Politicans and world leaders making news and in the news, and spouting hot air
Top Shadow Front Bench at the moment. Diane Abbott, shadow secretary of state for health, asks the Government about an Indonesian province that does not exist:
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she has taken to assist people in the Indonesian province of Province of Davao del Norte affected by the drought in that province.
Justine Greening The Secretary of State for International Development replies: “There is no province called Davao del Norte in Indonesia.”
There is one in the Philippines. Does Diane think all Asian countries look the same?
The Labour Party is in crisis.
Spotter: Rob Baker
Don’t press the button! Brexit never happened.
The EU referendum was a 2-2 ‘draw’ says London School of Economics’ expert (but not in democracy) Dr Jo Murkens. He says because Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU, while voters in England and Wales opted to leave, the result is 2-2. It was a draw*. In effect, the vote never happened. He’s not berating you for doing the wrong thing in voting out. He’s just stating the facts as his expert eye sees them.
“There would be no country left if we leave the EU,” Dr Murkens tells the Evening Standard. “I see no way in which the UK can leave the EU and survive.”
We’re all dead by teatime. Hey, he’s the expert. I just try to put his wisdom into words you slack-jawed mouth breathers can understand.
He adds: “There’s no political will in Scotland and Northern Ireland to remain in the UK if it leaves the EU.”
No political will? What of The Democratic Unionist Party, who campaigned for an out vote in Northern Ireland? What of the 17,410,742 people who voted to leave the EU? Not all were English and Welsh. In Northern Ireland, 349,442 people voted out. In Scotland, 1,018,322 voted out. The expert adds: “I can see no Prime Minister who would want to preside over the break-up of the United Kingdom.”
Is Nicola Sturgeon likely to be PM? And we didn’t vote on breaking up the United Kingdom. It was a vote on staying in the European Union. The Indy adds:
After defeat in the 2014 Scottish referendum, the Brexit vote – which altered the political status quo and galvanised support – gave nationalists a renewed opportunity to push for independence.
Now hands up who wants another referendum? ‘In’ votes count twice…
*Has it gone to extra-time and then penalties? If it has, anyone think we can beat the Germans?
Jeremy Corbyn* hears the new rules on Labour Party racism. What is and what is not permitted is known. Jeremy Corbyn then says at the launch of the party’s report into anti-Semitism within its ranks:
“Our Jewish friends are no more responsible for the actions of Israel or the Netanyahu government than our Muslim friends are for those various self-styled Islamic States or organisations.”
Put down the lit torches, Labour Party members! Not all Jews are responsible for Jeremy Corbyn. Labour supporters need to know that he doesn’t need Jews to make him say stupid things and to compare a democracy with a death cult that wants to kill us all. It’s just that in times of trouble, history tells us that leaders seeking popularity through knowing your enemy always go for the Jews.
*Jeremy Corbyn is not Jewish.
In a poll more loaded than George Bush at a frat house party, the Daily Express finds that 80% want Boris Johnson to be the next Prime Minister. And 80% are “convinced” Boris will be PM. It is front-page news. As ever in the Express, who responded is not revealed. And at 35p per text vote, you wonder at the sanity of three or four people who did.
The Mail ignores Boris. On pages 8 and 9 it says 8 Tories are fighting to be the PM. Not quite. They are considering standing for election to be the Conservative Party leader. They can then be Prime Minister by default – as Gordon Brown was – or call a General Election, which they should do. We live in the age of the cult of personality. We demand to know our new leader by way of the popular vote and dull TV debates.
The Mail says Boris Jonson and Teresa May are the favourites to win. But Remainers are creating a “stop Boris” campaign. So May it is, then.
Or not. Poverty plate coloniser Jamie Oliver says he will leave the country if Boris is made PM. Vote now. Vote often! Wonder if Jamie will go to live in the EU zone, somewhere in deep raw-food friendly rural Romania? Nah. They always go to America.
The Sun leads with news that to “blue-collar” Tories are plotting a “class war” leadership bid. Steven Crabb and Sajid Javid are in cahoots to undo Boris. This is a “blow” to Boris. But by page 6 it is all go for “Bogo”.
