Tag Archives: press

Here’s the shocking reason your Tory government is more guilty of attacking press freedom than Extinction Rebellion

Dictator: despotic governments attack press freedom – and they do it quietly, while claiming to be doing the exact opposite. That’s exactly what your Boris Johnson-led government has done – and why this image is appropriate.

So much for Boris Johnson’s (and Priti Patel’s) comments about the Extinction Rebellion blockade for Rupert Murdoch’s print works being an attack on the ‘free press’.

On the day before they were making these attacks, the Council of Europe – that the UK founded – issued a formal warning that the Conservative government is a threat to the freedom of the press:

The Council of Europe issued the Level 2 “media freedom alert” after Ministry of Defence press officers refused to deal with Declassified UK, a website focusing on foreign and defence policy stories.

The new alert, issued by the organisation on Friday, was classified by the watchdog as an “act having a chilling effect on media freedom” and put under the “state” category – because the British state was the source of the threat.

It seems the only reason the government was refusing to comment to Declassified is that the Tories were retaliating against previous reporting that was critical of the government’s use of its armed forces.

Writing to urge the government into a rethink, the International Press Institute stated:

“It goes without saying that the exclusion of a media publication by a government ministry due to its investigative reporting would undermine press freedom and set a worrying precedent for other journalists whose job it is to report in the public interest on the British military. Criticism should be no reason to discriminate against a media publication.

“In contrast, tough journalism by outlets such as Declassified UK on matters such as the UK’s foreign and military affairs, uncomfortable though it often may be for those in power, is crucial for a transparent and functioning democracy.”

So your Tory government had deliberately and silently sabotaged the workings of “transparent and functioning democracy” by restricting press freedom on the day before it accused XR of the same thing with a public and popular demonstration.

Source: Council of Europe issues media freedom alert over UK government blacklisting of investigative journalists | The Independent | Independent

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Blockade of printworks highlights the fact: the UK does NOT have a ‘free press’

Blockade: Extinction Rebellion members at a Murdoch print works.

Could you feel the Establishment rage at being told its propaganda mouthpieces aren’t providing us with the news?

It seems 72 members of Extinction Rebellion did, after they were arrested in protests targeting three printing installations owned by Rupert Murdoch.

Why does he need three? Because he owns too many newspapers and they all print what he wants – not what the people need to know.

So the disruption at Broxbourne in Hertfordshire, Knowsley in Merseyside, and near Motherwell, North Lanarkshire hit the distribution of his publications including The Sun, The Times, The Scottish Sun, along with those belonging to some of the few other billionaires who own the UK’s national press, including the Daily Telegraph (Barclay brothers), Daily Mail (Jonathan Harmsworth – Viscount Rothermere), and the Evening Standard (Evgeny Lebedev).

Do you really think any of these moguls will let their papers publish anything they don’t want you to think?

This Writer is reminded of the words of the late, great Tony Benn – that nobody should be allowed to own more than one newspaper. Then we would at least have a more free press than we have now.

Further to this, consider the onslaught under which those of us in the social media have to work every day. We don’t have the massive advertising resources of the Murdochs of this world, so we have to rely on organisations like Twitter and Facebook to spread our message virally.

And organisations like Facebook and Twitter respond by suppressing us. Facebook has an algorithm designed to push posts from left-wing news sites down people’s newsfeeds so they don’t see them.

This Site is currently having to cope with an 84 per cent drop in income due to its articles being suppressed in this way. One commenter on the Vox Political Facebook page said it had been so long since they had seen a link to one of my articles, they thought I had given up!

But if you check the “Archives” list to the left of these words, you’ll see that Vox Political has been publishing articles continuously – every day, barring a few rare exceptions – for years.

The only reason people don’t see links to my posts is because somebody else doesn’t want them to.

Yet Boris Johnson and all the other hypocrites only complain about attacks on the “free press” when their propaganda sheets take the hit.

Just look at the nonsense spoken about this by the Establishment stooges quoted in the BBC’s story – and where possible, let’s contrast it with what Extinction Rebellion has to say about these people:

Boris Johnson said on Twitter: “A free press is vital in holding the government and other powerful institutions to account on issues critical for the future of our country, including the fight against climate change.

