Tuesday, 12 June 2018

The hard-right Daily Express propaganda rag is openly intimidating British MPs

In November 2017 Theresa May's Tories and their bigoted DUP enablers forced a shambolic hard-right anti-democratic power grab called the EU Withdrawal Bill through the House of Commons.

The opposition parties attempted to make several amendments to limit this outrageous Tory power grab, but without the support of the vocal Tory so-called "mutineers" (who all, despite all of their fine words, actually voted in favour of it) they simply didn't have the numbers to constrain Theresa May's dictatorial and anti-democratic ambitions, so the bill scraped through to the next stage.

The House of Lords made 15 amendments to the bill and sent it back to the House of Commons.

Not all of the Lords' amendments are sensible, but most of them are (see image).

Whether we agree with the amendments or not (I disagree with amendment 110A for example, but very strongly support amendment 11) debating proposed amendments to government legislation is clearly a perfectly normal function of our sovereign parliament.

One of the big problems is that Theresa May and the Tories have made an absolute mockery of parliament by allocating just 12 hours to debate and vote on the 15 amendments (a paltry 48 minutes per amendment).

Then there's the fact that the right-wing propaganda barons are absolutely terrified that the opposition parties and some of the so-called "mutineer" Tory MPs will inflict a string of humiliating defeats on Theresa May and the hard-right Brextremist faction who control her every move.

None of the amendments are about stopping Brexit. They're all about constraining the Brextremists' most anti-democratic and dictatorial urges, limiting the social and economic damage the hard-right Tory Brextremists can do through Brexit, and ensuring that the Brexit process in conducted in a democratic manner.

This reality doesn't suit the Brextremist propagandists who work for hard-right propaganda rags like the Daily Express though, so they've simply warped reality to pretend that the parliamentary debate over the 15 House of Lords Amendment is some kind of cynical plot to derail Brexit and undermine "the will of the people".

What's more is the way they're predicting perilous consequences for any MP who dares to support the efforts to constrain Theresa May's dictatorial and anti-democratic EU Withdrawal legislation.

The Express hacks are well aware that the Labour MP Jo Cox was brutally murdered in the street by an extreme-right terrorist just two years ago.

They're also well aware that just a few months ago another jailed extreme-right terrorist admitted that he'd plotted to assassinate Jeremy Corbyn before carrying out a murderous attack against random Muslims at Finsbury Park instead.

They're also well aware of the tidal waves of extreme-right abuse and death threats triggered by previous right-wing headlines attacking judges ("Enemies of the people") and politicians ("Mutineers", "Proud of yourselves").

These vile hard-right hacks know exactly what they're doing when they print massive front page headlines threatening harmful consequences to politicians who refuse to bow down to Theresa May and the hard-right Brextremist faction who control her every move.

They know that what they're doing is nothing short of intimidation.

If opposition MPs and Tory "mutineers" are hit with yet another wave of abuse and death threats after the publication of this intimidatory front page, these irresponsible right-wing hacks should be held accountable.

And if the worst comes to the worst and another MP is physically assaulted or even killed for daring to defy the tyrannical machinations of Theresa May and the Brextremists, the role of the right-wing press in repeatedly whipping up these tides of hard-right hatred must be investigated.

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.


Monday, 11 June 2018

The Tories can't blame anyone else for the High Street apocalypse they're created

After the department store House of Fraser's announced that they're shutting down half of their outlets a load of Tory apologists suddenly began astroturfing the Internet to posit the most absurd excuses for it.

One of the most common excuses was that department stores like House of Fraser simply can't compete with online retailers like Amazon and Ebay.

The obvious flaw in this line of defence is that there's nothing more inherently efficient about online retailers, especially given the extra transportation overheads of running millions of deliveries to customer's houses, often several separate deliveries per order!

Of course online retailers are often cheaper than high street stores, but the price difference has little to do with inherent efficiency, and a lot more to do with the fact that they've been getting away with paying almost zero tax on their British profits for the last decade.

This taxation disparity is a problem that is attributable to the Tory government that has not only failed to rectify the problem in their 8 years in power, but has also repeatedly intervened to obstruct international efforts to clamp down on the worst tax-dodgers of all.

