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Labour: ‘What Antisemitism crisis?’; Corbyn’s 12 apostles get busted

jews

The Labour antisemitism “crisis” – which isn’t – appears on just one front page. The Daily Telegraph leads with the “Labour antisemitism crisis”. But not one of the Corbyn cronies running Labour thinks Jew hatred in it ranks is a crisis. They see it as an issue, bigger than dog poo on the pavements but smaller than getting the trains to run on time and keeping Diane Abbott off the telly.

At a recent meeting of the Labour party – one so important that the party’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn, didn’t bother to attend; and neither did Labour General Secretary Jennie Formby, who instead wrote a letter saying how she thinks Jew hatred is wrong. She says that as a result of hundreds of instances of antisemitism in the party – some of which were probably investigated by a crack team of party loyalists [insert small number here] – 12 members were kicked out. Kick out JC’s apostles. Raus! To the trains!

PS: Odd that the only national newspaper at the vanguard of sticking up for Jews caught once again in the maw of rising antisemitism is the Telegraph. This is how the paper responded to one recent complaint:

This article [HYPERLINKED] of 26 September published in Telegraph Travel originally stated that only Cuba, North Korea and Iran do not have a central bank owned or controlled by the Rothschild family. We accept that this is an anti-Semitic trope, although it was not included by the writer with anti-Semitic intent. We obviously accept that it was inaccurate and offensive, however, and we are very sorry that it found its way into our output. It has been redacted from the article.

Antisemitism – you’re never more than a click away from the stuff.

Posted: 12th, February 2019 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Only fools, Corbyn’s cronies and bigots believe Labour on antisemitism

Corbyn anti-semitism

From hundreds of cases of antisemitism in the Labour Party, Labour General Secretary Jennie Formby says 12 members were kicked out. Says Labour MP Ruth Smeeth:

This isn’t over yet. Nobody is going to force me out of this party to stop me carrying on this fight. We know of thousands of cases that have been submitted where nothing seems to have been done. Believe you me we are going to carry on fighting this. The PLP is united on this… One of my friends [Labour MP Luciana Berger] who is heavily pregnant is having to go through this day in day out and it’s simply not good enough.“

This is the email sent to all Labour MPs ahead of a meeting on Monday night. Formby was not at the meeting. Jeremy Corbyn was not at the meeting. Maybe he didn’t look closely enough at the invite:

Further to our meeting on February 4, as promised, here is a further update of the progress we have made in relation to action against antisemitism.

At the PLP meeting, I emphasised that I totally reject the suggestion that the existence of antisemitism in our party is a smear. I have seen hard evidence of it and that is why I have been so determined to do whatever is possible to eliminate it from the party. It is also the reason why I made it a priority to implement robust procedures to deal with it whenever it is identified.

I made the point that, whilst I cannot guarantee to totally eradicate it as we have new members joining every day, I can guarantee that we now have robust procedures to deal with it whenever it is identified. I also talked about the importance of education in challenging attitudes as a key element in tackling antisemitism.

It is clearly of the utmost importance that everyone feels welcome in our party and we must ensure that includes all members of our Jewish communities. In addition to the formal steps that are being taken in terms of procedures, I am continuing to work with Regional Directors and staff across our party to do all we can to make CLP and other meetings safe, welcoming and comradely.

A key issue highlighted in the PLP motion relates to the release of statistics. The NEC has previously been clear that statistics on disciplinary matters should remain confidential and not be published. This is in line with our policy about not publishing other party statistics. However, I took that request very seriously, and considered how it could be disclosed in an open and straightforward way, so that it was not misinterpreted or misused for other purposes by the Party’s political rivals.

I therefore proposed to the PLP that the three NEC representatives who are directly elected by the PLP would be invited to examine the statistics on an ‘open book’ basis and to monitor them regularly thereafter. In this way, they would be able to give clear analysis to the PLP, whom they represent, on whether or not they believe we are making sufficient progress.

The three representatives concerned, George Howarth, Margaret Beckett and Shabana Mahmood, have impeccable credentials and are completely trusted by the PLP. This was therefore a genuine attempt to give the PLP confidence that there was oversight by people whom they trust to be independent and honest in their assessment of the situation.

However, the PLP rejected this proposal. In view of the importance of rebuilding trust with Jewish communities, after the meeting, I consulted NEC officers to get their permission to publish data. I pushed hard to get their agreement to do so. I will set out the data in this letter.

The PLP requested information in relation to staffing numbers. The Governance and Legal Unit (GLU) experienced a high level of sickness last year, followed by several staff leaving the party. This caused capacity issues and whilst we covered some of this by seconding junior barristers and solicitors, I am pleased that we have now completed the process of replacing those who have left. In addition, we have invested funding in the GLU so that the number of staff dealing with investigations will increase from five to eleven staff.

Now turning to the data.

Before April 2018, there was no consistent and comprehensive system for recording and processing cases of antisemitism . Therefore, this data shows complaints received in the period April 2018 to the last antisemitism panels held in January 2019 and represents a snapshot of the current situation.

Over 30% of complaints received by the Party are related to non-Labour Party members. For complaint ‘dossiers’ that have been submitted, this figure almost doubles up to 60%.

Many of the complaints refer to social media posts that are up to 8 years old. One specific case reported recently, a complaint was made about someone who died in 2016.

Every complaint that is reported as antisemitism is recorded as that, irrespective of the evidence, in line with the Macpherson principle. Where no further action is taken, it therefore does not mean that people have been ‘let off’, it is an indication that there was not sufficient evidence to continue an investigation of the case as an antisemitic incident.

In the period described above:

433 complaints received were not about party members

Of those who were party members

96 members were immediately suspended
146 received a reminder of conduct**
220 cases did not have sufficient evidence of a breach of party rules to proceed with an investigation
211 were issued with a Notice of Investigation
**A reminder of conduct is a first written warning and as agreed at January’s NEC meeting, these warnings will now only be issued by the antisemitism panels, supported by special counsel.

Of the cases who were issued with a Notice of Investigation or suspension, there have been 96 NEC Antisemitism Disputes Panel decisions

42 members referred to National Constitutional Committee (NCC)
16 members issued with a formal NEC warning
6 members’ cases were referred for further investigation
25 members issued with ‘reminder of conduct’
7 members’ cases were closed as the full evidence suggested no further action should be taken

Of the remaining number of cases which are either under a Notice of Investigation or suspension, 44 left the Party after being presented with the evidence in their case, and the remainder are either still under active investigation as having only been more recently received, or are cases where the investigation revealed evidence that meant the case could not be pursued further.

Of the 42 members referred to the NCC, which is an independent quasi-judicial body, 5 members left the party, leaving 37 cases for NCC review.

The following 18 NCC decisions have been made:

12 members were expelled
6 received sanctions
The remainder are awaiting completion of the case
Throughout this period, the NEC working groups, together with the GLU team, continued to work on the reform of antisemitism and disciplinary procedures. We will continue to monitor and develop our procedures.

Additionally, the PLP asked how often NEC officers and/or the General Secretary have used delegated powers to make decisions on antisemitism disputes. I can confirm this never happens as the reforms to NEC procedures mean that all substantive decisions are taken by NEC Antisemitism Disputes Panels.

Following the NEC adoption of the IHRA definition and the 11 associated examples, I contacted the Board of Deputies, CST, JLC and JLM to ask whether they now felt able to re-engage with us to continue consultation on our Code of Conduct.

More recently, I have had private meetings with individuals from several Jewish community organisations to explore how to bring that about. As has been reported, direct engagement with us does not currently appear to be an option for some organisations. I very much hope this will change as I remain absolutely committed to engaging and working together with Jewish community organisations at all times. In particular, I am keen to discuss with them the vitally important issue of education of members, and educational materials for all members to enable them to recognise and challenge antisemitism wherever it arises.

I hope and trust our transparency as demonstrated here and our determination to succeed will allow this to happen.

Labour has a little problem. But it won’t look at the cause. Just why is Labour obsessed with Jews?

But one Labour MP told PoliticsHome: “The stain of anti-semitism and bullying is alive and well in Corbyn’s party and as long as he continues to turn a blind eye to what is going on the worse it’s going to get. He’s allowed the Labour party to become a culture of intolerance and bullying and he should be ashamed.”

“One has to wonder why you have a problem with the world’s only Jewish nation-state,” asks LBC.

The Guardian can’t hide the issue:

The party revealed the figures in an email to MPs, and suggested no earlier figures could be compiled because there was “no consistent and comprehensive system for recording and processing cases of antisemitism”. However, the party’s former general secretary Iain McNicol disputed that claim in a private meeting with Labour MPs on Monday night, saying such a system had been in place.

Whoops!

Posted: 11th, February 2019 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Meghan Markle writes an open letter to her dear old dad

meghan markle

Meghan Markle will need stronger crystals and a firmer deep tissue massage to reach the serotonin (happy hormones) as her heart is “broken beyond repair”. The Express has news that Meghan is pained by her father’s decision to “reveal” a private letter. And he “could release MORE”. MORE! We want more, rather MORE. But for now all we have to tuck into is a handwritten note Meghan sent her father, Thomas Markle – “In August, Meghan wrote to her Meghan’s father to stop his attacks.” She wrote:

Daddy,

It is with a heavy heart that I write this, not understanding why you have chosen to take this path, turning a blind eye to the pain you’re causing. Your actions have broken my heart into a million pieces – not simply because you have manufactured such unnecessary and unwarranted pain, but by making the choice to not tell the truth as you are puppeteered in this. Something I will never understand.

You’ve told the press that you called me to say you weren’t coming to the wedding – that didn’t happen because you never called.

You’ve said I never helped you financially and you’ve never asked me for help with is also untrue; you sent me an email last October that said: ‘If I’ve depended too much on you for financial help then I’m sorry but please could you help me more not as a bargaining chip for my loyalty’…

I have only ever loved, protected, and defended you, offering whatever financial support I could worrying about your health…and always asking how I could help. So the week of the wedding to hear about you having a heart attack through a tabloid was horrifying.

I called and texted… I begged you to accept help – we sent someone to your home…and instead of speaking to me to accept this or any help, you stopped answering your phone and chose to only speak to tabloids.

If you love me, as you tell the press you do, please stop.Please allow us to live our lives in peace. Please stop lying, please stop creating so much pain, please stop exploiting my relationship with my husband…

I realise you are so far down this rabbit hole that you feel (or may feel) there’s no way out, but if you take a moment to pause I think you’ll see that being able to live with a clear conscience is more valuable than any payment in the world.

I pleaded with you to stop reading the tabloids.On a daily basis you fixated and clicked on the lies they were writing about me, especially manufactured by your other daughter, who I barely know.
You watched me silently suffer at the hand of her vicious lies, I crumbled inside.

We all rallied around to support and protect you from day one, and this you know.

So to hear about the attacks you’ve made at Harry in the press, who was nothing but patient, kind and understanding with you is perhaps the most painful of all.

For some reason you continue fabricating these stories, manufacturing this fictitious narrative, and entrenching yourself deeper into this web you’ve spun.

The only thing that helps me sleep at night is the faith and knowing that a lie can’t live forever.

I believed you, I trusted you, and told you I loved you.

The next morning the CCTV footage came out.

You haven’t reached out to me since the week of our wedding, and while you claim you have no way of contacting me, my phone number has remained the same.

This you know. No texts, no missed called, no outreach from you – just more global interviews you’re being paid to do and say harmful and hurtful things that are untrue.”

He commented: “This is not the girl I know. It’s not the way she talks. This letter is cold. When she signs off it’s ‘Meg’. You read the way it ends and it felt like a final farewell to me.”

You can read the same story in the Mirror – where it’s an “exclusive”

This is jut one of 14 – that’s FOURTEEN in Express language – stories on Meghan Markle in today’s paper of record. Other highlights include:

“What is the latest travel advice for expectant mothers?” – Don’t get into a car driven by Prince Philip?

“Meghan Markle: Sister Samantha hits out at ‘NARCISSIST’ duchess – ‘She doesn’t care!'” – so why keep talking about?

And news that Meghan is “nothing like Princess Diana” – well, there’s no extra-martial sex to repot on and she alive (see car advice).

