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Brexit: breakthrough deal please the status quo

“REJOICE!” screams the Daily Mail from it front page. “WE’RE ON OUR WAY?” Where to?  Out of the European Union, dummkopf. “It’s a “HUGE BREXIT BOOTS,” declares the Daily Express from its front page. “Now let’s get on with ditching the EU.”

Agreements have been reached. But we don’t know what the UK’s relationship will be with the EU.

 

eu brexit newspapers

 

The Mail gives over an entire page to nodding heads. “Theresa May won,” says Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, wafting perfume into the stultifying air. “The doomsters and pessimists have been confounded,” says Norman Lamont, former chancellor. The deal is “the personal success of Theresa May”, says Donald Tusk, the European Council president.  May “negotiated in  “very gentlemanly manner”, says Jean-Claude Junker, European Commission president, muddying the eye of those who say a woman cannot behave as well as a bloke in demanding company. At the bottom or 13 opinions, we get to Jeremy Corbyn, who says it’s “Tory chaos and posturing”.

Having hailed the historic handshake” (Page 1), “triumph” (pages 4-5), a “breakthrough deal” (pages 6-7), the early arrive of Christmas for City bosses (pages 8-9), a confounding of the “Jeremiahs” (page 9), “record booms for British exports” (page 8) and May making it “back from the dead ” (page 25), the Mirror gives front-page space to someone calling May  “lily-livered”. “Softly Softly,” says the Mirror on pages 4 and 5. Is that praise or criticism? “Softly, softly, catchee monkey” is taken to mean “Don’t flurry; patience gains the day.”

On page 4, the Mirror says any deal could be “ripped up” should trade talks fail. And, er, that’s it. The leading Left-wing tabloid can muster just three pages for the Brexit deal, the Mail calls “historic”.

Over in the Sun, which sees the Brexit news as less important than an actress being “pelted with glasses in a pub” and Toff’s jungle bikini, Trevor Kavanagh says May was “summoned in her pyjamas by three unelected bureaucrats”. But “we will not be surrendering last year’s referendum vote by carrying on as EU member in all but name”. Brexiteers, says Kavanagh, are “keeping their powder dry”.

Have we “taken back control”, then? No. The Brexit vote was radical. But when the same old faces are organising it, what did you expect, revolution? Here’s Gove in the Telegraph:

“If the British people dislike the arrangement that we have negotiated with the EU, the agreement will allow a future government to diverge.”

Keep on voting! Eventually you’ll reach the right decision.

Anyhow, here are three key things from the agreement, as told by the BBC:

No “hard border” between Northern Ireland and the Republic

The rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU to live, work and study will be protected. The agreement includes reunification rights for relatives who do not live in the UK to join them in their host country in the future

The so-called “divorce bill” will amount to between £35bn and £39bn, Downing Street sources say. This includes budget contributions during a two-year “transition” period after the UK leaves the EU in March 2019

You can read the full text of the UK-EU agreement here.

Posted: 9th, December 2017 | In: Broadsheets, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Donald Trump ate my bomb and other dinners

If we are what we eat, news that Donald Trump eats McDonald’s interests us. You might suppose it’s a clear sign that Trump is of the people. No, not at one with the abstemious dieters and juicers; rather allied to the fat Untermensch who like fast food.  It might also indicate that if you put his name on something he has to have it.

Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and aid David Bossie, have written a book about working with the President. Just as it is with showbiz weddings in OK! magazine and death row prisoners’ last rights, we want to know about the eats. “Trump’s appetite seems to know no bounds when it comes to McDonald’s, ” they write “with a dinner order consisting of two Big Macs, two Filet-O-Fish, and a chocolate malted.”

Deelish.

They continue: “On Trump Force One there were four major food groups: McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, pizza, and Diet Coke.”

Fried food chased down by the lo-cal beverage. The man can be restrained.

As Melania Trump watches her man eat and eat and eat from behind dark glasses, her nails taping on the ceiling of Air Force One as if if counting heartbeats, we read that the plane’s galley is “stacked with Vienna Fingers, potato chips, pretzels, and many packages of Oreos”.

Double deelish.

But hold on. James Hamblin looks into the entrails of Trump’s lunch and sees the whole man. Writing in the Atlantic, he opines:

Decisions to live this way would seem to offer insight into Trump’s ability to assess risk. In light of a nuclear standoff with North Korea, rapidly warming oceans, and a looming tax bill that would leave millions more Americans without health insurance, his approach to self-maintenance is not reassuring.

Vote for the vegetarian, right.

Posted: 6th, December 2017 | In: News, Politicians, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Damian Green: taxi for David Mellor and police in the dock

The Daily Damian: a look at de-facto Deputy Prime Minister Damian Green in the newspapers. We kick off on page 2 of the Daily Mirror, where former Tory minister David Mellor says Green would not be missed for a “millisecond”. Mellor, who fell on his bellend (surely sword – ed) in 1992 after a sleaze scandal, tells one and all: “Damian Green should have said, ‘I will resign to clear my name’ and he would have lots of sympathy.” But no job. Mellor adds: “Damian is the sort of guy who, under Mrs Thatcher, would have been the Minister of State for Latrines and would have lived in total obscurity.”

Sorry. Yes,. Mellor. M.E.L.. He’s the top bloke who told a London cabbie (something he later apologised for): “You’ve been driving a cab for 10 years, I’ve been in the cabinet, I’m an award-winning broadcaster, I’m a Queen’s Counsel. You think that your experiences are anything compared to mine?”

Ring a bell? No? This bloke:

david mellor newspapers sex

Yeah, him. But not her:

 

 

In the Sun, Green’s story is a police issue. On page 6, the paper hears Cressida Dick, the Met’s top copper, say is was “quite wrong” for “ex-Detective David Lewis to go public on the contents of Mr Green’s machine”. (That’s Green’s computer which allegedly contained lots of porn. He denies it.)

Nick Cohen writes in the Spectator:

The police, or rather the retired officers, want to use legal but shameful behaviour to destroy their target. In Russia, Putin’s agents send women to lure opposition activists into honey traps, then post sex tapes on the web. Our police seem too close to their colleagues in Moscow for comfort…

I am sure an eager detective could find something to discredit you. Everyone has legal but potentially shameful secrets, and if you do not, you are too good for this world…

But:

…the inquiry into Damian Green’s conduct has nothing to do with computer pornography real or imagined. Green is accused of the sexual harassment of Kate Maltby, a women 30 years his junior, and a family friend to boot.

