Tag Archives: denial

BBC actively contributes to Gaza genocide with dehumanising reports

Owen Jones has – unusually – minimised the BBC’s complicity in the victimisation of Palestinians involved in Israel’s current massacre in Gaza.

His latest social media video refers to a study of 600 BBC reports, showing how the language used adds depth to the stories of (for example) “murdered” Israeli “grandfathers”, while minimising our ability to empathise with Palestinians who were killed or even, simply, “lost their lives”.

There’s a list of the way the BBC used particular words at around the nine minute mark on this clip:

But it’s actually worse!

The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust has a web page devoted to “The 10 stages of genocide”. Visit it here.

Stage four is “dehumanisation”. The website refers to dehumanising language that is used to discourage people from identifying with or supporting a targeted group. Although its examples show that Tutsis were called “cockroaches” and Jews were called “vermin”, the use of language to increase sympathy with Israelis while denying it to Palestinians achieves the same effect.

I would also suggest that the BBC is currently instrumental in stage 10: “denial”. According to the website, “The perpetrators or later generations deny the existence of any crime.” We have seen Israeli politicians denying that genocide is being committed in Gaza many times – having been provided with a platform to do so by the BBC, among others.

That’s complicity, in This Writer’s book.

People are saying they won’t vote for Labour or the Conservatives in this year’s general election because both parties have supported the genocide.

Should we be boycotting the BBC – until whoever insisted on this discrimination against Palestinians, and in favour of Israel’s government, is not only removed but charged with aiding and abetting genocide?

Is this Israel supporter rehabilitating the Nazis and justifying holocaust denial?

Douglas Murray: he’s near Gaza, waiting for the hammer of public opinion to fall on him.

Douglas Murray has brought the Israel/Gaza propaganda war to a new low by apparently comparing Gazans – not just Hamas – with the German soldiers who carried out the Nazi Holocaust against Jewish people.

Worse, the platform from which he launched this heinous claim was the Jewish Chronicle.

See for yourself:

Watch this clip from around five minutes, 30 seconds in and you’ll hear Murray repeating his claim that German soldiers were ashamed of what the Nazis ordered them to do.

Isn’t this Holocaust revisionism which, as we are all taught, is one of the vilest kinds of anti-Semitism?

He says the difference between the SS and the Gazans – not just Hamas, remember – is that the Gazans are proud of killing Jews.

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There is no readily-apparent excuse for this behaviour – either by Murray or the Jewish Chronicle. Saying the Germans who carried out the so-called “Final Solution” were “just following orders” – the “Nuremberg Defence” – was not good enough when they were brought to justice for their crimes and it isn’t good enough now.

And Holocaust revisionism is Holocaust denial.

Murray claims to be supporting Israel but in his words it seems clear that he is undermining the Jews. If German soldiers were ashamed of what they were doing, as he says, then with the removal of the Nazi government, the reason for a Jewish state would have also been removed; Jews would have been safe where they were.

This was clearly not believed to be the case, as we see from the decision to create Israel.

Taking the reasoning further, though, if there was no reason for creating a Jewish state, there would be no reason for that state to have stolen land and property from its neighbours, the Palestinians; to have driven them into enclaves (ghettoes) like Gaza; and to have murdered tens of thousands of them over a period of decades.

There would have been no reason for Hamas to have been founded in the first place; no reason for Palestinians to seek restitution against their oppressors; and no reason for Murray to be standing on land that was once Palestine, spouting his nonsense.

Sadly, it was deemed that a Jewish state was necessary. The reason for that is the failure of European people of the time – and others – to understand and/or respect cultural diversity. Ultimate responsibility for the situation in Gaza falls on our ancestors.

Most particularly, it falls on the Germans who Murray disgustingly tries to pedestalise above the ordinary citizens of Gaza – half of whom are children and all of whom he appears to deem to be as bad as Hamas, and deserving of the collective punishment Israel is meting out on them all.

And that – as we all should know – would be an attempt to justify a war crime.


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Debunked: Julia Hartley-Doodah’s wild climate change denials

In denial: Julia Hartley-Brewer denies the science on BBC Question Time. David Lammy (left) facepalms.

Broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer has made a few claims about climate change on the BBC’s Question Time on October 27 and, being a denier, you can guess that she wasn’t talking about time running out for us all.

Novara Media explains in this video clip:

Here’s some more information, courtesy of DeSmog on Twitter:

Who’s convincing you? Julia Hartley-Doodah, or the science?

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Why is this think tank so influential on Tory policy – and who pays for it?

