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Friday, 23 February 2018

UKIP - Arrests Imminent

As special counsel Robert Mueller continues his investigation into potential Russian interference in the 2016 United States Presidential Election, the indictments keep on coming. Only yesterday, as Vox has reported, “A federal grand jury in Virginia approved a new set of charges from special counsel Robert Mueller against former Trump campaign aides Paul Manafort and Rick Gates”. And there was more.
Squeaky You're Nicked finger up the bum time

Mueller had indicted Manafort and Gates on a combined 12 counts last October in Washington, DC, but he has now assembled a ‘superseding indictment’ with a combined 32 counts of tax, financial, and bank fraud charges against the two men - in Virginia rather than Washington … There have been reports that Gates was close to making a plea deal with Mueller’s team, but that seems not to have panned out”.
Cut the crap Nige, just sit down and start singing

And last week, as CNN reported, “Special counsel Robert Mueller has indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for allegedly meddling in the 2016 presidential election, charging them with conspiracy to defraud the United States, the Department of Justice announced Friday … In addition, three defendants were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and five defendants with aggravated identity theft”.
But what of the go-betweens? What of the potential UK connections? We may not have long to wait: Mueller and his team have just spent a week chatting with former Trump gang main man Steve Bannon, best-known for his work with the convocation of the irredeemably batshit otherwise known as Breitbart. Bannon was close to several of the Brits involved with the Trump gang. And now the breaking news suggests action soon.
One well-informed source has told “Breaking - apparently Mueller has 3 sealed warrants destined for the UK Any ideas as to the lucky winners?” and just to jog memories had added “Farage has been listed as a 'person of interest' by the FBI for some time. His mentor, Steve Bannon, has just spent a week talking to Mueller”. Indeed he has. Nigel “Thirsty” Farage is close to some of those already indicted - like Manafort.
Also stressed was the strong possibility that Bannon has been singing his heart out: “He's had Bannon on ice for over a week. I can't imagine he hasn't sold them out to save his own hide”. Quite. But what is the source for this information? “US, not public yet, wait a week”. It all fits with those already grilled, and in some cases, indicted.
So whose name is in the frame? One of the three has to be Farage. The other two are most likely to be Nige’s bestest pal Arron Banks, especially given his ability to magic up several millions to bankroll the Leave campaign seemingly from nowhere. And the third is probably Banks’ sidekick Andy Wigmore - Banksy and Wiggy as they call themselves.
Sorry Ray, you're not worth arresting

Anyone expecting Raheem “call me Ray” Kassam to feature will probably be disappointed, as he thinks he’s important, but he isn’t important enough. As for Julian Assange - look, just be patient, and in any case it’s not as if he’s going anywhere soon.

Conveniently, Farage is attending CPAC in Maryland right now. It would be a terrible shame if he were to be prevented from making one last Question Time appearance.

Daily Mail Applauds EU Rules

The obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre at the Daily Mail is in joyful mood this morning, announcing to the world another great triumph of its acclaimed journalism: “NOW PLASTIC STRAWS BANNED … With 8.5 billion thrown away every year Gove, in another victory for the Mail, acts to stop the menace”. See, Mail readers? There need be no compromise on environmental standards in Brexit Britain.
The supporting article continues the euphoric tone. “Plastic drinking straws will be outlawed across the country, the Daily Mail can reveal … Environment Secretary Michael Gove is set to announce a ban within months in a bid to stop the huge environmental damage the straws cause … It would force bars, pubs and restaurants to use biodegradable alternatives such as straws made from paper”.

And readers are left in no doubt as to who shares this magnificent victory with Michael “Oiky” Gove: “The move is a major victory for the Daily Mail’s Turn the Tide on Plastic campaign. There are no official figures for how many straws are used and thrown away in Britain, but a recent study estimated 8.5billion plastic ones end up in the bin every year”. Hurrah for the Vagina Monologue! We salute his indefatigability!

