Politicans and world leaders making news and in the news, and spouting hot air
For $70 that’s less than you pay your Mexican gardener, right? – you can buy a saucy Donald Trump outfit. What straight, red-blooded American male doesn’t look at Trump and think, ‘Boy, I’d sure like to make sweet love to him but I don’t wannabe a gay’? Well , now you guys can get a woman to play the Don and make real your sexual fantasy.
CNBC has more.
According to a survey released by the National Retail Federation on Monday, political costumes tied for 10th place in its annual top costume list for adults (though this likely wasn’t what they had in mind).“As we’ve seen for several years, Hollywood and pop culture both have a tremendous impact on how adults and their children decide to dress the part each Halloween, and it’s evident some of the biggest newsmakers of the year will be out in full force this fall,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.
David Cameron was once at a party where people were taking drugs. Probably. In “PM at coke party — Cameron embarrassed as stars did lines”, the Sun’s James Beal says Dave and Sam Cam were at at a party at a mate’s house. Someone who can remember being there tells the Sun:
“There were a lot of big names and A-list celebrities there. It was a pretty wild night and Dave and Sam were having a few drinks. As the night wore on, it became obvious quite a few people had been taking drugs.
“There were guests snorting cocaine in various rooms and in the toilets. Dave and Sam never touched the stuff. But you could see they were uncomfortable. I don’t think they felt they could intervene. The extraordinary thing is the guests didn’t feel they were doing anything wrong by taking drugs around the PM.”
Why would they? Indeed, it’s a pretty sound indictment of Dave that people feel relaxed in his company. No news of anyone slapping their dick in a dead pig’s face, as alleged in Lord Ashcroft’s book Call Me Dave, who also says Dave can “scratch a pig’s back so effectively that the creature sighs”. From Dave? From the pig? From the pollsters at Tory HQ, delighted that Dave is so actively wooing the youth vote.
Another “friend” arrives:
“I’d be astonished if Dave had not taken cocaine at some point. He’s been around it for a long time. He told me once about it being handed round at a Cotswolds dinner party. People were leaving the table and returning with bright eyes and dusty fingers.”
“He was uncomfortable about it being so open but did not object. It was before he was an MP in 2001, but probably around the time he was a candidate. Cocaine was in plentiful supply in the late 1990s. If you were in your late 20s or early 30s and you were not taking it, you were in a minority. Once he decided to go into politics, my sense is he sought to move away from that crowd.”
George Osborne is away.
British Prime Minister David Cameron placed his penis inside the head of a dead pig. Well, so says a ‘serving MP’, who adds, anonymously, that Cameron tapped the dead pig’s maw to enter an Oxford University dining society as a student. The club was the Piers Gaveston, so named after the apparently edgy lover of Edward II.
It’s not all that debauched, though, is it? Had the pig been alive at the time and had Cameron been trying to off it by choking the thing to death, you might have a story. As is it, we’ve got the kind of aside any abattoir worker would laugh off as ‘kid’s stuff’.
The anecdote features in Call Me Dave: The Unauthorised Biography Of David Cameron by Michael Ashcroft and Isabel Oakeshott.
Which makes us wonder if either writer ever read Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 72′, the writer’s reportage on the 1972 presidential campaign. Thompson writes:
In both the Ohio and Nebraska primaries, back to back, McGovern was confronted for the first time with the politics of the rabbit-punch and the groin shot, and in both states he found himself dangerously vulnerable to this kind of thing. Dirty politics confused him. He was not ready for it….
This is one of the oldest and most effective tricks in politics. Every hack in the business has used it in times of trouble, and it has even been elevated to the level of political mythology in a story about one of Lyndon Johnson’s early campaigns in Texas. The race was close and Johnson was getting worried. Finally he told his campaign manager to start a massive rumor campaign about his opponent’s life-long habit of enjoying carnal knowledge of his own barnyard sows.
“Christ, we can’t get a way calling him a pig fucker,” the campaign manager protested. “Nobody’s going to believe a thing like that.”
“I know,” Johnson replied. “But let’s make the sonofabitch deny it.”’
Also in Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72, published in 1973, Thompson turns to the subject of journalism:
So much for Objective Journalism. Don’t bother to look for it here — not under any byline of mine; or anyone else I can think of. With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms.
In Better Than Sex: Confessions of a Political Junkie, the fourth volume of his Gonzo Papers originally published in 1994, Thompson adds:
There are a lot of ways to practice the art of journalism, and one of them is to use your art like a hammer to destroy the right people — who are almost always your enemies, for one reason or another, and who usually deserve to be crippled, because they are wrong. This is a dangerous notion, and very few professional journalists will endorse it — calling it “vengeful” and “primitive” and “perverse” regardless of how often they might do the same thing themselves. “That kind of stuff is opinion,” they say, “and the reader is cheated if it’s not labelled as opinion.” Well, maybe so. Maybe Tom Paine cheated his readers and Mark Twain was a devious fraud with no morals at all who used journalism for his own foul ends. And maybe H. L. Mencken should have been locked up for trying to pass off his opinions on gullible readers and normal “objective journalism.” Mencken understood that politics — as used in journalism — was the art of controlling his environment, and he made no apologies for it. In my case, using what politely might be called “advocacy journalism,” I’ve used reporting as a weapon to affect political situations that bear down on my environment.
