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Monday, 18 December 2017

Murdoch In Sex Pest Mire

Just when he might have been hoping that attention would focus on the deal between his flagship company 21st Century Fox and the Disney organisation, Rupert Murdoch is finding it instead coming back to his own management, and his own failings. The old tyrant gave a broadcast interview which touched on inappropriate behaviour at Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse), was given the rope, and duly hanged himself.
Rupe had given his interview to Sky News, in which he holds a 39% share, but with the Disney deal appears to have given up on getting his hands on the rest. Here, he told that the problems at FNC were down solely to former head man Roger Ailes, and that, as the New York Daily News has reported, removing Ailes sorted the problem.

He was dismissive of suggestions to the contrary: “It’s all nonsense. There was a problem with our chief executive. Sort of, over the years. But isolated incidents. As soon as we investigated it, he was out of the place in hours - well, three or four days. And there’s been nothing else since then”. Moreover, it was nothing more than “flirting”.
Gretchen Carlson, in her Fox News days

Former Fox host Gretchen Carlson, who previously sued Ailes for harassment, was unimpressed: “.@rupertmurdoch: sexual harassment isn’t flirting, nonsense, largely political or isolated incidents. I’m calling on you to release all women who complained about harassment at Fox from secrecy agreements you forced them to sign and let the truth come out. Let the public decide”. Then came Tamara Holder.
She had been paid off by FNC and been forced to sign a non-disclosure agreement. But Murdoch had, she claimed, maligned her and so had nullified it. Her testimony, to Brian Stelter of CNN, was explosive: “He says there that were cases that amounted to flirting. Let me be clear. I had a man pull out his penis in his office and shove my head on it. That was not flirting. That was criminal. That was not sexual harassment. This is criminal. And I'm not the only case. There are just women who can't speak out”. There was more.

I gave up my law practice to go to Fox News in New York, to work for Fox News, as a Democrat, to be a sports commentator, a legal commentator, all of those things. I wasn't planted by Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi. None of us were. We just wanted to work. And when we came out and spoke out, this had nothing to do with politics. This had to do with something that Mr. Murdoch knows every day. And that's called rights”. And more.
Tamara Holder - blowing the whistle on FNC

My agreement said that I couldn't ever apply for a job at any Fox News corporation. I could never work for Fox News or any other place that Fox News owned. Here in Chicago, Fox News owns media entities, and - or 21st Century Fox. So I am now being punished, on top of not having a career in TV, I can't even apply for a job because he allowed me to be abused in his workplace and didn't protect me? And I can't work anywhere now?

The NYDN also reminds readers “Former anchor Megyn Kelly also came forward with harassment allegations against Ailes, and Carlson’s lawyers claimed more than 20 women had said the same … Murdoch omitted mention of Bill O’Reilly, who got the boot from the network last spring after The New York Times revealed millions were paid out to settle similar allegations”. Murdoch’s interview has rebounded badly on him.

And he has revealed the sickness at the heart of his organisation. More on this later.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Theresa May HAS BEEN DERAILED

Today, our free and fearless press has surveyed the wreckage of the Brexit vision they had sold to their readers, realised that the Vision And Boundless Hope And Optimism was no more, and decided … to ignore reality yet again. Instead of owning up, and admitting that Theresa May faces Phase 2 of the negotiations with the likelihood that it will bust her, her party, and even her country, we are now told that is is once again Full Steam Ahead.
This determination to maintain the disconnect from reality, though, needs some serious work to make it look moderately plausible, even to the most impressionable of readers, so the Empress Treeza has been personally roped in to lend what little credibility she has left to proceedings. Hence the Desmond Sunday Express proclaiming “MAY: I WON’T BE DERAILED … Brexit pledge to defy Remainer rebels and ‘build a better Britain’”.

