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On Tuesday, November 5, 2019, James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas team posted a ‘hot mic’ video about ABC’s 2016 cover-up of Jeffrey Epstein. This is a must-watch:

In August 2019, ABC’s Amy Robach expressed her frustration to an ABC colleague about the network’s spiking the news story. Project Veritas has more (emphases mine):

Newly revealed footage leaked by an ABC insider has exposed how network executives rejected allegations against Jeffrey Epstein years ago, even though there was content regarding the merit of those claims in-hand.

Amy Robach, ‘Good Morning America’ Co-Host and Breaking News Anchor at ABC, explains how a witness came forward years ago with information pertaining to Epstein, but Disney-owned ABC News refused to air the material for years. Robach vents her anger in a “hot mic” moment with an off-camera producer, explaining that ABC quashed the story in its early stages. “I’ve had this interview with Virginia Roberts (Now Virginia Guiffre) [alleged Epstein victim]. We would not put it on the air. Um, first of all, I was told “Who’s Jeffrey Epstein. No one knows who that is. This is a stupid story.”

This was in 2016, during the presidential election campaign. Hillary Clinton was the Democrat candidate, and the footage, Robach says, would have implicated former president Bill Clinton. If aired, that could well have put an end to Hillary’s campaign. We all know she was supposed to win.

Robach says she and her team encouraged Virginia Roberts Giuffre to come out of the shadows and discuss her horrific years with Epstein, which she did.

At this point in 2016, ABC was weeks away from getting an interview with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge — Wills and Kate:

She continues, “The Palace found out that we had her whole allegations about Prince Andrew and threatened us a million different ways.”

Robach does not think Epstein committed suicide, as was widely reported:

Robach goes on to express she believes that Epstein was killed in prison saying, “So do I think he was killed? 100% Yes, I do…He made his whole living blackmailing people… Yup, there were a lot of men in those planes. A lot of men who visited that Island, a lot of powerful men who came into that apartment.”

Robach repeats a prophetic statement purportedly made by Attorney Brad Edwards “…[T]here will come a day when we will realize Jeffrey Epstein was the most prolific pedophile this country has ever known,” and [d]isgustedly Robach states “I had it all three years ago.”

Later on November 5, Robach and ABC issued their own statements. The images below come courtesy of Project Veritas:

The Project Veritas went viral that day:

There were another 500,000 views three hours later:

This exposé might not have been covered in much of the Western world that day, but at least it made Australia’s news …

… and Fox News in the US:

It’s hard to disagree with that.

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, Sarah Sanders’s father, adds:

Later, CNN covered the story but without a reference to Project Veritas, only ‘an activist group’.

On November 6, The Daily Caller reported that ABC was looking for the person who leaked the video. The article explains how CBS could be connected:

ABC News has launched an investigation to determine who leaked the video of anchor Amy Robach alleging that the network killed her story on Jeffrey Epstein, it said in a statement Wednesday …

ABC News is trying to determine who leaked the video to Project Veritas, according to a statement from the outlet, journalist Yashar Ali wrote Wednesday.

“We take violations of company policy very seriously, and we’re pursuing all avenues to determine the source of the leak,” a spokesperson for ABC News said according to Ali.

ABC News also allegedly knows the former employee who had access to the video of Robach, two sources with knowledge of the situation told Ali. The outlet is still unsure if that person leaked the footage to Project Veritas or if they shared it with others who leaked it.

The former employee is now allegedly working at CBS News, the sources said, according to Ali. CBS News did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Daily Caller article includes part of Ali’s Twitter thread on the developing story:

Not only is there a possible CBS connection but a possible Disney one, too:

The petition is gathering strength:

I wish James O’Keefe and his team the best of luck with this and other exposés:

We know if conservatives were covering up major news stories about highly corrupt and destructive people, it would be all over the news 24/7 for months — and worse:

This story is developing:

Again, best wishes to all concerned who are helping Project Veritas.

Kate Hoey, departing MP for Vauxhall in South London, may be a Labour Party member, but she is one Parliamentarian I will dearly miss.

On Tuesday, November 5, she, along with other departing MPs, gave her valedictory address. I saw it live, and it is very moving indeed:

Hoey, originally from Northern Ireland, still has a soft spot for her homeland. She also has been at the forefront for Brexit since 2016.

As MP for Vauxhall for 30 years (1989-2019), she said in her address that she rarely spent time with colleagues enjoying dinner. Instead, she was rooted in her constituency, just south of the Thames from the Houses of Parliament, and returned every evening for community meetings or get-togethers. She joked that her Mini could drive itself from Parliament to Vauxhall, it had made the journey so many times.

At the end, she began crying as she thanked her loyal staff, most of whom had served her for many years. She tried to stop crying — ‘This is silly’ — then quickly recovered to finish her speech.

Most importantly, she said that she put country before party.

Kate Hoey is why I never used to mind Labour very much. She was old school, just with different political stances.

The Conservative Woman thought she was great, too (emphases mine):

There are not many Members of Parliament TCW will be sad to see the back of. But there is one: Kate Hoey.

She stands heads and shoulders above her colleagues – Labour and Conservative. There is not a woman MP to match her in any of the parties …

Would that other MPs were as principled. Parliament will be a poorer place without her. Young MPs should listen and learn what political principle really means, and perhaps there is no better place to start than her speech at the Leave Means Leave rally on March 29, 2019:

We wish Kate well and hope that, liberated from party politics, she will continue to exert her influence for good.

I could not agree more.

Recapping 2019, here are some of Kate Hoey’s best moments.

Brexit

Hoey, like all Leavers, was deeply disappointed we did not leave the EU on March 29:

Our next extension was to April 12:

She had a go at Guy Verhofstadt …

… and at Channel 4 news presenter Jon Snow:

She liked the new EU-free passports, since suspended:

Labour Party

We had the EU elections in May. Afterwards, Tony Blair’s spin doctor Alastair Campbell explained why he himself voted for the Liberal Democrats rather than Labour.

Labour expelled him.

Campbell’s supporters were angry that Kate Hoey had not been expelled. However, there was no reason for Labour to expel her. This photo is from 2016, pre-referendum:

Announcing she would stand down as MP for Vauxhall

In 2017, Kate Hoey announced she would be serving her last term as MP for Vauxhall.

In July 2019, she stayed true to her pledge:

At that time, no one knew we would have an election later this year. Hoey wisely confirmed she would serve her term as MP:

This was the main reason why she did not want to seek a further term:

Here’s another:

The fact that she supported delivering Brexit did not matter to her Leave constituency. She stood on principle:

She cared about the children in Vauxhall, whether it be for education …

… or a day out at a museum or clay pigeon shooting:

As far as I know, no new Labour candidate has yet been selected. Lord Adonis was willing to renounce his title for the candidacy:

But, he did not succeed:

Boris

Kate was happy when Boris Johnson became Prime Minister:

A few weeks later, he faced opposition from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and many other MPs:

Kate made her views known:

She lamented that today’s Labourites know nothing about the party’s Euroscepticism, e.g. Tony Benn’s, in the 1970s:

Boris’s deal

Although Boris’s new Brexit deal got rid of the backstop, it would put in a virtual border down the middle of the Irish Sea and make getting some goods from Northern Ireland to other parts of the UK difficult.

Therefore, Hoey could not vote for it. Fortunately, it passed, although the Programme Motion for the timetable did not:

That said, she criticised Jeremy Corbyn for blaming Boris for our failure to exit the EU by October 31:

John Bercow

She was no fan of Speaker Bercow:

She is much happier with Sir Lindsay Hoyle:

Election

As for the December 12 election, this is what she predicts:

She has agreement on that:

She has also noted how Labour have dumped Brexit as a talking point:

Conclusion

At the end, Kate Hoey has been grateful for all the support the British public have given her:

If not the Brexit Party, then, yes, please, the House of Lords.

Well done, Kate Hoey. A grateful nation — whether Labour or Conservative — thanks you for your service as an MP.

Between 1992 and 2000, Parliament had its one and only female Speaker to date, the redoubtable Labour MP Betty Boothroyd:

Labour MP Harriet Harman, an unpopular candidate for the successor to John Bercow, told the Evening Standard that it was high time that Parliament had another woman as Speaker: herself. Yet, Harman ignored the fact that there are two Deputy Speakers who are female.