But how real is this ban? “It is understood officials at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) have been working on the details of a ban, which is likely to be announced within months”. So it’s not real yet. And what about the hated EU? “Questions were raised over whether the move was compatible with EU single market rules, but it is understood they are not regarded as a significant obstacle”.

That’s a little selective, isn’t it? And the claim “The ban - which could come into force as soon as this year - would apply to England but not Scotland and Wales, because environmental issues are devolved” masks one important fact, that as the Independent has already told, “Scotland is set to become the first UK nation to ban plastic straws, as part of plans to cut down on single-use plastics”. The Scots beat us to it.
And it gets worse for the inmates of the Northcliffe House bunker. The EU has already set out its strategy for making all packaging and other items recyclable by 2030, as the Guardian reported last month. European Commission vice-President Frans Timmermans responded to the Gove claims by Tweeting “One step ahead of you. EU legislation on single-use plastics coming before the summer. Maybe you can align with us?

Could that be true? Sadly for Gove and the Mail, yes it could. The European Parliament press release confirmsSubject to Better Regulation requirements, the Commission will present the proposal on single-use plastics later in 2018”. All that will happen is that we fall in line with the rest of the EU. And the Daily Mail is cheering that on its front page - spun, of course, to pretend it doesn’t really involve the rotten foreigners.

Paul Dacre is now applauding EU regulations. He just doesn’t want his readers to know.

Sun Won’t Drop Corbyn Spy Idiocy

The claims by former Czech diplomat Jan Sarkocy about his contacts with current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in the late 1980s have been comprehensively debunked. Sarkocy has been exposed as a liar and a fantasist. One of the meetings he claimed to have had with Jezza cannot have taken place. Alleged historian Anthony Glees, by backing this foolish smear campaign, has also seen his credibility go south.
Worse for our free and fearless press, the claimed back-stop to all the smearing, the idea that there was a file held on Corbyn by the East German Stasi, because he once went on holiday there, has been shown to be false: there is no file in the archives. The Murdoch Sun is bust. Their sub-boot boy associates, the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, are likewise bust. But they aren’t going to go quietly.

So while the rest of the world moves on, the Sun’s non-bullying political editor Tom Newton Dunn, whose own credibility has been shredded by the fiasco, has been prevailed upon to play the dog returning to his vomit. This time, rather than pointing at the Goddam Commies (tm), the Murdoch goons are laying into the CIA. Have a think about that one.

CIA Stasi files could be shielding names of British political informants and traitorsgasps the headline. And who is the expert witness willing to put his head above the parapet in the service of the Murdoch mafiosi? Have a guess: “'We will never know for sure who in Britain helped the Stasi, wittingly or otherwise, until the Rosenholz files are made public', believes Cold War expert Professor Anthony Glees”. Glees doesn’t know he’s beaten. Yet.

So what is the alleged beef in this piss-poor sandwich? “THE CIA and MI5 are secretly sitting on a giant cache of Stasi files that could be protecting British politicians, it has emerged … The US intelligence agency have the only surviving record of the defunct East German spy service’s list of foreign informants, collaborators and targets”.
Would Sir care to pony up a little of that inconvenient stuff known as evidence to back up this claim? “It is believed the huge swathe of 280,000 index cards - known as the Rosenholz files - were sold to American spooks for $1m by a Stasi officer when the country collapsed in 1989 … The CIA have kept it under lock and key at its Langley HQ ever since, after sharing it with their British counterparts”. It is believed. In quotes.

Then all that is needed is a photo of Corbyn with Diane Abbott, a little nudge and wink, and the willing endorsement of Glees, the history con artist who has already been shown to be a fraud. Thus the smear campaign goes on, and never mind that politicians on the left are laughing at the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker, while those on the right are looking away in silent embarrassment. This is pointless. Except to show how desperate the Sun is.

