More on the Protests in Iran

The protests in Iran are still going strong, and the government is threatening to crack down heavily if they continue. Only their Arab counterparts tried that in their own various uprisings and it turned the protests into full-on revolutions. There are videos on Twitter showing huge crowds embracing policemen while hurling rocks at Revolutionary Guards, suggesting any such crackdown won’t be so easy. And it seems young men are at least having a go.

Thankfully, the Iranian Mullahs have plenty of folk in the western world on their side. Consider the BBC article I linked to:

Three days of demonstrations erupted over falling living standards.

But a Revolutionary Guards commander said the protests had degenerated into people chanting political slogans and burning public property.

Funny how the BBC pours scorn on every word Trump utters, but quotes Revolutionary Guards commanders uncritically.

Brigadier-General Esmail Kowsari told the ISNA news agency: “If people came into the streets over high prices, they should not have chanted those slogans and burned public property and cars.”

Iran’s interior minister has also warned the public that protesters will be held accountable.

Presumably the BBC are on board with this. It is only later we’re told:

BBC Persian correspondent Kasra Naji said a common factor in all locations has been protesters’ demand for an end to clerical rule in Iran.

There is also anger at Iran’s interventions abroad. In Mashhad, some chanted “not Gaza, not Lebanon, my life for Iran”, a reference to what protesters say is the administration’s focus on foreign rather than domestic issues.

CNN went one further, saying little about the actual protests but giving front-page coverage of pro-government demonstrations:

Some people, including this cretin from the Huffington Post, have gone full retard:

The normally sensible Cathy Young hasn’t covered herself in glory, either:

Presumably Saint Obama siding with the Mullahs is preferable to Trump backing the protesters because The Messiah did so with “dignity”. What’s ironic is Cathy Young is originally from the Soviet Union so one would have thought she’d be a little more aware of the importance of the US president’s words on such matters, regardless of the perceived moral character of the speaker. But then, I have noticed that a lot of Russians flee to the US and start complaining about the way things are run when they get there. Max Boot is another example.

A lot of people have also noticed the silence and hypocrisy from America’s so-called feminists:

Others have noted the deafening silence from the EU on the protests. There are three reasons for this. Firstly, it’s a weekend in holiday season: bureaucrats aren’t going to check their emails just because there’s a revolution brewing in Iran. And Juncker will be drunk anyway. Secondly, as we saw in Catalonia, the EU elites don’t much like anti-government protests which is why they’re so keen on getting an EU army established. Finally, certain large EU member states have been sucking up royally to the Mullahs since sanctions on Iran were eased, positioning themselves as reliable European partners in contrast to the Great Satan, hoping to cash in when the country finally opens up. They will oppose any regime change in Iran for the same reason they objected to the toppling of Saddam Hussein.

Perhaps I’m forgetting something which could also explain the EU’s silence? Yes, I am: cowardice. This tweet sums it up nicely, I think:


Protests in Iran

There are numerous reports on Twitter that protests have broken out in several towns and cities in Iran. There is a video circulating of an astonishingly brave woman chanting “Death to Khamenei” in front of law enforcement officers, and another of posters of Khomeini and Khamenei being burned. There are other reports that the police are no longer enforcing the detested 1979 law compelling women to wear a headscarf in public, and one young woman has taken the opportunity to stand on a bollard, hair uncovered, and wave a flag. What is significant about these protests is that people on the streets are actively preventing the authorities from arresting their fellow protesters, and the police have so far declined to get heavy-handed.

From what I can tell, the protests are mainly about economics, with people asking why Iran is spending so much money on terrorism and political meddling abroad while things deteriorate at home. Apparently some are shouting “No Gaza, No Lebanon, our lives are devoted to Iran”. Interestingly, I recently heard some grumblings from Russians about Putin expending money and effort in Syria rather than improving living conditions at home.

The last time there were protests of this size in Iran was 2009 following elections, and Barack Obama declined to back the protesters, effectively siding with the regime. This time around we have Donald Trump in the White House and, surprise surprise, he’s not fucking about:

This is winning him support in unlikely quarters, with some centrist Democrats now referring to Obama’s silence in 2009 as an “error”. Others have pointed out that far from being an error, this was entirely consistent with Obama’s policy of sucking up to America’s sworn enemies in the hope of avoiding difficult foreign policy dilemmas on his watch, and in the case of Iran, signing that ludicrous nuclear deal in the hope of securing his “legacy”. It would be highly ironic if the despotic Iranian regime is overthrown by its own people while Trump is in charge: a constant refrain from his critics has been that his bellicose language towards the Mullahs is unhelpful and only serves to rally the people around their government. Turns out America throwing its moral support behind people trampled on by their governments actually gives them encouragement. Who knew?

