Politicans and world leaders making news and in the news, and spouting hot air
How did you vote in the EU referendum? The majority who did voted to leave the European Union. Why they did and what should happen now is explained in this terrific video from Spiked.
Brexit and the Battle for democracy:
In the twilight area between fact and fiction lies the Daily Star. Today’s Star leads with the sensational news that Donald Trump is “IN CELEBRITY BIG BOTHER”.
Such is the way of Trump, it might be that the thin-skinned reality TV creation is to appear on another reality TV show. But did you spot the pun? Anorak had to read it twice. It’s “BIG BOTHER” not “BIG BROTHER”. And news is that Donald Trump in in trouble because:
a) China has eaten the last creature he wears on his head?
b) There’s a gay sex tape?
c) He’s a jihadi?
d) Madonna is upset?
Yeah, it’s ‘d’. But should there be trade war with China, things might get worse for Trump.
As we’ve noted, Madonna says she is so upset at the result of a legally democratic vote she considered “blowing up the White House“. And no, she wasn’t planning on achieving it by nipping in the back door and pricking her inflated ego. Kaboom! Rhinestone all over the place.
Also unhappy with Trump are: The Edge (from U2, the group front by Bono, aka Mr G21), Natalie Portman, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus and Amy Schumer.
Does anyone else think the problem celebs have with Trump is not a problem at all. He’s a symbol that what a TV star says matters. Their lives are not just about endorsements for fizzy drinks, the next record / film / miracle baby / diet / gadget and Hillary Clinton. People actually listen to what famous, vain, rich people with zero political nous, diplomatic savvy and military experience say. And what’s more, they vote for them to be President of the US of A!
“Look,” say the A-listers “one of us can get into the White House. Why didn’t my agent tell me?”
Madonna’s just gutted it isn’t her sat in the big chair with a finger on the button. Neither brave nor daring enough to go for the top job, she’s been reduced to playing on as Trump’s support act. No wonder she’s unhappy.
What do we have? On one side, are the people with no jobs, who endure deprivation and exist in a place called ‘The Rust Belt’. The technocrat, elitist candidate opposing Donald Trump called them “the deplorables”. On the other side are the people who have time and energy to bemoan their lot on twitter, march outside the White House and listen to Madonna, a multi-millionaire celebrity tell them she is so upset and victimised by President Trump winning the democratic vote she thought of blowing the place up.
It’s not democracy they want. They want their own prejudices to be given State approval.
Donald Trump is hard to like, harder still to admire. His illiberalism and attitudes to abortion are hideous. But the protests against him are monocular. If womanhood is united against abuse why didn’t women march on the White House when under the Obama administration drones killed hundreds or thousands of people, including many women?
“Between January 2012 and February 2013,” The Intercept reported, “U.S. special operations airstrikes killed more than 200 people. Of those, only 35 were the intended targets. During one five-month period of the operation, according to the documents, nearly 90 percent of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets.”
And what of the women killed by drones in Yemen, including a pregnant woman and three children?
According to the victims, on 12th December 2013, Abdallah Mabkhut al-Ameri, his new wife and about 60 of their friends and family, were travelling in a wedding procession outside the city of Rada’a when four Hellfire missiles hit the convoy, resulting in the deaths of more than 10 people, including the groom’s son from a previous marriage, and injury of 24 more.
Was there a march to contest the US ties with Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy, its intensely religious education system and its puritanical Wahhabi Islam? This is how the Guardian describes life for women in the US’s ally:
The male guardianship system in Saudi Arabia is not just law: it is a set of bylaws and state-sanctioned discriminatory policies and practices that restrict a woman’s ability to have a wide range of choices unless permitted by her male guardian – typically a father, husband, brother or even a son.
In practice, it means women are unrecognised by the state as full legal adults.
Did you march when Obama deported two-and-a-half million people?
“The inclusive nature of the event, the organisers say, calls for participants to come together to safeguard the freedoms of all people that have been threatened by recent political events,” the Evening Standard reported on the march.
So where were you then? Where will you be tomorrow? Or is not about freedom, liberty and equality but your dislike of accidental President Trump and the result those rebellious working-class bullies in the fly-over States voted for?
FAKE NEWS WATCH. Donald Trump removed the bust of Martin Luther King that sits in the White House’s Oval Office. Well, that’s what the journalists are reporting.
AprilDRyan (@AprilDRyan) is, as her Twitter profile states, “Author: The Presidency in Black and White, White House Correspondent and Washington Bureau Chief for American Urban Radio Networks, Baltimore, Maryland Native.”
She knows her stuff. So when she tweets that Martin Luther King’s bust has been removed from President Trump’s White House, the story must be true. Trump really is that petty and racist. What more proof to you need? She tweets:
The Martin Luther King jr. Bust has been moved out of the Oval Office according The People Magazine DC Bureau Chief who was in there this pm”
Philip Crowther (@PhilipinDC) heard much the same. He’s the White House / Washington correspondent for @FRANCE24 and @RFI.
From White House pool reporter @toddgillman: the MLK bust is no longer in the Oval Office. A bust of Winston Churchill is back though.
Todd Gillman is “Washington Bureau Chief @DallasNews.” He’s a top man. He’s a trusted source.
Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) is “Senior Politics Editor, Huffington Post.” He was dismayed.
“will we have as much of a collective freak out over the MLK bust being removed from the Oval as we did about the Churchill bust? prob not”
A pox on those double standards. The bust of a white man is removed on Obama’s orders and people are upset; but when the black man’s bust is put in storage because it upsets Trump, not a peep. Nothing. Not a thing. Well, aside from the hundreds of tweets from influential journalists.
Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) is the “White House @TIME”. He reported that the MLK bust had gone. But as the shitstorm gathered more and more power, he told his followers:
Correction: The MLK bust is still in the Oval Office. It was obscured by an agent and door.
Phew! Trust in the mainstream media is restored.