The PM has also been talking to the increasingly downmarket and desperate Sunday Telegraph, whose interpretation is “May: I’ve proved doubters wrong”, although the Tel allows a little reality to intrude in the sub-heading “Prime Minister takes credit for initial Brexit deal but fears challenge to unite the Cabinet”. Thus she reminds us of the real reason Young Dave called the referendum - to hold the Tories together.
But there was, as Captain Blackadder might have observed, only one thing wrong with this idea - it was bollocks. Ms May claims she will not be derailed, but already has been. She has dispelled no doubts. Also, her ministers and MPs are openly briefing against her: London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, Michael “Oiky” Gove, Iain Duncan Cough and others are all in the vanguard here.

Moreover, the latest opinion poll on Brexit has opened up a 10 point gap in favour of Remain, much of this down to those previously undecided turning against the idea of leaving the EU. Ominously for the Tories, as well as 84% of both Greens and Lib Dems backing remain, 81% of SNP supporters do likewise - and 72% of Labour voters. Small wonder there is a shift in the thinking of the Labour leadership.
Worse for Ms May are the words of Michel Barnier, leading the negotiations for the EU, who has toldWe won’t mix up the various scenarios to create a specific one and accommodate their wishes, mixing, for instance, the advantages of the Norwegian model, member of the single market, with the simple requirements of the Canadian one. No way. They have to face the consequences of their own decision”. No bespoke deals, sorry.

And yet worse is that while papers like the Murdoch Sun pretend that workers will benefit from an “overtime bonanza” if the Working Time Directive is scrapped, this would only prove true if (a) there was such an opportunity, (b) if the overtime were paid, and (c) if provisions such as holiday pay protections are maintained. Moreover, the Sun claiming the Directive costs each family £1,200 a year is pure invention, not for the first time.

The propaganda cannot paper over the cracks: Theresa May is hanging on by her finger ends, the public mood is slowly but inexorably shifting, and our free and fearless press is once again trying to piss into the teeth of a howling gale. It won’t work, folks. Give it up.

Monty’s Marr Show Paranoia

There are in this world of shifting political sands a few certainties, constants to which one can return on occasion in order to get one’s bearings. And one of those constants is the serial cluelessness of obscenely overrated self-appointed conservativeguru” Tim Montgomerie, who was clueless back in 2009 when he fouled up over the then nascent phone hacking scandal, and is still clueless today.
Yes, you got it wrong. Again

Monty’s reassuring wander through Blunderland was underscored by his response to Rob Burley, editor of The Andy Marr Show (tm) drumming up Twitter enthusiasm for the last edition before the Christmas break, telling “At 9am a great #marr coming up with review of 2017, today's news discussed by @ShippersUnbound @Emmabarnett and @RachelSJohnson plus @HackneyAbbott @DavidGauke @jginorton and @BBCSingers BBC1 in forty minutes time”. So far, so inoffensive. But not for Monty.

The Great Man (for it was he) decided this was not to his liking, and so to register his displeasure replied “#Marr not even trying to represent Leavers anymore”. Wait, what? Did I imagine the platform given to former UKIP Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage the other Sunday? There have been lots more Leavers, too.
Burley tried to refresh Monty’s memory: “As long as you don't count people like Nigel Farage, Kate Hoey, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Camilla Tominey, Michael Gove, Isabel Oakeshott, all guests in recent weeks. . I mean I could go on”. He most certainly could.

For starters, who can forget multiple appearances for the perma-tan and rigid smile of Richard Tice from Leave Means Leave (clue in the name there, Leave fans) who believes that if we could only be more optimistic, all would be well.

Then there is the Not-Conservative-At-All-Honestly regular presence of Talk Radio host Julia Hartley Dooda - another fervent Leaver. There has been a first appearance for Rob Oxley, formerly of the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance. Another from the alphabet soup of right-leaning and anti-EU Astroturf lobby groups has been Kate Andrews of the IEA, who has appeared on the paper review sofa twice recently.
There is more. Spectator editor Fraser Nelson, as well as dispensing flagrantly dishonest propaganda on press regulation, is a Leave backer, and has appeared recently. So has his pal, the loathsome Toby Young, who brought to the paper review the use of “Remoaner”, the less than totally subtle term of abuse for those who disagree with him.