I am told on good authority that it is not just Maltby’s story the inquiry is hearing. Other women have gone to Sue Gray, the director-general of propriety and ethics at the Cabinet Office, to tell stories of their own.

Should we hear them, too?

The Mail (page 4) continues to stick it to the police. Cressida Dick “condemns” police leakers. A Tory MP says Green is a “steady pair of hands”. No, not wandering. Steady.

On page 14, the Mail rages against “police flouting the law”. Police have made a “clear attempt to ruin Mr Green’ career”. On page 17, Richard Littlejohn wonders: “If the Deputy PM isn’t safe, what chance have we got?” Which makes you wonder why the Deputy PM should be viewed as being any different to the rest of us?

“Ex-officers may face court over MP porn claims’,” says the Express (page 2).

Meanwhile… the Cabinet Office has still to report on Green’s computer and Maltby. Why not let them do their job and see what occurs?

 

Posted: 5th, December 2017 | In: News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Damian Green: flagrant abuse is what we love best

The Daily Damian: a look at Damian Green in the newspapers. The story so far: the Deputy PM is accused of having porn on his PC and chatting up a younger woman, whose knee she says he touched. The Cabinet Office is investigating. Damian Green say he’s innocent. Now read on…

The Sun (page 6) says Education Secretary Justine Greening “all but called for him to be sacked”. Greening told BBC viewers to Andrew Marr’s Sunday morning show that  “most employers” would think it unacceptable to watch porn at work. On the other side (ITV) was Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, telling everyone that he trusts Damian Green and “I believe what he says”.

 

damian green

0800GREEN – HOW MUCH ABUSE CAN HE TAKE?

 

On Page 10, Trevor Kavanagh says the story is based on a “politically motivated vendetta” against Green by two “bitter” former police officers, Bob Quick and “co-conspirator” Neil Lewis. We learn that Quick “led the scandalous raid” on Green’s office in 2008 over alleged leaks from the Home Office. Quick “seized the computers. Lewis fund the porn.” And then comes the worrying bit: “thousands of perfectly legal images were copied – against orders – and squirrelled away by Lewis for future use.” Kavanagh alleges it’s part of moves to get back at Theresa May for threatening to “smash  their Mafia-style trade union”.

Over in the Mirror (page2 ), Justine Greening is telling Green to “fall on your sword”. Which isn’t a euphemism for masturbation, rather a euphemism for career suicide, or maybe actual suicide. On page 8, Kevin Maguire wonders if the Tories would back an “ordinary worker” – are MPs made extraordinary in anything but the glorious building they occupy? – “if police found thousands of indecent images on his or her desktop.” Dunno. Maybe police should all check their PCs and let us know what occurs?

And how is watching porn on your PC any different from watching porn in a magazine or newspaper, say, perhaps one that on Page 41 offers readers the chance to call premium-rate phone numbers and get some “X-RATED CHEAP CHAT” from “18-94 years olds” and “REAL HOUSEWIVES”? The Mirror does. And it offers no warning against doing so whilst at work, nor displaying the porny images that go with the adverts lest it offend workmates and paymasters.

The Mail (pages 6 and 7), says Lewis “could be prosecuted – as watchdog accuses him of ‘flagrant violation of the public’s trust in police.” New Met commissioner Cressida Dick says the force is thinking about investigating Lewis. Dick, you will recall, was in charge when armed police shot dead innocent Jean Charles de Menezes as he waited for a train on the London Underground. No police employee was disciplined for that.

Speaking on BBC Radio London today, Dick said: “All police officers know very well that they have a duty of confidentiality, a duty to protect personal information. That duty in my view clearly endures after you leave the service. And so it is my view that what they have done based on my understanding of what they’re saying… what they have done is wrong, and I condemn it.”

We also hear in the Mail from Eleanor Laing, who says deputy speaker of the Commons, who says in a letter dated November 14:

A member of my parliamentary staff has told me that, several years ago, before we had effective screening of our parliamentary computers, she used to find pornographic images on her computer every morning when she switched it on…

She was certainly not accessing pornographic sites deliberately or even accidentally. The material was just there on her computer every day. She simply deleted it. This happened before 2010.Thus, it would appear that material found in the parliamentary computer system can be proved to have been put there by some other means than by the deliberate actions of the person operating the computer.

Lax security in parliament. Who knew?

Over in the Guardian, a columnist thunders: “!If Damian Green harassed a woman or lied, he must go.” Yeah. If. But do consider it for as long as it takes to read 500-odd words about today’s burning issue.

In other news: I took up porn to help me stop smoking, says man looking for five-minute work break.

Posted: 4th, December 2017 | In: Broadsheets, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Media obsession over Kate Maltby and Damian Green is something Rotherham girls can only dream of

It’s always big news when a journalist becomes the story. Access is easy.  The newspaper with the hack’s number on speed-dial gets to ride high on the news cycle and be relevant. And all other media can take sides and judge. Kate Malby is the young Conservative activist in the limelight, writing in the Times about how “awkward I felt” when Damian Green, the Tory MP and first secretary of state, allegedly came on to her. He denies doing so. But the story is out there. And it’s open season on Green and Maltby, teh story veering between the invasive and the endemic.

Maltby kicked off her story with context. “After the Weinstein scandal we are asking new questions about the sexual abuse of power: all to the good,” she wrote, linking a powerful Hollywood figure’s alleged rapes and serious sexual assaults to her experience. What did Green do? Was it criminal?

Mr Green is almost exactly 30 years older than me. He has always cropped up in the peripheral circle of my parents’ acquaintances; he generously agreed to be interviewed by my school newspaper when I was the 16-year-old editor and he the shadow education minister.

Oh, god no!

I did not conduct the interview myself, and had no contact again until I became involved in Tory activism in my twenties.

Ah. Phew! The 16-year-old and the man in this 40s is not a story laced with sex and crime. We rejoin the story with Maltby in her twenties…

At that point I began to ask him for advice on internal matters. We met for a daytime coffee in 2014 to discuss a political essay collection I was co-editing. He was helpful and avuncular…

We fast forward to 2015, Maltby and Green are meeting once more:

He steered the conversation to the habitual nature of sexual affairs in parliament. He told a funny story about finding himself in a lift with the Cameron aide Rachel Whetstone and her alleged lover, Samantha Cameron’s stepfather, Lord Astor. He mentioned that his own wife was very understanding. I felt a fleeting hand against my knee – so brief, it was almost deniable. I moved my legs away, and tried to end the drink on friendly terms. I then dropped all contact for a year. I wanted nothing to do with him.

Awkward, right enough.

For a while I wondered if I’d imagined the incident. I had no proof. And was I self-regarding to think myself attractive? Women are trained to doubt our desirability.