Another factor that critically undermines this "natural consequence of online retailing" argument is the subsequent total collapse of Poundworld just a few days later.

It's easily possible to argue that people are more likely to buy their kitchenware, clothing, and furniture online these days, but surely nobody is going to attempt to argue that the online marketplace has undermined Poundworld's ability to hawk cleaning products, stationary, cheap Chinese tat, and Jammie Dodgers.

The real reasons for the Tory High Street apocalypse are glaringly obvious.

Firstly the sustained period of Tory wage repression since 2010 has absolutely battered people's disposable income. The less money they have in their pockets, the lower economic demand becomes. And the lower economic demand falls, the harder time retailers have selling their wares, whether at the top end of the High Street, or the bottom.

Then there's the Brexit chaos the Tories have delivered. The post-referendum 15% drop in the value of the Pound was felt almost immediately by anyone with overseas interests, especially in the importation market. It's taken longer for this collapse to filter through to the High Street in the form of price inflation, however the effects are becoming real and obvious, even to the most committed of Brexit enthusiasts.

And let's not forget the tax-dodging activities of the online retailers that the Tories have turned such a consistent blind eye to over the last eight years.

All in all the Tory High Street apocalypse has been clearly and undeniably caused by the Tory fixation with hard-right economic dogma, and the absolute shambles they've made of Brexit. But as usual, their sycophantic supporters are desperate to cast around for someone else to blame other than their beloved Tory lords and masters.

This time blaming Labour is pretty much out of the question since it's been almost a decade since they held power, and there's no clear way of blaming the EU either, so they've fallen back on that age old excuse of "market forces", as if the "market" is some kind of monolithic unchangeable force, rather than something that needs to be constantly directed and constrained by effective government policy.

If one part of the market is spectacularly undermining another because of the vast and unfair tax advantages you've allowed them to benefit from, there's nothing inevitable about it at all.

Any sane government would intervene to level the playing field, but the Tory refusal to intervene is indicative of the myopic hard-right economic fanaticism that infests their party.

The Tories exist in a world of simplistic hard-right mantras: "public ownership - bad", "private sector - good", "workers' rights - bad", "corporate deregulation -good", "government intervention - bad", "immensely powerful monopolies - good".

The Tories have created the High Street apocalypse, and their unyielding fixation with hard-right anti-interventionist dogma means they're utterly unwilling to do anything at all to stop it. 

All they'll ever do is make pathetic excuses and seek to cast the blame elsewhere.

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.


The Tories are actually trying to spin their anti-Muslim bigotry scandal as a vote winner!

After the Muslim Council of Britain and several senior Conservatives demanded an investigation into anti-Muslim prejudice in the Tory party, many on the left have been quick to point out the tiny flicker of mainstream media coverage on the issue in relation to the massive Labour anti-Semitism furore before the local elections.

The discrepancy in coverage is obvious, but it should come as no surprise at all given the relentless pro-Tory anti-Corbyn bias that not only dominates the print media, but also thrives on the supposedly neutral BBC too.

The allegations of widespread Islamophobia in the Tory ranks and specific accusations of anti-Muslim discrimination against Michael Gove and the Tory leadership should surely be getting more media coverage, but the reason these stories aren't getting much traction are obvious.

Of course mainstream media journalists don't want to scrutinise Tory Islamophobia to the same extent they attacked Labour over allegations of anti-Semitism. Firstly such scrutiny would run entirely counter to the mainstream media groupthink objective of protecting the neoliberal status quo by working to oust Jeremy Corbyn, and secondly "the Tory party is over-run with bigots" is really more of a common sense assertion rather than a groundbreaking news story anyway, isn't it? 

For me the huge disparity between mainstream media coverage of the Labour anti-Semitsm row and the Tory anti-Muslim allegations is actually secondary to another issue, the shockingly cynical Tory response to these allegations of widespread anti-Muslim bigotry in their own party.

While Labour took the position that anti-Semitism is wrong, and that it should be stamped out in all of society, including when it arises in the Labour ranks (the correct response), the Tories have signalled that they're absolutely fine with the allegations and have no intention of investigating them, or dealing with anti-Muslim bigots in their ranks.

