Tag Archives: Times

Rosie Duffield’s DARVO: is she trying to rehabilitate herself by blaming her victims?

Rosie Duffield: she broke lockdown to meet her married lover and had to resign as a Labour whip as a result. Now she’s claiming she is a victim of misogynistic abuse.

Former Labour whip Rosie Duffield is trying to reclaim the moral high ground by playing the victim and we need to reject her.

She has given an interview in The Times in which she claims that she is the victim of misogynistic abuse and death threats over her opinions about anti-Semitism, Brexit and – particularly – transphobia.

The article points to her Commons speech about domestic abuse – for which she received a standing ovation from teary-eyed fellow MPs – as a sign that she’s on the side of the angels.

It doesn’t mention the fact that she broke lockdown in order to commit adultery with a married lover last May. Is her new media appearance an attempt to rehabilitate her image?

Many seem to think so, and the article has triggered a storm on the social media – mostly, it seems to This Writer, between opponents on the transphobia issue.

I stay out of that discussion as much as I can. My personal opinion is that the way a person identifies their gender is nobody’s business but their own.

Nobody should receive death threats for the simple holding of a belief; if their belief is against the law, or encourages people to break the law (especially in violent ways) then there are legal remedies. I wonder whether the Times reporter responsible for the article has seen evidence of such threats, though.

I have seen many tweets like this:

I have also seen t

And then I saw these two…

… and it made sense.

If you check the Metro article, DARVO stands for “Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender“.

It states: “First you have Deny – that’s pretty self-explanatory. You’ll see the person accused of wrongdoing simply denying that that’s the case; ‘I do not hold those views’, ‘I never said that’, ‘I did not do that bad thing’.

“The Deny stage is where gaslighting starts to come into play, with the person often trying to simply deny someone else’s lived reality. ‘No, that doesn’t happen’, ‘no, you’re making that up’, or ‘that might have happened, but it’s not as bad as you say it is’.

“Then there’s [the] Attack bit. This is when the accused person will turn around the criticism to focus blame on the person calling them out. So let’s say a celebrity was called out by someone on Twitter – they might go into attack mode by accusing that person of just being jealous, or bitter, or a liar.

“Finally, you’ve got the Reverse Victim and Offender stage. This is where things get sneaky and subtle. Suddenly, the accused person will turn things around and say that actually, they’re not guilty of doing something terrible. In fact, they are the ones being treated poorly.

“In this stage, you might see someone introduce their own trauma as an excuse or a distraction tactic. They’ll respond to accusations of racism, for example, with a story about how they faced gender discrimination when they were younger. Or they might focus their statement on how they feel ‘bullied’ by the accusations, so those reading feel that the person who has been called out is actually the victim, facing online abuse rather than being challenged on their actions.”

Metro goes on to give an example that is pertinent to Duffield’s case:

“Let’s say an influential person is accused of transphobia. They issue a response in which they deny that they are transphobic – ‘I love trans people! I have many trans friends!’ – then attack their critics – ‘people saying I’m transphobic are just cruel, hateful people who want to cause division’. Finally, they Reverse Victim and Offender: ‘I’m receiving so much online abuse because I’m a woman and we live in a sexist society’.

“Now, as a critic, you’re stuck. If you continue to call that person out, you’re ‘cruel, hateful and want to cause division’. You’re being sexist. You’re piling on the online abuse.”

Isn’t that exactly what Duffield is trying to do?

Source: Rosie Duffield: ‘It feels like Gilead where women aren’t allowed to ask questions’ | Times2 | The Times

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Image of #Whitty confronting #Johnson over #Covid19 goes viral. What WAS he saying?

Whitty furious: but what was the UK’s chief medical officer saying to the prime minister who has bungled our defence against Covid-19 so badly?

Remember the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words? It seems the above image of Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty tearing Boris Johnson a new one has merited many thousands more:

That last tweet seems the most likely to be true, profanity-ridden though it is.

The image accompanied a Spectator article by Robert Peston in which that “magazine” heralded a report by the Office for National Statistics that is likely to say Covid-19 is on the march again everywhere, not just in regional pockets.

It is also likely to say that while the illness is rising in all age groups, it is now most prevalent in young people aged 17-29.

The article goes on to discuss the latest plan to stop the march of the virus, by forcing pubs, clubs and restaurants nationally to turf out customers at 10 pm or reverting to closing them altogether for a couple of weeks.

Apparently the name devised for this is “circuit breaker lockdown”, the aim being to interrupt the progress of the virus by stopping its flow along an established route.

Bit of a misnomer, that, as closing pubs at 10pm isn’t going to stop Covid being spread through them.