Only women? Aren’t men also presented with ideals? They go loopy for a man with his shirt off drinking a Coca Cola or serving a yoghurt, but can only pity the hapless husband who can’t operate soap. And aren’t men now being recast as suspects? An LA Times article told us: “Sexual harassment is neither a Republican problem nor a Democratic one. It’s a man problem.” Like womanhood before liberation, manhood is a restrictive condition.

In May 2016, Maltby was” persuaded by The Times to write a piece about the history of corsets… It ended up being quite light-hearted, and I was talked into posing in a not-very-revealing corset.” The phone rang. It was Green:

“Long time no see. But having admired you in a corset in my favourite tabloid I feel impelled to ask if you are free for a drink anytime?” I ignored the message.

Indeed. She “wanted nothing more to do with him”.

Six weeks later, David Cameron fell and Mr Green was suddenly one of the most important men in Theresa May’s cabinet. As an aspirant political writer, it seemed impossible to avoid him professionally. So I sent him a message. “Many congratulations on joining the cabinet — you and your family must be delighted. I’ll look forward to seeing what you achieve in government.”

Cue Jan Moir, Mrs Michael Gove, the apogee of school gates knowing, who tells Mail readers:

Clearly driven mad with lust by the sight of the 31-year-old in a lace-up bodice and lumpy leggings, Green had only one thing on his mind. The brute! So she ‘actively ignored him’ until this June, when he was suddenly promoted to Deputy PM in Theresa May’s new government. The fact that Green was suddenly hugely important did not escape the single-minded Miss Maltby, who put the trauma of what had happened behind her and began texting him again.

 

maltby green

 

Will anyone stick up for ‘Miss’ lumpy legs? The Mail won’t. It’s Team Green, backing the man allegedly involved in Daily Mail scoops? The Mail’s double-page spread comes with a free hatchet:

One very pushy lady: Kate Maltby’s dad is a banker who dated Ann Widdecombe, and a family friend of the minister she accuses of touching her knee. ANDREW PIERCE profiles a woman determined to make it in politics – whatever the cost

Isn’t being determined a good thing?

Kate was brought up in Geneva, Switzerland, before the family moved back to Britain and into their £5 million home in Holland Park, West London. Kate, a highly- strung teenager, dropped out of Cheltenham Ladies’ College and moved to the £25,000-a-year St Paul’s Girls’ School.

Well-travelled, well-connected and well educated. Maltby can either spend her days lunching or work hard to put her nous to good use. Good on her for having a go, right?

In 2012, Maltby moved into a £1.3 million flat in Notting Hill… She bought the flat, now worth around £2 million, with no mortgage.

Which surely garners the reaction: so what? If this were a story about how anyone seeking a career in media needs to have private means, then we’d get it. We’d expect every Mail’s byline to come with a word on the writer’s schooling, market rate of their home and a family tree linking them to the owner. But it’s a story is about a woman feeling uncomfortable.

While she was in Notting Hill, the ambitious Maltby targeted Samantha Cameron… One member of the now defunct Notting Hill set recalled: ‘She was relentless and persistent in courting Mrs Cameron and others. We all got bombarded with emails and calls from her after she just sort of appeared in our midst. But I’m afraid there was something not quite right. I wasn’t sure we could ever fully trust her.’

And who better to trust than the anonymous source? The same or maybe it’s another anonymous voice tells us: “She might be more careful the next time she’s asked to write a piece trashing a decent man.”

Team Green is in full cry, then? But in the New Statesman, Sarah Ditum says Maltby is “paying the price” for speaking out as a woman. Damian Green’s relations with Maltby are being investigated by Cabinet Office. Green is also being investigated for alleged misuse of his Commons computer, namely to access porn, something he denies. Anna Soubry, a Tory MP, says he should be suspended. A “senior figure” tells the Sunday Times Green should contemplate suicide: “It’s time for the whisky and the revolver.”

Ditum wonders: “How posh does a woman have to be for her account of a man’s behaviour to be dismissed? How ambitious?”

The questions are rhetorical. It’s also clear Ditum is writing less about Maltby than the Mail’s reaction to her. You see. Media loves to talk about media. It’s the easiest news beat there is.

And if accusations of betraying friends, shaming family and publicising herself are too mild for you, don’t worry: Jan Moir is there on the facing page, calling Maltby “poison”, “disingenuous” and “not afraid to use all her charms to get herself noticed”.

But what about Maltby?

When a woman comes forward, she knows her credibility will be undermined, her past picked over and her character demolished. She might, like Labour activist Bex Bailey when she reported a rape, simply be told to hush up.

Rape? Is the heinous crime of rape relevant to Green? Isn’t that, you know, a bit unfair? Isn’t this about an alleged light brush of the knee, and flirtation? And if the media wants to investigate young vulnerable women being abused by older men, why don’t they talk more about attitudes to poor women in Rotherham and elsewhere? No #MeToo hashtags for the poor, ordinary and isolated. You stat to wonder if this about women or class? To rework Ditum’s question: How poor does a woman have to be for her account of a man’s behaviour to be dismissed? And does she have to live in London?

She continues:

When a national paper is willing to go to war for the hand on the knee and the presumptuous text, it’s not because they fear for one man’s career (which, again, was never threatened by Maltby): it’s because these are the things that keep women where we are.

Which is…where? Writing a column in a national newspaper or magazine? Four days after her original story, Maltby wrote in the Times:

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC came forward to confirm that I had confided in her a year ago about Green and was unlikely to have fabricated the story. At least two other women have said the same in public — and there are others who have offered to give similar evidence in private to a forthcoming Cabinet Office inquiry.

So my accusers changed tack. Seeming to accept that I genuinely believe my own claims, “friends of Damian Green” now suggest I may not have been able to tell the difference between the touch of a human hand and the flicker of tablecloth. This is the only story in a very difficult week that has given me reason to crack a hollow smile. Women know the difference between a hand and a tablecloth.

Women do. But do men, who are clueless when it comes to household items and laundry. Discuss.

Posted: 3rd, December 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Daily Mail reported Mugabe’s demise 2 days before he went

As Robert Mugabe spends time with his money, it’s worth noting how the Mail knew he was going well before anyone else. On November 19 at 5:08 pm, the Mail thundered: “Robert Mugabe STEPS DOWN to end 37 years in power.” The was wrong, of course, Mugabe resigned two days later.

robert mugabe daily mail

 

How did the Mail know? And what were those people celebrating – Mugabe’s staying and going? The Mail’s Facebook page published this update:

 

robert mugabe daily mail error

 

Follow the link and the Mail story now reads: “Robert Mugabe now faces impeachment after REFUSING to resign”. Indeed, the paper’s Twitter link is confused. Having stated that Mugabe was gone, the updated teaser was picked up and tells readers: “Robert Mugabe REFUSES to step down.”

