Anorak

Politicians | Anorak - Part 6

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

British spite rules! The grotesque Garden Bridge is dead

Hurrah! Boris Johnson’s vulgar Garden Bridge will not happen. Londoners should rejoice that this corporate carbuncle is dead. But not everyone is pleased. The Times says the Garden Bridge over the River Thames was “killed off by ‘spiteful’ mayor at cost of £50m”. Reading that you might suppose London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s spite cost £50m. But you’d be wrong.

 

garden bridge

Turning the Thames into a moat

 

The comment was made by Johnson, now foreign secretary, who opined: “It is so sad that Sadiq Khan has killed the Garden Bridge and wasted so much time and money. Labour has no vision for London and no ambition. The garden bridge was a beautiful project. The Labour mayor claimed to support it but killed it out of spite – because it was not initiated in his period of office. The only crumb of comfort is that good plans have been developed and can be readily revived.”

Good plans for a vanity project. Maybe they can be sold to Dubai or some other place where style of the obvious and expensive sort masks the lack of substance? The grotesque bridge Johnson’s childhood pal Joanna Lumley called a “tiara for the Thames” was much more a space for corporate shindigs than a useful and grand public crossing. Situated 200 metres from an existing bridge, the Garden Bridge was to be accessed by stairs or lift, closed between midnight and 6am and for several days a year (so the corporate well off can enjoy it) and paid for by £37.4m of public funding.

Whereas New York’s High Line gives the city a green walkway made out of a former elevated rail track on stilts, the bridge – five times the square-foot cost of the High Line – was a skin-deep marketing venture.

So why does the Times lead with the “spite” and not the soaring costs of the expensive eyesore? The paper features a “strongly worded letter to Mr Khan” from Lord Davies of Abersoch, chairman of the Garden Bridge Trust, in which he moans: “About £9 million of public funds has been committed since the mayoral election, and had you made [in May 2016] the announcement you have made now, then most of that expenditure would have been avoided.”

Right enough. It should have been killed at the earliest opportunity. But if you’re going to focus on Khan’s costly dithering, why not mention also Johnson and his chums? The Times does note: “Although supporters had hoped that another benefactor would rescue the project, the estimated cost rose from £60 million to £200 million”. It was going to cost a lot more – and what of the ongoing maintenance?

And then this:

Despite raising £70 million in pledges, including £20 million from the Monument Trust, a charity, £10 million from Glencore, the mining company, and £5 million from Sky, a funding gap of £85 million remained.

So says the Times (prop, Rupert Murdoch) of Sky (prop. R. Murdoch). Part of the bridge the taxpayers funded and the elite wanted was to be named in honour of – yep – Sky.

The paper adds in “Behind the story”:

When work began in 2013, the Garden Bridge project showed every sign of flourishing and one day bearing fruit (Jonathan Morrison writes). It enjoyed the support of Boris Johnson, the London mayor and, through him, Transport for London; it had the blessing of George Osborne; and it enjoyed widespread support in the media and from celebrities.

Lumley loved it.

The design by Thomas Heatherwick, the man behind the London Olympics cauldron, was hailed as a masterpiece: showcasing, as the Games had done, the vein of optimism and genius running through Britain. Soon, £60 million had been allocated from the public purse.

A bad press helped to turn public opinion against the project…

Nah. The bad press had nothing to do with it’s spiking. Honesty did.

Posted: 15th, August 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


The apogee of identity politics: Lorde blames all whites for Nazis

Lorde, the singer, wants to school you in history, Nazis and race. She’s surveyed the carnage in Charlottesville, and now seeks to apologise for all whites:

 

Lorde Nazi

 

Good Lorde. We hear you.

Sorry about ‘The Few’, the French / Polish / Greek resistance, The International Brigades, Oskar Schindler, Witold Pilecki, Irena Sendler and the millions of others who fought the Nazis. Sorry, says Lorde, the Kiwi singer who knows nothing of what Anzac Day means but is well versed in the arcane politics of identity, when everything about you is based on gender and race.

The Wall Street Journal has more:

The White House nonetheless issued a statement Sunday saying Mr. Trump “includes white supremacists, KKK, Neo-Nazi and all extremist groups” in his condemnation. As so often with Mr. Trump, his original statement missed an opportunity to speak like a unifying political leader.