Of course, this is giving a lot of people a headache, for two reasons. Firstly, it shows that Obama’s policy towards Iran was seriously ill-considered, but criticism of the Messiah is verbotten in media circles. Secondly, it makes Trump look good. This is why CNN has barely mentioned the protests, preferring instead to ask why Trump doesn’t own a pet. One would have also thought that certain American feminists might feel a little embarrassed about calling themselves brave while marching in Washington wearing pussy-hats in order to listen to sharia-supporting Linda Sarsour praise Islam, but I think we established long ago these morons are incapable of shame.

It also gives the usual conspiracy-mongers a problem. Normally when protests appear in a country whose population has suffered under decades of dysfunctional government, idiots from both sides of the political spectrum immediately blame the CIA or the Jews/Israel. It never occurs to them that maybe ordinary people can get fed up with a lifetime of misrule, but now they may be forced to. It’s going to be pretty hard to claim that the CIA has been active in Iran and paying Iranians to protest their government, and it’s going to be even harder to convince anyone that a nefarious cabal of Jews has done the same. That said, I expect we’ll still get the usual bollocks about a pipeline within a few weeks.

Personally, I’m glad the Iranians have taken to the streets. The Iranians are not stupid, bloodthirsty savages bent on the eradication of Israel and the US, by contrast they appear to be relatively sensible people ruled by theocratic despots who I’d like to see hanging from lampposts, upside down and on fire. I would love to see regime change in Iran, but it could only come from within, at the hands of the Iranians themselves; if it came about via external force it would be a disaster. Regardless of what happens now, and I expect the government will break up the protests and regain control before too long, the Ayatollah’s regime is now looking vulnerable. The people have shown the world they are not supportive of the bullshit their leaders spout, and I am confident they want a more modern, open society and less backward theocracy. In a brittle regime, protests like these taken on an importance which far outweighs their actual size and, unlike in the Arab springs, I am more confident what will follow the eventual collapse of theocratic rule in Iran will be an improvement.

Finally, the person who ought to be watching proceedings in Iran very closely is Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He seems keen on establishing in Turkey a theocratic Islamist regime similar to that of Iran, and the two countries are keen allies in the stand-off between the various Arab countries in the Gulf. If the Iranian regime falls the one that replaces it might not like him very much. The Turkish people might also get the idea that they have options to resist encroaching religious despotism after all.

All in all, this is encouraging. Let’s see what happens.


Immigration and the TV Licence

From The Sun:

OVER the past four years, almost 3.5million British citizens have decided not to pay a penny more to the BBC – the world’s oldest broadcasting organisation.

Until not so long ago, the Beeb was unquestionably a national treasure. So why have they stopped paying for it?

There are several reasons I expect, but the article overlooks the most obvious one – immigration. It’s pretty much an open secret now that payment of the TV licence fee is unenforceable. Despite all the bullying from the TV licence people – a private company that pretends it has police powers – it is quite easy to just tell them to sod off when they show up on your doorstep. Detector vans, even taking the charitable assumption that there is such a thing and they work, number around a dozen at most. The TV licence authority has no powers of entry and the best they can do is trick you into inviting them in or confessing to watching a TV with no licence. This is why the vast majority of those actually prosecuted for non-payment are women, many of them poor, single mothers, i.e those who are easily bullied by a couple of men on the front doorstep. Oddly, you don’t hear feminists complaining about this deployment of Patriarchal muscle.

What the BBC have relied upon up to now is the average Brit being law-abiding, not wanting to be a freeloader, and feeling some sort of connection between their citizenship and national institutions. Most Brits like the BBC and many love it, believing it a national treasure offering superb value for money. Britain was, until recently, a high-trust society requiring little active policing because the population could, by and large, be relied upon to cooperate. So strong was the TV licence in the national psyche that I think even the professional welfare-bludgers used to buy one: it’s simply what everyone did, almost without thinking. I’ve rubbed shoulders with some dodgy bastards in my time, and of all the things they used to boast about when bucking the system – including driving without a licence – I never heard anyone say they’d ducked the TV licence. The TV licencing laws weren’t ever properly enforced simply because they didn’t need to be.

