You can fool some Scotland voters some of the time, but Michael Portillo’s an idiot.

Michael Portillo is a liar

Michael Portillo is a liar

Andrew Neil was joined on this week’s This Week by Michael Portillo to shoot a series of spectacular own goals, further exacerbating the implosion of all Unionist parties north of the border. Self-inflicted goals reminding us just how out of touch with Scotland they both are.

I want to put on record, yet again, that Andrew Neil was not merely one of a handful of BBC broadcasters on television or radio either side of the border that covered Scotland’s independence referendum with genuine impartiality; he demonstrated an impartiality that was rare on any of the UK’s television coverage. Eddie Mair was one other. Other than those two and one or two less well-known broadcasters, the BBC lived down to its notorious reputation as nothing more than a poodle of the CBI’s Better Together organization, albeit in an unofficial capacity.

Andrew Neil has done an about face in recent months, effectively since the polls closed. He’s not the only decent broadcaster,  at least on the referendum, whose credentials now look pretty shady, even if by the standards of their colleagues, they remain value for money. At least with comrade Neil, we get the odd fact tossed into the mix, and he’s an unrepentant equal opportunities trouble-maker.

Nevertheless, what we saw in his interview with Alex Salmond was not Andrew Neil at his best. Constant interruptions only work if the interviewee is deliberately obfuscating. That’s not what happened here. Scotland’s ex-First Minister was merely prevented from developing any point. This never looks good for the interrogator. Even when it’s a relatively good interviewer. Alex Salmond has other means of communicating directly with the voters these day. The National. Live-streamed press conferences where Nick Robinson and Glenn Campbell are reduced to hecklers. There’s other chances for the SNP to reach the parts of Scotland that the BBC cannot reach. Mass meetings. You ain’t seen nothing yet. Scotland is on the march, and there is nothing Andrew Neil can do to stop us.

What about Michael Portillo? After Andrew’s opening, I assumed he must be the bad cop. Apparently not. Margaret Thatcher’s Poll Tax heavyweight, the SAS daredevil who forgot how to launch a leadership bid without getting caught… Michael Portillo descended into the most ridiculous insults. If he thinks what he is doing impresses anyone in Scotland, then senility has finally taken hold.

Has David Cameron’s Vow been delivered? Michael Portillo knows that is a lie. Scotland has been offered nothing from the Smith Commission but a so-called joint general election manifesto by Pledge-breaking bastards like Nick Clegg, the toxic Ed Miliband and David Cameron whose commitment to the Vow had a sell-by-date that expired the minute the polls closed on Scotland’s referendum.

David Cameron told voters after the polls closed that there was a tandem veto on more powers delivered to Scotland and reciprocity. The other signatories to the vow, and their backers including the Chief Secretary to the Treasury had to tell him to shut the **** up. So he did. For a short period. However, it’s started all over again.

Lord Smith’s Smith Commission, according to the Labour reps and the Scotland Labour leadership candidate they support – Jim Murphy – all insist Tories have signed up on 100% of income tax going to Scotland but no reciprocity. Tory MPs have already said they’ll not accept. Labour is telling them they have to. But their English constituents would vote UKIP if they pretend they would vote for this after the general election. In other worlds, Ruth Davidson has sold Lord Smith a pack of meaningless Lib Dem pledges. David Cameron’s Vow is going nowhere, and Michael Portillo knows it.

On the day of the referendum, Andrew Neil allowed the BBC’s Deputy editor Norman Smith to lie to Scotland’s voters, in breach of broadcasting rules, that a NO vote guarantees massive extra powers. No supporter of the YES Campaign was allowed to expose him. Why exactly is that? Alex Salmond always insisted there would be no more powers if we lost. And still there are no new powers. And we are told we will get no new powers until after the next election! How do Scotland’s voters ensure Tory AND Labour MPs implement these constitutional changes, inadequate though they are by the standards of what was implied by the broadcaster-cum-spin-doctors for the three Unionist Parties? Scotland’s voters will have no power to do this! Scotland’s electorate will be reduced to praying that Lib Dem MPs have grown tired of braking their election pledges? You know where you can shove that proposal.