They scraped the bottom of the barrel so hard that they fell through. Now they’re digging away at the bedrock. No-one cares any more about the Corbyn spy claims. No-one will care what they dredge up in future. You played the game and lost, Murdoch clowns. Get over it.

Tommy Robinson DROPPED By Rebel Media

When Ezra Levant of Rebel Media flew in to give the bad news to Caolan Robertson, former sidekick to Stephen Yaxley Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson), the encounter was recorded. And now that Lennon himself has parted company with Levant’s crowd, we can draw parallels between the two events and see that the picture Lennon has painted for his followers may not be a totally accurate one.
He's OUT at Rebel Media ...

This is what Levant told Robertson: “Lauren Southern, Jack Posobiec, we had our differences, but you’ll notice that they have been positive since they left us … do you see how smart they are … they may have grievances with me … they’re not actually saying there’ve been problems, they’re not grumbling publicly because that would be against … their contractual duties to me”. Mildly threatening. Then came the crunch.

I am prepared to give you and Caolan a very nominal sum to sign a second confidentiality agreement. So don’t go down that road … launch yourselves as independent … be totally positive like Lauren Southern … ‘Hi guys, we had a great run at the Rebel, but now we’re doing something even better … we’re going independent, we’re gonna do whatever we want. We’re gonna do this, we’re gonna do that’. Don’t even mention the Rebel”.

Now let’s look at what Lennon told his followers yesterday. “Now, I’m going independent … that’s right, I’ve decided to leave the Rebel to go out and do it for myself … no more paywall and I’ll be my own boss … I’m going to have total freedom to cover the stories that matter to everyone … you’re going to be hearing a lot more from me. This is just the beginning”. It was his decision, he’s being totally positive. Well, maybe.

The problem for Lennon is not only the hint of a forced smile at the end of that video, but also the tape of Ezra Levant describing more or less the same thing when he was sacking Robertson. What is worse for Lennon is the time at which this parting of the ways has occurred: he is in the middle of what could be a disastrously expensive legal action against the Police, and may still be hit with one or more contempt charges.
... but she's IN. And able to go to CPAC

So the thought occurs that the timing of his split with Rebel Media was not of his choosing, although, as ever, he will no doubt claim otherwise, to the point of calling “liar” on anyone who concludes otherwise. And what may really be sticking in his craw is that Rebel Media has effectively switched its UK allegiance to someone else.

That someone else is Katie Hopkins, who is better-known that Lennon, has a CV that includes being a real newspaper columnist - even if she was a failure at it - and does not have the criminal record that stops Lennon from entering Rebel Media’s largest market - the USA. Hatey Katie has just been welcomed by the right-wing faithful at this year’s CPAC. Lennon can’t go there. Rebel Media have switched to someone who can.

Stephen Yaxley Lennon has had his moment in the sun, his broadcast media appearances, his fifteen minutes of fame. He’s now going to find out that without anyone backing him, he’s going to be hard pushed to make ends meet.

So that’s no more expensed round trips to Crewe any time soon. Sad, really.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Dan Hodges IS NOT Nostradamus