“It is completely unacceptable to seek to limit the public’s access to news in this way.”

Have you seen that from the Murdoch press, the Torygraph, the Heil and the Standard in response to the decisions of his government – the worst Tory government ever to blight the United Kingdom? No.

 

Shadow Secretary of State for Digital Culture, Media and Sport, Jo Stephens, said: “People have the right to read the newspapers they want.

“Stopping them from being distributed and printers from doing their jobs is wrong.”

People also deserve to be told what their money is supporting, though. It isn’t fair to let them go on paying these propagandists without knowing exactly what they’re buying.

ER has been scathing about Starmer Labour’s “business as usual” approach:

This is worth reading too:

Actually, let’s go into this a bit because Labour’s position, under Keir Starmer, frankly, stinks.

Dawn Butler, Labour’s Brent MP who has suffered racism from the police, from her own constituents, and from members of her own party (if a certain leaked report is to be believed – and I do), tweeted in support of XR – and was then ordered to take it down by Starmer’s minions:

Could anything demonstrate Starmer’s Establishment credentials better? He must not be allowed to get anywhere near 10 Downing Street because he’ll only stamp on all our faces harder than Johnson (to paraphrase Orwell).

Here’s what Starmer’s – and Labour’s – response to her tweet should have been:

Let’s just put the seal on this:

Right. Back to the Tories:

And Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted the overnight action by XR was an “attack on democracy”.

Obviously there are too many sharp responses to Patel for me to publish here, so I’ll restrict myself to pointing out that she has nothing to say about attacks on the left-wing social media – which would be an “attack on democracy” by the same token.

Here’s ER:

The bosses and editors of the newspapers involved have all condemned the action; they would, though, wouldn’t they? I see no reason to comment on their words.

Extinction Rebellion itself has made it clear that the blockade was a response to the so-called ‘free press’ suppressing reports on climate change and the ecological emergency it represents.

A report on its own website states: “The groups are using disruption to expose the failure of these corporations to accurately report on the climate & ecological emergency, and their consistent manipulatIon of the truth to suit their own personal and political agendas.

“The right wing media is a barrier to the truth, failing to reflect the scale and urgency of the crisis and hold governments to account. Coverage in many of the newspapers printed here is polluting national debate on climate change, immigration policy, the rights and treatment of minority groups, and on dozens of other issues. They distract us with hate and maintain their own power and wealth, profiting from our division. We can’t move forward until this barrier falls.

“Five billionaires are the majority voting shareholders for most of the UK national newspapers, with a combined weekly readership of 49million. Three companies alone (News UK, DMG and Reach) dominate 83% of the national newspaper market (up from 71% in 2015). This small group of extremely powerful people manipulate the media narrative to serve their own ends.”

Is it really a free press if it is only used to put us in chains?

The response on the social media has been very clear on that:

And some have made the important point that Tories like Boris Johnson and Priti Patel have actually avoided passing laws to ensure press freedom:

That’s right.

If the press really is free and fair, why have the Tories spent years blocking a full public examination of its wrongdoing?

Source: Extinction Rebellion protesters block newspaper printing presses – BBC News

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Violence in London as NAZIS march in SUPPORT of CHURCHILL. The reasons may shock you

This story will be full of apparent contradictions. It is, in fact, about betrayal.

It features Nazis making stiff-armed salutes next to the Cenotaph, and claiming to be supporting Churchill.

The same people, who say they love the rule of law, have attacked police.

And while claiming to deplore violence at the Black Lives Matter demonstration in London last week, they flew to it within minutes of starting their own demonstration.

There is sense to it – although it’s hard to see because people in authority would prefer you to remain confused – and the mass media support them in that.

This story is best told from the response to the removal of Edward Colston’s statue in Bristol last week – triggering a movement to remove other statues glorifying slavers and racists including calls for the removal of the statue to World War II prime minister Winston Churchill in London – and its actual defacement. In fact, the story started decades ago, as we will see.