In any case, the damage has already been done; it’s fixing the barn door after the chicken has come home to roost.

The simple fact is that Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock and their cronies (who don’t like being challenged, according to London Mayor Sadiq Khan, remember) should not have reopened pubs in the way they did after such a haphazard campaign to keep a lid on the virus.

And that’s what I suspect Whitty was saying when the image was captured.

The article does highlight the real aim of Johnson’s Covid-related restrictions on our freedoms:

The priority of the Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty, is to suppress the incidence of the virus to a level that doesn’t prevent the NHS from treating other diseases and conditions.

So the idea is to infect the whole nation, piecemeal – presumably in the hope of eventually achieving that mythical “herd immunity” Johnson mentioned to Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby back in March.

And never mind how many people die or suffer permanent health consequences as a result. Charming.

Peston, and the Spectator, also suggests that Johnson and his government “moved too late to prevent the first wave”, and “eventually applied the sledgehammer of total lockdown at huge economic cost”.

This seems characteristic of many right-wing periodicals; they are deserting the Tories – and in fact have started to criticise them hotly over the Covid fiasco.

Guardian article points out that the same magazine – The Spectator – ran a “Where’s Boris?” cartoon on its front cover “featuring a distant blond dot on a tiny boat bobbing rudderless and oarless on a stormy sea”.

The Daily Mail had reached a similar conclusion. “Boris: We’ve Failed” the front-page headline blared, with the paper claiming it had warned of a “looming test crisis five months ago”.

“Too often the government has over-promised and under-delivered,” concluded a leader in the Times on Friday morning. “Policies have had to be swiftly abandoned after the exposure of entirely predictable problems,” the centre-right broadsheet continued, adding the A-level fiasco and the problems with the contact-tracing app for good measure.

Of course they’re not willing to shift loyalty away from the Tories altogether… at least, not yet.

Labour leader Keir Starmer, for all his attempts to drag his party back into Tory orbit (and perhaps because of it) has failed to impress anybody apart from the most fervent haters of the man he replaced, Jeremy Corbyn. That party will need to find a new leader with a drop of socialism in his blood and a penchant for a decent soundbite. That’s not happening any time soon.

But just look at that picture.

This Writer has never seen a middle-aged bald man look so ready to smash somebody else’s face in – and I make that statement as a middle-aged, bald man myself.

It seems clear that Johnson is at a crossroads – but has probably sold his soul to the devil already. He’s on a road to a Hell of his own making – the question now is whether he’ll drag us all down with him.

Source: With scientists divided, it’s time for politicians to decide | The Spectator

Distraction tactics: why pay attention to all this right-wing fiddling while your country burns?

Jeremy Corbyn: it’s nice that a Twitter poll has rated him the best prime minister the UK never had, but the PM that we’ve got is turning the UK into a major disaster and this stuff is nothing more than an attempt to distract you. Did it work?

We all know bank holiday Mondays are where the news goes to die but August 2020 was particularly bad.

Judging by Twitter, the event that caught everybody’s imagination was a poll by right-wing Times Radio that resulted in a nobody presenter – This Writer has never heard of him – having to declare that Jeremy Corbyn is the best prime minister the UK never had.

(It means he would have been a better choice, not only than Boris Johnson or Theresa May, but better than many others as well – according to those who took part in the poll.)

Certain right-whingers immediately took it upon themselves to alleged – without any factual basis – that Corbynista Twitter users had ganged up to rig the poll.

Who cares?

It doesn’t matter. We didn’t get Corbyn. We got Theresa May in 2017 and Boris Johnson now – partly because Labour apparatchiks conspired to bugger up Corbyn’s campaigns on one or both occasions, if you believe a certain report (I do).

And it diverts attention from the failures of the government we have – especially at a time when Parliament is about to resume sitting after the summer recess.

The Guardian‘s editorial has identified a few of the political crises from which the poll has diverted our attention. For example:

Rishi Sunak is determined to end his Job Retention Scheme – the furlough to you and me – at the end of October, triggering a huge wave of unemployment. That’s right, even more people are about to learn what Universal Credit is all about – and they’re not going to like it.

He’s facing an annual national deficit that will have grown to twice the amount faced by Gordon Brown’s Labour government during the so-called “great recession” of 2008 or thereabouts. His party made a lot of mileage out of criticising Labour’s handling of that recession, slithering back into office by claiming it would end deficit spending and cut the national debt as well (instead the Tories more than doubled the debt to £2 trillion).

And in November Sunak has to produce a budget that will boost the economy and return the national finances to some semblance of balance (fat chance! He’s already facing a backbench rebellion on his mooted plans for tax rises).