After getting the 2015 Labour leadership vote wrong, following that with calling the EU referendum wrong, and ploughing on to call the 2016 US Presidential Election wrong, the Mail on Sunday’s not even slightly celebrated blues artiste Whinging Dan Hodges might have been best advised not to do too much extra-curricular punditry: after all, he had that hardly deserved and obscenely overpaid weekly column to protect.
But Desperate Dan is not one for thinking first: there is the Labour Party to kick whenever the opportunity arises, and whether or not he is right, he has that need to say something, even though more people read his comments just to take the piss out of them than to bother taking them seriously. So it was with the Fake News Corbyn spy story.
Whatever the merits (or lack of them) in the claims, Labour had to be wrong. Hence “I keep hearing this claim ‘the Corbyn spy pretends he organised Live Aid’. What’s the source for that … So ironically, the claim from the Corbynites that the Corbyn spy claimed he arranged Live Aid is itself false”. Soil the bed. We don’t know whether Jan Sarkocy referred to Live Aid, or the Mandela concert. It matters approximately bugger all.
Dan was on more familiar ground with press regulation: “For a long time, Labour have been pretending press regulation was about protecting ‘ordinary people’. Jeremy Corbyn has finally destroyed that myth tonight. It’s about protecting Jeremy Corbyn … Jeremy Corbyn looked directly at the camera. Cited stories negative about Jeremy Corbyn. Said ‘change is coming’. And yet Corbynites are tonight frantically trying to claim Jeremy Corbyn is not a threat to press freedom”. He isn’t. He just restated a manifesto pledge.
But do go on.  One other thing on Corbyn and the media. He claims to be concerned about ownership and diversity. But he was the guy who had a paid role presenting for the sole broadcaster owned by the Iranian state”. That’s a false equivalence, Dan. Try again. “Have to say, I was skeptical about the significance of the initial Corbyn spy story. But the hysteria of the Corbynites, and the failure of Corbyn himself to answer simple questions on it is very odd”. He’s guilty, really! It’s a fake story but it’s Jezza’s fault! Yeah, right.
Can it get worse? Hold Dan’s beer. “Remember the rule. Russia/Trump ‘very serious, must be investigated’. Russia/Brexit ‘very serious, must be investigated’. Russia/Corbyn ‘nothing to see here, move along’”. Er, Dan, NO RUSSIA-CORBYN CLAIMS HAVE BEEN MADE.
He can’t get any more clueless. Can he? “Question. If Labour does as well as expected in local elections, and London does become a solid red city, how does George Osborne keep the Standard a Conservative endorsing paper?” Shine a light. He can keep the Standard backing who he sodding well likes. He’s the editor. That’s how the press works.
Desperate Dan is vacant, even on the business he works in. Small wonder one observer noted “Logical fallacies aplenty from the Daily Heil's resident soothsayer and tarot card reader”, while another mused “The only explanation for Dan Hodges’s awful takes is that he always works backwards from the same basic premise without any interest in plausibility or consistency from one take to the next”.

And that’s being kind to him. He’s desperate, Dan.

Rees Mogg Democracy Perversion

The Brexit debate, as Martin Kettle has perceptively noted in a Guardian column, has turned a corner. There is a realisation that the idea of Britain leaving the European Union is not a good one, and that there is still time for the process to be reversed - especially given how little progress Theresa May and her merry band of malcontents have made in actually deciding what they want at the end of the process.
That realisation has not gone down well with hardline Europhobes: several, including former Northern Ireland secretary Owen Paterson, Labour-in-name-only Kate Hoey, and Dan, Dan The Oratory Man, have taken the reckless step of telling anyone that will listen that the Good Friday Agreement has “outlived its usefulness”. The GFA effectively stands in the way of any kind of hard Brexit. So it has to be attacked.

Desperation is also the name of the game for those opposed to any transition period longer than the 21 months already on the table. Anything longer is considered an act of treacherous backsliding, and on noticing that this period could become open-ended, the Member for Times Long Past, Jacob Rees Mogg, went off the end of the pier in no style at all to demand a stiffening of the sinews, a commitment to leaving Full Stop.

Commenting on a leaked document suggesting an open-ended transition, Rees Mogg loftily sniffedTransition must be time limited, the European Union itself has suggested twenty-one months to the end of the multiannual financial framework. It is, therefore, peculiar that the leak reveals Whitehall proposing the exact opposite. It reads: ‘the period’s duration should be determined simply by how long it will take to prepare and implement the new processes’: this translates from bureaucratese into English: ‘we must remain’”.

He then talks of “the perversion of democracy that BRINO [Brexit in name only] would be”, which is an interesting stance to take, given the recent activities of the European Reform Group, that party within a party, a band of hardline Brexiteers for whom nothing short of a hard Brexit will satisfy their thirst for an ideologically pure Government.

