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Sun Probes Church Toilets in Cocaine Quest

The Sun has a “White Xmas Exclusive”:

Ding Dong Merrily We’re High: The Sun finds cocaine traces in iconic churches

EXCLUSIVE: Signs of drug found at Canterbury headquarters and 11 out of 25 top institutions

THE loos at some of Britain’s most iconic places of worship show signs of cocaine abuse, a Sun probe can reveal.

Our investigators discovered evidence members of the public really did have a white Christmas at 11 out of 25 top cathedrals and churches — including the Church of England’s HQ…

This is what I believe is known in the trade as a “non-story” – a number of churches and cathedrals that are also tourist destinations have toilets attached, and it appears that cocaine has been handled in some of these. These are not toilets that are reserved for clergy or churchgoers, and in some cases (such as Canterbury, for instance) they are accessed without entering the main building and so serve as public conveniences for passersby as well as for visitors.

The reference to the “Church of England’s HQ” is particularly mischievous, suggestive of Lambeth Palace (the Church’s administrative centre, which is not open to the public) rather than Canterbury Cathedral, which has spiritual primacy, and which is where one of the tests took place.

The Sun ran a similar stunt in 2013, focusing on the Houses of Parliament – that was at least a bit more interesting, as although the buildings are open to the public, security is tight and it is not a casual destination.

The trusty Crackdown Drug Testing Ltd “Cocaine Swab Drug Test” (available in a pack of ten for £16) was deployed again a few weeks ago to provide the shocking confirmation that cocaine had been handled in a pub in Brixton – the context here was that the pub had just been used as the venue for a Christmas party for supporters of Jeremy Corbyn, and the Sun wished to run a story about “Hard-Left Labour group in drug shame”. This story can be fairly characterised as a smear, but the paper perhaps wished to appear even-handed shortly after running an unbylined story  under the headline “Elliott Johnson dad claims Tories ‘openly snorted’ cocaine at boat party”.

It seems that Sun hack Matt Quinton was so flushed by his Brixton success that he has decided to make a full-time career from investigative toilet swabbing. One photo shows Quinton posing next to a toilet seat while brandishing a wipe, although he’s risking a nasty rash: his hands are bare, whereas the the product blurb cautions that the wipes contain “Cobalt Thiocyanate, which may cause irritation to skin” and that “the use Latex Gloves is recommended when handling the swabs”.

Times Backpedals on “Muslims ‘Silent on Terror'” Headline

An amended front-page headline from The Times (image H/T @steveplrose):

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According to the text:

Muslims are boycotting the country’s key anti-radicalisation programme, The Times can disclose, after it emerged that less than a tenth of extremism tip-offs were coming directly from the community or faith leaders.

The revelation that there were fewer than 300 community tip-offs in six months to the government’s Prevent programme will raise concern that the police are being denied information that might prevent terrorist attacks.

The rest of the article is paywalled, although the guts of it appear in a derivative PA article:

…The Times says that data released by the National Police Chiefs Council has revealed that of the 3,288 referrals to Prevent in the first half of the year, just 280 – or 8.6% – came from within the Muslim community, or from family, friends and faith leaders. Nearly 2,200 referrals were made by public bodies outside policing, such as social services and the health or education sectors.

Following the Times article, the National Police Chiefs Council issued a statement:

A legislative change was introduced in April 2015 which required public bodies to make referrals to the Prevent programme, and which led to a high number of referrals being recorded… The figures may not accurately capture the nature of the original source because in many cases members of the community will report in the first instance to the police. For example, the numbers include referrals about domestic extremism and extreme right wing radicalisation. Currently one in ten of the referrals received come direct from communities, whilst referrals from outside of police and prisons form the majority of the other referrals received

Although tactfully written, this knocks the wind out of The Times‘s front-page splash: the “2,200 referrals” are due to a change in the law, and they include data that has nothing to do with Islamic extremism; and the “280” figure is not a record of the extent to which concerned Muslims may have made “information that might prevent terrorist attacks” known to the police. The article is statistically misleading and lacks any kind of meaningful qualitative interpretation.

