Category Archives: Internet

Corbyn And The Media (Part 1)

Ever since Jeremy Corbyn announced he was standing as a candidate in last year’s leadership election, the smear stories have been relentless and increasingly shrill in their tone.  This week has seen the absurd ‘List’, which was leaked to The Times and the ratcheting up of a dodgy story about Ian Lavery pocketing loads of union money.  All of this happened, coincidentally, on the back of a good showing in the polls for the Labour Party.

Yet, some of these anti-Corbyn stories are downright hilarious, and others are just plain sloppy. A few days ago, I came across this article in The Independent in which someone called Caitlin Doherty, who says she’s a student, claims to have left the Labour Party because of “Jeremy Corbyn”. Well, that’s what the headline says and who am I to argue? Sod it, I’m going to argue. I’m going to argue that this article is little more than clickbait. Howzat?

I’m a student Labour supporter – but I just quit the party over Jeremy Corbyn

Last summer Young Labour blanketed itself in a sense of euphoria. Yes, our party may have lost the election; our optimism, encouraged by pollsters and the unexpected popularity of the Milifandom, may have been initially destroyed. But it wasn’t the end; it was just the start of a new beginning.

There was a new guy on the Labour scene: a guy who looked oddly like your granddad, wore tweed suits and rode a pushbike through Islington. Jeremy Corbyn was set to change the face of the tired and irrelevant Labour Party, and that hot bed of lefties – the student population of Britain – was understandably excited.

So far, so clichéd.

That euphoria, however, is slowly bringing about the end of the Labour party. According to figures released this week, the tidal wave of support that pushed Corbyn to the opposition front bench is coming to an end. For the first time since the general election of May 2015, more people are leaving the Labour Party than joining. And I am among them.

Caitlin links to this misleading article by Andrew Grice in the same paper (sic) that was published the day before, which makes the bold claim that party membership is “falling”. Predictably, Grice offers no sources for his claim.

The majority of these Labour “deserters” are thought, like me, to be the students that drove him to success: the idealists who were swept up in the hashtags and headlines became quickly bored and have moved on elsewhere, it is said. This sweeping assumption does Labour students a great disservice.

“The majority”? Some numbers would be nice or maybe a link? No chance. “Hashtags and headlines”… don’t you just love alliterations? They’re almost as good as tropes and there’s loads of them in this article.

Students aren’t leaving Labour because it isn’t trendy anymore. Students are leaving Labour because they are fed up. Fed up with the ecstatic reception Corbyn still receives – particularly in UK universities where Labour Societies have become increasingly elite and exclusive to ardent Corbynites, with no room for questioning Our Great Leader – despite very little demonstration of any opposition to the increasingly strident Conservative Government.

Was being a member of the Labour Party ever “trendy”? Notice how she slips in the word “Corbynites” and “Our Great Leader”, the latter of which I often see being used on comments threads beneath pro and anti-Corbyn articles.

Caitlin’s previous effort for The Indy was this article on how to survive ‘A’ Levels.

I traced her to the Huffington Post, which tells us:

Caitlin is a second year English Literature student at the University of East Anglia, the Global Editor of UEA’s ‘Concrete and a writer for several other local and national publications. A passionate writer, committed politics follower, and occasional book reader she can often be found getting very angry about something.

She’s written three articles for them.

However, with a little digging, I discovered that Caitlin also writes for the University of East Anglia’s student rag.  Last September, she wrote this article in which she says:

In a so-called “unity statement” on his campaign website he argues that: “There is no place for personal animosity, negative campaigning, and saying or doing anything now that will damage our ability to work together as one party”. and he urges supporters to add their signatures to this statement of intent. Campaign proclamations aside, whoever finds themselves elected leader in a few weeks’ time will likely have Jeremy Corbyn to thank for an increasingly disunited and fractured Labour Party.

I don’t think she joined Labour because of Corbyn.

I reckon our Caitlin would make a great Progress intern or a Murdoch hack. How about you?


Filed under Free Press Myth, Ideologies, Internet, Media, propaganda, Yellow journalism

Britain’s libel laws and You Know Who

He’s innocent. He was nowhere near Wrexham, save for a flying visit to a Wimpy Bar with a Conservative Party Agent. He doesn’t know Steven Messham and no doubt he’s never met Dr Julian Lewis, the Tory party’s fixer and dirty tricks specialist either. Furthermore, You Know Who has  never set foot in Dolphin Square and has never worked as treasurer for the Conservative Party. That last part was true but I’m worried that I’ve got it wrong and I’ll get threatened with a libel suit for claiming that You Know Who was party treasurer when he was, in fact, the party’s teaboy and bog cleaner.

In fact, You Know Who is the man who never was. It was his dead cousin who is the guilty party and we can’t ask him questions but rest assured, if he were still alive, he would probably threaten us with libel suits too. Why? People with lots of money and power can shut people up – even if they are speaking the truth or being satirical. Ask any number of whistle-blowers and satirists and they’ll tell you the same thing: free speech in Britain is a myth. UK libel laws are possibly the most exacting in the world, but as is the case with many things in Britain, only the rich have access to defamation suits. Those of us on meagre incomes cannot even afford to defend ourselves in a libel suit, let alone sue someone who defames us. We just have to put up with it. This is one of the things that makes Britain such a brutal and unjust country.

McAlpine doesn’t need the money but he’s quite happily taken £185,000 from the BBC for not naming him. He lives in Italy, where he is out of reach from HM Revenues and Customs and thus pays no tax in this country. He operates a blacklist of construction workers whom he (and others) believe are Bolsheviks and his construction sites are some of the most dangerous in Europe. Yes sir, this is a man who believes in freedom and justice but only on his terms. But I don’t suppose the blacklist has anything to do with milord. He’s probably never seen it and will probably sue anyone who dares to contradict him.

Seriously, if McAlpine was that concerned about his good name, then why haven’t his solicitors served a writ on the Cheshire Constabulary for showing a photograph to Steven Messham when they knew it to be wrong? And what about David Icke, who’s been making allegations against McAlpine for the better part of 20 years? Then there’s Scallywag, whose 4 page article named You Know Who along with several others. No writ there.