Although Rees Mogg and his pals make up a group 62 strong, that is only one-fifth of the Tories’ current Parliamentary strength. But that has not stopped the menacing tone of their letter to the PM: “we are writing to reassure you of our continued, strong backing for an internationally-engaged, free-trading, global Britain which you laid out at Lancaster House. We also want to share some suggestions about how it could be achieved”.

There then follow six bullet points effectively telling the Prime Minister what to do - with an implicit “or else”. She has no majority, and they are more than ready to bring her down. Given also that their strength is less than one tenth of the total number of MPs in the Commons, that rather puts Rees Mogg’s “perversion of democracy” in perspective.

Yet there is Jacob Rees Mogg, looking at the 550-plus MPs who do not share his world view, and complaining about a “perversion of democracy”.

Someone seems to be supping some very strong stuff, and the someone seems to be him.

Spy Lies - Newton Dunn Is Bust

Few journalists enjoy a higher media profile than the Sun’s non-bullying political editor Tom Newton Dunn: when he is not occupied with being a snotty and snooty pain in the neck to those working in the House of Commons, he is inexplicably in demand by the broadcasters to bestow his superior insights on the political scene. Sadly, though, his credibility has taken a series of knocks recently, culminating in the Corbyn Fake News spy claims.
It should not be forgotten that the same Newton Dunn who fetches up on the BBC’s Sunday Politics panel, or on occasion participates in the paper review on The Andy Marr Show (tm), has had his name on the by-line of some of the most misleading, inflammatory, and downright untrue stories peddled by his paper. This may not yet deter the BBC’s bookers, but the viewing public are not so easily taken in by this charade.

Newton Dunn was the culprit when the Sun peddled its false “1 in 5 Brit Muslims’ sympathy for Jihadis” claim in November 2015. The poll used to generate this headline had been run by Survation, as YouGov, the paper’s usual pollster, had declined to be involved.

The question that generated the headline was as follows: “Which of the following statements is closest to your view? … I have [a lot of/some/no] sympathy with young Muslims who leave the UK to join fighters in Syria”. But there are many groups that qualify as “fighters in Syria”, not least the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Newton Dunn’s conclusion was not mere exaggeration, but forthright dishonesty.

It was not an isolated example of his abysmal standards: in the run-up to the EU referendum, his name appeared on the by-line of the infamous “QUEEN BACKS BREXIT” story. It was only later that Newton Dunn, along with his deeply unpleasant editor Tony Gallagher, fouled up sufficiently that the story was exposed as single source hearsay - courtesy of another Murdoch asset, Michael “Oiky” Gove.

Now, Newton Dunn has put his name to stories claiming Corbyn should “come clean” on his alleged relationship with a Czech diplomat who turned out to be a liar and a fantasist. Jan Sarkocy was the only source for his claims. The source who claimed Jezza had told him what Mrs T would be wearing the next day. The source who claimed his country - a stony broke totalitarian state - paid for a Wembley pop concert.

What is worse is that Newton Dunn is a stinking hypocrite: he’s a Remain supporter, working for a paper which is rabidly pro-Leave. He’s sold his soul for an easy life. And now he’s put his name to the worst Fake News episode in the UK since the fake Iraqi WMDs. His reputation is in tatters. He is, more than ever, a mere figure of fun.
That will not trouble the bookers who line him up as one of “The Commentators Who Count”, a joke claim if ever there was one. Newton Dunn will carry on peddling whatever line the 13th floor hands down to him. But, however keen the broadcasters are to put him on their shows, the public know that, when they see him on their screens, they are being sold a pup. They know his opinion is not worth the hot air from which it is formed.

Tom Newton Dunn is bust. Yes, there he goes, on his way … out.