In the Mirror, Boris Johnson is the “political pygmy”. The man twice-elected Labour mayor who led the successful Leave campaign is also called “blundering”. On page 10, Boris is in “hiding”. He wasn’t at the Commons for a post-Brexit slanging match. the Mirror says this makes him “selfish”, “cowardly”, “jaundiced”, “grotesquely rude”, “a charlatan” and a “chiseller”.
Vote Boris, then.
At the pro-Jeremy Corbyn rally in Westminster, a woman has shown her support for the Labour Party leader by wring a T-shirt declaring: “Eradricate the Right Wing Blairite Vermin.” It is the new “gentler, kinder politics” Corbyn wanted:
Jeremy Corbyn is in the mire. Can he survive the storm raging inside the Labour Party and remain as its leader? The grassroots Labour Party like Corbyn – they voted him in. The new Labour Party want him out. The mutineers who have resigned from Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet want him out, seizing on the EU Referendum result to get shot of Corbyn. Helpfully, Jeremy has issued a statement:
Our country faces a huge challenge following Thursday’s vote to leave the European Union. And the British people have a right to know how their elected leaders are going to respond.
David Cameron resigned. Well, it was his referendum.
We need to come together to heal the divisions exposed by the vote.
Which is why he, er, sacked Hilary Benn as his shadow foreign secretary.
We have to respect the decision that has been made, hold the government to democratic account over its response, and ensure that working people don’t pay the price of exit.
Many of those “Working people” voted for Brexit. What does he man by working people? Does he discount the students and the pensioners – they who will pay in to the big pot and they worked all their lives to live on a pension, respectively?
Neither wing of the Tory government has an exit plan.
They do. This morning Chancellor George Osborne’s made a statement on the impact of the vote leave EU referendum. He said:
It is inevitable, after Thursday’s vote, that Britain’s economy is going to have to adjust to the new situation we find ourselves in.
In the analysis that the Treasury and other independent organisations produced, three particular challenges were identified – and I want to say how we meet all three.
First, there is the volatility we have seen and are likely to continue to see in financial markets.
Those markets may not have been expecting the referendum result – but the Treasury, the Bank of England, and the Financial Conduct Authority have spent the last few months putting in place robust contingency plans for the immediate financial aftermath in the event of this result. We and the PRA have worked systematically with each major financial institution in recent weeks to make sure they were ready to deal with the consequences of a vote to leave.
Back to Corbyn:
One clear message from last Thursday’s vote is that millions of people feel shut out of a political and economic system that has let them down and scarred our country with grotesque levels of inequality.
Yep. They voted to reject The European Union.
I was elected by hundreds of thousands of Labour Party members and supporters with an overwhelming mandate for a different kind of politics. I regret there have been resignations today from my shadow cabinet. But I am not going to betray the trust of those who voted for me – or the millions of supporters across the country who need Labour to represent them.
Democracy will out.
Those who want to change Labour’s leadership will have to stand in a democratic election, in which I will be a candidate.
And he’ll win again. Our bet is he wins by an even larger majority.
Over the next 24 hours I will reshape my shadow cabinet and announce a new leadership team to take forward Labour’s campaign for a fairer Britain – and to get the best deal with Europe for our people.
Now hands up who wants to join Corbyn on the losers’ table?
The Mirror talks of the “Brexit Crisis”. The OED says a crisis is “a time of intense difficulty or danger”. Do you feel more endangered than you did before the EU referendum? Jeremy Corbyn does. The Mirror says he is in a “battle to remain”. He faces a “coup” as 11 members quit his shadow cabinet after Labour voters continued to desert the party and he sacked “disloyal” shadow cabinet minister Hilary Benn, one the hereditary Labour hierarchy.
The Mirror hears from the stayers and the leavers.
Emily Thornberry, last seen joining the liberal elite in mocking the white working class living in what one Mirror writer called “white man’s gulch“, says the Leavers have “no plan and no clue as to what happens next”. She says Labour can help by listening to “Labour supporters throughout the country who decided to vote Leave”. Emily, they are not Labour supporters by definition. You suppose too much. Emily says the Tory party is “tearing itself apart”. She says Labour can be the unifying force. And Labour can do this under Jeremy Corbyn.
On the other side is Stephen Kinnock, one of the hereditary Labour hierarchy. Kinnock says “this is the biggest peace-time crisis since the Second World War”. Kinnock says Corbyn lacks the knowledge of Europe to negotiate with the EU. Kinnock says “Jeremy received an unprecedented mandate from our members last year”. Yep, they voted for him. So, Kinnock, a true Europhile, says the will of the people doesn’t matter. Just get rid.
