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‘Jihadi’ Jack Letts misses his mum and wants to come home to the UK

Jack LEtts
Jack The Bad / Jack the Sad / Jack the Dad

White Briton, dad of one and Islam convert ‘Jihadi’ Jack Letts wants to leave the Kurdish prison he’s called home for the past two years and come home to the UK. In no particular order, he wants to see his mum, watch Dr Who and eat pasties.

Jack Letts is the the 23-year-old from Oxford accused of travelling to Syria to fight for Islamic State, the group that murders children in Manchester, rapes Christian women and chucks homosexuals from tall buildings. The YPG have charged him with being a member of ISIS.

Letts has been talking with ITV News:

“If the UK accepted me then I’d go back to the UK, it’s my home. But I don’t think that’s going to happen. I miss people mostly. I miss my mum. I know that sounds a bit toddler-ish. Even if I could just see my mum – I would just like a phone call, I don’t know if Britain can do that for me here, but I’d like just a phone call to my mum – it’s been two years.”

If not the UK, then Letts can head to Canada – he holds a Canadian passport thanks to his father’s nationality.

Back home in Oxford, mum and dad, Sally Lane and John Letts, are to be tried for sending money to their son. They deny three charges of funding terrorism. They insist their boy went to Syria to help refugees. On the FreeJackLetts blog, they write:

“…we too dream of the day when we will see him again, wrap our arms around him, and convince him that – despite his claim that ‘the world hates me without even knowing me’ – he will again be treated like a human being and not like the media-created monster he has been made out to be.”

Letts’ chat comes as the UK media form a queue to speak with Shamima Begum, the Briton who joined ISIS and has had her British citizenship revoked. You wonder who’s next in the hot seat? Do foreign journalists interview their fellow nationals held in UK prisons? And does it help to get your story widely known before any court case?

Human rights champion Nadia Murad was sold into sexual slavery by ISIS. She escaped, seeking and gayning asylum in Germany in 2015. She wants justice for Yazidi men and women. Upon becoming a Nobel laureate, she said:

“We must work together with determination — so that genocidal campaigns will not only fail, but lead to accountability for the perpetrators. Survivors deserve justice. And a safe and secure pathway home.”

Isn’t it time we heard more from the victims?

Posted: 22nd, February 2019 | In: News, TV & Radio | Comment


Chelsea Balls: Sarri’s sacking and club banned from signing new players for next two transfer windows

Bit of an odd backpage from the Mirror, leading, as it does, with Europa League action from Chelsea and Arsenal’s respective 3-0 victories over the might of Malmo and Bate Borisov. The Mirror leads with one player who scored (Ross Barkley) and one who did not (Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang).

Mirror arsenal chelsea

Having thrice told its readers that Chelsea will sack Maurizio Sarri this season, the paper notes that the victory was encouraging. The Guardian says it’s earned Sarri “extra time”. It’s February, and he only started work at Chelsea in July. You’d think Sarri’s tenure at Chelsea would outlast a gap year.

Chelsea are “back on track” says the Express. But beating Malmo is not on the same path as a 6-0 defeat to Manchester City or even a 4-0 loss at Bournemouth. Malmo are a limited side. The players might have “saved Sarri’s skin”, as the Mail puts it, but with a Carabao Cup final with City looming, The Italian will need some armour should they suffer another heavy defeat.

Which they have. The club has been banned from buying players for the next two windows. FIFA says Chelsea are guilty of breaching rules in relation to youth players. Whoever replaces Sarri will have to make do with his players.

Posted: 22nd, February 2019 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, News, Sports | Comment


Alesha MacPhail: They know why the ‘boy’ killed and remembering Venables and Thompson

Alesha Macphail

In July 2017 Alesha MacPhail was abducted, raped and murdered. Her killer’s name will not be known. The Mail calls him a “boy”. The Scotsman calls him a “teenager”. He’s a “16-year-old” on The Scotsman’s front page. The Metro just says “the teen” in “PURE EVIL”. But we won’t get to know his name.

Alesha was murdered on the Isle of Bute, an island in the Firth of Clyde in Scotland. The country’s law rules that to publish the name, address, school or any other information which could identify anyone under the age of 18 who is the accused, victim or witness in a criminal case in any media is illegal. So don’t. You can, however, name the victim. Alesha MacPhail is the only name that matters.

alesha mcphail

Minds turn to the abduction and murder of James Bulger, 2, in 1993. The names of the guilty – two boys aged 10 – were soon known. Tony Blair stirred the mob, positioning the crime as one emblematic of the country’s dire straits and moral disintegration.

The killers’ families lived in fear of revenge attacks. In 2012, 38 year-old Scott Bradley committed suicide, unable to cope with people mistaking him for Jon Venables, one of the killers. “My son was tormented by the allegations,” said Mr Bradley;s mother. “He had a good heart and didn’t deserve this. It’s been heartbreaking.”

James Bulger newspaper front page
England: 1993 – James Bulger, 2, is abducted, abused and murdered by two boys. We knew their names.

Do we need to know the name of Alesha MacPhail’s murderer? The killer’s own mother helped bring him to justice. She alerted detectives after reviewing footage from two CCTV cameras outside the family home. She watched her son coming and going three times between 01:54 and 04:07 on the night Alesha was murdered. If we know the killer, we know her. Why should an innocent woman wear the stain in public? He will be in jail for a long, long time. Isn’t that enough?

Venables and Thompson were released on parole in 2001 under new identities. They must not ever reveal to anyone who they once were. To do so would land them back in prison. Venables was caught downloading child pornography. He has been jailed indefinitely as it is feared he is likely to reveal his true identity.

Thompson VEnables mugshots
Feb 1993: Jon Venables and Robert Thompson pose for their mugshots.

We don’t know the killer’s name. But do we know why he did it?

Revenge:

The BBC: “The jury heard the teenager previously bought cannabis from Alesha’s father, Robert MacPhail, but the pair fell out five months before her death over an unpaid £10 drug debt.”

A Meme:

The Star: “The unnamed boy, 16, searched for the Slender Man meme, and some of his sick acts mirrored those carried out by the character… Slender Man was invented by users on the Something Awful forum in 2009 for a paranormal Photoshop competition. Shown as a thin, tall, featureless figure in a black suit, in many stories written online about him feature stalking or abducting people, especially children.

Gaming:

The Sun: “The teenager got sick thrills from playing gory video games.”

Bute:

Daily Mail: “How the boy of 16 who murdered ‘angel’ Alesha MacPhail, six, had already ‘almost drowned a girl’ and was mired in a culture of drugs and cheap booze that has gripped the Isle of Bute”

One heinous and blessedly rare crime now defines a place?

His Looks:

Daily Mail: “He is handsome, in a modern, metrosexual way, with luxuriant, swept-over hair and a milky complexion. Dressed immaculately, in a tartan suit and collar and tie, he gave evidence with great self-assurance.”

So much for the CV.

No Idea:

BBC: ‘Judge Lord Matthews told the killer he had stolen Alesha’s life by “committing some of the most wicked and evil crimes this court has ever heard of in decades of dealing with depravity”. He said he had “no idea” why the teenager carried out the murder, and described the evidence in the case as “overwhelming”.’

