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Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Paul Nuttall - You're A Liar

Pressure is building on UKIP’s new leader, comedy turn Paul Nuttall, to put himself forward as the party’s candidate in the upcoming Stoke on Trent Central by-election, caused by the realisation of Tristram Hunt that he could make significantly more money, and avoid all those ghastly proles, by becoming the director of the V&A. There is only one problem with this move - Nuttall has also been rumbled as a shameless liar of no fixed principle.
Ullo Nige, gorra new motor?

His schtick, an amalgam of early Alexei Sayle and Al Murray’s Pub Landlord, has not been helped by the realisation that not only does he not have a better than snowball in hell’s chance of getting elected on his native Merseyside, but also that his fellow Scousers despise him with a vengeance. It was no coincidence that when Nuttall was nicknamed a “Bad Bootle Meff”, the characterisation quickly stuck like glue.

And then came the serial dishonesty: Nuttall has now claimed that he was in the Leppings Lane end of the Hillsborough stadium when the disastrous crush took place in April 1989. But then he appears to have also claimed that he was involved in a crush outside the ground. He cannot have been in both places at once - so which is right? The thought that he is using the disaster for his own ends will not best please anyone.
The ignorance and idiocy continued yesterday as Nuttall attempted to look vaguely leader-ish in replying to Theresa May’s EU exit speech, but instead fell flat on his face again, as Daphne Romney has pointed out: “Paul Nuttall betrays his ignorance, complaining that May did not mention the ECHR in Brexit speech. That's because the ECHR isn't part of EU”. You’d think an MEP would know things about, er, the EU.

Could it get any worse? It certainly could, as Strictly Sid pointed out. “Paul Nuttall: ‘Foreigners should speak English properly’ … Also Paul Nuttall: ‘Trump loves Britain. He's an Anglophobe’”. Nuttall had described Combover Crybaby Donald Trump as an “Anglophobe”. So he doesn't have a competent command of his own language.
All this, of course, comes on top of Nuttall’s claims about playing professional football for Tranmere Rovers (not true), posing for a photo with a background of books which was soon rumbled as having been photoshopped to make the number of books look greater - and Nuttall more important - and the claims of doing a PhD somewhere that didn’t do PhDs. Plus his call for selling off the NHS and then backsliding on it.

So you can see why Paul Nuttall might not be too keen on standing in a Parliamentary by-election campaign, during which all of his previous lies, along with any more that are discovered in the meantime, will be held up as examples of his lack of fitness to occupy any elective office. Added to that might be the possibility that being an MP could mean his opportunities to trouser lots of expenses from the European Parliament are curtailed.
Paul Nuttall is a clown. Folks on Merseyside distrust and despise him. And he’s been exposed as a serial liar. So he’s ideal material for leader of UKIP, then.

Press Pursues ANOTHER Dead Schoolgirl

It was the moment when the phone hacking scandal, which had been coming to the boil for the previous two years, finally burst open and showed the public the sheer unprincipled nastiness of the tabloid press: Milly Dowler, abducted and brutally murdered by Levi Bellfield, had had her phone hacked by the now-defunct Murdoch Screws. Moreover, the Police knew they had done it - but took no action as a result.
Part of the public revulsion was the realisation that the press were more than happy to prey on schoolgirls and their friends in order to flog a few more papers. There were, it seems, no limits to the intrusion that hacks would make, and that their editors would countenance. The thought entered that the Dowler killing would put an end to that sort of thing. And that thought would have been sorely misplaced.

We know this because after 16-year-old Leonne Weeks was found dead on a footpath in the small South Yorkshire town of Dinnington, where her family lived, the press descended and were soon up to their old habits. Social media accounts were scoured for anything about the dead girl that could be recycled as cheap and easy copy - it’s in the public domain, so none of that having to pay to use photos.

That much was bad enough for grieving friends and relatives. But then, the school that Leonne Weeks had attended until very recently put out a Facebook post warning “Please can we suggest parents and carers talk with their children about contact through social media. Some members of the press have been contacting students this way to try to get photos and information”. That is bang out of order.
Not only that, it is a clear breach of the IPSO Editor’s Code of Conduct. So where is the stern warning on the IPSO website this morning, given Dinnington High School sent its warning out yesterday? But you know the answer: the headline items have more to do with whining about Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act and Leveson Part 2.

So who is behind this intrusion? We cannot be certain. But my Occam’s Razor is pointing at just one of The Usual Suspects, because of their tendency to draw attention to themselves rather than lying low and keeping Schtum. And, to no surprise at all, that suspect is the Murdoch Sun, which has published a piece titled “MAJOR INVESTIGATION What happened to Leonne Weeks? Teenage girl found dead in Dinnington – here’s what we know so far”. And so we have another echo of the Dowler killing.