On Page 6, the Mirror says there has been a “surge” in Scotland for a “Scots breakaway”. Right now 54% of Scots are “for” an independent Scotland – 46% are against. In 2014, 55% of Scots voted to remain in the United Kingdom. Nicola didn’t like the result so she wants another referendum. If the result goes the other way, as the Mirror’s poll suggests it will, will the losers under Ruth Davidson do a Nicola and demand another referendum? The Guardian says “Ruth Davidson is the Tory who stands between Scotland and independence.” She’s a formidable sight.
On page 8, the Mirror’s Kevin Maguire thinks a second EU Referendum would be good idea. that, he says, could fix the “gangrenous, gaping national wound”. Kevin backed the losers.
The Daily Star leads with a neat pun: “Corb faces Jexit.” Corbyn is a “red man walking”.
On Page 9, the Star outlines the Brexit plan. Emily Thornberry may care to read it.
The Sun leads with news that Michael Gove is backing “tennis-loving” Boris Johnson to lead the Tories. The Sun mentions Johnson’s love of tennis in the second paragraph. Why? Is the Sun massively popular among tennis fans? The Tories are, of course. Tennis clubs are havens for solid Conservative supporters, as well as adulterers, sex maniacs and alcoholics who find golf too taxing. Doubt that? Just cop a load of Bozza’s bat.
Tom Newton-Dunn tells readers on Page 5 that one Tory has referred to Westminster as “a cluster of goat fuck with knobs on”. Can we get that in Latin and put it over the door?
On Page 7, readers see a picture of deputy Labour leader Tom Watson at a silent disco at Glastonbury. He’s dancing to his own tune that no-one else is listening to. Yeah, really.
The Daily Express tells readers, “Don’t panic! Why Brexit will be a breeze.” Passports, the pound, mortgages, savings, pensions and travel are all going to be sorted just fine. Crisis. What crisis? And one other thing: a butcher is now selling sausages in pounds and ounces. Metric is out! Imperial measures are in!
And so the the Mail, the paper that if any can claim it won it, won it. News is of a “plot to block Brexit”. Tony Blair, Nicola Sturgeon, a “senior German” and pro-Remain MPs plan to scupper Brexit. How? They hope there will be a general election before the formal process of quitting begins. Tony says there could be a second referendum. Nicola says the Edinburgh parliament could block Brexit. They hope the majority who wanted out will see that their voices are still not being listening to and vote in? Do we keep voting until we give the elites the answer they demand?
Over Pages 4 and 5, the Mail tells of “the day Labour imploded”.
On Page 6, we learn that Theresa May wants to beat Boris Johnson to the top Tory job. And on Page 11, George Osborne “breaks over to claim the City”.
Politics is big news. and the best bit is you can vote anyone you don’t like out at an election. Isn’t democracy great.
The Labour MP David Lammy, your elected representative for Tottenham, doesn’t much like democracy when it fails to agree with him. He wants the EU Referendum result ignored. Peter Sutherland agrees. Sutherland (born 25 April 1946) is “an Irish international businessman and former Attorney General of Ireland”. Since 2006, Sutherland has been working as the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration.
He wanted the UK to remain in the EU. The pensioner thinks the result was wrong. He wants us to think of the children. “Somehow this result must be overturned,” he demands.
Many agree that it was all unfair. You can sign a petition to ask for another referendum. Many have clicked their support for a 2nd go at getting the ‘right’ answer.
Sun columnist Rod Liddle Canterbury, has another petition:
Mr Lammy has demonstrated that he does not understand democracy. He should be removed as MP for Tottenham and replaced by a set of plaster garden ornaments – an otter * with a fish in its mouth, a heron and a gnome with a fishing rod.
Gnomes, or ‘little Englanders’, as the Guardian readers call them.
(*Why are animals getting a kicking? Leavers say Remain are otters; Remain says leavers are “turkeys“. Politics is for the birds.)
The Labour MP David Lammy MP wants Parliament to ignore the EU referendum result. He wants Parliament to go against the will of the people, the majority of whom voted for the UK to leave the European Union. The people who rejected the establishment, the liberal elite, the knowing celebrities, the multi-nationals, the doom-mongers and the bankers got it wrong, says Lammy, a member of a Party divorced from its once core vote. Says the self-regarding one:
Wake up. We do not have to do this.
