Posts Tagged 'Spin'



Guardian takes hypocrisy to stratospheric new heights

When giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry in December the former Information Commissioner of the UK, Richard Thomas, said that offences committed under Section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (In the UK Section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998 concerns the unlawful obtaining of personal data – it is an offence for people, such as hackers and impersonators, outside of an organisation to obtain unauthorised access to someone’s personal data – an act otherwise known as ‘blagging’.) were:

[…] often at least as serious as phone hacking, and may be even more serious.

Mr Thomas went on to add that:

Interception of a telephone call or message is widely, and rightly, seen as highly intrusive, but a great deal more information can usually be obtained about individuals by stealing their electronic or written records – such as financial, health, tax or criminal records – than from a conversation or message.

Now think back to the Guardian’s obsessive pursuit of News International about the interception of telephone calls or messages – phone hacking – and its saturation coverage and condemnation that has demonised News Corp journalists and the Murdochs. Surely the Guardian, which has taken the high ground and occupied it so doggedly over such illegal behaviour can be relied upon to be consistent and condemn equally vigorously any instance of illegal activity, such as an individual impersonating another person to obtain unauthorised access to personal data?

Think again.

The Guardian is perfectly happy to go to war with competitors and ideological opponents, and grandstand in the most sanctimonious manner as it has over phone hacking. After all it is in its commercial and strategic interests and those of its friends, such as the BBC.

But when a climate change alarmist scientist, someone who says the things the Guardian says and like to hear and shares the same leftist worldview, admits he impersonated another person to obtain confidential documents and release them – a criminal act in the UK – the Guardian unbelievably describes it as a ‘leak’. That is how the Guardian is portraying the theft of documents from the Heartland Institute and their release, along with a fake document designed to misrepresent the organisation and stir up animosity to it.

This isn’t just cognitive dissonance, it is a staggering escalation of the Guardian’s rank hypocrisy.  It is a deliberate and calculated distortion used and the dishonesty is approved by the senior editorial staff for ideological reasons.  Guardian journalists such as Suzanne Goldenberg, endorsed by the like of Leo Hickman, are engaging in a corruption of language in support of a political agenda.  They are showing themselves up as propagandists for thieves and climate change alarmists.

This is the measure of the Guardian, a reflection of its true nature, and the reason why it is wholly untrustworthy and unreliable. It is an insipid little rag.

David Cameron on ECHR – A Man for all Soundbites

From the august pages of the Daily Mail comes yet another story of David Cameron relying on the ignorance of the population to give the appearance of taking a tough line on ‘Europe’.

But while the issue bringing this latest piece of Cameron PR bullshit to the fore – the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling that Abu Qatada cannot be deported to Jordan, lest evidence obtained under torture is used against him – the story in the Wail shows Cameron is not proposing to do anything about the legal basis for the Court’s decision, thus confirming nothing will change and that his posturing is nothing but meaningless hot air:

David Cameron will this week confront European judges blamed for stopping the deportation of extremist Islamic cleric Abu Qatada and tell them: ‘Stop meddling in  British justice.’

In a hard-hitting speech in Strasbourg, the home of the European Court of Human Rights, the Prime Minister will demand major reforms in the way the court is run.

He will say European judges must be more in touch with public opinion, accept more UK court rulings and let countries protect their own citizens and stop interfering in ‘petty’ cases.

If we use metaphor to explain what Cameron is doing here it demonstrates once again the fatuous nature of his latest intervention…  Cameron has a car that possesses features he does not like.  When the car is used the feature delivers performance he is not happy with.  But rather than focus on the addressing the feature that is affecting the performance, his solution is to demand the driver is changed.  The feature and its performance remain unaffected.

Cameron’s dishonesty is as striking as his lack of principle.  Like it or loathe it, the ECHR is not meddling in British Justice as he puts it.  The UK is signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights and this country’s politicians, past and present, have seen to it this country is bound by its articles making it an integral part of ‘British Justice’. In the Abu Qatada case, below are the passages relevant to the judgement that was passed.

Being resolved, as the Governments of European countries which are like-minded and have a common heritage of political traditions, ideals, freedom and the rule of law to take the first steps for the collective enforcement of certain of the Rights stated in the Universal Declaration;

Have agreed as follows:

ARTICLE 1

The High Contracting Parties shall secure to everyone within their jurisdiction the rights and freedoms defined in Section I of this Convention.

>>>

ARTICLE 6

1.In the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law. Judgement shall be pronounced publicly by the press and public may be excluded from all or part of the trial in the interest of morals, public order or national security in a democratic society, where the interests of juveniles or the protection of the private life of the parties so require, or the extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the court in special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice.

2.Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.

3.Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights:

(a) to be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him;

(b) to have adequate time and the facilities for the preparation of his defence;

(c) to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing or, if he has not sufficient means to pay for legal assistance, to be given it free when the interests of justice so require;

(d) to examine or have examined witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him;

(e) to have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or speak the language used in court.

This is not ‘meddling in British Justice’, this has been made a cornerstone of our justice system.  And for all his whining, Cameron has no intention of trying to change a single letter of the text.  As for the judgement itself, the ECHR has clearly explained why Qatada (Omar Othman) cannot be returned to Jordan.

The UK’s agencies were stupid enough to grant asylum to Abu Qatada in the first place (as they do to so many foreign criminals, terrorists and ne’er do goods who pitch up here) and now want rid of him.  The Jordanians have provided a way out for the UK.  The UK wants to take it.  But Jordan extracts evidence via torture and mistreatment.  Why should that bother us?  After all, Qatada is believed to be part of Al Qaeda, they engage in terrorism and cold blooded murder and wish us harm, so why should we prevent him from facing Jordanian justice?

