Thursday 28th of September 2023

bereite dich auf ein schmutziges england vor ...


It might prove to be the most relatable thing about the Tory leadership hopeful Boris Johnson. The photographs of his messy car – as shambolic as its owner – will be familiar to many of us. The shots of the inside of his Toyota are a still life of slovenliness, featuring empty food cartons, water bottles, crumpled clothes, discarded children’s books, crumbs and receipts. It is either homely or filthy, depending on whether or not you are the sort of person who has to apologise for the mess every time you give someone a lift. What it isn’t is prime ministerly. Margaret Thatcher, a premier with a penchant for dusting, would be appalled.

“I’m in shock,” says Lynsey Crombie, the cleaning expert known online as the Queen of Clean. “A tidy car is a tidy mind.” Crombie only uses her car a couple of times a week, so she cleans it every month. “In a car that you use every day, you should try and spend 10 minutes on it every week. Prioritise getting the clutter and rubbish out. Take out the stuff that doesn’t need to be there – do you really need to have loads of books and a sports kit that’s not been washed?”

She recommends at least a wipe round the steering wheel “with a damp microfibre cloth with a small amount of product. Maybe once a year, look at the upholstery and give that a clean or, if it’s leather, wipe it over every so often. And bash the floor mats.”

She adds that it could be dangerous if a plastic bottle or drinks can were to get stuck under a pedal. There may be other issues if you drive a dirty car. A study by Nottingham University in 2015 tested messy cars, taking swabs from steering wheels, gear sticks and footwells, and found evidence of Staphylococcus and E coli.

“Don’t encourage kids to eat in cars,” says cleaning expert Aggie MacKenzie. “Crumbly biscuits end up everywhere. Always carry an empty carrier bag in the car – it means everything can go straight in the bag and doesn’t get left on the floor.” But she confesses to being fairly relaxed about vehicular orderliness: “When I had small kids, it was kind of my guilty dirty area. If we were ever on a long journey, I’d be up to my knees in discarded papers and banana skins. Then you clear it all up again.”

Still, she thinks Johnson’s car is “hilarious”. It’s partly a class thing, she says. “Toffs don’t care about the mess they live in, and actually why would he need to worry about anything so pifflingly unimportant as the inside of his car? That’s another argument, but I do think there’s something about a state of chaos that’s bound to spill over into his own head and life.”


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achtung, herbie...

thatcher full


This cartoon by Giles published in the Daily Express in 1988...


Title at top: Prepare yourself for a dirty England...

the view from martin...



hunt in the hunt...


Boris Johnson has propelled further towards becoming the next British Prime Minister, securing 160 votes out of 313 in the fifth leadership ballot of Conservative Party MPs.

Key points:
  • Michael Gove was knocked out, leaving Jeremy Hunt to take on Boris Johnson in the final vote
  • Mr Johnson said he was "deeply honoured" by his increasing votes
  • Mr Johnson and Mr Hunt have different approaches on whether to leave the EU without a Brexit deal


But he still has a battle ahead against Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who secured 77 votes — two more than Environment Minister Michael Gove — to move forward as Mr Johnson's final rival in the contest.


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it's not going to be pretty...



Cartoon by Steve Bell. Read from top.

domestic rubbish at home...


A poll conducted yesterday showed support for Johnson had fallen sharply following the incident. His eight-point lead for the Tory crown earlier in the week had fallen to three points behind rival Jeremy Hunt by yesterday morning. Among Tory voters, when asked who would make the best prime minister, Johnson’s lead had slumped from 27% to 11% in the same period, according to Survation, who carried out the polls for the Mail on Sunday.

Last night the neighbour who contacted the police, Tom Penn, 30, a playwright, issued a statement saying he wanted to put the record straight on his reasons for recording the row and calling 999.

Penn said he only acted as a last resort and that he was speaking out as he was concerned by the “bizarre and fictitious allegations” made about him and his wife, Eve Leigh, 34, a fellow playwright.

