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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Sun Edits Itself Out Of Rape Trial

The Murdoch goons at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun have, on the face of it, reported today in a fairly open manner on the trial of Sam Armstrong, chief of staff to Tory MP Craig Mackinlay, who stands accused of raping a young woman in the MP’s offices close to the Palace of Westminster. But once again, someone has been selective here, removing the presence of one of their own staff in the drama.
The flannelled fool - edited out of his own paper

This is what the Sun says: “Southwark Crown Court heard how the 24-year-old then pounced at 2am as the woman dozed in his boss’ office … He is said to have called her a ‘b****’ after she woke to him kissing her and she turned him down … He then allegedly began taking her clothes off and assaulted her, saying ‘this is what you want’, jurors were told”. But the BBC report is rather more revealing.

Southwark Crown Court heard the woman sent a message to her boyfriend … ‘Keeping you in the loop. I've given it to Harry Cole who works for the Sun. It will either be in the Mail on Sunday or the Sun front page on Monday,’ it said … Jurors were told the message was sent 15 hours after the alleged assault, and a later message said: ‘The media already knew so this is my way of controlling it to ensure I get a sympathetic writer’”.

Why the woman thought Master Cole would be a “sympathetic writer” is unclear: as I told at the time, he was effectively dobbing in one of his own. Armstrong, like Cole, had been a close friend of disgraced activist Mark Clarke, central figure in the Tory Bullying scandal and source of the never to be forgotten mantra “Isolate, Inebriate, Penetrate”. Both had connections to the now-moribund Young Britons’ Foundation.
Sam Armstrong (left) with his pals Mark Clarke and India Brummitt

It gets worse for Cole: the story wasn’t in the Mail on Sunday, and it certainly wasn’t on the Sun’s front page, or even any other page, on the Monday. His story did not appear until the following day. Why the delay? Was it being legalled? If so, why did it take so long for that process to complete? More pertinently, was it being discussed with any of Cole’s pals? Was anyone being warned what was coming? When did he inform Sun bosses?

Master Cole might not fancy answering any of those questions, but those investigating the complaint of rape just might. Moreover, the thought occurs that Cole should be called to give evidence, especially now he has been named by the complainant, who has “insisted she did not sell the story and explained it had been a friend who spoke to the Sun … I really didn't want my identity to come out and it was a state where I had absolutely no control in the event, so I wanted a little bit of control”.

Did she know that Cole most likely knew Armstrong? Did he tell the complainant, or her representative? And how come nobody has yet mentioned that Armstrong was so close to the disgraced Clarke and the Tory bullying scandal that he was barred from the party’s conference the previous year? And intimately involved in the plot to smear Tory MP Robert Halfon over his affair with Alexandra Paterson?  Questions, questions.

Meanwhile, the trial continues. Perhaps Master Cole will enlighten everyone soon.

Dan Wootton’s Boy Band Blunder

As if to demonstrate that the Press Establishment made a mistake that was excessive even by their lamentable standards in awarding the deeply repellant Dan Wootton of the Murdoch Sun an award this week, their choice has just demonstrated why the only award that he truly merits is that of the boot. On top of that, Private Eye magazine has told the world exactly why he threw a mardy strop with Alexandra Burke.
It's bizarre how anyone listens to the SOB

After the British Journalism Awards citation claimed “Dan Wootton’s stories show a showbiz journalist at the top of his game. The interviews show many years worth of earned trust”, his column in today’s Sun showed that this was total tosh. Wootton is so knowledgeable about pop culture that the latest Bizarre offering came complete with the kind of howler that would have got lesser hacks sent down the road.
Alexandra Burke - in the Strictly final despite Wootton's smears

Worse, the howler comes as part of Wootton shamelessly recycling a PR item for pop promoter Louis Walsh, second only to Simon Cowell (aka The Black Helmet) in manipulating the rep-top press to his advantage. “X Factor judge Louis Walsh hails ‘Fab Four’ as he confirms Westlife reunion … minus Brian McFadden” tells the headline. So we get a photo of Westlife - an easy one, nothing more demanding than a Google search.
This is Westlife ...