You can fools some of the voters some of the time. But the three Unionist Parties (four if we include Nigel Farage’s UKIP) have exhausted the good will of the people of Scotland. David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband are busted flushes. No amount of their groveling to Gordon Brown to help them con voters will work. Not anymore.

Diane Abbott, by the way, is ill-served by the mainstream media in Scotland if she wants to know if these comrades can toss into the pot of the next Labour Party parliamentary group much more than more than ten percent of Labour’s 40 seats up north. Diane Abbot relies on feedback from the CBI and Special Branch stooges at BBC Scotland or Labour MPs and MSPs north of the border at her peril. Goodbye to all but a handful of Labour MPs here. And good riddance.

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My #Nanowrimo Novel based on true events: Violet crept through Labour pains

45 BIG 58 TWIBBON

Mobile rings. “Hi!” I say. “Where are you? Paisley?”
“I’m outside your flat.”
“What color’s your car?”
“Red.”
“You parked to my left or right?… Can you see my window? I’m on the top floor. I’m drawing the curtain now. If you see me, open your car door and wave.”
“I see you. I’ll be right down. Two minutes.”
“Derek, where are we going?”
“It’s not far. I’ll tell you when I’m downstairs.”
“Why can’t you tell me now? Are we meeting someone?”
“No. Just us. I can’t talk on the phone. This is not a secure line. I told you that. I’ll be right down. Trust me. Everything’s going to be alright.”
I drew the curtains back. Switched off the television, after using the remote to get the time: thirty five minutes past noon. Switched the lamp off. Looked around, to make sure I had forgotten nothing. Having reassured myself on that score, I made to leave the flat, walking as swiftly as possible down three flights of stairs to meet the sister I hadn’t seen in two decades. However,…

Turning unlocked all the locks, released the chain, unbolted the bolt, on grasping the handle to open my front door, I am overwhelmed by a flashback…

Time is out of joint. I know my body is on automatic pilot. I know it is moving down, winding its way to the front of the building, but part of my head has left the building. Part of my brain has been triggered of a day long, long ago. I am floating with transparent limbs. Hovering near the ceiling in an old flat. An out-of-body experience. That’s what this is like. Looking down at my younger self. Asleep. Lying on the sofa. In the living room. And then I wake. Violently.

Memorable montage of images march past. Flash. Flash. Flash.

