Category Archives: Bias

The Castex letter DIDN’T say the UK should be punished. Kuenssberg was WRONG

Laura Kuenssberg: by publicising an apparent mistranslation of a letter by the French Prime Minister, she has caused a major international political row. Can she even read French?

The BBC’s political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, misrepresented a letter on the UK/EU fishing row by French Prime Minister Jean Castex – apparently to stoke international tensions on the eve of the G20 and COP26 summits.

The UK and France are sabre-rattling over rights to fish in each other’s waters, after the UK prohibited some French trawlers over a technicality.

Kuenssberg aggravated the row by publicising a letter from Castex to European Commission President Ursula van der Leyen, claiming it said the EU needed to demonstrate that there was “more damage to leaving the EU than remaining there”.

This is based on a translation publicised by Alex Wickham of Politico. In tweets, he claimed the letter said:

“It is indispensable to demonstrate to European public opinion that more damage is suffered by leaving the EU than by remaining.”

The implication is that the EU should actively punish the UK.

An alternative translation by Edwin Hayward states the following:

“The UK’s uncooperative stance today threatens to cause great harm not only to fishermen, especially the French, but also to them [European] Union as it sets a precedent for the future and challenges our credibility and our ability to enforce our rights in relation to the international commitments signed by the union.

“It therefore seems necessary for the European Union to show its full determination to achieve full respect for the Agreement by the United Kingdom and to exercise its rights in a firm, cohesive and proportionate manner using the levers at its disposal.

“It is important to make it clear to European public opinion that respect for commitment is non-negotiable and that leaving the union does more harm than staying there.

“If a satisfactory solution is not found in this context, the European Union must apply Article 506 of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement and take corrective measures proportionate to the economic and social damage that [violations] will cause.”

That makes it a little different, once it’s put into context!

As Hayward states in his own article,

It should be immediately clear from the above text that there is no active intent to punish the UK. All the French want to do is to highlight the problems that Brexit has been causing — they are not trying to inflict new ones on us.

And people know:

(He means “…can’t be as advantageous as being IN” of course.)

Robert Peston said in his tweet that Boris Johnson has swallowed the Wickham translation and is “visibly angry” about the letter. But is he?

If Johnson is as well-educated as he’s supposed to be (Eton and Oxford) then it is entirely possible that he can read French for himself and knows exactly what the letter said. If so, then he is simply trying to manipulate a situation created by reporters (who probably can’t – with apologies to Kuenssberg and Peston if they turn out to be fluent, but that just implies that they know they’re peddling falsehoods and don’t care either).

This Writer, as a journalist and editor of nearly 28 years’ standing, agrees with Marcus Chown, below:

Indeed. Or indeed any journalist-training organisation such as the one that taught me (the National Council for the Training of Journalists). Where did Peston and Kuenssberg get their qualifications?

Actually, let’s check.

Kuenssberg, it seems, has no qualification as a journalist. She studied History at the University of Edinburgh, then spent a year studying (but the subject is not clarified) at Georgetown University in Washington DC, where she interned at the NBC News political programme. Returning to the UK, she eventually joined the BBC as a trainee journalist – but that doesn’t mean she was doing any training. ‘Trainee’ is just the name applied to a working reporter who hasn’t passed the test to become a Senior Reporter. If she was trained in the States, it was in an American standard of reporting.

Peston’s degree at Oxford was Politics, Philosophy and Economics. He then studied at the Université libre de Bruxelles – but again, it’s not clear what the subject was. He entered journalism via another back door, writing for the Investors Chronicle after being a stockbroker.

Those details aren’t very reassuring!

But it shouldn’t be up to the Kuenssbergs, Pestons, or even the Johnsons of this world to sort out this row. It’s a matter for the French.

All Jean Castex has to do is come out and read the relevant part of his letter, along with a translation into English saying exactly what he intended it to say.

That should end any ambiguity. How about it?

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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Riley writes for The Big Issue – so readers vow to stop buying it

The Big Issue: This Site is temporarily without image editing capability, otherwise there would be a big ‘No Entry’ sign across this logo.

