Truth Bomb in a Time of Universal Deceit

“In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell

I’ve only been to Westminster once. It was to interview Alex Salmond. It’s a very strange place which radiates almost identical amounts of power and dysfunctionality. This week saw the power of tradition overcome any sense of decency or truth as the Labour MP Dawn Butler was thrown out of the chamber for failing to withdraw her accusations that the Prime Minister is a liar.

She was very specific.

She said: “Poor people in our country have paid with their lives because the Prime Minister has spent the last 18 months misleading this House and the country over and over again.” She highlighted disputed claims made by the Prime Minister, including that the link between Covid-19 infection and serious disease and death had been severed.

She added: “It’s dangerous to lie in a pandemic.”

“I am disappointed the Prime Minister has not come to the House to correct the record and correct the fact that he has lied to the House and the country over and over again.”

“At the end of the day the Prime Minister has lied to this House time and time again.

“It’s funny that we get in trouble in this place for calling out the lie rather than the person lying.”

Again and again she was asked to withdraw her remarks which she steadfastly refused to do.

The silence from the Labour front-bench was as deafening as the chorus of support for her that echoed around social media. It was like a dam had burst. Here was someone actually calling out the Prime Minister for his actions, someone actually taking responsibility, doing their duty.

We live in a country where calling someone a liar is considered worse than lying; where calling out a racist is worse than being a racist. We live in a country where ‘our’ parliament is so full of arcane procedures it is more like a 18thC Gentleman’s Club than a functioning seat of democracy. We live in a country where shameless corruption, greed, lying, and cheating are all fine, as long as it’s done by an Etonian buffon.

If Dawn Butler was taking some responsibility, others this week were not.

Jacob Rees-Mogg has since apologised “profusely” after he used an “extremely offensive racist term” in the House of Commons. The Commons Leader used the phrase “Yellow Peril” to refer to the Liberal Democrats in response to a question from an MP. The term is considered a racist reference to a so-called threat from East Asian people to the West. Mr Rees-Mogg claimed he did not know that what he had said that was racist – and added his use of the term was “out of ignorance”.

No-one believed him.

It’s all a big game to these people.

Just as it was in 2013 when Rees-Mogg was the guest-of-honour at the Traditional Britain Group’s Annual Dinner on Friday 17th May 2013, held at London’s prestigious East India Club (see below).

The group has its origins in the Western Goals Institute set up by General Sir Walter Walker – who was intimately involved in various plots of a military coup to bring down the Labour government of Harold Wilson in the mid-1970s – and the Tory Monday Club.

Traditional Britain founder Lord Sudeley praised Hitler, at a Monday Club meeting in 2006, for getting “everyone back to work” and stated that “the fact may be that some races are superior to others.”

Among its aims is support for the “time-honoured hereditary principle and our monarchy,” opposition to “communism, to socialism, to libertarianism, to anarchism” and support for “humane and voluntary state-assisted resettlement” of ethnic minority Britons.

Mogg later claimed “he didn’t know who the group were”.

No-one believed him.

Mogg – reputed to have inherited between £100 and £150 million – is the best paid MP in Westminster, ‘earning’, according to the Spectator, at least £216,000 a year on top of a vast, and undisclosed, income from his 15 percent share in Somerset Capital Management (SCM).

Rees-Mogg is a member of the Cornerstone Group in the Tory Party, whose motto is Faith, Flag and Family, and flaunts his patriotic Christianity, which includes opposition to abortion and homosexuality. He is a bitter opponent of social welfare, insisting that the state should be reduced to the barest minimum.

And so we have the scenes of a white multi-millionaire lying to the house about his own racism on the same day a black woman MP is penalized for the ‘insult’ of calling a liar a liar.

In this bizarre world Emily Maitless is accused of breaking “impartiality”. Emily Maitlis has said the BBC was wrong to find her guilty of breaching “impartiality” rules and accused the broadcaster of caving in to political pressure from Downing Street, in an interview with Press Gazette. The Newsnight presenter angered BBC bosses after saying that viewers were on her side and she would not let the current affairs show become a “public announcement tannoy” for ministers. She compared the speed at which complaints against her were pursued internally, “after a call from Number Ten”, to the 25 years it took for the BBC to expose Martin Bashir’s deceptions.

All of which might be considered milquetoast, just the routine now-normal exertion of state power. But in the context of the proposed changes to the Official Secrets Act these shifts are more chilling.