Simon Kelner writing in The Independent says,

… Kevin Clash, who was the voice of Elmo in Sesame Street, was falsely accused of having an affair with an underage boy. Again, a similar Twitter storm, but Clash has not threatened any legal action against anyone who shared the incorrect story on Twitter. This is because, in America, the burden in libel cases falls on the claimant to prove the defendant knew the information was false, or likely to be false, or at least was not acting in good faith.

In Britain, the defendant must demonstrate that the accusation is true, nothing less. This is a huge difference, which many have argued has led to an imbalance in Britain in favour of the rich and powerful, who have used our libel laws to suppress information and thus restrict freedom of speech. The British system is overly protective of reputation, they say.

The only reputations that are protected in this country are those of the powerful, whose reputations are often questionable at the best of times.

Such is McAlpine’s arrogance that he thinks he can sue every Twitter user who tweeted or retweeted allegations about him. When this was announced the usual suspects in the Tory press began to cheer and egg him on.  The same people started working overtime to produce smear stories about Tom Watson and Messham. These are the same people who lied about Leveson and demanded an end to the enquiry. At any rate, if McAlpine wanted to sue every Twitter user (there must be thousands), it would take years, possibly decades. Does he really have that many years left in him? His solicitor told people that they should come forward, confess one’s sins and settle to avoid a lengthy and expensive court case. Is McAlpine now the 21st century equivalent to Chaucer’s Pardoner? If so, it is an odd role in which to cast one’s self.

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Filed under Bullying, Child sex abuse, Internet, Media, Society & culture

Life on Hannan World (part 6)

Ed Miliband’s speech was such a roaring success with Tory hacks that even the Lyin’ King has pitched in.  But remember, this is Hannan were talking about, so he has to get in a swipe at what he believes to be socialism even if it isn’t socialism. It’s in his nature. So it comes as no surprise when we find that, like an incontinent, he can’t stop himself from repeating his  claim that Labour (and by implication the Left, generally) has a monopoly on “hate”. He dribbles,

Britain has historically been fortunate in the temper of its Left-wing party. You don’t have to look far to find socialist movements rooted in envy, authoritarianism and bloodthirstiness.

Here, Hannan’s understanding of Britain’s Left-wing parties is woeful. Like so many Tories he can only see one party, the Labour Party.  He also repeats the by now familiar canard that the Left’s politics are “rooted in envy” (Number 1 on my list of the Right’s clichés) . Unfortunately for the Lyin’ King, I can always find legion examples of Right-wing authoritarianism and bloodthirstiness. Hitler? Pinochet? Salazar? Franco? I could name more if you would like me to.  Then there’s the iconic figure of Churchill, who sent troops into Tonypandy and warships to the Mersey and Humber. His enthusiasm for gassing Kurds and Arabs in Mesopotamia is well documented. But Hannan’s pathological dishonesty leads him to the false conclusion that his side – the Right – is free from any taint of authoritarianism.  Labour’s alleged Left-wing position is entirely relative but for the Lyin’ King, that’s proof enough of their culpability. It’s been said many times that Tories are thick and here’s further evidence of their join-the-dots mentality.

The paragraph below treads some familiar ground.

[…] While there has always been a hate-filled element in Labour, it has been balanced by a different tendency: one that sought to improve the lot of the poor, not by tearing down the system, but by extending opportunities.

The Cat knows Dan is projecting. I’ve seen it before.The real hatred resides in the Tory Party and its policies, which are designed to attack those who are poor, disabled, low-waged or claim benefits. What’s more is that we have plentiful evidence.

Ed Miliband nodded at that ambition in his speech yesterday. By invoking Disraeli, he echoed the Fabians, who used to cite Dizzy as an exemplar of ‘Tory socialism’. The old egomaniac can be slotted, without much difficulty, into the tradition of Blake and Morris and Cobbett and Chesterton and Ruskin (another Tory socialist) – a tradition Labour once valued.

What is this “Tory socialism”? There is no such thing. Notice how he labels Chesterton (we can presume it’s GK Chesterton that he’s talking about) a “socialist”. He was no such thing. He was a Distributist. There’s a big difference between Distributism and socialism. Briefly, Distributism was the Catholic Church’s response to socialism. The Vatican loathed socialism and sought to find a way to attract those Catholics who were tempted to embrace it. Indeed, Chesterton was briefly interested in socialism but only briefly. He was also an anti-Semite. Remember, anything that doesn’t look like laissez-faire capitalism is socialism (sic) on Hannan World. He cannot tell the difference to save his life. He also believes that Strasserism is socialism and takes any opportunity to tell us that the Nazis were socialists and how all on the Left are, in fact, closet fascists. It would be amusing if it wasn’t so pitiably stupid.

Hannan saves up his bile for the end of the blog, which I have highlighted in bold.

A glance at his neighbours, though, tells us that Frank Field is in the minority. The party of Keir Hardie is now mainly the voice of the white collar public sector, less interested in raising the working man than in expanding the legions of administrators and liaison officers, outreach workers and racism awareness counsellors, regulators and inspectors, licensors and clerks who make up Labour’s electoral base and supply most of its MPs.

Laughable. If Frank Field is left-wing and a socialist, then I’m the King of Tonga. Field was originally a Tory, which explains why the Tories like him so much. It’s also revealing that Hannan doesn’t like the idea of anti-racism initiatives. This is generally the position of those who call themselves “classical liberals” (sic), most, if not all, of whom accept Galton’s social Darwinism as scientific fact. This is why Hayek is so appealing to Hannan and his brethren: his theories provide an economic justification for social Darwinism. His word is unassailable truth in the mind of the free-marketeer.

Hannan’s article exists to reassure his fellow Tories that they have nothing to fear; they can carry on smashing what’s left of Britain’s trade unions and rewarding the rich with more generous tax cuts, while the poor take the hit. That is what passes for fairness in the socially Darwinian mind of the Right. This is the topsy-turvy Randian logic of Hannan. No wonder this country is in such a mess.

Finally, if my criticism and analysis is an example of “hate”, then tough. I can hate for Europe in that case. Now go home and get your shine boxes.

