Tag Archives: wing

Facebook HAS been filtering out left-wing news. Is it time to check your settings? 

Facebook: presumably, all the silhouetted people here have been cut off from the left-wing news-related articles they wanted to read and are wandering aimlessly in search of them. Isn’t it time this interference was ended?

The social media platform Facebook has confirmed that it knowingly changed its news algorithms to filter out sites like Vox Political from your feeds.

The claim is that this was in response to pressure from right-wingers who claimed that they were being victimised.

Two wrongs don’t make a right, Mark Zuckerberg.

This lopsided treatment appears to have continued: SKWAWKBOX readers have reported posts they have shared disappearing from their newsfeeds, ‘see first’ settings disappearing in spite of repeated attempts to prioritise the page’s updates and other anomalies when they try to view or share news.

If you get your links to articles by This Site, or Skwawkbox, or The Canary, or any of the other left-wing sites via Facebook, it seems now would be a good time to check that the system hasn’t messed with your preference settings.

Alternatively, why not cut out the middle man altogether?

In the right-hand column of this page (if you’re using a computer) there’s a section marked “SUBSCRIBE VIA EMAIL”. It’s easy to use and won’t take more than a minute of your time.

Then you can be sure of receiving the articles you want to see. Isn’t that better than letting some faceless Facebook fascist separate you from what you want to see?

Source: Confirmed: Facebook changed its system to filter out left news from user feeds while leaving right untouched – SKWAWKBOX

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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

Labour goons are trying to get lefties to buckle under to Starmer. Did they miss the last five years?

Keir Starmer: he’s not interested in accommodating left-wingers in Labour; he just wants them to shut up and do as they’re told.

It must be a kind of psychosis. Former Corbyn adviser Andrew Fisher’s outburst in The Guardian is just a symptom.

After spending five years refusing point-blank to accept Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party and follow the new (which was actually a traditional) Labour Party line, these creeps – and their buddie in the media (Graun) – are trying to get lefties to slavishly follow Starmer:

Labour’s left must work constructively with Keir Starmer and resist the temptation to go “back in our sealed tomb”, Jeremy Corbyn’s former policy chief has warned.

Notice the choice of language. Nobody on the left suggested the uptight right-wingers belonged in a “sealed tomb” (although let’s be honest, a fascist rally would be more appropriate).

He said it was the responsibility of senior figures within the party’s left to reassure new members that Corbyn’s replacement would not lead to their marginalisation.

That would be irresponsible because we have already seen leading left-wing figures marginalised (Rebecca Long-Bailey, for example).

Fisher said Starmer’s 10 leadership election pledges, which included commitments on abolishing tuition fees, taxing the wealthy and public ownership, was “still basically our policy programme”.

Not true – Starmer has already reneged on nine out of the 10.

So I don’t believe Fisher, and I don’t think anybody else should either.

The opportunity for the different sides of “broad church” Labour to come together was under the left-wing leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

It can’t happen under right-wingers like Keir Starmer because their attitude is as described in this article’s headline: buckle under or bugger off.

They’re not interested in devising a policy platform that is acceptable to traditional Labour supporters – and good for the country as a whole.

They just want to use rank-and-file Labour subscriptions to line their own pockets. In This Writer’s opinion.

Source: Labour left must work with Starmer or risk ‘return to tomb’, says Corbyn adviser | Politics | The Guardian

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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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If both Jewish and Muslim representatives have condemned this MPs contact with the far right – why has he not been censured?

Both the Muslim Council of Britain and the Board of Deputies of British Jews have condemned Daniel Kawczynski for attending a conference with far-right European leaders.

But the Conservative government has said nothing.

What does that say about the politics of your cuddly, lovable, bumbling ol’ Boris Johnson?

Doesn’t it suggest that his own leanings are a little further to the right than we have been led to believe?

(That’s for readers who aren’t on benefits, of course. They all know the score.)

A Tory MP has defended his decision to speak at a conference in Rome alongside “some of Europe’s most notorious far-right politicians”.

Daniel Kawczynski has been condemned by the Board of Deputies of British Jews for attending the National Conservatism conference in Rome alongside Hungary’s far-right prime minister Viktor Orban.

