Tag Archives: Paul Staines

Lies, Disinformation And Guido Fawkes

Last year, I had an encounter on Twitter with Kevin Mousley who is a producer with BBC News, In that exchange, I’d accused the corporation of sourcing news stories from the Guido Fawkes site. He denied it, then he tried to bully and browbeat me. I had a similar tussle with Rob Burley, the editor of the Marr Show on BBC 1. I ended up blocking him.

It’s not just the BBC that sources some of its stories from Guido, other broadcasters do too. The BBC also invites Tom Harwood, Guido’s tea boy into its studios, thereby legitimating him and the fact-free sewage that pours forth from the site.

Today on Twitter, I was alerted to the following tweet, which claims, without any evidence, that Jeremy Corbyn has had a stroke and which uses a doctored image to reinforce the message.

I’ve taken a screenshot of the tweet in case Guido takes it down. I’ve also taken the liberty of reporting it, for all the good that it will do.

This feeble attempt at propaganda may have played well in the 1920s or the 1960s, but these days, people aren’t so easily fooled. They know what Photoshop is and what it does.

Of course, Guido and Harwood, who is mostly likely the culprit behind the tweet and the shitty Photoshop effort, may try and pass this off as ‘satire’, but that would be a lie – much like the crap that passes for ‘scoops’ on its site. But what kind of satirist thinks having a life-changing event like a stroke is funny and uses it to score a cheap political point? Only bullies and their mates. That’s who.


Filed under General Election 2019, Media, propaganda, Yellow journalism

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. http://birminghamnationalist2.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/harry-cole-vs-samira-shackle-on-diane.html

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

Plural media or supine media? The right’s media claims don’t stack up

Jeremy Rhyming-Slang: Murdoch can count on him to do the 'right' thing

There are many right-whingers in this country who constantly moan about ‘BBC bias’. It seems to me that none of them actually pay any attention the BBC’s news output, particularly with regards to corporation’s reportage of the recent student protests. Throughout its history, the BBC has been more biased against the left and the working class than it has the right: the General Strike of 1929, the Battle of Orgreave Colliery are a couple of examples of this tendency. Then, in the aftermath of the 9/11, old footage of celebrating Palestinians was grafted onto current footage to help reinforce the myth that all Muslims hate America (this ignores the fact that there are Christian Palestinians). These are examples of real bias yet the right say nothing – and for obvious reasons.

Make no mistake, the right’s claim that the BBC is ‘biased against them’ is a nothing more than a manifestation of control freakery. They won’t be content until all the news media of this country reflects their views. Guido Fawkes blog tells us that “breaking up the BBC” will actually create a “plural media”. The subtext to this demand is that right-wingers like Staines want Murdoch to increase his stake in BSkyB. Murdoch already owns The Sun, The Times, The Sunday Times, The News of the World, Times Educational Supplement, The Times Literary Supplement and publishers Harper Collins.  Staines says,

The BBC must therefore be an even worse threat to “media plurality”, particularly when one considers that it is protected from fair competition by a state subsidy via taxation. Somehow this doesn’t worry the Guardian, which is hardly surprising because BBC News often feels like the broadcast arm of that paper. When one considers that the BBC overwhelmingly recruits from its pages the Guardian-BBC axis is abundantly clear.

The fact that media jobs (note I said media jobs) are advertised in The Guardian is not an indication of media bias any more than teaching jobs advertised in the Murdoch-owned TES will necessarily attract an overwhelming number of right wing, Tory- voting teachers. It’s a facile assertion. What Staines fails to understand is that the numbers of media jobs advertised in The Times and The Telegraph are fewer than in The Guardian because their media sections are smaller. The Guardian has had a dedicated media section for a number of years. This has not been the case with the right wing press.

Douglas Carswell chimes in with this

Creating a framework that allows local TV to flourish – and without public funds – would give a real boost to localism.  A patchwork of local TV stations across the country would help folk keep tabs on their ever more autonomous council – and their directly-elected police commissioner and mayor.

Besides, it would, as Guido suggests, give us a more decentralised, more plural media.

These TV stations will more than likely be bought up by larger concerns. This is exactly what happened to many local newspapers in the 1980’s which were bought up by larger publishing companies. As for a “plural media” how exactly will this be achieved by creating ‘local television stations’? ITV franchises like Anglia, Thames and Granada once provided quality local news until deregulation forced them to consolidate. Localism, my eye.

When the Broadcasting Act (1990) was passed, the Major government claimed that it would lead to more ‘choice’. 19 years after the Act was passed, it has led to dilution, repetition, dumbing down and a greater choice of rubbish. Television companies, including the BBC,  have been involved in a race to the bottom since the Act was passed. Commercial radio has fared even worse with much of the music output, for instance, duplicated across channels.  Interestingly enough the Act also provided a convenient loophole to protect Murdoch’s Sky which was defined as a “non-UK service”.

What the Tories and their supporters actually want is a supine media that disseminates their ideology and only asks polticians what Americans call ‘softball questions’. They want a British equivalent of Fox News which, in spite of its name, contains very little news and a lot of right wing opinion. Fox News, as Chomsky and Herman observe, is little more than an “unofficial ministry of information”. No doubt this is what Jeremy Hunt and his supporters want to see. Not content with having most of the newspapers on their side, they want control of the rest of the media too.

The last thing this country needs is to have the likes of Richard Littlejohn or Nick Ferrari elevated to the same status as Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity in the States.

Don’t let Murdoch get his own way. Please sign the petition.

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Filed under allegations of bias, Media, News Corporation, Society & culture, television, Tory press