Donald Trump is going to be assassinated – maybe. The media loves to think of how and when the US president will be murdered. Today, the day of Trump’s inauguration, the Sun kicks things off. On Page 7 readers are told of ‘THE SURVIVOR”. This is the person who will take over as American leader should Trump and his VeePee be murdered.
The Sun has no idea who it is. But it’s exciting to think of two people being murdered an mystery ‘Option C’ taken over.
The Mail says no “specific threat has been revealed” but “a lone wolf could mount an attack”.
The website Quora muses: “What are the chances Donald Trump is assassinated in office if he were to become president?” Before you read the answer note that Trump was democratically elected and Quora is a US site:
The odds are substantially greater if you include the likely assaults on the soft target members of the extended Trump family. Donald Trump is not the only high profile public “Trump” target; he has three wives (two former), four adult children, multiple public buildings and businesses…For better or worse, it is now likely to be open season on all things Trump, regardless of the name changes.
In the UK, the Daily Mail wondered: “‘So who’s going to assassinate Trump?’ Twitter erupts with calls for the Donald to be killed after he wins the election.”
One man who won’t murder Trump has been caught.
A man was arrested Tuesday in Miami Beach after posting a video online in which he vowed to kill President-elect Donald Trump at the inauguration. According to reports, the man’s mother died on 9/11 aboard one of the hijacked airliners and she was later eulogized by Hillary Clinton.
Dominic Puopolo Jr., calling himself LORD JESUS CHRIST on Twitter, tweeted the above video directly to the Secret Service, daring them to stop him. “Yes I’ll be at the review stand at the inauguration, and I’m going to kill President Trump. … What are you going to do about it, Secret Service,” he says in the video.
The Mail says Puopolo was “a close family friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton”.
Suspect Dominic Puopolo Jr., 51, sat near Hillary Clinton when she delivered the eulogy at the funeral of Puopolo’s mother, Sonia, who died in one of the jets that flew into the World Trade Center on 9-11.
He’s out. Who’s up?
Donald Trump’s presidency is causing one Guardian writer to come over all anti-democratic.
I turned off the radio after Obama said, in his final speech: “In 10 days, the world will witness a hallmark of our democracy, the peaceful transfer of power from one freely elected president to the next.” I yearned for a leader who would say something like: “Hey, there was foreign intervention in this election, along with voter disenfranchisement, so maybe it wasn’t free and fair.”
You might recall when Barack Obama popped over to the UK to tell Britishers how voting for Brexit would relegate the country to the “back of the queue”? As Henry Kissinger put it: “Obama seems to think of himself not as part of a political process, but as sui generis, a unique phenomenon with a unique capacity.”
The Guardian writer adds:
We didn’t need to know the minutiae of the Russian intervention; we already knew that it raised questions so grave that the whole transfer of power should have been halted while it was investigated.
So is democracy not free and fair when it delivers the result you don’t want?
Only one tabloid leads with Donald Trump’ inauguration. The Mirror introduces the 45th President of the United States. “Now the world holds its breath,” it adds. Over pages 4 and 5 readers are told “IT COULD ALL GO VERY BADLY WRONG.” The paper produces a listicle: “20 reasons why Trump’s reign could be a disaster for USA & World.”
Across the page, we see a picture of the Obamas sharing a hug as they gaze out from the White House. The message is clear: the good times are over. The good people are gone.
But let’s look at that list.
2. The rich will get richer.
What of Obama’s record, under whom African-Americans’ economic fortunes declined?
4. Deport illegal immigrants.
Under Obama, the US facilitated around 2.5million deportations. A record.
This is not to undermine Obama’s achievements and record. As the New York Times reports, Obama pulled “the nation back from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression”. This is to highlight monocular reporting of a man whose wife billed him as “a leader who’s going to touch our souls”.
Lest any reader not have got the Mirror’s point, its editorial thunders, “Reasons to be fearful.” Brian Reade delivers Trump’ speech as he imagines it. People are “subjects of the Trump organisation”. But didn’t we all buy into Obama’s world, the man whose identity was key to his success? When Trayvon Martin was killed by a white Hispanic vigilante in 2012, Trump opined: “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.”
So how do you follow that? What is Obama’s legacy? Is it Donald Trump? “There is not a liberal America and a conservative America: there’s the United States of America,” said Obama in 2004. Now what do you see in a country where ‘white man’ has become an insult more than an observation?
Once all eyes were on Obama the man not the party activist, a politico branded ‘The One’, by Oprah Winfrey; now they are on Trump and his identity.
Plus ca change.
Thank f*** for that, then. After much pontificating, Theresa May told everyone she’s sided with the British unwashed and decided to go for Brexit.
There has been much talk of hard Brexit and soft Brexit. Hard Brexit meant Brexit. You said your goodbyes and left. Soft Brexit meant no kind of Brexit it all. You said goodbye and left behind your coat with your phone and keys in the pocket in the hope you’d get a call and another lunch date.
The Pet Shop Boys put it well in their hit West End Girls:
Too many shadows, whispering voices
faces on posters, too many choices
If? When? Why? What?
How much have you got?
Have you got it? Do you get it?
If so, how often?
Which do you choose
a hard or soft option?
(How much do you need?)
So a mere seven months after the British public delivered a clear result in a large popular vote, the Prime Minister vowed to represent the people’s will.
“Brexit: UK to leave single market, says Theresa May,” reports the BBC. The UK “cannot possibly” remain within the European single market, as staying in it would mean “not leaving the EU at all”.
Hurrah! She gets it. She doesn’t want it. But she gets it. And she shot from the hip.
Britain wants to remain a good friend and neighbour to Europe. Yet I know there are some voices calling for a punitive deal that punishes Britain and discourages other countries from taking the same path.
That would be an act of calamitous self-harm for the countries of Europe. And it would not be the act of a friend.
Britain would not – indeed we could not – accept such an approach. And while I am confident that this scenario need never arise – while I am sure a positive agreement can be reached – I am equally clear that no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain.
All strong and decisive stuff. It echoes the strong and decisive vote. But not everyone is pleased.