Under the proposals journalists could be treated like spies for reporting on matters of public interest under planned reforms to the UK’s  Official Secrets Act.

The move has caused alarm at a time when press freedom is seen as being under attack in the UK following the raid by the Information Commissioner to find The Sun’s Matt Hancock-scoop source. Yesterday, it was revealed that foreign governments are targeting UK journalists with mobile phone spyware.

The Government said the reform was needed as the existing acts, with the last update in 1989, are no longer enough to fight the “discernible and very real threat posed by state threats”.

The Home Office consultation (which closes on Thursday 22 July) suggests journalists should be treated in the same way as those who leak information and those committing espionage offences.

It also looked at whether maximum sentences should be increased from two to 14 years.

The Home Office said it does “not consider that there is necessarily a distinction in severity between espionage and the most serious unauthorised disclosures, in the same way that there was in 1989”.

“Although there are differences in the mechanics of and motivations behind espionage and unauthorised disclosure offences, there are cases where an unauthorised disclosure may be as or more serious, in terms of intent and/or damage,” it said.

In other words journalism – and whistleblowing is being criminalised.

The NUJ has gone through official secrets cases the government could not successfully prosecute under existing law to show the danger we face. They include the police harassing Channel 4 for reporting on how undercover police officers had spied on Stephen Lawrence’s family. The Met attacking the Guardian for revealing that officers thought the phone of the murdered teenager Milly Dowler had been hacked and Belfast reporters facing prosecution for revealing links between the police and loyalist gangs.

Journalists have a duty to find out the truth. This is essential in any democracy which also only functions if public servants – such as politicians – have a sense of duty and if basic standards in public office are maintained. In Johnson’s Britain they are circling the sewer.

Comments (15)

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  1. Daniel Raphael says:

    Wish I could have tagged every person on the net with that article; as it was, a pithy extract got sent to some, and the article itself tagged to a number of others. It will have to suffice.

    Bella is a beacon of truth. Thank you.

  2. Tom Ultuous says:

    Another great article Mike.

    I see the liar has allotted £4.5 billion to his “levelling up” fund. This amounts to around £70 per head of “UK” population – enough for 6 packs of cigarettes each. Compare that with the £500 + per head of population that the (useless) crony track and trace contract cost. How long before the red wall becomes a red face.

  3. Paula Becker says:

    Is this truth-warrior Mike Small the same Mike Small that last year was deleting comments from the comments section that said that human beings have immune systems!?!?

    1. Chris Connolly* says:

      That human beings have immune systems is universally accepted and consequently doesn’t need to be said. If you are implying that Mike deleted comments from people who were putting forward stupid arguments against lockdowns and vaccinations in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic that’s an entirely different matter. In that case he was morally obliged to do so because to leave such comments up might encourage people to take (or avoid taking) action that was, and still is necessary to protect the public.

      This is not a freedom of speech issue. Disseminating harmful disinformation is an abuse of that freedom and no forum that takes public safety seriously would pander to the raving of fools.

      1. Paula Becker says:

        Hi Chris, the comment removed was not about lockdowns nor was it about vaccines – this was early in the pandemic before the vaccines were rolled out. The comment simply said that people have working immune systems. He removed it.

    2. Yeah Paula – that’s me – and have deleted a whole load of comments from anti-vaxxers & Q Anon endangering peoples lives.

      1. Paula Becker says:

        Hi Mike, thank you for engaging. I know you are a very busy person but since we are both fighting against lies and deceit please could you take the time to answer the two following questions:

        1. Which gives the better protection against Covid – the current vaccines or natural immunity from prior infection?

        2. Which country has the higher mortality (per capita) for Covid – Sweden or the UK?

        1. Chris Connolly* says:

          It’s not just a matter of bare statistics though, Paula. If it were I would make the point that Norway and Denmark, Sweden’s neighbours, have had significantly lower rates of infections and deaths from Covid-19. The obvious reason why that should be so is that Norway and Denmark took preventative measures and Sweden didn’t.

          Sweden is a country with a relatively small population, scattered around a very large area. It also has a first class health system so was always better prepared than most to deal with the pandemic when it reached the country; however, Norway and Denmark were equally well-prepared and were also not shy when it came to taking sensible measures like social distancing and limiting the numbers of people allowed to gather in a single place. Comparing Sweden with its Scandinavian neighbours is much more useful, and more convincing, than doing so with the UK, where the NHS has been in crisis through under-funding and top-heavy management for several years.

