Only the facts, Ma’am!
We’ll come (hem!) to Wee Johnny, right, in due course.
Back in December 2010 the usual suspects on the Labour back-benches (Corbyn, McDonnell … and fouteen others, equally predicatable) signed a Commons Early Day Motion in support of UK Uncut. They’ve now been boosted to a total of twenty-seven, including such raging lefties as Gregory Campbell and Nigel Dodds of the DUP.
On Saturday last, as an adjunct to the TUC March, UK Uncut organised a wholly peaceable (but, using loudhailers, not quite peaceful) flash mob at at the luxury London grocers Fortnum & Mason:
- owned by Associated British Foods (which also owns Primark),
- which is 54% owned by tax-dodging Whittington Investments,
- which is 79.2% owned by the Garfield Weston Foundation, a trust which is 20.8% owned by members of the Weston Family.
The fiddle is achieved by Whittington Investments stuffing its monies through a Dutch retailer, De Bijenkorf, operating through Luxembourg.
Nothing is simple in global capitalism.
On Saturday afternoon, after causing no damage (beyond a few vapours among Fortnums’ rarefied clientèle), the UK Uncut types were stitched up by the Met Police:
Activists say they were given repeated assurances by a chief inspector from the Metropolitan police that they would be shown to safety after the protest, which she described as non-violent and sensible. However, when protesters left the luxury Piccadilly store on police instruction, they were kettled, handcuffed and taken into custody.
Their claims are backed up by footage, obtained by the Guardian, showing that, rather than being asked to leave, the protesters inside the luxury food retailer were told they were being kept inside for their own safety.
Most (138 of the 201) arrests made on Saturday were as a result of the “peaceful” Fortnums flash-mob. The hard core “anarchists” who caused the may-hem and damage in Piccadilly seem to have escaped largely unscathed. The obvious conclusion is that the Met Police simply wanted to up their quota by the easy method of “doing” middle-class professional types, rather than the more aggressive yobs.
This seems to continue a pattern:
— How do you know if you’ve an elephant in the fridge, Daddy?
— You see its footprints in the butter.
Or, in this case, Monday’s Daily Telegraph:
After all those strategy reviews, all those blank bits of paper, we have finally heard Labour’s response to the fiscal crisis bequeathed to the nation by Gordon Brown. The plan is to get a load of aggressive crusties and Lefties to attack the Ritz hotel, to storm Fortnum’s, and to cause so much argy-bargy that 4,500 police officers are obliged to waste their time (and our money) in putting out the bonfires and controlling events as peacefully as they can.
For some inexplicable reason, this reminds Malcolm of a chance remark by an on-line commentator:
Stalin['s] propaganda rested on the tripod of media control, a fostered personality cult and a claimed legacy. Most of this propaganda was the result of experiences during his childhood and youth that exposed him to plaguing gang warfare, poverty and street brawls.
Well, all except the “poverty”. of course.
BoJo is anxious to identify the Labour leadership with those signatories to EDM1146, and clean-cut, preppy UK Uncut with those “crusties”. It is, of course, specious nonsense; as all and sundry are happy to note, and Simon Hoggart dutifully and tartly reports:
The Commons held a sombre discussion about the weekend rioting in London. There was much anger at the roughnecks, but there was no doubt who the shared enemy was: Boris Johnson. The mayor of London is mistrusted by Tories because he is popular and they fear he wants to depose Dave Cameron as Tory leader. Labour mistrusts him because he is popular, and they fear he might be re-elected mayor of London.
BoJo’s self-interpolation has been met with delight, if only because it evidences that inane hypocrisy in which the man revels. Sunder Katwala, at Liberal Conspiracy, says it as well as any:
Mayor of London Boris Johnson badly overstepped the mark yesterday, ludicrously claiming that Labour leader Ed Miliband will have been “quietly satisfied” by the violence in the capital which risked overshadowing the TUC’s March for the Alternative on Saturday…
In his youthful days, Boris was more than quietly satisfied when his Bullingdon pals threw a flowerpot through a restaurant window. Indeed he was so proud of the incident that he even invented the tale of being arrested over it, as Jim Pickard of the FT has reported in exquisite detail, even though Friends of Boris have since revealed that he scrambled away through the flowerbeds to avoid being caught.
A Malcolmian aside:
Johnson was hired by Londoners on a time-limited contract, at a salary of £143,911 a year. He is a multiple-jobber; and reputedly gets a further quarter-million a year for his Telegraph rantings.
In this piece Johnson was earning his shilling by dissing many tens of thousands of his London employers.
When Malcolm was employed in public service, his contract included a clause which prevented him taking a second employment without his employer’s approval. It also insisted that no employee could directly contact the media, without going through “official” channels. Breach of either or both conditions was a potential sacking offence [Ms Birbalsingh, please note.].
Dishing the dirt
All of which provides Malcolm with yet another opportunity to recall that Johnson did not get the boot from Michael Howard’s Shadow Cabinet because he was screwing (and impregnating) Petronella Wyatt.
He was outed, deliciously, by the fragrant Lady Verushka Wyatt (Petsy’s loving Mum), as the Mail salaciously recounted :
Sacked shadow cabinet minister Boris Johnson was the victim of a revenge plot by the mother of the mistress he ditched, it was claimed yesterday.
Lady Verushka Wyatt is said to have been incensed by the way he treated her only daughter Petronella.
Reports that he quibbled over the price of an abortion infuriated her further.
Lady Wyatt leaked news of at least one abortion which Miss Wyatt underwent after sleeping with the Spectator editor.
Father of four Mr Johnson last week rubbished reports of an affair but after Lady Wyatt briefed journalists that the allegations were true, he was fired as Tory arts spokesman by party leader Michael Howard late on Saturday.
Yesterday Lady Wyatt, the widow of the Tote boss Woodrow Wyatt, said she had no sympathy for him. Speaking from the £3million house she shares with Petronella in St John’s Wood, North-West London, she said: “I’ve no views on his dismissal. It’s none of my business really.”
Howard’s memorable contribution to Conservative family values was:
“Howard said the sacking was because Johnson had lied over the affair. It had nothing to do with morality.”
Malcolm has little time for Howard, the arch-Tory, but considerable sympathy for him when the BNP and such sneer at his Jewish origins. Leslie Bunder, at PointsofJew blog (now deceased), recalled that Howard’s his own father, Bernat Hecht was a cantor at a synagogue in Romania. Bunder, acidly appends that to an account of the 2005 Tory Conference (and Cameron’s enstoolment):
Michael Howard may not be the most committed of Jews. He married out, his son Nick is a born again Christian nutter and priest in training, but when it came to Rosh Hashanah during the Tory party conference in Blackpool, the outgoing Conservative leader managed to spend some time with the local community and when it came to praying, Howard could certainly take part without too many problems.
In Howard’s world, the Seventh Commandment is void, but not the Ninth.
All of which leaves one further uncomfortable thought:
BoJo’s chronic priapism continues to afflict him. Meanwhile, his great intellect fails to grasp the mechanics of basic contraception (most recent known case: Helen Macintyre).
Yet the workings of a great city are in hands defeated by a rubber johnnie.