Nobody’s going back to work because they don’t trust the government’s proclamations that it is safe from Covid-19. Nobody is likely to go back to universities for the same reason. The only people likely to want to go back to school are the kids – and that’s because they’re probably a bit bored by now and want to see their buddies again.

The Johnson government’s determination to push through Brexit as planned by December 31 means the party that pledged to end the scourge of “red tape” is more likely to throttle us with it, as businesses have to deal with an avalanche of pointless bureaucracy.

These are all problems that the Tories have created for the rest of us, either by incompetence or by design, since they first came back into power in 2010 – and most particularly since Boris Johnson became prime minister last year.

You need to be thinking about that, but instead you’re being seduced into thinking about a dopey Twitter poll that doesn’t mean anything at all.

You’re watching the right-wingers fiddling around while your country burns around you.

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Bad Times-ing: new radio channel announces Windrush Home Secretary will host show – in the middle of George Floyd racism riots

Amber Rudd: what a symbol of white privilege.

How tactless. How Murdoch.

Times Radio is a Rupert Murdoch venture – it’s run by his firm News UK – and will start broadcasting on June 29. So the organisation put out a press release today (June 2) announcing its initial line-up.

Fair enough? Not really.

You see, among the presenters is Amber Rudd, the former Tory Home Secretary who had to quit her job over her appallingly bad handling of the racist Windrush scandal.

She was the one who misled Parliament over a memo showing that the Home Office had a target number of people to deport from the UK, if you remember.

Now, after a week of violence in the United States over the killing by police of unarmed George Floyd, on the same day the Conservative governent here in the UK refused to release a report on the way black and minority ethnic people have been disproportionately harmed in the Covid-19 crisis… Times Radio announces this danger to black people will be hosting a happy-go-lucky radio talk show.

The message is clear: This privileged white woman persecuted vulnerable black people so we’re rewarding her.

The channel’s press release refers to “former Conservative Home Secretary Amber Rudd with her journalist daughter Flora Gill, talking about their different takes on the world, picking up on their popular social media interactions”.

And it quotes Rudd as saying: “It will be a great platform for me to put Flora in her place.” Will she be deporting her daughter, then?

If this Murdoch channel wanted to throw away listeners, it could not have done a better job than by starting with this. The reaction on social media has been poisonous:

https://twitter.com/JosieLong/status/1267774510339629058

Source: News UK announces Times Radio launch date: new national DAB station begins broadcasting on Monday 29th June | News UK

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Why is Johnson so popular when he has bungled the coronavirus crisis so badly?


I don’t get it.

A poll out yesterday (April 2) shows that most people believe Boris Johnson and his government have botched their handling of the coronavirus pandemic, endangering lives.

But popularity polls put him and his party at their most popular in years, with more than 50 per cent of people supporting them.

In the name of all that’s decent, why?

And don’t give me the old flannel about the alternative being worse. That’s a false argument; we don’t know that the alternative would be worse and can only judge the situation that we have.

The new poll by Ipsos Mori shows 56 per cent of said the social distancing measures were imposed too late while just four per cent believed they were brought in too soon. A further 35 per cent of respondents said they thought the measures were taken at the right time.

Even so, a majority of those polled said they thought the measures had been effective – while watching death figures increase steadily. This is contradictory; if Johnson brought in the measures too late, then he has endangered lives and they have not been effective.

Other critics are harsher.

“No 10 appears to be enamoured with ‘scientism’ – things that have the cosmetic attributes of science but without its rigour,” wrote Nasim Nicholas Taleb, professor of risk engineering at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering and author of The Black Swan, and Yaneer Bar-Ya, president of the New England Complex System Institute.

“Collective safety and systemic risk are the business of the state. Letting a segment of the population die for the sake of the economy is a false dichotomy – aside from the moral repugnance of the idea.” This is a reference to Dominic Cummings’s favoured ‘herd immunity’ idea that was, in fact, unscientific and would have resulted in the deaths of millions of UK citizens.

“Gambling with the lives of citizens is a professional wrongdoing that extends beyond academic mistake; it is a violation of the ethics of governing,” they concluded.

Foreign commentary has been even more unkind.

“Looking across the Irish Sea I find myself thinking surely now, surely the British can see how they’ve been hoodwinked,” wrote Joe Horgan in the Irish Times [boldings mine].

“Boris Johnson is incompetent in a way that is astonishing even to those of us who thought he was a mere showman charlatan.

“Johnson told you one week to carry on, everything would be fine, and the following week to not step outside the door. For a man so fond of wartime imagery there is one that seems to fit him. An image from WW1 that was used to describe British soldiers in the trenches and the generals that ordered them to their deaths. Lions led by donkeys.”