My response is grounded in a beautiful piece of dialogue in that great 1960s film, A Man for All Seasons, where Sir Thomas More (Paul Schofield) is arguing with his future son-in-law, William Roper about why he will not arrest Richard Rich and has let him leave the house freely despite his efforts to undermine More:

More: Go he should, if he were the Devil, until he broke the law.

Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!

More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat?  This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s!  And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?  Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

The same holds for Qatada.  While Article 6 prevents his deportation to Jordan, the same Article also protects the rest of us from extradition on the basis that ‘evidence’ against us obtained under duress is likely not safe.  Abu Qatada may very well be the Devil, but I too will give him the benefit of law for my own safety’s sake! If the UK or Jordan want to put Qatada behind bars for the rest of his life, they should obtain incontrovertible evidence of his guilt in a legal and responsible manner.  If they can’t then they have no justification for doing anything other than protecting his rights and liberty.

Cameron’s naked politicking, deceit and ignorance suggest he either doesn’t get it, or more worryingly is determined to trample over our liberties.  What this country needs is a man for all seasons.  What we have is a man for all soundbites.  Truly the heir to Blair.

More climate change hysteria from Norfolk

It seems there is a correlation between the climate change obsession of the media and local authorities in Norfolk and their proximity to the University of East Anglia.  Perhaps we could come up with a causal link that we could report as incontrovertible.

No matter what happens in Norfolk, they see the hot hand of anthropogenic global warming behind it.  So it is that the Norwich Evening News reports today that Norfolk’s Fire and Rescue Service is spending £3.2 million on new 4×4 vehicles:

because climate change is causing more floods and heath blazes in Norfolk.

No matter what weather condition is experienced, be it warmer, cooler, wetter or drier, the climate change moster is behind it all.  But given we keep hearing that the effects of climate change are yet to be experienced and it could be decades or more before nature wreaks her bitter revenge on mankind for burning fossil fuels, these new vehicles must be expected to last a long time.

It was fascinating to see that Norfolk fire chiefs are now experts in climate and are qualified to ascribe the sometimes challenging conditions they work in to changes in the climate.  At least it was until we see our old friends at the Met Office have lined their pockets with more taxpayers’ cash by drawing up a climate change impact assessment.  Norfolk Fire and Rescue now feel bold enough to state:

And we know from work that the Met Office has done that for every one degree summer temperature hike you get up to 23% more fires.

Presumably it has nothing to do with an increase in population and more people using the local heathland.  Perhaps an increase in arson cases is down to people driven mad by the changing climate and feeling the need to set light to things.  Norfolk’s fire overlords go on to explain that the new appliances are required because:

In somewhere like Norfolk we have got Thetford forest and the peat at Methwold, which are susceptible to fires and we need to be able to get to them.

One wonders if the fires in Thetford and Methwold only became a problem after a group of scientists decided we were causing the planet to heat out of control.

Well, I suppose it’s one way to get extra money for fancy new kit.  One wonders how long it will be before the Ministry of Defence and the militray top brass start justifying the procurement of new toys on the basis that climate change will make it harder to conduct operations with existing equipment…

Arctic Sea Ice – How Telegraph furthers eco spin against substance

Richard North, writing on his EU Referendum blog, has a stonking post that demonstrates the power of substance over spin – while underlining how far the media’s standards have fallen as it publishes assertions in letters columns that are demonstrably false; written by people posing as ordinary members of the public but who are in fact part of environmental organisations.

The letter (below, scroll down on this page), sent in by one ‘Roger Plenty’ from Gloucestershire, takes issue with Christopher Booker’s column last week:

North is having none of it, and rightly so, as the historical evidence-backed facts about the use of the North East Passage roundly pull to pieces Roger Plenty’s fanciful fiction.  North’s post is a triumph of substance over eco spin.

But perhaps there is more to this story.  It seems Plenty’s flight of fancy on the Telegraph’s letters page can be attributed to misleading ‘news’ reporting by the Telegraph itself.  Booker’s inconvenient truths have got under Roger Plenty’s skin before because this isn’t the first time Plenty has been motivated to send a letter to the Telegraph in response to Booker on the subject of Arctic Ice.  In September 2007, Plenty contributed this letter (below, scroll down on this page) citing a source for his inaccurate claim:

So it is not just sloppy fact checking by the letters editor, the Telegraph’s news editor let misleading information through into publication.  Small wonder the eco activist Roger Plenty felt on safe ground to make his assertion four years on.  Granted he is referring to the North West Passage back then and the North East Passage today, but there is a reason they are both known as ‘passages’ – namely that shipping could transit through them, which is a matter of record.

What this shows is that the media has a lot to answer for, publishing information without context, or omitting key facts, that falls apart under scrutiny of the evidence.  To his credit, North was making this point in respect of the Telegraph back in 2008.  But it is time we found out whether it is mere sloppiness or if the Failygraph is deliberately complicit in furthering the spread of misinformation?

Regardless, Roger Plenty and his ludicrous claims have been completely discredited, which is an important part of ensuring more people get the facts and are reminded not to believe everything they read in the press.

After its false allegations about Milly Dowler voicemails, what other falsehoods has the Guardian published?

You won’t find this update, about the Guardian’s allegations about Milly Dowler’s voicemails being deleted by people working for the News of the World, on the BBC News website.  The BBC, as the broadcast arm of the Guardian, has an editorial culture of omitting stories that paint the Guardian in a negative light and thus will act as if the story does not exist.

So rather than rely on the world’s largest news gathering organisation, with the unique way it is funded, we cross the globe to Australia’s Telegraph to learn that:

T Mobile, the company that bought the One-2-One network that Milly’s Nokia phone was registered to, yesterday confirmed that any voicemail messages left on her phone would have been automatically deleted after 72 hours whether they were listened to or not.

