Politicans and world leaders making news and in the news, and spouting hot air
MICHELE Bachmann, would-be President of the United States of America – the Great Unifier with the Franco-German name – is meeting with 8-year-old Elijah, who moves in close. Bachman selling her book, Surfing For Jesus.
Bachman can’t hear him. She says her ears are too far away. She leans over the desk.
You think he’s going to give her a kiss. You think he might puke.
But he whispers:
“Miss Bachmann, my mommy’s gay but she doesn’t need fixing.”
THIS is the powerpoint presentation - Changing perceptions of Uzbekistan: A Bell Pottinger presentation - created by Iain Overton’s Bureau of Investigative Journalism and presented to PR Firm Bell Pottinger.
Lord Bell, a former communications adviser to Margaret Thatcher, says the story is “an attempt by unethical, underhand deception to manufacture a story where none exists“.
Is the BoIJ even handed? It says:
In March 2011, Uzbekistan expelled Human Rights Watch. The US think-tank Freedom House included it in the ‘Worst of the Worst‘ list of repressive regimes in 2011. A number of years earlier, the regime had gained a reputation after allegedly boiling a religious prisoner to death, and is frequently accused of torturing people to obtain confessions.
The fake Azimov group would deal in cotton:
Uzbekistan’s cotton is the subject of an international boycott by several clothing manufacturers because the country still allegedly uses forced labour, including child labour, in its harvest.
The group adds:
The Bureau approached 10 London PR firms. Two – Morris International Associates and Ogilvy PR – declined to pitch for the business, several others never replied, while five including Bell Pottinger appeared to be prepared to accept the fictitious account.
Bell has links to the Tories. It got the meeting.
And somewhat buried in the slides is the news that Bell Pottinger said they would represent Uzbekistan if the place reformed:
If, however, the government is committed to real and lasting reform then there are many things that Bell Pottinger could do”
“… change is essential in order to change international attitudes.”
“But we must be able to show our target audiences that change has begun, that long term goals have been defined…”
“Once we have the assurance that genuine, verifiable reform is being introduced, we can put in place a communication and media strategy that tells the story of how Uzbekistan is changing for the better.”
So. Was the story presented fairly?
Iain Overton was hired by the David and Elaine Potter Foundation. The BoIJ is “supported by Sir Harold Evans, former editor of the Sunday Times; Seymour Hersh, who has been at the forefront of investigative journalism for decades; and Nick Davies, award-winning investigative reporter and author of Flat Earth News”.
The David and Elaine Potter Foundation is a charitable family foundation established in 1999 to encourage a stronger, fairer civil society. It has granted more than £10 million to registered charities in the UK and abroad.
The David and Elaine Potter Foundation supports the ideals of a rational and humane world. The Foundation seeks to achieve an impact through grants that promote reason, education, and human rights, in the hope of improving mutual understanding, reinforcing good governance, and encouraging the growth and maintenance of a robust civil society, particularly in less developed countries.
Well, they’ve stirred things up. Th question is: can the PR sockpuppets fix it?
Click her to see the presentation.
Bell Pottinger PR Disaster: Lobbying Firm Caught On Camera Boasting Of Dark Arts And Cameron Access (Transcript)
THE wonderfully named Bureau of Investigative Journalism reports that it once set up meetings with Bell Pottinger, the big PR firm. The Bureau set up as a client from Uzbekistan. The fake Azimov Group was a bunch of British and eastern European investors with ties to the Uzbekistan government.
Two meetings took place in June and July 2011. The reporters met with Tim Collins, managing director of Bell Pottinger Public Affairs, David Wilson, chairman of Bell Pottinger Public Relations, and former diplomat Sir David Richmond, who works for the firm’s “strategic communications and geopolitical” specialist arm, Bell Pottinger Sans Frontières.
The shadow Cabinet Office minister, Jon Trickett, says:
“We have been calling on the government to implement a statutory register of lobbyists. We need reform to ensure that there is no question of the rich and powerful buying access to the prime minister and his advisers.”
