Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Rees Mogg - Brexit Flim Flam Man

Hands off the man, the flim flam man.
His mind is up his sleeve and his talk is make believe.
Oh lord, the man's a fraud, he’s a flim flam man
- Flim Flam Man, Laura Nyro
Jacob Rees Mogg, the honourable member for times long past, appeared before the inquisition of the host on The Andy Marr Show (tm) this morning, and duly pontificated about the exit of the UK from the EU. The exchanges showed just why he is so woefully overrated, and is, whisper it quietly, just another flim flam man.

Take, for instance, the suggestion that payment of the so-called “Brexit bill”, currently estimated at over £40 billion, is conditional on other UK ambitions being fulfilled. “We are paying a very large amount of money, 40 billion pounds, and in return we want a trade deal. Everything else is essentially incidental to that. The 40 billion pounds is of great importance to the EU because after March next year it still has 21 months of the multi-annum financial framework, and it expects that to be funded by the UK” he claimed.

This is bunk. The £40 billion is the UK’s contribution to future EU budgets which have already been agreed - partly by the UK. A trade deal is not something we automatically get in return. So when Rees Mogg asserts that “we should reiterate that and say quite clearly that if we don’t the trade deal we want you don’t get the money … that’s a very strong negotiating position”, it is no negotiating position at all.

Likewise his claims about Galileo: “the issues you mentioned, Galileo and so on, the European Union thinks it’s in a position of negotiating strength. Without our money it faces a real crisis next March when it’s facing problems from other countries too. If I were the EU I might be a little bit more worried about what’s going on in Italy than whether the UK can remain a full member of Galileo”. Wrong once again.
The entire cost of Galileo is estimated at around €22 billion. It is already operational. The UK would have to start from scratch to produce its own alternative, probably at much greater cost, and with estimates for lack of customs union deal, lost growth and relocation and resupply costs weighing in at £20 billion, £25 billion and £27 billion respectively. If we want to remain a full member of Galileo, we have to pay the €2 billion, or whatever.

Added to Rees Mogg’s cluelessness on the EU is his inability to disguise his ambition to lead his party. Would he challenge Theresa May for the Tory leadership, asked Marr. “Of course I wouldn’t challenge Theresa May, that’s a ridiculous idea … The Prime Minister has my full support to remain as leader of the party.” So if someone else pushed her, or caused her to be pushed, he’d have his top hat in the ring pronto.

Also, “I don’t wish to be Prime Minister”. That’s as close to “I would not wish to be Prime Minister” as makes no difference. The latter comments came from Margaret Thatcher in a BBC broadcast in 1973. And we know just how far her denial went.

Jacob Rees Mogg affects a detached and patrician air. Some are fooled into thinking he is a mere dilettante, not interested in climbing the greasy pole. They are wrong. He is worryingly ambitious, while being dangerously misinformed. That’s not good enough.

Katie Hopkins - To Hull And Back

With so many washed-up pundits scrambling to jump aboard the bandwagon set running by the arrest of Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, it was with the inevitability of night following day that one of those trying to jump aboard, and failing spectacularly in the process, was going to be pro-am motormouth Katie Hopkins.
Viewers may still want to look away now