So about that pig… do you believe it to be true?
Thanks to Labour MP Jess Phillips we now know that women – portrayed by many as irony-proof, reactionary, weak and victims-in-waiting – can handle themselves. Phillips’ contribution to womanhood was to tell fellow Labour MP Diane Abbott to “fuck off” during a heated debate at a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP).
Phillip, MP for Birmingham Yardley MP, is upset that the four top jobs in party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s team have gone to men. She wanted a woman to get one or more of them, perhaps a woman like her – a woman who in the heat of diplomacy told Ms Abbott what to do. As she says:
“I roundly told her to fuck off.”
After which, according to Ms Phillips, Abbott “fucked off”.
Future Foreign Secretary Phillips tells the HuffPost:
“People said to me they had always wanted to say that to her, and I don’t know why they don’t as the opportunity presents itself every other minute. I said: ‘Who the fuck do you think you are?’”
The tableau only gets more lovely when we realise that Mr Corbyn and Ms Abbott, appointed Shadow International Development Secretary by the new Labour leader, were lovers in the 1970s.
It might also offer an explanation as to who daubed the graffiti on a wall in Stoke Newington Church Street, where Abbott is MP. For years the legend declared:
“Diane Abbott is a Slag”
Ms Phillips is not done. She adds:
“It was nothing to do with the fact they were lovers.”
She then writes in The Huffington Post:
“Whilst our start was cordially disharmonious, perhaps me and Jeremy Corbyn can take this journey together. Me a new MP, him a new leader.”
She had us right up to’ journey’. Jeremy would put you inside your own special carriage, with all the other, strident, foul-mouthed women.
Dana Milbank has a great story on the Republican presidential candidate not invited to appear on CNN’s debate. Fifteen got the invitation. One did not. His name is Jim Gilmore.
“I’m very disappointed,” the former Virginia governor told me when I reached him on Wednesday. He paused, as if reflecting on his word choice. “Uh, actually, I’m angry,” he revised. In fact, “I’m really upset about this…
“It’s wrong and against the public interest. I just am rebelling against the unfairness of it all and the wrongness of it all. CNN is not being faithful to the stewardship they’ve taken on.”
So how did Gilmore spend his evening?
And so the former governor, Republican National Committee chairman and chairman of a national homeland-security commission did the only thing he could do: While the other candidates reached tens of millions of Americans on the airwaves, Gilmore went to his campaign office in Alexandria, Va., and tweeted out his own answers to his 1,500 followers using the hashtag #GOPDebate:
Was it a hit? Did it trend? No. After a few tweets were pretty much ignore, he tweeted that it was “all process and nothing to tweet about.”
Milbank got in touch.
Could he say how much money he has raised?
“Nope, can’t do that,” he answered. (He has not yet had to file a report to the Federal Election Commission.)
Would he run ads?
“We’ll augment our strategy with ads if we raise enough money to run ads,” he replied.
How about campaign staff?
“Okay, let me count,” he replied. “Dan. Dick. . . . Alex. Um, let’s see here. Um, Jeff. . . . I think seven at this point,” although “some are part time.”
You’ve read about Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old pinched for taking a homemade clock into school – staff and Texas police thought it was a bomb and arrested him.
Well, the Dallas News report features a few works on Ahmed’s dad.
He just wants to invent good things for mankind,” said Ahmed’s father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, who immigrated from Sudan and occasionally returns there to run for president. “But because his name is Mohamed and because of Sept. 11, I think my son got mistreated.”
Does eveyrone get a turn, like jury service?
For a moment Bono was worried. No less a colossus of diplomacy than Sir Elton John had received a personal call from Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
At which we all scream: ‘Knew it! Knew he was gay! No-one that upset by homosexuals can be straight! The topless shots! The love of close-contact wrestling! Putin was the last to know.’
But then the vision of new alliances gets murky. The story goes that Elton thinks he met with Putin but the Putin he met with was an imposter, a Sham Putin – a man only pretending to be the macho leader. Well, so says his spokesman. On Instagram, Elton thanks the Russian:
“Thank you to President Vladimir Putin for reaching out and speaking via telephone with me today. I look forward to meeting with you face-to-face to discuss LGBT equality in Russia.”
But Mr Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, says no meeting ever took place. “Putin did not have a conversation with Elton John and, more importantly, we did not receive any kind of offer about a meeting,” Mr Peskov told reporters. “If there will be such a wish, I don’t doubt that the president will be ready to meet, including with Elton John.”