The Screws waded in to that case as if they were part of the investigating team. Now the Sun gives every impression of doing the same thing again, using headlines like “What happened to Leonne Weeks?” and most tellingly “What do her friends think?In another Sun article, social media accounts have been trawled to get comments.

Whoever prompted Dinnington High School to send out its warning, the journalists concerned know they have overstepped the line. They can also be confident that sham press regulator IPSO will wipe their backsides for them. Not much has changed in the five and a half years since the Screws crashed and burned over Milly Dowler.

The press never learns. That is why we need properly effective press regulation.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Nigel Farage Is A Liar - OFFICIAL

The persistent rank dishonesty of former UKIP Oberscheissenf├╝hrer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage has been considered more than once previously here on Zelo Street: his claims regarding the 2015 assembly elections in Portugal, the idea that he had been the subject of an assassination attempt, the claim that he could not go out in the street without his own security detail and his prediction of the Austrian Presidential Election were all bunk.
Squeaky burning trousers finger up the bum time

Moreover, his ability to leave his obedient and loyal supporters in the lurch was also demonstrated when he cosied up to Combover Crybaby Donald Trump, and The Donald’s pick for commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, was revealed to have encouraged firms outside the UK to take advantage of post-Brexit uncertainty to nick jobs from Brits.
And then there was the proposed march on the Supreme Court, announced in November, but called off a month later amid alleged fears that it would be infiltrated by the BNP and EDL. First, as Left Foot Forward told in November, “Today’s Telegraph reports Nigel Farage will lead a march of 100,000 people through London for the government’s Supreme Court appeal of the High Court verdict on Article 50 … The march will be organised by Leave.EU, the right-wing anti-EU group led by Arron Banks, and see Leavers march from Trafalgar Square down Whitehall to Parliament Square around December 5”.
But then, as the Independent later reported, “A march on the Supreme Court planned by Nigel Farage and other Brexit campaigners has been cancelled, sources close to the Ukip politician have confirmed … [the event] was cancelled due to fears that it could be hijacked by far right groups like the EDL and BNP”. But now we know the truth.
Thanks to the enterprising efforts of Nick Pettigrew, we know that Farage and his pals never seriously intended to hold that march. Pettigrew has FOId the Met to ask three straightforward questions. The first of these asked “Can you confirm whether the Met Police ever received a 3175 form from either leave.EU or Nigel Farage, giving official notification of intention to hold a demonstration?
Question 2 was “Can you confirm whether any formal or informal discussions were held by the Met Police on the policing of the proposed march?” with the third question being “Can you conform whether the march was postponed on advice from the Met Police?
Nick Pettigrew has now had his reply. And it makes grim reading for those still placing some credibility in Nigel Farage. On the 3175 form (needed to give the authorities notification of a march) the Met told “We have no record of Mr Farage or leave.EU submitting a 3175”. And on the question of discussions?
The MPS contacted UKIP to establish if the march was being undertaken. No formal or informal discussions were held beyond this”.

And whether the march was postponed on Police advice? “Police did not give any advice to postpone the march and we do not know why the march did not take place. Why it did not take place can only be in the mind of those who wanted to hold it”.

Once again, Farage has opened mouth before engaging brain. He sounded off for effect and got caught with his pants on fire once more. Nigel Farage, you’re officially a liar.

Sun Oxfam Smear BUSTED

The Murdoch goons at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun are never satisfied with just demonising foreigners, brown people, black people, followers of The Prophet, celebrities who express concern for the less fortunate, refugees, and anyone who declines to vote in the manner dictated by Themselves Personally Now. There must always be that search for more people to dump on, more little people who can’t fight back.
Thus today’s Sun editorial has alighted on a new source of hate campaigning by the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker - charities. These organisations show compassion for the less well off, and in the perverse world of the Murdoch mafiosi, giving a beggar a helping hand, rather than kicking the crap out of him, is somewhere near the top of the list of unforgivable sins. So it is that Oxfam has today been given both barrels.

Oxfam attacking the world’s richest shows just how little they understand the global economy and poverty” is the rant of choice. So Oxfam is attacking the world’s richest, is it? “OXFAM’S complaint that a few ­billionaires are worth more than half the world shows how little the charity understands the global economy or how to reduce poverty”. Ah, so now it has been downgraded in the retelling to a mere complaint. But there’s more.

These self-made tycoons are its champions. Their vast companies and others like them have created jobs and wealth for untold numbers of people … And the world’s richest man Bill Gates is also the most generous. The Microsoft founder has so far donated £30billion to charity - a sum Oxfam would take almost a century to raise”. So has Oxfam been attacking Bill Gates? I missed that one. Still, back to the rant.