The threat to Churchill’s effigy seems to have brought every far-right-wing lunatic in the United Kingdom out of the woodwork to demand action to protect a man they claim as an inspirational, ideological leader. Figureheads demanded that every “patriot” – take note of the language – should be in London to defend the statue during the next scheduled Black Lives Matter demonstration in London – on June 13 (today).

Black Lives Matter organisers weren’t having any of that; their demos are always intended to be peaceful and there was a clear threat of violence in the so-called “patriots”‘ call to action. They pulled out and left London to the lunatics.

Meanwhile, the authorities boarded up the statue, leaving nothing for the “patriots” to protect.

They went anyway – and caused scenes that have been branded in the mildest possible terms as a “national disgrace”.

To learn why the far right thought it necessary to scandalise the country – possibly the world – we need to go back many decades, to examine the career of their idol Churchill.

The claim is that they are protecting the legacy of the man whose leadership saved us from Nazism and the politics of Hitler. But the people saying that are the same people who, today, threw Nazi salutes at the cenotaph in an insult to everybody who died to protect us in the 1939-45 war.

These people are not celebrating a victory over fascism!

So what are they celebrating?

Churchill was a racist and an oppressor of his own countryfolk. That is the Churchill the far-right revere.

Look at the Tonypandy riots massacre in Wales in 1910. As Home Secretary, Churchill sent first Metropolitan police officers, then the 18th Hussars – who shot down the striking miners. It is widely believed that he ordered the use of live rounds, although he denied it.

Or shall we talk about his actions in Liverpool, the following year?

I’m sure there are other examples but let’s look at the racism:

According to his biographer, John Charmley, Churchill believed in a racial hierarchy and eugenics, and that at the top of this were White Protestant Christians.

He said it was ‘alarming and nauseating’ seeing Gandhi ‘striding half-naked up the steps of the vice-regal palace’ in India. He also said ‘I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion’. So it should be no surprise that he allowed three million people to die in the Bengal famine of 1943, in which Churchill refused to deploy food supplies.

The Bengalis starved because their grain had been sequestered as back up supplies to feed British troops. In the end they weren’t needed. Churchill also said that the famine was their fault for having too many children.

This racist also said that ‘Keep Britain White’ was a good slogan for the Tories to go into the 1951 general election.

Let’s look at his attitude to World War II. Boris Johnson has claimed that the former prime minister “saved this country and the whole of Europe from a barbaric fascist and racist tyranny, and our debt to him is incalculable”.

But according to historian of fascism Martin Pugh, Churchill wasn’t opposed to fascism in itself; he was simply concerned that Nazi Germany threatened British interests in the North Sea.

And Peter Hitchens has pointed out that Churchill wasn’t interested in saving the Jews; he was simply honouring treaties with Poland and France. He knew about the extermination camps but neither said nor did anything about them until they were liberated during the allied invasions of Germany and Poland.

So it should be unsurprising that people of good conscience have reached the logical conclusions about Churchill:

I have already mentioned Boris Johnson’s history-denying defence of Churchill as a fighter against fascism, when he was no such thing. Is it any surprise, then, that after he was told to “grow a pair” and defend the continuance of the statue (by people like the boxer Tyson Fury), he leapt to it?

“The statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square is a permanent reminder of his achievement in saving this country – and the whole of Europe – from a fascist and racist tyranny,” he wrote on Twitter yesterday.

“It is absurd and shameful that this national monument should today be at risk of attack by violent protestors. Yes, he sometimes expressed opinions that were and are unacceptable to us today, but he was a hero, and he fully deserves his memorial.

“We cannot now try to edit or censor our past. We cannot pretend to have a different history. The statues in our cities and towns were put up by previous generations.”

Sadly, here he is undermined by the UK government itself, which has indeed edited and censored the UK’s collective past:

The news story refers to the destruction of records detailing crimes committed by the British Empire in its colonies, during its final years. Apparently Mr Johnson thinks it is perfectly acceptable to edit and censor the past when it reveals inconvenient facts.

