Anorak

Politicians | Anorak - Part 7

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

After Grenfell Tower arrests and party politics: ‘life is a game with many rules but no referee’

After Grenfell Tower the media and politicians are demanding that we find someone to blame. The horror invites many questions about the 24-storey tower block’s cladding, sprinklers, fire-alarms, house building, the cost and availability of new homes, social-housing, gentrification that makes you look at London and wonder where the working class and poor live in the shiny, super-pricey city – where cladding Tower blocks rather than rebuilding them is a priority – and the ‘decanting’ of poorer people living in crowded accommodation on land that has soared in value following policies like the Urban Task Force with its mantra to build up not out.

 

criminal grenfell

 

As the acid stench of burning permeates the air and the painful, painstaking work of finding and identifying the victims continues, a cynical cloud has seeped in. The clamour to blame and make arrests quickly, to play party politics over the destruction of so many lives is nasty and limiting.

 

David Lammy Grenfell

 

touched on this race to blame yesterday, noting a section of former US poet laureate Josef Brodksy’s speech to students in 1988. This is more from that address to the graduating class. You can read it all here. It’s a terrific read. In six rules for successful living, Brodsky words on politicians and blame resonate.

3.) Try not to set too much store by politicians — not so much because they are dumb or dishonest, which is more often than not the case, but because of the size of their job, which is too big even for the best among them, by this or that political party, doctrine, system or a blueprint thereof. All they or those can do, at best, is to diminish a social evil, not eradicate it. No matter how substantial an improvement may be, ethically speaking it will always be negligible, because there will always be those — say, just one person — who won’t profit from this improvement. The world is not perfect; the Golden Age never was or will be. The only thing that’s going to happen to the world is that it will get bigger, i.e., more populated while not growing in size. No matter how fairly the man you’ve elected will promise to cut the pie, it won’t grow in size; as a matter of fact, the portions are bound to get smaller. In light of that, or, rather, in dark of that — you ought to rely on your own home cooking, that is, on managing the world yourselves — at least that part of it that lies within your reach, within your radius.

Yet in doing this, you must also prepare yourselves for the heart-rending realization that even that pie of yours won’t suffice; you must prepare yourselves that you’re likely to dine as much in disappointment as in gratitude. The most difficult lesson to learn here is to be steady in the kitchen, since by serving this pie just once you create quite a lot of expectations. Ask yourself whether you can afford a steady supply of those pies, or would you rather bargain on a politician? Whatever the outcome of this soul-searching may be — however much you think the world can bet on your baking — you might start right away by insisting that those corporations, banks, schools, labs and whatnot where you’ll be working, and whose premises are heated and policed round the clock anyway, permit the homeless in for the night, now that it’s winter.

But more than that, this. It’s one of the most motivating pieces of advice I’ve read.

5. ) At all costs try to avoid granting yourself the status of the victim. Of all the parts of your body, be most vigilant over your index finger, for it is blame-thirsty. A pointed finger is a victim’s logo — the opposite of the V-sign and a synonym for surrender. No matter how abominable your condition may be, try not to blame anything or anybody: history, the state, superiors, race, parents, the phase of the moon, childhood, toilet training, etc. The menu is vast and tedious, and this vastness and tedium alone should be offensive enough to set one’s intelligence against choosing from it. The moment that you place blame somewhere, you undermine your resolve to change anything; it could be argued even that that blame-thirsty finger oscillates as wildly as it does because the resolve was never great enough in the first place.

After all, a victim status is not without its sweetness. It commands compassion, confers distinction, and whole nations and continents bask in the murk of mental discounts advertised as the victim’s conscience. There is an entire victim-culture, ranging from private counselors to international loans. The professed goal of this network notwithstanding, its net result is that of lowering one’s expectations from the threshold, so that a measly advantage could be perceived or billed as a major breakthrough. Of course, this is therapeutic and, given the scarcity of the world’s resources, perhaps even hygienic, so for want of a better identity, one may embrace it — but try to resist it. However abundant and irrefutable is the evidence that you are on the losing side, negate it as long as you have your wits about you, as long as your lips can utter “No.” On the whole, try to respect life not only for its amenities but for its hardships, too. They are a part of the game, and what’s good about a hardship is that it is not a deception. Whenever you are in trouble, in some scrape, on the verge of despair or in despair, remember: that’s life speaking to you in the only language it knows well. In other words, try to be a little masochistic: without a touch of masochism, the meaning of life is not complete. If this is of any help, try to remember that human dignity is an absolute, not a piecemeal notion, that it is inconsistent with special pleading, that it derives its poise from denying the obvious. Should you find this argument a bit on the heady side, think at least that by considering yourself a victim you but enlarge the vacuum of irresponsibility that demons or demagogues love so much to fill, since a paralyzed will is no dainty for angels.

Regulation is lifeless without the will to make things better.

Posted: 16th, June 2017 | In: News, Politicians, Reviews | Comment


New York Times points fingers at Sarah Palin in GOP baseball attack

The New York Times has news. It might even be fake news. Or it might just be wrong. James T Hodgkinson, 66, from Belleville, Illinois, a volunteer on the Bernie Sanders for President campaign and, above all, a violent loon is dead. Hodgkinson “sprayed bullets at Republican lawmakers during baseball practice in a Washington DC suburb”. He shot House of Representatives Majority Whip Steve Scalise and five others in “the early morning ambush at a park in Alexandria, Virginia”

The New York Times gets to work. Can it stick to the facts?

Was this attack evidence of how vicious American politics has become? Probably. In 2011, Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in a supermarket parking lot, grievously wounding Representative Gabby Giffords and killing six people, including a 9-year-old girl. At the time, we and others were sharply critical of the heated political rhetoric on the right. Before the shooting, Sarah Palin’s political action committee circulated a map that showed the targeted electoral districts of Ms. Giffords and 19 other Democrats under stylized cross hairs.

