Category Archives: Media

#BBC lapses back to its old ways – fails to correct #LordSheikh on #Labourantisemitism


This is the reason people are indifferent to the BBC losing its licence fee: its news content is indifferent to factual accuracy:

That’s Lord Sheikh, President of the Conservative Muslim Forum, protesting that the Labour Party has been found anti-Semitic while discussing Nusrat Ghani’s sacking from her job as transport minister over her “Muslimness”.

The trouble is, of course, that Labour has never been found to be anti-Semitic.

He was either lying or misinformed.

BBC News Channel present Joanna Gosling should have known the facts but decided not to correct the Tory lord.

If the BBC cannot provide accurate information, then it does not deserve to continue.

The irony is that the corporation’s demise is being ordered by the Conservative Party – after the BBC has bent over backwards to become that organisation’s propaganda arm.

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#BackBoris ? Responses to this hashtag show people would rather back OVER him

Another bid to rehabilitate Boris Johnson bites the dust.

The idea behind #BackBoris appears to have been to rally support for Boris Johnson by concentrating on his successes – whatever they were! – and minimising the importance of the Downing Street parties; the deceit and corruption they represent.

But a hashtag is available for anyone to see, and those among us who know the facts about Boris Johnson could not resist the opportunity to restore the balance.

The results are for all to see – as follows:

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Data watchdog warns government staff against clearing phones of #DowningStreetParties information

Who has been using digital information systems like the internet or the phone lines to order the deletion of messages referring to the alleged lockdow-busting Downing Street parties? Here’s an artist’s impression of one possible suspect.

After This Site and others raised concerns that Downing Street staff were being ordered to remove information they had received about lockdown-breaking parties, the information watchdog has barked.

The Information Commissioner’s Office has warned staff that removing such messages could be a criminal offence:

“Relevant information that exists in the private correspondence channels of public authorities should be available and included in responses to information requests received.

“Erasing, destroying or concealing information within scope of a Freedom of Information request, with the intention of preventing its disclosure is a criminal offence under section 77 of the Freedom of Information Act.”

As it is, it seems an investigation may be launched into who gave the order to erase the information.

In fact, it seems likely that any removal of the information from individual phones will not wipe it out of existence but will merely criminalise the owner of the phone for trying to do so.

Messages sent using services such as WhatsApp are stored on a cloud server – not the recipient’s device(s) – and may be recovered by the authorities under circumstances including a legal investigation.

This Writer is not sure whether the same is true of SMS messaging, although I am sure that experts are able to recover information that has been removed by users who pressed the “delete” button but have not deep-cleaned the storage system on which the message had been placed.

I shall be keen to hear if anybody has received the alleged order to erase data, if they acted on it, and if they will be prosecuted for it. I also want to know who send this alleged order and what will happen to them.

Ultimately, we need to know who authorised this alleged message in the first place. And what penalty will they face?

Source: No. 10 Staff Clearing Phones Before Party Inquiry May Be Crime: ICO

Media reporters have DEFINITELY been hiding evidence of #DowningStreetParties. And what else?

Slack by name: if he was a proper reporter, James Slack would have published a story about the Downing Street parties as soon as he went back to work at The Sun. He didn’t – for reasons that, while obvious, are unacceptable.

Well, there it is. There can’t be any doubt that the media have been suppressing evidence of the lockdown-busting parties at Downing Street now, because one of them was for the current deputy editor-in-chief of The Sun – who attended it.

James Slack’s first duty as a news reporter would have been to report that the prime minister was allowing such parties to take place, in contempt of the rules that he had imposed on everybody else.

Reporters have a duty to act in the public interest.

He didn’t – for perfectly understandable but entirely unacceptable reasons: he was at the party on the night of April 16-17, 2021 (it was his leaving party), and he was at the party of May 15 the year before (he appears in the photograph that has been released to the press.

Considering the networks of contacts that all political reporters in Westminster must have, it seems highly unlikely to This Writer that others were kept unaware of it. I doubt the party organisers would have been able to do so and, to be honest, I think it is highly likely that they were invited – especially to an event for somebody who is an industry colleague.

So people like Laura Kuenssberg and Robert Peston should be asked where they were that night, too. Peston in particular, because of course he worked with Allegra Stratton, the former Downing Street press secretary who resigned after a video clip was publicised showing her laughing about an alleged party there on December 18, 2020.

And we, the public, need to examine their reports now with extreme scepticism.