But times have changed. A greater percentage of the population now comes from low-trust societies where freeloading is a duty and nothing to be ashamed of (indeed, if you’re paying for something you don’t have to it marks you out as stupid). These people have no affection for British institutions and the BBC is just two or three TV channels out of thousands, and they don’t fear the law in the same way native Brits do. Hell, even Americans think our TV licencing laws are scandalous, and they’re more civilised than most who show up on our shores. Besides, are the TV licencing people really going to be banging on doors in terraces and tower blocks filled with immigrants demanding to know if there’s a TV in the place? I doubt it. Easier to go and intimidate the single mother or little old lady with bad eyesight who’s late husband used to take care of all that.

There is of course the other elephant in the room, which is the BBC’s completely outdated funding model which is no longer justifiable in the age of subscription TV and the internet. With there now being dozens of websites and forums discussing how to easily avoid paying for a TV licence, even otherwise law-abiding Brits are deciding they’re not going to do so on principle alone. It’s perhaps unsurprising that the immigrant issue never gets brought up in relation to people not paying the TV licence, though. After all, the BBC has been a staunch supporter of mass immigration and the New Labour government that opened the floodgates. How ironic, eh?


Anne Applebaum’s conflict of interest

The Washington Post runs an article by Anne Applebaum criticising the Polish government, this time over alleged attempts to crack down on the media:

The Polish authorities may have also been sending a message. For the decision was taken on the very day that the ruling party swapped its dour, angry prime minister, Beata Szydlo, for a slicker, smoother replacement, Mateusz Morawiecki.

Applebaum often writes scathing articles about the Polish government, usually in the Washington Post. Here’s another:

If an illiberal government — democratically elected, but determined to change the rules — tries to do something unconstitutional, what can the public do? What can the political opposition do? This is a dilemma we now know from several countries — Russia, Venezuela, Turkey, Hungary, Poland, and possibly soon Greece.

And another:

Like every country in Europe — as well as the United States — Poland has long had a far-right, neo-fascist fringe.

What has changed? The answer has partly to do with the current populist-nationalist ruling party, Law and Justice, which welcomed and encouraged Saturday’s march as a “patriotic” action, though the party knew who was behind it.

Not a single one of these articles mentions that Applebaum is married to one Radosław Sikorski. Sikorski is best known for having been the parliamentary speaker and former minister under president Bronisław Komorowski, who was beaten in a general election in 2015 by the current president Andrzej Duda. If a journalist in a major newspaper criticises a foreign government, one would think it necessary to mention that their spouse was a senior figure in the party which lost an election to that government, wouldn’t you? Not that Sikorski was a member of the party at the time of the election, mind you. No, he had already been forced to quit in disgrace a few months before:

Three Polish ministers and the country’s parliamentary Speaker have resigned amid a row over leaked tapes.

Speaker Radek Sikorski and the health, treasury and sports ministers said they had quit for the good of the ruling centre-right Civic Platform party.

The resignations come four months before general elections, as the popularity of PM Ewa Kopacz is waning.

The officials were secretly recorded in Warsaw restaurants discussing private deals and promotions in 2013-14.

The leaks were published by the Wprost magazine, angering many Poles.

Little wonder Applebaum’s writes so bitterly about Poland these days, but her employers don’t see fit to mention any of this when giving her column space. Democracy dies in darkness, indeed.


Another conflict of interest surrounding Anne Applebaum, this time on the subject of Roman Polanski:

Applebaum’s previous disclosure of who her husband is, of course, has next to nothing to do with the question of whether she should have disclosed that her husband is lobbying the US to go easy one Roman Polanski at the same time she is writing a Washington Post column to that effect.


If a conflict exists, it isn’t sufficient to disclose it once. It must be disclosed every time it is relevant. Applebaum seems to assume that Washington Post readers make a mental catalogue of every Post reporter and columnist, their relationships, and their conflicts of interest. That anyone who ever reads anything she writes will take it upon themselves to keep a running tally of her conflicts, so she need disclose them only once. That, obviously, is not going to happen. And it displays a stunning arrogance — she thinks everyone who reads her column cares enough about her to know where her husband works.