Yet the focus on Mr. Trump is also a cop-out because it lets everyone duck the deeper and growing problem of identity politics on the right and left. The politics of white supremacy was a poison on the right for many decades, but the civil-rights movement rose to overcome it, and it finally did so in the mid-1960s with Martin Luther King Jr. ’s language of equal opportunity and color-blind justice.

That principle has since been abandoned, however, in favor of a new identity politics that again seeks to divide Americans by race, ethnicity, gender and even religion. “Diversity” is now the all-purpose justification for these divisions, and the irony is that America is more diverse and tolerant than ever.

The problem is that the identity obsessives want to boil down everything in American life to these categories…

A politics fixated on indelible differences will inevitably lead to resentments that extremists can exploit in ugly ways on the right and left. The extremists were on the right in Charlottesville, but there have been examples on the left in Berkeley, Oakland and numerous college campuses. When Democratic politicians can’t even say “all lives matter” without being denounced as bigots, American politics has a problem.

Not all white are brutal, murderous Nazis. No ‘sus laws‘, please.

Posted: 15th, August 2017 | In: Celebrities, News, Politicians | Comment


Bill Baxley shames Trump: Alabama Attorney General tells the KKK to ‘kiss my ass’

President Donald Trump’s reaction to the death of Heather Heyer, 32, was lamentable, and to his many detractors illuminating. Heather Heyer, 32, from Charlottesville, was killed as Nazis, the KKK and other white supremacists clashed with counter-protestors in the city. Heyer was allegedly mowed down by a car driven by James Alex Fields Jr, 20, who has been charged with her murder. Nineteen other people were injured, some seriously, as the vehicle ploughed into anti-fascists.

 

James Fields Junior

James Fields Junior

 

Trump blamed “many sides” for the “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence” in Charlottesville. “It’s been going on for a long time in our country,” said Trump. “Not Donald Trump. Not Barack Obama. This has been going on for a long, long time.”

Trump did not condemn what was obviously a fascist gathering. It’s easy – and right – to bash Trump over his reluctance to call out racists. (It’s less simple to bash the liberal society which has wallowed in identity politics for so long, encouraging everyone to view life through the prism of racial and gender identity.)

Lindsey Graham, a Republican senator who ran against Mr Trump for the party’s presidential nomination, winces. He reasons that Trump “missed an opportunity to be very explicit here… These groups seem to think they have a friend in Donald Trump.” He’s not wrong. David Duke, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, chimes: “We’re going to fulfil the promises of Donald Trump [to] take our country back.”

As Trump forgets to mention white supremacists at the white supremacists rally – whoops! – we hark back to one man who never forgot.

Trump’s no Bill Baxley.

On February 28 1976, Bill Baxley (born June 27, 1941), Attorney General of Alabama (1971 – 1979), replied to a letter from white supremacist Edward R. Fields – founder of the National States’ Rights Party and Grand Dragon of the New Order Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

 

Bill baxley-letter-letter bombing

 

In 1971 Baxley had ordered the law to look again at the bombing of 16th Street Church – on Sunday September 15 1963 at 10:22 am four African-American girls (Addie Mae Collins, 14, Carol Denise McNair, 11, Carole Robertson, 14, and Cynthia Wesley, 14) were murdered in a racially motivated attack.

In 1968, the FBI had closed their investigation into the bombing without filing charges against any of their named suspects, Thomas Edwin Blanton, Jr., Herman Frank Cash, Robert Edward Chambliss and Bobby Frank Cherry. The files were sealed by order of J. Edgar Hoover. Baxley had been a student at the University of Alabama when he heard about the bombing in 1963, and in 1977 recollected: “I wanted to do something, but I didn’t know what.”

When Baxley took office he wrote the names of those girls on a small telephone calling card. In 2014, he told NPR why:

“I want to be reminded that before my term was over, I wanted to try to solve that case and do something about the people who killed the little girls. It took us a couple of years to really get on the trail of the right people. And when we finally got on the right group – Robert Chambliss and his group. He was the ringleader. He was responsible for 30 or 40 bombings over a two or three-decade period in Birmingham. His nickname was ‘Dynamite Bob’ and he was very proud of it. So then around about ’76, it got public that we were for the first time looking at that case and making some real progress.”

That’s when Edward R. Fields put pen to paper.