Two Leave-oriented Iains have appeared: Iain Martin, he of “A clear public interest justification”, but not if it’s John Whittingdale, has been on the paper review, and so has LBC host Iain Dale, who is unequivocally on the Leave side.

And that’s before the representatives of the Murdoch, Rothermere, Desmond and Barclay Brothers press, who know which way they must jump when instructed to do so. Finally, to paraphrase the late Leonard Sachs, there is “chiefly yourself”: Monty is not exactly an unknown presence when it comes to the Marr Show paper review.

As I said, Tim Montgomerie was clueless in 2009, and he’s clueless today. End of story.

Diane Abbott Smear Is Out Of Order

[Update at end of post]

One of the more disturbing elements of today’s political discourse is that the nastier side of bigotry has made its way back into public view, allowing sexist, misogynist and indeed racist sentiments under the smokescreen of “it’s only political correctness”, “nothing wrong with a little bit of fun”, and “where’s your sense of humour”. This has allowed demonising of some politicians to become almost acceptable.
Diane Abbott MP

While this may impress some of the less pleasant elements of the Press Establishment, it also gives the far-right a free pass, and have they taken it with both hands. So it was when a company called Star Sports Bookmakers decided it would be a hoot to promote someone who had “blacked up” as Labour front-bencher Diane Abbott, in an attempt to be declared the “Best Fancy Dress” at the World Darts Championship.
So it came to pass that whoever was in charge of the Star Sports Bookmakers Twitter feed declared “An early contender for best fancy dress costume at the #PDC #WorldDartsChampionships tonight at #AllyPally”. While some were repulsed by the casual racism, others fell into that same trap - it was “only a bit of fun”, and everyone should “get a sense of humour”. Some saddoes even praised it.
Someone not going anywhere near praising this moronic display was Ms Abbott’s fellow Labour MP Stella Creasy, who responded “Wow @StarSports_Bet - guess it says what you really think of your customers that you promote this .. hoping @Yourallypally expect better about those using their beautiful venue … as bookies or punters … #21stcenturycalling”. But Star Sports Bookmakers were unfazed.
Back they came “This wasn't some guerrilla marketing stunt Stella, one of our team attended on a social night out. We thought it was a very impressive attempt at fancy dress and merely shared it with our followers. Please stop taking things so seriously”. Yeah, Ms Political Type, leave out yer Political Correctness! Where’s yer sense of humour?!? It’s only a bit of bantz innit?!? Er, no it isn’t. And Ms Creasy was yet more unimpressed.
Ah yes, of course - promoting casual racism is all so TERRIBLY hilarious that anyone who thinks its wrong is just a snowflake ey @starsports_bet .. blah blah … As said, if you don't get why out of order, really hope @Yourallypally do … #jogon #21stcenturycalling” she replied. Meanwhile, Stephen Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, Retweeted the original offending Tweet - but remember, he’s not a racist and it’s all about Muslims.
Meanwhile, Sky News has reminded us “In September, research by Amnesty International found that of over 25,000 abusive messages and tweets sent to female politicians in the six months leading up to the general election, half were directed at Ms Abbott … Ms Abbott has said that although she was subjected to abuse when she was elected 30 years ago, the sheer volume she now receives is overwhelming”. Quite.

This exhibition is bang out of order. It will serve only to encourage racist bigotry, and legitimise abuse of MPs - Ms Abbott in particular. Star Sports Bookmakers should hang their collective heads in shame - that is, in the unlikely event they can muster any.

[UPDATE 1130 hours: Star Sports Bookmakers have now deleted both their offending Tweets, despite theor earlier refusals to do so.
They have now told that, although "It was not meant to cause offence", they "have since removed the photo and would like to apologise to all those who were offended by it".