Kicks:

Sky News: “Alesha MacPhail: Killed for the ‘life experience’?”

Posted: 22nd, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment


Jussie Smollett: and the Oscar for the biggest liar goes to…

Jussie Smollett

Jussie Smollett has been arrested in Chicago. His alleged crime: filing a false police report in which he claimed to be the victim of a homophobic and racist physical attack by two men, allegedly Ola and Abel Osundairo. There was no CCTV and no witnesses to support the claim the Empire actor was punched, his head placed in a noose and told “this is Maga country”, a reference to President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.

Smollett was “forever changed” by the incident. He became a recognisable victim of hate. And, boy, is being hated the ultimate thing to be in this era of victimhood-seeking. Smollett bore the scares. He became ambulatory proof that violent fascism is on the march.

But…

Police suspect the 36-year-old actor paid two Nigerian brothers to stage the attack. They are both co-operating with the investigation, US media report. His lawyers have not yet commented. On Wednesday, they said they would “mount an aggressive defence”…

On Wednesday, CBS Chicago obtained footage which appeared to show two people buying materials, including ski masks, that had allegedly been worn by the actor’s attackers.

White Nigerians? Nope. Circumspection be gone!

Ha! You believed him. Psych! He’s an actor!

America will eat itself.

Posted: 21st, February 2019 | In: News | Comment


Breaking News for Labour, Corbyn and Guardian-reading anti-Semites: not all Jews agree about Israel, films or Chinese food

"Jews for Jez" - with a yellow star, to boot. Some people, eh.
“Jews for Jez” – with a yellow star, to boot. Some people, eh.

Over 200 Jewish members and supporters of the Labour party must be pleased to see their letter urging us to support Labour and Jeremy Corbyn has been published in the Guardian. Others will also be chuffed. The list should save time for anyone gathering names.

In 2003, the Observer (the Guardian on Sunday) published a column by Richard Ingrams in which he made the “suggestion” that anyone defending the Israeli government should declare whether or not he is a Jew lest the fair fine-minds mistake them for a Catholic, Muslim or of the Papist-Quaker babble. “I have developed a habit when confronted by letters to the editor in support of the Israeli government to look at the signature to see if the writer has a Jewish name,” wrote Ingrams. “If so, I tend not to read it.”

Ingrams Israel

Jews are clever, you see. They are the only peoples for whom being called clever is an insult. It doesn’t mean you did well at maths, although some do, it is a cleverness built on cunning and duplicity say their judges defending the proles from their innate gullibility. The Jew will hide their true self to trick you into agreeing with their views. Best they identify themselves from the off so that their opinions can be fully known without the need to consider the argument’s merits and flaws.

Not only are you, dear reader, too thick to think for yourself, but the Jew is not to be trusted, their thoughts must not taken at face value. Know a Jew and know their thinking. Declare you names and number, Jews.

But no two Jews are exactly alike. We disagree over films, telly and if Chinese food is better for the soul than chicken soup? Some Jews think Labour under Jeremy Corbyn is “institutionally racist” and that he is an antisemite. The Jewish Chronicle newspaper told its readers in late 2018: “More than 85 per cent of British Jews think Jeremy Corbyn is antisemitic.” Other Jews, as signatories to today’s letter in the Guardian state, think “the Labour party under the progressive leadership of Jeremy Corbyn is a crucial ally in the fight against bigotry and reaction”. They “urge all who wish to see an end to bigotry and racism, and who seek a more just society, to give their support to the Labour party.”

You see? When you ascribe views and loyalties to people on the basis of their religion or ethnicity you narrow your field of vision. You paint them as something other than the norm.

The letter made me wonder. Did Jews write the letter after asking themselves two things: when did you become something exceptional and desperate to prove yourselves loyal to the country? And what role did Jeremy Corbyn play in your thinking?

Take your time, Jews. Corbyn has invited Hamas for tea, shared platforms with anti-Semites, liked a mural depicting hook-nosed bankers running the world, been present but not participating as a wreath was laid to the perpetrators of the Munich Olympics massacre but he knows you Jews need schooling. He laid out his two paths for improvement as he bemoaned the activities of Zionists: “One is that they don’t want to study history, and secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they don’t understand English irony either. I think they need two lessons, which we can help them with.”

It’s between them and us. Are you one of the knowing or the strange? Now vote.

Posted: 21st, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Shamima Begone! ISIS member is up ‘Brit Creek’ as Home Office removes citizenship

Shamima Begum newspapers

Shamima Begum, the Londoner who joined the Islamic State group in Syria aged 15, will not be coming ‘home’ to the UK. The Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, has revoked her citizenship. He writes to her parents: “In light of the circumstances of your daughter, the notice of the Home Secretary’s decision has been served on file today (19th February), and the order moving her British citizenship has subsequently been made.”

Begum’s family say they will explore “all legal avenues to challenge this decision”. All roads lead to “Brit creek” says the Star. Or Asia. Shamima Begum holds Bangladeshi as well as British citizenship which allowed the Home Office to go ahead, says Sky News. She’s not stateless. The Home Office acted quickly. The UK’s gain is Bangladesh’s loss.

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Sir Ed Davey says the UK is “palming off” Ms Begum to another country – which ISIS isn’t, despite its violent attempts to become one.

On BBC TV’s Newsnight King’s College London’s Shiraz Maher opines: “I think it’s a very dangerous decision, it does create this perception that there is a two-tier system and a system that’s frankly racist.” Perception is not fact. It all depends on you angle of approach. Come closer, within stabbing distance, and look at Shamima Begum?

But really? If the government can revoke Shamima Begum’s citizenship, it can cancel your, too. At least it can if you associate with people it does not like.

Posted: 20th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment


Shamima Begum: Jeremy Corbyn understands you

Shamima Begum

Do we really care what Shamima Begum thinks of us? If you sign up to the view that Begum is a victim of grooming, a victim of sexual exploitation as one nodding head opined on Sky telly yesterday, a victim of the UK’s lax security in allowing 15-year-old to leave the country, as she was when she left London for Syria, a victim… you buy into the message that nothing she says is an expression of her own thoughts, they’re words planted in her throat by nefarious types who rape children, enslave women, decapitate men and throw homosexuals from tall buildings.

But if you believe in free will, consider it questionable that Begum was a passive web-surfer looking for pop vids who was mind-altered and “brainwashed” when she saw a preacher extolling jihad, you’ll afford her the dignity of self. What she says is what she means. So when she talks about the murders of 22 people and the injuries sustained by 800 more when a fellow ISIS fan bombed an Arianna Grande concert in Manchester, you know she’s saying what she thinks. “How dare she?” asks the Sun, which claims she says the attack was justified. “How could she?” asks the Express. Answer: she’s a self-declared jihadi. Murdering infidels is what they do.

“Even though I was only 15 years old, I could make my own decisions,” says Begum. “But I will admit, it’s my fault right now. I just want forgiveness from the UK. Everything I’ve been through, I didn’t expect I would go through that.”