But after prattling “‘I’m looking after Shane, I’m talking to Mark all the time, I’m talking to Kian and talking to all of them - I’m really good friends with all of them’ … As well as negotiating a huge pop comeback, the talent show judge is also getting to grips with his temporary career change … He’s starring in new stage show Nativity The Musical, which runs from tonight until Sunday at London’s Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith, ticking off one of his bucket list dreams”, the clanger is well and truly dropped.
... and this certainly isn't (it's Five) ...

Because there is a photo, and whoever it is, it isn’t Westlife. Oh dear! Realising that The Great Man had fouled up, the Murdoch goons swiftly edited the photo out of the online version of the article - but not swiftly enough, because several eagle-eyed observers took a screenshot, including, er, me. And then came the Private Eye revelations.
... so they were hurriedly edited out

The Eye (issue 1458, available at all good newsagents, or you can subscribe as I do) told readers how Wootton’s attacks on Alexandra Burke had very little to do with journalism - or, indeed, facts - and rather a lot to do with sulking over not getting an interview with the former X Factor winner. Ms Burke had instead given an exclusive to Fabulous! magazine, which has been published in its latest issue - out last Sunday.
What’s in the interview? “ALEXANDRA Burke has opened up about losing her mum and finding ‘The One’ as she returns to the spotlight … The former X Factor star also discusses those rumours about being at war with dance partner Gorka over his relationship with rival celeb Gemma Atkinson”. How do we know this? Because Fabulous! magazine is included with the Sun on Sunday - so the teaser is on the Sun website.

That’s the same paper Dan Wootton claims to write for. So he’s basically gone rogue, turning his own loss into a vendetta based on malicious lies. But don’t forget, he’s “a showbiz journalist at the top of his game”. Which happens to take place at the bottom of the barrel, utilising a scraper. Still think he’s worth that award, press people?

Nigel Farage Backed A Loser

After the euphoria of seeing the EU referendum go his way, and cosying up to Combover Crybaby Donald Trump later in the year, former UKIP Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage must have thought he was on a roll. Sadly, he is now discovering, after the European Parliament stopped paying his MEP’s salary after he was caught fiddling his expenses, that his stock could go down as well as up.
Squeaky racist bigot finger up the bum time

But Nige was still lionised across the USA, or at least those parts of it that have no objection to the election of white supremacists, anti-Semites, and in the case of his latest endorsement, child molesters. Because Farage gave his ringing endorsement recently to Judge Roy Moore, running for the US Senate seat in Alabama vacated by the elevation to US Attorney General of one Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III.
Roy Moore - child molesting bigot loses

Mr Thirsty may not have left any trace of this endorsement on his Twitter feed, but Moore marked the occasion, as I noted recently. This may be not unrelated to several women coming forward to testify that Moore had behaved inappropriately towards them when they were in their teens. One of his accusers had been 14 at the time. An appearance by Moore on Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) only made matters worse.

But not to worry for Alabama Republicans: despite some in the party asserting that Moore should stand down, Trump just went ahead and endorsed him anyway. Yes, the President of the USA gave his full-throated backing to a neo-Confederate, racist, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, child molesting homophobic bigot (Moore has previously backed moves to make homosexuality illegal). And so did Nigel Farage.
This, though, was a campaign destined to turn out not necessarily to his advantage: in a state that last elected a Democrat to the Senate 25 years ago, African-American voters turned out in significant numbers to get Moore’s opponent Doug Jones over the win line. Nigel Farage had backed another loser. And there was worse to come.

Mr Thirsty has endorsed other less than savoury characters in the States: last weekend he proclaimed “A must-watch interview with the brilliant @SebGorka”. Gorka proved too poisonous even for the Trump White House. He, too, is a racist bigot. And Farage then endorsed the dubious wisdom of Ann Coulter, the Stateside Katie Hopkins, who eagerly Retweeted fake videos from far-right Britain First.
Could it get worse still? It certainly could: Farage, it has been reported to Zelo Street, was seen last weekend at a local rugby club, knocking back pints, smoking away, and making lots of calls. But he was alone. The much-vaunted security that he so needed was absent. Why so? Well, the Police declined to give him protection, and now the EU money has dried up, he would have to pay for it out of his own pocket. So it’s ceased.

