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Friday, 19 January 2018

Nigel Farage - Arrest Soon?

While he avoids the mire now engulfing his old party, former UKIP Oberscheissenf├╝hrer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage remains in the news, but not necessarily for reasons he would find desirable: he has once again been implicated in the Trump-Russia investigation being led by former FBI director Robert Mueller. Farage had already been confirmed as a “person of interest” to the Bureau, as the Guardian reported last June.
Squeaky you can't take the Fifth finger up the bum time

Now has come a development which might never have been chased up - but for the chance sighting earlier last year when an eagle-eyed passer-by saw Farage going in to the Ecuadorian embassy in London’s Knightsbridge district. BuzzFeed were duly tipped off and one of their people was on the doorstep to intercept an evasive Mr Thirsty when he emerged, claiming he couldn’t recall what he’d been doing in there.

Of course, thanks to German newspaper Die Zeit, we all knew soon enough. During an interview in which his campaign progressed not necessarily to his advantage, Nige admitted he had lied about meeting the deputy Russian ambassador, and then he admitted his visit to the Ecuadorian embassy was to visit Julian Assange, with whom he ‘discussed a lot’”. Now we know it wasn’t just about talking - or one meeting.

Talking Points Memo has toldTwo foreign allies of President Donald Trump - the face of Brexit and founder of WikiLeaks —-may have had multiple, previously undisclosed meetings during the 2016 presidential campaign. In November testimony to the House Intelligence Committee that was made public Thursday, Glenn Simpson, founder of private intelligence firm Fusion GPS, said he’d heard reports that Brexit leader Nigel Farage provided data to WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange”. And there was more.
Simpson, whose firm assembled the so-called Trump-Russia dossier, added that the data came in the form of a thumb drive”. Small enough for Nige to have collected it and taken it on board the plane coming back from the USA without any problem. And even though TPM notes “Both Farage and Assange have dismissed the suggestion that they took any action to influence the election results. The former British politician insisted he has ‘no connections to Russia’”, he keeps being highly evasive.

Remember that Farage first claimed he didn’t recall who he saw in the Ecuadorian embassy. Then he admitted he’d seen Assange for “journalistic reasons”. Then he claimed it was a “private meeting”. Then he claimed he met Assange “briefly”, but that they discussed “a lot”. He took along an LBC producer, but LBC has run nothing on the encounter. So it might have been something and nothing. But if Farage continues to be evasive, then questions are going to be asked.

And remember also that the what Glenn Simpson said was back in November. As so often with the Mueller investigation, it’s inevitably months after the event that we find out what has been revealed, and by then the questioning has moved on. But what we do know is that with the authorities being told Nige was passing data to someone considered a Russian asset, the inevitable outcome is that he will be arrested and questioned.

He can then try and evade his way out of that one. Or maybe not.

Boris Bridge Has Idiot Backer

The Government is still a shambles. Theresa May has been hosting French President Emmanuel Macron, laying on the welcome, even managing a few words of French, only for him to tell her the bad news - there will be no Brexit deal which includes our financial services sector without membership of the Single Market, adherence to EU laws, and of course being overseen by the European Court of Justice.
That’s not going to please the PM’s rabid Europhobes. So how could attention be diverted from yet another glorious failure? Simples. All that was needed was for London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson to assume the role previously allocated to Michael Fallon, and slap a dead cat on the table. This he did.
Iain Martin, master civil engineer. Or maybe not

Bozza’s bonzer idea was to propose a bridge across the Channel. Yes, there won’t be any dosh for the NHS - let alone £350 million - but the clown in the Foreign Office is still able to suggest another ridiculous vanity project. The Boris Bridge was instantly ridiculed, and called out for the obvious diversionary dead cat ploy. But one pundit was impressed.

