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Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Piers Morgan - Another Own Goal

It has not been a good couple of weeks for former Screws and Daily Mirror editor and former CNN host Piers Morgan, now scribbling furiously in defence of his idol, Combover Crybaby Donald Trump, at Mail Online, and co-hosting ITV’s breakfast offering Good Morning Britain three days a week, if only to garner the channel better ratings. And this morning Morgan’s defence of The Donald took another knock.
Piers Morgan at Leveson - another unconvincing performance

We knew just how miffed Morgan was over all the stick his pal in the White House has been getting from a mardy strop he threw on Twitter yesterday evening, bleating “BREAKING: President Donald Trump just announced a cure for all known diseases. The global protest march against this outrage is at 8pm”. But Trump couldn’t cure a hunger craving in a curry house, and the GMB co-host was protesting rather too much.
Someone's a little bit sore about something

Then this morning, joining him and unfeasibly patient co-host Susanna Reid on the Official ITV Breakfast Sofa (tm) were appallingly intolerant Tory MP Philip Davies - who, to the great relief of many viewers, was reduced to a bit part in the unfolding drama - and campaigning journalist Owen Jones. Morgan’s intention, as so often, was to make the whole exercise about the promotion of Himself Personally Now.

But the best-laid plans, and all that: The Great Man combined a basic research fail with his propensity to shoot from the hip, with the result that he ended up covered in rather more than confusion. Jones, he asserted, was a leading gay journalist (intercoursing subtle, our Piers), and so should have been protesting at the state visit not of his pal Trump, but the likes of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. the late ruler of Saudi Arabia.
Owen Jones - sound bloke

The mildly inconvenient problem here was that Jones had led protests against the state visit of the then Saudi ruler. He pointed out that Morgan could have easily Googled the answer, noting that he hadn’t seen Morgan at those protests. Morgan changed tack and passed adverse comment on those coming together to protest. Jones had to remind The Great Man that he’d just asked where the protests were, and now, having been told that there were protests, had changed his mind and wasn’t bothered about them.

There was only one thing for Morgan to do - engage rant autopilot and turn the whole shebang into a monologue. This, too, was less than totally successful, as Jones then called him out for it. Morgan kept droning on, not letting anyone get a word in edgeways. The studio team began to laugh at him; Jones pointed this out, too. Ms Reid also began laughing. Morgan was looking silly (yes, I know, no change there).
OH DEAR

And, as with the equally embarrassing occasion when The Great Man got well and truly Pwned by Evan Harris of campaigning group Hacked Off, Ms Reid had to intervene to spare his blushes and bring the alleged interview to a close. It was another less than stellar advert for free speech, to see someone who likes to bang on about it trying his damnedest to prevent its exercise by those of opposing view.

How many more celebrity guests and their agents will see that and slip the word to GMB’s bookers that it’s Ben Shephard or no show? How much longer before someone at ITV takes Morgan aside and tells him to stop making a complete Tango Whisky Alpha Tango of himself? But top marks to Owen Jones for sticking to his task. Someone has to.

Trump Protest - Mail Blames Lineker

In the world inhabited by the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre and his obedient hackery at the Daily Mail, protest is an activity in which that all those Daily Mail readers, crouched behind their net curtains, do not partake. And those that do indulge in such behaviour are to be held up as an example of all that is wrong about today’s world, which by definition is going to hell in the proverbial handcart as a result.
What's so f***ing wrong with putting the boot in on a few Slebs, c***?!? Er, with the greatest of respect, Mr Jay

So when the demonstrations against the “Muslim ban”, and forthcoming state visit, of Combover Crybaby Donald Trump were reported, the straight reporting was duly relegated to the end of the article, with the headline and opening telling Mail readers who they had to hate. As one of those Nick Davies interviewed while researching Flat Earth News put it, “Dacre kills with headlines”. Those headlines blame The Usual Suspects for the protests.

Britain's Trump revolt: Gary Lineker and Lily Allen (of course) join Downing Street demonstrators protesting against President's UK state visit as thousands march across the country … Celebrities including Gary Lineker are at the march in London while pop star Lily Allen is set to speak … Senior Labour figures including shadow home secretary Diane Abbott spoke to the crowd during protest”, readers were told.
It was all his fault ...

Yes, although there were thousands of demonstrators at the London event, held outside the gates of Downing Street, they were unimportant to the Dacre doggies. The real villains were clear: “Among the list of high-profile celebrities to appear were pop star Lily Allen and human rights activist Bianca Jagger, while outspoken Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker was also spotted at the London event with sons Harry and George”.