LibDem leader Tim Farron says May’s moves represent a “theft of democracy”. He says “business is united” that it wants to be in the single market. All of it, including the business people who voted to leave the EU? Farron says May’s “stitch up” has “ignored the will of the people”. In other words, you 17.4m who voted to leave didn’t really understand what you were voting for. Only the MPs can know what is right for you. What a low view he has of Leave voters, and what an elevated view of his own role.
Farron’s view is odd but no uncommon. Jeremy Corbyn’s view is irrelevant. What is Labour’s plan for Brexit? We don’t know. But when he’s got one, he’ll share it with us. On the morning before May’s speech – one which had been trailed for days – the Guardian wrote:
Corbyn told the MPs the party would have a clear message in response to the prime minister’s speech, saying Labour would fight any attempt to make the UK “a bargain basement economy off the coast of Europe”.
The only worthwhile opposition of May comes from within her own party.
Dan Roberts has news for Guardian readers who hope Brexit will be scuffed and denied.
The first clue to the prime minister’s ongoing need for more cordial relations with Europe in private is her announcement of a second vote in parliament at the end of the process.
The MPs will have a say on the process. But that’s surely a sop to the Remainers who want the courts to block Brexit and stymie the people’s will.
Roberts turns to the money markets:
The pound rose on news of this commitment, after several days in which sterling was perhaps falsely depressed by talk of May promising “clean Brexit”.
Really? The pound rose on news that MPs might scupper Brexit?
Asking MPs to sign off on the terms of the exit deal is a sign not only that the government still hopes there will be a deal to vote on, but that it may yet be rejected by parliament, leading instead to the messiest of departures.
The FT has more:
The promised [parliamentary] vote “appeared to offer some degree of assurance that the deal would have a broad appeal”, says Jane Foley, foreign exchange strategist at Rabobank. “That said, it also provides another element of confusion should the deal not be passed by parliament.”
Will it be messy? No, says the Economist:
So Britain’s economy is in for a rough ride and, though the government will try to smooth it out, the priority is getting the country out of the EU in the most complete and rapid way possible. If the price of this priority is economic pain, then pay Britain must. All of which gives firms some of the certainty they have craved since June 23rd: those fundamentally reliant on continental supply chains or the EU “passport” for financial services, say, now have the green light to plan their total or partial relocation. It also means the Brexit talks will be simpler and perhaps even less fractious than they might have been had Britain tried to “have its cake and eat it”. The country will eat its cake and live with an empty plate afterwards. Brexit really does mean Brexit.
We and the markets like the definite.
Donald Trump’s affinity with the Scottish people of his mother’s ancestry knows no bounds. Some Scots have been succinct to the point of monosyllabic in giving full throat to their opinions of the US President. Scottish newspaper The Herald is pretty verbose, likening reality TV creation Trump’s inauguration to an episode of The Twilight Zone.
As ever, the best thing on British telly is a US import.
New from India to warm the cockles. The Hindu reports on a severe bout of nominative determinism:
DMK’s working president M.K. Stalin has stepped down as the youth wing secretary of the party after holding the post for 34 years. Former Minister and three-time MLA Vellakkoil M.P. Saminathan has been appointed as the youth wing secretary.
A mere 34 years as Dravidian Progress Federation’s youth win leader.
In Derby, freezer compartments are full of novelty tat, the tops of carrots Santa’s reindeer declined and grandma. Derby City Council announced there would be “no domestic waste or recycling collections from 4pm on Friday December 23, 2016 until Tuesday January 3, 2017”. Incredibly, rubbish has been piling up and people have been dumping their waste in the street.
The council has advice:
Derby City Council issued a list of Christmas waste and recycling tips to get them through a 10-day period without any refuse rounds which included a call for people to bag up food waste and store it in the freezer until the next collection.
It’s all about
being lazy promoting recycling. The council runs an “education” scheme and trains residents to recycle more. It misses out the part that says using your freezer will save the planet. But it does, obviously.
Or not. Says the New York Times:
The kitchen refrigerator is an obvious contributor to global warming because it usually sucks in electricity that was made by burning fossil fuels. But it turns out that the refrigerator does harm to the environment before it is even plugged in because the insulating foam in its innards is made with a gas that is more than 1,000 times worse, molecule for molecule, than carbon dioxide.
Yes, it’s the methane steaming from Derby’s council’s bullshit. Probably.
Communities secretary Sajid Javid says – irony of ironies – we should all pledge an oath to uphold “British values”. As one tweeter puts it, “Since when was an oath of allegiance a #British value?”
Javid says the oath could include phrases such as “tolerating the views of others even if you disagree with them”, as well as “believing in freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from abuse … a belief in equality, democracy, and the democratic process” and “respect for the law, even if you think the law is an ass”.
The Government doesn’t much like those ‘British” freedoms. They want to limit free speech and throttle the Press. If you believe in free speech, tell them. And tell these enemies of “British values” where to stick it.
The British government has opened up a public consultation on the next stage of the Leveson Inquiry. It is asking us two questions. Should the government implement Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013? And should the government go ahead with Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry?
Section 40 incentivises newspapers to sign up to State-approved bodies. Failure to sign up to the official censors means those publications will have to pay the costs of anyone who brings a civil suit, libel or privacy actions against them – even if they win their case.
Is that an incentive to sign up top the Royal Charter-backed press regulator? No. It’s blackmail. Join Impress, the Max Mosley-funded press regulator backed by the censorious Hacked Off, or else they’ll cut your legs off. Write anything unpleasant against the rich and powerful, and watch your organ whipped like a prostitute and most likely killed off.
You can sign here and tell the Government that guffing on about freedoms of speech means nothing if you don’t believe in it.
To Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP,
Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport,
My answers to your consultation questions are as follows:
Question 1: Which of the following statements do you agree with?
Answer: Option (c) Government should ask Parliament to repeal all of section 40 now
Section 40 would stifle freedom of the press in the United Kingdom. It would put an undue burden on publications which wish to remain entirely independent. They would be forced to shoulder legal costs of complainants whether or not they are found to be at fault.