“Will Meghan and Harry name their baby after THIS Queen?” – Arise Princess Freddie Mercury.

“Meghan Markle must learn THIS marriage trick from Kate Middleton’s royal success” – Tell the butler to double the order on stun guns.

More to follow. Much, much more…

Posted: 11th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment


Martial Phwoar! Manchester United striker in Paris sex scoop

Martial sex manchester united

Anorak was looking for the headline ‘Martial Phwoar’, but instead has to make do with the Star’s “exclusive” that Manchester United forward Anthony Martial is a “Cheapskate”.

The paper alleges the player cheated on his pregnant partner, squiring his extra-martial lover in a £70-a-night budget hotel. Or to put it another way: pennywise football does not squander cash but seeks out best rates – possibly by the hour.

Martial’s partner has since given birth to the couple’s son… Swan. And today readers meet “French beauty Malika Semichi”. She says of her alleged tryst at the two-star Hotel du Midi near the Gare de Lyon train station in Paris: “I have to say I was surprised when he told me which hotel he had picked. It wasn’t the nicest and was a bit rundown and cheap, especially seeing as he’s used to much nicer hotels. But I knew he had a girlfriend so presumed it was because he didn’t want anyone to see us together.”

And who can presume anything other than that. After all, as Malika says: “He kept referring to me as his second girlfriend. He made me feel special.” You’re a number 2. Aw, shucks. And it get still more romantic in Paris, city of car-b-cues, angry people in yellow vests and snails a la mode. The Star claims he sent her “a string of snaps showing off his manhood, which this paper has seen”. The paper has seen Martial’s bellend? Bu at least we know now what what a load of snapshots of your knob is called: a string – a word once reserved for pearls?

Posted: 10th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, manchester united, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Gemma Collins seeks spiritual advice from Kerry Katona

kerryt katona

Who better for Gemma Collins to turn to for spiritual advice than Kerry Katona, former Queen of ITV’s I’m A Celebrity jungle and long billed in the tabloid press as “troubled”? Kerry is the women who had her cosmetic surgery televised and was once so hard up, she was forced to sell her parrot to buy Tampax.

Collins, 38, currently between injuries in ITV’s Dancing On Ice is “seeking help from crystal-loving Kerry Katona”. That’s an unfortunate or conniving play on words by the Mail, given Kerry’s battles with drugs – and crystal is a shorthand for crystal meth. The People reminds readers that Katona is an “ex-addict” whose nadir – or at least one of them – was being filmed taking coke a caper that led to her getting sacked by Iceland (the frozen food store and not the nation). In any case, Collins wants help calming down not speeding up. A source arrives to explain all:

“It sounds a bit woo and wacky, but Kerry’s obsessed with meditating and yoga and it’s helped her so much with her stress and anxiety. Kerry has been choosing crystals she thinks will help Gemma cope with the pressures of Dancing on Ice and all the diva accusations she’s had.”

Anorak advices Collins choose the homophonous Krsytle Carrington, who was always ice cool in a crisis, save for when Alexis pushed her too far and she resorted to fisticuffs.

PS: Cynics will point out that Katona and Collins have have the same agent. This in no way diminishes from the truth of this story.

Posted: 10th, February 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Tabloids, TV & Radio | Comment


Sir Philip Green allegedly paid woman £1m for kissing and groping her

Philip Green

The injunctions are dead. Sir Philip Green wanted the law to prevent the Daily Telegraph from revealing details of alleged sexual and racial abuse against him. Today the paper leads with allegations that the fashion mogul paid five staff members of staff at his Arcadia Group money to keep shtum. One female employee was allegedly paid more than £1m to keep quiet after she accused him of kissing and groping her. All five signed non-disclosure agreements (NDA) stating they would not repeat their allegations.

Green denies allegations he behaved wrongly. His lawyers argue he was a “passionate businessman” who “can at times be exuberant and hot-headed”. Green “categorically denies any unlawful… sexual behaviour”. He also denied any “unlawful… racist behaviour”.

The Daily Mail looks at Green’s legal bill. He has, says the paper, “started a new war with accusers”. They should honour the NDAs or face “further legal actions and significant losses”.

Sir Philip said the law “recognised that the signatories to the non-disclosure agreements have ongoing obligations to honour those agreements, which they entered into willingly after receiving full independent legal advice about their rights and responsibilities”.

The BBC outlines the claims:

A female employee received more than £1m after Sir Philip groped her, kissed her, called her a “naughty girl” and made comments about her weight

A black male employee received £1m after Sir Philip mocked his dreadlocks and suggested he was “throwing spears in the jungle”

A female employee received hundreds of thousands of pounds after Sir Philip sexually harassed her and grabbed her face

A female employee received hundreds of thousands of pounds after Sir Philip put her in a headlock and groped her waist

A male employee left his role with one month’s pay shortly after Sir Philip smashed his mobile phone

The Telegraph is gunning for Green. Will other leading businessmen and figures – say, Royals – get the same attention?

Posted: 9th, February 2019 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, News | Comment


Labour’s little problem with Luciana Berger

Chuka Umunna says the Labour Party is “institutionally racist”. Too many of its fans are Jew haters and Jew baiters. Umunna is an erudite, cosmopolitan bloke. He hasn’t left Labour, the party that likes to bill itself as an ‘anti-racist’ party. He’s still in it. Will Labour split?

At a recent meeting, Jennie Formby, the Labour Party’s general secretary, refused, as the MP Luciana Berger reported, “to answer reasonable questions… or commit to taking the action we need” to defeat anti-Semitism.

By coincidence, Berger’s local party in Liverpool Wavertree accused the Jewish MP of “continually using the media to criticise the man we all want to be prime minister”. Two motions for her removal were tabled. In the Liverpool Echo a Labour spokesman denies the motions had anything to do with Berger’s Jewishness. And:

The Liverpool Wavertree Labour group has called an ‘extraordinary’ meeting next weekend after motions of no confidence in MP Luciana Berger were tabled. Agendas have just been issued to 1,700 members of the Liverpool Wavertree Constituency Labour Party with just two motions, which both call for votes of no confidence in Ms Berger .

Who is Berger? The Guardian:

Berger, often a critic of Corbyn, has faced persistent antisemitic abuse over the last decade, some of it from within her local party. She has been the target of online abuse and had a police escort at last year’s Labour party conference after receiving death threats.

