Tag Archives: Daily

Boris Johnson’s Daily Mail column is breach of Ministerial Code

Boris Johnson: if I was feeling uncharitable, I might suggest he’s checking the Daily Mail’s website to see what he has written.

Can he do anything right?

Here’s the Artist Taxi Driver to brighten your day with the latest silliness from Boris Johnson:

A quick trip to the Guardian website (others are available; this was simply the first mentioned in the clip above) confirms the facts:

Boris Johnson committed a “clear breach” of rules on former ministers taking up new jobs by telling an appointments body he was becoming a Daily Mail columnist only half an hour before the public announcement, the watchdog has said.

The former prime minister was unveiled as a new writer for the newspaper, a platform he is expected to use to be a thorn in the side of Rishi Sunak.

However, Johnson has become embroiled in a fresh breach of the ministerial code after it emerged that he had waited until almost the last moment before the public announcement to inform the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba).

A spokesperson said: “The ministerial code states that ministers must ensure that no new appointments are announced, or taken up, before the committee has been able to provide its advice. An application received 30 minutes before an appointment is announced is a clear breach.

“We have written to Mr Johnson for an explanation and will publish correspondence in due course, in line with our policy of transparency.”

There seems to be a mistake in there, as Johnson isn’t a minister any more and hasn’t been one for around nine months now, but I think we’re safe to conclude that the restriction applies to former ministers as well.

Did Johnson intend to break the rules? I doubt it. He’s just not particularly bothered about them.

It’s what being a moneyed, privileged rich kid who was born with his head up his own proverbial rectum will do for a person.


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Rees-Mogg admitted ‘voter ID’ plan he supported was vote-rigging. Where are the calls for punishment?

Shifty: Jacob Rees-Mogg has admitted ‘voter ID’ was vote-rigging – and failed. He should be punished – but some media outlets would rather misdirect you to something that hasn’t happened, and perhaps never will.

Don’t you find it strange that an alleged newspaper like the Daily Mail would drag readers’ attention – for two days’ running – to a rubbish Labour Party idea to give the vote to visitors from the EU…

… when a former Conservative minister has admitted that the Tory “voter ID” scheme was a genuine attempt to rig the vote.

Speaking at the National Conservatives’ conference (it makes perfect sense that he would be a Nat-C), Jacob Rees-Mogg said:

“Parties that try and gerrymander end up finding their clever scheme comes back to bite them, as dare I say we found by insisting on voter ID for elections.”

The local government elections in England earlier this month were the first at which people were required to bring photographic identification in order to cast a vote – and the electorate punished the Conservatives by taking 1,063 council seats away from them.

The admission is even more serious for Rees-Mogg because he argued in favour of “voter ID” in Parliament:

He must have known then that it was an attempt to gerrymander votes in the Conservatives’ favour – to rig elections. Mustn’t he?

Indeed, Labour’s Dawn Butler has said Rees-Mogg’s admission should be reported to the Parliamentary Standards Authority – or even to the police. The Electoral Commission is another option – although its current status as an arm of the Tory government makes it a poor third choice.

Yet the hard-right headbangers of the Daily Heil want you to concentrate on an idea mooted about by the Labour Party, that is unlikely ever to come to pass.

In light of the fact that election-rigging is a crime, I’ll leave it to you to work out why they might want to do that.


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Celebrities sue Daily Mail publisher for ‘appalling breaches of privacy’

I spotted this on a BBC News tickertape last night (October 6) but couldn’t find the story.

Fortunately I have now discovered this Twitter thread which lays it all out:

The newspaper company’s representatives can say what they like, but members of the public already have an opinion about this:

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The hypocrisy of the headlines in your lovable Tory papers

This clip speaks for itself.

Chunky Mark has been a laughing legend for years. His point about the hypocrisy of the Tory media’s headlines is well-made, I think.

Some of you may dislike his comments about certain Royals.

Here’s the clip:

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Is negative reporting from the right-wing press fueling assaults on Insulate Britain?

Ink today – what tomorrow? This 77-year-old ex-doctor is afraid of what the next member of the public will do to him and/or his colleagues – and papers like the Mail are egging on the attackers.

Yes, it’s annoying when your driving experience is disrupted by people who have superglued themselves to the road to draw attention to life-threatening issues including climate change – but that doesn’t justify assaulting them by throwing ink in their faces.

But here‘s the Daily Heil showing off its worst fascistic tendencies by venerating some music promoter for doing just that.

It seems

Andrew Dutton was filmed calmly walking along the line of the protestors sat in the middle of the road and spraying them with ink as they blocked traffic yesterday.

The 38-year-old from Harlow, Essex, who works with bands and arranges concerts, later told friends he lost his temper after asking the protestors to move from the A40 in North Acton, West London, to allow an emergency vehicle through – only for them to refuse and stay put.

I’m not buying that. Insulate Britain activists have a standing rule to let emergency vehicles through.

As Steve Gower said when This Writer interviewed him,

We’ve had accusations of not letting ambulances through. There’s footage – I’m in one of the clips actually, where we let an ambulance through. That is the policy of Insulate Britain – to let any blue light through our barricade.

The Mail‘s report shows footage of Dutton assaulting the protesters with the ink – with not a single emergency vehicle in sight. So I have a couple of doubts about the claim made about him (it turns out his friends told the right-wing rag about the alleged ambulance, not him).

The piece is highly supportive of the aggressor. Besides the ambulance allegation, it said his friends had hailed him as a “hero” and the protesters – who want better insulation for social housing, to stop people from dying of the cold in their own homes and to help tackle climate change – as an “eco mob”.

The result is that these people are scared. This tweet, and the embedded video, sums up the situation:

We’ve recently seen footage of a woman who tried to run over Insulate Britain activists in her Range Rover because she wanted to drive her son to school. Commenters have questioned why he couldn’t walk.

The hypocrisy is palpable. Only days ago, politicians were calling for “respect” and for people to stop fuelling the kind of “hatred” that led to the death of Tory MP Sir David Amess.

After Tory MPs were criticised for letting water companies pump raw human waste into our rivers and other waterways, they whinged – falsely – that they were being attacked with hate speech.

But when people are confronted by someone with a cause to promote, suddenly it’s okay to roll a Range Rover over them or spray ink into their eyes?

That is the message the Mail is putting out.

And the Tories must be delighted because once again, they have succeeded in getting people to squabble with others instead of casting a critical eye over the many faults of our (Tory) government.

The protesters involved are afraid – but they aren’t going to stop because they know people have already died because they lived in badly-insulated homes and they know that it will happen to others if they don’t succeed in prodding the government to act.

The – video – evidence shows they are right to be afraid.

What happens if one of them ends up suffering serious injury? What if, next time, it’s – well, I’m not going to put ideas in the heads of the irresponsible.

Will the reporter who penned the Mail piece turn himself in for possibly having incited it?

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Johnson and Sunak shamed into self-isolation in U-turn over ‘Covid Javid’

How humiliating for Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak that they have to follow the rules for the plebs and self-isolate after being in contact with Health Secretary and Covid case Sajid Javid.

It says everything about the UK’s pitiful protections that Javid hasn’t been in post for more than a month yet, and already he has contracted the virus. He’s out of the picture for the moment because he’s getting treatment.

But both Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson are also having to take action, because they have been in contact with Javid during the incubation period.

Johnson has already had the virus. What does it say about the body’s natural immunity, let alone the various vaccines that we’re all having pumped into us, when the prime minister is still having to isolate himself – despite having developed the former and received the latter – for fear of spreading the infection?

Worse still is the fact that both Johnson and Sunak wanted to take the Michael Gove route and opt into a privileged scheme whereby they could keep working but would be tested for the virus on a daily basis.

Nobody had ever heard of this scheme before Gove went to Portugal to watch the Champions League final and mixed with people who had Covid-19.

On being told about the contact, he promptly announced that he wouldn’t be self-isolating like a member of the common crowd – and that is how we learned about the daily test regime for the elite.

He was given hell for it and rightly so.

