Archives for category: Media

To date, the editors of the Mail (not the author) and the Chamberlain files (perhaps the author)

In June this year’s Bad Press Awards (campaigning for truth and trust in Britain’s feral press) the Daily Mail swept the board, but failed to show up to accept the award from John Cleese.

Chris Game, in the Chamberlain Files, suggested that the choice of speakers at the recent Labour Party conference was decided on a basis of ‘male domination’ – to use his least schoolboyish term.

Surely he must have heard the rationale for choice given by the non-alpha male Jeremy Corbyn, who opted to select newly elected MPs and gave members an increased role at conference, with more time for councillors and grassroots activists to speak on the conference floor.

Jonathan Walker’s words below show the substance of his article – belied by the headline “How Jeremy Corbyn copied his conference speech from Theresa May”. After comparing similar phrases used – with no reference to copying – he wrote:

The policies may be different, but the two leaders share a belief that voters won’t put up with growing inequality, and expect government to do something about it. They may be right.

The next question, then, is who has a plan to turn their words into action? So far, the answer appears to be Jeremy Corbyn.

Theresa May talked the talk last year. And her analysis of what’s going on in British politics, and what voters want from a government, may be right. But since then, she’s failed to demonstrate that her Conservative government will actually deal with any of the problems she raised – low pay, lack of housing and so forth. Instead, it’s all been about Brexit and, following a disastrous general election, speculation about who will be the next Tory leader.

Labour, by contrast, is brimming with ideas, the latest being rent controls. Whether they’re good ones or not, they’re certainly striking.

Theresa May’s task, when the Tories hold their annual conference in Manchester, is to convince us that she meant what she said last year, and has some idea how to create a world that works for all of us.

How many people simply read the Mail’s misleading headline and failed to get the true message?






Time-pressed residents of Birmingham, Solihull, Cannock, Dudley, Coventry, Lichfield, Sandwell, South Staffs, Tamworth, Walsall and Wolverhampton who regularly scan their section of the Brummie site, appreciate the free service it gives, whatever their interests. Main news items covered, include a range of locally run websites, music and the arts, sport and business.

Links to them give those sites a wider readership than would otherwise have been possible. Until the final few months Mark was a helpful and courteous correspondent and this later lack of response was ascribed to pressure of other work, which involved travelling abroad. We now can see that there may have been health concerns claiming priority.

Three of many interests served: Our Birmingham, West Midlands Producers and Localise West Midlands thank him and hope that a way will be found to maintain the Brummie.






Via the Brummie, Political Concern has discovered the Plastic Hippo’s list of agents who wish the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn to be seen as unelectable:

  • the five right-wing billionaires who own the printed press,
  • the small group of anonymous Tory strategists running the country,
  • the state broadcaster flirting dangerously close to charter compliance
  • and about 170 Labour MPs worried about future employment

plastic-hippoHippo presents evidence from two separate academic reports which have concluded that UK news outlets are blatantly biased against Jeremy Corbyn. A study by the London School of Economics found that three quarters of newspapers either ignore or distort Corbyn`s views and comments and act as an aggressive “attack dog” rather than a critical “watchdog”.

A second study by Birkbeck University and the Media Reform Coalition found “clear and consistent bias” against Corbyn in both broadcast and online news feeds with his opponents being allowed double the coverage than his supporters.


 Welcomed by socialist leaders in Brussels

The study described a “strong tendency” within the BBC for its reporters to use pejorative language to describe Corbyn and his chums with words such as hostile, hard core, left-wing, radical, revolutionary and Marxist.

Hippo adds: “With my very own ears I heard a senior BBC radio correspondent describe the Labour leadership election as “a battle between Marxists and moderates”. And the strange conclusion is:

“After a year of astonishing negativity, utterly preposterous smears, brutal personal attacks, nasty digs, front bench resignations and a vote of no confidence from Labour MPs who accuse unelectable Corbyn of disloyalty and fracturing the party, the bloke was re-elected as party leader increasing his share of the vote to 61.6 %.

“Unelectable? maybe not if the electorate actually has a full rather than half a brain”.

Read the Plastic Hippo’s article here:





Jeremy Mallin, writing from Solihull, firmly admonishes the FT

ft nikkeiSir, You argue in your editorial “Labour must now act to remove Corbyn as leader” (June 28) that Jeremy Corbyn should go.