Finally, she’s misstating the nature of what she mocks as the “secret revelation.” The criticism wasn’t that her husband is an employee of the Polish government. Nobody cares about that. It’s that her husband is a Polish government official who is currently lobbying for the very thing Applebaum is arguing in favor of. Surely she understands the difference?

The pieces in the links are worth reading in full to get a flavour of what sort of journalist Applebaum is.


When it comes to income, everyone should be a “prepper”

Over the weekend I listened to the James Delingpole podcast featuring Irish journalist Kevin Myers as his “very special guest”.  I’d not heard of Myers before, but the first twenty minutes or so was dedicated to his spectacular fall from grace in the eyes of his employers.

To cut a long story short, Myers is a journalist of considerable experience having written for the Daily Telegraph, the Irish version of the Sunday Times, and the Irish Times. In July 2017 he wrote an article for the Sunday Times regarding the gender pay gap at the BBC in which he included the following line in relation to Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz who were paid more than their counterparts:

Jews are not generally noted for their insistence on selling their talent for the lowest possible price, which is the most useful measure there is of inveterate, lost-with-all-hands stupidity.

Myers is a right-wing journalist who expresses views which upset progressives, but he has been solid enough on the subject of Jews and Israel that painting him as a rabid anti-semite is ludicrous. Nevertheless, in the early hours of the morning the piece went online and before it was even printed, a coordinated and determined effort had been made by peoples unknown to do just that, and when Myers woke up the next day he found social media littered with excerpts from articles and memoirs he’d written up to a decade earlier all carefully selected to portray him as an anti-semite. He says he has no idea who was behind it or how they managed to mobilise themselves so quickly, but he dismisses the suggestion that it was offended Jews and presumes it was SJWs who don’t like his right-wing views.

Anyway, his employers took serious issue with the piece, even though it had passed through an editorial process consisting of no less than seven people (all of whom kept their jobs), and fired him. He is now blacklisted from every major publication he used to write for. What distressed him the most is the people who fired him seemed to take an almost perverse delight in doing so, gleefully seizing on the opportunity to virtue-signal. Up until that point he had considered some of these people to be his friends. The Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar – the one who Theresa May seemingly reports to – also got in on the act, denouncing Myers in public as being misogynistic and anti-semitic. In other words, Myers is pretty much fucked.

Shifting the subject a little, I am aware of the existence of a bunch of people that Americans call “preppers“. These are people who are convinced that a complete breakdown of society is highly likely if not inevitable, and they want to be prepared when the day comes. This involves copious volumes of online discussion on what food and equipment to store and in what quantities, and the decision of when and how to “bug out” and where you’d go and what you’d take with you. I’ve seen TV shows of fat bearded men who’ve built underground bunkers in their back yards filled with ration packs and ammunition saying things like “These tinned peaches will be currency when the world breaks down, man!” I suspect in most cases these guys would be overrun by a mob as soon as word got around they had food, but the discussions are useful and there are enough anecdotes from people who fled hurricane Katrina or survived the siege of Sarajevo to provide some handy advice. (Anyone who is interested in reading about this should visit Bayou Renaissance Man and scroll down his sidebar to the links under “Articles on Emergency Preparation”)

I thought of these prepper guys when I listened to the situation Kevin Myers now finds himself in. Much of the prepper talk is about self-sufficiency, how you must learn to be absolutely self-reliant and not count on assistance from absolutely anybody except for family and perhaps a few like-minded close friends. When a situation goes south, relationships turn sour instantly and the people you thought were your friends are now threatening your whole existence. For all their paranoia, the preppers have at least got that bit right.

The more I read about the behaviour of managers in large organisations, the more I think employees should start adopting the mindset of a prepper and plan accordingly. I can well imagine there are millions of people whose entire livelihoods, and those of their families, are entirely dependent on the whims of one or two people who have a solid track record of looking after their own interests, principles and ethics be damned. This is not a good situation for anyone to be in.

