The Mad Hatter v the Tea Party

Illustration by John Tenniel

I wasn’t going to say any more about this, because it’s not my country and perhaps it’s not my business. (But my son and his family live there!) I have spent the weekend arguing with various Tea Party supporters and I have been genuinely shocked by the depth of their ignorance and intolerance and yes, their hatred of anything that doesn’t fit in with their crazy worldview. And I have been disgusted by the way they express themselves. They have filled the TP&TH Facebook page with their loathsome rantings for the last two weeks, just because TP served Michele Bachmann with a ‘cease and desist’ order for using American Girl without permission on a TV programme supporting her campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.

The Guardian mostly makes a joke of them. But what I’d like to ask American friends on here is: are they for real? Do they really have wide support? Are there people in the US who will vote for them, without sharing their ideology, just to get rid of Obama?

I’m skeered – are you boys skeered?

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73 thoughts on “The Mad Hatter v the Tea Party

  1. Ah, TFD, I just engaged in a very unwise discussion on a similar subject on facebook, and the whole thing is getting me down. They’re real, they’re idiots, they’re racists, they’re completely ignorant, they are arguing for things that are completely opposed to what they need, they are being controlled by some moneyed sheisters, it’s depressing.

    Sometimes reading the Nation helps…this is a good article…

    http://www.thenation.com/article/161078/problem-republican-idiots

  2. The rancid right here in Spain tried to emulate them with a “Coffee party” – I kid you not – fortunately the idea didn’t catch on. But the more bonkers – and dangerous elements – are actually part of the catch-all right wing grouping Partido Popular who do look like winning the next general election, so I’m scared for Spain. They also have the support of the catholic church which is worrying as, despite Spain being nominally a non-confessional democracy, they wield a disturbingly large amount of influence and could, in the worst of cases, actually undo a lot of the great social advances we have enjoyed under the current Socialist government.
    Looking forward to hearing the views on the Tea Party of our American friends as I can only comment on headlines I’ve read. Don’t know enough about the reality.

  3. TFD: I’m not sure if I’m scared yet, but I’m certainly wary of any electorate that could elect Nixon and Reagan and Bush; each twice over, they never learn. If you hadn’t noticed there’s a definite racist/neo fascist redneck element in this land of the free and they seem to gravitate to the know-nothing policies of the tea party, if you’re curious check Salon.com [http://www.salon.com] for daily updates of the blatherings of their spokeswoman, Ms Bachmann who seems to delight in her own ignorance and stupidity. If I were 20 years younger I’d be long gone.

    • Delighting in one’s own ignorance! That’s one I come up against on a regular basis. “Why do you know that? It’s not worth knowing…” Not referring to trivia but, for example, to issues such as the origin of certain inoffensive cultural differences – wearing the wedding ring on the left hand rather than the right for example.
      When did that start to happen?

    • gf, a statue of Reagan was unveiled outside the US Embassy in London yesterday! I could understand it if Thatcher were still PM, but as it is…huh?

      • Yeah, what is that about?!? And how many Londoners want to look at that? Bizarre (and offensive).

  4. Bizzare and offensive indeed and so typical of this [lack of] culture, how many tons and how tall? If there’s any truck bombers in London looking for a place to practice I’d be overjoyed to read that headline!

  5. They’re extremist religious nut jobs. Am i skeered? Not really. For those of us that live in the US, our perspectives may be skewed one way or another depending on what area of the country that we live in. I’m in the most heavily Catholic state in the country, and one of the most liberal. It’s not an issue here.
    Fintan lives in a scarier state, but they voted the tail of the racist nutter piece of trash right out for the incumbent Dem. Most of the extremists didn’t make it into office last November. I would be curious to hear the perspective from Shoey’s area of the country. Overall, the country is more rational than we’re given credit for.