All three Deputy Speakers ran for election on November 4, but, as we know, neither Dame Eleanor Laing (Conservative) or Dame Rosie Winterton (Labour) won. Instead, it was Sir Lindsay Hoyle.

Betty Boothroyd turned 90 on October 8, 2019:

Dame Betty Boothroyd began her career as a member of the famous Tiller Girls, a dance troupe that performed highly choreographed precision dancing, as America’s Rockettes do. Their tours took them all over Britain, including popular variety shows on television.

She turned to politics in the mid-1950s, after a foot infection ended her time with the Tiller Girls in 1952. Until she became a Parliamentarian, representing West Bromwich in 1973, she worked for Labour MPs, with a brief stint in Washington DC working for an American congressman, Silvio Conte, between 1960 and 1962. She stood down as Speaker — and MP for West Bromwich — in 2000:

She is still as feisty as ever, speaking out against Brexit:

On her birthday, The Yorkshire Post published a tribute to Dame Betty — Baroness Boothroyd.

Excerpts follow, emphases mine, but, first, a word about her predecessor.

Betty Boothroyd became Deputy Speaker just when Parliament was first being televised.

The Speaker at that time was Bernard Weatherill, the last Speaker to wear the full traditional garb and wig.

The image at left, courtesy of Wikipedia, is a photo of his official portrait, painted in 1986 by Norman Blamey.

The Conservative MP for Croydon North East, he served under Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major.

After his speakership ended, he was elevated to the House of Lords as Baron Weatherill. He sat in the Lords as a crossbencher — i.e. no party affiliation — the norm for former Speakers.

Although quite conventional in his upbringing and career, which included serving in the Army during the Second World War and working for the family tailoring firm, the erstwhile Bernard Weatherill Ltd, he was an avowed vegetarian.

Baron Weatherill died of prostate cancer in 2007.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7c/Betty_Boothroyd%27s_Speaker%27s_shoe1992_%2822758817746%29.jpg/255px-Betty_Boothroyd%27s_Speaker%27s_shoe1992_%2822758817746%29.jpgThe election of Betty Boothroyd caused quite a stir, especially as she had been a Tiller Girl. She renounced the wig and an elaborate gown, although she still wore buckled shoes. (Image at right courtesy of Wikipedia.)

Madam Speaker ran everything to time. Furthermore, when she had to take an unusual procedural decision, she explained why:

On one memorable occasion after a tied vote, she had to use her casting vote which, by convention, was in the sitting government’s favour. Foreseeing such a possibility, she had a prepared statement tucked away in a pocket so she could explain the constitutional position to MPs – and watching world. It is why there was rarely any malice towards the textile worker’s daughter who ended sessions of Prime Minister’s Questions – they never over-ran – with her stock phrase “Time’s up”.

She earned the respect of the two Prime Ministers during her tenure — John Major (Conservative) and Tony Blair (Labour):

Sir John Major salutes the Dewsbury-born Parliamentarian’s entry into “the Pantheon of National Treasures”, while his successor Tony Blair admits that he was in awe of the Yorkshirewoman

In his contribution, Sir John, writes: “I served in Parliament with Betty Boothroyd for many years and, although we represented different political parties, I always admired her respect for the Commons, and her concern for the wellbeing of our country.

Betty was Speaker of the House of Commons for five of my seven years in Downing Street, a role which she executed in a wholly dispassionate and exemplary manner, and in which she was widely liked and admired.

Since her retirement from the Commons and elevation to the House of Lords, she has continued to speak up for the interests of our country, often in the most robust terms.

One of Betty’s greatest gifts has always been her capacity to express a contrary view, without causing political offence. If only such a gift had been bestowed on all MPs…”

Tony Blair, considerably younger than John Major, was in fear of her:

Ever since Betty told me off in no uncertain terms, as a young MP, for coming into Parliament’s terrace dressed in a sweatshirt and jeans, I have been somewhat in awe of Betty and a little scared of her,” he recalls.

She had the same awesome authority as Speaker. We listened to her then with respect and admiration and continue to do so when she makes interventions on the issues facing the country today. Hers is a voice of common sense, insight and experience and long may we continue to hear it.

“I feel incredibly privileged to have been in Parliament during her tenure, to have known her kindness and warmth, and I hope that as Betty celebrates her 90th birthday, she will still be dancing.”

Boothroyd’s successor was Michael Martin, a Labour MP from Glasgow. He was the first Catholic Speaker since the Reformation.

People were a less keen on him and missed Madam Speaker, not for religious reasons but for the way he conducted himself.

Martin was anti-Conservative:

On 1 November 2006, during Prime Minister’s Questions, Martin caused uproar in the House of Commons by ruling out of order a question from Leader of the Opposition David Cameron in which he challenged Tony Blair over the future leadership of the Labour Party. Martin stated that the purpose of Prime Minister’s Questions was for the House to question the Prime Minister on the actions of the government. This caused such dissent amongst MPs that Martin threatened to suspend the session. Cameron then re-worded the question so he asked about Tony Blair‘s future as Prime Minister rather than leader of the Labour Party, which Martin accepted. Conservative MPs threatened to walk out if a similar event occurred in the future.[27]

Two years later, it emerged that Martin was deeply mired in the expenses scandal of 2008-2009 and announced his decision in May 2009 to stand down as Speaker in June that year:

On 12 May 2009, the BBC reported that Michael Martin was under pressure to resign.[37] On 17 May, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said that Michael Martin should stand down, saying he had become an obstacle to much-needed reform of Parliament.[38] On 19 May, Douglas Carswell tabled a motion of no confidence, which was signed by 22 MPs.[39] Later that day, Martin resigned as Speaker effective as of 21 June 2009.[3] If the motion had been successful in a vote, Martin would have been the first Speaker to be forced out of office by a motion of no confidence since John Trevor in 1695.[40]

Few outside the left-wing political sphere lamented his departure. However, Martin went to the House of Lords as Baron Martin of Springburn and sat as a crossbench peer.

John Bercow succeeded Martin as Speaker.

Baron Martin died in 2018. Bercow attended his funeral and paid him tribute, along with former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

What a memorable foursome of Speakers. Of these, the only ones I liked were Bernard Weatherill and Betty Boothroyd. Politics did not matter with them. They were there to act impartially for the smooth running of Parliament, not for self-aggrandisement.

Thursday, October 31, 2019, was John Bercow’s last day as Speaker of the House of Commons.

I listened to Parliamentary proceedings that day, as I wanted to be sure he was actually leaving. Based on the fulsome tributes from both Conservative and Labour MPs, it appears as if yesterday did indeed bring an end to the former Conservative’s tenure as Speaker.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave him a witty, tongue-in-cheek tribute at Wednesday’s PMQs (Prime Minister’s Questions):

No doubt Bercow got Boris’s asides, delivered with aplomb. MPs laughed at the back-handed compliments. To a stranger, they would have indeed sounded as positives. However, those of us watching at home got the jokes.

I had not noticed, but a number of MPs not standing for re-election on December 12 spoke on Wednesday. That was entirely at Speaker Bercow’s discretion.

Interestingly, Kate Hoey, Labour’s MP for Vauxhall and a firm Leave supporter, was not among them:

Many of us hope that Kate Hoey could run as a candidate for the Brexit Party (BXP):

She has always been a ladylike and eloquent MP, unlike many other women on the opposition benches who, quite frankly, sound like angry harpies:

Most of us do not like John Bercow because not only did he turn his back on the Conservative Party shortly after becoming Speaker, he also did his best to bring up motions that frustrated the Brexit process, from Theresa May’s final months to now.

Behind the scenes, members of his staff accused him of harassment. No investigation took place. All he needed to do was to deny the accusations.

As I write on Thursday, I am listening to more MPs — many of whom are Conservatives — fawn over Bercow.