He has attracted appropriate criticism:

What conclusions may we draw so far? That far-right-wingers in the UK made an issue of defending Churchill’s statue because they are racists, just as he was? That they hoped to disrupt the planned Black Lives Matter demonstration in order to beat up black people? That they relied on Boris Johnson for support because he is a racist (“picaninnies with watermelon smiles”, remember. “Letterboxes” and “bank robbers”, remember)? That the Nazi salutes in London today were as much for Johnson as they were for Churchill?

That they were relying on a rise in racism in the UK caused and promoted by successive Conservative governments since 2010 – most especially around the UK’s membership of the European Union and Brexit?

We should also take note of another aspect of the far-right-wing malady: exceptionalism. They adopt what it suits them to adopt and ignore the inconvenient facts – such as the fact that their ally in support of Winston Churchill, Boris Johnson, also presided over the ejection of Churchill’s grandson from the Conservative Party:

https://twitter.com/cfinnecy/status/1271543052084097032

This exceptionalism is especially strong with regard to statues of slavers, racists and other oppressors who, we are told, made Britain “great”:

Even the arguments they use to support the retention of these offensive slabs of stone show exceptionalism:

See, Katarzyna b-m was saying anyone who is uncomfortable with the way people behave in their home (or indeed, home country) – such as their choice of decoration – is welcome to leave. The comment may be considered dog-whistle racism towards Ash, who is a person of colour. But Ash just batted it away with the pertinent observation that, when the British invaded other people’s homes in the time of Empire, they did the exact opposite; instead of leaving, the British changed those other nations and didn’t give a fig about the feelings of the natives.

With these statues, of course, it is native Britons who want rid, so the argument is nonsense. But that’s right-wing exceptionalism for you.

We’re getting close to the events in London today, but should first consider two more elements in this mix: the police and the press. Both have been put between a rock and a hard place.

The police, you see, were prompted into action last week against Black Lives Matter demonstrators – although members of Avon and Someset Constabulary wisely avoided a confrontation with those who pulled down Edward Colston’s statue, even though it was done illegally. The far-right extremists who planned to challenge any demonstration this weekend were claiming to be upholding the rule of law – but their subsequent actions made it clear that this was not true. What were the police supposed to do with them?

And the news media have been instrumental in supporting the rise of racism in the UK over the last few years – faithfully reporting the Tory governments’ claims that immigrants have been responsible for many of the nation’s ills, among other questionable practices. The extremist demonstration in London today was a logical result and progression of these reports – but what sort of treatment did reporters expect if they pointed their cameras at the violence that happened today?

So we come to the demonstration today.

It tells us that racism is still alive and well in the UK and that most of the people in this video clip are there to stick it to the blacks.

Next thing we knew, these people who claimed to be celebrating Churchill the man who led us to victory over the Nazis were performing Nazi salutes in front of the police (and also in front of the cenotaph in an insult to the people whose deaths that monument represents):

Interestingly, the Nazis doing the saluting were again contradicting themselves; they’re all for police brutality against black people (because they’re racists) – but if the cops turn a heavy hand to them, it’s a different story and they react with violence:

https://twitter.com/BenedictL_/status/1271772774126755841

https://twitter.com/BenedictL_/status/1271772778258186240

And when the press recorded this behaviour…

But on television…

Schizoid.

There’s only one conclusion to be had:

The United Kingdom remains a hopelessly racist nation.

It is racist because the history we learn reeks of it. Our monuments venerate it. Our government promotes it. And our (white) people take their cue from all three.

This situation will not change because our government – and the most powerful people in the UK – want to keep it the way it is.

It puts us at each others’ throats instead of at theirs.

And why is it about betrayal?

Simple. This overt racism is a betrayal of everyone who has been led to believe that Britain is better than that.

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.

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People in America are ingesting bleach after Trump suggested it as coronavirus cure

[Image from Dorset Eye.]

If someone turned up on the telly and told you to ingest bleach to cure the coronavirus, would you do it? Or would you say: “after you”?

This Writer would do the latter.

Sadly, it seems some people in New York, the US city hardest-hit by the pandemic, haven’t had that presence of mind.