Spy Lies - Guido Fawkes Is Bust

Yesterday afternoon, the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog ran yet another claim that the Labour Party had, in their words, been “useful idiots” for the Stasi, the security service of the then East Germany. Until yesterday, this might have been picked up by their pals in the press; by then, sadly, it was pointless for The Great Guido to even imagine such success.
That was because the Fawkes massive’s part in the fake “Red Scareclaims made against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had not only unravelled, but also the promised bonus of a Stasi file on Jezza had been exposed as nothing more than a mirage. The Murdoch Sun was certain that there was a Stasi file on Corbyn, and the only source for that certainty was the Fawkes claim that there was one, because they had confirmed it two years ago.

The only problem with that claim was that they had confirmed only the process by which a file held by the Stasi could be opened. They did not get confirmation that there was one on the Labour leader. Worse, the former Czech diplomat Jan Sarkocy turned out to be a liar and a fantasist, claiming Jezza had told him what Mrs T had for breakfast. Sarkocy claimed the Czechs paid for Live Aid, or maybe it was the later Mandela concert.

At least one of the claimed meetings Sarkocy had with Corbyn never took place: on the date concerned, Sarkocy was in London, but Jezza was at a conference in Chesterfield. He was caught on film, which formed part of an ITN report. By yesterday afternoon, this attempt by the Fawkes rabble and their press pals to kick Corbyn was finished.

But still the pretence was maintained: The Great Guido pitched “Get Corbyn To Sign The Stasi Archive’s Consent Form & Win A Piece Of The Berlin Wall”. Not quite as memorable as “Kill an Argie and win a Metro”, was it? Then reality intervened and readers were told “Following pressure from the British presss [sic] the Stasi archives have released an unprecedented statement saying they have not found any records for Corbyn”.

And to that I call bullshit. The Stasi archives made that statement the previous day, and it was duly reported by the Guardian. The deluded clowns at the Fawkes blog knew full well that they were lying; they did not care. Perhaps they will care now that the right-wing press, which bought their bullshit and expended a whole raft of front pages on it, have been made to look stupid and are looking for someone to blame.
They need look no further than the sleazebags who sold them the pup that was Jan Sarkocy. The Fake News outlet who reassured them all that there was a back-stop in Corbyn’s Stasi file. The sub-boot boy division of the Murdoch press whom Rebekah Brooks has on speed dial. Yes, Fawkes folks, they’re looking at you to explain how you conned them all into running the worst fake story since non-existent Iraqi WMDs.

All those who look in regularly on Zelo Street know that the Fawkes blog is a borderline Fake News outfit. Now their press pals know it too. Their problem is that they had to find out the hard way, by seeing their reputations pissed up the wall.

The Great Guido is bust. From now on, nobody with brain plugged in and a hole in their backside will trust this shower any further than they could chuck them. Good thing too.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Murdoch Droid Press Regulation Own Goal

Yesterday’s comment from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn - “change is coming” - has not only sent our free and fearless press into a tailspin, along with its hangers-on, but has provided us with a superb example of why Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry should be allowed to proceed. And caught up in that tailspin has been fellow pundit shouting down specialist Sarah Baxter, who claims to be the deputy editor of the Murdoch Sunday Times.
Put the ball in my own net ... er, what's one of those?

Ms Baxter is a fully paid-up member of the Pundit Establishment, and as such she can be seen dismissively talking over someone from Stop Funding Hate one moment, then glorying in another opportunity to occupy part of the sofa on The Andy Marr Show (tm) the next. And as someone who has shamelessly taken the Murdoch shilling, she can be depended upon to parrot the approved line on press regulation.
That approved line also includes routinely trashing those who campaign for more effective and accountable regulation of the press, which for the Murdoch mafiosi is Streng Verboten. So when Max Mosley’s lawyers had the audacity to fire off a Letter Before Action in the general direction of those media outlets that have persistently smeared him over the recent past, she was prevailed upon to go into action on Rupe’s behalf.
This was a campaign which progressed not necessarily to her advantage: “Max Mosley, Donald Trump and Oleg Deripaska: The sex-mad rich don’t want you to read thiswas the title, but this immediately suggested one sex-mad and very rich person not on that list - Rupert Murdoch himself. Oops! And he certainly doesn’t want anyone to go delving into that part of his life - look at the abuse Lily Allen received.
Undeterred, Ms Baxter decided to have a swipe at Evan Harris of campaigning group Hacked Off. “I suppose @DrEvanHarris and #HackedOff would also side with oligarch #OlegDeripaska against anti-corruption activist @navalny - sad!” Harris replied to her. “I have replied to the three comments by @DrEvanHarris of #HackedOff on my piece. You can view them at the foot of this article”. Paywalled article demanding personal information? You can take that one and shove it. Put it in the public domain, thanks.

And there won’t be a debate between her and anyone from Hacked Off any time soon, either. But there will be the most unfortunate follow-up howler. Not satisfied with talking about the “sex-mad rich”, which means her boss’s name comes up, she then made the seriously unfortunate statement “Press regulation always comes down to protecting the powerful in the name of the people”. Yes Sarah - people like your boss (again).
That is exactly what campaigners like Harris (and Mosley) are about - stopping the powerful dumping on the little people. But thanks for letting the cat out of the bag. So when she sniped “Damian Green MP and Mark Goldring of Oxfam are walking PR disasters. Incapable of sounding gracious”, someone out there may have wondered if she might have a look in the nearest mirror. Because she certainly is.

Sarah Baxter had one job - kick the press regulation campaigners. She fouled it up royally. With achievements like that to her credit, Hacked Off can take a few hours off and leave it to her to do their job for them. Creepy Uncle Rupe will not be pleased.

Piers Morgan Jealousy Fail

After former Screws and Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan escaped without being charged from the time when he was in the editor’s chair and phone hacking was going on on an industrial scale, got away with his involvement in the Viglen share affair, survived being axed by CNN, and still managed to con ITV into thinking he was the reason Good Morning Britain had improved its ratings, one might think he would be happy with his lot.
Yes thanks, we know who you are. Now answer the Judge's questions

But that thought would have been misplaced: despite all those Slebs that Morgan mingles with, despite his propensity to name dropping ad infinitum - and, indeed, ad nauseam - and despite his occasional success in blagging a table at the Chiltern Firehouse so he can bore fellow diners crapless with loudly recounted tales of how famous he is, honestly, Morgan remains a thin-skinned and touchily jealous individual.
I got dissed by Piers WHO?

He does, however, know how to piggyback on the fame of real stars, and so regularly picks scraps with them on the off-chance they might give him the time of day. So it was when he went after John Oliver, who actually made it in the USA. “Watching John Oliver repeatedly say ‘we’ & ‘us’ when discussing America is comical. Mate, you were born in the Midlands to a pair of Liverpudlian parents & speak in a thick Brummie accent. You’re about as American as cricket & mushy peas, you shameless old fraud!” he whined.
Shameless old fraud”? Oliver is 40. Morgan is 52. Do the math, as they say. His pal, Combover Crybaby Donald Trump, had grandparents who were not only not American, but whose first language was not English. Also, if Morgan thinks Oliver speaks in a “thick Brummie accent”, he’d be in deep trouble if he ever encountered one. Still, on he droned: “Oh, @iamjohnoliver can roast me as much as he likes - he's a funny guy. He just can't do it while pretending to be American”. He isn’t pretending to be anything. Unlike Morgan.
Then came a reminder that Oliver has made it in the USA, and Morgan didn’t. The spin machine was duly fired up. “6yrs on America's No1 summer show AGT … Won Celebrity Apprentice … Hosted 1300+ prime time shows at CNN”. And how exactly does that stack up alongside nine Emmies, a Peabody, and a slot on the 2015 Time 100? It doesn’t.
Moreover, Oliver has his Green Card, a wife who is a US citizen, and they have a child who is also a US citizen. He’s entitled to talk of “we” and “us” on that basis. No, Morgan was still not having any of that. “I'm not 'suggesting' anything. Oliver is not American. Fact”. He’s not making a pain in the arse of himself boasting about who he knows, either.
And he wasn’t finished. There was, after all, still the matter of excusing his failure to win over CNN’s viewers. For this, Morgan had an excuse. “Yes, I was asked to ease off about guns. I declined”. Yeah, right. When did John Oliver last “ease off about guns”? He’s been giving airtime to the students calling BS on the establishment inertia following the Parkland shootings. Nobody gives the gun lobby a harder time. This is lame in the extreme.
But it might get him a little more attention, and convince ITV’s bosses that he really is worth the grief he causes his co-workers on Good Morning Britain. So that’s all right, then.