          That infections in the UK are much higher in number than they were a year ago, but the number of deaths and admissions into ICUs is significantly lower, is a good indication that vaccination has been of enormous benefit.

          Anti-vaxxers and other conspiracy theorists have a habit of introducing their obsessions into discussions that are meant to be dealing with other matters. At some point it’s likely that somebody will talk about the Great Replacement or the notion that the London underground bombings never happened, in which case I trust Mike will have the necessary gumption to delete those as well.

        2. Paula Becker says:

          Mike hasn’t got back to us but the answer to question 1 is that natural immunity is far better. The answer to question 2 is that the UK has had higher cv mortality throughout the pandemic. And those two answers pretty much destroy the narrative that Sturgeon and Johnson have been forcing on us for the last 16 months (and which, sadly, Mike Small has bought into).
          There are a thousand faults and contradictions in this narrative but there was an additional twist a few days ago. The US Centre for Disease Control put out a lab alert to say that it would no longer allow labs to use PCR testing to determine covid cases. Instead it recommends the ‘adoption of a multiplexed method that can facilitate detection and differentiation of Sars Cov 2 and influenza viruses’. So that appears to be the US CDC admitting that the pcr test as used up to now cannot tell the difference between these two viruses – and therefore the death count for Covid is in fact a combination of Covid deaths and flu deaths (which mysteriously flatlined throughout the world last winter). It also appears to be admitting that the case numbers for Covid are completely fraudulent.
          The official narrative about the pandemic goes thus: We must lockdown – there’s no alternative.
          To get out of lockdown we must have vaccines – there’s no alternative.
          To check that people aren’t spreading the virus we must have vaccine passports – there’s no alternative.
          Each of these steps is a lie and at every step there were alternatives. The pandemic response was never about viruses or health , it was a means to get vaccine passports because vaccine passports open the way for authoritarian control of the population. If this seems far fetched consider this: in 16 months we’ve moved from ‘3 months to flatten the curve’ to mandatory vaccines for care workers. In France things seem to be moving even faster. The next step is to blame and scapegoat the unvaccinated (that’s me).
          I support 100% Mike Small’s campaign for Journalists to be able to work freely, unhindered and without threats from the Home Office. Will Mike Small commit to defend the unvaccinated as we come under attack? And will he commit to taking a stand against vaccine passports as Dawn Butler has?

  4. Wul says:

    “Rees-Mogg….is a bitter opponent of social welfare, insisting that the state should be reduced to the barest minimum.”

    Aye, “reduced to the barest minimum” at the point where it provides support to us public. But turned up to maximum, like an effing fire-hose, when it is delivering public money into the pockets of Rees-Mogg and his ilk. Parasites.

  5. Wul says:

    Journalism – criminalised.
    Whistleblowing – criminalised.
    Protesting – criminalised.
    Seeking refuge – criminalised.
    Pulling a drowning refugee from the sea – criminalised.

    It would be interesting to see a time-line of great events in Great Britain’s glorious, democratic past that would never have happened had these laws been in place 200 years go.

    1. H Sillitto says:

      I’ve a nasty feeling you might be disappointed. Britain wasn’t very democratic in 1821!

  6. Wul says:

    If all our MPs are both “Right” and “Honourable”, then it follows that one MP cannot accuse another of lying. It creates a paradox.

    The cause of the paradox needs to be ejected in order that the un-reality of our parliament can continue.

  7. Robbie says:

    Rees-Mogg would be perfect in a Gestapo Uniform and Swastica armband ,o aye don’t forget the monocle suit him right down to the ground B*****d

  8. James Mills says:

    As no ‘honourable member’ ever lies in the chamber it is incumbent on each member to ‘correct’ any misstatement as soon as it is brought to his/her attention .
    Has the Speaker EVER asked Boris Johnson to correct any misleading comments he may have inadvertently made ?

    If not – why not, given that there is ample evidence in print and on video of numerous misstatements /lies by Boris Johnson ? Has none of these instances of misleading other honourable members been brought to the attention of the Speaker or a member of his staff ?

    When the evidence is finally laid before the Speaker , perhaps he could arrange for a period of time to be set aside in Parliament for Mr Johnson to put the record straight – a couple of weeks , at 8 hours a day should suffice !

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