Oxfam has become a foghorn for the sort of chippy lefties … A green-eyed war on wealth creators is the fastest way to increase poverty”. Sun readers might really believe that Oxfam had indeed declared war on the richest in society from that. But, as so often with the Murdoch doggies, the reality is somewhat different. We can see this by actually reading what Oxfam said (a statement to which the Sun’s website has declined to link).

This is what they actually say: “Eight men own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity, according to a new report published by Oxfam … Oxfam’s report, ‘An economy for the 99 percent’, shows that the gap between rich and poor is far greater than had been feared. It details how big business and the super-rich are fuelling the inequality crisis by dodging taxes, driving down wages and using their power to influence politics. It calls for a fundamental change in the way we manage our economies so that they work for all people, and not just a fortunate few”.

That isn’t an “attack on the world’s richest”, it’s a statement of fact. That is underscored by the report’s recommendations: “Governments end the extreme concentration of wealth to end poverty … Governments should work together to ensure workers are paid a decent wage … Governments support companies that benefit their workers and society rather than just their shareholders … Governments ensure economies work for women”.

Of course, that would mean all those Governments not being swayed by greedy billionaires like Rupert Murdoch as a result. And that would never do. So the order has gone out to kick the crap out of Oxfam instead. What you will not read in the Sun.

May’s Bargain Basement Brexit Baloney

So today brings Theresa May’s much anticipated and heavily trailed speech on Britain’s future relationship with the EU, an exercise that is as much about appeasing the Europhobic tendency on the right of her own party as it is about practical politics. Even before she has spoken, the EU-bashing usual suspects in the press have spoken rapturously about the event. But what it may presage does not get a look-in.
While the Murdoch Sun - which had to admit it was part of the Leave campaign - announces “May’s ‘Global Britain’ Vision … PM to set 12 demands … Clean EU break vow … Great Brexpectations”, the UKIP-backing Express bawls triumphantly “At last, the news we’ve been waiting for … WE WILL GET CLEAN BREAK FROM EU” and the Mail continues Paul Dacre’s embarrassing schoolboy crush on the PM with “THERESA’S NEW FREE BRITAIN” (yes, we’ll be giving it away), a worrying reality awaits elsewhere.
The ever-alert Adam Bienkov, now at Business Insider UK, was among the first to call out the back-up plan in the May negotiating strategy: “Theresa May is ready to turn the UK into a low-tax, low-regulation haven after Brexit, her spokesperson confirmed today”. There was more. “Asked whether the prime minister backed comments made by the Chancellor Philip Hammond that the UK could be forced to abandon its ‘European economy with European style taxation’ her spokesperson said she ‘stands ready to do so’”.
Hammond had told the German newspaper Welt am SonntagMost of us who had voted Remain would like the UK to remain a recognisably European-style economy with European-style taxation systems, European-style regulation systems etc … I personally hope we will be able to remain in the mainstream of European economic and social thinking. But if we are forced to be something different, then we will have to become something different”. Bienkov has now been backed by ITV political editor Robert Peston.
Peston has been working his contacts around Westminster and has now toldwe will be out of the customs union … [Ms May] will ‘grudgingly’ allow for a short period of [transition] to a new trade deal”. And then came the sting in the tail.

May will make clear that the UK will default to slashing taxes and regulation if we don’t agree an acceptable trade deal with the EU - in other words she will say ‘be nice or it’s commercial war’”. One can only wonder what some of those Leave voters think about that.
That our Government is so devoid of negotiating nous that it is prepared to threaten some kind of economic “scorched earth” policy should worry anyone not rich enough to care about such niceties. Any kind of trade war means uncertainty, which is anathema to any significantly sized business. It also suggests that some of those involved have allowed themselves to believe the press claims that the EU needs us more than we need them.

And any Trades Union that backed Brexit must now know they have been had for mugs. Their members are set to be royally shafted. As to all those working class voters UKIP has been targeting - they will feel the full force of being made even more flexible, even more disposable, even less protected than before. It’s always the little people who lose out.

Meanwhile, the press, who dropped us in this mess, will continue to exercise “power without responsibility” and tell their readers it’s someone else’s fault. No change there.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Helmer Schengen Reverse Ferret FAILS

The combined idiocy of the remaining hacks at Richard “Dirty” Desmond’s supposedly flagship title, the Daily Express aka Daily UKIP, and UKIP MEP and freeloader supreme Roger Helmer - so keen to show that he is giving voters value for money that he uses European Parliament sessions to catch up on his sleep - has today brought forth a magnificently inept foot-in-mouth episode.
Roger Helmer being handsomely rewarded for ... doing nothing

The Express, notorious for shonky copy ever since Dirty Des sent all the paper’s sub-editors down the road in another of his whizzo economy measures, had published a story titled “‘End freedom of movement’ Pressure mounts on May to SCRAP Schengen IMMEDIATELY”. The title uses CAPITAL letters to make sure angry READERS know exactly which WAY they are supposed to THINK.