It's only a pity that (a) they posted it in the first place, (b) they then declined to remove it when given a chance to do so, (c) this emboldened the racist and abusive element on Twitter and elsewhere, and (d) the apology, when it eventually came, was less than unequivocal.

Still, better late than never, eh? What a complete and absolute shower]

Top Six - December 17

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 stuff to do later. So there.
6 Nigel Farage Backs Paedophile Mr Thirsty had gone to the USA to give his endorsement to Judge Roy Moore, running for the Senate in Alabama. Moore has since been accused by several woman of inappropriate behaviour, in one case when the victim was 14. No word from Nige, so presumably he’s cool with that.

5 Toby Young Momentum Paranoia The loathsome Tobes declared that a democratic and popular organisation was the same thing as far-right racist Britain First. Then he went totally gaga and claimed their ideology murdered tens of millions.

4 Ben Goldsmith Grenfell Smear BUSTED Another chip off the old Goldsmith block as the memorial and later peace walk for the Grenfell victims are reinvented as a means of attacking the Labour Party. Stay classy, Ben.

3 Britain First Leaders BOTH NICKED Jayda Fransen had to attend court in Belfast. Paul Golding went along too, but was arrested before getting into the building. Ms Fransen was then arrested later, just to be on the safe side.

2 Katie Hopkins Sick Grenfell Smears Just when you thought Hatey Katie could sink no lower, off she went in another vicious attempt to blame the tragedy on all those Scary Muslims (tm).

1 The Saga Of [Redacted]’s Dick Another Top Six appearance for this post from 2016, showing that the press establishment will always look after their own. Whoever they are, and whatever they’ve been up to.

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

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Letts Ignore Two Million Deaths

The recent past contains many human tragedies. For the Indian sub-continent, its present political structure was born out of one: the partition of British India into modern-day India and Pakistan uprooted around 14 million people, Muslims travelling to Pakistan, or to what was then East Pakistan (now Balgladesh), with Hindus, Sikhs and others travelling in the opposite direction. The mass exodus sparked terrible bloodshed.
Harry Potter and the Gobshite of Arslikhan

Killings, often seemingly indiscriminate, led to as many as two million deaths. Thus by the botched and rushed hand of Louis Mountbatten did the sub-continent finally secure its own independence from Britain, around 90 years after the first demands for it. This history is burned into the psyche of not only those who lived through it, but also those who came after them. It has not, however, permeated the Northcliffe House bunker.
So it was that the odious Quentin Letts (let’s not), his exasperation at realising Brexit was not the walk in the park previously advertised, coupled with a need to suck up to his legendarily foul mouthed editor, decided to open mouth and insert both feet in no style at all, telling the world “India in 1947 had rather less difficulty gaining its independence than we are having in 2017 leaving the Brussels empire. Time for Boris to go the full Gandhi”.
Quite apart from what was imposed on the Indian sub-continent not being what Gandhi had campaigned for, it being implemented despite his opposition, the forgetting that demands for Indian independence had been 90 years in the fulfilment, and the amateurish way in which it was achieved, Letts manages to miss the random slaughter, the mass killings, the tearing of the fabric of nations, never to be repaired.
Some were aghast at Quent’s single handed lunge for the day’s Most Stupid Tweet award: Owen Jones observed “Write this date down. It’s the date of the worst take in human history”. Others, like David Schneider, were mildly cynical: “Who can forget the hundreds shot by the EU army at the Scunthorpe Massacre and the thousands killed during the Hull Mutiny?” Letts had confirmed that, for a Mail pundit, knowledge is not always necessary.
The condemnation continued. Jamie McKelvie offered “A lot of people have come here to call you an idiot, and I just wanted to add to that. You're an idiot”. Matt Bishop added “You, Mr Letts, are an ignoramus & a monumental [bellend]”.  Mike Harding bent over and gave Quent the full pebbledash: “Slaughter and turmoil millions displaced. Are you really that stupid that you don’t know what happened? I guess so”.
Paddy Briggs tried to take it nice and slowly: “The rushed and incompetently managed independence of India and Pakistan is a stain on Britain’s reputation. Countless hundreds of thousands were displaced, huge numbers were slaughtered in sectarian violence and the seeds of mistrust sewn are visible today”. Manish Kalla explained to him “Unbelievable arrogance and ignorance of what actually transpired. Millions dead, a country divided, decades of regional instability”. And (Professor) Michael Merrifield was merely exasperated: “Buffoon. I can see why Boris is your go-to politician”.