This would have dire consequences for publications both large and small; making independent publications reticent about reporting important stories for fear of crippling legal costs and bankruptcy.
If the press is to be free, the state has no role in regulating what is published. While signing up to a regulatory body is allegedly voluntary the sanctions contained in Section 40 would constitute state coercion of the press.
Question 2: Do you have evidence in support of your view, particularly in terms of the impacts on the press industry and claimants?
* Repealing all of section 40 now is a vital and necessary step to protect the freedom of our press and the democracy it safeguards.
* With nothing to lose, complainants are more likely to launch legal cases against publications (both large and small) based on the smallest of disagreements. These are issues that can be easily resolved by letters to the editor and/or editor corrections; timely and expensive legal procedure is not necessary.
* Increased levels of legal action that will be enabled by section 40 is far more likely to stifle debate in the United Kingdom. It will have drastic effects on the financial situations of small publications, forcing them – and the wider discourse they offer – to close.
* Newspapers are public institutions. They hold historic reputations and an ongoing source of political and social engagement. The more we have, the better.
* John Whittingdale, the former culture secretary, said imposing the cost penalties outlined in section 40 would result in further losses of jobs and titles in the newspaper industry.
Question 3: To what extent will full commencement incentivise publishers to join a recognised self-regulator? Please supply evidence.
Answer: Commencement of section 40 would amount to strong arming independent publishers into signing up for outside regulation by threatening them with financial ruin from complainants even if complaints are found to be spurious.
Question 4: Do you believe that the terms of reference of Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry have already been covered by Part 1 and the criminal investigations?
Answer: Yes, the scope of Leveson Part 1 has already had a chilling effect on the British press, a further inquiry would compound this. Putting the entire British press on trial for the wrongdoing of a small number of journalists is unjust. Where the law has been broken by journalists, criminal investigation into the individuals involved should suffice.
Question 5: Provide evidence
* The Press Gazette counts 67 journalists as having been arrested from 2011-2015, more than any country in the Western world in that period. The investigations costing the taxpayer £43.7 million resulted in just 8 convictions for phone hacking (Operation Weeting) and 2 convictions for paying public officials (Operation Elveden). Operation Tuleta into computer hacking returned no convictions. As such the terms of reference of Part 2 have been covered by the criminal investigations which did not find any extensive wrongdoing, despite the vast public resources devoted to them. http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/the-67-uk-journalists-arrested-andor-charged-in-the-course-of-their-jobs-since-2011/
* According to a City partner involved in Leveson Part 1, Part 2 would be “ludicrous” as re-treading the same ground as the criminal cases would undermine the verdicts.
* In the wake of Leveson Part 1 the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) wrote a report expressing concern at the state of UK media freedom. They criticised the conflation of the hacking scandal investigated by Leveson Part 1 with debate over regulation, stressing that “British law provides appropriate remedy for illegal activity in proven cases of wrongdoing.” Launching Part 2 of the Leveson Enquiry is an unnecessary infringement on the independent role of the law in convicting those – in this particular case, journalist’s – of any wrongdoing they are accused of committing.
Question 6: Which of the two options set out below best represents your views?
Answer: • Terminate the Inquiry
The Leveson Inquiry has already damaged the freedom of the press in Britain. In the Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index, the United Kingdom has fallen 19 places since 2010 – we are now ranked below Tonga, Belize and Lithuania.
The Government should not need a consultation if it is serious about upholding the freedom of the press. For centuries Britain has had a free press, unregulated and unstifled by legislation or Royal Charter. Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 presents a serious threat to that proud record.
The impact section 40 could have on smaller publications could be particularly dire. The financial pressure that could be placed on local newspapers would lead to them being strong armed into joining the government selected regulator, or impose a chilling effect on their journalism. That would not be healthy for democracy, and a huge back step for Britain.
Going through with Leveson Part 2 would be a waste of taxpayer’s money, and present barriers to investigative journalism. If the Government is interested in what is best for its citizens, not just itself, it will ignore calls for obstructions to public service journalism.
The Government should not commence with section 40 or consider starting Leveson Part 2 if it is on the side of freedom. The only sensible response to this consultation, would be to bin Leveson and scrap section 40.
If you believe in free speech, you don’t need to take a poxy oath. You can just sign here.
How’s Brexit going? Well, it’s not, of course. The Government has yet to trigger Article 50. But be in no doubt Theresa May is “playing a masterful hand”. Andrew Lilico tells Sun readers May has been “crystal clear” in her plans fro Brexit. He says we need no “additional clarity”. Things are “clear” – a word he mentioned sevens times in the article. The only “unclear” thing is what Theresa May will get.
The Mirror says the country will he handed a £50bn bill to leave the EU. The money is made up of the “UK’s final two years of EU budget payments plus pensions liabilities and other commitments we have previously agreed to”. This bill has been “confirmed” by EU negotiators. The Mirror adds that EU Ambassador… anyone? Anyone? Yes, it’s Sir Ivan Rogers. Well, he says leaving the EU could take ten years.
That May has been in Brussels with the other EU country leaders has not escaped the Mirror’s eye. It says May lacks authority and presence in meetings. Her “inexperience” is a “major handicap for Britain”. Her rivals see “victim” stamped on her forehead. She was awkward when filmed standing alone as “Europe’s power players hug and greet one another at the Brussels’ summit”. It was “excruciating”. May was “desolate”. The other leader then told her to go while they all went to dinner together.
The Sun agrees. “”NO MAYTES,” it puns. May was “frozen out”.
Over Pages 10 and 11, the Daily Mail sees “KNIVES OUT FOR OUR MAN IN BRUSSELS”. Sir Ivan is being attacked over his “gloomy pessimism”. Sir Ivan, notes the paper, was “top mandarin to Tony Blair”, a man whose mentioning necessitates all Mail readers spinning round three times and spitting. It adds that the aforementioned £50bn bill is a “threat”. It is a”gross upper estimate”.