Sound? Not there. Violent assault. Fists knocking out teeth. Metal bars being wielded. Crushing skulls. Blood everywhere. Razors whipped out. Flesh ripped apart. Televisions kicked off pedestals. Tapes tossed everywhere. Two dudes. One a muscle man. Like something out of a superhero comic. Other a small creep in a hood. He’s the razor man. He’s the metal bar thug. He’s the coward kicking me in the head. Kicking me in the testicles. One comes. Goes. Comes back. Leaves. Third time he’s back with the Hooded Thug. Punch. Kick. Slash. Kick head. Kick balls. Search. Scream at me for something. Don’t hear, but I remember what they said. I smiled a toothless grin. They’d have to kill me before I handed it over. I’d see them in jail. Them and their mates. Let them kill me. I won’t surrender. The guilty can rot in hell.
Shutting the front door of the block of flats, I walked towards my sister who, in turn, had started to walk towards me. Her smile was broad, evidently as happy as I was.
“Hello stranger!” she said.
“Is it really you? I wouldn’t have recognized you. You look different. Seriously.”
“I recognize you. You haven’t changed.”
“I wish I could believe that. I know it’s not true.”
“You look a lot thinner than I was expecting. Somehow I thought you would have put on the pounds. But… You spend a lot of time at the gym?”
“As often as I can. Couple of times a week, most weeks.”
“Anyway, look who’s talking. You say on twitter you’ve got really fat. Total lie.”
I feel my tummy. I’m surprised how flat it is. I slip my right hand beneath the belt. I find my trousers are falling down. The belt is tied as tight as can be. Genuinely taken aback.
“My weight goes up and down. You’ve caught me at one of my low ebbs. Anyway, I exaggerate a lot. Much of what I say on twitter is for comic effect. “
“You want to say hello to Pete?”
“Not really. We don’t have time. Got a lot to say, and I don’t want to get sidetracked.”
“Okay. Let me get some things out the car, then we can go wherever you like. Do you know where we’re going?”
Sis opens the car door and whispers something to Pete, sitting in the driver’s seat. She gets a handbag, and a carrier bag, then shuts the car door.
“Nice day for a walk. So, where are we going?”
“Just follow me. I just need to find somewhere we can talk out of earshot of anyone else.”
“Why couldn’t we speak in your flat? I don’t understand any of this.”
“I told you already. I need to ask a favor, and those I need you to help protect me from will have surveillance devices in my flat. It’s important they don’t have any advance warning. That’s why we couldn’t speak on the phone. There’s no way it’s not bugged.”
“Who would be placing electronic eavesdropping devices in your home? The council?”
“Of course not. Why would they? They don’t have the authority to do that. Why would you ask that?”
“I know you don’t like them. Don’t trust them. Not sure why. Don’t know who else you think could be behind this.”
“Everything will be explained. But we need to find some place to sit down and talk, away from prying eyes, and ears. I think I know where we can go. It’s not that far. Don’t worry.”
“Tell me now. Where are we going? No one can hear us.”
“I don’t like walking and talking too much. Not when the talking requires me to think. Too taxing for my brain. Walking and talking at the same time is just not my forte. Sorry about that. I could fall over. Seriously.” I turn to see what kind of reaction that gets. No smile? She doesn’t know if I’m joking or not? Never mind. Not to worry.
“Anyway,” I continue, “I don’t want to risk someone hearing us. Not impossible, you know. You ever seen a film by Francis Ford Coppola called ‘The Conversation’? Gene Hackman played the lead. Harrison Ford was in it. One of my fave movies.”
“Don’t think so. What was it about?”
“It was about a man who used listening devices. Got trapped in a massive web of lies. Wonderful film.” I look around, in every direction. Looking for who might be checking us out. Sis didn’t seem to spot me looking for someone tailing us. Or if she did she said nothing. Don’t think she saw the film. Don’t think she had a scooby why I might have referenced it. I smiled. Satisfied with myself, with how I was handling this.
“There’s a police station just around that corner. We need to be careful.”
“Do you have any idea how paranoid you sound, Derek?”
I stop walking forward. One second later, so does she. She turns, stares me right in the eye, eyebrows raised in a question: “Well?”
“Yes. Absolutely. That’s why we’re here. That’s part of it. My task is to convince you I’m not paranoid.”
“Good luck with that.”
I smile. Not in the least offended.
“How much time do we have?”
“What do you mean? Time for what?”
“How long before you have to go? I need to make sure I don’t waste time with relatively irrelevant details. I need to focus. That means I need to know how much time I have. To prioritize.”
“Couple of hours?”
“Two hours? Can you spare that much?”
She nods. I smile.
“Two hours is fine,” I say. Very much relieved to have that long. I am confident I can do this.
“I read your blog.”
“What do you think?”
“You write well.”
“Thanks.”
“I mean it. Not joking.”
I stare at her. Hard. Not a trace of sarcasm. Not that I can see. She means it. Had someone told me this compliment would mean anything to me, I doubt I’d have believed it. But it felt good. Really good. Why? A reminder of when we were kids. V was the only one who looked up to me. Protected me when the rest of the world treated me like dirt. Memories came flooding back. Good ones.
Part of me wanted to dissect my writing. Weigh up what I felt was worthwhile, and all the horrible typos that littered it, made it so painful for me to read my old stuff. But that seemed inappropriate. Best to take the compliment, and move on.  Before doing that, I smiled to let her know what she said was appreciated. And then I changed the subject.
“Why did you get in touch with the council?”
“When mum died I called, but you never answered. I couldn’t think who else to get in touch.”
“I never answer the phone unless I know who is calling. I rarely switch it on anymore. Never check messages. Still not sure why you thought the council could get in touch with me.”
“Seemed the only option.”
“I’d never have thought of getting in touch with the council in such circumstances. Surprised they tried to get in touch with me. They know I won’t speak to them without a go-between, preferably a lawyer. They keep pretending they don’t know that. Your getting in touch gave them yet another excuse to hound me. You need to promise me never to get in touch with them about me ever again. This is important. If you do, then we are through. I’m not kidding. You need to promise before we say anything else. Promise me.”
“I didn’t do anything wrong. I had no idea you felt like this about them. What did they do?”
“They tried to get me to agree to contact you before. They wanted me to sign away rights and hand them to you. I refused. When I found you were in contact with them, I wondered if you had agreed to help them without discussing anything with me. You need to promise me you didn’t. And you need to promise never, ever, under any circumstances, to discuss me with these people. First things first. Then we can move on. Explanations come later. Okay?”
“Alright. I’ll never talk to them about you again. I promise.”
“Okay. Still don’t know why you got in touch with them, but it no longer matters. I need you to help me against them. You need to know why; and that’s why you’re here. That’s partly why you’re here.”