(Led By Donkeys is, coincidentally – or perhaps not – a UK organisation that ran a billboard campaign highlighting the contradictions of Johnson’s, and other Brexiteers’, words on Brexit.)

“Much like those generals, Johnson’s initial idea of herd immunity seemed willing to sacrifice thousands of you only for him to turn around in the middle of no man’s land and run for cover.

“Of all the European leaders he has looked the most out of his depth, the most shallow, and vacuous. These are dark times and rambling verbal buffoonery looks as essentially useless as it essentially is.”

He concluded that he felt the Irish people had been lucky, and: “I dearly hope you, our neighbours, our friends, and our family, on the other side of the Irish Sea, I dearly hope you get lucky too.” Because luck is all that can save us from Johnson’s disastrous policy blunders.

Perhaps most cutting was the New York Times.

“Boris Johnson has spent decades preparing for his lead role, honing his adopted character, perfecting his mannerisms, gauging the reactions to his performance and adjusting it for maximum effect,” wrote Jenni Russell in that publication.

“Now he has the national stage and the rapt audience he always craved… throughout these last weeks as the coronavirus crisis became apparent to everyone in Britain, Mr. Johnson has been indecisive, contradictory, confused and confusing, jovial when he should be grave, muddled when a frightened nation desperately needs him to be clear.

“The man picked for his supposed talents as a great communicator has stumbled his way through news conferences, occasionally hitting with evident relief upon a jolly riff he finds familiar.

“In the rare moments when he has struck the right note, he unerringly hits a jarring one minutes, hours or days later. His switches of strategy and his lack of clarity left far too many Britons oblivious to the importance of social distancing until far too late.

“As the virus spread into Europe in mid-February, an alert prime minister would have taken immediate charge, turbocharging preparations, aware that a possible pandemic posed a grave danger to Britain. Instead, he vanished from public view for 12 days, most of it spent on a private holiday with his pregnant fiancée at a palatial country house.

“It was only at the end of February, with 80,000 known coronavirus cases worldwide and the World Health Organization on the edge of declaring a pandemic, that Mr. Johnson began to wake up. By that time there were 20 confirmed cases and one death in Britain already — and surely many more coming.

“On Feb. 28, after the FTSE index had suffered its biggest one-week fall since 2008, Mr. Johnson finally said the virus was the country’s top priority. Only not enough of a priority, it turned out, for him to start work on it that weekend. He could have convened an immediate meeting of the government’s top emergency committee, Cobra, but he postponed it to Monday, as if the virus’s unseen and exponential spread would also be taking the weekend off.

“The next week Mr. Johnson announced that “we should all basically just go about our normal daily lives’’ so long as we washed our hands for 20 seconds, several times a day. It was advice he immediately undermined by boasting cheerfully that he was still shaking hands, as he had indeed done at a hospital with several virus patients just days before. He did not recommend stopping.

“Two days later, as Italy and Spain were shutting down, pleading for other countries not to repeat their mistakes, Mr. Johnson was explaining jauntily that one of the options for handling the virus was not to close schools or sporting events but to “take it on the chin, take it all in one go and allow the disease, as it were, to move through the population, without taking as many draconian measures.” The policy, it was later revealed, was to encourage “herd immunity.” That implied some 40 million people getting ill and another 800,000 ending up in intensive care.

“It was instantly apparent to an aghast public that a creaking, underfunded health service with fewer than 5,000 intensive-care beds; an acute shortage of ventilators, masks, suits and gloves; an inadequate testing capacity; and a disease running free would fall apart just as Italy’s had done.”

Was it? His opinion poll ratings seem to suggest otherwise – in defiance of reason.

““Herd immunity” was quietly reversed. Suddenly restrictions started piling on, but sometimes only as recommendations: 14-day isolations, a warning against pubs, restaurants, theaters; a ban on mass gatherings; school closings. Each day brought new shocks as the government ran to catch up. Each day it acted as if taken by surprise by the virus’s spread.

“Mr. Johnson found it impossible to maintain either consistency or seriousness. He delighted in describing cutting peak death rates as “squashing the sombrero” and declared with verve that we would soon “send coronavirus packing.” He has veered among solemnity, evident boredom and grins, as if his virus briefings were the Boris Johnson Entertainment Show, not the grimmest of necessary broadcasts.

“He said the elderly must be protected from contact, then declared he hoped to visit his mother. Desperate doctors and nurses were warning of imminent disaster, and some of his cabinet were in revolt at his failure to grip the crisis, risk his jolly image and order Britain closed. On Monday, finally, he had to announce that Britain’s lockdown had begun.