Penn said: “In the early hours of Friday morning, I answered a phone call from a take-away food delivery driver. At the same time, I heard what sounded like shouting coming from the street. I went downstairs, on the phone to the driver, and collected my food. On the way back into my flat, it became clear that the shouting was coming from a neighbour’s flat. It was loud enough and angry enough that I felt frightened and concerned for the welfare of those involved, so I went inside my own home, closed the door, and pressed record on the voice memos app on my phone.

“After a loud scream and banging, followed by silence, I ran upstairs, and with my wife agreed we should check on our neighbours. I knocked three times at their front door, but there was no response. I went back upstairs into my flat, and we agreed that we should call the police.”

Another neighbour, a nursery teacher who lives with her husband and four-year-old son in the top flat next door, told the Times that she could hear “shouting and screaming”.

Fatimah, 32, said: “It was really loud, loud enough to make me turn down the TV and see what was going on. I could hear shouting and screaming from a lady, she sounded really angry. There was a man’s voice too, but he was much calmer and he was telling her to calm down but she was still chucking things about,” she said. “It went on for about 10 minutes. I’ve never heard anything like it. I was considering calling the police but then a [police] van and car came.”

The incident has enouraged those backing Jeremy Hunt, Johnson’s opponent for PM. With Johnson having positioned himself as the candidate in favour of a hard Brexit, Hunt used the hustings to harden his position on no-deal saying he would “100%” leave the EU at the end of October with no deal if he believed the EU was not willing to compromise.

Today Johnson is expected to come under further pressure over his Brexit policy when Liam Fox, the international trade secretary will call into doubt his claim that the UK would be not be hit automatically by tariffs on EU exports in the event of a no-deal outcome.


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Meanwhile in Bannonworld:


New evidence suggesting close links between Boris Johnson and Donald Trump’s controversial former campaign manager Steve Bannon can be revealed today, calling into question the former foreign secretary’s previous denials of an association with the influential far-right activist.

Video evidence obtained by the Observer shows Bannon, who helped mastermind Trump’s successful bid for the presidency but was later exiled from the White House, talking about his relationship and contacts with Johnson, and how he helped him craft the first speech after his resignation as foreign secretary, in which Johnson tore into Theresa May’s Brexit strategy.

The revelations will pile new pressure on Johnson after the Guardian reported that police had been called to the flat he shares with his partner, Carrie Symonds, in the early hours of Friday morning after neighbours heard a loud altercation involving screaming, shouting and banging.


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Meanwhile in the russiandiditofcoursebloggosphere:


Suspected Russian spies floated a series of fake stories on social media including a claim that Remainers were planning to kill Boris Johnson and that the novichok used in the Salisbury attack came from the Real IRA, a new study shows.

The operation was done to provoke tensions between western countries. It was persistent, sophisticated and well-resourced, and involved fake accounts on more than 30 platforms and nine languages, over five years, the study says.

In May, Facebook took down a small number of “inauthentic” accounts which it said “originated in Russia”. The accounts’ behaviour “was consistent with an operation run by an intelligence service”, the study carried out by the Atlantic Council’s digital research lab found.


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Still not a single proof about the "Skripals poisoning"...


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no competence, no integrity...

Nicola Sturgeon Interview

Boris Johnson Lacks 'Competence and Integrity'

In an interview with DER SPIEGEL, Nicola Sturgeon, the head of the Scottish government, discusses her plans for an independence referendum, the possibility of a no-deal Brexit and the battle in the Tory Party to pick Theresa May's successor.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, 48, is the head of the Scottish government and the chair of the Scottish National Party (SNP). The SNP has been shaping Scotland's future for the past 12 years with an unusual mixture of left-wing social policy and environmentalism, and a nationalist but immigration-friendly agenda. Sturgeon was also a prominent figure in the lead-up to Scotland's 2014 independence referendum, in which 55 percent of voters rejected the proposal to leave the United Kingdom. Sturgeon, a lawyer by profession from Glasgow, has now announced plans for a second referendum -- in two years at the latest.

DER SPIEGEL: First Minister, are you crossing fingers that Boris Johnson will make it into Downing Street?

Nicola Sturgeon: No. I think the prospect of Boris Johnson as prime minister is a horrifying one for most people, certainly in Scotland, but I suspect for large numbers of people across the United Kingdom as well.

DER SPIEGEL: Mr. Johnson appears to be an advocate for a no-deal Brexit. And according to recent polls, no-deal would boost the desire for Scottish independence enormously. Isn't that exactly what you want?

Sturgeon: I never relished the prospect of damaging things happening to the UK just to fuel the case for independence. I've always wanted that case to be fought and won on the positive perspectives for Scotland. I don't want Brexit to happen, although it will of course build support for independence, especially if Boris Johnson becomes prime minister.

DER SPIEGEL: Have you read the poem Mr. Johnson authorized as the editor of The Spectator, where the author referred to the Scots as a "verminous race" who should be exterminated?

Sturgeon: I've seen it, yes. I've also been reminded in the last couple of days of his comments that Scottish people couldn't become prime minister because of our political disability. Well, most Scottish people don't think he is capable of becoming prime minister either. So, the feeling is mutual.

DER SPIEGEL: Johnson claims there is no better person to unite the United Kingdom than him. But is he?

Sturgeon: There's nothing at all in Boris Johnson's political performance so far that would suggest that is the case. I travel a fair bit across Europe and further afield. And over the past couple of years, it has been very obvious that the UK's global reputation has been deeply damaged. The biggest cause of that is Brexit, obviously. But actually, pretty close behind is Boris Johnson's tenure as foreign secretary, when he demonstrated his lack of competence or any basic integrity. His career is littered with almost deliberate attempts to gratuitously offend groups in order to curry favor with somebody else. He's offended gays. He's offended Muslim women. Most people struggle to believe that somebody like him as prime minister could actually unite people in a common endeavor.

DER SPIEGEL: What do you think will be the likeliest outcome of the Brexit mess?

Sturgeon: I think two things have become more likely since the European elections and Theresa May's resignation. The prospect to have a second referendum that will potentially overturn the Brexit decision has increased. But so has the danger of a no-deal Brexit. People like me want to try to ensure the former happens.

DER SPIEGEL: Let's assume there will be no Brexit. Will you call for a second Scottish independence referendum anyway?

Sturgeon: Look, I am very firm there will be a second referendum on Scottish independence. I think the whole Brexit experience demonstrates to Scotland the real downsides of not being independent. Scotland voted by 62 percent to remain in the European Union, and that's been ignored.

DER SPIEGEL: The UK as a whole voted narrowly for Leave though.

Sturgeon: My government put forward in an earlier stage of the Brexit process proposals that would've seen compromise, on the EU single-market and the customs union. That was dismissed by the UK government. Powers have been taken away from the Scottish parliament. And many people in Scotland have simultaneously watched Ireland being treated completely differently by the European Union, being backed up and shown great solidarity. As an independent country within the EU, Ireland has a much greater influence and force. That's not lost on people here.

DER SPIEGEL: What if London refuses to grant a second vote on independence? Would you endorse a Catalonia style referendum?

Sturgeon: We have started the legislative process in the Scottish parliament to make the preparations for a referendum. There's very little point engaging with the UK government on this issue right now because they are in such a state of chaos.

DER SPIEGEL: But all the favorites for the leadership contest have said already that they will refuse to grant permission.

Sturgeon: These people also promised to leave the European Union on March 29. I don't mean to be flippant, but there's not a great deal of trust that you can place in any of these Tory politicians right now.

DER SPIEGEL: Again, would you dare to move for a vote even if London says no?

Sturgeon: There needs to be a bit more scrutiny on just how illegitimate and undemocratic a position for a UK government that would be. I stood for election as first minister in 2016 on a manifesto that said explicitly that, in the circumstances of Scotland being taken out of the EU, there should be a second independence referendum. I was elected on that basis. There is a majority for that opinion within the Scottish parliament. Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt would go into very difficult territory if they'd say: You're not allowed, Scotland, to make that decision.

DER SPIEGEL: Will there definitely be an independence referendum before the end of the current legislative period in May 2021?

Sturgeon: That's my intention. Tory politicians can argue the opposite. But the fundamental point here is that it's not for me to decide, and it's not for them to decide. It's for the Scottish people to decide.

DER SPIEGEL: A Scottish referendum followed perhaps by a vote on Irish reunification could easily destroy the United Kingdom. Would you regret it?