That’s because Nige was lying about needing protection. Like he lies about so much more. But he isn’t lying when he backs racist child molesters. As the far right likes to say when pushing its dubiously sourced propaganda, let that sink in.

Damian Green - Whitewash Coming

And so it came to pass that the report from the inquiry into those allegations against Damian Grope, Ashley Madison non-member and female party-goer toucher-upper with special responsibility for legal threats, landed on Theresa May’s desk, accompanied by an oversize container of Official Government Issue One-Coat Non-Stick Whitewash (available soon at the introductory price of £19.99 from your local B&Q Warehouse).
That's right Sir, both hands where we can see them

Despite the pie-in-the-sky talk from the Ron Hopefuls in the right-leaning press of the Empress Treeza enjoying some kind of Brexit talks victory bounce, the Tories remain vulnerable to any kind of shock, and that includes the S-word, as in Sleaze. So despite the clearly credible evidence against Damian Green, and the approaching press investigation into yet more allegations of misconduct, he is set to be cleared.
About to don her yellow gloves ...

ITV Political Editor Robert Peston, who called the Brexit business correctly last week, said “I am told by three well-placed sources that Theresa May’s deputy, the First Secretary of State Damian Green, will be informed on Wednesday by the Cabinet Office and his boss the PM that he does not need to resign - following allegations from former police officers that in 2008 there was porn on his House of Commons computer and from the journalist and academic Kate Maltby that he behaved inappropriately with her”.
... and administer some of this, basically

Now here’s a thing! And there was more: “According to several members of the government, no other women have presented evidence against Green … And the police testimony does not prove beyond all doubt that it was Green himself who was watching the porn on the parliamentary equipment - which should not have used in this way”.
These claims are disingenuous crap, although Peston is too kind to call it out. Green was described simply on That Spreadsheet as “Ashley Madison - handsy at parties”, which strongly implies that there is a worryingly high possibility that other women may come forward with similar claims to Ms Maltby in the future.
The reaction to the possibility that Green will get off scot-free has been one of dismay: former political editor Jane Merrick has Tweeted “If Theresa May saves Damian Green from resignation she will be sending an appalling message on harassment - this piece shows Kate Maltby was telling the truth”. Her reference was to an article in the Evening Standard, which you can read HERE. And she had more to say.
Surely if the inquiry finds that Damian Green released information to help the Daily Mail's hatchet job of Kate, that is reason enough for him to go”. This was echoed by her fellow freelance James Ball: “If Damian Green or any of his staff had anything to do with the vile Mail hit pieces on his accuser, that alone is reason to go”. The Daily Mail’s hatchet jobs on Kate Maltby were down to the usual Dacre doggy standard.

And they are both right. But it is looking increasingly as if Green will be reprieved, thus showing that the Empress Treeza is not as strong as her admirers would have us believe.

So it’s back to B&Q for another container of that whitewash, then. No surprise there.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

