled manual vocations and start an honest conversation on the worth of many degree courses”. Like doing a biology degree and becoming an MP, you mean?

Andrew Bridgen kicked himself in his own arse. But, sadly, he is none the wiser for it.

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Saturday, 31 July 2021

Piers Morgan Mental Health Reverse Ferret

The effects of elite competition, the training needed to participate at the top level, and indeed the dangers involved in some sports for athletes who do not have mind and body totally focused, have come into public view after multiple Olympic and World champion Simone Biles withdrew from several gymnastic events at Tokyo 2020.

Most onlookers, and indeed anyone who had either competed in those disciplines, or understood the risks involved, sympathised with Ms Biles, who, let us not forget, has already been there, seen it and done it. But former Screws and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan was having none of that. Ms Biles’ reluctance to seriously injure herself, or worse, for his viewing pleasure resulted in an outpouring of ignorance from The Great Man.

And ignorance is the key word: Morgan is not a stupid person, and is more than capable of understanding what drove Ms Biles’ decisions. But to keep the outrage boiler at working pressure, the audience must not be distracted by such detail, and so they are not. Those who read Morgan’s intemperate rant were deliberately misinformed, kept ignorant.

Piers who?

Still, at least he was consistent in attacking anyone at the top of their sport suffering mental health issues. He ranted as intolerantly at Ms Biles as he had previously at tennis player Naomi Osaka. But then came news that would put Morgan in what Spike Milligan once called A Very Difficult Position, concerning England cricketer Ben Stokes.

As the BBC has reported, “Ben Stokes ‘will take an indefinite break from all cricket with immediate effect’ and has withdrawn from England's squad for the five-Test series against India. The all-rounder will prioritise his mental wellbeing and rest his left index finger which has not fully healed, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in a statement”.

What would Morgan say this time? Mental health, and all that? "And due to a busted finger.. I’m sure Ben Stokes wouldn’t call his decision to pull out of the massive India Test series ‘tremendously courageous’, ‘inspiring’ or ‘heroic’, as some are saying. Nor would I. England will be weaker without him & I hope he’s back for the Ashes”. Look at the finger!

But what about all those patronising rants on the subject of letting team-mates down? “If he quit in the middle of a Test match with no physical injury, leaving his teammates in the lurch like Simon Biles did, & complained he wasn’t having enough ‘fun’, then I would have said that. Especially if he had GOAT embroidered on his shirt. But he didn’t. So I didn’t”.

So he’s said … nothing. Not that this has anything to do with Ben Stokes being a big bloke, you understand. And definitely nothing to do with him being white. After all, Morgan claims not to criticise on the basis of skin colour, and so his targeting of Ms Biles, after his targeting of Ms Osaka, is merely a coincidence. As are all the others.

Like, oh I dunno, his attack on Novara Media’s Ash Sarkar. His attack on Jameela Jamil, the latter once more on someone with mental health issues. And his tiresome obsession with the Duchess of Sussex, which shows little sign of abating any time soon.

When the women who are not white have mental health issues, Piers Morgan can’t wait to sound off. But when it’s a big white bloke who might - with some justification - take exception to an ignorant hack sneering at him, it’s rather different. I wonder why.

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Apsana Begum - Say Sorry, Press People

The Parliamentary constituency of Poplar and Limehouse is where great wealth exists alongside areas of poverty and deprivation. And despite the presence of Canary Wharf and its glittering high rises, the seat, and its Poplar and Canning Town predecessor, have consistently returned Labour MPs. In 2019, Apsana Begum succeeded retiring MP Jim Fitzpatrick after winning the seat with a majority of almost 29,000.

Apsana Begum MP

Ms Begum was also a supporter of former leader Jeremy Corbyn, as well as being one of those Scary Muslims™, and so when she was accused of three counts of making dishonest applications for council homes to Tower Hamlets Council, the idea of her being innocent until such time as she might have been proven guilty went out the window.

In the vanguard of this routine exercise in nudge-nudgery were the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, who kicked off in January with “she has been accused of cheating her way to a £300,000 council home in Tower Hamlets”. Earlier this month, readers were told that she “is facing 3 charges of fraud over her mysterious ability to leapfrog the 18,000-long waiting list for a council flat (despite having no children)”.

When former shadow chancellor John McDonnell appeared as a character referee at the trial, the Fawkes massive sneeredMcDonnell confesses he was hoping to take her on as a PPS had Labour won in 2019, saying he had confidence in her judgment, ability and dedication. Damning”. And their press pals were of a degree worse.