Slack himself joins Johnson as another two-faced liar who has only apologised because his transgression has been revealed to us. If it had not, then he would have merrily kept it hidden for the rest of his career. Instead, he tells us: “This event should not have happened at the time that it did. I am deeply sorry, and take full responsibility.” Weasel words.

The other party was for someone described as one of Johnson’s personal photographers. It is alleged that staff were sent out to a nearby shop carrying a suitcase, and brought it back filled with bottles of wine.

The party in the Downing Street basement, with a laptop computer blaring out music from atop a photocopier, is said to have linked up with the event for Slack, continuing until well after midnight.

At the time, England was under “Step Two” restrictions, meaning that people were banned from socialising indoors with those from other households. Indoor gatherings and gatherings of more than six people outdoors were unlawful, unless “reasonably necessary for work”. There were also fixed penalty notices of up to £10,000 for individuals organising unlawful gatherings of more than 30 people.

This information has been released to us now because somebody has decided it is to their advantage. I would suggest that this person would be somebody in the Conservative government who sees an opportunity to grab power from Johnson.

We certainly should not believe that anybody is innocent of such machinations if they speak up in support of Johnson now; it is entirely possible for a person to be supportive in public while stabbing somebody in the back privately.

The current revelations are doubly offensive to the Queen, of course. Firstly, there is the clear offence that two events, in which people partied, laughed and joked in close contact with each other, took place at a time of national mourning, the day before she had to sit alone at the socially-distanced funeral of her husband of 73 years.

Secondly, though, this is the second time prime minister Boris Johnson has made a fool of her; the first was when he persuaded her to prorogue Parliament on the basis of a lie he told so he could bypass an obstacle to his (now revealed to be entirely useless) Brexit deal.

If she doesn’t absolutely hate Johnson by now, she must be superhuman indeed.

It is said that Johnson was not at the parties of April 2021 – but you’d have to be a fool to think he wasn’t aware of them, after all the others.

Today’s revelations bring the current total number of parties being investigated by civil servant Sue Gray – who is, let’s remember, an employee of Boris Johnson and not an independent investigator at all – to 12.

One has to question whether there is another strategy here – to leak new information about parties out at intervals, so Ms Gray’s investigation can never be concluded.

To those of us watching from outside, it’s beginning to seem as though Downing Street was a party venue from the moment the first lockdown began, right up to last Christmas, at the very least.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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#BBC admits there’s no evidence of #antisemitism by #JeremyCorbyn

This is a landmark moment.

The BBC has stated categorically that there is no evidence to support any claim that former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite or has behaved in any way that suggests anti-Semitism on his part:

As you can tell from listening to the statement by BBC 5 Live presenter Rachel Burden, claims that Mr Corbyn was an anti-Semite had been made by a Conservative doner, the Phones4U billionaire John Caudwell during an interview on her show.

Some of us are delighted by this BBC policy statement:

Personally, I’m looking forward to the splutters of indignation from the anti-Semitism scammers (you know who you are).

And yet, they’ll provide absolutely no hard evidence to support their claims.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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After #BorisJohnson apologised over #DowningStreetParties, a Tory party political broadcast. Brave! Here’s the reason

Boris Johnson: after the abjectly-insincere apology for attending a possibly law-breaking event, putting out a party political broadcast claiming the Tories are the party of law and order is the equivalent of making an obscene gesture to the whole of the UK.

Somebody in the Conservative Party must be a comedian.

What other reason could there be for scheduling a party political broadcast – discussing law and order – on the day Boris Johnson apologised to the UK for attending a potentially lawbreaking, lockdown-busting party?

That is what has happened.

He made the apology just after midday on January 12 and the PPB went out at 6.25pm.

No, I don’t have video of it. Sometimes one has to draw the line.

Instead, I’ll give you just a few reactions:

Oh wait! I have found video that I think you should see! Here it is:

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#DowningStreetRefurbishment: #BorisJohnson’s excuse makes him either a liar or a fool

Lord Geidt: has he been fooled by Boris Johnson – twice? Or is it in fact Johnson who is the fool?

“I’ve changed my mobile phone” is fast becoming the Tory government version of “the dog ate my homework”, isn’t it?

What’s amazing is that Boris Johnson’s advisor on ministerial interests, Lord Geidt, has accepted this excuse for why Johnson did not provide important information to the inquiry on funding for Johnson’s Downing Street flat.

We all know the details now, don’t we? If not, just skip past the quoted parts that follow, taken from a previous Vox Political article, giving the story so far:

Johnson was accused last April of having misled Parliament by failing to provide details of funding for the renovations to his official Downing Street flat.