Palin did it? The NYT Times continues:

“Though there’s no sign of incitement as direct as in the Giffords attack…”

The NYTimes has not updated its story:

An earlier version of this editorial incorrectly stated that a link existed between political incitement and the 2011 shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords. In fact, no such link was established.

Other than that, the story was accurate.

Posted: 15th, June 2017 | In: Politicians | Comment


Donald Trump’s police escort looks like a penis

@AynRandPaulRyan tweets: “Here’s a picture of the police escort that Trump got to go golfing (again) this weekend. Do you think they were trying to say something?”

 

Donald trump motocade

 

It’s a fake, of course. That’s not Trump’s car. The police are not Americans. The image is adapted from Vladimir Putin’s motorcade powering through Moscow. The original motorcade looked like this:

 

 

Posted: 15th, June 2017 | In: Politicians | Comment


Man of the Establishment John McDonnell wants mass protest to bring down the Government

We should like it that John McDonnell speaks his mind. The shadow chancellor wants people to “get out on the streets” in support of Labour, to force Theresa May from office and to further the cause for another General Election and with it what he hopes will be victory for his Labour Party.

“We need people doing everything they can to ensure the election comes as early as possible,” says McDonnell. “What we need now is the TUC mobilised, every union mobilised, get out on the streets,” the Shadow Chancellor said in comments reported by the Morning Star. “Just think if the TUC put out that call – that we want a million on the streets of London in two weeks’ time.”

 

Brexit Labour

Via Private Eye

 

McDonnell, who went on to talk about his “comrades” in Labour, has much form when it comes to saying what’s in his head. He refused to apologise for calling Esther McVey a “stain on humanity”. “Sometimes it is better to be honest with people about how you feel,” he said. “At times, in parliament in particular, it means using strong language that reflects your honest views.”

I’m no fan of McDonnell, his calls for revolution mask a man steeped in conformity, who wants a society funded on taxation and welfare.

I enjoy his call for protest, a cornerstone of any democracy. But does a raucous protest – Occupy, anyone? – do anything other than gain media attention? The suspicion is that McDonnell, an MP and with that job title a member of the Establishment, would rather the marchers and Left presented themselves as victims of oppression than as active agents in a fight for meaningful change. If you can’t win through political argument – and twitter is wrong; Labour lost – you call for those already on your side and with time on their hands to get together and hope that being there is enough.

 

Posted: 15th, June 2017 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Brexit: we’re edging towards Remain by another name

Are we edging towards Remain by another name? Last June, 17.4million people voted in a legal and free election for the country to leave the EU. On twitter, Jo Maugham QC (@JolyonMaugham) tweeted: “This is the *only way* for the Tories to remain in Government: outflank Hard Brexit Labour on the Remain side.”

But Labour and the Tories both vowed to support Brexit. Over 80% of the electorate backed the two parties at the election. The LibDems wanted a second referendum, echoing the EU’s habit of keeping citizens voting until they produce the ‘right’ result. But the LibDems were thrashed, existing now more as focus group than a political party that could win power.

The referendum result must stand. Mick Hume wonders:

The anti-democratic EU expresses the fear and loathing which our ruling elites feel towards the mass of people. If they manage to overturn, ignore or emasculate the Brexit vote, the largest political mandate for anything in British political history, it would represent an historic setback for popular democracy.

Agreed. The troubling thought is that if the Tories adopt the policy of ditching Brexit to remain in Government – and both Theresa May and Philip Hammond were Remainers – we get the worst of all worlds: a hapless Prime Minster and a rejection of Brexit. The chance to try something new will have taken from us.

Democracy is in peril. Who will shape the best argument to save it?

Posted: 14th, June 2017 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


In 2010 Labour wooed the DUP and lost

Let’s have another look at Labour Party links to those “crackpots” at the pro-British DUP, the Northern Irish party that articulates a sense of discontent and dissatisfaction with Westminster and the Peace Protest. The DUP is the only mainstream party to oppose the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

The Boston Globe told its readers in 2003 that the Good Friday Agreement was “one of Bill Clinton’s foreign policy triumphs”. The DUP were ‘on the wrong side of histoy’.

Which bring us to WikiLeaks – yes, I know – which has published a cable it claims was sent to Hillary Clinton on May 7 2010. In it Sydney Blumenthal, an unofficial adviser to Ms Clinton, reportedly headlined the email to the then US Secretary of State “H: HERE IT IS! WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON. SID.” The sub-head added: “The Downing Street meeting today.”

Gordon [PM Gordon Brown] is doing whatever he can to hold on to power. Shaun [Northern Ireland secretary Shaun Woodward], for his part, is working on an economic package for Northern Ireland to win support from the DUP and other parties for Labour—a package to be proposed in the Queen’s Speech.

The DUP, those crackpots – albeit ones voted for in a free and legal election – were in the near past Labour’s great hope.

Spotter: Paul Gallagher

Posted: 13th, June 2017 | In: Politicians, Reviews | Comment


Labour’s youth voters crave conformity

corbyn bib youthToday’s Radio 4 chatter about social media connecting with yoof was mind blowing. Replace social media for ‘newspapers’, ‘magazines’, ‘John Lennon’, ‘football’ or ‘TV’ and we were once more being told the cool kids have outgrown the old ways and are rebelling.

Our parents don’t understand us, man, they cry. Only they do because they’ve tracked your iphone and follow you on Instagram under an assumed name. And the hubristic people you voted for are older than your dad.

You’re not a rebel marching on the citadel, writing searing protest music and creating a rosy-fingered dawn. You’re not Spartacus. You’re a nerd with a Vodafone contract.

Posted: 13th, June 2017 | In: News, Politicians, Reviews | Comment


Tabloid review: Boris Johnson is BOJO the healer as Corbyn waits for Number 10 and Theresa hangs on

Is Jeremy Corbyn surging towards Downing Street? Can urban young Remainers get Corbyn, a Eurosceptic for most of his life, to change his ways, scupper Brexit and become Prime Minister? The stakes seem very high after Theresa May’s humbling. The General Election result invites so many questions.

Is democracy in peril? Wasn’t Brexit the biggest revolt in British politics, a rejection of the establishment? Is Corbyn’s dynamic campaign and his leadership a strike against a hard Brexit? Is the increased Labour vote share a turn away from Leave and back to the EU? Brexit was not central to the General Election debate. Well, so they told us. And then when the votes were counted, it became all about Brexit. Have your heard anything other than Brexit leading the news cycle and TV bulletins?

Tabloid round-up:

In the Daily Mirror, we read (fornt page): “Corbyn: I Can Be Prime Minister In Months”

Corbyn says that if the Tories call another snap election, he’s ready to win it and become Prime Minister. So close is Corbyn to power that the paper finally introduces Mrs Corbyn III. She’s Laura Alvarez, an ex-banker and 48 years young. She married Corbyn in her native Mexico in 2012. What does she do with her time? “She now imports fair trade coffee.” She is very much the kind of supporter Labour now represents.

 

 

The Daily Mail leads with “Theresa Tears Up Manifesto”. Well quite. “Theresa”. We’re still on first name terms with Mrs May in the Daily Mail. Even on Saturday, when the vote was raw and she was, as the Mirror’s source tells it, “welling up with tears”, the Mail backed “Theresa”.

 

 

The Mail on Sunday is less pally, preferring a night in with Boris:

 

 

As Mail editors compete, today’s paper has Boris Johnson, for it she, declaring: “Me after the top job? That’s tripe, says Boris.” Tripe you can read in the, er, Mail on Sunday.

So into Theresa is the Mail that Peter Oborne analyses the election and declares: “Let’s calm down and remember that Mrs May won.” She won a bigger slice of the vote and more voters, but she lost the most important result on seats won. Rather like Nicola Sturgeon, May took voters for granted and failed to engage with them.

 

 

But the real winner seems to be Boris Johnson. The Mail on Sunday loves him. The Star (“IT’S BOJO THE FAVE”) supports him. The Sun leads with him. “BOJO: BINNING MAY IS A NO-NO – Boris tells Tories to stop plotting.” BOJO. Boris. May.

So keen is Boris Johnson to leave Theresa May in the limelight that he writes a column for the Sun. He make one salient point about democracy and the fluidity of modern politics, noting that Corbyn “picked up Kensington – but then he also lost Mansfield”. Labour is the party of the south. Who represents the working class now? Boris Johnson?

And finally the Express also leads with “BORIS”. He says”TORY MPs MUST BACK MAY”.  Over pages 4 and 5 we’re told: “We need to calm down and pull together says Boris.” We see the text message he sent to Tory MPs to encourage them to back the Prime Minister. Rally round the leader, says Boris. Boris should be leader, says the media. Rally round me, says Boris.

 

 

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


The DUP take Arlene Foster to a Gay Bar

The DUP rock the gay bar, gay bar, gay bar, gay bar (also: The YMCA and In The Navy):

 

And Arlene Foster rocks this one: It’s Raining Men!

And here’s the original, which features the DUP serenading their leader with ‘Arlene’s On Fire’:

Spotter: David Halliday

Posted: 12th, June 2017 | In: Key Posts, Politicians | Comment


Crystal Palace deny Theresa May rumours

Theresa May’s trip to Buckingham Palace in the wake of the general election seemed to have a few people hopeful and/or confused. Thankfully, Crystal Palace Football Club were on hand to clear things up before rumours got out of hand…

 

crystal palace twitter theresa may

Posted: 11th, June 2017 | In: Politicians, Sports | Comment


Ban the DUP from Government and destroy Brexit

Much weeping and wailing over the Tory Party calling on the DUP to form a coalition government. One commentator described the DUP as the locals from The Dukes of Hazard. But ridicule is not enough. The censorious call is for a ban.

The shrill petition against the Tory-DUP deal has hit half a million signatures within 24 hour. What an intolerant, sneering, entitled mob we are. How great it is to be so into freedom, liberty and ‘being myself’ that you can ban other ideas and ‘bad’ people with abandon. The argument is settled! The science is settled! Thou shalt not dissent! No wonder Islamists feel so at home here. But you don’t need knives and bombs to destroy democracy. You just need a free online petition.

But this isn’t really about the red-neck DUP. This is about stopping Brexit. Back in 2015, the New Statesman told us the DUP were Labour’s allies in the General Election battle:

DUP could do a deal with Labour, says party’s Westminster leader – Nigel Dodds says he “can do business” with Ed Miliband and praises his responsible capitalism agenda.

George Eaton had encouraging news on how the DUP and Labour could unite to stop the Tories:

The Northern Irish party is traditionally viewed as a potential partner for the Conservatives, who considered a deal with them before the 2010 election. But when I interviewed the DUP’s Westminster leader, Nigel Dodds, he rejected this characterisation and signalled that he was open to an agreement with Labour.

“We can do business with either of the two leaders, either Ed Miliband or David Cameron, and we will obviously judge what’s in the best interests of the United Kingdom as a whole,” the North Belfast MP told me. “And obviously we’ll also be looking at it from the point of view of the constituencies that we represent in Northern Ireland as a whole. Unionism has worked in the past with Labour governments and we’ve worked in the past with Conservative governments back in the 70s. Indeed, the Ulster Unionist Party propped up the Callaghan administration. But it remains to be seen. We are certainly not in the pocket of either party and we’re certainly in a position where we’re able to negotiate with both of them.”