The Mail told its readersLabour MP Apsana Begum, 31, 'conned council out of £64,000 after using her connections as a housing advisor to get a studio flat - then blamed her 'controlling' husband,' court hears”. Last week, that was upgraded toLabour MP Apsana Begum 'acted dishonestly' to 'jump the queue' on the social housing register, court hears”.

And the Murdoch Sun was in its element, as earlier this month it howled “‘HOME SCAM MP’ … Labour MP Apsana Begum accused of cheating a council out of £64,000 in a housing scam”. As the Tweeter known as SunApology has noted, other headlines from the paper included “MP ‘FRAUD’” [subtle, eh?] and “CORBYNISTA’S ‘HOME SCAM’”.

Yesterday afternoon, though, the BBC reported that “A Labour MP has been cleared in court of making fraudulent housing claims … Ms Begum said the accusations had been ‘driven by malicious intent’”. She added “As a survivor of domestic abuse facing these vexatious charges, the last 18 months of false accusations, online sexist, racist and Islamophobic abuse, and threats to my safety have been exceedingly difficult”.

Not that our free and fearless press, and their boot boys in the New Media, care too much about that. Their only regret is that there was no scandal, and therefore no chance of their being able to kick the Labour Party all the way through another by-election campaign.

Something which I’m sure the Labour leadership will be keen to address in the coming days, whether or not Ms Begum was a Corbyn supporter. I’ll just leave that one there.

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Friday, 30 July 2021

Farage The Lifeboat Snowflake

Those who thought that there would never be anything pleasurable in watching the output of Gammon Broadcasting™ News (“Bacon’s News Channel”), unless one was a fully paid-up Brexiteer and not really racist at all honestly, found themselves pleasantly surprised this week after former Brexit Party Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage went from dog-whistling bully boy to Uriah Heep tribute act in very short order indeed.

Nige has been flogging his one-trick bigotry pony more or less non-stop since he was given a regular berth at the broadcaster - that being him whining constantly about all those Scary Migrants™ crossing the Channel in small inflatable boats. “Today could set a new record for illegal migrants crossing the Channel. It is out of control. No doubt the Home Secretary will make another tough speech. Priti useless” he ranted on Twitter.

This week, though, he’s decided to venture beyond the pale and go after the RNLI - the charity that runs lifeboat services around the British Isles, those lifeboats crewed by volunteers. They were, he declared, becoming a migrant taxi service. As a result, some of those volunteers were subjected to verbal abuse by the non-racist-honestly Gammonati.

Farage was aghast - well, in front of the camera, anyhow. He wanted viewers to know that he had not been abusive to any lifeboat crews. But that’s not how the game works, is it, Nige? You whistle the doggies and leave them to do the piling on. He also wanted us to know that he had, in days gone by, collected for the lifeboats. The reverse ferret went on.

He hadn’t been meaning any criticism of the RNLI, well, not their volunteers, anyway. His real beef was with the Border Force and the Government, who, he believed, should be sending all those Scary Migrants™ back to France. Even though none of them hailed from France. He did, though, target RNLI Head Office for the crime of defending themselves.

They had gone to the Guardian! How DARE they? They had put out a video! How DARE they? This was PR, dontcha know! And PR is not allowed, unless it’s a broadcast by Himself Personally Now on GB News. So he let RNLI management know that he’d fought bigger and uglier folks than them. What happened then, sadly, was that his campaign developed not necessarily to his advantage. RNLI donations surged.

For which they were deeply and sincerely grateful. “We just want to say a huge and heartfelt thank you from everyone in the RNLI family for the outpouring of support we’ve received in the past few days … We’ve seen a surge in donations over the past 24 hours – both in terms of one-off gifts and hundreds of you who’ve set up a monthly donation. We’re overwhelmed by and incredibly grateful for your kindness”. How much might that be?

Emily Ashton had the answer: “The RNLI says it's received over £200,000 in donations yesterday alone, after lifeboat volunteers told of the criticism they've faced in rescuing people crossing the Channel”. And Mike Galsworthy, who you can tell as he’s a doctor, first noted that Farage was happy to fight with the RNLI, then added this coda.

That’s all the reason you need to donate to the RNLI. Regardless of all else, RNLI are battling to save lives. Farage is battling to save his reputation, according to what he says here”. Slagging off those dedicated to saving lives - Mr Thirsty is totally out of order.