But she continues to talk. And she doesn’t come over as being all that bright:

“Isis Briton compares Manchester bombing to western airstrikes. I do feel that is wrong. Innocent people did get killed. It’s one thing to kill a soldier, it’s fine, it’s self-defence. But to kill people like women and children, just like the women and children in Baghuz who are being killed right now unjustly by the bombings. It’s a two-way thing really…

“This is kind of retaliation. Their justification was that it was retaliation so I thought that is a fair justification. That was unfair on them … They weren’t fighting anyone. They weren’t causing any harm. But neither was I and neither [were the] other women who are being killed right now back in Baghuz.”

It’s muddled thinking. And it’s not a lot unlike the sort of thing you hear from Jeremy Corbyn’s fans for whom moral equivalence is a moveable target. Like Corbyn, Begum was there but not participating.

Joanna Williams touched on the same in a story about Labour’s problem with Jews and the Party’s attitude to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, which after much hand-ringing and self-serving bullshit it adopted in full:

The idea that the Labour Party champions free speech beggars belief. Amid the protests and counterprotests surrounding the NEC meeting, activists – including those previously expelled from the party over claims of anti-Semitism – chanted ‘IHRA no, BDS yes’. The mental gymnastics involved in rejecting a definition of anti-Semitism in order to defend free speech in the very same breath as backing a campaign that curtails academic freedom and free cultural exchange are astonishing. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement aims to stop singers, sports stars and actors performing in Israel and explicitly calls for the censorship of Israeli scholars and scientists abroad. In putting a political and geographical proviso on free speech, BDS activists negate the entire principle.

It’s not me, it’s them, says Begum. They made me do it but I also went of my own free will. Verstehen sie? So forgive me. Look only to yourselves. Because in this age of narcissism, it’s all abut you.

Posted: 19th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment


‘We’re fu**ed’: Labour split press conference gets X-rated voiceover

Seven Labour MPs announced their split from the party in a press conference. Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes, Gavin Shuker and Ann Coffey, announced their decision to a packed room. The microphones picked up a running commentary: ‘We’re fucked”:

Posted: 18th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Labour is racist to the core: three cheers for the Magnificent 7 – Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes, Gavin Shuker and Ann Coffey

Corbyn anti-semitism

Yes! A vote for Labour is a vote for Jew hatred. Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes, Gavin Shuker and Ann Coffey did the right thing. Fuck you, Jew haters. Just fuck you!

The above are the MPs have resigned from the Labour Party in protest at Jeremy Corbyn’s approach to Brexit and anti-Semitism. They took a stand.

Ms Berger says Labour is institutionally anti-Semitic. She became “embarrassed and ashamed” to stay. Hurrah! Where are the rest of you?

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn says he’s “disappointed”. Balls. He’s chuffed. He can now look to replace them with some loyalists less sensitive to his myopia.h

The Magnificent 7 will sit in Parliament as the Independent group.

Note: For the past few years I’ve seen the growth of antisemitism first hand – the violence (yeah – I got in a fight); the casual Jew hatred; the mainstreaming of racism (I believe they’re called ‘tropes’ – rich Jew; powerful Jew; bloodthirsty Jew; barbaric Jew; disloyal Jew); and the shameful acquiescence to it in politics, society, over a pint, among ‘friends’, and at school, where a child told one of my own as she pushed her from a group that Jews were not allowed the play; Jews were not allowed to her house; Jews could not come to the party. The school did NOTHING. And not one parent would go on the record and back us up when we complained. Shame on you all.

Posted: 18th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Shamima Begum wants sympathy for the devil

Shamima Begum sympathy

Shamima Begum says she deserves our sympathy. The newspapers largely disagree. Begum is the women who at age 15 wilfully travelled to join ISIS.

You might sympathize with the Christian women and children ISIS sold as slaves and raped – “They usually take the older women to a makeshift slave market and try and sell them. The younger girls… are raped or married off to fighters. It’s based on temporary marriages, and once these fighters have had sex with these young girls, they just pass them on to other fighters”; Keith Palmer, the policeman murdered as he guarded democracy in Westminster; the Kurds butchered; David Haines, an aide worker beheaded as he helped the stricken at a refugee camp; Olivia Campbell-Hardy, who was 15 when she was murdered at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester – a death ISIS celebrated wildly. You want more? Is that not enough? Here’s one more: ISIS loved it when the guys and gels murdered Saffie Roussos. Like Olivia and so many others, Saffie was watching a pop concert when she was murdered. “She loved life, she loved music,” her dad Andrew told the BBC. Sympathy? Your heart breaks for him.

No more. The Sun has heard enoughIt tells Shamima Begum to jog on. It quotes Conservative MP David Davies as saying: “The only thing she regrets is that ISIS lost.” The paper’s editorial calls on the government to look at “every legal avenue” to ensure that she never returns to Britain.

“The Daily Mirror focuses on Begum’s statement to Sky TV that she initially had a “good time” in Islamic State. The 19-year-old does not regret joining the extremist group.

The Mail hears Begum say he was just a “housewife” in ISIS. She cooked, cleaned and was ok with the beheadings. Well, so long as she can get the bloodstains off the towels and hubby didn’t use her best knife to slice off the infidels’ heads, all’s good.

In the Times, Tasnime Akunjee, a solicitor hired by her family to help bring her back to Britain, opines: “In terms of the political landscape what she’s saying isn’t helpful [but] she’s somebody who was persuaded to go out there. She will need help. She will obviously have to be de-radicalised.”

Doesn’t she just need locking up? She’s no victim.

He adds: The Nazis had the Nuremberg trials. They were given due process. This girl was a victim when she went out there at 15 years old. Our politicians are saying that she should be denied protections and due process that would have been granted to Nazis.”

Yeah, good one Tasnime. They also had the death penalty. Keep working on that defence…

Posted: 18th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Watch Bruno Ganz as Hitler

Bruno Ganz

Bruno Ganz (22 March 1941 – Died: 15 February 2019) played Hitler in the 2004 film Downfall. “His depiction of Hitler’s final days in an underground bunker as the Third Reich collapsed around him spawned so many memes that maybe you never saw the original. You should”. So says Jerry Dunleavy. He’s right:

Bruno Ganz as Hitler in Downfall (2004)

Bruno Ganz (22 March 1941 – Died: 15 February 2019) played Hitler in the 2004 film 'Downfall'. "His depiction of Hitler’s final days in an underground bunker as the Third Reich collapsed around him spawned so many memes that maybe you never saw the original. You should" – Jerry Dunleavy

Posted by Flashbak on Sunday, 17 February 2019

Posted: 17th, February 2019 | In: Celebrities, Film, News | Comment


Paul Hollywood’s sex life: dreams of Summer Lovin’

Paul Hollywood Summer
Summer Lovin’

Paul Hollywood is the subject of a Great British headline in the Great British Sun. Hollywood is a star of The Great British Bake Off, a TV show proving that if you use ‘Great British’ as an epithet, anything can be improved. The shock is that no-one has called it the Great British Brexit and Channel 4 has yet to broadcast 100 Great British murders. But give it time.