We already know that Trump suggested injecting bleach during a White House press briefing:

In the 18 hours immediately after, according to New York’s Poison Control Centre, the city handled:

Nine cases of possible exposure to Lysol, a US brand of disinfectant; 10 cases regarding bleach; and 11 to household cleaners generally.

That’s 30 cases, compared to just 13 in the same period last year.

On Friday, Trump tried to backtrack, claiming his comments had been “sarcastic”. What do you think?

While it seems none of these people have died, someone else hasn’t been as lucky:

Gary Lenius and his wife Wanda, both in their 60s, drank chloroquine phosphate last month after confusing it for hydroxychloroquine – a drug previously touted by Donald Trump as a potential cure to treat Covid-19.

Gary, a retired mechanical engineer living in Arizona, died on March 22 and his wife was left in critical condition after ingesting the toxic chemical.

The man’s wife said she had watched televised briefings during which President Trump talked about the potential benefits of chloroquine.

There’s no denying that this man died, and his wife suffered, because they didn’t understand they were taking the wrong substance.

But it also happened because Donald Trump made an ill-advised comment on American television, direct to his nation.

This Writer has absolutely no doubt that he will do it again and more people will suffer and/or die.

So the moral is clear: if America wants to cut the number of deaths related to the coronavirus crisis, the President must stop talking about it.

Source: Coronavirus: New York sees spike in disinfectant exposure cases following Trump’s dangerous treatment musings | The Independent

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Riley libel: her team just made a terrible mistake

Rachel Riley is a serial litigant; besides suing me, she is also pursuing Laura Murray, who bit back at one of the Countdown co-presenter’s tweets in March last year.

Referring to the incident in which Jeremy Corbyn had been punched by an egg-wielding man in a London mosque, Ms Riley had dug up an old tweet by Owen Jones which said “If you don’t want eggs thrown at you, don’t be a Nazi. Seems fair to me.” To this, she added the comment: “Good advice.”

Ms Murray, who was working in Mr Corbyn’s Labour Party office at the time, tweeted her opinion that Ms Riley was saying Corbyn was a Nazi who deserved to be attacked violently. She added that, in her opinion, Ms Riley was a dangerous and stupid person who risked inciting unlawful violence – and nobody should engage with her in any way.

Mr Justice Nicklin, in a judgement based on paper evidence due to the coronavirus pandemic, ruled that Ms Murray had made a statement of fact when she said Riley had stated that Corbyn deserved to be attacked violently.

That’s the extent of the difference.

His statement that the words have a tendency to be defamatory isn’t a ruling that Ms Murray is guilty of libel; the defendant may say that her statement was factually accurate and back it up with evidence, and she may also provide information to support the opinions that she expressed.

Riley hasn’t won the case; this was a ruling on the meaning of Ms Murray’s words and whether they were statements of fact or expressions of opinion. There will be a trial at some point in the future.

But Ms Riley and her friends seem to have started celebrating victory prematurely.

And someone went one step further – by publicising the case prematurely.

The image above shows that the right-wing Guido Fawkes blog ran an initial piece on the ruling on April 23, albeit with no further information than a claim that Riley had won. The Mail went further, publishing at 6.21am the following:

 

But the ruling was not published by the High Court until 10am on April 24 – more than a day later.

So it seems somebody has committed contempt of court.

This was a reserved judgement. That meant that the hearing was some time ago and the judge prepared a written judgement to be handed down on April 24. Prior to handing down, the judge would have sent a draft to the parties. The rules on drafts say:

2.4 A copy of the draft judgment may be supplied, in confidence, to the parties provided that—

 (a) neither the draft judgment nor its substance is disclosed to any other person or used in the public domain; and

 (b) no action is taken (other than internally) in response to the draft judgment, before the judgment is handed down.

 2.8  Any breach of the obligations or restrictions under paragraph 2.4 or failure to take all reasonable steps under paragraph 2.6 may be treated as contempt of court.

I imagine Mr Justice Nicklin would be very keen to find out who’s been playing fast-and-loose with court rules and his judgement. And I can’t blame him.