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Thursday, 29 July 2021

Piers Morgan And The Kobayashi Maru

Seasoned Trekkies will not need reminding of the opening scene of the second Star Trek film: the USS Enterprise, with a young Vulcan woman, Lieutenant Saavik, in command, receives an apparent distress call from a vessel called the Kobayashi Maru. She orders the helm to plot a course to intercept, despite the location given being in the Klingon Neutral Zone, only to then come under attack and be forced to abandon ship.

We then see that this was a training exercise: the Kobayashi Maru simulation is a test of character. It is a no-win: only one of those to pass through Star Fleet training has ever disproved that, and to no surprise it was one James Tiberius Kirk, who beat the no-win challenge by rewriting the rules. This morning, former Screws and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan may be wondering if he, too, can do something similar.

Because, as is becoming increasingly well-known in media circles, Morgan is in talks - informal, formal, on, off, whatever - with Gammon Broadcasting™ News ("Bacon’s News Channel”). GB News is desperate to score some ratings: its recent hiring of former Brexit Party Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage had some initial success, but by his fourth show, Nige had already lost a third of his opening night audience.

So of course GB News wants Piers Morgan: after all, he got ITV breakfast offering Good Morning Britain level on ratings with BBC Breakfast, although the manner in which he achieved this - by flouncing off set after Alex Beresford criticised his constant bad faith attacks on the Duchess of Sussex - could not be replicated on a regular basis.

Even so, after the Guardian confirmed that Mr Thirsty would be joining GB News, they also toldPiers Morgan, who left Good Morning Britain in March, may step into a high-profile role on the new TV channel. Morgan, 56, is in protracted negotiations with management but must first deal with his contractual ties to ITV”. And there is one more hurdle to jump.

It's GB News, Jim - he's dead already

Morgan needs to maintain the saleability of his brand: just passing the character test will not be enough for him. Like James T Kirk, he needs to be able to rewrite the rules of this particular Kobayashi Maru exercise to avoid any taint from working at a rabidly right-wing channel, alongside not just Farage, but the likes of the deeply unpleasant Dan Wootton.

He managed to extricate himself from his rather-too-close friendship with Combover Crybaby Donald Trump, but to go to GB News would be, arguably, worse than rocking up at Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) alongside wackos like Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham. The Murdoch mafiosi pays FNC hosts well: one reason is that they need tempting to go there, because of the broadcaster’s credibility. Or lack of it.

And for those imagining that Piers Morgan might look on GB News as one great last payday before hanging up his contacts book (and resting his unfeasibly oversized ego), that is not in his DNA: there has to be another berth, he has to still be in demand. All that failing upwards cannot be allowed to come to an end. So there must be a way out.

Of course, there will be no heroic saving the earth involved, but for Piers Morgan, saving Himself Personally Now is just as important. Will he continue to live long and prosper?

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Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Piers Morgan - Gold Medal Whinger

Those with the necessary privilege to allow their entry to the media establishment, and especially those who have achieved significant rank within our free and fearless press, know everything about everything. Their expertise knows no bounds: no matter that they have no specialist knowledge on any given subject, they know all about it. As a result, they are uniquely qualified to shoot off their Norths And Souths about that subject.

Piers Morgan displays his gold medal haul ...

This mindset is all too often exemplified by former Screws and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan, whose sporting prowess has thus far extended only to On-Set Undisputed World Championship Heavyweight Wobbler Throwing And Flouncing Off Combination, with a side order of rank pettiness and a degree of difficulty not unadjacent to zero. But The Great Man knows everything about competing as an elite gymnast at the Olympic Games.

As a result, he has targeted Team USA’s Simone Biles. For those who don’t follow gymnastics, this is what Wikipedia tells us about her: “Simone Arianne Biles … is an American artistic gymnast. With a combined total of 30 Olympic and World Championship medals, Biles is the most decorated American gymnast and is regarded by many to be the greatest and most dominant gymnast of all time”. She’s been there, and done it.

... to compare and contrast with Simone Biles' tally

However, during the team event, she had a problem executing her vault routine, and a near-fall on landing. There had been mishaps in other disciplines. She subsequently withdrew from the finals of the team event, and then from the finals of the individual all-around competition. After withdrawing from the team final, she said “I have to focus on my mental health. I just think mental health is more prevalent in sports right now”.