The Guardian, for all its lofty and self regarding cant about high standard and media ethics, went to print with allegations that were at best single sourced.  Its award winning investigations team, being fed information from police insiders, either made no effort to check if there was a technical reason for the voicemail deletions, or did check but omitted it from the story despite knowing their claims could be untrue.  This is not just shoddy, it is downright irresponsible.

But why did it happen?

Sitting in his comfortable ivory tower, the Guardian’s editor, Alan Rusbridger, saw within the story Nick Davies had drafted the vehicle with which he could escalate his petty, vindictive and politically motivated assault on Rupert Murdoch and News International.  The phone hacking story had been relentlessly pursued – not out of journalistic desire to expose unacceptable behaviour but to service an agenda to ruin Murdoch.  A nakedly political agenda of the centre left, big government, authoritarian establishment, dressed up as exposing abuse by a ‘power elite’:

Via a single campaign the Guardian could undermine Murdoch‘s desire to regain control of BSkyB – thus preserving the BBC’s monopoly of news broadcasting in the UK with its centre left editorial slant.  Sure, many people would be appalled at the behaviour of the News of the World, but it would take something more emotive to provoke the kind of outrage that could result in serious and permanent damage.

The news that people working for the News of the World hacked the voicemails of a missing schoolgirl would be bad enough.  But the claim that NotW journalists or investigators deleted voicemails to make room for more emotional messages they could eavesdrop was the dynamite to hole the NotW below the waterline.  No matter what other evidence there was of NotW voicemail hacking, it was that claim that was intended to play to the famously sentimental British public and spark a kneejerk backlash that would benefit the Guardian.

Don’t be surprised.  The Guardian is well versed in underhand methods to suit its own agenda and interests.  It is already trying to wriggle out of its responsibility for repeatedly reporting so vehemently its claim about the deletion of voicemails.  Years ago the Guardian ran a vicious and hypocritical campaign to undermine the then owners of the Observer, Lonrho, its proprietor, Tiny Rowland and a number of Observer journalists so it could seize control of the Observer as a ready made Sunday stablemate.  Shamelessly using and manipulating the Dowler family and their lawyer, Mark Lewis, the Guardian machine swung into action – this time against the NotW – again to suit its own self serving interests.  This time Rusbridger and Co have been caught red handed and did what they could to bury the correction to their frequently used claim about voicemail deletions.

I’ve sometimes felt like I was wasting my time over the months trying to get people to see and understand the Guardian’s agenda, methods, and the dishonesty and hypocrisy of some of its prominent journalists.  Most people wanted to focus on other things that seemed more interesting.  But now it seems a lot of those who ignored the story being set out on this blog (including other newspapers and media), because the Guardian supposedly has prestige and this is, well, just a blog, are starting to see the Guardian for what it  is.  The number of hits in recent days shows this story is starting to pique people’s interest.

Where now from here?  This is almost certainly not the first time the Guardian has acted this way.  This is just the tip of the iceberg.  So, the question people must now ask themselves is what other falsehoods has the Guardian retailed to an unwitting public in support of a self serving agenda?  It is time to look at the Guardian’s editorial history with fresh eyes.

And David Leigh still tries to con the public

My, even ‘Johnny on the spot’ Guido Fawkes has caught up with the changing story about the Milly Dowler phone hacking story.

The Guardian’s David Leigh, not for the first time in his career, is under pressure about his part in the ‘nothing to do with us’ piece in Saturday’s Graun.  This is what the self regarding snake had to say on Twitter in response to disquiet at this reversal of narrative, which of course formed the central plank in the assault on the News of the World…

Good journalism?

Let’s see.  Curiously, the story Leigh co-authored at the weekend maintained the NotW probably did delete Milly Dowler’s voicemails.  However, even more curiously, Leigh’s ‘good journalism’ failed to mention anything about the fact the police had accessed Milly’s voicemail inbox as part of their investigation – before the NotW even had her number – and may have been responsible for deleting all her messages.

Perhaps a sign of good journalism at the Guardian is telling people half the story in order to perpetuate, by innuendo, the myth that they retailed repeatedly over months as part of their effort to bring down the Murdochs.

Guardian duo cover backs on Milly Dowler hacking story

In the reader comments on our previous post about the incestuous relationship between the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, his close friend and mentor and Guardian contributor, Geoffrey Robertson, and the Guardian’s David Leigh, ‘DB’ brings our attention to a story in today’s Guardian concerning the Milly Dowler phone hacking story.

It is accepted that messages left on the mobile phone voicemail belonging to Milly Dowler were listened to by private investigators or journalists working for the News of the World.

However the claim that sparked more anger and revulsion than any other in the whole phone hacking saga, and which swept around the world in news reports, was that News of the World reporters deleted some of Milly Dowler’s voicemails after listening to them in order to free up space for more messages to be left by her distraught family and friends, so they could listen in to those as well.

Milly Dowler’s mother has been widely reported explaining how messages being deleted from Milly’s voicemail gave her family hope that Milly was alive and listening to them.  No one could have been failed to be moved by such emotive comments, and feel contempt for those NotW staff who were responsible for those actions.

Only, it has now emerged that police have concluded that the NotW were not responsible for the particular deletion which caused her family to have false hope that she was alive.

This has forced the Guardian to race into print with what ‘DB’ rightly describes as a nothing-to-do-with-us article by Nick Davies and David Leigh.  Before revealing in the article that…

Evidence retrieved from Surrey police logs shows that this “false hope” moment occurred on the evening of Sunday 24 March 2002. It is not clear what caused this deletion. Phone company logs show that Milly last accessed her voicemail on Wednesday 20 March, so the deletion on Sunday cannot have been the knock-on effect of Milly listening to her messages. Furthermore, the deletion removed every single message from her phone. But police believe it cannot have been caused by the News of the World, which had not yet instructed private detective Glenn Mulcaire to hack Milly’s phone. Police are continuing to try to solve the mystery.