 

 

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 2nd, December 2017 | In: News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Donald Trump and Britain First: a Twitter romance made in a safe space

Is a retweet an endorsement? It is if you’re cuddly Donald Trump, who has amplified anti-Muslim propaganda tweeted by Jayda Franse, the woman who fronts Britain First, the odious far right group.

That Trump has the brain of a cretinous adolescent is certain. It’s also a sure thing that when Trump tweets, it’s news. Four national newspapers lead with Trump’s retweets. The Times, Telegraph and Guardian all lead with Theresa’s May’s condemnation of the tweets Tump broadcasted to his millions of followers.

The i goes further. It says Trump’s sad, deeply pathetic and short-fingered grasp on the big issues of diplomacy, bigotry and racism, his undermining of the weight of high office, call into question his State visit to the UK. His retweets, says the paper, constitute “an attack on Britain”.

 

Trump tweets britain first

 

Should the UK be a safe space, where Donald’ Tump is banned from entering?

Trump takes pride in claiming to be saying the ‘unsayable’, telling it like it is. In his head, Trump’s engaging in home-spun wisdom. He’s a plain talking pioneer stripped of politicians’ artifice and cunning. His Twitter account’s a virtual stoop wherefrom he shares wisdom with the simple folks who gather at his feet. Little surprise he finds kindred spirits in fringe groups who purport to be doing the same, self-styled brave souls daring to speak the truth at a time when free expression is increasingly oppressed.

As debate withers and dies on the vine – free speech stymied by policed speech, activists posing as journalists and offence-seekers watching us for any misstep; when accusation is enough to establish guilt; when identity is all (and you know who agrees with that liberal view? Yeah: Nazis) – extremists with loud mouths position themselves as the voices of freedom. You want an alternative to the suffocation. There it is on the side, circling life’s plughole.

The last word is with Trump. Having been called out for his actions, he tweets:

@TheresaMay, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!

 

No, Donald. No! That’s the wrong Theresa May.

 

 

America. Would someone over there please take Trump’s phone away from him and put him to bed. Grown-ups are talking. Well, we will just as long as those progressive liberal voices who view human interaction as a potential crime scene allow it…

Posted: 30th, November 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Trumpy Bear: your very own Donald Trump-themed teddy to groom

Stuck for gift ideas? Looking for a warm hug ? Want something to groom? Well, Trumpybear is the answer.

 

Trump bear

 

Trumpy Bear is a plush 22″ bear with an attached 28″ by 30″ flag themed blanket. $39.90 plus $6.95 shipping. Trumpy has a zippered neck where the blanket is stored. Texas residents will be charged sales tax at the rate of 8.25%- all other states are neither collected nor remitted.

Do not set detonate your bear, pull its hair nor delve inside for sign of substance:

There is a 30 day money back guarantee for product price only. Shipping charges non refundable. Sorry, we cannot accept returns of intentionally damaged bears. Most orders are shipped within three business days. However, during periods of excess demand, please allow up to 6 weeks for delivery.

 

Trump bear donald trump tedy

 

‘God bless Anerica. And Good Bless Trumpy Bear!”

 


Spotter: TrumpBear

Posted: 29th, November 2017 | In: Key Posts, Politicians, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


BBC: Jeremy Corbyn pays tribute to ‘Prince Harry and Hezbollah’

Jeremy Corbyn wants to say a few things about “Harry and his brother”. Or as the BBC’s subtitler puts it: “Harry and Hezbollah.” A typo or is ‘Hezbollah’ the new nickname for Meghan Markle? Bit harsh.

 

harry and hezbollah jeremy corbyn

 

Spotter: Giles Dilnot

Posted: 28th, November 2017 | In: Politicians, Royal Family, TV & Radio | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Lily Madigan: Labour, women and a terf war

Lily Madigan was once Liam Madigan. Lily is now the women’s officer for the Labour Party branch in Rochester and Strood in Kent. She’s been in the news before. In October 2016, “Brave Lily” (Kent Online)  received an apology from St Simon Stock Catholic School, Maidstone, for sending her home for “wearing the wrong uniform” and “preventing her from using the girls’ toilets and changing rooms”.

Said Lily, who threatened to sue the school: “I decided to come in dressed in the girls’ dress code, which basically meant I was wearing a top instead of a shirt. It made me feel so happy, until I was sent home.”

Lily, 19, was born male but identifies as a woman. The Times explains how her new job works:

Labour Party rules state that “the women’s officer must be a woman”.

Why? Can only women understand and represent women? Do you need to have been a girl to know womanhood?

Ms Madigan said it was “misguided” to suggest she could not fulfil the duties of the role, simply because she was born male.

That part at least sounds right.

Teresa Murray, Medway councillor and vice-chairwoman of the executive committee of Rochester and Strood CLP, says “Lily will have to work very hard to convince other people that her very presence there is not going to undermine them”. Adding: “Someone who is an accountant would probably make a better treasurer initially, but that doesn’t mean we should only give the role to an accountant.”

Accountants are born for the job, of course. It’s not something you can learn. It’s something in you. It defines you. You’re just built that way. Accounting is in the genes. But that’s not to say others don’t think accountancy more representative of their true selves. If they want to dress in grey suits, part their hair to the side and carry a briefcase, then that is their right.

Ella Whelan has more background:

Madigan hit the headlines after arguing that Anne Ruzylo, a Labour Party women’s officer in a different constituency, should be sacked for being ‘transphobic’. Ruzylo, a lesbian, feminist and trade unionist, had criticised the sanctification of the trans movement. For this, she was labelled a ‘terf’ (trans exclusionary radical feminist) and was harassed by transgender activists online. Eventually, the executive committee of Ruzylo’s local Labour branch resigned in protest at her mistreatment.

“I feel quite violated,” Ms Ruzylo told The Times. “I’ve worked as a trade unionist for 30 years and I’ve never been shut down in this way. It’s disgusting… Debate is not hate. If we can’t talk about gender laws and get shut down on that, what’s next? What else are we not allowed to talk about? We’re going back to the days of McCarthyism. It is disgraceful.”

“I don’t care if I get called a transphobe, says Whelan adds, “Lily Madigan is not a woman. At 19, he is barely even a man.”

Ouch.

One thing is certain: if you cannot express yourself, we are all the worse off for it.