“Do you like it here?” asks V.
“What do you mean? ‘Here’?”
“In Thistown.”
“Thistown? I thought you said you’d read my blog. I’ve written about this. Lots of stuff. I never agreed to be moved here. Part of what I need you to help me with is the council’s illegal moving me to Thistown against my will. And leaving me here in a pokey little flat without lights in my bedroom or living-room for almost a decade. Without any contacts. With my home regularly invaded when the council takes me out my home. Politicians turn a blind eye. I’m taking it for granted you won’t turn a blind eye.”
“I don’t know anything about this. If you refer to it in your blog, I haven’t read that. I never said I read it all.”
“We won’t make much progress if I don’t know what bits you have and haven’t read. We need to discuss this before we do anything else.”
We’ve been walking some time now. Have entered the park opposite the police station. We’re quite far in when I notice a shadow. I look up to see a very large cloud and the sun has just been hidden by it. Almost hidden. And now it’s… Gone. I look back at the shadow and see it seem to point to the center of the park. There is a fountain there. I stop walking, and stare directly overhead. V stops too. Waits for a few seconds, then says, “What you doing?”
“One second.” My neck is hurting. I feel dizzy. Faint. I stumble. But it doesn’t last. I look round. Left. Right. Past the fountain. Look for people following us, or at least interested in us. Behind us is the police station. My eyesight is far too poor to see if we are being watched from the windows there. There is a church to the right. Some way back. Beyond the fountain, outside the park, is the public library, the shopping center, a car park, the local town council chamber. All these will be locked on a Sunday morning.
I rub my eyes. I do feel dizzy. Still. Need a few seconds to recover. Don’t want to dwell on this, so I bluff. Need to sit down for a bit. None of the park benches scattered around are appropriate. I ask V to follow me. She doesn’t argue as we move in a new direction: towards the fountain.
“Do you have any idea where we’re going? I’m starting to doubt it.”
“Let’s stop here for a bit. The fountain.”
“Is this a wishing well?”
“Pulling a couple of coins from my pocket, dropping them into the fountain, I look at V and say, “I guess.”
“So, what did you wish for?”
“I can’t tell you. It wouldn’t come true,” I say as I sit on the edge, getting my bearings back. Letting the faintness drift away. “You want to make a wish?”
“No. I’ve got everything I need.”
“Seriously? Everything?”
“Uh huh. I’m perfectly happy and content.”
“No one else you’d like to wish on behalf of? No unlucky relative?”
V looks at me guiltily. She feels shame. And hurt, clearly. She thinks I was referring to me. Maybe I was. Subconsciously.
V removes a coin and tosses it in the wishing well.
“It’s a very ugly wishing well. Don’t you think?”
“You’ll hurt its feelings. If it’s magic enough to grant wishes, it’s magic enough to hear what you say about it. And, yes. It is very odd looking.”
“What is that on top? An egg timer?”
“An hourglass. Yes. Surrounded by animals. You know what they represent?”
“One of them is a lion. Clearly. One is a dog. Not sure what the other is.”
“I think that’s probably a wolf, not a dog. The other big cat… It has spots. That’s your clue.”
“Leopard?”
“Well done. Never noticed these animals before. All these rings, by the way…. From a spy satellite, this would look like Hell, as described by Dante. To me, it is Hell. In two hours time, if all goes well, you may get me out. No pressure.” I smile. V doesn’t. Just looks more confused than ever.
At precisely this moment, the town clock bell chimes. One ring only. One O’clock. 13:00.
“Anyway, let’s keep moving,” I say. Rested. Waves of nausea having gone, I get to my feet and lead the way again. Moving back towards the right hand side of the park, walking as far away from the police station as it’s possible to get, occasionally scanning the scene for suspicious-looking characters, other than me, that is.