Also speaking at the conference was Ryszard Legutko, the Polish Law and Justice MEP who has described homophobia as a “totally fictitious problem”

Misdaad Versie, a spokesperson for the Muslim Council of Britain also criticised Mr Kawczynski – as well as the Tory Chief Whip, whom the MP claims he informed about the conference ahead of time.

Source: Tory MP defends decision to attend conference with Hungary’s far-right leader – Mirror Online

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Is Rachel Riley’s obsession with ‘left anti-Semitism’ enabling the far right?

Countdown: Let’s show so-called celebrities like Rachel Riley that time is running out for their crackpot crusade.

After the action, the outcry: Last week, Rachel Riley succeeded in getting Katie Hopkins bumped from Twitter, as reported here.

The move has prompted outrage from certain sections of online society, as evidenced by these examples:

(This was by a Brexit supporter.)

(This was by someone who self-describes as: “American. Patriot. Brexit. Back Boris”.)

(This was from Mark Meechan, aka Count Dankula, the far-right activist who Ms Riley supported after he was accused of anti-Semitism).

Now, to me, they seem a pretty right-wing crowd. But Tracy-Ann Oberman, a friend of Ms Riley who also threatened me with court action for libel, seems to think otherwise:

“Watching the Far Left have a twitter meltdown over KatieHopkins twitter ban at the hands of EVIL Rachel Riley and those of us who have helped Twitter assess these matters , is quite a thing. The irrationality and double think plus the outright LIES”.

Huh?

Katie Hopkins is out there on the far right, so it is logical that others on the far right are screaming the loudest. Why is Ms Oberman suggesting otherwise?

Is it a reflex action – blame the left because she is so used to doing it that it is now automatic?

Is she deluded – a new conspiracy-theorist desperate to blame the political theft for whatever plots she can dream up?

That would be bad enough – at least for her mental health.

But what if she isn’t deluded and is consciously and deliberately deceiving people by opportunistically blaming the left for instances of anti-Semitism and abuse that are nothing to do with anyone on that side of politics?

That would mean she – and Ms Riley, by extension – are enabling the far right.

Now consider the fact that the organisation that (as I understand it) radicalised Rachel Riley – the Campaign Against Antisemitism – has been reported to the Charity Commission for failing to be independent of party politics, which is required under law if it is to have charity status.

The Green Party made the complaint over the organisation’s anti-Labour campaigns and a video by its head of political investigations, celebrating Labour’s defeat in the 2019 general election by saying “the beast is slain” and using the word “slaughtered”.

The Greens are calling it negative campaigning that incites hatred.

If that is what the CAA has been doing, then is it a big stretch to believe that Ms Oberman is part of such an agenda? Or Ms Riley?

I think these so-called celebrities have serious questions to answer.

If you agree, please support my defence against Ms Riley’s libel action against me. If it gets to trial, we will be able to examine her behaviour and put those questions to her directly.

Here’s how you can 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.

People like Ms Oberman and Ms Riley seem to think that their wealth makes them impervious to criticism; that they can say and do whatever they want.

We have a chance to show them they are wrong. Let’s take it.

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.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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Was Twitter campaign against Owen Jones organised by supporters of Rachel Riley – or of something more sinister?

Abuse: Here’s far-right Brexiteer James Goddard doing his best to rile Owen Jones in the incident last January that formed the basis for the Twitter attack.

Left-wing columnist Owen Jones has been the target of a Twitter ‘dogpile’ campaign – apparently organised by supporters of Countdown co-host Rachel Riley, who has attacked him in the past.

The aim was to target Mr Jones for abuse on the social media platform, using a hashtag with an offensive title that I shall not repeat here – although you can find it in Mr Jones’s own tweet below, in which he attributes the origin of the abuse campaign to a person going by the handle @SirBasilBrush:

The identity of the culprit is apparently confirmed in this tweet, using information from Laura Murray:

I did a bit of research into this individual and it seems he is a long-term supporter of Ms Riley. His timeline is littered with messages of support for her – including this one, in which he endorses a thread she wrote attacking a certain teenage girl. My own article on that particular saga has led to a libel suit (see the appeal to support my CrowdJustice campaign, below):

The Riley connection is important because other supporters of that person expressed their disgust when the offending hashtag was taken down – by linking it with one attacking their idol:

This Twitter user has also shown long-term support for Ms Riley:

But it also links those people with those on the extreme right wing of politics.