PS:  The Times, which is on the Madigan beat, reports

The transgender teenager at the centre of a Labour Party row has applied for the Jo Cox Women in Leadership programme, angering and dismaying party members…

The leadership programme was started last year in memory of the murdered MP Jo Cox, with the specific aim of encouraging more women into politics.

Critics say that it defies the whole point of the scheme, which attracted more than 1,000 applications for 57 places in its first year, to include people who are biologically male or who have lived part of their lives as men.

What price equality?

“Women in the party are fuming,” said one Momentum activist who accused the leadership of quietly redefining the meaning of “woman” without consulting the membership.

Good grief.

Posted: 25th, November 2017 | In: Broadsheets, News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: after Mugabe Zimbabwe Gooners demand ‘Wenger Out’

As Robert Mugabe is toppled, protesters in the depot’s native Zimbabwe turn to the next great dictator: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

 

wenger arsenal mugabe

 

Lest we forget:

 

 

“I used to live in Zimbabwe and I’ve watched Robert Mugabe ruin the country, and Wenger is doing the same. He’s the Mugabe of Arsenal.”

 

Seems fair.

Posted: 19th, November 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Money, News, Politicians, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Steve Mnuchin and his wife posing with dollar bills is wonderfully revolting

Steve Mnuchin, the US Treasury Secretary, and his fragrant wife Louise Linton (top notes of mink perineum and aviation fuel over a puppy farm base) walked into the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington DC to see his signature on the new notes posed with the new lucre.

 

 

For purposes of identification, she’s the one dressed as Dick Dastardly’s getaway driver.

 

 

Go internet!

Posted: 17th, November 2017 | In: Money, News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t count Israel among his Jew-hating ‘friends’

Corbyn anti-semitism

 

In 2015 then Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn went on the telly to explain why he addressed Islamist militant organisations Hamas and Hezbollah, a group that calls for the murder of all Jews,  as “friends”. (Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah opined: “If Jews all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.” Hamas states in its charter a mission to “fight the Jews and kill them”.)

Saying he met his “friends” Hamas in Lebanon and Hezbollah in this country and Lebanon, peacenik Corbyn told us: “What it means is that I think to bring about a peace process, you have to talk to people with whom you may profoundly disagree.”

Can this be the same Jeremy Corbyn, now leader of the Labour Party and with a decent shout of becoming Prime Minister, who called for an investigation into anti-Semitism in his Labour Party and found it squeaky clean (in much the same way a defecating bear cannot see the wood for the trees) and of whom the Sunday Times reported on October 29 2017:

Jeremy Corbyn has refused to attend an official dinner with the the country’s [Israel’s] prime minister this week to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, which helped to pave the way for a Jewish nation state.

The Labour leader’s snub came as Israel’s ambassador to London told The Sunday Times that those who oppose the historic declaration are “extremists” who reject Israel’s right to exist and could be viewed on a par with terrorist groups such as Hamas…

The move is reminiscent of last month’s Labour Party conference in Brighton, where Corbyn avoided a Labour Friends of Israel reception attended by Regev.

So much for talking with people with whom you profoundly disagree…

Posted: 16th, November 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Beautiful Poetry of Donald Trump: Ode to 45

The Beautiful Poetry of Donald Trump

 

Donald Trump’s poetry is composite blend of Tweets, speeches and interviews  edited by Rob Sears, who notes the “little known alternative fact that the 45th President, Donald J. Trump, has long been a remarkable poet.”
The Beautiful Poetry of Donald Trump considers Trump “a modern-day Basho or Larkin” with smaller hands.

The greatest misapprehension about DJT corrected by this volume, however, may be the idea that he sees money and power as ends in themselves. In fact, just as Wilfred Owen turned his wartime experiences into poetry, and Slyvia Plath found the dark beauty in her own depression, Trump is able to transform his unique experiences of being a winner into 24-karat verse. He didn’t build a huge real-estate empire for the billions; he did it so he could write poems…

Highlights:

I won!

Well, we’ve had some disasters, but this is the worst

Bad hombres

I’ve known some bad dudes
I’ve been at parties
They want to do serious harm
I’ve seen and I’ve watched things like with guns
I know a lot of tough guys but they’re not smart
We’re dealing with people like animals

But they are the folks I like the best—by far!

I am the least racist person there is

I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks
I remained strong for Tiger Woods during his difficult
period
Oprah, I love Oprah. Oprah would always be my first choice
Kanye West—I love him
I think Eminem is fantastic, and most people think I
wouldn’t like Eminem
And did you know my name is in more black songs than any
other name in hip-hop?
You are the racist, not I

I respect women, I love women, I cherish women

Vagina is expensive
No more apologies—take the offensive!

Hot little girl in high school

I’m a very compassionate person (with a very high IQ)
Just think, in a couple of years I’ll be dating you
It must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees
Come here, I’ll show how life works. Please.

We’ve got to stop the stupid

You know what uranium is, right?
It’s a thing called nuclear weapons and other things like lots
of things that are done with uranium including some bad
things
I have to explain this to these people, they don’t even understand basic
physics, basic mathematics, whatever you call it
I mean, they’re like stupid

Look at the way I’ve been treated lately

I should have been TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year
Just like I should have gotten the Emmy for The Apprentice
I should have easily won the Trump University case
I should have won New York state but I didn’t
I unfairly get audited by the I.R.S. almost every
single year
No politician in history—and I say this with great surety—
has been treated worse or more unfairly

Spotter: The Beautiful Poetry of Donald Trump , Dangerous Minds

Posted: 13th, November 2017 | In: Books, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Roy Moore accused of molesting shellfish

sex Clams headline

 

Big news from Alabama, where the Republican Party is embroiled in a “sex clams” scandal involving local politician and judge Roy Moore. Moore’s campaign for the US Sensate is infected by allegations that he molested 14-year-old Leigh Corfman (now 53) and three other teens when he was in his thirties.

“This is one of those excruciating decision moments for evangelicals,” Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. “These allegations, if true, are devastating. If true, this is a very big deal.”

If true. Moore denies any wrongdoing. Corfman stands by her story. The clams are not talking.

The Times Daily regrets the error.

 

 

Posted: 13th, November 2017 | In: News, Politicians, Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Theresa May and Boris Johnson hang Priti Patel out to dry

Priti Patel (Tory MP, Brexiteer and International Development Secretary) is mired. And some people are pleased.