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#The45 plus needs a new Twibbon. #The58?

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We are part of Scotland’s 58 percent. We are that part of Scotland’s electorate that demands a second independence referendum within five years.

We include, probably, the overwhelming majority of the 45 percent who voted YES on 18th of September. We also, clearly, top that figure up with many others who were promised Devomax or ‘as close to Federalism as it’s possible to get’.

The implosion of Ed Miliband’s ludicrously-named Labour Party (with one poll leading to the loss of 90 percent of their MPs in Scotland!) exposes the insanity of the NO campaign’s pretense that relying on England to elect a Labour government will solve all our problems, which was always the most idiotic idea imaginable.

The three stooges – David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband – lied to win the referendum, relying in significant part on BBC Scotland’s diversion of public funds, via the license fee, to the anti-democratic Confederation of British Industry, always a key pillar of ‘Better Together’.

The BBC (both sides of the border), SKY News, Channel4 News and ITV all lied about Scotland needing to vote NO to hold onto membership of the European Union when they knew the reality was the opposite was almost certainly the case. Now that is becoming increasingly obvious as the days go by, a second independence referendum is more than just legitimate; it’s absolutely indispensable under almost every circumstance.

We know the British Establishment, including their mass media megaphones in all the broadcast networks lied about the collapse of OIL reserves, a fact they fessed up to almost as soon as the polls closed, so contemptuous are they of the voters intelligence and ability to follow the news.

The notorious ‘Vow’ is merely the cherry on top of a sewer of anti-democratic shenanigans cobbled together by a British Establishment whose sole motivation was to mangle Scotland’s democracy.

Voters need to express our opposition to all this. Already, within weeks, 58% of Scotland wants a second referendum. This is probably not merely in defiance of 100% of the broadcast media whose behavior is nothing less than a scandal, an assault on common decency, but in significant part in direct reaction to this, authoritarianism that has proved totally counterproductive.

Scotland needs to elect, under a genuinely democratic system (something we will not find in the United Kingdom’s monstrously anti-democratic first-past-the-post) a government at Holyrood with a mandate to re-enfranchise the voters. The same voters who are told to drop dead by the BBC, SKY, Channel4 News and ITV at next May’s General Election are angry, and without releasing the pressure valve of this pressure cooker society, mass civil disobedience is inevitable, justifiable, absolutely progressive.

If Ed Miliband’s Labour Party wants to stand, yet again, alongside the Tories and the CBI glove puppets of the outrageously right-wing BBC Scotland next May, then good luck to them.

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Why I signed petition to rerun Scotland’s independence referendum

RERUN REFERENDUM WHY I SIGNED

How does the 45 Movement go from strength to strength? Firstly, nurture the cross-party unity and radical democratic content of the movement. We need this to pry apart the artificial unity of our Better Together opponents.

Project Fear has not packed up. Neither shall we. But the Lib Dems, Tories, Labour and UKIP will fight each other to a stand-still at the general election next May, splitting their vote, with internal divisions further rendering each and every one of these parties to a significant extent impotent in the face of a justifiably hostile electorate. YES Scotland doesn’t have to do that.