Note also the oddness of a headline quote that doesn’t appear to be attributed to anyone, and which is then substituted for a different headline quote. Who is saying these things, if not The Times itself? In which case, why are quote marks needed at all? One suspects that the hapless journalist has been handed a press release from someone with an interest, with the data pre-spun.

Mark Clarke, Harry Cole and a “Social Media Campaign” Against Ben Howlett MP

A detail from Simon Walters at the Mail on Sunday:

Tory MP Ben Howlett has spoken of his ‘mental health issues’ after a vicious feud with Mark Clarke.

Traumatised Mr Howlett was referred to a psychotherapist by his GP when Clarke’s gang falsely branded him a ‘terrorist sympathiser’ in a four-year social media war against him.

An inexperienced Howlett, then 23, made a half-hearted defence of Northern Ireland politician Gerry Adams at a rowdy pub hustings chaired by Clarke, and was branded a ‘terrorist sympathiser’ and ‘IRA apologist’ in an internet smear campaign against him.

He is convinced it was a trap laid by Clarke. After he applied to become a Parliamentary candidate in 2013, local activists were targeted with the same bogus claims. 

I previously wrote about the Mark Clarke scandal here; Zelo Street has extensive commentary and background on the media coverage. The hustings were for a forthcoming election for chair of Conservative Future.

The history of this particular claim about Howlett is of some interest. Its first appearance was on the website of Harry Cole, who in 2010 was blogging as “Tory Bear” while also working for Paul Staines. Cole, who is today the Sun‘s Westminster Correspondent, has long-standing links with Clarke, although Cole now says they fell out last year. Cole has filed a number of reports on the Clarke story for the Sun, including one exclusive that featured images of notes from David Cameron that must be Clarke’s own personal possessions.

Here’s Cole on Howlett in 2010:

And so to Mahiki last night for the first of the Conservative Future chairman hustings that was piggy-backing on the Young Britons’ Foundation Summer Party…

It wasn’t until a cheeky grenade was lobbed in that there was the night’s only shocking incident. Candidates were asked “Which politician do you most relate to and respect… in Northern Ireland?”

Given that he was speaking in a room of Thatcherite right-wingers, Ben Howlett’s attempt at getting the Fenian vote look spectacularly inappropriate. He cited Gerry Adams as “a conviction politician”.

What exactly did Howlett mean by this? Cole doesn’t feel the need to give any kind of context, but we do know that Cole is deeply dishonest, and it is highly implausible that Howlett would have offered up an endorsement IRA terrorism.

Cole’s post was promoted the same day by Iain Dale, who observed that “One suspects [Howlett’s] chances of winning the chairmanship of CF have not improved”.

The matter was raised again in 2012 by Christian May on Dale’s Total Politics website; it is perhaps worth noting that Christian May is apparently Cole’s flatmate (H/T Zelo Street), and that last year May, Cole and Clarke were part of the same cricket team. Here’s May’s version:

Speaking of being embarrassingly off message, rightly or wrongly most Tories in Westminster now associate the current Conservative Future chairman, Ben Howlett, with his infamous gaffe during a hustings. When asked which politician from Northern Ireland he most admired, he responded “Gerry Adams.” Even more bafflingly, he stuck to his position and described him as “a conviction politician.” He may have misspoke. He may have said something stupid under pressure but unfortunately for him he did say it and today “and Gerry Adams” is a suggested result when Ben Howlett is typed into Google.

One senior figure from the height of young Conservative notoriety tells me that when Norman Tebbit learned that Howlett revealed Gerry Adams to be a man he admired, the former Party Chairman “shook his head in disgust and said that nothing surprised him anymore about the state of the Conservative Party”.

There’s a subtle change of emphasis here: the word “admire” has been introduced, and the “conviction politician” comment is evidence of doubling-down rather than being the main offence itself (Incidentally, one wonders who the “senior figure” was who made sure that the story reached the ears of Norman Tebbit, and who then reported back with his reaction).

The matter was raised yet again in 2014 by Breitbart London:

Would-be Conservative MP for Bath Ben Howlett is facing pressure to stand down after it emerged that one of his admired politicians Gerry Adams was taken into questioning over murder.