… Davies and Leigh try to maintain the ‘NotW did it’ meme in the third paragraph, which reads:

It is understood that while News of the World reporters probably were responsible for deleting some of the missing girl’s messages, police have concluded that they were not responsible for the particular deletion which caused her family to have false hope that she was alive.

It is a spiteful and desperate effort to cling to the most damaging claim despite the reality that, as things stand, there is absolutely no evidence for this claim.

It is possible that NotW journalists inadvertently caused the deletion of messages as evidence has now revealed that Milly’s phone would automatically delete messages 72 hours after being listened to.  But nothing revealed by the sources shows that the original police claim that journalists had deliberately deleted some messages because Milly’s voicemail box had filled up, and they wanted to be able to listen to more.

Now all we have is the Guardian’s slopey shouldered duo of Davies and Leigh retailing speculation in the absence of evidence. These chuckle brothers are cyncially using the Dowler family lawyer as cover for their face saving actions, as shown by the inclusion of this in their article:

The Dowlers’ lawyer, Mark Lewis, said last night that although Mulcaire had not been instructed by email at the time of Sally Dowler’s “false hope” moment, it remained possible that the voicemails had been deleted by a News of the World journalist, or that Mulcaire had been instructed earlier by phone.

‘Probably…’ ‘possibly…’ it’s all a far cry from the certainty with which Davies leaped upon what now amounts to ill informed claims by police who seem to have kept the latest revelations under wraps for some time. Even now they cannot let the facts get in the way of their narrative.

So what are we left with? The Guardian’s bestselling author of Flat Earth News, a book about falsehood and distortion in the media, engaged in maintaining a smear against rival journalists despite the lack of any evidence – aided and abetted by the Guardian’s investigations executive editor, a self confessed phone hacker and ‘blagger’ of information who without any sense of shame or irony puts his name to this piece which includes a tut-tut reference to a NotW journalist blagging confidential phone records.

No doubt they will be expecting another media industry award from their fellow dissembling hacks.

The ignorant and learning impaired BBC

Having the dubious distinction of working in an office that has its TVs constantly tuned to the BBC News channel, it has been impossible to avoid the corporation’s obsessive coverage of proceedings from the Leveson inquiry.

Hugh Grant’s moody features and Steve Coogan’s inability to find a barber have featured heavily.  The BBC line is clear, the press has behaved outrageously by publishing distorted stories, fabrications and smears in order to sell papers. In the past month alone (at the time of writing) a Google search shows the BBC has been thoroughly enjoying itself, publishing no less than 856 stories and references about the Leveson inquiry – while taking a moral high ground that is wholly unjustified.

Unjustified, how?

Well, for all the wall to wall coverage on its news channel and the incessant stream of stories on a number of areas of its website, the BBC has itself been shown to be… publishing distorted stories, fabrications and smears.

The BBC has published no less than 22 articles and references this week about the Conservative and Unionist Society at the University of St Andrews burning an effigy of President Barack Obama.

However, the Tory boys and girls have not taken the thinly veiled insinuations of racism laying down.

What the BBC will not report is that there is more to the story than they are happy for people to know, lest it exposes their scoop as the meaningless piece of spiteful bile it really is.  Instead, for the facts, we need to turn to the blog pages of Biased BBC, where a member of the St Andrews little Tories explains what really happened and why.  The ignorance of the BBC is left on full display.  Their inability to learn the very lessons they are so keen to thrust down the ether and across the airwaves at us, is self evident.

As always with the BBC what you get is half the story all the time – assuming they don’t ignore the story completely because it contradicts one of their sacred shibboleths.  As always with the BBC the story has been made possible because of the unique way they are funded – with our money, despite not being accountable to us.

Has the Guardian published fauxtography?

Sometimes reality is revealed in unintended ways.  Has it been again?  Here’s Rubbisher of the Graun praising the Guardian’s favourite snapper, Murdo Macleod…

Murdo Macleod’s pictures verge on the ridiculous. They seldom fall over the edge, but they often teeter on the brink. Murdo is the gentlest of men, with a soothing, Hebridean lilt that he evidently uses to beguile his sitters to most audacious effect. He charms them into improbable poses or amuses them for long enough to lower their guard. His use of lighting is extraordinary, as is his use of props. You must always expect the unexpected. There is sometimes an element of magic, sometimes a tinge of Dalí.

And as Anthony Watts of the blog Watts Up With That? has discovered, possibly an unhealthy application of Photoshop too.

Did Rubbisher unintentionally hit on something significant when he said Macleod’s pictures verge on the ridiculous, and that there is a Beckett-like sense of absurdity lurking in most of what he photographs?  As focus turns to the Climategate 2.0 emails and people scrutinise the honesty of a number of scientists and journalists, some people are examining everything that has been said and what has been published by the media.

A number of photographs used in climate change and environmental stories seem somewhat odd and have some people asking questions like; have you ever seen black steam coming from a cooling tower?  People should know if image by Murdo Macleod is an example of him falling over the edge from visual representation to gross distortion, in support of a pre-determined editorial line.  The question is this, is it what we are seeing photography or fauxtography?

This image of Eggborough power station (above) by Murdo Macleod appears to have been used exclusively by the Guardian. On WUWT, Anthony Watts shows the output from running the published image through the PSKiller.com application to see whether it has been Photoshopped.

This output leads to a suspicion that the Guardian may have commissioned/used an altered image in order to convey a false impression of power station emissions.