No word yet from Mr Putin, aka jobbing Putin ‘look-alike’ ‘@RocketMan’….
What’s Jeremy Corbyn been up to, then? It’s more what he’s not been up to. He’s not been singing the National Anthem in public. On this occasion Corbyn did not sing the anthem at an event to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
Still. It’s not as bad this, surely. In 1993, John Redwood, in addition to being MP for the Planet Zog South constituency, was also Secretary of State for Wales. Not that you would have guessed it from his rendition of Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau…
Tory MP Alec Shelbrooke was in the Chamber to take part in the Trade Union Bill debate. He’s a little deaf.
If only the BBC had the resources to check.
More on Jeremy Corbyn and the Jews is a rambling column from Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. The headline comes in the form of an order:
Fling mud if you must, but don’t call Jeremy Corbyn an anti-Semite
And the teaser:
Some of the people the left-wing hopeful has been closest to are conscientious and ethical British Jews
What about the lazy and amoral Jews? Is Corbyn being over picky in selecting his Jews?
Is Jeremy Corbyn the enemy of Israel and British Jews? That is what the The Jewish Chronicle, some MPs and various sections of the media would have us believe. It is an accusation that is both absurd and menacing. The right, Blairites and hard Zionists have formed the most unholy of alliances to slay the reputation of the next likely leader of the Labour Party.
The Jewish Chronicle has not labelled Corbyn a racist. What it said was:
…although there is no direct evidence that he has an issue himself with Jews, there is overwhelming evidence of his association with, support for — and even in one case, alleged funding of — Holocaust deniers, terrorists and some outright antisemites.
Alan Johnson MP has also highlighted a few of Corbyn’s associates.
What evidence have his detractors produced to “prove” that he is anti-Semitic?
No, the JC has not proven anything. It asked questions:
The JC rarely claims to speak for anyone other than ourselves. We are just a newspaper. But in this rare instance we are certain that we speak for the vast majority of British Jews in expressing deep foreboding at the prospect of Mr Corbyn’s election as Labour leader… If Mr Corbyn is not to be regarded from the day of his election as an enemy of Britain’s Jewish community, he has a number of questions which he must answer in full and immediately. The JC asked him earlier this week to respond. No response has been forthcoming.
1. Did you donate, as alleged by its founder, to Deir Yassin Remembered (DYR), a group that publishes open antisemitism, run by Holocaust denier Paul Eisen — an organisation so extreme that even the Palestine Solidarity Campaign refuses to associate with it?
4. Why did you write to the Church of England authorities to defend Rev Stephen Sizer, a vicar banned from social media because of his habit of posting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, telling them that Rev Sizer was “under attack” because he had “dared to speak out over Zionism”?
5. Why do you associate with Hamas and Hezbollah and refer to them as your “friends”?
7. Why did you describe Raead Salah, a man convicted of the blood libel, as an ‘honoured citizen’?
No “proof” has been offered. It’s not a witch-hunt. But questions have been asked. Words do matter. Yasmin Alibhai-Brown should know that. When she commented on a LibDem peer she noted:
Baroness Jenny Tonge is savaged by Zionists and her own party for saying that nation “is not going to be there forever in its present form”.
What Tonge actually said was:
“Beware Israel. Israel is not going to be there for ever in its present form. One day, the United States of America will get sick of giving £70bn a year to Israel to support what I call America’s aircraft carrier in the Middle East – that is Israel. One day, the American people are going to say to the Israel lobby in the USA: enough is enough… Israel will lose support and then they will reap what they have sown.”
(Other words from Tonge produce a context: “The pro-Israeli lobby has got its grips on the western world, its financial grips. I think they’ve probably got a grip on our party.”)
As Howard Jacobson puts it:
Magnanimity is by definition unilateral, but it takes two for it to be more than a suicidal gesture. And the question has to be asked whether a Jewish state, however magnanimous and conciliatory, will ever be accepted in the Middle East.
So much for the words. Brown adds:
That he has appeared on Press TV, the Iranian-funded station? Well, until late 2009, the Telegraph journalist Andrew Gilligan presented a fortnightly programme on that channel. Is Gilligan therefore also a Jew-hater? Of course not. Next: Corbyn shared a platform with Carlos Latuff, the Brazilian-Arab cartoonist who condemned Israel’s oppressive policies in Palestine.
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre has declared Latuff anti-Semitic but Eddy Portnoy, writing in the Jewish daily Forward, claims he is a “furious” critic of the state of Israel, not an anti-Semite. So no consensus there.
Who knew that not all Jews agreed on everything? What we don’t get to know is what Yasmin Alibhai-Brown thinks of the cartoons?
