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Bert signed up on his birthday. He was sick and tired of the looks people gave him, the whispered comments, the shopkeeper’s glare.

So he signed up as soon as he could.

And they marched a lot, and they scrubbed a lot, and there was shouting and six months later he found himself shipping out for France.

For a few weeks, they were behind the lines, billetted in a chateau, but soon enough the message came, as the days lengthened.

And then it was trench rations, and billy cans, and snobbing boots and waiting.

And then, one morning, there was no more waiting to be done. And the order came. And over they went.

And a few minutes later, Bert was staring at the sky and thinking.

He could see a lot of mud, splashes of mangled barbed wire with what he hoped was cloth hanging off. There were people, too, or bits of people, groans and the sound of mud bubbles being blown.

And Bert thought of his mum, as he try to hold his insides inside. Stuck in a crater, leaking from his middle, he thought of his mum and his sisters and of his uncles. And the shopkeeper. And all the hands he hadn’t held. And he hoped they’d remember.

He hoped they’d think of him in time to come. Hoped they’d remember him, laughing, brave, remember what he’d given. He hoped they’d take a moment every now and then to think of him.

He hoped, most of all, that they’d remember him by having a self-aggrandising oaf get photos of himself taken while playing tug-of-war, so that he could become prime minister one day.

Yes, he hoped that most of all.

And then Bert died.

http://www.standard.co.uk/…/boris-johnson-takes-a-tumble-at…

The good thing about UKIP is they’ll talk about the things no other politician will talk about. They’re not afraid to discuss the elephant in the room. Finally, they’ve got the politicians talking about immigration.

In 2002, when David Blunkett called for the Sangatte refugee camp to be closed because of people trying to cross the Channel, we just weren’t talking about immigration.
In 2003, when David Blunkett said our school were being “swamped” with immigrants, we just weren’t talking about immigration.
In 2004, when Jack Straw said he felt uncomfortable when recent immigrants wore the veil to constituency surgeries, we just weren’t talking about immigration.
In 2005, when the Conservative Party had a general election poster that said “It’s not racist to want a cap on immigration”, we just weren’t talking about immigration.
In 2006, when John Reid said the immigration service was not “fit for purpose” we just weren’t talking about immigration.
In 2008, when Jacqui Smith said that immigrants would have to pass a citizenship test before being allowed to stay, we just weren’t talking about immigration.
In 2009, when Gordon Brown promised “British jobs for British people” we just weren’t talking about immigration.
In 2010, when David Cameron campaigned on the basis of an upper limit to immigration, we just weren’t talking about immigration.
From 2011 to 2015, when Nigel Farage appeared on Question Time 13 times, we just weren’t talking about immigration.

Now – FINALLY – we can at last start talking about immigration. Thanks, UKIP…

Hey, everyone! Remember back in the old days, when I used to write a #bbcqt fact sheet for UsVsTh3m every week?

Well, unfortunately, UsVsTh3m is dead, and its corpse is currently passing painfully through the digestive tracts of vultures and parasites, so that can’t happen any more.

Unless…

Unless…

I just do one of my own! So here it is. Your new and improved Question Time Fact Sheet. Keep it to hand as the horror begins…

Cross Mary Creagh

Cross Mary Creagh

Mary Creagh (Lab, MP for Wakefield, Shadow Secretary for International Development)

  • She’s a Labour leadership candidate supported by an MP with perhaps the best name in the whole House of Commons, Thangam Debbonaire. (Source)
  • From 2007-9 she was Chair of the Labour Movement for Europe. (Source)
  • As a councillor she started the longest-ever investigation by the Standards Board. A tribunal called her an “inventive witness, lacking in balanced judgement and one who was prepared to make assumptions about the honesty and integrity of others without any proper basis.” (Source)
  • Her children are called Clement and Beatrice, either after Clement Attlee and Beatrice Webb, or Clement Freud and Princess Beatrice. We’ll just never know. (Source)
  • Is a keen cyclist. (Source)

In summary: Unknown quantity, who perhaps deserves to remain such.

What to shout at the telly: “I preferred Ronnie and Reggie,” “velocipede wanker,” “Mary Crain’t, more like.”