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Filed under Internet, Journalism, Labour Party, Media, Neoliberalism, Political parties, Tories, Tory press, Yellow journalism

Thatcher, trolls, hypocrisy and faux outrage: the world of Louise Mensch

I have no time at all for Louise Mensch, the author of rubbish ‘chick lit’ novels, Tory MP for Corby and apologist for Murdoch. Her only skill seems to be getting things badly wrong. Recently she has taken to Twitter to complain about people, some of whom describe themselves as Labour supporters, who have openly tweeted that they will celebrate once Thatcher finally dies.  Others have been more forthright about the Auld Witch.

The Telegraph, naturally, has the story. Here’s a taste,

Last night, Louise Mensch, the backbench Conservative MP, called on Labour to respond after being sent a message by a follower who claimed to have worked for the Party inviting her to a party following Lady Thatcher’s death.

Her message triggered a Twitter storm, with other critics of Lady Thatcher sending abusive messages about the former prime minister, calling her a s— and other crude names.

However, other Labour supporters told Mrs Mensch that they deplored the remarks, and insisted that the Tweets did not represent the views of most party members.

I saw some of those tweets, so what’s the problem? Don’t Tory supporters and other right-wing loons say pretty much the same thing about Labour MPs? Well, they do. Have a look at some of the comments left on Telegraph blogs if you’re in any doubt.

Here’s a sample of some of the tweets that have upset dear, sweet Lou,

One critic of Lady Thatcher, John Bradley, said: “Silly isn’t it, when she dies there will be so many parties you won’t need an invite.”

David Blessing ‏added: “It’s not like anyone’s planning a murder. Just poised with balloons, streamers and a conga is forming right now.”

Chris Castle said: “She wished me unemployed, powerless and subservient. why shld I show any compassion to her?”

And Simon Gardner said: “There’s going to be the mother of all parties when Margaret Thatcher dies.”

Hmm, doubtless many Tories raised a glass of champagne when Attlee died (his grandson is a Tory peer by the way). The one thing that escapes Tories like Mensch is the devastation that was wrought on this country in the 1980s by the mass redundancies and the closure of the pits. When Thatcher dies, they will have a right to feel relieved and celebrate the end of a truly terrible era. But the Tories, like Mensch, are in denial. They believe the destruction of Britain’s industries was necessary for the country to move forward. The country didn’t move forward and now we have the most draconian anti-union laws anywhere in Europe with certain members of the party calling for even tougher anti-union laws.

Fellow Tory backbencher Philip Davies commented: “These are the same people who try to claim to have a monopoly in compassion. At least everyone can now see how vile they are.”

Incidentally, this is the same Tory who said that the disabled should work for less pay. It shouldn’t surprise you that he is also the Parliamentary spokesman for the dismal Campaign Against Political Correctness.

Mrs Mensch said: “Right. Enough of this. Sunny day, extreme left embarrassing themselves all over my @ stream. Lady T worth millions of any of these trolls.

No she isn’t. Enough of the hero-worship already.

Really encouraging to see all, including those on the left, repudiate the celebrants of an old woman’s death. Will @UKLabour do likewise?

You can see what Mensch is trying to do here: she’s using the tweets of a few individuals to suggest that this was Labour Party policy. It’s low but then she’s an admirer of Thatcher. She reiterates,

What we want is a simple statement that rejoicing in anyone’s death is, like racism, cause for expulsion.

Here she tries the same line as the Lyin’ King by feebly joining the dots.  “It’s like racism” she cries, while everyone else laughs. Here’s something that should make you laugh, dear readers, it’s a tweet that Mensch sent last Friday.

@LouiseMensch best bit of the opening ceremony was the tribute to the NHS says so much about PM that he protected & increased its budget

Is she serious? Yes, she is. This leaves us with one question: do you have to be smart to be an MP? No, all it takes is the right amount of social capital and Mensch has plenty of that.

Here are a few of the replies to Mensch’s outburst.

We are often told that this is a ‘free country’, so if someone wants to rejoice in the death of someone who killed thousands of people through her policies, then surely that is their right? In fact, when she dies, I’ll be celebrating too. Will she call for me to be arrested? I’d like to see her try.

Finally,  The Daily Shame does a great take on this. Enjoy!


Filed under Internet, Media

Life on Gilligan’s Island (Part 46)

Just because the London Mayoral election ended in May, it doesn’t mean that we here at Nowhere Towers are about to ignore Kennite. He’s still the same hack and as far as we’re concerned, he isn’t going to change anytime soon. Leopards, spots and all that.

The Olympics Opening Ceremony has got many sections of the Right foaming at the mouth. First there was Aidan Burley and his “leftie multicultural crap” tweet, for which we don’t expect him to be censured. Then there was Rick Dewsbury of the Daily Heil with his racist rant, which has been pulled by the paper in the face of a stream of complaints. You can view the offending article here. Both the article and Dewsbury are now the subject of a complaint lodged with the PCC.

The title of Kennite’s blog is “London 2012: how the Olympics suckered the left”. When you read a title like that, you know what to expect.  First he writes,

The London Olympics are the most Right-wing major event in Britain’s modern history. Billions of pounds are taken from poor and middle-income taxpayers and service users to build temples to a corporate and sporting elite. Democratic, grassroots sport is stripped of money to fund the most rarefied sport imaginable. The police and the state are turned into the enforcement arm of Coca-Cola. How did this event suddenly become the toast of the Left?

How is this “the toast of the Left”? He does not say but I think it is fair to suggest that he is referring to the Opening Ceremony and not the games themselves and the criminal enterprise that runs them. But he would be wrong. Furthermore, you can guarantee that when Kennite is talking about the “Left”, he’s referring to Labour and not the rest of the British Left. In the second paragraph, he puts the first boot in.

Corporations who make people fat and sick – or, in one case, actually maimed and killed them – are allowed to launder their images; the London Paralympics, in a detail you simply could not make up, are sponsored by Atos, the firm repeatedly accused of bullying disabled people off benefits. Meanwhile, the main sponsors – the people of Britain – are largely excluded from the event they paid for.

Here he appears to be saying that the Left hasn’t said anything about Atos.  But he would be wrong and if he’d have bothered to do his homework, he’d see that there have been ongoing protests since the government announced that ATOS would be forcing the disabled into work. We are already aware that Atos is sponsoring the Paralympics and we find that distasteful. But to say that the ‘left’ (whoever they are) are doing nothing is little more than left-baiting. Have a look at this article from Nottingham Indymedia. The Socialist Party has also been involved in protests against ATOS. Kennite is talking out of his arse.

Here’s the nub of his hatchet-job,

The Left should be up in arms about the Olympics, as should any democrat. But as it turns out, all it takes is a few nurses dancing round beds, some coloured lights spelling out the words NHS and we all go weak at the knees and collapse into the IOC’s embrace. Worse, actually: any criticism of the opening ceremony was described by one left-wing newspaper today as “extremist!

More dishonesty.  The “left-wing” newspaper to which he refers, one suspects, is The Guardian. The “extremist” in question is Nazi Boy Burley. Thus far, Kennite has been quiet about him but then we don’t really expect him to say anything. He’s more than happy to excuse racists. After all, enough of them form his core readership. To support his ‘case’, he writes,

My favourite line was from the Guardian columnist Richard Williams who wrote: “Cameron and his gang will surely not dare to continue the dismemberment of the NHS after this.” Hmm. If dismemberment is indeed their intention, are they really going to be stopped by a sound and light show? This isn’t a new dawn for Britain. It’s a night’s entertainment.

Is this the only ‘Leftist’ he could find? If so, it’s a pretty poor example.

Here’s what the Socialist Party said about The Olympics in Socialism Today,

IT ALL BEGAN with a lie: that the London Games would cost £2.4 billion. That figure was never credible. Inexplicably, it did not include VAT or security expenditure. With these costs added, the bill would have totalled £3.9 billion – 20% VAT on £2.4 billion equals £480,000, plus the wildly out-of-control spending on security, around £1 billion. So far, however, the elastic Olympics budget has been stretched to £9.3 billion. It all adds up to a massive swindle, a rip-off for working-class and middle-class people who stump up the most in direct and indirect taxes.

The government (via taxpayers) is paying £6.2 billion of that, the rest coming from the lottery (an indirect tax on the poorest). Despite assurances that the private sector would part-fund the major construction projects on which the Games depend, the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, reckoned that less than 2% of the Olympics budget has come from private funding. (Guardian, 17 July 2008)

The London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (Locog), the body in charge of ‘delivering’ the Games, has raised another £2.1 billion to stage the show. Two-thirds of this has come from sponsorship by big business – whose profits come from exploiting workers and consumers. Locog also gets a contribution from the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The rest is from ticket and merchandising sales – again, mainly out of our pockets. Locog is headed by Lord Sebastian Coe, a former gold-medal-winning athlete, former Tory MP, a ‘world ambassador’ for Nike sportswear, and multi-millionaire.

The Olympics have “suckered the Left”? The Socialist Workers Party has also attacked the games as well as organizing protests against missile batteries being sited on top of blocks of flats. This is from June’s Socialist Worker.

London march against corporate takeover

Activists were set to march through east London on Saturday of this week in protest at the corporate Olympics. The march is taking place under the slogan “No Limos, No Logos, No Launchers”

This refers to the controversial Games Lanes, the Olympics’ corporate sponsorship and the missiles stationed on blocks of flats in east London.

It is organised by umbrella group the Counter Olympics Network. After the march there will be speakers from some of the 50 or so campaigns that support the protest, including War on Want, Defend the Right to Protest and several London trades councils.

The local council has tried to ban such “anti-Olympics speeches”. But the protesters were set to launch a legal appeal as Socialist Worker went to press.

Counter Olympics Network supporter Julian Cheyne said, “The Olympics have turned into a corporate festival. To stand by silently would imply we consent to this—and we do not.”

The march assembles at 12 noon on Saturday 28 July at Mile End Park, London E3.

Even the tiny Revolutionary Communist Group has attacked the games.

Gilligoon penned an earlier blog about the Olympics about which he says,

I’ve also had disappointingly few hate emails and tweets after my mixed review yesterday of the great event.

Hate mail is the way he measures his effect on others.  Here’s what he said in the previous blog.

Some of the rest was bitty and disjointed; the sub-mobile-phone advert style of the digital section was particularly weak. It was more political than I expected. Voldemort loomed over the NHS. Tonight marked perhaps its final transformation from a healthcare system into a religion. Dancers made up the CND symbol. The Royal Family looked bored, but the new Right-On Royal Family – Doreen Lawrence and Shami Chakrabarti – got to carry the Olympic flag.

My bold. Why shouldn’t Doreen Lawrence carry the Olympic flag? I’m beginning to suspect that Kennite has some rather questionable views on the subject of Stephen Lawrence’s murder.  But there’s something else: Doreen Lawrence is no fan of Boris Johnson who, as we all know, is Kennite’s other employer. I found this on Iain Dale’s Diary from August 2007.

Andrew Gilligan shares my views on Doreen Lawrence’s disgraceful attack on Boris Johnson. I listened to an appalling half hour’s phone-in on Radio 5 last night, where Simon Woolley from Operation Black Vote demeaned himself and his position by what he said about Boris. Normally Simon is quite sensible and has done a lot to encourage ethnic minorities to take part in the political process, but last night he embarrassed himself. This is what Andrew Gilligan had to say in today’s Evening Standard

Before the 2008 London mayoral election, Lawrence said that Johnson would not be good for London because of his predilection for casual racism. Dale, like Gilligoon, is quite prepared to look past Johnson’s evident issues with the Other. Dale also links to the dodgy Donal Blaney, he of the YBF. Unfortunately the link seems to be dead. However it is safe to say that Blaney has form when it comes to race. In one blog, Blaney says,

Racist. Fascist. Disabled. Abused. Poor.

All seemingly powerful words – but, alas, no longer. Why? Because they are devalued by their overuse and their misapplication, particularly by leftists.

Dishonesty abounds. The simple truth is that racists like Blaney and the others don’t like to be called on their racism. Furthermore the idea that there are disabled and poor people in the country rankles them; they’d rather content themselves with illusions. Dale, Blaney and Gilligan will never know what it’s like to be abused for the colour of their skin. Instead, they try to play the victim and invert the relations of power to suit their victimhood.

Kennite: he always adds a little sugar to his poison.

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Filed under Internet, Journalism, Media, Tory press, Yellow journalism

Nazi Boy Burley in hot water over dodgy tweets

Aidan Burley. Just when you thought he was keeping his head down, up he pops. You just can’t keep a good Nazi down.  The Olympics Opening Ceremony wasn’t, it seems, to his liking. He tweeted,

Over at Torygraph blogs, James Kirkup was first up to defend Burley. He writes,

Danny Boyle’s take on British history, from the Industrial Revolution to the present day, via the suffrage movement and the Empire Windrush, did not please Mr Burley (or whoever is using his Twitter account). Nor did the focus on insitutions like the NHS.

I think we can safely say that it was Burley’s account because he later tries to appear contrite.

The fingers type the words but the brain isn’t engaged.

I found this tweet from a young ‘nationalist’ follower who offers his support,

Hmmm, great.

ITV News live feed says that senior Tories have distanced themselves from Nazi Boy’s tweets. Fellow Tory MP, Gavin Barwell was quick to slap him down.

Nowhere Towers thinks the opening ceremony for the 1936 Munich Olympics would have been more to Burley’s taste.

UPDATE: 28/7/12 @ 1125

Every time Burley opens his mouth he digs a deeper hole for himself. This is from ITV News.

He think that “it was all rather clichéd about multiculturalism” though he accepts he could have phrased his tweets better.

But in comments that could further annoy, he wondered “why there was the huge, disproportionate focus on rap music when it is a small part of multiculturalism.”

Keep digging, Nazi Boy, we’re loving this. We also hope your French is good because where you’re going, you’re going to be needing it.

UPDATE: 28/7/12 @ 2336

Here’s Burley being interviewed on Sky News.  He refuses to accept responsibility and instead chooses to deflect attention from his odious views.

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Filed under Internet, Media, Television

Life on Hannan World (Part 5)

Hannan plays the victim card again

I can always tell when Dan Hannan’s bored because he starts moaning about how “lefties (a word I detest) hate the Tories”. What gets me about his oft-expressed sentiment is how he seems to feel everyone, regardless of their political complexion, should love the Tories – even respect them while they’re being repeatedly kicked in the face. But why should I or anyone else have any respect for them? He doesn’t say. He won’t say.

Today Hannan claims that “some online hatreds are prosecuted, others applauded”.  This blog hangs on the coattails of those which support Mehdi Hasan’s article in which he describes being subjected to Internet abuse (much of it on Telegraph blogs). Representing the Mambo covered Hasan’s article and the handwringing outrage that greeted it in this excellent blog. Hannan opens with,

The Guardian is again agonising over the nasty comments on its online opinion section, Comment is Free, aimed at ethnic minority contributors, especially Muslims. It has a point. You don’t have to be squeamish to be revolted by a great deal of what happens beneath the line. Here are three typical comments, posted within 20 minutes of each other on a single thread:

Jeez, have you even met any Muslims? They’re like a cross between Fagin & Goebbels.

I have always found Muslims to be nasty, selfish, lying, despicable, evil, grasping, ignorant, duplicitous wastes of oxygen.

Muslims are extremist scum. End of story.

Now that seems reasonable until you read the next paragraph.

Actually, I’ve played a little trick on you. These comments were posted on CiF in response to a piece by Tim Montgomerie, editor of ConservativeHome. In each case, I’ve changed a single word, substituting ‘Muslims’ for ‘Tories’.

Intellectually dishonest but did you expect Hannan to be anything else? He’s got plenty of form, guvnor.  But there’s more.

No, what interests me here is why the odium on CiF comment threads is so much more palpable than elsewhere – to the constant bewilderment of that section’s good-natured editors. I’m afraid it’s hard to avoid the politics: socialists, whether of the national or Leninist variety, often enjoy a good hate.

Here Hannan repeats his old saw that the ‘left’ has a monopoly on hatred. While he lays into The Guardian’s Comment is Free (CiF), he wilfully ignores the hatred expressed in the comments of Telegraph blogs. The suggestion here is that people should be prosecuted for expressing their hatred of the Tories, who continue to act as though they have divine sanction to attack the poor and the vulnerable.

As I read through this blog, it gets much worse.

No, what interests me here is why the odium on CiF comment threads is so much more palpable than elsewhere – to the constant bewilderment of that section’s good-natured editors. I’m afraid it’s hard to avoid the politics: socialists, whether of the national or Leninist variety, often enjoy a good hate.

My bold. Here he conflates socialism with Nazis. He’s done this before. Yet he would complain if anyone were to compare the Conservative Party with Mussolini’s fascists.  Furthermore, he also wilfully ignores the numbers of people in his own party who have openly expressed admiration for the Nazis. In his mind, it’s almost as if Aidan Burley and Alan Clark never existed.

I’ve already posted legion examples of some of the racist and anti-Semitic comments that regularly appear on Torygraph blogs, but Hannan seems to feel that such sentiments are worth ignoring so that he can advance his threadbare thesis. Here he tries to ram his point home,

Whenever I point this out, Lefties generally reply: ‘How can you possibly say that? Right-wingers are the biggest haters of all!’ That response is interesting on three levels. First, it’s not true. Second, it concedes the essence of the charge (yeah, we totally hate you, but you deserve it). Third, it’s a form of projection: because we hate you, you must feel the same way about us.

The Lyin’ King seems to think that his brethren don’t hate people on the left. But I could point to countless comments and articles written by right-wingers that do exactly that. Like so many of his ilk, Hannan enjoys playing the victim. He’s white and male and so is unlikely to be subjected to sexism or racism. But he persists in his risible assertion that he and his fellow travellers are being ‘victimized’ because they are Tories. If anyone is being victimized and persecuted it is the poor, the low-waged, the disabled, students, council tenants, the list goes on.

Hannan’s attempt to claim the moral high ground in this way is shamelessly hypocritical. Unable or unwilling to fathom the myriad reasons why people despise his party, he suggests (in not so many words) that any expression of hatred against the Tories should be prosecuted in the same way as other hate crimes. But Hannan has failed to grasp the fact that the Tories are not a minority ethnic group; they are a political party and they form the current government. Parties in power are not victims, they cause others to become victims through the implementation of policies that are designed to consolidate their power and that of their wealthy supporters.

Hannan’s argument, such as it is, is weaker than a day-old kitten but he’s too ignorant to see it.

UPDATE 12/7/12 @ 1350

I’ve just noticed that the Lyin’ King has changed the title of his blog to read “There are some kinds of hate-speech that Lefties openly applaud”.

Speaking of hate speech, a comment from the knuckledragging “danoconnor” has appeared on the thread. I will quote a snippet,

”  I sympathise with Mehdi Hassan ”

You sympathise with an alien, subversive, fifth column, trojan horse , who described Western infidel as ” cattle ”  just to test the waters to see how demoralized we’ve become  ?
And from what I hear ( I threw the TV out )  he is invited on to play Oracle of Truth on the BBC .
Allowed to use your ruse Mr.  Hannan , let’s pretend that a conservative journalist had compared Muslims to cattle .
Would he still be invited on to the BBC or writing for a newspaper ?
Or would he be just finishing a prison stretch ,and getting ready to start a probationary course in multicultural sensitivity indoctrination  ?

The pussyfication of Western civilization .
Islam’s slap-bitch .
There is no question as to who is going to lose this war .
I suppose practising the fine art of being the mental minority today will prepare us for the real McCoy a few decades down the road a way .  Practice makes perfect .
It takes two to make a clash of civilizations and one of them isn’t clashing back .

This comment has 10 likes at the time of writing. It’s also doggerel.


Filed under allegations of bias, Internet, Media

Guido Fawkes: dictators, racism and hypocrisy

The right-wing enfant terrible of the Internet, Guido Fawkes (real name Paul Staines), recently tweeted a slew of shameless apologies for Augusto Pinochet . It shouldn’t surprise anyone really, because Staines has form as long as your arm – so to speak, guvnor. Nowhere Towers has recently discovered that Staines was a member of the notorious Federation of Conservative Students (FCS) but the touchy Guido has taken offence to having his one-time membership of this rabid lunatic student fringe group exposed to the world (well, the Internet anyway).

This is from Brad De Long’s blog in 2007

 The Guardian 31 May 1986: Tory student leader in ‘ racist ‘ party link / Paul Delarie-Staines of FCS attempts to form pact with British National Party in Hull >By David Rose >A leader of the Federation of Conservative Students wrote to an organiser of the British National Party proposing joint ‘direct action’ to disrupt the meetings of leftwing students. Secrecy, he emphasised, was essential: ‘The Reds would simply go wild if they got to hear of a BNP-FCS link. I would personally be in danger of being expelled from the Conservative Party.’ >The author of the letter is Mr Paul Delarie-Staines, the chairman of the federation’s 50-strong branch at the Humberside college of Higher Education. Mr Delarie-Staines, who is in his first year of a degree course in business information studies, wrote on May 22 to Mr Ian Walker, a BNP organiser in Hull. >He was, he said, against several of the aims of the BNP, which campaigns for the repatriation of black citizens.

The BNP eh? Go on,

Mr Delarie-Staines said he did not share the BNP view on immigration: as a member of the ‘libertarian’ faction of the FCS he advocated the free movement of labour, albeit with the caveat that ‘you come here to work – or starve. ‘He went on: ‘I share a lot of your objectives.‘ These included a return to leadership and statesmanship, the abolition of the welfare state, and ‘the elimination of Communism in Britain – the mass media, the trade unions, and the schoolroom. ‘Mr Delaire-Staines continued: ‘Nevertheless, even though we have our differences, I know a lot of BNP people at college do support the FCS (some are members of the FCS). I can certainly envisage some degree of cooperation.

Okay, let’s stop there. As you can see, Staines was quite happy to speak to the BNP and to enter into a pact with them. He talks here of “the elimination of Communism in Britain” as though the CPGB (Communist Party of Great Britain) was a major player in British politics. What Piss Staines failed to do was read his history: there have only ever been 2 Communist MPs elected to the House of Commons in its entire history. But Staines and his chums see anyone who isn’t ‘one of them’ as a “communist”. They’re binarists. This is how they think. No wonder the current government can barely tie its own shoelaces. The FCS  supported the apartheid regime in South Africa and many of them wore “Hang Mandela” T-shirts. Some of them will deny that they’re racists but will praise those ‘free market’ types who held racist views.  A month or so ago, former FCS member Harry Phibbs, tweeted his admiration for Gerald Nabarro, the flamboyant racist and supporter of Enoch Powell.

Staines denies that he’s a racist, yet his words tell us something different: his blog tends to sail rather close to the wind and he’s more than happy to invert racism and play the victim.  In January of this year, Guido responded to a tweet that was made by Diane Abbot in which she said,

This was a red rag to a bull. Guido, like his fellow right-wing loons was apoplectic.

Diane Abbott is never far from controversy, especially online. Remember the time she tweeted Labour’s latest poll results during the two-minute Remembrance Day silence? Well there can no blaming a staffer for yesterday’s tweet, that has caused uproar across all parties. At a time when the media is having a long overdue conversation about racism, Abbott is refusing to see that there is anything wrong with slamming an entire group of people based on the colour of their skin. She is a Shadow Minister and represents a constituency that is 61% white…

Sections 17 to 29 of the Public Order Act 1986 are pretty clear on statements like this. They cover deliberately provoking hatred of a racial group, distributing racist material to the public, and perhaps most notably in this case, inciting inflammatory rumours about an ethnic group, for the purpose of spreading racial discontent. Or perhaps a “sorry” would be more appropriate…

The question is this: how was Abbott “provoking hatred” when the tactic used by the white colonizers was one of divide and conquer?  It is the historical truth. Did black or Asian people participate in the kind of empire-building that made this country rich? No, their peoples were enslaved and their resources were plundered by laissez-faire capitalists who were supported by force of arms. Piss Staines and his chum, Harry Troll clearly haven’t read their history… either that or they have in their possession the Enid Blyton version of history, complete with golliwogs. Whatever the case, they tried to play the victim card and it failed. This is what racists always do when they’re confronted by the truth or cornered with facts about racism. The inverted logic here is one that is expressed daily by the legion of racist cranks who leave comments on Telegraph blogs: anti -racism = anti-white. Here is Cole going toe-to-toe with Lee Jasper.

Indeed, the sentiments expressed by Staines, Cole and the far-right tended to be the same: “Abbott incited racial hatred”.  Don’t believe me? Then copy and paste this link into your browser.

It was a charge that they failed to make stick  and this tells us something. Racism is always exercised on minority groups by the dominant cultural group, whether or not people like Staines tell you otherwise. The right cannot fathom the reason why racism works in this way in Britain and desperately seek to claim that there is such a thing as “anti-white racism” in Britain. The boards of the directors of Britain’s top companies are all white. The police force is mostly white and the government is completely white. Do I really need to paint a fresco?

Staines was once involved with David Hart, who funded the Union of Democratic Mineworkers and who was once involved in the Thatcherite Centre for Policy Studies (CPS). Hart also bankrolled Staines, helping to pay for his intake of ecstasy in the process. Hart also formed the Campaign for a Free Britain (CFB) in 1987 with Christopher Monckton (now of UKIP) . Staines used to work for both of them.  The CFB was funded by Rupert Murdoch and would invite such speakers as the criminal Adolfo Calero of the Nicaraguan Contras. As you can see a picture is now beginning to develop.

Powerbase has an extract from the book Altered State: The Story of Ecstasy Culture and Acid House. This extract deals with Hart,

A “conspiratorial… somewhat bizarre figure”, Hart moved among the higher echelons of the security services, received substantial funding from Rupert Murdoch, and would go on to advise Michael Portillo, the darling of the Tory right in the nineties. Hart’s organisation, Committee for a Free Britain, published two periodicals, the Cold War bulletin World Briefing, which was overseen by former CIA spookHerb Mayer, and British Briefing, a “monthly intelligence analysis of the activities of the extreme left”. The latter’s major impetus was to smear Labour MPs and left-leaning lawyers and writers. It had previously been run by MI6 veteran Brian Crozier and Paul Staines now helped to produce it. The twenty-one year old was having the time of his life.

So the raison d’etre of Guido Fawkes is to smear those who get in the way of the free market project, the political gossip is merely a by-product.

I found this article, written by Staines, for the Libertarian Alliance. Here’s a snippet,

A lot of my Thatcherite/Libertarian friends get very suspicious when I tell them about the love and peace aspects of taking Ecstasy. To them love and peace equals hippies equals leftist. The feeling of unity and shared enjoyment to them smacks of collectivism, not the rugged individualism that they favour. But the drug actually removes inhibitions, liberating your mind from petty concerns. You feel a sense of solidarity, but it is totally voluntary, there is no coercion. Libertarians are opposed to coercive collectivism, but if I as an individual choose to enjoy a collective experience because I want to, than that is up to me. I suspect that a lot of right-wingers, Conservative, Thatcherite or Libertarian, cling to their inhibitions and are actually afraid of letting go. Many Conservatives by their very nature fear the dynamic. They are wary of the unusual and prefer tradition, stability and the conventional. The idea of losing their inhibitions to the extent that they might say or do something embarrassing horrifies them.

Some people, particularly those of a Conservative inclination, have an irrational dislike of drugs, often based on what they believe or know about drug addicts. Somehow drug pushers are evil, akin to poisoners. A lot of drug pushers are unpleasant, but that is because it’s an illegal business, and criminals are often unpleasant, violent people. Some drug dealers I know are ruthless, dishonest, dangerous psychopaths, while others are honest, peace loving, fair minded people who just happen to be in a business of which the majority of people are said to disapprove. If alcohol or tobacco was made illegal a similar situation would arise with them. Most British Conservative groups are not at all sympathetic towards legalising drugs, the Committee for a Free Britain being the only one that has come down in favour of decriminalising drugs. This might have something to do with the fact that during my time at the Committee for a Free Britain we got through quite a lot of the stuff.

The best way to describe the Staines of this particular era is as a “drug-taking Tory”. Now I’m no prude. I don’t have a problem with people taking drugs. I’ve taken a few of them in my time. What people do with their own bodies is their business but there is just a slight whiff of hypocrisy about Staines and his  brand of ‘libertarianism’. Here’s an article he wrote for the Libertarian Alliance in 1990 in the subject of human rights. This is ironic for the fact that last year,  the Guido Fawkes blog was trying to raise a petition to reinstate capital punishment. On the one hand, his idol, Thatcher, was chipping away at human rights in Britain, while on the other, she was championing them in countries like Poland.  Consistency? Forget it.

Staines’ connection with the CPS goes much deeper than his connection to Hart. He was also a childhood friend of Gideon Sherman, the son of the deeply racist Alfred Sherman, the former communist-turned born-again-conservative and a co-founder of the CPS and the Monday Club. The Shermans were also members of the Western Goals Institute, an anti-communist organization that supported the continuation of apartheid in South Africa. This UNHCR report described the WGI as “an impediment” to the elimination of racial discrimination in South Africa. The WGI invited speakers from the Conservative Party of South Africa to address conferences and meetings. In 1989, the WGI gave its support to France’s Front National and even hosted a dinner for Jean Marie Le Pen.

In 1986 he (Sherman) was sacked as a leader writer by Max Hastings, as one of his first acts as editor. In the following year Sherman alienated fellow Jews by arguing that young members of Hitler’s SS were as much victims of Hitler as the Jews. He also caused outrage by inviting the French National Front leader, Jean-Marie le Pen, to a Tory Conference fringe meeting. In 1992, when secret Soviet archives were opened, it emerged that in 1984 Sherman had given an interview to Pravda in which he was quoted as saying: “As for the lumpen, coloured people and the Irish, let’s face it, the only way to hold them in check is to have enough well armed and properly trained police.” During the furore that followed, Sherman merely complained that the quotation missed the word “proletariat” after “lumpen”, and denied using the phrase “well armed”.

A Jew said this? It’s hard to imagine how Sherman could get cosy with someone like Le Pen, who is a raving anti-Semite. But he did.

Now Piss Staines can try and claim that he didn’t know about Sherman’s racism or that the WGI wasn’t fundamentally racist but he’d be on very shaky ground.

Here’s Staines writing in Free Life in September 2000,

I never wore a “Hang Mandela” badge but I hung out with people who did. Why? What did we gain from doing so? Did we make ourselves more popular by calling for the death of a man who was fighting injustice by the only means available to him? Did this “shift the parameters of debate” in our direction?