David Davis EU Foot In Mouth

To say that Brexit Secretary David Davis is prone to the occasional gaffe is one of those examples of stating the bleeding obvious. It is for catching the giveaway asides so beloved of DD that those working on The Andy Marr Show (tm) devised interview transcripts - well, maybe not officially, perhaps. And this tendency to open mouth and insert one of his Plates of Meat has now done the UK another serious disservice.
After Theresa May’s crack of dawn capitulation in Brussels last Friday, and the realisation by those in the Tory Party for whom any yielding to the hated Eurocrats is anathema that the spin was unravelling and we were giving the EU side exactly what they had demanded in the first place, Davis must have thought he had to say something. Sadly, the something he came out with only served to make matters worse.
As the Evening Standard has reported, Davis claimed that the deal signed last Friday was not legally binding. Yah-boo, Euro suckers, we won! DD told Marr “It [the “divorce payment”] is conditional on an outcome. I am afraid that wasn't quite right … It is conditional. It is conditional on getting an implementation period. Conditional on a trade outcome … No deal means that we won't be paying the money”.
This has, to no surprise at all gone down like the proverbial cup of cold sick elsewhere in the EU, not least with the Irish, who believed that as they were negotiating in good faith, so were their opposite numbers in Westminster. So Davis’ foolish gaffe has had one consequence: any chance of there actually being a get-out clause is going to get sealed up good and tight - so when the Brexit moment comes, there won’t be one.
European Parliament Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt put it directly: “Remarks by David Davis that Phase one deal last week not binding were unhelpful & undermines trust. EP text will now reflect this & insist agreement translated into legal text ASAP #Brexit … After @DavidDavisMP’s unacceptable remarks, it’s time the UK government restores trust. These amendments will further toughen up our resolution”.
To that, David Allen Green, who has been casting a mildly sceptical eye on proceedings, had to admit “Crowing about the ‘sufficient Progress’ document being ‘legally non-binding’ may become the latest of a number of serious unforced errors by UK ministers on Brexit. Idiotic, needless, self-inflicted setback”. And then Davis woke up.
Blustering “Pleasure, as ever, to speak to my friend @guyverhofstadt - we both agreed on the importance of the Joint Report. Let's work together to get it converted into legal text as soon as possible”, the sound of hands striking foreheads could be heard across Whitehall and well beyond. Jon Worth could only manage “You’ve royally cocked up this week. Better to stay silent until the summit!” As if DD could manage that.

When David Davis said he didn’t need to be particularly clever to do his job, some might have given him the benefit of the doubt and assumed he was joking. They won’t be now.

Dan Wootton Wins Hypocrite Of The Year

Last night saw the awards season getting into full swing with the British Journalism Awards: as Press Gazette has told, “Some 400 journalists from across the industry attended the event held at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms”. PG’s Dominic Ponsford chaired a judging panel featuring the great and the good of the Press Establishment, gathered together to pass judgment mainly on themselves.
It's bizarre how anyone gives the SOB the time of day

Thus the old problem of both the Press and Pundit Establishment comes around again: operating in their own closed world, they slap one another’s backs, echo the same groupspeak, all the time oblivious to circulation figures and advertising revenues in freefall, and of course trying desperately to ignore anything out there in the New Media world.

Only by such means could the Sun’s deeply repellant Dan Wootton have been given the Arts and Entertainment journalist of the year award, mainly for a column - the Bizarre feature in the Sun - most of which he does not write. Moreover, Wootton, unlike for example Will Gompertz of the BBC (crazy name, crazy guy), would not be able to identify “Arts” if it jumped up and kicked him in the undercarriage.

Still, there he was, luxuriating in the moment, the grovelling commendation “Dan Wootton’s stories show a showbiz journalist at the top of his game. The interviews show many years worth of earned trust” ringing in his ears, and wanting to make sure everyone knew that he knew the people worth knowing: “I am so honoured to be the Arts and Entertainment journalist of the year at the British Journalism Awards, which recognise revelatory journalism in the public interest. I could only do this because of these brave stars. Thank you @celinedion @louist91 and @antanddecofficial” he gushed.

Sadly, this only served to show what a complete shit Wootton is: he couldn’t even be bothered using the correct Twitter handle for either Louis Tomlinson or Ant and Dec. And his award was in significant part for his articles on Ant McPartin.

It gets worse: quite apart from Wootton, or someone on his behalf, inventing a pack of malicious lies about Alexandra Burke, one of the contestants in the current series of Strictly Come Dancing, he was revealed recently by Private Eye magazine to have been involved in yet more low and less than totally principled behaviour.
Condemning the use of the word “Faggot”, Wootton had told “Let me be very clear, the F-word - which I do not like to say, even as a gay man - used in that context is incredibly damaging”. The Eye then detailed three occasions when Wootton had forcibly outed three gay or bisexual men against their wishes. You can read the account online HERE.

No surprise, then, to see that many of the replies to Wootton’s self-congratulatory Twitter excursion are less than complimentary. Giving him the time of day is bad enough: to give Wootton an award after all the smearing, borderline racism, gay-bashing, and succession of pack of lies that are churned out in his name, is an insult to good journalism.

But never mind - keep up the mutual back-slapping any pretend nobody outside the bubble really matters. I mean - what could possibly go wrong?

