Broadcasters Fail to Mention Striking Barrister was Labour Parliamentary Candidate

It was a busy morning for criminal barrister Mark McDonald, who made a whistle stop media round earlier today as he and his colleagues went on strike over the profession’s salary and conditions. Having rejected the government’s offer of a 15% pay rise, McDonald made the case for a 21% increase on BBC News, along with a quick chat to Kay Burley on Sky to slam the government for a minute or so for good measure. A decent media performance for a broadcasting novice… 

What both channels forgot to mention is that McDonald was the Labour candidate for Stoke-on-Trent in 2019. Here he is posing alongside the absolute boy himself just before the election…

McDonald is also a founding member of the Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East, and his Twitter account is full of the usual anti-Tory talking points you’d expect of a man backed by Momentum. Unfortunately he lost to Jack Brereton at the election, so he didn’t quite manage to advance his interests from the Commons benches. Back to donning his wig and robes instead…

mdi-timer 27 June 2022 @ 14:57 27 Jun 2022 @ 14:57 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
TalkTV Too “Rubbish” to Air in Parliament

With Russia Today taken off-air in the UK, a slot has opened up for a new channel to take its place on Parliament’s internal TV system. Putting aside the eyebrow-raising decision to allow Russian state media to be broadcast in the corridors of Westminster, Guido hears authorities have now held discussions over what should replace it. One leading candidate was, of course, TalkTV. Given GB News is also available on the annunciators, it seemed inevitable that TalkTV would join the mix…

After some deliberation, however, TalkTV was deemed so “rubbish” that it wasn’t worthy of a slot. BBC Four, a channel which only airs between 7pm and 4am, will take RT’s place instead. For the rest of the day, MPs and staffers who bother to tune in will be greeted with this screen:

This is apparently deemed preferable to watching a live broadcast of TalkTVA real shame – all 650 MPs tuning in to Tom Newton Dunn’s show would have boosted his viewership by about 15%…

mdi-timer 27 June 2022 @ 13:08 27 Jun 2022 @ 13:08 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Boris Compares Russia to Nazi Germany

“I think that sometimes the price of freedom is worth paying and, just remember, it took the democracies in the middle of the last century a long time to recognise that they have to resist tyranny and aggression.

“It was very expensive but what it bought in the end with the defeat of the dictators, particularly of Nazi Germany, it bought decades and decades of stability, a world order that relied on a rules based national system, and that is worth protecting, that is worth defending – that delivers long term prosperity.”

mdi-timer 27 June 2022 @ 12:58 27 Jun 2022 @ 12:58 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Lord Frost Takes Fight to Online Harms Bill, as Cost Balloons by £400 Million

Today Lord Frost joins Guido in the fight against the Online Harms Bill, launching an all-out assault on its threat to free speech. Frost’s no holds barred attack, including calling the bill “fundamentally flawed” and un-conservative, has been published alongside a new paper by the IEA, which accuses the bill of handing “unprecedented censorship powers to Secretary of State and Ofcom”. Objectively correct.

In full, Frost says:

“There is so much wrong with this Bill that it is hard to know where to start, but the report rightly highlights the fact that it will mean some speech that is legal offline will effectively be impossible online. That makes no sense and will be highly damaging to public debate, especially given the weakness of the free speech protections in the Bill.

Overall the Bill also panders to the view of the perennially offended – those who think the Government should protect them from ever encountering anything they disagree with.  A Conservative Government should not be putting this view into law.

“The best thing the Government could do would be to slim down the Bill so they can proceed rapidly with the genuinely uncontroversial aspects, and consign the rest where it belongs – the waste paper basket.”

Reading through the IEA’s paper, one thing that immediately jumps out to Guido is that the government’s own expected cost of the bill has jumped up from £2.1 billion in May 2021 to £2.5 billion today – a whole £400 million extra in a year. A figure the IEA rubbishes as a nonsense underestimation anyway:

“The impact assessment asserts that it will cost businesses, on average, £700 over ten years to read and understand the regulations, for example. However, this would not realistically cover the fees of a specialist law firm for two hours, let alone the internal staff time costs. The impact assessment specifically assumes staff will only require 30 minutes to familiarise themselves with the requirements of the 255-page legislation and 90 minutes to read, assess and change terms and conditions in response to the requirements. Legal advice is estimated to cost £39.23 per hour  an order of magnitude less than the fees of hundreds of pounds per hour typically charged by lawyers in this field.”

Turning to the inclusion of ‘legal but harmful’ speech, which platforms will have to crack down on, huge questions remain on specifics given the government has still not formally specified categories this will include. While the obvious woke labels of ‘misogynistic abuse’ will likely be included, shadow DCMS secretary Lucy Powell has already let the mask slip on the future plans of Labour ministers to massively abuse this power:

“Lucy Powell has raised concerns that the Bill as it stands would allow ‘incels’ and ‘climate deniers’ to ‘slip through the net’. She clearly envisages an extension of the notion of ‘harmful’ to cover matters of public policy debate.”

David Davis also pitches in, warning “could end up being one of the most significant accidental infringements on free speech in modern times.” Guido can’t understand why Nadine believes this won’t backfire on Conservatives like her. Big Brother Watch already proved that her “nail your balls to the floor” tweet, if posted to Facebook, results in the post being deleted by the platform. That’s before her new free speech clamp down comes into force…

Guido encourages all policymakers to read the paper – embedded below. If the government wants to get the Boris show back on the road, and reassure Tory members and MPs that this government is worth fighting for – while saving at least £2.5 billion – scrapping swathes of this big-state bill could not be a more obvious starting point…

Read More

mdi-timer 27 June 2022 @ 11:45 27 Jun 2022 @ 11:45 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
High Court to Ask “Gerry Adams, Were You A Member of the IRA Army Council?”

Gerry Adams is being sued in the High Court for his alleged role in masterminding three IRA bombings. Before the government introduces legislation that will prevent any future legal actions associated with the Troubles, 3 victims feel it is necessary to bring their case to court to compel Adams to engage in an effective truth and reconciliation process. They are crowdfunding their case.

The three are victims of the 1996 terror attacks in Manchester and Docklands, as well as the Old Bailey car bombing in 1973, and are seeking nominal damages of £1 in a landmark case that could see long-standing accusations against Gerry Adams tested in court for the first time. The former Sinn Fein leader, 73, has always denied membership of the IRA or any involvement in its terror campaign in Northern Ireland and on the mainland. The case would see Adams forced under oath to either admit or deny his leadership of the IRA Army Council…

The claimants bringing the case are Jon Ganesh, Barry Laycock, and John Clark. Ganesh was injured while working as a security guard when a truck bomb ripped through South Quay near Canary Wharf in February 1996, killing two, injuring more than 100 and causing £150 million worth of damage. Laycock is a former rail worker injured by a truck bomb detonated in Manchester in June 1996. It had three times the explosive power of the Canary Wharf bomb, injured more than 250 people and caused £700 million worth of damage. Clark, an ex-police officer, was injured in the Old Bailey bombing operation in which one man died and more than 200 people were injured. They are seeking a nominal £1.

They are represented by lawyers McCue Jury & Partners, who specialise in representing victims of terrorism and taking on historical cases when all hope had been lost for achieving justice. McCue Jury & Partners have secured significant wins, including the cases of Breslin & Ors V. McKevitt & Ors (on behalf of victims of the Real IRA 1998 Omagh bombing), Young v Downey (on behalf of victims of the IRA 1972 Hyde Park bombing) and Murray v Mabrouk (the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher).  If you want to see Gerry Adams in the dock, help them raise the £100,000 needed to bring the case

Donate via CrowdJustice

mdi-timer 27 June 2022 @ 11:01 27 Jun 2022 @ 11:01 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Durham Police Have Issued Over Hundred Retrospective Fines

What originally seemed like a safe bet for Sir Keir is now looking like an increasingly high stakes gamble. Yesterday the Mail on Sunday revealed Durham Constabulary, the police force currently investigating Starmer over Beergate, have handed out over 100 Covid fines retrospectively, with 90 handed out at least a week after the breaches were discovered, and another dozen or so meted out over a month later. One of the reasons Sir Keir felt safe in pledging to resign was his belief that Durham Constabulary don’t hand out retrospective penalties – it turns out they did…

The FoI requests published in the MoS also reveal the Constabulary issued fines for gatherings far smaller than Sir Keir’s – and in the same month Beergate took place. Six fines were handed out for gatherings of just three people, with another for a meeting of just five. There’s no definitive attendee figure for Sir Keir’s bash, because the story keeps changing, although it’s now assumed to be between 15 and 30 people…

One woman even received a £10,000 retrospective fine for organising a memorial for her father-in-law who died of Covid. She only had it reduced to £500 on appeal in April 2021, a week before the Beergate gathering. Not long to go now before the investigation concludes. No wonder contingency planning for the ‘worst case scenario’ is ramping up

mdi-timer 27 June 2022 @ 10:30 27 Jun 2022 @ 10:30 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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