It can hardly be surprising, then, that after Downing Street announced that they would be on the same scheme – and the same criticisms started – Johnson and Sunak gave up and accepted the inevitable.

They only did it because they were caught.

Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth [said] it was unfair politicians appeared to have access to “VIP testing” to avoid self-isolation, while Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey asked if it was only available to the “privileged few”.

The u-turn means that Michael Gove should now have to answer some uncomfortable questions, especially after Johnson said it was “far more important that everybody sticks to the same rules”.

Gove didn’t!

And neither Johnson nor Sunak were going to.

So it seems Johnson didn’t make the change because of any principles, but because of shame.

Source: Covid-19: PM and chancellor self-isolate after rapid U-turn – BBC News

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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

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The Queen hasn’t been ‘cancelled’ just because students have taken a photo of her off their wall

Is she bothered? Some students have taken a photo print of her down from their common room wall. So what?

The ‘silly season’ has arrived early this year.

Those purveyors of hysterical (in both senses) tabloid stories at Guido Fawkes blog have got their knickers in a tizzy after graduate students at the Middle Common Room of Magdalen College, Oxford, agreed to take down a photo print of the Queen that has been up since 2013.

Presumably they wanted to use the space for something else – for a while, at least.

Guido seems to resent this display of democracy. “Stalin would be proud,” the article claimed – indicating that the author doesn’t have much understanding of the way the late Russian dictator worked. It would be more Stalinist to demand that the portrait remain up after the students voted to remove it.

So, it seems, does Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, who appears to have provided his opinion: “Oxford University students removing a picture of the Queen is simply absurd. She is the Head of State and a symbol of what is best about the United Kingdom. During her long reign she has worked tirelessly to promote British values of tolerance, inclusivity and respect around the world.”

That may be his opinion but it has nothing to do with the students’ decision.

Other examples of misdirection in the article (spotted by the much higher-quality Zelo Street) are:

  • The image that has been removed isn’t a portrait – it’s a print of a photograph. For all we know, it might have had to come down because, after eight years on the wall, it’s probably a bit tatty by now. Guido‘s claim that it may be auctioned therefore lacks credibility.
  • Guido states that the college had voted to “scrap” the Queen, and this is simply untrue. College authorities had nothing to do with the decision by graduate students. It follows that the college didn’t agree to anything.

Still, why should the newspapers let the facts get in the way of a good scandal? Both the Heil (Mail) and the Brexit (Express) took joy in regurgitating the claims.

Outrage as Oxford students vote to axe Queen, screamed the HeilHow dare they! Oxford students cancel our Queen, screeched the Brexit.

And very foolish they look too – now. Here are some more rational reactions:

Yes indeed – mention of the former Ms Markle raised a pertinent point:

Last word must be this little reminder:

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Zero daily Covid-19 deaths announcement is because statisticians were off for bank holiday

Vaccine: the swift creation of a vaccine against Covid-19, and its efficient roll-out, overseen by the health service, has cut fatalities drastically. Of course our incompetent government must take no credit for it at all.

Don’t get me wrong – I think it is great that the UK recorded no Covid deaths on Bank Holiday Monday.

But I also think people should be reminded that fewer deaths are recorded on weekends, because statisticians are not working – and this situation increases during bank holidays.

If zero deaths are recorded on a working day during this week, it will be more significant.

That being said, the fact that the number of deaths has fallen so low is welcome. It is entirely due to the efforts of the scientists who created the vaccines and the health service workers who are providing the jabs. The Tory government must not take any credit for it at all.

The UK has announced zero daily Covid deaths within 28 days of a positive test for the first time since March 2020.

The latest figures also reported another 3,165 new cases, compared with 3,383 on Monday and 2,493 one week ago.

Source: Covid: Zero daily deaths announced in UK for first time – BBC News

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Torygraph politics: paper praises Tories for saving money because senior citizens have died of Covid-19

Some institutions have twisted priorities:

That’s the Daily Telegraph for you.

But doesn’t it make you question whether the Tory intention really was for Covid-19 to kill as many pensioners as possible, in order to cut the National Insurance bill?

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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