Sturgeon: Next week, I'll attend the British-Irish Council, which I do twice a year. I'll sit around a table with two independent governments, the Republic of Ireland and the UK, the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and normally Northern Ireland, the crown dependencies of Guernsey, Jersey, the Isle of Man. If Scotland becomes independent or Ireland in the future becomes reunified, we'll all still sit around that table as representatives of the component parts of the British Isles. We don't have to be in a political union for those relationships to continue in a constructive way.

DER SPIEGEL: You would be sitting around the table with what could become a strongly nationalist government of a Little Britain.

Sturgeon: That's the decision for the people of England. But if Scotland is independent, we sit around that table in charge of our own decisions. Right now, we have those decisions imposed upon us by an unacceptable Westminster system.

DER SPIEGEL: Brexit has shown how difficult it is for a country to disentangle itself from a longstanding union. Wouldn't Scotland face almost the same problems?

Sturgeon: I don't accept this premise. I think what Brexit has demonstrated is how difficult it becomes when you try to do it without being honest with people in advance, with no plan, then setting red lines that have no grounding in reality and are completely undeliverable. I oppose Brexit, but the mess that Brexit has become was never inevitable.

DER SPIEGEL: What makes you think that it would be easier for you?

Sturgeon: We would do it as we did in 2014 when the people in Scotland were perfectly well informed about what we were seeking to do. We tell these stories a bit jocularly now, but people on street corners were having discussions about lenders of last resort and macroeconomic policy. A more engaged and well-informed population you would not have found on the face of the planet at that point. Compare that to the lies of Brexiteers on the side of a bus.

DER SPIEGEL: Still, the pro-independence side lost the referendum in 2014.

Sturgeon: Arguably, a lot of people who voted "no" were misinformed. They were told, "Vote 'no' and protect your place in Europe," for example, which turned out not to be true. But those who voted for independence, they knew what they were voting for.

DER SPIEGEL: England is Scotland's biggest trading partner. Suddenly there would be a hard border.

Sturgeon: I don't want a border between Scotland and England.

DER SPIEGEL: If you're in Europe and the others are out, there has to be one.

Sturgeon: Well, let's wait and see what the outcome is -- that depends on the rest of the UK's ultimate relationship with the EU. I will always argue that it should be as close as possible. But it's not me that's creating the risk of borders. It's the people who want to take the UK out of the EU, out of the single market, and out of the customs union. There is no more reason why there should be a border between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK than there needs to be a border between France and Germany.

DER SPIEGEL: How would Scotland survive independently? North Sea gas and oil are getting sparse, and you can't run an economy on fish, whisky and tourism alone.

Sturgeon: You need to learn a little bit more about the basis of the Scottish economy. Scotland is a country that is richer in natural resources than most other countries on the planet, rich in people, rich in assets like education, and Scotland will prosper. If you look at most countries similar to Scotland in size that are already independent and have the assets we've got, they do better economically.

DER SPIEGEL: The Scottish budget deficit is currently around 13 billion pounds, almost three times higher than that which is allowed under EU rules. Have you been given any signals from Brussels that they would make an exception for Scotland?

Sturgeon: I'm not trying to sit here and say Scotland will not inherit any deficit position, but the figures you've used are figures that are drawn from the UK deficit. So, I don't accept the idea that that is somehow a barrier to being independent. Obviously, I wouldn't expect the EU to take sides on that issue. But every conversation I've had, particularly since the Brexit vote, leads me to believe that Scotland would be welcomed with open arms.

DER SPIEGEL: Does the rise of nationalism across Europe worry you?

Sturgeon: The rise of the far right does, yes. I struggle for the reasons you will understand with the term nationalism because you could describe me as a nationalist.

DER SPIEGEL: Isn't it a contradiction to be nationalistic and left-wing at the same time?

Sturgeon: My party is by some distance the most pro-immigration party in the whole of the UK, probably one of the most across the whole of Europe. But our movement is about self-government. I want my country to be self-governing, like Germany or France. That is why we use the word nationalism in a different context here. I want Scotland to play a bigger, more constructive role working with other countries to tackle climate change or the migrant crisis.

DER SPIEGEL: The devolved Scottish parliament celebrated its 20th birthday in May. You were there right from the beginning. What is your personal motivation?

Sturgeon: I was a 16-year-old when I joined the SNP. Back then, I was growing up in a Scotland that was ruled by Margaret Thatcher as prime minister, a UK government that did a lot of damage to the very fabric of the country. And yet the vast majority of people in Scotland didn't vote for her to be prime minister. It was that democratic deficit that made me support independence. When you look at things from the prism of today, that's still the situation we're in.

DER SPIEGEL: Would you describe your tenure as a failure if you don't manage to lead Scotland to independence?

Sturgeon: I'd prefer not to describe it in that way. In many years to come, when I'm looking back on it, you can ask me that question again. But right now, I'll focus on trying to achieve what I was elected to do.

DER SPIEGEL: First Minister, we thank you very much for this interview.



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murdoch and offguardian in bed with boris...

By trying to be "anti" Guardian, the OffGuardian has joined with our illustrious Rupert Murdoch who has discretely and not so discretely supported Boris for PM job.


The former mayor of London, who spearheaded the campaign to take Britain out of the European Union, has “Bomentum” in the race to succeed David Cameron, the Sun said. The other main contender in the Conservative leadership contest, Theresa May, was barely mentioned in eight pages of post-Brexit coverage.

It’s not surprising that the Sun seems to be aligning with Johnson: The columnist, author and MP has long been on friendly terms with Murdoch.


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war is stupid...

Tory leadership front-runner and Prime Ministerial hopeful Boris Johnson has done many jobs in his time, from editing the Spectator magazine to being Foreign Secretary, but it’s almost  forgotten today that he’s also been a war correspondent, reporting from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, during the time of the NATO bombing campaign.

Johnson’s despatches from Belgrade in the spring of 1999 were published in the Daily Telegraph and make interesting reading twenty years on. You can hardly accuse him of peddling neocon propaganda.

Johnson called the assault on Yugoslavia, which lacked UNSC authorisation, ‘a miserable war’.

‘War is stupid. War is hell. But never has there been a war so stupendously incompetent in matching methods to aims’ he declared.

Unlike others, he didn’t attempt to whitewash NATO’s actions. ‘NATO succeeded in decapitating a priest as he crossed a bridge in broad daylight on the feast of the Holy Trinity. They killed a toddler as she sat on her potty. Of course, this was not intentional, in the sense that some brasshat at Mons did not target this priest of that toddler. But you could say that it was intentional in that NATO dropped bombs from 15,000 feet in the sure-fire knowledge that civilians would be killed.’ 

Johnson finished that particular article by saying that if there was to be a NATO ‘victory parade’ at the end of the war, he hoped there would be a man behind Clinton and Blair in their chariot to whisper in their ears ‘not only of their own mortality but also of the mortality of the people they claimed to be protecting’.


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Goodo... Boris is more intelligent than he looks.... Read from top.



french merde and english turds...


Boris Johnson Calling French 'Turds' Reportedly Cut From BBC Documentary

Then-UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson reportedly made the stern remark in exasperation at what he perceived as France’s irreconcilable stance on Brexit negotiations amid Prime Minister Theresa May’s efforts to secure a deal.

The Foreign Office has managed to persuade the BBC to cut footage of Boris Johnson calling the French “turds” from the news outlet’s documentary, the Daily Mail reports.

Johnson, who is one of two contenders for Theresa May's role as Conservative Party leader and UK prime minister, reportedly made the gaffe in a sign of frustration over France’s intransigence in Brexit negotiations.

The crude remark, which was made by Johnson when he was UK Foreign Secretary, has been scrapped because it could damage Anglo-French relations and make Brexit talks more difficult, according to a Whitehall memo seen by the Daily Mail.

“We negotiated the removal of one potentially awkward moment where the former foreign secretary calls the French 'turds' so as not to distract from the rest of the programme”, the memo, in particular, noted.

Commenting on the matter, a BBC spokesperson, in turn, told the Daily Mail that the three-part fly-on-the-wall documentary “set out to reflect the realities of life inside the Foreign Office”.


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