At a private meeting in 2010 Mr Howlett was asked which Northern Irish politician he most admired, confirming it was Mr Adams, who leads the political arm of the terrorist Irish Republican Army: Sinn Fein.

Despite regular requests to take back the comments, Mr Howlett has always stood by them. He was recently selected to fight the marginal seat of Bath in the 2015 UK general electiion… His chances are now likely to have been significantly damaged.

…The full story on Adams is available here.

One suspects that by reporting that Howlett is “facing pressure”, Breitbart is being self-referential. “Admired” is now firmly embedded into the heart of the story; and the impression is given that Howlett regularly enthuses over Adams. The Breitbart article is anonymous, although the link to the article on Adams clicks through to a (now blank) piece by Andre Walker, who is frequently described as a “henchman” of Mark Clarke.

The story most recently reappeared in a piece about the Mark Clarke scandal by Iain Dale:

Howlett fingered Sayeeda Warsi, Grant Shapps and Andrew Feldman on Newsnight last week, saying that he had reported instances of bullying to them which they had failed to investigate…

My only previous knowledge of Howlett was when he was seeking adoption in a number of seats prior to the last election. He was sifted for interview in Eastbourne, once represented by Margaret Thatcher’s close friend, Ian Gow. Gow was killed by an IRA car bomb in 1990. Eastbourne Conservatives decided not to select Howlett as their candidate. One reason was that he had publicly announced that the politician he most admired in Northern Ireland was Gerry Adams.

But as shown above, Dale’s “previous knowledge of Howlett” in fact came from Harry Cole in 2010. Further, Dale’s information about Howlett’s failure in Eastbourne appears to be a new detail that he is here introducing into the public domain. Dale obviously wants us to regard Howlett with scepticism and distaste (the wider implication of his article is that Howlett’s complaints are opportunistic) – but he is keen for us to believe that he is merely relaying the considered opinion of mainstream Conservatives in Eastbourne, rather than once again promoting Harry Cole’s 2010 blogpost.

The same Mail on Sunday article that I began this post with also includes a detail about Paul Abbott, until recently the chief executive of Conservative Way Forward. According to the report, he has been a

…victim of a crude smear campaign inspired by Clarke’s camp in recent weeks.

This is somewhat opaque, but it presumably refers to a claim that appeared (with evidence) in the Sun last week:

A CONSERVATIVE Party chief warned Tatler Tory Mark Clarke he should smile at people and get “someone else to shoot them” after he was accused of bullying.

Activist Josh Hitchens complained about Clarke to party bosses just two months before he was made boss of RoadTrip.

But his email was immediately forwarded to then-Chief of Staff Paul Abbott, who leaked the complaint to Clarke, warning: “FYI. Maybe do this on the phone in future?”

And the co-author of this particular article? Once again: Harry Cole. Is the Mail on Sunday‘s Simon Walters trying to tell us something?

Own A Widow’s Mite For Less Than $60!

From the Gospel According to Mark (KJV):

And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

It’s a story that invites us to think about humility and the true nature of generosity and commitment. And what better way to show that these things are important  to you than to wear Widow’s Mite jewellery?

WND has the details of a miraculous Christmas offer:

You know the story of the widow’s mite from the Bible. But did you know that you can own one or more of these bronze coins from ancient Israel, circa 135 BC to 29 AD?

On a recent WND trip to the Holy Land, WND cofounder Elizabeth Farah met with Lenny Wolfe, a highly respected adventurer and antiquities dealer who has collected a treasure trove of these ancient coins and mounted them in sterling silver casings. Mrs. Farah decided to bring a little bit of the Holy Land back to share with her friends.

The WND Superstore has a limited supply of these in two sizes – small regularly priced at $59.99, but discounted for holiday shoppers at $49.99, and $69.99, discounted to $59.99. They come ready to place on your own chain or on a charm bracelet. At these prices, they won’t last long.

Each widow’s mite comes with a certificate of authenticity signed by the distinguished Lenny Wolfe, packaged in a velvet jewelry pouch inside a gift box.

