Wednesday, 27 July 2011



Anders Behring Breivik had links to far-right EDL, says anti-racism groupSearchlight wants English Defence League classified as extremist group amid claims of online discussions with Breivik


Share reddit this Matthew Taylor, Tuesday 26 July 2011 16.45 BST Article history

"Read it and genuinely weep
June 8th, 2004 |
I’m sure the Daily Star will not mind me reproducing this article from their Sunday paper: Copyright 2004 Express Newspapers Daily Star


THE truth behind the far-right British National Party is exposed by the Daily Star Sunday today.

Charm offensives have won the party valuable exposure on issues crucial to disaffected white voters.

But the party is rotten from top to bottom, with members including leader Nick Griffin, left, carrying criminal convictions.

Research by respected anti-fascist organisation Searchlight, supported by Labour MP Tom Watson, has blown a hole in the BNP’S claims of respectability. "


Searchlight poll finds huge support for far right 'if they gave up violence'Level of far-right support could outstrip that in France or Holland, says poll for Searchlight

Share reddit this Mark Townsend, Saturday 26 February 2011 21.08 GMT Article history



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Author: Tor Bach and Lise Apfelblum | Date: December 2003


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Norway - Police target nazi Odinist sect
The police security service in Norway has launched a drive to smash Tore Wilhelm Tvedt’s nazi psycho sect, Vigrid. After a long period of investigation of the sect, including all its members and sympathisers, the police are now striking at its structures.
Officers will knock on the doors of all the youngsters who have participated in Tvedt’s bizarre initiation ceremonies and talk to them and their parents. Their plan is to monitor each affected youngster closely over a long period in cooperation with parents and other agencies.

According to information obtained by Searchlight’s Norwegian sister magazine Monitor, the police have already managed to gather a huge amount of valuable information about the sect’s inner life and workings from shocked youngsters. Parents have also realised that their children have been involved with something that could destroy their lives and, crucially, criminal activity has been revealed.

Tvedt claims that he was appointed as the prophet of the ancient Norse god Odin during an incident in which Odin “revealed himself” to him in 1997. Tvedt, who spent the last couple of years before embarking on his prophetic career in France and Belgium, had already had contact with Norwegian nazis a long time before Odin turned up.

His first attempt to form his own nazi group was the Oslo-based Bootboys thug squad. But the young boneheads he managed to recruit objected to his ban on alcohol and soon split with him. This left Tvedt free to run his other pet outfit, the so-called Association for True History, set up to smear Norwegian war veterans and Jews and to spread all the usual rubbish denying the Holocaust.

His latest venture, Vigrid, first saw the light of day in 1998. In publishing one of Europe’s weirdest nazi rags, Tvedt quickly demonstrated the distance of his organisation even from the nazi mainstream. His magazine contained pictures of scantily dressed “valkyries” in steel underwear and interminable articles about alleged Jewish plots to destroy the white race.

When Tvedt found a hexagram in the logo of Norway’s biggest brewery, he took it as the ultimate evidence of a Jewish master plan to destroy white people by poisoning them with alcohol. Similar findings in the watermarks of Norwegian banknotes and passports only made him even more ecstatic in his ravings about the “world Jewish conspiracy”.

Anxious to spread this garbage, Tvedt soon cottoned on to the fact that the young people he so desperately wanted to recruit would hardly be impressed by an elderly man who could only moan on about Jewish plans to conquer the world. He therefore started to conduct strange ceremonies in which he baptised and confirmed people in the name of Odin. Swinging a huge wooden hammer of Thor, Tvedt pronounces his blessings and presents his young followers with knives after the ceremony.

Knives and other weaponry seem to fascinate Tvedt. He has appeared on television to demonstrate how he practises axe fighting every time he goes for a walk, and on his website urges young Norwegians always to carry a knife when they leave home.

Vigrid also arranges paintball training that looks far more like a paramilitary exercise than innocent play. It is this part of Vigrid’s activity that most concerns the police. A police security service spokesman says there is a fear that Vigrid activists might commit serious crimes. According to Tvedt, who wants to expel Jews from Norway, this is not a problem. He recently stated in an interview that he would not be sorry if members of his group caused damage to people he does not want in the country.