And then motions were withdrawn. Why? The Guardian:

A no-confidence motion in the Labour MP Luciana Berger has been withdrawn and a meeting to discuss her future has been cancelled after it emerged that one of her key opponents within the local party called her a “disruptive Zionist”.

The Times:

Earlier in the day John McDonnell said that he believed the motion was related to reports that Ms Berger was considering backing a party split and urged her to “just tell people you’re not supporting a breakaway party”. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the shadow chancellor said that if the motion had arisen because of her stance on antisemitism then it was “completely wrong”.

Chuka Umunna, the former shadow business secretary, accused Mr McDonnell of suggesting that a “victim of outrageous racism . . . must promise she will not walk because of that racism”.

Evidence of a party split? None provided. But McDonnell is clear: suck up to Jeremy Corbyn and it will all go away. Anyone think Labour treats anti-Semitism seriously? It doesn’t.

Says Berger:

“I have made no secret that, as a Jewish woman representing a city with a Jewish community, I have been deeply disturbed by the lack of response from Jeremy Corbyn as party leader and many in the wider leadership of the party to the antisemitism that stains our party.
“I and my colleagues have pressed the party for months to take concrete action to tackle this serious issue. I joined colleagues in the Parliamentary Labour Party on Monday in a unanimous call to the party to be transparent about what it has and has not done to root out antisemitism in the party.

“I am deeply disturbed at the party leadership’s desire to brush this aside and its decision not to comply with the expressed wish of Labour MPs. Nothing will deter me from exposing antisemitism wherever it festers, including in the Labour Party where it is being wilfully ignored.

“My values remain the same as they did when I was first elected. I will not be distracted from fighting for the interests of my constituents.”
A Labour Party source said: “Antisemitism is not mentioned in the motion and the motion has no formal standing. However, Jeremy Corbyn has made clear that no one should be criticised for speaking out against antisemitism.

Labour’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, wrote to the aforesaid Formby to ask her to suspend the Liverpool Wavertree party. He wrote: “It is clear to me that Luciana Berger is being bullied. This behaviour by her local party is intolerable. The actions of her constituency are not only threatening towards Luciana personally but are bringing our party into disrepute. I am therefore requesting that you take the necessary steps to suspend Liverpool Wavertree constituency Labour party (CLP).”

And so it goes…

Posted: 8th, February 2019 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Jeff Bezos dick photos and Trump’s Pecker

Jeff Bezos penis

PSST! Wanna see what Jeff Bezos’s penis looks like? American Media Inc. (AMI), the National Enquirer’s parent company, thinks you might. Mr Bezos, who owns Amazon and the Washington Post, isn’t keen on you seeing photos of his bellend. “Of course I don’t want personal photos published,” Mr Bezos wrote in a blog post before adding: “I prefer to stand up, roll this log over, and see what crawls out.” He’s accusing AMI of trying to blackmail him over the dick pics.

Bezos posted an email he claims was sent to his intermediaries by AMI lawyer Jon Fine. The alleged email contains threats to publish photos of Bezos and his lover, former TV host Lauren Sanchez. “Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail,” writes Mr Bezos, “I’ve decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten.” Bezos says AIM wanted him to go on the record, to make a “false public statement” that the National Enquirer’s story was not politically motivated. But there are allegedly “strong leads” to suspect political reasons. Bezos says President Trump is mates with AMI’s boss – get this! – David Pecker.

AIM says it “acted lawfully in the reporting of the story of Mr Bezos”. It is “in good faith negotiations to resolve all matters with him”. The board “convened and determined that it should promptly and thoroughly investigate the claims”.

God bless America, where billionaires hire lawyers over photos of their peckers.

The BBC:

AMI recently admitted in court that it had co-ordinated with the Trump presidential campaign to pay a Playboy model $150,000 (£115,000) in hush money to keep quiet about her alleged affair with Mr Trump. Mr Bezos noted in his blog post how the publisher had confessed to a “catch and kill” deal to bury Karen McDougal’s politically embarrassing story. AMI’s agreement to co-operate with federal authorities means it will not face criminal charges over the payments, Manhattan prosecutors announced in December. Mr Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen – who facilitated the hush money at the direction, he says, of Mr Trump – has already admitted violating campaign finance laws.

As for the Enquirer, well, remember John Edwards. It should have won a Pulitzer.

Posted: 8th, February 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, National Enquirer, News, Politicians | Comment


Walmart sells Hitler pillows

Hitler pillow walmart

Who wants to buy a pillow bearing the image of Hitler’s face and a swastika? People of Walmart do. The Fresno Bee:

When the Very Rev. Ryan Newman bought the pillow on walmart.com in November, he could see it featured large images of a bicycle and the Eiffel Tower, and the word “Paris.” What he didn’t see were Nazi party seals with swastikas, along with Hitler’s face on postage stamps with the German word “Reich” – referring to the Third Reich, the Nazi regime from 1933 to 1945 – on the top near the pillow’s seams. The images cover several inches on each side.

Newman said he was dumbfounded, and then angry and upset.

“To me this is a symbol of hate,” he said. “This is a symbol of evil.”

Walmart were only following (online) orders:

A Walmart spokeswoman provided the following statement: “This pillow was listed by a third-party seller on our online marketplace and is in violation of our policy. We regularly scan our marketplace for these types of items, but, unfortunately, the offensive image wasn’t visible on the pillow’s photo and we were not aware of it until the customer reached out. We removed the item immediately and are reviewing the seller’s assortment.”

Anyone buy one and keep it?

Posted: 8th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, The Consumer | Comment


Brexit: Guardian absolves Labour MPs who backed Brexit and EU wonk Donald Tusk sent to Hell

Tusk Brexit hell

When Donald Tusk, president of the European council, sent Brexiteers and Leave voters to a “special place in hell“, the Guardian knew who he was talking about: Tories. In a story entitled “Devils in disguise?” the paper looks at the “politicians who may have reserved their own hot seats.” They are, in no particular order: David Davis, Bois Johnson, Michael Gove, Liam Fox and Danial Hannan. All Tories. The Guardian has absolved: Kate Hoey, John Mann, Dennis Skinner, Frank Field and Gisela Stuart, all Labour MPs at the time of the EU vote who campaigned for Britain to Leave the EU. Why is that – why is it that the paper of the Left fails to spot that people on the Left back Brexit? Labour voters back Brexit. They still don’t get it.