    Reagan was a vile moron, i loathed him a lot more than Bush. Keep in mind that Bush actually got fewer votes than Gore the first time. Pretty much every time that Republicans won, the Democratic candidate wasn’t really viable (although i voted for them). Dukakis would most likely have been a disasterous president. Kerry wasn’t ideal, but i do think that he would have been a whole lot better than Bush. But he’s very liberal, he’s no centrist. Tough to get elected here, it’s a very big country with a lot of people, you kind of have to hang near the center to get elected.

    I hope i don’t have to eat my words, but i’m not worried about the likes of Bachmann getting the nom. Palin is toast, and a non-factor. There are worse out there than Romney.

    I’m not a Democrat, i’m actually registered Independent. I’ve never voted Republican for president, but i’d take some of the liberal Republican politicians these day over many of the blue dog Dems. Things aren’t as cut and dried or as polarized as they may seem.

    I think that i’ll maybe say no more, i hate to bring politics onto the Spill! I’ll keep my politics to CiFA where i can be unpleasant when necessary!

      • Massachusetts is my next door neighbor, and possibly the most liberal and Democratic state in the country. When Ted Kennedy passed and his seat was up, they ran a Democrat who basically figured that she just had to file her nails to get elected and couldn’t be arsed to show up for rallies in the cold, so Mass. did the unthinkable and voted in a TP backed Republican. The guy turned out to be awesome, basically told the TP to piss off and votes his conscience. I’d vote for him in a heartbeat if he ran for POTUS in 2016. It was a few Republicans in the NY State legislature that told their party to stuff it and voted to legalize same-sex marriage.

        My state is solid Democratic, and sleazy as all get out. Tied up with graft, kickbacks, unions, etc. We voted in a Republican turned Independent governor who is more liberal than the douchebag Dem candidate was. You can’t really go by the Guardian to get a real handle on what goes on here.

    • I know you probably don’t want to pursue this… but the town I live in is probably one of the most liberal in the country. Gay couples move here from NY and Philly because they’re more comfortable raising children here. NJ is generally a pretty liberal state (please don’t mention Christie!) and yet, where I work … the owners are staunch Obama hating teapartiers, the people that hang out at the bar tell disgusting, unapologetically racist jokes about the whole Obama family. It’s everywhere. It gets me down.

      • I grew up in south Jersey over the bridge from Philly, it was horribly racist. Very segregated – blacks and whites lived on different sides of town. When my family moved to New England, it was much more racially integrated. Still some pockets of it here, but it’s not the majority. I think that’s the point, that the TP nutters aren’t a majority, they’re just the loudest. It doesn’t make news when everyday people go about their daily business.

      • Funny – I had the opposite experience. People in NJ seem very comfortable with a lot of diversity in a small area. When we moved to Boston, it seemed to be a lot less diverse, and a lot more “we’ve been like this for hundreds of years…” I guess everybody’s experience is different!

      • It may be very different there now too, we moved away in 1974. My town was called Cinnaminson, i haven’t been back there in decades.

    • Sorry, amy, if you didn’t want to talk politics – but I’ve found the comments from you and other US (and US-based) folk really helpful…

      • I’m just afraid of bringing my Mr. Hyde personality onto the oasis of civility that is the Spill!

  6. In Florida we’ve elected a bald crook as Governor who made his millions defrauding medicare.

    As for the teabaggers (they don’t like that), as Steen says, follow the money. Think taxes are running at about 18% of GDP & govt. spending at 23%. Obviously, something needs to be done to close the gap. The Tea Party want smaller Govt & no tax increases. In & of itself an understandable position. When it comes to the crunch, however, they also: 1) Insist on a tax decrease for the most wealthy (strange “grass roots” position) 2) reject any cuts in defense (making a balanced budget impossible, even with deep cuts in other areas). Don’t want certain corporations to lose any lucrative contracts. 3) Refuse to close any tax loopholes. This would impact those corporations that make campaign bribes in return for special tax breaks.

    Basically, it’s cynical manipulation of the disenchanted by the vested interests for the status quo of a corrupt & broken political system.