Completely Norman Lamb

Completely Norman Lamb

Norman Lamb (Lib Dem, MP for North Norfolk)

  • Is a candidate for the Lib Dem leaderhsip, who wants to legalise cannabis. (Source)
  • Worked as a parliamentary researcher for Greville Janner in the early 1980s. Yes, THAT Greville Janner… (Source)
  • In January 2015 announced £497,000 from the Coatal Communities Fund for his constituency. 80% of the grants from the fund set up by Danny Alexander went to Tory or Lib Dem constituencies. (Source)
  • Was PPS to both Charles Kennedy and Nick Clegg. (Source)
  • He invested £10,000 in the career of Tinchy Strider and claimed he and his wife were “living the grime scene.” (Source)

In summary: Lembit’s sensible twin, cut from his shoulder at birth.

What to shout at the telly: “Fucking quisling Lib Dem bastard,” “Smiling herb-goon,” “North Norfolk Digiturd.”

_61793655_jex_1476459_de27-1

It’s only Justine Bleedin’ Greening

Justine Greening (Con, MP for Putney, Secretary of State for International Development)

  • Was an accountant with PriceWaterhouse Cooper, Glaxo SmithKline and Centrica before entering parliament. (Source)
  • Was found to be the MP who is 9th best value-for-money according to the unbiased bods at the Adam Smith Institute in 2009. In 2012. The Adam Smith Institute was later paid £37 million by Greening’s department, the DfID to “promote the free market in the third world”. Coincidentally. (Source)
  • Failed to vote on Syria because she was too busy chatting to notice the division bell, Or did she? (Source: Wikipedia)
  • Is currently the boss of Grant Shapps, who has been alleged to be Westminster-based Wikipedia editor Contribsx. Contribsx is the editor who added the information above about Greening missing a vote because she was too busy chatting to Wikipedia. (Source)
  • Opposes a third runway at Heathrow. (Source)

In summary: The daughter of whom Rick Wakeman is most proud.

What to shout at the telly: “Broken Toby jug, full to the brim with mouse corpses,” “Lispy, brittle-eyed gauleiter,” “Scowl owl.”

kirbynormal (1)

Jill Kirby (writer, Conservative blogger)

  • She was Director of the Centre for Policy Studies 2007-2011 (Source)
  • She blogs for Conservative Home (Source)
  • Wants to “introduce proper welfare sanctions to end the incentives to fecklessness” (Source)
  • Doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page (Citation Needed)

In summary: Like an Eastern European ersatz Melanie Phillips for when their factories couldn’t shurn out enough actual Melanie Phillipses.

What to shout at the telly: “Venomous hell twig,” “the creeping hand of death,” “jill Dando’s ghost.”

susie-boniface

Susie Boniface (journalist, Fleet Street Fox)

  • Gatecrashed Katie Price’s wedding to Alex Reid. (Source)
  • Won the London Press Club award for Blog Of The Year in 2013. (Source)
  • Was accused by Sarah Ditum of “hysterical misogyny.” (Source)
  • Until 2006 was married to a Sun journalist. (Source)

In summary: Human word-user.

What to shout at the telly: “At least someone’s still getting paid by The Mirror!” (Or maybe that will just be me…)

Sir Ian is back and he’s taking no prisoners. Although he is detaining people at the border in a legal fashion.

(Full Disclosure: I write for The Revolution Will Be Televised so everything I say above should be taken with a pinch of whatever condiment you like because it airs on BBC3. Oh, and it won last year’s BAFTA for Best Comedy, while we’re talking about quality programming)

I don’t listen to Radio 3. I don’t enjoy the programming, it’s almost all repeats of music that has been around for hundreds of years, and I suspect with the amount of Wagner they play that everyone who does listen to it is probably a bit anti-semitic. Radio 3 is not for me.

I don’t, however, want to see the BBC axe it.

More than that, there are some channels I think are actively detrimental to human life. With the tag-team property fetishism of Philandkirsty and Sarah Beenie, Channel 4 supported a bubble in the housing market for more than a decade. Their relentless propaganda claiming property ownership was the only route to happiness fuelled the sorts of mortgage lending that led to Northern Rock going bust, priced ordinary people our of most city centres and created it an atmosphere in which social housing now can’t be built because of the effect it will have on house prices. If you build a council house you’re robbing from the real humans, you see. Essentially, I’m saying Channel 4 are mainly responsible for the recession, and for the crisis in housing stock we currently face. The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing us he wasn’t Kirsty Allsop.

But I wouldn’t cheer if Channel 4 closed.

The reason for this – and here comes the science part – is that I actually don’t think my personal viewing preferences should govern all the television that exists. Nor do I think my personal preferences should be the yardstick by which the BBC’s performance is measured.

So here’s why we shouldn’t close BBC3, even if you don’t like the programmes it makes.

Nighty Night, Monkey Dust, Pulling, High Spirits with Shirley Ghostman, 28 Acts In 28 Minutes, Mongrels, Dead Boss, Him And Her, Annually Retentive. Those are all excellent comedies you wouldn’t have without BBC3.

Oh, and then there are the little shows like Little Britain, The Mighty Boosh and Gavin and Stacey, which some people liked..

And, just thinking about what’s currently on, there’s Uncle (giving a new performer a deserved lead in a BBC sitcom), Bluestone 42 (which is both ambitious and relevant) and The Revolution Will Be Televised (which was nominated for a Rose d’Or last year as well as winning some award or other). There’s Live At The Electric, giving new acts (with some notable omissions – ahem) some of their first television exposure as well as being presented by the oldest man in comedy (unfortunately, the new acts are sacrificed after the show so that Russell Kane can drink their blood and soothe the ache in the lump of black gristle he has instead of a heart).

So let’s talk genre. And mention The Fades, Being Human, Torchwood and In The Flesh.

In fact with Little Britain USA, La La Land, and the US versions of Torchwood, Pulling, Being Human, and Dead Boss, BBC3 has exported loads more television programmes to America than, say, ITV1. Which has managed Jeremy Kyle USA. In fact, Sharon Horgan alone has exported twice as many programmes to America as ITV1. Programmes which started on BBC3.

BBC3 has commissioned a lot of great comedy over the last ten years. And, importantly, when BBC exists more comedy is commissioned. Which means something you like is more likely to be commissioned. More is better than less. When you cheer the demise of BBC3 you are shouting “Huzzah! I shall have fewer choices of what to watch in the future! Thank Christ! I’m such an idiot I usually end up watching complete shit!”

But it’s so expensive! Yes, and it’s not like that’s offset by its producing world-beating cash cows like Little Britain and Gavin and St-oh.

Yes, there are also some terrible programmes, quite a few terrible programmes. But there are terrible programmes on every channel. Have you tried watching television during the day? It’s almost enough to make you pull your trousers back up and get back to work. Almost.

Then there’s the cost argument. The BBC needs to save money because the licence fee’s been frozen. And it has to find it somewhere. So why not here?

Because the money isn’t being saved. It’s being spent again.

Closing BBC3 will save between £80 and £100 million. That sounds like loads.

Until you realise that they have pledged to spend £30 million of it on new drama for BBC1. And £30 million of it creating BBC1+1. Oh, and there will still be a programming budget for BBC3, but it will be online only.

I would say that only the BBC could get rid of something that cost £100 million and only save themselves (at best) £40 million, but that’s patently not true. I reckon I could.

So, if the programmes are successful and it’s not saving much money, why is it being done?

Now, call me an old cynic, but it seems to me that the sorts of people who watch BBC3 are generally not the sorts of people who read the sorts of newspapers who will influence the sort of government who will oversee the next licence fee agreement. This is a move to show the BBC can make tough choices (unless that tough choice involves standing up to governments).

What makes it more nakedly political is the use of the money to fund BBC1+1, a channel that will only be watched by people who can’t use their set top box, and haven’t discovered the Internet. Old people.

It’s yet another broadside in our current war on youth.

From the removal of the EMA, through the introduction of tuition fees, the removal of housing benefit for under-25s, to the current proposals to remove all benefits from under-25s, we are at war with our young people. We used to hate them because of their sexting, their hoodies, and their riots. Now I’m not sure we even need a reason.

A fifth of them – close to one million under-25s – are unemployed, and the message coming out again and again from the political class is that they don’t matter. Politically, they are expendable, and now we’ve decided they’re culturally expendable, too.

And then we can hitch up our petticoats in horror when they dare listen to that beast Russell Brand, and we can ask ourselves “What is to be done with the young people? Why are they so angry? What have we ever done to them?” before we get an attack of the vapours and lie around honking like broken geese, perplexed by the incredible mystery of it all.

And we can turn on Sarah Beeney and thank our lucky stars we got on the property ladder when we did.