Corbyn Provokes Press Meltdown

Our free and fearless press has gone from baying wolfpack mode to playing the startled rabbit caught in oncoming headlights in very short order, after their days-old assault on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was turned on them yesterday. The claims made by Jan Sarkocy had already unravelled, despite the Ron Hopeful coverage from the Murdoch Sun, as Jezza seized the moment to remind them of a Labour manifesto commitment.
He released a video in which he toldA free press is essential for democracy and we don’t want to close it down, we want to open it up. At the moment, much of our press isn’t very free at all. In fact it’s controlled by billionaire tax exiles, who are determined to dodge paying their fair share for our vital public services”. And there was more.
The general election showed the media barons are losing their influence and social media means their bad old habits are becoming less and less relevant. But instead of learning these lessons they’re continuing to resort to lies and smears. Their readers - you, all of us - deserve so much better. Well, we’ve got news for them: change is coming”.
Change? What could that mean? Best to imagine a worst case scenario: the Rotten Lefties (tm) were coming for our brave journalists, the barricades had to be manned, boiling oil poured from the battlements. Whenever Jezza said change, it had to be reinterpreted in order to frighten the readers. Instead, the press only ended up frightening themselves.
The Mail confirmed the sudden incidence of involuntary bowel movements among those who scrabble around the dunghill that is Grubstreet, telling “Jeremy Corbyn’s response to spy row: No answers and a chilling threat to Britain’s free Press” and whining “Mr Corbyn appeared to sign off with a threat to newspaper owners”. Not to a free press, though.
Over at the Baby Shard bunker, the Sun’s non-bullying political editor Tom Newton Dunn was also needing a change of underwear: “Rattled Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn threatens free Press as he dodges spy scandal questions … At the end of 104 second rant, Mr Corbyn issued his thinly veiled vow for retribution”. Aw DIDDUMS!
Did no-one stop to ask what Jezza really meant? Why bother when you wanted to suck up to the Press Establishment? Christopher “No” Hope of the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph knew which side his bread was buttered: “Dear Mr Corbyn, Rather than attacking the Press for doing its job, why not say that any files on you held by any foreign power will be published?” So spreading Fake News is “Doing its job”. Ri-i-ight.
Mark Wallace at ConHome preferred a little paranoia: “To demonstrate he has nothing to do with communists, Jeremy Corbyn is now openly threatening that if he gets power he'll use it against media outlets that publish criticisms of him”. Perhaps they really are coming to get him. In any case, he knows “the Leveson inquiry was a farce, and its proposals were largely rather poor”. I mean, Lord Justice Leveson? Who does he think he is?

The Red Scare even affected Jim Waterson at BuzzFeed, who claimed erroneously “Corbyn directly threatens four national papers by name”, which does not augur well for the Guardian’s media coverage. Fortunately, Paul Waugh was there to confirm that Jezza meant the enactment of Leveson 2. Which was in the Labour manifesto. A measure which was passed by Parliament by acclamation. Still, details, eh?