Quentin Letts is full value for his Most Stupid Tweet Of The Day award. Something to think about the next time you see him invited on by the BBC and other broadcasters.

Farage And Mail Lie Together

The current Brexit ruckus, with the anti-EU press going off the end of the pier in no style at all after Parliament once more showed itself to be sovereign, has included most of the political class in its cast list. Except one: Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, former UKIP Oberscheissenführer, has hardly got a mention, except to whine about, er, not getting a mention. But today the Dacre doggies at the Daily Mail have come to his rescue.
What's f***ing untrue about it? F***ing well sue me if you think you're f***ing hard enough, c***

Getting out her largest onion, Rebecca Hardy tells readers'I'm 53, separated and skint': Nigel Farage reveals the 'price he has paid for Brexit' claiming the referendum triumph has left him 'unable to walk down the street alone' in case he's attacked”, going on to tell “Nigel Farage has a few choice words for the treacherous Tory Remainers who pulled the rug from under our EU negotiators this week, betraying 17.4 million Brexit voters. ‘Bloody awful people. My contempt for career politicians knows no bounds’”.

Career politicians like the people who stand to receive a £70k-plus annual pension from the European Parliament in 2019, like, er, Nigel Farage, then. And it’s him, not them, who has betrayed the voters’ trust, treating the EP like a combination of cash machine, Gentlemens’ club, and after-expensed-lunch sleep provider.

Then come the lies. “I can’t walk down the street in London on my own” tells Mr Thirsty, although he managed to fetch up at a local rugby club the other weekend by himself, now he can’t get anyone else to pick up his security tab. There was more: “I have thought about the States. Life is easier over there, but I am very English”. Bullshit. He’s not going to live in the USA because he is now an FBI “person of interest”.
Squeaky sob story finger up the bum time

The Mail even contributes whoppers of its own: “the sheer nastiness of many diehard Remainers since the British people voted to leave Europe is a disgrace”. Like Tory MP Anna Soubry being the subject of death threats, you mean? That’s a straight-A F*** Off. In fact, make that a whole series of whoppers: “Farage has … had the bolts on his car wheel loosened”. No he hasn’t. That’s a now-debunked pack of lies (see HERE).

And the lies keep coming: “Even more appallingly, Farage’s family are being targeted, too”. No citation - the Mail takes a known liar on trust. Still, on to the merely misleading: “he doesn’t seem OK. Today, he is red-eyed and his voice is raspy”. Because he’s hung over. Again. Although he’s allowed to claim “I don’t drink that much any more”. Tell that to the people at the rugby club who saw you downing a series of afternoon pints, Nige.

Still, there is a little honesty over Farage’s affairs: “He dismissed rumours of affairs as ‘crackers’ until a kiss-and-tell from his one-time adviser Annabelle Fuller was published”. He was not Ms Fuller’s only Kipper conquest, I’m told. Then it’s back to the bare-faced dishonesty: “There’s no money in politics, particularly doing it the way I’ve done it - 20 years of spending more than you earn … I have big expenses - lots of kids to pay for and things like that”. Sell one of those homes you didn’t tell the Mail about, then.

It should be no surprise that putting pathological liar Farage together with what Alastair Campbell called “the Dacre lie machine” leads to some serious dishonesty. The jaw-dropping part is that someone at Northcliffe House thinks nobody will notice. They have.