The standout line in Rachel Riley’s Big Issue interview wasn’t about anti-Semitism, you may be surprised to learn.

It’s where she states: “If someone was ringing up your house phone and saying these things you would block that number. If someone came up to you in the street, you wouldn’t accept it. So there’s no reason why you should have to on social media either.”

What a coincidence that she should say such a thing at a time when I have been receiving abusive messages on my house phone! I sincerely hope it’s a coincidence, anyway, what with Riley being set to go into a civil trial against me over alleged abuses on the social media by herself and her Twitter friends and followers.

Needless to say, I haven’t blocked the number. I have saved the messages and reported the abuse to the police. We’ll see what comes of it.

The rest of the article is shockingly one-sided.

Riley is said to have become active against the Labour Pary’s handling of anti-Semitism accusations during Jeremy Corbyn’s tenure as leader, but no mention is made of the fact – revealed in the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report, published almost exactly a year ago – that Corbyn and his general secretary Jennie Formby hugely improved Labour’s response to such allegations after it had been allowed to grow lax by the party’s Governance and Legal Unit under previous GenSec Iain McNicol.

She states that new leader Keir Starmer has a “tough job” because Mr Corbyn “gave the worst result in 80 years for Labour”. This is debatable as the number of seats won did not reflect the number of votes cast. In fact, Corbyn won more than 10 million votes – more than previous leader Ed Miliband in 2015 (9.34 million) Gordon Brown in 2010 (8.6 million) and Tony Blair in 2005 (9.5 million).

Mr Corbyn is the Labour leader who scored the highest number of votes for Labour in the 21st century (so far) in 2017 (12.87 million).

It would be right to say that Labour won its lowest number of seats since 1935 – but that is more correctly attributed, not to Mr Corbyn, but to Starmer – whose insistence on a bad Brexit policy led to the loss of the so-called “Red Wall” seats in northern England to the Conservatives. It was Starmer who lost the 2019 election for Labour.

“In terms of antisemitism he’s definitely tackling it,” Riley said. Er, no.

He is suspending left-wing, socialist Labour Party members on hearsay accusations – for political reasons that have nothing to do with their attitude towards Jewish people. For proof of that, consider the fact that, according to campaigning Jewish organisations that Riley supports like the CST and the Campaign Against Antisemitism, the worst threats to Jewish people are on the right of the political spectrum – yet not a single complaint about anti-Semitism by right-wing members of the Labour Party (who all happen to be supporters of Keir Starmer) has been investigated. Not one.

Meanwhile, under Starmer, Jewish Labour Party members are now five times more likely to be accused of anti-Semitism than non-Jewish members. How does Riley reconcile that with her pro-Starmer attitude?

The interview goes on to discuss abuse that Riley says she has received after she “became more outspoken on social media”. It does not mention any of the evidence that her behaviour there has caused her followers and supporters to abuse others, that is the basis of the court action between her and This Writer.

And Riley is said to now be an ambassador for the grandly-titled Centre for Countering Digital Hate. Let’s have a look at that connection, shall we?

What a tangled web. Perhaps The Big Issue would have been wise to investigate these connections between the organisation for which Riley is now an ambassador and these people and organisations that are all connected very closely to Sir Keir Starmer.

Could it be possible that her statements about him may come from a position of… I don’t know… bias?

This Big Issue piece is a mockery of journalism. One would have expected at least some effort to provide factual accuracy – and where is the right of reply for people she has misrepresented?

The result is clear: People are boycotting The Big Issue.

It is a potentially problematic decision. The Big Issue is sold by people who are homeless and they receive a proportion of the money that is given to them.

Boycotting the magazine could harm homeless people – a point made very well by Shaun Lawson, whose articles about Riley’s unacceptable behaviour towards a teenage girl with mental health issues led to This Writer’s current court case:

He’s right to ask that we don’t make the homeless suffer. But here’s a solution, suggested by Jackie Walker – a person who knows very well how it feels to suffer a “false flag” attack on claims of anti-Semitism:

That’s the answer, for the time being.