The clip used to trigger the hashtag attack was of far-right pro-Brexit protesters shouting abuse at him during and after a TV interview on College Green back in January.

Ms Riley’s antipathy towards Mr Jones is a matter of public record. To quote just one example, she attacked him in January this year – inaccurately, and shockingly – over his coverage of Holocaust Memorial Day.

She protested at the time that she is not a supporter of the far right. Maybe that’s true; I don’t propose to comment on it, one way or the other.

But questions need to be asked about why supporters of the far right seem so keen to link themselves with her.

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Lefty journo and Tory MP confronted by wall of gammon. Guess who gets Establishment support

For the record: Owen Jones, pursued by James Goddard – both recording the encounter on their mobile phones, while a policeman watches. The behaviour of these right-wingers is like that of cartoon villains, so I’ve cartoonised this scene.

Some of what follows is very ugly indeed.

The left-wing journalist Owen Jones, together with Conservative MP Anna Soubry and who knows how many others were targeted by right-wing pro-Brexit protesters outside Parliament yesterday (Monday, January 7).

They were wearing yellow vests because they have styled themselves after France’s gilets jaunes, protesters against rising fuel prices and taxes who blocked roads wearing yellow high-vis jackets on November 18 last year, sparking a pan-European movement.

Think about that for a moment. These anti-EU protesters were aping people who are citizens of the very bloc they hate. That should give you an inkling as to their twisted thinking. But it gets worse.

Here’s Mr Jones’s tweeted video clip of his treatment at their hands:

I’ll be honest – sometimes I disagree with Mr Jones’s opinions, but always in the most cordial way and always with reason. Calling him a “tampon”, a “traitor”, and a writer of “fake news” is neither cordial nor reasonable. And take note of the way the chief bully in the crowd called Mr Jones a bully; it’s a classic tactic, accusing a victim of one’s own behaviour.

The principle antagonist in the clip appears to be one James Goddard. You can witness more of his behaviour here:

It seems astonishing that this man retained his liberty after the behaviour in the clip tweeted by Another Angry Voice. If you’ve seen any of the many reality documentaries showing the police on duty, you’ll know that they usually issue a stern warning to members of the public who start exhibiting loud and threatening behaviour to desist, and arrest them if they don’t comply. The racist claim that the officer in the clip isn’t even British would be a chargeable offence, I believe.

There may be a reason he hasn’t been arrested, but it isn’t a very good one. We’ll come to it shortly.

(If I may interject a note of personal pride here, I seem to recall coining the term “Brextremist” on This Site. I am delighted to see that it has fallen into general usage.)

In a further tweet, Mr Jones added: “By the way, the things they’re yelling at me – traitor, terrorism supporter – are all legitimised by the right wing press and politicians. If anything happens to one of us on the left at the hands of these fascists, they will share the blame. Hope that’s clear.”

There’s just one issue with that comment, as Hazel Nolan makes clear:

Have we become so normalised to right-wing rhetoric that this loathsome language, and the behaviour it encourages, is now deemed normal?

The experience of Anna Soubry would suggest otherwise.

The Remain-supporting Tory ventured outside the Palace of Westminster to give an interview on College Green, only to be interrupted by chants of “Soubry is a Nazi”:

Afterwards, Twitter commentator Femi found her surrounded by the same people who had accosted Mr Jones:

Note the way they mistook him for Labour MP David Lammy. Was it because they are both of Afro-Caribbean descent?

Mr Goddard, it seems, followed up these incidents by crowing about them on the social media:

The displays against Ms Soubry and Mr Jones, attracted widespread denunciation from both members of the public and the political classes.