Ben Goldsmith Grenfell Smear BUSTED

Anyone who wondered whether the vicious and unpleasant side of the late and not at all lamented James Goldsmith had been passed on to his offspring has recently been put straight in very short order: first it was son Zac indulging in Islamophobic smears to try and beat Sadiq Khan to the London Mayoralty, and now son Ben has indulged in a little smearing and dishonesty of his own with the families of the Grenfell Tower victims.
Ben Goldsmith - another chip off the old block

Ben Goldsmith, who didn’t go to University after attending Eton College because he was by this time stinking rich, rolling in the inherited wealth from his father’s ill-gotten gains, claims to be an environmental campaigner, but is also a donor to the Tories, and individual candidates like Michael “Oiky” Gove. This latter-day Nigel Hyphen Hyphen Stroke Money is also adept in Labour-bashing righteous dishonesty.
So it was that he took to Twitter after the Grenfell memorial service, and the silent march through West London, to invent a totally untrue smear against the victims’ families and those supporting them, his chosen text being a Daily Mail hatchet job. The Mail had done its usual paranoid “they’re being manipulated by lefty rabble rousers” thing in order to undermine the survivors, and stiffen the sinews of its more impressionable readers.
Caring, green Ben opened proceedings with “Just had a glimpse of Corbyn’s Britain. A birthday party for my sister-in-law in Notting Hill invaded and shut down by a vicious bottle-throwing hard Leftist crowd (from the Grenfell march), because they could”. One observer was not impressed, commenting “What sort of people would hold a party in the middle of a commemorative event to remember mass deaths in a community? Weird and sinister”.
It then got worse, as another Tweeter responded “Ben, I was at this party. You left 30 mins after arriving. Quite rudely I may add, after not bringing your own bottle, having 2 goblets of champagne and calling a child an insufferable bell end”. Well, Goldsmith had not ponied up any evidence to back up his smear, so anyone could claim they were there.
So it was on to the Mail’s hatchet job for his next inspiration. Far left activists? You got it: “I saw this for myself last night. The nasty, violent, self-righteous hard Left has hijacked the Grenfell tragedy and its victims for political ends”. The push back came immediately. “This is vile. The silent walk was 100% peaceful. Were you the one disrupting survivors during speeches?” observed one Tweeter, while another ruefully noted “So much for the 'decent-green' image of the Goldsmiths”. Indeed. And there was more.
The question many were now asking was put directly: “150 witnesses, yet no photo or film is available. Can you admit you lied now, or do we have to wait for the @metpoliceuk to respond?” And the presence of some well-known obsessives supporting Goldsmith was causing concern: “Ben Goldsmith and his nasty slurs are encouraging all the filth to come out in support. Seriously sinister”. A little OTT, but not much.

James Goldsmith secured the Shit Of The Year award on at least one occasion. His equally infamous sons show every sign of continuing in that tradition.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Sun Victimises The Disabled

Monstering the disabled is one of those easy hits for our free and fearless press: it’s hard to forget the vicious glee with which the Mail, with unfunny and tedious churnalist Richard Littlejohn in the vanguard, maliciously lied about the Motability scheme in order to whip up hatred and snigger as some of those in greatest need had their cars taken away from them. And today the Murdoch Sun has joined the game.
Indeed, such is the glee with which the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker have gone about their task that they have put today’s selected victim on the front page. “Exclusive … Christmas Fury … Benefits mum splurges £2,000 on presents for her six kids and … YULE PAY”. Laugh? I thought I’d never start. The article is even nastier.

DING DOLE MERRILY ON HIGH Benefits mum-of-six Claire Young hits out at criticism and says her six kids shouldn’t miss out on Christmas gifts … Defiant dole mum, Claire Young, 29, has defended blowing £2,000 on Christmas gifts for her children”. Yeah, terrible innit, some poor woman puts aside £50 a week from the benefits her family receives, so that they can at least have a decent Christmas. I mean, that’s almost 40% of what the Sun’s editor typically blows on one of his gourmet evening meals out.

It’s only when readers drill down into the small print that they see it’s a disabled person who is being bullied here: “ex-barmaid Claire, who hasn’t worked since 2012 because she has a painful condition called fibromyalgia … Claire, whose fibromyalgia causes chronic fatigue”. Want that translated? She suffers from M E. And if you look in the list of benefits the Sun has helpfully provided, you’ll see her husband also has a disability.

Apart from Housing Benefit, which the family don’t see as it goes straight to their landlord, there are two tell-tale items: “£62.10 ‘Carers allowance for husband’ and £75.25 ‘PIP for Claire”. You don’t get PIP for nothing. She has to be suffering from some kind of disability to receive that. Still, the usual mean-spirited Tory MPs have willingly chipped in.

Despite Ms Young stressing “We go without over the summer holidays and I have one pair of shoes so I can save for Christmas for my children”, up pops Alec Shelbrooke to bluster that hard-working people “will be appalled by those apparently playing our social ­security system for a fool”. He didn’t bother to check his facts beforehand, either.

Also not bothering with such trivialities as facts were Andrew Rosindell, thundering “This is a flagrant abuse of the generosity of our benefits system … To spend so much on so many gifts is a disgusting extravagance” (being thrifty clearly is sinful in his world), and David Davies (not the Brexit secretary) talking of “people who are choosing not to work and still manage to live the high life”. That’s the “high life”? What’s he been supping?

Davies, one of the more revolting Tory back benchers, also ranted “This kind of taxpayer-funded extravagance shows that while we have made steps to encourage people into work, there is still a lot to do”. THEY’RE BOTH SODDING DISABLED. ER, HELLO?

Still, makes a cheap hit for the Murdoch goons before they all go off to spray their wads up the wall, eh? One day, some of them might even locate their consciences.

Mail Human Rights Fiasco ISN’T

Having embarrassed himself yesterday with a front page that once again exposed the rabid bullying, spite and monstering that are a characteristic part of his coward’s arsenal, the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre decided to switch tack and deploy another of his favourite methods of inciting hatred - Human Rights. This has been achieved by making a series of highly creative claims and ignoring inconvenient facts.
Why the f*** shouldn't I defame and smear f***ing foreigners, c***?!?!?

The routinely dishonest headline tells you all you need to know: “ANOTHER HUMAN RIGHTS FIASCO! … Iraqu ‘caught red-handed with bomb’ wins £33,000 - because our soldiers kept him in custody for too long”. And once again, the Dacre doggies pull the “YOU PAY SHOCK HORROR” excuse as they blusterTAXPAYERS face massive compensation bills after a suspected Iraqi insurgent won a human rights case against the Ministry of Defence yesterday”. What’s what word there? Ah yes, “suspected”.

Do go on. “The High Court ruled he was held too long by British troops despite allegedly being found making a bomb”. What’s that word there? Ah yes, “allegedly”.

And it gets worse: the Mail’s talking heads are Richard Kemp, much cited by far-right groups, and Tory MP Johnny Mercer, whose quote is a dead giveaway: “Soldiers should abide by the rule of law, as does everybody who served, BUT”. No, no buts, no ifs. Even if foot soldiers are not familiar with the provisions of the Geneva Conventions and relevant human rights law, their commanding officers are.
Worse still, the judgment handed down in this case is clear and reasoned - as one might expect from a judiciary tasked with interpreting the law, rather than playing to the Daily Mail’s gallery. Abd al-Waheed was awarded £15,000 for the beating he received from the soldiers who detained him, a further £15,000 for ill-treatment, and £3,300 for being detained for a period of 33 days which could not be justified.