We can stop this madness and bring this nightmare to an end through a vote in Parliament. Our sovereign Parliament needs to now vote on whether we should exit the EU. The referendum was an advisory, non-binding referendum. The Leave campaign’s platform has already unravelled and some people wish they hadn’t voted to Leave. Parliament now needs to decide whether we should go forward with Brexit, and there should be a vote in Parliament next week. Let us not destroy our economy on the basis of lies and the hubris of Boris Johnson.
He’s right. The European Referendum is non biding. The vote is not law. What it was was a free and fair vote on staying in or leaving the European Union. Lammy doesn’t much like the result. He says the people cannot be trusted to make the right decision. They made a mistake. So he wants them to be ignored. He wants change stopped.
A US readers has written in. He puts it well:
CONGRATULATIONS !!! Leaving the EU has been too long in coming. We have a similar situation here in the USA. For us Washington D.C. is about identical to the EU leadership with re: to their relationship with all the individual states. An entrenched cadre of infinitely corrupt career politicians control or try to control every aspect of our lives from fortress Washington D.C. just as the EU leadership has imposed their will on Great Britain and other EU member countries. The politicians keep getting richer while our middle class is dying along with many small towns all across our country. Our fast growing national debt tells the story. The politicians are spending money we don’t have to shore up their power. Anyway so very happy for your good fortune.
Lammy thinks you’re idiots. You are if you listen to him.
In “I want my country back” Laurie Penny seeks to make her voice the authentic sound of the self-regarding who see the Brexit vote and say #NotMyVote. She writes in the New Statesman:
This was never a referendum on the EU. It was a referendum on the modern world.
And the news is that 52% of UK voters rejected Penny’s view of modernity. Says Penny.
This morning, I woke up in a country I do not recognise. David Cameron’s big gamble – the future of Britain against his personal political ambitions – has backfired so badly that we’ve blasted clean out of the EU. By the time I’d put the kettle on, the stock markets were in free fall, Scotland was debating a new independence referendum, Sinn Fein was making secession noises, and the prime minister had resigned.
You might call it exciting. If politics is about change and daring, then this is it.
The markets were not in free fall. On a day in which the brokers and bankers were found to have backed the wrong side, the FTSE ended 3.15% lower at 6,138. But the pound is weaker (good for exporters, then) and the FX traders are playing catch-up.
Politicians are making their moves. The SNP wants another referendum because just two years ago they lost one and like the EU they want to keep going until the people give the ‘right‘ answer. Sinn Fein’s call for a plebiscite is something they are almost certain not to get.
Penny then launches a rant against people who dare to vote for what they believe in. Unlike Cameron, she is no gracious loser.
There’s not enough tea in the entire nation to help us Keep Calm and Carry On today. Not on a day when prejudice, propaganda, naked xenophobia and callous fear-mongering have won out over the common sense we British like to pride ourselves on. Not on a day when we’re being congratulated by Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen, and nobody else. Well done, turkeys. Santa’s on his way.
This from the New Statesman, a magazine that told of a Kosher Conspiracy. Can you spot the bigot, turkeys? Maybe this can help you:
So, here’s the thing. This was never a referendum on the EU. It was a referendum on the modern world, and yesterday the frightened, parochial lizard-brain of Britain voted out, out, out, and today we’ve all woken up still strapped onto this ghost-train as it hurtles off the tracks.
Penny says “I want my country back”. Wherever that is it looks a like a place where prejudice is rife.
Donald Trump is in Scotland to talk about golf, Brexit and golf for the paranoid at one of his gated sports complexes. Scots are wowed as the Republican Presidential nominee walks among them. One takes the trouble to make her own sign. It says Donald “Trump is a cunt”.
That the tabloids went to Press before the EU Referendum vote was known is shown in their coverage of the vote.
The Daily Mail
Page 4: “Operation Save Dave”
How well did that go. Not very. David Cameron has resigned as Prime Minister.
(Page 5): “Brexit camp jitters after close exit poll verdict”.
News is that UKIPm leader Nigel Farage has “conceded defeat”. Farage and his UKippers won.