The puppet PM-to-be? Liz Truss appears to be nothing more than a figurehead for shadowy business concerns. Are her strings being pulled by think tanks like Policy Exchange?

Remember the report the Tories pushed into both Houses of Parliament three years ago, attempting to claim that Extinction Rebellion is a terrorist organisation and its protests should be stopped?

A few months later it was revealed that ER had been listed as an “extremist ideology”, to be referred to the Prevent programme – which aims to safeguard vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorism.

There was a row, and then the reference was described as an error and removed.

But it is widely agreed that the report played a large role in the drafting of Priti Patel’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act which heavily restricts protest, criminalises many peaceful actions, disproportionately targets minority groups including  people of colour and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.

The report had been published by Policy Exchange, a right-wing think tank that is part of the Tufton Street Brexit Nexus which

ties together fossil fuel interests, climate denial groups and a whole array of Brexit campaigns, pushing for a deregulated low-tax playing field pushing profit and growth over people and planet. As well as close ties to most of the current Conservative right politicians, they reach deep into the media, influencing the output of the Telegraph and Spectator, as well as the Times, Mail, Express and Sun.

We don’t know the names of everybody who funds this organisation, but information that is available shows that its work – and therefore Conservative Party policy – is being driven by private business interests:

As well as receiving around £3million per year from undisclosed donors, it has received ‘sponsorship’ money from many UK energy companies for arranging meetings with government ministers, and these included Drax, E.On, Centrica, and lobbyist Energy UK. It also receives money from ‘American Friends of Policy Exchange’, a US non-profit organisation supporting Policy Exchange UK and backed by mainly anonymous donors. They were listed in a 2017 ExxonMobil worldwide-giving report  as receiving a $30,000 donation from the giant fossil fuel corporation. ExxonMobil has spent vast sums over decades on promoting climate denial.

And think about this:

Policy Exchange also funds something called the Judicial Power Project which seeks to limit the rights of our justice system to rein in the power of government ministers or question unfair or draconian legislation. Under the guise of concern over “how and by whom public power is exercised”, it’s basically pushing for more power for heavily-lobbied ministers along with less accountability to a judicial system that may be more resistant to corporate influence.

Other changes suggested by Policy Exchange include calls for amendments to the Overseas Operations Bill, giving soldiers impunity for war crimes, and for government control over appointments of judges; and it has published a major study on “judicial interference” over the government’s Rwanda deal and other anti-asylum proposals. The project strongly influenced the tabling of the Judicial Review Act, which limits citizens’ ability to challenge government decisions in court.

And now, as RealMedia points out,

we are about to face a leader elected by a tiny unrepresentative club, advised by secretly-funded policy units, and cheered on by a media owned by its rich friends and donors.

This will get messy and you will probably be badly harmed by what these people will do. The big question is: how long are you going to let them do it?

Source: The hidden forces pushing change in our democracy and rights – Real Media – The View From Below

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Boris Johnson’s Perugia pantomime: ‘Oh no he wasn’t!’ say some. But ‘Oh yes – he was’

Frequent flyer: but This Site isn’t convinced that this is the way Boris Johnson arrived at Perugia (if, indeed, he did).

Boris Johnson may have thought – briefly – that the heat was off and he could come out in public again after the boss of Perugia airport said there had been a mix-up and it wasn’t the current UK prime minister who was seen there, but former PM Tony Blair.

The possibility of Johnson having been there is significant because it would have indicated that he was visiting the villa of his Russian friend Evgeny Lebedev, at a time when he and the Conservative Party in general are suspected of taking Russian government money and being influenced to carry out the wishes of that country’s President Putin.

So this would have been a significant exoneration…

… had it not been refuted very quickly (indeed, apparently before the excuse was made):

Here’s a nice long explanation for you:

Of course, the Twitter wits have been working overtime and, whether the story is true or not, these comments are worth preserving:

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DWP crashes to another court defeat over sickness benefits

The High Court – also known as the Royal Courts of Justice – in London.

The High Court has just ruled that a rule allowing the Department for Work and Pensions to force some benefit claimants to wait – unpaid – for a mandatory reconsideration before they can appeal against refusal is unlawful.

The system previously demanded that, if a claim for income-related Employment and Support Allowance was refused, claimants would have to wait for a “mandatory reconsideration” of their case to take place before they could appeal.

This could take weeks, and has often taken months, in which the claimant – who is claiming because of serious illness, remember – has no income on which to survive.

Mr Justice Swift ruled that the demand that a mandatory reconsideration must take place before a claimant can appeal is a “disproportionate interference with the right of access to court” – in some cases.