How ambitious were the DUP? Said Dodds: “We are not interested in a full-blown coalition government with ministerial positions and all of that.” The NS was delighted, calling the DUP’s openness “a boost for Labour”.

The Guardian said “senior Labour and Tory figures believe they will be able to work constructively with the DUP”. Labour saw the DUP as a “reliable partner”. The DUP had a “more natural affinity to Labour”. As for the DUP’s views on homosexuality – Ian Paisley, the party’s founder, once campaigned to “save Ulster from sodomy” – well, that wasn’t an issue:

Labour and the Tories are both troubled by the views of many DUP members on LGBT rights, highlighted by the resignation of the party’s health minister. But that would have no technical impact on negotiations over the formation of a UK government – LGBT matters are devolved to the Northern Ireland assembly.

Wind the clock forward and the DUP are no longer the party of Labour hope, who get on with Labour leaders “extremely well”.  They are regressive and anti-human. They are the “ultra-conservative DUP”, says the Guardian. “The DUP has vetoed the legalisation of same-sex marriage five times in Northern Ireland assembly votes. A majority of DUP members also oppose the legalisation of abortion, which is prohibited in Northern Ireland unless the mother’s life is at risk.”

The “DUP is undoubtedly bad news for the pro-choice movement in Northern Ireland”, says one New Statesman writer. The DUP’s rise to prominence will “embolden other anti-choice MPs”. Another writer tells New Statesmen readers: “Any government that includes the DUP is profoundly bad news for women.” All of them, including Arlene Foster, the DUP’s leader, because “women have the equal opportunity to be depressing misogynists too”. Or to put it another way: not all women agree with one another; they can hold their own views and exercise free will in decision making.

All abortion should be decriminalised. Birth control should be a private matter. But to call the DUP women haters is unhelpful, hyperbolic and deliberately polarising. It’s meant to be, of course. If the DUP are bad for women’s right then any Brexit contracts signed by a Tory-DUP alliance will be bad for women. Ditch the DUP and save womankind. But with no DUP there can be no easy Brexit. Better yet, there’ll be no Brexit at all.

So add your name to the online poll, and defeat the free and legal vote for Brexit, one backed by over 17m low-information, tabloid-duped people between 7am and 10pm on a June day last year. Do it for the many, not the few.

PS: This dicing up of the electorate into gender, race and age is hideous. We don’t vote with our skin, genitals or student ID. We vote with our heads, hearts and wallets. The narrative that says Labour is the party of youth overlooks the number of younger voters who voted Tory and the older voters who were unnerved by the so-called dementia tax and turned away from Theresa May. It also ignores how fluid voting has become. UKIP’s collapse was down to its voters turning to Labour and the Conservatives. Fudge Brexit and UKIP may yet rise again. A return to ‘safe and secure’ two-party politics is far from guaranteed.

 

Posted: 10th, June 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Jeremy Corbyn rejoices in losing to a useless Tory leader

Huzzah for Jeremy Corbyn. He lost the General Election for Labour to a Tory leader he thinks so useless she should resign. Theresa May can’t hang on for five years – not with her track record of defeating Corbyn by just 58 seats.

She has to go, says Corbyn.

Tony Blair defeated three Tory leaders at General Elections. There’s hope in the Corbyn camp that he’ll see the back of many more. Labour lost in 2017 by the same margin they lost to useless David Cameron in 2010.

As the Daily Mash puts it:

He said: “I am very confident that I can now be beaten by a classic British idiot like Boris Johnson, or even someone as utterly moronic and dreadful as Andrea Leadsom.

“If the Tories are stupid enough to choose a dimwit like Liam Fox or David Davies then I can promise them both a reasonable level of victory.”

High Five!

 

corbyn gif thornberry

 

Posted: 9th, June 2017 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Piers Morgan’s election breakdown: life moves pretty fast for Corbyn bashers and Trump cheerladers

How was election night for GMTV host and Big Media big beast Piers Morgan?

 

Piers Morgan election predictions fail 2017

 

 

Piers Morgan election predictions fail 2017

 

This is what Big Media had to day about Jeremy Corbyn:

Mrs May isn’t just kicking Corbyn when he’s down, she’s dug his political grave, prepared the coffin, set the date for the funeral service and invited us all to attend his career death.

Who said that? Yep, Piers Morgan in the little-known Daily Mail. He has a “doubt many people have a clue what Corbyn truly thinks or believes”.

 

 piers morgan daily mail corbyn

And what of Corbyn being the UK’s Donald Trump? Well, ITV, on which you can watch GMTV, reviewed his Corbyn interview with Morgan thus:

corbyn trump piers morgan

Curse that “vicious media”.

Spotter: Tom Jamieson

 

Posted: 9th, June 2017 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, Politicians | Comment


Jeremy Corbyn celebrates by high fiving Emily Thornberry’s breasts

A jubilant Jeremy Corbyn appears to high-five Emily Thornberry’s breast as Labour score biggest slice of the vote in decades. Theresa May’s not the only one who feels like a right tit.

 

corbyn gif thornberry

 

Labour surely delighted the polls closed before that.

Posted: 9th, June 2017 | In: Gifs, Politicians | Comment


GE17: low-key Russian influence in Stoke Newington polling station

To the Tyssen Community Primary School polling station in Stoke Newington, Hackney, London.

(Please excuse the repetition but there’s some kind of echo on our communications devices. Hello, Moscow… Over….)

Posted: 8th, June 2017 | In: Politicians, Reviews | Comment


Election Day tabloids: Corbyn missing, May mocked and bigots burn Untermensch newspapers

Jeremy Crobyn Theresa May GE17

 

It’s “TEZZA v JEZZA” (Daily Star) and the tabloids are going big on the leaders of the country’s two biggest parties.

Which leader’s picture appears most?