    • Yeah, how did they vote that guy in as governor?

      But as for the teabaggers, you left out the religious element, which is huge. Basically all of the TP candidates in November – O’Donnell, Miller, Angle, Rubio, etc – are all pro-life, anti same-sex marriage, bible thumping nutters. A good chunk of them are anti-immigration as a primary issue as well. Also anti-union – as far as public unions go that have a fair point sometimes. A lot of public unions have kind of crossed the line into definitely taking the piss.

      • The “social” issues are just the voodoo smoke to make the whole scheme work. It’s all about the money.

        By having a large immigrant population, the US will not be as hard hit by aging population demographics as other countries. Another handy argument for pissing off extreme Republicans.

  7. As to the UK end of current events, i’m looking forward to the possibility of seeing the Murdoch empire get some just desserts.

    • If only. I’m surprised Fox News hasn’t been mentioned yet. I may have received a distorted notion of things in the US from watching Jon Stewart (now reduced to only one show a week here: boo!), but Fox seems to be the great champion of the Tea Party. As they are the most watched ‘news’ channel, it’s no wonder that politics is so distorted. Half the Fox presenters are after the Republican nomination, even the too-extreme Glenn Beck.
      The USA has a Murdoch problem much bigger than ours. Tea Party policies are his policies: tax breaks for the rich, no government controls, pro-life, anti-gay, etc etc. And he’s in a better position (at the moment, but just wait until the UK government gives him full control of Sky) to get a government that will give him what he wants. He got Thatcher elected in the UK back in 1979, so his annoying, profit-gobbling print unions would get smashed, and Fox started the rumour that Bush had more votes than Gore in 2000. He takes the view that (his) global business is more important than the petty concernes of individual nations and has no qualms about using any tactic to manipulate government and popular opinion to his ends. Does anyone really believe that all the phone tapping his organisation has done in the UK hasn’t dredged up some juicy secrets that he keeps ‘just in case’?
      If Murdoch’s organisation were destroyed, the world would be a much saner, safer place. And we’d stand a better chance of being able to see quality football on TV.

      • Well, the Fox News connection is a big reason why i’m rooting for the Murdoch empire to take a big hit in the UK. And i’m rooting for you in getting the BSkyB thing shot down. I’ve never actually watched Fox, i don’t really watch any TV news. If i do it’s Chris Matthews. But take heart in the fact that Beck is gone i guess. Sometimes you have to let people shoot themselves in the foot here, which happens a lot more than you would think.

      • With any luck the BSkyB takeover will be derailed by the phone-hacking scandal – it’s all over the Graun’s web front page at the mo.

        I do agree about Fox…

      • Some of the lefties (and a reasonable conservative or 2) from CiFA have our own sort of Spill blog now since our regular Guardian column leader left for Newsweek. Some of them are delving deeply into the shadow groups controlling the more extreme right wingers. I’m not paying all that much attention to it because i’m just not that interested. It’s a lot of weird religious stuff. It is about more than just the money though. Which is why some states are getting laws passed criminalizing miscarriages and more and more roadblocks up to prevent abortions, as they’ll probably (and hopefully) not be able to get Roe vs. Wade overturned.

      • I’m afraid that the only thing that will stop the BSkyB takeover is price. As in the past, our cowardly government (I include current and past regimes in that description) will persist in accepting Murdoch’s word that he’ll stay away from editorial content. Even if/when it is revealed that everyone’s phone has been hacked, we will simply accept that all that happened in the old days and we don’t do that kind of thing any more.