Bercow has a grace and favour accommodation, Speaker’s House, in the Palace of Westminster. Unfortunately, it requires renovation, so his successor, to be elected on Monday, November 4, will not be able to move into it for another year. Could the works have been staged, particularly during the many lengthy recesses? Did he have any say in prolonging repairs? One wonders:

Guido Fawkes describes Speaker’s House as follows (emphasis in the original):

The Speaker of the House of Commons doesn’t just get the freedom to verbally abuse whoever he likes, he gets a very swanky pad in the heart of the Palace of Westminster, with staterooms, a bedroom designed for the monarch to stay in and a private gilded study. Lesser known about Bercow’s pad is it also includes a private sectioned-off part of the Commons’ Terrace as a private space to entertain guests outside. All paid for by the taxpayer of course.

Despite living in situ in the Palace of Westminster, Bercow took a roundabout route to work on his last day:

Guido Fawkes tells us about the Press Association (PA) record of the event along with a tweet:

John Bercow was pictured arriving at work this morning by PA in the kind of candid, natural shots that we all indulge in on our final day job commute.

The only flaw in his plan was that Bercow lives in Speaker’s House… in the Palace of Westminster – meaning he had to first leave his place of work to be featured in the snaps heading back in – a 1627% longer journey. The whole thing is just a faked up performance for the cameras… perfectly appropriate ending.

That said, the PA had a good summary of his ten-year tenure as Speaker, excerpted below, emphases mine:

John Bercow has been no stranger to the limelight in more than 10 years in the Speaker’s chair.

The one-time Conservative MP for Buckingham, with a high-profile Labour-supporting wife, has made a catalogue of unconventional comments since he took over the impartial role from Michael Martin.

He has survived attempts to remove him from the chair, including from former colleagues in the Tory party, revelations about his expenses and allegations of bullying, which he denied.

But it will perhaps be his interventions in the Brexit crisis, and the relish with which he seemed to make them, for which he will be best remembered.

Regular Parliament watchers may or may not miss his inimitable style, such as his bellowing shouts of “order” and “division, clear the lobby”, but those quirks are what brought him international attention when the eyes of the world became fixed on the Commons throughout 2019.

As the Brexit debate raged and senior opposition figures played every trick in the parliamentary book to prevent the governments of Theresa May and Boris Johnson from pursuing their preferred policies, Mr Bercow drew the ire of hardline Eurosceptics for perceived bias.

After he allowed an amendment by Tory rebel Dominic Grieve to be voted on in January, he was labelled “Speaker of the Devil” by one newspaper, while the Daily Mail called him an “egotistical preening popinjay (who) has shamelessly put his anti-Brexit bias before the national interest – and is a disgrace to his office”.

He voted Remain, discussing it candidly with a group of students, but in an interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica denied this meant he had lost his impartiality.

“If I’m biased, I’m biased in favour of Parliament. Parliament being heard. Parliament having a right to speak. Parliament having time. Parliament being respected by the government of the day and indeed by the opposition,” he said.

Since being elected as the 157th Speaker of the House of Commons in June 2009, he has delivered many caustic put-downs, earning him both loathing and appreciative laughter from MPs.

He had a fractious relationship with former Commons Leader, and now Business Secretary, Andrea Leadsom, after he was accused of calling her a “stupid woman”.

Andrea Leadsom is far from being ‘stupid’, but that’s Bercow.

Three weeks ago, Bercow travelled to Brussels to meet with his opposite number, the EU Parliament President David Sassoli:

The Speaker’s role does not include government negotiations:

To think that October 31 was supposed to be our Brexit date. Of course, Bercow did not prevent this single-handedly, but, nonetheless, he helped:

On the Saturday, October 19 session, Bercow brought forward the Letwin Amendment, which stipulated that all Brexit legislation be voted on before Boris’s new deal was approved. Its passage by MPs that day ensured that Boris had to send letters of extension to Brussels, in compliance with the Benn Act. January 31, 2020 is the new Brexit deadline:

The following day, one of his deputies, Conservative MP Dame Eleanor Laing, accused him of abusing his position:

The Mail on Sunday article states:

Dame Eleanor is one of nine MPs running to replace him, including fellow deputies Sir Linsday Hoyle and Dame Rosie Winterton.  

In another barely veiled attack on Mr Bercow, Dame Eleanor said the Speaker needed to ‘set an example of dignified, respectful behaviour’ and said: ‘Aggression and arrogance are deplorable.’ 

Mr Bercow’s critics have frequently taken aim at what they see as a pompous, grandstanding style of managing the Commons. 

In a bizarre rant at Michael Gove last month he even brought the Cabinet minister’s children into a row

The Speaker was back in the spotlight yesterday as the Commons assembled on a Saturday for the first time since the Falklands War in 1982. 

After Mr Johnson lost the crunch vote, the Speaker hinted he could block a Government attempt to bring another ‘meaningful vote’ on Monday

Jacob Rees-Mogg, the leader of the House of Commons, suggested the Government would bring the vote before introducing Withdrawal Agreement legislation this week.

But Mr Bercow has previously ruled that MPs cannot hold repeated votes on the same question

Citing a precedent dating back to 1604, he ruled in March that then-PM Theresa May could not bring the same withdrawal deal back to Parliament without changes.   

The ruling enraged Conservative MPs who accused him of sparking a ‘constitutional crisis’

Two months earlier he had torn up precedent to allow a procedural vote which damaged Mrs May

‘If we were guided only by precedent, manifestly nothing in our procedures would ever change,’ he said at the time.      

Mr Bercow, previously a Conservative MP, took the chair in 2009 after Michael Martin resigned over the expenses scandal. 

The following week, Boris’s deal did pass in Parliament, however, MPs opposed the Programme Motion for approving legislation, which they said had too short a timeframe. Hence, Boris’s move for an election on December 12, which has now passed the House of Lords:

As for choosing Bercow’s successor on Monday, I wish Dame Eleanor all the best:

The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, made it known that he will be voting for her:

That said, many pundits say that it is now Labour’s turn to sit in the chair. We shall see.

More next week.

UPDATE: A surprise ending (well, perhaps not so much to my British readers) awaits on Monday. It took place late during Thursday’s proceedings and deserves its own post.

Before I get to the main story, October has been Theresa May’s best month this year.

Her birthday was October 1:

During the extraordinary parliamentary session of Saturday, October 19, 2019, she stood firm with Boris on his new Brexit deal. That was principled, considering that David Cameron didn’t stand with her when she was PM. In fact, he resigned as the MP for Witney (Oxfordshire):

She gave an excellent speech that day:

Now, let us cast our minds back to 1961. Theresa Brasier was nearing her fifth birthday. Her parents, the Revd Hubert Brazier and Zaidee ‘Mary’ Brasier, played host to a 16-year-old German teenager from Bonn that summer at the vicarage in Church Enstone, Oxfordshire.

On July 24, 2019, Detlev J Piltz wrote a fascinating article about his four weeks with the Brasiers for The Oldie magazine, outstanding reading for anyone over the age of 40. He learned invaluable lessons about the English during his time in the Cotswolds.

Excerpts follow, emphases mine.

The Brasiers took young Detlev everywhere:

The four weeks I spent there enriched my life. Not only did I improve my schoolboy English and become more fluent, but the family took me with them on their shopping trips in their plush Morris Minor, usually to Chipping Norton.

On Sundays, the family and I attended the village church together. We all went to watch the motor racing at Silverstone, picnicked in the country, and the vicar showed me Oxford University and explained about its colleges.

He especially appreciated his time with the vicar:

What impressed me most were the many conversations that the Reverend Hubert, to call him by his first name, then in his mid-forties, carried on with a rather wet-behind-the-ears teenager.

The vicar, as folk in the village referred to him, was a good-hearted soul: clever, educated, helpful and gentle, yet quite clear about his moral and ethical principles. Perhaps this was also partly due to his slight stoop which, as he himself put it, had focused his concentration more on the spiritual than on the physical.

The parishioners – who visited us, or whom we visited – and the congregation in church always displayed an aura of love and devotion, but also respect, for their vicar.

I still admire him today for how he and his wife managed the not-so-easy duties of an English country clergyman. During my stay, I also learned something about Englishness and even about the English class system, although this knowledge was more sensed and intuited than consciously understood.

The Brasiers had just purchased a television set. A Test Match between England and Australia was being broadcast, so the vicar explained the rules of cricket to Detlev. Detlev also learned a lesson about the English. Only they can criticise their country. Foreigners cannot.