 

 

The Daily Star leads with photos of Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May. Corbyn looks like he’s flicking through some old holiday snaps of his time with Diane Abbott. Theresa May is in full Joyce Grenfell mode. Inside the paper, over pages 2 and 3, both leaders are smiling.

 

Jeremy Crobyn Theresa May GE17

 

It’s just May on the Express cover. No sign of Corbyn until page 12. “We must not let Jeremy Corbyn into Number 10,” says Ross Clark at first sighting of the Labour leader.

 

 

The Mirror finds a horrible picture of May and makes it big and then bigger. Get a load of those nostrils! Gerra load of those bogies up those nostrils!! And then look at the bags below the staring eyes, the teeth, the lips, the lot. Aaaaaah! There is no sign of Corbyn. Where is he?

 

Jeremy Crobyn Theresa May GE17

 

On pages 2-3, we get 7 more pictures of May – and not one of Corbyn. We see and hear from Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary. We see May with a long Pinocchio hooter.

 

Jeremy Crobyn Theresa May GE17

 

Finally we get to see Jeremy Corbyn on page 4. He’s inviting us to examine the thumb on his right hand. In a smaller photo, we see his right hand held up and open. You wonder what the left hand is doing and if the right hand knows what the left hand is doing.

There are two more pictures of Theresa May. On page 7, there’s a cartoon showing May being kicked – physically kicked – by a battalion of voters.

 

Theresa May the mirror

 

On page 8, we again see May. She’s everywhere in the Mirror.

The Daily Mail leads with May. She is smiling. Her hands are spread wide. The picture is flattering.

Page 4 and May’s back. She’s “fired up”.

Page 9 and we see picture of Diane Abbott. But sill no sign of Jeremy Corbyn. He’s nowhere. There is not one photo of the Labour Party leader in the Mail.

 

Corbyn the sun bin

This man is rubbish – actual rubbish

 

The Sun shows Corbyn on the cover. He’s in the “COR-BIN (geddit?). He is rubbish, actual rubbish. (If anyone fancies a flutter, I’d go each-way on Puppet of Unions in the 3:15).

Over pages 2 and 3, we see two photos of smiling Theresa May.

 

Jeremy Crobyn Theresa May GE17

 

On pages 4 and 5 we see Jeremy Corbyn stood below a sign that says “CRAP”. It did say “SCRAP”  – another sort of rubbish, if you will – but if you crop the ‘S’ it’s changed to “CRAP”.

 

Jeremy Crobyn Theresa May GE17

 

Pages 8-9 and the Sun dresses up Corbyn. We see the now Prime Minister sat on a bench in “derelict Britain”. We get one more photo of a smiling May.

Meanwhile… the kind of people who don’t like tabloids and the Untermensch who read them are burning the things. It really is like the 1930s. And it’s not Nazis shutting down free speech and monstering anyone you don’t agree with – it’s you, the right on fascist spotters! Oh, the irony!

 

GE17 burning newspapers

 

Psst: Any Corbyn fans got a copy of the Jewish Chronicle? It’s full of burning issues.

Vote now and vote often. RAUS!

Posted: 8th, June 2017 | In: News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment


Regret the error: the Hampshire Chronicle spots a UKIP ‘c*nty councillor’

The Hampshire Chronicle regrets referring to UKIP’s Martin Lyton as something like a “county councillor” that “looked like a crude remark”:

 

fail typo

 

Spotter: @dderbyshire

PS – Is the TimesCaitlin Moran moonlighting on a local rag?

Posted: 8th, June 2017 | In: Politicians, Strange But True | Comment


No anti-Semitism in Labour and other myths

 

Vote now and vote often.

Just look at the state of this:

Bloody hell:

 

antisemitism corbyn labour

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


Donald Trump and the cancer charity horror story

21st Century Bastards Donald TRump- action figures for the post-truth age

 

Occasionally you read something that shocks you. Forbes’ Dan Alexander has a story about Donald Trump’s son Eric and a charity golf event .

The real star of the day is Eric Trump, the president’s second son and now the co-head of the Trump Organization, who has hosted this event for ten years on behalf of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. He’s done a ton of good: To date, he’s directed more than $11 million there, the vast majority of it via this annual golf event. He has also helped raise another $5 million through events with other organizations.

Fabulous. Overlooking the grandstanding, doesn’t just one extra dollar raised make the entire thing worthwhile? Surely it does.

The best part about all this, according to Eric Trump, is the charity’s efficiency: Because he can get his family’s golf course for free and have most of the other costs donated, virtually all the money contributed will go toward helping kids with cancer. “We get to use our assets 100% free of charge,” Trump tells Forbes.

That’s not the case. In reviewing filings from the Eric Trump Foundation and other charities, it’s clear that the course wasn’t free–that the Trump Organization received payments for its use, part of more than $1.2 million that has no documented recipients past the Trump Organization. Golf charity experts say the listed expenses defy any reasonable cost justification for a one-day golf tournament.

Additionally, the Donald J. Trump Foundation, which has come under previous scrutiny for self-dealing and advancing the interests of its namesake rather than those of charity, apparently used the Eric Trump Foundation to funnel $100,000 in donations into revenue for the Trump Organization.

Read it all on Forbes.

The wonder is that President Trump should know that charity can never replace government social assurance. Nothing and no-one has the financial capacity of the federal government. Contributing your celebrity to the cause is not enough:

Donations rise during good times and fall during bad; the $316 billion given last year is high, but it’s still less than any of the three years leading up to the last recession. It’s understandable that people would have less to give when times are hard, but happens to be the exact time when the need is highest. …

The food stamps program cost $78 billion last year, and Medicaid cost, $251 billion. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or what used to be called welfare, cost another $31 billion. Once the Obamacare exchanges reach something like full capacity in 2017, federal subsidies for insurance on those exchanges is projected to cost about $108 billion. And that’s before we even mention Social Security, which cost $773 billion in 2012.

So the idea that a reduction in these programs could somehow be made up for by an increase in private giving just doesn’t reflect reality.

Over to the President…

Posted: 7th, June 2017 | In: Money, Politicians | Comment


Politicians and students agree that looking is a gateway to crime

Politicians all want to censor the web. CapX writes:

It took us many centuries, a lot of effort and much expended blood and gore to get to this place where we are free – at liberty and ruled by the law, not the whims of people nor the rage of the mob. That we have those who would snatch them from us worries me far less than what our rulers will do to us and our liberty in the name of protecting us from those bearded nutters.

Just wait until the next generation of politicians arrive in Westminster from our elite universities. Spiked’s Free Speech University Rankings tells us: “The more prestigious universities, those ranked highest in popular league tables, are nearly always the most censorious; the few green-ranking institutions are generally less highly esteemed.”

Joanna Williams adds:

The link between academic success and a fondness for censorship is more than just a mindset. It is precisely because they are the academic achievers that students at elite universities demand freedom from speech…They’ve learned that language constructs reality, and that ‘words that wound’ can inflict ‘spirit murder’ on those who, according to their gender, ethnicity or sexual identity, are assumed to be forever powerless. The students who excel in elite universities today have come to embody the vulnerability they see in others.

They don’t trust us. They moralise about our choices, thoughts and movements. They pick technical arguments about what should be banned and permitted over debating the root cause of the problem that leads people to become Islamist killers. In the minds of these superior prudes and knowing gatekeepers, the mere act of looking becomes a gateway to crime.

Posted: 7th, June 2017 | In: News, Politicians, Reviews, Technology | Comment


GE17: who wants to see Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘money shot’?

As Cuck Norris tweets:When phrases enter the language and you use them, but you have no idea of their meaning or derivation: a short treatise.”  has treated Twitter users to Jeremy Corbyn’s “Money shot”.

 

jeremy corbyn money shot labour GE17 fail

 

Collins dictionary defines ‘money shot’: “a shot in a pornographic film in which a male performer is seen to ejaculate.”

Spotter: Cuck Norris 

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


GE17: Nuanced tabloids leave voters in a dither

It’s the eve of the 2017 General Election and the the papers remain undecided. It’s all very nuanced at the Daily Mail, Daily Express and Sun.

 

 

One tabloid does, however, make it position clear: Jeremy Corbyn’s cup is empty in the Daily Mirror.

 

Posted: 7th, June 2017 | In: Politicians, Tabloids | Comment


Vladimir Putin is playing things by the book: this book

21st Century Bastards Vladimir Putin - action figures for the post-truth age

 

Is Vladimir Putin following a book, namely The Foundations of Geopolitics: The Geopolitical Future of Russia by Aleksandr Dugin, aka “Putin’s Brain”. You can read it on Wikipedia:

The book declares that “the battle for the world rule of [ethnic] Russians” has not ended and Russia remains “the staging area of a new anti-bourgeois, anti-American revolution.” The Eurasian Empire will be constructed “on the fundamental principle of the common enemy: the rejection of Atlanticism, strategic control of the USA, and the refusal to allow liberal values to dominate us.”

The United Kingdom should be cut off from Europe.

Ukraine should be annexed by Russia because “Ukraine as a state has no geopolitical meaning, no particular cultural import or universal significance, no geographic uniqueness, no ethnic exclusiveness, its certain territorial ambitions represents an enormous danger for all of Eurasia and, without resolving the Ukrainian problem, it is in general senseless to speak about continental politics”.

The book stresses the “continental Russian-Islamic alliance” which lies “at the foundation of anti-Atlanticist strategy”. The alliance is based on the “traditional character of Russian and Islamic civilization”.

Russia should use its special services within the borders of the United States to fuel instability and separatism, for instance, provoke “Afro-American racists”. Russia should “introduce geopolitical disorder into internal American activity, encouraging all kinds of separatism and ethnic, social and racial conflicts, actively supporting all dissident movements — extremist, racist, and sectarian groups, thus destabilizing internal political processes in the U.S. It would also make sense simultaneously to support isolationist tendencies in American politics.”

Spotter: Kottke

Posted: 6th, June 2017 | In: Books, Politicians | Comment


After London Bridge: we’ve had ‘Enough is Enough’ of Jeremy Corbyn (paper review)

The London Bridge and Borough Market terror attacks – how do the tabloids cover the massacre? All share the same news of heroic deeds, horrific injuries and barbarity. But their different treatment of Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn is notable. Which of the political leaders do you trust to keep us safe?

 

the star london bridge

 

Daily Star (front page): “HEROES”

The paper focuses first not on the Islamist extremists who murdered people, rather on the people who helped defeat them and help the injured. We meet Gerard Vowles and Geoff Ho.

Page 2 – 3: “HUNTING FOR VICTIMS”. Now we get to the killers, who wielded foot-long hunting knives and used a truck to slaughter people. And then to the heroes once more.

GEEZER: Gerard Vowles, a proper Londoner who makes us proud. He went to help a woman being set upon by the murderers. He “pelted the killers with pint glasses, bottles and chairs”.

GEEZER: A woman “wedged herself in a restaurant door to stop the gang bursting in and attacking diners”. We do not know her name. But she held things up long enough for 20 people to escape.

GEEZER: A cabbie tried to run down the killers with his taxi. (More on him later.)

GEEZER: A copper took on all three killers. He was armed with a baton. He was stabbed many times. He survived.

GEEZER: Geoff Ho is a journalist for the Sunday Express. He was stabbed in the neck trying to help a doorman under attack. He tweeted: “Don’t know whether it was stupid or noble to jump in and break up the fight outside the  Southwark Tavern, but two a*******s trying to do over a lone bouncer on the door isn’t happening on my watch.”

(It’s great that the Star is unable to repeat the word “arseholes” but finds no issue carrying adverts for “Proper Filthy Girls” and an invitation to phone in and “Listen to Mother & Daughter” aural sex. Apparently, incest is ok but arseholes are taboo.)

The paper produces grainy photos of the killers waking through Borough Market. We also see one of them dead on the floor, killed by a policeman. The copper’s a geezer, too, as are all the police who raced to help.

Pages 4-5: “Dozens held in Armed Swoops”

Police raided a block of flats in Barking, where one of the killers reportedly lived. He was, says a neighbour, a “nice guy” who “rewarded favours with curry”. Says Mohammed, a neighbour who had jump-started the soon-to-be killer’s car: “I told him to forget about giving me money. The next day he turned up with a lovely chicken biryani that we all enjoyed.” The killer was also seen wearing an Arsenal shirt – the one he was wearing when he murdered so many. “I couldn’t believe it. I had seen him in that shirt at 5pm that evening,” says another neighbour.

Another adds: “He approached me yesterday and asked me where I hired a van recently. He said he was going to move house… He was being nicer than normal… He was always nice, but yesterday he was an entirely different level of niceness.”

Evil is banal.

Page 6- 7: “MAY: THIS IS WAR – PM vows to crush Islam extremist.” May is “defiant”. But Jeremy Corbyn did a”U-turn”, changing his “long-held  opinion that he was not ‘happy’ with the police’s shoot-to-kill policy.”

Page 21: The horror occupies readers’ minds. They text in their views (click the image to enlarge):

 

 

Daily Express (front page): ENOUGH IS ENOUGH”:

The paper echoes the words Theresa May used to condemn the slaughter.

Page 2-3: “Jihadis walked around like outlaws at the OK Corral.” Sticking with the idea of this being the wild West, the paper issues a phone poll. The question runs: “Is now the time to round up suspects?”

The paper reminds us that the killers wore dummy suicide vests. They yelled, “This is for Allah.” The paper’s editor tells readers of the woman on London Bridge pleading with her stabbed partner: “Stay with me please, I love you. Come on, please. Don’t let those fuckers get away with it.” He says Donald Trump is right to ridicule our politicians for being “politically correct in our reaction to these outrages”.  And “Theresa May is right when she says Enough is Enough.”

Page 3: “Marksmen threaten to shoot a fleeing suspect in pyjamas.” To West Ham, where an eyewitness tells us about a police raid: “Then a young black man, barefoot and in pyjamas came out of the window. They were shouting ‘We will shoot you if you don’t go back in… the police officer was ready to shoot.”

Page 4: “We fought toff jihadis with bottles and hid in cellars and cupboards.”

We hear from Mark Stembridge, owner of Cafe Brood: “Three Asian guys came down the steps after crashing the van. I saw them with the knives. They each had a knife in their hands. They were about 10-12 inches long. The staff reacted very quickly. We had about 130 customers and 15 staff working. We all got inside but we don’t have doors only shutters. The staff protected all the customers and the three guys just hesitated and then they went off.”

Page 4: Elizabeth O’Neill’s son, Daniel O’Neill, was stabbed. The killers told him: “This is for my family, this is for Islam.” Mrs O’Neill calls her son’s attackers “cowards”. She is remarkably restrained. They wanted to kill him.

Page 6: More from the cabbie who tried to run down one of the killers. He had a fare in the back when he saw their rented van crash on London Bridge. “I said I am going to try and hit him, knock him over, so I spun the cab round and was about to ram one of them, but he side-stepped and three police officers came running towards them with batons drawn.” The cabbie told everyone to run. Student nurse Rhiannon Owen is grateful. “I’ve been trying to find the driver all day on social media. I owe him my life.”

Black Cab drivers, eh, salt of the earth. One part of Chris’s – that’s all we know of him – testimony makes me smile: “I saw the van went between one of the traffic light systems. There is an area called Nancy Steps, famous for the film Oliver!.” You don’t get that in an Uber. Chris is a top geezer.

 

Theresa May terror speech express

 

And now we get to Jeremy Corbyn. We read that one of his “leading supporters” has “described Islamic terrorists as ‘freedom fighters'”. It’s Barbara Ntumy  – pronounced numpty? – who reportedly tweeted in July 2014: “One mans jihadist / terrorist is another mans freedom fighter #JustSaying.” She is quoted: “I absolutely 100 per cent condemn terrorism.” Is it fair to drag up an old tweet now? Isn’t Corbyn enough?

On Page 9, we hear of “Nauseating” Jeremy Corbyn, a man who “in the recent past has called Islamic terrorist groups and the IRA ‘friends’ and opposed every piece of anti-terror legislation”. Security Minister Ben Wallace says: “Voters will judge him [Corbyn] on his views and actions in the last 30 years, not his desperate promises and evasive soundbites three days from polling day.” Is Corbyn tough on crime and terror? Express readers get to read Theresa May’s statement in full. They do not hear Corbyn’s.

 

the mirror london bridge

 

 

Daily Mirror (front page): “MONSTERS”

The word dehumanises them. The killers were men.

Page 2 -3: “FACING DOWN EVIL”. We meet the “revellers fighting back against the attackers”. The paper mention religion once in its lead story. It does so when quoting Theresa May, who stated that she would fight the “evil ideology of Islamist extremism”.

Page 4-5: We hear more of the woman begging her partner to hang on. It’s heartbreaking. We do not know if Peter survived. To consider one story up close brings the pain to the fore. The numbers of dead and injured we read and consider as facts. Peter and his lover are intensely human. It’s unbearable.

Page 6-7: “TOWER OF TERROR.”

Police raided the Elizabeth Fry tower in Barking, East London. In all, they made 12 arrests. Chris Hughes, the paper’s defence editor, praises police and MI5. They have “smashed… more than a dozen major plots” cooked up by “Islamist terrorism since 9/11”. MI5 operates with a “professionalism” other intelligence agencies “can only dream of”.