There was more. “I don't trust myself as much anymore. Maybe it's getting older … We're not just athletes. We're people at the end of the day and sometimes you just have to step back”. Ms Biles is maybe carrying too much expectation on her shoulders. She also has to manage with ADHD. But that cut no ice with the great Morgan.

Are ‘mental health issues’ now the go-to excuse for any poor performance in elite sport? What a joke. Just admit you did badly, made mistakes, and will strive to do better next time. Kids need strong role models not this nonsense … Athletes are now deemed more courageous, inspiring & heroic if they lose or quit then if they win or tough it out, which is ridiculous. I blame Twitter’s virtue-signallers for fuelling this culture of celebrating weakness. The real world doesn’t think like that”. And he wasn’t finished, unfortunately.

I’m writing a column about Simone Biles. Brace yourself, weak woke Twitter - you’re not going to like it”. Ah, the old “sneering at anti-racism dead giveaway” ploy. But enough. What does he expect Ms Biles to do? Carry on and seriously injure herself? So that, in the retelling, he can call her out for some other sale and click generating reason?

And on mental toughness, a little reminder for The Great Man

Few of us - and I include Piers Morgan and his fellow Pundit Establishment know-alls in this - have the first idea what sacrifices Simone Biles, and indeed thousands of other elite athletes, have had to endure so that audiences can be entertained. What those pundits should know is that it is only those athletes who know when to carry on, and when to stop.

But Piers Morgan couldn’t give a flying foxtrot about that. His only concern is the promotion of Himself Personally Now. Because, don’t forget, he knows everything about everything.

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Tuesday, 27 July 2021

GB News Vaccine Hypocrisy

As I noted at the weekend, while Gammon Broadcasting™ News (“Bacon’s News Channel”), had engaged the services of former Brexit Party Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, who wanted to bang on ad infinitum, and indeed ad nauseam, about all those Scary Migrants™ arriving on the south coast in small boats, rather a lot of the channel’s potential audience wanted to hear anti-vaccine propaganda.

And so it came to pass that the wacko fringe was thrown a little red meat by the channel’s array of variously untalented hosts, with this example from yesterday: “‘To all of you who applaud these vaccines passports [sic], ask yourself ‘what next,’ and when will the point be that you start to feel uncomfortable’ … Michelle Dewberry says ‘I guarantee you that vaccine passports is not where it ends’”. Scary stuff! and there was more.

When one Tweeter asserted “Regardless of my Vaccine or antibody status, I will be treated as a 2nd class citizen because I will not carry a Vaccine Passport. I will be part of a minority, segregated, discriminated against and ridiculed. Remember when that used to be illegal?” Ian Oliver responded reassuringly “I will be with you”. Or would he?

The problem for these less than totally august individuals was that Silkie Carlo of Big Brother Watch had had first hand experience of what happens when one visits the GB News studios in Paddington. “It’s great that debates on Covid passes are happening on [GB News]. Unfortunately their own studio policy essentially requires Covid passes. Guests currently need a LFT to enter. Recently, two producers separately told me only double vaccinated guests could enter the studio”. Oh dear! And there was more.

Then that changed to a PCR. I’ve been trying to explain to them why this is a bad idea and why I’m not going to put forward staff for health ID checks. Nor will we accept a remote interview as an alternative as differential treatment as the price of medical privacy is wrong … I agreed to do one interview, with [Dan Wootton] as his show agreed to allow me into the studio without showing a Covid pass. Others didn’t”. And more.

I know office managers etc are putting these policies in place with the best intentions … But when we talk about the need for a debate we need a real debate, not just for clicks and views … These big debates should happen internally and externally. The presenters’ monologues about how awful vaccine passes are sit uncomfortably when issued from a studio that, at least until recently, only invites double vaccinated guests”.

What should also be borne in mind is that BBW is not a group of Rotten Lefties™: the organisation began as a project of the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance, and its founder was none other than dishonesty pusher supreme Matthew Elliott of Vote Leave infamy. This isn’t a left/right issue, but one of consistency - and, ultimately, hypocrisy.

While The GB News Twitter feed tells readers “‘Government is very, very good at taking powers during an emergency, but is somewhat reluctant to give those powers back’Nigel Farage tells businessman Hussein Lalani that ‘it’s beginning to feel a bit less like the free world’”. it manages not to include itself in that lack of freedom category.

GB News - do as they say, not as they do. Or why they’re taking their viewers for mugs.

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