Murdoch shilling taker Iain Martin was having none of the nay-saying, telling “Much mockery of Boris suggesting Channel bridge. If Macron had suggested it this would be hailed as a stroke of pro-European genius”. Macron would not have been so foolish as to suggest something so pointless. It’s a clear false equivalence.
Charles Arthur broke the bad news. “I really don’t think so. He wouldn’t have suggested it either because it’s barmy”. Cruel. Cruel, but fair. But Martin would not be diverted from his adoration of the Bozza: “really? The Chinese and the Japanese have tried plenty of precarious projects, and succeeded”. And here is the problem with inexpert pundits in one: what comparison has Martin done on those Chinese and Japanese projects? He hasn’t. Are any of them over busy shipping lanes? What about wind and sea conditions?
Worse, when informed of Bozza’s lamentable legacy as London Mayor (vanity cable car, vanity buses, vanity Garden Bridge, vanity island Airport, water cannon and the rest), Martin’s response - “reduced knife crime, successful Olympics” - was misleading and dishonest. Knife crime didn’t fall in Bozza’s first term, with the Olympics being secured by Ken Livingstone and brought to fruition by the likes of Seb Coe.
And as one observer noted, “One little issue with Le Boris Bridge - the towers would need to be much larger than the Petronas Towers (1500ft)  above sea level to allow super tankers to pass. Channel is 700 ft at maximum depth. Queensferry Crossing towers are 600ft tall”. That’s just for starters. It’s a dead cat, nothing more, nothing less.
Yet we have one of the Pundit Establishment, who is regularly invited on by the broadcasters, backing this idea on the basis of zero research and no more than a hunch - plus of course Bozza is right now in hock to the Murdoch press, on pain of them opening the Sun safe and showing the world what they’ve got on him.

Iain Martin shows us what is wrong with our free and fearless press, and its woefully clueless pundits, without anyone having to stop and ask. Well done that man.

UKIP Leader Bolton Is Paranoid

The paranoid tradition in politics has long been part of the scene in the USA, but not here in the UK - until UKIP arrived. Getting voters frightened witless that the alleged Dark State is coming to get them is part and parcel of the Kippers’ modus operandi. The media only runs lots of stories ridiculing them because it’s part of some dastardly establishment plot (although, of course, many Kippers are part of the establishment, but hey ho).
They still don't look like a credible couple

So UKIP was already a more than slightly paranoid organisation. But now its increasingly ridiculous looking leader Henry Bolton has taken it all to a new level, as he tries to excuse his own recent behaviour and its media coverage. The reality is that the ridicule raining down on him is his own fault, the result of his own idiocy. This, however, cannot be allowed to enter. So he has decided that they’re coming to get him.

This was evident when he told Arron Banks’ unhinged rant outfit Westmonster, on his relationship with 25-year-old Jo Marney, “The reports are an infringement into our private lives. It’s an attempt by the left-wing media in particular to try to attack the party through me. It’s not worked … I have no doubt I’m going to come out of this, and Jo and I are going to come out of this as a couple, stronger than we went into it”. The left-wing media? Er, no.
The blame game may actually distract some from the routine dishonesty that Bolton has inherited from Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, exemplified by his telling fans “Please read my article on Breitbart regarding the state of our borders and the issues we are facing all the while we are not fixing them” while accompanying his exhortation with a photo showing a location nowhere near our borders. Like Farage and his “Breaking Point” stunt.

So what happened when Ms Marney was discovered to be more than the average UKIP racist, and then he was caught not really dumping her after saying he was, er, dumping her? Yes, you guessed it: “An organised coup and insurgency against my leadership of our party has begun. Prominent individuals both inside and outside the party have co-operated with left wing media to intentionally destabilize the party during this time and turn the members against me”. They’re coming to get him. And it’s not his fault.
But the party hierarchy can just bin him, right? After all, he’s an embarrassment, he’s seeing demons around every corner, he’s not dumping his publicity stunt squeeze, and he’s quite happy to do this all in public. But, as the HuffPost has discovered, UKIP are stuffed - they’re so skint that they can’t afford another leadership election!

That means the dwindling ranks of the UKIP faithful can only look on as Bolton threatens to take them all down with him, boasting “The following messages were sent to me by Patrick James Gilmore whom recently alluded in an article that a group was acting against me … That entire conversation has been backed up and secured. I am going to release screenshots given to me by Patrick James Gilmore of conversations he has had with Ben Walker and Annabelle Fuller (aka Trixy Sanderson)”.

Well, one advantage of his roping in Ms Fuller is that one of his most vocal potential leadership rivals might get made to look even more ridiculous that Bolton himself. As Rolf might have said, can you guess who it is yet? But seriously, UKIP is finished.