As in the Mirror, the Mail shows May “friendless” at the summit. Dignitaries “turn their backs” on the Prime Minister.
But the Express has a different view. Its readers see May in conversation with Germany leader Angela Merkel and European Parliament President Martin Schulz.
On the matter of that £50bn, a number the Mirror says Number 10 “did not confirm or deny”, we hear from a “Downing Street source”, who says: “Once we have left the EU, the UK government will make decision on how taxpayers’ money is spent.”
The Mail brings news of a “new drive to wipe-out anti-Semitism”. That the story is illustrated by a picture of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn gives readers a clue that the focus of this drive to wipe out hatred of Jews are not aristocrats, dinner-party guests or jihadis, rather the MP for Islington North with friends in murky places. That anti-Semitism is being used to score points is apparent when the Mirror reports on the same story with a picture of Labour MP Luciana Berger, who was subjected to horrendous anti-Semitic abuse. The Mail makes no mention of Berger, whose abuser has been jailed, but does spot the “more than 50 Labour members…suspended for anti-Semitic comments”. The Mirror leaves that bit out.
The drive is piloted by Teresa May, who says there “will be one definition of anti-Semitism – in essence language or behaviour that displays hatred towards Jews because they are Jews.” It’s odd that a definition is required, and that May should feel a need to spell it out. Anti-Semitism is racism. Simple. In defining what every Jew and sensitive soul can spot a mile away, May is politicising Jew hating and pandering to the kind of balls whereby people can say the most racist things and then plead for dispensation through ignorance.
When accused of anti-Semitism, Naz Shah, a Labour MP, and thus one would hope an intelligent and empathetic human being, explained it away by saying, “The truth is that some of the stuff I have since looked at and understood, I didn’t know at the time. I didn’t get anti-Semitism as racism.” Ms Shah, who following exposure embarked on a self-styled “journey”, added: “I had never come across it. I think what I had was an ignorance.”
After talking to a few people, perhaps about what universal human rights really means, Naz reached a shocking conclusion. She tweeted: “I understand that referring to Israel and Hitler as I did is deeply offensive to Jewish people.” Who knew?
For her accidental racism, Shah, MP for Bradford West, was suspended from the Labour Party and let back in when her journey into what does and what does not constitute racism ended – a trip that lasted a full 11 weeks.
It is intensely troubling that someone able to give free reign to anti-Semitic views should be an elected member of her community. Did Shah acquiesce to anti-Semitism on the hustings as she tried to win the seat from George Galloway’s Respect Party, despite having voted for him in 2012? That was Galloway who said, “We have declared Bradford an Israel-free zone.”
Julie Burchill wondered:
Of course, it’s possible to criticise Israel without being anti-Semitic – Israelis do it all the time, in perfect freedom, uniquely among Middle Eastern countries.
But it is anti-Semitic to say that the Jews, uniquely, do not deserve their own country – especially when Muslims have so many.
And the enemies of Israel wish there to be yet another Muslim state – Palestine, in which gay men are already exiled and women have been arrested for laughing in public.
There are 230,000 Jews in this country and two million Muslims. If the Labour party was currently committing self-immolation for purely ideological reasons, it would be tragic enough.
But the fact that they are doing it cynically, as well – to win the biggest group of voters – compounds their catastrophe.
The Guardian reported:
Guido Fawkes reports that Shah had employed a Labour councillor, Mohammed Shabbir, who is also alleged to have made antisemitic remarks, claiming Russian Orthodox Jews were involved in “the sex trafficking trade – demand is particularly high among Charedim, the conservative Orthodox Jews, many of whom are regular clients of brothels”.
The Jewish Chronicle also runs a piece on Shabbir’s comments about the decision to fly the Palestinian flag – but not Israel’s flag – at Bradford town hall.
It reports that when some councillors questioned why the Israeli flag could not be flown, Shabbir wrote: “Many here in Bradford would be nauseated at seeing the Nazi flag or some other fascist with their Nazi salutes and chants.”
Writing in the Indy, Ben Judah noted that Naz’s journey could have started closer to home:
Across town, in the constituency of Bradford East, the Liberal Democrat MP David Ward was using Twitter to question how long the “apartheid state of Israel” could last, and tweeting that he too would probably “fire a rocket” if he lived in Gaza. Later, he declared himself “#JeSuis #Palestinian” in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks on a kosher supermarket, after the Charlie Hebdo massacre…
Having been suspended for his comments and reinstated, Ward was selected to represent the LibDems at the 2015 election. He lost. In 2016, Ward was voted onto Bradford Council as a councillor for Bolton and Undercliffe. LibDem leader Tim Farron told the Commons Home Affairs Committee’s anti-Semitism inquiry:
“Once his (Mr Ward’s) time of suspension had completed then he retained all rights as a party member, including being able to put himself forward for reselection and approval and so on. And likewise, in the time since he ceased to be a member of Parliament, to have an involvement at local government level.
“If you’re saying should we look at processes to ensure that our selection is done appropriately and that the disciplinary processes inform that, then that would be something that would come under (Lord) Ken Macdonald’s review.”
“I think that when you look at an individual’s actions, you then have to make sure that justice is done.
“And if a disciplinary process has been gone through, either the person has not been convicted of an offence, for want of a better phrase, or indeed that they have but they have served their time, then it’s appropriate that that person would continue in any other free organisation as they would do otherwise. But it doesn’t mean I associate myself in any way with some of the comments he has made, some of which I would deem to be anti-Semitic.”
Back in the Indy, Judah adds:
The former Lord Mayor of Bradford Khadim Hussain commented on Facebook that Israel was “no doubt” arming Isis, and shared another Facebook post that complained that the deaths of millions of Africans are not taught in schools but “your school education system only tells you about Anne Frank and the six million Zionists that were killed by Hitler”…
And when I visited Bradford, a group of passionate Galloway supporters pinned me to a wall, throttled me and punched me in the head, shouting “Get out you f***ing Jew.”
If you still find it deeply confusing to spot what is is and what is not anti-Semitism, the now educated Naz Shah is here to help. She told the Commons: “Anti-Semitism is racism, full stop.”
There you go, Theresa May. No need for clarification.
The oldest prejudice is back with vigour. Bertolt Brecht’s words ring true: “Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the bitch that bore him is in heat again.” Yeah, he’s been readmitted to the Party.
How’s the Brexit vote getting along? A few weeks ago (It was June 23rd – ed), the people democratically voted for the country to leave the undemocratic European Union. Today the Daily Express leads with “HOORAY! MP SAY YES TO EU EXIT”. Like you, we’re a little puzzled. Didn’t the demos, the great unwashed, say ‘yes’ to the EU exit with that vote? The MPs had their say in the run up to the referendum. Now they’ve had it again, and the democratically elected members who represent us have voted in the Commons by 461 votes to 89 in favour of democracy.
The Express, which has cheered for Brexit and UKIP, is delighted. By the end of March the Government will finally trigger Article 50, the move needed to get Britain out of the European Union, and the MPs will not attempt to block it.
And the country is in favour. A YouGov last week reveals that 68 per cent of people want Britain to get on with Brexit.
On page 4, we read that the 372 majority vote not to block the will of the people “does not have the force of law”. The Express then points the finger at the “89 MPs who lined up to defy the will of the people”. Er, no. They all did. They voted on something they had no right to vote on. We already did the voting. The entire exercise was about them validating themselves not about the referendum.
The Mail is equally chuffed with this absurdity. It was the “DAY MPS SPOKE FOR BRITAIN,” declares the newspaper’s front page. The paper says Labour was “thrown into chaos” when 23 of its MPs refused to commit to the Brexit timetable. Labour is already in chaos. The party lost the plot when it created surveillance Britain, invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, belittled the working class, approved a hierarchy of foreign people and acquiesced to racism.
“We’re the insurgents now,” says former Labour leader and PM Tony Blair. He and the 48% are the rebels? If they are look out for British politicians tuning the other way when Russians bomb them. But they’re nothing of the sort. You can’t spot the 48%. There is no popular movement. As we’ve seen, the vast majority of voters back democracy and just want Brexit done. The people rather like and value democracy; the clubby elected reps less so.
It’s “ARTICLE 50 SHADES of HOORAY,” says the Sun.
On its Page 2, the Mirror spots “lone Tory Ken Clarke” with the 23 Labour “rebels”, the LibDems and the SNP. So much for the 48%.
Meanwhile, over at the Supreme Court, Remainers are hoping rich petitioners backed by a shibboleth of old toffs – Gina Miller, her pals and the judges – render the referendum result useless. Indeed, readers, the people who bemoaned the rich and the old men and women in the street voting Leave now hope the rich and the old men and women wrapped in wigs and dead animals let them stay.
How’s that for elitism?
ID cards are back on the agenda. The Sun calls it a “Green Card”, but it sounds a lot like we’ll be asked to carry our papers and show them on demand post Brexit. Home Secretary Amber Rudd says some sort of ID cars “would have to be introduced” to identify the 3 million EU nationals living in the UK. The Sun says the move would “almost certainly mean Brits on the Continent will have to carry ID cards where they go.”
The Guardian quotes Rudd:
“There will be a need to have some sort of documentation. We are not going to set it out yet. We are going to do it in a phased approach to ensure that we use all the technology advantages that we are increasingly able to harness to ensure that all immigration is carefully handled.”
This throws up a number of questions, of which these are just a few. Why do we need new forms of surveillance? Why do millions of law-abiding adults need to be monitored in an effort to prevent a few committing offences? Why do we need to show the authorities an ID card and prove our innocence? Why can’t we be private citizens unwilling to share everything with the State? And how does forcing us to carry ID card enable the government connect with the public?
It’s not about us. It’s about them trying to establish a role and sense of purpose, moving on from Tony Blair’s manta of ‘Join the debate’ and David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ to take on the role of overseers. No longer connected with the people they are supposed to represent, politicians now just want to watch us to learn what we want and thereby how best to control us. You can’t opt out of their Big Conversation’ because you’re being forced to take part. You are British not because you hold British values, rather because you forcibly carry an ID card. You’ve been defined by the Government you take everywhere with you.
It’s less worrying than it is pathetic. They don’t trust us. But they demand that we trust them.
Do you want the good news or the good news? Norbert Hofer, leader of Austria’s far-right Freedom Party, will not be the county’s next president. He polled less votes than Alexander Van der Bellen.
The Mail call it “humiliation” for Hofer, whose party, it reminds readers, was “formed by a former SS commander”. He was Anton Reinthaller, a former SS brigade leader and Nazi Minister of Agriculture, who formed the party in 1956. Lest you think having one old Nazi has leader an accident, Reinthaller was succeeded in 1958 by Friedrich Peter – another former SS member.
Anyhow, the Freedom Party didn’t loose by all that much; as the Mail says, “almost half the electorate, backed him”.
Is the Mail a tad disappointed?
Hofer wasn’t set to kick out immigrants. He was all set to give the European Union a kicking. Pity the spirit of the SS lost, right?
More on the Donald Trump Death Cult – an occasional look at media chatter on Trump’s demise. The Star being news that the US President-elect will “DIE ON THE JOB”. Jeff Farrell hears that that Trump is at “Significant risk” of dying – “if the workload as the next US president does not give him a heart attack, his missus could”.
This news comes from two medics.
First up is Dr Karen Morton, billed as a “cardiologist”. There is no word that she’s ever met Trump let alone treated him. But Dr Karen has seen enough to tells us that Melania Trump will “make certain demands as a young woman in her prime”. Lest you think Dr Karen is a ghoul, she adds, “Let’s hope he doesn’t die on the job.”
The second expert is Dr Patrick Heck. He’s quoted as having told a medial conference: “He [Trump] is surely at a significant risk of a heart attack”.
Over the Express, Dr Karen is no longer a cardiologist, but “Gynaecologist Dr Karen Morton, of Dr Mortons”.