Andy Burnham, aLabour MP during the referendum and now mayor of Manchester, said at the time : “We [Labour] have definitely been far too much Hampstead and not enough Hull in recent times and we need to change that.” They still need to.

Posted: 7th, February 2019 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Rolf Harris is alive and coming to a school near you

rolf harris wood

Convicted child abuser Rolf Harris is alive. Who knew? This week the man once famous for asking kids “Can you tell what it is yet?” as he panted his way through a TV show and now known as a sexual deviant who persistently abused minors is reported to have entered the grounds of a primary school near his home and “waved at pupils”. The Mirror doesn’t tell us if the pupils waved back as they waited in the school hall for their lunch nor what part of his body Rolf waved. The BBC adds – and try not to gag: “He was talking to sculptor Nick Garnett, who was working in the school’s ‘Kiss and Drop’ area.”

(In June 2014 Rolf Harris was convicted of 12 counts of indecent assault. The crimes were committed against four girls – one of who was aged just seven or eight. He was released from prison 2017. That same year, an appeal saw one conviction overturned, but the other 11 remain.)

Mr Garnett tells the BBC: “I turned round and there was Rolf Harris, which was a strange moment.” Fight or flight? “He asked for a piece of timber. Apparently he’s interested in making some carvings, so I gave him a couple of pieces.”

The headteacher at Oldfield Primary School in Bray, Maidenhead, goes on the record, telling us: “We’ve got a wood sculptor working close to the road at the moment and Rolf Harris lives about three doors down from the school. He must have seen him (the sculptor) and come into the school area. He had no access to the children whatsoever. I went over and shook his hand and introduced myself. He explained what he was doing – that he was getting some wood from the sculptor. I said, ‘You need to go’.”

Was it a crime? Harris has no offspring at the school, one assumes. A copper is quoted: “A report was made that a man was on the site of the school. An officer attended the scene but no offence was committed. No arrests were made.”

A non-story, then? The Mail says Harris “was handed a police warning”. The Mail includes a few words from a local man: “One elderly male neighbour said: ‘He’s an asset to the area, he’s been a tremendous supporter of any charity we’ve been part of… We know he had sex with a 15-year-old but we find it terribly sad that the end of his life has been marred by continual investigation into what happened 30 or 40 years ago.”

People, eh, some really do believe in rehabilitation for paedophiles. Others believe in buying your own wood.

Posted: 7th, February 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment


See you in Hell, Donald Tusk

Dante and Virgil escape from Hell, from a 15th century manuscript of the Inferno
Dante and Virgil escape from Hell, from a 15th century manuscript of the Inferno

European Council President Donald Tusk says there is a “special place in Hell” for “those who promoted Brexit without even a sketch of a plan of how to carry it out safely”. There’s no referendum for anyone seeking to escape Hell. No ‘in’ or ‘out’ vote. The exit, as tried and tested by Dante and Virgil, is to descend into the ninth and lowest circle of Hell, slip down into the chasms below Satan’s waist and after a long walk emerge into the sunny uplands of the southern hemisphere – to strike a new deal with Australia, Kenya and the Maldives. Hades Exit – aka Hexit – is possible. Pack the suncream and a cricket bat.

Tusk hell

Who Tusk’s sinful promoters are is debatable. The BBC says: “The softly spoken politician who holds the authority of all EU countries [Tusk] has just completely condemned a chunk of the British cabinet.” It might be MPs who led the Leave campaign – Michael Gove, Gisela Stuart and Boris Johnson – Tusk was damning. It would not be George Osborne, Tony Blair and the Big Banks, who are, in Tusk’s spiritual view, on the side of the Heavenly. Maybe – just maybe – it was the 17.4m of us lost souls who freely voted to tell Tusk to naff off he was was casting into the pit.

Not that Tusk (EU salary: €33,000-a-month) has reappraised a view and found democracy wanting. He called the referendum “so dangerous, so stupid”. That’s what he thinks when politicians ask people what they think. Don’t ask. Tell. That’s how the EU does politics. Tusk predicted “the destruction of Western civilisation in its entirety” in June 2016, if British democrats voted to leave the EU. Health secretary, Matt Hancock, notes: “It’s this sort of arrogance that drives antipathy towards the EU.” It does. DUP MP Sammy Wilson went a tad further, describing the EU leader as a “devilish Euro-maniac”. European parliament’s Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt poured oil on the fires by tweeting: “Well, I doubt Lucifer would welcome them, as after what they did to Britain, they would even manage to divide hell.”

The Irish premier Leo Varadkar – hearing his country has not an Irish border but an EU border – thought it the right time to hand Jean-Claude Juncker, the European commission president, a thank-you card from a family in Ireland. “For the 1st time ever Ireland is stronger [than] Britain,” the card read. “That strength comes not from guns … it comes from your word and that of your colleagues. Britain does not care about peace in Northern Ireland. To them it’s a nuisance.”

Perhaps the most revealing part of Tusk’s snideness was when Varadkar turned to him and snarked: “They’ll give you terrible trouble in the British press for that.” As the BBC put it: “Mr Tusk nodded at the comment and both laughed.” They find it funny. They giggled. Get a load of Europe’s new aristocrats. And you know what Europeans do to them. Laugh your heads off, lads. Laugh them right off.

Posted: 6th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Scum: Liam Neeson uses rape and racism to promote a movie

liam neeson black bastard

Actor Liam Neeson reacted to the rape of a friend by asking her what colour skin the perpetrator had. Funny question, no? He then armed himself with a cosh and spent a week of his life hoping a “black bastard” would “have a go at me about something so that I could kill him”.

Neeson said this in an Press junket interview to promote his latest movie, Cold Pursuit, a revenge thriller in which the 66-year-old embarks on a revenge mission to right wrongs with extreme violence.

Yep, that’s what I thought: what kind of a c**t uses rape and racism to promote a movie? Frederick Joseph makes a sound point when he tweets: “Even him telling the story demonstrates a level of privilege and understanding that there may not be repercussions.”