Helmer was all in favour of this idea, despite (a) the UK not being a participant in the Schengen agreement, (b) the UK therefore not being part of the Schengen area, (c) the Schengen area and Freedom of Movement being two different things, and (d) Theresa May not having any say in what happens to the Schengen Area. As a result of this demonstration of idiocy, Helmer attracted significant adverse comment.
What to do? Would The Great Man have to ‘fess up and admit he was the Grade A plonker many had suspected for some years? But you know the answer. For a Kipper like Helmer, he takes the same stance as with climate change - straightforward denial. So when told the UK was not in Schengen, he snapped “(1) I was accurately quoting the Daily Express (2) They never said that the UK was in Schengen. Try reading the words”.
Readers are referred to the Express headline as quoted by Helmer. It’s all too clear that the paper’s readers are supposed to at least infer that the UK is in Schengen, that Schengen and Free Movement are the same thing, and that we have some influence on the former. All of that is plain flat wrong. And in any case, his critics should look over there: “And by the way, we're also not in the €uro. But it still damages us, and we can still call for it to be broken up”. And how does it damage us? A little evidence? No, thought not.
After The New European also joined in the mockery, Tweeting “This UKIP MEP and this Brexit-loving paper think we're in the Schengen Area. We aren’t”, Helmer again demanded that they looked over there. “I think no such thing. But unlike you I see how Schengen damages Europe, and leads to mass migration and the Calais Jungle Camp”. The refugees came as a result of conflict elsewhere. Oh, and Look At All Those Brown People!
Meanwhile, the Express tried to cover its tracks by re-wording its article to tell “Pressure mounts on Theresa May to SCRAP freedom of movement IMMEDIATELY”. Two things here. One, whatever the Express says, Free Movement cannot be scrapped immediately, and two, the covering of tracks isn’t going to work if the article’s URL still has the word SCHENGEN as part of it. Dirty Des’ cheapskate press fouls up yet again.

But we knew that the Express were a bunch of clowns. Now Roger Helmer has let everyone know that he is one too. And we’re paying for his siestas.

Kelvin McFilth Mosley Smear BUSTED

The Government’s “consultation” over Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act may have finished last week, but for some of the more cranially challenged inmates of the Baby Shard bunker this is proving a difficult concept for them to grasp. Hence the deeply unpleasant Kelvin McFilth, disgraced former editor of the Super Soaraway Currant Bun, deciding to have a bit of afters in this piss-poor column this morning.
Under the heading “Mosley’s money is tainted” - yes, this is a long time taker of the Murdoch shilling saying this - Kel reimagines Max Mosley’s interview on yesterday’s Sunday Politics to tell readers it was a “car crash”. Mosley actually fought his corner rather well, and host Andrew Neil may, as I told yesterday, be in a spot of bother about at least one of the allegations he pitched at the time. This does not deter Kel.

So on he drones: “Max Mosley, the orgy-loving racist who is funding a full-scale attack on free speech, made a startling admission … The £3.8million he put up to create his own regulator (you could not make this up) came from a family trust re-based from Lichtenstein to the UK, meaning much of the wealth had been created by his father, the Fascist Sir Oswald Mosley”. It meant nothing of the sort, as anyone viewing the interview will know.

Mosley said that it was “family money” and pointed out that preceding generations of Mosleys - in other words, those who came before his singularly notorious father - had owned large parts of what is now central Manchester. And the idea of Kelvin McFilth calling “racist” on anyone else is stretching credibility beyond the limits of elasticity.
The clown who wrote this says someone else is a racist

After all, it was a Sun editorial in Kel’s day (Monday April 27, 1987 to be precise) which howled “WOULD YOU LET THIS MAN NEAR YOUR DAUGHTER?” and went on to smear poet Benjamin Zephaniah by asserting “On Friday, he is expected to become a Cambridge don … Just what are his qualities [sic] which have appealed to Trinity College? He is black. He is a Rastafarian”. And Kelvin McFilth calls “racist” on others.

Back at the Mosley smear, he’s doing no better when it comes to basic research: “During the TV interview he said his family had owned large chunks of Manchester and there was even a Mosley Road. Am astonished the local council hasn’t sought a name change”. There is a Mosley Road in Manchester, but (a) it’s out of town in Trafford Park, and (b) Mosley did not make the claim. He said Mosley STREET.