Odd. This blog from Barthsnotes tells us even more,

However, Staines doesn’t go so far as to wonder whether the right-libertarian movement as a whole may have been hoodwinked by a regime which knew that hard-right racialist arguments would no longer win South Africa support, just like some left-wing groups were manipulated by the Soviets. In 1995, the former South African spy Craig Williamson was quoted as saying that

We couldn’t convince Americans that apartheid was right. The only chance of manipulating things to survive just a little bit longer was to paint the ANC as a product of the international department of the Soviet Communist Party. (4)

The apartheid regime developed various “front” organisations, which were supposedly independent but were the secret beneficiaries of government funds. One of these was the National Student Federation (NSF), which developed close links with Republican students in the USA. This is explored in a book by Russ Bellant, who notes the role of one now-notorious American figure:

We already know that Staines supported UNITA and he doesn’t seem to have been overly concerned with the nature of the groups he was connected to. After all, right libertarians will always make excuses for racism by reducing it to an atavistic, but ultimately bogus,  argument about ‘economics’. Their heroes always include a fair number of racists.

But Piss Staines gets touchy whenever anyone brings up his  membership of the FCS and other dodgy groups. His libertarianism always seems to evaporate when it comes to the right of others to speak freely.

There is obvious hypocrisy here – a self-confessed libertarian who criticises others for issuing legal notices to suppress information about their past, while doing it himself. But the story doesn’t stop here.

Paul Staines didn’t specify exactly what was untrue in the original article. Instead he offered to meet me and do an interview explaining his side of the story. I agreed on the condition I could re-publish the 1986 article and the 1990 David Rose letter. He agreed and we met on Tuesday morning.

Except – at the interview he said his lawyers had instructed him not to offer any explanation on the 1986 article. I said it was a big copout and his actions were hypocritical since he is usually the first to demand explanations of others. Either way his only response to questions about the article was a ‘no comment’. I wasn’t happy. He later sent an email saying that if I published the 1986 article or the 1990 letter then he would sue for defamation.

So what’s the problem and why is Staines so keen on suing people for libel for something that isn’t actually defamatory? Many of us are embarrassed about things we did when we were young but we wouldn’t go so far as to try and silence someone because they wanted to mention it. Staines, it would seem, has yet to grow up or develop an honest bone in his otherwise dishonest skeleton.


Filed under Internet, Media

Who cares what Lord Sugar says?

Well, for starters, I don’t. Yesterday, the anti-Ken brigade was cock-a-hoop over Alan (Lord) Sugar’s tweet, which urged his followers not to vote for Ken Livingstone. Personally, I think Sugar, who has let the title of “Lord” go to his head, takes the word “follower” a little too seriously.  Here’s what he said,

I don’t care if Ed Miliband is backing Livingstone . I seriously suggest NO ONE votes for Livingstone in the Mayoral elections

Naturally, this made Kennite’s day.

Lord Sugar donated a total of £69,424 to Labour or to Mr Miliband’s office in 2011, including £12,576 as rcently as December. He is of course a prominent member of the Jewish community and was believed to have been extremely angry at Ken’s behaviour towards Jews.

Ken’s campaign is in crisis now.

Livingstone’s campaign is hardly in crisis. Going by those tweets that I saw on the #skylondondebate hashtag last night, I’d say Bojo the Clown’s campaign was in crisis.   What I find so dishonest about Kennite’s blog is the fact that he continues to repeat the lie that Livingstone is an anti-Semite. If he’d have said that about George Galloway, he’d find himself slapped with a libel suit so fast, his head would spin. But is Sugar really a “prominent member of the Jewish community”? If so, where is this homogenized Jewish community? It’s like talking about Trevor Phillips and saying that he represents the ‘black’ community.  There is no homogeneous Jewish community any more than there is a homogeneous black or Asian community; it exists only in the collective mind of the media. Sugar is more likely to be a prominent member of the capitalist class than anything else. He just happens to be Jewish. So what? But remember, Gilligan is the one who claimed that there was a “white establishment”. So if anyone is obsessed with ethnicity, it’s him.

What Kennite and others have missed in their haste to describe Sugar as some sort of model Labour peer is the fact that not only is this the man who gave us crappy Amstrad products, he was a firm supporter of Thatcher in the 1980’s. Thatcher also admired him as a businessman. No surprise there then.  In fact Sugar supported the Conservative Party right up until 1997 when he switched his allegiance to Nu Labour. This man is no friend of anybody’s but himself. Indeed he is the very model of buccaneer capitalism. A real bully of a man. The ideal Tory in fact.

This morning’s edition of City AM,

Did you see the way they juxtaposed the image of Ken crying at his campaign video with one of Sugar with his finger raised as if to point to someone and say “You’re fired”? Yes, it’s a cheap trick and no, it did not happen in real time but such is the nature of propaganda. City AM is supportive of the City and all the evils that flow from it. No prizes for guessing which mayoral candidate this paper supports.

If Bozza wins the election, he’ll spend most of his term preparing to oust Cameron as leader of the Tory party. He’ll also moonlight by penning numerous articles for the Telegraph and The Spectator for which he will be paid a handsome sum of money. He will continue to bullshit and bluster his way through interviews and he will offer no real policies that improve the lives of ordinary Londoners.  London will become a city for the rich (it’s heading that way now), which is just what City AM and the likes of Sugar want.



Filed under Internet, Journalism, London, London Mayoral election 2012, Media, Tory press

Life on Gilligan’s Island (Part 40)

Today, Kennite writes,

As a convinced Ken-hater, perhaps I, like so many of my media colleagues, should be hyping up the independent mayoral candidate Siobhan Benita. She’s clearly on the left and will thus take more votes from Livingstone than from anyone else. But I object to the note of entitlement which runs through her candidacy.

Finally, at long last, some honesty. It took a while but there it is in black and white: Kennite is a “convinced Ken-hater”. Of course we all knew that he “hated” Ken. I mean, most of his blogs for the last couple of months have all been about one thing.

To adapt a phrase from Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Gilligan “detests Ken with the detestation of a thwarted lover”. How true that is.

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Filed under Internet, London, London Mayoral election 2012, Media, Tory press