The refusal to take the allegations seriously was exemplified by the new Tory Home Secretary Sajid Javid when he attempted to publicly delegitimise the Muslim Council of Britain rather than deal with their concerns over Tory anti-Muslim bigotry.

Labour admitted that they had a problem and proposed to take action to combat it and mainstream media hacks hounded them for weeks over it, and the Tories have basically said "fuck you, we're fine with it" and the mainstream press have largely left them alone.

The interesting thing here is that the Tory response to these allegations has been clearly calculated. They're not just adopting this "fuck you, we're fine with it" attitude because they expect to be allowed to get away with it by their chums in the mainstream media, they will also have considered the public opinion consequences too.

Given that the Tories are only clinging onto power at all because they managed to absorb the majority of the hard-right ultranationalist voters who fled the wreckage of UKIP, a belligerent "fuck you" response to accusations of widespread anti-Muslim bigotry in their ranks is likely to resonate a lot more strongly with this crucial demographic than an admission that anti-Muslim attitudes are wrong, and the launch of an investigation into the problem.

The Tories seem to have calculated that their "fuck you, we're fine with it" attitude will play so well with the large extreme-right ultranationalist demographic they're so desperate to appease, that it will easily mitigate any fallout amongst Tory voting Muslims.

The logic being that any Muslim who still votes Tory after the outrageous BNP stype anti-Muslim fearmongering campaign they ran for Zac Goldsmith's London mayoral campaign in 2015, is clearly also likely to tolerate their refusal to investigate widespread accusations of anti-Muslim bigotry in the Tory ranks too.

An admission of the problem and the launch of an inquiry into it would infuriate the crucial blue-kip demographic the Tory party has rendered itself utterly reliant upon, whilst their belligerent refusal to engage with the criticisms creates the impression that they're exactly the kind of bigoted extreme-right anti-Muslim party this hard right blue-kip demographic are looking for.

just think about it. British society has not yet drifted so far to the extreme-right that the Tories can come out and explicitly position themselves as an anti-Muslim party, but what's the next best thing to appeal to the extreme-right - ultranationalist - white-supremacist - anti-Muslim demographic?

Publicly attacking and delegitimising the Muslim Council of Britain, and clearly signalling that they have no intention of rooting out anti-Muslim bigots from their party would seem ideal for the purpose don't you think?

The Tories are actually playing their anti-Muslim bigotry scandal as a vote winner, knowing that to a significant swathe of right-wing people, rampant anti-Muslim prejudice is actually an attractive quality!

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.


Sunday, 10 June 2018

Extreme-right sympathisers just spectacularly proved how gullible they are

The extreme-right always prey on the ignorant and easily manipulated, but this latest piece of fakery they just fell for just goes to prove how gullible and ignorant extreme-right sympathisers really are.

Before we get to the fake photo, it's first necessary to point out that the Free Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) protest that did happen in London was populated by a bunch of Britain-hating fascists and gullible idiots who actually fell for the lamentable argument that Yaxley-Lennon had been jailed for "free speech" rather than for deliberately and knowingly breaking a court order in an effort to disrupt a court case against child sex offenders, risking the collapse of interlinked trials (a crime he pleaded guilty to).

The mixture of fascist thugs, gullible idiots, and paedophilia defenders who turned out to support the extreme-right hate preacher and serial criminal Yaxley-Lennon behaved exactly as expected, attacking the police, cheering foreign fascists who demanded the destruction of longstanding British legal and moral values, and Nazi saluting all over London.

Without a hint of self awareness the thugs rampaged through London on a massive crime wave protesting the innocence of a man who was jailed after pleading guilty to contempt of court.
Then in the aftermath of the #FreeTommy crime wave. an extreme-right Twitter account calling itself "RealitySmash" tweeted a picture of a large crowd with a claim that it was the Yaxley-Lennon protest.

A simple Google Image search revealed that the image was actually an overhead shot of the Liverpool FC Champions League parade in 2005, so not just nothing to do with Tommy Robinson's gang of thugs and Nazis, but not even London either.

Amazingly well over 10,000 hopelessly gullible extreme-right sympathisers have shared the image, despite the number one reply to the Tweet pointing out the blatant fakery.

The extreme-right have always targeted the hard-of-thinking, but the willingness of so many people to believe outright and instantly disproved lies just goes to show the scale of the problem were facing.