Henry Bolton’s descent into paranoia will just make it happen more rapidly. Good.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Sun Sick Beheading Stunt FLOPS

Looking, as always, to keep the readers from drifting away to a neutral or even, heaven forbid, Remain stance on the hated EU, the Murdoch goons at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun have decided to parody the news that the Bayeux Tapestry is to leave France for the first time in over 900 years and go on display in Britain. This generous gesture from French President Emmanuel Macron could not be allowed to pass without comment.
Tony Gallagher - a suitable case for the sacking treatment

But the sense of fun which infused previous Sun EU attacks - typified many years ago by the “UP YOURS DELORS” headline, a cheap and tacky but otherwise harmless gesture - is forever absent in the world of editor Tony Gallagher, who still has the default spite mode of the Daily Mail coursing through his veins. So the Bayeux piss-take has turned out to be not at all funny, except that it’s probably put another nail in his editorial coffin.
The Sun fun days ... harmless gestures

BYE-EU TAPESTRY The Sun’s Brexit-inspired tapestry shows EU membership was one long stitch-up … As Britain faces another moment of destiny with Brexit freeing us from the continental shackles of the hated EU, we mark another historic move” trumpets the headline, in a routine detachment from reality in the lives of those in the Baby Shard bunker. Then comes the lame Sun Tapestry.
The new Sun days ... violent incitement

Sadly, the Murdoch goons are not up to even imitating the original Latin of the Bayeux Tapestry with any conviction - The [Real] Goon Show did that much better - so inflict on their readers a mixture of Medieval, cod and very bad Latin, recycling stuff from the Bible, and of course along the way pretend that their pack of lies about the Queen backing Brexit was really true (it really wasn’t). Then they slip up. Very badly.

The final tableau of the Sun Tapestry depicts Theresa May standing victorious, holding her Union Jack and proclaiming “Let Joy Be Unconfin├Ęd” (I warned you the attempts at realism were crap), while surrounded by the headless bodies of her EU “enemies”. Facing Brussels and sticking two fingers up it was not.
Many were not happy at the sick stunt. James Felton observed “To draw your attention to the most unhinged part of this from @TheSun, here's Theresa May standing over the decapitated corpses of our allies”. Nicolas Hatton agreed: “Let Joy Be Unconfined? What a disgusting and violent xenophobic depiction of Brexit by @TheSun showing May with bodies of decapitated Europeans around her. I am filing a complaint”.
And Brexit Bin in turn agreed with Hatton, responding “I have to agree. As well as not being funny, this final depiction of cheering Leavers and a triuphant May surrounded by the bodies of decapitated EU27 citizens is a borderline incitement to violence”. No doubt our sham press regulator IPSO will wipe the Murdoch goons’ backsides and say there is nothing to see here, honestly, but the reality is that Gallagher has goofed yet again.
Not even the repellant Kelvin McFilth of Hillsborough infamy would have sanctioned something depicting a Prime Minister celebrating among the decapitated bodies of our fellow European leaders. Tony Gallagher could, and should, have spiked this drivel.

He did not. So perhaps it’s time for that P45 to be wheeled out.

Sun Hacking - Murdoch Chickens Out

Today in London, the trial was supposed to begin of four test cases. Four individuals had alleged phone hacking not merely by the late and not at all lamented Screws, but also the Super Soaraway Currant Bun. Moreover, allegations were also made of other illegal information gathering, for instance by blagging confidential information. There were also claims that potential evidence, such as emails, had been tampered with.
Not appearing at a court in London any time soon ...

Those four individuals were Jim Moir (aka Vic Reeves), presenter Kate Thornton, actor Rajan Harkishindas, and agent Chris Herbert. Their cases would be the first in a new wave of hacking and other claims against the Murdoch empire, with another 47 waiting in the wings. But information had already leaked out during the week suggesting that, once again, the Murdoch mafiosi had chickened out and bought them all off.

And so it came to pass that the Guardian has reportedPhone-hacking cases brought by Vic Reeves, Kate Thornton and two others against Rupert Murdoch’s Sun and News of the World have been confidentially settled, just as a six-week trial was due to hear allegations of a cover-up by senior executives at the media mogul’s British tabloids”.
... so he's still in the clear ...