Asian Men And Grooming - THE TRUTH

Just to underscore that the Murdoch Times long ago ceased to be a paper of record, and has become little more than an upmarket version of the Super Soaraway Currant Bun, the latest Sunday Times shock horror story was, like the now-discredited Tower Hamlets fostering saga, a thinly veiled attack on Scary Muslims (tm). The same tactic used by the Sun - and of course by Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse).
Under the headlineAsians make up 80% of child groomers - study”, readers are told “More than 80% of people convicted of child-grooming offences are Asian, a report will reveal this week … The research, by the anti-extremism organisation Quilliam, looked at 58 cases of grooming gangs identified in the UK between 2005 and 2017, which led to 264 convictions for grooming … Of the 264 offenders, 84% were of Asian heritage, mostly Pakistani; 8% were black and 7% were white”.

And, circumventing the paywall as well as upping the demonisation count, the Mail On Sunday applied its own inimitable spin to the story, telling “Revealed: 84% of men convicted of grooming young white girls are Asian and see them as 'easy targets' for sex … Quilliam study says seven in ten are believed to be of Pakistani-Muslim heritage … The study - likely to provoke controversy - is written by two British Pakistanis … Asian gangs abused white girls because they hold entrenched racist attitudes towards them”.

It’s likely to “provoke controversybecause what both the MoS and ST say is not true. But on with the anti-Muslim frighteners: “The Quilliam study comes after a spate of high-profile court cases, one of which involved the Rochdale child abuse ring … In 2012, nine British Pakistani men were convicted of abusing under-age white girls. Although the testimonies of three victims led to the convictions of the gang members, police believe the group abused and trafficked as many as 47 white girls”. Any more dirt to fling?

There certainly is: “A separate grooming gang from Rochdale involving ten more men was convicted at a trial in 2015 … The first case was made into a controversial three-part BBC drama called Three Girls, which was broadcast earlier this year”. The hated BBC has suddenly become useful to the inmates of the Northcliffe House bunker.

So why are these stories are little better than the usual pack of lies? Simples. The Quilliam report talks only of grooming gangs. It does not talk about individuals grooming young women and girls, or, interestingly given the Murdoch and Rothermere press’ obsession with those “web giants”, any grooming that takes place online.
Does that make a difference? It certainly does: as Iram Ramzan has confirmed, “Majority of CSE offenders/paedophiles are white. unfortunately when it comes to street grooming Pakistanis are disproportionately represented”. Why should her voice be important? Well, she works for the Sunday Times. SHE WROTE THAT ARTICLE.

Yes, the writer of the ST’s shock horror article admits her story is grossly misleading - to the point of rank dishonesty. Worse, the significant contributory cause - that those involved in this crime are invariably those working in the night-time economy - goes ignored.

But readers become frightened and hateful towards Muslims. So that’s all right, then.

Daily Mail Rewards Failure

One newspaper above all others is hot on Fat Cats, those earning eye-watering sums of money while many of those they serve - and many of their own employees - struggle to get by. And that paper is the Daily Mail. It matters not whether the Fat Cats are in the public or private sector: the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre will be on their case, splashing that excess all over the front page.
Why the f*** shouldn't I have my wad delivered by Securicor, c***?!?

Well, up to a point: there is one product out there whose boss has overseen a decline in sales over the last 14 years of over 40%. Staff engaged in producing this product are being subjected to cutbacks in both numbers and salaries. Management is fearful of losing ancillary revenue, to the extent of publicly exhibiting their nervousness for all to see. And overseeing this slow and steady decline is one of the fattest cats of all.

No prizes for guessing that this litany of failure is the Daily Mail itself: from a high in 2003, when it moved 2.5 million copies a day, the Mail has now fallen below the 1.4 million mark. Star columnists are being forced to take pay cuts. Specialist staff have been sent down the road. The recent screaming denunciation of Stop Funding Hate shows how scared the Mail’s bosses are about losing advertising revenue. Yet Dacre remains aloof.

How aloof? As usual, most of the press establishment, subscribing to the iron code of Omertà, does not report such matters, but to its credit the Guardian has told readersDaily Mail editor Paul Dacre's pay jumps 50% to almost £2.5m … Editor-in-chief of Mail titles earns £1.45m in salary plus £856,000 payout from company’s long-term investment plan”. And he spends an increasing amount of time away from the office.