A Downing Street spokesman replies:
“Bell Pottinger nor any other lobbying firm has any say or influence over government policy.”
Tim Collins: “I’m Tim Collins. I was in the Conservative research department with David Cameron and George Osborne, I was later press secretary to John Major, director of communications for the Conservative Party. Then I went into Parliament, and I was in the Shadow Cabinet under two or three leaders, again with David Cameron and George Osborne, and I run the public-affairs side of the Bell Pottinger business… I’ve been working with people like Steve Hilton, David Cameron, George Osborne, for 20 years-plus.
“Edward Llewellyn, who’s the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, was my deputy in Central Office for a long time. Steve Hilton was my deputy in a different capacity. I know all these people. There is not a problem in getting the messages through to them.
“… James Arbuthnot, for example, is the chair of the Defence Select Committee. When I was an opposition whip he was a chief whip, so he and I know each other very well. Rory Stewart is a very high-profile Member of Parliament because he’s got a very strong interest in Central Asian issues; he represents the constituency that is next to mine when I was a Member of Parliament, so I know him.
“… Just as a final example just for you… I’m not saying we can always do this but just as an example of what we can sometimes do. Three weeks ago, we were rung up at 2.30 on a Friday afternoon by one of our clients, Dyson… They rang up and they said look, we’ve got a huge issue, and that is that a lot of our products are being completely ripped off in China, to the point where they’re not just completely duplicating the product… (The) Chinese government won’t take it seriously, it’s half past two on a Friday afternoon. On Saturday, the Chinese Prime Minister is coming in for a UK visit – can you please get the UK to raise it?
“… And I’m pleased to say that on the Saturday, David Cameron raised it with the Chinese Prime Minister and showed him the photos of the products. I’m not saying we can do that all the time but that is an illustration of what, if you have the right message – David Cameron, yes he was doing it for Dyson, yes he was doing it because we asked him to do it, he was doing this also because he thought this was also in the UK wider national interest. This was something where there would be a UK proper interest. But in terms of very fast turnaround and getting things done right at the top of government, if you’ve got the right message, yes, we can do it.”
David Wilson: “We had a team working in the President’s office, we wrote the President’s speech to the UN last year, which was very well received. We were writing a speech at the same time as [President Rajapaksa] was asking his foreign office to write a speech as well, and he chose to use our speech despite several attempts by the foreign office to change the tune. And it went a long way to taking the country where it needed to go. Fundamentally, though, they’ve set up something called the Peace and Reconciliation Commission, which has got one fundamental flaw in its remit in investigating what has gone on in the past, to try to bury the past, and unfortunately because that is the case, media like Channel 4 and The Times find the whole Peace and Reconciliation Commission is flawed. And it’s not flawed but it doesn’t go that extra step that it needs to go to fully embrace Western opinion or Western concern about the entire situation.
“… Some of the things we recommended weren’t taken up by the government and so we would have loved to have had a far more successful campaign. As I said to you before, we’re only as good as the collateral that we are given to work with and if a government might say it wants to change but won’t change, then sorry, that will come back and hit them. And I probably don’t need to say any more about the reputation of Sri Lanka.”
Managing reputations online
DW: “Along the wall there on the outside is a big cutting for a company called Dahabshiil, which is the biggest money-transfer business in the Horn of Africa, born and developed in Somalia. They came to us and said, can you solve my Google problem. And their problem was, while they had a very ethical business, doing things the right way and transferring 90 per cent of money going in and out of Somalia and other war-torn countries, different markets in Africa, including money for aid agencies, for the UN etc – when you looked at Google, the vast majority of the searches on the first five pages were about a former employee who was holed up in Guantanamo Bay, who had left Dahabshiil long before he was arrested. No charges had been brought against him but nonetheless he was this former Dahabshiil employee and this was the story. It took us three months, but after three months we searched down the first 10 pages of Google – you couldn’t find it within the first 10 pages.”