There are a few ways one can prepare. The first is to learn a trade or skill that is in short supply, enabling you to pick up work across as many companies, industries, and locations as possible. Another is to work primarily for yourself as much as possible, or with one or two trusted individuals. If Myers ran a blog and charged people a subscription, it wouldn’t matter what his boss thought because he wouldn’t have one. This might not be possible or bring in enough money to support a person let alone a family, but combined with something else it might be. One could work part-time as a tradesman, part-time as a blogger, and collect rent from a property or two. That way, if one income source falls over you have another one or two which you can use to pay the bills. Sure, you might need to work as a corporate drone for a decade or two before you can diversify like this, but I’ve noticed the preppers in America aren’t exactly youngsters either.

Another option is to form a union, which is why they exist of course. I’m no fan of unions in their modern form but I can understand why people feel the need to join one, even if they often seem more interested in extorting the taxpayer and playing politics than shielding their employees from bad managers. The UK’s experience with unions is appallingly bad, but I suspect this is simply a reflection of equally appalling management. By contrast, German unions don’t appear to be as militant and self-destructive which is probably because German managers are more willing to have a productive discussion with the employees in the first place. Should I mention France? Perhaps not, eh?

With large organisations and employers fast heading down the route of political correctness and social justice pandering, people are going to have to start realising that loyalty doesn’t exist, nobody can be trusted, and they must become self-reliant as soon as they can. If possible, they should also look to diversify their income sources at the earliest opportunity, even if overall it means they earn much less. At this point in my life I think I’d rather earn £60k per year from two or three independent sources than £80k per year from one which can be pulled from under me at any moment.

All of this is leading to what I have written about before on here: smart young men are going to start forming their own small businesses either alone or with one or two trusted individuals, and avoiding corporate management and large organisations altogether.


America’s Embassy in Israel

From the BBC:

US President Donald Trump will recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, senior administration officials have said.

He is due to announce the controversial decision in a speech later.

Mr Trump is also expected to approve moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but not for several years.

Nowhere in this article does it mention that in June the US Senate voted on a resolution to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital which passed by 90-0. To do so would detract from the narrative that Trump is making rash, unilateral decisions which bring the world closer to war.

Israel welcomes the changes but the Palestinians and Arab leaders have warned they will jeopardise any Middle East peace process.

Note they don’t specify which Middle East peace process would be jeopardised, presumably because none exists.

Successive presidents have signed waivers to get round the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, which mandates moving the embassy.

Oh. So basically Trump is the first President to actually uphold a law that was passed by Congress over 20 years ago. This is a bad thing, apparently.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud told Mr Trump the relocation of the embassy or recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “would constitute a flagrant provocation of Muslims, all over the world”

Could it be that, having listened to Muslims all over the world spending the first year of his presidency branding him an enemy of Islam, Trump isn’t really interested in what they think at this juncture?

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas warned of “the dangerous consequences such a decision would have to the peace process and to the peace, security and stability of the region and of the world”

Yeah, that might have worked ten or twenty years ago, but it’s now worn so thin you can wear it as a mask and still watch TV.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniya called for a “day of rage” this Friday and said “Palestinian people everywhere [would] not allow this conspiracy to pass”

Business as usual, then.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country could sever ties with Israel

I doubt there are many in Israel counting on ties with Turkey since Erdogan’s rise to power.

France, the European Union and the Arab League have also expressed concern.

The Arab League? We have proxy wars raging in Syria and Yemen, Qatar and Saudi Arabia at each other’s throats, Iran and Turkey sending troops to prop up Arab governments, Libya overrun by jihadists and Egypt heading in the same direction. I didn’t even realise the Arab League still existed, but the minutes of their AGM must make interesting reading.

By recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital President Trump is fulfilling a campaign promise. There is no other obvious reason he is doing this now.

Fulfilling campaign promises, enacting Senate resolutions, upholding the law as passed by Congress? Is there nobody who can save us from this monster?!

Administration officials said he would simply be acknowledging reality

A rare trait among modern politicians.

Jordan and Saudi Arabia are custodians of Islam’s holy sites and have issued strong warnings that this move could inflame the Muslim world.

Okay, we’ll add it to the list.

It sounds like the Palestinians will get nothing.

Except for the four or five hundred million dollars per year the US sends them, of course.

Perhaps there is a wider strategy at work but it looks like a workaround so the president can satisfy his pro-Israel voters.

And comply with the Senate, Congress, and the law in a manner that his predecessors refused to.

In other news:

The BBC is to launch a new scheme to help young people identify real news and filter out fake or false information.