Although Dacre is a workaholic, and has in the past bawled out those who fail to put in the shifts he does - including Christmas Day on occasion - he spends more and more time away on holiday, perhaps under sufferance after being ordered to by his reassuringly expensive private doctor (the Mail’s antipathy towards the NHS is not unconnected to Dacre and other top brass having gone private for decades past).
The nuances of the Dacre remuneration régime vis-à-vis the ordinary Mail reader are explained in layman's terms

And the headline numbers are not all: as Mark Sweney’s article points out, “His total remuneration of £2.37m - up 56% on £1.5m in 2016 when he had yet to receive his first LTIP payout - follows a 20% slump in DMGT’s share price after the company reported a sharp drop in annual profits and warned of a tough year ahead”. The shares slumped by 20%, yet there is Fat Cat Dacre trousering a 50% pay rise.

Can it get worse? It certainly can, two times over: one of the reasons given for Dacre’s mammoth pay packet is “investing in strong brands of digital consumer media, particularly Mail Online”, something to remember when his apologists claim it’s a totally separate business over which he has no influence. And the second Dacre demerit is when Sweney tells “Dacre … has accrued a pension pot that pays out £708,000 a year”.

Failure was never so well rewarded. So when the Daily Mail whines about someone being paid more than the Prime Minister, don’t forget that Paul Dacre is being paid 17 times as much. And when he retires, he’ll still be getting almost five times as much.

And this is someone who claims to represent ordinary working people. Pass the sick bag.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Telegraph’s Junior Doctor IS TORY ACTIVIST

As Zelo Street regulars may recall, last year the increasingly downmarket and desperate Telegraph paraded before its readers a junior doctor who was in favour of the new contract being imposed on the profession by Jeremy Hunt (the former Culture Secretary), only for this blog to point out that Adam Dalby had never actually practised medicine. He was in his foundation year, and was yet to find work in the NHS or elsewhere.
But he wasn't, was he, media people?

Undeterred by this revelation, Dalby then wangled a double-page spread for the Daily Mail, which by the most fortunate of coincidence told readers exactly what the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre wanted them to hear: that the BMA was a hotbed of militancy, that the contract before junior doctors was wonderful, and that the only people who thought otherwise were Rotten Lefties (tm) in hock to Jeremy Corbyn.

It gets worse: Dalby also likes to Retweet the smears of the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, including the recent hit-jobs on Labour’s representative for Kensington, Emma Dent Coad. Somehow, the smearing of Ms Dent Coad happening at the same time as a report into the Grenfell Tower disaster evaded Dalby. He is also a prolific Tweeter of other Labour smearers.
So it is not unusual to see attacks on the likes of John McDonnell and Diane Abbott turning up in his Twitter feed. What should also not be a surprise, then, is that Adam Dalby is not a mere Labour basher or right-leaning sympathiser, but a Tory activist to boot. Moreover, he is no mere ordinary Tory Party member: this not-really-very-experienced Junior Doctor has been unveiled as the new policy director for Activate.
This is the body which likes to style itself as the “Tory Momentum”, and whose Twitter bio talks of “An independent organisation creating a united platform for young conservatives and returning power to the grassroots”, although the Twitter feed, far from campaigning on grassroots issues, merely recycles CCHQ propaganda, Retweets Tory MPs (especially those on the right), and echoes the smears of The Great Guido.

Sadly, Activate has not enjoyed a happy genesis: it got off to a difficult start, after its WhatsApp group was rumbled: “A young Tory campaign group has apologised after members posted sick messages about ‘chavs’ in a Whatsapp group … Vile messages sent in an ‘Activate’ group say things like ‘gas them all’ in relation to the working class stereotype of ‘chavs’” told free sheet Metro. And now a non-doctor has joined them.
The organisation which not only had its Twitter feed hacked, but was ridiculed for, as the Guardian pointed out, “The group’s use of multiple hashtags and a meme that was last popular in the early 2000s led to widespread derision on the social network”. Now, it seems the Tories’ idea of being down with Da Kidz is to bring on board someone who claimed to be a Junior Doctor, but was then found not to be.