The appointed trial judge was not a happy chappie: “The last-minute deal on Thursday earned both sides a rebuke from Mr Justice Mann, who complained that issues important to another 47 hacking cases in the pipeline had not been determined in a case that would have heard allegations of wrongdoing by James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks”.

The settlement reached was confidential, but is believed to be well into six figures for each of the four claimants. Plus “Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers was also expected to pay their costs, estimated at about £4m in total”. The inmates of the Baby Shard bunker have a significantly sized petty cash drawer on call for life’s little emergencies.
... and so is she ...

Why the four were paid off - with the can being at least kicked a little further down the road - was strongly hinted at: “David Sherborne, counsel for the claimants, told the court the claimants would ‘allege criminality at the most senior level: James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks’ as part of the case”. Rupe has to keep Rebekah safe, once more.

Also, the name of his remaining UK Red Top had to be kept free of the taint of criminality that dogged the Screws, so we also read “The case had also been due to hear allegations of hacking by journalists at the Sun. News UK has never admitted that any hacking took place at the daily title, nor any wrongdoing by senior executives. The last-minute agreement meant neither of these issues were determined”.
... and so is this, sadly

No, they’ve admitted nothing, but paid a shed load of dosh to those who claimed the Sun had hacked them. But once again, as the Guardian notes, “the other litigants in the pipeline had now been deprived of the opportunity to see issues of liability being resolved in a test case”. Pay them off, keep the heat off Rupe, Junior and Rebekah.

The Murdoch mafiosi have so far decided to pay whatever it costs to keep their top brass out of court. Why that should be I will leave to others to decide.

Murdoch - The New Maxwell

When the Murdoch mafiosi moved to sell a major part of their empire to the Disney organisation - with no job guaranteed for either of Rupe’s sons - the questions were asked as to why the sale, and why now. What would happen to the Sky bid, and the constant appetite of the family for being able to bend Governments around the world to their will? And what would happen to the businesses left behind?
With Murdoch’s UK newspaper operation under continued fire over allegations of phone hacking, blagging, and even evidence tampering, and papers like the Sun now losing money hand over fist, there now has to be added the potential for Rupe’s slavish support for Combover Crybaby Donald Trump rebounding badly on him, and the thought that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller might come after the Murdochs as well.

All of this has now come sharply into focus with the belated news that Rupert Murdoch is now recuperating at one of his many homes after suffering a “serious back injury” on board son Lachlan’s yacht. Reports are sketchy at best: as the Guardian has told readers, “Rupert Murdoch reportedly suffered a back injury in a recent sailing accident, according to an internal note from the media mogul, which was provided to the Associated Press”.

Murdoch “would be working from home for weeks because of the injury, according to a person with knowledge of the email who was not authorized to share the note”. We should take the Murdoch mafiosi on trust. So what happened? “Murdoch, 86, was reportedly in the Caribbean on his son Lachlan’s yacht around the beginning of the year when the injury occurred, and taken from the boat to a hospital by helicopter”.

So it was bad enough for him to have to be airlifted to hospital, yet it appears to have taken weeks to let the world know. And it’s bad enough for him to be away from work for several more weeks. Worse, the exact nature of Murdoch’s injury is not being disclosed - deliberately, it seems. All of which brings back memories of another troubled media mogul and a most unfortunate incident involving a yacht.
Robert Maxwell, aka Captain Bob, aka The Bouncing Czech

In 1991, Robert Maxwell, one of the most vile and litigious newspaper owners ever to walk the earth, managed to fall off his luxury yacht the Lady Ghislaine into the Atlantic Ocean off the Canary Islands. His naked body was recovered some time later. It was only after his demise that the discovery was made that Maxwell had been raiding the Mirror Group’s pension fund to prop up his empire - to the tune of hundreds of millions of Pounds.

Of course, Rupert Murdoch, once a great business rival of Maxwell’s, is not in such acute financial straits. But what connects the two is that it is only when Rupe shuffles off this mortal coil that we will finally discover the extent of his bad behaviour - not just the indulgence of his papers in “The Dark Arts”, but more importantly the abuse of power on his behalf at a Governmental level in a whole series of countries.