Lily Allen, already subjected to abuse and ridicule by the Mail for showing compassion to refugees. Bianca Jagger, equally ridiculed for her activism. And Gary Lineker, denounced by the Vagina Monologue for being “outspoken”. In the world of the Northcliffe House bunker, those who appear On Telly should stay out of this sort of thing. Who knows, the public might take notice of Lineker, rather than the Mail, and that would never do.
... and it was her fault, too!

For this reason, Lineker’s presence has to be sneered at and ridiculed. Daily Mail readers would never be seen indulging in this kind of activity. Nor would they have any truck with “Politicians including shadow home secretary Dianne Abbott, shadow attorney general Shami Chakrabarti and former Labour leader Ed Miliband were also at the London march”. All these people have been previously smeared, and sneered at, by the Mail.

And to complete the list of those whom the Mail wants its readers to hate, we read “Green Party leader Caroline Lucas and Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron also spoke at the event”. How very dare they! Outside the driveway to Number 10, the residence of the not at all unelected Prime Minister on whom the Mail’s editor has an embarrassing schoolboy crush! It must be the liberals’, lefties’ and luvvies’ fault!

That our Government is rolling out the red carpet for an overgrown man-baby, a needy narcissist, a modern-day Chauncey Gardiner with the attention span of a goldfish, a self-confessed sexual predator, and a racist bigot, none of this is allowed to enter.

Paul Dacre’s crush on Theresa May blinds him to reality. The Mail’s excusing of Trump stinks. But the paper has previous form on such matters. So no surprise there, then.

Sun Muslim Ban Lies BUSTED

Whatever the more nuanced tone struck by his more upmarket Times, Rupert Murdoch is clearly allowing none of this wishy-washy shade of grey nonsense to affect the hectoring and ranting tone of the Super Soaraway Current Bun, especially when it comes to covering the actions of his new pal, Combover Crybaby Donald Trump, whose Executive Order banning visitors from seven mainly Muslim countries is encountering difficulties.
There have been demonstrations against The Donald all over the UK and USA, he’s sacked the Attorney General in a fit of rage because she, unlike all too many in Trump’s past, has said “No” to him, the petition requesting the British Government to cancel his forthcoming Royal visit has passed 1.6 million signatures, and the USA is rapidly becoming a cross between Pariah nation and an international laughing stock.

None of this is allowed to deflect the Sun’s editorial, which tells readers the Muslim Ban was not in fact Trump’s doing. Wait, what? We saw him signing the Executive Order. But no, the Murdoch goons want their readers to know “We should remember it was not Donald Trump who first inflicted the ‘Muslim ban’, but his predecessor Obama”.

Note that Barack Obama does not merit mention of his Christian name. But do go on: “WHEN the US President first targeted seven Muslim-majority countries in an anti-terror crackdown, no one protested … Why? Because it was President Barack Obama, darling of the liberal left [mention of the mythical “liberal left” - CHECK!] … It was his regime that singled out Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Somalia, Yemen and Libya and made certain travellers pass an interview to get a visa to the States … We must have missed the anti-racism marches that day”. That’s because this is bullshit.

We know this because the claim has already been comprehensively debunked by the Washington Post - that would be one of those boring US newspapers that deals in real facts, rather than the “alternative” variety peddled by the Sun - whose staff began by asking the obvious question “So what’s the difference with Trump’s action?
These were their conclusions.

First, Obama responded to an actual threat - the discovery that two Iraqi refugees had been implicated in bomb-making in Iraq that had targeted U.S. troops … Trump, by contrast, issued his executive order without any known triggering threat.

Second, Obama did not announce there was a ban on visa applications … There was certainly a lot of news reporting that visa applications had been slowed to a trickle. But the Obama administration never said it was their policy to halt all applications.

Third, Obama’s policy did not prevent all citizens of that country, including green-card holders, from traveling to the United States. Trump’s policy is much more sweeping.

The WaPo concluded that “this is worthy of at least Two Pinocchios”. In other words, the Murdoch goons’ pants are on fire.
And it gets worse: the Sun’s editorial also howls “the hysteria in Britain is still off the chart. A million-plus petition to scrap his state visit. An ‘emergency’ Commons debate demanded by Ed Miliband, ­loving another moment in the spotlight … With every daft rant the student union politicians on the Labour benches show why they are unfit to govern … The Commons should waste no time debating a US President’s immigration policy”. Fortunately, the Commons is not run by the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker.