Aislinn M-D, a doctor, tweeted: “Now im no fan of Soubry but the accusation of being a ‘Nazi’ seems to be one of the most flippantly overused and totally disconnected insult from reality. It disgracefully undermines what the Nazis actually did and makes those using it demonstrate total ignorance of history.”

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon stated, “This is appalling – as is footage today of Owen Jones facing a similar experience. We all have a duty to stand against this kind of behaviour. Robust debate is the hallmark of any democracy – but so too is decency, civility and respect for those holding different opinions.”

So why weren’t the perpetrators arrested?

“Citizen of Everywhere”, responding to a similar question from the Mail opinion hack Dan Hodges (with whom, for once, I found myself in agreement), suggested: “They’re trying to provoke an overreaction from the police so they can paint themselves as victims fighting the good fight against an oppressive regime. It’s usually better to mock them than arrest them, but I agree that changes when they cross the line into individual harassment.”

Nick Church also suggested: “The MPs who have legitimized this level of racism and xenophobia and allowed it to become mainstream should be utterly ashamed.”

Sadly, it seems Parliamentarians were only interested in protecting their own when the issue was raised as a point of order in the House of Commons.

Tory Nick Boles asked Speaker John Bercow, “Will you consult the Serjeant at Arms to see whether the Metropolitan police are doing everything they can to protect the public’s right to protest but also to ensure that Members are able to go about their business in total safety?”

Here’s the answer: “The House authorities are not technically responsible for the safety of Members off the estate—that is and remains a matter for the Metropolitan police—but naturally, I take this issue very seriously and so, I am sure, do the police, who have been made well aware of our concerns.

“Reflecting and reinforcing what the hon. Gentleman said about peaceful protest, let me say this. Peaceful protest is a vital democratic freedom, but so is the right of elected Members to go about their business without being threatened or abused, and that includes access to and from the media stands in Abingdon Green. I say no more than that I am concerned at this stage about what seems to be a pattern of protests targeted in particular—I do not say exclusively—at women. Female Members and, I am advised, in a number of cases, female journalists, have been subjected to aggressive protest and what many would regard as harassment.”

It took a further intervention from Labour MP Pat McFadden, asking Mr Bercow “to do everything possible to ensure that journalists and broadcasters can do their job and that Members of this House are free to speak their minds” before the Speaker included all members of the press, including Mr Jones, in his considerations.

Following on from this exchange, more than 50 MPs wrote to Metropolitan police commissioner Cressida Dick, demanding stronger action to protect people who work in Westminster from aggressive far-right protesters.

The letter stated: “After months of peaceful and calm protests by groups representing a range of political views on Brexit, an ugly element of individuals with strong far right and extreme right connections – which your officers are well aware of – have increasingly engaged in intimidatory and potentially criminal acts targeting Members of Parliament, journalists, activists and members of the public.

“We understand there are ongoing investigations but there appears to be an ongoing lack of coordination in the response from the police and appropriate authorities including with Westminster borough policing – and despite clear assurances this would be dealt with following incidents before Christmas – there have been a number of further serious and well publicised incidents today.

“It is… utterly unacceptable for members of parliament, journalists, activists and members of the public to be subject to abuse, intimidation and threatening behaviour and indeed potentially serious offences while they go about their work.”

Would they have taken this step if only Mr Jones had been targeted? I have doubts about that.

He is a divisive figure, and often cannot count on other members of the media for support in matters such as this. Consider his clash with BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Tony Livesay. Mr Jones tweeted: “I went on earlier and the presenter said that by describing these fascists as “knuckle-dragging Tommy Robinson supporters” I was comparable to them. This is what we are dealing with in the British media.”

Mr Livesay responded: “Did I equate it @OwenJones84 ? Or did I say some people might say you’re not elevating the debate.”

In return, Mr Jones stated: “There is no debate to be elevated with fascists screaming abuse. This is beyond a joke.”

It is. I had intended to present an example of the abuse tweeted to Mr Jones by someone using the handle “MidNightLion1”, threatening extreme violence. It has been deleted, but it read: “You will get smashed one day Owen. Someone will beat the life out of you and it will be brilliant to see.”

Mr Jones responded: “Whatever happens to me, we crushed fascism before and we’ll crush fascism all over again.”

“Whatever happens to me”? Nobody should have to contemplate the possibility of serious harm coming to them, simply for expressing opinions – which, in contrast with those of the so-called yellow vest protesters, do not threaten harm to anybody.

As Grace Petrie tweeted: “It is gravely strange that not three years ago an MP was murdered in an act of far-right terrorism and it had no meaningful effect on this country’s discourse.”

That MP was Jo Cox. Her widower Brendan added: “The problem isn’t (just) extremists like this but mainstream commentators who spur them on with talk of traitors, enemies & betrayal. We should be able to debate difficult issues without making out the other side is evil.”

I hope I am not overstepping the mark if I include politicians among the “mainstream commentators who spur them on”, because, as “Red ’til I’m Dead” points out…

Yet when they start threatening people, the Establishment ranks rally around the Tory MP, while the lefty journalist is left to contemplate the possibility of serious physical harm.

Does that seem acceptable to you?

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Facebook is STILL running ads from opaque organisations trying to influence politics – and banning Leftie sites

A website known as mainstreamnetwork.co.uk has been using Facebook to spread a pro-Brexit, anti-Chequers political message in a bid to influence the politics of the UK, according to media sources.

This comes after Facebook promised to be more open about political advertising, following harsh criticism over adverts that were targeted in ways designed to influence public votes on membership of the EU and the 2017 general election.

The social media platform was – only this week – fined £500,000 for its role in the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. This is the maximum fine possible under data protection rules that were in force before GDPR took effect in May.

Nobody outside Facebook knows what information is being published on the website or where it comes from – and only Facebook will know which adverts and information have been directed at which Facebook users.

This means it is entirely possible that Facebook and its advertisers are not abiding by the laws that regulate the democratic process and restrict spending on campaigns and the content of adverts.

This is crucially important at a time when Facebook is said to be removing pages run by left-leaning media sources.

US commentator Lee Camp fills you in here:

“This is a full-frontal crushing of dissident sources,” he said.

“Facebook conspired with Twitter to shut down a large swathe of independent media on the same day.

“This is like a full-on fascist takeover of independent thought.”

Well, is it?

Let’s get back to mainstreamnetwork.co.uk – the site that is not only still permitted by Facebook but actually splashed a quarter of a million pounds worth of advertising all over it.

What kind of site does Facebook endorse in this way? Take a look:

We do not know who runs the site. We do not know whether it is based in the UK or overseas. We do not know who funds it. There is no name or address anywhere on the site.

A report by political research organisation 89Up, prepared for the DCMS Select Committee… tells us that it has paid to use Facebook, probably about £250,000 in the last year, to spread its views and to encourage its users with a pro-forma letter to email UK MPs from a custom built website.

We also know that it has retained users’ email addresses, possibly in breach of data protection regulations.

Facebook has made these activities possible and profits from them. But it accepts no responsibility for ensuring its users comply with the law.

All of this is happening now – after the Cambridge Analytica scandal and after Facebook made a number of announcements purporting to address the misuse of the platform for political purposes.

Source: We don’t know who just spent £250k on pro-Brexit Facebook ads – that should worry us all

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Labour centrists face their own racism row today, and they have no one to blame but themselves | The Canary

Oh dear. How sad (for the Labour so-called ‘Centrists’. In fact, they’re right-wingers).

They actively colluded with the Conservatives to support the Immigration Act of 2014 that enabled the racist “hostile environment” policy that resulted in the Windrush scandal.

Remember, the Tories have done nothing to ease the severity of this policy; it is still victimising people now.

But Labour ‘Centrists’ think it is far more worthwhile to ignore their role and that atrocity and to lie about their party leader.

For over two years, Labour centrists have promoted antisemitism smears against the left with scant regard for the opinions of left-wing Jews. But now, they are engulfed in their own racism row, as it’s emerged they all backed Theresa May’s 2014 Immigration Act. This act enabled the “regime of harassment” being suffered by the Windrush generation today, just as the left warned at the time.

Source: Labour centrists face their own racism row today, and they have no one to blame but themselves | The Canary

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