Tag Archives: joke

Charlie Brooker becomes next celeb to end his career with a ‘joke’ about Labour and anti-Semitism

Propaganda: It seems the BBC isn’t restricting its political lies solely to news programmes, but has expanded into comedy.

Has it become a contractual obligation that celebrities appearing on the BBC’s Have I Got News For You now have to reel out a duff comment connecting the Labour Party or Jeremy Corbyn and anti-Semitism, and pretend that it’s a funny joke?

It was sad enough when Victoria Coren Mitchell did it, linking Labour with the anti-Semitic trope about a Jewish bankers’ conspiracy. Because the Labour leadership has never suggested it believes anything of the sort, it was in fact she who committed the anti-Semitic slur.

Now Charlie Brooker has used his appearance to link Labour with Holocaust denial:

Did you hear that audience reaction? They didn’t like it at all. That was the sound of a career ending, as Simon Maginn implies here:

And here:

As I say, though, it seems entirely possible that reading an anti-Labour jab from an autocue is now a contractual obligation. But Mr Brooker can’t be so hard-up for cash that he would abandon any principles and ruin his reputation for the sake of 30 pieces of silver from the BBC… can he? We note that he hasn’t exactly been running out to defend himself:

Sadly, Mr Brooker’s (probably-scripted) outburst seems to have achieved what these behaviours often do – and got someone else to join in. Isn’t this Phil Wang from the same programme?

It isn’t satire; it’s just a bad lie. What a way to commit career suicide.

And it seems Have I Got Lies For You may be on its way out now, as well.

There will be plenty of people who like the propaganda-pumping attitude the programme is currently showing – but if enough of us kick it into touch, then maybe the BBC will get the message.

We don’t like lies, and we don’t like people who lie to us.

Worst of all is the probability that Boris Johnson will use this as part of his excuse to axe the BBC’s status as the UK’s public service broadcaster and remove the requirement to pay the licence fee.

Still, the BBC did its best to ensure the Tories won the general election, knowing that this would be on the cards.

The Corporation’s bosses really are like turkeys voting for Christmas.

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Tory racism and sexism: here’s Michael Gove


We all know that Boris Johnson is a racist and an Islamophobe of the ugliest kind. Right?

He’s not even the only one at the top of the Tory Party. What about Michael Gove?

Consider this:

Michael Gove has been urged to apologise for mocking UK grime artist Stormzy and resorting to using “prejudicial” language in response to the musician’s criticisms of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Mr Gove responded to comments made by Stormzy in an Instagram post, in which the musician urged his millions of followers to register to vote, while stating that he would back Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and called Mr Johnson a “sinister man with a long record of lying”.

The Cabinet minister responded to Stormzy’s post by suggesting that the grime artist – who has often been outspoken about politics – is a “far better rapper than political analyst”.

He followed up the comments with a tweet saying “I set trends dem man copy” – a line from Stormzy’s 2015 song Shut Up – to which Conservative MEP Daniel Hannah responded “big man ting”.

Many mocked him on the platform for the tweet while others called for him to delete it, and Labour MP David Lammy said Mr Gove was “sanctioning crass stereotypes after telling an intelligent, successful young black man to stay out of politics”.

Shadow equalities minister Naz Shah said of Mr Gove’s tweets: “On the day that Labour has launched our Race and Faith Manifesto to tackle racism and prejudice in our society, Michael Gove betrays his own racism and prejudice.”

Let us also remember that Michael Gove is the Tory who thinks that rape is funny.

Source: Michael Gove told to apologise over ‘crass stereotypes’ after saying Labour-backing Stormzy should stay out of politics | inews

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Peston’s ‘China’ accusation backfires as Labour supporters react with fury

Ill-humoured: Robert Peston.

Look at the state of this, about the Labour conference vote yesterday that supported the leadership’s position on Brexit, rather than changing to support remaining in the European Union:

In his article, Robert Peston states: “The Brexit position of the trade unions was always a red herring, what magicians call misdirection. What mattered was who was in the hall.

“And that was sorted weeks ago though the choice of delegates.

“For spectators like me – who spent 15 years observing the tactics of China’s leaders – all this is quite familiar.

“For passionate Labour Remainers, it’s infuriating.”

This is a lie. Peston was claiming that delegates to the Labour conference were chosen by Jeremy Corbyn to support his position on Brexit, when in fact they are chosen by their fellow constituency party members.

As Richard Seymour states: “This is literally a conspiracy theory about the official opposition being published by a major national broadcaster. They ought to withdraw this.”

And he’s not the only one to react furiously:

So Mr Peston changed tack and decided to suggest he was joking. That didn’t go down well either:

Sadly, the mainstream media seem determined to mislead the public about Labour’s attitude towards Brexit. Consider this, from the BBC’s Norman Smith – and the response:

Labour is now the only mainstream political party that will give all UK electors a voice on the UK’s exit from the European Union.