As for sharing spaces: many of us speak at conferences where some speakers turn out to have nasty views about various ethnic and religious groups. That is the complex and argumentative world we live in. To talk to those we violently disagree with is surely an obligation.
The Guardian’s Ian Black accuses Latuff of “drawing, without inhibition, on judeophobic stereotypes in the service of the anti-globalisation movement.”
“Some of the people Corbyn has been closest to are conscientious and ethical British Jews. The late Mike Marqusee, a Marxist, New York secular Jew who migrated to the UK, was his friend. So, too, is Ken Loach, a liberal British Jew and fierce defender of Palestinian rights.”
Ken Loach is Jewish?!
At a meeting she chaired in 2012, in which the ex-BBC journalist Tim Llewlynn claimed that “Zionists are scattered at strategic points throughout British business”, Alibhai-Brown told the audience that Professor Hugh Blaschko had complained to her that “Israel will bring the worst out in us Jewish people.”
It’s a shame that Alibhai-Brown attaches so much respect to the likes of Marqusee, Loach and Blaschko by dint of their Jewishness. Is she really saying that Jews supportive of Israel, the vast majority, are unethical? That’s the sad implication from someone who should be concerned with racial harmony considering her forced flight from her homeland of Uganda.
And no Jew has a problem with Loach for being “a fierce defender of Palestinian rights”. The problem Jews have with Loach is that, just like Jeremy Corbyn, he seems to want the only Jewish state finished, destroyed, dead. Most reasonable people don’t see that as a “conscientious and ethical” position.
As for Corbyn, Forward writes:
Jeremy Corbyn, was unable to respond to questions from the Forward in time for this article. Previously, Corbyn has said that he has “no recollection” of donating to Deir Yassin Remembered and that Eisen’s “position on the Holocaust is wrong and reprehensible.” As for referring to Hamas and Hezbollah as ‘friends’ and Salah as a ‘very honored citizen,’ this was “diplomatic language in the context of dialogue, not an endorsement of a particular set of views.”
Such are the facts.
Labour MP Dennis Skinner loses it on BBC News, then casually wanders off with his mic on.
It is, says Jonny Nelson, “wonderful lunchtime viewing”.
In an “EXCLUSIVE” By Tom Newton Dunn, Political Editor of the Sun, we read the most worrying story about Jeremy Corbyn:
Jeremy Corbyn is to appoint a special Minister for Jews
Anyone else feel a chill run down their spine on hearing that? As one reader puts it: “Corbyn wants a Judenrat.”
The Jewish Chronicle hears the same rumour that the Jews are to be handled as a separate group to the rest. (That paper also notes that Corbyn might go for a Minister for Muslims.)
The 66-year-old new Labour boss was hit by a barrage of criticism during the leadership campaign when his past links to extremists who hate Israel emerged.
Mr Corbyn has shared platforms in the past with Middle East terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah.
And as The Sun revealed last month, he also invited Lebanese fanatic Dyab Abou Jahjah into the Commons who published sickening anti-Jewish cartoons and branded gay people “Aids spreading faggots”.
Alan Johnson highlights a few of Jeremy’s associates:
Why don’t you challenge your ‘friends in Hamas’ about the inclusion in their Charter of this canonical Hadith: ‘The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’
And why are Hezbollah your friends? They are an antisemitic Islamist goose-stepping ‘Party of God’ who persecute (and assassinate) liberals and democrats in Lebanon whenever they can. The Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said ‘If Jews all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.’
And more… You still need more?
Why did you lend your support to Raed Salah? No, he is not a ‘critic of Israel’, but a straight-up Jew hater.
You said in 2012, ‘Salah is far from a dangerous man’, even though the left-wing, anti-Netanyahu Israeli newspaper of record, Ha’aretz, reported that Salah was first charged with inciting anti-Jewish racism and violence in January 2008.
You said ‘Salah is a very honoured citizen’, even though Salah was found guilty of spreading the blood libel – the classic antisemitic slander that Jews use the blood of gentile children to make their bread.
But Jeremy Corbyn’s a true friend of the Jews, says “a source close to Mr Corbyn”:
“Jeremy is not anti-Semitic in any way, but he knows his former associations have been problematic. He wants to solve this and a position for Jewish people and minorities is a good way to do that.”
No. It is not. But it kicks away doubt. You Jews not like the rest. You are different. You need a different minster. You are the alien race. You are not like the British.
It is deeply sinister. It points at the Jews and marks them for special treatment. It says you are ‘The Other’. You are a ‘special’ case. You are not of us. It is utterly chilling.
So who will be the Judenrat?
Mr Corbyn, who is said to want a Jewish MP to do the job, may also struggle to persuade anyone senior to take it up. The two most prominent Jewish Labour MPs, Ivan Lewis and Luciana Berger, are both public critics of him.
Jews know the codes. They’ve grown up with them. Lewis and Berger are not fools. They won’t take the poisonous job.