I can’t comment on who leaked the story to the press too soon – but I will keep an eye on it.

As for people who prematurely claim a legal victory that they haven’t won … if you’re as nauseated by this as I am, then please remember that Ms Riley is attacking me in the same way she is attacking Ms Murray – and I don’t have the cash to fight her.

If I can win my case in court, then it should discourage Ms Riley and her friends – harshly – from this vile behaviour. But I can only do it with your help.

Please consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

Email five of your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking your friends to pledge.

On Twitter, you could tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

On other social media platforms, please mention the campaign there, quoting the appeal address.

It would be bad enough if Ms Riley had won. The fact that she hasn’t, and is claiming she is, is toxic. In my opinion.

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.

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Is EHRC too busy scrabbling for anti-Semitism in Labour to bother with obvious Tory Islamophobia?

Islamophobia: the creator of this image thought it was bad enough in the Tories under Theresa May. Now, with racist Boris Johnson in charge, who knows how far the rot has gone?

How long has the Equalities and Human Rights Commission been looking for anti-Semitism in the Labour Party now? A year?

Either it is very well hidden – which would be odd, considering the number of (admittedly mostly false) claims made against the party – or the EHRC is determined not to stop until it has managed to concoct a convincing case.

It doesn’t fill one with confidence in that organisation.

And now we see that the EHRC is trying to squirm out of handling 300 documented cases of Islamophobia – in the Conservative Party.

Does anybody else smell a rat?

According to the Mirror, the dossier handed to the EHRC – by the Muslim Council of Britain – contains information about 16 Conservative MPs, one MEP, nine election candidates and 183 party members.

That’s 209 people, so presumably some are multiple offenders. I wonder if Boris Johnson is listed among them?

The allegations include:

  • A former councillor calling for “unconditional surrender” by Muslims, who they label “brutes who beat, kill and maim young women”;

  • A local party association chair who called for Muslims to be banned;

  • A member who called for Muslims to be thrown from bridges;

  • Another member who called for the forcible sterilisation of Muslims.

The MCB also condemns the Conservative Party’s failure to suspend MP Daniel Kawczynski after he spoke at an event alongside far-right leaders, and for failing to take action on MP Karl McCartney, who shared Islamophobic and anti-Semitic social media content by Tommy Robinson and Katie Hopkins.

Secretary General Harun Khan said the EHRC had failed to give any response to the MCB’s first formal complaint in May 2019, and says it was ‘extraordinary’ that the watchdog had taken no action in the 10 months since.

“There is no doubt that the Conservative party has an Islamophobia crisis: it is institutional, systemic and widespread” he said,

“The party’s response has been one of denial, dismissal and deceit – this results in clear discrimination against Muslims because of their religion”

The EHRC says it is waiting for information about a promised internal inquiry by the Conservative Party, which it is claiming will be “independent” even though it is to be carried out within the party structure.

This Writer can only wish them good luck with that. We’re all also awaiting publication of the report on Russian influence on the Conservative government, and on Boris Johnson’s relationship with Jennifer Arcuri.

Wise heads think it won’t just be a cold day in Hell, but their subjects may actually have taken up residence there before these reports are published.

Former Tory-supporting columnist Peter Oborne thinks – well, see for yourself:

In his article, he wrote:

The problem stretches from the lowest ranks of the Tory party to the very top. There is a massive problem with Islamophobic bigotry among Tory grassroots, where the MCB has provided a list of more than 100 cases.

Party members, councillors and officials have repeatedly made disgusting statements about Muslims, calling for them to leave the country, making provocative insults about the Prophet Muhammad and peddling malicious lies.

This should not come as any surprise to anyone, since poll results published by the anti-racist organisation Hope Not Hate last year showed that more than half of Conservative members thought Islam was “generally a threat to the British way of life”.

I’ve written before about Bob Blackman, the Conservative MP for Harrow East, who shared an anti-Muslim post by Tommy Robinson, the former leader of the English Defence League; hosted the anti-Muslim Tapan Ghosh, the right-wing Hindu nationalist; and shared far-right and Islamophobic content on Facebook.

