This one refers to Boris Johnson’s claim that he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than begging for an extension to the deadline for the UK to leave the EU. That comment has spawned a series of satires all of its own, of which this is just one example:
There are many of these takedowns out there. Have a look on the social media for some more if you like – or make one yourself.
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.
The way This Site – and others – uses images may have to change radically after the European Parliament approved new laws on copyright.
The European Copyright Directive requires organisations to pay licence fees to publications like newspapers for linking to their material (Article 11) and demands that websites that host user-generated content prevent copyrighted material from being uploaded without permission, or be held liable for their users’ copyright infringement (Article 13).
It means you can wave goodbye to that old, trusty meme based on a line from a movie – the line and the image are copyright material and your host, including Facebook, Twitter and the other social media platforms, will have to pay for its use. The combined bill could equal the GDP of a small – or indeed large – country and nobody in business is likely to accept that kind of risk.
And it means I’ll need to rethink the images I use here. I experimented with ‘cartoonising’ images of political figures as illustrations, about a year ago, but some readers complained. It may be that I’ll have to stop using images for a while, although that would certainly harm the number of visits to the site; people are attracted by appropriate imagery.
It seems, thanks to the European Parliament, the future is blank.
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Here’s another post full of food for thought about a Conservative policy, in time for their party conference. This time the subject is fracking, and now it’s over to RealFare:
The good people over at Talk Fracking have been putting together some excellent images and opportunities to ask questions through myfrackingquestions.org. Make sure you stay up to date with their Facebook page here.
Readers who visit the Vox Political Facebook page may be familiar with a commenter calling himself Lee Harris, who tries to take Yr Obdt Srvt to task every time a post appears that is critical of UKIP. Recently he started using the Rotherham abuse scandal in an attempt at political point-scoring against the Labour Party. If memory serves correctly, he has also posted links to a website calling itself ‘Labour 25’, containing stories about paedophilia among Labour Party members. Another commenter, Harvey Paul, posted a link to the same site in the ‘posts to page’.
Here’s why: As good UKIP members, it seems they have been ordered to use this issue – and the site, which was originally created by the British National Party, so now you know for sure on which side of the political fence UKIP sits! – to stir up public feeling against decent, law-abiding Labour members such as Yr Obdt Srvt.
The following article by Still Laughing At UKIP (SLATUKIP) lays it all out. It is published here in full, with apologies to the originators, because the issue is so important and the behaviour of UKIP and its members has been so utterly vile. You may see the occasional interjection in bold type; this will be a warning about the kind of material you may see if you click on certain links.
Here is the article:
Not many things shock us, but UKIP’s latest tactics to score political points on the back of a tragedy that has rocked our country, and use it to their advantage, is truly the lowest we have seen them go so far.
This morning (15/09) we were shown this tweet [do not click on this if you are of a nervous disposition; the image is appalling and may trigger a very strong emotional response] made by an account which is often tweeting pro-UKIP propaganda, and which was ‘favourited’ by our old friend Robin Cook.
We’re not going to reproduce the image of the screenshot we have here, or tweet it, because it’s so utterly vile and deserves no coverage. This is the worst we have seen in a continuous stream of memes and images attacking the Labour Party, and those who oppose UKIP, or those who oppose racial hatred directed at innocent Muslims.
Here are some other examples.
The following screenshot is crazy.
Child abuse exclusive to Labour areas only? I know most of UKIP’s support is misguided, but this?
In this one, UKIP is referring to BNP propaganda ‘Labour25′ that was doing the rounds over the years.
Here ‘Tommy Robinson’ ex leader of the EDL gets involved and shows his support.
And all this is seemingly legitimised by people like Jane Collins MEP, who seems to be able to refer to Labour as the ‘Paedophile Protection Party’? We’ve blogged about her before.
We ask this. If UKIP feel this is how to run a political campaign, by accusing everyone who opposes them of being paedophiles, or paedophile protectors/appeasers etc, then what are they actually capable of in power?
Watching the news, the sheer number of child abuse victims mentioned in the report released by Rotherham Borough Council is monstrous. Today, a four-digit figure, and the suffering it represents, may have unshakably left a mark on the psyche of the British people – 1400. And rightly so – there is a danger of us all, liberal, or conservative, UKIP or non-UKIP, seeing this through the lens of social politics; prioritising the defending/attacking of the ‘PC cover-up’ theory over quiet reflection on the plight of the victims. We are determined not to do this and trust that others will not either, regardless of political affiliation. After appropriate time for reflection has passed, we can have a sensible, non-partisan debate about the causes of this unfathomably prolonged and heinous tragedy.
Thank you and take care.
If you were a UKIP sympathiser before reading this, how do you feel now? Sickened to the depths of your stomach? This is the political organisation that tricked the electorate into giving it more than 20 seats in the European Parliament last Spring; this is the party that likes to use – and identify itself with – far-right-wing BNP material to smear its opponents; this is the party that thinks it is all right to score political points using paedophilia.
Who’s willing to bet Farage will turn up to deny having anything to do with it?
It isn’t VP policy to name names usually, but this gentleman’s tone was so aggressive that he deserves to be identified. On his own FB page he describes himself as ‘Belligerent Ruler of the Planet Earth’. You are encouraged to visit if you want to enjoy more of his pearls of wisdom, such as: “Mental. Thankyou very much to the lefty anti-UKIP article someone posted the other week listing me in the top 8 ‘worst UKIP tweeters’ my Twitter following gave me a much needed boost from fellow Kippers!”
He’s right – that is mental. Or maybe they are…
His communication with me was as follows (in fact the first is much the same as a comment he posted to the blog itself): “The UKIP picture you have published as an article was created by a Green Party member/supporter before the European and Council Elections.
“It’s so outdated it’s cringeworthy.”
Let’s just pause for a moment and look at the caption under the image, which states that “Most of the links on this now-infamous meme have been taken down by UKIP members, anxious to hide the embarrassing facts they revealed. The vote in favour of marital rape is not so easily removed as it is recorded on the European Parliament’s official website.” It explains perfectly adequately that matters have moved on since the image was created.
Back to Mr Evans, who asks: “Are you just recycling out info to damage UKIP or are you genuinely just that out of date?!”
Neither. I was using it as a direct example of the way UKIP behaves.
“The picture makes use of 2010 manifesto policies which have long since been abandoned.
“UKIP’s 2015 General Election manifesto doesn’t come out until September. Same goes for the other parties if you hadn’t realised. So how on Earth can you be critical about any parties policies for an election when they haven’t even been released yet?!
“In fact the only certain policies released by UKIP aren’t mentioned anywhere in your article or that picture so are you intentionally trying to be misleading?!”
You will know, Dear Reader, that this ground has been covered very thoroughly already – here, for example, and also here and here.
So Yr Obdt Srvt was very sure of his ground when he responded: “I checked the accuracy of the information contained in the meme and was able to substantiate everything except the claim about cutting education funding to build aircraft carriers.
“Just because this information has since been taken down (to eliminate embarrassment for the party?) that does not make it any less valid.
“Don’t waste my time with the argument about the manifesto.
“And don’t waste my time with suggestions that I am trying to be misleading. It is UKIP that has tried to mislead the public, and it is UKIP that is desperately trying to cover up its policy indiscretions.”
Alas – as noted in my article earlier today, Kippers don’t like to let the facts get in their way. Mr Evans got back to me with the following:
“Eliminate what embarrassment?
“You are referring to past policies as current policies in your article.”
No. He inferred that, but the line “Policies put forward by UKIP or by high-level members of UKIP include…”, although a quotation from a previous article, is as accurate now as it was when it was first typed, a couple of months ago. UKIP, or high-level members, did put forward those policies. There is no reference in today’s article to whether they are from the past or still active.
“2010 manifesto – 4 years ago for the 2010 General Election “2015 manifesto – Released in September this year for 2015 General Election.”
None of the references in the meme – or those that were discovered when VP was researching its allegations – are from this 2010 manifesto, though. Some are from the 2013 manifesto, and some are from the party’s own policy page (now deleted, although the likelihood of eliminating embarrassment is muted by the fact that UKIP cannot say it was left there for so long by mistake and still expect to be taken seriously).
“UKIP have only divulged a handful of policies non of which are detailed on the picture you referenced.”
Perhaps they weren’t relevant to the points being made.
“What you have referenced has been discussed to death on Twitter and Facebook and even the Green Party chap who created it has admitted it is outdated information.”
We’ll get back to Mr Abberton momentarily.
“Nigel Farage party leader said 5 MONTHS AGO that the 2010 manifesto is outdated, unwanted and will not be used again policies wise for the next General Election.
“Lord Pearson of Rannoch was the party leader at the time of the 2010 election, he compiled and produced the manifesto.”
Irrelevant, for reasons mentioned above. Now we get to the grit:
“Your comment about ’embarrassing the party’ is more an ’embarrassment’ to yourself. You are referencing outdated information as if it is current policies and information. So what you are in fact doing as you have been informed to this fact by myself is lying to your readers…
“Is this what you are? A person intentionally lying to mislead the electorate? If so please tell me…
“You say that UKIP are misleading the electorate. Feel free to tell me how?
“UKIP have said on numerous occasions, varying members and reps that the 2010 manifesto is defunct and not worth the paper it is written on. It no-longer represents UKIP.
“Yet you are posting it as current information which is misleading.
“You are the liar. You have been informed and if you continue to mislead people with discredited and past policies I will make people fully aware of your willingness to do so and your willingness to mislead people for your political agenda.
“You have been warned.”
Let’s go back to Michael Abberton, the “Green Party chap” mentioned a few paragraphs ago.
He and his meme first came to attention when it was revealed that the police had been sent to visit him after UKIP complained about an entry in his own blog, The Axe of Reason. He said he knew the image had been on Twitter for a while so he had set about seeing if its claims could be verified.
In his blog discussing the police visit, far from admitting he was quoting outdated policies, he states: “All I had done is promote the party policy using links to their own sources – no editorialising, no commenting. And in fairness highlighted those allegations I could find no evidence for.”
Take a look at the date on the blog – May this year. “So outdated it’s cringeworthy“?
Mr Abberton continued: “About fifteen minutes after they left I received a threatening tweet from a party member I had had an exchange with earlier in the day. Though appearing to be no more than a party supporter, he seemed to know that the police had been involved. I copied the tweet and sent it to the police.”
So we have evidence that Kippers are willing to cause a nuisance with the police in order to silence critics who have divulged information that UKIP would rather keep quiet, and we have a Kipper who has denounced Yr Obdt Srvt as a liar (despite the evidence to the contrary) and who has “warned” that he will act against VP if the blog continues in its function, which is to provide accurate information, no matter what he asserts.
For further information on Vox Political‘s attitude to this kind of interference, see the Scriptonite blog on the same matter.
That is why he got this response: “They are not discredited policies. They are not past policies until they are replaced with something else.
“It is UKIP that is trying to mislead – the party’s attempts to shut down its critics are a clear example of this.
“Don’t think for a moment that you can threaten me. I’m fully aware that UKIP and its adherents like to throw their weight around and I am not impressed at all.
“Now you’d better get off my page before I have you slung out of Facebook for threatening behaviour.”
There will be no tolerance of any UKIP member or representative who wants to threaten this blog, Mr Evans.
Yesterday’s article (UKIP: They don’t like it up ’em) delved into the facts behind a controversial meme that has been doing the rounds on the social media.
The image claims to be publicising UKIP policies, and seven out of the 10 policies claimed for the party have been verified, as demonstrated in the VP article.
Vox Political has been doing a little digging into the others.
The claim that UKIP wants to cancel all planned house-building on Green Belt land appears to have been based on the party’s 2010 general election and 2013 local election manifestos, which are no longer available to the public. Party members have stated many times, recently, that Nigel Farage has rubbished the 2010 document and its contents are not to be taken as UKIP policy. The party’s attitude to its manifesto from last year is less clear.
The relevant line, as quoted in this Property Newshound blog, is: “by controlling immigration, large areas of British countryside will not need to be destroyed by house building.” The rest of the article is well worth reading too.
“Conservatives say: ‘So we need to find places to build more homes…’ (page 2)
“UKIP reply: Not on green belt land!”
The strange thing is that preventing development of Green Belt land should not be a controversial issue, yet I have just – as I have been writing this blog – received a comment from a UKIP supporter stating: “Every bullet point [on the meme] is a fiction, written by a Green Party activist.”
Where does that leave UKIP policy? Does the party now want to build on Green Belt land, because the Green Party (apparently) opposes it?
Personally, I’m against that. My former home in Bristol was on the edge of the city, next to Green Belt land which became threatened by the South Western regional assembly (whatever it was called). Residents had a terrible time fighting off the proposed development, which seemed to be motivated solely by a desire to build a new road to Bristol Airport, enabling faster journeys from it to the city and back.
Building on the Green Belt – of any kind other than what is absolutely necessary for agricultural purposes – should be banned, in the opinion of this writer. It is land that has been set aside in the national interest, and proposals to develop it should be seen for what they are – money-grubbing by disinterested corporates who live in mansions on estates that will never be disturbed by such environmentally-damaging raids.
The claim that UKIP wants to cancel bank regulations “to make banks safer” was a commitment on the party’s policy website, according to this article in The Yorker(which is simply the first I found in a Google search). The Yorker is a student-run media site, based at the University of York, which claims no political affiliations at all.
It states: “According to their policy website UKIP… wants [to] further de-regulate the city… Indeed their primary reasons for leaving the EU relate to the need to cut such rights and regulations in the name of The City and big business.”
This would appear to be corroborated by Nigel Farage himself, who wrote in an Independent article in January this year: “And let’s look closer to home for where the fault lies with the banking crisis. I know it might still be trendy to “bash the bankers” but this crash was entirely predictable. It was Gordon Brown handing over regulation of the banking industry from the Bank of England who, since 1694 has done a pretty good job, and handed it over to the tick-box bureaucrats in Canary Wharf.”
It seems the case for UKIP wanting bank deregulation is also proven.
Unlike the Green Belt issue, bank deregulation would be a huge mistake for the UK. Farage is wrong in his claim that Gordon Brown was at fault for re-introducing regulation to the banking sector; it is the fact that he didn’t introduce enough regulation that let us down. The banks all told him that they were perfectly capable of policing themselves, and he took them at face value. Meanwhile the Conservatives, who have been blaming Labour for being too loose with regulation ever since they got back into office, despite doing nothing about the issue themselves, were calling for even less regulation at the time of the banking crash.
The UK requires more banking regulation, not less. Less regulation would encourage further abuses of the banking system and would inevitably lead to another disaster. This time the consequences could be appalling, for millions of low-paid British citizens. Farage does not clarify why he wants to court this.
Was anybody else astonished to read, on Facebook this afternoon (May 12), that police had visited a person who had posted a version of the above meme on Twitter, and told said person to remove it as UKIP had made a formal complaint?
The truth of the matter became irrelevant very shortly after, when the image was merrily shared and re-shared across the social media by those of us (let’s face it; a version is directly above these words. VP is as much a part of this act as anyone) who weren’t going to put up with even the rumour of such heavy-handed behaviour.
Shortly afterwards, the referenced version of the meme appeared – it’s what you saw when you loaded up this article.
Readers with good taste in comedy will recognise our headline as a catchphrase of Lance Corporal Jones in Dad’s Army, made with reference to the German Army and to the “fuzzy-wuzzies” – as Jones refers in casually racist (yet of-the-times) terms to his erstwhile opponents when he was fighting colonial wars in South Africa. Although they’re not likely to enjoy being ranked alongside either of Jones’s targets, UKIP supporters proved that they really don’t like it up ’em – and responded with fury.
“This is not doing the right thing by Britons by posting propaganda rubbish like this one,” wrote one outraged ‘Kipper’.
That would be “misleading information that is systematically spread”, according to the VP dictionary. Thank goodness we can look up the websites referenced on the image and make up our own minds! But it should be noted that anyone trying this should hurry – some of the sites mentioned have already been changed.
For example, VP is informed that Amjad Bashir has changed his website to remove the reference to maternity pay and other employment rights. Fortunately, another member of our online community had the presence of mind to keep a copy of the site as it was before the edit, and created an image that demonstrates the differences.
The point is confirmed on UKIP member Keith Rowe’s website, where item 3.2 states: “UKIP proposes to vastly simplify this legislation. It would be up to each employer to decide whether to offer parental leave.” That would mean the end of Statutory Maternity Pay.
Further down, Mr Rowe confirms UKIP’s plan to raise Income Tax for most of us, while also cutting it for the richest people in the UK: “The cornerstone of UKIP’s tax policies is to roll employees’ National Insurance and basic rate income tax into a flat rate of income tax of 31 per cent for all sources of personal income (except pension income).”
On holiday entitlement, Mr Rowe tells us: “UKIP would put an end to most legislation regarding matters such as weekly working hours, holidays and holiday, overtime, redundancy or sick pay etc.”
UKIP supporters would argue strongly that the party does not intend to speed up privatisation of the NHS, and Mr Rowe’s website expends a large amount of verbiage trying to obfuscate what is intended. But the gist is here: “UKIP will abolish the complex competitive tendering rules which currently make it very difficult for smaller companies to bid; as a result of which, a small number of large companies have a disproportionate share of NHS business. In addition, the UKIP will require the NHS to use people with commercial experience to negotiate with the private sector.” This means that UKIP would continue the Coalition policy of inviting private companies to bid for the right to provide NHS services, making a profit from the taxpayer in doing so.
The section entitled ‘Looking Ahead’ suggests worse to come: “UKIP would like to offer people a choice of how they wish their health care to be delivered… We believe that other models are worth considering to see whether lessons can be learned from abroad… which appear to offer more choice, shorter waiting times and objectively better health outcomes at comparable cost and have been praised for their lack of bureaucracy.”
On climate change, the UKIP leaflet referenced in the meme states: “UK’s cuts in CO2 emissions will have no meaningful effect on global climate and … the Climate Change Act’s unilateral action is in vain”. Further on, it states: “We criticise the EU for creating serious market distortion by favouring some low-carbon technologies (wind, solar) over others (e.g. nuclear). There are, however, some clear priorities: gas, nuclear, and coal.”
UKIP’s own ‘issues’ page makes it clear that the party will “remove the UK from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights” (even though this would be a travesty – the UK was instrumental in setting up that institution and wrote much of its rule book).
Coming to marital rape, if the reference in the meme does not provide help, then try this link. It shows that, of the 14 MEPs who voted against ‘Combating violence against women’, which included “to recognise sexual violence within marriage as a crime and to make rape within marriage a criminal offence”, nine were members of UKIP. Thanks to Rachel Harvey (on Facebook) for this information, and for sourcing the image on maternity pay.
Ms Harvey adds: “The ‘no’ vote to rape within marriage being a criminal offence was also a no vote to making FGM [female genital mutilation] illegal. Such lovely blokes these UKIP MEPs.” Indeed.
Admittedly, policies are mentioned for which proof is not directly available at the time of writing (although any help with this would be appreciated). Nevertheless it should be clear that the image at the top of this article is absolutely not “propaganda rubbish”.
It is a genuine attempt to alert the British voting public to the true nature of the United Kingdom Independence Party.
A man who hid in a toilet in order to get near enough to David Cameron to shout, “No ifs, no buts, no public sector cuts” has been sentenced to community service. The public were quick to spot the difference in treatment between this man and Andrew Mitchell, who verbally abused a policeman (an arrestable offence) but was not prosecuted. One wonders what punishment the young man in this photograph would have received for the words here.
One of the best ways to make a point on the internet – satirical or otherwise – is to create a ‘meme’. For the uninitiated, this is a picture that has been modified to make a point, then sent around the net via Facebook, Twitter or other social networking sites. Some of the recent ones have been very good so, while I work on my next piece (probably Cameron selling weapons to the Middle East), I thought I’d put them on show.
David Cameron will always be remembered as the Prime Minister who re-introduced class, and class war, to the UK with his Cabinet of millionaires, and government of aristocrats. Here, Paul Weller gives him the scorn he deserves.
Pastor Martin Niemoller’s famous words about the Nazis get an IDS update here. In a week when Iain Duncan Smith turned the glare of his DWP spotlight onto step-parents, single parents and “broken” families, the targeting might seem a little off, but the words still ring true, and it shows that comparisons with Nazism are still coming thick and fast. The fact is that both the Conservatives (now) and the Nazis (in the 1930s) got into government without getting a majority of the national vote, and then set about policies that were not what they had professed to the public.
Finally, a little background reading. Next time you hear the Insidious Dole-Snatcher – or any of his chums – spitting out these claims as though they’re true, just take a moment to check their veracity. The link is in the image.
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