Tag Archives: message

Lies, spin and falsehood: Boris Johnson’s New Year message

Boris Johnson: The lies keep coming.

Boris Johnson is deeply untrustworthy, as Peter Stefanovic’s takedown demonstrates.

No wonder Donald Trump won’t trust him with sensitive military information.

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Alexei Sayle’s Christmas message to the disheartened is one to take to YOUR heart

I’m not going to say much about this because I don’t have to.

Watch, listen, enjoy, take heart and get back into the great struggle of our age:

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Corbyn was helping the homeless during the Queen’s Speech. What was Johnson doing?

Jeremy Corbyn: He helps the homeless at Christmas. Boris Johnson is off in the tropics helping himself.


We’ve established that, like most of the UK’s population, Jeremy Corbyn has better things to do than watch the Queen’s Christmas message.

He visits a local shelter for homeless people and helps out.

Apparently this is a shocking display of irresponsibility, according to ITV’s Julie Etchingham.

But Boris Johnson is raving it up on Mustique. It’s an island playground for the incredibly rich in the tropics somewhere, apparently.

So, of the two, which would you say was taking his role seriously? And which may be seen to be rubbing our noses in his extreme privilege?

Source: What Jeremy Corbyn does instead of watching the Queen’s Christmas speech – Mirror Online

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Insensitivity of Queen’s Speech prompts backlash against the monarchy

Insensitive: The Queen recorded her message in the White Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace. If she’d had any nous, she would have gone to a food bank or homeless centre.

In her Christmas message, the Queen spoke about poverty – a message that was utterly undermined by the opulence of the surroundings in which she delivered her speech.

Rather than expressing solidarity with those of her subjects who are currently suffering extreme poverty, the monarch of the fifth-richest country in the world – who enjoys enormous personal wealth – seemed to be rubbing their noses in it.

She seems to have joined Emmanuel Macron in this ill-advised behaviour, and look how well the French people have responded to his antics – they spent weeks rising up in protest against him.

Perhaps the fault lies in poor advice but the Queen didn’t have to accept it.

The fact that she did means she holds ultimate responsibility for the backlash from the public, including tweets like these:

https://twitter.com/Tech_FTW/status/1077681202570629121

The sarcasm makes a perfectly valid point. A person as rich as she is has no grounds on which to lecture the poorest in the country about respecting people whose lives are different or putting aside our differences in the national interest (which is a Tory slogan if ever there was one) – the Mirror‘s Kevin Maguire tweeted, “Privileged wealthy hereditary monarch bunged £76m a year, sitting in front of a golden piano in the palace she’s billing taxpayers £369m to tart up, kills satire by lecturing the nation to pull together.”

Some pointed out that Her Majesty doesn’t practise what she’s preaching:

The brickbats just keep coming. Much criticism concentrated on the golden piano behind the Queen:

The Erard grand piano was bought by Queen Victoria in 1856. She and Prince Albert installed grand pianos in the private apartments of all their residences, where they would play arrangements of overtures and symphonies and sing together.

The current Queen shows no sign of any such leanings, so one might be justified in asking why she needs to hoard such a valuable item, while taking tax money that could be used on programmes to help those in poverty and using it to make her palace pretty. Is that really the decision of a responsible leader?

And is it any surprise, therefore, that her speech has led to renewed calls for the abolition of the monarchy?

Mark Adkins makes good points on this:

Amazingly, in the face of the astonishing insensitivity displayed in this year’s Christmas message, there are still people who disagree.

But I bet they’ll all laugh at the following response, as much as I did:

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Minister resigns over sexually explicit messages – is Westminster back to business as usual?

On his way to the backbenches: Andrew Griffiths.

After a week in which the Tory government was rocked by major cabinet resignations and a threat of more to come every day, due to Brexit, a Tory minister quitting after being exposed as a sex pest must be a return to normality.

The behaviour of Andrew Griffiths, which he appears to have admitted, is a reminder of the kind of attitude that relegated Michael Fallon and Damian Green to the backbenches last year.

He isn’t on the now-notorious Tory “sex spreadsheet” – the list of high-ranking Conservatives who were known to the party whips at the time, and who they could therefore control, using this information.

So it seems that list was not exhaustive and more ministerial misdemeanours of the sexual variety may be waiting to be exposed.

A government minister has resigned [as Minister for Small Business] following allegations that he sent two female constituents “depraved” sexual messages.

Andrew Griffiths, the Conservative MP for Burton and Uttoxeter, whose wife gave birth to their first child in April, said in a statement he was “deeply ashamed” and was “seeking professional help to ensure it never happens again”.

