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Politicans and world leaders making news and in the news, and spouting hot air

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


Labour MP Clive Lewis: ‘Get on your knees bitch’ (and try to find the shattered remains of my career)

“Get on your knees, bitch,” says Norwich South’s Labour MP Clive Lewis at a do hosted by Momentum. Labour’s Harriet Harman heard that line and tweeted: “Inexplicable. Inexcusable. Dismayed.” The Labour Party says Lewis’s language “was completely unacceptable and falls far short of the standard we expect”.

 

clive lewis bitch

The Right Honourable Clive Lewis

 

It is? Surely it depends who he was saying it to and in what context it was being said? Left-wing pundit Aaron Bastani tweeted: “I was there. The video has been up at @novaramedia for a month – Clive was saying this to a man.”

Does that make it better?

Mr Lewis later tweeted: “I apologise unreservedly for the language I used at an event in Brighton last month. It was offensive and unacceptable.”

 

 

The Sun says Clive Lewis remark to a man “was met with nervous laughter” in the room and “fury” beyond. Hosts “jokily” told the MP: “Please may I remind you that this is meant to be a safe space, thank you.”

Outrage ensues:

Sam Swann, a 28-year-old actor, to whom Lewis addressed his command, says: “He says to me ‘on your knees bitch’ and it is clearly jovial. The whole event was so brilliant for seeing MPs letting their hair down and fucking around with people who support them. I think Clive Lewis is an absolute legend.”

Lewis is, of course, toast – another victim of what happens when you try to police speech and seek offence in dust ion your attempt to turn the world into a safe space. Yeah – he’s been hoisted by Labour’s petard.

Posted: 20th, October 2017 | In: News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Canadian Parliament scuppers moves to permit drunk canoeing

canoe beer canadaCanada has rules governing drinking in “vessels”, including those “propelled exclusively by means of muscular power”. Get caught over the limit in a kayak or on an inflatable raft and you could lose your driving licence.

Now the Canadian Safe Boating Council has countered moves to end this rule, telling Liberal MP Colin Fraser, “it would send the wrong message to the public to exclude drunk canoeing”. You can be drunk in charge of a bicycle. But you must be sober in a canoe.

The Canadian Criminal Code says only motorized road vehicles are covered by impaired driving laws – but all water-going “vessels,” whether they’re motorized or not, are included:

But the definition may soon be tested in court. Earlier this year, Ontario Provincial Police laid charges against David Sillars, a 37-year-old who tipped a canoe on the Muskoka River. An eight-year-old in the canoe was swept over a waterfall and died.

Sillars is charged with impaired operation of a vessel causing death and operating a vessel with a blood-alcohol level over 80 milligrams causing death, among other counts.

During the committee meeting, Conservative MP Rob Nicholson — a former Conservative justice minister — appeared to cite that case in asking for clarification on what the amendment would do.

In the UK, the law on drunk-boating tells us:

Boaters may be prosecuted under the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 if their actions on the water are seen to be endangering other vessels, structures or individuals and they are under the influence of alcohol.

But there is no law covering being smashed in charge of a canoe, or pedlo.

Spotter: National Post

 

Posted: 17th, October 2017 | In: News, Politicians, Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Hillary Clinton throws Harvey Weinstein under the bus (with all of Bill’s women)

Did you roll your eyes and let you mouth fall agape when Hillary Clinton told Andrew Marr about Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood mogul accused of rape? There’s delusional and there’s Hillary Clinton levels of delusional:

“I was really shocked and appalled because I’ve known him through politics as many Democrats have. He’s been a supporter – he’s been a funder for all of us, for Obama, for me, for people who have run for office in the United States.  So it was just disgusting and the stories that have come out are heartbreaking. And I really commend the women who have been willing to step forward now and tell their stories.”

This is same Hillary Clinton who allegedly vowed to “destroy” women who accused her husband, Bill Clinton, of sexual harassment – who, according to the New York Times, was part of a devious campaign to see one of Bill’s ‘victims’ branded a “bimbo” and a “pathological liar”. Does Bill get a pass when we talk of sexual predators? Is Hillary so delusional – so iconic – all talk of her being her husband’s enabler is taboo?

She goes on to tell Marr:

“But I think that it’s important that we not just focus on him and whatever consequences flow from these stories about his behavior but that we recognize this kind of behavior cannot be tolerated anywhere, whether it’s in entertainment, politics. After all, we have someone admitting to being a sexual assaulter in the Oval Office. There has to be a recognition that we must stand against this kind of action that is so sexist and misogynistic.”