WND regularly organises tours to the “Holy Land”, in the company of the likes of Jim Bakker and Jonathan Cahn, originator of the recent “Shemitah” end-times prophecy theory. And it seems that the real message of the “widow’s mite” is to do with the importance of Israel:

“This is something I’ve dreamed about,” said Farah. “I wanted to bring back biblically meaningful products from Israel for all of the lovers of the Jewish state in America and around the world. This is the first step. It’s a small one – indeed the smallest coin from Israel’s Roman era. But they are coins with real meaning – so much so that Jesus Himself commented on them”

Wolfe is indeed a well-known figure in Israeli antiquities dealing, and he is profiled in a 2008 book about the subject by Nina Burleigh:

I met with Wolfe on several occasions in Jerusalem, and in New York. He was always highly entertaining—sly, salacious, raunchy and suggestive—but it was also clear he knew what he was talking about, and unlike Oded Golan, whose explanations of his business were always obscure, Wolfe was  proud to describe exactly how the Israeli antiquities market works. “I’m a real motherfucker,” he told me the first day we met. “But I won’t sell a fake.”

Presumably those are not the words that appear on the “certificate of authenticity”.

Lantern Project Loses NHS Funding

From the Daily Mail:

A charity which has helped two key witnesses in the VIP child sex abuse investigation has lost NHS funding amid concerns over its use of a controversial therapy which can generate false memories.

The Lantern Project was stripped of financial support after fears were raised over its governance, counselling techniques and use of unqualified staff.

The move raises further questions about the judgment of Labour deputy leader Tom Watson, who championed two alleged victims of VIP abuse helped by the charity. 

As opposed, presumably, to “questions about the judgment” of the Daily Mail, which for years has run articles promoting the Lantern Project and its founder, Graham Wilmer – here’s one from almost exactly a year ago, and here’s one from 2010. The 2014 article describes Wilmer as a “government adviser”, noting he had been “appointed by Theresa May to the controversial historic sex abuse inquiry”; Wilmer subsequently declined to re-apply when a new panel was created a few months later, but if there are questions about Watson, why are there not also “questions about the judgment” of the government?

The article also mentions “the disgraced ‘investigative’ news website Exaro”; but until a few months ago the Mail was very happy to refer to the site as a credible source, just as it described Watson as “campaigning MP Tom Watson”. That, of course, was before Watson became deputy leader of the Labour Party.

I’ve expressed misgivings about Exaro‘s approach, and I am of the view that Watson has made mistakes in his advocacy of CSA claims; but the Mail‘s reverse ferret, which began a couple of months ago, is hard to take.

The statement by the NHS Wirral Commissioning Group can be seen here; there is no specific reference to “recovered memories”. The Mail appears to have inferred that this may have been factor from a critical article that appeared in the Sunday Times in October, which described the Lantern Project as using “a controversial therapy experts fear could generate false memories” – I discussed this report, and the Lantern Project’s response, here.

As I noted previously, Wilmer comes across on Twitter as strangely aggressive character, posting triumphant and goading messages that boast of discrediting disclosures just around the corner (“tick tock” being a favourite phrase). This left a very poor professional impression. Wilmer also appears to have a grudge against a former MP, and this individual has been named as an abuser by one of Lantern’s clients. This creates the unfortunate sense of a conflict of interest.

Last month, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse launched a “Truth Pilot Project” in Liverpool. The launch event included comments from the Merseyside Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre and Stepping Stones North Wales; the Lantern Project was conspicuously not mentioned.

Footnote

The new Mail article repeats an error that appeared in the Sunday Times report in claiming that recovered memories “played a part in false abuse cases such as the Cleveland child abuse scandal in 1987”. In fact, the Cleveland case was driven by a quack medical misdiagnosis.

The Media, a “Blind Bulgarian Clairvoyant”, and the “Rise of Isis”

From News.au.com:

Bulgaria-born Prophetess Baba Vanga, who died in 1996 aged 85, was known as “Nostradamus from the Balkans” thanks to a purported 85 per cent success rate and has long been revered in Russia and Europe as a kind of supernatural saint.

[Her] chilling prophecies warn of a 2016 invasion of Europe by Muslim extremists, a conflict she predicted would begin with the Arab Spring in 2010, play out in Syria where “Muslims would use chemical warfare against Europeans”, and culminate in the establishment of a caliphate by 2043 with Rome at its epicentre.

According to Vanga, Europe as we know it will “cease to exist” by the end of next year following the systematic elimination of entire populations, leaving the continent “almost empty”, a “wasteland almost entirely devoid of any form of life”.

It seems that this story derives from articles that have appeared on Eastern European news sites in recent weeks; in the UK, the Daily Mail has followed up with “Did a blind Bulgarian clairvoyant predict the rise of ISIS?”

However, another UK paper, the Independent, has introduced a note of caution:

Baba Vanga supposedly warned Muslims would invade Europe in a ‘great Muslim war’ which would end with the establishment of an Islamic caliphate by 2043, with Rome as its epicentre.

…But many of the people who were close to her have claimed she never made some of the prophecies attributed to her on the internet.

She also predicted nuclear war between 2010 and 2016, which she said would lead to the abandonment of Europe.

There are numerous questions of provenance: when exactly did Baba Vanga make specific claims? Who wrote them down? Can their accounts be corroborated? What is the wider context of specific quotes? And so on.

One purported list of Baba Vanga predictions appeared in English sometime around 2008, and seems to form the basis for the current claims. It includes the following:

2010 – The start of WWIII. The war will begin in November of 2010 and will end in October of 2014. Will start as a normal war, then will include usage of nuclear and chemical weapons.

2011 – Due to the radioactive showers in Northern Hemisphere – no animals or plants will be left. Muslims will begin chemical war against Europeans who are still alive.

2014 – Most of the people in this world will have skin cancer and skin related diseases. (as a result of chemical wars).

2016 – Europe is almost empty

2018 – China becomes the new world power.

[…]

2043 – World economy is prosperous. Muslims are running Europe.

Is the list genuine? It doesn’t contain direct quotes, and no Bulgarian sources are given. A 2006 Pravda report about Vanga’s prophecies doesn’t mention any of this – instead, the big news for 2018 is flying trains “powered by the Sun.”

But let’s take it at face value. There is a nuclear war in 2010; Muslims mop up survivors in 2011; Europe is not actually invaded in 2016, but is instead empty as a culmination of these events. Muslims take over later.

A website called Alamongordo.com seems to have been the first to have attempted to salvage the failed prophecies by reinterpreting them in the light of subsequent actual events:

…in November 2010 the people in Tunesia (Tunis) started up facebook groops that sparked and started the “ARAB SPRING” early 2011, after this the Arab Spring started in Egypt, than in Lybia and at this very moment it is happening in Syria (capital DAMASCUS), just the place Edgar Cayce named as last city before the start of the Third World War !!! So i think when you look at it and IF there will be a third world war because of the crisis in Syria that after this people will say WORLD WAR III started with the first Arab Spring in Tunis.

The nuclear calamity is explained by reference to Fukushima.

An Eastern European report from May took a similar line (via Google translate, tidied up):

Baba Vanga predicted that in 2016 Europe will be almost empty. The blind Bulgarian announced that in 2043 the continent would be dominated by Muslims!

Her prophecy can be viewed through an announcement relating to 2010. She predicted that the Third World War would start then, but first as clashes breaking out in countries where the people are fighting, and that it would later spread to the whole world.

And now, with terrorism in Europe and escalating conflict in the Middle East, the whole thing has been tweaked again, this time with 2016 being a year of cataclysm and Muslim invasion.

Lucy Allan MP’s “Unless You Die” Email Explanation

From the BBC News:

An MP accused of faking a death threat has defended modifying a message from a constituent.

Conservative MP for Telford, Lucy Allan, posted an email ending with the words “unless you die” on Facebook.

The email’s author denied writing the final line. Mrs Allan admitted adding it – but said it came from another email sent to her that day.

Allan’s explanation has a number of difficulties.

First, the screenshot shows that Allan was clearly introducing just one email:

MPs get a lot of abuse online – mostly I just take it. That just normalises it makes it acceptable, which it isn’t. So starting today I will publish it – you have been warned! This is from Rusty in Dawley:

There then follows a paragraph from “Rusty’s” email. The BBC’s screenshot shows that “Unless you die” was added to the end of this paragraph, although in the Daily Mail‘s version it appears on a separate line (without a paragraph line break – see below). Either way, though, there is nothing to suggest that two different emails were being published.

Second, the quote from “Rusty” is introduced by a quotation-mark,  and there is no closing quotation-mark; similarly, there is no opening quotation-mark for “Unless you die”, although there is a closing quotation mark. The punctuation is slightly inconsistent (a double-quote at the start, and a single quote at the end), but the overall impression that this is one long quote from a single source.

Third,  “Unless you die” makes no sense on its own. Why would anyone extract this phrase from a different email, without any further information about what the author is trying to convey?

Fourth, it just so happens that although taken out of context, “Unless you die” fits the new context in which it was “accidentally” placed:

…in which case there is no hope. Unless you die.

What are the chances of that?

Allan says that she has reported the “Unless you die” email to police.

If Allan wishes the public to believe that she is innocent of “faking a death threat”, she needs to do two things, as a minimum: (1) she needs to give precise details of where exactly she has made this report, and to ask the relevant police station to confirm publicly that she has done so; (2) she must make more details of this “Unless you die” email public, or at least allow the media to confirm its existence.

An MP faking a death threat is not just some silly indiscretion that should blow over – it is an incredibly serious matter that undermines democracy. Perhaps Allan has been very unlucky, but unless she can show she has not done such a thing, it is difficult to see how she can continue in public life.

False and malicious accusations by MPs and their cronies is a subject of which I have some knowledge.

UPDATE (11 December): Allan has now posted a fuller explanation on Facebook:

There has been confusion and misreporting surrounding recent social media exchanges involving me. Some headlines and stories have claimed that I invented fake death threats and that I admitted to doing so.

This is emphatically not the case and not something, which I have ever done, or would ever do.The facts are that West Mercia Police are currently investigating a death threat made by telephone to my Telford office. The anonymous male voice message, which was reported to police by a member of my staff, stated:

“Hi Lucy Allan I just want to let you know that soon someone is going to f**king kill you, you f**king b*tch. Hope you die.”

At the same time, the Metropolitan Police are investigating a cyber harassment campaign, which has made it difficult for my office staff and me to carry out our roles and duties in Parliament and in Telford.

…I want to make it clear that I do not know who made the death threat on my office answer phone. I am unable to make any connection between it and some of those who regularly direct varying levels of abuse at me on Twitter and Facebook.

Equally, I have acknowledged that a recent Facebook posting made by me drew upon two anonymous communications sent to me. In conflating elements of the two communications, I created a misleading impression, for which I have apologised. In the climate of intimidation created by the sort of cyber abuse to which MPs of all parties are now commonly subjected, on a daily basis, I believe that this error was understandable.

However, it emphatically does not amount to my having invented fake death threats or of ever having admitted to doing so. To claim that I did is wholly false. In reporting what I can only believe was a genuine death threat plus an unacceptable level of social media harassment to the police, I believe I have acted responsibly and within my duties as an MP and my rights as a citizen.

It appears that Allan has been the victim of some appalling behaviour. However, the above does not make it clear whether the “Unless you die” email specifically is being investigated, nor does it explain why “Unless you die” was extracted from a different email and added without any introduction or context.

Lucy Allan

BBC (top) and Daily Mail (bottom) screenshots

New Book From Former EDL Head Tommy Robinson

Tommy Robinson, former leader of the EDL, has written a memoir, called Enemy of the State. According to the blurb:

Former leader of the English Defence League Tommy Robinson descrives the uncomfortable truths about growing up in a town blighted by Islamic extremism and criminal gangs. When he led a street protest in support of British troops, the state set about destroying his livelihood and persecuting his family, before throwing him to the violent Muslim underworld that runs England’s prisons. Finally, they tried to blackmail him into working for them.

The “persecution”, of course, refers to his convictions for travelling to the USA on someone else’s passport and for mortgage fraud.

The book also includes an account of his 2013 departure from the EDL at a press conference with the Quilliam Foundation – according to details in the Huffington Post, Robinson claims that he allowed Quilliam to take the credit in return for money, and he is now scathing about the organisation.