Hollywood is newsworthy because a) he dresses like a late middle-aged divorcee on the pull in a provincial nightclub – big cuffs, open neck shirt, diver’s watch, fringed mouth – chasing the kind of women you imagine they couldn’t pull when they were in their twenties; and b) the 52-year-old’s 23-year-old lover has had a run-in with his 54-year-old (estranged) wife.

Alex (wife) is said to have called Summer Monteys-Fullam (lover) a “slut” and a “whore”. Since both are badges of honour, we wonder if Summer thanked Alex? She didn’t. She called the police complaining of harassment.

We then get to see a photo of Summer and her sister Saskia (26) – their mum is called Sabina (48) – giving the world the finger via Instagram – which affords the Sun the chances to appraise the £9,000 ring Hollywood gave Summer and try to fathom the image’s accompanying message: “Got youuuuuuuu.” What to make of that? And what to make of the Sun’s opinion that this was a “bust-up” between “Paul’s women”? This is how you describe the main player in a televised mid-life car-crash. You get on first name terms with the man of whom Summer once stated on Instagram, having first labelled him her “amazing boyfriend”, he “turned me from a girl to a woman, and to a house woman”.

No word of reply to that from ‘Paul’. But it’s not hard to imagine that in his head he’s swaying his hips, tossing his soft leather blouson biker’s jacket over his shoulder and in the manner of John Travolta in Grease telling the Viagra poppers at the country club about his latest bout of ‘Summer lovin’.

Posted: 16th, February 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment


Shamima Begum: the making of a martyr

Covington
“Vermin”

Is Shamima Begum’s situation all about Islam? Called “foolish” and an “abstract concept” for joining ISIS, media reaction to the teenager who joined an outfit committed to mass murder, who expresses no remorse for having done so, can be compared and contrasted to the treatment meted out to the Covington Boys. Like Begum, the Covington boys are religious, attending a US Catholic high school.

They are mostly white. Begum is dark skinned, her parents hail from Bangladesh. The Covington boys’ crime was to have attended the anti-abortion March for Life rally in Washington, D.C. and in the face of a prolonged verbal onslaught by the Black Hebrews as they waited for coaches home – during which they were called “fagots” and “products of incest and paedophiles” – were filmed smirking at Nathan Phillips, a Native American who had approached them. For this the boys were called “vermin“, racists, Trump fans whose MAGA hats were “akin to the new white hood” and “products of a hate factory”. The boys were the embodiment of “blatant hate, disrespect and intolerance”. Begum, on the other hand, was “groomed“.

Shamima BegumShamima Begum
Victim

The Covington boys apologised, although it remains unclear to anyone sane what they did wrong. Being a surly, sarky teen is no crime.

Begum has expressed no remorse. She says she only left the battlefields to return to the UK and have a child on the NHS.

What is it about fair-mined liberals that turns white, Catholic teenage boys in baseball caps into something less than human and demonic, but presents a dark-skinned, Islamic teenage girl who joined a death cult into a victim? They marched peacefully to end abortion. She joined a group that pledges to murder gays, Jews and Christians, rapes underage girls sold in slave markets, and murdered children at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. They smirked and danced. Her reaction at being shown the remains of her gang’s handiwork was “When I saw my first severed head it didn’t faze me at all”.

The prejudice is blatant. But why is it there?

Not that this is to say anti-Islam bigotry is not prevalent. The Mail gives space to Tania Joy, a former jihadi who “called for Begum to be given a second chance for the sake of her unborn child – and for a law ‘to protect children from their religion’.” Ban Islam? Make it a crime to be Muslim? Why give space to such an abhorrent view?

The argument that all of Islam is to blame for a death cult is patently absurd. What of the Islamists’ many Muslim victims? But let’s no dig too deep. If you need more time to work out why calls to ban a religion are revolting, why are you here?

The paper adds:

In comments that place much of the blame on Islam rather than on personal responsibility, she added: “I wish there was a law in England that could protect children from their religion.

“If I had grown up in an agnostic, atheist, or even a Christian or Jewish home, I would not have been exposed to these suppressive ideas of women and how god controls everything – and it is just such a lie.

“I feel sorry for [Shamima], she is so young, she has been in a toxic environment for all these years where she is not allowed to think anything different from the rest of the group. She is still in that state. She is only 19 and that’s when I radicalised.

Can Shamima Begum be saved by turning away from Islam and towards Jesus?

Today, estranged from her British family, Miss Joya is the wife of IT executive Craig Bruma, 49, who answered an advert she placed on dating website match.com stating: ‘I have four kids. My husband abandoned me to go and become the next Osama Bin Laden.’

Twice divorced himself and a father of three sons, he has introduced her to ‘Unitarian Universalism’, which is based in Christianity but advocates a ‘search for spiritual growth’.

Mohammed kills. Jesus saves. An odd take on the Shamima Begum story, for certain. And it avoids the biggest question: why did Shamima Begum seek an alternative life with ISIS to the one offered in the UK? It’s lazy to see her as a passive target of grooming. You don’t happen along a video of a man preaching genocide and global jihad, keep watching and eventually sign up unless his message chimed with you. And you don’t prevent social division of a sort so violent it ends up in mass murder by presenting one group as eternal, unalloyed victims who must be tip-toed around less offence be caused.

Come home, Shamima, by all means. Face your days of reckoning. But let’s not let prejudice turn her into a martyr.

Posted: 16th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Shamima Begum: ‘I want to live a quiet life with my baby’ away from the cameras

Shamima Begum and husband

Shamima Begum’s story that will only grow. Today the Times, which spotted Begum living in the al-Hawl refugee camp in Syria, tells us that the teenager who left London to join Islamic State in Syria wants to come home and raise her baby.

Now 19 and nine-months pregnant, Begum is the subject of heated debate. One Times writer says Begum is nothing but a “credulous fool”. She “has suffered the unspeakable tragedy of seeing two infants die for want of effective hospital care”. She “fled a brutal battlefield”. And “yet it is all but impossible to feel sorry for her”. It’s the bits about viewing severed heads with a dispassionate eye and having no remorse for signing up to ISIS that grinds. “That’s why I really want to get back to Britain,” she says pointing to her unborn child, “because I know it will be taken care of, health-wise at least.” Entitled, moi?

“What do you think will happen to my child?” she asks. It’s a good question. “Because I don’t want it to be taken away from me, or at least if it is, to be given to my family.” The baby dad, the Dutch jihadist Yago Riedijk, whom she loves “very much” is busy helping those fighters allied to the Syrian Democratic Forces who nabbed him with their enquiries.

“I knew that coming back to the UK wouldn’t be a quiet thing. It’s uncomfortable,” she adds. “If I ever do go back, it’ll be a long time before the cameras stop and all the questions stop.” She sees media intrusion affecting her stated desire to “come home and live quietly with my child”. Unless she means the cameras in a secure unit, which she most likely does not.

Posted: 16th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Shamima Begum: Guantanamo Bay or Bethnal Green for ISIS teen; and the Manchester bomb

What to do with Shamima Begum, the 19-year-year-old Londoner who at 15 ran away to join ISIS – the death cult that murders gays, Christians and Jews, rapes Christian children it sells into slavery and murders families an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester? After the Times spotted a heavily pregnant Begum in a refugee camp, the debate has raged: do we let her in or keep her out? In a headline so trite is should come with a health warning, the Manchester Evening News reports: “Shamima Begum’s plea to come home is backed by three Good Morning Britain guests.” It’s not war, human heads in bags and genocide. It’s entertainment.

Shamima Begum’s relatives want her back in Britain. Home Secretary Sajid Javid says he “will not hesitate” to prevent the return of those who have supported terrorist organisations abroad. The teenager’s brother-in-law calls for “compassion and understanding”. She’s pregnant, after all. Shamima wants the NHS to care for her unborn child – she lost two babies to illness while living in Syria.

But can she in law be banned from returning to the UK? Yes. Maybe. The Sun says her permanent exclusion from Britain is an option for officials. Or if she does return, can she be jailed? Being a member of a terrorist group is a crime, right? But there is no evidence she took active part in the ultra violence. And she went to Syria as a minor.

There should be some kind of reckoning if she returns. Begum says she wants to “come home and live quietly with my child”. No chance. That’s not how it works. Something happened. She can’t airbrush history and her alleged crimes. She is no victim. Some say she was “groomed”, as if Begum was a passive presence as she chatted about the stuff ISIS is into and found it deeply attractive.

So are we after redemption or simple punishment? And are we bothered more by what any decision says about her than about us? What are out values?

Maybe Begum should be sent to Guantanamo Bay? The Telegraph says most jihadis who return to the UK from Syria are on “secretive” government rehabilitation schemes. “Let Shamima Begum come back, say Bethnal Green residents,” says one Guardian headline. What they say about her in Manchester no-one bothered to find out?

Posted: 15th, February 2019 | In: News | Comment


Pristine copy of first Super Mario Bros game sells for $100,150

To the attic! An unopened copy of Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. original 1985 game has sold at auction for $100,150.

From the auction house:

“Beyond the artistic and historical significance of this game is its supreme state of preservation,” says Kenneth Thrower, co-founder and chief grader of Wata Games.

Due to its popularity, Nintendo reprinted Super Mario Bros. from 1985 to 1994 numerous times, resulting in 11 different box variations (according to this visual guide). The first two variations are “sticker sealed” copies that were only available in the New York and L.A. test market launch of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1985 and 1986. Of all the sealed copies of Super Mario Bros., this is the only known “sticker sealed” copy and was certified by Wata Games with a Near Mint grade of 9.4 and a “Seal Rating” of A++.

“Not only are all of NES sticker sealed games extremely rare, but by their nature of not being sealed in shrink wrap they usually exhibit significant wear after more than 30 years,” Thrower said. “This game may be the condition census of all sticker sealed NES games known to exist.”

A group of collectors joined forces Feb. 6 to purchase the game, including some of the biggest names in video games and collectibles as a whole. The buyers include Jim Halperin, Founder and Co-Chairman of Heritage Auctions of Dallas, Texas; Zac Gieg, owner of Just Press Play Video Games in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Rich Lecce, renowned coin dealer, pioneering video game collector, and owner of Robert B. Lecce Numismatist Inc of Boca Raton, Florida.

“Super Mario Bros. is not only the most recognizable game of all time, it saved the video game industry in 1985,” said Wata Games President, Deniz Kahn. “In terms of rarity, popularity, and relevance to collectors, this game has it all. Mario is the most recognized fictional or non-fictional character in the world, more so than even Mickey Mouse. Super Mario Bros. launched the world’s largest game franchise and this copy is the only known sealed example from Nintendo’s test market release…

“Gieg called this example the equivalent of the valuable comic book, Action Comics #1. “This is first appearance of Superman of video games,” he said. “We all knew how hard it is to find an open copy of this version in nice condition, but to find one still sealed is truly something I thought I would never see, even after selling vintage video games for over 20 years”

Spotter: Heritage Auctions

Posted: 15th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Technology, The Consumer | Comment


The taming of Shamima Begum: British teen who joined ISIS wants to come home

Shamima Begum (pictured in her passport photo)

Teenagers, eh. They slam doors, get pierced and run off to join ISIS in Syria, where they pledge Holy War, death to Jews, Christians and gays, and champion the subjugation of women, rapes and paedophilia. Shamima Begum, 19, is the British-born bride of an ISIS fighter and nine months pregnant. She wants to come home.

In February 2015, Begum left the UK to join ISIS. The Mail sums it all up in a long headline: “Unrepentant former London schoolgirl, 19, who ran away to join ISIS with two friends flees last-stand battle while ‘nine months pregnant with third baby’ after two more children died in Syrian warzone and begs to come home.”

Got it? You can read more in the Times, which tracked Begum down. The paper’s man in a sandpit finds her “weak and exhausted from her escape across the desert”. She “nevertheless looked calm and spoke with a collected voice.” Can we lend a sympathetic ear to the young woman who left Bethnal Green to see the world (and conquer it by deadly force).

Anthony Loyd, reporting from Al‑ Hawl, Northern Syria, where Begum lives in a refugee camp, then delivers a cinematic moment:

With those words and the act of lifting her niqab, a mystery ended. The girl sitting before me, alone in a teeming Syrian refugee camp of 39,000 people where she is registered as No 28850, was Shamima Begum, the only known survivor of the three schoolgirls from Bethnal Green Academy whose fate has been unknown at home since they fled Britain together in 2015 to join Islamic State.

Where is David Lean when you need him most to overlook the pubescent boys being sold in the market, the slave girls and the murderous racism to focus on the cheekbones and to-die-for pashminas?

And on it goes, the soft focus look at the woman who dared and is now demure. One Guardian writer tells us: “Having been found alive and nine months pregnant in a Syrian refugee camp, Begum is no longer an abstract concept.” What gutless, pliable tosh. An abstract concept doesn’t charge at your mum with a knife.

Security Minister Ben Wallace says Begum “has a right to come home”. He added: “British citizens have rights whoever they are but if they have gone join IS and return to the UK they can expect to be questioned and, if possible, prosecuted… Actions have consequences. I think the public will be reflecting on why these people want to return to a country they said they hate.”

Why? Take a seat. Grab the popcorn:

“I was weak,” she told me of her flight from the battle in Baghuz, with something akin to remorse. “I could not endure the suffering and hardship that staying on the battlefield involved. But I was also frightened that the child I am about to give birth to would die like my other children if I stayed on. So I fled the caliphate. Now all I want to do is come home to Britain.”

Begum is showing “something skin of remorse” to Times readers. But on LBC radio Dr Kim Howells, a former Foreign Office and Counter-Terrorism Minister, is raging:

“You can bet your bottom dollar there will be a lobby that will swing into action to get this girl home on humanitarian grounds. But she sounds to be completely unrepentant, she sounds cynical, she said she wasn’t phased by the sight of these heads in a bin as she described it. And she sounds well educated. She was obviously deluded by Islamic propaganda and now she wants to take advantage of the NHS. She wants to get back to a country which is the antithesis of this Caliphate that was so attractive for so many people and responsible for so much brutality. There’s not going to be many people with great enthusiasm for bringing her back, but I suspect she will make it in the end.”