And so it came to pass: Hatey Katie has decided that the arrest outside a court building of someone who had previously been convicted on a contempt charge for filming within the precincts of another court building, and who was still on a suspended sentence for the offence, was the latest example of how the UK had somehow fallen. Whence it fell, and where it landed, were of course not told.
Her first response was to cite Ryan Saavedra of the Daily Wire, who said that Lennon being arrested was “what Democrats want in America”. “Thank you for sharing with America @RealSaavedra - the U.K. has fallen” she replied, managing to miss that the Daily Wire is notorious for running false and misleading stories. It is also a repository of climate change denial - just to add to all the falsehoods.
From there, it was inevitable that Ms Hopkins would combine the Lennon story with paranoid falsehood herself, and so she did just that. “Press enquiry lodged with HMPS - Hull Prison Will update with response” she told. Put directly, she has contacted Hull Prison, where Lennon has been taken, to claim that the place must be full of Scary Muslims (tm) and therefore Lennon is in some kind of terrible danger. The thought that the prison population mostly consists of non-Muslims does not get a look in.
Still, details, eh? Hatey Katie was there to support Lennon, and wanted to make sure others did too, letting her followers know the “Address for messages of support”. That’s most charitable of her, but why isn’t she on the next Hull Trains departure from King’s Cross? There are several each day, even on Bank Holiday weekends. Isn’t she going to take along one of those cakes with wire cutters inside?
Or perhaps she’ll just fill it full of raisins instead. Meanwhile, there was foreign support to acknowledge, even if it was from the least desirable quarter. The Netherlands’ most obnoxious bigot Geert Wilders has decided to waste Parliamentary time by tabling “Parliamentary questions to the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs about the arrest and safety of Tommy Robinson”. Katie says that’s “Great work”.
And no tirade on the plight of Stephen Lennon would be complete without at least one lame attempt to blame everything on the hated MSM. So it was that Ms Hopkins saw yesterday’s coverage by the Evening Standard of a couple of hundred members of the Wall Of Gammon (tm) protesting on Lennon’s behalf and sniped “When your ‘reporting’ is so FAR WRONG, the good people of Britain will appear FAR RIGHT. Your perspective is the issue. Own your issues”. She’s still big. It’s the issues that got small.
So Hatey Katie is still away with the fairies. But when is she going to show true commitment to the cause and make the journey to Hull and back? We’re waiting.

Rod Liddle’s Tommy Robinson Excuse Me

After Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, rocked up in Leeds last Friday and got himself arrested outside the court building where a significant number of defendants were on trial on grooming gang related matters, he was duly nicked, placed in a Police van and taken away, all the while protesting his innocence, but making sure he asked for a solicitor and admitted he was “on a suspended sentence”.
I've only had the one bottle, honesht

Much has been said and written about Lennon’s arrest since, but it’s not over until the fat pundit sings, or at least attempts to. So it was that professional slob, confirmed has-been and amateur human being Rod Liddle was given a platform by the increasingly desperate and downmarket Spectator to pontificate on the matter.

Liddle, a supremely immodest man with much to be modest about, did not get off to a good start. His post, titledWas Tommy Robinson arrested for being Tommy Robinson?” begins “The founder of the English Defence League, Tommy Robinson, turned up in Leeds on Thursday to film people going into the trial of several Muslim men accused of ‘grooming’ and sexually assaulting white girls”. Anyone spot the howler?

Lennon turned up in Leeds on Friday, not Thursday. Still, mere journalistic slip, eh? Do go on. “He did not speak, chant, accost anyone or do anything other than point his mobile  phone at attendees, from a distance. Nor was he with a crowd. Still, seven coppers turned up and bundled him into a paddy-wagon accusing him of a breach of the peace”. And another howler - the cops did not accuse him of anything.
They did, of course, tell Lennon the grounds they had for arresting him. But that is not the same as making an accusation. One might expect a former editor of the BBC Radio 4 Today programme to be able to display a grasp of such details. Could Liddle get a Liddle worse still? He certainly could. Quite a lot worse, in fact.

I’m not remotely a fan of Robinson. But I do not like the idea that simply being Robinson is enough to get you arrested. Or that writing something in defence of Robinson puts you somehow beyond the pale”. No evidence is ponied up that Lennon was nicked solely because of who he was. Neither, of course, does Liddle manage to mention what Lennon did - that he was already on a suspended sentence after what happened in the precincts of Canterbury Crown Court last year. Forgetful bloke is Rod. 

And the lack of ponying up evidence wasn’t over: “Also, wouldn’t it have been lovely if West Yorkshire Police had acted with as much rigour and alacrity when they were first told of the horrific sexual assaults taking place within their community”. Given that more than 20 individuals are, or have been, on trial for the offences to which Liddle alludes, it’s blindingly obvious that WYP has acted with “rigour and alacrity”.