Lewis has spoken out:
“Some of his stated political views are a cause for serious concern. At the very least he has shown very poor judgment in expressing support for and failing to speak out against people who have engaged not in legitimate criticism of Israeli governments but in antisemitic rhetoric. It saddens me to have to say to some on the left of British politics that anti-racism means zero tolerance of antisemitism, no ifs, and no buts. I have said the same about Islamophobia and other forms of racism to a minority of my constituents who make unacceptable statements.”
Drip. Drip. Drip. Anti-semitism seeps back…
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn most likely picked a political party because he’d not be any good at party based on joy and a celebration of the human spirit.
“Humans represent the most obscene, perverted, cruel, uncivilised and lethal species ever to inhabit the planet and [we look] forward to the day when the inevitable asteroid slams into the earth and wipes them out, thus giving nature the opportunity to start again”
Former environment minister Michael Meacher once agreed:
“The lesson is that if we continue with activities which destroy our environment and undermine the conditions for our own survival, we are the virus.”
And Joanna Lumley:
“If three billion’s going to become nine billion, that’s wrong. So we’ve become a plague.”
TV’s Voice of God David Attenborough:
“We are a plague on the Earth. It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now.”
More on the Green Shirts who want you dead.
Spotter: Brendan O’Neill
Liverpool fan John Smith has been winning plaudits for his work with the disabled.
The Mirror reported on August 18:
A lifelong Liverpool FC fan who overcame his disabilities to become a club charity coach has been recognised by the Prime Minister. John Smith, from Croxteth, was presented with a Point of Light award at Liverpool FC’s match against Bournemouth for his commitment to teaching wheelchair football to people with severe disabilities.
Prime Minister David Cameron was full of praise for the 39-year-old:
“For many people conquering disability to play wheelchair football would be enough of a challenge, but John has gone so much further. Through his key role in Liverpool’s Respect 4 All programme, he is sharing his wheelchair football skills with others and helping to make football more accessible for disabled people. What John is doing at Liverpool is inspirational and I am delighted to recognise him as the UK’s 317th Point of Light.”
John Smith features on the Number 10 official Facebook page.
On August 21, the Disability News Service had more on John Smith:
A disabled football coach has been recognised by the prime minister with a national volunteering award, even though that work is threatened by a legal battle over the “bedroom tax” with work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith…
Because he lives alone in social housing, in a two-bedroom adapted bungalow, he was forced to find an extra £12 a week towards his housing costs after he was told he was not entitled to a second bedroom because of the government’s “spare room subsidy removal policy”, also known as the bedroom tax.
This meant that Smith had to cut down on his spending on food while fighting the decision through the tribunal process, a battle which he said caused him to feel “very stressed”.
Last September, he won an initial appeal, on the grounds that he needed his spare room to store essential independent living aids, including his second wheelchair and a bath chair, as well as equipment he uses to play and coach wheelchair football, boxes of specialist powdered food, a bag of swimming equipment, and a punch-bag he uses to keep fit.
The room is also used to store a table football game that he plays with friends.
But after his initial victory, the work and pensions secretary appealed against the tribunal’s ruling, putting at risk all of Smith’s volunteering work and social and community links.
Now he is having to await the result of test cases in the Supreme Court, in which the bedroom tax will be challenged on the grounds that it discriminates against disabled adults like him.
Jeremy Corbyn offers something different to Labour voters. He offers them socialism. The Press don’t like him. His quotes of old have been mangled into neat headlines.
HEADLINE: “Tony Blair must face trial for war crimes over ‘illegal’ Iraq invasion, says Jeremy Corbyn”
Quote in Full:
Pressed on whether Mr Blair should be charged with war crimes, he said: “If he’s committed a war crime, yes. Everyone who’s committed a war crime should be.”
HEADLINE: “Jeremy Corbyn to ‘bring back Clause IV'”
Quote In Full:
“I think we should talk about what the objectives of the party are, whether that’s restoring the Clause Four as it was originally written or it’s a different one, but I think we shouldn’t shy away from public participation, public investment in industry and public control of the railways.
“I’m interested in the idea that we have a more inclusive, clearer set of objectives. I would want us to have a set of objectives which does include public ownership of some necessary things such as rail.”
HEADLINE: “Corbyn’s bid to turn Britain Into Zimbabwe”
Quote In Full:
“The ‘rebalancing’ I have talked about here today means rebalancing away from finance towards the high-growth, sustainable sectors of the future. How do we do this? One option would be for the Bank of England to be given a new mandate to upgrade our economy to invest in new large scale housing, energy, transport and digital projects: Quantitative easing for people instead of banks. Richard Murphy has been one of many economists making that case.”
HEADLINE: “Watch Out! Corbyn targets every organisation in Britain as he vows to cut ludicrous salaries” (now changed)
Quote In Full:
“High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. I do think the salary levels and the bonus levels again have got to be looked at. I am looking at the gap in every organisation between highest and lowest levels of pay.”