No. Donald Trump has never admitted to being a sexual assaulter.

She then encourages comparrisons between Trump and Weinstein.

“I’m not a psychologist, I can’t draw that conclusion. There are credible reports from women about both that sound very similar.”

Trump’s “pussy” comment was nasty. He has questionable views on women. But he has not been accused of rape. You know who has? Yep, Harvey Weinstein and…Bill Clinton.

Get a load of this exchange:

MARR: “And this depends on women coming forward and the courage to come forward. And yet in your book the three women, brought onto the stage by Trump, attacking your husband and you kind of dismissed them. Was that the right thing to do, are you sure about that?”

CLINTON: “Well, yes, because that had all been litigated. That was the subject of a huge investigation as you might recall in the late ’90s and there were conclusions drawn and that was clearly in the past.”

But the past cannot be so easily boxed up:

“I was 35 years old when Bill Clinton, Ark. Attorney General raped me and Hillary tried to silence me,” Juanita Broaddrick tweeted from her home in Van Buren, Ark. “I am now 73. . . . it never goes away.”

Harvey Weinstein deserves a fair trial. Hillary Clinton deserves to have her record looked at. Justice must not be denied.

Posted: 15th, October 2017 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


After Libya Hillary Clinton still knows nothing about guns

After the horror in Las Vegas, Hillary Clinton seized the chance to promote herself and her policies:

Others believed Monday was precisely the correct time to start the conversation. Mr Trump’s challenger in the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton, said it was essential that America confronted the NRA and demanded the regulation of weapons. “The crowd fled at the sound of gunshots,” she wrote on Twitter. “Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get.”

They thought the crackling sound was fireworks, Hillary. And a silencer at that range, would still be loud.

After Libya, the idea that gung-ho Hillary Clinton doesn’t like guns is absurd.

The WAPo has more:

The effect of having a silencer probably would have been negligible. Clinton and others appear to be assuming that silencers — or “suppressors,” as they’re known in the industry — work the way that they do in the movies. Screw a little barrel on the end of your pistol, and you can run through enemy headquarters picking off bad guys with no more audio footprint than a little zip.

In reality, trying to suppress an automatic weapon sounds like this.

 

Posted: 3rd, October 2017 | In: Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Brexit poll: 88% of young voters want Britain to quit the EU?

Is Brexit a disaster? We’re not sure what it entails in detail, but that vote was glorious. And a new poll tells us that far from being fans of a second referendum and voting until we deliver ‘the right’ answer, most of us rather enjoy democracy and the chance it’s given the country to try something different:

 

brexit poll

 

The stand-out figure is the 12% of 18- to 24-year-olds who think the country should press on and quit the European Union. That figure is topped by the 92% of the working class who want Brexit. Jeebus – 70% of Remainers want the country to get on with it.

So let’s not stop Brexit. Let’s not heed the demands of Labour MPs who demand a second referendum and think us all duped for voting for Brexit in the first place. They don’t want democracy; they want to stymie it.

The full survey for the Times went like this:

 

brexit

 

Such are the facts.

 

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


No anti-Semitism in Labour – just calls for a ‘final solution’

Good job there’s no anti-Semitism in Labour or else we’d think Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East (LFPME) seeking of a “final solution” ugly.

 

labour final solution

 

 

Having been alerted that Nazis were fond of just that term, and forced to why they used it in regard to the world’s only Jewish state, the group Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East (LFPME) has apologised for its “extremely poor choice of words”.

They then added a sympathetic backstory:

“Due to the preparations for the Party conference, we were unable to effectively check every piece of content being published on our page.

“While the use of the phrase in this context was genuine error we would like to sincerely apologise for the hurt it has caused and will endevour [sic] to ensure such errors do not occur in the future.”

Look out for Labour debating “the Jewish question” at a meeting near you.

Posted: 1st, October 2017 | In: News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Not North Korea calls Donald Trump a racist orangutan – orangutants outraged

You know all that corporate guff about how if everyone gets on Facebook, Snapshat or Twitter the world will be made whole and people will speak with one voice?

Well, stuff it. War with the apes might well begin with a Tweet. Orangutans are incandescent with rage over this slight from not the North Koreans (probably):

 

 

North Korea calls Donald Trump a racist orangutan

 

Posted: 30th, September 2017 | In: Politicians | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


#taketheknee: Donald Trump gets a bigger hand on Twitter

Donald Trump has big hands. Bigly hands. Huge hands.

More here.

Posted: 25th, September 2017 | In: Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Kim Jong-Un fills his trousers

 

kim jong-un

 

Spotter: @MrKenShabby

Posted: 25th, September 2017 | In: Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Leland Melvin writes and Roseanne Barr flees as Donald Trump reviews NFL games for poor anthem singing

Donald Trump wants sportsmen to stand up straight and give full throat to the US National Anthem. Trump’s directive is not an attempt to best Kim Jong-un in the battle to be the most controlling leader, rather because a few players in the National Football League (NFL) have turned the pre-match anthem into a form of protest.

Says Trump on twitter: “If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!.. Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now… he is fired’?”

Let’s got further. As the cameras pan along the line of anthem and non-anthem singers, how about adopting a decibel-o-meter? Any players mumbling, not singing loud enough or humming something from the current Top 40 will be shot. To further test patriotism, the anthem will be played at random moments in the game. Anyone failing to stop instantly, place their palm to their heart and sing will also be shot. This offer will then be extended to cheerleaders, crowd members and through a ‘Retweet’ system linked to electrified Anthem Chairs, eventually the people watching at home.

Trump will then set up a commission to review past matches to check for inappropriate singing and non-singing. He willl put a bounty on Roseanne Barr, whose rendition before the San Diego Padres v Cincinnati Reds in 1990 game was described by President Bush as “disgraceful”.

 

 

As everyone prepares to die by the third quarter, it’s time to hear from Leland Melvin, the astronaut and former footballer:

To Donald Trump

I believe in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of this country even though at the time they were drafted, their tenets of life, liberty justice for all and eventual freedom of speech, religion, assembly, press and petition amendment ratified in Dec 1791, only applied to a select group of people and not ones that looked like me.

Donald Trump, I listened to your Alabama rally rant and could not believe how easily you say what you say.

We have become numb to your outlandish acts, tweets and recent retweet of you knocking down Hillary Clinton with a golf ball that you hit.

Donald Trump, your boorish and disgusting actions are not funny. They actually promote violence against women especially when your followers act out what you say.

I used to walk the grounds of UVA in Charlottesville, VA as a graduate student only to watch in horror as those same grounds became a battlefield being trod by Nazi and anti-Semitic worshippers armed with assault style weapons ready to fight to make America White again. (their words). You actually said there were nice people on both sides. People armed and ready to kill other Americans for the purpose of eradicating Blacks, Jews, Hispanics, Mexicans, Asians, Latinas and even the first real Americans, Native Americans to make America Great Again were “nice people”?

Comparing this to what you say in condemnation of an unarmed black man peacefully protesting by exercising his constitutional First Amendment rights by silently taking a knee is appalling, unnerving and reprehensible.

Today, you called Colin Kaepernick “a son-of-a-bitch.”

You said he should be fired.

You are calling his white mother a bitch.

The strong contrast in language for a black man and a Nazi is very telling. Do you have any sense of decency or shame in what you say to the American people that are part of your duty to serve respectfully with dignity, presidentially?

Our National Anthem has been edited to try not to offend, because when Francis Scott Key penned the song he watched freed slaves fighting for the British and wrote this stanza:

“And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

I guess if I were a slave back then I probably would have done anything to obtain freedom from my American oppressors who were whipping, killing, raping, dismembering, hanging or releasing the dogs on people like me all under our Constitution.

In 1814 former slaves fought with the British for their freedom from their American enslavers.

Key witnessed a battle from a ship off the Maryland shore at Fort McHenry, which inspired him to write what became our National Anthem.

I served my country not in the military, but as 1 of 362 American Astronauts that have explored the universe to help advance our civilization. Not just Americans, but all humans. I also was briefly in the NFL and stood for the National Anthem with my hand over my heart. What makes us great is our differences and respecting that we are all created equally even if not always treated that way.

Looking back at our planet from space really helps one get a bigger perspective on how petty and divisive we can be. Donald Trump, maybe you should ask your good friend Mr. Putin to give you a ride on a Soyuz rocket to our International Space Station and see what it’s like to work together with people we used to fight against, where your life depends on it. See the world and get a greater sense of what it means to be part of the human race, we call it the Orbital Perspective.

Donald Trump, please know that you are supposed to be a unifier and a compassionate and empathetic leader. If you can’t do the job then please step down and let someone else try. I pray that you do the right thing.

May God bless you.

Sincerely,

Leland Melvin
Former Astronaut and NFL Player

 

Leland Melvin

Leland Melvin

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