This is very true — and anyone coming here should remember it. It’s just how things are:

He straightforwardly concluded that the Australians would win, as they were both bowling and batting better than the English, an assessment with which I dutifully agreed.

This proved to be a mistake. My host took me to one side and explained, ‘You are quite right, Detlev. Australia is playing better than England. But perhaps I can give you a piece of advice for the future. As a foreigner, you would do well not to say so. Leave it to us.’

In a few words, the vicar had borne out a rule of English interaction with foreigners, summarised succinctly by George Orwell, ‘We spend our lives in abusing England but grow very angry when we hear a foreigner saying exactly the same things.’

Fortunately, comments in the opposite direction are allowed. If a foreigner praises certain features of England, the English are pleased, although they will immediately play down the merits of what has been admired and claim that it is actually not so great.

The bishop of the diocese visited the Brasiers on the last Sunday that Detlev was there. The couple made a point of impressing upon the young German the importance of manners:

something they had never previously done.

They told him to stay silent unless the bishop spoke to him:

I was also kindly advised not to engage the bishop in conversation myself, but to wait until he spoke to me, and to address him as ‘Bishop’, rather than Mr Johnson, or whatever his name might be.

They impressed upon him the finer points of tea drinking — always two cups:

a single cup was deemed impolite, as not enough; three cups were considered impolite, as too many.

Detlev did not like the special tea that Mrs Brasier served but refrained from commenting until later. It was probably Lapsang Souchong, a smoky tea:

‘It was Chinese tea,’ the vicar’s wife explained. When I asked why it was different from the tea we otherwise always drank, I heard for the first time in my life that it was ‘because of the bishop’.

The high point of his visit was when he accompanied the Brasiers to the local landowner’s for tea. Detlev had a keen interest in historic Royal Navy battles. When they arrived at Sir John’s house, Detlev could not contain his enthusiasm:

When we arrived in the entrance hall of the large and rather grand residence, I spotted on the opposite wall a painting of a scene from the 1916 Battle of Jutland, details of which were well known to me.

Without thinking, I stopped in front of the picture and said, ‘Oh, the famous manoeuvre of crossing the T [when a line of warships crosses in front of a line of enemy ships at right angles] by Admiral Jellicoe.’

Sir John treated his guests to tea and scones. Then he turned his attention to the young German:

Afterwards, Sir John asked me how I recognised the scene in the picture, and I told him about my interest in the Royal Navy. He signalled to me to follow him and we entered a room full of English naval memorabilia.

It transpired that Sir John had fought in the Battle of Jutland. For nearly a whole hour, he described the events and his role. I was eager to know whether he had known the English admirals, Jellicoe and Beatty, personally. It was an hour suffused with mutual affection between old and young, with never a word out of place, and certainly no nationalistic undertones. I remember it clearly and vividly to this day.

On the way home, Mrs Brasier expressed her disappointment that Sir John had not spent more time with them. The vicar responded:

Well, it may be years since he had such an admirer, let alone such a young one – and, by the way, he can do whatever he thinks fit.

Detlev’s stay with the Brasier family fostered in him a lifelong love of England.

In 2015, he and his wife visited the Cotswolds and passed through Church Enstone, where they stopped.

Detlev Piltz did not want to bother the present occupants of the vicarage, but he asked at the church what happened to the Brasiers:

… in the church, someone showed us a roll of past vicars, and there was the name of ‘my’ vicar, and his dates in office, from 1959 to 1971.

Piltz thought nothing more about it until the following year, which featured that momentous summer of the Brexit referendum and David Cameron’s immediate resignation, which was completely unnecessary but was perhaps for the better, given his Remainer views.

Lo, Theresa May won the Conservative leadership contest that summer:

The candidacy of Theresa May spawned widespread reporting about her background and early life. And only then did it become clear to me how small the world really can be.

For the idyllic village in the Cotswolds was Church Enstone, and the vicar and his wife were Hubert and Zaidee Brasier, although he always called her Mary. Sadly, I then learned that Hubert Brasier had been killed in a car accident in 1981, and his wife died the following year.

And I also learnt what had happened to their young daughter. She was called Theresatoday known to every Englishman and woman as Prime Minister Theresa May.

I thought that was such a terrific anecdote.

People have either made fun of Theresa May or criticised her mercilessly. We still don’t know what fully took place between her people and Angela Merkel’s regarding Brexit. Certainly, May’s downfall began when she put forward that London-Berlin Brexit deal in July 2018 at Chequers, when her own Brexit team, lead by David Davis, was putting together a proper exit plan (Canada ++), working together with Michel Barnier from the EU. May told a shocked assembly of her own ministers that it was her deal or the highway. The Evening Standard reported that she told ministers they could pay for their own transport back to London if they wanted to leave early. Brexit minister David Davis tendered his resignation afterwards as did Boris Johnson, who was Foreign Minister at the time.

My, how much water has passed under the dam since then. I hope that our former PM continues to vote in support of our present one, Boris Johnson.

I regret to report that our new exit deadline is January 31, 2020.

CNN calls itself ‘the most trusted name in news’.

It might have been 40 years ago, when it actually reported news.

Since 2015, however, CNN’s chief Jeff Zucker has issued a policy of anti-Trump editorialising all the time.

On October 14, James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas posted a 19-minute video full of interviews with CNN employees, most of whom complain that Jeff Zucker has gone far enough, perhaps too far, with the anti-Trump narrative. Please take time this weekend to watch this fascinating undercover exposé:

Employees interviewed say that Zucker has a mandatory 9 a.m. telephone call issuing the day’s anti-Trump theme. Most often, this is impeachment, impeachment, impeachment.

The interviewees are not Trump supporters, but even they say this is taking away from CNN’s ability — and their own desire — to cover real news, not editorials.

Staff members say that Zucker helped create the Trump media ‘monster’ by overpublicising him since 2015.

The White House has seen the film, as a campaign lawyer mentions the main CNN whistleblower Cary Poarch in writing. The letter below, dated October 16, 2019, gives notice that Donald J Trump for President, Inc., intends to take legal action against the network:

The day before, Trump tweeted:

Oh, if only.

James O’Keefe has experienced Twitter labelling portions of the Project Veritas video as ‘sensitive content’:

Twitter also omitted the Project Veritas video from their trending list, as O’Keefe explains in the next video:

This is the link to the video of Cary Poarch and Sean Hannity. This Fox News article has a brief summary of the interview.

By the time the Hannity interview took place, Poarch was no longer with the network. Hannity described him as a ‘contractor’ and ‘former satellite uplink technician at CNN’s Washington, D.C. bureau’. Poarch told Hannity that he had problems sleeping at night because of CNN’s extreme bias.

Poarch said he was a Bernie Sanders supporter in 2016 and voted for the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson that year.

He told Hannity that he and his boss discussed his resignation, which, at the time, they agreed would be voluntary. However, the Project Veritas video circulated so widely and so quickly that the network terminated his employment that day.

The next video, from October 17, features a CNN employee saying that the House of Representatives abuses its power everyday, yet Congressmen and Congresswomen are trying to impeach President Trump for no justifiable reason:

Not everyone at CNN agrees with that assessment. The next video shows an employee saying that the anti-Trump coverage will only go away if the president dies! Pathological:

There have also been sexual shenanigans going on at CNN:

This is a terrible state of affairs but one many of us already suspected.

I congratulate Project Veritas for finally being able to expose CNN.

It looks as if Prime Minister Boris Johnson will await yet another EU extension to Brexit.

Despite his new deal, MPs said on Tuesday, October 22, 2019, that they would not have time to read it and make a substantive judgement on it in three days’ time before sending it off to the House of Lords for deliberation with a view towards completion by October 31.

It was a disappointing day with eight hours of debate, including two votes near the end.

John Redwood MP (Conservative) rightly compared the situation to Groundhog Day. One Twitter user likened it to a broken record:

There continues to be a clear disconnect between voters and MPs:

The afternoon began with Boris making another positive case for his deal from the despatch box. He stayed to answer MPs queries. It was a lengthy session. He answered each — often repetitive — question with infinite patience and rhetorical aplomb. Our PM is no idiot.

Following that, MPs continued ‘debating’, voicing the same oral rubbish they have been since the beginning of the year.

After 7 p.m., there was good news for Boris on the first vote. A majority of 30 MPs supported Boris’s new deal, in principle:

Then came the second vote, which put a distinct spanner in the works. Most MPs thought in the end that they would not have time to study and debate the bill in full by the end of the week. That’s putting it nicely. The No vote is also anti-Brexit and anti-Boris:

Brexit and Boris aside, let’s look at why MPs do not think they can reasonably the bill within three days.

Interestingly, voters found Boris’s new deal online by Monday. I saw the link on Guido Fawkes. One of his readers supplied it.

Some pundits say that it is shorter yet similar (outside of the Northern Ireland trade backstop) to Theresa May’s deal, which was just under 600 pages long.

MPs debated Theresa May’s deal and voted it down three times earlier this year.

Some Remainers say Theresa May’s deal was never published, therefore, MPs cannot reasonably make a comparison between it and Boris’s.

The truth is that Theresa May’s deal was published in full — including online — during the time period MPs voted it down months ago. I read it myself. The BBC said that the 1,300 paper copies cost £45,637. Remainers, therefore, are being disingenuous with the truth.

There is no excuse for MPs to refuse to read Boris’s in three days, especially as it is approximately one-sixth of the size of Theresa May’s.

There is another issue here, though: the ability of MPs to read legislative language.

Now, I always thought that most MPs had law degrees. For anyone even remotely familiar with law school, that means having to absorb at least a hundred pages of legal texts every day in one’s first and second years. I base this on the American film and television series Paper Chase. If you couldn’t handle that, you had to leave law school.

However, journalist Isabel Hardman posits that most MPs cannot decipher legislative English. Interesting:

Lawyers responded to her thread, proving my earlier point:

MPs have their own staffers, possibly not up to the required standard, however:

Kezia Dugdale, who is a former leader of the Scottish Labour Party and serves as an MP for the Scottish Parliament, explains:

Boris spoke after the vote:

Jacob Rees-Mogg announced in his Business Statement that Wednesday and Thursday’s debates would be on approving the content of the Queen’s Speech rather than Brexit:

As I write on Wednesday morning, there is no clear response yet from the EU on latest developments.

Emmanuel Macron is generally the first to respond. He is in the French overseas territory of Mayotte at the moment, so there has been no personal response from him, but, last night, Agence France Presse (AFP) offered this:

We shall see. More to follow this week.

It is rare that the House of Commons meets on a Saturday.

Before October 19, the last time was in 1982 when Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands. That was only the third Saturday session since the Second World War. Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister at the time.

The Telegraph has a short, informative video on the agenda for October 19:

The Rugby World Cup was on, so special arrangements were made for MPs who wanted to see the televised England v Australia match from Japan that morning.

However, the House of Commons was full to bursting by the time the session started at 9:30 a.m. As there are never enough seats on the benches for all MPs, several had to huddle together just inside the entrance to the chamber.

Those watching at home — and I was one of them — were looking forward to the session, like this Twitter user:

By 3:30 p.m., we were sorely disappointed, agreeing with ITV’s Piers Morgan:

The Letwin amendment

The day’s business began with a debate on the Letwin amendment, brought forward by outgoing MP, Sir Oliver Letwin, a notional Conservative — a rebel who had the whip removed.

This is not the first time Letwin has frustrated the Brexit process. He did so in April, when we had a short two-week extension from March 29 to April 12. He co-sponsored a bill with Labour MP Yvette Cooper to ensure we did not leave then, either:

Then — as now — the amendment was designed to thwart a No Deal exit. It passed. Conservative Woman discusses the amendment, but, more importantly, Letwin’s less than trustworthy tenure as an MP. About the Cooper-Letwin Bill from April, CW‘s article says (emphases mine below, unless otherwise stated):

Thanks to Oliver Letwin’s machinations with Yvette Cooper, we woke yesterday to hear that MPs had voted by majority of one ‘to force the prime minister to ask for an extension to the Brexit process, in a bid to avoid a no-deal scenario’. Not that Mrs May needed any forcing. The constitutional outrage of the Bill currently being rammed through Parliament is that against the people’s will it will prevent us leaving the EU, for a second time, despite the referendum, despite the main party manifestos, the European Withdrawal Act, and the Prime Minister’s repeated promises, on April 12.

That Mrs May is now playing kneesy-kneesy with Jeremy Corbyn and shuffling us toward a customs union worse than either leaving or remaining we have to thank Sir Oliver, useful idiot and Member of Parliament for the safe seat of West Dorset.

That, as a result of his Parliamentary coup, she’s collaborating and consulting a terrorist-loving Labour Leader in preference to her conservative colleague Jacob Rees-Mogg you’d think might trouble his conscience.

Not if you understand what shaped him as politician.

After Boris Johnson became Prime Minister, Letwin confirmed at the end of August that Speaker of the House John Bercow was working behind the scenes from his holiday bolthole in Turkey to frustrate Brexit before the Commons reconvened in September.

On September 12, The Sun reported on Letwin’s agenda:

SACKED Tory rebel Sir Oliver Letwin wants to create a “zombie parliament” by delaying Boris Johnson’s general election until next summer at least if he fails to get a new Brexit deal.

He warned there was a cross-party majority in favour of blocking going to the polls until our EU split is resolved — either by passing a deal or holding a second referendum.

Sir Oliver, a leading architect of the law to block a No Deal, said going back to the people to vote on Brexit must come first as an election would “muddle things up”.

But Tory Brexiteer Iain Duncan Smith accused him of “stabbing Conservative MPs in the back”.

Letwin’s successful amendment to Boris’s new deal in October prevents any exit until all legislation is agreed. By its very nature, it automatically triggered implementation of the Benn-Burt Act, which stipulates that Boris must send a letter to the EU to ask for an extension. As I write, it is unclear what the EU will do. Benn-Burt even specifies the exact text of the letter. More on that below.

Veteran broadcaster and publisher Andrew Neil explains the strategy behind Letwin’s move:

After Letwin’s amendment passed, The Telegraph rightly took issue with him:

The Mail on Sunday alleged that Letwin had help in devising the amendment from Lord Pannick, an ardent Remainer:

On Sunday, Letwin confirmed that Lord Pannick was helping him:

Not surprisingly, a number of former Conservative MPs — the rebels — voted for the Letwin amendment:

It is important to keep in mind that Northern Ireland’s DUP also voted for the Letwin amendment, even though Boris’s new Brexit deal has removed the contentious trade/customs backstop that Theresa May’s had. However, the DUP MPs are unhappy that there will be a virtual customs border in the Irish Sea:

If those two groups had not voted Aye, Letwin’s amendment would have failed. The result was close: 322-306.

However, if Labour think they now have the DUP onside, they should think again. On Monday, October 21, MP Jim Shannon said:

Guido Fawkes explains (emphasis in the original):

Big news if remain MPs were hoping to get a customs union amendment through on the back of DUP support. Sighs of relief from Downing Street…

Interestingly, the UK edition of HuffPost says that we might have reached what journalist Paul Waugh calls ‘peak Letwin’. After the vote, he wrote (emphases in the original, those in purple mine):

today it felt like we had reached ‘Peak Letwin’. And although the large crowd in Parliament Square roared when the vote was announced on a huge screen, that too felt like the last dying twitch of a movement that now looks doomed …

The pro-People’s Vote MPs will push one final time when the Withdrawal Agreement Bill arrives next week. But having waited and waited for their moment in the hope they can bring more MPs on board, that moment may have now passed. They won’t be able to amend the second reading of the bill, which may itself be passed with a hugely important vote for Johnson’s deal.

‌Most important of all, the People’s Vote campaign has been waiting for ‘moderate’ Tories to come on board (one claimed that half of the 21 would back a referendum), but those same Tories now look ready to call it a day and back the PM. The DUP are so upset with No.10 they are flirting with a second referendum threat, but few think that will happen.

The EU, which will probably hold off until Tuesday to see whether parliament really can pass the deal, may then offer only a short extension to say mid-November to allow time for the legislation and ratification by the EU itself. Again, that can only help Johnson and focus MPs’ minds once more on ‘this deal or no-deal’.

Confusion ensued

While we all knew that the Letwin amendment passed, confusion ensued as Saturday’s session ended.

Even MPs were left wondering what had happened.

It seemed to some of us, including MPs, that Boris’s deal had passed along with Letwin’s amendment. Although there was no vote on Boris’s deal, approving Letwin’s amendment seemed to imply that by voting for it, Boris’s deal had also been approved.

The parliamentary journal of record, Hansard, provided no clarity on the matter, either.

Letwin gave a statement after his amendment passed and House Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg made a Point of Order, not the customary Business Statement:

SNP MP Joanna Cherry checked Hansard but still has questions:

Jacob Rees-Mogg

As I said, Jacob Rees-Mogg made a Point of Order and delayed his usual customary Business Statement for Monday.

A lengthy 45-minute discussion ensued, mostly from Scottish MPs, such as Jo Cherry, who asked Speaker Bercow what was going on.

As Rees-Mogg made a Point of Order, he was not obliged to explain his statement that there would be a ‘full emergency business statement on Monday’:

Rees-Mogg sat there being discussed in the third person, which, while strange, conforms with parliamentary protocol:

Speaker Bercow reassured MPs that he would take legal advice at the weekend and make a statement on Monday:

The vote on the content of the Queen’s Speech was scheduled for early next week, too:

Then, Jacob Rees-Mogg quietly got up and walked out of the chamber (start at 4 sec. point):

Discussion went on for a few more minutes in his absence before concluding with this from Bercow:

Police protection required

The People’s Vote demonstration was going on outside the Palace of Westminster, as was a pro-Brexit gathering.

Although a few pro-Brexit jerks verbally attacked Labour MP Diane Abbott, the People’s Vote Remainers were far more serious about preventing Conservative MPs from leaving Parliament safely.

Some Cabinet MPs required a phalanx of police to escort them to their cars:

What happened to Rees-Mogg and his 12-year-old son, who had been in the Public Gallery, did the Remain/Second Referendum movement no favours:

However, Rees-Mogg received at least one shout out of support. This video also shows his son, who looks and dresses like his father:

Such heinous harassment will do Remainers no favours.

Boris complies with the law

That evening, Boris complied with the law.

Whether Remainers will approve (see below) is another matter.

However, I’m glad the PM complied with the Benn-Burt Act the way he did.

The Mail on Sunday reported:

Late yesterday – just before the midnight deadline stipulated by ‘wrecker’ MPs – a total of three letters were due to be sent from the Government to Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council.

The first was the letter demanded by the Benn Act, which asks the EU to delay Brexit beyond the October 31 deadline – but not signed by Boris Johnson – using the exact wording specified in the legislation.

The second was a covering letter, written by Sir Tim Barrow, the UK’s Permanent Representative in Brussels, which made clear that the first letter was from Parliament, not the Government.

And the third was a letter from Mr Johnson, which was also sent to the leaders of the other 27 EU nations, in which he disavowed the first letter by making clear that he does not want any delay to Brexit.

In it, the PM said any further hold-up would be ‘deeply corrosive’, and would ‘damage the interests of the UK and our EU partners’.

He said UK would continue to ratify the deal and urged Brussels to do the same.

Donald Tusk confirmed he received them:

Tim Barrow’s cover letter prefaced the Benn-Burt letter, unsigned:

The PM also sent a letter to MPs, exhorting (encouraging) them to support his deal:

More Scottish anti-Brexit lawsuits to come

This week, Jo Maugham QC and Joanna Cherry MP, also a QC, will bring more anti-Brexit lawsuits in Edinburgh.

The first is about Boris’s handling of his obligations under the Benn Act.

While Parliament convened, Jo Cherry included, Jo Maugham prepared for the week ahead in Spain:

Calm and witty though his tweets might be, it is nonetheless hard to forget that, on October 17, Maugham called Rees-Mogg a ‘notorious talker of tripe’. That was not a one-off against the Conservatives, either.

What happens next?

On October 19, the BBC reported that the government plans to bring back a vote on Boris’s deal by holding:

a “meaningful vote” on the Withdrawal Agreement Bill on Tuesday.

This would corner MPs into a Yes/No vote on their deal, and given there are a fair number of Labour rebels, the government could well win.

Certainly, the vote would put any number of Labour MPs – and MPs for other parties – from Brexit-voting constituencies in a very awkward place.

Watch out for an attempt to attach a second referendum to the deal in some way.

But the success of that effort would require full-throated support (and whipping of their MPs) from the Labour Party. They are not there yet, and they may never be.

If the government wins a “meaningful vote” on Tuesday, the legislation to underpin the new deal would then go forward – and that would provide further opportunities to attempt amendments.

Winning the next meaningful vote is only the beginning of a new phase of Brexit; it’s not even the beginning of the end.

How true.

Along with many other Britons, I wish they would just pass Boris’s deal, along with the legislation, and get on with leaving on October 31 …

… because, at that point, our transition period begins. It would be scheduled to last until December 2020. It is during that time that trade — and other — deals can be fully negotiated.

More to follow this week.

A week is a long time in politics, as the saying goes.

Much happened during the past five days, beginning with the Queen’s Speech and culminating with Boris’s new Brexit deal.

Promises made — and kept

But, first, delivering a new Brexit deal was what Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged on Tuesday, September 10, 2019. Please watch the first six minutes:

This week, he delivered on that pledge.

Queen’s Speech

From the end of September to last weekend, the anti-Boris brigade wondered whether the Queen’s Speech would go ahead on Monday, October 14:

Much to Remainers’ dismay, it did indeed take place:

With regard to the Queen not wearing the Imperial Crown, this is why:

You can read the full text of proposed legislation for the next (now current) session of Parliament — including supporting facts — here. Preserving the Union and getting Brexit done are the top two priorities. Proposed legislation for this session involves the NHS, the environment, policing and the railways, among other issues. The BBC has a good summary.

It should be noted that the government — political party — in power writes the speech for the monarch.

Advance copies are issued, but they have to remain under embargo until afterwards. Therefore, media pundits pretend they do not know what the Queen is going to say as they have to create a news story for the folks at home:

On the day, Black Rod goes to the House of Commons to summon MPs to the House of Lords for the speech:

MPs are summoned by a House of Lords official, known as Black Rod. Before entering the Commons, Black Rod has the doors shut in their face, symbolising the chamber’s independence from the monarchy.

During the speech, the Queen sets out the laws the government wants Parliament to approve. By convention, it is announced by the monarch in the presence of MPs, peers and other dignitaries in the House of Lords.

Afterwards, the House of Commons then needs to vote on whether to accept the contents of the speech. MPs normally spend five days debating whether to approve it. It is thought that they will vote on Monday or Tuesday next week.

I watched this week’s tiresome ‘debates’, which were dominated by opposition MPs’ petty speeches. One railed on about the cost of school uniforms and said that a proposed subsidy should have been included in the speech. For that reason, she does not want to approve it.

Five days of ‘debate’ over a 1,073-word speech that took around ten minutes to deliver. The mind boggles.

Brexit negotiations

Last week, Boris spent time in meetings with Ireland’s Taoiseach — Prime Minister — Leo Varadkar:

Many MPs, including some Remainers, were optimistic.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), with whom the Conservatives have had a confidence and supply agreement since the 2017 election, because of Theresa May’s decreased majority, were cautiously optimistic:

Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay met with our EU negotiator Michel Barnier last Friday:

On Monday, the day of the Queen’s Speech, Barclay’s optimism continued:

Intensive rounds of meetings ensued this week:

Barclay returned to London on Wednesday to provide an update:

Then, it was back to the Continent for more meetings that lasted into the morning of Thursday, October 17.

At 9 a.m. (BST), there was finally a Brexit breakthrough, after Boris spoke to Cabinet members about it:

It was made public just after 10:30:

Jean-Claude Juncker said there was no need now for ‘prolongation’:

Boris was allowed to address EU leaders before they began their summit:

He also gave a joint press conference with Juncker:

I watched the news last night (a rare occurrence, but this was a historic moment). All the film clips showed the EU leaders greeting Boris as if he were a hero — hugs, hearty handshakes, the lot. See the 6:49 mark in the following video:

EU leaders approved the deal after he left:

A ‘Tournedos Rossini of a deal’

When Parliament’s session began yesterday morning, Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg gave an enthusiastic speech about Boris’s deal, calling it a ‘Tournedos Rossini of a deal’:

He also said (emphasis mine):

It takes out the undemocratic backstop, delivers on what the Prime Minister promised he would do. In 85 days achieved something that could not be achieved in three years.