Meanwhile, it’s only a coincidence that Murdoch’s businesses are in turmoil, he’s in the firing line for Mueller, and he goes and has a mystery yachting accident which takes weeks to be confessed to the world’s media. And if you believe that, you’ll believe anything.

Uber 10 Hour Shift Myth BUSTED

Not for the first time, driver and rider matching service Uber has pulled the wool over most of the press pack’s eyes with a move which turns out to be utterly meaningless. After it became clear that many Uber drivers were working long enough shifts for some of them to fall asleep on the job - and sometimes at the wheel - the company has decreed that none of those drivers can work more than ten hours at a time.
This looks a reasonable move at first - until you look more closely. This is what Uber drivers have been told: “From Tuesday 23 January, after spending up to 10 hours of time ‘on trip’ (from confirming a trip to completing it), the app will notify you that you need to take a 6 hour break. You’ll need to be offline for a full 6 hours before your ‘on trip’ timer is reset”. See the “from confirming a trip to completing it”? Hold that thought.

Quite apart from allowing drivers to bust the limit - “If you are on a trip that puts you over the 10 hour limit, you will be able to continue driving until the trip is completed” - the answer to “What counts towards your 10 hours ‘on trip’ time?” exposes this move for the sham PR fluff that it really is. It’s all about that “confirmation to completion” idea.

This is the revealing answer to that question: “The time that you are ‘on trip’ counts from confirming the trip to completing the trip … If you are online but not with a passenger and not on the way to a pick up, for example waiting for a request or in the airport queue, then this time is not included into your 10 hours of time ‘on trip’”. It does not take much knowledge of Uber drivers’ behaviour around London to see through that.

Uber drivers know where the most lucrative pick-ups happen, and when. They also know that in most of those areas, even being able to pull off the road for a few minutes is next to impossible. Parking in central London without having to pay through the nose or break the law - unless you’re a real taxi with access to real taxi ranks - is non-existent. So Uber drivers keep on the move, around those lucrative parts of town.

That’s why you see them on the Euston Road, hoping to catch someone coming in to Euston, St Pancras or Kings Cross by train. It’s why there are so many of them pootling around Parliament, looking for ideologically suitable MPs, peers and their staff. And why so many Uber cars hang around Theatreland later on at night, on the off-chance of securing a long run out into the suburbs. None of this will count towards that 10 hour cap.

So when Steve McNamara of the LTDA says “This is a toothless cap that still allows Uber's drivers to work over 100 hours a week, and is a PR stunt that will not improve passenger safety”, he is dead right. Because that is what it is. Driving around the area west of Euston station so that they can time it right when the call comes, nip down Drummond Street, on to Melton Street and catch someone off the train is not going to count.

But it’s time behind the wheel, it’s contributing to overall fatigue, and it shows Uber’s grand pronouncement to be nothing more than another cheap stunt to con the gullible reporters and pundits who still think the sun shines out of Uber’s backside.

The time for Uber to take safety seriously has not yet arrived. That’s not good enough.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Tommy Robinson Threatens Murder

The law enforcement authorities have had plenty of experience in dealing with the machinations of Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, over the years. Today they got good reason to add to that CV after Lennon threatened to commit murder - and was recorded doing so. His obsessive pursuit of all and any followers of The Prophet may just end up gaining him one follower too many.
Stephen Yaxley Lennon aka Tommy Robinson

Lennon has, recently, proclaimed his knowledge of the Qur’an, loudly boasting when given a platform by broadcasters, as he was on ITV’s Good Morning Britain when Piers Morgan, as so often, substituted shouting someone down for rational and informed debate. But when Ali Dawah suggested to Lennon that he debate with The Great Man one to one, the mask slipped as realisation dawned that the Muslim basher was not up to the job.

What Ali Dawah proposed was debate: Lennon ultimately tried to deflect by substituting a charity boxing match. That by itself shows intellectual cowardice on a monumental scale, but what followed shows that Bedfordshire Police should be taking a keener interest in someone on their patch. Because when Ali Dawah phoned Lennon, and recorded the conversation, the first thing he got out of him was a death threat.