(Now go and sign the fucking petition to #savebbc3)

(Oh, and BBC3 also remain responsible for one of the most entertaining hours of television ever broadcast. Go and get some popcorn and tuck into Danny Dyer, I Believe In UFOs. Seriously. SERIOUSLY. My favourite bit? The bit where he’s discussing crop circles and descrobes how people “read about them in the newspaper, but then forget all about them to turn the page and look at some tits.” Because that is how all newspapers work.)

This Week is an odd programme. Only the unique way the BBC is funded can ensure that this shambling, incoherent mess of an hour’s telly makes it to your screens every week. Want to hear establishment platitudes whispered as if they are naughty, almost unbroadcastable, pieces of mischief? Watch This Week. Want to sit in baffled amazement at politicians sit grinning, dressed in a bizarre rainbow of unhealthy colours, like two-week old clown puke? Watch This Week. Want to know what Peter Stringfellow and Gyles Brandreth and Olly Grender think about things? Of course you do.

Last week, they were still upset about Russell Brand, almost choking with inchoate rage as they, a group of political insiders, decided that he was wrong when he said our political system excludes the views of millions. It was like watching a group of stranded puffins, hooting for rescue, slowly realising the island they live on is made entirely of bird-shit.

Their obliviousness to the irony of seeing a group of political leaders agree that the political system was fine, and then for the state broadcaster to pump it out to the entire nation was delightful. Less delightful was the fact that many people, and some of them my friends, seem to agree with them. Some people seem to find it physically possible to tick a box and pat themselves on the back at the same time, which is no mean feat.

There was a torrent of sneering articles about Brand, suggesting he “go back to Hollywood” or “stick to shagging”. People who feign concern at the fact that democratic politics fails to engage much of the young population could wait to stick their fingers in their ears as soon as anyone articulated what that young population might be feeling. Brand was ‘unhelpful’, ‘naive’, and possibly ‘a git’.

Lots of people – including lots of comedians – decided that not only should you vote, but you should probably have to vote. “You have no right to criticise is you don’t vote!” came the cry.

Of course you do. I don’t like football. I think it’s a pernicious, violent game that people around the country use to sublimate their frustrations with life. I think it idolises cretins and thugs, gives its viewers a chance to indulge in organised racism and homophobia every week, and its shallow, comercial values are a deep sickness in our public life. So what do I do? I don’t watch it.

However, I now realise the error of my ways. What I should be doing is joining a football club, watching it every week, and supporting it vociferously at every occasion. Because only then can I hope to change football from the inside.

All of the critics of Russell Brand, however, are guilty of making the same fairly large fallacy of composition. Parliamentary politics is not politics. It’s not even a relatively major part of politics. It’s possibly to be highly political, and not to participate in party politics, and – I would argue – the most successful politicians have been.

People fought for years to get the vote. They did, and they did so successfully. How did they do it? Not by voting for a party that promised it to them, because they couldn’t. If that teaches us anything, it is that it is possible to bring about huge political change even when you can’t use the vote to get it.

The serious point here is that extra-parliamentary organisations are much better at affecting what MPs do than voters are. From churches to trades unions to billionaires, if you want the ear of an MP you’d better be able to either offer them money (or the chance to retain their seat, and its attendant money) or be able to cause trouble for them. That is where parliamentary power lies.

But people have died for the vote! Yes, people have also died during childbirth. That doesn’t mean we should all have to have children out of respect for their sacrifice.

But… But… democracy! Is it, though? Seriously? It’s not what Aristotle meant when he described democracy. It’s not what the Chartists meant when they described democracy (remember annual parliaments?). The prime minister can use the royal prerogative to overrule parliament and go to war. The heir to the throne gets to pre-approve bills to see that they don’t affect his business dealings. The Queen gets to veto private members’ bills she doesn’t like. It’s a constitutional monarchy with pseudo-democratic trappings.

And remember, there’s a House Of Lords as well! A whole parliament full of people who can reject bills, amend bills, and over whom you have absolutely no say whatsoever. Remember kids, even if you vote, even if you win, even if your party honours its pledges and puts together a bill, there’s still no guarantee it will become legislation.

Because voting remains a sideshow. You achieve less politically by voting than you do by buying Fairtrade coffee.

And the fact remains, my best chance of unseating my MP in my deeply-Tory seat is to vote UKIP, and hope enough of the Conservative electorate in my constitutency feel its a safe enough seat to do the same. When my only hope of having my vote count at all is to vote UKIP, there is something deeply wrong with the system.

Ah, but the British public rejected AV, so we can’t reform parliament. Yes, we entrusted the parliamentary class to set up a vote on whether or not the system that elected them should be changed. And they won. Entrenched political power is entrenched. Hence the name.

Parliamentary politics has delivered MPs who are prepared to challenge entrenched power twice in its long history. Once in 1945, and once in 1645. And we shouldn’t have to wait another 300 years until there’s another world war or Battle of Naseby in order to try to make politics serve people.

People who say “they are all the same” are the problem. No. People who refuse to see that they are are. People who cling to the last shred of hope that the Labour Party isn’t the corporate, authoritarian, centre-right, managerial party it appears to be – and governed as from 1997 to 2010 – can sit in their attics like Miss Havisham, waiting for Tony Benn or Dennis Skinner or even bloody Michael Meacher (who looks and acts like he was left in the sink overnight to soak). Those figures are fig-leaves for the Labour Party to retain the support of the Labour movement.

Let’s look at most of what people like to complain about the Coalition for:

Tuition fees – Introduced by David Blunkett, Labour Education Secretary in 1998. The Dearing Report which had suggested introducing fees also advised keeping the grants system, something Blunkett rejected, getting rid of maintenance grants altogether.

ATOS – ATOS were first brought in to run work capability assessments by – wait for it – the Labour Party. If you want to read about the ways the Labour Party distorted evidence and victimised disabled people for years this paper is quite helpful.

NHS Reform – Let’s not forget that the party who started the creeping privatisation of the health service was Labour in 2002. Remember Tony Blair “not having a reverse gear”, and people who opposed privatisation of the NHS being “the forces of conservatism”? Fun Fact: the reforms Coalition’s Health and Social Care Act wouldn’t even have been legal without Alan Milburn’s 2008 reforms, and he remained committed to gutting the NHS even after stepping down as Health Secretary. Alan Milburn went on to become a consultant for Alliance Medical, a private healthcare company bidding for work in the NHS, and is now a Director of Bridgepoint Capital. Which invests heavily in lots of private health care companies. Those Labour conflicts of interest in full.

Free Schools – Introduced as ‘academy schools’ by Labour.

The Bedroom Tax! – Introduced by Labour for private tenants in 2008.

Um… Foreign Policy – I suppose we might have a government that at least expresses a little regret when it starts wars, but I doubt it.

The fact remains that if you want an unfettered, authoritarian, right-wing, corporate-friendly government that’s happy to demonise disadvantaged groups for electoral gain, you’re best off voting for the Labour Party.

And it’s not just MPs. It’s our entire political class, in which I include the police and the media. From expenses through phone hacking and Savile and Hillsborough and the Met’s collusion with reporters, there is nowhere for an honest citizen to turn. Our laws are made by the corrupt, presented to us by the corrupt, and enforced by the corrupt. The idea that political change will come from our law-making apparatus is fanciful.

So what do we do? If it makes you happy, vote. I do. It’s a habit I can’t break. I couldn’t wait to be able to vote, and being able to participate, in however minimal and nugatory a fashion, in the way governments are formed. However. I am well aware that this makes my complicit in a system that deliberately excludes, and rather than boast about the great democratic tradition I’m upholding, I know that voting is a weakness. It’s an essential naivety that I can’t get rid of.

But there are lots of things we can do, as soon as we stop waiting for politicians to do it for us. There’s relieving each other of debt. There’s homesteading. There’s protest. There’s organisation. There’s non-violent direct action. There’s publicising issues that affect us and those around us. There is doing what you can to make what you can better than when you found it.

We can join things. We should join things. We’ve lost the habit of being parts of political organisations that aren’t political parties. Trades unions have never been less powerful than when they have entrusted their interests to the Labour Party. Join a union. Join a church. Join an atheist congregation. Join an organisation that campaigns for what you are interested in, and give it your time. Start an organisation if one doesn’t exist. Get used to sitting through boring, frustrating meetings, and standing in the cold waving flimsy banners, because it’s only through engagement that things are going to change.

And, if you just can’t shake the habit, at the end of it, you can vote.

Voting has, in the last couple of weeks, become a currency of self-satisfaction, a shibboleth displaying how politically engaged we are, when quite the reverse is true. Voting is the twentieth century equivalent of signing an online petition, a quick, relatively painless way of convincing ourselves and others we are good, involved people, although it costs us very little, and means almost nothing.

It’s not the most important thing we do politically. It might well be most self-defeating thing. But really, who cares? Let’s not pretend the people who don’t are fundamentally unserious. They may be the most realistic of all of us.

So, just for a little while, let’s forget about voting. And do something political.

Sir Ian discusses the passing of the Iron Lady, and a particularly large stool…

So, the DCMS Select Committee report on phone hacking came out today.

Of particular interest is paragraph 228, which reads:

228. Rupert Murdoch told this Committee that his alleged lack of oversight of News International and the News of the World was due to it being “less than 1% of our company”.306 This self-portrayal, however, as a hands-off proprietor is entirely at odds with numerous other accounts, including those of previous editors and from Rebekah Brooks, who told us she spoke to Rupert Murdoch regularly and ‘on average, every other day’. It was, indeed, we consider, a misleading account of his involvement and influence with his newspapers.

Which seems pretty clear. Rupert Murdoch gave “a misleading account of his involvement and influence with his newspapers.” Now, I’m no lawyer, but it seems that if you ‘give a misleading account’ to a Select Committee of Parliament then you are, in effect, ‘misleading’ that Committee.

In the conclusions, however, this isn’t taken up again. Paragraph 275, says that Les Hinton misled the Committee, Tom Crone misled the Committee, Tom Crone & Colin Myler misled the Committee, and that the News Of The World and News International as a whole misled the Committee, wilfully blinding themselves to internal evidence for which the companies’ directors—including Rupert Murdoch and James Murdoch—should ultimately be prepared to take responsibility”. So Rupert and James Murdoch wilfully blinded themselves to instances in which their company misled the Committee.

On the accusation that James Murdoch had misled the Committee over the ‘for Neville’ email, or whether Tom Crone and Colin Myler did (as their stories were incompatible), the Committee “simply cannot adjudicate with confidence either way.” (para. 161) So, either James Murdoch misled the Committee or Tom Crone and Colin Myler did (again), but the Committee has no way of determining which is true.

All of which seems pretty clear. Rupert ‘gave a misleading account’, Rupert and James presided over an organisation that misled the Committee, James may have misled the Committee, but they cannot be sure either way.

Got that? Good.

Because, apparently Louise Mensch didn’t.

Or, rather, she did at first, but then she forgot. During the press conference presenting the report she said :

Every one of us [Conservative members of the Committee] while we share different views about the culpability of News Corporation, and the degree of culpability of James Murdoch in particular… [emphasis mine]

Again, pretty clear. At least some of the Conservative members of the Committee felt that James Murdoch was at least partially culpable.

However, within seconds, she appears to have forgotten that entirely, appearing on Sky News saying, when asked about whether James or Rupert Murdoch had misled the Committee:

As far as that is concerned, they are in the clear.

Well, they are in the clear in as far as it looks unlikely that the Committee will call for any Parliamentary sanction. The report, however, goes nowhere near absolving them of having misled Parliament.

It says one definitely gave ‘a misleading account’, they are both responsible for an organisation that persistently misled the Committee, and that they had no way of discerning whether the other misled the Committee in his evidence, but that they found his story ‘astonishing’ and ‘surprising’. This is not the clean bill of health Louise Mensch would have you believe.

Later, on Twitter, she was at it again. When asked why she hadn’t supported the report, she said:

we hadn’t heard one iota of evidence re fitness or otherwise; he didn’t lie to us; is outside SC remit. 3 good reasons.

You’ll see that she recasts ‘misleading’ as the slightly stronger ‘lying’ as she did in the press conference when she demanded that Parliament clarify its procedures for ‘people who lie to Parliament’.

“He didn’t lie to us.” Perhaps, but he did give you a misleading account, and oversee and organisation that misled you an a wide scale. And you all find the story of the Murdochs’ ignorance ‘astonishing’.

Louise Mensch may well just not understand paragraph 228 of the report. She may be angling for a ministerial post. She may just be shilling for the rich and powerful. Or she may be doing all three.

What she is not doing is being open and honest about the findings of the report. Indeed, she seems to be trying to distract from its content, by saying it’s ‘fatally flawed’ because she disagrees with one sentence.

If her line is “No one is accusing Rupert Murdoch of misleading Parliament”, then that’s simply not true. Her Committee is. In its report. In paragraph 228.

The only thing that’s fatally flawed here is Mensch’s integrity.

Yesterday, Sir Ian Bowler went to see the rabble on Westminster Bridge who were attempting to ‘save the NHS’. He likes to think he changed a few minds. And sexualities.

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