Why? And why should you say so?

I am not a fan of Mr Corbyn or the Labour party, but its constitution vests the selection of its leader, whether you like it or not, in the whole party membership, paid-up supporters and affiliated trade unions.

It is all very well for an ever-increasing number of Labour MPs to state that they want him to resign, and although it is obvious that trying to continue without their support is impossible, I admire Mr Corbyn for standing by the rules of his party’s constitution.

The attitude articulated by Labour MPs in this instance, and by the FT and others on issues such as the EU referendum, that the rules of the game should be ignored in order to satisfy the whims of a self-appointed and laughably called “elite,” is one of the reasons Leave won last week’s referendum, and the ongoing uprising against the west’s “elite” will continue to resonate.





A verbal sparring match between the Birmingham Press’ independent Steve Beauchampé and Rachel Sylvester in the Murdoch Times would be well worth turning out for.

Welfare and workers’ rights – so yesterday

Ms Sylvester, working to diminish members’ increasing support for the Labour leader, evident in the recent YouGov poll, sees Mr Corbyn merely “trotting out old arguments about the importance of immigration, welfare and workers’ rights, apparently oblivious to the way in which public opinion has shifted in the last 40 years. . . “ and smears: “There is no sense of passion, more a suspicion that he sees the EU as a capitalist conspiracy against the masses but is nervous of saying so”.

Beauchampé has a different perspective, pointing to David Cameron’s dismissal of many elements of EU law that make a tangible, positive impact on the daily lives of British citizens, “such as crucial environmental legislation, consumer protection laws, the working time directive, social chapter, maternity leave and necessary health and safety legislation.

He adds that the PM’s willingness last autumn to negotiate away British workers EU employment rights, sets the Tory ‘Remain’ vision of Europe decisively at odds with that of Labour, the Liberal Democrats, SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party.

Ms Sylvester damns Cameron with faint praise – Murdoch apparently backing Boris: “Having conceded a referendum in order to appease his rightwingers, and mounted a bogus negotiation in an attempt to hold the Tories together, (Cameron) has now moved beyond the partisan bickering to put a statesmanlike case for Britain’s membership of the European Union”.

Beauchampe goes to the heart of the matter:

  • “Cameron should have focussed instead on transferring more power to the democratically elected (and by proportional representation) European Parliament, simultaneously reducing the authority of the unelected Council of Europe.
  • “He should have requested greater financial transparency regarding EU budgets (audited accounts would be a start).
  • “And he should have been opposing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) as it is currently envisaged, a treaty that threatens to undermine democratic institutions at local, national and international level, in favour of global business interests to the detriment of millions of EU citizens.

A knockout blow?

Conservative Home lists Birmingham targets:

Birmingham Hall Green
Birmingham Hodge Hill
Birmingham Ladywood
Birmingham Perry Barr
Birmingham Yardley

Conservative party membership has fallen from nearly 300,000 to about 150,000 over the last ten years, and it is forecast to decline further in the future as a large proportion of its members are elderly. Mr Cameron wants to reverse that trend by entrenching his party decisively in the centre ground of British politics – possibly setting up new Compassionate Conservative Caucus.

cameron compassionate

To this end, a review was launched after the general election by Lord Andrew Feldman, Conservative party chairman, a handful of MPs and local/regional party chairs.

Rob Halfon, the new deputy chairman, is said to feel that, to thrive long-term, the Conservative Party must become a mass movement, reaching out beyond its traditional heartland.

Kate Allen, political correspondent of the Times, reports that – according to people familiar with the review’s progress – it is felt that the Conservative party needs to re-establish itself in communities, winning over a new generation of members and activists. The first step taken at last year’s party conference was the announcement of a £250,000 fund to help people on lower incomes run for parliament.

Predicted measures to bring floating voters into contact with prime minister David Cameron’s brand of ‘compassionate Conservatism’ and win them over, include:

  • party activists setting up local community groups to improve the party’s image and attract a wider range of members,
  • groups tackling practical activities such as litter-picking and renovating community facilities,
  • campaigning on local issues such as roads and schools,
  • demonstrating that the party is no longer dominated by elderly, socially conservative supporting measures such as same-sex marriage and continued spending on overseas aid,
  • continuing to target younger voters by mobilising grass roots campaigners through the RoadTrip group – as MP Andrew Mitchell, advised the party’s youth wing: “A greater emphasis on by-election leafleting and a little less on Tatleresque social activities is overdue”,
  • seeking to build on the party’s city seats initiative, which has seen candidates and Conservative associations in urban areas that are not traditionally Tory working closely together to build the party’s vote,
  • considering a membership package akin to that of a members’ club or health club to include free or discounted access to events, reading material and promotional merchandise, and the opportunity to shape party policy,
  • and setting up a new Compassionate Conservative Caucus to focus on social justice, possible members to include Welsh secretary Stephen Crabb and Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson.

Andrew Feldman rallies the party: “We have a golden opportunity to ride the wave and renew our Party – and we must seize it. The road to 2020 starts here”.

The writer tried to ignore the news, cynically announced as the public prepares for Christmas festivities, that – on ‘trash day’ – a total of 36 written ministerial statements and 424 government documents were published, as Parliament rose for the Christmas recess. Consequences:

govt 2 announcements

But, via the Brummie, the words of a Walsall blogger made it impossible.


“Clearly, lots of time, effort and thought has been devoted to the black arts by the Conservative Party, their corporate backers and a sympathetic media. It seems a shame that they are unwilling to turn their expertise to reducing the national debt, securing public services, ensuring that no child goes hungry and made some effort to unite the nation and not divide it for the sake of short-term electoral advantage”.

plastic hippoHippo asserts, tongue in cheek, that the British public owes a huge debt of gratitude to clever Conservative spooks who tell David Cameron what to do, think and say: “The Machiavellian undermining of political opponents by Tory Party strategists is as good if not better than a John Le Carré novel”; he continues:

“The clever manoeuvring began on day one of the coalition government . . . Within weeks, Liberal Democrat lightweights with ideas above their station were quickly neutralised by a quiet word to the Standards Committee and the Essex constabulary . . . Vince Cable vowed to take on Murdoch over BSkyB but the old fool fell for an elaborate sting involving a couple of young lovelies working for Murdock . . .

As informed political debate goes, all this was a reminder that informed political debate is dead . . .

“With the enthusiastic cooperation of a feral right-wing media, Tory spymasters set about Ed Miliband with the ferocity of fox-hounds after Reynard or possibly Rennard the Liberal Democrat lord. The best that quality journalism and profound political thinking could come up with was that Miliband has two kitchens, his father “hated” Britain and that he looks a bit odd when eating a bacon sandwich . . .

JC standing“Duly elected with a considerable majority, the systematic destruction of Corbyn began. Unfortunately, Comrade Corbyn seems able to ignore the increasingly hysterical attacks and even a casual observer might be impressed with his dignity under such savage provocation.

“He regularly wipes the floor with David Cameron at the dispatch box leaving the Prime Minister red in the face unable to answer reasonable questions and shouting at the opposition benches that everything is the fault of a party last in power five and a half years ago. Tory activists will be asking for their three quid back . . .”

Fortunately the general public is increasing aware of these machinations peddled by mainstream media and careerist politicians – and despite their best efforts continue to applaud and support Corbyn.

Read Plastic Hippo’s article in full here.

First published by Political Concern.

“(The Madin Library) is an iconic building of the 70s. We need to keep examples of the best architecture of every era”, said Jen, who was lobbying councillors going into the Council House reception entrance.

clancy entranceOn December 1st, as councillors arrived for the first meeting with John Clancy, the new leader of Birmingham city council, many gave their views for and against the retention and reuse of the Madin Library’s ‘ziggurat’ (pictured in leaflet) to campaigners at three entrances to the Council House.

A reporter present placed an account on the BBC website.

clancy library joeCouncillors were offered a copy of the leaflet designed by Joe (right), calling for the building to be given an alternative use.

Alan Clawley, who has written books about the library and its local architect John Madin, hopes that it can still be saved:

“Although we previously held a wake for it, there is still some life in the building”. A Certificate of Immunity from Listing runs out in January and campaigners will apply to have the building listed.

clancy library leaflet

The campaign ended with an address by Mary Keating (below left), who pointed out that it was “internationally” significant, as the petition she presented at the Council House had been signed by people all over the world. She described the 1974 structure as a “Marmite building”, either loved or loathed, but insisted that either way it must be saved because of its importance.