George Osborne (former Tory MP and arch-Remianer) uses his editorship on the London Evening Standard to report that thousands of people logged on to a website to track Patel’s flying back from Uganda. “Priti Patel’s ‘flight back to London’ tracked by tens of thousands of people as she faces Cabinet axe,” trumpets the paper. BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg says Patel’s sacking seemed “almost inevitable now”. Adding: “If May doesn’t sack her now it’s an ongoing sore that smacks of weakness.”

The furore is over Patel’s meetings with Israeli officials in August. Patel attended 12 meetings in 12 days, including one with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Under the terms of protocol, she was supposed to tell the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The meetings were organised by Conservative Friends of Israel honorary president Lord Polak, who accompanied her to all but one of them.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz says that while on her hols Patel visited an Israeli military field hospital in the Golan Heights – the land seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War. The idea was for Israeli medics to treat Syrian refugees. “Officials,” says the BBC, rejected her idea as “inappropriate”. (The views of the wounded and bereft who risked life and limb to flee the barbarity of ISIS and Assad are unknown.)

Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman tells us: “The Secretary of State did discuss potential ways to provide medical support for Syrian refugees who are wounded and who cross into the Golan for aid. The Israeli army runs field hospitals there to care for Syrians wounded in the civil war. But there is no change in policy in the area. The UK does not provide any financial support to the Israeli army.”

Says Patel:

“This summer I travelled to Israel, on a family holiday paid for myself. While away I had the opportunity to meet a number of people and organisations. I am publishing a list of who I met.‎ The Foreign and Commonwealth Office was aware of my visit while it was underway‎.

“In hindsight, I can see how my enthusiasm to engage in this way could be mis-read, and how meetings were set up and reported in a way which did not accord with the usual procedures. I am sorry for this and I apologise for it.

The Jewish Chronicle has more. It says: “Number 10 instructed… Patel not to include her meeting with the Israel foreign ministry official Yuval Rotem in New York on 18 September in her list of undisclosed meetings with Israelis… [A meeting Rotem broadcasts on social media]. But the JC understands, from two different sources, that Ms Patel did disclose the meeting with Mr Rotem but was told by Number 10 not to include it as it would embarrass the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In addition, the JC can reveal that although Ms Patel’s meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was not authorised in advance, the British government was made aware of it within hours.”

The paper’s Stephen Pollard then gets a scoop:

Today Number Ten confirmed that it had only found out this morning about her plan to hand some British aid money over to the Israelis to use as part of their (legendarily good) aid missions.

It had no idea. And then you get to wonder what part Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, plays in all this:

But this puzzles me. Well before last week’s James Landale scoop about Ms Patel’s meetings with Israeli politicians, I was told very matter of factly that there would soon be an announcement of cooperation between the UK and Israel over aid in Africa – that we would divert some of our aid money to the Israelis to fund some of their aid work there.

I was told that it had been signed off between DfID and Number Ten, but that the FCO had kicked off because it felt its toes were being trodden on.

In which case, it’s not Patel who should go; it’s May.

 

Posted: 8th, November 2017 | In: News, Politicians | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


All MPs are suspects as sexual harassment panic grips Westminster

In time for Halloween, a witch hunt. Allegations unspecified are front page news. No need for reason and objective judgement because the story of MPs allegedly sexually harassing “furious female researchers, secretaries and aides working across Whitehall and the Houses of Parliament” (Sun) has a life of its own.

Women have “shared horror ­stories and warned of sleazy male politicians”. And they’ve chosen to do so on WattsApp. The Sun has a list of accusations, which include “groping”, “leering”, “pursuing” and having sex with staff in Parliamentary offices. The paper tells of anticipated resignations. Because an allegation is enough to end a career. It’s not justice we grave; it’s guilt.

Readers are told that these “revelations”, or what would be better termed ‘accusations’, “follow Hollywood’s Harvey Weinstein sex scandal, in which the movie mogul was accused by multiple women”. Weinstein has been accused of the heinous crime of rape, which he denies. And his innocence must be presumed. We can agree on that, right? Arrests, charges and trials are staging posts to truth. Allegations mean just that. Nothing tested in court and made to hurdle barriers to justice serves no purpose in a society founded on reason. If Weinstein did it – and, boy, are there a lot of claims made against him – put him through the system.

 

Harassing Who?

No MP has been named in the Sun’s expose. And none has been accused of the heinous crime of rape. But in our hot and heavy sexually-charged world, an unwelcome advance, a lewd comment or a misjudged flirtation is on a par with violent physical assault. How does that help victims of brutal, life-changing crimes?

Reading the Press is to realise that Westminster is embroiled in a sexual-harassment crisis. Is it?

 

 

Stymied from reporting on consensual sex between cheating showbiz stars, ministers, footballers and even snooker players in raucous and saucy kiss ‘n’ tells by the Leveson Inquiry, papers turned to the less potentially libellous news that dead men had been embroiled in a murderous VIP paedophile ring. The new focus is on another group in urgent need of protecting: adult women cowed into silence by a predatory patriarchy operating out of Westminster. (Anyone else miss the News of The World?)

 

BBC secret

Jimmy Savile is away

 

The story has reached the top. Theresa May’s spokeswoman tells media:

“Any allegations from anyone would be taken very seriously. We would encourage anyone who has a serious allegation to report it to the police, no matter who it is or where it is.

“My understanding is it would be House authorities [they would report to]. But obviously if they are working for an MP or party they can approach the party. If it’s a serious allegation they can go to the police.

“All parties, all employers in any walk of life including politics must take this seriously. No industry or area is immune to that, including politics.”

 

You Will Be Believed

Will the police be any more or less objective than May?

In 2016, Nottinghamshire Police said sexual harassment was a hate crime. “What women face, often on a daily basis, is absolutely unacceptable and can be extremely distressing,” stated chief constable Sue Fish. A spokesperson for End Violence Against Women added: “What we are talking about is not trivial behaviour – some harassment that women and girls receive in public is upsetting and should have the attention of the authorities.”

 

sex toys

Delicate, chaste woman shown sex toy! Ann Summers shocked

 

So much for equality. Women are vulnerable and in need of State protection from men, who are all sex criminals-in-waiting. For those of you unable to hire your own police guard, the message is don’t drive or cycle. If you must leave the house, travel in women-only train carriages, or wait until a trusted male relative is free to accompany you to the market. And wear a crinoline burka. The police can’t be everywhere, but you can take precautions.

In the meantime, it’d be sage for every MP, politico, sitting Lord and civil servant to publicly praise any woman saying #MeToo (what police might term “credible and true“) on an encrypted messaging App as ‘brave’. Failure will do this will place any man in the role of enabler and suspect.

Because equlity matters.

