Interfering with Laura Kuenssberg 996


Last night the BBC was reporting on the Conservative manifesto. This is a document whose most striking pledge is to fill in some of the potholes in roads that have proliferated due to massive cuts in local authority funding, and to give free hospital car parking to those visiting a terminally ill relative. Just think of the last one. How do you prove your relative is terminally ill? What if there is a chance they might get better? The administration of this system is going to require people to have some form of certificate or token that all hope is now lost. For the car park. The Tories are all heart.

As the News continued, Laura Kuenssberg told us that the battle lines between the parties are now clearly drawn, and the major division is over how much the government “should interfere in the economy”.

Interfere. Not intervene. Not regulate. Interfere. It is a very deliberate choice of word. Let me turn to the Oxford English Dictionary:

Interfere

1) Prevent from continuing or being carried out properly
2) Handle or adjust without permission
3) Become involved in something without being asked
4) Sexually molest

Words matter. Kuenssberg chose a word with powerful negative connotations and no possible positive meaning, to describe the alternative to the Tories. Kuenssberg talking of government interfering in, rather than intervening in, the economy is in itself a very strong and explicit declaration of Kuenssberg’s belief in an Ayn Rand, “Britannia unchained”, free market, ultra neo-liberal world view. To explicitly frame the choice in the election as between the Tories and “interfering” is just another example of the way the BBC slants their election coverage, permanently.

Now I started to draft an article three days ago, before that particular Kuenssberg propaganda masterclass.

Here is what I wrote as a draft three days ago:

“Maybe I am just unlucky. I have had television news bulletins transport me to hear vox-pops featuring former Labour voters in Dudley who now want to vote Conservative to GET BREXIT DONE. I have seen vox pops in fishing wharves in Peterhead and Grimsby, in dismal cafes in Hartlepool, in bingo halls in Yarmouth, in pubs back in Dudley, on high streets in Wakefield, in a shopping mall in Thurrock, in hardware stores back in bloody Dudley again. The country is full of people who want to GET BREXIT DONE, and who will NEVER VOTE LABOUR AGAIN.

The strange thing is that I have not seen a single vox pop from Richmond, featuring an educated woman who is switching from a lifetime of Tory voting because they have become a far right party and are going to crash the economy with hard Brexit. But there are many people like that in Richmond, and indeed all over London, and throughout much of southern England. They exist but are not worth vox-popping, apparently. Because they are not the broadcasters’ chosen “narrative”.

The BBC, ITN and Sky will doubtless defend the very obviously targeted demographic and destination of their “vox-pops” on the grounds that this is the “narrative” of the election. But that is a self-reinforcing prophecy. The public are relentlessly being told that what ordinary people want is to “GET BREXIT DONE” and to vote Tory. But that is actually only what about 40% of the people want. We just aren’t being shown the other 60% as the broadcasters focus relentlessly on areas with the highest leave vote, and on vox pop subjects with the least possible education.”

While that passage was atill on the stocks, last night, alongside the Kuenssberg analysis, the BBC gave us a vox pop from the Rother Valley that fitted perfectly the above description. It came from a Yorkshire Labour seat that voted Leave. It featured Labour voters who will now vote Conservative. The ladies interviewed were perfectly primed with precisely the main Tory slogans. A lady told us she wanted Boris so we could “get Brexit done and get on with domestic reforms”. Another ex-Labour voter told us she would vote for Boris because “he may not be trustworthy, but I like him”. Trust and likeability are two factors the pollsters regularly measure. It is important for the Tories that voters prioritise likeability over trust, because Johnson’s Trust numbers are appalling. How fortunate that the BBC happened to find a little old lady in the Rother Valley who could express this so succinctly!

Or maybe it is not so surprising. With the mainstream media as such a reliable echo chamber of public slogans, perhaps it is not surprising to find the public just echo them too, as they do in North Korea. The state media in the UK is of course not the only propaganda outlet. Billionaires control 87% of print news media by circulation, and are aggressively Tory for obvious reasons of self-interest.

This leads to the incredible circularity of the “Newspaper Reviews” that take up such a high proportion of broadcast news output. The broadcasters “review” the overwhelmingly right wing print media. And who do they invite to do the reviewing? Why the billionaire employed journalists of the overwhelmingly right wing print media, of course! So we have the surreal experience of watching journalists from the Times and the Spectator telling us how great an article in the Daily Mail is, about how Corbyn is a Russian spy and Scotland not really a country at all.

If that was not bad enough, we then get deluged by “commentators” from “think tanks” which are again billionaire funded, like the Institute of Economic Affairs and scores of others, sometimes with money thrown in from the security services, like the Quilliam Foundation and scores of others. It is a never-ending closed circular loop of propaganda.

The truth is that it largely works. Social media is overwhelmingly sceptical of the government narrative, but we still live in a society where the power of mass broadcasting and even print retains a remarkable amount of influence, particularly on the old and the poorly educated. It is no coincidence that it is precisely the old and the poorly educated that are the targets of Cummings’ “Brexit election” strategy. If it comes off, Kuenssberg and her fellow hacks will have proven that the power of the mainstream media is as yet unbroken.

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996 thoughts on “Interfering with Laura Kuenssberg

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  • ` extremebuilder

    I work with a guy who thinks thatcher was wonderful….. `how`s that then, seeing as she fucked the whole social fabric of the uk?`
    `Well I did alright` says he, having sold off a council house…………. Fuck.
    What are we up against.