HEADLINE: “Corbyn slammed over plan for ‘women-only’ train carriages to curb sexual harassment on public transport”
Quote In Full:
“My intention would be to make public transport safer for everyone from the train platform, to the bus stop, on the mode of transport itself. However, I would consult with women and open it up to hear their views on whether women-only carriages would be welcome – and also if piloting this at times and on modes of transport where harassment is reported most frequently would be of interest.”
More to follow…
In 1987, Maggie Thatcher was well into her second term as British Prime Minister. With an election looming – which she won – Thatcher thought it a good idea to appear on the BBC’s Saturday morning show Saturday Superstore.
Dressed in uniform ‘hearing-aide beige’, Maggie would seduce the mums and dads to her cause and turn the kids on to politics. She tooks calls. One caller, an Alison Standfast, asked her, “Where will you be if nuclear war breaks out?” Maggie said she’d be in London, possibly stood amidst the ruins in a blackened concrete hellscape. It’d be awful but at least she could finally empathise with the miners.
Incidentally, Maggie wasn’t the most right-wing personality on show. That honour goes to presenter Mike Read, the BBC Radio DJ who released this record in praise of UKIP (remember them?). For resons unclear, Read sang his tune in a West Indian accent, like Max Bygraves.
The first GOP debate of 2015 is given the Bad Lip Reading treatment. It’s a cracker:
No-one has dug Ted Heath up and buried the former Prime Minister face down in an unmarked grave. Yet. Police in Wiltshire and the NSPCC are inviting anyone who ‘believes’ they may have been absued by the dead Tory Leader in his lifetime to get in touch via a hotline.
The advert trills:
Sir Edward Heath has been named in relation to offences concerning children. He lived in Salisbury for many years and we would like to hear from anyone who has any relevant information that may assist us in our enquiries or anyone who believes they may have been a victim.
Not alleged offences. Simply offences. Ted is “named”. It has been decreed. And it’s hard to escape that part about “belief”. Once upon a time, only victims were allowed to call the official hotlines dealing with historical sex abuse. Now anyone who believes they’ve been a victim can call.
Ted Heath wasn’t a pedophile. Well, not unless former Tory MP Matthew Parris is an aadvark. He writes in the Times:
Cards on the table first. If Ted Heath was a child abuser, I’m an aardvark.
Why an aardvark? Is it because it always come first and being a former MP-turned bylined columnist is all about ‘me’? Why not lion? Or a bat?
Media coverage has been a discredit to journalism. This was never a story. No serious evidence was ever advanced.
Yet. The police are on a fishing expedition as we speak.
The police have behaved atrociously… If you grandstand in front of the former PM’s house, advertising nationally for anyone who thinks they might have been abused by Heath in the past half century (and it’s well known there can be generous compensation for victims) then it’s hardly surprising that from a population nearing 70 million, by no means all honest or sane, you get a handful of responses.
Not all 70 million were alive when Ted was. But point taken. The police news appeal looks like a broadcast by a self-serving, biased political party.
The photos published of Heath with Jimmy Savile hit a new low. There must be thousands of snapshots of people standing next to Savile. I remember shaking hands with him in his ludicrous gold lamé tracksuit near the start of a 1980s London Marathon.
WAS former Prime Minister Edward Health a paedophile? Did he rape children? Well, he is dead (the former Tory MP died in 2005) so we can all pile in with an opinion. Who needs facts, proof or to navigate any bariers to jusice when you have the police and media so keen to give the corpse a kicking?
Wiltshire police wants you call in if you ever met ‘Ted’:
“Sir Edward Heath has been named in relation to offences concerning children. He lived in Salisbury for many years and we would like to hear from anyone who has any relevant information that may assist us in our enquiries or anyone who believes they may have been a victim.”
Believe they have been a victim? Tell the police and they will investigate the contents of your thoughts. And you will be beleived. For instance, LBC news announces that Ted is guilty:
“Ted Heath Child Sex Victims Appeal By NSPCC”
LBC looks at the hard facts:
“Sir Edward, who was prime minister from 1970 to 1974, never married and there has been speculation about his personal life over the years.”
Never married, eh? If you want proof that man is good with kids, look at his ring finger; spot a band on it and know you’re in the presence of a trusted sort, a regular Fred West.
The BBC has a list of investigations in which Heath figures:
Operation Midland: The BBC understands Sir Edward is being looked at as part of the operation examining claims that boys were abused by a group of powerful men at locations across southern England and in London in the 1970s and 1980s. It has focused on the Dolphin Square estate in Pimlico, south-west London.
Operation Whistle: The States of Jersey Police has confirmed Sir Edward forms part of its investigation into historical allegations of abuse. It says some of the allegations relate to abuse “within institutions or by people of public prominence”.