TC: “And where we want to get to – and this will take time, this is where David’s team are magical – is you get to the point where even if they type in ‘Uzbek child labour’ or ‘Uzbek human rights violation’, some of the first results that come up are sites talking about what you guys are doing to address and improve that, not just the critical voices saying how terrible this all is.”
REPORTER: “The President is not particularly happy with his Wikipedia entry or the Uzbek government’s Wikipedia entry. You did mention earlier that there might be ways to – would that be something that we could deal with?”
TC: “We’ve got all sorts of dark arts. I told him he couldn’t put them in the written presentation because it’s embarrassing if it gets out because he’s so good at it.”
THE attack on the British embassy in Tehran was worse than reported by the BBC. The Iranian goons who stormed the ambassador’s residential compound were armed. For three hours they held representatives of the British Council and a few other Britons at gunpoint. The Britons feared for their lives.
The state thugs only left when they received orders on their mobile phones.
All diplomats working at the Iranian embassy in London have until this afternoon to leave the UK following their expulsion by the Government.
Meanwhile, the UN’s nuclear reporters claim Iran has carried out tests “relevant to the development of a nuclear device”.
IT’S Jackboot-anory with Nick Griffin. The BNP will BNP Christmas Time – Nick Griffin tells The Nativity Story, with a cat.
It’s hard to think of a way to make the BNP look less relevant and sillier. Your suggestions, please…
ON this day of industrial action, we journey back to when the curent Secretary of State fo Education, one Michael Gove was a budding journalist (in the same class as Paul “privacy is for peados” McMullen), and on the picket line along side his National Union of Journalists brothers and sisters Aberdeen’s Press and Journal.
As Liberal Conspiracy notes, Gove went on strike for four months, his protest triggered by his employers deciding to longer recognise the NUJ.
Following are excerpts from a statement by Egyptian presidential candidate Tawfiq Okasha, the owner of Al-Faraeen, which aired on Al-Faraeen TV on October 31, 2011:
The Jews, who devised the philosophy of the American economic system, placed a pyramid and an eye on the back of the dollar bill – symbols of global Freemasonry – thus turning the dollar into a commodity. This is a commodity that encompasses the world, and monitors the state of the world.
The US has adopted an economic policy which was established and is run by Jewish economy experts, in order to subordinate this policy to the philosophy of global Freemasonry, on the basis of the notion that the economy, of the dollar, or the dinar – or food, to be precise – are what enables them to maintain their grip upon the nations.
Not all the Jews in the world are evil. You may ask: Tawfiq, what is the ratio? The ratio is 60-40. Sixty percent are evil to varying degrees, all the way to a level that words cannot describe, while 40% are not evil. They, however, are divided into three categories: One group consists of the non-evil, another group consists of the non-evil to a lesser degree, and the third group consists of the non-evil to an even lesser degree.
Might there be anyone who stands out among them? It’s very rare. Maybe one in a million. But what does this classification mean? It means that you can coexist normally with approximately 40% of the Jews – they do not betray, conspire, extort, or view others as Gentiles. They believe in the concept of Gentiles, but this belief does not affect their conduct.
What I am saying is no lie. Sarkozy is one of those Jews who adhere to the Zionist ideology, which is one of the worst ideologies… I said one of the worst, but there are worse still. This is one of the worst political ideologies, which stems from a religious belief of the Jews.
KATIA Zatuliveter, 26, is not a Russian spy. She was not told by Kremlin commanders to enter into negotiations with married Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Russia and a member of the Defence Select Committee. Sure, they had a four-year affair. But she did it for love. She worked for Hancock as his parliamentary assistant.
A Special Immigration Appeals Commission has concluded that Zatuliveter is free to go.
Her diary called Hancock “my darling teddy bear“.
One diary entry of June 2006, two months after the pair met in St Petersburg, noted:
“I am in love… And he’s gone to Iraq today. I worry a lot, don’t know what to do, what to do with myself. What if he calls me? My darling Teddy Bear. There is no one more tender and more sincere than you. You are the first person in the world who is prepared to give me everything (well after my parents).”