Instead of buying The Big Issue, just give the money direct to the vendor and make it clear that it is for them, and not for the magazine. None of that money should go to The Big Issue.

And remember to do it when the next edition comes out because it will again feature Riley.

“Heavygusto”, below, makes a good point about it:

I would also urge everybody to contact Big Issue publisher John Bird and demand a balancing article. I would happily contribute and I’m sure others who have been victims of anti-Semitism-related falsehoods would also be keen to have their voices heard – for a change.

Riley’s lawsuit against me is still going on (and on, after nearly three years!) so if, after reading the above, you are interested in supporting my defence against her, please do one or more of the following:

Consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Oh – one last point: Starmer’s approval rating is -40.

He won’t be winning any elections – especially with the likes of Rachel Riley cheerleading for him.

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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Twitter’s algorithms promote right-wingers over the left – especially in the UK

If you’re a Twitter user who has ever wondered why the fascists seem to get more space on that platform, now you know the answer: Twitter’s computerised rules demand it.

Here‘s the story:

Twitter has admitted it amplifies more tweets from rightwing politicians and news outlets than content from leftwing sources.

The social media platform examined tweets from elected officials in seven countries – the UK, US, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and Japan. It also studied whether political content from news organisations was amplified on Twitter.

The research found that in six out of seven countries, apart from Germany, tweets from rightwing politicians received more amplification from the algorithm than those from the left; right-leaning news organisations were more amplified than those on the left; and generally politicians’ tweets were more amplified by an algorithmic timeline than by the chronological timeline.

Under the research, a value of 0% meant tweets reached the same number of users on the algorithm-tailored timeline as on its chronological counterpart, whereas a value of 100% meant tweets achieved double the reach.

On this basis, the UK suffered the second-strongest discrepancy between right and left (behind Canada) – although some might think that Labour (112%) is currently even more right-wing than the Conservatives (176%) meaning the results are skewed by the lack of information about left-wing organisations here.

The findings indicate problems for Twitter because they suggest that right-wing tweets get preferential treatment as a function of the way the algorithm is constructed.

The good news is that Twitter has indicated it may need to change its algorithm to give left-wing tweets a wider – and more equal – audience.

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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Stop lying, BBC! Starmer wasn’t heckled over his mother but for failing to support the NHS

Why do people bother to pay the licence fee when BBC News feeds them lies?

The current editor-approved attack line against socialists is that people who – rightly – heckled Keir Starmer’s speech to the Labour conference were mocking him for talking about his mother being in intensive care.

This is a lie.

See it in action in this clip in which Laura Pidcock was asked for her reaction:

Note that the false implication about Starmer’s mother isn’t fanfared – it’s just slipped into the clip to take you by surprise.

Here’s the reality of the situation:

The correct news angle would have been to ask why Starmer doesn’t support a 15 per cent pay rise for nurses if he appreciates the work they did for (among others) his own mother. Isn’t it hypocritical and insensitive of him to use his own mother in such a way?

Starmer’s speech was full of similar howlers. Top of this list is his announcement of a new organisation, Labour Friends of the Police, on the day we heard how a police officer used his powers to arrest, kidnap, rape and murder a woman, and then burned the body.

If that is the kind of friend Keir Starmer wants, then he is no friend of yours.

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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Private Eye bashed over anti-Semitism coverage by accused historian

Private Eye: The Beast certainly seems to have a point when he suggests the Eye’s coverage of anti-Semitism is one-sided.

Fair play – at least Private Eye had the guts to publish this letter from my brother the Beast, in full, without trying to justify itself in any way.

The scan is a bit faint and I know some of you won’t be able to read it, so here are the salient parts:

“I have followed with interest your coverage of the mass accusations of antisemitism in the Labour party and the purges of those accused. I regret to say that I have found this coverage to be almost wholly one-sided.