Must she sound anything other than herself? The two friends Begum left London with – Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase – also each married an ISIS foreign fighter. Ms Sultana was reported killed two years ago. Here are some more highlights from Begum’s jaunt:

On her Dutch-born husband, a Muslim convert:

“They imprisoned and tortured him for six and a half months after accusing him of spying. There was a lot of similar oppressions of innocent people. In some cases fighters who had fought for the caliphate were executed as spies even though they were innocent.”

On city life:

“Mostly it was a normal life in Raqqa, every now and then bombing and stuff,. But when I saw my first severed head in a bin it didn’t faze me at all. It was from a captured fighter seized on the battlefield, an enemy of Islam. I thought only of what he would have done to a Muslim woman if he had the chance.”

And then the camera zooms in:

Though Ms Begum’s husband still urged her to be patient, grief at the loss of her two children accentuated an overwhelming desire to ensure her unborn child survived. “In the end, I just could not endure any more,” she said. “I just couldn’t take it.”

Will there be a sequel?

“The caliphate is over,” she said. “There was so much oppression and corruption that I don’t think they deserved victory. I know what everyone at home thinks of me as I have read all that was written about me online. But I just want to come home to have my child. That’s all I want right now. I’ll do anything required just to be able to come home and live quietly with my child.”

Anything? Names. Places. Dates. And maybe we can swap Begum for one of the Yazidi women enslaved and raped by her old gang? And if they need staff, Begum’s looking for a new career…

Posted: 14th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Madeleine McCann: three cops; one source; and freedom of no information request

maddie mccann reward

There’s been very little news of Madeleine McCann. The story has lost its push. But the Star and other tabloids plough gamely on, waiting for an new fact to add to the only one we know: child vanishes.

The Star, Sun and Mail all bring news that police were “secretly investigated for misconduct”. To the Star and Sun they are “Madeleine McCann cops”, part of the missing child’s private and personalised police force. The Mail and Star’s stories are based entirely on the Sun’s.

The Sun’s scoop tells readers that the police officers who worked on the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance were accused of “neglect or failure in their duty”. The Sun sums up:

Each officer was accused of “neglect or failure in their duty” while working on the Met Police’s £12million investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance. But two allegations were not upheld and one was later withdrawn after Scotland Yard found there was no case to answer.

It is not clear if the complaints were made by members of the public or Madeleine’s family.

Sources even hinted that internet trolls could be responsible.

We know that no officers did anything wrong thanks to a freedom of information request. And after the facts, we get the theorising in the Star:

Madeleine’s parents Kate, 50, and Gerry, 49, of Rothley, Leics, believe their girl, who would now be 16, could still be alive.

Believe. Could. Guexses and hunches in place of news and facts.

And in the Sun we get an unnamed “source “to tell us:

One said: “Because the precise details of the allegations aren’t made public, it’s entirely possible good officers have been subjected to a complaints process even though there may be little merit in the allegations against them.”

There may be little merit in the story; there may be some merit in the story. The source is available for comment either way…

Posted: 14th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Creating Anti-Vax news for clicks; Darla Shine says measles is ‘LOL’; LadBible accused; cancer patients worry

Darla Shine used to be a producer for Fox News producer. She’s married to Bill Shine, the White House deputy chief of staff of communications. Darla thinks a measles outbreak in Washington state and Oregon is terrific. A highly infectious viral illness is “LOL”:

Darla Shine measles

Fame beckons. So she trolled on:

Darla Shine measles

Darla might well realise that because measles is riding high on the news cycle, clicks can be had by whopping it up for anti-vax and science deniers. The LadBible gets it.

And Darla? Hey, fame costs, and if an outbreak of measles is the price, so be it:

If your immunes system is weak – say, by chemotherapy – you can thank the anti-vaxers for making life that much more perilous.

Tara C. Smith noted:

What many forget is that we had a massive outbreak of measles in the United States from 1989–1991. While our 644 cases in 2014 seems high compared with recent years, 25 years ago measles incidence spiked to 18,000 cases per year, with a total of more than 55,000 infections before the outbreak began to dwindle. It was the largest measles outbreak in this country since the 1970s. … Despite our advances and our modernity and our status as a developed country, we still saw 123 measles deaths during this epidemic—here, in the United States, where we get plenty of Vitamin A. There were also 11,000 hospitalizations—fully one-fifth of people infected with measles became sick enough to be hospitalized.

Eugenics is back.

Posted: 13th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Phone lottery scammer tried to con former CIA and FBI boss William Webster; scammer lost

William Webster lottery scam

Keniel A Thomas, 29, was a scammer who could not fail – not until he called William Webster (born March 6, 1924), the man who served as chief of the CIA and FBI. Thomas is now serving a six-year sentence. “Everybody’s vulnerable every grandmother, every grandfather,” said the former spy chief’s wife, Lynda Webster. “It seemed to me that something wasn’t quite right,” said Webster, 94. “This was pretty obvious to me that there was something fishy about it.”

The calls to the Webster home started in March 2014, with various men calling to tell William Webster he had won the lottery. In June, Thomas began calling, identifying himself as “David Morgan,” a manager with Mega Millions. However, Webster saw that he had an email address of keniel.thomas@outlook.com. He asked “Morgan” to stop calling, but Thomas not only continued to call but also sent more than 20 emails to Webster. At one point in July 2014, Thomas called Lynda Webster and told her that he knew no one was at her home the previous night. In another call, Thomas told Lynda Webster, “So easy that we go set your house ablaze, how is that? … You can be taken care of that easy.”

The FBI was able to link the Websters to other victims who had reported sending funds to Thomas or interacting with “David Morgan,” or who had sent funds to American middlemen who were also victims. Agents tracked payments through Western Union and MoneyGram to Thomas or members of his family, court records show. One California man reported receiving certified checks in exchange for sending “fees” to Jamaica, and wound up sending $85,000 to the scammers even though the certified checks all bounced.

Spotter: Washington Post

Posted: 13th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, Money, News | Comment


‘Satan Lives’ in my toaster – a classic TV news clip

To Boca Raton, Florida, where Satan has taken refuge in a toaster. “SATAN LIVES,” says the message on the toast. “When all said and done,” reasons the keeper of Hell’s flame, “it makes good toast.”

Spotter: flashbak

Posted: 12th, February 2019 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment


Ilhan Omar singles out those ‘evil’ Jews who owe allegiance to a foreign power

Ilhan Omar Jew hater antisemitism

Ilhan Omar has done her bit to prove that the far Right doesn’t have a monopoly on antisemitism (see: Corbyn J). Omar, one of just two Muslim women in the US Congress and a Somali refugee, posited the considered and not in the least bit racist view that support for Israel among her fellow politicians was fueled by money from a pro-Israel lobby group.