The Tories will take us out on terms that seem most likely to benefit Boris Johnson’s business partners.

The Liberal Democrats will keep us in, without offering the people a chance to make a decision.

Labour will honour the 2016 referendum by negotiating a new exit deal with the EU, and will bring this deal back to the electorate for a decision, alongside the possibility of remaining in the EU after all.

This is the only way democracy may be honoured in this matter.

Now all we need to do is get rid of Boris Johnson’s attempted dictatorship and bring in a Labour government. Right?

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DWP response to Jodey Whiting petition is a ‘joke’ according to her mother

Jodey Whiting, 42, took her own life after her benefits were stopped [Image: Evening Gazette].

Remember when I said I wasn’t the best person to provide a commentary on the DWP’s response to the ‘Justice for Jodey Whiting’ petition?

Disability News Service has found someone much better: Her mother.

The petition demands an independent inquiry into deaths linked to the DWP, after the department ignored its own safeguarding policies no less than five times in the weeks leading up to her suicide in February 2017.

I poured scorn on the DWP’s response to the petition – which had earned more than 27,000 signatures at the time.

According to DNS, Joy Dove – Ms Whiting’s mother – said the DWP response to the petition was “a joke”, and that her message to DWP was: “You have put everything in your response to the petition that you did not do to safeguard Jodey.

“You killed my daughter by not safeguarding her.”

She added: “They should have practised what they are trying to preach now. They are responsible for Jodey’s death.”

She said she was appalled that the DWP response suggested that the £10,000 ICE ordered DWP to pay the family as a “consolatory payment” was “compensation” for her daughter’s death.

Dove said that £9,000 was given to Jodey’s nine children, while the other £1,000 was used to pay off some of the debts she had built up in paying for her daughter’s funeral.

She said: “It’s not about money. I will carry on. They can’t say it’s settled. I signed nothing. I want justice.”

Ms Dove has said she wants to take legal action against the DWP. I would like to see the department taken to court for all the deaths it caused.

Wouldn’t you like that too?

Source: Justice for Jodey Whiting: Mum brands DWP’s petition response ‘a joke’


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Vladimir Putin is keen for us to get on with Brexit. Let’s laugh at him

Putin: He’s a big noise on the international stage but still hasn’t worked up the courage to go “full Godiva”.

Russian president Vladimir Putin thinks he’s a proper cheeky monkey, doesn’t he?

We all know there is evidence that suggests his government interfered with the European Union referendum in 2016, thanks to the efforts of campaigns like Arron Banks’s Leave.EU.

Part of that evidence includes a claim by current UK Chancellor Philip Hammond that Russia was the only country that would benefit from the UK leaving the EU – and now Mr Putin is demanding that the UK get on with it.

Trouble is, there are many people in the UK who say the decision to leave is based on false information and tainted by the (alleged) interference of Mr Putin and Russia.

So we need to be a little circumspect about the matter – and the last thing we want is to rush into anything just because the leader of some other country is antagonising us.

He’s probably worried about the increasing likelihood of a so-called “People’s Vote” mandating the government to keep us in the EU after all.

And in fact, his nagging tends to support the case against people lie Mr Banks, and undermines the validity of the decision of that 2016 plebiscite.

Furthermore, after he was accused of responsibility for the Salisbury and Amesbury poisonings by Theresa May, British people are rightly wondering why he thinks Mrs May would want to do anything, just because he demanded it. The fact that she is desperately trying to get us out of the EU before the end of March is therefore a mystery to us – unless we conclude that she really does have friends who are tax evaders and is trying to protect them from a Euro law that comes into force in April.

So I tend to support the decision of those on the social media who have chosen to make a mockery of the Russian leader instead.

If you’ve seen a comment that you think should be included, feel free to send it in as a comment.

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Tory minister for suicide prevention: ‘Like curing malaria with the plague’

Jackie Doyle-Price: The new minister for suicide prevention supported all the policies that have pushed people to take their own lives – and joked about suicide as well. Is that what the Tories think this issue is – a joke?

It was an easy mistake to make. When I heard the Conservative government had appointed a minister for suicide prevention I thought, “Does this mean they’re finally accepting responsibility?”

Alas, I was mistaken.

But you only have to look back over the last six years of Vox Political‘s output to see the Tory record, going back to my report on the Bedroom Tax-related death of Stephanie Bottrill. Her inquest found that stress and pressure placed on her by the Conservative-led government of the day contributed to her suicide.

You would also be well-advised to revist my article about ‘chequebook euthanasia’ – the idea that the Conservative government consciously drives benefit claimants – especially people with long-term illnesses and disabilities – to suicide in a way that means they can then deny any connection with the death.

We have seen such denials many times in recent years, embodied in the now-standard claim that “correlation does not equal causation” and “suicide is complicated; there are many possible causes”.

Sure, correlation does not necessarily equal causation. However, when half of all the women who have ever taken the Tory government’s Work Capability Assessment have attempted suicide – as The Independent has told us – I think it’s safe to say Conservative policies push people towards it.

But the announcement of Jackie Doyle-Price’s appointment to the new role said only that she would “help tackle the stigma” associated with suicide. And the only initiative announced was support in schools.

And her commitment to the role was instantly called into question when it was revealed that Ms Doyle-Price has consistently voted for the cuts in social security benefits that have been blamed for the multitude of suicides and suicide attempts.

Nursing Notes tells us: “According to the website TheyWorkForYou, Ms. Doyle-Price has consistently voted to reduce housing benefit, voted against raising benefits in line with inflation, voted against paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability and voted forty-six times for an overall reduction in spending on welfare benefits.

“Statistics show that those with long-term physical or mental health issues are significantly more likely to be dependent on the state for assistance with housing and living costs.

“Social isolation, financial and health struggles are thought to be some of the leading risk factors for preventable suicide in the UK.”

The article quotes Vicki Nash, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Mind, who said: “Mind found that half of people with mental health problems have thought about or attempted suicide as a result of social issues such as housing issues, finances, benefit support, and employment. We need a benefits system that is supportive – not one that drives people into poverty.”

Damn straight, Keith.

The revelation that she actually made a joke about suicide makes it even worse.

https://twitter.com/MattTurner4L/status/1050070483876614144

This Site’s long-time friend and fellow campaigner for the rights of sick and disabled people, Samuel Miller, has raised a few pertinent points on this matter, especially the final one:

Was it? I don’t think so.

I think it was a signal; they appointed the least appropriate person for the job because they think the deaths and attempted deaths of hundreds of thousands of people are nothing but a big joke. They really are that repulsive.

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Tory Muslim peer receives ‘vile Islamophobic emails’ after calling for Boris Johnson to be kicked out – proving racism in the party?

Boris Johnson: All he wanted was publicity – and like gullible idiotrs, we gave it to him.

This Writer suggested – only two days ago – that Boris Johnson’s “joke” about burqa-wearing Muslim women was garnering support for him among racists.

It seems I was correct.

Of course we should not take anything a politician says at face value – Ruth Smeeth claimed to have received 25,000 anti-Semitic messages via social media, 20,000 of them in 12 hours. But research by Jewish organisation the Community Security Trust showed a peak of only 200 such messages, nationally, per day at the time of the alleged abuse, suggesting that she was… exaggerating.

And Mr Johnson?

He won’t care what Lord Sheikh says. Nor will he care about any disciplinary action by the Conservative Party.

He probably thinks, as other commentators do, that Theresa May will not want to upset supporters of Mr Johnson before crucial Brexit votes in the autumn.

So what has he achieved with his “joke”?

Publicity – for himself. And that is all he wanted.

Conservative Muslim forum founder, Lord Sheikh, has said he has received dozens of “vile” Islamophobic emails after calling for Boris Johnson to be removed from the Conservative Party after his remarks about niqabs.

The Tory peer said the ex-foreign secretary had also “let the genie out of the bottle” after he suggested veiled Muslim women resembled “letter boxes” and “bank robbers”.

He told BBC Newsnight he had received the “vile“ emails, with “obscene language” since calling for the Conservatives to withdraw the whip from Mr Johnson.

His remarks came after the Conservative Party’s decision to consider disciplinary proceedings against Mr Johnson – a move that has led to criticism of Theresa May from Brexiteer MPs who claim the complaints are politically driven.

Source: Tory Muslim peer who called for Boris Johnson to be kicked out of party receives barrage of ‘vile Islamophobic emails’ | The Independent

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Rowan Atkinson defends Boris Johnson’s burqa ‘joke’ – but did he consider the intent behind it?

Rowan Atkinson: He’s entitled to his opinion.

The last time I can recall Rowan Atkinson raising his head above the parapet to give an opinion on political matters, I thought he was right.

Not so sure about this one, though.

Mr Atkinson has defended remarks made by Boris Johnson in a Torygraph article, in which he suggested that women wearing burqas look like “letterboxes” and “bank robbers”.

Mr Atkinson reckons it was a good joke.

I can only say, paraphrasing one of his own sketches: “Good? No. Joke? … No.”

Boris Johnson is a man with a history of racist behaviour that has been well-quoted here and in the mainstream media. He has ‘form’ when it comes to offending people of other cultures.

Therefore we may assume there was a malicious intent behind his words.

If they had appeared in a comedy sketch on TV, spoken by a character we were supposed to find amusing for his views, then it would be a different matter.

That said, Mr Johnson has shone the spotlight on a difficult issue.

Some people do find the burqa a questionable item of clothing.

Some are intimidated by it, and by those who wear it.

Many have pointed out that there is no way of verifying the identity of the person wearing it. Mrs Mike has even suggested it would be hard to be sure, even, of their gender.

She referred to the question of how their identity is checked at airports, saying that women wearing face-coverings are routinely excused from the kind of checks that other people have to undergo. I can confirm that this is not true.

UK Border Agency guidance makes it clear that: “It is a requirement that Border Force Officers always establish the nationality and identity of all passengers.  Officers are requested that passengers wearing veils or other face coverings ask to remove the covering in order that they may be identified as the rightful holder of their passport or travel document.”

(This sentence seems garbled. I think they mean officers are encouraged to ask passengers wearing veils or other face-coverings to remove them for the purposes of identification.)

“The UK Border Agency recognises that individual sensitivities must be taken into consideration, therefore if a passenger is uncomfortable removing their face covering in public they are escorted to a private room away from the border checkpoint and asked to uncover their face there.

“Female passengers, who are uncomfortable removing a face covering in public and/or in the presence of males, are checked in private by a female officer.”

The other issues are less easy to answer. It occurs to me that, as there is a perceived problem, perhaps Muslim women would be best-placed to tackle it, with an effort to allay the fears of those who question the use of this particular item of apparel, and the need for it.

This is an instance of culture shock – two cultures have collided and are finding it hard to reconcile themselves on certain levels.

The only meaningful way to do that is communication. If Boris Johnson’s remarks trigger an increase in fruitful discourse, then something good will have come from them.

But I don’t think for one moment that this is what that man intended and I look forward to the Conservative Party’s disciplinary proceedings against him.

Rowan Atkinson has defended Boris Johnson after his controversial comments about women wearing burkas.

The actor, known for his comedy performances in Mr Bean and Blackadder, said the remarks were funny.

Atkinson wrote in a letter to The Times: ‘As a lifelong beneficiary of the freedom to make jokes about religion, I do think that Boris Johnson’s joke about wearers of the burka resembling letterboxes is a pretty good one.’

He added: ‘All jokes about religion cause offence, so it’s pointless apologising for them.

‘You should really only apologise for a bad joke. On that basis, no apology is required.’

Source: Rowan Atkinson backs Boris Johnson because ‘you should only ever apologise for a bad joke’ | Metro News

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Considering her choice of representatives, is Theresa May having a laugh at young people’s expense?

Theresa May is laughing at us all.

I think this tweet makes a lot of sense.

What do you reckon?


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Cabinet minister Michael Gove made a RAPE joke* on national radio. Where’s Nusrat Ghani?

A week in politics really is a long, long time. At the start of this week, Nusrat Ghani was demanding an emergency debate in Parliament over Clive Lewis’s use of the phrase “Get on your knees, bitch”. Here at the end, Michael Gove has made a comment that is arguably far worse and neither she nor any other Conservative has anything to say.

Mr Gove is a Cabinet minister – the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

It is not appropriate for him to make such a comment, and an apology after the event –

– is not enough.

The fact that he spoke those words means he thought it was acceptable to do so – belittling the experience of every woman who has ever fallen foul of Mr Weinstein’s unwanted attentions.

Worse still, this attitude to rape seems to be a family trait as Mr Gove’s wife, Sarah Vine, has also made a comment that is staggering in its insensitivity:

Has she apologised?

Fortunately for our national character, plenty of people have come forward to criticise Mr Gove’s appalling remark, even if the government won’t. Let’s start with the only question worth asking:

https://twitter.com/AGayLabourLefty/status/924180579456835584

At the very least, as mentioned above, Nusrat Ghani should have something to say:

But the silence has been deafening.

Appraisals of Mr Gove’s own character are fair comment after his own words:

There has been criticism of Radio 4 for allowing it and failing to apologise afterwards:

And there is speculation on the thinking behind it:

Yes he did.

And he has put Theresa May in an untenable position. She has a very small pool of talent (if you can call it that) from which to draw her Cabinet ministers, and Mr Gove – like Boris Johnson – is most likely only a member because he can command the support of a significant number of Conservative backbenchers.

If she sacks him, then he’ll take that support away with him and Mrs May’s position as prime minister will be weakened – it would only take a moment of spite for Mr Gove to undermine her on a crucial issue, possibly triggering the end of her government.

But if she doesn’t, then she is tacitly supporting his words and betraying rape victims – not just those who have made allegations against Mr Weinstein, but everywhere. That could be just as damaging for her.

As for Mr Gove himself, the future of his career is looking rocky, because we now have the perfect answer to every policy announcement, every speech and every opinion he puts forward:

“Nobody cares what you say any more, Mr Gove. You think rape is funny.”

*This is an oxymoron, of course. Let us all be clear that here is nothing remotely funny about rape (unless you are a Conservative Cabinet minister, it seems).


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