Lennon told Ali Dawah that, should he turn up chez Lennon, he would kill him. He went on to clarify this: he would “instantly” kill him. So not only is Lennon threatening murder for doing something he himself has done several times recently to other people - hypocrisy is such a challenging concept to some people - he’s suggesting that he has the means to do so “instantly”. Is he keeping offensive weapons in his house?

Then, as if he could not dig himself in deeper, Lennon told Ali Dawah that he “respected” the killers of Fusilier Lee Rigby. How can anyone wanting to see a peaceful world have any respect for two sad individuals who used their car to bludgeon a man into semi-consciousness before brutally beheading him? Any idea that Lennon is a man of peace was blown to bits the moment he came out with that one.
Ali Dawah corners Lennon

What was also clear from the recording Ali Dawah has made available is that Lennon’s knowledge of the Qur’an does not appear to be as great as he would have us believe: he is left umming and ahhing when challenged over verses from the Holy book.

Equally bad is the idea that Lennon can rock up on others’ doorsteps - including in the dead of night, let us not forget - in order to harass those who have done no more than express an opinion which does not chime with his own. His appetite for harassment recently lost a worker in Luton his job after Lennon repeatedly turned up at the man’s workplace with his mob in tow. He is a stinking hypocrite of the worst kind.

His justification was that the man he targeted had revealed his address. But he had not. Lennon loves to call “liar” on others, but he does plenty of his own lying. Well, now he’s been caught on record, bang to rights, making murder threats against someone who is doing no more than quoting his own playbook back at him.

It is high time that Stephen Lennon’s little Wild West Show was brought to an end. It’s a subject on which Bedfordshire Police could do us all a favour.

Guido Fawked - Facebook Idiocy EXPOSED

The quip made by Private Eye magazine when newspapers left “hot metal” technology all those years ago - “New technology baffles pissed old hack” - might need a little updating to cover the latest demonstration by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog that some in the new media have an embarrassingly deficient knowledge of the medium in which they claim expertise.
Behold the figurehead of deep technological knowledge

Under the guise of once more putting the boot into BuzzFeed, probably because it does genuine journalism, rather than the self-appointed faux kind practised by The Great Guido, has come the claimFacebook’s Retreat From News And Algo Change Panics Buzzfeed”. The post explains “Facebook’s Adam Mosseri announced last Thursday that it is getting out of the news business and going back to connecting people with personal stuff”.

And, so what? Is there some point to this exercise? The post attempts to do so as it continues “For Buzzfeed and other Facebook traffic driven organisations this is bad news, Buzzfeed gets some 23% of their traffic at the whim of Mark Zuckerberg. Unsurprisingly Buzzfeed bought adverts on Facebook on Friday pushing soon to be lost users to download their app”. But then the Fawkes massive starts to go wrong.
In the political sphere those sites that specialise in clickbaity headlines designed to go viral on Facebook may see a drop in traffic”. And they may not: this is something that all of  those who run blogs, solo or group efforts, monitor. What the Fawkes rabble clearly don’t know is what these “Algo Changes” are. The Great Guido is not privy to Facebook’s algorithm development programme. Nor is he as savvy on technology as he imagines.
This is mostly crap (no surprise there) ...

We know this after the post tells “Approximately 7% of Guido’s traffic is referred from Facebook. Twitter on the other hand drives 23% of our traffic, just behind Google on 24%. The Spectator and Breitbart also rely on Facebook for some ~7% to 8% of their traffic. Skwawkbox and The Canary rely on Facebook respectively for a massive ~40% and ~48% of traffic”. That very much depends on how you use Facebook.

Zelo Street has a Facebook page which has all the blog’s posts linked from it. This is nothing to do with the site’s move away from news, and is no different from any other Facebook page offering links to other content. Likewise, Skwawkbox has a Facebook page which links back to that blog. What The Canary offers looks no different, except that it’s had more effort expended on it. The Fawkes folks are just scaremongering.
...  which makes it more of this

But then, when it comes to The Great Guido and technology, we’ve been here before. When they were trying to shill (again) for London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, the Fawkes rabble made a series of claims about “automatic” trains, and how London’s Tube could be made driverless. They were talking crap. Because they didn’t understand the technology.

Fast forward two years, and the Fawkes massive is still shooting from the hip before finding out what they are talking about. Another fine mess, once again.

Eugenics - Toby Young Was Not Alone

When the loathsome Toby Young was finally prised away from his board position at the newly created Office for Students, it was clearly the revelations in both the London Student and Private Eye magazine about his attendance at the London Conference on Intelligence that had persuaded him to throw in his hand and leave the table. Tobes described this analysis as “balls”, so, given his record of dishonesty, that probably means it’s right.
Ben Bradley MP

And while Young has been lying low for a few days, after cobbling together an unconvincing apologia for Himself Personally Now, having failed to convince those repulsed at what was not his first foray into the world of eugenics, the Tory right has thrown up yet another supporter of “breeding out the thicks”. Unlike Tobes, this one could prove to be genuinely dangerous, as he is a sitting Tory MP.

Ben Bradley, who unexpectedly won Mansfield for the Tories last year, has been made a vice-chair of the party. Theresa May might come to regret that decision, after BuzzFeed revealed that he had been advocating vasectomy for the workless. The Guardian noted that Bradley had concerns about the lower orders breeding.

A Conservative MP who has been appointed as a party vice-chairman once suggested that unemployed people should opt for free vasectomies rather than continuing to have children they could not afford to support … In a blogpost, Ben Bradley claimed that the country would be soon ‘drowning in a vast sea of unemployed wasters’ if workless families had four or five children while others limited themselves to one or two”.

He would have fitted right in with Joseph Goebbels. One could even imagine him being a minor participant at the Wannsee Conference. Bradley also claimed “There are hundreds of families in the UK who earn over £60,000 in benefits without lifting a finger because they have so many kids (and for the rest of us that’s a wage of over £90,000 before tax!)”, which also demonstrates his appetite for propaganda.
Guess who agrees with the Hon Member?

So what has he had to say for himself? Like Tobes and his pals, he wants us to believe that this is a mere “historic” episode, telling “I apologise for these posts. My time in politics has allowed me to mature and I now realise that this language is not appropriate”. Well, he made those comments in 2012, when already in his 20s.

The Labour-supporting Mirror is certainly not convinced, adding yet more embarrassing observations like “The now-deleted post was headlined ‘Give us the benefits ‘cap’ - before we all drown!’ … It was tagged with keywords including ‘chavs’ and ‘wasters’ [remember the Tories’ Activate group talking of “gassing chavs”?] … [Theresa May] was under huge pressure to sack him last night after his ‘repulsive’ comments emerged”.

Saying “I wrote it a long time ago when I was young and not really thinking it through” is not going to cut the mustard. The whole eugenics agenda is tied up with the ideological right. And that ideological right is increasingly influential in today’s Tory Party. Ben Bradley and Toby Young are mere tips of a much larger and nastier iceberg.

The Nasty Party never went away. It just became a whole lot nastier.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Guido Fawked - Fake News Hypocrisy

As the smelly brown stuff interfaced violently with the rotating ventilation device yesterday and the true scale of the Carillion mess became clear, it was also noticed that some of those involved had been close to the Tories, and in some cases rather too close: chairman Philip Green (no relation to the BHS one) had been an advisor to the Prime Minister, although that role ceased in December 2016.
Behold the righteous and upstanding judge of what is right and proper

LBC host and occasional Newsnight presenter James O’Brien noted this, but got it wrong when he claimed Green was still advising Theresa May. So he later Tweeted out a correction. This was deemed insufficient by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, who today proclaimedJames O’Brien’s Carillion Fake News Goes Viral”, denouncing O’Brien as a mere “leftie”.
So this is Very Bad ...

The Great Guido told his adoring readers, whomsoever they be, that O’Brien was “Keen to find a damaging line”, and gasped disbelievingly that “His original tweet was retweeted more than 8,000 times. The correction has been retweeted 170 times. And James still hasn’t deleted his fake news”. It wasn’t “his news”, whatever its nature, but hey ho.

This was most emphatic: anything later found to be untrue would have to be deleted, and of course a correction would be mandatory. However, and here we encounter a significantly sized however, news then arrived that puts the Fawkes massive in what Spike Milligan might have called A Very Difficult Position.
... while this, er, don't ask

As the people at Left Foot Forward have told, “The Electoral Commission have kicked out a complaint against Britain Stronger in Europe, after Tory politician Priti Patel MP claimed she had evidence of ‘joint spending’ between Remain groups … the Commission have conducted their assessment - showing there is no evidence of any joint spending against Britain Stronger in Europe”. So how are the Fawkes folks involved?
So, listeners, what's first time caller Paul from Ireland telling us? Is it ...