Page 8-9: “People hurled tables, chairs and glasses at then..they weren’t going to stand back.”

Page 10-11: “I looked into his eyes and thought he was going to pull the pin & blow us up.”

 

Theresa May terror speech mirror

 

Page 14-15: Only now does the paper turn to politics. We see Theresa May declaring “Enough’s enough.” We get it. The words chime. The paper picks out another of her lines: “Terrorism breeds terrorism…they are copying one another.” And then we get to Jeremy Corbyn. He looks smaller than May. His line runs: “Our police, nurses, firefighters deserve a pay rise. They can’t get by on her warm words.” Get that? In talking of terror and the fight against it, the Mirror backs Corbyn to get better rates for public sector workers. If the voters decide terrorism is the key issue, Corbyn’ scuppered. The Mirror is realistic. Corbyn being tough on terror does not resonate.

Page 16-17: “PM: Net giants give hate ‘safe space to breed.” May is no champion of free speech. To paraphrase Douglas Adams, the killers most likely used phones, roads and drank tea as they plotted. Why not clamp down on those things, too? The Mirror does not condemn Mays illiberalism. It finds an echo in the shape of the no less authoritarian Yvette Cooper. The paper affords the Labour MP and ex-shadow home secretary a platform to say the big web companies must do mote to stamp out “extremist recruitment online”. If Cooper is worth a listen, then why not the current shadow home secretary, Diane Abbott? Is she hard on terror? Is she in hiding until after the election? Is Cooper the future of Labour? If she is, then blimey, they really are shafted.

Pages 18-19: “Richard Angell says the terrorists will not win. More on him here.

Page 20-21: “GIVE MORE COPS GUNS”

Is that a good idea?

 

the mail london bridge

 

Daily Mail (Front page): “Bloody day all of Britain said: Enough is enough.” The message is clear: Theresa May speaks for us all.

Page 2-3: The Mail says at least one of the killers was known to the security services. We’re told he’s the Watford-born man wearing the Arsenal shirt. We’re told of claims he “became radicalised by watching extremist videos on YouTube”.  Funny how it goes that way around: you watch the video then become a killer. Might it be that he liked Islamic extremism and any videos just entertained him? If we present the killers as empty vessels to be easily moulded by a video, we remove some of their own free will from the crime. We move closer to making them victims. And – boy – do Islamists like to be victims.

Page 4-5: More photos of the carnage. Pictures of the dead and injured. Who needs YouTube? If looking can turn you into a killer, should we look at the papers?

Page 6-15:  More and more photos of the injured; more stories of heroism, defiance and bravery – “The fucker stabbed me in the neck,” says Candice Hedge (the Mail says “f*****s” ; dead bodies are ok in the Mail but swearing might influence impressionable minds).

Page 16-17: “MAY: CURB THE HATE ON WEB.”

Page 18: “Hours after latest horror, IS terror guides sill online.”

 

 

Page 19: Richard Littlejohn – “I’m sick of politicians pussy footing around. As they won’t says it, I will – we ARE at war.” He asks if the nation can take Jeremy Corbyn seriously on matters of national security. Hold your tongue. The question is rhetorical. The answer is coming thick and thicker.

Page 20: “There country is not reeling – but nor are we appeasers of terror like Corbyn,” says Dominic Lawson.

Page 21: “Corbyn’s 30 Years of Talking to Terrorists.”

 

 

The Sun (front page): “JIHADI KILLER IS AN ARSENAL SHIRT.”

Football. The Sun has done it and made football a key part of the story. (Add it to the list of unwelcome endorsements.) We learn that the killer in the old Arsenal top was called ‘Abz’.

Page 2-3: “8 Cops. 50 Shots. 3 Losers burning in Hell.” Is Donald Trump writing the Sun’s headlines?

Pages 4-5: “A girl burst in, her neck spurting blood, and grabbed me.”

Page 6-7: “4 Women Among 12 Arrested.” To which the response is: so? Or: How many Spurs fans?

Page 8-9: “We Stopped Them – Bouncer lobs seats at 3 killers. Leads fiends to be shot by police.” Ozzy the doorman is a geezer. “I realised I had to do something,” he says. “… Me and another guy started launching bar stools, bottles and glasses at them… They ran through the barrage and we deflected them and they literally ran  straight into the cops who shot them.” Says Ozzy’s mate: “Ozzy’s an absolute hero.”

Page 10-15: More tales of courage, heartache and horror.

Page 16-17: “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.”

May’s soundbite might just produce the predicted Tory landslide. Corbyn is once more attacked over his ‘U-turn’.

Page 18: “Corbyn is a real threat to security”, says Trevor Kavanagh. The Sun says a vote for May is a vote to “make Britain safer”.

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 5th, June 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment


Jeremy Corbyn ‘looks forward to an asteroid wiping out humanity’

In 2004,Jeremy Corbyn was one of three signatories on an anti-human motion.

 

Jeremy Corbyn pigeons

 

 

Early day motion 1255

Session: 2003-04
Date tabled: 21.05.2004
Primary sponsor: Banks, Tony

Sponsors:
That this House is appalled, but barely surprised, at the revelations in M15 files regarding the bizarre and inhumane proposals to use pigeons as flying bombs; recognises the important and live-saving role of carrier pigeons in two world wars and wonders at the lack of gratitude towards these gentle creatures; and believes that humans represent the most obscene, perverted, cruel, uncivilised and lethal species ever to inhabit the planet and looks forward to the day when the inevitable asteroid slams into the earth and wipes them out thus giving nature the opportunity to start again.

Nice opinion to the electorate, Jeremy.

Tory Peter Bottomley amended that to the hope that “humans and other creatures may with luck have the chance to live together again”.

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