Anti-Muslim bigotry is not a barrier to promotion. Nadine Dorries, who also shared a tweet by Robinson, is now a health minister. This is no surprise, given that Johnson himself has a long record of making anti-Muslim remarks.

Tellingly, Johnson is surrounded by Islamophobes. Dominic Cummings, his most senior advisor, reportedly had overall responsibility for The Spectator website in 2006, according to Stuart Reid, the magazine’s acting editor at the time, when a controversial cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb in his turban was posted on the site.

One of Johnson’s up-and-coming advisors is Chloe Westley. She praised Anne Marie Waters, leader of the anti-Islam party For Britain, as a “hero”, even though Waters has called Islam “evil” and also has links to Robinson.

But he made a very important point: the UK’s mass media are ignoring this story:

I could find nothing at all about the MCB report in the Financial Times or Daily Telegraph. There were seven paragraphs on page 16 of the Times and 11 paragraphs on page 7 of the Guardian. Nothing in the Daily Mail, the Daily Express, or the Sun.

Most British newspapers are as Islamophobic as the Conservative Party itself, and in some cases, more so. This means they are effectively giving Johnson and his senior advisers and ministers a free pass to reshape the Tory party as a far-right, populist organisation of the type we already know too well on continental Europe.

It shows how the media have been manipulating your opinions and – by proxy – the actions of organisations like the EHRC.

The papers kicked up a huge fuss about the imaginary crisis of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party (where I doubt if even 200 genuine cases have been found among a membership of more than half a million in the past four years).

But their silence over 300 evidenced cases of Islamophobia in the Conservative Party, which is much smaller than Labour, means few people know about it and any outcry is therefore minimised.

So the EHRC can say there’s no real demand for it to investigate, despite the fact that, in real terms, it is a bigger issue.

Source: EHRC Condemned For ‘Failure’ To Act On Tory Islamophobia

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Jeremy Corbyn – despicable terrorist or contemptible peacenik? Can the Tory press please decide?

This is a simple question.

A few days ago, Jeremy Corbyn came under attack when Jo Swinson claimed he would refuse to pull the trigger in a nuclear war.

They’re currently reporting that he’s a bloodthirsty terrorist sympathiser.

These two positions are mutually exclusive – he can’t be both.

So, which is it, media types?

Make up your minds.

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Kuenssberg the troll: She started a Twitter dogpile on the father of a sick child

Laura Kuenssberg: Rather than report on deficiencies at an NHS hospital caused by Tory underfunding, she triggered a Twitter dogpile on a member of the public who challenge Boris Johnson about it.

Standards of journalism at the BBC slipped to a new low yesterday when political editor Laura Kuenssberg outed a man who challenged Boris Johnson over falling NHS standards as a “Labour activist” – triggering a Twitter dogpile on this man.

Apparently it did not matter to Ms Kuenssberg that Omar Salem was the father of a sick seven-day-old girl and had been terribly worried about his daughter’s well-being. She considered it far more important that the world should know he has campaigned for the Labour Party in the past.

Mark’s question is valid. What was Ms Kuenssberg trying to say, exactly? And if it was as he suggested, then should she not be hauled up before the BBC board and sacked on the spot?

It is not the place of any journalist – even the BBC’s political editor – to heap more stress upon the father of a sick child who is only seven days old.

Or, put more succinctly: who the hell does Kuenssberg think she is?

It seems she has not noticed that a campaign was launched earlier this week, calling for people to report the activities of those who troll innocent members of the public in exactly the way she has done.

And consider this: Even a doctor at the hospital has written about the shortfall in care there:

I was one of the doctors who met Boris Johnson today. This was a highly staged press event in a newly refurbished hospital ward at Whipps Cross hospital where the prime minister met a few select members of staff and patients. This event completely brushed over the harsh realities of this chronically underfunded, understaffed and poorly resourced hospital.

I’m so glad that Omar Salem said the things he did. He was just telling the truth about what it is like to be on the receiving end of poor staffing levels and under-resourcing.