AM has written to Mr Macleod to ask if he will be willing to provide the raw, unaltered image for comparison purposes, and to detail what changes were made from the original to arrive at the image above.  Macleod has also been offered a right of reply that is so often denied to subjects by journalists in the mainstream media.

It would be improper to taint the long standing reputation of a man with such a high profile in his profession if he has done nothing wrong.  This is not about getting one over the Guardian, but a simple search for the truth.  There are questions to be answered here and those answers could have far reaching implications, so we await Macleod’s response with interest.

Update: Murdo Macleod has replied to my email.  The email exchange is reproduced in full below:

Dear Mr Macleod,

I write with regard to this photograph you took for the Guardian newspaper.

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Books/Pix/pictures/2010/3/10/1268222690808/Eggborough-power-station-001.jpg

There is currently speculation that the photograph has been enhanced or altered in some way to achieve a darkening of the cloud emitted from the cooling towers, as Photoshop quantization tables have been found in the image using http://www.pskiller.com. Before I write about this I wanted to give you the opportunity to respond, as the implications of this could be far reaching.

Would you like to comment about what changes were made to the image? Would you be willing to supply the original raw, unadjusted image for comparison purposes?

Yours sincerely,

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

——-

Dear xxxxxxx
Perhaps this makes it clearer for you.
Best wishes
Murdo
——-
Dear Murdo,
While you have kindly sent me a photograph to act as an illustration (which has been manipulated – resized only?), it is not the same one that was published and does not explain what changes were made using Photoshop (or similar) to the original image.
People driving past the Eggborough power station say they have only ever seen white steam coming from the cooling towers. This would sound logical as only water vapour comes from cooling towers. However, your images show darkened emissions. So I am trying to get to the bottom of this.
For the sake of clarity, is this as a result of shadow as the sunlight is coming from the left? Or have you used a particular filter, adjusted the contrast, or otherwise altered the image? Or are the emissions that colour when seen from all angles?
Many thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. It is appreciated.
Best wishes,
xxxxxxx
——-
Dear xxxxxxx

As you can see there is a shadow falling across the steam from the left towers. As you may be aware the Guardian has guidelines on photographs and their various aspects. I comply with those. There is a procedure for any readers who have any concerns about any images published. Nearly all photographs are processed in photoshop and a variety of adjustments are made for aesthetic and technical reasons. This photograph will have been adjusted within those conventions and regulations.
Best wishes
Murdo
————————————————————————————
So, Murdo Macleod is clear, the darker area is shadow being cast across the steam.  It is not black smoke.  But as others are saying, his comments are interesting for what he doesn‘t say.
While the Guardian has guidelines concerning photographs that are submitted, it seems they are happy for people to take the impression that dirty, sooty smoke is being emitted from cooling towers, when the reality is the image shows only steam with part of it in shadow.  That is the power of imagery.  Is the Guardian being sly and disingenuous in the use of the photograph?  You decide.

More Daily Mail EU posturing

This is one of the headlines in today’s online edition of the Daily Mail. The article comes complete with boilerplate comment from Nigel Farage, the standard mention of Tony Blair giving up part of the UK’s budget rebate won by Margaret Thatcher and the usual reference to Eurosceptics’ hand supposedly being strengthened.

But what is the point?

What many Mail readers, and others, do not realise is that after October’s failed effort in the House of Commons to secure a Bill presenting the British people with a referendum on EU membership, the Mail published an editorial – ‘The country has had enough of deception. It’s time to close the yawning gap between the ruling and the ruled.’  Anyone who wants the UK to withdraw from the EU and thinks the Daily Mail is on their side should read this comment:

Let the Mail lay all its cards on the table. This paper has no desire for Britain to pull out of Europe — and particularly not at a time like this, when withdrawal would add immeasurably to the uncertainties threatening our recovery and rocking the confidence of the markets.

Remember that.  The Mail pumps out column inches bemoaning the EU, its cost, its power, all appealing to those who want us to leave.  Yet the Daily Mail is Europhile.  Like nearly all the media members of the establishment it is with the EUstices and Heaton-Harris’ of this world, who want to stay firmly in the EU and who believe in the renegotiation fairy at the bottom of the garden.

When you understand the Mail’s editorial position you start to understand their anti EU tirades are all piss and wind designed to humour readers whose views they do not even support.

The BBC is by far and away the worst offender

When it comes to cutting and pasting press releases from the Environment Agency to use as ‘news’ pieces, the BBC is in a class of its own.

Katabasis, the blogger who contributed to the exposure of the Met Office winter 2010 forecast scandal, has undertaken a labour of love to uncover the extent of ‘churnalism’ exhibited by our lavishly funded public service broadcaster and its legion of highly trained churnalists journalists when it comes to environment and climate change stories.

Reading the whole piece on the Katabasis blog is absolutely recommended!

Climategate 2.0 and a Mann with a cause…

So, thousands more emails leaked from the servers of the University of East Anglia (there is still no evidence of hacking despite two years of police investigation) have been released into the public domain.

It is being described on Watts Up With That? as Climategate 2.0.

Interestingly, even before they have had a chance to see what has been released and what is being focused upon by AGW sceptics, UEA and Michael Mann have already declared that extracts of the emails are being taken out of context.  As Jeff Id of the Air Vent puts it:

Out of context before we put them in context.  I suppose that if you aren’t a certified UEA climatologist, you can’t read.

One wonders what alternative context this quote could possibly be in:

What if climate change appears to be just mainly a multidecadal natural fluctuation? They’ll kill us probably

Several Climategate 2.0 emails that stand out were sent by Mann and are note worthy for refering to the his efforts to push the man made global warming narrative as a cause.

It seems strange because I was led to believe that it was about science.  No wonder Michael Mann is so desperate to prevent other emails of his falling into public hands.  There is also more evidence in the leaked emails of Phil Jones encouraging people to delete emails in order to evade scrutiny through Freedom of Information requests, which possibly accounts for the ‘missing’ data he is unable to produce.

There are also some interesting Climategate 2.0 emails on the Air Vent originating from those chaps at our old friend, the Met Office.  These include:

Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others.

And there’s:

My most immediate concern is to whether to leave this statement [“probably the warmest of the last millennium”] in or whether I should remove it in the anticipation that by the time of the 4th Assessment Report we’ll have withdrawn this statement

Is this a ‘temporary warming’ phenomenon we have not been told about?  There’s also:

would you agree that there is no convincing evidence for kilimanjaro glacier melt being due to recent warming (let alone man-made warming)?

This ‘evidence’ lark seems to be a real pain, especially when it torpedoes some of the most frequently used anecdotes, such as Kilimanjaro’s icecap melting due to human activity.  And another warmist shibboleth, the supposedly irrelevant Urban Heat Island effect  gets a kicking with this observation:

By coincidence I also got recently a paper from Rob which says “London’s UHI has indeed become more intense since the 1960s esp during spring and summer.

There is much more besides.  It is worth a few minutes of your time to sit down and read the selection of emails.  Some of the responses are eye opening.  Enjoy!

Cameron’s lies are the nails in the Tory coffin

As this blog regularly reminds readers, don’t judge politicians by their words, judge them by their actions.

Actions such as these that follow meaningless pledges to the contrary.

It is not just the left lining up against Cameron.  As one would expect, his Conservative colours make him the target of the tribalists who back Labour and the Lib Dems.

But his control freakery, deceit, waste of our money on overseas spending as vulnerable Britons go without, broken pledges and pandering to a social democrat agenda is now making him the target of classical liberals and those who want a smaller state that keeps out of people’s lives.

It will be just desserts for such an unprincipled opportunist and the tribal Tory idiots who continue to prop up and support the unconservative agenda he is pursuing.

Ignore the sensationalism, understand the real issue

A senior EU official has caused outrage by appearing to suggest that the national flags of member states should be dropped in favour of the EU design of a circle of stars on a blue background, the Mail on Sunday informs readers.  The MoS thinks there’s a story here, but being part of the mainstream media it manages to spectacularly miss the real issue and instead focus on a tiny element of a much wider and more significant problem.

The paper tells readers that:

Christine Roger, the communications director of the European Council, the EU’s governing body, made her comments in a speech to 650 ‘spin doctors’ from local authorities across Europe, including the UK.   She called for a new, dedicated public-relations budget to help ‘sell’ the EU as a ‘brand’ to its increasingly disenchanted citizens.

Before going on to add:

In her speech, a copy of which has been seen by The Mail on Sunday, Ms Roger – a veteran Brussels apparatchik – posed a series of leading questions, including how Europe should be defined. ‘Are we talking about a state-to-be? About a federation?’ she asked.

For good measure the MoS then trotted off to get some quotes from Nigel Farage, who duly obliged by prattling on about flags, the trampling of national identities and the waste of taxpayers’ money, suggesting he clearly only a faint idea what had been discussed and what the real concern is.  Once again the MSM has failed the public and the blogosphere has to step up to spell things out.

It is time to put the witless sensationalism into proper context, then hopefully get some people to sit up and understand the real story here.

Context first…  The ‘speech’ was actually nothing more than one part of a workshop presentation (Workshop I on page 15) delivered as part of EuroPCom 2011, which is organised by the Committee of the Regions.  The workshop was running at the same time as three others, the titles of which are altogether more concerning: ‘Citizen Journalism, opportunity or threat’; ‘Connecting with young people through social networks’; and ‘Outside the Brussels bubble: Europe going local’.

Also, the only thing the MoS would have seen of Ms Roger’s ‘speech’ was a PDF document of slides she used in her presentation.  It’s not just the MoS which has access to a copy, anyone can see it by clicking on the appropriate link.

Now the real story…  EuroPCom 2011, like its forerunner, EuroPCom 2010, is a concerted effort to spread EU propaganda via the national and local media in member states, using public servants on the government and local government payroll to wage a spin campaign from withing government departments, City Halls and Town Halls.  The attendance of many of the participants has been made possible only because our money has been spent to send them to the two day conference.

A measure of how deeply rooted the EU propagandists are in our public bodies can be gained by looking at some of the UK based speakers at the event, who included Nick Jones, the Head of Digital for the Prime Minister’s Office & Cabinet Office; Geoff Meade, Europe Editor of the Press Association; Gyorgy Szondi, Senior Lecturer in Public Relations at the Leeds Business School; Tony Halmos, Director of Public Relations at the City of London; Carl Holloway, Senior Communications Officer at Preston City Council (pictured).

While the Committee of the Regions spins that the total cost of putting on EuroPCom 2011 was around €50,000 (£43,000) for  a two-day event bringing together 75 speakers and 650 participants, that does not tell us how much public money might have been spent by participants on the registration fee, travel, accomodation and subsistence in order to attend.

The aim of EuroPCom is to push a positive vision of the EU at local level in member states.  The real targets are local authorities and regional public entities, the so called decentralised bodies, which send out their free (taxpayer funded) newspapers and issue press releases to local papers.  With that in mind, one wonders how many Councillors will know if Council staff from their authority have attended and if public funds have been used, and how many residents in cities and local boroughs would feel happy with their Council Tax pounds being used for such a purpose.

The real issue is what EuroPCom symbolises.  It is not just the naked propaganda effort and talk of replacing national flags with the EU dishcloth, but the lack of democratic oversight and direct accountability in our boroughs.  That is the point missed by the Mail on Sunday and Nigel Farage.  That is the point that needs to be understood by residents in towns and cities across this country.