Dr Morton’s is a private medial service. We were quoted a fee of £10 per minute to speak to a doctor, after registering. An email consultation will set us back £25. The receptionist told us that, to the best of her knowledge, Dr Morton has not treated Donald Trump, father to a young child who will be surely delighted to know that such fine minds are discussing his dad’s death in the media.
It’s all done in the best possible taste, of course.
This abusing of whites by whites is pathetic. The knowing used to be content with labelling a whole group of people ‘white trash’, sub-human rubbish identifiable by Londsale logos and slack-jaws. This hideous social racist term dehumanises a whole group of people as human dross – which is what Nazis and jihadis do.
Tired of outing the likes of Coleen Rooney as “a superchav” (Sunday Times) for having ideas above her station and appearing on the Vogue cover, branding Jade Goody “a vile, pig-ignorant, racist, bully consumed by envy of a woman of superior intelligence, beauty and class” (The Sun), belittling “Essex Man“ and giving Stephen Lawrence’s killers an excuse by calling their home town a “White Man’s Gulch”, an “E-reg Escort-land” (Daily Mirror) of uniformly hateful creatures, the new way for the right sort of whites to boost their self-esteem is to call out rich whites.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn lambasts Donald Trump and Nigel Farage as “rich, white, fake anti-elitists”.
There is no safe space to be white in public unless you are accusing other whites of some collective crime for which they should be ashamed. If you want to assure yourself that you’re the right kind of white, you can wear a safety pin on your clothes. Speaking to the BBC, Allison (she don’t want to give her full name), who seems to come up with the idea, opined: “If people wear the pin and support the campaign they are saying they are prepared to be part of the solution. It could be by confronting racist behaviour, or if that is not possible at least documenting it. More generally it is about reaching out to people and letting them know they are safe and welcome.”
It’s virtue signalling for people who have a pretty low view of humanity, who assume that only mentally negligible dupes and racists voted for Brexit or Trump. It’s long been assumed that you can spot by a bigot by their Klan hood, Nazi walk, raised jihadi finger or far-Left and far-Right politics. But stick on a safety pin and the pin heads position themselves in a moral station above all the non-pin wearers now cast as suspected bigots. Nazis made the Untermensch wear symbols to advertise their wrong-thinking and bad morals so their betters would know them; the new morally elite wear symbols to show their cultural superiority.
It’s weak to attack abuse an entire racial group. Debate and ridicule your enemies by all means. Name call if you like – but do try to be imaginative and gloriously bitchy. Just leave race and colour out of it. It makes you look like a snobby and envious twat.
Sophie Theallet has something to say. Having once provided clothes for Michelle Obama’s wardrobe, Theallet will not allow Melania Trump to fill her massive closets with the same.
Does Melania want to wear Theallet’s clothes? We’ve found no word that she does. But it is a shame one immigrant cannot support another.
Of course, banning people is what any tradesperson can do. It’s their right to be rude. Well, sort of.
One of my favourite rude shopkeepers was Kim Tickell, aka Kim Joseph Hollick de la Taste Tickell, who ran the Tickell Arms outside Cambridge until his death in 1990.
After parking carefully you approached the front door, on which was posted a long handwritten list of house rules – No Long-Haired Lefties, No Tee Shirts, No Trainers, No CND-ers and so on. The Squire himself usually presided over his empire in 18th century style attire including knee breeches and an eye glass. He was spectacularly rude, usually for no good reason, and was prone to outrageous behaviour. He once poured the ice bucket down a customer’s trousers because his shirt had come untucked and he was therefore “undressed”. A large pair of scissors was kept behind the bar so he could snip off any ties which offended him. Should a customer not have parked sufficiently neatly, he would call out their number plates through a megaphone, demanding they adjust the vehicle now. The walls were adorned with large weapons which he sometimes used for chasing people out of the building.
Londoners will recall Soho’s Wong Kei, a restaurant famed for its surly staff. When the new owner promised to offer a more genteel dining experience, patrons complained. Andrew Lebentz wrote: “Please don’t make Wong Kei a polite place to eat – the best thing about it is the rude staff.” James Bollen added: “RIP London’s most masochistic dining experience in Chinatown.“ Even Daniel Luc, who too over the place in 2014, said: “Maybe there was an issue with rude staff 20 to 30 years ago, but I don’t think so any more. I don’t know whether that’s a good thing or not.”
So more power to Sophie Theallet, whose snootiness should have them flocking. She is now The Rudest Designer in the USA. She should put that on a T-shirt.
Big notes attract big criminals. The Indian government plans to thwart villains by doing away with larger bills. Politicians are upset:
The prime minister last week outlawed 500- and 1,000-rupee notes in a drive to rein in corruption and a shadow economy that accounts for a fifth of India’s $2.1tn gross domestic product.
In southern Spain I met a woman whose estranged husband funded her and their young son’s lifestyle with wads of 500 euro notes. I know this because when the lad flushed a clutch of them down the toilet, she wailed, “Those were for my new t***. ” Could she get more cash? Not easily. The husband, an ex-pat, earned his wedge doing a bit of this and bit of that. She’d have to wait and see.
In India another sort of t** gets the big notes:
With no state election funding, illicit cash is the lifeblood for political parties that collect money from candidates and businessmen, and then spend it on staging rallies, hiring helicopters and on “gifts” to win votes.
Spending on the Uttar Pradesh election is forecast to hit a record 40bn rupees ($590m), despite the cancellation of big denominations.
“We will have to plan the entire election strategy all over again,” said Pradeep Mathur, a senior Uttar Pradesh leader of the Congress opposition party that was trounced by the BJP in national elections in 2014.
Big notes are gong out of fashiin,
In 2000, Canada got rid of its $1,000 bills and Singapore called time in its $10,000 bills.
In April 2016, the BBC reported: “The European Central Bank (ECB) says it will no longer produce the €500 (£400; $575) note because of concerns it could facilitate illegal activities.”
