Lord Ashcroft: Would I Trust Boris with my Wife?

Owen Jones’s customary Tory Conference video has just come out, which includes a rather amusing clip of him asking Tory grandee Lord Ashcroft whether he trusts Boris. The response took Jones and Guido by surprise…

Owen Jones is Pointless

This weekend, Owen Jones appeared on Celebrity Pointless – an appearance that really stretched the definition of the former word by relying on an abundance of the latter – only to give one of the worst answers of the round and subsequently get eliminated first. For such a pro-European his German needs a lot of work…

Leftists Turn on Caroline Lucas

Caroline Lucas managed to achieve the remarkable feat of uniting right and left against her with the daftest proposal of silly season so far for an all-woman (and all-white) emergency ‘cabinet of national unity’ to take over and block no deal, “because women have shown they can bring a different perspective to crises, are able to reach out to those they disagree with and cooperate to find solutions”. Just women Caroline likes though, not women like Priti Patel, Liz Truss, Gisela Stuart, or apparently Diane Abbott.

Corbynistas who used to go dewy-eyed at the mere mention of Lucas have now been rapidly unpersoning her. Guido has rounded up some of the more enjoyable reactions…

Diane Abbott herself shut down the idea with an uncharacteristically sensible response. Thornberry, who was approached by Lucas to the fury of the Corbynistas, also poured cold water on it:

However it was Ellie Mae O’Hagan who saved the best till last, identifying the true enemy: centrism. Corbynistia has always been at war with Lucasia…

Lucas’s latest idea is never going to fly, as Guido has already noted, wild fantasising about ‘national unity’ PMs is this year’s silly season activity of choice. However there is a school of thought that by deliberately putting out an obviously daft idea and getting everyone talking about it, Lucas is helping to shift the Overton Window to make a ‘national unity’ Government under someone less bonkers seem more reasonable. Guido won’t be holding his breath…

Owen Jones Complained Strong Pound Destroyed Working Class Communities

Owen Jones has spent time tweeting his shock and horror at the fact that the pound has depreciated today. But that hasn’t always been his view. In his breakout book ‘Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class’ Jones argued that a strong pound was to blame “above all” else for the decimation of manufacturing in this country.

“But above all it was allowing the value of the pound to soar that did for industry, making its exports far more expensive than overseas competitors.”

He’s changed his tune. Convenient… 

Owen Jones Can’t Take Climate Emergency Seriously

Fair play to OJ for putting the full video up on his ‘gram. Not sure his over-earnest followers will find it such a laughing matter…

Corbyn Schools His Outriders on How to Avoid the Media

Corbyn’s outriders have been coming up with boringly predictable excuses for dodging their media appearances this morning, from Owen Jones ducking a Today Programme grilling after he “discovered my phone’s alarm no longer works” to Aaron Bastani who “missed his train” on the way to Politics Live. Luckily the unflappable Dawn Foster was on hand to step in for both of them…

Now the Absolute Boy himself has shown them all how it’s done with this impressively original ruse to avoid the press pack outside his house this morning, sending a woman out ahead of him loudly speaking in Spanish and waving her arms around until he’s safely in his car. ¡Muy bien!

UPDATE: ITV have now translated the video. She seems to think it’s all a media witch hunt too…

Government Wants to Give State Power to Ban Websites

 

Last week Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced he was appointing Amal Clooney as the UK’s envoy on media freedom. Today Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright has put out a government White Paper on ‘Online Harms’ which includes proposals for a regulator which will have the power to ban the websites of non-compliant companies from being accessed in the UK at all. Someone tell Amal quick!

You would think that the likes of Facebook and Twitter would be up in arms – they are not because as Dom Hallas, Executive Director of The Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec), says

“Everyone, including British startups, shares the goal of a safer internet – but these plans will entrench the tech giants, not punish them. The vast scope of the proposals means they cover not just social media but virtually the entire internet – from file sharing to newspaper comment sections. Those most impacted will not be the tech giants the Government claims they are targeting, but everyone else. It will benefit the largest platforms with the resources and legal might to comply – and restrict the ability of Britissh startups to compete fairly. There is a reason that Mark Zuckerberg has called for more regulation. It is in Facebook’s business interest.”

86% of UK investors surveyed by Coadec say that proposals claiming to tackle tech giants could lead to poor outcomes that inadvertently damage tech startups and hamper competition. As with the GDPR and we are likely to see with the Copyright Directive, the tech giants are in fact best placed to absorb wide-ranging regulation. There is a real risk of the global platforms getting bigger and British startups suffering.

There is also a risk that a future Corbyn govenment will use the legislation against political opponents. When you see the likes of Owen Jones being applauded for describing the Spectator, Sun, Mail, Telegraph, Express and of course Guido, as “spreading hate”, you can easily imagine the legislation being used by a Corbyn government to close down dissident media. This is a dangerous path being foolishly and short-sightedly cheered on by newspapers who think it will scupper the global platforms who are eating into their advertising revenue.

See: Coadec report with the survey data referred to can be found in full here.

Twitter Bars Suzanne Evans For Saying Trans Woman Wasn’t ‘Ladylike’

Twitter has decided to bar Suzanne Evans from the platform after she sent a tweet about a Newsnight interview she had done in 2016 with trans woman Paris Lees, saying that Lees had been “unbelievably nasty and aggressive” and “Dare I say it, not the slightest bit ‘ladylike.'”

Owen Jones organised a pile-on, which resulted in Twitter decreeing that Suzanne’s tweet had violated their definition of “hateful conduct” and locking her account temporarily, with a warning that she could be permanently suspended if she violated their rules again.

Whatever anyone’s views on the trans debate, it is deeply troubling that Twitter saw fit to bar Evans from the site over what is at worst an insensitive comment, particularly given the cesspit of genuinely violent and threatening abuse which goes ignored on a daily basis. It’s yet another incident in the highly pernicious trend of free speech being suppressed and people being highly selectively barred from public platforms simply for saying things that hurt other people’s feelings…

Owen Jones ‘Disappears’ Chris Williamson

Chris Williamson became unceremoniously unpersoned by Owen Jones in a sly re-writing of history on one of his Medium blog posts defending the hard left. True Politburo style…

In an original version of a Medium article he wrote, Jones lauded the left-wing politicians, “Chris Williamson, Laura Pidcock and Clive Lewis among them” who are “subjected to relentless online pile-ons from both Tory and Labour MPs and hostile commentators.”

One of those examples has mysteriously disappeared. The sentence now reads just “ Laura Pidcock and Clive Lewis among them”, losing the rhetorical tricolon in the interests of writing problematic comrades out of history. The internet never forgets, Owen…

UPDATE: A co-conspirator has helpfully pointed out that the re-writing of history did not occur yesterday afternoon as Guido originally suggested, but in late April last year. Happy to correct!

UPDATE II: Owen Jones has clarified the matter…

Could Owen Jones Stand for Labour in Stockport Against Anne Coffey?

According to a local Labour source this fundraising event was only planned after Stockport’s former Labour MP defected to TIG last week. Owen’s from Stockport so rumours are that he is using this to help him get the nomination are circulating. Owen used to disclaim an ambition to become an MP “I’ve been asked to stand time and time again but I’ve said no.” More recently he has become less disinclined “There might come a time when I think, well actually getting elected as an MP, that’s a better way of doing it, fight for your beliefs, but to be honest with you, I wouldn’t end up as a minister, I’d end up as a back-bencher lobbying for things I believe in. I wouldn’t toe a party line because I get too frustrated, I’d want to stand up for my beliefs whatever I did. As long as I can do that, I’m happy you know.” Could it be that the grandson of a communist and son of Trotskyists could now find a home in Corbyn’s ideologically purified parliamentary Labour Party?

Stockport is a Labour safe-seat, the party won 63.3% of the vote at the last election. Owen has been tweeting about how “I shoved leaflets through doors to support Stockport’s MP Ann Coffey when I was 8. Now she’s abandoned her party – and with local elections coming up – Stockport Labour need support and solidarity.” They also need a candidate. Even if Ann Coffey stood again for TIG and split the vote in half, Labour would still beat the second placed Tories. That has got to be tempting for a local boy who openly says he is now bored of journalism…

UPDATE 28 February, 2019: Owen says the local source is wrong, that the event was planned before Ann Coffey defected and he is definitely ruling himself out of standing for the seat. How disappointing for the locals…

Friday Caption Contest (Valentine’s Edition)

Entries in the comments…

McDonnell’s Possible Other Way

When the Corbynistas say another way is possible it is true. Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis, with millions of refugees crossing the border, is usually characteristic of war torn nations. The reality of socialism, with nationalisation, the attacks on private enterprise, the shuttering of opposition media, together with the silencing, demonising and threatening dissident journalists. It is like all the threats in Owen Jones’ Twitter feed made real…

Chuka’s Local Party Making Deselection Moves This Evening

Streatham Constituency Labour Party is this evening holding a special all member meeting to vote on whether future meetings should be switched from a delegate based ‘General Committee’ structure to an ‘All Member Meeting’ structure, whereby any member can vote – a move recommended by Corbyn’s ‘Democracy Review’. By switching to All Member Meetings with one member one vote, it will be a lot easier for the new influx of Momentum members to successfully move to deselect Chuka…

But local left wing members are worried that the Blairite controlled local party executive are deliberately not publicising the meeting so that they can keep the General Committee structure and keep pro-Chuka control of the local party.

The meeting was originally supposed to take place in November but was abruptly cancelled without a reason being given. Now the hard left are so worried that the meeting will be poorly attended by new Corbynista members that they have drafted in left wing websites and even Owen Jones to promote the new meeting. One to watch…

Abbott, McDonnell and Owen Jones Rally to Maduro’s Support Alongside Red Ken

Perhaps the only thing more predictable about a socialist government than brutal crackdowns on civil liberties and economic collapse is the UK’s hard left coming out in solidarity with it. Sure enough, the usual suspects are out in force in the Guardian, with numerous senior Labour MPs including John McDonnell, Diane Abbott, Richard Burgon, Chris Williamson and Clive Lewis co-signing a letter along with Owen Jones condemning the “US attempt at regime change” in Venezuela and instead calling for “dialogue”.[…] Read the rest

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Owen Jones Turns on “Absolute Disaster” of People’s Vote Campaign

The People’s Vote campaign have been getting an absolute kicking overnight on the back of Alex Wickham’s big expose, following Guido’s report on the campaign infighting last month. Surprisingly, much of it is coming from the left, with Owen Jones leading the charge against it:

“Whatever the rights and wrongs of a second referendum, the official People’s Vote is an absolute disaster, has undermined the case for another vote, and if there is one and they run the Remain campaign, we might as well chalk up a second Leave victory now”

The New Statesman’s George Eaton also piled in with a quote from a ‘senior Labour insider’:

“People’s Vote campaign has a worst of all worlds strategy.

[…] Read the rest

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Owen Jones Buys £500 Indulgence for Sin of Writing for The Sun

T’was the yeare of 2019 and ranteth greatly didde the blessed Owene Jones at The Sunne, for as Owene spake its authores didde “whippe up bigotrie and hatred” moste foule. But becameth it then well-knowne that in the yeare of 2011 the blessed Jones didde himself authore writings for The Sunne, for so to floggeth the sales of his owne veritable tome that be knownest as “Chavs”.[…] Read the rest

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Owen Jones Scraps With Andrew Neil

Things got personal last night on the This Week sofa when Owen Jones, who was appearing on the show to talk about the threat poised by the British far right, went for Andrew Neil over his role as Chairman of the Spectator.[…] Read the rest

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Owen Jones Mobbed By Silly Yellow Vests

Wannabe Yellow Vest protesters in Westminster seemed to confuse Lexit sympathising Owen Jones for a second referendum proponent. One asked him “how many people attended the [anti]-Brexit march”… that Jones did not attend or endorse. The half-dozen protesters really don’t do themselves any favours here…

h/t Owen Jones
[…] Read the rest

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Owen Jones Mass Deletes Thousands of Old Tweets

A handy feature of the ‘Deleted By MPs’ Twitter account is that it also notifies followers when a tweet retweeted by an MP disappears – meaning if someone who is regularly retweeted by MPs deletes a whole load of their old tweets, it’s easy to spot.[…] Read the rest

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Owen Jones’ Reality Check for Remainers

Owen Jones had a reality check for the Remainers getting overexcited after Arron Banks was referred to the NCA yesterday. As hard as it is for SW1 to grasp, the vast majority of people don’t have lives which revolve entirely around Twitter…[…] Read the rest

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Quote of the Day

Councillor John Thomas, Keith Vaz’s Leicester East Constituency Labour Party Chairman says…

“This is great disappointment to me, realising that I have spent over 30 years of my life working for a party that I now know that I have nothing in common with. This is not the party I joined, the party for decent working people. I can no longer follow the clown that leads the Labour Party, he is heavily influenced by the Trotskyite Len McCluskey and is now as the Hoki Coki leader, in out, and shake it all about he has turned this great party into a laughing stock.”

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