As Mil The Younger Tweeted last night, “House unanimously passes emergency motion finding Trump Muslim ban discriminatory, divisive and counterproductive and calling for repeal”. In other words, Murdoch mafiosi, shove your rant.

The Sun’s editorial this morning is headlined by a pack of lies. No change there, then.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Trump Royal Invite - Tories Unravelling

The inability of Theresa May and her Government of less than highly talented minions has, in all too short a time, developed a reputation for dithering over decision making, only to then make a decision which proves very quickly not to have been sufficiently well thought through. A superb example has been provided by the invitation extended to Combover Crybaby Donald Trump to make a state visit to the UK later this year.
Who gave out the invite to stay here?

This was covered comprehensively by the right-leaning press: The Donald would get to play on the Royals’ own private golf course! He might even get to swap off-colour jokes with Phil! He would get to ride with Brenda in a horse-drawn carriage! There would be flag waving and people cheering! Only after the horror of Trump’s intolerant bigotry was revealed with the “Muslim travel ban” did anyone stop and think.
It might have been her ...

What if this were not a mere aberration? What if Trump’s foreign policy, his attitude to people who are not white, and his inability to see sense and back down were not only not to vary in the passing months, but manifest themselves in yet more ill-thought-through and intolerant acts? Our not at all unelected Prime Minister was having none of it. But then came The Petition, and with it the first cracks in the Government wall.
... or maybe it was him ...

Graham Guest’s petition simply proposed toPrevent Donald Trump from making a State Visit to the United Kingdom … Donald Trump should be allowed to enter the UK in his capacity as head of the US Government, but he should not be invited to make an official State Visit because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen”. This was started at the weekend. It now has more than one and a quarter million signatories.
The first sign that the Government was uneasy about their having invited an authoritarian tyrant to break bread with Her Maj came with the parcel-passing. Will Henryson was certain he had the chain of command right: “Ok…those signing the petition: The Queen extended an invitation to Trump at the request of the Government. The Government didn’t invite him”. Well, up to a point, Lord Copper. Effectively they did invite him.
... now that nobody wants to be associated with him

And the Government would be the ones who asked Buckingham Palace to somehow downgrade or postpone the visit. In any case, by noon today the buck-passing was well and truly on, as Jack Blanchard of the Mirror observed: “Theresa May's official spokesman says the Foreign Office, not Number 10, ‘holds the pen’ when drawing up invitations for state visits”. Theresa says A Big Bozza Did It And Ran Away!
But then Downing Street decided that it was time to ‘fess up. “To be clear, the Prime Minister extended an invitation on behalf of the Queen - and she was very happy to do so”. The Queen’s loyal subjects might appreciate that rather more if Her Majesty’s Government would follow its own rules - and the promises made on its petitions website - and debate Graham Guest’s petition, which long ago passed the 100,000 debate threshold.
Theresa May, her ministers, and their motley convocation of hangers-on, are clearly frit of confronting this subject. There will be protests later today, one of which will take place outside the Downing Street gates. Perhaps that will concentrate their minds a little.

The Royal visit invitation was given out with insufficient haste. It should be put on hold until the present dispensation in the White House takes its heads from out its backsides.

Sun Trump Trade Deal Spin BUSTED

After the brief and not at all warm glow generated by Theresa May’s display of grovelling to the Combover Crybaby Donald Trump was eclipsed by fallout from the new President’s draconian - and most likely unconstitutional - travel ban, there was a need for loyal newspapers to talk down the ban - and what better way than to suggest that Britain, as a result of the grovelling, was in line for a favourable post-Brexit trade deal?
So it was that the Murdoch goons at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun set to work, with today’s front page screaming “Look over there” at the travails of a lottery winner, with only a cursory item on the travel ban, spun expertly with the claim “BoJo in US win for Mo”, which was not true. There has been no change in the Executive Order at the root of the travel ban ruckus, only a “clarification” which is yet to be tested at the US Border.
Still, job done - and the happy talk continued with today’s editorial, which proclaimsTheresa May’s cautious response to Donald Trump’s ban means she’s better placed to secure a US trade deal”. Readers are warned against “keyboard warriors” and “virtue signallers”. “Theresa May’s visit to Washington DC has established a special relationship with the new President that we’re confident will be to the long-term benefit of both nations” is the approving conclusion. And there is a Real Pundit (tm) to back this up.
Faithful Murdoch retainer Trevor Kavanagh - that means his shameless propaganda has Creepy Uncle Rupe’s blessing - has opinedDonald Trump’s fascination with the UK is a real helping hand for Theresa May’s trade ambitions … Never mind the protests - Brits should be basking in our unexpected good fortune as the most powerful man in the world declares his love for our country”. Ah, those sunlit uplands once more.
The imbibing of the Kool-Aid continues: “THE world may be worried about Donald Trump’s shock-jock presidential style but we in Britain can only bask in our unexpected good fortune … a new American President is taking our Prime Minister by the hand, declaring his love for all things British and almost pleading with us to sign an historic deal on trade and jobs”. And to that I call bullshit. Trump is doing no such thing.
We can get an idea just what The Donald is really thinking, and what influence he actually has on any trade deal, by checking out the Rogue POTUS Staff Twitter feed (no wonder that Murdoch VP Louise Mensch was so keen to rubbish its veracity), which put Trump’s response directly: “POTUS was dismissive of PM May. ‘I hope she'll like us, but she doesn't have much to offer’”. And there was more bad news for the Murdoch team.
Assessment is that a post Brexit PM May needs POTUS more than POTUS needs her. ‘She does what we want, or we go somewhere else’”. And, as for Trump being the one who wields the power, “Overheard through locked door: ‘Don't they know I'm the f--- President!?’ POTUS displeased at resistance”. Oh dear, Murdoch cheerleaders!

The reality is that the Murdoch press is fraudulently giving its readers a world view which does not exist. Theresa May is a weak and indecisive control freak, Donald Trump is not going to give her a special trade deal, and the sooner we realise that, the better.

Murdoch and his minions are playing on British delusion of grandeur. Ignore the SOBs.

Don’t Menshn Rogue POTUS Staff

After Combover Crybaby Donald Trump took up residence in the White House, the crackdown on US Government agencies exercising their First Amendment rights was swift. For instance, Twitter feeds dispensing any information on environmental matters were out: anything like that had to go through the new President’s “scientific advisors”. So climate change would be censored out of existence - well, officially, at least.
(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014

As a result, several Rogue Twitter feeds have sprung into life, one of which is Rogue POTUS Staff, giving anyone who wants to know an insight into the fantasy world of The Donald and his cabal of variously bigoted, intolerant and unhinged hangers-on. As the two leads in a well-known film might have put it, who are those guys? Someone who decided she would find the answer was (thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch.
Ms Mensch may have been removed from heading her own website, the piss-poor Murdoch bankrolled Heat Street, but she is still contributing copy to it. Sensing a story opportunity, but too stupid to know her attempts to get it were futile, she DM’d the Rogue POTUS Staff account “WE would love to feature your story on heatst.com. We would need to verify your identity first but it would stay confidential. Let me know if you’re interested”.
The Rogue POTUS Staff saw her coming: “Sorry, but we won’t reveal our IDs to anyone, period. It’s just too much of a risk”. But this was not enough for Ms Mensch, who, rather than just accept that the people behind the account had good reason for keeping their identities confidential, threw a significantly-sized mardy strop in response.
OK pinning; @RoguePOTUSStaff is run by Bannon and is an attempt at disinfo. Defended #Putin #Assad troll Gabbard. Unfollow them all” she ranted. Very few people took any notice. So she upped the ante with “This is the pro-Putin / Assad account that Bannon trolls @RoguePOTUSStaff retweeted with antisemitic hashtag (two pics)”. Yes, with Ms Mensch, accusations of anti-Semitism are never far away.
This, too, was a waste of time and space. As Rogue POTUS Staff said in response, “Speaking of disinfo, @LouiseMensch just trying to pressure us to out ourselves after refusing to do so … Enough @LouiseMensch . Why don't you tell the truth, that you're angry at us for not divulging our IDs for your website. THAT is Bannon-esque”.
Their stance was the right one, for several reasons. One, the Trump White House team is deeply paranoid, and vindictive with it. Two, Louise Mensch works for Rupert Murdoch, whose organisation runs Trump fan outlet Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) - no way should anyone give one of Murdoch’s VPs info useful to the Trump team.

Three, as observers of Murdoch machinations in the UK well know, their management betrayed scores of supposedly confidential sources to the Police in order to take the heat off themselves and avoid a corporate prosecution. Would the Murdoch mafiosi do that again in order to get an in with The Donald? You bet they would.

And Four, as Louise Mensch’s former fellow MPs will tell anyone who wants to know, she cannot be trusted not to go blabbing to the Murdochs. The Rogue POTUS Staff people were absolutely right to decline her invitation. And long may they Tweet.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Nigel Farage - A Liar And A Bigot

Once again, former UKIP Oberscheissenf├╝hrer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage has been granted the oxygen of publicity by the BBC, to the initial dismay of many who wonder exactly what he has to do to cause the Corporation to look elsewhere for informed punditry - well, punditry better informed than Farage is ever going to be. This dismay was then tempered when Sunday Politics host Andrew Neil caught Farage with his trousers alight.
Squeaky burning trousered bigot finger up the bum time

Mr Thirsty, to no surprise at all, declared his unswerving support for Combover Crybaby Donald Trump and his executive order banning those born in a number of majority Muslim countries from entering the USA. “Well I do [agree], because I think if you just look at what is happening in France and Germany - if you look at Mrs Merkel’s policy on this, which was to allow anybody virtually from anywhere - look where it’s led to” he told.

And what, pray, has it led to? If Farage is alluding to the Berlin truck attack before Christmas, the perpetrator had been refused asylum and would have been deported - had the authorities in Tunisia not delayed sending the paperwork. But he wasn’t finished: “Now there are seven countries on that list, he is entitled to do this, he was voted in on this”.

Very good Nige: (a) in the 40 years from 1975 to 2015, no citizen of those seven countries has been responsible for the death of a US citizen on US soil, (b) there was no ban on countries like Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and the UAE - whose subjects were responsible for rather a lot of US deaths on US soil, and (c) the countries not included in the ban are also those where Trump does business, while (d) he does not have any business interests in the seven countries on the banned list.

That was not all: Neil tripped Farage up when he asked exactly how many killings had been perpetuated by refugees on US soil. The answer was Zero. Small wonder Mr Thirsty could not recall any such incident, as there was no incident to recall. This part of the interview was missed out of the Mail’s report, and the Sun merely mentionsThe MEP conceded American citizens radicalised at home are responsible for the recent terror attacks in the US rather than refugees”, almost in passing at the end of its piece.

It was left to the Mirror to point out that Farage had seriously misled the BBC’s audience, called out for his deceit, and then tried to explain it away by blustering “But when you’ve got a problem already, why on Earth would you wish to add to it?” Refugees aren’t responsible for killing US citizens on US soil. But in Farage world, they might be.

The Mirror’s report went on “Andrew Neil noted the US already has one of the toughest immigration checks in the world - especially for refugees … Refugees must be recommended to the US via a United Nations agency, and must undergo biometric checks and screening from four federal agencies”. The news that many who have earned the right to reside in the USA now cannot get back into the country has evaded Farage.

This is a politician who has manoeuvred himself into a position where he never has to take responsibility for his rabble rousing. A rank hypocrite, he rails against an elite that he is part of, many of his followers blind to the obvious. And to him it is all a great game. Perhaps the time has finally come for Nigel Farage and his appetite for self-publicity to be shown the door for the very last time. And don’t forget to lock it behind him.

Kate Hoey - You’re A Clown

Allegedly Labour MP Kate Hoey, who represents the unfortunate residents in the London constituency of Vauxhall, has previously passed before my inspection when she allowed her name to be placed on the by-line of a Sun article making a number of highly creative claims about Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act, part of that paper’s attempts to have the press regulation status quo preserved.
Kate Hoey

But now Ms Hoey is back in the news, if only in social media circles, for all the wrong reasons, after an ill-advised excursion on to Twitter, the true purpose of which will remain known only to Herself. The subject, as so often with those who have campaigned so ardently for Britain to leave the EU, is that of refugees, and in particular those millions who have fled the conflict in Syria, leaving homes and livelihoods behind.

As observers of the run-up to the EU referendum will know only too well, the Vote Leave campaign put out a leaflet - delivered to all households in the country - telling how Turkey, with its overwhelmingly Muslim population, was going to join the EU, and helpfully putting both Syria and Iraq on their map, just so that wavering voters had it in their mind that all those warring Syrians and Iraqis were on their way here too.
Now Ms Hoey takes to Twitter to innocently ask “Must find out exactly how many Syrian refugees have been taken in by other Muslim countries particularly in the Arab world”. Why she should have to even ask the question when the answer can be found by use of the mystical art known as “Five Minutes’ Googling”, and an article with appropriate citations is available on Wikipedia, is something that can only be guessed at.

Had Ms Hoey checked the Wiki article, she would have seen that Turkey (for all its faults in the field of human rights) has taken more than 2.7 million Syrian refugees, Lebanon an estimated 1.5 million, Jordan 1.3 million, Saudi Arabia an estimated 500,000, the UAE 242,000, Kuwait 155,000, and Egypt anywhere between 120,000 and 500,000. That makes around SEVEN MILLION refugees. And how many has Britain taken?
The United Kingdom has resettled just over 5,000. That compares with around 600,000 in Germany, 110,000 in Sweden, 39,000 in Austria, 32,000 in the Netherlands, 19,000 in Denmark, 17,000 in Belgium, 14,000 in Norway, 13,000 in Switzerland, and 12,000 in France. All of which adds up to a pretty shameful record for a country that claims to be welcoming, liberal, and tolerant. Hello Kate Hoey.

Ms Hoey has experienced considerable and severe adverse comment as a result of her Twitter intervention. Some have accused her merely of laziness; others have suggested the implication of her question was to infer - wrongly - that the Arab world was not playing its part in resettling refugees. There have been accusations of dog-whistling on her part.

The reality is most likely a combination of all three, and the conclusion is inescapable - Kate Hoey should be ashamed of herself. But not half as ashamed as many thousands of Labour Party member are of her being one of their MPs.

Natalie Rowe’s Police Raid

The Sunday People has today run a story shining a light on misbehaviour by the officers of the Metropolitan Police. “Probe into police raid which saw images of ex-madam pictured with George Osborne snatched from her home” tells the headline on Alan Selby’s article, going on to explain “Officers from the Metropolitan Police searched the flat of ex-escort agency owner Natalie Rowe, 53, last January - and now she's made an official complaint”.
Natalie Rowe

The detail merely hints at what the raid was most likely about: “In an official complaint she alleges they took mobile phones, sunglasses and two pictures of the former Chancellor [my emphasis] … It was the second time her flat in South West London had been turned upside down in two-and-a-half years … In the first, in October, 2013, the Drug Squad arrived at 6.30am”. Yes folks, it was one of THOSE raids.

There is more: “It was shortly before Miss Rowe planned to publish a tell-all book titled Chief Whip... Memoirs Of A Dominatrix. It revealed her relationship with Tory Mr Osborne, currently facing flak over a part-time role with asset management group BlackRock … A 1994 photograph had revealed the pair side by side at a party – while Miss Rowe said he was a regular guest at wild soirees in the early 1990s”.

So would all you Zelo Street regulars like the rest of the story? Dead right you would.

Ms Rowe’s story was originally going to be published on this blog, and on Byline Media - until the Sunday People suddenly decided they found it useful.

Why? They admitted that former chancellor George Osborne is “currently facing flak over a part-time role with asset management group BlackRock”. Osborne’s new job got him a front page carpeting from the Daily Mail last week. Only after that, it seems, did the Sunday People decide they would run the story of the Police raid.

One of the investigating officers is alleged to have lied about the raid, particularly over the number of officers involved. As Ms Rowe has pointed out to the Sunday People, it was a “van full of Police”. The Met have tried to push the line that no more than three or four of its officers was involved.

The Met claimed to Ms Rowe that no female officer was involved in the raid. However, and here we encounter a horribly embarrassing however, it was a female officer that searched Ms Rowe’s bedroom. How do we know this? Ah well.
George Osborne DOES NOT WANT YOU TO SEE THIS PHOTO ((c) Natalie Rowe)

Part of the conversation between the investigating officer and Ms Rowe was recorded. And you wondered why the IPCC ordered the Met to reopen their inquiry?

Not only that, the raid was captured on video. Exactly what is captured by that video is one of those places we won’t be going for now, except to say that this, too, is proving less than convenient for the Met’s finest. And there is one more item.

When the Sunday People says “she received an out-of-court ­settlement over another incident in which she says her son was unlawfully arrested”, they did not give their readers the full story. So here it is.

Two officers were charged with misconduct over the earlier raid - for allegedly improperly targeting Ms Rowe’s son. The whole thing was settled with her out of court.

And on top of that, the cops, it seemed, knew what they were looking for - not drugs, but the two photos of the former chancellor. There is no good reason for their not to be returned to Ms Rowe - other than that they could cause Osborne potentially serious embarrassment.

One of the photos has not been published before. Ms Rowe had been intending to post it imminently when her flat was raided.

The Police normally carry out raids early doors. This raid happened at around 2000 hours - in the evening.

Perhaps the Sunday People had to cut back on the details, or they were somehow edited out. But as you can see, there is plenty of interest that they did not publish - and that gives a fuller picture, a better idea of why the IPCC should demand that the Met reopen their inquiry. Hopefully they will explain themselves to Ms Rowe more honestly this time.

And perhaps the photos will be returned. But don’t expect any explanation of why they were taken in the first place.

Top Six - January 29

So what’s hot, and what’s not, in the past week’s blogging? Here are the six most popular posts on Zelo Street for the past seven days, counting down in reverse order, because, well, I have domestic clear-up to do later. So there.
6 Rod Liddle - Racist Hypocrite The Sun’s resident Miserable Git complained about lack of diversity - but in the next breath attacked minorities, and then called for equality laws to be scrapped.

5 Popbitch PWNS Piers Morgan The revelation that Sleb guests were avoiding Good Morning Britain on the days Morgan occupied the sofa destroyed the excuses being peddled by his media pals.

4 Private Eye And Daniel Morgan Why did the magazine refuse to publish a letter which disproved their take on the murder and its many subsequent investigations?

3 Sarah Vine Gina Miller Hypocrisy Ms Vine called “Pushy posh Mum”, “Self-publicist”, and “Out of touch” on the Article 50 campaigner - terms which more accurately describe her.

2 Piers Morgan - Bang Out Of Order Calling Ewan McGregor a “paedo lover” merely because the actor declined to share the Good Morning Britain sofa with him was totally unnecessary - and in any case, Morgan has no room to talk.

1 UKIP Boosting Stoke Poll BUSTED The poll giving “Bad Bootle Meff” Paul Nuttall a ten point lead in the by-election campaign was in fact a Facebook poll with a sample size of only 179. So the “story” was just more Fake News.

And that’s the end of another blogtastic week, blog pickers. Not ‘arf!

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Brexit - Canary Abandons Corbyn

Time was when left-leaning website The Canary was four square behind Jeremy Corbyn. Whatever the rest of the media said about the Labour leader - and the adverse comment has of late spread to the Guardian and Independent, as well as the usual right-wing suspects - The Canary would reassure Team Corbyn that whatever they did was The Right Thing. That came to a sudden and unexpected halt yesterday.
Under the by-line of Kerry-Anne Mendoza - yes, it’s “The Mendoza Woman” again - readers were given the bad news: “Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to support the government on Article 50 is a colossal mistake”, going on to tell “Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will order his MPs to back the government when parliament votes on triggering Article 50, which begins the process of Britain leaving the EU. In doing so without firm guarantees against a hard Tory Brexit, Corbyn has made a colossal mistake. And it may well sink him”.
Some statements of the all too obvious follow, such as “the left-wing Brexit of greater democracy and protection from radical neoliberal austerity is never going to happen under this current government. The Brexit of Theresa May is about quite the opposite”. Jezza was on a hiding to nothing however he responded on Article 50. But.
Ms Mendoza puts it directly: “Corbyn’s team argues that it’s acting to support the pro-Brexit democratic mandate expressed by the people of Britain, but that it stands opposed to a hard Tory Brexit … But the decision to force Labour MPs to back the government on the vote, before assurances have been made on those amendments, removes the bargaining power of Labour and the other opposition parties”. And there is more.
Opposition to a Tory Brexit is shared by virtually the entire fleet of opposition parties - from the SNP to the Greens, and a majority of the Labour party … Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP are poised to hold a second independence referendum to keep Scotland in the EU … the Greens and the Lib Dems are agitating against the decision vociferously. With this one decision, Corbyn has separated himself from all potential left-of-centre allies”.
How far detached Jezza and his inner circle have become has come clear as developments show: many grassroots Labour members want Corbyn to oppose the triggering of Article 50. Heidi Alexander has put down a Commons motion to throw the Tories’ Article 50 Bill out. Tulip Siddiq (just resigned from the opposition front bench), Owen Smith, Stella Creasy and Ben Bradshaw are among those backing her.
A substantial majority of Labour voters backed the Remain side in the referendum. Who speaks for them if the leadership of their chosen party backs the Government? Tim Farron? There is, as Ms Alexander says, considerable disquiet at the way Theresa May is marching the country towards the cliff edge. People are crying out for leadership.
Leadership is unqualified commitment to the major anxiety of the people. Jeremy Corbyn knows that. He also knows the source of that anxiety. So he knows what he needs to do. And if he fails to lead, others will lead instead. That is why The Canary had little alternative but to call him out on his Article 50 stance - it should be the Tories on the defensive.

Jeremy Corbyn is not yet finished. But unless he shows leadership, he may soon be.

Katie Hopkins IS An Apology

Yesterday’s meeting of our not at all unelected Prime Minister with Combover Crybaby Donald Trump was just as toe-curlingly embarrassing as could have been imagined: Trump insisted on taking Theresa May by the hand, the PM clearly ill at ease in the company of an ocean-going creep, an appallingly vain, ignorant and intolerant being, a master of sexual molestation. But for the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre and his obedient hackery at the Daily Mail, it had all gone wonderfully.
Viewers may want to look away now

All, that is, except for BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg, who, no longer distracted by domestic politics, took her opportunity to question The Donald in both hands and did her job - holding him to account. No-one should have had a problem with that. Trump did: Ms Kuenssberg was insufficiently idolatrous, she had questioned the wisdom of The Donald, and to make it worse, she was a mere woman. Trump was not best pleased.

But for the Mail, this was manna from heaven: an ideal opportunity to put the boot in on the hated BBC. “Challenged about his controversial views on torture, Russia, stopping Muslims entering the US and punishment for torture by Laura Kuenssberg, Mr Trump joked to Mrs May: 'This was your choice of a question? There goes that relationship!’ … Ms Kuenssberg's loaded question was met with a mixed response by viewers, with some calling it ‘offensive’" told the Mail Online report. And there was more.

The baton was then picked up by pro-am motormouth Katie Hopkins, who proclaimed “Even Laura, the little killjoy from the BBC, couldn't ruin Donald and Theresa's DC love-in. Now I can't wait for the return visit - let the hating commence!” In the looking-glass world of the far right, anyone who does not share their opinions is a “hater”.

So far, so intellectually deficient, but it soon got worse: “the BBC's political correspondent, Laura Kuenssberg WAS there to ask a question having apparently been nominated by the PM's press team to ask the first question. What were they thinking … Squealing like a true liberal she did her best to rip apart all Theresa May's good work thus far”. Do go on.

Throwing in pretty much every insult anyone had ever levelled at the Donald, she said Trump had 'alarming beliefs' and many people in Britain were worried about his role as leader of America and the Free World; she asked how he could reassure the people of Britain”. There were, unlike a Katie Hopkins column, no insults.
Laura Kuenssberg

You think I jest? Here it comes: “my toes curled in shame that she was the voice of Britain on the world stage … The only consolation was that she did not have an English accent. Actually, Laura, you little Scottish twerp, many of us are delighted about this presidency and need no reassurance at all. In fact, I would suggest we will need more than reassurance to pay our licence fee next year. At least North Korea gets its propaganda for free”. Anyone she doesn’t like is “little”. She’s borrowed Piers Morgan’s nervous tic.

But she wasn’t finished: “Luckily Donald made a gentlemanly joke of out of it”. First name terms already! “I can only hope Trump refuses the BBC any press passes or Security Clearance for his visit here. And bans Kuenssberg from his presence”. Won’t be down to him. It’s us he’s visiting. And it won’t be down to motormouth Katie, either.

Not that she’s about to listen to that: Ms Hopkins is clearly away with the fairies - hence telling her readers that Trump is “To accept a state visit to meet the Queen and to keep speaking up for the forgotten, hardworking people who want the very best for the country”.
The only people The Donald will speak up for are the rich and greedy, plus of course Himself Personally Now. The kinds of people that Katie Hopkins aspires to be, but never will. That, though, does not stop her from grovelling in any way she can find - like pretending to speak for Britain as she Tweets “On behalf of a place called the 'rest of the UK'...I apologise for @bbclaurak”. As if anyone who matters cares what she thinks.

Katie Hopkins IS an apology. An apology for a pundit, an apology for a journalist, an apology for a political analyst, an apology for someone able to engage brain before mouth, and above all, an apology for a human being. But she has performed one useful function: to confirm that on this occasion, Laura Kuenssberg was right.