Neeson uses the same interview to voice regret at his odious behaviour. He is “ashamed”. He says his behaviour was “awful”.

But that phrase, “black bastard” rolls so neatly from his tongue. “Rub some coal dust on those wounds you fuckin’ black bastard!” bellows Ray Winstone’s Carlin in the 1979 movie Scum. The phrase is bald, hard and horribly familiar. Some words go tougher, their use combined into a manta we all know: fuck off; Jew-boy; Paki-basher; stupid bitch; silly cow; black bastard.

Those are the words of adolescent ignorance and wilful adult malice. Neeson didn’t use them then. He’s using them now.

Posted: 5th, February 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News | Comment


Arsenal balls: Emery’s transfer budget

Arsenal transfer budget

Arsenal have a strange squad of players, a composite blend of the over-paid, over-hyped and under-performing. But worry not. New blood is on the way. The Sun says Arsenal are looking to recruit at least five new faces for next season. And they have a whopping £40m to get them. The transfer budget will go up should Arsenal qualify for the Champions League either by finishing in the top four or winning the Europa League. Can they do it? Can a club that paid over £30m for the lumpen Mustafi and let Aaron Ramsey leave for free do something right? If they do, then Emery will have £60m for spend on new faces – what Manchester City invest in a reserve full back.

The Sun, however, doesn’t tell readers who that figure was arrived at. why wold Arsenal go public with their budget? And why does the Mail tell its readers: “Emery’s Transfer budget is only £45m.” And in the Mail Arsenal needs “at least three players” to “join the elite”.

All utter tosh, of course. Arsenal are the elite:

Arsenal money

Arsenal do have the money. They also have an absentee owner uninterested in seeing his team win on the field.

Posted: 5th, February 2019 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports | Comment


Love Island winner Jack Fincham: being famous gets you drugs and booze

Jack Fincham, winner of TV’s Love Island, and Mr Dani Dayer, wants to talk about “My coke shame”. But before the shame, the sympathetic back story. The Sun, which leads with the news of Fincham’s drug taking, tells us he “caved in” to the “temptation” of “regularly being offered drugs in the wake of his TV triumph”. Other reality TV shows offer less mind-blowing prizes. But that’s showbiz.

Jack, 27, tells us: “I’ve made a terrible error.” And ..? Well, why are you telling us, Jack? Are you getting in first before an expose hits the papers? Is the Sun now an extension of the therapy industries – “If you want a sympathetic ear and a chance to talk, call 0800 Snort ‘n’ Tell (You’re amongst friends!”)?

There are two more pages of Fincham to browse. And we note that he’s “dreading telling hardman Danny Dyer about his cocaine shame”. Danny is, of course, Dani’s homophonous dad, the EastEnders actor.

But surely Danny will understand how “dangerous elements of the showbiz scenes” can pull young noses towards an incidental table in an Kent hotel. Says Jack: “Since winning the show I’ve been offered cocaine a lot”, plus “free drinks” and a chance to appear in another reality TV show. Yes, that’s right, Jack’s shame trails the TV show The Full Monty, named in honour of the film in which a group of down-on-their-luck men from the impoverished provinces turn to the skin trade to earn a few quid and fame. Showbiz, eh. The top prize used to be car.

Posted: 5th, February 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Tabloids, TV & Radio | Comment


Historic sex abuse: 33 men arrested in Yorkshire on the word of one woman

In Yorkshire, 33 men have been arrested over claims they were involved in child sex abuse. The men, aged from 30 to 40, were arrested in Calderdale, Kirklees and Bradford districts. The alleged crimes happened years ago. They are allegations of ‘historic sex abuse’. And, as the Examiner notes: “It comes after one woman has come forward alleging she was abused as a child, predominantly in the Halifax area, between 2002 and 2005.”

One woman makes a number of claims and 33 men are arrested. The paper tells us us: “All those who have been arrested have since been released under further investigation.”

Detective Inspector Laura Nield, of Calderdale District Safeguarding, goes on the record:

“Protecting and safeguarding children is a top priority for the Force and this operation forms part of West Yorkshire Police’s ongoing commitment to investigating both current and non-recent sexual offences against children. These crimes affect the most vulnerable in our society and are truly heinous crimes.”

Alleged offences. Surely she should have said the offences are alleged. The 33-men now being eyed with suspicion deserve that, don’t they?

Posted: 4th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Maltipoo proves Ant McPartlin is not a shit

Ant Mcpartlin the sun bgt multipoo

The Sun doesn’t bother to hire a dog whisperer to translate what the pair of Mulitpoo dogs hooked in Ant McPartlin’s paws think of their new ‘owner’. But we do know that Ant (pedigree: Geordie) “kept them warm in his cosy jacket”. what else Ant keeps in his anorak is also left unsaid, and the pooches are advised to avid licking the ‘tic-tacs’.

Two more pages of Ant (not a shit) and his “2 poos” follow. We hear from a source (unnamed – pedigree: house-trained PR firm mutt), who tells us that Ant and his new love Anne-Marie (pedigree: a cross between Anne of Green Gables and Marie Antoinette) are in a “positive place”. No, not bed, you cynical sluts. Ant is taking a stroll on Wimbledon Common, and showing not the slightest hint of being affected by the man with camera tracking his every move. “Ant has never been so happy.” So there, Lisa (pedigree: ex-wife and former employee of aforesaid Anne-Marie).

By the way, the Sun lets it be know that Ant is now clean of booze and drugs (and Anne-Marie) and gainfully employed. You can keep track of his movements in your role as Ant Mentors as he treads the boards on TV show Britain’s Got Talent. First up is a man who says he can spin gold from a piece of shit. He works in PR and performs as ‘anonymous source’…

Posted: 4th, February 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment


The Pool RIP: people will pay for what they enjoy reading

trump magazine

Claire Woodward looks at the end of The Pool, the website for women by women that ran up crippling costs in quick time. Harking back to the era when magazines were must-haves for any teenager, she recalls hours spent devouring PippinTwinkleBuntyJintyJackieWhizzer and ChipsCor!Smash Hits, Disco 45Look-In, The BeanoThe DandyMelaniePinkBlue Jeans.