“You have given little opportunity for the victims of what can only be described as a witch-hunt to speak for themselves.

“Worse, you seem to have blindly followed the media groupthink and automatically assumed that the Labour Party did have a severe antisemitism problem, that Jeremy Corbyn was an antisemite, and that those accused were indeed guilty.

“This left me somewhat perplexed, as your magazine has a strong tradition of criticising Israel and standing up for those who have been falsely accused. I am offering you the opportunity to correct this bias.

“Yesterday I received a message from the Labour Party Complaints Team informing me that I was being investigated for antisemitism based on an article I had published on my blog.

“In this I agreed with another blogger, Tony Greenstein, a proud Jewish critic of Zionism, that Zionism was an internalised Jewish version of antisemitism and that Israel is indeed a racist, colonialist state.

“The argument is supported by solid historical scholarship, quoting reputable historians and the major figures in Zionist history themselves.

“I am not an antisemite, a form of racism that I find particularly abhorrent, and have published very many pieces on my blog attacking it and other forms of racism, as well as its political expressions, Fascism and Nazism.

“I am determined to fight these false accusations and this attempt to suppress reasonable criticism of Israel by automatically equating it with genuine despicable hatred of Jews.

“DAVID SIVIER

“BA (Hons) History, MA History PhD Archaeology”

Please don’t get sidetracked into speculation that my brother is a modern version of Indiana Jones. The relevance of his qualifications is that, when he discusses Israel, Zionism, anti-Semitism, Fascism and Nazism, he knows exactly what he is discussing.

So it will be very interesting to see if his missive receives any responses in subsequent Eye letter columns – and to examine, with the Beast himself, the quality of those responses.

We all know – don’t we? – that none of the arguments matter. Labour has accused Dr Dave and the fact that he knows far more about this subject than his accusers won’t stop them from expelling him from the party as soon as they get the chance.

They’re utterly ignorant, but they have a quota to meet, or masters to obey, or whatever excuse it is today.

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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Unexpected Labour poll lead is because Johnson lost ground – Starmer is still rubbish

Keir Starmer: he was wrong and can’t admit it. The best he can do is quit but he’ll never willingly release the power he has, even if it is only power to attack his own party members.

The social media were full of this yesterday:

That’s right. Keir Starmer’s Labour was said to be ahead of Boris Johnson’s Conservatives for the first time since January, and Starmer’s fan club was crowing about it.

But the figures don’t justify the celebration.

A pithy analysis from James Foster, there. Here’s some more detail – and I’ll pick out the most important elements:

Labour hasn’t crept into the lead, the Tories have snuck in behind them.

Labour’s popularity hasn’t grown in any real sense.

The Tory polling lead was softer than it appeared and this is because the Tory narrative has never been seriously contested and there has been no functioning opposition.

And there is still no functioning opposition, is what they’re saying here.

Perhaps [the Tories] never were that popular… just… preferable to Starmer’s godawful leadership.

Starmer has never presented an alternative for people to vote for.

The two parties are [now] together less popular than they were against all the other available alternatives.

This isn’t good for Labour.

Starmer’s team will likely see it as a vindication of their present “strategy”, even though it absolutely isn’t.

And they did too. Fortunately, we have real people on the social media to bring the debate back down to Earth:

Brutal comment about Labour’s care policy there.

It wasn’t long until “slight media pressure” did turn Starmer into a “gibbering wreck” either – but we’ll discuss that below.

Here’s what people really think:

And here’s a good reason. In fact, looking at Starmer’s performance failure in his interview with Beth Rigby, it will be good to compare what happened – and what was said about it – with what centrist mainstream media reporters said about Starmer after he was elected Labour leader.

The comparison shows up the centrist melts badly.

Had enough?

So has the British public – of Starmer and of his cult followers, both in the Labour party, the newspapers and television.

The issue that made Starmer choke in the Beth Rigby interview was reform of social care – causing deep confusion among Labour supporters who know that the party had devised a plan for a workable National Care Service along the same lines as the NHS.