He himself is not unfamiliar with violence. When a 14-year-old girl had a schoolyard quarrel with his daughter, Tvedt chased her, punched her hard in the face and threatened to send his nazi playmates after her.

During a raid on his home, police found a sawn-off shotgun. Tvedt is also the only person in Norway to have been given a prison sentence for inciting racial hatred.

Tvedt’s family now refuses to have any contact with the self-proclaimed prophet and his daughter has gone public on the front page of Verdens Gang, Norway’s largest newspaper, to demand that something be done to stop her nazi father. According to her, Tvedt raved about entering a mosque loaded with dynamite and blowing himself and the building sky high.

The likelihood of a bout of infighting and tension within Vigrid is probably quite high, thanks to the police intervention. Many Vigrid members are very young, some only 14 years old, and some have apparently started to react to the strange way in which the 60-year-old Tvedt drools over the young girls in his group, describing them as sexy and praising their physical attributes. There have also been complaints about Tvedt’s second-in-command, Torgrim Bredesen who, according to some of the younger members, has a much more aggressive approach than Tvedt.

It is not the first time the police have knocked on the doors of Tvedt’s followers. In a smaller operation two years ago, the police managed to peel off a large number of youngsters from Vigrid and recruit several informers. At that time, Tvedt tried to hide from the police, who wanted to serve him with a subpoena, and concocted a lunatic fairy tale claiming that the police planned to eliminate him on behalf of “ZOG”, nazi-speak for “Zionist Occupation Government”. While the police are probably infinitely more concerned about the young children brainwashed by Tvedt than any hare-brained notion of killing him, there is a possibility that he soon will spend some time in prison.

He has still not served his sentence for inciting racial hatred and the police might find it easier to follow up the prophet’s young followers with the prophet himself tucked up safely behind bars. Should that happen, Tvedt might well leave prison with a deeper understanding of the old truth that nobody becomes a prophet in his own country.


© Searchlight Magazine 2003


Harry Bidney – Searchlight’s Pervert Hero

Harry Bidney was manager of the Limbo Club in Soho , which should have been warning enough. He was also involved with the Zionist terror outfit, 'The 62 Group' who were supporters of the terrorist Beginite Herut organisation in Israel .

Gable met Bidney when both were involved with the '62 Group.

After his death, Bidney was described by Gable in Searchlight’s pages as a "hero".

So who was this hero to who Gable looks up as a role model?

In 1977 Bidney was found guilty of eight charges of living off the earnings of prostitutes.

In court, Bidney was described as the company secretary of Calderhead Investments, which was headed by David Calderhead, who was jailed for, on his own admission, attempting to procure a 16-year-old boy to commit an act of gross indecency with the predatory homosexual Harry Bidney.

In the March 1997 edition of Searchlight Gerry Gable wrote of his joy at having a 60th birthday surprise party sprung on him by his fellow Searchlight comrades.

He listed pimp Harry Bidney as one of just eight "old and dear friends" that had "passed on". But "The evening did not pass without fond memories of you all".


Gable’s Fables 2: “Maggie's Militant Tendency” Lie

Cost the BBC £1 million

How the BBC Paid out £1,000,000 in Libel Damages after Running one of Gable’s lies

In 1984, Gerry Gable and Searchlight provided “research” back-up to the BBC Panorama programme on "Maggie's Militant Tendency" -- supposedly about “extreme right wingers” within the Tory Party.

Despite this ruse being an obvious Communist attempt to divert attention away from the very real extremist leftist “Militant Tendency” which was then still tenaciously involved in a power struggle within the Labour Party, the BBC accepted Gable’s “research” without question and based an entire episode on it.

Gable was in fact, quick to boast of how the programme "drew heavily upon Searchlight's own revelations", (Searchlight No 130 April 1986, p2).

According to Labour MP Mr Robin Corbett, Gable "was the man mainly responsible for the programme" (Daily Telegraph, 13 March 1985).

Of course, it was yet another Gable fantasy, and the two Tory MPs named as “secret Nazis,” Neil Hamilton and Gerald Howarth, quickly issued a libel action against the BBC.