Every single member who stood on a manifesto saying that they would respect the will of the people in the referendum can support this with confidence.

I believe him.

Unfortunately, the DUP will not be voting for it on Saturday, unless, by the time you read this, something or someone has changed their minds:

To compound the situation, hardcore anti-Boris and anti-Brexit Remainers have tricks up their sleeves.

Saturday’s session in the Commons will not be easy. I suspect that this week’s EU negotiations will appear like a walk in the park by comparison.

More next week.

Yesterday, I ran across four articles of interest.

The coup

The starting point is James Howard Kunstler’s October 15 essay, ‘Wait For It’, which is about the ongoing American coup, the latest development being President Trump’s conversation with the president of Ukraine and the Democrats’ ‘whistleblower’ (emphases mine):

For one thing, he-she-it is not a “whistleblower” at all; was only labeled that via legalistic legerdemain to avoid revealing the origin of this affair as a CIA cover-your-ass operation. Did Mr. Schiff actually think he could conceal this figure’s identity in a senate impeachment trial, when it came to that — for what else is impeachment aimed at? Anonymous sources are not admissible under American due process of law. Mr. Schiff must have missed that class in law school.

All of this hocus-pocus suggests to me that there is no “whistleblower,” that it is a phantom confabulation of gossip threads that unraveled the moment Mr. Trump released the transcript of his phone call to Ukraine’s president Zelensky, aborting Mr. Schiff’s game plan. The ensuing weeks of congressional Keystone Kops buffoonery since then appears to conceal a futile effort by Mr. Schiff and his confederates to find some fall guy willing to pretend that he-she-it is the “whistleblower”

One marvels at Rep. Schiff’s tactical idiocy. But just imagine the panicked consternation it must be triggering among his Democratic colleagues. Notice that Mrs. Pelosi has been hiding out during this latest phase of the action. She may sense that there is nothing left to do but allow Mr. Schiff to twist slowly slowly in the wind, as he has hung himself out to dry. She should have known better since every previous declaration of conclusive evidence by Mr. Schiff over the past three years has proved to be false, knowingly and mendaciously so.

One also clearly senses that all the smoke-and-mirrors are a desperate attempt to divert attention from a soon-to-drop DOJ Inspector General’s report which, by the way, will only be an overture to much more damaging action likely to come from Mr. Barr’s proceeding. After all, IG Horowitz was not allowed under the rules to compel the testimony of persons outside the Department of Justice, which would now include Andrew McCabe, James Comey, and many others at the center of the RussiaGate prank

That lame admission will not avail to protect him or the CIA, an agency that is behind the administrative civil war. It has been a rogue agency for a long long time, but may have finally overplayed its hand, along with the newer adjunct agencies that have been stitched onto it since 9/11/01 — the dark network that goes by the name Intelligence Community. So many shoes are ready to drop on them that the din might drown out all the John Philip Sousa marches ever played in the lobby at Langley, let alone the thin trilling of a fake whistleblower.

Apart from these fateful developments the prize for the week’s most transparently disingenuous bit of media agitprop goes to Saturday’s New York Times puff piece on former FBI Director Jim Comey, which actually sets him up for federal indictment on something like sedition or treason.

Did you notice that the photo-caption states: James Comey plans to spend the next 13 months working to drive President Trump from power. Oh, really? By what means, exactly? Single-handedly or with whom? And how did the strategy he kicked off in 2016 work out? In case Mr. Barr is looking for some way to attribute motive to the actions that he’s investigating, he may need to seek no further. Also, consider that The New York Times and its editor-in-chief Dean Baquet, and publisher A.G. Sulzberger may be named as unindicted co-conspirators in the three-year campaign of sedition (freedom of the press, of course). Alert the shareholders.

I should emphasise that Jim Kunstler is not a Trump supporter, but even the Democrats’ continuing attempts at getting a legitimately elected president out of office have been making him think a bit more about the coup.

The ‘revolution in reverse’

The comments to Kunstler’s article were as wide-ranging and fascinating as ever.

Someone linked to an October 10 essay on Tzarism.com called ‘The Hi-Tech Traditionalist: A Revolution In Reverse: The Uprising Of The American Elites Against The American People’. The author, Dr Baruch Pletner, is a polyglot:

The Hi-Tech Traditionalist – Baruch Pletner is an entrepreneur, a scientist, an inventor, and a private pilot. He is passionate about education, the outdoors, and the war on globalism. Baruch holds a PhD degree from the Technion in Haifa, Israel and an MBA from Northeastern University in Boston.

He points out that the leftist revolution taking place in the United States is the inverse of what usually happens in an uprising:

The great Bolshevik revolutions of the last century in Russia, in China, and in Cuba all followed a familiar pattern: a group of young, energetic, endlessly corruptible, but not yet corrupt outsiders take on, in the name of the people, a tired corrupt establishment. A civil war ensues in which the people side with the revolutionaries because they (mistakenly) think that things can never be worse. Revolutionaries win, slaughter the establishment elites, and proceed to rob and enslave the people in even more outrageous fashion. Soon enough the old guard revolutionaries become every bit as corrupt as the ones they have replaced if not more so and the cycle repeats itself.

In America, the situation is rather farcically backwards. In America, the corrupt establishment elites have decided to stage a Bolshevik coup against the American people rather than the other way around. A Tsar fully in command of his own kingdom staging a coup against his own people is a bizarre development to say the least, and yet, here we are in 2019 America. Like always, there are reasons. First and foremost among them is the sheer scope of the nepotism and corruption of the American elites in business, government, technology, and the intelligence services. This scope has very likely far exceeded anything previously known in human history. Had the dimensions of the robbery perpetrated by the American ruling classes against the American people become widely known earlier, America could well have experienced a more typical revolution, one by the people against the elites.

There are other reasons, he says, which date from the late 1980s. Continuing on from the previous paragraph, he tells us:

Well aware of the possibility if not probability of such an outcome, the people who run America put in place a plan to make it all but impossible. The plan involved the gradually escalating erosion of the limits on government powers put in place by the Constitution with a parallel erosion in the God-given rights guaranteed every American by the same document. This was a fully bipartisan effort, put in place immediately after president Reagan departed office. It is sufficient to observe the exponential increase in government versus private sector employment in America from 1988 to 2019 to fully grasp this point. Stopping immigration from countries that have (or at least used to have) a tradition of personal freedom and limited government while throwing open the spigots for immigration from countries that have neither was the second part of the same plan. The destruction of family values and Christianity in America was the third.

Then there were the social, guilt-inducing conditioning of the majority of the American populace, who have no control over their skin colour. As such:

Americans allowed themselves to become squeezed out of well-paying jobs by the elites-induced trifecta of low and high-skilled immigration and automation, with nary a whisper in protest.

Then, he says, along came Donald Trump. In the eyes of the elite, President Trump must be stopped:

Trying to pin on Trump their own sins of sexual corruption, nepotism, embezzlement, etc. has not been a well-thought out strategy on the part of the American power elites simply because it enabled him to begin educating the American public as to the breathtaking scope of their own criminality. Now, on the verge of Trump’s inevitable reelection, they are left with only one option: a coup d’etat against the American people, the American Constitution, and the American Republic itself.

Since the elites still very much permeate every hall of power in America, this is a one-off deal in which the rulers of a country set out to violently overthrow the very political structure of the country they are ruling, but, as they say, it is what it is. The cover may be different, but the playbook is the same, so we are already being exposed to the oldies but goodies of escalating agitprop (weaponized lies and propaganda), suppression of unwanted elements (cancel culture), and paid snitching (whistleblowing). Now we are entering into a new phase, that of secret trials with a predetermined outcome.

He means impeachment hearings, which he goes on to discuss, adding:

… what follows next will not be pretty. Having obtained an illegal impeachment that has no chance in the Senate, the powers that be in America will use this “impeachment” to force Trump off the 2020 ballot by any means possible, including things that now sound crazy like setting up a parallel Supreme Court having declared the Constitution illegitimate because it was written by white males some of whom supported slavery and ratified without African American and other minority votes.

Needless to say, such actions may well precipitate an armed conflict we know of as civil war, but that would not be an unexpected outcome for the elites. We know now that the American intelligence services all work for the elites and not for the people. They will fight on their side in the coming war. What we don’t know is to what degree the armed forces have been infiltrated, especially the mid-level officer corps.

That is my concern, too.

The New York Times and Carlos Slim’s fortune

Someone else responding to Kunstler’s piece posted a 2015 Ann Coulter article for Townhall, ‘Carlos Slim: The New York Times’ Sugar Daddy’.

Ann Coulter observed the editorial shift in the New York Times since Carlos Slim rescued the failing newspaper in 2008.

Back in 2004—before the Times became Slim’s pimp—a Times article stated: “Clearly . . . the nation’s southern border is under siege.”2 But that was before Carlos Slim saved the Times from bankruptcy. Ten years later, with a border crisis even worse than in 2004, and Latin Americans pouring across the border, the Times indignantly demanded that Obama “go big” on immigration and give “millions of immigrants permission to stay.”

And, going back further to the Clinton administration, the NYT used to point out porous border problems:

In 1997—the pre-Slim days—the Times had editorialized: “Fighting illegal immigration is a difficult and important job. But Congress should do it in a way that will deter illegal entry at the border.”39 Another editorial that year complained that the Immigration and Naturalization Service had “done a poor job of keeping out illegal aliens, deporting criminals [and] processing requests for asylum.” This wasn’t even Bush-bashing—Clinton was president!

Coulter explains how Slim makes his money off the American taxpayer, which involves much more than enlightened citizens buying copies of the New York Times:

One of the ways Slim makes money off of illegal immigration in the United States is by overcharging Mexicans to call home, especially during World Cup soccer season. Slim takes a percentage of all cell phone calls into Mexico—and Telmex’s “interconnection rates” are astronomical. International roaming rates are 37 percent higher in Mexico than the average of all OECD countries.

But the main way illegal immigrants benefit Slim is through their remissions. Monopolistic pricing is of little value in a poor country. A monopoly on air in Burundi would not produce the world’s richest man. Luckily for Slim, Mexico is located right next to one of the wealthiest nations in the world. The OECD estimates that Slim’s suffocating telecommunications monopoly costs Mexican consumers $26 billion a year, with more than half of that coming from Slim gouging his customers. They would have $20 billion less to spend without 40 million Mexicans living in the United States.

According to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, Mexican immigrants or those of Mexican descent send at least $20 billion out of America back to their relatives in Mexico each year.29 No wonder immigrants are so reliant on welfare—they’re sending so much of it out of the country! Twenty billion dollars is significantly more—about a quarter more—than the amount of money the United States sends to Mexico in direct foreign aid. The $20 billion being sent to immigrants’ grandmothers in Chiapas is forever eliminated from the American economy—unavailable for investment in American companies, the purchase of American products, or hiring American workers. That’s a cost of immigration that Americans are never told about.

These billions of dollars being drained out of the U.S. economy every year would be bad enough if the money were coming exclusively from cheap-labor employers like Sheldon Adelson. But it’s worse than that. It comes from American taxpayers. Not only do taxpayers have to support Americans who lose their jobs to low-wage immigrant laborers, taxpayers support the immigrants, too. Seventy-five percent of immigrant families from Mexico are on government assistance.

Putting two and two together, we can more easily understand the New York Times‘s editorial line under Slim and the billionaire’s desire to see more Mexicans enter the United States illegally:

That’s why, in 2014, Slim was exhorting Mexican youth to cross illegally into the United States for jobs. The stated purpose of Obama’s open defiance of American immigration laws was to avoid punishing “children” who were brought to the United States by their parents. Slim didn’t care about that. (Then again, neither did Obama.) He just wanted more Mexicans working in America and sending dollars back to him. As the CEO of the “Carlos Slim Foundation” explained, “[O]ur goal is to reduce the access barriers for them to reach this potential . . . to build not just them but their families, so they’re able to contribute to the economy”—i.e., the Mexican economy owned by Carlos Slim.

The ‘invisible government’

Truthdig has an article by the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges, ‘Our Invisible Government’, which is, in part, a book review of Stephen Kinzer’s new book, Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control.

I will not be excerpting Hedges’s article except for this:

Kinzer builds his book around Sidney Gottlieb, an elusive, quirky and powerful operative in the CIA who in his quest for mind control—something he and others in the CIA had convinced themselves the Soviets had mastered—oversaw medical experiments that had been originated by his German and Japanese collaborators. These experiments were coded-named Bluebird and later Artichoke, which Kinzer calls “one of the most violently abusive projects ever sponsored by an agency of the United States government.” The torture sessions often permanently shattered the minds of his subjects. Victims were kidnapped (later this would be called “extraordinary rendition”) and sent to clandestine centers around the globe—now known as “black sites”—or were picked from the prison population abroad and at home. Those forced into taking part in these experiments included impoverished African Americans at the Addiction Research Center in Lexington, Ky. Many of the victims were labeled “expendables,” meaning they could be murdered after the experiments and disappeared. The corpses were usually burned. Anyone who was powerless, or could be made powerless, was a potential target. Mentally handicapped children at the Walter E. Fernald State School in Massachusetts, for example, were fed cereal laced with uranium and radioactive calcium and their induced sicknesses were monitored. Gottlieb oversaw the administering of LSD and other drugs to induce psychotic states at the federal prison in Atlanta and a youth correctional facility in Bordentown, N.J. None of his subjects consented to being a human guinea pig, and many ended up psychologically impaired for life. The Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, being held in the Atlanta penitentiary, was told he would be part of an experiment on curing schizophrenia but then was surreptitiously given LSD nearly every day for 15 months. CIA scientists also conducted experiments on terminally ill patients at an annex of Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Gottlieb searched for years for a cocktail of drugs that, in Kinzer’s words, would draw “prisoners away from their identities, induce them to reveal secrets, and perhaps even program them to commit acts against their will.” It was a vain quest. But with each failure he and the CIA became ever more zealous, working closely with former German Gen. Walter Schreiber, the onetime surgeon general of the Nazi army who had “approved experiments at the Auschwitz, Ravensbrück, and Dachau concentration camps in which inmates were frozen, injected with mescaline and other drugs, and cut open so the progress of gangrene on their bones could be monitored.” Kinzer adds that according to one American researcher, the experiments “usually resulted in a slow and agonizing death.”

Gottlieb had a habit of secretly lacing the drinks of colleagues with LSD to see their reaction. Some never recovered. One of his victims was Frank Olson, a CIA scientist who was appalled by the brutal interrogations he witnessed and planned to resign from the CIA. Gottlieb and his secretive group of torturers and assassins were terrified Olson would go public. Olson was found dead in 1953 on a sidewalk in Manhattan after allegedly diving through a hotel window. His son Eric had his father’s body exhumed in 1994 and turned over to James Starrs, a forensic pathologist at George Washington University in the District of Columbia. “Starrs had found no glass shards on the victim’s head or neck, as might be expected if he had dived through a window,” Kinzer writes. “Most intriguingly, although Olson had reportedly landed on his back, the skull above his left eye was disfigured.”

“I would venture to say that this hematoma is singular evidence of the possibility that Dr. Olson was struck a stunning blow to the head by some person or instrument prior to his exiting through the window of room 1018A,” Starrs concluded.

Starrs was later more emphatic: “I think Frank Olson was intentionally, deliberately, with malice aforethought, thrown out of that window.”

As awful as that is, the rest of the article has details of even more gruesome and demonic ‘experiments’, which those interested may read at their leisure.

Conclusion

We have much to pray for in the coming months: the safety of Donald Trump and his family, the thwarting of evil deeds from our notional betters and the return of a moral society, which is the only way to conserve the freedoms we know in the West. Those, too, must be restored, with Big Government — the malicious Nanny State — being thrown out.

Also, please spare a prayer for Brexit. What has been going on in Parliament and the upper courts of law since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister has been chilling, to say the least.

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