Front page: “As Farage all but concedes defeat..and after fear and hate.. Britain needs Remain & Leave supporters to start the healing process”
Wise words form the paper that on the day of the vote produced this:
The paper that shamefully milked the death of Jo Cox for its own ends:
Pages 2-3: “FARAGE: I’VE LOST”
Page 2: “A final YouGove poll published at 10pm gave 52% to Remain and 48% Leave”
Page 2: “The Leave campaign was given a boost with a higher than expected turnout, especially in England’s North”.
England’s North rejected Remain to vote Leave.
Pages 6-7: “Now only one thing matters… replacing the fear and hate with a future of hope”
Pages 6-7: “Civil wars Tories in mega plot to Save the Dave”
Pages 4-5: “£6bn WIN-WIN FOR BRITAIN – Cash to pour in whatever the result is”
The out vote triggers a steep decline in the FTSE and the value of the pound on the money exchanges.
Such are the facts in the papers ‘wot won it’.
It’s the EU Referendum, the day the country votes for independence (Sun) or not not fall into an abyss (Mirror).
The Express wants us to “VOTE LEAVE’. But not al that many people read the Express. The weight is with the Mail, the country’s most widely read newspaper. It says the EU are liars. It says vote out. If the Mail mobilises its readers, the Mail will have won it.
Vote now and vote often:
ON SADIQ KHAN (Labour, In)
Quentin Letts, Daily Mail (OUT!):
But the new London mayor is a feral little nipper and came up with the most vicious slurs of the first hour when he accused the Leave camp of running ‘Project Hate’ on immigration. The crowd oohed and booed.
Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph (Dunno):
Inevitably the fiercest clashes concerned immigration. “Boris, your campaign has been Project Hate!” squawked Mr Khan. This won the night’s most furious cheer, followed by riotous stamping. It was like listening to an army charge across a tin roof.
John Crace Guardian (IN!):
“You’re not Project Fear, you’re Project Hate,” said Sadiq, to the biggest cheer of the evening.”
Mikey Smith, Daily Mirror (IN!):
Sadiq’s attack was the first damaging blow of the two hour event, and it attracted a long and loud round of applause from the audience.
What they said: Boos. Applause. Huge cheer.
ON RUTH DAVIDSON (Tory, In)
Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph (Dunno):
Ms Davidson, though – surely the night’s star performer – won cheers with her rocket-powered zeal and patriotism.
Quentin Letts, Daily Mail (OUT!):
…did the highly rated Miss Davidson slightly underperform? She twice invoked the name of President Obama, who has supported Remain. Maybe that sort of thing works in Edinburgh but at Wembley last night it earned raspberries.
What they said: Star. Rubbish.
ON BORIS JOHNSON (Tory, Out)
Quentin Letts, Daily Mail (OUT!):
And then his closing remarks. Let Thursday be our ‘Independence Day’. As those south American commentators say, ‘Gooooallllll!’
Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph (Dunno):
When Mr Johnson promised that June 23 would be Independence Day, the crowd nearly blew the roof off.
John Crace Guardian (IN!):
Boris bounced around on his feet, disappointed he hadn’t been able to get any of his favourite gags in. And that’s the way the rest of the night continued.
Daily Express (OUT!):
Huge cheers for Boris after his closing statement. The Wembley crowd are on their feet and chanting his name.
What they said: Scores. Disappointing.
Such are the facts.
How many guests preferred it when Her Majesty just held up her gloved robotic waving hand and asked “And what do you do?” Now she wants three reasons why the country should remain in the European Union. Gongs and pudding portions depend on guests giving a favourable answer.
The source for this story of regal parlour games is “Royal biographer” Robert Lacey, who says he believes the Queen is a Eurosceptic but not necessarily a Brexiteer.
The story is taken up with the gusto in the Sun, which leads with “Sorry Ma’am, we can’t think of ONE.”
Proof that the Queen asked her guests the question comes there none. The tabloids’ story is rooted in a story Lacey wrote for the Daily Beast. Below the headline “Why the Queen Should Oppose Brexit” he says the Queen “apparently” has been asking her dinner guests for three reasons for the country remain in the EU. He adds that “Buckingham Palace has rightly deplored the impropriety of disclosing Her Majesty’s private remarks.”
Total balls, then.