This is a well-known and mainly tram-only street in central Manchester. The most basic of research would have sorted that. But for Kelvin McFilth, lazy bigoted thug that he is, such things were all too much, as was bothering himself to find out Mosley’s actual views on politics nowadays. Hence “He failed to explain why he had never distanced himself from his early views on Fascism”. One, he wasn’t asked, and two, he’s a Labour member.

But Kelvin McFilth’s had his instructions from elsewhere on the 13th floor, he’s too thick to bother with facts or research, so just says whatever comes into his head. And looking at his efforts today, not much in the way of information makes that journey.

Michael Gove - Sold To The Highest Bidder

Mohamed “you can call me Al” Fayed, whose evidence hastened the downfall of more than one Tory MP in the 1990s, recalled that he had been told by lobbyist Ian Greer that “You need to rent an MP just like you rent a London taxi”. Fayed added “I couldn't believe that in Britain, where Parliament has such a big reputation, you had to pay MPs. I was shattered by it. I asked how much and he said it would be £2,000 a question”.
Fayed’s interventions led to the departure from Parliament of Tim Smith, who, as MP for Beaconsfield, had a safe Tory seat more or less for life, and later, via an electoral humiliation, the deeply unsavoury Mostyn Neil Hamilton, who as MP for Tatton was in a not dissimilar situation. Safe seats and rather more than steady money was not enough for the greedy and the corruptible. And little has changed over the years.

Another of those safe Tory seats is Surrey Heath, represented since 2005 by Michael “Oiky” Gove, another MP for whom that better than steady money is insufficient to keep him in the style to which he has decided he should be accustomed. Gove and his equally grasping wife Sarah “vain” Vine are journalists by profession, and more specifically both have been loyal takers of the Murdoch shilling.

Now Gove is back in the news, despite Theresa May having relieved him of his last cabinet role when she arrived in Downing Street. Gove was dispatched by Don Rupioni to interview Combover Crybaby Donald Trump for the Murdoch Times, where he now has a part-time berth. Gove is paid a whopping £150,000 a year for eight hours per week of his time. It’s enough to make the Hamiltons weep over their potter’s wheel.
Think about that. It’s not as much as London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson was getting from the Telegraph for one column of dubious quality each week, but many will find the idea that someone who has a permanent full time job as a Member of Parliament should be paid an extra £150k by someone who has a vested interest in sticking his bugle into the workings of Government obscene.

It’s not as if there was any great skill on display when Gove met Trump: ITV News claimsThe UK stands to gain from a Donald Trump presidency because Britain has a ‘special place in his heart’”. This is because The Donald’s mother came from Scotland, a place where he is now reviled. Sky News suggested a UK-US trade deal would be done “quickly and properly”. Ah, the benefits of unsubstantiated hot air.

Trump had “honeyed words for almost everyone”. Just wait until one or more of those people says no to him. The whole charade, revealing very little we did not already know, was accompanied by a cringeworthy photo of Gove teaming his rictus smile with a forced thumbs-up sign. The thought enters that no credible media organisation would pay £150k for eight hours a week of his time. Unless there were some kind of quid pro quo.

What that quid pro quo might involve, one can only guess. But one thing is for certain - Michael Gove’s interventions in Parliament will be scrutinised like never before. After all, there are enough folks around who remember Tim Smith and Neil Hamilton.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Andrew Neil - Pants On Fire

The BBC has been skirting around the press regulation debate to some extent, certainly not giving it the coverage many in the mainstream press have, but credit today to Andrew Neil for debating the issues of Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act with campaigner Max Mosley, although The Great Man was not always inclined to take Mosley’s answers on board on the subject of the press’ unwillingness to join a recognised press regulator.
Something else to chew over

And it was hardly necessary to try and link the funds from the Alexander Mosley Charitable Trust to Mosley’s late father to produce a smear by association of independent press regulator IMPRESS. As Mosley pointed out, it is not possible, given the way that IMPRESS and the Trust giving over the funds to it are structured, for him to exercise any influence upon it (in any case, he is a card carrying Labour member).

But it was when Neil briefly went after IMPRESS’ head man Jonathan Heawood that he made what looks like an error of judgment. Heawood, he asserted, had Tweeted or Re-Tweeted 50 attacks on the Daily Mail in a one month period. I’m told this was early November to early December last year. Where he got his list, and how “attack” was defined is unclear, but one intervention merely compounded my suspicion.

That was a post from the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog triumphantly announcing “Guido’s IMPRESS File On The Sunday Politics”. The author of that post was Alex “Billy Liar” Wickham, who has form not just for dishonesty, but also for drawing attention to himself when he would have been best advised not to have done so. So let me put Wickham and Neil straight.
You didn't get the information from HIM ... did you?