Faced with the overwhelming evidence that Gable had simply manufactured the “evidence” and had given the BBC the biggest load of cock-and-bull ever seen since the ‘Column 88’ hogwash, the BBC’s legal department surrendered, and in 1986 the BBC offered an out-of-court settlement, which was accepted, and the damages amounted to £1 million in cash.

Despite this money actually coming from the taxpayer and TV licence payers directly, and therefore actually being public money, the BBC and other media forms still rely on Gable’s fantasies for their stories… something which will, without question, cost them dearly in the future again.

It is little wonder that an article in The Observer said Gable is "a conspiracy theorist who could spot Nazi architecture in a kindergarten sandpit".


Zoompad said...

Now this is all looking very dirty. The Blog of Doom is getting together with the NOTW bloodhounds. We all know who is at the front of the pack, TOM WATSON MP

Tom, I think your Searchlight pals may have overstepped the mark a bit, by trying to blame EDL for the Norway massacre. You should think things through carefully before you put stuff out in the public arena, you cant take it back after you have put it out.

Oh, you Doombloggers, you really have got yourself into a nice mess this time havent you? I did warn you that God sees everything though, didnt I? He really does. Just as I see things going on from my garden, hearing the birdies singing, with the droning of the military aircraft circling lazily by, God sees you lot twiddling about trying to work out your nasty naughty little plots and plans. Your masters really should not have allowed you to write crap about me on your Doom blog, it makes me so angry, then I turn to my heavenly father, who shows me things. You should leave me alone, the more you swipe at me the more you will get stung God be praised!

Zoompad said...

Doombloggers, I think mass murder is even more terrible than institutional child abuse. Its like you lot have dropped a tenner to pick up a penny.

You have tangled yourself up with a lot of people even nastier than yourselves. You should repent, if your masters have a grain of sense and self preservation left, they will put an end to this cover up with a compromise, hand over the ringleaders of the HDLG child abuse to rightful justice, stop shielding them and stop the persecution of the whistleblowers. Thats what I would do in your shoes, of course, I would not have got into that mess in the first place, holding tight to Gods hand.

Zoompad said...

Believe it or not, all I want is for some peace and quiet. I cant have any though, not with one of my dear friends being threatened with jail over trumped up nonsense.

I dont want to have to do any of this blogging, but I am duty bound to as long as that poor man has that threat of jail hanging over him. I just want to enjoy some of this wonderful summer, but I cant. the Jersey criminals are spoiling it for me by persecuting one of my friends and continuously writing offensive crap about me on their Blog of Doom.

It makes me sick to read that horrible blog all the time, but I have to read it to see what the scum are saying about me.

You lot keep poking me with a stick, you are a pain in the backside, I cant enjoy this lovely summer with all this rubbish going on.

Zoompad said...

They just cannot resist it can they? And every time I visit that Blog of Doom I notice something else. They are loose cannons!

"There is still going to be fall-out over Haut de la Garenne. While that happens, we stay online.

So, we say to our bold bloggers out there squatting in the sand dunes looking for ^&%$", good on ya boyos. Keep it up and don’t get caught!
Posted by Saturn 5 at 8:14 AM "

Zoompad said...

"Dont get caught"

I think its a bit too late to worry about that now.

Searchlight Magazine will be getting the police banging on the door soon, and you bozos have led them there. They are going to love you chaps for shitting them up!

Nice one!

Anon said...

Wow! Lots of excellent information here.

- Aangirfan

Zoompad said...

Well, you can thank the Blog of Doom for it Ang, because if it wasn't for them keep posting malicious crap about me and making me really angry I wouldn't have spent so much time and energy looking for the dirt on them! I supposse the Lord allows these bozos to persecute us to His own purpose, the arrogant blabbermouths are leading me to their own skeleton closets!

Zoompad said...

Its very funny in a macabre sort of way. The Doombloggers just wont leave me alone, they are like silly teenagers picking at their spots, they just cant resist having another swipe at me, and the Spirit of the Lord abides with me, guiding me when I turn to Him for comfort. Praise the Lord!