POLITICIANS can be so touchy. When schoolgirl Emma Sullivan, 18,placed the hashtag #blowsalot on Twitter by the name of Republican governor of Kansas Samuel Dale “Sam” Brownback, the politician’s team tracked her down. She had tweeted at a Youth Government program at the state Capitol:
“Just made mean comments at gov brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot.”
A member of Brownback’s team found the comment on Twitter. They wrote to Sullivan’s school principal. Then:
“Sullivan received a scolding at school and was ordered to send Brownback an apology letter. She said Prinicipal Karl R. Krawitz even suggested talking points for the letter she was supposed to turn in Monday.”
WAS Dominique Strauss-Kahn set up? Was the man who would have been President of France targeted by dark forces?
No, not the rape in the car park.
No, not the media friendly alleged rape victim Nafissatou Diallo, who claism she was attacked at the French-owned Sofitel.
No. This conspiracy was to hack Strauss-Kahn’s mobile phone.
VLADIMIR Putin was at a mixed martial arts event in Russia to meet his doppelganger. It was a bit like watching Vlad meet his champion, albeit one carrying a bit of timber and wearing – and this pains us – bikini briefs. You can tell a lot about the calibre of a man by his underwear, and Fighting Putin wears wide-rimmed stretchers – but, blessedly, no man bra. Had he worn a vest tucked smartly into his paisley Y-fronts the crowd would have cheered.
Also, why not use other wrestlers who look like political leaders in Summit Smack Downs? Mick McManus is overdue a return to the ring, and he wore the look of a middle-aged Silvio Berlusconi when a lad (see image below).
Wrestling and politics has a long and lively history, although it has not recovered from the loss of Boris ‘Big Daddy’ Yeltsin, who died in 1997.
ITALY is on its knees at the moment after the terrible administration of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Sure, he may have stepped down, but that doesn’t mean he’s going away. Of course he isn’t. That man couldn’t stay away from the limelight if he was a black hole.
So, in an attempt to forget about allegations of corruption and having sex with underage prostitutes (allegedly, okay watching lawyers?), he’s focusing on ‘True Love‘, which is the name of his new album.
Silvio released the LP yesterday and it’s his fourth with guitarist and former parking attendant Mariano Apicella. He was going to get it on the shelves (and ready for the 9p bin) in September but was a little delayed by Italy sliding into the sea with the weight of its own debt.
POLITICS is so dull in the UK. Men in drab suits shout while women with bad hair all boo at admin. The most excitement we’ve had is when Bryan Ferry’s posho offspring lobbed some coloured powder around and that wasn’t particularly fun at all.
However, over in South Korea, they’re much better at firing things up. One Korean MP decided that he’d use tear gas powder against the parliament’s deputy speaker in the hope that he’d block ratification of a key trade deal with the US.
SO, Russian newsreader Tatiana Limanova, what do you think of Barack Obama?
REPUBLICAN presidential candidate Herman Cain is talking to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, editorial board on the matter of Barack Obama handling of Colonel Gaddafi in Libya. Of course, Cain would bomb all countries ending in ‘stan.
“OK, Libya. President Obama supported the uprising, correct?
“President Obama called for the removal of Gaddafi. Just want to make sure we’re talking about the same thing before I say, ‘yes I agree,’ or ‘no I didn’t agree.’ I do not agree with the way he handled it for the following reason – nope, that’s a different one. I gotta go back to, see … Got all this stuff twirling around in my head. Specifically, what are you asking me, did I agree or not disagree with Obama on?…
“Some people say as president you’re supposed to know everything. No you don’t. I believe in having all the information, as much of it as I possibly can, rather than making a decision or statement about whether I totally agree or disagree when I wasn’t privy to the situation.”
CHELSEA Clinton, daughter to Bill and Hillary Clinton, is now working as a special correspondent for American television network NBC News. She also sits on the board of IAC, the web firm that owns Match.com (for dad) and The Daily Beast (mom).