There are huge numbers of people out there who have been raised in a dysfunctional education system and drip fed a load of vile extreme-right anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, illiberal bile by the mainstream media (especially the Daily Maul, S*n, and Express), further radicalised by the criminal Britain First mob, the toxic Guido Fawkes hate chamber, and extreme-right hate preachers like Yaxley-Lennon.

The whole mess has been exacerbated by the Tories who have used the same extreme-right hatempngering tactics for their own purposes (like Zac Goldsmith's vile 2015 London Mayoral campaign), cut the police force to the bone so they run away from protests like this rather than containing them, and further crippled the education system with the biggest real terms cuts in decades.

Once upon a time when the extreme-right were on the rise, the British people came together in solidarity with Irish and Jewish migrants to hand them a beating they never recovered from at Cable Street.

Now that the extreme-right is on the rise again do ordinary Brits have the decency and solidarity to beat these disgusting fascists down like their forefathers in 1936? Or this time do we succumb to it?

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.


Saturday, 9 June 2018

The Free Tommy Robinson mob are Britain-hating fascists, gullible idiots, and paedophile protectors

On Saturday June 9th 2018 hundreds of extreme-right fanatics descended on London to demand the release of the jailed former-EDL leader and radical extreme-right hate preacher Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon).

These #FreeTommy extremists are trying to cite "freedom of speech" as an excuse for the behaviour that got Yaxley-Lennon jailed, but they're just demonstrating that they don't know what they're talking about.

Yaxley-Lennon was sentenced to 13 months in prison after pleading guilty to contempt of court and violating the terms of his previous suspended sentence to hold a protest outside a court case involving a paedophile grooming gang.

The case he disrupted was subject to reporting restrictions because it's linked to several other cases, meaning that his intervention risked collapsing the case he was protesting outside, and several criminal cases, which would have allowed the alleged child abusers off the hook.

Freedom of speech obviously does not stretch to allowing people to ignore court judgements, and to risk allowing alleged paedophiles off the hook for their crimes by deliberately and knowingly undermining the criminal cases against them.

Yaxley-Lennon was handed his suspended sentence last year after committing contempt of court during a rape trial in Cantebury, and was warned at the time that any further efforts to disrupt the British justice system would see him jailed.

Yaxley-Lennon knew that he was committing contempt of court by risking the collapse of the paedophile grooming trials, he knew that he would be jailed for it, but he did it anyway, and then he immediately pleaded guilty to what he'd done.

It's beyond obvious that he's deliberately playing the martyr in order to build up even more publicity and support, and that all the people jumping on the #FreeTommy bandwagon are too dimwitted and gullible to see that they're being played for the idiots that they are.

One of the most incredible things about Yaxley-Lennon's behaviour is the pure hypocrisy of it. Not only does he claim to care about child abuse but then deliberately and knowingly risk collapsing trials into grooming gangs, he's also remained absolutely silent about the senior EDL member Leigh McMillan when he was jailed for 17 years for the barrage of sexual abuse he inflicted on a 10 year old girl.

When Muslim men are accused of sexual abuse of children Yaxley-Lennon rushes to their trial to try to collapse it and let them off the hook, and when a member of the EDL is found guilty of serial sexual abuse of a child he says absolutely nothing about it as if it will magically go away if he ignores it hard enough.

His erratic and utterly hypocritical behaviour in relation to child abuse actually makes it seem like he's on the side of paedophiles, and the people who are rallying to support him approve of his idiotic efforts to collapse paedophilia trials and allow the accused to get off scot free.

Then there's the fact that Yaxley-Lennon is an extreme-right hate preacher who has already inspired at least one deadly terrorist attack. People who support the #FreeTommy movement are obviously massive hypocrites when it comes to hate preaching and terrorism too, because they froth at the mouth with rage when the terrorism-inciting hate preacher is Muslim, but actively march in his favour when the terrorism inspiring hate preacher is white British. 

The former Smiths front man Morrissey is one of the most notorious celebrities to have jumped on the #FreeTommy bandwagon, citing the spurious "freedom of speech" argument, attempting to blame Labour and the Conservatives for a court ruling they rightly have no control over, and promoting the neo-fascist "For Britain" party set up by Anne-Marie Waters (a woman so fanatically right-wing she was too much even for the Ukippers to stomach).