The Tweet (just the one was displayed) which Neil claimed put the judgment of one IMPRESS Code Committee member in question was an expression of opinion. Moreover, the Code Committee does not deal with the actual task of fielding complaints. If every passing of opinion Neil did via Twitter were considered a test of his character, he would not be best pleased, and in that I would agree with him. He’s entitled to his opinion.

And on the subject of the “50 attacks on the Daily Mail”, I have been through Jonathan Heawood’s Twitter feed for the period 5 November to 5 December, taken every Tweet and RT that specifically mentioned the Mail, and then considered all those where there is any adverse comment. My conclusion is that the term “attack” would have to have been very broadly defined to get a number into double figures, let alone fifty.
The most likely conclusion right now

Also, it has to be made clear that (a) expressing disquiet about the Mail’s attacks - for instance on the judiciary - is not an attack, (b) empathy for the Stop Funding Hate campaign is not an attack, (c) some of those RTs were Neil’s fellow BBC contributors like Nick Robinson and James O’Brien, both of whom are allowed to mention the Mail and pass opinions on its content, (d) jocular comment about Paul Dacre is not an attack, and (e) correcting the Mail’s misconception that EU equals ECHR is not an attack.

Of the 58 mentions in Heawood’s Twitter feed in that period, I can’t find one that can be nailed on as an attack on the paper. And if he got his information from Alex Wickham, then when the complaint comes in, all I have to say to Andrew Neil is … GOOD LUCK.

May GP Blaming Backfires

The Tories are presently more trusted on management of the NHS than Labour, a poll finding which should concern the latter party rather more than the former, considering The Blue Team’s ability to tell the most blatant whoppers about NHS problems, and practice the most egregious blame-anyone-and-everyone-else approach to criticism. There is also the sly briefing by Theresa May designed to dump on GPs.
That it was all over the Saturday right-leaning papers was not an accident. “May warns GPs to open every day or lose funding” was the Telegraph’s effort, while the Times simply thundered “May demands 7-day GPs”, and the Mail claimed credit for the whole thing with “After Mail exposes half-day surgeries, doctors told to open from 8am-8pm - or lose cash … OPEN ALL HOURS, PM ORDERS GPs”. And there was more.

The Mail had done a softening-up hit job on GPs earlier in the week, with a Daily Mail Comment - the authentic voice of the Vagina Monologue - declaring “Patients betrayed by their part-time GPs” and making sure readers knew it was not Theresa May’s fault: “the service is in the grip of an organisational crisis, with resources squandered and working practices tailored to suit staff, not patients … At its root lie Labour’s botched contracts, which paid family doctors more for working shorter hours, enabling many to take early retirement … the NHS remains riddled with inefficiencies”.
That was reinforced later with another editorial tellingAt last, GPs will have to earn their keep … Days after the Mail highlighted the scandal of GP surgeries closing early, Theresa May announces action to keep them open whenever they’re needed … This is effective government at its best, tackling the overcrowding crisis in A&E departments at its root. And it’s certain that lives will be saved because of it”. Yeah, right.

Quite apart from Paul Dacre’s embarrassing schoolboy crush on Theresa May not showing any sign of abating any time soon, this attitude betrays a simplistic approach which may not be unconnected to the Mail’s editor - and many of the paper’s senior staff - going private. It was not long before exasperated GPs voiced their dissent.
As most of the press had made up their minds on the subject, there was nothing to do but to go to the BBC, a move which will have infuriated NHS bashers. “Dr Chaand Nagpaul of the BMA told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: ‘We have got a very serious problem that we don't have the capacity in general practice … The crisis in the NHS won't be solved by scapegoating or deflecting blame on to GPs’ … One in three GP practices were reporting unfilled vacancies, while eight in 10 said they were unable to provide safe care, he added”.

It got worse: the Beeb report told that “Pressure on A&E was down to seriously-ill patients, he said, not access to GPs, and the government needed an emergency plan to tackle NHS under-resourcing … Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairwoman of the Royal College of GPs, said the ‘whole of general practice and primary care’ was ‘close to the precipice’ after being ‘under-funded and under-resourced for a decade’”.

So what has the right-wing press done today? Oh hang on, look over there at Clean And Hard Brexit! Well, isn’t that fortunate for them? I wonder what Paul Mason will make of that nifty change of subject. Same old right-wing press, same falsehood and misinformation.