Also working at NBC and MSNBC are Jenna Bush Hager, George W. Bush’s daughter, and Meghan McCain, daughter of former Republican presidential nominee John McCain, respectively.
This is how the elite work – the SADOS (Sons and daughters of stars) – get the easiest, most delicious jobs. They do not watch Dr Who and dream of meeting a star. They are already in the TARDIS.
Jobbing hacks look on with delightful bitterness:
Glenn Thrush: “In ’08, Chelsea Clinton (in NH) told me ‘Sorry, I don’t talk to the media.’ I said, ‘But you are all grown up now.’ Now she IS the media.”
“IF you look at China, they don’t have food stamps. They don’t have the modern welfare state, and China’s growing. And so what I would do is look at the programs that LBJ gave us with the Great Society and they’d be gone,” – Michele Bachmann, would-be President of the US who wears her Christianity on her sleeve…
WHY did Silvio Berlusconi resign? Because the EU is a dictaorship. John Laughland, the Director of studies at the Paris Institute of democracy and cooperation, takes a view:
WHEN Nicolas Sarkozy and Barack Obama discussed Israel’s Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, the French leader called him a “liar,” Mr Sarkozy and the Us President replied: “You may be sick of him, but me, I have to deal with him every day”, the Times leaders opined:
Israel has existential worries, and understandably feels sometimes that it can rely only on itself. But this “ourselves alone” mentality has become distorted under Mr Netanyahu into what might be called “Millwall diplomacy”, after the famously belligerent soccer fans whose slogan became “no-one likes us, we don’t care”.
Can the world of international diplomacy be reduced to football slogans? Let’s see:
It’s all about modern methods of killing animals being better, say the Dutch. Rather than being bled to death or having their necks wrung, animals these days are sung to death and then when asleep kicked in the head by teenagers on tag.
Some, however, see the ban in the context of European history.
The long-awaited report relies on evidence whose scope and depth is far greater than any the agency has made public before, andrepresents the harshest judgment that the International Atomic Energy Agency has ever issued in its decade-long struggle to pierce the secrecy surrounding the Iranian program . . .
The report offered no estimate of how long it would take for Iran to be able to produce a nuclear weapon. But it laid out the case that Iran had moved far beyond the blackboard to create computer models of nuclear explosions in 2008 and 2009 and conducted experiments on nuclear triggers. The report said that starting in 2000, the Iranians constructed a vessel to conduct those tests, which was not shown to inspectors who visited the site five years later.
Those tests “are strong indicators of possible weapon development,” it said.
Reuters/JPost says hard UN sanctions are still unlikely. It’s all about the skewed voting system…
WHAT would you get Silvio Berlusconi as a retirement gift?
AT the G20 conference in Cannes, French president Sarkozy says, “I cannot stand him [Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu] He is a liar.” Barack Obama leaps to the defence of the leader of his country’s one ally in a region not in favour of the United States and replies: “You’re fed up with him? I have to deal with him every day!”
Who needs Wikileaks for bitchy political gossip when you have open mic night?
Herman Cain: Sharon Bialek Republican Is The Dream Kennedy-Bush-Clinton-Obama-Tiger Woods Interracial Sex Pest (Allegedly)
HERMAN Cain might be the Republican Party’s Presidential candidate. Right now he looks like the Right’s dream blend of Obama’s skin tones, Bill Clinton’s love of skin and George Dubya Bush’s view of the world. Sharon Bialek has accused Cain of sexual harassment more than a decade ago. She says Cain behaved inappropriately while he was CEO of the National Restaurant Association. She’s hired Gloria Allred as her rep. That’s the same woman who gunned for Tiger Woods.
Cain can yak all he wants about how he’s not going to talk about this stuff anymore, but that’s all anybody is going to talk about until and unless he firmly and convincingly rebuts this stuff. This drip-drip-drip is going to kill his campaign. I’d say it’s probably dead anyway.