This case was brought by law graduate Michael Conner, with crowdfunded aid from the website Benefits and Work – and represents a considerable victory for the claimant, the website, and crowdfunded legal proceedings in general.

Mr Connor had been forced to wait 18 weeks while the DWP carried out a mandatory reconsideration of his ESA decision. During this time he had no right to claim ESA.

If he had been able to lodge an appeal, he would have been paid ESA on a probationary rate, dependent on the provision of medical evidence by his doctor.

The judge said that after his benefit was cancelled on October 18, 2018, Mr Connor applied for a mandatory reconsideration.

But, in an “error” of the kind that benefit claimants have come to expect from the DWP, he said “no action was taken in response… The request for revision was incorrectly entered onto the Secretary of State’s electronic document management system.

“The document was not recognised or recorded as a request for reconsideration, and instead was classified as ‘unstructured whitemail'” and “it was not until 6 March 2019 – 4 months after Mr Connor’s request had been received – that it was identified as a request for revision.”

Mr Connor had managed to claim Income Support and Carer’s Allowance in the meantime, so he decided not to appeal the decision. Instead, he informed the DWP that he intended to challenge the legality of the rule making him unable to appeal until a mandatory reconsideration had happened.

He pointed out that:

  • The rule creates an open-ended deferral of the right to appeal that could leave claimants without income for an unlimited period – as evidenced by his own case.
  • Its effect is anomalous as ESA is payable before a decision is made and while an appeal is taking place, but not while the DWP is going through the mandatory reconsideration process [or, more likely, forgetting about it – in the opinion of This Writer].
  • If an appeal is started, there is no provision for back payment of ESA to cover the period of the revision decision while an appeal is ongoing.
  • So the interference is disproportionate because “it places benefits claimants, such as him, who are vulnerable, in a position of ‘legal and financial limbo, distress and destitution’ for the duration of the revision process that must be pursued before an appeal can be commenced” – and there is “no limit on the time permitted to the Secretary of State to determine an application for revision.”

In his ruling, Mr Justice Swift said: “It is anomalous that the payment pending appeal arrangements for ESA … do not extend to ESA claimants who are required … to request the Secretary of State to revise a decision and await her decision on that request before initiating an appeal.

“At the hearing of this case I gave the Secretary of State the opportunity to … explain why no provision exists to pay ESA to claimants… None of this further information provides the answer.

“My conclusion is that [the regulation in question] is a disproportionate interference with the right of access to court, so far as it applies to claimants to ESA who, once an appeal is initiated, meet the conditions for payment pending appeal.

“The advantage permitted to the Secretary of State by [the] regulation … comes at a cost to ESA claimants. There is no explanation for that.

“There is no evidence to support a conclusion that the objective pursued by [the] regulation … would to any extent be compromised if payments like the payments pending appeal made to ESA claimants who are pursuing appeals to the Tribunal, were made to them while they waited on the Secretary of State’s revision decision.

“In the absence of payment equivalent to payment pending appeal, the application of [the] regulation … to ESA claimants does not strike the required fair balance, and for that reason is an unjustified impediment to the right of access to court guaranteed by ECHR Article 6.”

Benefits and Work has stated: “Sadly, the ruling does not apply to other benefits such as PIP or DLA.

Nonetheless, it is an important victory and it means that ESA claimants, who are often faced with the prospect of many weeks without funds if they wish to appeal, are now in a much better position when challenging a decision.”

It will be interesting to see what will happen now.

The ruling is that the current situation is unlawful but no further remedy has been put in place beyond a statement to that effect.

What will happen to ESA claimants who must go through the mandatory reconsideration process now? Will they be paid while their case is reviewed?

That seems the logical course.

But I fear the DWP may find a way to duck out of it.

Source: Connor, R (On the Application Of) v The Secretary of State for Work And Pensions [2020] EWHC 1999 (Admin) (24 July 2020)

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Baddiel’s Holocaust denial doco has questionable timing and a dodgy presenter

Baddiel: how can we accept pronunciations on racism from the man who subjected black footballer Jason Lee to racist mockery as a “pineapple head” back in the 1990s?

Holocaust denial was one of the accusations against me when the Labour Party accused This Writer of anti-Semitism.

And I have clashed with David Baddiel on Twitter. He came across as a man with an agenda who was not interested in reasoned arguments.

So it is hard to adequately describe my disappointment when I heard that he had made a documentary on Holocaust denial for the BBC.

I have long since been exonerated of the Holocaust denial charge – by press regulator IPSO – and am currently engaged in a court battle with Labour over its use of false information to expel me from membership.

But Labour is currently embroiled in a leadership election and the vexed issue of alleged anti-Semitism in the party has again reared its ugly head.

In this context, don’t you find the timing of a documentary on the subject questionable?

And as for the presenter – well, my brother Beastrabban raises a very interesting point about his own past, which is arguably racist itself:

Baddiel used to appear in blackface wearing a pineapple and dreadlocks in order to mock the appearance of the Black footballer, Jason Lee, who was then playing for Nottingham Forest. He was taking the mick out of Lee’s hairstyle, which was a mixture of the corn rows and dreads. But this led to ‘pineapple head’ being used as a racist insult against Blacks with a similar hairstyle.

Maybe Baddiel would say it isn’t his fault that others picked up his characterisation and used it in a racist way – but the mere use of blackface is taken to be racist these days; and would racists have picked up on his character if they didn’t see racism in it already?

Note that the programme where this appeared

The Beast also points out that Baddiel’s arguments about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party aren’t very strong. Consider this attack on Jeremy Corbyn:

He also wrote a piece in the Guardian claiming that Corbyn was a terrible anti-Semite because he pronounced Jeffrey Epstein’s name ‘Epshtein’. This was supposed to be an attempt to make the deceased magnate and paedophile less English or, rather, American, by stressing his non-English-speaking origins.

It’s a rubbish argument. Unless you’re aware that Epstein, or others with the same name, are Jewish and pronounce it differently, the name looks German. And Corbyn gave it the German pronunciation. There’s nothing inherently racist in that. Consider the number of gentile Brits with foreign names, like the Eurosceptic politico Mark Francois. Presumably his surname is given the French pronunciation, but this is not taken to mean that Francois is less British.

So the documentary – Confronting Holocaust Denial with David Baddiel, February 17, 9pm, BBC2 – has questionable timing, a questionable presenter with a questionable past, and may expose its audience to questionable ideas.

Any questions?

Source: Comedian David Baddiel Presents Show Attacking Holocaust Denial | Beastrabban\’s Weblog

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Trump’s ‘prophets of doom’ speech suggests the UK should NOT enter trade deal with him

Doom: While Donald Trump tells Davos nothing is wrong, the habitat of Australian species – like kangaroos – has been destroyed in fire. Do the flames have to be spreading up Pennsylvania Avenue before he’ll admit the facts?

If the UK enters a trade deal with Donald Trump, won’t it be joining an ‘axis of doom’ with one of the world’s principle climate crisis deniers?

That’s the message from his speech at Davos, where the US president made clear that he was not planning to change his country’s high-carbon economy.

The man who has absolute power to dominate, transform and control the lives of most people in the world decried climate protesters for demanding “absolute power to dominate, transform and control every aspect of our lives.”

That’s a bit hypocritical, isn’t it?

Oh, he said he’d sign up to an initiative to plant, restore and conserve a trillion trees – but hasn’t he noticed how all the trees seem to be catching fire, in the Amazon and Australia?

Climate crisis icon Greta Thunberg has – and she was at Davos where Mr Trump’s speech failed to impress her.

“Our house is still on fire. Your inaction is fuelling the flames by the hour, and we are telling you to act as if you loved your children above all else,” she said.

“You say: ‘We won’t let you down. Don’t be so pessimistic.’ And then, silence.”

And she asked: “What will you tell your children was the reason to fail and leave them facing… climate chaos that you knowingly brought upon them? That it seemed so bad for the economy that we decided to resign the idea of securing future living conditions without even trying?”

The trouble is, she has been saying this for more than a year and those in power haven’t lifted a finger; in other words, she’s right about them.

And history may view such people with extreme prejudice – as UK TV presenter Chris Packham made clear in a speech to TV executives at the annual Bafta television lecture.

He wasn’t afraid to name names, either. He said future generations may come to regard Mr Trump, Vladimir Putin, Jair Bolsonaro and Scott Morrison in a similar way as current generations see Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot, because by then they could have caused the deaths of millions of people.

But while the leaders pay nothing more than lip-service to action on climate change, UK prime minister Boris Johnson is inching closer to a trade deal with Mr Trump – one that, we’re told, will bind him into policies that deny the danger.

Already he has failed to seize opportunities to make a real difference.

Will he bottle it again – and sell us all down the river just so he can have a few American dollars?

Source: Davos: Trump decries climate ‘prophets of doom’ with Thunberg in audience – BBC News

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Tory ‘benefit denial’ policy means tribunal service can’t cope with rise in appeals

Discrimination: The Equalities and Human Rights Commission has been asked to investigate discrimination by the Tory government against disabled benefit claimants.

The Conservative government’s policy of denying Personal Independence Payment (PIP) benefits to people who qualify for it is causing a meltdown at the tribunal service.

The ‘Senior President of Tribunals’ Annual Report’ has revealed that “the rapid rise in appeal numbers has outstripped our ability to recruit and train sufficient numbers of panel members to keep pace”.

Despite a cynical attempt by the Tories to stop appeals by introducing a “mandatory re-assessment” phase in 2014, numbers have risen steadily – to 238,000 in 2018.

In that year, 46 per cent of PIP claimants transferring from DLA saw their payments either downgraded or cancelled – that’s around 435,620 claimants.

So a significant number of genuine claimants have indeed been discouraged by the draconian system the Tories have imposed – benefit fraud is negligible.

But that number is falling, year-on-year as appeals rise and HM Courts and Tribunals Service struggles to cope.

The Tribunals Service has been recruiting more panel members to try to cope with the increase in demand, with 130 new judges, 225 medically qualified members and 125 disability qualified members appointed in the last year.

And a pilot for a new online resolution system is due to begin soon.

The logical solution would be to reform the system in order to give the benefit to people who need it, rather than attempting to deny it by pretending that people don’t have disabilities when they clearly do.

Consider this case.

And this one.

Pensioners are still being targeted for pointless reassessments, with a view to cancelling their payments.

There are many more examples.

Nearly 8,000 people are known to have died within six months of being denied the benefit.

And that’s the point. The expense and inconvenience to the Tribunals Service is of no interest to the Conservative government.

This is a programme of elimination. The Tories are getting rid of people they consider to be “useless eaters” (as the Nazis in Germany used to describe people with disabilities).

Denying them the financial resources to support themselves means they are more likely to die.

And the more disabled people die, the happier the Tories will be.

Source: Tribunals Service unable to keep up with rise in appeals

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‘Degrading and humiliating’ – why do police treat disabled people so badly?

Targeted: Is the Met police’s ill-treatment of disabled people part of an overarching policy of discrimination against them?

The Metropolitan Police has been accused of “degrading and humiliating” treatment of people with disabilities who took part in the Extinction Rebellion protests in London.

In isolation, this would be bad enough – but it is just the latest in a series of incidents targeting disabled protesters, by forces across the UK.

Now the Met’s independent advisory group says the bullying that took place may have caused “irreparable damage” to relations with disabled people.

Stop and think about that. This isn’t just a public relations problem – it’s a disaster for the police: “irreparable damage.”

According to The Guardian, advisory group chair Anne Novis said everybody in that organisation – all of them – were on the point of resigning because of the stories they were hearing from disabled people.

This is entirely understandable. The claim is that people with disabilities were deliberately and aggressively targeted by police.

Here’s an example of what police were doing: When a disabled protester outside Scotland Yard needed a carer to adjust her supplemental oxygen and provide other medicine, police arrested both on the grounds that they were an illegal assembly.

They had been there to protest after police had confiscated independent living equipment including wheelchairs, disability ramps, noise-cancelling headphones, specially adapted toilets and other items intended to make protest sites accessible to disabled people.

Another incident saw a blind protester released without his cane. And left to get home without any help at all.

Legal observers for Extinction Rebellion said they had expected violence by police – but had not reckoned on it being almost exclusively directed at disabled people in what appeared to be a “deliberate intimidation tactic”.

The Met has claimed that it does not single out any minority group or community – but this is unpersuasive in the light of the mountain of evidence against it.

And it seems part of a nationwide policy to target the disabled. Remember when anti-fracking protesters in Lancashire were targeted by police?

Those people then faced a secondary attack from the Department for Work and Pensions, who claimed that they did not deserve sickness and/or disability benefits because they were well enough to take part in a protest. Remember that?

We discovered then that the police had an agreement to share information on protesters with the DWP, precisely to help that government department unfairly strip disabled people of their benefits.

Loss of state benefits – for a disabled person – has led to starvation, the worsening of their condition through lack of medication, and – in some cases – suicide.

It may be considered an attempt to pass a death sentence on them, simply for daring to protest against something that is wrong.

Has the Met passed the details of the disabled XR protesters to the DWP, in the hope of forcing them into that fate?

I don’t know. But I feel sure we will find out.

Let us hope that we do so before it is too late.

Source: Met police accused of ‘degrading’ treatment of disabled XR activists | UK news | The Guardian

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