The post then ends abruptly: perhaps someone at the Speccy discovered the reporting restrictions placed on what happened to Lennon next, and the potential of any contempt of court to endanger the trials on which Lennon was claiming to report, which Liddle mentions almost as an aside. But what he’s written is bad enough.

Rod Liddle is not stupid. He knows exactly why Lennon was arrested. But the temptation to play the Islamophobia card and score some clicks was too much for him. That is all.

Top Six - May 27

So what’s hot, and what’s not, in the past week’s blogging? Here are the six most popular posts on Zelo Street for the past seven days, counting down in reverse order, because, well, I have places to go and people to see later. So there.
6 Dan Hodges Defends “Moderate” Gang Rape The Mail on Sunday’s not at all celebrated blues artiste decided that making totally out of order comments about Emily Thornberry, ISIS, and gang rape was fine, because the author was “moderate”, and the person calling him out was Owen Jones.

5 Theresa May Jumps The Terrorist Shark Talking to terrorists? The empress Treeza went one better than that - she put one in the House of Lords.

4 Godfrey Bloom New Race Hate Shame Godders declared that Yasmin Alibhai-Brown should be deported, because she’s ungrateful and, well, brown. And some wondered why he was too poisonous even for UKIP.

3 Raheem Kassam SACKED By Breitbart?Call Me Ray” asserted vehemently that he had not been sacked. But he has left the Breitbart building.

2 Football Lads Alliance - IT’S OVER A paltry 300 or so diehards turned up for a march in Manchester, only for it to be called off. Another mass movement that wasn’t.

1 Tommy Robinson And Reporting Restrictions What happened following Stephen Yaxley Lennon’s arrest outside court in Leeds on Friday is not subject to reporting restrictions due to free speech being curtailed. It’s to ensure the justice he and his followers claim they want to see done.

And that’s the end of another blogtastic week, blog pickers. Not ‘arf!

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Murdoch Henchman Lied To MPs TWICE

Back in September 2016, Zelo Street noted that two former Murdoch luminaries, legal man Tom Crone and Colin Myler, the last to edit the Screws before it was shut down, were to be censured by Parliament for contempt, or as ordinary people call it, lying. One name, however, got off on this occasion: Les Hinton, former Murdoch lieutenant, was cleared of misleading the Culture select committee, although there was a scepticism over his memory of events. It seems that scepticism was justified.
Les Hinton claiming he didn't know, honestly

Because, although Hinton “told BBC Hardtalk’s Zeinab Badawi that he knew nothing about phone hacking that was undertaken by journalists in the UK, but did not wish to ‘diminish the crimes that took place’”, the Beeb noting “Mr Hinton was the executive chairman of News International during a period where the voicemail of the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler and many others were illegally accessed”, there is a problem here.
And that is that Hinton, we now learn, appears to have known rather more than he admitted previously. Court records seen by the Byline Media team reveal “Coulson told News International CEO Les Hinton about phone hacking David Blunkett in 2004 for front page exclusive. But Hinton never told the police or reprimanded Coulson or Thurlbeck”.
Those who look in regularly on Zelo Street may recall that Colin Myler had told in a witness statement “I recall a meeting I had with Neville THURLBECK, the Chief Reporter of the News of the World … together with Tom CRONE, the newspaper’s legal manager … in or around July 2009 … I recall that the meeting took place on a Saturday”. The meeting happened the weekend after Nick Davies first broke the phone hacking story.
There was more. “Mr THURLBECK told Mr CRONE and me that some years previously he had hacked into David BLUNKETT’s voicemail messages. This had taken place when Mr BLUNKETT was the Home Secretary and allegations were published by the Newspaper about his personal life … Stories concerning Mr BLUNKETT were published in 2004, and ultimately he resigned his position as Home Secretary”.
This is what the Byline story is referencing. What their report adds is the assertion that Neville “Stylish Masturbator” Thurlbeck’s hacking of Blunkett was known not just to Myler, Crone, Neil Wallis and then Rebekah Brooks, but also Andy Coulson - which figures, as he was editing the Screws at the time - and yes, Les Hinton. Here’s the relevant passage.
RUPERT Murdoch’s right-hand-man Les Hinton knew about phone hacking at the News of the World two years earlier than he stated in evidence to a Parliamentary Committee … was named at least six times at the Central Criminal Court in London as knowing about the paper’s hacking of former British Home Secretary David Blunkett … [the] The claims, made by the Sunday tabloid’s then editor Andy Coulson”.
But Hinton told MPs in 2007 “I believe absolutely that Andy did not have knowledge of what was going on”, adding in 2009 “There was never firm evidence provided or suspicion provided that I am aware of that implicated anybody else other than Clive [Goodman] within the staff of the News of the World - it just did not happen”.