In other words, most of what he was awarded was for torture. That’s what beating and inhuman treatment is. As Simon Carne observed, “In a civilised society  it's illegal to torture anyone ... even terrorists”. Al-Waheed was shown not to have been involved in terrorist activity. He wasn’t handling a bomb. And the idea that “well, they’re suspects and brown and foreign so, y’know, nudge nudge, wink wink” is bang out of order.

The judgment (read it HERE) also shows that the house where al-Waheed was living at the time of his capture had “a partly assembled IED” in one of its rooms. The Mail is therefore seriously misleading its readers by claiming he was “caught red-handed” with it.
So what the Dacre doggies are claiming is partly untrue, and partly suggesting that we should accept the use of torture, including physical abuse, by our armed forces, because those being abused are brown people who happen to be Muslims.

That is un-British in the extreme. It is no more than the whipping up of the mob in yet another orchestrated act of pure spite, just because a court has interpreted the rule of law in a way which has proved unpalatable to the Mail’s deeply troubled editor.

Still, it helps to sell papers and keep the readers in line, so that’s all right, then. 

Katie Hopkins Sick Grenfell Smears

Yesterday marked six months since the Grenfell Tower fire, which is now known to have cost the lives of 71 people. Many more were left traumatised and homeless. And, as so often with these events, those who suffered were the little people, the ones just scraping by in an increasingly expensive and exclusive city. To mark the event, a service of remembrance was held at St Paul’s Cathedral in central London.
Viewers may still want to look away now

Those attending included survivors of the blaze and their families, relatives of those who sadly didn’t make it, as well as faith leaders, representatives from Parliament, and a full turnout of working Royals. The Dean of St Pauls told those assembled “Be united in the face of suffering and sorrow” and spoke of “the unspeakable tragedy, loss and hurt of that June day”. But not everyone observing proceedings was of such generous spirit.
Despite the grief still being raw, and many of those survivors still being homeless six months on, pro-am motormouth Katie Hopkins clearly sensed an opportunity to generate More And Bigger Click Counts For Herself Personally Now. And in this, she was at her vicious, intolerant, dishonest and ignorant worst. Smearing the survivors, whipping up the hate mob, and defaming the memory of the dead, these were her priorities.
So it should have been no surprise at all to read “4 in 5 residents from #GrenfellTower are still in hotel accommodation because they are holding out for luxury flats. Dry your tears of sympathy”. This is totally untrue. It is yet another unresearched and malicious smear. But the invention and malice levels were about to be ramped up further.
En route to this destination, Hatey Katie paused briefly to claim “Conservative councillors were refused places at the memorial. The church, #StPaulsCathedral & the Royals should not be endorsing politics in grief. #GrenfellMemorial”. This is also totally untrue. Survivors and their relatives REQUESTED that no Tory Councillors from RBKC attend. They were, after all, the ones who endorsed all the fateful decisions concerning the Tower.
And then comes the pièce de résistance: “The locals from the tower I spoke to said it was not a fridge, but an open hot oil cooker - for breaking Ramadan fast”. This is the most monstrous and malicious lie. No other report of this has been published, because Ms Hopkins (a) did not talk to any locals, so (b) she is just smearing out of prejudice. And after Ms Hopkins drops this poison to her 800,000 plus Twitter followers, she knows some will be gullible enough to believe it. This is hate speech, pure and simple.
And we know who her targets are: once again, it’s all about blaming the Scary Muslims (tm) for the fire. We can deduce this from her dismissive response to those still grieving: “The politics of grief. Grenfell fire: a service at St Paul’s plus Royals. Manchester slaughter: carry on as normal, suck on a tea candle & hug a Muslim”.

Half a century ago, the Katie Hopkins of this world would spend their evenings sat in a corner of the snug down the local pub, sipping a Mackeson and lying maliciously, but only to themselves, ignored by everyone else. Now they can poison lots of other minds, too.

Anyone still out there in the media world prepared to indulge this seriously unhappy and unpleasant person? I have only one question for you: why?