Fox Nation — the website operated by Fox News for people that don’t think the channel is right wing enough — are currently reporting on the selfie taken at the Nelson Mandela memorial by Barack Obama, David Cameron and ”an unidentified official” — or as the rest of the world likes to call her, the prime minister of Denmark, Helle Thorning-Schmidt.
Fox burnishing its foreign policy credentials once more.
Interviewing disgraced ex-UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom, a wily anchor from YouTube channel ChatPolitics lures the MEP into thinking the cameras have stopped — before popping a killer question about how hard he had whacked Michael Crick (VIDEO) with a conference brochure.
Bloom promptly tied the rope he had been offered into a noose:
“I used to box lightweight in the army and I can tell you, if you think that’s brutal, when I was [younger] he would still be in hospital.”
In fairness to Crick, it was Godders that ran away from their exchange.
- UKIP promoted report advocating US libertarian-style small state
- Democracy Institute claims UK ‘too generous’ to own citizens
- Farage man pictured with architect of US government shutdown
It didn’t take long for UKIP to jump on the back of an “alarming new report on EU migration” last week. But their promotion of its American publishers — the so-called Democracy Institute — could be merely scratching the surface of UKIP’s reassertion of links with the US Tea Party movement.
Produced by an organ of America’s extreme libertarian right, UKIP must have been hoping that nobody bothered to read the thing (FULL PDF), which claims that the root cause of Britain’s immigration woes is the absence of a Tea Party-style destruction of public services:
“the problem is not European law; the problem is the UK’s over- generosity towards its own citizens”
Having described UKIP as the “British Tea Party” back in 2010, Nigel Farage discovered (as Tory Dan Hannan before him) that the brew of “small state” libertarianism with a hint of neo-McCarthyism was alien to British palettes. In October this year, however, Farage is back on Fox News (VIDEO) claiming that the EU “is dominated by communists”.
And here’s UKIP’s financial spokesman Steven Woolfe — reportedly one of the most influential people in Farage’s engine room — smirking alongside US senator Mike Lee:
Senator Lee is the architect of the US government shutdown — and His pals include the Tea Party’s favourite Mama Grizzly:
To return to the Democracy Institute’s immigration report, the organisation claims that its findings are based on figures from its “proprietary econometric migration model” — which can be broadly translated as “we won’t show you our data or methodology”. Hardly surprising from a group with extensive ties to the controversial Cato Institute and which takes Big Tobacco money to spin against health warnings on cigarette packets.
Scrapbook’s proprietory bakery model gives the Democracy Institute a rating of “fruitcake”.
It looks like the pressure of a deselection bid is getting to Tory MP Anne McIntosh. With news that members of Thirsk and Malton Conservative Association are to be balloted on whether to dump her as a candidate, the select committee chair has taken to re-tweeting poignantly barbed bible quotes.
“When you face difficult times, know that challenges are not sent to destroy you”, McIntosh re-tweeted from account @BookOfProverbs. With the Tories’ national board having already overturned an attempt in January to knife McIntosh, she also quotes Proverbs 15:18 — “A hot tempered man stirs up dissension”. Surely this is a reference to her Conservative Association chairman, who Scrapbook understands is leading the seditious cabal?
This isn’t the first time she has faced deselection either – local activists also tried to dump her back in 2009.
It would be pretty embarrassing if Cameron were to lose his only female MP in Yorkshire.
Citing “interventions in the media in recent days”, anti-Apartheid campaigner Peter Hain stuck it to revisionist Tories in the Commons this afternoon:
“I give credit to the prime minister for apologising for his party’s record of what I have to describe as craven indulgence towards Apartheid’s rulers.”
“But it really does stick in the craw when Lord Tebbit, Charles Moore and others similar tried over recent days to claim that their complicity with Apartheid — and that’s what I think it was — somehow brought about its end.”
Indeed, both Tebbit and Thatcher biographer Moore (above) have suggested that Mandela somehow owed his freedom to Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government. Moore — writing in the Telegraph — reasoned that the most appropriate way to mark Mandela’s passing was to elucidate the ways in which he was indebted to Britain.
And according to Moore, it’s okay to lie about the past as long as it makes you feel better. Reviewing Tea Party Tory Dan Hannan’s book ‘Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World’ two weeks ago, he says that “I do not, strictly speaking, agree with it as history … The way Hannan gets [our history] wrong works to the good”. He continued:
“Even if it is not always true that we have upheld liberty and the law, it helps us to do better if we believe that this is our special role in the world.”
This goes some way to explaining his theories on the Tories and Mandela.
Iain Duncan Smith faces a select committee grilling on Universal Credit from 4:30pm on the day it is revealed that his flagship welfare policy has fallen even further behind schedule. With the wheels coming off the wagon, this Telegraph leader column summarises the defence briefed by IDS’ team: that he was “kept in the dark” about what was going on:
Management was “alarmingly weak”; a “fortress” mentality developed, alongside a “good news” culture in which ministers were kept in the dark about mistakes. Things became so chaotic that secretaries were signing off million-pound contracts.
Very good. Except — as this blog pointed out last week — Iain Duncan Smith had personally brought in a director of the think tank he founded to work on the project. When writing or speaking at conferences, Stephen Brien is variously described as “Special Adviser to Iain Duncan Smith on Universal Credit” and “the architect of the Universal Credit policy”.
In addition to his point man ‘on the ground’ with the Universal Credit team, IDS has been chairing the ministerial oversight groups responsible for the policy since May 2011. These meetings take place ten times per year.
Scrapbook looks forward to the following quotes being put to the ‘quiet man’ this afternoon:
5 March 2013 – “What we are talking about will have no practical effect on the implementation of universal credit, which, by the way, is proceeding exactly in accordance with plans.”
10 July 2013 – “The pathfinder exercise has shown that the IT system works.”
18 November 2013 – ”because of the actions I took over a year ago to ensure that universal credit will roll out and deliver exactly as we said it would”
It seems to have gone virtually unreported that the latest stats give the Universal Credit caseload as just 2,013 claimants. Only another 997,987 people to bring online before April 2014 then.
With the objective of Small Business Saturday being to support small, independent businesses on our high streets, David Cameron tweeted a picture of himself buying lamb chops in Aylesbury yesterday:
So presumably he sought out a nice independent book shop in which to buy some Christmas prezzies. Either that or the, errr, second biggest book chain in the UK — which has 300 branches and has gobbled up Ottakar’s and Dillon’s.