The book, out next week, is being published by The Press News Ltd, which is run by a man named Danny Lockwood; Lockwood previously used the imprint to publish his own Islamic Republic of Dewsbury in late 2011, and he also has a newspaper, called The Press.

In 2014, Lockwood was convicted of assault following an altercation in a pub, although he was subsequently cleared on appeal. Lockwood had been accused of headbutting  and hitting a man who had accused him of publishing “discriminatory” articles; Lockwood successfully counter-argued that he had been subjected to abuse and had acted in self-defence. The appeal judges agreed that the headbutt had not been deliberate.

Lockwood was profiled by Hope Not Hate in 2012:

Lockwood first came to our attention in 2003 when his newly launched newspaper started giving a huge amount of positive coverage to the British National Party.

The coverage increased alarmingly when the BNP had three councillors elected in the Kirklees area between 2003 to 2006.

Writing mostly sympathetic articles regarding the BNP councillors, Lockwood even called two of them, Colin Auty and David Exley his personal friends.

With a letters page dominated by BNP members as well, you can understand why Kirklees BNP liked the newspaper as much as it did…

Ex-EDL Leader Tommy Robinson Introduces Tim Scott as Head of Pegida UK

From Hsiao-Hung Pai at Open Democracy:

Tommy Robinson has just returned from a Pegida demo in the city of Dresden, eastern Germany.

…”German Pegida activists are very mainstream, because the ideas against Islam and Islamic immigration are mainstream,” says Tommy Robinson. “The majority of people in Europe are concerned with that immigration.”

“Tim Scott, who’ll be leading Pegida UK, wanted to see for himself what the German group is about, Robinson continues. “He went with me to Dresden to meet the leaders …He wants to hold demos with no alcohol, no violence, just discipline…Not a day out drinking but proper demos. I’ve been talking to him about organising in the UK… I know how it went wrong with street protests of the EDL. I gave him my support. His Pegida UK will be working with the German Pegida, with their support. It is going to take over the street protest movement in Britain…It’s going to a different kind of street movement.”

That would appear to be the extent of Robinson’s reformation following his much-publicised resignation from the EDL in 2013, which was promoted as a great success for the Quilliam Foundation.

The above was published yesterday, on the same day that Robinson and Scott gave interviews to Alex Thomson at Channel 4 News: according to Thomson’s account:

But Tommy is the manager. The would-be star tells me his name is just “Tim”.

An odd start for a wannabe political leader not to have a second name.

On camera he suddenly admits to be Tom Scott. A former British soldier who fought in Afghanistan, he then tooled up as a fighter against IS alongside Kurdish militia.

…But our interview turns into something of a car-crash. Plainly unaccustomed to any scrutiny as to what the threat of radical Islam might be, Scott says:

“Girls getting groomed. Er… Youth getting radicalised. So many things you know?”

“Well that’s two.” I point out, “what else?”

“Well all stuff. You know? Look at Iraq? Do we wait till it gets that bad here? No, it’s best to act now and prevent that happening,”

Details about Scott are scarce, although Google Cache shows that until recently he maintained a presence on Facebook as “Tim Walter E Kurtz” (as in Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now), and that he appears to be the controller of a Facebook page called “FTR Freedom Truth Respect“, which in turn promotes a “Free Patriotic Movement”. Materials on the page include a letter from the “Movement” to the Labour Party from September, denouncing Jeremy Corbyn and all his works:

…He is a man who is both corrupt and devious, with links and convictions to terrorist organisations. His proposed increase of immigration freeloaders will only create a heavier workload on an already overstretched NHS, even poorer social housing and even less for the working class to look forward to… His childish approach to gaining the Tory no confidence vote by threatening national strikes and walk outs and holding the country to ransom. His choice of cabinet… with their various stances from condoning the utterly barbaric religiously justified acts of the Q’ran [sic], failure of child welfare within local authority care and links to organisations and foreign governments who no longer recognise Britain for the nation it once was…

However, while this sounds like standard EDL-type rhetoric, the Freedom Truth Respect page is more eclectic: the site’s profile image is an “Anonymous” Guy Fawkes mask coloured with a Union Flag, and posts include a video claiming that the “US Government Created ISIS”.