Donald Trump Jr. also jumped on the #FreeTommy bandwagon by retweeting one of Yaxley-Lennon's supporters, and making the ludicrous insinuation that the United States justice system doesn't have contempt of court procedures, or restrictions on public reporting of sensitive trials.

Another foreigner to jump onto the #FreeTommy bandwagon is the Dutch fascist Geert Wilders who has rocked up as a guest of honour at the Free Tommy demonstration to publicly attack the British justice system.

It's amazing how the extreme-right fanatics who have mindlessly bought into Yaxley-Lennon's deliberate martyrdom act are so keen to attack the foundations of the British justice system that they'll take lectures from a foreign fascist about how British law should be changed to allow people to ignore the rulings of British judges and to disrupt and undermine British court cases.

The funny thing is that the entire mob of Yaxley-Lennon supporters will self-identify as patriots, but they're busy actively demonstrating their contempt towards British values, and hatred of the way Britain actually works.

In Britain we are supposed to get a fair trial, no matter our religion or ethnic origin, and no matter how heinous the crimes we stand accused of. Yaxley-Lennon, Morrissey, Trump Jr, and Wilders clearly want to change this long-established legal precedent to total mob rule, where extreme-right agitators and hate preachers can do and say as they please to attack and undermine court proceedings when the accused are Muslims (but obviously maintain a determined stony silence when the child sexual abuse perpetrator are their fellow extreme-right fanatics).

Perhaps the simplest way to deal with them is to turn their own idiot-logic back on them: If you don't like Britain, and you don't like British values, and you don't like following British laws, why don't you lot just go and live somewhere else?

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.


Thursday, 7 June 2018

The contrasting fates of Alan Turing and the traitor Lord Sempill

Most British people have heard of Alan Turing. You would have to have studiously avoided learning about the the history of Second World War, computer science, code breaking and gay rights issues in order to have remained ignorant of one of the greatest mathematical minds of the 20th Century and his extraordinary contribution to the British war effort. Fewer people have heard of William Forbes-Sempill, 19th Lord Sempill, yet his influence on the British war effort was no less dramatic.

Alan Turing was born in London to Julius Mathison Turing, a recently returned Indian civil servant and Ethel Sara Stoney, the daughter of a noted railway engineer. As a child he attended private schools, eventually earning a place at Cambridge University where he graduated with a first class honours degree in Mathematics. Turing managed to thrive at establishment institutions like Sherbourne and Cambridge University because of his intelligence, however he was treated with suspicion by the establishment elite due to his non-aristocratic background, eccentric nature, intimidating genius and his homosexual tendencies.

After obtaining a PhD from the prestigious Princeton University in New Jersey he returned to the UK to work with the secret Government Code and Cypher School (GCCS) intelligence service where he concentrated on cryptanalysis of the German Enigma code

During the Second World War Turing was an important figure at the Bletchley Park codebreaking facility where he made many invaluable contributions to the deciphering of complex German military codes. He was described by fellow codebreaker Asa Briggs "the genius" that Bletchley Park needed.

It has been estimated that the work of Turing and his colleagues at Bletchley Park shortened the war by between two and four years, and that without their contributions the outcome of the war would have been uncertain. Turing didn't only make a significant contribution to the British war effort, he also did pioneering work in computing and is widely considered to be the father of computer science and artificial intelligence.

William Forbes-Sempill was the Eton educated son of John Forbes-Sempill, 9th Baronet of Craigievar and hereditary member of the House of Lords

During the First World War the younger Sempill served as a pilot with the Royal Flying Corps and then with the Royal Navy Air Service. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service during the war.

Captain Sempill showing a Gloster Sparrowhawk
to Admiral Togo Heihachiro, in 1921.
In the aftermath of the war he led a British deputation to Japan where he assisted the Japanese navy in setting up an airforce base and establishing their aircraft carrier fleet. Sempill received a personal letter from the Japanese Prime Minister Tomosaburo Kato thanking him for his work with the Japanese navy, in which his contribution was described as "almost epoch-making" and he later received Japan's highest honour, the Order of the Rising Sun, for his "especially meritorious military service".