For the third issue of HUP comic in 1989, cartoonist Robert Crumb turned his eye on real estate tycoon Donald Trump, “one of the most evil men alive”. Crumb despised the 1980s greed he saw embodied in “venal” Trump. In 1991, Crumb left the USA for a Trump-free life in bucolic France.
They suspended EU Referendum campaigning in respect to Jo Cox, the Labour MP killed in the streets of her Yorkshire constituency. No-one told the Daily Mirror. As Jo Cox’s alleged killer, Thomas Mair stood in the dock at Westminster magistrates’ court, giving his name as “death to traitors”, the Mirror wondered: could Jo Cox’s barbaric killing help the Remain camp win the vote?
The paper teasers its readers: “ComRes analysts were amazed when the results coming in after 2pm began to show a marked change of heart from Brexit to Remain.”
Nigel Nelson continues in the paper that supports Remain: “Voters became more inclined to want to stay in the EU after MP Jo Cox was shot.”
The astonishing finding comes in a ComRes poll for the Sunday Mirror. And it shows the murder of the 41 year old mum of two could have a direct effect on Thursday’s result.
Awful if it does. Awful if a heinous crime decides the direction the future of the United Kingdom. Awful if Thomas Mair, Mrs Cox’s alleged killer, has a decisive say in the vote.
Our pollsters were asking questions on the EU referendum at the exact time news broke of the attack on the Batley and Spen Labour MP at 2pm on Thursday. ComRes analysts were amazed when the results coming in after 2pm began to show a marked change of heart. Before Ms Cox was shot 45 per cent of those polled said they would be “delighted” if the UK voted to leave the EU.
That dropped to 38 per cent after it – and the Remain camp got an astonishing nine point boost from those saying they would be delighted if we stayed.
Jo Cox made a difference then, so too did Thomas Mair, allegedly.
ComRes polled a total of 2,046 people between Wednesday June 15 at 9pm on Thursday. Most people had answered our questions before Ms Cox was gunned down on Thursday afternoon, but 192 answers came in afterwards.
Seems a bit woolly, no? The poll contained no question on Jo Cox. It’s pure guesswork to say her death had an impact.
Maybe the Independent can help.
EU referendum poll: 44% would be ‘delighted’ if Britain voted to Leave. Only 28% would feel the same if it’s Remain. Exclusive ComRes poll for The Independent finds voters feel more strongly about leaving the EU than staying…
In the only reaction that favours Remain, 41 per cent said they would feel “anxious” in the event of a Leave vote, more than the 33 per cent who would feel the same about Remain.
But what about the “tragic Jo poll surge”?
Polling was carried out online on Wednesday and Thursday this week, with 192 out of 2,046 interviews carried out after the news of the attack on Jo Cox, the Labour MP. Andrew Hawkins, chairman of ComRes, suggested that the attack might have influenced responses: “Not all respondents will have learned of the attack immediately, and the results should be taken with a degree of caution, but across all emotions reaction to a Leave vote was more negative among those interviewed after 2pm on Thursday.”
Thankfully, the poll is published online. Comres reports:
With less than a week to go until the vote, British adults are far more likely to say they would be delighted in the result of Britain voting to Leave the EU, rather than voting to remain (44% v 28%).
Similarly, more than two in five say they would be disappointed if Britain voted to Remain (44% v 33% who say the same if Britain votes to leave).
Despite this, many British adults remain uncertain over the future of a post-Brexit Britain; two in five say they would feel anxious if Britain votes to leave the EU next week, compared to a third who say the same for remain (41% v 33%).
Labour voters are more likely than their Conservative counterparts to feel anxious in the event of Britain voting to leave the EU next week (52% v 41%). This is the only emotion where a majority of voters of either major party share this sentiment.
Such are the facts.
Thomas Mair, 52, of Birstall, stood in the dock at Westminster magistrates court charged with the barbaric killing of Jo Cox, the 41-year-old MP for Batley and Spen. Why Westminster and not a court in Yorkshire, where Mrs Cox was killed? Because Westminster magistrates’ court is where terrorist cases are usually dealt with.
Asked for his name, Mair replies, “My name is death to traitors, freedom for Britain.” His lawyers step in and confirm that the self-styled Mr Britain is called Thomas Mair. He entered no plea.
Deputy chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot noted: “Bearing in mind the name he has just given, he ought to be seen by a psychiatrist.”