Ilhan Omar Jew hater antisemitism

Ms Omar represents the state of Minnesota. But, as with so many on the Left, her narrow thoughts are dominated by Jews. She tweeted: “It’s all about the Benjamins baby.” That’s a reference to $100 bills, which feature an image of Benjamin Franklin (not a Jew). A kind heart on Twitter asked her who she thought was behind US politicians’ support of Israel.

Ms Omar was quick to the punch. “AIPAC!,” she exclaimed, a reference to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Ilhan Omar Jew hater antisemitism

Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat speaker of the House, express an opinion: “Congresswoman Omar’s use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters is deeply offensive. We condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologise for these hurtful comments,”

Eliot Engel, Democrat chairman of the House foreign affairs committee, called it “shocking to hear a member of Congress invoke the anti-Semitic trope of ‘Jewish money.'”

Ilhan Omar Jew hater antisemitism
Omar is on a journey – a middle-aged woman elected to represent people claims ignorance as defence

Ms Omar, 37, instantly resigned. No. Of course not. She muttered: “My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole.”

Not as a whole. What was her intention, then? To claim American Jews owe allegiance to foreign power?

She added: “We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologise.”

It’s not her. It’s you. The sympathetic backstory; the call to look to yourself; the non-denial detail. It’s all there in a few mealy-mouthed words.

And this is the same Omar who backs the censorious BDS movement. Omar who said Israel “has hypnotised the world”, and that Israel was uniquely “evil”. Those comments were made in 2012. They did not stop her becoming an elected representative. Why? Because to most people, Jew hatred doesn’t matter.

It’s back. And its rife.

Posted: 12th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Labour: ‘What Antisemitism crisis?’; Corbyn’s 12 apostles get busted

jews

The Labour antisemitism “crisis” – which isn’t – appears on just one front page. The Daily Telegraph leads with the “Labour antisemitism crisis”. But not one of the Corbyn cronies running Labour thinks Jew hatred in it ranks is a crisis. They see it as an issue, bigger than dog poo on the pavements but smaller than getting the trains to run on time and keeping Diane Abbott off the telly.

At a recent meeting of the Labour party – one so important that the party’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn, didn’t bother to attend; and neither did Labour General Secretary Jennie Formby, who instead wrote a letter saying how she thinks Jew hatred is wrong. She says that as a result of hundreds of instances of antisemitism in the party – some of which were probably investigated by a crack team of party loyalists [insert small number here] – 12 members were kicked out. Kick out JC’s apostles. Raus! To the trains!

PS: Odd that the only national newspaper at the vanguard of sticking up for Jews caught once again in the maw of rising antisemitism is the Telegraph. This is how the paper responded to one recent complaint:

This article [HYPERLINKED] of 26 September published in Telegraph Travel originally stated that only Cuba, North Korea and Iran do not have a central bank owned or controlled by the Rothschild family. We accept that this is an anti-Semitic trope, although it was not included by the writer with anti-Semitic intent. We obviously accept that it was inaccurate and offensive, however, and we are very sorry that it found its way into our output. It has been redacted from the article.

Antisemitism – you’re never more than a click away from the stuff.

Posted: 12th, February 2019 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Only fools, Corbyn’s cronies and bigots believe Labour on antisemitism

Corbyn anti-semitism

From hundreds of cases of antisemitism in the Labour Party, Labour General Secretary Jennie Formby says 12 members were kicked out. Says Labour MP Ruth Smeeth:

This isn’t over yet. Nobody is going to force me out of this party to stop me carrying on this fight. We know of thousands of cases that have been submitted where nothing seems to have been done. Believe you me we are going to carry on fighting this. The PLP is united on this… One of my friends [Labour MP Luciana Berger] who is heavily pregnant is having to go through this day in day out and it’s simply not good enough.“

This is the email sent to all Labour MPs ahead of a meeting on Monday night. Formby was not at the meeting. Jeremy Corbyn was not at the meeting. Maybe he didn’t look closely enough at the invite:

Further to our meeting on February 4, as promised, here is a further update of the progress we have made in relation to action against antisemitism.

At the PLP meeting, I emphasised that I totally reject the suggestion that the existence of antisemitism in our party is a smear. I have seen hard evidence of it and that is why I have been so determined to do whatever is possible to eliminate it from the party. It is also the reason why I made it a priority to implement robust procedures to deal with it whenever it is identified.

I made the point that, whilst I cannot guarantee to totally eradicate it as we have new members joining every day, I can guarantee that we now have robust procedures to deal with it whenever it is identified. I also talked about the importance of education in challenging attitudes as a key element in tackling antisemitism.

It is clearly of the utmost importance that everyone feels welcome in our party and we must ensure that includes all members of our Jewish communities. In addition to the formal steps that are being taken in terms of procedures, I am continuing to work with Regional Directors and staff across our party to do all we can to make CLP and other meetings safe, welcoming and comradely.

A key issue highlighted in the PLP motion relates to the release of statistics. The NEC has previously been clear that statistics on disciplinary matters should remain confidential and not be published. This is in line with our policy about not publishing other party statistics. However, I took that request very seriously, and considered how it could be disclosed in an open and straightforward way, so that it was not misinterpreted or misused for other purposes by the Party’s political rivals.

I therefore proposed to the PLP that the three NEC representatives who are directly elected by the PLP would be invited to examine the statistics on an ‘open book’ basis and to monitor them regularly thereafter. In this way, they would be able to give clear analysis to the PLP, whom they represent, on whether or not they believe we are making sufficient progress.

The three representatives concerned, George Howarth, Margaret Beckett and Shabana Mahmood, have impeccable credentials and are completely trusted by the PLP. This was therefore a genuine attempt to give the PLP confidence that there was oversight by people whom they trust to be independent and honest in their assessment of the situation.

However, the PLP rejected this proposal. In view of the importance of rebuilding trust with Jewish communities, after the meeting, I consulted NEC officers to get their permission to publish data. I pushed hard to get their agreement to do so. I will set out the data in this letter.

The PLP requested information in relation to staffing numbers. The Governance and Legal Unit (GLU) experienced a high level of sickness last year, followed by several staff leaving the party. This caused capacity issues and whilst we covered some of this by seconding junior barristers and solicitors, I am pleased that we have now completed the process of replacing those who have left. In addition, we have invested funding in the GLU so that the number of staff dealing with investigations will increase from five to eleven staff.

Now turning to the data.

Before April 2018, there was no consistent and comprehensive system for recording and processing cases of antisemitism . Therefore, this data shows complaints received in the period April 2018 to the last antisemitism panels held in January 2019 and represents a snapshot of the current situation.

Over 30% of complaints received by the Party are related to non-Labour Party members. For complaint ‘dossiers’ that have been submitted, this figure almost doubles up to 60%.

Many of the complaints refer to social media posts that are up to 8 years old. One specific case reported recently, a complaint was made about someone who died in 2016.

Every complaint that is reported as antisemitism is recorded as that, irrespective of the evidence, in line with the Macpherson principle. Where no further action is taken, it therefore does not mean that people have been ‘let off’, it is an indication that there was not sufficient evidence to continue an investigation of the case as an antisemitic incident.