It just did. And it’s now looking like his pants are on fire. Perhaps Damian Collins would like to invite him back to have another think about his story.

Toby Young Defends Eugenics AGAIN

It’s clear from his appearance on the BBC’s Daily Politics last week that the loathsome Toby Young is slowly but surely being rehabilitated, most likely with the help of his pals in the right-leaning part of the Pundit Establishment. All those most unseemly Twitter excursions are to be played down, the most unfortunate attendance at a Eugenics conference swept under the carpet, and any negatives blamed on Rotten Lefties (tm).
Sadly, Tobes cannot resist reverting to type and veering off on yet another tangent in his efforts to promote dubious research, just because it suits his agenda. Standing in the way, because he uses those inconvenient things called facts and does not merely select only the ones that suit his argument, is Jonathan Portes of King’s College London.
Jonathan Portes

So it was that Tobes gleefully told “Superb piece by @AdamPerkinsPhD outing Jonathan Portes as the anonymous, behind-the-scenes complainant who has been trying to destroy his career”, quoting an article in Quillette magazine, a publication described as seeking to make “tired alt-right talking points sound erudite”.
Andy Fugard, from Birkbeck College, took exception to Tobes’ claim. “I'm sorry, but @jdportes hasn't been engaged in some sort of covert operation to demolish a career but rather public critique - very public. The website Perkins cites (a Storify) consists of quotations from his book, highlighting absurdities, and counter arguments”.
There was more. “Read the Corrigendum for yourself to see how bad the errors were in the journal article the book draws on [HERE] … Examples: - Explained variance out by a factor of 10 - Unadjusted mean differences - A minuscule Spearman's r = -0.018”.
And yet more. “Also, rather importantly, Perkins proposes cutting welfare payments to stop particular kinds of people breeding - even if that means people starve to death. I'm going use that controversial approach of quoting again”. The Perkins quote is unequivocal: “the intelligentsia generally believe that supporting a few freeloaders is a price worth paying for protecting unemployed people from starvation”.
Moreover, as Fugard hints, we are perilously close to the realm of eugenics, and the idea of “breeding out” certain “undesirable” traits. As for the idea that Portes operated anonymously, that was news to him. “Anonymous?!? I've been pointing out the obvious, repeated statistical errors in Perkins' paper (& other work) for more than 2 years”.
There was more. “Note @AdamPerkinsPhD was well aware his paper was riddled with errors, because @inductivestep & I pointed it out on twitter. But he ignored basic academic standards and failed to correct them himself”. As Perkins was arriving at the kind of conclusion that resulted in headlines like the Guardian’sAdam Perkins: Welfare dependency can be bred out”, all of this matters, and matters rather a lot.
It also shows that Toby Young is still obsessed with what looks like eugenics, walks like eugenics, and quacks like eugenics. That suggests it may well be eugenics.
So while Tobes protests that he isn’t in to that kind of thing, and that it’s all the fault of the so-called “Twitter mob”, it may serve any doubters to see what he is really up to.