Tony Parsons BuzzFeed Smear BUSTED

The skirmishes between the new media presence of BuzzFeed and the drearily old media monolith that is the Murdoch press have not abated: for every tweak of the Murdoch tail from the BuzzFeed upstarts, the iron code of those who scrabble around the dunghill that is Grubstreet dictates that the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker dispense suitable retribution whenever their legitimacy is questioned.
So today, another of the Sun’s dubiously talented pundits has been ordered over the top to put the upstart in its place. There are, sadly for the Murdoch goons, two minor problems with this approach. One is that however low BuzzFeed’s standards may be, they are nowhere near as bad as those at the Sun. And two, the pundit who has been selected to carry the Murdoch standard into battle today is Tony Parsons.

Under the headingBuzzfeed taints real journos” - as if Parsons will encounter many of those at the Sun - he whines “IT is tempting to believe that the battered old trade of journalism plumbed new depths with BuzzFeed’s squalid story about Donald Trump in Moscow … But don’t confuse what BuzzFeed does with journalism … Spewing unsubstantiated rumours into the public domain is not journalism any more than drawing a penis on a toilet wall is art”. Is that so, O wise Sun pundit?

Tony Parsons is the one who suggested Myleene Klass was yer average single Mum. The pundit so bigoted and stupid that he blamed traffic congestion on immigration - rather than his own selfishness. The idiot who blamed the BBC for not blowing the whistle on Jimmy Savile - while failing to mention that the paper for which he writes his weekly drivelfest had the dirt on Savile in the early 80s, and did nothing about it.

Yes, Tony Parsons knows all about abysmal standards of journalism - that’s what his column is all about. Moreover, the BuzzFeed story about the Combover Crybaby might not be to the taste of the Murdoch goons - especially now that Don Rupioni and The Donald are best buddies - but it has come from a serious and credible source.

Instead, Parsons claims “Real journalists are governed by libel laws and editorial standards … If we get it wrong then we get sued and we get sacked”. As if. What happens in reality is that they make sure they don’t smear anyone who’s rich enough to take them to the cleaners, and then get sham regulator IPSO to wipe their arses, which in Parsons’ case means telling anyone who complains that “It’s just an opinion column”.

Fake news is all over the internet and turns it into a running sewer where you can say anything about anyone simply because you despise them” sniffs Parsons, seemingly unaware that this is exactly what the Sun does to anyone to the left of Genghis Khan, any Sleb who shows compassion for the unfortunate, and any Civil Servant, Judge, doctor, trade unionist and indeed anyone else who incurs Murdoch’s displeasure.

Tony Parsons knows all about the running sewer of Fake News. Because that is where he’s been working ever since he took the Murdoch shilling. Away with you, fake pundit.

Top Six - January 15

So what’s hot, and what’s not, in the past week’s blogging? Here are the six most popular posts on Zelo Street for the past seven days, counting down in reverse order, because, well, I have domestic clear up stuff to do later. So there.
6 Guardian Leveson Hypocrisy EXPOSED An about turn on Section 40, press victims abandoned, and a reputation now in tatters. Not good at all.

5 David Blunkett Exposed As Sellout He abandoned his roots and principles in exchange for a bumper Murdoch payday.

4 Sun Desperation Boils Over The Murdoch goons got all righteous over press standards while managing to forget that they have rather a lot of skeletons in their cupboard.

3 Daily Mail Section 40 Own Goal The Dacre doggies suggested that all those tens of thousands who signed a petition on press regulation were supporting their view. They weren’t - it was a petition to demand Leveson 2 is commenced, and now.

2 Sun BuzzFeed Hypocrisy The Murdoch goons told their readers that unverified, single-sourced stories were A Very Bad Thing. There are, however, rather a lot of examples of their doing that themselves.

1 Fawkes Paul Mason Smear BUSTED The Great Guido claimed Mason had got his supposition over Sunday front pages keeping the NHS off that page wrong. He hadn’t - he was spot on. Another fine mess, once again.

And that’s the end of another blogtastic week, blog pickers. Not ‘arf!

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Wikileaks Trump Dossier Giveaway

After the dossier suggesting that Combover Crybaby Donald Trump had taken part in a variety of creative activities with prostitutes in an upmarket Moscow hotel room, and which had concluded that he was vulnerable to blackmail, had begun to see the light of day, has come the blowback (as it were). The claims of “golden showers” are being systematically rubbished - with one of those doing the rubbishing being Wikileaks.
The Prisoner, 2017 remake

