mesmile2 The cross-Party talks between the Conservative and Labour sixth formers are, it seems to me, turning into a mini-Brexit in their own right. Sources close to Downing Street have now said, “We will leave the talks next week with or without a deal”. Doubtless this means Mrs May going back to Parliament to try and trade on WTO rules, this abbreviation standing either for Westminster’s Truculent Obduracy, or even Whips Terminally Outmaneouvred.

I try to be serious about such things. I often fail. On the subject of cross-Party talks, for example, I’m left wondering whether these are talks between two Parties who, over time, become increasingly cross with each other.

Mrs May is not going to get her EU Withdrawal Agreement diktat through without some kind of pact with Corbynia, but since the EU’s inflexible flextension was granted until the end of October, every last vestige of feigned urgency that drove all of us to distraction before April 10th has turned to….well, distraction: the local government and euro elections have energised the activists anxious to give the Establishment a good kicking, while a few of us are thoroughly enjoying Tory discomfiture in the many-tentacled Huawei saga.

The reality – in terms of the vast majority of the UK population – is that they haven’t a clue what 5G eavesdropping means, and local elections have only ever represented genuine interest for sad politics wonks. Most people (let’s face it) are thoroughly enjoying what they see as a holiday from Brexit. They are very silly so to be doing, but we’ve been here before – so let’s move on.

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This is what it says at the end of every article in The Guardian:

‘The Guardian is editorially independent, meaning we set our own agenda’

There are very few newspapers in the world who, even in describing themselves, unconsciously give away the hopeless intellectual muddle that typify them. The New York Times is one; The Guardian is another.

The italicised statement above is meaningless: Pravda, the Völkischer Beobachter and Il Popola d’Italia – the preachers of Communism, Nazism and Fascism respectively – could’ve made exactly the same claim…and remained truthful about their nature. Because the statement lauds the word ‘independent’, and then dilutes it with ‘agenda’.

There is no such thing as an independent newspaper with an agenda. In exactly the same way as there is no such thing as an ideological journalist. An ideologue who writes a column always from the same pov of a belief system is just a propagandist. Such a person doesn’t report: such a person claims.

 The Guardian is a newspaper that stays on the newsstands by begging for funds, and draining a long-ago granted Trust which would probably disown it completely were the original benefactors still extant. There is nothing wrong with being in a principled journalistic minority fighting against the twisted facts of an amoral State. But The Guardian is in its current position because it prints trendy moré ridden beliefs thinly disguised as absolutes, bigotry, lies, smears, State narratives and sloppy opinion. It is a Zombie medium in which busted flushes of fancy are kept alive by necrophilia with long-dead donors.

It once had stature. It’s influence and circulation are today tiny because most open-minded citizens gave up on it long ago.

This is how The Guardian began a piece today about Tommy Robinson aka Stephen Yaxley-Lennon standing in the euro elections due to take place in late May:

‘The far-right thug is standing in the European elections. The voters he claims to stand up for must reject his brand of hatred’

Despite not warming myself to the candidate’s approach to a very real issue of anti-social Islamic behaviour in Britain, it is simply not journalism to call him Far-Right, a thug or a man who deals solely in hatred.

The article was written by Nahella Ashraf, a fixated leftwing Muslim woman (I’m going on the evidence of her output, not any ideological bigotry). It flatly refuses to consider any of the aspects of British Islamic thinking and behaviour that many Brits find anything from questionable to repulsive, issues half-baked slurs against Robinson/Yaxley-Lennon that don’t stand up, and concludes that he ‘has done his best to stoke Islamophobia and stir up hatred and division his whole political life’.

Ashraf fails to mention that Tommy is not a racist (his sole objection is to the intolerance, violence and misogyny of fundamentalist Islam – he has friends of every colour and ethnicity) but clearly has been victimised by our increasingly phobia-besotted police and judicial system. And as I continue to believe (again, based on facts presented to me across the piece) Islamophobia has not been stoked: rather, it was invented by the Muslim Council of Britain as a cynical ploy to describe genuine fear as if it might be a mental illness.

Nahella Ashraf’s writings often feature in Socialist Review – the magazine sister to the Trotskyite Socialist Worker. SR describes itself on the website as ‘a monthly magazine covering current events, theory and history, books and arts reviews from a revolutionary socialist perspective’.

So not journalism, then. Just good old fashioned propaganda.

She is also involved in Counterfire, which self-defines as ‘a revolutionary socialist news and theory website’.

No doubt Ms Ashraf would have us believe she is a free-speech democrat. In fact, she chairs the fund to “stop” Robinson being elected.

I thought that was the job of the Ballot Box. But then, I’m just an old-fashioned sort of bloke.

As I’ve written many times before,  somehow these days one finds oneself defending people one doesn’t particularly like. Perhaps this tells you a lot about the people I’m defending them against.

Sleep well.