“Well, I took it as a threat,” said Baxley. “He called me a traitor to my race and how dare I prosecute or investigate these white Christian patriots and blah, blah, blah, blah. And so they demanded a response. So I sat down and wrote them a response.”

 

Bill baxley-letter-letter bombing

 

In 1977, Robert Chambliss was tried and convicted of the first degree murder of Carol Denise McNair. Thomas Blanton and Bobby Cherry were each convicted of four counts of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment in 2001 and 2002 respectively, whereas Herman Cash, who died in 1994, was never charged with his alleged involvement in the bombing.

PS: Where were the police? An eyewitness recalls:

“There was no police presence. We were watching people punch each other; people were bleeding all the while police were inside of barricades at the park watching… I’ve seen how the police have managed crowds here in Madison, Wisconsin — huge rallies with opposing sides. I’d like to know how the police in Virginia could be so impotent. Are they so afraid of being accused of doing something wrong that they protect themselves by doing nothing?”

Spotter: Flashbak

Posted: 14th, August 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Brexit: Irony overload as Remainers create Democrats Party to defy will of the people

David Miliband hopes so. The former Labour MP bundles up US politics with a democratic vote over here to opine of Brexit “It is the equivalent of voting to repeal Obamacare without knowing the replacement. It is a stitch-up. That is one reason it is essential that parliament or the public are given the chance to have a straight vote between EU membership and the negotiated alternative.”

Democracy is a stitch-up? We’re all stupid. So we should vote again on whatever Brexit deal is agreed to either reject it or stick with the EU we, er, rejected?

Vote now and vote often. And keep voting until you give us these champions of democracy the right answer.

Posted: 13th, August 2017 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Donald Trump vows to hit North Korea with ‘Fire and Furry’

Last Wednesday’s Kennebec Journal featured a terrible threat to North Korea: “Trump warns of ‘fire and furry'”. Furry what?

 

 

Wednesday’s front page. —Kennebec Journal via Twitter

 

Journal city editor Susan Cover regret the error: “Our normally rigorous headline-proofing protocols broke down. We’re reviewing them now to prevent this from happening in the future.”

As they say in North Korea: fire at will!

PS: it was error, right?

 

donald trump jill harth

Posted: 11th, August 2017 | In: Politicians, Reviews, Strange But True | Comment


Diane Abbott trolls Theresa May with ‘made-up’ quote about curbing lesbians

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott tweets “More on Theresa May’s thoughts on LGBT rights”.

 

diane abbott More on Theresa May's thoughts on LGBT rights

 

According to Abbott, May once said:

“Curbing the promotion of lesbians in Merton’s schools starts with girls having male role models in their lives.”

Abbott offers no link to where she got the quote.

May was a Merton councillor between 1986 and 1994. The photo is from 1992, when May was on the hustings in North West Durham. But we cannot find any source for the quote, although one tweeter says it’s from 1983.

 

diane abbott lesbians troll

 

Maybe anti-troll Diane Abbott knows?

 

Posted: 28th, July 2017 | In: Politicians | Comment


Reject new trolling laws: free speech means being free to lampoon and abuse MPs

British politicians have been subjected to a wave “of racism, sexism and homophobia” on social media, spiking during the General Election. Not all of it is satirical lampooning of our elected and unelected representatives. A fair amount of it is cruel and vindictive. But – yep, there’s the ‘but’ – so what? If you trammel what can and cannot be said to an MP, you have lost an essential part of democracy.

Tory MP Simon Hart said things have taken a turn for the worse. The “robust banter followed by a shake of the hand and a pint in the pub” of past campaigns has mutated into ‘”death threats, criminal damage, sexism, racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism and general thuggishness”. Was none of that there before? And can the downturn in pubic discourse be linked to the death of pubs, hastened by the smoking ban and tax on booze? The problem is not one of less pubs, of course, but more internet, which has given voice not only to the oppressed and isolated but also to the bigots, prudes, nutters, mentally negligible and mouth breathers.

So Theresa May PM has ordered the Committee on Standards in Public Life to investigate whether existing laws governing threats against MPs are enough. The mood is that new laws are required to keep MPs protected and the less attractive elements of the demos at bay. The Independent says the MPs are looking at “online trolling laws”.

Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary, had a word on her own experiences. “We are talking about mindless abuse and in my case the mindless abuse has been characteristically racist and sexist,” she said. “And just to outline I’ve had death threats, I’ve had people tweeting that I should be hung if ‘they could find a tree big enough to take the fat bitch’s weight’. There was an EDL-affiliated Twitter account BurnDianeAbbott, I’ve had rape threats, described as a pathetic, useless, fat, black, piece of shit, ugly, fat, black bitch.”

Nasty. But is being “pathetic” the same as being threatened with rape? Can mindlessness be banned? What about the figures?

Research undertaken by Buzzfeed News and the University of Sheffield looked at 840,000 tweets sent during the month before June 8.

It found that male Conservative MP candidates received the highest percentage of abuse on Twitter while male Ukip candidates were second with just over four per cent of their mentions deemed to be abusive.

Male Labour candidates were next with just under four per cent while female Conservative candidates were also on about four per cent.

Meanwhile, just over two per cent of female Labour candidate mentions were abusive.

What’s considered abusive?

 

Moron. Twat. Coward. Should such words be banned? Of course not. A new law that protects politicians from being hailed by such words – a law that criminalises us from using them when addressing one of our elected reps – is abhorrent.

In 1964, the US Supreme Court ruled that “debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.”

Well said.

Freedom of speech is, as AA Gill noted, “what all other human rights and freedoms balance on.” Don’t let them or anyone own it.

 

Posted: 27th, July 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Americans are banned from visiting North Korea

Best hurry up with that romantic break to North Korea. Donald Trump has alerted American tourists to the risk of “long-term detention” in Mr Kim’s dystopia. You might argue that being locked up in North Korea is akin to getting the full experience, a chance to be total immersed in the place. Like making a Buckingham Palace guard laugh or setting fire to a car in Paris, a diet of tree bark and curfew is to live like a North Korean.

But US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has signed a “Geographical Travel Restriction” . It makes it vorboten for Americans to enter North Korea. Tillerson’s spokeswoman Heather Nauert tells media:

“Once in effect, U.S. passports will be invalid for travel to, through and in North Korea, and individuals will be required to obtain a passport with a special validation in order to travel to or within North Korea.”

This harks back to the fate of Otto Warmbier, the 22-year-old American who having been sentenced to 15 years hard labor in North Korea last year for trying to steal a propaganda sign while on a tourist visit, returned to the USA in a coma. He died soon after.

North Korea called Warmbier’s death “a mystery”. Other mysteries thought to be befuddling the North Koreans are: why Katie Price sleeps on her back? How come Mr Kim is so fat when his fellow North Koreans are so very thin? And what do materialistic men see in Bernie Ecclestone’s daughters.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports: “North Korea is currently holding two Korean-American academics and a missionary, a Canadian pastor and three South Korean nationals who were doing missionary work. Japan says North Korea has also detained at least several dozen of its nationals.”

Posted: 24th, July 2017 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Donald Trump pretends he can’t speak Japanese as Akie Abe forgets her English

 

You know how it is: you’re sat next to some awful bore at a dinner party. Donald Trump feels your pain. The New York Times spots him sat alongside the interminably dull Akie Abe, wife of Japan Prime Minister Abe, at the G20 bun fight. They didn’t talk – which is wise because once Akie gets started on depictions of women on Manga comics, drip-dry toilets, why Japan hasn’t apologised for its treatment of prisoners in World War 2, the absence of a memorial to the thousands of Korean slaves killed at Hiroshima and the subjugation of females in her contry you’ll need a wall to stop her. Japanese women, eh, they’re such rule breakers.

So, I was seated next to the wife of Prime Minister Abe [Shinzo Abe of Japan], who I think is a terrific guy, and she’s a terrific woman, but doesn’t speak English.

HABERMAN: Like, nothing, right? Like zero?

TRUMP: Like, not “hello.”

HABERMAN: That must make for an awkward seating.

TRUMP: Well, it’s hard, because you know, you’re sitting there for——

HABERMAN: Hours.

TRUMP: So the dinner was probably an hour and 45 minutes.

But she does – or at least she can read English.

And did Trump forget his fluent Japanese?

 

Posted: 21st, July 2017 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Top Secret files reveals how Churchill saved Britain’s Nazi King

Biarritz, France. 1951. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor are pictured at their villa.