Starmer could have – and should have – pushed it down Ms Rigby’s throat.

Andy Burnham knows the score:

So do former MPs like Thelma Walker. But This Writer made the problem clear to her:

It’s true – look:

Apparently he has now suggested some weak-ass idea about taxing landlords.

Meanwhile, the creeps with whom Starmer has surrounded himself in preference to honest, genuine socialist politicians (he’s busy smearing them as anti-Semites, remember) are lining up to line their pockets…

… or they are accepting jobs from the Tories:

And Starmer is still attacking his own – although his latest unjust assault against Young Labour chair Jess Barnard has collapsed after she called in her lawyers.

Skwawkbox explains what happened:

On Friday, Labour sent an email to Young Labour chair Jess Barnard, warning her that she was under investigation for supposedly ‘hostile’ language – when Barnard had in fact been ‘challenging transphobia’. The party quickly wilted under legal threat from her legal representatives and ‘rescinded’ the letter with a grovelling apology, claiming it had been sent ‘in error’.

The letter had been sent to Ms Barnard, who has made no secret of the mental stress she has suffered because of a series of vicious character attacks on her and Young Labour with no hint of support for her from the party’s leadership, at 1am on Friday.

Friday was World Suicide Prevention Day.

This is the state of the Labour leadership now.

This is Labour under Starmer.

He is the reason Labour is not popular – and no amount of “fluffing” by his client journalists will ever make him or his cronies acceptable to the public.

He is as Brian Tweedale described him on Twitter:

“What makes Keir Starmer so disappointing, is that unlike his predecessor, who gave supporters hope, he seems hell-bent on crushing it.”

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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Outrage after Tory agent on BBC board sabotaged job appointment for political reasons

[Image: Sketchaganda].

It was never going to work.

Boris Johnson’s Conservative government put its man Robbie Gibb on the board of the BBC as a non-executive director and he has tried to block the appointment of a news boss on political grounds.

The irony is that non-executive directors are responsible for “upholding and protecting” the BBC’s independence – not to make demands on the behalf of their political leaders.

Gibb used to be Theresa May’s communications director when she was prime minister. Before that, he was a BBC journalist and he started his career as a Tory aide – so it seems likely that his politics has coloured much of his work.

The BBC has often been criticised as the propaganda wing of the Tory Party and this intervention will only strengthen that impression among members of the public. It proves that attempts to rig decisions of organisations like the BBC by stuffing their ruling bodies with Tories can only backfire.

What did he do?

He sent a message to the Corporation’s director of news and current affairs, Fran Unsworth, warning her not to appoint Jess Brammar to a new post of BBC executive news editor, saying it would shatter the relationship between the BBC and the Tory government.

It is clearly a political intervention. Brammar’s career is now being trashed by other Tory propaganda mouthpieces:

What could this “borderline fake news lefty clickbait website” be? It seems an odd way to describe HuffPost UK, and This Writer looks forward to seeing that organisation’s reaction to the smear.

Previously, Brammar had been deputy editor of Newsnight.

According to the Financial TimesGibb’s message to Unsworth said she “cannot make this appointment” and the government’s “fragile trust in the BBC will be shattered” if she went ahead. One of his cronies has apparently denied the claim.

The recruitment process has now stalled. Gibb’s message was allegedly sent on June 22 and the post has yet to be filled.

Apparently the Corporation is going through Brammar’s past statements, in public and on the social media. To see if it can find some dirt on her that would invalidate her application?

It’s alleged that Gibb would want her defence of HuffPost journalist Nadine White to count against her – but if so, natural justice would demand that he be disappointed.

White was attacked by Tory minister Kemi Badenoch, who claimed she was “creepy and bizarre” in asking questions about a Covid-19 vaccines video that Badenoch branded unnecessary.

In response, Brammar filed a former complaint to the Cabinet Office, stating that “this characterisation of a journalist asking questions as somehow undermining a public health message or fostering misinformation should alarm anyone working in journalism or anyone who believes its job is to hold power to account.”