Do all narcissists need to see a psychiatrist? Doesn’t the therapy industry create enough of them without inviting them in for a chat?
The Times adds:
The suspect had allegedly been a supporter of National Alliance, the American neo-Nazi group that inspired Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, and has been called “the most dangerous hate group in America”.
Mair’s links to the “far-right” are front page news on the Times, Yorkshire Evening Post and Guardia. The Sun and Mirror also mention it on their covers, albeit in context of mental health and Jo Cox’s private life.
The Daily Star, which once supported the EDL, omits to mention Mair’s alleged “Nazi” sympathies on its cover, and leads with a pretty tawdry headline about what her last words were.
She is the Star’s “tragic Jo”. And on Page 4 readers do hear that Mair has Nazi memorabilia at his home. “The alleged killer also splashed out on books” from the National Alliance (NA), “a far-right US group”. The group “fight for an all-white homeland and slaughter of Jewish people”. The Times says the National Alliance”inspired Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber”.
The paper also notes there is no evidence that Mair had anything to do with the NA after 1999, when he “appeared to have ordered Ich Kampfe, the book given to all new members of the Nazi Party.”
So what about his mental health? Is it relevant? The Mail says it is:
The Daily Mail has learned Mair walked into a centre which provides alternative therapies and counselling the evening before the shooting.
Staff said he came into the private business – 100 yards from the murder scene – asking what treatments he could have. Rebecca Walker, 43, who spoke to him for about 15 minutes, said she realised he was in ‘some sort of crisis’ She said: ‘He said he had walked by the centre every day for years and wanted to come in but never did.
‘He has never had the courage to come in. He suffered with depression and said he had been on medication for a long time.’
Miss Walker said he seemed a ‘quiet and gentle man’ and added: ‘I couldn’t believe what has happened.’ She said: ‘He was clearly have some kind of crisis. I think there was a real problem. He made a choice to come inside when he had never been able to do that before.’
Courage to come in to the health centre a day before he allegedly killed an innocent woman.
Why did Thomas Mair allegedly kill Jo Cox? Because he’s ill? Because he’s a Nazi? Because he’s a terrorist? Because he’s scared? Do we put the crime in a box and hammer the lid down, using the whys to still the dynamics and censor the crime? Why did a man stab and shoot an innocent women – a public figure, a mother, a wife, another human being, a Christian, a Labour MP and all the myriad things Jo Cox was? Do we want to know?
Labour MP Jo Cox was shot and stabbed and shot outside her surgery in Yorkshire. Many reports claim her alleged killer yelled “Britain First” before striking.
A 52-year-old man, named as Thomas Mair, has been arrested. What do we know about him? The Guardian notes:
Neighbours say suspect, named locally as Thomas Mair, would help them with gardening and did voluntary work
His half brother, who is mixed race, claimed he had been volunteering at a school for children with disabilities for several years and had never expressed any racist views.
The paper says he has “mental health issues”.
Nick Gannon, 33, who lived two doors away from Mair, has known him since he was 10 years old…”He was friendly. If you said hello to him, he would say hello back. He was not aggressive or anything. He wasn’t frightening.”
Britain Stronger In Europe and Vote Leave have stopped their campaigns.
Britain First have moved to distance themselves from the assassination:
On twitter, a few voices sense a conspiracy:
Staying with the Guardian, Polly Tonybee knows why it happened. Even with no access to police records and interviews, she knows:
This attack on a public official cannot be viewed in isolation. It occurs against a backdrop of an ugly public mood in which we have been told to despise the political class, to distrust those who serve, to dehumanise those with whom we do not readily identify…
Her words drip in bias and opportunism. She mentioned Hitler, and how a goon or goons in “my local Labour councillor in Camden, north London” stuck a neo-Nazi stickers on their car windscreen. She records the words on the flyer: “This is a lave [leave] area. We hate the foriner. Nex time do not park your car with remain sign on. Hi Hitler. White Power.”
