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Monday, 11 December 2017

Telegraph’s Junior Doctor IS TORY ACTIVIST

As Zelo Street regulars may recall, last year the increasingly downmarket and desperate Telegraph paraded before its readers a junior doctor who was in favour of the new contract being imposed on the profession by Jeremy Hunt (the former Culture Secretary), only for this blog to point out that Adam Dalby had never actually practised medicine. He was in his foundation year, and was yet to find work in the NHS or elsewhere.
But he wasn't, was he, media people?

Undeterred by this revelation, Dalby then wangled a double-page spread for the Daily Mail, which by the most fortunate of coincidence told readers exactly what the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre wanted them to hear: that the BMA was a hotbed of militancy, that the contract before junior doctors was wonderful, and that the only people who thought otherwise were Rotten Lefties (tm) in hock to Jeremy Corbyn.

It gets worse: Dalby also likes to Retweet the smears of the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, including the recent hit-jobs on Labour’s representative for Kensington, Emma Dent Coad. Somehow, the smearing of Ms Dent Coad happening at the same time as a report into the Grenfell Tower disaster evaded Dalby. He is also a prolific Tweeter of other Labour smearers.
So it is not unusual to see attacks on the likes of John McDonnell and Diane Abbott turning up in his Twitter feed. What should also not be a surprise, then, is that Adam Dalby is not a mere Labour basher or right-leaning sympathiser, but a Tory activist to boot. Moreover, he is no mere ordinary Tory Party member: this not-really-very-experienced Junior Doctor has been unveiled as the new policy director for Activate.
This is the body which likes to style itself as the “Tory Momentum”, and whose Twitter bio talks of “An independent organisation creating a united platform for young conservatives and returning power to the grassroots”, although the Twitter feed, far from campaigning on grassroots issues, merely recycles CCHQ propaganda, Retweets Tory MPs (especially those on the right), and echoes the smears of The Great Guido.

Sadly, Activate has not enjoyed a happy genesis: it got off to a difficult start, after its WhatsApp group was rumbled: “A young Tory campaign group has apologised after members posted sick messages about ‘chavs’ in a Whatsapp group … Vile messages sent in an ‘Activate’ group say things like ‘gas them all’ in relation to the working class stereotype of ‘chavs’” told free sheet Metro. And now a non-doctor has joined them.
The organisation which not only had its Twitter feed hacked, but was ridiculed for, as the Guardian pointed out, “The group’s use of multiple hashtags and a meme that was last popular in the early 2000s led to widespread derision on the social network”. Now, it seems the Tories’ idea of being down with Da Kidz is to bring on board someone who claimed to be a Junior Doctor, but was then found not to be.

Anyone would think the Tories don’t understand those under, er, rather more than 21 years of age. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Nigel Farage Backs Paedophile

Whatever one’s opinion on the principles, or lack of them, espoused by former UKIP Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, he does have one thing in his favour: one always knows what he thinks, and where he stands (the latter being subject to not overdoing it on the falling-over water). This can be A Very Good Thing. But it can also mean he gets caught out when he fouls up, which is not exactly uncommon.
Squeaky flawed candidate finger up the bum time

So we knew exactly what Nige thought about grown men grooming under-age girls for sexual encounters, when he told his followers “Ringleader of child sex grooming gang in Rochdale using European human rights law to stay in UK. Totally wrong”. Child sex was wrong, full stop, end of story. However, and here we encounter a significantly sized however, Farage has now tripped himself up over the same subject.
Although he has excised any mention of the event from his Twitter feed, last September Nige was in the USA, a destination he may not be so keen on visiting in the near future, and more specifically in the state of Alabama. We know this as Judge Roy Moore let his followers know “I'm honored to have the endorsement of Brexit leader @Nigel_Farage, who'll join us in Fairhope on Monday”. Moore was holding a campaign rally.

And the Guardian confirmed Farage’s involvement, noting that hewill join former White House advisor Steve Bannon and Duck Dynasty TV star Phil Robertson at an election eve rally … Moore, a fierce opponent of gay marriage who condemned ‘sodomy’ in prepared remarks in a televised debate, is in a tight race against appointed incumbent Luther Strange, for the Republican nomination for a Senate seat formerly held by Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump’s attorney general”. Moore won the nomination.
Judge Roy Moore

But then it all turned sour: last month the Guardian returned to the subject of Roy Moore, reporting thatIn an article published on Thursday, the Washington Post reported that Moore had inappropriate sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl in 1979 when he took her to his house and made her touch his genitals. The Alabama Republican has insisted the report is ‘fake news and intentional defamation’”. And there was more Moore.
The candidate fetched up on Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) to give an interview to slavishly loyal Trump backer and professional loudmouth Sean Hannity. As the New York Daily News observed, “Moore said he doesn’t ‘remember dating any girl without the permission of her mother,’ but admitted that he ‘dated a lot of young ladies’ when he returned from the military, though ‘not generally’ 16-or 17-year-olds”. Not generally.

Farage’s hero, Combover Crybaby Donald Trump, has now backed Moore and tried to smear his accusers. But Nigel Farage has said nothing. So it has to be assumed that he stands by his endorsement of this deeply flawed, and probably hypocritical, candidate. But then, the Rochdale grooming gang were not white. And Roy Moore definitely is.

Not that Mr Thirsty is a racist bigot, of course. And if you believe that, you’ll believe anything.

Toby Young Momentum Paranoia

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away
- Stephen Stills, For What It’s Worth

At present, the centre-left in the UK is not in need of more recruiting sergeants. But one has effectively volunteered his services anyway: step forward the loathsome Toby Young, justifiably characterised as “Westminster’s village idiot” by Graham Linehan, and simply dismissed as “Captain Bellend” by the late Tom Barry.
They're outside, Tobes! Lock the door!! Be afraid!!! Be very afraid!!!!

Tobes suffers from an affliction that has struck many in the Pundit Establishment in the recent past: he is so ridiculed by anyone with a political stance to the left of his who is in contact with the real world that he has retreated to the relative comfort of the Conservative bunker. Here, he can be accepted as someone who really can distinguish arse from elbow, be considered as someone who actually knows what he’s talking about (no, don’t laugh).
Thus his ignorance of other political movements, to the point of fear and indeed paranoia. Those on the centre-left ridicule him; his response is to defensively claim that he is right, that his view is the mainstream, and therefore they are extremists. From there, it is but a short journey to believing that the Rotten Lefties (tm) are out to get him, and indeed out to get everyone. He doesn’t understand it, therefore it is A Very Bad Thing Indeed.
Author Alan Gibbons took exception to a routine exhibition of Tobes’ paranoia - comparing campaigning group Momentum to far-right Britain First, Tweeting “Can Toby Young give precise evidence demonstrating provable similarities between democratic socialists in the Labour Party and Britain First? If not, can he please shut up?” The response was swift.
Both Momentum and Britain First are extremist political sects that espouse ideologies that have resulted in tens of millions of innocent people being imprisoned, tortured and murdered and they both use bullying and intimidation to advance their toxic agendas”. Er, WHAT? Ah yes, democracy is fine for Tobes as long as it means electing Tories.
The Momentum Twitter account gave him a gentle reminder that he had ventured OTT: “.@toadmeister so scrapping tuition fees, building council houses and saving the NHS from privatisation have resulted in tens of millions of innocent people being imprisoned, tortured and murdered”. Mainstream European social democracy is not totalitarianism.

The reminder fell on deaf ears: “Hard left ideology of the type you espouse has been responsible for the deaths of 85m-100m people. Its adherents always think it will be less murderous next time. It never is”. Aaarghh! Jibber!! JIBBER!!! They’re coming for him!
How to deflect from that? Oh, how about a little dishonesty? After Owen Jones suggested Tobes was not exactly helping his own side, he flounced “I helped set up four state schools, all of them getting outstanding results, that when full will educate 1,940 children. What have you done for young people?” That’s not entirely true, is it, Tobes (see HERE)?

They aren’t coming to get him. But Toby Young really is paranoid. Sad, really.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

David Davis - Marr Show Pants On Fire

Following his accompanying Theresa May to her daybreak capitulation in Brussels on Friday, Brexit Secretary David Davis today appeared before the inquisition of the host on The Andy Marr Show (tm). Here, he attempted to map out how negotiations would proceed, soothe frayed Tory nerves, and have a dig at his Labour shadow Kier Starmer, who had the disadvantage of batting first on a sticky track.
And whatever spin was applied by his supporters in the retelling, this was one campaign that turned out not necessarily to his advantage. Davis may have appeared to get off lightly, but as ever, the giveaway is in the show’s interview transcripts, now online (see HERE). These show one act of blatant hypocrisy, and another of significant dishonesty.

Davis got his dig at Starmer in early, telling Marr “you just had Kier Starmer on here promising effectively that a Labour government would continue paying large sums of money. We’re not going to do that. That’s the promise we did make”. And, as Jon Stewart might have observed, two things here.

One, Starmer said that, as Norway (for instance) makes payments into the EU budget, “there may have to be payments”. How that becomes “promising” and “large sums” I will leave to others to decide. And two, Davis also said this, although it sounded at the time almost like an afterthought: “Then we’ll be out and the rest will be probably in a long tail, but we haven’t actually done the profile yet of that, you know. It will be a long time, maybe go on for many, many years but quite small sums”.

The rest” was referring to, er, payments that the UK will carry on making. David Davis confirmed that those payments will “go on for many, many years”. And sadly, we were not given any idea of what “quite small sums” meant. Given that his opposite number did not make the promise that Davis claimed he did will only increase voters’ scepticism.

Then came a sleight of hand as Davis claimed “‘No divergence’ would have meant actually taking cut and paste rules … ‘Full alignment’ means … we’ll meet the outcomes but not do it by just copying or doing what the European Union does”. This is another way of saying “Switzerland” rather than “Norway” - the pretence that it would be our own law.

And then came the whopper. After Marr put it to Davis that “The Taoiseach thinks that he has got that full alignment in his back pocket. That is an absolutely firm promise from Theresa May and yourself and the British government. He may be watching this. Can you  look in the camera and say that we absolutely commit ourselves to that?” the reply was that it was only about a “frictionless border”. It wasn’t.
As the Guardian had already reported, “Informed sources say the Dublin view is that the two paragraphs [49 and 50] combined limit the possibility of the UK operating under WTO rules and instead apply a regime very close to the existing rules”. Apply a régime. No ifs, no buts, no conditional statement, no get-out clause.

David Davis blustered moderately well this morning. But his claims that there is nothing binding on the UK Government, that we will somehow not stick to EU rules, and won’t be paying into EU budgets, are clearly bust. Fire extinguisher for the Brexit Secretary!

Gisela Stuart - The Myth Unravels

One of the successes of the 1997 General Election was when Labour captured Birmingham Edgbaston from the Tories, despite the attempts by The Blue Team to smear the successful candidate Gisela Stuart, because she was born in Germany. This was Neville Chamberlain’s old seat, and had returned a Conservative MP since 1898.
This was not the best look for a Labour MP

Ms Stuart’s majority, though, was never a secure one, and in 2010 she was expected to lose the seat. She held on by fighting a fiercely independent campaign, and here the myth began to take shape. Other 1997 Labour gains may have been rolled back, but this one was secure, a testament to the personal qualities of its MP. Labour also held Birmingham Edgbaston in 2015. So when Ms Stuart decided to call it a day, and not contest the seat this year, the view formed that the Tories would take it back. They did not.

Instead, Preet Gill more than doubled Gisela Stuart’s 2,700 majority to over 6,900 votes, making the seat look almost a safe one. It seems that most of the UKIP vote - the Kippers did not turn up in June - had gone to Labour. Ms Gill probably also picked up votes from former Green Party supporters. Now, pundits began to stop and think - perhaps Ms Stuart had not been quite the miracle worker that had been portrayed.

Moreover, Ms Stuart had appeared to drift rightwards recently, to the extent that she was comfortable not only chairing Vote Leave, but also appearing with the likes of Michael “Oiky” Gove, the Murdoch hired hand, and of course London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. That this rightwards drift was not a figment of the imagination has now been confirmed with Ms Stuart’s latest column.

That is because she has now fetched up on Conservative Home. Not that I want to go full Neil Kinnock or anything, but here we have a former Labour MP - a former Labour MP - scuttling over to one of the Tories’ propaganda organs, handing out columns.
And what is in that column only causes the myth to unravel further. “The EU is now having to deal with Brexit - the biggest shakeup to the institution in its 60-year history - but simply lacks the institutional ability to innovate and react to this unique challenge” tells Ms Stuart. But Brexit really isn’t the EU’s biggest ever shake-up, it’s managing it quite well so far, and its abilities remain untaxed. Unlike the UK and its capitulation last week.

After claiming that “Regulatory alignment” means “Single Market membership in all but name”, which may be right, she then asserts that having “no representatives in the EU who can help shape … legislation for the benefit of its own businesses or economy … is what the UK is currently facing if we choose to accept regulatory alignment”. But we have just signed up for it. There is no if, no but. The EU really does have that “institutional ability” that Ms Stuart claims mistakenly that it does not. It is in control, and we aren’t.

That is where her journey has taken us. It’s no good pleading “This is not what people voted for last June. They wanted to see a real change in how this country is run”. The only question on the referendum ballot paper was whether the voter chose to Remain, or Leave. Those who followed Gisela Stuart, believing the myth, were sadly misled.

But good to know that she has now confirmed her crossing of the floor. Sad, really.

Nick Cohen Is Finished

After June’s General Election, and the rather better showing made by Labour than almost all the polls and pundits had predicted, this blog concluded that the view of Jeremy Corbyn as party leader had to be reassessed, quoting John Maynard Keynes, that greatest of economists, who famously said “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, Sir?” But, sadly, some remained resistant to such actions.
Time to quit while you're not too far behind

One who has remained resistant, to the point of wilfulness in the manner of a stuck record, is the Observer’s Nick Cohen, who has returned from a break in submitting his weekly column to show readers that he is as bitter, wayward and utterly clueless as before - indeed, looking at his latest effort, maybe more so. “What would it take for Labour’s moderates to revolt?he asks plaintively, before giving the game away.

Labour’s new leaders and Labour’s new members appear utterly incompatible. On the one hand, we have stone-hearted Leninists, who proved they were no better than establishment apologists for Saudi Arabia when they endorsed the most vicious men and movements on Earth. On the other, idealists who just want peace, love and understanding” he begins, and you know it will be downhill from hereon in. Which comes immediately.
The kindest explanation is that Labour members don’t know who they are following. Most have read enough of the history of Nazism to grasp what Donald Trump’s flirtations with Britain First and the Ku Klux Klan portend. They do not shudder when they see Corbyn surrounding himself with aides from the Communist party of Britain and the fragments of the Socialist Workers party because they know little or nothing of communism”.

R-i-i-i-i-ght. What Labour put before the electorate in June was a programme that looks mild when compared with what Clement Attlee and his team offered in 1945. Much of what that Government achieved is still, despite the efforts of the party’s opponents, and indeed some of its leading figures, in place. Corbyn and his colleagues offered the electorate nothing that would be out of place in most mature European democracies.
Instead of accepting this, and recalibrating his spite-o-meter, Cohen merely rants on. “As democracy and liberty come under attack, from Poland to the US, the salient point to remember about Leninists who stayed with communism after the fall of the Soviet Union is that they switched from embracing one form of totalitarianism to embracing every form of totalitarianism”. It’s like the Python Communist Quiz, but without the laughs.

There is no attempt to understand the swelling membership, the opinion poll leads despite all the abuse Cohen and his embittered pals have been slinging, or the desperate state in which the Tories increasingly find themselves. No, this is just formulaic abuse. Ed Rooksby has it about right as he Tweets “The Nick Cohen formula - Para 1: Corbyn Leninists Andrew Murray. Para 2: Corbyn Nazis SWP. Para 3: Corbyn Communism Cuba Saddam. Para 4: George Galloway. Para 5: totalitarians authoritarians Corbyn. Para 5: Freestyle mix it up - uuh Mark Fisher? Finished. That'll be £500 please”.

Except that Cohen probably gets bunged rather more for this weapons grade drivel, characterised by lines like “I accept that Labour supporters may be ignorant”. Yeah, right Nick - try looking in the mirror for once. The time of Nick Cohen as a credible pundit was for a time, but not for all time. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Top Six - December 10

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 to be out and about later. So there.
6 Tommy Robinson Dislikes Law And Order Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, was all in favour of the Police keeping tabs on those who they suspected of looking to misbehave - until the person concerned was him.

5 The Day Brexit Died After all the tough talk, we discovered that Brexit would involve the UK doing exactly what the EU - and Ireland - wanted in the first place.

4 Damian Green’s Quick Porn Blowback Former cop Bob Quick has threatened to take legal action after Green called him a liar. Trying that one on with someone in possession of the evidence is never a good idea.

3 Mail Backs Muslim Final Solution The legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre and his obedient hackery at the Daily Mail decreed that summary execution of British citizens was fine - as long as they weren’t white.

2 Danczuk Pals Plot Rochdale Comeback After Richard Farnell resigned the leadership of Rochdale Council, his pal (and another former Danczuk loyalist) Allen Brett is standing for the job. He is rumoured to want to install Farnell as his deputy. Well out of order.

1 Brexit - We Surrender Theresa May’s dawn flit to Brussels showed that the UK had capitulated totally to the EU’s demands, whatever the subsequent spin might suggest.

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

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Danczuk Pals Plot Rochdale Comeback

There was no small amount of rejoicing earlier this week when Rochdale Council’s then leader Richard Farnell finally resigned his position, to the great relief of people across the area who wished it had happened rather earlier.  As the Manchester Evening News reported, “Rochdale council leader Richard Farnell quits weeks after telling child abuse inquiry he knew nothing about Knowl View scandal”.
Allen Brett - and disgraced friend

This, though, was, to no surprise at all, not his fault. “Rochdale council’s leader Richard Farnell has abruptly quit just weeks after he gave explosive evidence to the national child abuse inquiry … In a letter to councillors, he blamed a ‘small minority’ of Labour members for ‘undermining’ his leadership ever since the hearing”. That “small minority” was four Labour branches which had passed no confidence motions in him.

This was total crap. As the MEN pointed out, “In a painful grilling, he repeatedly denied ever having known about abuse in Knowl View boys’ school when he was last leader during the early 1990s - and placed the blame firmly on senior officers … Legal summing-up at the end of the session concluded it was ‘inconceivable’ that Coun Farnell had been unaware of the scandal”. He was toast as soon as his testimony was completed.

So who is now in charge? “His resignation is effective immediately and his work is to be taken on by the council’s two deputy leaders, Alan Brett and Donna Martin, until a replacement is chosen”. Those who look in regularly on Zelo Street will recognise the name of Allen Brett. That is because he used to be the agent for disgraced ex-MP Simon Danczuk. He and Farnell were Danczuk loyalists.

Moreover, as I posted during the run-up to the Greater Manchester Mayoral contest, Brett tried to harass eventual winner Andy Burnham at the Co-Op hustings. Danczuk dislikes Burnham, who had some difficulty speaking to Rochdale members, but ultimately Danczuk could not stop him as he was suspended and therefore barred from the Labour Club.

The problem that Labour now have in Rochdale is that Allen Brett angling for the Council leadership vacated by Farnell’s departure. The photo above shows him with the former MP, and was taken a matter of days before Danczuk bowed to the inevitable, cut up his Labour membership card, and stormed out of the party.

It gets worse: unable to grasp the contempt in which Farnell is now held by Labour members across Rochdale, Brett is rumoured to want to make him his deputy, should be prevail in the selection contest. That would restore the Danczuk-supporting old guard, almost as if nothing had happened. The crucial vote, I’m told, comes next Monday.

Exactly what neighbouring MPs and Mayor Burnham make of this exhibition of political tone deafness is not known. Labour’s General Secretary had been urged to suspend Farnell recently, which is how bad things have become. The secretary of Rochdale CLP resigned over this. And now Farnell’s comeback is being plotted.

Richard Farnell needs to take the hint. And Allen Brett should desist from pursuing any ambition likely to damage his party in Rochdale. That is all.

Tommy Robinson Dislikes Law And Order

Ever vigilant against people he believes are breaking the law - or even about to break the law - is Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson. Well, he’s vigilant if he believes those involved are Scary Muslims (tm), not of course that he’s racist, oh no. So when the Police got word that they had to keep tabs on a member of the public, one might have thought that he would be there cheering them on.
But that thought would have been misplaced, because, although Lennon was certainly there, he was in no mood to cheer on the cops - because the individual who they were tailing happened to be him. This changed things completely. So he was no longer urging the Police to keep an eye on potential troublemakers. And he wanted everyone to know that he was not causing trouble, so they were wasting their time.
The problem apparently began when Lennon visited Oxford, which is not exactly the nearest retail centre to where he lives, although it was another of the towns where there has been action to deal with so-called “grooming gangs”. The cops were ordered to tail him. This they did. He was not a happy bunny. “Ok so police have now been following me for hours . What a complete waste of police time & money. This is harassment”.
Turning up in Crewe on successive evenings, though, is not harassment, oh no. But he wanted everyone to know that, once again, he was the victim. “Tommy Robinson: Stalked by the Police in Oxford” he bleated. But turning up in Crewe two nights running with a film crew and trying to identify someone’s house to his followers is not stalking at all. The stench of hypocrisy was already seeping out of this one.
Then it became positively Pythonesque: “The Police today were good lads - they were just following orders from the top - but they could still appreciate how silly it was chasing us around while we went to pick up flowers”. This is like the Piranha Brothers, isn’t it? “He was a lovely man - he used to buy his mother flowers and that”. Someone who lives in Bedfordshire needs to go to Oxford to buy flowers. R-i-i-i-ight.
Still, we could see it all on video: “Today the Police stalked us for 8 hours while we picked up some flowers and went for dinner … watch the full video here” he Tweeted, although for some reason this was later deleted. And he wanted everyone to know he had support.
Ezra Levant, for one, was right behind him: “23,000 jihadis walking the streets of the UK. Terrorist plot against Theresa May. But police have been ordered to follow Tommy Robinson around”. Levant, who is so untrustworthy that anyone with brain engaged and a hole in their backside should not trust him any further than he can usefully be chucked, happens to be Lennon’s boss. Could he manage someone else?
He certainly could - Laura Loomer: “9 year old girls are getting blown up by #ISIS terrorists at pop concerts in the UK and Muslim terrorists are plotting to assassinate Theresa May, but instead of cracking down on Islamic terrorism, the UK police are stalking @TRobinsonNewEra, who is trying to save lives”. No, he’s trying to make money. And Ms Loomer is such a bigot that in New York City, both Uber and Lyft have barred her from using their services. And neither her, nor Levant, not Lennon, asks the obvious question.

What did the cops suspect he may have been doing if not watched? No pressure, now.

Uber Sheffield Spin BUSTED

While many of their London-based cheerleaders have been silent - after all, the action has moved to somewhere almost 160 miles to the North - driver and rider matching service Uber has experienced another setback, this time in the Yorkshire city of Sheffield, where its operating licence has been suspended. And as with much of the fog of PR whataboutery generated in London, the true story is not getting out there.
As the BBC has reported, “Uber has had its licence suspended in Sheffield after it failed to respond to official requests about its management, the city council has said … The firm, also fighting a ban in London, can still operate in Sheffield until 18 December and can appeal against the decision, the council said … If it decides not to appeal, the suspension will come into force”. And how did Uber spin that one?

Uber said that an ‘administrative error’ by the council was to blame and hoped to resolve the issue soon”. There was more. “An Uber spokesperson said: ‘We informed Sheffield City Council on 5 October that we would need to change the name on our licence as the named individual would soon be leaving the company … The council told us they couldn't change the name on the licence, as most other councils have done, and that we would instead have to apply for a new one”. That’s not the whole story, is it?

What Uber is not telling is hinted at by the Beeb’s report. “A Sheffield City spokesperson said: ‘Uber's licence was suspended last Friday (29 November) after the current licence holder failed to respond to requests, made by our licensing team, about the management of Uber’”. The current licence was suspended - it had not expired.

The Guardian’s report is marginally more revealing, telling “Mick Rix, the [GMB] national officer for the hackney and private-hire taxi trade, said he suspected that other considerations had played a part in the local authority’s decision to suspend the licence”. Dead right “other considerations” played a part in the decision.

So what really happened? Ah well. The Uber Sheffield licence was in the name of Jo Bertram, who gave notice at the start of October. Sheffield City Council will not transfer a licence to another holder, and so advised Uber to make another application, which they did. However, and here we encounter a significantly sized however, SCC also asked Ms Bertram, as the licence holder, a series of questions about Uber’s management.

These questions are now known as the “Gateshead FOI Questions”, after Uber was asked something similar when it applied for a licence there. But instead of answering them, Uber walked away, relying instead - by implication at least - on drivers covered by its licence in next-door Newcastle on Tyne. Thus far, Uber has failed to respond to requests by SCC which are of a similar nature to what Gateshead asked.

In other words, Uber claiming that their problem in Sheffield is someone else’s fault is disingenuous in the extreme. And as the questions asked of Ms Bertram are highly likely to be asked when the new licence application is considered, it’s entirely possible that Uber’s licence in Sheffield will remain suspended, however well they spin it.

With court cases on Uber’s use of “out of town” drivers in areas where they are not licensed on the way, it could get worse. The Uber house may be about to fall in.

Press Brexit Delusion EXPOSED

Yesterday, after Theresa May flew to Brussels in the middle of the night, so that Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker could provide her with a photo-op before they went off to their real triumph, a trade deal with Japan, I observed her abject capitulation and talked of “our free and fearless press, who have been spared the humiliation and given a whole day to dream up their stories of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat”.
Thank you for stopping by, Theresa, but I have to dash to see Mr Abe now

And anyone who thinks I was joking, or exaggerating, does not know the mindset of those who scrabble around the dunghill that is Grubstreet: today has brought the snatching of victory, and with it the confirmation that many in the Press Establishment live in a world of utter and complete delusion. For ordinary Britons, yesterday was a worse humiliation than Suez. Soon, all we will have left is memories. But this is not allowed to enter.
Pride of place in the pantheon of reality reinvention has to go to the Daily Mail, where the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre has ordered his obedient hackery to levels of propagandist futility last seen in Japan just before the Yanks dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima. “REJOICE! WE’RE ON OUR WAY … Historic handshake that sealed a vital step in our exit from EU” declares the headline. And there was more.
The Express, alongside another effort to frighten its ageing readership with exaggerated weather scares, declares “HUGE BREXIT BOOST AT LAST … May clinches deal … now let’s get on with ditching EU”. I think you’ll find that it’s the EU that’s ditching us, thanks.
And the Murdoch Sun, admittedly with lesser billing than the obligatory scantily-clad young woman and a main headline that is only of interest because of a soap opera on the hated BBC, has continued the delusion with “Brexit Deal … CHAMPAGNE BREAKFAST”. There was neither champagne, nor the overall victory that the Murdoch goons have suggested.
It was left to, of all papers, the Telegraph to sound a note of caution, as it told readers of “The price of freedom”, going on to hold its nose while noting “3m EU citizens to be allowed to stay in Britain and bring their families”, and letting slip “UK to remain in Single Market and Customs Union until at least 2021” [my emphases].
The Mirror also veers towards some semblance of reality and honesty, chiding Ms May as “MRS SOFTEE”, reminding readers “Theresa May’s deal with EU will mean soft Brexit … Britain will pay divorce bill of at least £39 billion … PM abandons her ‘red lines’ to break deadlock”. But it was left to The Herald to spell out the humiliation to UK households.
The Brexit bill for each home in the UK is set to hit £1,400” declares its headline today, following that with the ominous “Brussels threatening to play hard ball over trade talks after ‘breakthrough’”. Saying “this will cost £X per household” is a favourite tactic of papers like the Mail, Express and Sun. Not today. Today is for “looking over there”.
One of the new Guilty Men ((c) Martin Rowson 2016)

There is, whisper it quietly, nothing to rejoice about. Our country has been sold down the river on a pack of lies. We’re still a laughing stock, and not just across Europe. And all the press can do is to stick their collective heads in the nearest sandpit, pretend it’s not happening, and order us all to smile and be happy about being screwed over.

Power without responsibility once again. There go the harlots of Fleet Street.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Mail Backs Muslim Final Solution

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson may not be the sharpest tool in the box. But, having been the Tories’ chief whip, he does possess an abundance of low cunning. Put together with an appreciation of the kinds of stories sure to get our free and fearless press salivating, he has set a hare running which ticks all the right boxes: Law and Order, Human Rights, and of course Scary Muslims (tm).
The legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre and his obedient hackery at the Daily Mail were keen to tell readers what Gav had in mind: “Gavin Williamson told the Daily Mail Britons who have fought for terror group should never be allowed to come back to this country … And he said those who were intent on bringing 'destruction, death and bloodshed' onto the streets of the UK were being 'hunted down' and that threat ‘eliminated’”.
So what if I do get chauffeured around in a f***ing bullet-proof limo, c***?!?

Dan Jarvis, who used to be a Proper Soldier, was unimpressed: “Williamson’s comments are at best naive – the hubris of someone insufficiently experienced for their position. But at worst they are morally, legally and practically wrong. They imply a desire for extrajudicial killing to form part of Britain’s security policy”. And there was more.

Courageous restraint requires extraordinary moral resilience … But how we utilise force is what differentiates us from our opponents. Soldiers know they lose their legitimacy when they sink to the level of the terrorists they face, and that such legitimacy is maintained through the rule of law. If soldiers understand that, secretaries of state should too”.
I'm dead hard, me. Honest

That was like the proverbial red rag to a bull: today’s Mail goes completely gaga at the idea that we should adhere to the rule of law, howling “I will NOT back down: Defence Secretary stands his ground after facing outrage from Labour and the legal establishment over his vow to 'eliminate' jihadis”. Williamson justifies going beyond Dirty Harry by simpering “The British people want to make sure that our streets are safe”.
Harry Potter and the Gobshite of Arslikhan

Also instructed to go over the top in no style at all is the odious Quentin Letts (let’s not), sniffing “Our new Defence Secretary cuts a slim and boyish figure, leading some colleagues to give him the sneering nickname ‘Private Pike’”. Quent knows all about sneering. But do go on. “In yesterday’s Mail he made bracingly plain his politically incorrect thoughts about British citizens who go abroad to fight for Islamic State … He would prefer them to be killed than readmitted to our country, comments at odds with years of hand-wringing from Establishment human-rights types”. So guess who’s next?
Yuman Rights for brahn people, Guv? Nah, iss not on, innit?!?

Yes, tedious and unfunny churnalist Richard Littlejohn brought up the rear of this particular pantomime horse with his customary pub bore tedium: “This column has long maintained that those who travelled abroad to join Izal should be stripped of both their passports and their citizenship and denied re-entry to this country … Ideally, they should be put up against a wall and shot through the head in whichever disgusting desert hell-hole they have chosen to make their home”. The manager says You’ve Had Enough, Dicky Boy.

Dan Jarvis was right. We sink to that level, we can forget claiming the moral high ground. And good to see that Dacre, Quent and Dick once again validate what Stanley Baldwin said in 1931: “What the proprietorship of these papers is aiming at is power, and power without responsibility - the prerogative of the harlot through the ages”. He was meaning the Rothermeres then. That affliction still persists with the same family today.

United States Of Europe - FAKE NEWS

The old adage telling that something looking too good to be true might well be too good to be true was thrown out the window yesterday by many in the EU-hating media as they latched onto a pronouncement from a German politician that confirmed their worst fears - and most outlandish scare stories - about the European Club. Sadly, it did not take long for the whole charade to unravel, and leave them covered in rather more than confusion.
Cooee Martin - yer pants are on fire

Martin Schulz, leader of Germany’s centre-left SPD, called at his party’s conference yesterday for a “United States Of Europe”. Having indicated his desire for a federal Europe, he declared “Such a constitutional treaty has to be written by a convention that includes civil society and the people. This constitutional treaty will then have to be put to the member states and those that don’t approve it will automatically have to leave the EU”.
That Schulz is in no position to make such demands stick, that he’s shifted his position more than once on this issue, and that it isn’t going to happen - every member state has a veto, remember - was not allowed to enter as the easily persuaded among the Europhobic fringe went off the end of the pier in no style at all.
The perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog sneeredAnd some Remainers think they have a hope of changing the public’s mind about Brexit”. The Great Guido also called Schulz’ party “the SDP”, so the usual accuracy, then.
The punditry that followed fared no better. Patrick Christys of the Arron Banks propaganda site Westmonster sniggered “Here you go Remoaners, here's the true face of your European Union. A full United States of Europe by 2025 and if member states don't agree, they're automatically booted out. Now tell me you'd win a second referendum”.
His colleague Michael Heaver snorted “This is huge … Many will follow UK out of EU” No they won’t. Nile “Chauncey” Gardiner, the idiot who claimed JFK made his “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech at the Brandenburg Gate, chipped in with “Britain voted to leave the EU to escape a United States of Europe”, while Iain Dale went totally OTT with “This is proof positive that we made the right decision on 23 June 2017”. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Nigel “Thirsty” Farage had to characterise it as “Us” and “Them” as he claimed “If this is the route they are taking, it could be a very small European Union. #ThankGodWeAreLeaving”. And foolish Kate Hoey declared “How right the UK public were to vote to Leave”, citing the Fawkes blog as an authoritative source. Bad move.
How bad? Gergely Polner had a simple and inconvenient observation to contribute: “That's against the EU Treaties”. So it’s not happening. Jon Worth went further: “Note to hacks / politicians / Brits getting annoyed / frustrated / surprised by Schulz: 1) He is not going to be the Chancellor 2) What he’s saying about the EU doesn’t even have wide support in his party 3) He’s always hectoring and negative … Think of that before commenting!
Sadly, far too many had not thought first, and Worth had to then remind them “‘Speaking from my experience of 20 years in the European Parliament, I know that we will never have a United States of Europe’ Said … Martin Schulz 1.2.2014”.

It was too good to be true. It was, in reality, Fake News. No surprise there, then.