Zoompad said...

Here's another one

Anonymous said...
Rico is just a over zealous prat. Meddling with a Scrutiny Report by trying to influence it via his blog was raised only last week and he is too stupid to see it or even admit it.

"Besides if Harper thinks he can clear his behavior by liaising with these idiots on blogspot then more fool him. His behavior going down to their level brought attention to himself in the first place. "

Zoompad said...

"going down to their level"

What does he mean "their level"

Gutter level! I find that downright insulting!

The newspaper headline of Pindown tried to smear us, "THEY WERE NO ANGELS" it said. They smeared us, and made out we deserved to be abused!

I am hopping mad about these continuous insults and slander.

Zoompad said...

@myY0UTUBEchanneI Libertarianism is a very shallow theology of distinct Cowardice, that was specifically designed for cowards who cannot and will not look after their own people and own family.SHAME ON YOU..
NationalistDefender 14 hours ago 6
ShareRemoveFlag for spamBlock UserUnblock User There were several serious vicious plants inserted into our party, one of the worse a Paul Morris, aka Josef Bolinsky and Kemp himself who was blackmailed by the State
NationalistDefender 15 hours ago 4

NationalistDefender Is he the Paul Morris who was involved in Treasure Island Media, a San Francisco, California- based gay pornography studio that specializes in bareback pornography?
realzoomy 3 hours ago

NationalistDefender 1 hour ago

Zoompad said...

Just as I thought.

And the BBC have done everything they possibly can to destroy the police investigations into institutional child abuse.

Nick Griffin is a Christian. The BBC have portayerd him as a thug. Nick Griffin hates child abuse. That is why he is hated by the paedophiles

Zoompad said...
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Zoompad said...

I advise anyone who is disgusted by obscene images not even to try to go onto that first site, even the opening page is just pure in your face filth.

And the people who set up these disgusting sites hide behind the excuse that they are claiming equality with married couples.

People need to wise up to what is really going on. This is pure filth.

Zoompad said...

Just so angry. These creeps have got immunity via the police and legal system. They play the "Gay Hate" card every time anyone challenges their evil behaviour.

This is nothing to do withy gay couples wanting to be happy with each other. This is loathsome sexual perversion. This is encouraging each other to see other people as lumps of meat.

Zoompad said...

Tom Watson: 'Phone hacking is only the start. There's a lot more to come out'

The Labour MP has won the admiration of fellow politicians for doggedly investigating the phone-hacking scandal. What has the experience taught him, how has it changed his life – and what revelations are still to come?

John Harris, Tuesday 2 August 2011 19.59 BST
Article history

A month ago, Tom Watson received word that the Guardian was about to expose the hacking of Milly Dowler's phone by the News of the World. With 72 hours to go, he cleared his diary; a few days later, he was averaging three hours sleep a night, as he and his staff picked through leaked documents, newspaper archives, personal testimony from phone-hacking victims, and more. As the MP who had been obsessively trying to cut through the murk surrounding News International for two years, he well knew that the most dramatic chapter in the two-year phone-hacking saga had arrived – and the imperative now was to work harder than ever.

So how have the last few weeks been? "Sleep-deprived, totally crazy," he says, sitting in his parliamentary office during what seems to be a rare moment of calm. "But also, there's been a great sense of relief. I think I said something to David Cameron about a month before: that there were powerful forces trying to cover this story up. At some points over the last two years, I thought it might blow. But I've also thought that the lid could be welded back on. But when Nick Davies broke the Milly Dowler story, that was the point where I knew they'd never get the lid back on."

And has he been surprised by what's happened since?

"Yeah. I guess two years ago, I felt that all this would probably cost Rebekah Brooks her job. I thought the scale of wrongdoing was so great that somebody on the UK side of the company would have to take responsibility. And I was absolutely convinced that there was a cover-up. But I didn't know that it would all travel abroad. I didn't know it would get to America and Australia, and everywhere that it has." The closure of the News of the World, he says, came as "a genuine shock" to him, but he says that the same applied to News International: "There was a huge consumer boycott, there was going to be no advertising . . . I don't think they had a choice."