Well, this is what they said at the time: “Priti Patel has written to the Electoral Commission asking them to launch an investigation following Guido’s stories on how the Remain campaign flouted spending rules during the referendum. As we revealed last week, Remainers shared data, suppliers and campaign materials, coordinated spending, funnelled £1 million to new campaigns set up in the month before the vote, and potentially spent double the legal limit”. Flouted spending rules. No ifs, no buts.
... a load of this? Or are his ...

So confident was The Great Guido that the post ended with this triumphant declaration: “The Electoral Commission have told the BBC they are looking into Guido’s stories, but have yet to launch a formal probe. A lot of evidence landing on their desk this morning”.
... pants once again well alight?

Those claims were fake. Total crap. Not worth the Electoral Commission wasting their time over. So has any humble pie been consumed chez Fawkes over this dreadful mistake? Has a correction been issued? Has the original series of allegations been deleted? As if you need to ask: one rule for the Fawkes rabble, another for its targets.

The Fawkes massive once again finds itself standing in an awfully draughty glasshouse. Another fine mess, once again.

Dan Wootton - Another Fake Exclusive

Having won an award recently, the Murdoch Sun’s associate editor and keeper of the paper’s piss-poor Bizarre column Dan Wootton might have thought that he could do no wrong, that he may actually be popular among all those slebs on whom he regularly, and so inaccurately, reports. But he also presided over the entirely fictitious and malicious attacks on former Strictly finalist Alexandra Burke.
His "exclusive" is on the front page ...

And when he was inexplicably gifted the Arts and Entertainment journalist of the year award last December, Private Eye magazine was on hand to remind the world what a complete and utter shit Wootton had been to so many people. Then his not really knowledgeable column failed to correctly identify boy band Westlife, while the Eye revealed that his attack on Ms Burke was because she didn’t give him an interview.

Yes, Dan Wootton is a deeply repellant creep whose journalistic credibility is not unadjacent to zero. And today he has underscored this in the most unfortunate manner, as his latest “Exclusive”, with his own name on the by-line, turned out to be nothing of the sort. Once again, the subject for the claim was Ant McPartlin, and the Sun was trying to score cheap sales and clicks off the ITV star’s impending divorce.

So what was the allegedly exclusive news? “SHARE OF THE DOG … Ant McPartlin and estranged wife Lisa Armstrong battle over custody of their dog … The ITV superstar is expected to be forced to share ownership of chocolate Labrador Hurley to ensure their marriage ends amicably outside of the courtroom”. And there was more.

To the sound of barrels being scraped over at the Baby Shard bunker, readers were told “The chocolate Labrador is so close to the I’m A Celebrity presenter that he even gained special dispensation for him to visit while in rehab last year … But we can reveal he is likely to be forced to share custody of the five-year-old in order to see the marriage end amicably out of court”. Yes? Yes yes? Yes yes yes?
... but, er, not in his own paper

Who has Wootton got to back up this lamentably rank slice of hokum? As if you need to ask: “A source close to the couple”. Now colour me sceptical, because I am sceptical, but didn’t McPartlin give Wootton an interview recently? So he qualifies as “A source close to the couple”, or in other words, this is yet more made up bullshit.

And not only is is made up bullshit, it’s not exclusive: the Ant’n’Wife dog story has been plastered all over the front page of the Daily Star, the ultimate downmarket news destination. That report depends on the testimony of “An insider”, as in the inside of the Daily Star’s newsroom, or what is left of it after Richard “Dirty” Desmond sent most of the hacks and subs down the road. It’s crap, but at least there’s no “exclusive” pretence.

Dan Wootton’s abysmal behaviour ensures that when the Murdoch mafiosi decide he’s no longer worth the candle - which could come sooner rather than later - he’s going to find out just how popular he is, and how bankable all those “exclusives” really are.

Be careful who you upset on the way up, and all that. Another worthless Murdoch clown.