Tommy Robinson And Reporting Restrictions

What happened yesterday to Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, after he rocked up outside court in Leeds and was later arrested, shows that there are a lot of people out there who do not understand reporting restrictions put in place to ensure that those on trial receive a fair hearing. Lennon’s supporters largely do not want to know about this, and that is a pity - mainly for them.
As is understood here on Zelo Street, there have been three separate trials in progress in Leeds of more than 20 individuals accused of being part of a grooming gang. Not all of the trails have yet concluded. As with other grooming gang trials, the prosecution has invested a great deal of effort in securing justice for the alleged victims; part of that effort is to ensure that outside interference is not allowed to compromise or even collapse the trial.
That the trials had not all concluded was confirmed by the Independent’s report, which toldLennon … had claimed that verdicts were due on Friday but court officials confirmed that the trial of nine defendants is ongoing”. West Yorkshire Police declined to comment when asked by the representative from the Evening Standard.

Free sheet Metro set out why Lennon was arrested: “He showed men entering the court on Facebook until he was approached by officers telling him to stop … Robinson is already under a suspended sentence over contempt of court at a gang rape trial in Canterbury last year … It is a criminal offence that can land people in jail”.
Former prosecutor Nazir Afzal set out the potential pitfalls of breaking reporting restrictions: “We nearly lost the so called Rochdale grooming case (#ThreeGirls) cos of a far right communication … Their lawyers applied at their trial that the jury had been prejudiced by Far Right We had to fight to persuade Court to allow trial to continue Those criminals came close to being freed & victims close to getting NO justice Jury must decide on EVIDENCE, not on your OPINION”. Others added their own cautions.
Sharon Bottomley warned “It's because this trial has reporting restrictions which are there for a reason. The trial has been split as so many defendants and when all have been tried later this year then restrictions will be lifted. They cannot risk any coverage as all 3 trials linked”. And Mike Stuchbery concluded “Cases involving child sexual exploitation are generally highly restricted. There are so many things that (quite rightly) can't be made public. What he's done is hugely irresponsible”.
Also, the warning given to Lennon by Judge Heather Norton at Canterbury Crown Court should be borne in mind. “In short, Mr. Yaxley-Lennon, turn up at another court, refer to people as ‘Muslim paedophiles, Muslim rapists’ and so on and so forth while trials are ongoing and before there has been a finding by a jury that that is what they are, and you will find yourself inside.  Do you understand?  Thank you very much”.
As Lennon’s actions are now linked inextricably to the continuing trial in Leeds, those reporting restrictions, and the contempt laws, still apply. They even apply to his Facebook page. That might be difficult for his supporters, and the likes of Lauren Southern, to comprehend. But that’s the way we ensure fair trials in the UK - for everyone.

It does not mean anyone’s free speech is being curtailed. That is all.

Friday, 25 May 2018

Raheem Kassam SACKED By Breitbart?

[UPDATE: Raheem Kassam has denied vehemently that he was sacked by Breitbart.

Although the Breitbart statement does not confirm the contention one way or the other, I am happy to put his denial on record.

I note that he has not recorded any objection to any other part of this post]

These are troubled times for the convocation of the irredeemably batshit otherwise known as Breitbart. Traffic is rumoured to have dropped by around 50% recently, Robert Mercer has sold his stake in the operation to his daughters, and Steve Bannon has parted company with the site. Now has come the news that one of Bannon’s first hires for Breitbart London may have been given the order of the boot.
Raheem “call me Ray” Kassam, a Walter Mitty figure of no discernible ability, was handed the role of Editor-in-Chief by Bannon back in 2014. He had little credible backstory except for a spell at The Commentator, and his deservedly short-lived venture Trending Central, that title hinting at Kassam’s staggering pretentiousness.

Even after his time as aide to former UKIP Oberscheissenf├╝hrer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, Kassam was able to walk straight back into his role at Breitbart. How times have changed: as The Atlantic has told, “Breitbart London editor Raheem Kassam has left the company, a source with direct knowledge of his departure told The Atlantic, marking the exit of one of the most visible legacies of the company’s former chairman Steve Bannon”.

There was more. “Bannon brought Kassam to Breitbart in 2014, hiring him to run the site’s London bureau. Kassam is closely associated with the anti-European Union, anti-immigration United Kingdom Independence Party and the pro-Brexit movement. He was also once a top aide to former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, and in 2016 launched a failed bid to lead UKIP himself”. Failed bid? It was never a serious bid in the first place.

Kassam couldn’t organise an act of alcoholic derangement in an EU wine lake, let alone a serious political party, which the Kippers were still pretending to be when Mr Thirsty left the scene and Kassam had another of his attacks of pretentiousness.
Still, no doubt Kassam has other ambitions? Well, maybe: “As for what he’ll do next, Kassam said he’s joined the advisory board for ISSEP, the political training school for right-wing leaders being launched by Marion Mar├ęchal-Le Pen, the niece of Front National leader Marine Le Pen. Its website lists him as a ‘member of the scientific council.’” Scientific Council? “Ray” Kassam? Don’t make me laugh.

He’s also not lost the Walter Mitty touch: “Kassam told TheWrap that he was considering a challenge to Mayor Sadiq Khan … Sadiq Khan is up for re-election in 2020. He needs a good challenger”. Khan may need a good challenger. But Kassam is neither good, nor a challenger. He’s an amateur, a clown, a phoney, and he isn’t going to do it.

Raheem Kassam had a very good job at Breitbart which his talents did not merit. Now he has to find another mug - or do some work for a change. Just rejoice at that news.

Guido Fawkes Reporter In Trouble

After disgust was registered at the depths to which the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog would sink, following their attempt to use the experience of an epilepsy sufferer to kick the Labour Party, news arrived on Zelo Street that The Great Guido’s trainee sandwich monitor - oops, sorry, “chief reporter” - Ross Kempsell may be experiencing one of those Little Local Difficulties.
Useless, and not just at smearing

Kempsell, it seems, owns a limited company called Hekatos Intelligence Limited (company number 10657326), which was incorporated in March 2017. This does not pre-date his taking the Fawkes dollar, which happened after the 2016 Labour Party conference, when he eavesdropped on Paul Mason talking about Jeremy Corbyn with a Spanish MP in a Liverpool restaurant. The story later appeared in the Murdoch Sun.

The previous employer of Kempsell’s dubious skill set had been Fame Flynet, the agency that just happened to turn up to “exclusively” snap former Labour MP Simon Danczuk and his second ex-wife Karen, then flog the result to whichever paper was gullible enough to open their corporate wallet before they saw them coming. Danczuk was another in the shamefully long list of Fawkes informants from The Red Team.

So as Kempsell was already working chez Fawkes when this company was set up, what is it for? Is Kempsell using it to make himself more “tax efficient”? Or just a little more “intelligent”? Either way, unless he gets his act together pronto, Hekatos Intelligence Limited may not be in business much longer.

That is because the company’s first confirmation statement was due in March this year, but has not yet materialised. As a result, Companies House has written to the company’s directors (Kempsell being the sole director) telling “The registrar of companies gives notice that, unless cause is shown to the contrary, at the expiration of two months from the above date the name of HEKATOS INTELLIGENCE LTD will be struck off the register and the company will be dissolved”. And there is more.
Upon dissolution all property and rights vested in, or held in trust for, the company are deemed to be bona vacantia, and accordingly will belong to the crown”. Sounds a bit Julian and Sandy (ask an older relative). But having a company struck off is a serious business, and may impinge on Kempsell’s ability to secure a company ownership, or even a directorship, in the future. It won’t reflect well on the Fawkes blog either.

After all, if the Fawkes rabble can’t even manage the basics of starting up and maintaining a limited company, who should anyone trust their alleged “Journalism”? Why should anyone listen to their claims of improper behaviour made against New Left Media, if the creep who twisted the story of an epilepsy sufferer in order to have a cheap snark at the Rotten Lefties (tm) gets himself struck off by Companies House?

But it will make a matching pair of Gazette entries. Paul Staines is already there, preserved for posterity, after he declared himself bankrupt some years back.

Another good reason not to trust The Great Guido. Another fine mess, once again.

Tommy Robinson Arrested AGAIN

The inability of Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, to keep away from trouble has surfaced once more during another of those incidents that happen outside court precincts that he was supposed to be avoiding. This time, the alleged free speech campaigner - that’s free speech as in free for him, and not for Scary Muslims (tm) - was visiting Leeds, where he fell foul of the law (again).
Lennon’s Facebook page has told the world “BREAKING: Tommy has been arrested outside the court for ‘incitement/breach of the peace’ mid livestream while waiting for the verdict on a grooming gang trial. He is currently in custody and we are contacting his solicitor. Updates to follow”. The video is as predictable as it is hilarious.

I’m being arrested … can you get me a solicitor” he pleaded, before being told he was being arrested on suspicion of causing a breach of the peace. At this point, he demanded “What does that mean?” as if he didn’t know full well what it meant. There was more. “I’m inciting people? How am I inciting people? This is free speech. This is where we’re at. We’re not even allowed to. Look at it”. Then he goaded the cops.

Do you feel right that you’re doing it? I haven’t said a word. In fact someone laid a hand and assaulted me outside court. Other people swore at me and threatened me about my mother and here I am being arrested for saying nothing. I’ve done nothing. George, get me a solicitor … I’m on a suspended sentence, you see”. Yes, we do indeed see.

As Far Right Watch has noted, “He's currently on a suspended sentence for the same offense. He could well go down for this”. Well, incitement and breach of the peace are not what he was arrested for last year, after he was caught filming within the precincts of Canterbury Crown Court, but go down for it he certainly could.

When Lennon came up before Judge Heather Norton, this is what she had to say about his “free speech” schtick, and his behaviour. “This is not about free speech or freedom of the press, legitimate journalism or political correctness. This is about justice. It is about being innocent until proven guilty … I find clear evidence of contempt. I take a dim view of your actions. If you commit further offences this sentence will be activated”.
Note “If you commit further offences” - so the clear inference is that any other offence will cause that sentence to be activated. Lennon was given three months’ jail, suspended for 18 months. He has only just passed the two-thirds mark. So any further conviction, whatever sentence is passed, means he goes to jail for the Canterbury incident.

And as the Judge said last year, it’s not about free speech. It’s about Stephen Lennon’s little Wild West Show, which has been allowed to go on for long enough, finally being brought to an end. He could, of course, find a more mainstream way of advancing his career, but the appetite for publicity and adulation has got the better of him.

The media career of Stephen Lennon was for a time, but not for all time.

Labour Epilepsy Smear OUT OF ORDER

The perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog are no strangers to health smears, although in the past they had restricted their attacks to indicating their intellectual inadequacy by making claims about their targets’ mental health, which, like most Fawkes claims, they made up on the spot and would have been unable to stand up had someone taken the SOBs to the cleaners for it.
Behold he who sits in moral judgment on others

Now, The Great Guido has broadened this front to take the experience of one Labour member and use it to attack the whole party. And as Staines is himself of less than perfect courage, this task was delegated to apprentice sandwich monitor - oops, sorry, “Senior Reporter” - Ross Kempsell, another Fawkes minion of no discernible principle.

Sue Jones had watched a promotional video for next month’s Labour Live event. The video, which contained flashing images, did not come with a health warning. Ms Jones, who has a form of epilepsy, suffered a visual reflex seizure. She contacted the Labour Party partly to warn other sufferers, and partly to ensure those producing the videos understood the effects that certain kinds of images can have.
Ross Kempsell - another creep pretending to be a journalist

The response she received was swift and sincere. “I am more than happy with that swift response, because it indicates a party that cares about inclusion, and is more than willing to take responsibility for ensuring their material is up to a high health and safety standard”, she noted. But by this time, the Fawkes massive had latched on to the issue.

Their take was as dishonest and insensitive as it was ill-informed. “The Labour Party’s promotional video for its troubled youth festival Labour Live is causing people to have seizures. Activists have complained on Twitter about suffering seizures and migraines after viewing the flashing Labour Live graphics, which come without a warning”, they told, grandly following that with “Guido is not publishing the video for health reasons”.

Guido is full of shit. As Ms Jones says, “Visual reflex seizures induced by complex stimuli may be triggered by patterned and flashing displays … in susceptible people, seizures can happen because of the properties of video displays, the triggers are identified as perceived brightness, pattern, flicker frequency, and colour contrasts”. The Fawkes post included both a flashing image, and plenty of colour contrasts. Moral high ground my arse.
She also correctly noted “Fawkes is a nasty gossip-mongering vulture, who will use anything he can to promote his vicious right wing views”. That’t putting it mildly. Staines and his pet creeps - Zelo Street recently covered their propensity to lie and smear HERE - have also claimed erroneously that the Labour Live video “is causing people to have seizures … Activists have complained”. Plural. More evidence-free claims.

Sue Jones didn’t “feel it’s appropriate to use someone’s illness and misfortune to make a tenuous attack on the Labour party … In fact it’s a despicable thing to do”. But a request to remove the Tweet signposting their attack has gone unanswered, and as she observed, “Some of his equally virulent followers commenting on the thread under his post thought my seizure was hilarious”. That’s the level at which The Great Guido operates.

Once again, the Fawkes rabble is bang out of order. And once again, there will be only schoolboy sniggering in response, and more of the same later. That’s not good enough.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

David Lammy Busts Oxford Myths

The sensitive subject of the small numbers of black students accepted by Oxford University’s various colleges has come back into view, thanks to the efforts of Tottenham MP David Lammy. And the response to his arguments shows that the attitude of those white pundits needs to change just as much as Oxford does.
David Lammy MP

After Omar Khan of the Runnymeade Trust had told “You'll hear a lot of explanations abt why the small number of black students at Oxford isn't a problem. One eg is the relatively few number getting 3 As or above. But 1. There are 630 such students 2. These arguments encourage applicants to think that Oxford isn't for them” (you can see the whole thread HERE), Lammy took up the points raised.
630 Black British students get 3 A's and yet 1 in 4 Oxford colleges did not have a single Black British student in the entire cohort in at least one of the last three years. Not one Black British student offered a place for Computer Science or Psychology. Go and find the talent”. At this point, it might be expected that someone out there would engage with Lammy. But the establishment mindset is always to spin defensively.
So it was that the loathsome Toby Young airily asserted “I blogged about David Lammy’s previous attack on Oxford for admitting too few black British students … issue isn’t Oxford’s bias, it’s that too few black British students are getting 3 As at A level. Solution is to improve schools”. Those 630 black students had already been forgotten.
Lammy was not impressed, and he was right not to be impressed. “Toby tell us again about that time you got into Oxford because your Dad (a Baron) rang up the College to ask them to let you in because you didn't get the grades? And then come back to talk to me about institutional bias and why white students twice as likely to get in as black”.
So along came Tobes’ pal Fraser Nelson. “David, are you saying that black students with top grades are less likely to get into Oxford than white students with top grades? Your tweets don’t make it clear, and I’m sure you wouldn’t want to discourage any applicant by giving the wrong impression”. See, it’s the black man’s fault!
Lammy put him straight, too. “I’m not saying it, the university’s own data is saying it. Putting people off applying by forcing Oxford to publish the data? Fraser I’m sure working class, northern and ethnic minority young people are perfectly capable of looking at the data and making their own minds up”. But the Pundit Establishment wasn’t done yet.
Iain Martin, spinner and abuse merchant of no fixed principle, weighed in. “This monstering of Oxford is ludicrous. It is a leading global institution, not a plaything of govt. Fix the school system”. Oxford clearly ranks as high as any in Rome!
And the same argument Tobes made, which had already been addressed. Lammy had to remind him “Oxbridge gets £700 million a year from the taxpayer and the Oxbridge admissions system decides who gets to be the next Cabinet Ministers, newspaper editors, senior civil servants, FTSE CEOs etc. So it does matter to my constituents and to every person in this country, actually”. We’re paying for it, spinners.
Perhaps those pundits should listen to Lammy, rather than talking at him. Just a thought.