Posted: 29th, October 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Why women love Donald Trump: a letter to New York Magazine 1992

 

Women love Donald Trump. This letter on New York Magazine from 1992 tells us:

Based on the fact that I work for Donald Trump as his secretary — and therefore know him well — I think he treats women with great respect, contrary to what Julie Baumgold implied in her article … I do not believe any man in America gets more calls from women wanting to see him, meet him, or go out with him. The most beautiful women, the most successful women — all women love Donald Trump.”

Carolin Gallego December 7, 1992

 

Based on the fact that I work for Donald Trump as his secretary -- and therefore know him well -- I think he treats women with great respect, contrary to what Julie Baumgold implied in her article … I do not believe any man in America gets more calls from women wanting to see him, meet him, or go out with him. The most beautiful women, the most successful women -- all women love Donald Trump.”  Carolin Gallego December 7, 1992

 

Is Carolin Gallego Don’s nom-de-plume?

Spotter: BB , 4Chan

 

Posted: 28th, October 2017 | In: Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Australian government moves to outlaw satire

Juice Media makes “Honest Government Adverts” that lampoon Australian politicians and policies. It’s all a little dystopian – there are videos on dying koalas; mass pollution killing whales; corporate greed; torture – often following adverts for very expensive watches and consumer goods, like Capri Sun, the sugary drink served in a non-recyclable polyester, aluminium and polyethylene carton.

So much for the satire:

 

 

And despite being a lot better mannered than most Australian politicos, the actual Australian government wants to quieten Juice Media’s voice on pain of law. It’s only satire if the Government says it is.

Juice Media tweets:

The Dept of the Prime Minister has received complaints from members of the public raising concerns that the content on this website may be “mistaken for Australian Government material … It would be appreciated if you would ensure that The Juice Media productions do not use the Australian Government logo to avoid The Juice Media productions being mistaken for Australian Government material”.

 

 

 

Electronic Frontier Foundation has more:

The proposed legislation does include an exemption for “conduct engaged in solely for genuine satirical, academic or artistic purposes.” But, as critics have noted, this gives the government leeway to attack satire that it does not consider “genuine.” Similarly, the limitation that conduct be “solely” for the purpose of satire could chill speech. Is a video produced for satirical purposes unprotected because it was also created for the purpose of supporting advertising revenue?

Government lawyers failing to understand satire is hardly unique to Australia. In 2005, a lawyer representing President Bush wrote to The Onion claiming that the satirical site was violating the law with its use of the presidential seal. The Onion responded that it was “inconceivable” that anyone would understand its use of the seal to be anything but parody. The White House wisely elected not to pursue the matter further. If it had, it likely would have lost on First Amendment grounds. Australia, however, does not have a First Amendment (or even a written bill of rights) so civil libertarians there are rightly concerned that the proposed law against impersonation could be used to attack political commentary. We hope the Australian government either kills the bill or amends the law to include both a requirement of intent to deceive and a more robust exemption for satire.

Spotter: Juice Media,

 

Posted: 28th, October 2017 | In: News, Politicians | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


New 3D Zebra Crossing has drivers in Iceland on high alert

Ísafjörður, Iceland, crossingzebra

 

Mind the gap when crossing the road in Ísafjörður, Iceland, where the usual zebra-crossing has been given a third dimension by street painting company Vegi GÍH and the city’s environmental commissioner Ralf Trylla. The idea is to promote art and make drivers pay more attention when approach the crossing.

 

Ísafjörður, Iceland, crossingzebra

 

Given the sensational scenery in Iceland, the zebra might be necessary in keeping drivers’ eyes on the road.

 

Spotter: Iceland Magazine,  Swissmiss

Posted: 26th, October 2017 | In: Politicians, Strange But True, Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Jared O’Mara is the worst of mankind

jared o'mara

 

I’m relieved Labour MP Jared O’Mara has been exposed. To think that young Bear Payne will one day read the crude remarks made by this man about his dearly loved mum, Cheryl Cole – a national treasure – is appalling. O’Mara, MP for Sheffield Hallam, told an internet bulletin board as recently as 2004 that he fancied an orgy with Chery’s old group Girls Aloud, said Michelle McManus won Pop Idol “because she was fat” and imagined jazz star Jamie Cullum being “sodomised with his own piano”.

Rightly Labour is looking into O’Mara’s words. “The party is investigating Jared O’Mara MP in relation to comments and behaviour which have been reported from earlier this year,”says Labour.

“If only he’d just slagged off Jews and denied the Holocaust, this would have been a storm in a tea-cup and easily ignored,” says on insider. “But he spoke about Cheryl and Sarah and the ginger one whose name escapes me, and there can be no excuses when it comes to commenting on Great British celebrities.”

And that’s not all. A woman called Sophie Evans bravely told the BBC’s Daily Politics she had met Mr O’Mara on a dating app and there had been “no hard feelings” when things didn’t work out between them. The BBC adds:

Mr O’Mara, who was DJing in a nightclub, made comments to her that “aren’t broadcastable” and called her an “ugly bitch”, she said.

Blimey. That’s from the broadcaster that shows us Mrs Brown’s Boys and EastEnders. It really must have been terrible – beyond god-awful. On yer knees, bitch O’Mara. Repent.

Mr O’Mara says it is “categorically untrue”.

But we’ve heard enough, No smoke without a pre-vape shafting, as they say. And in an open letter to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Justine Greening, the Education Secretary and Equalities Minister, thunders: “Violent, sexist and homophobic language must have no place in our society, and parliamentarians of all parties have a duty to stamp out this sort of behaviour wherever we encounter it, and condemn it in the strongest possible terms. It is time you step forward, as leader of the Labour Party, and send a message that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated.”

Perish the thought Girls Aloud and a row between a man and his ex can be used for political gain. Indeed, Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable says it’s only right Mr O’Mara has the whip removed. And who more reasoned and sober than he?

Says O’Mara: “I’ve stood down from the Women and Equalities select committee… I think it’s the right thing to do. I don’t think I can continue on that committee when I feel so deeply ashamed of the man I was 15 years ago.”

Oh, don’t beat yourself up, mate. Girls aloud were pretty shaggable back then.

Posted: 24th, October 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Andrew Sullivan: The Issue That Could Lose the Next Election for Democrats.

Andrew Sullivan spots a trend: The Issue That Could Lose the Next Election for Democrats.

“I don’t believe it’s disputable at this point that the most potent issue behind the rise of the far right in America and Europe is mass immigration. It’s a core reason that Trump is now president; it’s why the AfD is now the third-biggest party in the German, yes, German, parliament; it’s why Austria’s new chancellor won by co-opting much of the far right’s agenda on immigration; it’s why Britain is attempting (and currently failing) to leave the EU; it’s why Marine Le Pen won a record number of votes for her party in France this spring.