In the period described above:

433 complaints received were not about party members

Of those who were party members

96 members were immediately suspended
146 received a reminder of conduct**
220 cases did not have sufficient evidence of a breach of party rules to proceed with an investigation
211 were issued with a Notice of Investigation
**A reminder of conduct is a first written warning and as agreed at January’s NEC meeting, these warnings will now only be issued by the antisemitism panels, supported by special counsel.

Of the cases who were issued with a Notice of Investigation or suspension, there have been 96 NEC Antisemitism Disputes Panel decisions

42 members referred to National Constitutional Committee (NCC)
16 members issued with a formal NEC warning
6 members’ cases were referred for further investigation
25 members issued with ‘reminder of conduct’
7 members’ cases were closed as the full evidence suggested no further action should be taken

Of the remaining number of cases which are either under a Notice of Investigation or suspension, 44 left the Party after being presented with the evidence in their case, and the remainder are either still under active investigation as having only been more recently received, or are cases where the investigation revealed evidence that meant the case could not be pursued further.

Of the 42 members referred to the NCC, which is an independent quasi-judicial body, 5 members left the party, leaving 37 cases for NCC review.

The following 18 NCC decisions have been made:

12 members were expelled
6 received sanctions
The remainder are awaiting completion of the case
Throughout this period, the NEC working groups, together with the GLU team, continued to work on the reform of antisemitism and disciplinary procedures. We will continue to monitor and develop our procedures.

Additionally, the PLP asked how often NEC officers and/or the General Secretary have used delegated powers to make decisions on antisemitism disputes. I can confirm this never happens as the reforms to NEC procedures mean that all substantive decisions are taken by NEC Antisemitism Disputes Panels.

Following the NEC adoption of the IHRA definition and the 11 associated examples, I contacted the Board of Deputies, CST, JLC and JLM to ask whether they now felt able to re-engage with us to continue consultation on our Code of Conduct.

More recently, I have had private meetings with individuals from several Jewish community organisations to explore how to bring that about. As has been reported, direct engagement with us does not currently appear to be an option for some organisations. I very much hope this will change as I remain absolutely committed to engaging and working together with Jewish community organisations at all times. In particular, I am keen to discuss with them the vitally important issue of education of members, and educational materials for all members to enable them to recognise and challenge antisemitism wherever it arises.

I hope and trust our transparency as demonstrated here and our determination to succeed will allow this to happen.

Labour has a little problem. But it won’t look at the cause. Just why is Labour obsessed with Jews?

But one Labour MP told PoliticsHome: “The stain of anti-semitism and bullying is alive and well in Corbyn’s party and as long as he continues to turn a blind eye to what is going on the worse it’s going to get. He’s allowed the Labour party to become a culture of intolerance and bullying and he should be ashamed.”

“One has to wonder why you have a problem with the world’s only Jewish nation-state,” asks LBC.

The Guardian can’t hide the issue:

The party revealed the figures in an email to MPs, and suggested no earlier figures could be compiled because there was “no consistent and comprehensive system for recording and processing cases of antisemitism”. However, the party’s former general secretary Iain McNicol disputed that claim in a private meeting with Labour MPs on Monday night, saying such a system had been in place.

Whoops!

Posted: 11th, February 2019 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Meghan Markle writes an open letter to her dear old dad

meghan markle

Meghan Markle will need stronger crystals and a firmer deep tissue massage to reach the serotonin (happy hormones) as her heart is “broken beyond repair”. The Express has news that Meghan is pained by her father’s decision to “reveal” a private letter. And he “could release MORE”. MORE! We want more, rather MORE. But for now all we have to tuck into is a handwritten note Meghan sent her father, Thomas Markle – “In August, Meghan wrote to her Meghan’s father to stop his attacks.” She wrote:

Daddy,

It is with a heavy heart that I write this, not understanding why you have chosen to take this path, turning a blind eye to the pain you’re causing. Your actions have broken my heart into a million pieces – not simply because you have manufactured such unnecessary and unwarranted pain, but by making the choice to not tell the truth as you are puppeteered in this. Something I will never understand.

You’ve told the press that you called me to say you weren’t coming to the wedding – that didn’t happen because you never called.

You’ve said I never helped you financially and you’ve never asked me for help with is also untrue; you sent me an email last October that said: ‘If I’ve depended too much on you for financial help then I’m sorry but please could you help me more not as a bargaining chip for my loyalty’…

I have only ever loved, protected, and defended you, offering whatever financial support I could worrying about your health…and always asking how I could help. So the week of the wedding to hear about you having a heart attack through a tabloid was horrifying.

I called and texted… I begged you to accept help – we sent someone to your home…and instead of speaking to me to accept this or any help, you stopped answering your phone and chose to only speak to tabloids.

If you love me, as you tell the press you do, please stop.Please allow us to live our lives in peace. Please stop lying, please stop creating so much pain, please stop exploiting my relationship with my husband…

I realise you are so far down this rabbit hole that you feel (or may feel) there’s no way out, but if you take a moment to pause I think you’ll see that being able to live with a clear conscience is more valuable than any payment in the world.

I pleaded with you to stop reading the tabloids.On a daily basis you fixated and clicked on the lies they were writing about me, especially manufactured by your other daughter, who I barely know.
You watched me silently suffer at the hand of her vicious lies, I crumbled inside.

We all rallied around to support and protect you from day one, and this you know.

So to hear about the attacks you’ve made at Harry in the press, who was nothing but patient, kind and understanding with you is perhaps the most painful of all.

For some reason you continue fabricating these stories, manufacturing this fictitious narrative, and entrenching yourself deeper into this web you’ve spun.

The only thing that helps me sleep at night is the faith and knowing that a lie can’t live forever.

I believed you, I trusted you, and told you I loved you.

The next morning the CCTV footage came out.

You haven’t reached out to me since the week of our wedding, and while you claim you have no way of contacting me, my phone number has remained the same.

This you know. No texts, no missed called, no outreach from you – just more global interviews you’re being paid to do and say harmful and hurtful things that are untrue.”

He commented: “This is not the girl I know. It’s not the way she talks. This letter is cold. When she signs off it’s ‘Meg’. You read the way it ends and it felt like a final farewell to me.”

You can read the same story in the Mirror – where it’s an “exclusive”

This is jut one of 14 – that’s FOURTEEN in Express language – stories on Meghan Markle in today’s paper of record. Other highlights include:

“What is the latest travel advice for expectant mothers?” – Don’t get into a car driven by Prince Philip?

“Meghan Markle: Sister Samantha hits out at ‘NARCISSIST’ duchess – ‘She doesn’t care!'” – so why keep talking about?

And news that Meghan is “nothing like Princess Diana” – well, there’s no extra-martial sex to repot on and she alive (see car advice).

“Will Meghan and Harry name their baby after THIS Queen?” – Arise Princess Freddie Mercury.

“Meghan Markle must learn THIS marriage trick from Kate Middleton’s royal success” – Tell the butler to double the order on stun guns.

More to follow. Much, much more…

Posted: 11th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment