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Saturday, 26 May 2018

Murdoch Henchman Lied To MPs TWICE

Back in September 2016, Zelo Street noted that two former Murdoch luminaries, legal man Tom Crone and Colin Myler, the last to edit the Screws before it was shut down, were to be censured by Parliament for contempt, or as ordinary people call it, lying. One name, however, got off on this occasion: Les Hinton, former Murdoch lieutenant, was cleared of misleading the Culture select committee, although there was a scepticism over his memory of events. It seems that scepticism was justified.
Les Hinton claiming he didn't know, honestly

Because, although Hinton “told BBC Hardtalk’s Zeinab Badawi that he knew nothing about phone hacking that was undertaken by journalists in the UK, but did not wish to ‘diminish the crimes that took place’”, the Beeb noting “Mr Hinton was the executive chairman of News International during a period where the voicemail of the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler and many others were illegally accessed”, there is a problem here.
And that is that Hinton, we now learn, appears to have known rather more than he admitted previously. Court records seen by the Byline Media team reveal “Coulson told News International CEO Les Hinton about phone hacking David Blunkett in 2004 for front page exclusive. But Hinton never told the police or reprimanded Coulson or Thurlbeck”.
Those who look in regularly on Zelo Street may recall that Colin Myler had told in a witness statement “I recall a meeting I had with Neville THURLBECK, the Chief Reporter of the News of the World … together with Tom CRONE, the newspaper’s legal manager … in or around July 2009 … I recall that the meeting took place on a Saturday”. The meeting happened the weekend after Nick Davies first broke the phone hacking story.
There was more. “Mr THURLBECK told Mr CRONE and me that some years previously he had hacked into David BLUNKETT’s voicemail messages. This had taken place when Mr BLUNKETT was the Home Secretary and allegations were published by the Newspaper about his personal life … Stories concerning Mr BLUNKETT were published in 2004, and ultimately he resigned his position as Home Secretary”.
This is what the Byline story is referencing. What their report adds is the assertion that Neville “Stylish Masturbator” Thurlbeck’s hacking of Blunkett was known not just to Myler, Crone, Neil Wallis and then Rebekah Brooks, but also Andy Coulson - which figures, as he was editing the Screws at the time - and yes, Les Hinton. Here’s the relevant passage.
RUPERT Murdoch’s right-hand-man Les Hinton knew about phone hacking at the News of the World two years earlier than he stated in evidence to a Parliamentary Committee … was named at least six times at the Central Criminal Court in London as knowing about the paper’s hacking of former British Home Secretary David Blunkett … [the] The claims, made by the Sunday tabloid’s then editor Andy Coulson”.
But Hinton told MPs in 2007 “I believe absolutely that Andy did not have knowledge of what was going on”, adding in 2009 “There was never firm evidence provided or suspicion provided that I am aware of that implicated anybody else other than Clive [Goodman] within the staff of the News of the World - it just did not happen”.

It just did. And it’s now looking like his pants are on fire. Perhaps Damian Collins would like to invite him back to have another think about his story.

Toby Young Defends Eugenics AGAIN

It’s clear from his appearance on the BBC’s Daily Politics last week that the loathsome Toby Young is slowly but surely being rehabilitated, most likely with the help of his pals in the right-leaning part of the Pundit Establishment. All those most unseemly Twitter excursions are to be played down, the most unfortunate attendance at a Eugenics conference swept under the carpet, and any negatives blamed on Rotten Lefties (tm).
Sadly, Tobes cannot resist reverting to type and veering off on yet another tangent in his efforts to promote dubious research, just because it suits his agenda. Standing in the way, because he uses those inconvenient things called facts and does not merely select only the ones that suit his argument, is Jonathan Portes of King’s College London.
Jonathan Portes

So it was that Tobes gleefully told “Superb piece by @AdamPerkinsPhD outing Jonathan Portes as the anonymous, behind-the-scenes complainant who has been trying to destroy his career”, quoting an article in Quillette magazine, a publication described as seeking to make “tired alt-right talking points sound erudite”.
Andy Fugard, from Birkbeck College, took exception to Tobes’ claim. “I'm sorry, but @jdportes hasn't been engaged in some sort of covert operation to demolish a career but rather public critique - very public. The website Perkins cites (a Storify) consists of quotations from his book, highlighting absurdities, and counter arguments”.
There was more. “Read the Corrigendum for yourself to see how bad the errors were in the journal article the book draws on [HERE] … Examples: - Explained variance out by a factor of 10 - Unadjusted mean differences - A minuscule Spearman's r = -0.018”.
And yet more. “Also, rather importantly, Perkins proposes cutting welfare payments to stop particular kinds of people breeding - even if that means people starve to death. I'm going use that controversial approach of quoting again”. The Perkins quote is unequivocal: “the intelligentsia generally believe that supporting a few freeloaders is a price worth paying for protecting unemployed people from starvation”.
Moreover, as Fugard hints, we are perilously close to the realm of eugenics, and the idea of “breeding out” certain “undesirable” traits. As for the idea that Portes operated anonymously, that was news to him. “Anonymous?!? I've been pointing out the obvious, repeated statistical errors in Perkins' paper (& other work) for more than 2 years”.
There was more. “Note @AdamPerkinsPhD was well aware his paper was riddled with errors, because @inductivestep & I pointed it out on twitter. But he ignored basic academic standards and failed to correct them himself”. As Perkins was arriving at the kind of conclusion that resulted in headlines like the Guardian’sAdam Perkins: Welfare dependency can be bred out”, all of this matters, and matters rather a lot.
It also shows that Toby Young is still obsessed with what looks like eugenics, walks like eugenics, and quacks like eugenics. That suggests it may well be eugenics.
So while Tobes protests that he isn’t in to that kind of thing, and that it’s all the fault of the so-called “Twitter mob”, it may serve any doubters to see what he is really up to.

Tommy Robinson And Reporting Restrictions

What happened yesterday to Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, after he rocked up outside court in Leeds and was later arrested, shows that there are a lot of people out there who do not understand reporting restrictions put in place to ensure that those on trial receive a fair hearing. Lennon’s supporters largely do not want to know about this, and that is a pity - mainly for them.
As is understood here on Zelo Street, there have been three separate trials in progress in Leeds of more than 20 individuals accused of being part of a grooming gang. Not all of the trails have yet concluded. As with other grooming gang trials, the prosecution has invested a great deal of effort in securing justice for the alleged victims; part of that effort is to ensure that outside interference is not allowed to compromise or even collapse the trial.
That the trials had not all concluded was confirmed by the Independent’s report, which toldLennon … had claimed that verdicts were due on Friday but court officials confirmed that the trial of nine defendants is ongoing”. West Yorkshire Police declined to comment when asked by the representative from the Evening Standard.

Free sheet Metro set out why Lennon was arrested: “He showed men entering the court on Facebook until he was approached by officers telling him to stop … Robinson is already under a suspended sentence over contempt of court at a gang rape trial in Canterbury last year … It is a criminal offence that can land people in jail”.
Former prosecutor Nazir Afzal set out the potential pitfalls of breaking reporting restrictions: “We nearly lost the so called Rochdale grooming case (#ThreeGirls) cos of a far right communication … Their lawyers applied at their trial that the jury had been prejudiced by Far Right We had to fight to persuade Court to allow trial to continue Those criminals came close to being freed & victims close to getting NO justice Jury must decide on EVIDENCE, not on your OPINION”. Others added their own cautions.
Sharon Bottomley warned “It's because this trial has reporting restrictions which are there for a reason. The trial has been split as so many defendants and when all have been tried later this year then restrictions will be lifted. They cannot risk any coverage as all 3 trials linked”. And Mike Stuchbery concluded “Cases involving child sexual exploitation are generally highly restricted. There are so many things that (quite rightly) can't be made public. What he's done is hugely irresponsible”.
Also, the warning given to Lennon by Judge Heather Norton at Canterbury Crown Court should be borne in mind. “In short, Mr. Yaxley-Lennon, turn up at another court, refer to people as ‘Muslim paedophiles, Muslim rapists’ and so on and so forth while trials are ongoing and before there has been a finding by a jury that that is what they are, and you will find yourself inside.  Do you understand?  Thank you very much”.
As Lennon’s actions are now linked inextricably to the continuing trial in Leeds, those reporting restrictions, and the contempt laws, still apply. They even apply to his Facebook page. That might be difficult for his supporters, and the likes of Lauren Southern, to comprehend. But that’s the way we ensure fair trials in the UK - for everyone.

It does not mean anyone’s free speech is being curtailed. That is all.

Friday, 25 May 2018

Raheem Kassam SACKED By Breitbart?

[UPDATE: Raheem Kassam has denied vehemently that he was sacked by Breitbart.

Although the Breitbart statement does not confirm the contention one way or the other, I am happy to put his denial on record.

I note that he has not recorded any objection to any other part of this post]

These are troubled times for the convocation of the irredeemably batshit otherwise known as Breitbart. Traffic is rumoured to have dropped by around 50% recently, Robert Mercer has sold his stake in the operation to his daughters, and Steve Bannon has parted company with the site. Now has come the news that one of Bannon’s first hires for Breitbart London may have been given the order of the boot.
Raheem “call me Ray” Kassam, a Walter Mitty figure of no discernible ability, was handed the role of Editor-in-Chief by Bannon back in 2014. He had little credible backstory except for a spell at The Commentator, and his deservedly short-lived venture Trending Central, that title hinting at Kassam’s staggering pretentiousness.

Even after his time as aide to former UKIP Oberscheissenf├╝hrer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, Kassam was able to walk straight back into his role at Breitbart. How times have changed: as The Atlantic has told, “Breitbart London editor Raheem Kassam has left the company, a source with direct knowledge of his departure told The Atlantic, marking the exit of one of the most visible legacies of the company’s former chairman Steve Bannon”.

There was more. “Bannon brought Kassam to Breitbart in 2014, hiring him to run the site’s London bureau. Kassam is closely associated with the anti-European Union, anti-immigration United Kingdom Independence Party and the pro-Brexit movement. He was also once a top aide to former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, and in 2016 launched a failed bid to lead UKIP himself”. Failed bid? It was never a serious bid in the first place.

Kassam couldn’t organise an act of alcoholic derangement in an EU wine lake, let alone a serious political party, which the Kippers were still pretending to be when Mr Thirsty left the scene and Kassam had another of his attacks of pretentiousness.
Still, no doubt Kassam has other ambitions? Well, maybe: “As for what he’ll do next, Kassam said he’s joined the advisory board for ISSEP, the political training school for right-wing leaders being launched by Marion Mar├ęchal-Le Pen, the niece of Front National leader Marine Le Pen. Its website lists him as a ‘member of the scientific council.’” Scientific Council? “Ray” Kassam? Don’t make me laugh.

He’s also not lost the Walter Mitty touch: “Kassam told TheWrap that he was considering a challenge to Mayor Sadiq Khan … Sadiq Khan is up for re-election in 2020. He needs a good challenger”. Khan may need a good challenger. But Kassam is neither good, nor a challenger. He’s an amateur, a clown, a phoney, and he isn’t going to do it.

Raheem Kassam had a very good job at Breitbart which his talents did not merit. Now he has to find another mug - or do some work for a change. Just rejoice at that news.

Guido Fawkes Reporter In Trouble

After disgust was registered at the depths to which the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog would sink, following their attempt to use the experience of an epilepsy sufferer to kick the Labour Party, news arrived on Zelo Street that The Great Guido’s trainee sandwich monitor - oops, sorry, “chief reporter” - Ross Kempsell may be experiencing one of those Little Local Difficulties.
Useless, and not just at smearing

Kempsell, it seems, owns a limited company called Hekatos Intelligence Limited (company number 10657326), which was incorporated in March 2017. This does not pre-date his taking the Fawkes dollar, which happened after the 2016 Labour Party conference, when he eavesdropped on Paul Mason talking about Jeremy Corbyn with a Spanish MP in a Liverpool restaurant. The story later appeared in the Murdoch Sun.

The previous employer of Kempsell’s dubious skill set had been Fame Flynet, the agency that just happened to turn up to “exclusively” snap former Labour MP Simon Danczuk and his second ex-wife Karen, then flog the result to whichever paper was gullible enough to open their corporate wallet before they saw them coming. Danczuk was another in the shamefully long list of Fawkes informants from The Red Team.

So as Kempsell was already working chez Fawkes when this company was set up, what is it for? Is Kempsell using it to make himself more “tax efficient”? Or just a little more “intelligent”? Either way, unless he gets his act together pronto, Hekatos Intelligence Limited may not be in business much longer.

That is because the company’s first confirmation statement was due in March this year, but has not yet materialised. As a result, Companies House has written to the company’s directors (Kempsell being the sole director) telling “The registrar of companies gives notice that, unless cause is shown to the contrary, at the expiration of two months from the above date the name of HEKATOS INTELLIGENCE LTD will be struck off the register and the company will be dissolved”. And there is more.
Upon dissolution all property and rights vested in, or held in trust for, the company are deemed to be bona vacantia, and accordingly will belong to the crown”. Sounds a bit Julian and Sandy (ask an older relative). But having a company struck off is a serious business, and may impinge on Kempsell’s ability to secure a company ownership, or even a directorship, in the future. It won’t reflect well on the Fawkes blog either.

After all, if the Fawkes rabble can’t even manage the basics of starting up and maintaining a limited company, who should anyone trust their alleged “Journalism”? Why should anyone listen to their claims of improper behaviour made against New Left Media, if the creep who twisted the story of an epilepsy sufferer in order to have a cheap snark at the Rotten Lefties (tm) gets himself struck off by Companies House?

But it will make a matching pair of Gazette entries. Paul Staines is already there, preserved for posterity, after he declared himself bankrupt some years back.

Another good reason not to trust The Great Guido. Another fine mess, once again.

Tommy Robinson Arrested AGAIN

The inability of Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, to keep away from trouble has surfaced once more during another of those incidents that happen outside court precincts that he was supposed to be avoiding. This time, the alleged free speech campaigner - that’s free speech as in free for him, and not for Scary Muslims (tm) - was visiting Leeds, where he fell foul of the law (again).
Lennon’s Facebook page has told the world “BREAKING: Tommy has been arrested outside the court for ‘incitement/breach of the peace’ mid livestream while waiting for the verdict on a grooming gang trial. He is currently in custody and we are contacting his solicitor. Updates to follow”. The video is as predictable as it is hilarious.

I’m being arrested … can you get me a solicitor” he pleaded, before being told he was being arrested on suspicion of causing a breach of the peace. At this point, he demanded “What does that mean?” as if he didn’t know full well what it meant. There was more. “I’m inciting people? How am I inciting people? This is free speech. This is where we’re at. We’re not even allowed to. Look at it”. Then he goaded the cops.

Do you feel right that you’re doing it? I haven’t said a word. In fact someone laid a hand and assaulted me outside court. Other people swore at me and threatened me about my mother and here I am being arrested for saying nothing. I’ve done nothing. George, get me a solicitor … I’m on a suspended sentence, you see”. Yes, we do indeed see.

As Far Right Watch has noted, “He's currently on a suspended sentence for the same offense. He could well go down for this”. Well, incitement and breach of the peace are not what he was arrested for last year, after he was caught filming within the precincts of Canterbury Crown Court, but go down for it he certainly could.

When Lennon came up before Judge Heather Norton, this is what she had to say about his “free speech” schtick, and his behaviour. “This is not about free speech or freedom of the press, legitimate journalism or political correctness. This is about justice. It is about being innocent until proven guilty … I find clear evidence of contempt. I take a dim view of your actions. If you commit further offences this sentence will be activated”.
Note “If you commit further offences” - so the clear inference is that any other offence will cause that sentence to be activated. Lennon was given three months’ jail, suspended for 18 months. He has only just passed the two-thirds mark. So any further conviction, whatever sentence is passed, means he goes to jail for the Canterbury incident.

And as the Judge said last year, it’s not about free speech. It’s about Stephen Lennon’s little Wild West Show, which has been allowed to go on for long enough, finally being brought to an end. He could, of course, find a more mainstream way of advancing his career, but the appetite for publicity and adulation has got the better of him.

The media career of Stephen Lennon was for a time, but not for all time.

Labour Epilepsy Smear OUT OF ORDER

The perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog are no strangers to health smears, although in the past they had restricted their attacks to indicating their intellectual inadequacy by making claims about their targets’ mental health, which, like most Fawkes claims, they made up on the spot and would have been unable to stand up had someone taken the SOBs to the cleaners for it.
Behold he who sits in moral judgment on others

Now, The Great Guido has broadened this front to take the experience of one Labour member and use it to attack the whole party. And as Staines is himself of less than perfect courage, this task was delegated to apprentice sandwich monitor - oops, sorry, “Senior Reporter” - Ross Kempsell, another Fawkes minion of no discernible principle.

Sue Jones had watched a promotional video for next month’s Labour Live event. The video, which contained flashing images, did not come with a health warning. Ms Jones, who has a form of epilepsy, suffered a visual reflex seizure. She contacted the Labour Party partly to warn other sufferers, and partly to ensure those producing the videos understood the effects that certain kinds of images can have.
Ross Kempsell - another creep pretending to be a journalist

The response she received was swift and sincere. “I am more than happy with that swift response, because it indicates a party that cares about inclusion, and is more than willing to take responsibility for ensuring their material is up to a high health and safety standard”, she noted. But by this time, the Fawkes massive had latched on to the issue.

Their take was as dishonest and insensitive as it was ill-informed. “The Labour Party’s promotional video for its troubled youth festival Labour Live is causing people to have seizures. Activists have complained on Twitter about suffering seizures and migraines after viewing the flashing Labour Live graphics, which come without a warning”, they told, grandly following that with “Guido is not publishing the video for health reasons”.

Guido is full of shit. As Ms Jones says, “Visual reflex seizures induced by complex stimuli may be triggered by patterned and flashing displays … in susceptible people, seizures can happen because of the properties of video displays, the triggers are identified as perceived brightness, pattern, flicker frequency, and colour contrasts”. The Fawkes post included both a flashing image, and plenty of colour contrasts. Moral high ground my arse.
She also correctly noted “Fawkes is a nasty gossip-mongering vulture, who will use anything he can to promote his vicious right wing views”. That’t putting it mildly. Staines and his pet creeps - Zelo Street recently covered their propensity to lie and smear HERE - have also claimed erroneously that the Labour Live video “is causing people to have seizures … Activists have complained”. Plural. More evidence-free claims.

Sue Jones didn’t “feel it’s appropriate to use someone’s illness and misfortune to make a tenuous attack on the Labour party … In fact it’s a despicable thing to do”. But a request to remove the Tweet signposting their attack has gone unanswered, and as she observed, “Some of his equally virulent followers commenting on the thread under his post thought my seizure was hilarious”. That’s the level at which The Great Guido operates.

Once again, the Fawkes rabble is bang out of order. And once again, there will be only schoolboy sniggering in response, and more of the same later. That’s not good enough.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

David Lammy Busts Oxford Myths

The sensitive subject of the small numbers of black students accepted by Oxford University’s various colleges has come back into view, thanks to the efforts of Tottenham MP David Lammy. And the response to his arguments shows that the attitude of those white pundits needs to change just as much as Oxford does.
David Lammy MP

After Omar Khan of the Runnymeade Trust had told “You'll hear a lot of explanations abt why the small number of black students at Oxford isn't a problem. One eg is the relatively few number getting 3 As or above. But 1. There are 630 such students 2. These arguments encourage applicants to think that Oxford isn't for them” (you can see the whole thread HERE), Lammy took up the points raised.
630 Black British students get 3 A's and yet 1 in 4 Oxford colleges did not have a single Black British student in the entire cohort in at least one of the last three years. Not one Black British student offered a place for Computer Science or Psychology. Go and find the talent”. At this point, it might be expected that someone out there would engage with Lammy. But the establishment mindset is always to spin defensively.
So it was that the loathsome Toby Young airily asserted “I blogged about David Lammy’s previous attack on Oxford for admitting too few black British students … issue isn’t Oxford’s bias, it’s that too few black British students are getting 3 As at A level. Solution is to improve schools”. Those 630 black students had already been forgotten.
Lammy was not impressed, and he was right not to be impressed. “Toby tell us again about that time you got into Oxford because your Dad (a Baron) rang up the College to ask them to let you in because you didn't get the grades? And then come back to talk to me about institutional bias and why white students twice as likely to get in as black”.
So along came Tobes’ pal Fraser Nelson. “David, are you saying that black students with top grades are less likely to get into Oxford than white students with top grades? Your tweets don’t make it clear, and I’m sure you wouldn’t want to discourage any applicant by giving the wrong impression”. See, it’s the black man’s fault!
Lammy put him straight, too. “I’m not saying it, the university’s own data is saying it. Putting people off applying by forcing Oxford to publish the data? Fraser I’m sure working class, northern and ethnic minority young people are perfectly capable of looking at the data and making their own minds up”. But the Pundit Establishment wasn’t done yet.
Iain Martin, spinner and abuse merchant of no fixed principle, weighed in. “This monstering of Oxford is ludicrous. It is a leading global institution, not a plaything of govt. Fix the school system”. Oxford clearly ranks as high as any in Rome!
And the same argument Tobes made, which had already been addressed. Lammy had to remind him “Oxbridge gets £700 million a year from the taxpayer and the Oxbridge admissions system decides who gets to be the next Cabinet Ministers, newspaper editors, senior civil servants, FTSE CEOs etc. So it does matter to my constituents and to every person in this country, actually”. We’re paying for it, spinners.
Perhaps those pundits should listen to Lammy, rather than talking at him. Just a thought.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Leveson 2 HAS RETURNED

Our free and fearless press, in the person of the Tories, has seen off two votes in Parliament. Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry had finally been consigned to history: there was to be no threat of all that phone hacking, email hacking, computer hacking, blagging of medical, legal, court and Police records, entrapment, bin rifling, burglary, blackmail, bribery, and other improper behaviour, seeing the light of day.
This was framed as a victory for “press freedom”, that being the freedom to carry on shitting all over the little people and daring them to go to law, and bet the house doing so, if they thought they were hard enough. The press could now carry on lying, bullying, threatening, ruining lives and livelihoods, and generally trampling all over anyone who stood in their way, or otherwise incurred their displeasure.

Campaigning group Hacked Off, the only players willing to stand up for the victims of press misconduct, has declared thatthe fight is not over”, going on to tell “we are taking the Government to court! The decision to cancel this inquiry into press criminality & corruption isn’t just disgraceful, we think it is illegal. We have a powerful case but court is expensive - please donate to our crowdfund so we can challenge this betrayal”.

As the Guardian has conceded - note that most of that free and fearless press have declined to report on the news - “Press regulation campaigners have been given the go-ahead to take the government to court over its decision to cancel the second part of the Leveson inquiry into the activities of the media”. There was more.

Campaigners working with the Hacked Off group, including the former Bristol schoolteacher Christopher Jeffries and the parents of the missing child Madeleine McCann, have successfully convinced the high court that the decision should be subject to a judicial review … The court will consider in October whether Hancock’s decision to cancel the second part of the inquiry, which would have focussed on governance issues at media groups and the relationship between newspapers and the police, was correct”.
So Matt Hancock, for whom the epithet “crawler” is woefully insufficient, will have to report back to his true masters - no, not Theresa May and his cabinet colleagues, but the Murdoch, Barclay Brothers and Rothermere press - that those ghastly people from Hacked Off have refused to toddle off and allow the Fourth Estate to keep getting away with it.

The challenge is surely the right thing to do: if the Government is prepared to rat on its promise to victims of press malpractice, then someone has to stand up for them. And for those still clinging on to the myth that the press has somehow reformed itself since Part 1 of Leveson, they need look no further than the disgraceful attempt by the Mail on Sunday to damage the business of beautician Danielle Hindley.

That was covered previously by Zelo Street. It will be again. In the meantime, anyone out there who wants to see Leveson 2 completed, so we know for certain “who did what to whom”, can donate to the Hacked Off crowdfunder HERE.

When we have a Government so corrupt that they march in lockstep with the press barons, we have a problem. That cannot be solved by inaction. That is all.

Godfrey Bloom New Race Hate Shame

Former MEP Godfrey Bloom knows a thing or two about racism, mainly because he does so much of it himself. Bloom was too poisonous even for UKIP, which means he was very bad indeed. He was the clown who coined the expression “Bongo-Bongo Land”. And he was removed from the honorary presidency of the Ludwig von Mises centre after referring to Goldman, Sachs as a “Jewish Bank”. Von Mises was Jewish.
After Godders made his attack on Goldman, Sachs, Zelo Street asked if he had really been relieved of his duties. The reply was unequivocal: “The Council of Mises UK removed Mr Bloom as Honorary President. The recent comments from Mr Bloom do not represent the views of Mises UK or any of its officers in any way”. Godders never learns. And, as his latest foot-in-mouth episode shows, his appetite for hate speech never diminishes.
His latest target is broadcaster and writer Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, recently the target of nailed-on racism dispensed by Mid Bedfordshire’s Tory MP (yes, it’s her again) Nadine Dorries, who asserted that Ms Alibhai-Brown should somehow be grateful that we in the UK allowed her to remain among us. Godders has taken the fragrant Nadine’s rantings and run with them. The result is exactly as might be predicted.
After she had asked “Is it safe to be back on twitter? Have people- including royal wedding journalist junkies- run out of breath yet? Proof again that GB is an infantalized, escapist nation”, off he went. “Surely as you clearly hate Great Britain, the country that rather mistakenly gave you refuge, should you not return to the country of your ancestors?
Very NF 1960s. And while he was at it, Godders took time out to have a go at the new Duchess of Sussex. “The new Duchess of Sussex appears to believe her marriage was some kind of endorsement of political office. Someone must take her aside & explain the role of a constitutional monarchy”. Now what might that be code for?
We didn’t need long to find out, as he abandoned all pretence of brain engagement and went full-on Third Reich at Ms Alibhai-Brown. “The place you should go to Option one Uganda, from whence you came Option two, Pakistan the land of your forebears. Or actually anywhere, we are all sick to death of you. You were born brown, live with it why don't you!” So white people don’t have to return to the country of their ancestors - convenient for Godders, as it wouldn’t be the UK - but “others” do.
And just to make sure he deployed the full range of racist tropes, Bloom had one last unreconstructed snipe at his target. “In case you missed it I was referring to the disgusting Alibaba Brown, the woman we would all love to see BUGGER off”. What is “disgusting” about her? Is he now saying people who aren’t white are therefore “disgusting”?

Godfrey Bloom claims that he is merely “annoying the politically correct”. He is not. He is peddling gratuitous bigotry, and by doing so, encouraging others to be dismissive and hateful towards brown and black Britons, who have as much right to be in the UK as he has. Worse, he is still indulged by the media from time to time.

Wouldn’t it be best for all concerned if that indulgence were to cease? Just a thought.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Racist Says UK Has No Racism

The right-wing press and its hangers-on, including those favoured with being admitted into the body of the Pundit Establishment, have a tried, tested, and mostly unsuccessful way of dealing with inconvenient facts, and that is to either ignore them, pretend that they are not happening, or dismiss them as “non-story” or “conspiracy theory”.
After Michael “Oiky” Gove proclaimed thatThe UK has a more ‘welcoming’ attitude to immigrants than any country in the EU”, that “the Windrush scandal had not damaged the UK's reputation for tolerance”, and that the Brexit referendum campaign “had not made race relations worse” - figures show it has - rabid Islamophobe Doug Murray The K added 2 and 2, obtaining a number which was rather larger than 4.

Murray starts his rant at the increasingly bigoted SpectatorIn recent years the British public have been bombarded with allegations about our alleged bigotry … Since [the referendum] there has been a seemingly endless parade of pseudo-scientific claims that ‘hate crime has soared’ and the like”. Actual fact has become “pseudo-science”.

Spot the spin take 1. And here’s take 2: “Some of us - certainly a majority - knew all this to be nonsense”. The majority is with Doug! No polling or other research is required: the great Murray speaks, and “the majority” falls obediently into line with his superior insights. So what evidence would Sir care to pony up in defence of his claim?

You’ll love this. “I have been mulling several things since Saturday. Like a lot of other people I watched the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with enormous joy. Indeed I found the whole thing deeply moving and uplifting. The bride looked wonderful. The bride’s mother represented her family with enormous grace and dignity”.

Yes? Yes yes? Yes yes yes? “The American minister Michael Curry stole much of the show with his sermon … A number of the prayers were read out by the Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin, who is Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons and to Her Majesty the Queen. The music during the signing of the registry was played by Sheku Kanneh-Mason, the young cellist who won the BBC’s Young Musician of the Year in 2016”.

Some people who are not white were on telly! The clinching argument at last! And Murray is taking out of the back of his neck. As the Windrush scandal shows - and the experience of so many followers of The Prophet backs up - the racism is still there, and pretending it can be washed away by shouting “look over there at the Royal Wedding” is bunk.

It’s always a white Briton who comes out with this drivel. Gove was bad enough, but Doug Murray The K, the pundit who asserted - and has never withdrawn - the claim “conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board” - that’s too much.

As with all such outbursts, there is one test to see how racist that claim is, and that is to replace the word “Muslims” with “Jews”. Murray wouldn’t have got away with that, so he should not get a free pass with his version. And nor should he get away with his preposterous claim that the Royal Wedding has stamped out racism in the UK.

Certainly not in the magazine that publishes anti-Semite Taki, Rod “not really racist” Liddle, and ex-BNP alumnus Jack Buckby. I’ll just leave that one there.

So Farewell Then Ken Livingstone

In the end, he jumped before being pushed: Ken Livingstone, former leader of the GLC, thorn in the side of Margaret Thatcher, long-serving MP, two-term Mayor of London, and enthusiastic participant in the city’s successful Olympic bid, has resigned from the Labour Party days before a disciplinary hearing into his conduct, following his initial suspension almost two years ago. He was, in the end, the architect of his own downfall.
And while those that Robin Day memorably and rightly called here today and gone tomorrow politicians crow contentedly about Ken’s departure, one should not whisper it quietly - he did at least achieve something in his political career, unlike many of them.

The credit side would have earned Livingstone a significant place in history, had he not also been notorious for the twin habits of shooting his mouth off a little too readily, and then being incapable of saying sorry afterwards. His time as London Mayor was key.

It is difficult even this far down the line to see why the Blair Government had such a control freak mentality: Tone had to have his placeman at the Welsh Assembly - that failed spectacularly - and likewise had to impose his own obedient candidate for the London Mayoralty. Livingstone would not play that game: he stood as an Independent in 2000 and won against official Labour, and the Tories. And he was right to do so.

Only he was prepared to face down the car lobby and impose the London congestion charge - a move that has endured, even though his successor caved in to the motorist faction and abandoned the western extension of the charging zone. Ken put on more bus services, and set in train replacement of the oldest Underground trains.

Those who like their new air-conditioned District, Circle and Metropolitan trains have Livingstone to thank: they, along with new trains for the Victoria Line, were ordered under his Mayoralty. His occasional successor, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, ordered none, with the result that the Bakerloo Line’s veteran stock may see 60 years in service.

The campaign by the right-wing press against bendy buses, another joined with gusto by Andrew “transcription error” Gilligan, was fatuous. They provided capacity and speed; the vanity BozzaMasters that came after them did neither, and were a waste of money. But Gilligan did get paid off by Bozza for his services.

Johnson’s Mayoralty by comparison to Ken’s was a disaster. The waste was on an eye-watering scale. The cancellation of the Cross River Tram condemned south-east London to years more at the bottom of the public transport pecking order. At least Bozza did not cancel Crossrail: now he’ll be there at the opening to claim the credit.
But, as I suggested, Livingstone could never keep his trap shut at times when keeping it shut should not have been difficult. His clumsy berating of the Standard’s Oliver Finegold was indefensible; his inability to own up and say sorry was worse. Whether that was a sign of anti-Semitism is debatable: Ken was an equal opportunity insult machine.

Likewise, the behaviour that got him suspended was perhaps not deliberately anti-Semitic, but the last thing to do when the subject is such a sensitive one is to blunder into the nearest TV studio and proclaim “Yes but Hitler”. Again, he should have kept schtum.

On top of that was the impression that Ken was not really a party man, unless that party was the one led by Himself Personally Now. That had occasional benefits - it was so much easier for him to defy Blair and stand as an independent in the first London Mayoral election. It was less easy for him, and his party leadership, later on.

Now that he has gone, there has inevitably been a chorus of triumphalism from those who despised him. It would be a more effective chorus, were it not comprised of so many who have achieved nothing in politics, and most likely never will.

Not least among the no-marks sneering at old Ken as he shuffles off has been Wes Streeting, an utter worm of a politician who will blow whichever way the press establishment demands, and espouse any campaign he can, to ensure he remains in the comfort to which he has become accustomed. Streeting is the kind of machine politician who gave Labour such a bad name in recent times. There are others.

No, Ken Livingstone should have long ago learned to hold his tongue and own up when caught shooting his mouth off. Thus he became, ultimately, the architect of his own downfall - while of course Good Old Bozza could indulge in more explicit racism, for which he has been awarded a free pass by his fellow journalists.

But at least Ken achieved something in his career, and something useful to all Londoners. His critics, like the crawler Streeting, never will. Such is politics.