  8. Hi all. Just saw this post & after what happened in my neighborhood yesterday ( the full post is on the RR but long story short people still paint swastikas) I don’t have much enthusiasm for delving in to Tea Party mysteries. I read a phrase a few years ago that always comes to mind. Willful ignorance. I’ll never understand what inspires people to that but it fits. What truly makes me afraid is the large center that pay no attention at all & let the ranters get away with bloody murder. On the other hand there’s little stories like this give you hope for humans. http://www.rgj.com/article/20110704/NEWS/110704017/River-rescue-Boy-3-pulled-from-Truckee-River-near-Mayberry-Bridge-brother-swims-safety

  9. Interesting comments. Due to what is sometimes known as “The Great Semantic Shift” in politics, people no longer really represent what their party is supposed to stand for. This was most evident in the UK when the Blairites took “New” Labour into traditional Tory territory (and Ed Milliband seems incapable of bringing it back).
    Our equivalent of the Tea Party is the “Tax-Payers Alliance”, who actually have pretty strong connections with the US mob. This bunch of wankers, along with their chums in the fascist inclined “Migration Watch” are the “intellectual” end of the scum that is BNP or EDL. Sadly, our politicians of all main parties cow-tow to their crap and now we have this “Blue Labour” rubbish to contend with, saying things like “we must engage with racists and try and win them back to Labour”.
    One example is the shameful way Milliband and Andy Burnham denounced the strikes on June 30…….just wait until the autumn!!!

    • “people no longer really represent what their party is supposed to stand for.”

      This is a big problem here, i wish we’d do something about it, or have some sort of campaign finance reform passed. Candidates take money from corporations and special interest groups to get elected by the people, only to flip us the bird and vote for the interests of the big donors. The Dems are just as bad as Republicans.

  10. One of the things I found most disconcerting and alienating on my first visit to the US last September was browsing the Politics shelves in bookstores (as I believe you refer to them), and realising how utterly polarised and over the top the debate must be – a real dialogue of the deaf shouting abuse at the tops of their voices. Even at its most extreme – the ghastly Melanie Phillips, for example – British political discourse seems to remain relatively reasonable, and outside the tabloids (i.e. the stuff that gets made into proper books) it’s really quite polite and sensible. I don’t think it’s just British politeness and diffidence, and a sense that politics is one of those things that one doesn’t talk about in polite society; I think that, at least in mainstream public discourse, there is a general recognition that the world is complicated and ambiguous and that no one ever has all the right answers. The US discourse, in contrast, seemed to have no middle ground at all; it was as if the only people speaking were either the English Defence League or the Revolutionary Workers Party, both crossed with extreme conspiracy theorists.

    • What you are referring to used to be called “Butskellism” which was an amalgam of the names (Rab) Butler (Tory) and (Hugh) Gaitskell (Lab) which was very much consensus politics.
      As I’ve never heard of the Revolutionary Workers Party, I can only speak as a proud member of Socialist Worker. As such I will always speak out and, where necessary, take action against racism, fascism, homophobia, Islamophobia and anti Semitism. I will always speak against the abuse of oppressed people and I stand for no immigration laws or controls. I am anti-capitalist and would like to see it consigned to history like the feudalism it replaced. A bit Utopian, maybe, but people once thought of slavery as a way of life and those who opposed it were dismissed as nut jobs, do-gooders and conspiricists.

      • I’m not talking about actual political ideas or ideals – where I think we share a lot of common ground – but the style of discourse. Most SWP material that I’ve read has been properly – if passionately – argued, in a way that’s intended to persuade the reader, rather than being based solely on abuse, paranoid conspiracy theory, reinforcement of prejudice etc. Whatever we think of their underlying beliefs and assumptions, the same is true of most Tory writing. In practice this doesn’t actually amount to a civilised exchange of views, but everyone acts as if it does, or at least could. Contrast the US, where, as Amy noted above, in many cases the writers on different sides are far closer together in many of their views than they appear from their rhetoric, but everyone seems to be preaching to the choir and regarding the other side as irredeemably evil and corrupt.

