Tom Brake: Media Aren’t “Patriotic” Enough

This is what the LibDems said when Andrea Leadsom called on the media to be more patriotic:

“This is a sinister threat to the free media. How dare Andrea Leadsom tell the press what they should think, this isn’t a George Orwell book. She needs to apologise for these comments and realise what she said was frankly stupid.”

Yet today top LibDem Tom Brake says the right-wing press

“… Don’t have the patriotism or honesty to point out the failings of a Conservative govt. and its approach to Brexit.”

So when Brexiteers call for patriotic coverage they’re “a sinister threat to the free media” but when Tom Brake does it it’s fine?

mdi-timer 12th December 2017 @ 5:53 pm 12th Dec 2017 @ 5:53 pm mdi-comment Comments
10 People Who’ve Been Driven Mad By Brexit

For the past few months it has become clear that certain members of the politico-media bubble have been undergoing a Brexit induced breakdown. The Remainiac bug is spreading – even some Remainers who were previously worth listening to have started to sound like tin-foil hatted conspiracy theorists. It falls upon Guido to stage a public intervention for their own good. Our list does not merely include ultra-Remainers who might be irritating but have kept their marbles. These are the 10 people who have been truly driven off the deep end by Brexit…

  • AC Grayling – Where else to begin? Grayling has become Twitter’s nutty professor, every day pumping out increasingly unhinged anti-Brexit diatribes. Some highlights include labelling Brexiteers “vermin“, seeking a general strike to oppose Brexit, claiming “90% of informed opinion” is against Brexit, alleging other ultra-Remainers were being “silenced” by forces of the state, and arguing that the Tory government is “alt-right”. Grayling is alt-reality.
  • Andrew Adonis – Every day he tweets about “stopping” or “halting” Brexit, which he calls “self-mutilation”. Some of his more vitriolic attacks are reserved for fellow Remainers who he reckons have sold out, he claims for example that Brexit is being driven by a “David Davis-Keir Starmer axis”. Peak Adonis was when he wrote to Lord Hall demanding the BBC sack Andrew Neil. Remarkably he still has a government job…
  • Ben Bradshaw – Bradshaw has taken to tweeting out Louise Mensch blog posts citing “multiple sources with links to UK intelligence” who apparently say the referendum should be voided due to Russian intervention. Yesterday he tweeted that it was time for the Tories “to come clean about extent of Kremlin’s reach into heart of Government”. Friends don’t let friends retweet Louise Mensch. 
  • Carole Cadwalladr – Cadwalladr appears to genuinely believe Brexit was a Russian plot, she has claimed the Leave campaign used psy-ops to hoodwink voters and doesn’t appear to realise she is being elaborately trolled by Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore who have christened her “Carole Codswallop”. Last night she suggested lifelong Eurosceptic Michael Gove only backed Vote Leave on the orders of the Legatum Institute, who she reckons are agents of Putin. It’s so ridiculous even Newsnight have taken the piss. The Observer’s continued indulging of her conspiracy theories seems almost exploitative. 
  • Tim Walker – The waspish former diary columnist delights in dishing out snark, but thin-skinned Tim can’t take it when his conspiratorial babble is called out. The former Telegraph man turned freelancer and New European contributor reckons “Putin will continue to govern this country through stupid, weak, vain, greedy politicians so long as we, the people, are prepared to sit back and let him”. Cuckoo. 
  • Jolyon Maugham – Twitter’s most attention-seeking QC once said he considers it an honour that he is known as “the biggest c**t at the English bar”. Brexit has turned him mad as well as bad. Just read how nasty Maugham was to the genial Danny Finkelstein about Article 50. And who can forget the time he decided to set up a new political party to fight Brexit. Always a telltale sign of a Brexdown. 
  • Jeremy Cliffe – Talking of which, the Economist’s Berlin correspondent started The Radicals, seriously pledging to reverse Brexit, join the Euro, join the EU army and make Ken Clarke the next European Commission president. He quit the party after 12 hours following an all-staff internal email bollocking from his bosses. The Economist’s embarrassment was the happiest the FT newsroom has been all year. 
  • Liam Byrne – Byrne is partly responsible for setting off the Russia conspiracy theorists (and the Mail on Sunday), demanding a “US-style judge-led inquiry” in response to a Louise Mensch blog. He’s tweeted out crank articles quoting intelligence “sources” saying the referendum will need to be re-run. He’s in danger of going the full Bradshaw. And Liam, we really need to talk about the beard. 
  • Tom Brake – There has always been something of the night about Tom Brake, and the mood of parliament’s most humourless MP has not been helped by Brexit. When he’s not complaining to Bercow about Guido, Brake is making a fool of himself about Legatum. LibDem press officers play a game where they compete to put the most OTT lines into his press releases, knowing Brake will never tell them to tone it down. 
  • Alastair Campbell – Okay so he always was a few billion short of a trade deal, but Bad Al is really not taking things well at the moment. He calls Leavers “Brextremists”, compared them to jihadists and even launched into a xenophobic rant against Gisela Stuart. He’s not gone in for the Putin stuff to be fair. Though that’s possibly more to do with his own Russia Today appearances. 

Guido wishes them well and looks forward to their post-Brexit recovery in April 2019…

mdi-timer 27th November 2017 @ 12:41 pm 27th Nov 2017 @ 12:41 pm mdi-comment Comments
Give Us a Brake: Tom’s ‘Red Diesel’ Hot Air

Last month LibDem Tom Brake tabled an Early Day Motion on air pollution. It specifically called on government to end subsidies for ‘red diesel’ (red-dyed, lower VAT diesel that is meant for use in agricultural machinery rather than cars):

“That this House notes the Government’s plans to tackle Britain’s air pollution crisis and improve air quality…further notes that reduced duty red diesel for certain uses costs HM Treasury £2.4 billion annually; believes that subsidising red diesel also inhibits the Government’s plans to support the take-up of cleaner technologies and tackle air pollution effectively…”

In Brake’s Carshalton and Wallington constituency there are proposals to build a giant rubbish incinerator. Brake’s website proudly trumpets his support for the incinerator in a lengthy defence of the project. There’s just one thing: the proposed incinerator will burn 2,000 tonnes of red diesel per year (in order for the internal temperature to reach the necessary levels). A co-conspirator writes: “If Mr Brake is so keen on cutting the use of red diesel and air pollution, why has he supported the Viridor Incinerator?”. Guido has written previously about murkiness with Brake and Viridor. His Carshalton constituency is a real rotten borough, this is the tip of the iceberg…

mdi-timer 19th October 2017 @ 4:39 pm 19th Oct 2017 @ 4:39 pm mdi-comment Comments
Davis: Brake Leaked His Own Letter

Last night Tom Brake complained to Bercow that he suspects DExEU leaked to this website a letter he wrote to David Davis. It’s clearly hurting Brake as he brought it up in the Commons again at DExEU questions this afternoon. DD comprehensively slapped him down, replying that the first DExEU heard about the letter was when a journalist called them up asking for comment. In other words, Brake leaked his own letter to the press first. A row entirely concocted by Brake, who is not only wasting everyone’s time to serve his own bitterness but also misleading the House…

mdi-timer 17th October 2017 @ 2:26 pm 17th Oct 2017 @ 2:26 pm mdi-comment Comments
Brake Misleads Bercow About Guido Story

Tom Brake has gone crying to Bercow after his letter to David Davis last week was published by Guido. In a point of order yesterday Brake whinged:

On Friday I emailed the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union’s office at eight minutes past 12. It was acknowledged by his office at 21 minutes past 12, and by 15.03 precisely my letter was on Guido Fawkes’s website.”

Except there is one embarrassing bit of information that Brake didn’t tell Mr Speaker. The first DExEU heard of his letter was when newspapers started calling them up for comment. Which means Brake leaked his own letter to the press first. Bercow might be no fan of Guido, but he won’t take kindly to being misled by Brake either…

mdi-timer 17th October 2017 @ 10:56 am 17th Oct 2017 @ 10:56 am mdi-comment Comments
Tom Brake’s Epic Legatum Whinge Backfires

Guido knows poor old Tom Brake has been driven mad by Brexit. But this letter he has written to David Davis complaining about meetings between DExEU officials and the Legatum Institute is hysterical even by his standards. Brake fumes:

“I am writing to you following information I received that the Legatum Institute has had multiple meetings with officials from the Department for Exiting the European Union. Following an FOI request, it was revealed that the Legatum Institute has had six meetings with your department in the last twelve months.  Six meetings, with a little known think-tank, in the middle of Brexit negotiations, when many companies severely affected by Brexit will not have had anything like that level of access is astounding… it is clear that the Legatum Institute has a reputation for advocating for a Hard Brexit.  Please confirm what level of dialogue your Department had with think tanks which advocate a softer form of Brexit during that same period.”

So Brake thinks Legatum are “Hard Brexit” baddies and that giving them access is “astounding“? He should probably tell his fellow LibDem Paddy Ashdown, who attends roundtable discussions at Legatum. Or LibDem peer Baroness Bowles, who sat on a Legatum panel a few weeks ago. The long list of other prominent Remainers who have “given access” to Legatum recently include Andrew Adonis, the government’s infrastructure commission chief who is one of the chief opponents of Brexit. Are they all part of some sinister Brexiteer conspiracy? Tin foil hat time for Tom…

mdi-timer 13th October 2017 @ 3:03 pm 13th Oct 2017 @ 3:03 pm mdi-comment Comments
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