    • John Goss

      Unfortunately your “guy” is not alone. Even Lenin knew that the peasant-class could be won over with simple slogans: “Bread, Land, Peace” in his case. And in fairness that was what they had been without. It took a while to deliver any of it thanks to Western interventionism.

      Thatcher on the other hand could deliver council houses into the private sector quite easily. She also got people to take out private pension schemes with a £200 bribe to get out of the State Pension Scheme (SERPS) and when the private companies failed those that sank with them became an extra burden on the State. I doubt the Tories would ever have built a council house without Labour. The Tories are dismantlers. They are dismantling the NHS.

      All the things we used to have that came from nationalisation, free prescriptions, free dental care, free education and free further education have either disappeared or are disappearing fast. Free legal aid is another thing that’s going, going, gone.

      Labour under Corbyn can reverse this damage. We can end up with a health service and caring society that the rest of the world would envy – as they did once.

      Stay positive. I saw Johnson tonight on a Tory political broadcast. He looked washed out.

      • N_

        Yes, the selling of council houses was a very important Tory policy and a big change in many people’s lives. The expansion of student numbers, which is to say, the numbers of students studying at institutions called universities (many being renamed from polytechnics), has also been a big change. Both changes have involved normalising large-scale debt to ever more parts of the population. That’s a key part of the history of this country, of how at the same time that people have become homeowners and graduates they are from the moneylenders’ point of view a juicy source of income. The left can’t quite say that. Yet.

        With council houses the sale prices were low but many still had to borrow large sums. Then there is the story of council flats, where it was only leaseholds that were sold, something like 125 years if I remember right. Many “owners” found that the service charges (let alone mortgage repayments) soon became higher than the rents that their neighbours were still paying, and in some cases “owners” were hit with huge bills for block maintenance. “Good morning, we’re renovating the roof of the block. That will be £15000.” – and tenants had to pay nothing. The “owners” had to cough up – they had no choice in the matter. The sale of council flats wasn’t quite as bad as the timeshare scam, but it was in that direction.

        • N_

          Have you ever looked at Peacehaven, @John? Plots of land were “given” as “runner-up” prizes to all entrants in a heavily advertised competition who didn’t win bigger prizes – not exactly free because they had to pay conveyancing fees – and in some parts of the bourgeoisie there was uproar, because the idea of working class people owning a bit of land and then having a house built on it that they lived in was viewed as “obviously” against the law of nature. That was only about 100 years ago.

          The 1945 Labour government imposed a 100% tax on increases in land values brought about by the grant of planning permission (nice one!), in effect nationalising land development rights. Unfortunately this wasn’t without compensation: there was a £300 million fund – I haven’t researched it but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was borrowed from the Rothschilds, as was the money the Irish government had borrowed to pay off the “land redemption” debt a few years before. But the tax soon got suspended and reversed by the Tories. Nye Bevan was so right to call the Tories “lower than vermin”.

          Land is one asset that the filthy rich can’t take out of the country with them when they realise a Labour government worthy of the name is about to take office. This includes not just hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland and other land outside of cities but also assets such as the Grosvenor Estate and the Shard in London and all other commercial and residential buildings.

          • Bayard

            “The 1945 Labour government imposed a 100% tax on increases in land values brought about by the grant of planning permission (nice one!), in effect nationalising land development rights. ”

            That’s something it would be more important to nationalise than the railways, and it would cost nothing, too.

    • different frank

      TYhhere are two types of tory voter.
      One is rich.
      The other is stupid.
      One only need to check one’s wallet or purse to see which one.

    • Dungroanin

      I have to periodically address the Thatcher/

      The RTB policy was developed by Callaghan/Healey for the election. As a means of the greatest transfer of wealth to the poorest without chaos.

      ‘Labour does not oppose the sale of council houses to sitting tenants of two years’ standing who want to buy, so long as such sales are at a fair price and do not damage a local authority’s ability to meet the demands for decent homes to rent. But Labour will continue to oppose the sales of council housing in areas of serious housing need.
      Labour also seeks to widen choice, and we shall therefore continue to help those who wish to buy their own homes.’
      http://www.labour-party.org.uk/manifestos/1979/1979-labour-manifesto.shtml

      Thatcherited mutated that and LEGALLY stopped councils from building more with the capital receipts .

      The ‘Builders’ became zillionaires and have paid into tory coffers ever since.

      I know many RTB’ers who never stopped voting Labour and still do – there are some arseholes too who have bought the tory fairytale that the problems of the 70’s were Labours alone.

      It is interesting to re-read that manifesto and it’s preamble – It was a load of crap from Heaths tory government they inherited to sort and some DS/corporatists manipulation of prices that were still pping inflation and discontent into the economy and society – desperate to grab the levers before the full benefits of North Sea energy came on stream.

      It could have been so so different… and it will take a couple of terms of such a social democratic government to put it back on course. Starting on Dec 13th.

    • Bramble

      You think the English will care? They just want a government, any government, that kicks immigrants out. The poison of nationalism is everywhere, Or, as Jenkins prates in The Guardian, this is about identity. About being white and Christian and bloody English.

  • Dave

    Trump, Brexit and Corbyn are all examples of a populist revolt against Globalism which has forced the deep state to surface with a Jewish face both sides of the Atlantic with panic measures and the same wall to wall evidence free accusations.