      • Fair points. I used to read “Newsweek” magazine in the 70s and recall their correspondent’s views of politics in Germany at the time. He described the difference between the two largest parties, Social Democrats (centre-left) and Christian Democrats (centre-right) as being the closest they’d ever been since the war and that German voters had little choice of who to pick.
        We are now in that position with all three parties. They all put gaining votes beyond any principles and will say the most outrageous crap to get elected. The Lib-Dems were famous for appearing left-wing in working class areas such as Bermondsey and on the right in places like Eastleigh or Christchurch. Now they’re all at it. When Gordon Brown was PM I was disgusted by his “British Jobs For British Workers” (c. Oswald Mosley, 1936) speech and at the last election, both parties were at pains to try and show who was the toughest on migrants.
        When Obama was elected, my anti-racist side was very pleased, but the Socialist in me had doubts. Amongst other things, he had promised to get rid of the human rights abomination that is Guantanamo – it’s still there. He was anti the illegal war in Iraq, but appeasing hawks by stepping up things in Afghanistan.
        Democracy is poorly served by such things.

      • Put another way, it seems to be the difference between works by the likes of Simon Heffer, Simon Jenkins, Niall Ferguson and the like – politically uncongenial, to me at any rate, but working within a reasonably sane discourse – and works where the ‘mainstream’ right is entirely constituted by members of UKIP, the BNP and the EDL…

      • “Whatever happened to the Revolutionary Workers Party?”

        “He’s sat over there”

        “Splitter!”

    • That’s it exactly, Abahachi: the teapartiers I was talking to believed that they had the right answers so everyone else was wrong. When I did get one of them to admit she was wrong about something, she was back spouting the same old stuff when I’d barely had time to say (to myself, not online) “phew!”.

      • I’m a libertarian and i’m totally convinced that i’m right and everyone else is wrong. I am for some immigration laws and controls though.

  11. Since I wrote that brief comment at the head of this post for which I thank TFD, I’ve been reading everyone else’s articulate and thoughtful comments but I’ve found it difficult to add anything.
    I’ve spent almost my entire life here; I left in 1961 when the Cuban missiles were primed to fly but I returned and I can’t say that I personally regret that decision. Personally I can’t imagine who or where I’d be had I not returned, I certainly wouldn’t be the person I am now. I spent my entire life in LA renting the same apartment for 18 years because I wanted the freedom to escape at a moment’s notice even though all my friends were encouraging me to buy a house but I didn’t want to be tied down. Throughout all those years I’ve felt very critical of US policies, the US military and US capitalism in general so it comes as something that’s extremely frustrating to finally retire and the first thing that we do is to buy a house and now I’m totally committed and I can’t escape.
    There’s something that’s always bothered me so I just googled/wiki’d it and here’s the results, it relates to the US military and that’s my primary fear after the US corporate establishment, but they go hand in hand.
    It relates to US military bases overseas and the source is the NATO Watch Committee, the International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases)

    The US operates and/or controls between 700 and 800 military bases Worldwide, it confirms the presence of US military personnel in 156 countries. 
    In total, there are 255,065 US military personnel deployed Worldwide. 
These facilities include a total of 845,441 different buildings and equipments. The underlying land surface is of the order of 30 million acres. According to Gelman, who examined 2005 official Pentagon data, the US is thought to own a total of 737 bases in foreign lands. Adding to the bases inside U.S. territory, the total land area occupied by US military bases domestically within the US and internationally is of the order of 2,202,735 hectares, which makes the Pentagon one of the largest landowners worldwide (Gelman, J., 2007)

    Close to home: how many US bases do you think still operate in the UK and for what reason and how many are still in use in Germany 70 years after WW2? Think about it.