 

Winston Churchill and Dwight Eisenhower didn’t want us to know about King Edward VIII’s plans for peace with Adolf Hitler and Nazis. Papers released by The National Archives considered “too difficult, too sensitive” include a 1953 “top secret” memo from Churchill discussing German telegrams carrying reports by Nazi-sympathiser the Duke of Windsor, as Edward VIII was known after he abdicated in 1936.

“He is convinced that had he remained on throne war would have been avoided and describes himself as firm supporter of a peaceful compromise with Germany,” says one telegram from Portugal, where the duke was staying in July 1940. “Duke believes with certainty that continued heavy bombing will make England ready for peace.”

 

queen mum nazi salute

Edward ‘teaching the Queen how to give the Nazi salute’

 

Blomberg:

Edward abdicated so he could marry an American divorcee, Wallis Simpson. The couple set up home in France, but when World War II broke out they moved to Spain. The government in Madrid, formally neutral but sympathetic to Germany, asked for guidance from Berlin as to what should be done with them. German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop replied, asking if they could be kept there. Then he ordered a watch on their house.

Ribbentrop’s interest was piqued when he was told, a few days later, that in private “Windsor spoke strongly against Churchill and against this war.” While he considered what to do, the duke and duchess made their way to Portugal, where they made similar comments. The Nazis decided to act.

“The duke should return to Spain under all circumstances,” Ribbentrop wrote, adding that they should then be “persuaded or forced” to stay there. His plan was then to offer the duke “the granting of any wish,” including “the ascension of the English throne.”

Churchill duly made the Nazi Windsor governor of the Bahamas.

When the Windsors were reluctant to leave Europe, Churchill threatened Edward, who held honorary military rank, with court-martial. Ribbentrop, anxious not to let his prize escape, launched Operation Willi to persuade the Windsors to return to Spain, kidnapping them if necessary. But despite sabotage attempts and bomb threats, the Germans failed.

The plan was “to persuade the duke to leave Lisbon in a car as if he were going on a fairly long pleasure jaunt, and then to cross the border at a specified place, where Spanish secret police will ensure a safe crossing,” according to a note sent to Ribbentrop.

You can read more on how close the UK came to being overrun by Nazis in this great story on Flashbak.

Posted: 21st, July 2017 | In: News, Politicians, Royal Family | Comment


Trump on Macron: ‘he does love holding my hand’

When Donald Trump met Emmanuel Macron, the two Presidents engaged in a handshake that looked like the start of a new off-the-wall buddy movie. Happily, the two men disentangled and now Trump can reveals all:

 

donald trump macron handshake

 

Satirists, lay down your pens. Trump has you beaten.

Posted: 20th, July 2017 | In: Politicians | Comment


Politician sues god for failed promotion

india money sue god

 

Life imitates Billy Connolly movies in India. If you hire the priest to perform the service then the service must be done. Or else:

An MLA, who belongs to the ruling party in Telangana, paid Rs 50 lakh to two tribal priests to perform a special pooja so that he gets a ministerial berth. However, when the duo failed to give him the promised political fortune, the MLA sent them to police custody.

A Lakh Rupee is one hundred thousand rupees. The politician paid around £60,000 for prayers! You trust this man’s judgement?

Spotter: India.com

 

Posted: 17th, July 2017 | In: Money, Politicians, Strange But True | Comment


Donald Trump’s Mexico wall will be higher than a man on 60 pounds of marijuana

Donald Trump was the wall between Mexico and the USA to be made of glass, or Sellotape or whatever it is they spray of ageing A-listers faces to keep the skin tight. “One of the things with the wall is you need transparency,” he told media aboard Air Force One on his way to Paris for Bastille Day. “You have to be able to see through it. So it could be a steel wall with openings, but you have to have openings because you have to see what’s on the other wide of the wall. And I’ll give you an example. As horrible as it sounds, when they throw large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don’t see them. hey hit you on the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It’s over. As crazy as that sounds, you need transparency through that wall. But we have some incredible designs.’”

Maybe Trump means a chain-link fence, something the Republican Congress passed in the Secure Fence Act of 2006. The Act,  signed by Barak Obama, Hilary Clinton, Chuck Schumer and George W. Bush, approved 700 miles of fencing between the border of the United States and Mexico. The wall / fence would feature checkpoints, drones and lighting to stop illegal immigration.

Dugs remain optional.

 

Posted: 16th, July 2017 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


The G20-riots bicycle guy

So who was the bloke with the bicycle at the G20-Riots?

Queer Anarchism has the low down:

60 year old historian Martin Buehler (who is a member of the press , I do not identify activists without consent) ‘photobombed’ a lot of media images of the G20 in Hamburg. In reality he is a long time observer documenting police brutality. In Hamburg he chose to cultivate the most non-activist ‘white bystander in a suit with a bike’. As police slow down or intermittent attacks and waited for the ‘bystander’ to get out of the way (is caught on the camera), activists had time to regroup or retreat.

 

G20 photobomb

 

You don’t need a protective cloak to doge the police and fight for justice. You just need to be ordinary middle-aged, white bloke with a push bike. The magic doesn’t end there. If you want to be truly invisible, you need to be old.

 

Posted: 16th, July 2017 | In: Politicians, Reviews, Strange But True | Comment


The Sunday Sport’s absurd Brexit parody will jump start your sex drive

The Sunday Sport’s take on the Brexit negotiations is a cracker:

 

Brexit sunday sport

 

The filth keeps on coming:

 

brexit porn parody

 

Spotter: @rhodri

Posted: 16th, July 2017 | In: Politicians, Tabloids | Comment


The weirdest Donald Trump handshake battle yet

When Donald Trump met Emmanuel Macron in Paris, France, the handshake battle was weird and intense:

When will someone just get a false hand up their sleeve and let him have it when he tugs hard?

donald trump handshake

Posted: 14th, July 2017 | In: Key Posts, Politicians | Comment


Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn are not talking to one another

When Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn sat side by side for an address by Spain’s King Felipe as part of the regent and Queen Letizia UK state visit, the leaders of the country’s two biggest political parties didn’t appear to get along.

 

 

Maybe Jeremy can order a pizza for two, write for Theresa’ favourite magazine and pose for smiling photos. After all, if he can be “friends” with Hamas, surely he can reach out to a woman elected in a legal and free election?

Posted: 12th, July 2017 | In: Politicians | Comment


Jeremy Corbyn only wants a little peace (of pizza) and genocide denial

Jeremy Corbyn has been “enjoying pizza” with a man who supports “Syrian dictator” Bashar Assad. The Sun has spotted Corbyn eating, nay “scoffing” with “pro-Russian journalist Marcus Papadopoulos”. One Washington newspaper calls Papadopoulos a “Russian agent”.

 

Marcus Papadopoulos corbyn pizza

 

Most of us have no idea who Papadopoulos is lest what his opinions are. Helpfully, the Sun has searched Google and can tell us that last year Papadopoulos tweeted: “There was no siege of #Sarajevo, there was no genocide at #Srebrenica and there was no massacre at #Aleppo. Discard what Western media says”. This year he opined: “President Assad, the guardian of Christians in #Syria, celebrating Easter. I stand with him 100%…”

So much for the Sarajevo Roses. A Guardian leader article called Srebrenica a “place of horror that ranks alongside Auschwitz”. The one deed the dead can perform on behalf of the living is allowing us to bear witness to their suffering and the consequences of our freedom. Would you deny them that honour?

But no matter. Corbyn can explain. The Labour leader who was simply reaching out when he invited “friends” at jihad-endorsing, Jew-hating Hamas to take tea in Parliament (Hamas’s charter declares: “The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: ‘The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!”) and has a proclivity for sharing platforms with anti-Semites is yet again an innocent.

The Sun quotes a “Labour spokesman” who says Mr Corbyn had been “joined briefly by Mr Papadopolous [sic], who asked to be photographed with Jeremy. Photographs of Jeremy with members of the public do not mean he endorses their views, as is the case on this occasion too.”

Do the two men know each other? The Times adds that Mr Papadopoulos “is editor of Politics First, a bi-monthly magazine with a circulation of just over 1,000. Mr Corbyn wrote for its last issue.”

So much for the right-wing Press’s view on the pizza date. What say the Mirror and Guardian on the matter? Nothing. Not a word. Is it a sign of information denial? Is news about feeling good and moralising journalists attaching themselves to pet causes, or is it about presenting the facts and trusting your readers?

Things are taking a nasty turn. It’s not politics that supports Corbyn; it’s a personality cult. And it’s dangerous.

Posted: 12th, July 2017 | In: Broadsheets, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment


Labour Hunt Tory MP Ann Marie Morris for making remarks she doesn’t agree with

Ann Marie Morris is proof the Tories are “still nasty”, says The National. Ann Marie Morris is proof that the Conservatives are “in chaos”, says the Mirror. Ann Marie Morris is front-page news. She’s the Conservative MP for Newton Abbot. What she said during a meeting at London’s East India club to a group of Tory Eurosceptics is to terrible the paper refers to it as “n*****”, the word censored lest we say it and also become pariahs.

What Ms Morris said was that “the real nigger in the woodpile” about Brexit is if after the two-year negotiation period is up Britain and the EU haven’t agreed on trade contracts. It’s a remarkably stupid and ugly comment. You’ve got to wonder at anyone who uses it outside a class on arcane phrases loaded in racism. But surely one idiotic phrase doesn’t sum up an entire political party and the millions who voted for it.

When Prince Philip told British students in China “If you stay here much longer you’ll all be slitty-eyed”, the Mirror called it a “memorable gaffe“, a bit of misspeaking we should cherish. It was one of his many “classic quotes”, other being about Aboriginal “spear chuckers”. Did we hear them and say that his words summed up every Windsor in the Family Firm, including The Queen, Harry and Diana?

 

ann marie morris tories

It’s not really about race. It’s about party politics, which is nasty and unsure. It means politicos have to be seen to be active. Theresa May, the actual Prime Minster, suspends Morris from their party. Labour MP Tulip Siddiq tweets: “I’m absolutely appalled by this. I assume PM will take appropriate action?” Andrew Gwynne, Labour’s campaign coordinator, says: “Theresa May once spoke about changing the Tories’ ‘nasty party’ tag. If she’s serious about that, she will admit it’s not enough for the Tories to ‘investigate’ and will apologise and act immediately. If that means withdrawing the whip, that’s what they should do.” Guardian invention Owen Jones wants action against other Tory MPs who were at the meeting and who failed to denounce Morris for her choice of phrase. For people against blood sports, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour seem to love the thrill of the hunt.

Neither circumspection nor reason is countenanced.

Anne MArie Morris

 

But the good news for Morris is that, like Naz Shah the Labour MP who suggested all Jews should be deported from Israel, you can embark on a “journey” and learn how to become socially acceptable among your enlightened Commons peers once more.

And Corbyn, with his interesting friends, should be sensitive to Morris’s re-education, after all when Naz Shah shouted “RAUS!” at the Jews, Corbyn told us, “We’re not saying she’s anti-Semitic. We’re saying she’s made remarks she doesn’t agree with.” More guff than gaffe.

Posted: 11th, July 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment


George Osborne: me and useless Theresa May by Andrew Mitchell

osborne evening standard

 

In the Evening Standard, the London freesheet, news has moved on from a cat stuck up a tree in Neasden and bar openings to matters of national importance. There’s no time for investigations into local councils, social housing and iffy money – not when a former top Tory is talking to another former top Tory and about a current top Tory:

The pressure on Theresa May’s fragile leadership grew last night after she was reportedly described as “dead in the water” by a former Tory Cabinet minister.

Former chief whip Andrew Mitchell is claimed to have said at a private dinner that the Prime Minister “couldn’t go on”, adding she had “lost her authority” and was “weak”.

Careful. Mitchell’s been in bother with quotes before. His words have even been put into song.

The serving MP is alleged to have made the comments on June 26, the day Mrs May struck a deal with the DUP to prop up her minority administration in Parliament.

You can read all about that in the newspaper edited by one George Osborne, who Theresa May sacked as Chancellor. Osborne’s the man who had he stuck around might have been in with a shout of being Prime Minister.

Spotter: Standard

Posted: 10th, July 2017 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Angela Merkel rolls her eyes as Putin explains how things work (gif)

When Angela Merkel met Putin at the latest G20 bunfight, the Russian leader raised his hand like the teacher he is, lowered his gaze as one might address a child and began to explaining how the world works. Merkel responded as we all should:

 

angela merkel eyeroll putin

Posted: 8th, July 2017 | In: Gifs, Politicians | Comment


Corbyn fans issue ultimatum to Luciana Berger

Tough times for Labour MP Luciana Berger. The Liverpool Wavertree CLP is now run by Jeremy Corbyn loyalists. One of their number, Roy Bentham, has a warning for Berger:

“Luciana needs to get on board quite quickly now. She will now have to sit round the table with us the next time she wants to vote for bombing in Syria or to pass a no confidence motion in the leader of the party – she will have to be answerable to us.

“We would like her to come out publicly like other MPs have done and apologise for not supporting him in the past.”

There will be no dissent in Corbyn’s brave new world. You don’t represent the people; you represent Momentum and their agenda.

The Telegraph adds:

…the dynamics at work demonstrate the extent of the Labour party’s sinister new normal, in which tones of anti-Semitism are ubiquitous.

Not word on racism in the Guardian. But this:

A Momentum group in South Tyneside posted a list on its Facebook group of 49 MPs, including Chuka Ummuna and Chris Leslie, that they said should leave Labour to “join the Liberals”. The post was taken down and disavowed by the national movement, which is working to dispel the idea that it wants to see MPs deselected.

Are you right or are you wrong?

Chris Williamson, a strong supporter of Corbyn and a shadow minister, said there were “interest groups and individual MPs in this party who think it’s their God-given right to rule…

“Where I think critics of mandatory reselection are mistaken are in trying to view the Corbyn phenomenon through the lens of the 1970s and 80s, when the militant left was small and ideologically driven. Today, the bulk of Labour’s new members don’t see the new politics as left or right, they see it as a matter of right or wrong.”

Take on Corbyn and see your career ended.

Posted: 7th, July 2017 | In: Politicians | Comment


CNN v HansAssholeSolo: Trump’s Reddit meme tweet exposes the old media’s thin skin

trump cnn memeWhen Donald Trump tweeted a meme made by Reddit user HansAssholeSolo, CNN were upset. The meme was a mash-up of footage of Trump wrestling WWE CEO Vince McMahon to the deck in 2007 altered so that McMahon’s face was replaced with CNN’s logo.

Trump and CNN are at loggerheads. He says they broadcast fake news to an anti-him agenda. They say he’s America’s enemy. HansAssholeSolo morphed this sad war of words into an actual fight. Joke. Geddit?

CNN didn’t. It’s issued a threat. No, not to Trump. They’re threatening HansAssholeSolo. If he lampoons CNN ever again, the broadcaster will stop talking truth to power and attack. Judgmental CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski says CNN “reserves the right to publish his identity” if he commits “ugly behaviour on social media again”. To some this sounds like “blackmail“. Take on the corporation and you will pay. Comply or else. That Kaczynski’s makes his threat beneath the headline “How CNN found the Reddit user behind the Trump wrestling GIF” only adds to the absurdity. Unless the BBC can discover which leg Trump puts first into his trousers, that Pulitzer’s in the bag.

In a lengthy apology, a worried HansAssholeSolo says: “Free speech is a right we all have, but it shouldn’t be used in the manner that it was in the posts that were put on this site. I do not advocate violence against the press and the meme I posted was [not] advocating that in any way, shape, or form.”

It was a joke that thanks to Trump’s priapic tweet finger and monocular news agency CNN has gotten out of hand. And it’s exposed how prissy CNN is; how like Trump, CNN is over-sensitive, vain and self-regarding. It shows us how terrified CNN is of the power of newer, non-telly media. CNN’s viewers are in bed by 10pm and watching from rented rooms because they’ve tired of the hotel’s infomercial; twitter and Reddit users are tuning in anywhere at any time.

It’s as illuminating as it is entertaining. And the row is mildly contradictory: like The Donald’s skin, it’s terrible – and there’s not enough of it.

Posted: 6th, July 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, TV & Radio | Comment


Jacob Rees-Mogg hails new son Sixtus Dominic Boniface Christopher

To man -of-the-people – the man with the commonest of common touches – Jacob Rees-Mogg a child: Sixtus Dominic Bonifcace Christopher:

 

Rees Mogg Sixtus

Posted: 5th, July 2017 | In: Politicians, Strange But True | Comment


The Donald Trump buttplug to ‘Putin your butt’

Donal tRump buttplug

 

With this Donald Trump buttplug you can shove the President where the sun doesn’t shine. Etsy shop Lovecrafters Toys is selling the Donald Trump buttplug – “the most tremendous thing to Putin your butt” – hand sculpted by shop owner Chae for £37 a pop.

Spotter: LoveCrafters

Posted: 5th, July 2017 | In: Politicians, The Consumer | Comment