“A critical moment, in retrospect, came with Angela Merkel’s 2015 decision to import over a million Syrian refugees into the heart of Europe. . . . This is, to be blunt, political suicide. The Democrats’ current position seems to be that the Dreamer parents who broke the law are near heroes, indistinguishable from the children they brought with them; and their rhetoric is very hard to distinguish, certainly for most swing voters, from a belief in open borders. In fact, the Democrats increasingly seem to suggest that any kind of distinction between citizens and noncitizens is somehow racist.”

If you keep ignoring the demos or monstering them as thick bigots, the demos is going to take it’s chance to vote you out…

Posted: 24th, October 2017 | In: Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The charity game: when sex with clients is ok

The charity business continues of amaze. The Sunday Times looks at the Leeds-based Yorkshire Mesmac charity, which, says the headline, “allows sex with clients”. And who are these clients at its centres in Leeds, York, North Yorkshire, Bradford, Wakefield, Rotherham and Hull?

A charity for child abuse victims, sex workers and gay men given more than £2m by the government, councils and police has told its staff they are allowed to have “sexual relationships” with the often vulnerable people they meet through their work.

Ah.

The organisation, based in Leeds, is being investigated by the city’s child safeguarding board after The Sunday Times obtained a copy of its “workers’ conduct policy” which states: “Sexual relationships are acceptable with service users initially met during work time”. Most health and social work organisations ban professionals from establishing relationships with patients and clients.

To which the Guardian adds, so as not to create confusion:

The rules do not relate to the charity’s work with children. 

Mesmac’s chief executive, Tom Doyle, gets the right to reply:

“We understand that, viewed out of context of Yorkshire Mesmac’s suite of policies including safeguarding of children and of adults at risk, there is a possibility that this code of conduct could be misunderstood.”

The policy was now being redrafted.

Spotter: Times

Posted: 22nd, October 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Money, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Jeremy Corbyn on Clive Lewis: context is no excuse in Britain but anything goes in Iran

Jeremy Corbyn tells the BBC about Clive Lewis, the Labour MP recorded telling a man, “On your knees, bitch“:

“Completely wrong, he should never have said it, completely unacceptable comments. He has apologised, I’ve been in touch with him, he’s been in touch with me to apologise personally to me and it’s a message to everybody that this kind of language is not acceptable in any circumstances, any time.”

Here’s the man who used to work for the Iranian government’s Press TV talking about causing offence. (Corbyn earned £20,000 from Iran’s propaganda broadcaster.

In 2011, Britain’s Ofcom media watchdog fined the company £100,000 for airing an interview with jailed Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari, saying the interview had been held under duress and after torture while Bahari — now a British resident — was in prison following his coverage of the 2009 Iranian presidential elections.)

That’s Iran where they execute you for being gay, deny the Holocaust, persecute Kurds and treat women as second-class citizens:

 

 

It’s all about standards, eh, Jezza. And nothing biased in any of it, of course. This is the same Lewis who said of Corbyn’s old paymasters in Iran: “There are far too many in politics today who wish to criticise only countries that fit into a black and white binary world view.”

Clive Lewis told the Commons on October 11, 2017:

“It was quite shocking to listen to the seemingly inexhaustible list of human rights abuses by Iranian authorities. It was quite numbing to hear them all. I think it is right that we focus on human rights, as that issue has been a central thrust of my very short parliamentary career since being elected two years ago, but I would also like to focus on the fate of journalists, both those working inside Iran and those working remotely from the UK. I declare an interest as a former BBC journalist and the chair of the National Union of Journalists parliamentary committee. I do that for the record to state my solidarity with journalists both in Iran and around the world, who strive to do nothing more than ask questions in an attempt to hold power to account.

“As we know, Iran has elections that many other inhabitants of the middle east can only envy. Here I state a truism, but it is essential that we set it down, that elections are only ever one element of a functioning democracy. A democracy where bloggers and reporters must risk their lives and the well-being of their families in order to comment on the political life of their country cannot be seen as a democracy in the true sense. Democracy is not worth the ballot paper it is printed on without freedom of the press. There is a barrier to informing the electorate, as the press provides feedback to the legislature. The often brutal suppression of those speakers also creates a chilling fear that acts as a cancer on all of those forming opinions and the ability to take action in the public arena.

“As my hon. Friend the Member for Torfaen (Nick Thomas-Symonds) mentioned a constituent of his who has been in prison, I would like to mention three journalists who are being held and are on hunger strike. Soheil Arabi has been in prison since 2013 and has been on hunger strike for over a month. Mehdi Khazali was arrested in August and has been on hunger strike since the day of his arrest. Ehsan Mazandarani was arrested in 2015 and has been denied early release despite very poor health. There are many more prisoners I could mention. Their stories make for chilling reading.

“The long arm of control reaches way beyond Iran and stretches as far as those working in our very own BBC, as the hon. Member for Argyll and Bute (Brendan O’Hara) mentioned. Charges have been filed against almost all the Iranian journalists working for the BBC’s Persian-language service in London; 152 journalists have been charged with conspiracy against Iran’s national security and have faced constant harassment and intimidation and an effective freeze on all their Iran-based assets. Those charged cannot defend themselves unless they return to Iran, which they feel unable to do for fear of reprisal. I beg the Minister to raise these names whenever he meets his Iranian counterparts and to push the issues of journalism, freedom of the press and democracy very clearly, as I know he will.

“To end with a general comment, there are far too many in politics today who wish to criticise only the countries that fit into a very black and white binary world view. I am not one of them. I believe it is entirely possible—nay, essential—to criticise and hold to account Iran just as much as Saudi Arabia for human rights abuses and attacks on civil liberties. The two are not mutually incompatible. The same applies to the US and Russia and the questionable choices those Governments continue to make domestically and internationally. In fact, our hand is strengthened and our criticism is more valid when we show neither fear nor favour to any country or regime, wherever they may be, whether they be friend or ally, when defending human rights and civil liberties.”

Anyone see Corbyn’s ears burning?

Posted: 21st, October 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


This NRA video is the most dystopian thing you’ll see today

“We are witnesses to the most ruthless attack on a president & the people who voted for him…in American history.”

And the NRA doesn’t stop there:

As Tom Jamieson puts it: “What are we, 3 weeks since the worst mass shooting in America – this is the stuff of authoritarian nightmares, Black Mirror level dystopia.”

Posted: 21st, October 2017 | In: Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0