After American concerns were raised about the growing naval strength of the Japanese, Sempill's mission in Japan was officially discontinued. However Sempill carried on providing support to the Japanese by passing classified military and technical information to Japanese Naval attache in London, Captain Teijiro Toyoda. 

In 1925 he was questioned about his distribution of official secrets, but for undisclosed reasons he was never prosecuted under the official secrets act.

By the 1930s Sempill was an active member of several far-right, fascist and Anti-Semitic organisations including the Anglo-German Fellowship, The Link and Archibald Ramsay's The Right Club, (which was a secretive organisation with the aim of ridding the Tory party of Jews). Sempill was far from the only member of the British establishment elite to embrace the fascist ideology. The founder of the British Union of Fascists was Sir Oswald Mosley, 6th Baronet, of Ancoats, whose fascist activities received a lot of positive press from the 1st Viscount Rothsmere's Daily Mail newspaper. 

The British Union of Fascists counted dozens of Knights, Earls, Dukes, Barons, Lords, Ladies and Viscounts amongst its members. The Royal family, who were at the very epicentre centre of this orgy of hereditary entitlement and establishment ennoblement, also had a number of keen fascists, Edward VIII maintained notoriously close relations with Nazi Germany, causing their arms industry minister Albert Speer to lament that "I am certain that through him, permanent friendly relations could have been achieved. If he had stayed, everything would have been different. His abdication was a severe loss for us.". The Queen mother famously stated that she would have been happy for the Nazis to invade the UK, as long as they kept the Royal family, and the Royal adults famously taught the infant Elizabeth to do Nazi salutes in the gardens of Balmoral castle.

Most of the intelligence files on Sempill's activities during the 1930s and 1940s mysteriously "disappeared" from the national archive, however it is known that he continued to receive regular payments from the Japanese government owned Mitsubishi Corporation, and entertained several high ranking Nazis throughout the period.

Despite his track record of passing classified information to foreign powers and his collusion with fascists, Sempill was assigned to the Admiralty in 1939 on the outbreak of war with Nazi Germany. 

Sempill's position allowed him access to highly sensitive information about the latest British military hardware and official secrets. In June 1940 MI5 discovered that Sempill was still receiving payments from Mitsubishi, and an investigation revealed that he was almost certainly passing secret information to the Japanese. However the Attorney General (Lord Donald Somervell, Baron Somervell of Harrow) advised against prosecution, and Sempill was allowed to keep his position in the Admiralty and his access to sensitive information. 

In 1941 Sempill personally intervened to secure the release of the Japanese ambassador Makahara, who had been arrested under suspicion of spying.

Six months after the August 1941 Newfoundland Conference meeting between British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Japanese Embassy in London sent detailed notes about the meeting back to Tokyo. These encrypted notes were intercepted and decoded at Bletchley Park and the transcript was passed to Churchill, who noted that they were "very accurate", Three months later, further notes on Churchill's personal agenda and inner circle were intercepted on their way from Japanese Embassy in London to Tokyo. An investigation by Anthony Eden concluded that only two men could have created the notes: Commander McGrath or Lord Sempill.

The British Prime Minister Winston Churchill intervened
to protect Lord Sempill despite a mountain of
 evidence the he'd been spying for the Japanese.
On 9 October 1941 Churchill gave instructions to "clear him out while time remains". The following week the Admiralty confronted Sempill and told him he could either resign or be fired. Sempill protested, and Churchill intervened to say "I had not contemplated Lord Sempill being required to resign his commission, but only to be employed elsewhere in the Admiralty". Sempill was then shifted to a post in northern Scotland, however he still continued to assist the Japanese. 

In Early December a raid on his office found him in possession of classified documents that he had been instructed to return months previously. Then around a week later he was caught making phone calls to the Japanese (more than a week after the Japanese invasion of British Malaya and their attack on Pearl Harbour). Sempill was made to resign, but he was never prosecuted for his treasonous relationship with the Japanese that did so much to help them to develop the technology they used to kill thousands of British and American servicemen during the Pacific War.

Sempill's activities were never made public during his lifetime and he continued to live the privileged life of establishment nobility, keeping his position in the House of Lords that he had inherited from his father, and even receiving the chairmanships of the Institute of Advanced Motorists and the British Gliding Association.