So once again blogs like this one will have to do for free the work the MSM journalists are so lavishly paid for, but consistently fail to do. While EuroPCom speakers have considered how social media can be used to advance the European project, so we EU opponents can make use of social media to expose once again how taxpayers across Europe are being compelled to fund their own brainwashing.

A Freedom of Information request has been submitted in an effort to identify which UK local authorities and public bodies had employees at EuroPCom 2011.  From there we will attempt to discover whether public funds have been used to register and send participants to Brussels for the workshops, and if so, how much.  Then where applicable we will try to find out who took the decision to authorise that spending on enhancing local EU propaganda and see which of those people are accountable to the public they are supposed to serve.

It will take some weeks, but watch this space.

More Tory Eurosceptic delusion and bullshit

It’s enough to make you wonder if DC Comics have taken over publication of the Daily Express.  Once again we have a Tory reaching out to readers to spin the line that actually, the Tories are mainly Eurosceptic.

The tribalism in Westminster politics never ceases to amaze and depress in equal measure, as once again the electoral interests of the Conservative Party are put before the national interest of the UK with an unchallenged throwaway comment turned into a news item.

There is panic at CCHQ that voters are deserting the Tories as they finally realise Cameron is a liar, his Tory MPs are quislings and Conservatives want power over this country to remain in Brussels.  Instead of seizing the moment, a leading Tory ‘Eurosceptic’ has been rolled out to help hold the line.

For, despite all the evidence to the contrary, today’s Daily Express has a piece by Tom Morgan that claims:

HALF of all Tory MPs want Britain to pull out of the EU, it emerged ­yesterday.

More than 150 – nearly twice as many as those who voted for a referendum last week – want the UK to free itself from the shackles of Brussels ­interference.

Conservative rebel Mark Reckless claimed as many as half of the 306-strong Parliamentary party were in favour of total withdrawal.

No, that really is bullshit you can smell wafting down your internet connection.

The voting records of MPs shows most of the Tories who voted for the motion for a Parliamentary Bill to call a national referendum have voted in favour of measures that pass more control to the EU.  Media interviews had many of the ‘rebels’ saying they wanted to ‘renegotiate’ our EU membership – i.e. stay in the EU and reform it.  Yet now we are enjoined to believe that most of them – including many who voted against the motion – actually want the UK to withdraw.

This is brainwashing the Moonies would be proud of.  Freedom is slavery, war is peace, ignorance is strength, Tories are Eurosceptic.

As always the lack of elementary understanding of EU membership is laid bare as Morgan describes Brussels’ rule over the UK as ‘interference’.  The EU’s governance of Britain is no more interference than Westminster’s illusory governance.  The EU is not an outsider meddling in our affairs, it is our supreme government determining our affairs.  The Express professes it is spearheading the campaign to get us out of the EU, yet its journalists can’t even grasp the nature of the thing.

If the Express wants to sit up front on the ‘Leave the EU’ bandwagon they have belatedly jumped aboard, perhaps it should ensure its journalists understand the EU and the control it has accumulated over this country.

John Redwood is Tory dead wood

If anyone ever required further confirmation that John Redwood is just as out of touch and deluded as any other Conservative, he obligingly provides irrefutable evidence on his blog, where he writes:

There are various EU initiatives being undertaken by a variety of Conservative MPs. Bill Cash has tabled a Bill to seek to sort out the growing legal and sovereignty difficulties.  Bill through the European Foundation keeps up a stream of informed comments on the evolution of the EU. As Chairman of the EU Scrutiny Committee he and his colleagues daily seek less or better rules and regulations, and try to strengthen the government’s hand in negotiations about the new measures.

Daily seek less or better rules and regulations?  Really?  No, really?  I have just three words to say in response to that…  Integrated Maritime Policy.

See here and then here.

Tory quislings rush to man the Europlastic barricades

‘The time for promises on the EU is long over,’ says Andrew Lilico, ‘only deeds will do’.  However the repatriation of powers from the EU that he refers to in his piece on the content partner site of the Guardian – ConservativeHome –  is not possible due to the core terms of EU membership, making the Tory manifesto pledges nothing more than empty promises.

Yet in his indignant piece we read Lilico demanding the commencement of that mythical renegotiation.  What we have here is either the politics of wishful thinking or the politics of dishonesty.

Is Lilico unwittingly demanding something that cannot be delivered, making him nothing more than a useful idiot?  Or is his article part of a cynical effort to hold the line on behalf of the pro-EU Tory leadership, making his piece a deliberate attempt to deceive people?  Perhaps we should be told if Mr Lilico still believes in Father Christmas and the Easter Bunny given they are just as real as this fabled notion of renegotiation.

Make no mistake, anyone who calls for ‘renegotiation’ wants Britain to remain firmly inside the EU and remain governed from Brussels.

Despite their apparent protestations and tough talk they are in no way Eurosceptic.  These are the people the Tory party is rushing to the barricades, to spew out hundreds of column inches of comment in the media and places like Con Home, to help in the deception effort and maintain the status quo.

Update: In the comments Richard North points us towards a piece on EU Referendum from 2008 about Lilico’s renegotiation fantasy.  Nothing has changed since then, apart from the person who occupies Downing Street and the faces around the Cabinet table. Which is why his conclusion then remains true today:

What will not wash, however, is any pretence that “renegotiation” under the present terms is a practical proposition. The Conservatives must recognise that this is no longer an option, without first committing to withdraw from the EU.

Exactly.

Poisoning the well

When looking at conflicts throughout history you can see a pattern of behaviour that was common to retreating armies.

They would burn anything of use, partly to deny anything of use to their enemy and partly to punish those who watched them flee in ignoble fashion.  They would also, as a matter of course, throw dead bodies and waste matter into the water supply to deny those who are chasing them away access to that which is essential for survival.  It is known as poisoning the well.

With the increase in support for those who argue Britain should leave the EU, we are witnessing the Europlastics performing the political equivalent of poisoning the well as they retreat.  Instead of throwing dead bodies and filth into the well, they are throwing the toxic, fairytale ‘option’ of renegotiating the terms of EU membership into the debate to poison it. This is the way in which they will perpetrate their next great con on the British public, by persuading them to vote for an impossible option, thus ensuring that the debate is killed stone dead and Britain stays firmly inside the corrupt and anti democratic EU.

Renegotiation is not an option.  It is not permissible.  Its very presence in the debate is a deliberate and cynical deception.  It is the poison in the well.

The Europlastics and their useful idiots in the media are focusing all their energies and column inches on renegotiation being what the majority of voters really want, not withdrawal.  For the EEC referendum deception in 1975 read the national referendum on EU membership debate in 2011.  The public was conned about the EEC being nothing more than a free trade area then; the public is being conned that renegotiation of EU membership can be conducted now.

How many voters would say in polls that they want renegotiation if they understood that it is an impossibility?  Renegotiation is a myth and when viewed in its proper context it appears in lists such as this:

  • Father Christmas
  • Easter Bunny
  • Renegotiation of EU membership
  • The Tooth Fairy

Lies characterised the pro-EEC argument in 1975, and they resulted in the situation in which we find ourselves today.  Lies are characterising the renegotiation argument today, and if allowed to continue they will result in Britain being permanently bound as a province of the European Union.

It is time to defend the well and counter the Europlastic lies.

Europlastics – Giving it to Telegraph readers straight

The best way to counter misrepresentation and falsehood is to present the facts.  Online readers of the Telegraph’s latest ludicrous ‘prop up the Tories’ editorial have been treated to some facts this morning by The Boiling Frog and yours truly.

It is all well and good using our blogs to tell people the reality – and with increasing visitor numbers our message is reaching more people. But when compared to the huge readership of the Telegraph site we cannot hope to challenge the propaganda anywhere near as much as we need to.  So we need to make use of the comments sections, when they are provided, and give it to readers straight. Presenting facts in a robust and responsible manner will ensure more people question what they are being told and perhaps look deeper to uncover the reality for themselves.


What are you waiting for dear reader? Away to the Telegraph site and firmly but politely give it to them straight.

Roger Helmer reveals his strategy for withdrawal from EU

Readers may recall the recent exchange of views and comments on this blog between AM, readers and arch Tory ‘Eurosceptic’ Roger Helmer.  In his reply to reader comments Helmer told commenter ‘Jones’:

‘Many of the commentators have a point.  But I’m not sure that they have a strategy.’

The exchange has started to raise questions about the nature of Euroscepticism among Conservative politicians, belonging as they do to a party that claims to be against further integration yet whose MPs and MEPs consistently vote in favour of measures that enable it.

So it was that a few days ago, back on Helmer’s own website, his comment about a strategy was raised by commenter ‘Dead Dog Bounce’, who asked Helmer about his strategy for withdrawing Britain from the EU.  The comment and Helmer’s response are shown below:

So there we have it.  Roger Helmer’s strategy for enabling Britain to exit the EU is…  a tribal faith that a government led by his Tory friends might be more likely to see sense on Europe than any other party.

At this point it is appropriate to give way to Dr Richard North of EU Referendum who reminds us of the Tory standpoint on this country’s involvement in Europe:

The Tories have a vision of a political Europe which has not changed in over seventy years when it was articulated to the War Cabinet on 20 July 1940 by Duff Cooper, the then information minister.

The bones of this was a “united Europe”, a Europe “united by goodwill and in friendship, not by force and in terrors, a Europe based upon some federal system … a Europe in which armaments will be pooled and trade barriers will be broken down, and in which each nation will be allowed to conduct its own affairs in its own way with the same kind of freedom as each state in the American Union possesses”.

And of course, sitting above the States in the American Union is a powerful federal government with a President at its head.  No matter.  Let’s focus on facts.  The Conservative Party was in government and signed the Single European Act in 1987.  The Conservatives were in government and signed the Treaty on European Union in Maastricht in 1992.  These were the treaties that made it possible for Labour to subsequently sign the treaties of Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon.

Having opposed the Lisbon Treaty the Conservatives soared in the opinion polls.  After David Cameron and William Hague had long said if the treaty was signed by Labour they ‘would not let matters rest there’ they reversed their position and their poll lead dropped, resulting in the dismal coagulation between the conservatives in name only and the Lib Dems.  Matters have not only been allowed to rest there, the Conservatives have accelerated the rate at which powers are being transferred to Brussels – a point made by Helmer himself.

Despite the absence of any strategy to achieve Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, Helmer nonetheless continues to state his position is that this country would be better off out of the EU.  His comments on that are indisputable.  However his support of faux Eurosceptics – the Europlastics – clearly contradicts his stated position.  It defies reason that Helmer can hold the view he professes while endorsing the position of people who by their voting record demonstrate continued support for the EU project and who only wish to see reform, not withdrawal.  It’s enough to make one wonder if Helmer’s lack of strategy is itself part of an altogether different strategy.

Against the backdrop of this reality the great man clings like a limpet to the trappings of Toryism, licensed to articulate some dissent now and again as long as he doesn’t go too far and stirs up anything like genuine opposition to Tory Europhilia.  This needs to be made clear to all genuine Eurosceptics who labour under the misapprehension that most Tories who claim to be Eurosceptic really are.  The evidence shows the overwhelming majority of Conservative ‘Eurosceptics’ are nothing of the sort.


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