Realistically, the vetting process is unlikely to provide any reason to reject Brammar because Gibb’s intervention has forced the BBC’s hand.

Turning her away would indicate that the Corporation is vulnerable to political pressure – the kiss of death for an organisation that has long had to defend itself against such accusations.

And there is another possible reason for Gibb to have intervened now.

Awkward

The BBC is currently negotiating a five-year financial settlement with Boris Johnson’s Tory government.

Still-newly-appointed director general Tim Davie – himself a dyed-in-the-wool Tory – has spent a lot of time, and used up a considerable amount of his own credibility, steadying relations with the government in the midst of aggressive (some would say unreasonable) criticism.

Doesn’t it seem likely that Gibb’s claim about Brammar may be just the excuse Johnson needs to cut BBC funding further than previous Tory governments already have?

Whatever happens, the public response has been a PR disaster for the Tories:

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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WHY YOU NEED ME: Johnson’s government is out of control and the mass media are his cheerleaders

It’s not just Vox Political that you need – any social media commentary site that actually criticises the government rather than acting as its stenographer will do.

Professor Simon Wren-Lewis has put the situation in a nutshell with his own latest blogpost on Mainly Macro.

He states that Boris Johnson’s dictatorship is beyond Parliamentary control, and he has the mainstream media in his pocket.

He uses the decision to cut aid funding to foreign countries from 0.7 per cent of GDP to 0.5 per cent as an example:

A large number of Conservative MPs were unhappy with this, and wanted to use parliament to reverse this cut. The parliament’s speaker ruled their attempt invalid, but requested the government to allow a vote on the issue. The government refused.

The executive increasingly views parliament with contempt.

We knew this government thought little of parliamentary sovereignty when it closed it down, illegally, before the last election. The courts forced it to retract that measure, so now the government is intending to pass laws that would prevent the courts doing so again.

Of course, Parliament could pass a motion of “no confidence” in this dictatorship – but Prof Wren-Lewis rightly points out that “that is never going to happen while Johnson looks like winning the next election. As a result, parliament has no effective control over what this government does.”

Yes, it’s corrupt. But it’s the system we have.

Prof Wren-Lewis goes on to mention a series of scandals involving Johnson’s ministers: Michael Gove, Matt Hancock, Gavin Williamson, Priti Patel, and Robert Jenrick.

Did he sack any of those ministers for corruption and dishonesty? Of course not – and Prof Wren-Lewis puts his finger on the reason: “They are his people, and nothing bad is going to come from keeping the ministers he chose in the job… The key is that this government is totally unaccountable, and does just what it likes.”

And the reason it can do what it likes – more than any other – is the fact that Johnson controls the UK’s mass media. And that means he can control what you think about him:

For a large part of the press, Johnson is their Prime Minister. They became propaganda outlets to persuade people to vote for Brexit, and they have remained propaganda outlets supporting the government ever since.

The extent to which the right wing press has become the propaganda arm of the right in the Tory party has steadily increased over the last few decades.

Prof Wren-Lewis rightly narrows his focus down to the BBC. The corporation has a huge, 70 per cent, share of the current affairs information that gets into your home and into your head:

The big change, begun by Thatcher and Cameron and completed by Johnson, is to tame the BBC. This is hardly surprising, when party donors are appointed to key positions and the government keeps attacking the BBC’s outputs, income and even its existence.

The BBC does not push propaganda, but they do not take it on either, giving the press a largely open field for their propaganda to work.

They avoid the truth if it embarrasses the government, and when its reporters do tell things straight, they are put down by the BBC’s leadership.

Because of the way the BBC fails in its reporting, even things that do have a large impact on voters, like tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths, will never be described in those terms.

That lack of media accountability allows Johnson to ignore his scientists, and put personal ‘freedom’ above saving lives and the economy. This is what happens when the government becomes unaccountable. It is allowed to make mistakes costing lives, and pays no price for these mistakes.

What does this mean for you – the news viewer/reader and voter?