Operation Hydrant: A nationally co-ordinated exercise to collate all allegations of historical abuse involving high profile-figures. The operation has been notified of Sir Edward being named in connection with an allegation of sexual assault in the 1960s.
Is that all – just the three big investigations?
How many police and raking over the muck? The BBC, again:
Five police forces are investigating claims of historical child sexual abuse involving former PM Sir Edward Heath. The Met, Wiltshire, Kent, Jersey and Hampshire forces are conducting separate inquiries into the late MP.
A mere five police forces are on it! Why so many? Are they all going to point the finger at each other?
Tom Watson MP: “I have referred two allegations regarding Edward Heath to the police”
Can’t Watson just show us some proof? Name and shame! Publish and be damned! Can a Watson nudge, wink and puff of the chest be enough to damn the dead?
The Sir Edward Heath Charitable Foundation, which operates the museum at Arundells, his home in Salisbury, said it welcomed the investigation.
“We wholeheartedly believe [it] will clear Sir Edward’s name and we will co-operate fully with the police in their enquiries,” a spokesman said.
Can his name ever be cleared once it is sullied by the shout of “paedo!”?
The Mirror finds a finger pointer. The man was aged 12 when he claims he met Heath:
In a letter to his solicitor, in which he tells how he was picked up in car, saying: “I think it was about August 1961 when I ran away again….I decided to hitch a lift.
“I stuck my thumb out as I walked….when a car pull up and the window was lowered and the driver asked me where I was going. I told him the West End (of London) and he told me to get in the car.”
During the journey he started a conversation with a man who he later identified as Heath.
Describing the event, he says: “He was asking me why I was on my own and I told him I wanted to have time on my own and that I came to London on my own a lot and my mum wasn’t worried. He asked me if I had somewhere to stay to which I replied in the negative. He said if I wanted to I could stay at his place for the night.
“I was grateful and accepted but knew that he hadn’t asked out of generosity and that I would have to pay, probably with my body but it didn’t bother me, as I had been using my body for over five years now and it was almost second nature.”
Was it boaty muso Ted?
“I went into the living room where I had a cup of tea and a sandwich he had made. I noticed photos of yachts on the wall but one thing that intrigued me was a silver stick in an open box on a sideboard.
“I asked him what it was and he told me it was a conductor’s baton. It made him laugh when I said I had never seen a bus conductor with a baton. He explained it was an orchestra’s conductor’s baton.”
The location he claims was picked up, along the A2 road in north Kent, is believed to be less than two miles away from where the Tory politician was allegedly warned by police in the 1950s to cease cruising for gay sex.
Back at the flat:
“We spent the night masturbating each other…..I don’t know what time we eventually slept”.. .He continues in the note: “I woke the next morning….I got up and got dressed and went into the living room. There was a sandwich on the table….he said he had a morning appointment and that it was time to leave….he let me out the front door and told me the way to the West End.”
He goes on to detail how in 1965, when the man was 15-years-old, he saw a picture alongside a newspaper article with Heath standing next to Margaret Thatcher.
Addressing the female Tory PM by her maiden name Roberts, he writes: “In the picture was Margaret Roberts (who became Margaret Thatcher), Edward Heath…..and a lady (somthing) (I think Smith).
“I realised at once that the man in the photo was the man who had given me the lift and had sex with me in an apartment in Park Lane…”
Did he tell?
“I learned that he was MP for Bexley. This answered a lot of questions as to why no-one believed me about the London saga. I got called a liar and a fantasist.”
The Independent Police Complaints Commission will consider whether Wiltshire Police failed to properly investigate child sex abuse claims against Sir Edward Heath. A retired senior officer claims that a woman accused of running a brothel should have been prosecuted in the 1990s.
He claims that when the suspect alleged that Sir Edward was involved in child sex offences, and she planned to expose him, officers then dropped the case against her.
As well as investigating this allegation, the IPCC will look into whether the claims about Sir Edward were ever looked at by the Wiltshire force.
Meet the madam:
Myra Forde, 67, said on Wednesday she had no knowledge of any misconduct by Heath, and denied threatening to expose him to escape prosecution in the 1990s. A prosecution against Forde was dropped in 1992.
In a statement issued to the Salisbury Journal, Richard Griffiths, a solicitor who acted for Forde, said: “My former client wishes me to make it very clear that at no stage did she state that Ted Heath was a client and at no stage did she threaten to expose him as a client of hers if the prosecution was continued.”
He added: “For the avoidance of any doubt Myra Forde wishes me to make it clear that she had no involvement with Ted Heath of any kind and has no knowledge of any misconduct on his part.” He said the 1992 trial did not proceed because of difficulties with a witness.
Forde was later jailed twice for operating a brothel in Salisbury.
Is Forde a trusted source?
