Boris Johnson and Alan Duncan: The “pooper” and the “scooper”.
Boris Johnson seems likely to be heading a team of B-listers if he becomes prime minister tomorrow.
Now-former Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan has flounced out amid claims that he spent all his time cleaning up Mr Johnson’s mess when the Tory leadership candidate was Foreign Secretary.
Of course it’s just as likely that Mr Johnson would sack Sir Alan if he stayed on – so this is the optimum moment for the FO minister to… well… go.
He is on the record as considering himself to have been Mr Johnson’s “pooper scooper”, during the candidate’s term as Foreign Secretary – and more recently attacked his former boss for failing to support former UK ambassador to the US, Kim Darroch, after comments criticising President Trump were leaked.
Previously, he was most notable as the minister former Israeli embassy representative Shai Masot infamously wanted to “take down” in a conspiracy uncovered by the al-Jazeera documentary The Lobby.
Also set to go are Chancellor Philip Hammond and Justice Secretary David Gauke.
Neither will be a huge loss to the UK – but then, no Conservative minister would be. The concern is about who Mr Johnson might line up to replace them…
And how would these B-listers perform – not only in service to the UK but also on the world stage?
Sir Alan Duncan has quit as a foreign office minister in protest against a possible Boris Johnson victory in the Conservative leadership race.Chancellor Philip Hammond and Justice Secretary David Gauke have already said they intend to resign if he wins.
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.
Momentum’s former vice-chair, Jackie Walker: Does she look like an anti-Semite now? [Image: Andy Hall for the Observer].
Isn’t it funny how these people are starting to be pulled into the light, when they thought they could play their dirty little accusation games from the shadows.
It’s like a game of aggressive-Zionist join-the-dots now; Shai Masot leads to Labour Friends of Israel, and from there on to the Jewish Labour Movement and who knows where.
This Writer has to wonder whether this conspiracy – and it is a conspiracy, have no doubt about that – would have been rumbled if, for example, people like myself hadn’t objected to the claims of anti-Semitism when they were levelled at Naz Shah, Ken Livingstone and Jeremy Corbyn last summer.
I was warned off, you know. Good friends told me to be very careful of what I was saying, because the people I was accusing are “very dangerous indeed”.
Maybe they are, but facts have a habit of getting out. And while my articles back then produced a strong opposing – verbal – reaction from certain of our favourite figures and organisations (including a few of the kind of ad hominem claims mentioned below) there have been no bullets or bombs (yet).
They also seem to have got people thinking.
When Jackie Walker (mentioned in the Mondoweiss article quoted below) was accused at the Labour Party Conference, it seems more alarm bells started ringing.
And now we have the Al-Jazeera investigation (why not BBC? Why not ITV? Why not Channel 4 or the British mainstream print media?) that revealed Shai Masot and his little network of … I think they’re being called “infiltrators”.
It is time to root out every last one of these operators.
Anybody who has been involved in the anti-Semitism witch-hunt within the Labour Party last summer needs to be pulled in and checked out. That includes Paul Staines of the Guido Fawkes blog. It includes John Mann, who accused Ken Livingstone. Jonathan Arkush, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, who gave evidence to the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee when it was accusing Mr Corbyn, would be worth questioning – as would every member of the committee itself, as their performances in the evidence sessions made it clear that they had already made up their minds before asking a single question.
Some of them might have nothing to do with it – perhaps all of them. But that has yet to be demonstrated.
What about Jackie Walker’s accusers in the Jewish Labour Movement – and, for that matter, in Momentum?
What about the national newspaper writers and editors who reported each story?
The list of possible suspects gets ever-larger, and is likely to grow even further, if these people are contacted and questioned in a thorough manner.
The issues here are serious. We are being told that agents of a foreign country have infiltrated our institutions and undermined our foreign policy with false accusations against our politicians and political figures.
As the extract below shows, the trail leads back at least as far as Mark Regev – and he is Israel’s ambassador to the UK.
At the very least, this is a major diplomatic incident.
So why is the Conservative Government refusing to take the necessary investigative steps?
While an Israeli operative’s efforts to “take down” Britain’s Deputy Foreign Minister, may appear to be the biggest scandal to arise out of Al Jazeera’s investigative documentary The Lobby, what became clear to me throughout the four-part series was that the primary function of the Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) and other pro Israel groups in the UK working with the Israeli embassy was smearing Palestinians and their supporters with charges of anti Semitism and other nefarious ad hominem claims.
Jackie Walker, former vice-chair of Momentum, the left wing of the Labour party, called this “a constructed crisis for political ends”.
Evidence of this runs throughout the four-part series. Mark Regev, Israel’s ambassador to the UK, at a private meeting held during the annual Labour Party Conference in Liverpool last September, advises key activist leaders of Labour’s pro-Israel contingent on strategy and talking points:
“Why are people who consider themselves progressive in Britain, supporting reactionaries like Hamas and Hezbollah? We’ve gotta say in the language of social democracy, I think, these people are misogynistic, they are homophobic, they are racist, they are anti-Semitic, they are reactionary. I think that’s what we need to say, it’s an important message.”
Jennifer Gerber, director of Labour Friends of Israel, is captured saying in conversation at Labour’s annual conference that anti-Semitism is “the defining narrative actually now”. Defining narrative of what? The Labour party? Or the LFI’s strategy of taking down the leftwing branch of the party?
[Ella Rose] reveals a trajectory of what could be perceived as a strategy of accusation (of anti semitism), a gotcha focus with the objective of trapping people, as a means of one-upsmanship so as to advance the profile of the Jewish Labour Movement on the right flank of Labour, aligned with the faction of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
The suggestion by critics that anything untoward is taking place is angrily rebuffed. Labour’s right flank postures itself as the real victims– for being accused of falsely accusing! For example, Michael Foster, a generous Jewish donor (£700,000) to Labour, last summer accused Corbyn supporters of behaving like “Nazi stormtroopers”, and was suspended by the party for the abuse, leading to yet more glaring Blame-Corbyn headlines in the British press.
As for those targeted, the bigger fish the better, beginning with Jeremy Corbin, of course, and his supporters in Momentum, like Walker. Labour party members are targeted for re-education programs through Labour Party trainings on anti-Semitism, and if you slip up you’re subject to an inquisition with the threat of being thrown out of the party, loudly and publicly with the press cheering it on.
Cor – what a big… carrot: The painting of George Osborne symbolising his empty promises by Kaya Mar [Image: www.kayamarart.com].
He was not amused.
It seems this was not what George Osborne had in mind when he hosted a boozy awayday in the Cotswolds to boost Tory spirits ahead of the Rochester by-election and the general election.
The Guardianhas reported that he was “straight-faced” when former Tory minister Sir Alan Duncan whipped out a naked portrait of him, representing Osborne’s empty policies and failed promises, during a speech at a dinner in a four-star hotel near Chipping Norton.
Apparently this is Osborne’s ‘just desserts’ for offering unfunded tax cuts to the electorate in advance of the election next year.
It seems the event – ostensibly held to strategise against the threat of UKIP – subsequently deteriorated into the usual chaos of any event attended by the Bullingdon hooligans.
The painting is by Kaya Mar, whose images of politicians in the raw can be viewed on his website.
The artist’s website had this to say: “It was reported that a stone-faced George Osborne was furious about being humiliated by Duncan, who went on to make comparisons between Kaya’s typically fat-bottomed naked politicians in his satirical paintings and the Chancellor’s own increasing waistline – a consequence, perhaps, of all those lavish breakfasts, luncheons and dinners paid for by grateful, un-prosecuted bankers and lobbyists working for corporate privateers and plunderers since he wafted into 11 Downing Street all those hundreds of billions of borrowed pounds ago.
“There is, of course, a glaringly obvious subtext to that weekend’s bad-tempered exchanges and barbs; namely the bitter acrimony felt towards David Cameron and George Osborne by a significantly large cadre of back-bench MPs, who have always disliked Cameron’s slick PR style of policy-lite governance which many feel has done the party a great deal of reputational damage.
“The internal blood-letting and back-stabbing … signifies that fiercely partiisan rival camps for the inevitable forthcoming leadership challenge are finally emerging from the shadows, and have now spilled out into the public view.”
The site went on to suggest that the greatest threats to Cameron do not come from Osborne, but from the “polar opposites” represented by London Mayor Boris Johnson and former Education Secretary (recently demoted to Chief Whip) Michael Gove.
“Johnson is hugely popular for his well-honed theatrical ‘bumbling’, which he uses as an effective smokescreen to disguise his enormous ambition to be Prime Minister,” the site claims. “Michael Gove, with his patently ‘British Empire’ beliefs around education, crime and punishment, is well-liked by the reactionary wing of the party, for whom he represents the best chance of putting the UK’s cultural clock back 90 years.”
It may be too much to hope that this resentment will bubble up beyond symbolic gestures like this – at least, before the election – but it seems that the writing, or at least the painting, is on the wall for both George Osborne and David Cameron.
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