Sempill died peacefully in 1956 having never faced punishment or public criticism for his crimes. His hereditary seat in the Lords passed to his daughter Ann, and his Baronetry to his younger brother Ewan. It was only in 2002 that the scale of his treachery and his fascist and Anti-Semitic tendencies came to light after classified documents about his activities were finally released into the public domain.

All of the vital codebreaking activities that took place at Bletchley Park
remained shrouded in secrecy until well into the 1970s.
Returning to Alan Turing; he had a much harder time after the end of the war. All of his codebreaking work was classified by the government so he could never talk about his extraordinary contribution to the war effort.

Turing continued his work with computers, famously devising the Turing Test as a means of determining whether computer has achieved artificial intelligence, a test that remains an essential concept in the philosophy of artificial intelligence. He also developed the LU Decomposition method (complex algebra) and did pioneering work in the field of morphogenesis, (which is the study of how biological organisms develop their shape).

In 1952 Turing was charged with the "crime" of Gross Indecency after admitting to having had a homosexual relationship with a man who later robbed his house. He was found guilty and given the choice of imprisonment or chemical castration. 

This conviction meant that his security clearance was revoked, which meant that he was barred from continuing his cryptographic work with the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

Turing chose to be chemically castrated rather than face imprisonment.

On the 8th of June 1954 Turing was found dead by his cleaner. A post mortem examination determined that the cause of death was cyanide poisoning, however no forensic examination of the property took place, and his death was officially attributed to suicide.

Many people, including his mother, refused to accept the suicide verdict. The ambiguous circumstances of his death and the lack of a thorough investigation mean that nobody will ever know whether his death was intentional suicide, accidental poisoning, or the result of foul play.

Turing's brilliance was not recognised until years after his death. In 1966 the Turing Award was established to for technical contributions to the computing community. It is widely considered to be the computing world's highest honour, equivalent to a Nobel Prize in computing. It took until 2009 for the British establishment to make an official public apology, which was made by Prime Minister Gordon Brown on behalf of the British government for the way in which Turing was treated after the war.

The similarity between the two men lies in the way the war conduct of both of them remained shrouded in secrecy until long after their deaths. Sempill was never exposed as the traitor he was, and it seems that somebody intervened to ensure that many presumably incriminating files from the 1930s and 1940s "disappeared", never to reach the public domain at all. Meanwhile, all the hugely important work undertaken at Bletchley Park remained secret until the 1970s, meaning that Turing's outstanding contribution to the war effort was not recognised until long after his death.

In the UK, living in a castle like this and an Eton education 
seems to provide immunity from prosecution for treason.
Had the public been allowed to know about the codebreaking work at Bletchley Park, Winston Churcill's famous speech about the valiant fighter pilots during the Battle of Britain could easily have been made about the codebreakers too; "never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few".

What is remarkable about the contrasting fates of these two men is the way that members of the British establishment (including the Prime Minister and the Attorney General) repeatedly intervened to protect one of their own, despite his fascist tendencies and decades of treasonous behavior, whilst the establishment people Turing had known and associated with during his time at Cambridge University and at Bletchley Park refused to intervene to help him when criminal charges were brought against him for the trivial offence of engaging in homosexual acts, despite his outstanding contribution to the war effort.

It seems amazing that British nobility, including the Prime Minister, would repeatedly intervene to ensure that another member of their privileged class avoided prosecution for the incredibly serious crime of passing official secrets to foreign powers at a time of war, yet wouldn't do anything to lean on prosecutors to drop the charges against a war hero and genius who happened to have been born into the "lower social orders".

The British nobility turned a blind eye the most heinous of crimes (espionage, treason, fraternising with the enemy, Anti-Semitism)  because it was one of their own class doing it, yet they refused to intervene to prevent a true war hero from suffering homosexual prosecution and chemical castration, simply because he was not one of the upper classes.

This disparity in the way these two men were treated illustrates the classism that is still rampant in Britain today.

If you're one of the establishment elitists you can do pretty much anything without fear of criticism or punishment from your fellow elitists who maintain an enormously disproportionate influence over the criminal justice system, the political system, and the media.

However if you're from non-elitist stock, woe betide you if you ever dare to step out of line, because the establishment elitists will make you suffer for it.

It's one set of rules for the establishment class, and another much harsher and more unforgiving set of rules for the rest of us. It's the way it's always been, and it's the way it will continue to be until something is done to confront the absolute scourge of classism in Britain.

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

The BBC's investigation into its own bias is a ridiculously contradictory whitewash

Whether you like Jeremy Corbyn or not, it's easy to see that the state operated broadcaster casting the main political opposition as agents of a foreign power is the kind of extreme propaganda you'd expect to see in a tyrannical state like Russia, rather than a liberal western European democracy.

After a flood of complaints about their decision to red tint and alter a picture of Jeremy Corbyn and photoshop it onto a picture of the Kremlin, the BBC investigated itself and found that their decision to do that was totally "fair and impartial"!

This latest ruling is a truly Orwellian piece of propaganda which focuses heavily on Corbyn's hat, and completely ignores the glaring contradiction between their initial responses to the scandal, and the findings of this report.

The report tries to claim that it is supposedly "immediately apparent to viewers that the contrast and colour balance of the photo had been adjusted to create a stylised image but this was standard practice on the programme" but if we compare this excuse with their initial excuse we find a glaring contradiction.

Their initial excuse was that they'd used the same Kremlin background for the Tory defence secretary Gavin Williamson, the whole thing falls to bits, because in Williamson's case they didn't red-tint or otherwise alter the image, and they positioned the picture of Williamson facing away from the Kremlin rather than merging him in to create a "stylised image".

So their current excuse that it's "standard practice" to manipulate photos to create "stylised images" is totally contradicted by the picture that they Tweeted out as their previous excuse!

To see the excuse morph from one thing to another like this is extraordinary, especially when one excuse clearly contradicts the other.

Even if you actually dislike Jeremy Corbyn, you'd have to be completely cracked to agree with the BBC's whitewash conclusion that there are supposedly "no grounds for regarding the contents of the item as less than impartial or fair to Mr Corbyn", especially given the blatantly contradictory excuses the BBC have pushed out to justify it.

Since Theresa May came to power in 2016 the Tories have accepted £800,000+ in donations from Russian oligarchs and Putin cronies, and the Tories have repeatedly obstructed Jeremy Corbyn's efforts to clamp down on all the Russian dark money flowing into the City of London, yet it's not Theresa May portrayed as a Putin stooge on the BBC, it's Jeremy Corbyn ... And what's even worse is that they actually expect people to be gullible enough to swallow their Orwellian claims that using this photoshopped image as their background was completely "fair and impartial"!

This isn't even the first time the BBC has been caught photoshopping images of Jeremy Corbyn to make him look bad. In the run up to the 2017 General Election they photoshopped him into a picture with Osama Bin Laden, and after the Trump election they photoshopped a Trump "Make America Great Again" baseball cap onto his head.

Each time they create anti-Corbyn photoshop propaganda like this they generate more complaints and controversy, but they keep on doing it, and then keep on completely absolving themselves of blame like petulant children. 

The more people complain about their transparent bias that we're all being made to subsidise through our TV licences, the more biased propaganda they feel inclined to put out, and the more Orwellian the excuses they come up with to defend the petulant contrarianism of their producers.

If they'd even vaguely admitted that the background was poorly considered and politically biased, or that there was a significant discrepancy between their treatment of the Tory defence secretary and Jeremy Corbyn, then we could perhaps believe that they intend to learn from their mistakes and recommit themselves to political impartiality.

But given their whitewash the conclusions are obvious. If a state funded and supposedly impartial broadcaster can look at such a transparently biased editorial decision and conclude that they did absolutely nothing wrong, that's an open declaration that they see no problem with the dissemination of blatant anti-Corbyn propaganda.

Furthermore it's clearly an open invitation to BBC politics producers to continue disseminating anti-Corbyn propaganda, safe in the knowledge that no matter how obviously biased it is, any BBC investigation will be another total whitewash. 

This whitewash is an open declaration that the BBC intends to continue disseminating anti-Corbyn propaganda, and they have absolutely no intention of admitting that this is what they've been doing, or that it is wrong.

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