I used to read everything and anything – Tiger, Blue Jeans, Whizzer & Chips, Just 17, MAD, Resale Weekly (a trade magazine for plant machinery), my dad’s old Laugh comics from the 1950s, Punch and Women’s Own. Says Woodward:


This is a long-winded way of saying how said I was to read of the demise of women’s website The Pool, which went into administration yesterday. It was a bold, funny, relevant website for women that used a lot of great freelance writers, but it was all available for free, like the content of BuzzFeed, who announced editorial cutbacks this week. The Pool, like comedian Sarah Millican’s online women’s mag Standard Issue, found it couldn’t survive online without a subscription model (although Standard Issue is still available as a podcast).

It’s tragic, really. Writer Andy Dawson and I were lamenting The Pool’s demise on Twitter, and he wrote: “People think nothing of spending £3 for a coffee but shit their pants at the thought of forking out for something that’ll amuse and inform them for an hour.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to make websites pay. Flashbak, WhoAteAllThePies, Spiked-Online all need money to thrive. How do you do it?

Mathew Ingram lost his job at Gigaom in 2015. He talked to Poynter:

“You join these things because you’re committed to them as an idea, not just oh, hey, this would be a cool paycheck and maybe I’ll get some equity out of it,” Ingram said. “It is a lot more like a relationship than a job.” … “Maybe be prepared,” he said, “because it could happen at any time.”

A few ideas to consider. Be prepared for bad news. Wonder why you didn’t have a go yourself. Realise that magazines were always a good way to burn through cash. Journalism is not all speaking truth to power – sometimes it’s about selling shoes. People will pay modest amounts for something they enjoy. Not everyone expects everything for free. The trick is to keep costs low, be ready to go part-time on your labour of love and enjoy it.

Posted: 3rd, February 2019 | In: Money, News | Comment


Ban mobile phones from schools and Parliament

Parliament mobile phones MPs Commons

You can read the Times’s story on calls to ban mobile phones in school – but only for the kids, natch. – and not have the foggiest idea why you’re reading it. It’s all about fanning the opinions of Nick Gibb. But nowhere in the story does the Times find space to tell readers who Gibb is. Well, he’s Nick Gibb, Minister of State at the Department for Education. Who knew? Gibb, a man with a profile lower than a spoon, says mobile phones should be banned in schools. The ban will ensure the kinder have better chances of concentrating in class. The kids should be educated about the dangers of too much screen time at school, and at home.

Says Gibb, whose clearly not one of those MPs who sit in the Commons assembly hall ignoring the head’s addresses as they tip-tap on their phones and talk – like the kids must not do in their halls.:

“I believe very strongly that children should be limiting their own use at home. Every hour spent online and on a smartphone is an hour less talking to family, and it’s an hour less exercise and it’s an hour less sleep. And of course it is a lack of sleep that research is showing can have a damaging effect on a child’s mental health.”

An hour less slumped in front of the telly. An hour less watching video nasties. An hour less fighting the Rockers with switch blades. An hour less telling your mum you hate her and never asked to be born. An hour less reading comic books. An hour less having sex. Stop it. Stop it now!

Posted: 2nd, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Teacher plays sex worker’s advice at GCSE revision talk

Harris slang Croydon
Does Harris school need a rebranding?

To the Harris Purley Academy in Croydon, where the parents have come to lean about GCSEs. At the back of the hall ‘Sir’ presses play on a device. “I want to talk about sex for money,” says a female voice. Outrage. Parents are “obviously disgusted and upset that our children were exposed to filth”, says one dad. Sir “quickly turned his phone off and put it in his pocket – turned very red and started sweating as all the parents and children stared at him.”

The Indy says there is a perfectly sensible explanation for the interruption: “The teacher is understood to have been scrolling through his phone and looking at the TED website…”

Which TED talk is unspecified. You’ll have to search for it at your own leisure – but not on school premises. And only for research purposes.

Posted: 2nd, February 2019 | In: News | Comment


The Pool shuts; freelancers still owed money

The Pool website lavene

The Pool website has shut. As many as 24 staff are facing redundancy. The site, fronted by BBC Radio 6 presenter Lauren Laverne and former Cosmopolitan and Red editor Sam Baker, was running at a heavy loss. The Pool Ltd racked up a net loss of £1.84m in the year to the end of March 2018. The previous year it lost £1.36m. Who backed the website aimed at women? The overheads must have been big to incur such a loss. The site was only set up in 2015. You wonder what the business plan was?

The Guardian says the site was “known for its relatively generous freelance rates in a struggling industry”.

Go Fund Me page aims to raise money for the unpaid staff.

In 2015 it was all so different. The media landscape was hardly buoyant. But The Pool had ideas:

The Pool is being funded by early stage investors Fourteen17 and aims to be profitable next year. It is using native ads to generate revenues, with one brand partner signed up to an annual tenancy and more in the pipeline.

Big splash. Big names. Lots of nice coverage from other media hoping for links back. And then the competition bites.

Not that calling out the patriarchy is the website’s raison d’être, as it is with sites such as Jezebel or The Vagenda. And it would be unfair to suggest all-women teams have a totally different way of running media organisations than men. But one comment Baker makes is striking in its unusual perspective: “We always ask ourselves: how does it make her feel? A lot of people don’t think about how something makes someone feel when they’re reading it – but we always try to answer that question.”

All publications write with a reader in mind. All good writing foments emotion.

Oddly, for an all-female crew, the only company director – of 8 – who remained til the end is a man.

Posted: 1st, February 2019 | In: News | Comment


A look around Roald Dahl’s Dylan Thomas-themed writing shed

In 1982 Roald Dahl, showed us inside his writing shed at his home in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England. The shed was relocated to the Roald Dahl Museum. The desk – a board balanced on the arms of a tatty chair – we knew about. Dahl called the 6ft x 7ft hut his “little nest, my womb”. One thing we didn’t know: Dahl modelled his shed on Dylan Thomas’s own writing shed in Carmarthenshire, Wales. The BBC:

Although Dahl based the design of his hut on Thomas’s shed, there was one major difference – the lack of natural light. He often kept his curtains drawn (10) to block out the outside world and was dependant on an angle-poise lamp for light….