Whipps Cross is particularly understaffed and under-resourced so people don’t get the care that they need as promptly as they need.

And this visit was not reflective of the realities of working at this hospital. Johnson was taken to the nicest ward in the hospital; there were flowers on display and classical music was playing in the background. I wish the prime minister could have seen some of the other wards, which are nothing like what he saw today. He should come on a night shift and see how everything doesn’t function at two in the morning.

There are not enough staff on any level – nursing, physiotherapy, doctors. It is just chronically understaffed. The building is falling to pieces. It is either too cold or too hot. I could go on and on.

I love medicine, but you just can’t do your job properly. You don’t have time to talk to patients or families. Everybody is really demoralised. There’s no point in complaining because you know nothing will be done.

Isn’t this exactly what Omar Salem was saying?

But Ms Kuenssberg turned it around and made it all about him being a “Labour activist”. And what does that mean, exactly?

I think she – and the BBC – has a huge amount of explaining to do.

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Johnson caught lying AGAIN: His hospital junket WAS a ‘press opportunity’

Caught lying again: Boris Johnson.

Here’s more damning evidence against Boris Johnson, provided by Swawkbox, about his claim that his visit to the hospital where he was accosted by Omar Salem wasn’t a “press opportunity”.

It’s self-explanatory so I’ll hand you over:

When the angry dad told Johnson he was there on a ‘press opportunity’, Johnson looked him in the eye and said “there’s no press here”.

Johnson even looked at the press cameras as he said it – but now the briefing notes his team supplied to the press before the visit have put the matter beyond doubt.

The notes… not only show that the visit was prepared in advance as exactly a ‘press opportunity’ – but even include a pre-prepared press statement by Johnson:

Source: Briefing note proves Johnson knew full well he was lying about ‘no press’ on hospital visit | The SKWAWKBOX

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Tories and their media are LYING about Labour MP’s plan for councils to buy private houses

It’s incredible how the lying Tories and their press try to twist information to turn public opinion against good ideas.

The Sun, for example, is trying to push its readers into thinking Labour would “seize” private houses, buying them back into council ownership – and Tories like party deputy chairman James Cleverly are lying that these homes would be bought – not at market value – but at a price of Labour’s choosing.

They are claiming it is a Labour nationalisation scheme.

Drivel!

The newspaper’s article claimed that Labour would demand the mass compulsory purchase of council housing stock that has been sold into the private sector, along with houses that had always been intended for private owners. The facts don’t tally with this claim.

It is based on comments by Corbyn-supporting MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle at an anti-austerity event in London – but it does not directly quote him demanding lower-than-market-value purchases.

Instead, he is quoted as saying: “We need to develop a system that slowly over time takes property out of private hands and puts it into public hands.

“For example, why not give every council the first right of refusal with any houses put up for sale?”

The right of first refusal is not the right to compulsorily buy houses at a value that puts the current owners out-of-pocket.

And it isn’t a right to buy houses that aren’t already on the market.

Finally, this is not a Labour policy – it is an idea put forward by an individual MP.

So, when James Cleverly said, “Your home isn’t safe under Labour,” he was lying:

If you own your own home, you are far more likely to lose it under the Conservatives.

They have allowed the value of mortgages to rise above the ability of most young people – first-time buyers – to support them.

The “Help To Buy” scheme helps the rich – and people who already have homes – more than those for whom it is said to be intended.

And what about those of us who have to rent from private landlords?

Costs have rocketed while standards have plummeted. The Conservatives have ensured that many such dwellings are unfit for human occupation – and have voted down attempts to enforce their improvement.

Changes to the benefit system – the introduction of the Bedroom Tax (for those in social housing) and Universal Credit – mean people on benefits and in low-income employment are finding it hard, and extremely stressful, to maintain their rent payments. Many of them face eviction at least once – some on a regular basis.

Mr Russell-Moyle’s plan would restore the public housing stock – at least in part – without harming the finances of people selling the homes, and without demanding that people who don’t want to be rooted out of their homes should have to. And it would provide secure homes for people on low incomes.

That’s a big difference from the Tory way.

Isn’t it a better way?

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