    • Laguerre

      Leaving aside the xenophobia and antisemitism in your comment, Globalism is inevitable. If Philippina nurses work in the UK, so Brits work abroad. One Brit guy I know is a teacher in Hangjo in China. My daughter is planning to up stakes, and work abroad. I did it too. It ain’t going to stop because you don’t like it.

      • Andrew Paul Booth

        One problem with that at the moment is that if you live and work abroad longer than fifteen years they take away your right to vote. Other countries, eg. Italy and France have constituencies for their citizens abroad with representation in their parliaments and right to vote in referenda. I want to see Labour, the SNP, others vow to correct this enormous unjustifiable injustice for UK citizens. .

        • David

          the ‘tories promised in one of their less recent manifestos to allow Brits Abroad to vote, but they never got round to legislating… I suppose only 50% of manifesto promises ever get enabled

          • Andrew Paul Booth

            Yes. Another Tory lie / broken promise. Shows they are aware of the injustice done, though.

        • nevermind

          Voting should be about being resident here, paying taxes here and taking an interest in your local community, not because of carrying a British passport or having had a job in a colonial empire. What of it that they once lived here 40 years ago? Their interest lies in their new/ old country and to allow long standing ex pats to vote here is all about vote rigging, appealing to their patriotic sense and little Englander mindset.

          • Laguerre

            If that were the case, why don’t EU citizens in the UK have the vote? They should have according to your argument. Or indeed anyone who has a UK resident’s card.

          • Laguerre

            And a lot of retired Brexiters live in Spain. If they were prevented from voting, Johnson would never win.

          • N_

            @Laguerre – Non-British EU citizens in Britain have the right to vote in local elections, including elections to all three devolved legislatures.

        • Doghouse

          If you have lived and worked abroad for more than 15 years, feeding yourself and family on external wealth, paying tax to an external power, then it would be more than fair to say you only remaining tie to this country is a sentimental one, whether by family ties or nostalgia it’s still sentimental.

          You therefore expect what by now you consider an external government to adopt the same sentimentality and allow you to vote in the affairs of a country to whom your only connection is memory? Injustice – nah piffle on an industrial scale. Make up your mind.

          • Andrew Paul Booth

            In the context of EU membership, the UK government’s policies affect us EU resident UK citizens very personally.

            No comparison with colonial times gone by.

      • pete

        I am surprised that you did not ask what the hell Dave meant by populism, anyone who has looked into the topic will realise it has a variety of manifestations, the problem with that is that what it means is different for everyone who uses it. I’m guessing that for Dave it means anyone who holds an opinion different from his, especially if it is popular. But what’s popular is not necessarily Populist. I have no real idea what he is trying to get at in the rest of his sentence, but no doubt it means something to him. Your comment is probably fair.

        • Laguerre

          “Populism” is like being a demagogue, in Athens 5th century BC that meant offering the people whatever they wanted, whether or not it could be achieved. In more recent times populism is going for lower class votes, rather than the elite. Like Trump. Or Erdogan, who goes for the vote of the Anatolian peasantry, rather than the Istanbul eilte. Or indeed Iran, where the theological regime has maintained itself in power for forty years, in spite of all the wails from the aristocratic exiles predicting imminent collapse.

          • N_

            Mostly peasants when they have been given the vote have voted for the conservative right and for reaction.

      • Dave

        Globalism is an imperial project similar to other imperial projects and shouldn’t be confused with international trade.

        It is/was the attempt by global institutions/deep state to act as world government to enrich a corrupt elite via the UN and side-line the nation state. This like all empires works for a while but as with nations rise and fall and there is a revolt collapsing this empire as nations reassert themselves as a more organic human scale form of governance, as it appeals to patriotism/social solidarity as well as economic progress.

        Some gain, some lose so presumably you are xenophobic against the losers. And are you saying its “anti-Semitic” to point out its the Chief Rabbi making evidence free accusations against Corbyn and Shifty-Schiff doing the same to Trump with wall to wall MSM support.

        • Laguerre

          You’ll find it’s nationalism that’s on its way out – it’s on a last blast at the moment. The old fogeys are resistant. But the advantages of supra-national organisation are too beneficial on a practical day-to-day level. Nobody in the EU wants to go back to the old days of blocked frontiers – free flow and open travel are too attractive. That’s why you’re being conned by the Brexiters – they pretend you can have open frontiers without a supra-national organisation (while at the same time you can have national control). You can’t; it doesn’t work. Brits don’t mind because the frontiers were never really opened.

          That’s not to say that nationalism doesn’t have its place – it’s an important level of identity. EU states are not about to drop their national identities. Indeed Craig’s attitude towards Scottish independence is quite indicative of future tendencies in my view. An independent Scotland within the EU.

          • wonky

            “But the advantages of supra-national organisation are too beneficial on a practical day-to-day level”

            Nothing has screwed the environment more than “supra-national organisation” and “free trade”.

  • Ken Kenn

    Hi Dungroanin’

    I thought I’d post this further on because you’ll miss it.

    I’m with you now.

    With that technique they would surely apply that game in marginals?

    It’s less obvious I think – close but not that close.

    Interesting stuff.

    Greg Palast is red hot on that kind of thing in the US.

    All on youtbe..

    • Dungroanin

      Cheers KK,

      If we are approaching 10 million ballots by post – ALL adminstered end-to-end by ONE single private firm which is part of an international conglomerate that runs services for the largest intelligence services in the world – we are in a very seriously compromised position as far as keeping our voting transparent and fair.

      I was asked yesterday that yes there are 4 million new registered voters in the last month many will be first timers and so likely Labour and there will be many who have demised – mostly old and therefore probably Tory.

      My response was tes they may have demised, but how can we be certain that if they were postal voters – they won’t be postal viters from the beyond this election?

      Anyone want to give me the answer? Electoral Commission?

      • Steph

        I know what you’re saying about the demise of older voters, and I keep seeing it put forward as a hopeful sign. BUT although ‘older’ voters are more likely to vote Con, it doesn’t mean than when they die there are less older conservative voters.. It’s just that many folk seem to have a tendancy to move right as they age. This group is still there, and is continually replensished obviously, just as young first-time voters are added to the electorate. There is no reason to suppose that the current ‘old’ voter group is any more left leaning than it was in 5 years ago, quite the reverse in fact. Similarly folk don’t remain in the ‘young’ group forever. BTW I am an over 65 Labour(Corbyn) voter so don’t wish for my demise too much!

          • Steph

            I do understand that, just saying demised con voters plus fresh lab voters unlikely to improve lab chances. I share entirely your concerns about vote rigging, and I’m sure there are many more ways it can be done. Looking at the characters and organisations involved in this election, both at home and abroad, it would be almost surprising if a method of out and out vote rigging isn’t in the plan, to be used as a last resort if defeat looks at all likely. The senior cons seem to be almost unable to contain their certainty of winning, to the point where they don’t really care how they look or how slapdash their campaign is.

        • Dungroanin

          You haven’t taken in my post of facts on the previous page?

          2017 – 2 million new voters registered in election period – overall tory lead reduced to 800k.
          2019 – 4 million new voters registered, overall tory lead ???

    • Rhys Jaggar

      That is two years old and, reading his story, he is pretty much anti big agribusiness, GMOs and carcinogens because his entire farming livelihood was once threatened by it. He hated Blair and Brown who got his activism started. I can relate to that, except it was Iraq, not FMD, which broke my camels back.

      He is a classic ‘support the little guy, the big boys are big enough to fail without government help’ sort of chap. That basically encompasses most of middle ground Labour and One Nation Toryism, based on old style creeds.

      That has always been my creed, but finding any party which actually believed in it has got harder and harder.

  • MN

    I GET IT NOW!.. Labour’s manifesto says,

    “We will: • Immediately suspend the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen and to Israel for arms used in violation of the human rights of Palestinian civilians, and conduct a root-and-branch reform of our arms exports regime so ministers can never again turn a blind eye to British-made weapons being used to target innocent civilians.• Reform the international rules-based order to secure justice and accountability for breaches of human rights and international law, such as the bombing of hospitals in Syria, the illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip…”

    A few days after its publication Ephraim Mirvis launches his attack, “a new poison – sanctioned from the very top – has taken root”

    • Hatuey

      Of course, Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and its neighbours is at the root of all this. I assumed everybody knew that, although not many have actually said it, and you’re quite right to point it out.

      Basically Israel wants to re-establish the principle that its military actions in the Middle East are above any sort of judgement or criticism. I say re-establish because that’s the situation that existed in mainstream British politics until recently.

      Anyone that disagrees with Zionism is to be defined as an antisemite, then, but that policy itself goes back to the early 20th century when it was often used against other Jews who had reservations about taking the land of the Palestinians — the propaganda back then talked about “a people without a land for a land without people” but the inconvenient truth is that there were millions of Palestinian living there.

      Everything that has happened since the 1920s was probably predictable but I don’t think anyone could have predicted the levels of brutality and violence that Israel has brought to bear on Palestinians or the levels of political and military support that the US and its allies have supplied.

    • Bramble

      Astonishing interview with Frank Gardiner on the Toady programme this morning. Ostensibly about how the two parties stand on Middle Eastern Policy. The man in the studio threw Gardiner a well prepared line: how will it affect the special relationship with regard to intelligence (hint – war on terror). Gardiner then warbles on for five minutes about this, name checking the Saudis and Iran and how a Corbyn Government might change the relationship with (mad mullah, terrorist supporting) Iran. He mentions Israel just once, at the end of a list of countries which will feel less friendly to us including Saudi Arabia and Bahrain – and he mentions Palestine not at all. Fear of a possible Israel mention which Israel would take exception to poured off both men. That is the power of Israel in this election. When does the BBC licence come up for renewal?

    • Dungroanin

      Indeed it isn’t just Israel who object, it is the MIC and it’s largest customer SA, which relies on OUR armed forces to operate these weapons systems and private military companies (PMC’s) of which we are the world leaders in the numbers registered.

  • Hatuey

    Can we rule out the possibility that the Labour Party is trying to throw this election? I’ve been wondering about this for a few weeks. If you entertain the possibility that there’s actually a bad time to be in power, I think there’s a case for saying this is it.

    Brexit, an almost certain recession, Scottish independence, negotiating trade deals, Ireland, etc., etc., etc. The list of problems facing whoever wins is endless.

    Then you look at the Labour manifesto with the massive spending plans, the way they’ve handled the antisemitism allegations, the constructive ambiguity on Brexit and a bunch of other things like trident, and it has to be said they’re definitely not out to win over the media and other influencers…

    If I was in the Labour Party, I’d definitely be thinking it might not be such a bad idea to leave all this to the Tories, and its largely their mess.

    • bevin

      There are certainly elements within the Labour Party, including a large number of candidates, who are trying to ‘throw’ the election.
      But not for the reasons you suggest- they are as opposed to anything moving towards socialism any threat to the property and privileges of the comfortable and any, even the most minimal, contributions to the relief of the millions living on the edge of famine as any Tory or even the most neo- among the liberals who are determined to recreate the social conditions in which, under Gladstone and Bright, they axed in their political glory.
      The Labour left, I believe sees the coming few years as crucial as the gap between the ruling class and fascist authoritarianism narrows again towards that match made in hell that it took fifty million casualties in war to douse. Not to put out the fire, which smoulders yet, but to dampen it so that it glows in the ashes. Brecht’s bitch in heat.

      • N_

        The ruling class is the ruling class; fascist authoritarianism as you call it is a method it sometimes uses. Fascism was in no sense extinguished in 1945, not even in western Europe where two fascist regimes didn’t take part in WW2 and survived until the 1970s.

        The PLP will retain a large number of Blairite Israel-friendly junket-belching a*seholes after the election who if Labour is elected will seek to impede or wreck the implementation of many of its social reform policies, inluding at consultation stage, before white papers, and if a bill is eventually tabled then at committee and report stages. Personally I am in favour of a huge purge: ban the LFOI and the JLM. If a Labour government recognises the state of Palestine immediately, as promised in its manifesto, the State of Israel is going to downscale its embassy significantly anyway, if it doesn’t shut it. Give the lot of them 12 hours to get to Heathrow under escort and fly the f*** out. #EthicalForeignPolicy.

    • N_

      Can we rule out the possibility that the Labour Party is trying to throw this election?

      Some of the Labour candidates I’ve spoken with give the impression of only going through the motions, even in near-marginal constituencies, but that’s probably down to dimwittedness. Yesterday one explained to me that she didn’t want to attack her opponent’s record because she might get accused of using “dirty tricks”. I felt like banging my own head against the wall.

      A test for your hypothesis is whether or not Labour seek and manage to dominate a news cycle in the remaining two weeks with the wellbeing and future of young people. According to a survey, voters under 40 broke 60%-23% for Labour and the Tories in 2017. Money spent targeting them will raise Labour in the polls for sure. It will make a change from the BBC crap about “I’m a working class bloke in Grimsby and I’ve voted Labour all my life but now I’m voting Conservative because Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite and I trust the Tories to sock it to the P***s get Brexit done.”

    • Dungroanin

      If Labour are trying to throw it the Tories must be trying harder!

      What with ‘sick note’ Johnson, Rees Mogg …
      My dad will beat up your dad …

      I’m waiting for the YouGove poll that says Johnson won again last nights leaders debate – ice ice baby!
      (Talking of which – what happened to the polls from last fridays debate…hmm?)

  • N_

    This article in the Heil describes statements made by Boris Johnson in the Spectator. He calls single mothers “irresponsible”…hold it right there! Here we see the real Tory attitude towards much of the working class: they think such human beings shouldn’t have been born in the first place! They think it was wrong that they ever were! They think that if they must be allowed to remain alive they ought to be sterilised or perhaps forcibly aborted.

    He calls working class men “drunk, criminal and feckless.” (He’s a known lazy drug addict himself!)

    He calls the children of single mothers “a generation of ill-raised, ignorant, aggressive and illegitimate children”. (If someone with his kind of filthy attitude towards people who were born much worse off than himself isn’t “ill-raised”, what on earth does that term mean?)

    He talks about the “appalling proliferation of single mothers” as if they are some kind virus rather than a group of human beings. (He doesn’t stop to declare how many women he himself has actually MADE into single mothers!)

    He blames successive governments for “failing to restrict the public emoluments available to this group”. (Clearly, for the Tory, slums are far too good accommodation for slumdwellers to be allowed to live in. I have personally heard Tories express equivalent views about prisoners, about working class residents of council estates, and about working class youths under arrest by the police for minor offences. To the Tory mind, every mouthful of food they get it’s as if they’re stealing it, as if they’re being mollycoddled by a “nanny” state, against the laws of nature. One Tory explained to me about prisoners that “They get three full meals a day in prison” as if that were an outrage.)

    Boris Johnson says social housing is an “enticement” for young working class women to have children. (That is an absolute classic Tory belief, namely that many working class women only have babies so they can get council flats – the kind of belief that really is asking for a punch in the teeth if any Tory scumbag dares deliver it to the people it is actually about.)

    And he wants Northern English working class men and women who voted Labour all their lives to vote for his Tory arsewipes because they say they’re on the side of the white British against incomers from “Europe”? He may find out that he is seriously understimating people’s intelligence.

    I wonder why this is appearing in the Heil… Maybe it’s to gee Heil readers up? Because these are the views that many Heil readers hold. They’re not at all shocked or repelled by them.

    Gingerbread is an organisation I used to have a lot of respect for, but their response doesn’t address Tory hatred and simply argues over figures, suggesting that Boris Johnson’s hate speech is justified in respect of some of its targets: “Boris Johnson’s past description of single parents is wrong (…) His stereotyping is a thoughtless and inaccurate characterisation of almost 2 million people. Single-parent families are part of mainstream life in the UK, with one in four families headed by a single parent. Employment rates for single parents are at a record high, with almost 70 per cent of single parents working in spite of the lack of flexible work and high cost of childcare.

    That’s such a load of gobbledegook, and you have to shrug at the poor spokesman’s mention of the monarchy and his repeated use of poncey middle class social worker talk and statistics. Tories will laugh when they read that kind of response. They will think “Here’s someone who’s paid by the state to come out with all that stuff. Jobs like his shouldn’t exist. All he’s paid for is to defend the existence of the untermensch, the untouchables.” Also to be noted is that the spokesman obviously doesn’t recognise that raising children is work!

  • N_

    Boris Johnson will probably do the Andrew Neil interview. In 2016 Donald Trump played a similar “will he? won’t he?” game.

    Talking of Trump: his visit is scheduled for 2-4 December, Mon to Wed in the week before the election. The 4th is also the day when the Judiciary Panel in the US will start considering whether to write articles of impeachment. Was that the point at which Richard Nixon resigned?

    • SA

      What next?
      The international award system has become so debased and is now part of the imperialist propaganda machine. Obama for Nobel peace prize, The White Helmets for an Oscar and now this.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        The Americans have actually set up their own competitr to Nobel prizes. Financial values are five times higher and, amazingly, almost every winner is an American. What a surprise!

      • Robyn

        Hedges and Bellingcat. What??? I saw a few references to it around the internet today but thought it must be a joke. I was waiting for an explainer. Whatever next.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      Chris Hedges, like Noam Chomsky has written some decent stuff, but both of them, as well as the likes of Amy Goodman (Democracy Now) supposedly representing the US Liberal Left, have always been working for US Corporations, US Government funded “non-profit organizations”, such as National Endowment for Demcocracy, and numerous others – Spreading the US Vision of Democracy (War of Terror) across The World.

      The US Left, no longer exists. Certainly not in the US Democratic Party,

      Whilst many of them are well meaning people, and actually believe in war like nonsense such as Responsibility to Protect – which basically means bomb the hell out for foreign people to steal their resources, they have almost all been brainwashed by the propaganda, and most of them haven’t got a clue of what is really going on. They even like Hillary Clinton.

      Is anyone here surprised? I could have told you all this 15 years ago, when for 5 years, I used to post regularly on Alternet, which was actually very educational, with some very smart posters. Many could see the writing on the wall even then, until like me they got banned.

      Tony

  • Slave2PaperWithInkOn

    ”Brexit will weaken the EU but leave the UK – even MORE SUBORDINATE to US power…than it IS today ! [Noam Chomsky] Bye, Sacoolas. Bye, Assange. BUY NH-$.

  • OnlyHalfALooney

    A question from someone not in the UK and increaslingly bewildered by the endless shenanigans in UK politics.

    If Prince Charles does officially become “Prince Regent” (a role he is reportedly unofficially already assuming). What effect will this have on the UK election and UK political landscape as a whole?

    Presumably, he might be less likely to simply appoint Boris Johnson as PM if he ends up with a minority. But it seems that the entire UK elite feels threatened by Corbyn, so who knows?

    • Andrew Paul Booth

      I see that both Corbyn and Sturgeon have, on TV, suggested that now, or at the end of this Queen’s reign, might be a good time to stick a fork in the monarchy.

  • Mary

    See Craig’s tweets on #BBCImpartiality and on the interviews.

    ‘@CraigMurrayOrg
    20h
    Craig Murray Retweeted BBC News Press Team
    Both Corbyn’s and Sturgeon’s team told by the BBC Johnson would also do an Andrew Neil interview. That is why they agreed to the ordeal.
    Not only did the BBC lie, they are now discussing with No.10 to “compensate” Johnson for “time balance” with his choice of interviewer.

    Craig Murray added,

    BBC News Press Team
    @BBCNewsPR
    For those asking when Boris Johnson’s interview will take place, we’re in ongoing discussions with his team but we haven’t yet been able to fix a date.
    https://twitter.com/CraigMurrayOrg/status/1200035721551237120

    After those, he had an outburst!

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Look, any political leader idiotic enough not to demand a public ‘treaty signing’ where all leaders sign up to an agreed time schedule on the same day, with a clause in treaty saying that the treaty is null and void unless all leaders sign it, deserves to be roasted.

      Part of being a leader is not getting diddled by the Americans, the Chinese, the Israelis, the Russians, Verhofstadt etc etc.

      If you go around thinking Boris is ‘a pretty reasonable sort of guy’, you learned your politics at the knee of Neville Chamberlain.

    • Laguerre

      According to the Graun report, Johnson’s had some difficulties there, like he prefers to think rebuilt hospitals are new, and claims trade deals have been done with countries where they haven’t been (India, Australia, New Zealand and China).

  • Mary

    Jake the Mersey Police horse will not start his shift without a mug of sugary tea.
    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/pampered-police-horse-refuses-start-20981631

    Same for Boris. He was making frantic signs for a drink to the LBC studio staff this morning as the interview with Ferrari was starting. There was already a glass of water by his side at the desk.

    Has he reviewed the food taxes as promised in July?

    Tory leadership: Boris Johnson promises review of ‘unhealthy food taxes’
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-48847952

  • Cascadian

    For those wondering what’s happened to off-guardian.org:

    We’re back

    As you probably noticed the site went down yesterday at around 5pm GMT.

    A few hours earlier we experienced another major Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, but this time the perpetrators managed to get past Cloudflare and other defences and attack the site directly.

    We therefore had no choice but to change the site IP. The site then effectively became inaccessible until the new IP propagated. Which it now has.

    We seem to be getting more than our share of disruption lately, but, with some restructuring and even more security, we’re hopeful this particular issue won’t happen again.

    ADDENDUM: If you’re still finding it hard to access the full site you need to flush your browser cache and/or delete browsing history. This should solve the problem completely.

  • joel

    LBC is another tentacle of the msm Tory propaganda octopus. This morning Bozo gave hard hitting Nick Ferrari the secret signal to stop asking him difficult questions, forgetting it was all being filmed. Naturally hard hitting Nick obliged..

    • Ken Kenn

      Bottler Boris should have sent his mum on.

      She is a Brexiter and probably would make a better job of it than her little boy.

      You know you’re in trouble when the Organ Grinder sends his Monkey to deputise for him.

      Gove is not even a clever monkey at that.

      Pathetic stuff from the Tories and the BBC have spent all morning listening to his equally bluffing dad.

      Now I know where he gets it from.

      Just like Francois’s genetic bravery from his dad Johnson has inherited the bluffing gene from his father.

      The BBC mutation for entertaining rather than informing is still dividing in the petri dish.

      • N_

        Boris Johnson is the leader of the Tory party and if he thought C4 were biased in their decision he should have sought an High Court injunction. Now he can suck it up, the great whinger or “girl’s blouse” as he would call the other side if positions were reversed. He’d look a right charlie anyway if he did argue about it now, given that he was invited and it was only his own side’s cowardice that stopped him from participating. Perhaps his Dad can go down there and punch someone. Doubtless some voters will believe that poor old Michael Gove and Stanley Johnson had the door shut in their faces by horrible leftwing black people and feminists from Elite Remainia, acting in league with swarthy “Europeans”, but seriously there is a point where it is possible to understimate voters’ intelligence even today. Johnson chckened out.

        BTW I still think Johnson will do the BBC gig with his party comrade Andrew Neil.

  • Republicofscotland

    Good on Channel 4 last night for using an ice sculputre when Johnson and his partner in crime Farage failed to show up to be interviewed. The snivelling wretch that is Michael Gove, desperately tried to get on the programme as a stand in for Johnson to cover Johnsons back, but his attempts were rejected out of hand.

    However in a sinister turn of events, the Tories said if they win this GE, have threatened to reconsider Channel 4’s broadcasting remit.

    The Tories have intimated that the state owned Channel 4, will see a “change” so that its better focused on serving the public if Johnson wins the GE.

    • N_

      Did Michael Gove really try to get on the programme, or was it all theatre? Funny the Tories didn’t go to court. In a case of such major injustice, why not seek an injunction? Their position is ludicrous because on such an important issue as media balance you’d expect their leader to lead them into battle, but in this case he can’t!

    • SA

      Implication is if Channel 4 doesn’t follow BBC in kowtowing to the Tories they will be punished. So much for independent journalism.

      • N_

        FFS, if that person was killed he was clearly murdered when he was no threat whatsoever, whatever crimes he may or may not have committed before that time.

        If he’s black and Labour make that observation, they are NOT going to look good in the Tory tabloids.

        People do have a tendency to believe they see something completely different from what they actually see, if a person with a posh accent or who is otherwise “authoritative” tells them.

    • J

      Sounds like police fire four shots into him despite one of the people who tackled the man appearing to back away carrying what looks like a knife possibly wrestled away from the man on the floor.

      • Deb O'Nair

        Someone has the suspect pinned to the ground but the police lead him away so that they can shoot the suspect, which looks like a straightforward execution (if it’s not fake). No doubt they will say they feared he had a ‘suicide vest’.

          • AKAaka

            Normally you would go for body shot first as it is the bigger target, but certainly not if a suicide vest is suspected. In that case you shoot them in the head.

    • Republicofscotland

      Looks to me anyway a staged event, with the obligatory mobile phone footage shot from an ideal angle but not too close as to give the game away.

      Also from what I can see from that clip it looks like all men, most of serving age in one department or another.

      • N_

        Strange they haven’t said they’re calling an immediate Cobra meeting.

        At least one report is saying the man pulled back his coat revealing what may have been an explosive vest, which might of course provide justified cause for shooting him. But a similar thing was said about Jean Charles de Menezes and turned out to be a lie.

        A lorry is supposed to have jacknifed on London Bridge. So there may have been an attempt to truck bomb the City of London during office hours – a square mile where at least half a million people work – and no announcement of a Cobra meeting yet?

    • Nick

      Here we go…antisemitic tropes have not gained traction. Right…let’s fake a terrorist attack. No doubt he’ll be antisemitic…driven on by Labour’s own antisemitism. Cue 2 weeks of “Corbyn is a terrorist sympathiser ”
      The “services” are getting desperate

      • Borncynical

        And conveniently it will take the focus off Johnson’s reluctance to participate in live pre-election debate on any political issues, and provide him with excuses to not do so…’more pressing, urgent matters of home security to deal with’.

  • Hatuey

    The latest excuse is that Boris is “teflon”, i.e. nothing sticks. I’ve heard a few people in the last day or two talking in these terms.

    To be clear, Boris is a glib and shameless liar who has knowingly conspired to beat up journalists, a sexual predator with an indeterminate number of children, has been found guilty of lying by the highest courts in the land, and in short is a scumbag who is unfit for office.

    If none of that sticks, it’s because nobody sticks it to him.

    English politics and society is clearly in a much more serious condition than any of us previously thought, and that’s saying something.

    My advice to English people reading this is stop wasting time on here — get out and do something. Don’t you care? Even if it doesn’t help, you’ll be able to look your kids in the eye in future and say you tried to do something.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      “pickanninies with watermelon smiles”, “tank-topped bum boys” etc. etc.
      I’m all for free speech and avoidance of faux pearl clutching but any other candidate for office would have been stood for lesser language. Of course Johnson is untouchable as a princling of the English caste system.

      • Republicofscotland

        Blair told humongous lies as well and won by a landslide they’re all a bunch of lying shits. They’ll tell you want you want to hear, and campaign on it. Once in office though its a different matter.

        Still the people of the UK must have enjoy being lied to, only 15,000 signed the 100,000 petition to try and hold them to account.

        https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/200372

        • Michael

          I used to sign petitions but no longer do, as I’ve come to see them as a mechanism that vents anger and dissuades people from engaging in other more affirmative actions, some of which would have worked. Then they ignore the petition or at least bat away the concerns, which puts you back to before the petition but with a lot of expectation wasted, adrenaline spent and confidence deflated. Build another fire they can’t just piss on.

          • James Dickins

            “I used to sign petitions but no longer do, as I’ve come to see them as a mechanism that vents anger and dissuades people from engaging in other more affirmative actions, some of which would have worked.”

            NO, YOU CAN DO BOTH. Petitions are good for some things – e.g. getting the ball rolling, focusing attention on specific issues, while other actions are good for other things.

          • Hatuey

            Michael, it’s quite sad to read your post but you have no right to be so disaffected. These political chores you talk about are as nothing compared to the sacrifices people in other countries need to make.

  • Republicofscotland

    Aw…Jiminy Cricket.

    So according to Boris Johnsons dad the British public is illiterate.

    “The British public is illiterate and could not spell “Pinocchio,” Boris Johnson‘s father has suggested in a bizarre attack on the prime minister’s critics.”

    “Stanley Johnson‘s comment came during a TV appearance in which he defended his son’s against claims of dishonesty. ”

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-father-stanley-pinocchio-victoria-derbyshire-bbc-a9225996.html

    • N_

      The prime minister told ITV on Thursday: ‘I may have got things wrong, I may have been mistaken, but I’ve never tried to deceive people.’

      Yes he has, and he’s been caught several times and sacked for it too. He’s got a record of dishonesty and if he ever appears in court the other side and the judge should make clear that his testimony must be considered with that fact in mind.

      Does anyone understand what’s going on here? Johnson’s character has always been an obvious weak spot in the Tory campaign.

      Could it be that figures who wield influence over the Tory leadership want a hung parliament?

      We shouldn’t underestimate the huge amount of money that will be made in a single day by a very small number of people if the world’s 5th or 6th largest economy is “Icelanded”, whether the trigger is a crashout Brexit, a “December surprise”, or something else.

    • AKAaka

      yes. Everyone needs to see how strong and stable Bojo is. “COBRA meeting everyone, yes just like we did with Maybot, that’s right. Yes yes he can give a speech outside No.10 later, say right around tea time.”

      Scary thing is, to set this up right, they will have agents inside cells throughout the UK, if not setting up the radical cells in the first place, ready to mobilise some crazy into doing their dirty work right on cue. Same with all the bodies they’ve had shipped in as part of this election campaign. The Tory Scum know no bounds. I’d like to call them psychopaths, but I don’t think they are devoid of feeling, I think they enjoy it.

      • Deb O'Nair

        “Scary thing is, to set this up right, they will have agents inside cells throughout the UK”

        Which is why it’s easier (and cheaper) to stitch up a mentally unbalanced individual or con some gullible malcontent. The nearest thing this country has to an Islamic terror cell is the 100+ members of the White Helmets who were given residency in this country through the back door.

          • AKAaka

            “It’s what we’re all thinking.”

            Well, that, and the fact that the institute for Statecraft is in our schools and actively seeking out vulnerable young from minority groups to better ‘educate’ them. I say ‘is’, because I’m sure they will still be doing so one way or another under a different name.

          • Michael

            I think no real terrorist would rampage with a knife. If they can’t get hold of guns (in London?) they’d learn to make crude bombs and maybe even serious bombs. I understand initiating the bomb is generally more difficult than making a bomb, but all the same they’d become bombers, where they’d also have the chance to leave the scene [to leave other bombs]. It could be the White Helmets, though we can’t ask Mr le Mesurier now, can we? They can easily have been advised low casualty numbers for now but that may increase as and when desired.

      • Marmite

        Seriously, I too was wondering this too, but not jokingly. Without losing one’s mind, it is hard to dismiss these things as mere coincidences. But of course we have to in order to remain sane. I see there has been some research on the topic, and some consensus about these incidents favouring incumbents, especially if they are right of centre. I suppose that is kind of common sense, as shock is enabling of right-wing policy. I also see that Johnson was suspiciously quick off the mark to call time-out on campaiging. Anyway, tragic loss of life. Though from the Tory perspective, life is obviously little more than a disposable thing.

        • Bayard

          I suppose, since this sort of thing has become obligatory, that we should be grateful that the loss of life was so small this time.

    • nevermind

      Yes its very convenient, agreed.Steph.
      It seems to be part of the Conservative party campaigns policy.
      Look Boris, if you want to advance in a disproportional unfair election, ensure you have a ‘ known suspect’ with a serious grief and.enough ability to fake a suicide belt. This looks like its coming out of a drawer.

      Lets wait for 4 days and see what this reveals, what this, no doubt ‘ known criminal’s’ reason to commit such heinous acts was prdictable and vety likely watchef closely.

    • Mary

      I noticed that ACC Basu of the Met was wearing a red poppy pin on the lapel of his jacket. Didn’t Remembrance Sunday take place on the 10th?

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