Others have been more erudite on racism and Hitler, people like Labour’s Ken Livingstone and Labour MP Naz Shah, both of whom Tonybee does not mention. She does, however have a point to make about right-wingers, apparently keen to paint Brexit voters as bigots:
It’s been part of a noxious brew, with a dangerous anti-politics and anti-MP stereotypes fomented by leave and their media backers mixed in. Only an hour before this shooting Nigel Farage unveiled a huge poster showing Syrian refugees fleeing to Slovenia last year, nothing to do with EU free movement – and none arriving here. Leave’s poster read: “Breaking Point. We must break free from the EU and take control of our borders.” Nicola Sturgeon, Caroline Lucas and many others condemned it as “disgusting”, and so it is…
This campaign has stirred up anti-migrant sentiment that used to be confined to outbursts from the far fringes of British politics. The justice minister, Michael Gove, and the leader of the house, Chris Grayling – together with former London mayor Boris Johnson – have allied themselves to divisive anti-foreigner sentiment ramped up to a level unprecedented in our lifetime. Ted Heath expelled Enoch Powell from the Tory front ranks for it. Oswald Mosley was ejected from his party for it. Gove and Grayling remain in the cabinet.
This is a new low. A woman is dead. Murdered. And people are using using her death to campaign for the EU Referendum. On twitter, we know what we get, but in the national Press we should expect better.
Labour MP Jo Cox has been shot by an unknown attacker at her parliamentary surgery:
Labour MP Jo Cox has been shot and injured in an attack in her constituency near Leeds.
An eyewitness said the 41-year-old mother of two was left lying bleeding on the pavement after the incident in Birstall, West Yorkshire.
The attack took place near the town’s library where she held advice surgeries.
Ms Cox’s condition is unknown.
Some witnesses at the scene are claiming that the man who shot Ms Cox shouted “Britain First”.
She is alive:
An eyewitness said the 41-year-old mother of two was left lying in a pool of blood on the pavement after her assailant struck in Birstall, West Yorkshire.
Hichem Ben Abdallah said: “He was kicking her as she was lying on the floor.”
He said that after a bystander intervened, the attacker produced a gun, stepped back and shot her twice.
Hilary Clinton notes that the FBI had Omar Mateen in their sights. Mateen murdered 49 people at an Orlando gay club. Clinton is mazed that Mateen was able to buy a gun. She says anoyine under FBI investigation should be presumed guilty.
As one wag notes: “If the FBI is searching your emails for suspected highly classified security leaks, you shouldn’t be able to campaign for the presidency with no questions asked by the Media.
One more reason to vote to leave the European Union arrives. “The internet is a place for free speech, not hate speech,” says Vera Jourova, the EU commissioner responsible for justice, consumers and gender equality.
Jourova was born in 1964 Czechoslovakia. She grew up under Communist rule. You might suppose she’d know better than to meddle with hard-won freedoms. She says she understands what freedom means. Vera Jourova loves free speech. But Vera Jourova wants to censor free speech, to shackle it. The bits she does not like, she calls hate speech. These parts of free speech, says its champion, must be banned. And because the undemocratic EU works the way it does, what she says goes for every country in the bloc.
There’s a lot about European regulations, or regulatory intentions, that U.S. Internet giants don’t like. They hate being described and treated as monopolies, and a mention of paying taxes where they operate — as European countries have long wanted them to do — instantly puts them on the defensive. Yet ask Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube to censor their content, and they will happily oblige. Of all the U.S. rules that have allowed them to get as big as they have become, freedom of speech appears to be least important.
The four U.S. companies have accepted a European Union-dictatedcode of conduct, which obliges them to “review the majority of valid notifications for removal of illegal hate speech in less than 24 hours and remove or disable access to such content.” The reviewing is to be done by “civil society organizations” and “trusted reporters”: the EU and its member states are to “ensure access” to them…
Laws limiting free speech have a tendency to change in response to terrorist attacks, electoral upsets, changes in public attitudes. Russians and Turks can attest to how quickly anti-terrorist legislation can turn into a system of censorship and suppression. Europe is not immune to versions of these developments. The U.S. giants’ willingness to work with governments and advocacy groups to uphold speech limitations makes them unreliable as platforms.
On Twitter, a few see the dangers:
You can vote to change this. You can vote ‘out’.
Long ago, we kept up a feature called Now Watch, a look at instances of “NOIW” in front-page news headlines. Today we revisit the meme with a look at the Daily Express front-page laments: “NOW EU WANT TO BAN OUR KETTLES.”
Stopping just short of hailing the death of the Great British Kettle (made in Germany), the Express is at least prove that the boiler is reusable, having earlier thundered in 2014: “NOW KETTLES FACE EU BAN.”
Now, then, now, then…