See for yourself:

The only accountability that has any influence on this government is the electorate. But because of its natural advantage in the media, and unfortunately an opposition that seems pretty ineffective beyond PMQs, that influence on the government is partial and weak.

Issues most voters will not notice, because their only sight of them is a news item towards the end of a bulletin (like the government breaking the law on contracts), can be safely ignored by the government.

That means your attention is diverted away from criticism of the Johnson government’s many failings.

You are told that everything is running swimmingly by the government’s front man, whose upbeat turn of phrase and mop of deliberately-messy blond hair hides his “duper’s delight” smile that says he is lying to you.

You believe him when he tells you the vaccination programme is keeping you safe, even though cases of Delta Variant Covid-19 infections are skyrocketing.

You don’t believe he has screwed up the economy with his duff Brexit trade deals, or that he has jeopardised the peace in Northern Ireland, or any number of other idiocies for which he is responsible – because you simply don’t know about them.

That’s where I come in.

Vox Political has provided consistent criticism of the UK’s politicians for very nearly 10 years.

That means when Daniel Kawczynski apologised for bullying, I was able to put it in context and point out it is not a minor incident.

It means when Priti Patel supports football fans who boo protests against racism, I can point out all the incidents in her career that show she is a racist too.

It means I can highlight Tory corruption whenever it surfaces.

And that means the UK’s electorate should be reading Vox Political – right?

But only a tiny fraction of the politically-oriented public does – because the mass media ignore the work done here (for obvious reasons – they support the Tories and don’t want to publicise anybody who doesn’t) and the social media platforms push sites like this one down your newsfeeds so you don’t realise we’re here.

The ultimate aim is to starve us out of business so there’s nobody left to object when they spoonfeed you their Tory-approved falsehoods, anaesthetising you into supporting Johnson’s crowd while they strip you of all the hard-won freedoms your ancestors gained over the last hundred years and more.

As I say, Vox Political isn’t the only critical social media site available. But times have been hard over the year (and more) of Covid-19. Readerships have fallen and some of us are in danger.

So, please do yourself – and everybody you know – a favour.

Give us a boost, every chance you get.

Promote us to your friends and family members when we highlight the facts that contrast so strongly with the fairy stories you see on the BBC News.

The only way to change people’s minds is one at a time – but that can’t happen if everybody is ignoring the facts and turning down the chance to explain them.

Source: mainly macro: A government out of control

Don’t believe the Daily Brexit’s hard-right reporting – support the boycott of JLM anti-Semitism training

The Daily Brexit (otherwise known as the Express) has used concerns over planned training on how to spot anti-Semitism in the Labour Party to trot out the tripe that was used to attack Jeremy Corbyn – again.

“HARD Left supporters of Jeremy Corbyn have started a social media campaign to stop Labour members from carrying out antisemitism training,” the article begins – but nowhere does it provide examples to show that any of these people are Communists.

The reporting continues in a way that – although it avoids direct lies – may be considered dishonest.

“The course… has been recommended to members after the party became mired in an antisemitism scandal under Mr Corbyn’s leadership,” it states – failing to note that the majority of accusations were false. The entire campaign was an attempt to undermine Corbyn with lies.

“Among its objections to the training is that it is being run by an organisation which was vehemently critical for the former Labour leader.” Really?

Or would it be more accurate to say the objection to JLM is the fear that it will record members’ contributions, selectively edit them and then send them to media organisations like the Brexit as further proof of anti-Semitism?

“Several … cited the case of former Labour member Jackie Walker, who was expelled following comments she made during an antisemitism training session, in which she criticised Holocaust Memorial Day for only commemorating Jewish victims.” Ms Walker was the victim of this recording-selective-editing-and-release-to-the-media tactic, yet the Brexit skates over that fact without mentioning it.

“They are also furious that JLM successfully persuaded the party to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism which recognises that attacks on Israel are often antisemitic.”

More accurately: the IHRA working definition confuses anti-Semitism with legitimate criticism of the actions of the Israeli state, making it possible to accuse people of anti-Semitism when they are actually – and accurately – criticising Israeli persecution of Palestinians.

There’s no mention in the article of the fact that the man who wrote the IHRA definition has himself admitted it is not fit for purpose, for this very reason.

It seems likely that whoever wrote the story – David Maddox, political editor (I don’t know him either) – was simply quoting from a press release he had been sent, and hadn’t actually done a scrap of work to check the facts.

Who would send such a press release? My bet is on the person quoted in the article – Euan Philipps of that famous hate group, Labour Against Anti-Semitism.

LAAS has submitted hundreds – maybe thousands – of spurious anti-Semitism accusations against party members, most of which failed to trigger an investigation. Because they were false?

It typically scrapes information from Labour members’ activities on the internet and then presents it as evidence of anti-Semitism – often with little or no justification. The Brexit‘s claim to have seen 300 WhatsApp messages supports LAAS involvement.

None of the comments quoted in the article demonstrate any evidence of anti-Semitism – although some will claim that the way Zionism is mentioned qualifies.

Zionism, in its simplest form, is the desire for Jewish people to be able to live within the historic borders of Israel.

But the ideology has been perverted to justify the forcible removal – including killing – of Palestinians who have lived on that land for many hundreds of years by the contradictorily-named Israeli Defence Force.

Criticism of such racist hate crimes is habitually dismissed as anti-Semitism, remember. You see how this accusation game works?

This Writer has already called for these “training” sessions to be ignored.

The Jewish Labour Movement is not an acceptable provider. Evidence supporting claims of its affiliation with a racist party in Israel, that it was revived specifically to undermine Corbyn, and that it supports the aggressive Zionism I have described above is demonstrable.

What a shame the zealots who launched – and perpetuate – this campaign against decent Labour Party members are supported in their aims by so-called news reporters who appear to be little more than typists.

Source: Hard Left bid to stop Labour antisemitism training in attack on Starmer’s authority | Politics | News | Express.co.uk

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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Denial of ‘surge’ vaccination suggests Tory Covid-19 response is now politically biased

Mealy-mouthed: Jenrick said he was following scientific advice by denying “surge” vaccinations to Greater Manchester. But isn’t it more accurate to say he is starving a Labour-voting area of the help it needs?

Would they have said “no” if Greater Manchester had a Conservative mayor?

That is the question that should be on everybody’s lips after Tory minister (and he’s as corrupt as they come) Robert Jenrick rejected GM mayor Andy Burnham’s call for “surge” vaccinations in his metropolitan area, where there has been a significant increase in Covid-19 cases.

Jenrick said: “We are going to stick with the advice we have received from the JCVI, our advisers, which say that it is better to continue to work down the age categories on a national basis, rather than adopt a regional or geographical approach.

“Their advice has served us well so far as a country, they have got the big calls right since the start of the vaccine rollout.”

Oh really?

In that case, why are Covid-19 cases on the increase in the UK yet again, boosted by the rise of a variant that probably would not have had nearly as large an effect if vaccination doses had been delivered on the timescale advised by the manufacturers?

For example, The Writer had the first Astrazeneca jab on April 4 and – according to the government – should receive the second dose between eight and 12 weeks later. I’m now in the middle of the 10th week since that injection and haven’t heard a whisper about a second inoculation.

Burnham’s call has won approval from the public:

And Jenrick’s dismissal of Burnham is being treated as political favouritism:

Others have suggested that the Tories simply don’t care about the North (ex-Red Wall Tory voters please take note).

In a rational society, when there is a pandemic infection with a vaccine available, inoculations would be concentrated in areas with increased cases of the disease.

But we don’t live in a rational society. We live in one that is run by Tories.

They do not understand or care about Covid-19 and its effects on the stock (which is what they call you).

They are simply going through the motions in order to appear to be acting competently.

And if they can use a fatal disease to reduce support for their main political rivals, then they are low enough to do that.

Source: Ministers reject Burnham demand for surge vaccination in Greater Manchester – LabourList

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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