That is a most interesting name to pitch when it comes to a report which is alleged to confirm the influence of Vladimir Vladimirovitch Putin and his pals on Trump, who is a loose enough cannon even without an enemy power sticking its bugle in and directing him to fire on his own side. And it does nothing to dispel the rumours that Wikileaks and its head man Julian Assange, still holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, is also in cahoots with the current r├ęgime in the Kremlin.
Wikileaks did not help its cause by going on a Twitter offensive that put it on the same page as both the Combover Crybaby - and the Putin Government. Those publicising the dossier immediately had their motivation called into question: “Publication of Trump dossier allowed others to do what Buzzfeed should have done and expose the poor sourcing of last Friday's CIA report”. No thanks, I don’t want to look over there.
It was then suggested that BuzzFeed, or at least its editorial process, was suspect: “Buzzfeed's editor says that publishing Trump dodgy dossier is ‘how we see the job of reporters in 2017’”. Homing in on those exact words is the same tactic used by the Murdoch Sun last week. I’m sure it’s only a coincidence.
Then the Wikileaks Twitter feed loses it: “Is UK intervening in the US election? Former UK spy Steele wrote Trump ‘dossier’ … BBC launched ‘2nd dossier’ story via MoD linked journo”. Two things here. One, the US election is done, and whatever anyone thinks of the result it delivered, will not be rerun, so the “intervening” suggestion is bunk. And two, linking someone to an organisation does not mean there is actually a connection.
The next stage was denial: “Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen & alibi deny he was in Prague as was claimed in Trump dodgy dossier”. Mandy Rice Davies situation. And then came the priceless “Russian tech expert named in Trump 'dossier' says US intelligence never contacted him”. Well of course US intelligence didn’t contact him - the dossier was compiled by someone who was NOT working for US intelligence!
If Wikileaks wanted to tell the world that it is shilling for Trump, and probably also shilling for Moscow as well, it could not have played this one better. Nor could it have improved on the inference that it is closer to the Murdoch mafiosi than it has thus far let on. Perhaps Assange is getting stir crazy from his years banged up in that embassy. But if he’s playing for clemency from the Combover Crybaby, help may soon be at hand.

He’ll just be doing time in a Swedish jail instead. Victory can turn out to be a merely comparative thing.

Sun Rape Clickbait Desperation

The less than cordial atmosphere between the New Media upstarts of BuzzFeed and the distinctly Old Media establishment at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun will not have been diffused by the discovery by Alan White - BuzzFeedUK’s News Editor - that the Sun has not only reached bedrock in its desperation for clickbait, but that it has continued digging. The subject, as so often with the Murdoch goons, is sex.
Tony Gallagher - presiding over the direst of clickbait

After observing the Sun’s Twitter feed telling readers of “Man convicted of rape after what he secretly did half way through sex with partner”, White mused “I see we’re clickbaiting stories about rape now”. But that was not the half of it. First off, whoever was in charge of the Sun’s Twitter account must have been made wise to the criticism, because the Tweet was swiftly deleted. But the underlying article was left live.

This is a well-worn tactic, previously deployed by the Murdoch doggies when the Sun was hosting the bigoted and intolerant ravings of pro-am motormouth Katie Hopkins. When she infamously compared refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea from north Africa to mainland Europe to cockroaches - subtlety is not Ms Hopkins’ strongest suit - after the chorus of protest refused to die down, the Twitter reference to the post was pulled.
But the offending article was left live on the Sun’s website, as has the piece behind today’s deleted Tweet. And from this, we can gauge the desperation of the Murdoch mafiosi to garner More And Bigger Click Counts For Themselves Personally Now. For starters, the article the Tweet refers to has now been online for almost two days. Hasn’t the Sun got anything more recent to tempt its followers with? And there’s more.

The story is not even about anything that happened in the UK. You read that right: it’s about something that took place in Switzerland. The lurid headline, “Man convicted of rape after secretly removing condom midway through sex … Outraged sex partner called the cops when she realised her lover was not using protection”, is about a court ruling in the southern Swiss town of Lausanne. The report won’t win any prizes, either.
Readers are told “A FRENCHMAN who had unprotected sex with his date when she thought he had condom on [sic] has been convicted of rape”. And the story was lifted from another website: “The man involved was handed a 12-month suspended prison sentence … The unnamed 47-year-old French man and the Swiss woman met on Tinder, according to the The Local”. Single-sourced, unverified content, Sun people? Er, HELLO?

But we do know that “For reasons unknown the man took his condom off during the romp”. Why can’t the Sun just say they were having sex? It’s lamer than the lamest thesis submitted during Lame term to the Lame faculty of the University of Lame in the Lameshire city of Lamesville. The story even has to have a photo of the Pope - which is not of Francis, but of Benedict XVI, who is no longer Pope - to pad it out.

Alan White has not only revealed the depth of the Sun’s clickbait desperation - he’s also shown that the righteous Murdoch goons are just copying and pasting others’ content to score more clicks. It’s journalism Jim, but not as we know it.