Why? In 2010, we read:
After eight months of rigorous analysis of currency trading in the UK, the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) has established that the 500 euro note is at the heart of money laundering. The reason is simple: it’s easier to shift.
Our proposal is to eliminate high denomination, high value currency notes, such as the €500 note, the $100 bill, the CHF1,000 note and the £50 note. Such notes are the preferred payment mechanism of those pursuing illicit activities, given the anonymity and lack of transaction record they offer, and the relative ease with which they can be transported and moved. By eliminating high denomination, high value notes we would make life harder for those pursuing tax evasion, financial crime, terrorist finance and corruption. Without being able to use high denomination notes, those engaged in illicit activities – the “bad guys” of our title – would face higher costs and greater risks of detection. Eliminating high denomination notes would disrupt their “business models”.
Donald Trump continues to set the tabloid news agenda. (Well, that and the I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!).
The Mirror leads with Donal Trump’s “TV PLEDGE”. Ha, indeed. Everything we’ve seen of Trump has been a TV pledge. Even the people watching the live show should admit Trump’s words carry the legend “as seen on TV”.
“I Will Kick Out 3 Million Migrants,” runs the Trump telly pledge. The US President-elect will “deport or jail up to three million illegal immigrants”. Well, as soon as he gets a handle on the numbers, he can start building the prisons and fuelling the planes. Trump says it’s “probably two million, it could even be three million”. Why stop at three million? The answer could be because Trump understands media and that sound-bites are all. Save four million for a slow news day.
The Express hears the headline figure and muses on its front page: “Trump to kick out 3million migrants…Now Britons asks: can we do the same?” By Page 4 readers have an answer: “UK backing for Trump to deport migrants.”
The Express then produces a phone poll: “Should Britain now send home all illegal migrants?” Ah, not all migrants, as the front-page said. All illegal migrants. Having delivered a poll more loaded than Trump’s can of hair lacquer, heard from three UKIP voices and one Tory, we leave the Express and look at the Sun’s front page. We see Nigel Farage, retired and re-instated UKIP leader ad nauseam. Farage “humiliated” the Government by saying it was in the “national interest” for him to broker any post-Brexit trade deal with the US, says the Sun.
Which nation is unspecified, but given the calibre of Farage’s dream team – the “Brex Pistols” – we can’t rule out France.
On Page 4, the Sun reminds reader that Farage is not the country’s popularly elected leader. It says Theresa May – who isn’t either – is Primer Minister. May will deliver a speech in which she “promises to clamp down on rampant immigration”. She will do this by:
a) Building a wall.
b) Surrounding the country with water (see Ice Age-induced Brexit)
c) Saying it clearly.
d) See what Trump does.
It’s Trump and Farage on the Mail’s cover. It’s a terrific photo of the two men stood before Trump’s gold and diamond-encrusted front door. Over two pages, Andrew Pierce has the “riotous inside story” behind it. Farage and his four cohorts were “mesmerised” by Trump’s flat. One of them called a Renoir on a wall “magnificent”. Another called an Eros statue “striking”.
And, er, that’s it.
They were outside.
The United Kingdom is “At The Back of The Queue,” says the Daily Mirror. The front-page headline echoes the words of Barack Obama, who thoughtfully flew to the country to remind British citizens that a vote for Brexit would mean the country relegated to the foot of the international business league table. Vote for Brexit and British companies seeking to do business with the US would be behind Germany, France, Egypt and Chad. At first glance, then, the headline looks sarcastic.
So much for being at the back of that queue, Barack, with Donald Trump in charge, a man with solid links to the UK, we’ll be closer to the front.
But the Mirror is serious. It says that after becoming President-elect, Trump only called Theresa May after first speaking with nine world leaders.
We’re Number 10!
The UK got the call after Trump dialled Ireland, Egypt, India, Mexico, Australia, South Korea, Japan, Turkey and Israel. He then called the UK. Yes, that means that after Ireland, the UK is the second most important European Union nation in Trump’s pecking order – ahead for France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The Mirror calls this a “snub”. But isn’t it progress? In 2009, the Guardian reported: “Barack Obama snubs Gordon Brown over private talks – White House spurned five requests from PM’s aides for bilateral meeting.” The Telegraph noted: “Barack Obama rebuffs Gordon Brown as ‘special relationship’ sinks to new low.”
In other Special Relationship news, the Mail says May is Trump’s Tatcher.
And the Express says Trump will help the UK thrive after leaving the EU.
Having read in the tabloids that Trump is both dire and great for UK-US relations, the Mirror lists on Page 3 – after more headlines of doom (“A new danger for the world order”; “Poor start to Special Relationship”) “10 reasons Donald might not be all that bad”. That comes after Thursday’s front page which predicted a Trump-triggered armageddon.
At number 3, the Mirror notes:
“OK, so he didn’t get round to ringing Theresa May for a while. But his mother is Scottish. He has many business interests in the UK. And he;s a big fan of Brexit. He will probably want to hug us close”
And at Number 10: “”Starting WW3 is not in his interests.”
To recap: the Mirror hasn’t got a clue what a Trump Presidency means. But if it can scare the readers, why not?
Of course, that doesn’t men she is plotting to kill Trump. But, if true, it appears to monumentally stupid.
And she’s a freelance, not a Guardian staffer.
Anyhow, Anorak Law is a go: as soon as an American gain power the media discuss their murder.
The Donald Trump Death Cult is up and running.
When Barack Obama was elected US President in 2008, the news cycle was full of stories of his imminent assassination. We called it the Barack Obama Death Cult. Today we get a look at the assassination of President-elect Donald Trump. The Daily Star leads with news that “TRIUMP’S A DEAD MAN WALKING”.
Grassy Knoll writes in the Star of a “series of threats to gun him down”. Knoll, aka Ross Kaniuk, says would-be killers have made their threats on twitter. One tweeter notes;” My mum is talking about assassinating Donald Trump. Watch out guy my white suburban mother is coming for you.”
She’d best be slim, blonde and young if she wants to get close to The Don.
In other news: no-one shot Barack Obama.