The allegation was that private donations to the Conservative Party totalling £60,000 had been used as part of £200,000 worth of refurbishments to the flat.

If so, it should have been reported to the Electoral Commission, because the Ministerial Code demands that “a statement covering relevant Ministers’ interests will be published twice yearly”. The last such statement (at the time of the investigation last April) had appeared in July 2020, eight months previously.

If Johnson had received the money from other people, this created a potential conflict of interest but Geidt concluded very swiftly that Johnson did not breach the Ministerial Code and that no conflict, or reasonably perceived conflict, of interest arose.

He said that £52,000 had been contributed by Lord Brownlow, but via a blind trust, meaning Johnson seemed unaware that Brownlow had contributed his own money to it.

But the Electoral Commission had launched its own investigation – and this has just concluded that Johnson did approach Brownlow for cash, via WhatsApp – the government’s favoured method of avoiding scrutiny, back in November 2020.

It seems clear that, having requested it from Brownlow, Johnson could not have been unaware of its origin when the bills were suddenly paid.

That was the situation on December 11. Now, Lord Geidt has published a WhatsApp exchange between Johnson and Brownlow, in which Brownlow said there would be no problem finding the cash for the flat refurbishment because he knew how it would be provided.

The intention had been for the money to come from a blind trust, but this did not happen and it was all provided by Brownlow instead.

So it seems incongruous to This Writer that Johnson claims not to know who provided the cash, having gone straight to Brownlow when he needed more.

Furthermore, his excuse that he had replaced his mobile phone and no longer had access to the WhatsApp exchange does not make sense, because his WhatsApp account would, logically, have been transferred to the new phone.

It is a simple process and one that This Writer feels sure Johnson would have carried out – if he didn’t want to lose all of his WhatsApp contacts and all of his chats. Is it the way the Electoral Commission gained access to the Brownlow chat?

Whatever the case, it seems clear that Johnson either lied to Lord Geidt by saying he couldn’t access the Brownlow chat when he could – or Johnson is an imbecile who can’t use a mobile phone properly.

In either case, he should not be the prime minister of the UK.

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Why was I reported to #Twitter over #EmmaWatson’s support for #Palestine?

Emma Watson: she’s the United Nations Women’s Goodwill Ambassador, so it must be hugely embarrassing for that organisation that any nation’s ambassador to it has accused her of anti-Semitism, especially on such specious grounds as Danny Danon has.

I had a curious email from Twitter yesterday.

Twitter is required by German law to provide notice to users who are reported by people from Germany via the Network Enforcement Act reporting flow.

We have received a complaint regarding your account, @MidWalesMike, for the following content:

@xxxxxxxxxxxx @xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx @EmmaWatson Right-wing apartheid-supporting Israelis. While there’s nothing wrong with your description, it’s Israel & it’s Zionism that’s the problem so better to put pressure there.

We have investigated the reported content and have found that it is not subject to removal under the Twitter Rules (https://support.twitter.com/articles/18311) or German law.

Interesting, isn’t it?

I had been responding to a tweet by Israel’s former ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, attacking actress, UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador and international treasure Emma Watson for daring to show support for the people of Palestine:

(Some might argue that “solidarity” isn’t a verb but the intention behind the statement is clearly about the act of showing solidarity with a cause, or a people who are oppressed. I’m happy to clear that up here and now.)

Danon’s attempt at wit backfired massively, provoking outrage in the wider community. Here’s just one example.

This Writer was among those who responded with support for the actress and goodwill ambassador: “Let’s have some #solidarity with @EmmaWatson who is NOT an anti-Semite for supporting the people of Palestine in their struggle to survive persecution by a hostile invading state,” I tweeted.

One fellow Twitter user then responded: “I’ve reported him to twitter, we all should! I’m so fed up with these right wing apartheid supporting Jews who think they can get away with anything and never look at their own behaviour!”

While I agreed with the sentiment fueling the decision to report Danon, I felt it necessary to point out that the comment was open to misinterpretation by the people and groups that have been making false accusations of anti-Semitism for the past six years or more. So I wrote the tweet forming the basis of the apparent complaint to Twitter.

I then received a comment from a user in Germany, which I can’t reproduce here because it has mysteriously disappeared!

If I recall correctly, it expressed discomfort with my observation that Israel and Zionism were harmful to Palestinians.

Next thing I knew, I received the email from Twitter.

You may be wondering why I am writing about any of this.

I’ll tell you.

It seems to me that, with 28 million followers on Twitter, Emma Watson isn’t going to be particularly bothered by some lame denunciation from a has-been politico. And this multi-millionaire movie star certainly has the cash to see off any legal challenge to her comments.