They’re perfectly placed to do it.


Headline News

This is quite an important development, no?

The US Supreme Court has ruled President Donald Trump’s travel ban on six mainly Muslim countries can go into full effect, pending legal challenges.

The decision is a boost for Mr Trump’s policy against travellers from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

Ah, but it concerns good news for Trump so is relegated to a minor story on the second page, displaced by such ground-breaking events in the US as this:

I wonder where the story would have appeared had the Supreme Court struck Trump’s law down?


Damian Green, the Met, and the BBC

From the BBC:

A former Scotland Yard detective has told BBC News he was “shocked” by the amount of pornography viewed on a computer seized from the Commons office of senior Tory MP Damian Green.

Neil Lewis examined the device during a 2008 inquiry into government leaks and has not spoken publicly before.

He said “thousands” of thumbnail images of legal pornography were on it.

I think this says far more about the Metropolitan Police and the BBC, who are running the story on their front page. One thing that was blindingly obvious about the Leveson Enquiry was that the practice of policemen dishing up gossip on prominent people to journalists was widespread and well-known, but the political establishment and their supporters needed an excuse to try to break Rupert Murdoch’s media empire so they grabbed one where they could.

That we now have ex-policemen engaged in selling information – none of which concerns illegal or even immoral activities whose exposure serves the public interest – and the likes of the BBC are falling over themselve to publish it only confirms what most sensible people already knew. Any government worth its salt would come down on this ex-policeman like a tonne of bricks, give the Met a thorough and public dressing-down, and revoke the BBC’s charter.

If the Theresa May’s Tories are too piss-weak to do this then perhaps they deserve to be gossiped about. It’s about all they’re useful for.


More in Trump’s Twitter Trolling

Polkamatic makes the following comment under my post on Trump’s Twitter trolling:

So the POTUS sees trolling the media as an appropriate activity for a sitting POTUS. Maybe even his top priority, by the looks of it. And by reporting on this bizarre state of affairs, the MSM is somehow wasting its time and money, because there’s nothing the viewing public is less interested in seeing than a tawdry spectacle.

This deserves a proper response. Let me take this part first:

So the POTUS sees trolling the media as an appropriate activity for a sitting POTUS. Maybe even his top priority, by the looks of it.

This is obviously true: Trump seems to spend as much time trolling the media as he does anything else. Is this appropriate for an American president? Personally I don’t think it is, but then I also believe it’s a moot point.

If Americans wanted a president who acts in a presidential manner, then they ought to have left the door open for such a candidate to step forward and get themselves elected. Instead, the media and political establishment decided they would back the Democratic candidate regardless and carry out a complete and utter character assassination of the Republican candidate. I remember when Mitt Romney ran against Barack Obama: he was called a Nazi, a religious fundamentalist, a misogynist, and a tax-evader. He then spent the entire campaign mumbling apologies, explaining himself, and reacting to every media revelation his political opponents aired. Sure enough, he lost by a mile. Had Jeb Bush won the Republican nomination in 2016, the same thing would have happened to him and we’d now be listening to President Clinton screech at us from our TV screens.

I’ve said it many times on these pages, Trump is a symptom of the malaise in American politics, not the cause of it. The reason you have an egotistical asshole in the White House is because the media and political establishment made it impossible for any decent non-Democrat to win a presidential election. Any Republican candidate who would have behaved in a presidential manner in office would never have got close to the White House, he’d have been destroyed by the media using every dirty trick in the book to bring him down. This didn’t work on Trump because he simply didn’t care, had his own money, owed nobody anything, and refused to apologise.

My post was simply to point out that Trump figured out the media’s role in American politics and rather than reacting to every story they put out about him, he plays the tune while they dance. And let’s be honest here: if he wasn’t doing this, and he had settled into the role and was doing his level best to do his job in a highly professional manner, the media would still be pumping out one anti-Trump hatchet-job after another, wailing about Russia and calling for his impeachment. Anyone who thinks the media, political establishment, and Democrat supporters would allow a Republican president to quietly get on with the job at hand is absolutely deluded.

And by reporting on this bizarre state of affairs, the MSM is somehow wasting its time and money, because there’s nothing the viewing public is less interested in seeing than a tawdry spectacle.

As I said in the original post, the people screaming about Trump are preaching to the choir. Part of the reason Trump was able to shrug off the media attacks during the election campaign was because millions of Americans had come to believe they are interested only in political campaigning and are hence highly selective about the stories they choose to cover. The diminished influence of the MSM was laid bare when, against all their dreams and predictions, Trump won and Hillary lost. If there was ever a time for self-reflection and recalibration, that was it. Instead, they’ve just trebled-down on the hysteria and hammered the point home they’re partisan hacks with no interest in reporting objective truth.

Is the public interested in a tawdry spectacle? Well, it certainly provides plenty of Twitter-fodder but the likes of the NYT, WaPo, BBC, and CNN are not tabloids: I am sure most Americans would prefer it if they started reporting the news properly instead of pasting up headlines regarding who said what about Trump on Twitter. Now maybe the MSM is enjoying healthy profits by pursuing this approach, but my bet is they’re losing money hand over fist.

On another note, I don’t think Trump’s method of communication is part of some overall grand strategy, I think he’s just doing what comes naturally to him. But regardless of why he’s doing it, the effects are substantial. I don’t know why he retweeted the videos that Britain First put up but it caused all manner of journalists, celebrities, and politicians to vent their outrage at what they see as his endorsement of a racist party. This has had the knock-on effect of:

1. Highlighting the rank hypocrisy among Britain’s political and media establishments. Jeremy Corbyn is a long-standing supporter of the IRA and Hamas, anti-semitism is rife across the British left, people with blood up to their elbows are welcomed with open arms, yet Trump retweeting a video from Britain First is deemed beyond the pale.

2. Exposing who is thinking what in Britain’s supposedly Conservative political circles. I wouldn’t expect any Conservatives to endorse Trump, but if they’re queuing up behind Labour politicians and left-wing media loudmouths in calling him “racist” and “not welcome in Britain” and “irresponsible” then they’re doing everyone a big favour. I suspect much of the British public couldn’t care less about Trump’s tweets and when they hear he’s posted something on a subject their own political classes refuse to address, they’re probably quite glad. I haven’t seen the videos in question (I generally find this sort of thing on Twitter to be presented in a wholly misleading context), but if the political classes think Trump tweeting videos of Muslims allegedly being violent and murderous is something that will horrify the public, they’ve not been paying attention.

3. It is now confirmed that retweeting does indeed equate to endorsing. Expect the trolls to have some fun with this over the next few weeks.

Trump’s tweets are often filled with infantile posturing, but the reaction to them is stuff that will fascinate historians and social anthropologists for years to come.


Trump’s Twitter Trolling

North Korea is lobbing missiles around again and the hapless Theresa May is shipping billions of pounds over to Europe in the hope they’ll make her life a bit easier next month, but here’s the BBC’s lead story:

It’s reached the stage that I think Trump is simply trolling. The outrage machine is still going full blast more than a year since his election, but there he is, still sitting pretty as president. He knows that by simply clicking a few buttons on his iPhone he can send the world’s media – who hate him anyway – into one meltdown after another, giving them no time to catch their breath in between. Historians are going to look back on this and recognise it as masterful media manipulation; he really is playing with them like a cat does a mouse.

What really gets me is the disparity of effort. Master trolls don’t hang around writing screeds online, their role is to throw petrol on a fire and walk away, leaving everyone else to waste days or weeks fighting each other. In Trump’s case, he can tie up tens of thousands of his enemies’ manhours and get them to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars simply by retweeting a video, an action which takes less than a second. This must be costing the media companies an absolute fortune, and for what? The BBC won’t care because they extort money from the British population, but for the rest who rely on selling copy or getting eyes on screen, Trump’s making them dig their own graves. For all the million articles and interviews decrying Trump, nobody’s much changed their minds about the man: all they’re doing is preaching to the choir. They desperately need to start covering stories professionally and recapturing their lost audiences in order to survive, but instead they’re stuck with this blinding obsession. How none of the shareholders or executives realise this is incredible.

Trump is unlikely to leave office remembered as a great president or even as a good politician, and I suspect his legislative changes won’t even amount to much. But I think there’s no doubt he will be remembered for the manner in which he completely outflanked a hostile media and led them straight over a cliff. For all his other faults, Trump is probably the first major political figure to really understand the power of social media. Twitter should give him a seat on the board when his time in office is up.