Anyone would think the Tories don’t understand those under, er, rather more than 21 years of age. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Nigel Farage Backs Paedophile

Whatever one’s opinion on the principles, or lack of them, espoused by former UKIP Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, he does have one thing in his favour: one always knows what he thinks, and where he stands (the latter being subject to not overdoing it on the falling-over water). This can be A Very Good Thing. But it can also mean he gets caught out when he fouls up, which is not exactly uncommon.
Squeaky flawed candidate finger up the bum time

So we knew exactly what Nige thought about grown men grooming under-age girls for sexual encounters, when he told his followers “Ringleader of child sex grooming gang in Rochdale using European human rights law to stay in UK. Totally wrong”. Child sex was wrong, full stop, end of story. However, and here we encounter a significantly sized however, Farage has now tripped himself up over the same subject.
Although he has excised any mention of the event from his Twitter feed, last September Nige was in the USA, a destination he may not be so keen on visiting in the near future, and more specifically in the state of Alabama. We know this as Judge Roy Moore let his followers know “I'm honored to have the endorsement of Brexit leader @Nigel_Farage, who'll join us in Fairhope on Monday”. Moore was holding a campaign rally.

And the Guardian confirmed Farage’s involvement, noting that hewill join former White House advisor Steve Bannon and Duck Dynasty TV star Phil Robertson at an election eve rally … Moore, a fierce opponent of gay marriage who condemned ‘sodomy’ in prepared remarks in a televised debate, is in a tight race against appointed incumbent Luther Strange, for the Republican nomination for a Senate seat formerly held by Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump’s attorney general”. Moore won the nomination.
Judge Roy Moore

But then it all turned sour: last month the Guardian returned to the subject of Roy Moore, reporting thatIn an article published on Thursday, the Washington Post reported that Moore had inappropriate sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl in 1979 when he took her to his house and made her touch his genitals. The Alabama Republican has insisted the report is ‘fake news and intentional defamation’”. And there was more Moore.
The candidate fetched up on Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) to give an interview to slavishly loyal Trump backer and professional loudmouth Sean Hannity. As the New York Daily News observed, “Moore said he doesn’t ‘remember dating any girl without the permission of her mother,’ but admitted that he ‘dated a lot of young ladies’ when he returned from the military, though ‘not generally’ 16-or 17-year-olds”. Not generally.

Farage’s hero, Combover Crybaby Donald Trump, has now backed Moore and tried to smear his accusers. But Nigel Farage has said nothing. So it has to be assumed that he stands by his endorsement of this deeply flawed, and probably hypocritical, candidate. But then, the Rochdale grooming gang were not white. And Roy Moore definitely is.

Not that Mr Thirsty is a racist bigot, of course. And if you believe that, you’ll believe anything.

Toby Young Momentum Paranoia

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away
- Stephen Stills, For What It’s Worth

At present, the centre-left in the UK is not in need of more recruiting sergeants. But one has effectively volunteered his services anyway: step forward the loathsome Toby Young, justifiably characterised as “Westminster’s village idiot” by Graham Linehan, and simply dismissed as “Captain Bellend” by the late Tom Barry.
They're outside, Tobes! Lock the door!! Be afraid!!! Be very afraid!!!!

Tobes suffers from an affliction that has struck many in the Pundit Establishment in the recent past: he is so ridiculed by anyone with a political stance to the left of his who is in contact with the real world that he has retreated to the relative comfort of the Conservative bunker. Here, he can be accepted as someone who really can distinguish arse from elbow, be considered as someone who actually knows what he’s talking about (no, don’t laugh).
Thus his ignorance of other political movements, to the point of fear and indeed paranoia. Those on the centre-left ridicule him; his response is to defensively claim that he is right, that his view is the mainstream, and therefore they are extremists. From there, it is but a short journey to believing that the Rotten Lefties (tm) are out to get him, and indeed out to get everyone. He doesn’t understand it, therefore it is A Very Bad Thing Indeed.
Author Alan Gibbons took exception to a routine exhibition of Tobes’ paranoia - comparing campaigning group Momentum to far-right Britain First, Tweeting “Can Toby Young give precise evidence demonstrating provable similarities between democratic socialists in the Labour Party and Britain First? If not, can he please shut up?” The response was swift.
Both Momentum and Britain First are extremist political sects that espouse ideologies that have resulted in tens of millions of innocent people being imprisoned, tortured and murdered and they both use bullying and intimidation to advance their toxic agendas”. Er, WHAT? Ah yes, democracy is fine for Tobes as long as it means electing Tories.
The Momentum Twitter account gave him a gentle reminder that he had ventured OTT: “.@toadmeister so scrapping tuition fees, building council houses and saving the NHS from privatisation have resulted in tens of millions of innocent people being imprisoned, tortured and murdered”. Mainstream European social democracy is not totalitarianism.

