EU laws imposed on the UK

Twitter:

Brace for mega thread on “ALL THEM RULES INNIT” There is a type of of brexiter who is motivated not by xenophobia, or Empire nostalgia, or buccaneering trade fantasies, but instead by “all them EU rules”. Sadly they can never name a single one. So I have done some research…

 

BBC’s perception of referendum wrongdoing

Carole Cadwalladr tweets:

No Fiona Bruce!! She just intervened after a woman referred to Leave’s “dirty campaign” & said there are “questions about both sides in the referendum”. Totally untrue. There are multiple legal investigations into Vote Leave, BeLeave, LeaveEU and Arron Banks. And none into Remain

Fiona Bruce’s approach makes #bbcqt so much more watchable than before…so it’s just incredibly sad that one of the @BBC’s top political presenters has zero idea about any of the referendum illegality. A bleak reflection presumably of @bbc’s wholly inadequate coverage of it

Who is in charge of the BBC guidelines?

Fox News Debuts Premium Channel For 24-Hour Coverage Of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

The Onion:

NEW YORK—As part of its effort to provide the most comprehensive reporting possible on the freshman congresswoman, Fox News announced Wednesday the debut of a new premium television channel that will offer continuous, around-the-clock updates on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). “For an extra $8.99 per month, you’ll have an all-access pass to the AOC Zone, which features wall-to-wall coverage of every word Ocasio-Cortez utters, as well as in-depth analysis of her wardrobe and any videos we’re able to dig up from her college days,” said Fox spokesperson Avery Mattison, adding that the new channel will include uninterrupted live footage of the 29-year-old representative every time she appears in public, along with nonstop commentary from a 12-person panel of experts. “We know our viewers will come to depend on this outlet for 24-hour coverage of AOC, which is why her tweets, Instagram posts, and her latest wacky policy proposals will appear in a ticker at the bottom of the screen. We’re particularly excited for the premiere of the channel’s flagship program, AOC Tonight With Tucker Carlson.” Minutes after AOC Zone began broadcasting, sources confirmed its ratings had already surpassed those of Fox News.

How did we get here?

Richard Cable has a tweet thread on the horrible set of co-incidences that brought us to the current situation.

This Brexit business is a marvel. Genuinely. It’s borderline miraculous. Bear with me. 1/

As a culture, we focus on those finely balanced moments when, against all odds, the stars align perfectly and great things are achieved. You know, Miracle on the Hudson type stuff. 2/

We tend to ignore those equally rare moments when it goes completely the other way and events and people conspire perfectly to turn everything to utter shit. 3/

The conspiracy of circumstances that has led us to this moment is just so wildly improbable, you could probably live multiple lifetimes and never see something like it again. It’s a unicorn riding through a blue moon on Halley’s comet. 4/

The whole show is kicked off by a Conservative PM doing what Conservative PMs never do – take wild gambles. Clue is in the title. 5/

Followed by an exercise in direct democracy, which we hardly ever do, in which a nation collectively overcomes the insanely powerful status quo bias to vote leave. 6/

With a technically decisive margin of victory that is just small enough to be psychologically and emotionally anything but decisive. 7/

The person chosen to implement the deal didn’t actually vote for it. Instead, we get a deeply weird politician whose truncated imagination is only matched by her utter intransigence. When history called for a great conciliator it gave us Theresa May. 8/

Who then did what, until recently, Conservative PMs never do – took a wild gamble and threw away her majority, placing the whole nation in hock to the most reactionary, one-eyed, uncompromising headbangers in British politics, the DUP. 9/

Which simultaneously created an intractable problem over the Irish border that a British govt with a healthy majority would have breezed past, in that typically high-handed and dismissive way the English have always dealt with the Irish. I’m not saying this is a good thing. 10/

Meanwhile, across the chamber you have Corbyn, a leader of the opposition who refuses to lead the opposition, but can’t be removed because last time they tried they botched it so badly, they basically made him leader for life. 11/

As all this unfolds, the EU plays its hand with the same uncompromising, dead-eyed rigidity that helped precipitate Brexit in the first place. A classic and unequal clash of homegrown pragmatism and continental ideology. There’s a reason we don’t do written constitutions. 12/

As a sidebar, this simultaneously delegitimises any and all valid criticism of the EU, kicking any chance of desperately needed reform into the longest of long grass. Don’t worry, I’m sure this won’t come back to haunt us. 13/

So an isolated rump govt negotiates a deal that cannot pass and cannot be renegotiated, in the knowledge that they cannot be replaced because the only thing worse than the current calamity is Corbyn as PM 14/

And with Parliament almost perfectly deadlocked, we’ve blundered into a situation where we’re barrelling towards a choice between civil war, economic disaster and all points in between 15/

The upshot is that we have with two party leaders who command nobody’s confidence but can’t be removed, fighting over a deal that nobody wants but has to be made, against a deadline that nobody can meet but everyone is insisting upon. Like I said, it’s a bloody marvel. 16/

Equality of opportunity

An inspiring Twitter thread from Mekka Okereke:

Everyone loves SpaceX, and thinks of Elon as the genius founder that invents new types of rockets that are cheaper, faster, more efficient. It’s fun to think of it as SpaceX versus NASA, or Silicon Valley vs Aerospace. But let’s talk about D&I, and logs. Logs as in timber.

If you’ve seen my talk on D&I, then you are familiar with under-matching: a phenomenon where bright kids from rural areas don’t pursue intellectually rigorous careers. Talent is everywhere. Opportunity is not. Under-matching affects white folk too.

A specific example of why I believe what I do.

 

The Monopolization of America

New York Times:

Of course, monopolies and other corporate giants have fought back against these assaults on their power, and sometimes succeeded for years or decades at a time. It happened during the age of Rockefeller and Morgan. Over the past 40 years, it has happened again.

The federal government, under presidents of both parties, has largely surrendered to monopoly power. “The ‘anti’ in ‘antitrust’ has been discarded,” as the legal scholar Tim Wu puts it in his new book, “The Curse of Bigness.” Washington allows most megamergers to proceed either straight up or with only fig-leaf changes. The government has also done nothing to prevent the emergence of dominant new technology companies that mimic the old AT&T monopoly.

This meekness has made possible the consolidation of one industry after another. For a long time, though, it’s been hard to figure out precisely how much consolidation. The available statistics just aren’t very good, which isn’t an accident. In 1981 — around the time that the Reagan administration was launching the modern pro-monopoly era — the Federal Trade Commission suspended a program that collected data on industry concentration.

Fortunately, researchers in the private sector have recently begun filling in the gaps. On Monday, the Open Markets Institute — an anti-monopoly think tank — is releasing the first part of a data set showing the market share that the largest companies have in each industry. You can see the main theme in the charts here: Big companies are much more dominant than they were even 15 years ago.

NYT industry concentration by sector

Andrew Neil

This (now deleted) tweet was sent by Andrew Neil presumably in response to the news that Carole Cadwalladr had just won the Stieg Larsson Prize 2018 for “her courageous and unremitting efforts to reveal operators trying to undermine democratic processes in Britain and the United States. All in the spirit of Stieg Larsson”:

Nothing compared with having to deal with mad cat woman from Simpson’s, Karol Kodswallop.

I’m sure the BBC is aware of Neil’s views.

Later:  Ah, yes.  Aware of his views enough to send this tweet:

Hello Carole. Andrew has deleted what he recognises was an inappropriate tweet.

and this (which Neil generously retweeted):

There has been some discussion on here regarding a tweet from Andrew Neil about Carole Cadwalladr. He has deleted the tweet and recognises it was inappropriate.

afneil‘s above an apology, of course.

This is a good question:

Not quite sure why the BBC is running interference on neil’s private twitter feed where he regularly publishes Spectator stuff – do they work for him now?

And so is this:

So Andrew Neil joins the Russian Embassy, Arron Banks, Guido Fawkes and Julian Assange in smearing – for her prize winning scoops this year. By doing so he openly aligns himself with the forces trying to repress one of the scandals of the century. But why?

For anyone who needs reminding, this is the Simpsons cat lady.  Not perhaps the first image an award winning investigative journalist brings to mind.  Unless you’re concerned about what she’s investigating, of course.

dr9iw-vx0aadak5

 

 

TaxPayers’ Alliance concedes it launched smears against Brexit whistleblower

The Guardian:

The rightwing pressure group the TaxPayers’ Alliance has conceded that it illegally sacked the whistleblower Shahmir Sanni for revealing unlawful overspending in the Brexit referendum campaign, in a case that could have a major impact on how lobbyists are described in the media.

In a development that lawyers have described as “almost unprecedented”, the group has also conceded that it illegally vilified Sanni on the BBC in coordination with a network of other “linked” organisations.

The alliance has accepted all the allegations Sanni made during his action claiming unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal, direct discrimination and “dismissal by reason of a philosophical belief in the sanctity of British democracy”.

Significantly, it has also conceded that it is liable for what Sanni’s lawyer, Peter Daly of Bindmans, describes as “extreme public vilification”. Sanni had claimed that it was responsible for a smear attack published by the website Brexit Central, and that it coordinated “derogatory statements” made by the head of Vote Leave, Matthew Elliott, to the BBC – calling Sanni a “Walter Mitty fantasist” and “so-called whistleblower” and claiming that he was guilty of “completely lying” – before an official finding by the Electoral Commission into the conduct of the Brexit referendum.

The disclosure is likely to have far-reaching consequences for the way that broadcasters describe lobby groups. The uncontested claim has stated that the TaxPayers’ Alliance is responsible for Elliott’s Brexit Central website as part of nine “linked” high-profile rightwing “thinktanks” that operate in and around offices at 55 Tufton Street in Westminster and coordinate media and other strategy.

Details of the alliance’s relationship with Downing Street and the role of Stephen Parkinson, Theresa May’s political secretary, will now not be heard in court. A separate claim by Sanni against Downing Street is still ongoing. Sanni, who received an award from Gay Times last week, said: “It has proved that the TaxPayers’ Alliance sacked me for speaking the truth. And that there has been a coordinated effort by the Conservative establishment, including the government, to shut me down.

Details of the alliance’s relationship with Downing Street and the role of Stephen Parkinson, Theresa May’s political secretary, will now not be heard in court. A separate claim by Sanni against Downing Street is still ongoing. Sanni, who received an award from Gay Times last week, said: “It has proved that the TaxPayers’ Alliance sacked me for speaking the truth. And that there has been a coordinated effort by the Conservative establishment, including the government, to shut me down.

Chris Milsom, a barrister who specialises in whistleblowing cases, said: “It is incredibly unusual for a respondent to make a complete concession on liability as the respondent has here. To wave a white flag to avoid disclosing documents and giving evidence in court is really unusual. They conceded everything. How does an ostensibly private company come to be working with Downing Street? What is their relationship? Who are their funders?

“If this had been fully ventilated in a public trial we could have found these things out. The effect of these admissions, however, is that Mr Sanni was dismissed both because he blew the whistle on electoral crimes and because of his philosophical belief in the sanctity of democracy. We must now ask: is that an entity that is fit to be on the BBC ostensibly speaking on behalf of all ‘taxpayers’?”

Well, well, well.