Many present expressed confidence in the new council’s leader’s proposed policies and look forward to an exchange of views with him in due course. Ms Keating held up a copy of an open letter to Cllr Clancy on the subject.

clancy library letterclancy library alan








Mary continued: “The site can be developed with the Library as the centrepiece. The alternative development plan, that retains the Library, does not compromise the new road layout, and is comparable in density and floorspace to the Argent masterplan. . .

“Demolition has begun around the edges of the Library, our mission is to save the main structure the iconic Ziggurat. The Council have said on their website that the demolition of the main structure will not commence until Spring 2016. Time to apply and process a listing application that will be made on the 11th January 2016” .

Alan Clawley (above right), who has been campaigning to save the Library since 2002, is publishing ‘The Library Story’, which will be launched on the 18th December, and tells the story of the protracted campaign. If you would like to reserve a copy of the book or support the campaign contact Mary Keating at

Mary ended: “I think we now have the support of a new generation of people in Birmingham who love the building and have grown up with it”.

Anna Douglas, chair of the West Midlands branch of the 20th Century Society, has given ongoing support and sent photographs taken on Dec 1st, from which the pictures of Mary, Alan and Joe were clipped.

For more information go to

The Labour Party consultation, led by Jeremy Corbyn, has attracted almost 110,000 replies. See his letter and statement here.

70pc no bomb syria graphic

Today it was announced that he has decided MPs should have a free vote on the issue – which is consistent with his democratic principles.

He has now written to David Cameron about debate arrangements for Syria motion, asking for information about its timing and insisting that on a matter of such critical importance there must be full and adequate time for any debate in the House – a full two day debate would ensure time for all Members who wish to participate to be able to do so:

“It is incumbent on us all to ensure the country feels there has been the fullest parliamentary discussion of what you have rightly described as a highly complex situation. In addition the debate would be much better informed by views from the Foreign Affairs and Defence Select Committees following your recent statements”

Conservative MP David Davis tweets:

“Labour have called on the Government to grant Parliament two days to debate airstrikes on Syria – an eminently sensible idea . . . A decision to go to war is a matter of life and death. It must be undertaken on basis of best informed and carefully considered debate . . . The Government should now accept the proposal for a further day’s debate and make arrangements accordingly”.

Selly Oak MP Steve McCabe is also consulting constituents. In his message he says that he has been thinking about the proposal to bomb Syria very seriously and his decision won’t be influenced by some narrow Labour Party dispute, but about “how best to deal with a serious security issue that won’t just go away”.

Jonathan Dale and many in the advertisement dependent mainstream media (MSM), readily promote the views of disgruntled MPs. In the West Midlands these include Ian Austin, Emma Reynolds, Pat McFadden, Shabana Mahmood, Chris Leslie and Liam Byrne.

gravy train

Like a minority of Labour MPs elsewhere – the appalling Simon Danczuk, Ben Bradshaw, Jess Philips, John Mann, Mary Creagh and Mike Gapes – they are beset by a feverish anxiety as they see the gravy train receding into the distance. Others, like Steve McCabe, just fail to give open support to their democratically elected leader.

Honesty, principle, consistency and truth pay social dividends but not out of office MPs’ mortgages

Dale describes the West Midlands as a region “which seems to have become the unofficial headquarters of the anti-Corbyn resistance within the Labour Party” – preferring to disregard the welcome given to Corbyn in the city (below) – and last week’s Momentum turnout.

end jc brum2

Media fails to influence voters, suppressing five by-elections wins under Labour led by Corbyn

  • In Euxton North the party recorded a 12.7% wing – taking the seat with 57.3% share of the vote;
  • In South Camberwell, Southwark, Labour recorded a 9% swing, taking a 57.9% share of the vote;
  • In Banbury, Oxfordshire, Labour took a seat from the Conservatives on a 5.9 % swing –taking 45% of the vote in the Grimsby and Castle ward in the town;
  • Labour gain in Bridgend;
  • Labour hold Belle Vue, a Shropshire seat.


 Will the 99%, many of whom use the social media which gave Corbyn such a boost, continue to disregard MSM propaganda?