So it seems to me that this attempt to attack me was, for the anti-Semitism scammers (see #ItWasAScam on Twitter), the next-best thing: attack her supporters and have them silenced.

Didn’t work though, did it?

But now I wonder how many other people were treated a similar way.

And how does Emma Watson feel about anyone being attacked, just for supporting her?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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#IPSO: toothless press regulator backs out of standards investigation into repeat libeller

A demand for action to stop a serial-libelling newspaper committing further offences has collapsed after the press regulator IPSO as good as admitted it won’t do its job.

The Jewish Chronicle has been found guilty of libel by the courts four times in the past three years – and was found by IPSO itself to have breached the Editors’ Code on accuracy no fewer than 33 times in the same period.

The Chronicle itself – including its editors and current owners – seems completely unperturbed by this evidence of prolonged wrongdoing.

As a news reporter of more than a quarter of a century’s standing, This Writer finds that amazing. If I had been found to have libelled anybody when I was working for the newspapers, my job would probably have been in danger, along with the paper’s future if the compensation award was large enough.

So I and a group of other JC libel victims led by former Labour councillor Jo Bird felt we had no option other than to appeal to press regulator IPSO for a standards investigation into the paper.

This would have meant that IPSO would consider whether the number and regularity of Editor’s Code breaches meant that the JC‘s editorial standards have fallen to an unacceptable level. If it were to find against the newspaper, then penalties – and measures to improve it – may be demanded.

IPSO’s board apparently discussed the matter and concluded that, because the JC is small and it has a new editor, an investigation would be disproportionate and unnecessary. Additional training will be enough, and the IPSO executive will review progress in six months.

Apparently, being small is now an excuse for bad journalism. I wonder if any of my colleagues in the left-wing social media will be allowed to offer the same excuse, if they are found to breach the law in similar ways.

As for the change of editor – how is this a guarantee of improvement? We know nothing about the newbie, who could be just as bad as Stephen Pollard’s record shows him to have been.

And of course all IPSO publishers are supposed to deliver training regularly to their staff as a matter of routine.

We are left with just one conclusion: that as a regulator of the UK press, IPSO is a sham.

As a member of the group that took action against the JC, I said today: “IPSO has refused to take meaningful action in the case of a member that repeatedly defies its authority, and it is clear that it will never do so. This sends the message to IPSO members that no behaviour by them could ever be bad enough to prompt even a formal investigation, let alone disciplinary action.

“We had pointed out to Lord Faulks that IPSO’s own conduct should also be subject to investigation. IPSO’s complaints committee publicly reported the Jewish Chronicle to IPSO’s standards department for ‘unacceptable ’conduct in November 2019, yet the paper’s spree of libels and code breaches was allowed to continue. This matter has been ignored.

“The price for this regulatory failure is felt by the public – both by those who are libelled and misrepresented and by readers who are fed falsehoods without consequence. That IPSO provided its response to us only after five months had elapsed underlines this disregard for the public. That it chose to do so at the height of the Christmas season smacks of the worst kind of news manipulation.

“The moral is clear: IPSO is nothing like a real regulator. It is a sham, a toothless organisation that always puts the interests of the press before those of ordinary people. If you have been abused in the papers, don’t count on IPSO to put it right.”

To this, I would add that it is clear the only way to gain proper redress against an IPSO-regulated newspaper that libels you is to take it to court and win a large amount of money in damages.

Yes, it is expensive. But my own experience in crowdfunding shows that members of the public are entirely willing to support their colleagues who have been wronged by people and organisations in positions of power and influence.

It can be done. And in the case of rags like the Jewish Chronicle, it should be – not just for the sake of those it has wronged, but for the sake of the facts.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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TV Comedian shreds Starmer

Keir Starmer: he’s not doing here what Sophie Duker suggested in the clip – but the look on his face may suggest he has been in the recent past.

This was too good to leave as a throwaway tweet so I’ve taken video and put it on TikTok to test the possibilities of that platform (and as practice for myself).

It’s from Frankie Boyle’s New World Order, in which comedian Sophie Duker (not Dukes, as the software insisted on renaming her) passes judgement on Keir Starmer’s tenure (so far) as leader of the Labour Party.

It’s not good:

@voxpolitical

Sophie Dukes shreds Keir Starmer (from Frankie Boyle’s New World Order).

♬ original sound – VoxPolitical

(To be honest, the clip isn’t that good either – sorry! But I’m sure it’ll get better once I’ve ironed out a few things.)

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook