Heroes, Villains and Establishment Hypocrisy 567


Trump and Johnson’s populism have shaken the old Establishment, and raised some very interesting questions about who is and who is not nowadays inside the Establishment and a beneficiary of the protection of the liberal elite. Yesterday two startling examples in the news coverage cast a very lurid light on this question, and I ask you to consider the curious cases of Hunter Biden and Brendan Cox, two of the most undeserving and unpleasant people that can be imagined.

The BBC news bulletins led on the move to impeach Donald Trump for, as they put it, his efforts to get the President of Ukraine to undermine a political opponent. To be plain, I think Trump was quite wrong to get personally involved in this, but please park the entire subject of Donald Trump to one side for the next ten minutes.

What I find deeply reprehensible in all the BBC coverage is their failure to report the facts of the case, and their utter lack of curiosity about why Joe Biden’s son Hunter was paid $60,000 a month by Burisma, Ukraine’s largest natural gas producer, as an entirely absent non-executive director, when he had no relevant experience in Ukraine or gas, and very little business experience, having just been dishonorably discharged from the Navy Reserve for use of crack cocaine? Is that question not just little bit interesting? That may be the thin end of it – in 2014-15 Hunter Biden received US $850,000 from the intermediary company channeling the payments. In reporting on Trump being potentially impeached for asking about it, might you not expect some analysis – or at least mention – of what he was asking about?

As far as I am aware, the BBC have not reported at all the other thing Trump was asking Zelensky about – Crowdstrike. Regular readers will recall that Crowdstrike are the Clinton linked “cyber-security” company which provided the “forensic data” to the FBI on the alleged Russian hack of the DNC servers – data which has been analysed by my friend Bill Binney, former Technical Director of the NSA, who characterises it as showing speeds of transfer impossible by internet and indicating a download to an attached drive. The FBI were never allowed access to the actual DNC server – and never tried, taking the DNC’s consultants word for the contents, which itself is sufficient proof of the bias of the “investigation”.

Crowdstrike also made the claim that the same Russia hackers – “Fancy Bear” – who hacked the DNC, hacked Ukrainian artillery software causing devastating losses of Ukrainian artillery. This made large headlines at the time. What did not make any MSM headlines was the subsequent discovery that all of this never happened and the artillery losses were entirely fictitious. As Crowdstrike had claimed that it was the use of the same coding in the DNC hack as in the preceding (non-existent) Ukraine artillery hack, that proved Russia hacked the DNC, this is pretty significant. Trump was questioning Zelensky about rumours the “hacked” DNC server was hidden in the Ukraine by Crowdstrike. The media has no interest in reporting any of that at all.

It is plain in that case that Trump is the media’s villain and the Bidens, father and son, are therefore heroes being protected by the Establishment media. Now let us look at the case of Brendan Cox.

Boris Johnson’s behaviour in the Commons two nights ago was reprehensible. Watching the unrepentant and aggressive braying of the Tory MPs, I was genuinely concerned about the consequences for democracy should these empowered right wingers ever get a majority. Johnson has removed the social restraint which used to cloak their atavistic instincts.

This Tory display also very much reinforced what I have been saying for years, that we will not gain Scottish Independence through a repeat of 2014. We were allowed a referendum with only moderate cheating by the British state purely because they believed there was no chance we could win. They have been disabused. There will never be a Section 30 order an an agreed referendum again. We will have to seize Independence by means which the British state will deem unlawful. Anybody not prepared to do that is not serious about Independence.

I digress. Johnson’s behaviour is appalling and he is at an interesting stage where the Establishment and its media is unsure whether to embrace or repudiate him, the calculation depending on whether they think he will win, and on the impact of Brexit on their personal financial interests. But as with Trump, I ask you to set aside your judgement on Johnson and not think of him for a moment.

Yesterday BBC news programmes brought us repeated appearances of Brendan Cox to comment on Boris Johnson and other MP’s parliamentary behaviour. This Brendan Cox:

One such allegation was that Cox pinned a co-worker to a wall by her throat while telling her ‘I want to fuck you’. Cox left the organisation before being subjected to scrutiny on this and other allegations. However, another woman, a senior US official who met him at a Harvard University event, made similar allegations against him, ‘of grabbing her by the hips, pulling her hair, and forcing his thumb into her mouth’ ‘in a sexual way’. In contrast to Assange’s treatment, and despite a social-media furore, for nearly three years there was largely a media blackout on the story. At last, in February 2018, a right-wing tabloid broke the embargo and reported the allegations, and other news organisations had to follow suit. Finally, ‘Cox apologised for the “hurt and offence” caused by his past behaviour’ and announced he was withdrawing from public life.

I strongly recommend you to read that last linked article. Cox is very much on the wavelength of the Establishment media, a full member of the New Labour neo-liberal elite who shuttled between jobs in the Labour Party and in high paying neo-liberal propaganda organisation Save the Children. Cox was personally pocketing £106,000 a year plus expenses from donations to the “charity”. A serial unfaithful sexual aggressor, his wife’s murder sees him recast by the media as the grieving survivor of a perfect marriage. Precisely his strongest political supporters – Jess Phillips, Stella Creasy etc – are Julian Assange’s bitterest opponents due to far flimsier, hotly denied and less attested sexual allegations than those against Cox. But neo-liberals get a free pass from the modern feminist movement (cf Bill Clinton).

Boris Johnson’s behaviour was a dsgrace. But that is no reason for the BBC rehabilitation of the “retired from public life” sexual predator.

The fascinating thing is the binary, good versus evil, narrative which is being pursued in the liberal media. Trump and Johnson are bad. Therefore Hunter Biden and Brendan Cox must be good. The truth, of course, is much more complex than that. I am afraid to say that if you want an excessive simplification, a more accurate one would be that the entire political elite on all sides are self-serving and venal.

There is a more interesting story inside that, where significant portions of the public have lost respect for the Establishment, due in large part to the vast and increasing wealth gap in society, but this disillusion has been battened on by populist charlatans, and particularly directed against immigrants. This feels like an extremely unstable phase in society and politics. But instability brings the possibility of radical change, which is indeed much needed. We must all work for good from it.

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567 thoughts on “Heroes, Villains and Establishment Hypocrisy

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  • Hatuey

    I just listened carefully to Boris, interviewed on Radio 4. For the first time, as far as I know, he contemplated in some detail the possibility of not leaving the EU at the end of October. He seems to be suggesting that the UK would vandalise the EU if forced to stay against its will through an extension that he is doesn’t want.

    This will not be well received in the EU and I won’t be surprised if the currency speculators take an equally dim view. I think we can expect an EU bombshell in the next day or two. Don’t be surprised if they announce that there will be no further extensions.

    The failure of the egoist Swinson to support an interim government headed by Corbyn will not have gone unnoticed on the continent. I think that’s something many will come regret and I was surprised at how muted everyone was when the talks dissolved without agreement.

    The EU are poised to throw in the towel.

    • M.J.

      The EU must be aware that Boris has no majority in Parliament. It could grant an extension if there were hope of an election or second referendum in the near future – which there could well be.

      • Hatuey

        Not really. It is understood that Corbyn didn’t want to bring down the government a couple of weeks ago because the Tories were ahead in the polls. There’s some hope and expectation that their lead in the polls will decrease if Boris fails to leave the EU by the 31st. But there’s no basis for assuming that, not when the electorate can see that parliament has hamstrung him.

        So, if there is a prospect of an election in the next few months, as it stands it would simply give Boris more power in parliament and possibly a majority. It’s possible the Tory lead will increase, though.

        The opposition had an opportunity to depose Boris and replace the government without any immediate requirement for a general election. They didn’t because Swinson thinks she should be interim PM rather than Corbyn. The media aren’t telling us that because they want to big Swinson up and don’t want to damage her standing but it’s obvious.

        The EU must be ready to give up with this shower. I’m predicting they will this week.

        • SA

          Swinson will go down in history as the megalomaniac who facilitated hard Brexit.
          About the labour party’s attitude to calling an election now, it also may well be because calling an election may not cause a change in government but may also cause the brexit date to pass by before there is a change in government.
          My personal feeling for what it is worth is that a hard Brexit in itself is not the end of the story, some sort of agreement with Europe will have to be negotiated sooner or later. If we achieve a hard Brexit then a conservative Government with or without the help of the rabid racists will quickly unravel and maybe cause the exposure of the sham that the Tory party is.

      • OnlyHalfALooney

        The EU will ask “What do you want an extension for?” If it’s just to extend the endless political bickering in the UK, the answer will be no.

        The UK parliament has to present Barnier and the EU27 with a concrete plan of some kind. Making a law that Johnson has to request an extension unless a deal is reached is not a plan. Above all, the LibDems and Labour,(not the SNP, which seems to have much better grip on reality) must realise an extension is not something they can simply demand from the EU. The EU has had enough of the whole mess and would like to move on. According to the ECJ’s ruling, the UK can simply revoke Art. 50 but only BEFORE leaving the EU.

        The “opposition” (majority) parties must reach a consensus about what they want.

        I don’t know what the LibDems actually want. Shouting “revoke Brexit” achieves nothing and leads to the opposite. But they seem to be mostly interested in themselves anyway.

        • Hatuey

          The lib dems are fighting Labour, not the Tories or Brexit. When they said they’d cancel Brexit, it was to undermine any possibility that Labour would change policy and become the anti-Brexit party.

          I sense they have all miscalculated. A majority seem to want to get Brexit over and done with now.

          It may now be too late and in the long run the best way to stop Brexit might be to allow a “no deal” crash out. Let people suffer for a year or two, let parliament run its course, let the Tories manage the disaster, then sweep the whole thing to hell in a couple of years and re-join the single market.

    • Dungroanin

      The UK veto no longer works.

      The handbaggers rebate is at an end.

      The neolibs and cons in Parliament are supposed to deliver the escape to victory for the ancient Pathocracy- a Singapore on Thames.

      “The EU are poised to throw in the towel” ???

      Lol.

  • Dungroanin

    I wonder if Craig has already come across this – can mods make sure he is aware.

    A pillock named Pilkington has decided to write about the ‘lies’ that Trump is pushing with Ukraine/Biden and he even puts in a bit about the Oz ambassador at the centre of the Russia lie.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/sep/30/trump-impeachment-five-conspiracy-theories-ukraine-dilemma

    No comments open there and I don’t twitter – maybe CM or someone can cut Ed a new one as it appears he is full of it and its spewing out of his gob now.

    Panic stations as Potus closes in on the UK DS and their puppets – Bobo was head of FCO at the time… there will be payback!

  • Reipublicofscotland

    The Chinthe’s are embedded in Twitter.

    “Twitter’s “head of editorial” for the Middle East and Africa is an officer in the British Army’s information warfare unit, it has been revealed.”

    “Gordon MacMillan disclosed his role in the 77th Brigade on his own LinkedIn profile, writing: “I have a strong interest in politics and international affairs and am a reserve officer in the British Army serving in 77th Brigade, which specialises in non-lethal engagement.”

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/twitter-executive-british-army-officer-psyops-gordon-macmillan-a9127036.html

  • N_

    There’s a saying that “Opinions are like a*seholes – everyone’s got one”. I thought of this when I read lawyer David Allen Green’s “opinion” piece in the Financial Times, momentously headed “Can Queen Elizabeth sack Boris Johnson?”

    This position is now more complicated because of the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011, which removed the Queen’s power to dissolve parliament. This provides for an elaborate two-stage test with confidence votes. If a government loses a no-confidence vote, the act sets out a 14-day waiting period followed by a second vote. If that also ends in a vote of no confidence, then the act provides for a general election.

    But what if the prime minister refuses to resign after the first vote to allow efforts to form a new government? On the face of the legislation, there is no obligation on the prime minister to resign. He or she could remain in place for the second vote to see what happens. There is nothing in the act to say otherwise.

    All I can say is that if you need a lawyer don’t hire this guy. The FTPA does not set out a 14-day waiting period followed by a second vote. It says if there hasn’t been a VOC within 14 days of a successful VONC then a general election must be held. There doesn’t have to be a second vote on shee-yit.

    This isn’t anywhere near as complicated as some are making it. If Boris Johnson’s government gets VONCed and then within a fortnight a majority of MPs (excluding the Speaker, deputy speakers and MPs who haven’t taken their seats) sign a declaration or motion saying they’d have confidence in a government led by So-and-so, then the monarch will know to appoint So-and-so, won’t she?

    • OnlyHalfALooney

      It sounds as if the Act is very poorly written. Why doesn’t an incoming PM need to win a Vote of Confidence to demonstrate majority support in the HoC before being appointed? Johnson should never have been appointed PM in the first place.

      The HoC could vote Johnson away and in the very next vote appoint the new (caretaker) PM. I always assumed that is how it would go in any case.

      But the problem isn’t the law, it’s the LibDems and mostly Jo Swinson…

  • Artie Lees

    I generally agree with your criticisms of the BBC but with regards to Hunter Biden I don’t. His involvement with a Ukrainian energy firm is worthy of investigation but in this case the main story was about moves to impeach Trump. As someone who normally follows US politics it took me a while to get my head around the story, and with 2-3 minutes on a foreign news story focusing on Hunter would have been a distraction. Since then they have question the role of Hunter, but obviously not to the level you have. To my mind the BBC have handled this story well, with the right amount of fact and background analysis. If only other foreign stories were covered in this way. With regards to Brendan Cox I do agree with your observations.

  • michael norton

    October 19th is a significant date.
    If by that date Boris has not reported to Parliament with a deal, then Parliament will require Boris to sign their letter handing it to the E.U. Elite requesting an extension.
    Parliament will now sit on Saturday 19th October to discuss these matters.
    Boris is in a cleft stick
    as is the United Kingdom.

  • Ben Rapp

    Thought I’d comment on the actual blog piece, not present a random rant about immigration.

    You should be careful to whose coattails you pin yourself. Not only are VIPS talking nonsense in the piece cited in your para 3, they aren’t saying (at all) what you report them to be. They have taken the (cogent) evidence that the files as presented have at some point been copied to a drive formatted using the FAT filing system and on this tiny molehill erected a mountain; to wit that they must have been copied to a physically co-located FAT drive in their initial extraction. Of course in reality they might have been abstracted in almost any other way – including as a consequence of a network penetration with exfiltration over the internet – and then copied to a USB drive (for instance) when being passed on.

    None of this has anything to do with internet transfer speed. For example, if there had been a hacker and this hacker had managed to get to the files and then copied them *over the internet* to a thumb drive in his machine, they would exhibit the same modification time rounding that is being used by VIPS as evidence. This tells you nothing about how long it took to get them across the wire.

    This really is sub-Pizzagate quality of investigation, and doesn’t serve your arguments well.

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