Scotland’s 45 Movement can, at least to some extent, continue to park our differences – on the Monarchy, currency, NATO, corporation tax and a lot more. This unity will come under strain. We all know that, and are prepared for it. But we need to address our differences, contain them as best we can. We need to at least try to negotiate a workable electoral non-aggression pact, one that takes account of the relative strengths of the component parts of the movement.

Nicola Sturgeon’s credentials is not in doubt. Not after how she conducted herself during the referendum, with a very attractive double act with the Greens Patrick Harvie. At Westminster, the SNP group needs to unite with Caroline Lucas MP, and with other MPs and would-be MPs to promoting investment in welfare, not warfare, uniting on a set of constitutional changes that reinforces democracy or everyone: proportional representation, no unelected second chamber, ending the Royal Prerogative, Prime Ministerial patronage, reciprocity when it comes to devolution, which will inevitably be resisted by Labour MPs, even though this is unlikely to help them as they’ve committed political suicide in Scotland.

Everything the 45 Movement can do to inflict propaganda – or any other – defeats on the anti-democratic Unionist parties should be seized on with both hands. As part of this process, petitions can play a part.

While I remain to be convinced of all of the arguments behind this particular petition, so long as it’s the only game in town, I will sign it. Anything that keeps the issue of Scottish independence in the fore of the political agenda is worth considering.

Even if Nicola Sturgeon and the rest of the Scottish government don’t think the case has been made for a recount, such a petition strengthens the hands of the 45 Movement. It does this by exposing the idiocy of those Tory propagandists who pretend the strength of feeling for keeping the momentum for independence going comes down to Nicola Sturgeon’s personal stubbornness. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The 45 Movement refuses to surrender because we know in our heart of hearts, if not in every case with complete understanding of what went on here, that Scotland’s referendum was anti-democratic in so many ways. Whether they included the physical stuffing of ballot boxes, or the theft of legitimate ballots, is neither here nor there. One day soon, the majority of Scotland’s voters will demand independence. With decent strategy and tactics, that day will not be very far off.

If you want to sign this petition, you’ll find it by clicking this link: https://www.change.org/p/nicola-sturgeon-we-the-undersigned-demand-a-revote-of-the-scottish-referendum-counted-by-impartial-international-parties

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Channel Four News: tabloid ‘journalism’, trial by television, Tories and ghouls

Jon Snow, Jane Deith and Matt Frei of Channel Four News

Jon Snow, Jane Deith and Matt Frei of Channel Four News

I was deeply upset by the news yesterday when I learned of the death of Brenda Leyland. Don’t mind in the least sharing the fact I shed tears. Many times during the day.

Brenda may have had questions to answer; the jury’s still out on that one. But she died an innocent woman. And we all know by now that she was a vulnerable woman, one whose mental state was ignored by police officers who ludicrously outsourced questioning to Rupert Murdoch’s SKY News, probably the same officers who have been bought and sold by News International for decades. And all these criminals went on to hound Brenda Leyland to an early grave.

Adding insult to injury (more accurately, not injury, but not murder neither: manslaughter?), not only does SKY News insist they did nothing wrong; BBC and Channel Four News editors are defending Martin Brunt’s behavior, and implicitly that of SKY News editors.

The almost appropriately-named Jane Deith of Channel Four News introduced her hatchet job of this poor woman by implying that she only got what she deserved. Friends, family, her entire community, and those of us who never met her and know next to nothing about her, but know she did not deserve this… We are grieving. And Channel Four News editor allows Jane Deith to pollute the airwaves with this nasty defense of Rupert Murdoch’s trial-by-television?

Channel Four News editor thinks he can get away with this rubbish because he can’t be sued by Brenda Leyland. And her family can’t sue Jane Deith for her insults. However, when people have had time to grieve, anger will fuel their passion. Those responsible will pay a price. Martin Brunt must know this.

Martin Brunt has always struck me as intelligent and a decent, humane individual, much more so than than most of his colleagues in the broadcasting industry. I don’t think he will be able to pretend he bears no responsibility for Brenda Leyland’s death. I am sure he will already feel guilty without my having to explain to him why he should do this. I think he will want to get this off his conscience. I think he will want to help society ensure there are no more incidents like this ever again.

Unfortunately for Martin Brunt, if he speaks out and accepts his personal responsibility, he will necessarily take others down with him – including the editor of SKY News for letting this garbage be aired. And anyone at the station who broke the law with police officers – a problem endemic inside every organization touched by Rupert Murdoch – they will face criminal charges, sooner or later.

Martin Brunt cannot move on with the rest of his life until he takes decisions that will lead to a massive headache for Rupert Murdoch, for his editor, and for all shareholders of SKY News. But if he is a decent man, someone who wants to be able to look himself in the mirror, someone able to have a good nights sleep ever again, then he will speak out. The sooner the better, for everyone’s sake.

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Who killed Sweepy?

Does Martin Brunt accept he got this badly wrong?

Does Martin Brunt accept he got this badly wrong?

Who killed Brenda Leyland? If you get your news from SKY or the BBC, then no one is responsible. “No suspicious circumstances,” according to the cops, the same police officers no doubt with a long history of taking bribes from staff at News International. It was just one of those things. The bloody left hand of the BBC washes the bloody right hand of SKY News. Rupert Murdoch will turn a blind eye to Jimmy Savile etc if the ex-Murdoch editor James Harding looks the other way as SKY News gets caught hounding a vulnerable woman into taking her own life. This is truly sick.

If Brenda had committed a crime, as SKY News Martin Brunt insists was the case, then it was up to a jury of her peers to determine what it was, and how serious it was. It was not the business of Martin Brunt or SKY News editors to publicly humiliate her.

Brenda had an absolute right to legal representation if there was a prime facie case against her. Why was none offered? Why was a judge not allowed to weigh up mitigating factors in determining the sentence, if a jury did in fact decide that she had broken the law? Why could a judge and jury not have decided that her motives mattered, or any potential risk to her health, such as has become so tragically apparent to all of us?

Martin Brunt knows that regardless of whether the target of her ‘trolling’ (the McCanns) were innocent people, then at least Brenda’s motives were not altogether bad: her heart was in the right place even if she got this wrong.

Brenda thought she was fighting for justice for a dead child. Was she on to something? I have absolutely no idea. I don’t like jumping to conclusions. I have not seen any evidence, and have no interest in searching for it. Juries need to do that; not self-appointed armchair detectives.

I never participated in the so-called trolling of the McCanns. And I am not justifying those, including Brenda, who have done that. However, let’s assume for the sake of argument that the ‘trolls’ are totally wide of the mark. Why do they think it is okay for them to ‘troll’ the McCanns? They do it precisely because BBC, SKY and Channel4 News – day-in, day-out – invite their viewers to join them in finding certain individuals guilty in advance of any fair trial. They may do this by innuendo, by playing a game of cat and mouse with the legal profession. But they know precisely what they are doing. This is a game right-wing Tories never tire of. That is because it distracts the victims of a rotten system, run by the likes of Rupert Murdoch and David Cameron, and drags the masses off into total dead ends.

In other words, all these so-called trolls are simply DIY versions of the crime correspondents of all the major news networks in the United Kingdom. You want to know who is guilty of mobilizing the so-called trolling of the McCanns? Rupert Murdoch needs to take a good hard look in the mirror for his answer. Murdoch and his tabloid journalists are the ones to blame for all this internet vigilantism. And they now have the blood of Brenda Leyland on their hands too.

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Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid values drove Brenda Leyland to an early grave.

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This billionaire uses SKY News to attack vulnerable women. Thanks to corrupt cops who queue up to take bribes from him, this man gets away with phone hacking, with corruption on an industrial scale, with destroying evidence – including shredding emails, and using sledgehammers on hard disks -, paying off witnesses, dragging at least one criminal into 10 Downing Street, and now humiliating women whose sole motivation was a desire (possibly badly directed) to winning justice for a dead child, forcing his victim to take her own life.

This man is Rupert Murdoch. And he should be charged with psychological torture without regard to the vulnerability of his victim, and the potential for suicide. This man is a self-appointed judge, jury and executioner, and he has blood on his hands. He ought to spend the rest of his life in jail.

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