Dahl’s widow Felicity said: “He realised he had to have a space of his own in the garden away from the children and the noise and the general domesticity and he remembered that Dylan had felt the same.

“And so he went down to Wales to look at Dylan’s writing hut and, like everybody, fell in love with it.”

Built to the same proportions, with the same angled roof – the similarities could be a coincidence. But according to his widow it was built in a similar design by Dahl’s builder friend Wally Saunders, who the BFG was based on.

“He built it exactly to the same proportions as Dylan’s hut, the same roof, one skin of brick,” said Mrs Dahl. “Of course Dylan’s hut was a garage originally, whereas Roald had nothing, it was an empty space that he built on.”

Roald dahl writing shed

Spotter: Boing Boing

Posted: 1st, February 2019 | In: Books, Celebrities, Key Posts, News | Comment


Prince Philip: look who Freaky Phil could have killed

prince Philip accident car

The Sun has an “exclusive” on Prince’s Philip’s car accident in which one woman travelling in the other vehicle sustained a broken wrist. It’s an exclusive based on the opinions of one Graham Oakley.

Oakley might be the person behind the company Graham Oakley – Crash Detective Ltd, which you can access via something called The Federation of Forensic & Expert Witnesses

The Sun mentions neither company but does tell us Mr Oakley is a “retired cop”. He tells us that had the accident occurred differently then someone could have died. “It don’t beat thinking about,” he adds. Only it does because the Sun mocks up what “could” have happened. “A split second later and there would have been a tragedy,” the Sun states.

prince Philip accident car
Not ‘Phil the Greek’

The paper then adds a look-alike image of the Prince and a figure in the 1493 Leonardo Da Vinci artwork A Man Tricked By Gypsies. This gives space for the pun “Phil The Freak”. The image, which featured in the Royal Collection, is described thus:

The man at the centre of this drawing is surrounded by a band of Gypsies in traditional dress. He raises his right arm to have his palm read by the old woman in traditional Gypsy dress on the right – unfortunately the sheet was cut at an early date and the palm-reading trimmed off. While the man is distracted, the grinning Gypsy on the left reaches under his sleeve to steal his purse. The two figures behind stare with hooded brow or laugh hysterically, adding to the sense of claustrophobic menace.

A Man tricked by Gypsies.

Just wait til Phil sells his story to the papers.

Posted: 1st, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment


Don’t make Fiona Onasanya a victim of our prejudice

Fiona Onasanya

Labour MP Fiona Onasanya is one of the rarest breed: a politician actually jailed for lying (what – rather rather than getting a peerage? – ed). Onsanya claimed she wasn’t behind the wheel when her car was spotted being driven at 41mph in a 30mph zone, in July 2017. She was. She lied. This week she was found guilty of perverting the course of justice and jailed for three months. She was expelled from the Labour party in December 2018. She remains an MP.

And some people think she got off lightly. The Mail hears them:

Jailed MP Fiona Onasanya could have her sentence increased after members of the public complained that it was too soft. The ex-solicitor, who has been kicked out of Labour, was locked up for three months for perverting the course of justice after lying over a speeding ticket. But the jail term is now being reviewed by Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, the Government’s chief law officer, under an unduly lenient sentencing scheme.

From being a crime it is now a moral offence. We expect better from our MPs, see, what with them being role models for the mentally negligible. So she should be given a tougher sentence so that we can feel pure and whole again. It should be different for them.

“You voted for a Labour Party person. Unfortunately the people of Peterborough were failed,” said Ian Lavery, the Labour Party chair. We want a Labour Party MP here who will do the people of Peterborough a great service.”

One aside: Fiona brother is called…Festus. He was jailed for 10 months for his involvement in the smatter, after pleading guilty to the same charge.

Posted: 31st, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


State refuses compensation for two innocent men who served 24 years prison

Sam Hallam innocent

Hard cheese Sam Hallam, who was convicted of murder, and Victor Nealon, who was found guilty of attempted rape. Bother men had those convictions quashed in 2012 and 2013 respectively. They are innocent. Between them they spent 24 years in prison (Hallam: 7 years; Nealon: 17 years) before their convictions were overturned. Compensation, then – how much for having a large chunk of your life ripped away for a crime you did not commit? Nothing. Why not? Because the evidence demonstrating their convictions were wrong isn’t enough.

The Indy:

Their compensation claims under the 1988 Act were rejected on the basis that it was not the case, as required by the Act, that a “new or newly discovered fact shows beyond reasonable doubt that there has been a miscarriage of justice”.

What about the State trying to make right what it make wrong? What about doing the decent thing? When he was freed, Hallam’s mother, Wendy Cohen, told media: “I am just shocked. I knew this would happen, he should never have been in there. My family has gone through hell, it is like we were all being tortured. Sam’s father killed himself while he was inside, all of us have suffered.”

Henry Blaxland QC, for Hallam, said: “Sam Hallam – and I put it boldly – has been the victim of a serious miscarriage of justice brought about by a combination of manifestly unreliable identification evidence … failure by police properly to investigate his alibi and non-disclosure by the prosecution of material that could have supported his case.”

And for that he gets nought.

Mr Nealon was wrongly convicted and left to rot. The BBC:

A man who spent 17 years behind bars wrongfully convicted of attempted rape has received an apology from a body set up to examine miscarriages of justice. Victor Nealon, 53, was convicted of attacking a woman outside a nightclub in Redditch in 1996. He asked the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) to examine his case but was turned down twice. His conviction was quashed last year… Commission chairman Richard Foster said: “I regret the fact in this particular case we missed something and I apologise to all concerned for the fact we did so.”

Simple question: what would you do if Mr Nealon was a loved one? Would you ignore his long protestations of innocence?

“I depended on people in that position to research paperwork and they didn’t do it,” Mr Nealon said… “I could have been out at least ten to 12 years ago but, on account of the CCRC and their failure to research a paper trail, I remained in prison.”

The law is unfit for purpose. “It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer” is a thought expressed by William Blackstone in his work, Commentaries on the Laws of England, published in the 1760s. So what changed? When did we become such swine?

Posted: 31st, January 2019 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment