"Scud Stud" Fires Hilton's Rocket

When the Big Society (B.S.) came up on Question Time last night it was greeted by the audience and the panel with an above average level of scepticism. However there was one surprising defender of the the B.S. dream. Step forward former BBC man in Baghdad, Rageh Omaar…

“One thing that David Cameron can’t be accused of in pursuit of this idea of a Big Society is inconsistency, you know, he said it before when he came to the leadership of the Conservative Party, right the way through the election... The idea of a Big Society although it hasn’t quite found it’s mojo yet in finding out what it actually mean, I think it does tap into an enormously important area in which politicians need to define a public role and the role that citizens can play in it.”

He went on to advocate British responses to international crisis as a good example and sung the praises of Help for Heroes before concluding that citizens need a sense of empowerment. The B.S. defined far more articulately than many a Tory MP….

However it wasn’t all good news for Dave from the “scud-stud”. He fired a rocket at Andy Coulson in no uncertain terms. Giving reference to Downing Street insiders and calling for the guilty spinner’s head on a plate he said:

“I think it’s a time bomb for David Cameron if nothing else, him and Andy Coulson have got to have a very very honest heart to heart chat about exactly what did go on because I know for a fact that the Channel Four dispatches program is going to be the first of many other investigations, it’s crossed the Atlantic, there’s been a huge amount of new evidence turned up in the New York Times of all places… I suspect David Cameron and his team around him are wondering how much people give a damn about this out in the country, that this is just a Westminster hot-house kind of story but I think it will come back to affect the reputation of the government and of David Cameron unless something is done about it soon.”

Interesting to note then that Rageh and Steve Hilton were sitting outside Bank restaurant in Birmingham having lunch on Tuesday afternoon during Tory Conference. What were they talking about in preparation for his appearance? Along with his dinner with tipped-Coulson-replacement Ian Birrell, a cynical man might suggest that Hilton was on manoeuvres against his governmental nemesis…




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Jeremy Corbyn in the Evening Standard

“… we must also face the uncomfortable fact that a small number of our members and supporters hold anti-Semitic views and attitudes, which need to be confronted and dealt with more rapidly and effectively.

The evidence is clear enough. Labour staff have seen examples of Holocaust denial, crude stereotypes of Jewish bankers, conspiracy theories blaming 9/11 on Israel, and even one member who appeared to believe that Hitler had been misunderstood.

So let me be clear. People holding those views have no place in the Labour Party.

… we have not done enough to get to grips with the problem, and the Jewish community and our Jewish members deserve an apology. My party and I are sorry for the hurt and distress caused. … We must strive to understand why anti-Semitism has surfaced in our party…

… when criticism of or opposition to the Israeli government uses anti-Semitic ideas — attributing its injustices to Jewish identity, demanding that Jews in Britain or elsewhere answer for its conduct, or comparing Israel to the Nazis — then a line must be drawn.  Anti-Zionism is not in itself anti-Semitic and many Jews themselves are not Zionists. But there are also a very few who are drawn to the Palestinian question precisely because it affords an opportunity to express hostility to Jewish people in a “respectable” setting. Our movement must not be a home for such individuals.

Second, there are people who have come to see capitalism and imperialism as the product of conspiracy by a small shadowy elite rather than a political, economic, legal and social system. That is only a step from hoary myths about “Jewish bankers” and “sinister global forces”.

These views do no service to the struggle for a just society.”

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