“Even then, at this time of profound national fear and disorientation, Mr. Johnson could not speak with gravitas, only with the odd, stagy emphasis of a man pretending while half his mind is elsewhere. His whole political appeal has always rested on his capacity for artful ambiguity, for never necessarily meaning anything he says, for amusing and uplifting people, for avoiding hard facts. It’s what he knows, but not what we need.”

(Apologies to the NYTimes for quoting so much of the article but the facts it contains, and the conclusions it draws, should be drawn to the attention of the UK’s population.)

Given all of these criticisms, it is perhaps unsurprising that Mr Johnson has decided that discretion is the better part of cowardice and is remaining in retreat from the public.

Apparently he still has coronavirus symptoms and is therefore continuing his self-isolation.

Some of us are sceptical, including This Site’s old friend Samuel Miller.

He said Johnson “may stay inside a fridge” – referring to the incident in which our great and illustrious prime minister hid inside a refrigerator to escape having to answer difficult questions.

That’s Boris Johnson for you. That’s the prime minister we elected. A man who spouts nonsense at us and then runs away and hides.

And the people, we’re told, love him for this genocidal stupidity.

In the name of all that’s decent, why?

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Tories are failing the NHS with huge increases in waiting times for English patients

This was a corridor in an English hospital’s Accident & Emergency department in early 2017. What will it look like next January?

No wonder Boris Johnson has announced a huge modernisation programme for the NHS in England, if these damning figures are any indicator of his party’s performance in government.

(Nobody knows whether the investment he has promised will actually happen, though.)

Statistics published today by the National Health Service show that

  • 85.4 per cent of patients were seen within four hours in A&E this September, compared with 89.1 per cent in September 2018
  • 64,921 patients were left stranded on hospital trolleys for four hours or longer in September 2019 compared with 44,582 last year.
  • Five out of eight of the cancer waiting time targets were missed in August, including the 62 day waiting time target which has not been met since December 2015.
  • The number of patients on the waiting list in England at the end of August 2019 was 4.4 million. Taking account of trusts not submitting data, the waiting list increased by 4.8 per cent over August 2018.

The fact that five out of eight cancer waiting times were missed is particularly damning after Theresa May spent so much of her Prime Minister’s Questions time slating the Welsh NHS for failing to reach targets in respect of that disease.

“Today’s figures blow apart bogus claims from the Tories that they are the party of the NHS,” said Labour’s shadow health secretary, Jon Ashworth.

“Under the Tories, more and more patients are waiting for treatment and languishing on trolleys in overwhelmed A&E departments. Behind every statistic is a patient in pain and distress.

“The facts speak for themselves and no amount of spin can hide the reality that the Tories simply don’t care about the NHS.”

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Right-wing rags try to smear Corbyn with fake link to KKK

Skwawkbox is right to suggest the right-wing press is getting desperate in its attempts to smear Jeremy Corbyn (the Express also ran the David Duke smear.

I say: Let them get on with it. They will soon run out of steam, and those of us who are interested in facts will be able to counter their nonsense claims.

Of course, some of us may end up having to face nuisance disciplinary cases cooked up with the complicity of the Labour Party – but the silliness of that against Marc Wadsworth (for example) has demonstrated what these are.

My own case is likely to come to a hearing soon, but I hold little hope for justice as there is a directive from Labour’s NEC to find me guilty even if I am innocent.

I am crowdfunding for the cash to be able to take legal action against my accusers. As Labour’s policy is that defendants are guilty until proven innocent, in defiance of the fundamental principles of British justice, it seems best to reintroduce real British justice into these matters.

You can help – should you so desire – by visiting my JustGiving page and contributing what you can.

The Times recently provided an object lesson in the depths of Establishment fear and desperation to smear Jeremy Corbyn with its attempt to paint the Labour leader as antisemitic for appearing alongside a respected Jewish Holocaust survivor – eight years ago. Corbyn, at that time, was standing squarely in support of Jewish people, as his voting record – easily checkable – showed.

The Times had scraped right through the barrel-bottom – but it seems it just kept on digging until it hit the sewer.

The rag has now attempted to smear Corbyn by association with racist organisation the KKK, based on a comment from the KKK’s leader. But to use that, the Murdoch outfit had to ignore the fact that David Duke had launched a vicious attack on Corbyn for his anti-racist activities.

The Establishment is stooping to depths that are not only ludicrous but self-defeating. The smears have been pushed so far beyond any credibility that they are exposing the desperation, fear and bankruptcy of those behind them.

Source: Times’ new Corbyn-smear low exposes Establishment bankruptcy | The SKWAWKBOX

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