    • GF. In answer to your rhetorical question about US bases, a few years ago we accompanied Mark Thomas to Menwith Hill in Yorkshire which is a listening base and has links with GCHQ. We were there on July 4 to meet up with Lindis Percy and Annie Rainbow who were celebrating “Independence From America Day” and were deliberately holding US flags upside down. Also there were Caroline Lucas (who changed her T-shirt in the back of my car!) and Dr. Lynne Jones, a Labour MP who had voted against the illegal war.
      We were going to walk around the perimeter of the base and discovered that the Americans had done a ‘land grab’ and fenced off public rights of way.
      Mark had recently written an article in the New Statesman in which he had flippantly put out a contract on George Bush, but stressed the deed must be done with a papier mache sword made from old Enron share certificates. The Americans had got very upset by this and took it seriously (something about Americans and irony?). We were followed back to Harrogate and then to York.
      I discovered that if you say certain “trigger” words on the telephone, it starts machinery whirring at both Menwith and GCHQ. So, if you were describing a gig and said to someone “it went down a bomb”, you would probably get an American listening to your next few phone calls.

      • That reminds me of a particularly tedious argument that gets repeated ad nauseum every couple of threads on CiFA. Some British poster will start off on ignorant Americans and war. Some American will come back with, well, we bailed your asses out in WWII. The British will say, well you waited long enough, it was really the Russians that saved our asses. Leading to an entire tiresome rehash of WWII. Which segues into an American saying, we’d love to close our bases in Europe, defend yourselves. The British will say, fight your own stupid wars in Arghanistan and Iraq. And so on.

  12. Being an avid viewer of The Daily Show I am well aware of the existence of these tea bag idiots ( close cousins of the comedians running Fox news ). Whenever I watch any coverage of American politics, particularly on this show, which is a brilliant satire, their attitudes and ignorance are mind boggling. I constantly despair at the lying/spin of our politicians but these idiots take it to a whole new level. Given the last 40 years of American political history I can’t really take any of them seriously although I know I should. I always come back to the scene in The Blues Brothers when John Belushi says ” Illinois Nazis….I hate Illinois Nazis.” Then they run them off the bridge into the water.

  13. Mitch: I’m well aware of Menwith Hill in Yorkshire, it’s just one of several listening posts in the UK and the going’s on there are thoroughly documented in a book that everyone should be aware of. It’s ‘Body of secrets : anatomy of the ultra-secret National Security Agency’ by James Bamford.’
    James Bamford is an investigative reporter who has made it his life’s mission to reveal the workings of the NSA, the extremely secretive agency that operates listening posts worldwide; an amazing statistic that he reveals is that EVERY phone call and email transmission from anywhere in the world is monitored at Menwith Hill! The National Security Agency (NSA), writes Bamford, has made the United States an “eavesdropping superpower,” capable of capturing, deciphering and analyzing “signal intelligence”communications in whatever form it may exist and from whatever nation it may be transmitted. With a budget in excess of $4 billion a year and staff numbering in the tens of thousands it dwarfs its more famous cousin, the CIA, most Americans have never even heard of it.

  14. YES!
    We’re getting rid of the News of the Screws.

    Murdoch gets a bloody nose. It may only be a flesh wound, but it’s made MY day.

    And so it begins . . .

    • Like you, I’m pleased about Murdoch’s travails. However, the staff will suffer most – not the shits who did the hacking, not the people at the top, Rebekkah Brooks, etc., but the juniors, the cleaners, office staff, etc. and they’ve just said on the news, it’ll probably be reborn as the Sunday Sun.

      • Tommy Sheridan home in a fortnight…

        Yes indeed. That’s the best news to come out of this sordid affair so far. Tommy doesn’t drink alcohol, but I bet he opens a bottle of expensive designer water!

    • murmurs on the NY Times comments board about UK NOTW journalists in the US, and wondering if they used the same practices. Also about connections with Fox News. A small glimmer maybe….

      Another good thing – our POTUS owes Fox nothing.

      • He is, but he still has maybe a few too many Wall St. entanglements…maybe insurance and big pharma…

        One big reason that i really didn’t want Hillary is that i thought she was too sleazy and had a few too many entanglements and too many favors owed. I thought that we needed some fresh blood that wasn’t so compromised.