Raised in Kidderminster in a family split between communists and passionate Labour supporters, Watson has been the MP for West Bromwich East since 2001. In the eyes of his parliamentary colleagues, he has undoubtedly been one of the heroes of the phone-hacking story – so much so, that when he speaks on the subject in the House of Commons, he is now greeted with a reverential hush. But three or four years ago, his reputation was very different: he was routinely described as a "bruiser", and known as one of a small circle of insiders that linked Gordon Brown's coterie to some of the most powerful elements in the trade unions.


Zoompad said...

In 2006, he was a junior defence minister, but resigned as part of the so-called "curry-house plot": the attempt at toppling Tony Blair that placed fatal cracks in his premiership, and led to his departure the following year. Six months after Gordon Brown's arrival in Downing Street, Watson became a minister in the cabinet office with a focus on "digital engagement", though this phase of his progress did not last long. In 2009, he was falsely accused of involvement in the infamous plan to set up an unseemly website for anti-Tory political gossip known as "Red Rag", and returned from a trip to Cornwall to find his next-door neighbour upset after the latter's bins had been rooted through. This, he says, was time of "constant anxiety" and "sleepless nights": he considered standing down as an MP, but settled for returning to the backbenches.

In response to the Red Rag accusations, he took legal action against the Sun and the Mail on Sunday. In short order, the Mail on Sunday apologised for the Red Rag story and paid him damages (the Sun soon followed suit), Watson joined the culture, media and sport select committee, and the Guardian broke the first stories about phone hacking at the News of the World running wider than a "rogue reporter", and big pay-offs to victims – all of which fed into a watershed select committee hearing on 21 July 2009.

That day, Watson and his colleagues interviewed four key people: Stuart Kuttner, who had just resigned as managing editor of the News of the World (and who yesterday became the latest NI figure to be arrested as part of Operation Weeting), former editor Andy Coulson (by then Cameron's head of communications), the then News of the World editor Colin Myler, and the company's legal head Tom Crone (who left the company three weeks ago). The latter had tried to have Watson excluded from the hearing on account of his legal action against the Sun, which gave the proceedings an additional charge. Watson's key questions focused on the £700,000 payment NI had made to Gordon Taylor, chief executive of footballers' union the PFA, though by his own admission, he wasn't quite sure what he was doing.

"When Myler and Crone first turned up, my knowledge was novice-level," he says. "I knew about three facts. But what I knew was that in any great scandal, you've got to follow the money. They were hick, amateur questions: I think I opened with: 'When did you tell Rupert Murdoch [about the payment]?' I thought that you might as well start at the top

Zoompad said...

"They said: 'Oh no – we didn't tell Rupert Murdoch.' Then it was, 'Well, who did you tell? Who authorised it?' Myler got frustrated me with me, because I came back to this four or five times. He ranted. And don't forget: Crone had already tried to get me off the committee. So at that point, I thought: 'You're rude, you've tried to remove me from this committee, you've put me under extreme pressure for a number of years – there's more to this, and I'm getting to the bottom of it.' "When Myler was so over the top . . . it was like there was a big neon light behind his head, saying, 'Dig here.'"

So began two years of dogged work. In the build-up to last year's general election, the select committee's drive to investigate hacking temporarily faded – but Watson was already talking to hacking victims, dealing with "one killer insider at News International" who was secretly sending him material, and piecing together evidence already in the public domain. At one point, he and his staff went through five years of News of the World back-issues. ("You learn a lot about Kerry Katona," he says.) He was also liaising with his fellow Labour MP – and phone-hacking victim – Chris Bryant, and a small handful of journalists.

There is one fascinating subtext to the whole story: Watson's claim that Brooks has long been driven to damage him, which he says dates back to his move against Blair. "I had one particular chilling conversation in 2006," he says, "when I was told that she would never forgive me for doing what I did to 'her Tony'. When I was made an assistant whip under Brown, the Sun did a story saying it was an outrageous I'd been awarded a job. Whenever I moved, there was a dig. It's painful and it's not easy, but that's the job, and the culture we operated in. It's when it's scaled up that those attack pieces take on a greater significance."

How was it scaled up?

"Well, there was the Red Rag week, where they ran stories for six or seven days, accusing me of lying and worse, on the basis of a story that wasn't true. And then things like . . . people coming back to me, reporting conversations. Bob Ainsworth [then Labour defence secretary] met Brooks for a lunch and said she spent 15 minutes slagging me off before they could talk about defence policy. Those things end up coming back to you."

Of late, there have been reports that she told Labour insiders she would pursue Watson "for the rest of his life" – a story he dates to the Labour party conference of 2006. When the Red Rag story broke, he claims Brooks texted Labour cabinet ministers, demanding that he was sacked.

At one point, he says, a senior editor at the Sun made a point of sending him a message via another Labour MP: "Tell that fat bastard Watson we know about his little planning matter." This, he says, was a reference to his application to put a conservatory on his family home in the Midlands: a typical "non-newsy, low-level thing" that played its part in making him "start to think like a conspiracy theorist".

From a credible source, he has just discovered that in 2009, all of this turned completely pantomimic. "There were always people outside my flat, and I felt pursued," he says. "But then last Thursday, the home affairs correspondent of the BBC told me they had a story that they [the News of the World] hired private investigators to follow me around Labour party conference in 2009, when we were right in the middle of the first select committee enquiry.

Zoompad said...

"I laughed at that, because they'd have basically followed me around drinking Guinness with a load of fat blokes. If you're an ex-minister, it's a bit of a holiday. It wouldn't have been very productive. But in all seriousness, at that point the pressure was immense. There were little conversations with people: 'We've had News International on the phone, how aggressive are you going to be on this committee? What are you going to ask?'"

Who was asking that?

"People who worked at No 10. People I'd worked with before. In conversations, these things were dropped in."

On 10 July, his old friends at the Mail on Sunday ran a story claiming that Tony Blair had urged Brown to get him to back off News International. How much truth does he think there is in that?

"Er . . . They've both denied it. But if Rupert Murdoch were to phone Blair to ask him to get me to back off, it wouldn't surprise me. They're very close."

What does that mean? That he may well have done?

"Well, he's denied it. Two or three people in the party have told me that happened, but I can't stand it up."

Two weeks ago, Watson played his part in the select committee's questioning of James Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch and Brooks, which was followed by Myler and Crone's claim that a crucial part of James Murdoch's evidence had been "mistaken". Watson pushed for him to be issued with an immediate summons to return and give evidence, but was outvoted: the committee has now written to James Murdoch seeking further explanation, and its chairman, the Tory MP John Whittingdale, says it's "very likely" that he will eventually be recalled in person. Meanwhile, the story about the targeting of Sara Payne has broken ("I didn't think it could get any lower, and it has," he tells me), there are regular stories about the Metropolitan police (their reputation, says Watson, is "in tatters") and new information about the deletion of thousands of News International emails. So how much more is there to come?

"I think we're probably only about halfway through the number of revelations. I'm pretty certain there will be quite detailed stuff on other uses of covert surveillance. I suspect that emails will be the next scandal. And devices that track people moving around. That's just starting to come out."

Does he expect confirmation of the targeting of 9/11 victims?

"I don't know that. I want the prime minister to put pressure on as far as that's concerned, because it's internationally significant. What we know from the evidence we took in 2009 is that Glenn Mulcaire worked exclusively for the News of the World from 2001. He was on a £10,000-a-month contract. So if he was prepared to hack Milly Dowler's phone . . . you know . . . it's entirely conceivable that he would have been told to hack the phones of victims, and families of victims, of 9/11. What we need is certainty, so people can move on from there."

What other things will become public?

"People who aren't household names, but who are associated with people who have been the victims of high-profile crimes . . . I think there's a lot more of them to come out. Ordinary people whose lives have been turned inside out."

Zoompad said...

Ten days ago, Watson said he had seen no evidence that implicated any newspaper group other than News International in phone hacking – since when, there has been news of prospective cases against Trinity Mirror, the publisher of titles including the Sunday Mirror – and the barrage of accusation and denial surrounding Piers Morgan. A copy of Morgan's diaries, I notice, is sitting on the coffee table in front of us.

"I'm doing my research now," he says. "There are a lot of people on Twitter who are raising different points of fact with me. The good that I want to come from this is the industry recognising that it's got to reform and change. Everyone's got to play their role in that. And that probably requires other media groups, if there was wrongdoing, to get it out there and be honest about it."

Hanging over just about everything we talk about is a slightly awkward implied presence: the politician Watson used to be, a man happy enough to play his part in New Labour's often moronic dances with the Murdoch press, and issue shrill messages either aimed at, or inspired by, the red-tops. Not for the first time, he says he's "totally ashamed" about an occasion in 2001 when he called for Kate Adie to be sacked by the BBC after she was alleged to have revealed the details of a trip by Blair to Middle East: his quote was given at the behest of Downing Street and used for a characteristic BBC-bashing splash in the Sun.

He acknowledges the Blair and Brown governments' neurotic focus on "media management", and their cynical fondness for dishing out "populist messages to the newspapers". On the latter count, he again has form: in 2004, he ran Labour's infamous by-election campaign in the Birmingham seat of Hodge Hill, among whose choicest messages was: "Labour is on your side – the Lib Dems are on the side of failed asylum seekers."

That sounds, I tell him, like the kind of rhetoric that Labour copied from the tabloids. "It's not a great line," he says. "I don't think I'd write that again." By way of underlining another kind of repentance, he reminds me that though he voted for the Iraq war in 2003, he recently abstained when it came to the UK intervention in Libya, "because I'd never again vote for a war on the promise of a prime minister."

So, he has changed. "I have changed. This has been a profoundly life-changing event for me, in many ways. It's certainly changed my politics. When I was first elected, I was a completely naive and gauche politician. You look at the pillars of the state: politics, the media, police, lawyers – they've all got their formal role, and then nestling above that is that power elite who are networked in through soft, social links, that are actually running the show. Why didn't I know that 10 years ago, and why didn't I rail against it? Why did I become part of it? I was 34. I'm 44 now. I was naive. But I'll never let that happen again."

Zoompad said...

John Harris. Now, where have I heard that name before?

Oh yes, I remember!

Zoompad said...

Phone hacking: Times editor criticises Tom Watson over mafia comment

James Harding says MP is 'pursuing an agenda' and 'put a lot of energy and thought in his pursuit of News International'

Dan Sabbagh, Monday 14 November 2011 12.03 GMT

The editor of the Times has criticised the Labour MP who last week compared News International to the mafia, saying the remark made the politician look like he was motivated by private concerns.

James Harding, speaking at the Society of Editors conference on Monday, was talking days after Tom Watson accused James Murdoch in parliament of being the "first mafia boss in history who didn't know he was running a criminal enterprise". A clearly irritated Murdoch responded that he thought this was an "inappropriate" comment.

The Times editor said that the Labour MP was a man who "has put a lot of energy and thought in the pursuit of News International" but that in making "this extraordinary claim" he "goes from looking like a man who is pursuing an investigation, he goes to looking like a man who is pursuing an agenda".

Asked why the Times did not initially follow up allegations made in the Guardian in July 2009 that "thousands" of people were targets of phone hacking at its News International stablemate the News of the World, Harding said that his newspaper's response was coloured by the initial reaction of his newspaper's owners and the police.

He added that when newspapers report on each other "there's often a sense there is an agenda there" and added that "on the day that it [the hacking story] broke the police came out to say there is nothing to see there". He added: "It is only as a few more pieces fell into place … I remember in the newsroom of the Times thinking there is something seriously wrong here."

Harding noted that the newspaper took its cue from the denials issued by both the company and the police, but he conceded that "there was a posture on the part of the company that was too ready to see its critics as its enemies".

His remarks reflected comments made by James Murdoch before the culture, media and sport select committee on Thursday, in which the executive chairman of News International said that it "moved into an aggressive defence too quickly". Murdoch added: "I'm trying to learn from the events over the last number of years, trying to understand why the company couldn't come to grips with the issues in as fast a way as I would have liked."

Zoompad said...

They should ask Tom Watson about his liasons with Searchlight.

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