The reminder fell on deaf ears: “Hard left ideology of the type you espouse has been responsible for the deaths of 85m-100m people. Its adherents always think it will be less murderous next time. It never is”. Aaarghh! Jibber!! JIBBER!!! They’re coming for him!
How to deflect from that? Oh, how about a little dishonesty? After Owen Jones suggested Tobes was not exactly helping his own side, he flounced “I helped set up four state schools, all of them getting outstanding results, that when full will educate 1,940 children. What have you done for young people?” That’s not entirely true, is it, Tobes (see HERE)?

They aren’t coming to get him. But Toby Young really is paranoid. Sad, really.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

David Davis - Marr Show Pants On Fire

Following his accompanying Theresa May to her daybreak capitulation in Brussels on Friday, Brexit Secretary David Davis today appeared before the inquisition of the host on The Andy Marr Show (tm). Here, he attempted to map out how negotiations would proceed, soothe frayed Tory nerves, and have a dig at his Labour shadow Kier Starmer, who had the disadvantage of batting first on a sticky track.
And whatever spin was applied by his supporters in the retelling, this was one campaign that turned out not necessarily to his advantage. Davis may have appeared to get off lightly, but as ever, the giveaway is in the show’s interview transcripts, now online (see HERE). These show one act of blatant hypocrisy, and another of significant dishonesty.

Davis got his dig at Starmer in early, telling Marr “you just had Kier Starmer on here promising effectively that a Labour government would continue paying large sums of money. We’re not going to do that. That’s the promise we did make”. And, as Jon Stewart might have observed, two things here.

One, Starmer said that, as Norway (for instance) makes payments into the EU budget, “there may have to be payments”. How that becomes “promising” and “large sums” I will leave to others to decide. And two, Davis also said this, although it sounded at the time almost like an afterthought: “Then we’ll be out and the rest will be probably in a long tail, but we haven’t actually done the profile yet of that, you know. It will be a long time, maybe go on for many, many years but quite small sums”.

The rest” was referring to, er, payments that the UK will carry on making. David Davis confirmed that those payments will “go on for many, many years”. And sadly, we were not given any idea of what “quite small sums” meant. Given that his opposite number did not make the promise that Davis claimed he did will only increase voters’ scepticism.

Then came a sleight of hand as Davis claimed “‘No divergence’ would have meant actually taking cut and paste rules … ‘Full alignment’ means … we’ll meet the outcomes but not do it by just copying or doing what the European Union does”. This is another way of saying “Switzerland” rather than “Norway” - the pretence that it would be our own law.

And then came the whopper. After Marr put it to Davis that “The Taoiseach thinks that he has got that full alignment in his back pocket. That is an absolutely firm promise from Theresa May and yourself and the British government. He may be watching this. Can you  look in the camera and say that we absolutely commit ourselves to that?” the reply was that it was only about a “frictionless border”. It wasn’t.
As the Guardian had already reported, “Informed sources say the Dublin view is that the two paragraphs [49 and 50] combined limit the possibility of the UK operating under WTO rules and instead apply a regime very close to the existing rules”. Apply a régime. No ifs, no buts, no conditional statement, no get-out clause.

David Davis blustered moderately well this morning. But his claims that there is nothing binding on the UK Government, that we will somehow not stick to EU rules, and won’t be paying into EU budgets, are clearly bust. Fire extinguisher for the Brexit Secretary!