    • It’s a cynical damage limitation exercise. He was about to lose most of his money from advertising anyway so he’s shut it down so as to say ‘Look, we’re taking the problem seriously, we’ve taken action, the guilty paper has been punished so there’s no need for any more inquiries, any new laws etc. etc ‘ and so then when the dust settles they can carry on as normal but this time with a new ‘Sun On Sunday’.

  15. Fat lady hasn’t sung yet…

    7.25pm: Labour MP Tom Watson, who has been one of the key players in driving the phone hacking agenda, has just told Channel 4 news that there is more evidence against the Murdoch empire, which involves “the use of computer hacking”, and will “cross over into other News International newspapers”.

  16. Eesh, I shouldn’t try to multi-task. Ignore that comment – can you delete it, tfd? [Yes. Ed]- and read this one instead:

    Re Murdoch’s closure of the NotW:

    Oh, I absolutely accept the point about it being a cynical and ruthless disregard for everyone and everything but his own pockets, and the likelihood of a Sunday Sun to replace the NotW, but …

    I must own up to having less sympathy than you may feel is right for the “innocent” employees who’ll lose their jobs – anyone who works for that rag knows exactly whose tarnished bits of silver they’re being paid with.

    The sponsors who’ve pulled the plug should refuse to go back to a rebranded NotW / Sunday Sun. If we’re lucky, and Murdoch is dumb enough to use that name for it, said sponsors will then put 1 + 1 together, and question their patronage of the weekday paper of that name.

    In the meantime, the inconvenience will cost him, the publicity will hit the Sky bid, and so on.

    It has to start somewhere – remember, great oaks from tiny acorns grow.

    • What I’m REALLY hoping for is that the hundred grand’s worth of bribes paid to Met officers leaves a stinky trail that smells high enough up the chain to indicate at least tacit authorisation from the Murdoch family.

    • Here’s another acorn:

      A group of Times journalists are planning to try to get recognition for the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) at their workplace in the wake of the sudden axing of the News of the World, the Guardian has learned. The NUJ has long been denied recognition at News International titles where journalists are instead directed to join the News International Staff Association (Nisa).

      Graun website today

      • Hmm…and suddenly I feel less sorry for the Times staff – who went to work for an organisation where unions were banned. Possibly this was a clue…

  17. I have three books, “The Brotherhood” by Stephen Knight, “Inside The Brotherhood” by Martin Short and “Bent Coppers” by Graeme McGlagen. All three go some way to explaining this situation and in particular, the influence of the Masonic Lodge at New Scotland Yard. They also mention what went on with regard to the murder of a private detective at the Golden Lion in Sydenham in the 1980s and how people who are at last being named had connections with this.
    Worse, it goes back to the unexplained murder of Hilda Murrell, the elderly CND activist whose home was being raided – they say by burglars, we say by MI5.
    I would recommend the above books to anyone who is interested in the whole affair.

  18. The guy that was editor of NOTW during a big chunk of the phone hacking and gave your Parliament a crock of BS is now CEO of the Wall St. Journal. They’re starting to ask questions here about it. The WSJ is a very big deal, and any type of similar activity here could have some major implications. In terms market manipulation, insider trading, etc. Now that’s not saying that there’s anything pointing to that at all. But there is some questioning if that sort of person is fit to run our major financial broadsheet. We have some stiffer laws here than you do i think. Privacy laws, bribery, and business regulatory laws for starters. Any politicians hurt here by association with Murdoch here would be conservative, which i’m not going to bawl my eyes out about. I’d like to see that toxic bastard tossed out of my country though. Unfortunately probably won’t get that far.

  19. I think that the thing that is shocking me most about this situation is the impunity with which the NOTW admits breaking the law. Like when Brooks admits to your gov’t that they paid off police officers. I listened to the Radio 4 interview with Hugh Grant and that Paul whatever who said that hacking phones wasn’t such a big deal, it was only celebs and that was how they got the story. And nothing at all was done about it at the time. I can’t imagine that happening here. The bribery and hacking, certainly. But the public admissions without follow up, no.

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