Griffiths, who once worked as Theresa May’s chief of staff, is accused of sending 2,000 messages including lewd comments to a 28-year-old barmaid and her friend on social media over a three-week period.

Source: Minister resigns after sending constituents explicit messages | Politics | The Guardian

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Theresa May didn’t mention Jews in her Holocaust message – but Jeremy Corbyn was attacked for it

Jeremy Corbyn, writing about Jews including Roza Robota, Szmul Zygielbojm and Anne Frank, in the Holocaust Educational Trust’s book of remembrance.

One of the themes of Holocaust Memorial Day, and the charity behind the event, is that people should come together to prevent future holocausts and genocides.

It shames us all, therefore, that some people have been encouraged to complain about Jeremy Corbyn’s Facebook message, in which he did not mention Jews.

People were quick to attack the omission, which was said to be from the message he wrote in the Holocaust Educational Trust’s book of remembrance.

In fact, it was not. One wonders how that mistake happened. The message from the book – which certainly does mention Jews, appeared on Facebook later, and can be read here.

But the damage was done. Critics arose to question Mr Corbyn’s omission, including the writer of this on the Christians United For Israel website:

Jeremy Corbyn shared a message ahead of Saturday’s Holocaust Memorial Day. However the Labour leader did so without mentioning Jews.

The omission raised eye-brows with many of social media questioning his reason. Over six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust. With the “power of words” being a theme of this year’s Memorial Day, it would have been an appropriate opportunity to have addressed this directly, especially considering the Labour leadership’s recent problems with antisemitism in the party.

Another critical article, in The Tablet, quotes Hugo Rifkind – who This Writer so resoundingly trounced in a discussion on anti-Semitism in 2016 – as follows:

I literally cannot understand why he would do this. Can it be accidental? You mention Jews, just like you mention gypsies, homosexuals and dissidents. If you don’t, you are making a specific point of not doing.

Really?

Perhaps Mr Rifkind had not read Theresa May’s message in the same book of remembrance. Here it is:

The pages of this book unite us in a commitment to remember all those who suffered during the Holocaust. We stand together to honour the lives lost and those who survived.

As Prime Minister, I pledge to do everything in my power to ensure we never forget where prejudice and hatred can lead. The new national Memorial to the Holocaust will sit in the shadow of Parliament, alongside a world class learning centre to do just that. It will make a permanent statement of our promise to remember and our commitment to teach future generations to fight hatred in all its forms.

By supporting the Holocaust Educational Trust and all its partners we will safeguard the memories of survivors and learn the lessons for generations to come.

The evidence shows that it is Mrs May who made not a single reference to the Jews – either individually or as a race.

Nor, for that matter, did she mention Romani, homosexuals or dissidents. Perhaps she was making a specific point not to do so.

It may interest you to recall that in my most recent article on this subject, I mentioned all of the above, along with many other people whose sacrifices should be recalled during Holocaust Memorial Day – if the charity that runs the event is serious about commemorating all victims of holocaust and genocide: The disabled, the mentally ill, neurotics, prostitutes, recidivist criminals, Prisoners of War, and among the political prisoners: trade unionists, Socialists, Communists, Anarchists, and slave workers from the Slav nations. Also: Armenians, and those who died in the genocides in Cambodia, Darfur, Bosnia and Rwanda.

Other genocides go uncommemorated, as I have mentioned in another article.

Do I get some sort of prize for commemorating all victims of these atrocities?

No. As many readers are aware, I have been accused of anti-Semitism.

In fact, one of the accusations against me is for suggesting that, referring to another organisation that did not mention Jews in its discussion of the Holocaust, it seemed likely that the organisation in question was simply being “politically correct” in using an umbrella term – “victims” – to cover them all.

The theme of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day is “The Power of Words”, and the Theme Vision statement makes it clear that “words used to good effect can restore hope, courage or faith. Words can challenge prevailing views and can state solidarity”.

This Writer would hope that this is the purpose to which most people are putting their own words with regard to HMD.

But the same document also states that “harsh words, or words that feed negative stereotypes, can fuel tensions, increase vulnerability and even incite violence”.

In other words, they can be hugely divisive – in exact opposition to the aim of the event, which is to “ensure that everyone works together to create a safer, better future”.

I would suggest that the accusations against Mr Corbyn are exactly the kind of “harsh words” that are intended to “fuel tensions, increase vulnerablility and even incite violence” – it is “the language of hatred and exclusion”.

It is language used to attack Mr Corbyn under a false banner, while giving Mrs May a free pass. It is the language of hypocrisy, of division, of hate.

And I’m willing to bet that those responsible will get away with it.


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Supine prime minister is so weak she’ll stick with hate-tweeter Trump

Theresa May passed her comments at the Jordan Museum in Amman, Jordan. She was standing up, but may as well have been lying on the floor begging for Donald Trump to walk all over her [Image: Joe Giddens/PA].

Did you ever think you’d see the day a UK Prime Minister would admit the American President can insult us to his heart’s content, and we’ll still support him blindly?

That is what Theresa May did in her press conference today. It was sickening.

Asked what she thinks about President Trump spreading hate speech on Twitter, and what she would do about it, Mrs May spoke at length about Britain First – despite not having been asked for her opinion of that organisation. We know it is “hateful”.

Eventually she came to the point, saying she works together with the US, she is not afraid to say when they have got something wrong, and retweeting Britain First was wrong.

Brilliant! So what was she going to do about it? Nothing.

Asked if it is acceptable that Trump tweeted that Mrs May should stay out of his business, she evaded, saying she wants the UK-US relationship to continue because it is “good for the world”.

It’s not proving very good for the UK, though, is it?

She admitted that Trump’s state visit would still go ahead; the invitation has been extended and accepted.

There was more evasion when she was asked if she would sack a minister who retweeted a far-right group’s propaganda – she said she had “absolute confidence ” that none of her ministers would do that. Even Boris Johnson?

She wouldn’t say how she felt when she saw Trump’s retweets. She said: “Just to be clear, I’m not a prolific tweeter myself, as you may have seen, and that means I don’t spend all my time looking at other people’s tweets. But when I feel that there should be a response, I give it. And I have given it to President Trump’s tweets.”

Has she even seen the offending messages? Her responses suggest not.

And what she did say was so diffident, she might as well have lain supine on the floor and begged Mr Trump to come and walk all over her.

Look at her comments about the UK’s relationship with the United States:

“It’s an enduring relationship that is there because it is in both our national interests for that relationship to be there. And as prime minister I’m clear that-that-that relationship with the United States to continue. I think it is in the interests, both of the United Kingdom and of the United States and of the wider world.”

Waffle.

Trump can be as racist as he likes. He can spout know-nothing nonsense about UK affairs all he likes.

The UK government will do nothing about it because our prime minister is so weak, she might as well be his kitten.

A kitten that has been thoroughly de-fanged and de-clawed, of course.

She is utterly unfit to govern the United Kingdom and should be packed off to the states to be Trump’s serving-maid – if he can be bothered with her.


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Labour certainly shouldn’t ‘tack UKIP’ – why discuss their nonsense instead of serious issues?

I could not agree more with this Skwawkbox article.

(Sources here and here. ‘A8 countries’ are Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia)

Anybody arguing an anti-immigrant position – with regard to Brexit or anything else – is misinformed.

Immigrants haven’t taken anybody’s jobs and services away – the Conservative Government did that.

And, in fact, the Conservatives have given far more of our resources to foreigners than immigrants could ever have taken – by privatising our national assets and allowing them to be bought by foreign concerns.

So weathervane-style triangulation of the kind suggested by Yvette Cooper (who is slowly turning into a political dinosaur and may find herself in danger of extinction soon) is exactly wrong.

Labour should stake out its own terms of engagement, scorn the UKIP arguments as the stuff and nonsense that they are and hammer into the Tory privatisers at the same time.

It is the only sensible response.

The message from the Labour right is that Sleaford – and Richmond Park before it – shows Labour is under threat from UKIP and needs to swing toward the ‘concerns’ of anti-immigrant voters.In other words, the weather-vane mode so beloved of the politically-bankrupt ‘triangulators’, rather than the ‘signpost’ of those who actually believe in something.

In fact, while I guarantee you won’t hear this in the news at all, the result in Sleaford shows the exact opposite. Far from meaning Labour should ‘tack UKIP’ to appeal to the anti-immigrant vote, it should do the opposite and accentuate its difference.

I can hear the screams of the Blairite/Progress/Labour First supporters (all 500 of them), but it’s true. Here’s why.

It’s not true

Simply put, the anti-immigrant position – at least as far as the EU is concerned – is based on lies. The UK is substantially better off because of EU immigrants.

Source: Why Sleaford means Labour should NOT ‘tack UKIP` | The SKWAWKBOX

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I, Daniel Blake screenwriter stunned by wall of notes left by movie-goers

Paul Laverty at the Cameo Cinema in Edinburgh in front of the wall of messages [Image: Daily Record].

Paul Laverty at the Cameo Cinema in Edinburgh in front of the wall of messages [Image: Daily Record].

This is the film that Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green describes as “monstrously unfair”. Clearly, the people of Edinburgh disagree – strongly.

Told by a panel of MSPs at Holyrood that the Work Capability Assessment “is sending people to go and commit suicide”, Mr Green said: “There is no evidence, and I think bringing people who committed suicide into political debate is always unfortunate.”

Here’s some evidence – read the story on the right:

161112-messages2
Confront Damian Green with that and he’d probably try to tell you that person was making it up.

That’s the problem with his kind.

Like Nazis, they think if they repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it.

The depth of feeling evoked by I, Daniel Blake, is perhaps best summed up by an amazing collection of notes pinned to the wall of an Edinburgh cinema.

The display at the Cameo, penned by people who have suffered similar experiences to the movie’s main character, left screenwriter Paul Laverty stunned.

He said: “I had no idea of the impact. Staff at the Cameo had been stunned by the reaction – it was an example of beautiful empathy.” One message in the foyer reads: “I am less afraid of dying than of a WCA.”

Paul added: “To be more scared of an assessment than dying? I suppose dying you just have to accept. But the humiliation of going through this test – there is something so cruel about it.

“The Government have changed their rhetoric but have not budged one inch and last week they announced the new benefit cap.”

Source: I, Daniel Blake screenwriter stunned by wall of notes left by movie-goers at Edinburgh cinema : Daily Record. – DWPExamination.

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International politicians react to President Trump

160201donaldtrumpcatart

World leaders (and UK politicians) have been making their feelings felt on the subject of Donald Trump’s election as the 45th US President.

UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said Mr Trump’s election as US President is a rejection of a failed economic consensus, but his answers to the big questions facing America are wrong:

161109-corbyn-comment

Other Labour figures – mostly right-wingers – were far more critical of the newly-elected leader-to-be of the Free World, giving their views on LabourList as follows:

Mike Gapes, Labour MP for Ilford South – “As Ukraine, Baltic states and NATO worry about the future, Putin and the FSB will be celebrating their own role in electing a useful idiot.”

Dan Jarvis, Labour MP for Barnsley Central – “Decent left of centre politics defeated by divisive right wing populism. Repercussions will be felt around the world incl here. Get ready.”

Owen Smith, Labour MP for Pontypridd and former leadership contender – “A racist in The Whitehouse & a human rights abuser in The Kremlin. Time for us to leave Europe, or time to try and lead it & rebuild hope? It’s The Enlightenment that’s in jeopardy, not The Establishment I’m afraid.”

Steve Reed, Labour and Co-op MP for Croydon North – “President Trump, a terrifying day for the world and for everyone who values democracy and freedom.”

Kezia Dudgale, leader of Scottish Labour – “Ctrl + Alt + Delete”.

In a statement Dugdale later added: “Like countless people in Scotland, the UK, and across the globe I watched with great sadness as the results from the presidential election came in.

“While we must all respect the result of this democratic contest, today is a dark day for those of us who believe in compassion, tolerance and equality.

“Donald Trump was responsible for a hate-filled campaign that was dominated by lies, misogyny and racism. As president-elect, he now has a responsibility to America and the world to heal the deep divisions he has caused.

“Across the US, there will be women, gay people and Muslims who will now be incredibly worried about the direction of their country, but there will also be countless working-class Americans who will be hurting today. They all need reassurances that I very much hope will be forthcoming from the Republican Party.”

Jess Phillips, Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley – “When my children wake up I shall tell them that when I was little Thatcher & Reagan were in charge. I’ll tell them things get better.”

This Writer pulled her up for that comment:

David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham – “If you have woken up today feeling lost, heartbroken and helpless: Don’t mourn, organise. Don’t give up. They want you to give up. Don’t. Join a political party, a trade union, a community group. Campaign, organise and try to make the world a better place. What choice is there? Just don’t quit and don’t give up. Giving up is what they want you to do. Things can and will get better. But don’t mourn, organise.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a message of congratulations to Donald Trump on his victory in the US presidential election.

“Mr Putin said he hopes [to] work together to lift Russian-US relations out of the current crisis, resolve issues on the international agenda, [and] look for effective responses to global security challenges, according to the Kremlin.

“The President said he is confident that Moscow and Washington can establish a constructive dialogue based on the principles of equality, mutual respect, and genuine consideration for each other’s positions. This would be in the interests of both peoples and of the entire international community.

“Mr Putin wished Mr Trump success in the high office and responsibility of head of state.”

Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, had this to say:

161109-juncker-comment

(UK-based left-wing journalist Paul Mason was withering in response: “No elected leader of Europe would pen this obsequious pile of crap. Social-democrats, Greens and the radical left should repudiate letter.”)

It seems clear that the result has been divisive, both in the States and elsewhere.

I wonder whether this could lead to strained diplomatic relations as statespeople struggle to see past their own feelings to reach pragmatic solutions to international problems.

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