Forde, who was originally from the Philippines, trained runaway children as sex workers from her property in Salisbury, less than a mile from Heath’s house. One 13-year-old girl would go straight from school to Forde’s brothel, which she called the Oriental Massage Parlour, according to reports of her trial at Winchester crown court.
Following her release from prison, Forde was caught again in December 2009, admitted inciting prostitution, and was sentenced to five years in prison.
The Indy wonders what’s new?
Unsubstantiated – and sometimes wild – allegations against the former prime minister have circulated on the internet for years with some even claiming that Sir Edward pushed for Britain to join the European Common Market because he was being blackmailed over abuse claims.
As we know now, historically the police failed to take this type of allegation seriously and ignored or possibly covered up child abuse claims made against prominent individuals such as Cyril Smith and Jimmy Savile.
That is no longer the case. All such historical allegations are now being forensically examined – even if the evidence is flimsy.
Balls. This is the police navel gazing, offering introspection in place of investigation. It’s not justice. It’s PR.
By way of a bonus for niche porno hunters, the Sun tosses in “£200-a-night hookers” (pair of), the line, as delivered by the peer, “What about trying the big one?”, a spot of casual racism (“Asian women look innocent but you know they’re whores”) and news that the video is set in Dolphin Square, a block of flats becoming more notorious by the day.
Sewel’s wife, the Lady Jennifer, does not feature.
Yesterday we revisited the links between Westminster politicians, MI5 and the scandal of child abuse at the Kincora home.
Today the Times tells readers:
The Westminster politican protected by MI5 when suspected of child abuse was the Conservative MP Peter Morrison, who became one of Margaret Thatcher’s aides…
Morrison died on 13 July 1995. He is unlikely to mount a decent defence.
In 2002, Simon Heffer said of him:
Sir Peter Morrison, was a constant trial to the whips, who were afraid that his late-night cruises around and skirmishes in Sussex Gardens would come to the attention of the press.
In 2012, the Mail reported:
Rod Richards, a former Conservative MP and ex-leader of the Welsh Tories, made the shocking allegation that he had seen evidence linking Sir Peter Morrison to the North Wales children’s homes case, in which up to 650 children in 40 homes were sexually, physically and emotionally abused over 20 years.
Mr Richards also linked a second leading Tory grandee – now dead – to the scandals at homes including Bryn Estyn and Bryn Alyn Hall, both near Wrexham.
He said official documents had identified the pair as frequent, unexplained visitors to the care homes.
Mr Richards – who helped establish the inquiry that unearthed the scale of the abuse – said bluntly: ‘What I do know is that Morrison was a paedophile. And the reason I know that is because of the North Wales child abuse scandal.’
You can read more of the horror and murder in North Wales here.
Today the Times says sources claimed Morrison had “a penchant for small boys”.
The paper says MI5 did question Morrison, the Conservative MP for Chester and deputy chairman of the party. Papers found in Westminster reveal that Sir Antony Duff, head of the Security Service, to Sir Robert Armstrong, the cabinet secretary, said Morrison was not a big deal.
Duff died in 200o. His obituary in The Guardian called him “the epitome of the wise public servant on whom Whitehall’s ship of state has traditionally relied”.
Armstrong lives. He was Cabinet Secretary during the premierships of Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair.
Now age 88, he tells the Times:
“My official business was the protection of national security. I have to stress that there was nothing like evidence in this case. There was just a shadow of a rumour. It’s impossible to take investigative action on shadows of rumours.”
These days you accept rumour as fact and beat the dead bodies with sticks.
“If there is some reason to think a crime has been committed, then people like the cabinet secretary are not to start poking their noses into it. It’s for the police to do that.”
But who directs the police?
In July 1990, Morrison was appointed Thatcher’s parliamentary private secretary (PPS).
Peter Wanless, chief executive of the NSPCC, says:
“It is plainly obvious . . . those at the highest level who once strode the corridors of power were putting their fear of political embarrassment above the risks to children.”
His point seems well founded.
Keeping Up With The Danczuks: in today’s instalment of the twitter-based reality TV show, MP Simon Danczuk says:
“I must have been hell to live with. I’d say horrible things to Karen”
Simon and Karen Danczuk are doing their bit to change perceptions of their native Rochdale. Once a place where secrets of sex and power were locked away to fester, Rochale is now where dirty laundry is hung still moist and run up the flagpole.
Carol Midgley meets Simon in Manchester. Will the Danczuks be reconciling?
“I don’t think that’s going to happen,” he says, sadly. “No, we’ve been through too much; too much water’s gone under the bridge. It’s not going to happen — but that’s life.”
Cats, who wee in your coffee when you’re not looking (fact!), once more escape the laws. And dogs get it in the hind quarters.
Local mayor Paolo Dosi says the rules will mean dog-owners will be forced to to take a bottle of water with them whenever they walk their pets.