Hancock’s secret meeting with Zuck

Online Harms

Jo Stevens is a member of Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition.

She’s also the Shadow Media, Culture, & Sport Minister.

This tweet is her gloating at finally getting some detail of the clandestine meeting that took place between then Media Minister Matt Hancock and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Stevens is looking keen for the Online Harms Bill.

But what’s this?

Jo Steven’s Labour colleague Margaret Hodge is against online anonymity and backs the Online Harms Bill to protect her from the tens of thousands of abusive tweets she gets a month.

Stevens’ predecessor is Tom Watson, who got on very well with Margaret Hodge.


Watson, like Hodge, spent more of his time attacking then leader Jeremy Corbyn over allegations of antisemitism than he did on scrutinising the way media is governed.

So Watson, Hodge, Stevens, and Labour are all for the Online Harms Bill and dead against Jeremy Corbyn.

They think the Online Harms Bill can help them persecute the more left end of the Labour Party that supported Jeremy Corbyn.

Though Zuckerberg is not known as a Corbynista and Facebook’s advertising policy has been used to benefit the Conservatives far more than Labour, he will still be squeamish about cracking down on freedom of speech.


The double standards are obvious. Some messages are allowed to circulate but others are not.

Online behaviour is starting to be regulated, but who regulates the regulator?

Facebook has an Oversight Committee, sometimes referred to as a Supreme Court. This committee will have the final say over whether a post should be removed and why.

For now the Committee will not look into the issue of questioning deplatforming decisions.

The rationale for deplatforming is opaque – and not currently open to appeal. The left has suffered enormously due to the Facebook algorithm and its decisions to delete accounts.

Murdoch & Leveson

What did Hancock and Zuckerberg really discuss? Can’t have been that much. The real conversation is surely between lobbyists and lawyers.

Hancock made noise about policing Zuckerberg because Rupert Murdoch wanted him to.

Hancock cancelled the Leveson Inquiry to please Murdoch.

He argued that the papers had learned their lessons from the days of phone hacking, surveillance, bullying, entrapment and illegal data capture.

That the real threat to society comes from the online giants and that newspapers need to be protected from the likes of Facebook and Google.

UK tabloids pushed for Google and Facebook to be regulated even while they themselves sought to escape regulation by citing the need to protect the Freedom of the Press.

And there you have it.

Freedom is ok so long as it is for a Billionaire who owns a Newspaper.

Never argue with a man who buys his ink by the barrel

SIR JAMES MATHEW, an Irish judge at the turn of the 20th century, is said to have quipped that justice in England is open to all, “like the Ritz Hotel”.

And the Ritz is still owned by the tax-exile Barclay brothers who also own the Telegraph and the Spectator – publications that have paid Boris Johnson handsomely.

Matthew Gould : Surveillance Capitalism Spook

Matthew Gould was appointed to head NHSX, a digital form of the NHS, without any competition, temporarily, in April 2019.

Matt Hancock appointed him. He’s still there.

Gould obviously operates in a world of spies, mandarins and geostrategic military lobbyists – democracy and the rule of law mean nothing to him.

Before leaving Israel (he was the UK ambassador to Israel from 2010 to 2015) Gould controversially thanked the British Jewish community for the huge support it had shown Israel over the years.

Nothing wrong with stating a fact?

Maybe, but an inappropriate comment all the same.

It would be easy, from that statement, to think Gould was the Israeli ambassador and not the British one.

Conflicts of interest have nothing to do with race or religion. They are a very human condition that can apply to anyone, including Mr Gould.

I would argue that the consequences for the UK of not identifying and dealing with Mr Gould’s moral and ethical breaches have been enormous.

Thousands dead due to Coronavirus incompetence and countless more to suffer due to Gould’s lax attitude to medical privacy and data.

It should come as no surprise that NHSX Gould is more loyal to Silicon Valley than British citizens. His concern has been to promote the Cybersecurity Agenda and the interests of the large tech players.

Health data is of little concern to him. But he is concerned about Online Harms if they disrupt national security.

And by that we mean … Margaret Hodge.

Censorship levels have gone through the roof in 2020.

The UK is the first country to test the vaccine on its citizens and will be the first to deliver an Online Harms Bill.

But what will it contain and how will it be interpreted?

Will it be an excuse to launch raids on any person or organisation who expresses ideas that are at odds with government policy, or will it be used to fine and genuinely police the online giants?

The Great NHS Heist

For more on the connection between economic, health and data policies watch the Great NHS Heist by Dr Bob Gill & Drew McFadyen and featuring the late David Graeber :


Government U-Turns & Zuck on BBC

Yesterday the UK Government scrapped its policy to charge foreign health workers to use the health service.

Earlier the government also changed the policy that would have allowed partners of bereaved NHS support staff to be immediately deported.

This clip from Sky TV ends by saying that the public mood has changed and so has government policy.

And what is the chief driver of the public mood?

Opinion forming newspapers and television channels.

And Facebook:

In this interview from yesterday Mark Zuckerberg says he has taken down hundreds of thousand of posts that he disagrees with and that he expects an ‘arms race’ in the next US election.

He was referring to outside interference, but who’s to say he won’t pick a winner and act accordingly?

FB’s business model allows candidates to spread disinformation so long as they pay.

So the biggest threat to democracy comes from Zuck himself.

Of course BBC’s Simon Jack didn’t ask Zuck to explain his company’s involvement in the last Tory landslide election.


A Bigger Bang — How Facebook Kills Global Democracy

Facebook, as with British Justice, is open to all — just like the Ritz.

The Big Bang in the City of London Financial Sector happened in the Eighties and permitted US banks to massively expand their operations.

Stuffy old British banking gave way to a more openly money grabbing approach which meant people from varied backgrounds were allowed in to make their fortunes.

The Masons and the City establishment still ran the place but the lower orders were allowed in and, to a certain degree, their loyalty could be relied on.

This is what Thatcher, Blair, and Cameron represented.

A bizarre mingling of privilege and meritocracy.

In which a man like Jacob Rees-Mogg can praise Chancellor Sajid Javid as an inspirational Tory success story while also rightly claiming that the Queen is just a Constitutional Monarch (ie must know her place).

Rees-Mogg’s own father edited the Times and was only admitted to the Lords on a Life Peerage, in 1988.

So despite his professed love of Erskine & May, Jacob Rees Mogg’s fetish for Parliament’s rites and tradition is mainly theatrical.

His own family weren’t admitted till he himself was approaching twenty.


Why the focus on the City of London and Rees Mogg?

The effect of Facebook on democracy and particularly political marketing is akin to the Big Bang on Finance.

There are so many social factors and consequences that accompany such a development.

Facebook was always going to be a threat to TV and Newspapers.

Zuckerberg allows everyone a voice, political messaging, without restriction — for a price.

As Rees-Mogg is in cahoots with Steve Bannon and Nigel Farage, his own sister joined the Brexit Party and became an MEP, it should not come as such a surprise that yesterday Nigel Farage withdrew every Brexit Party candidate from any seat in which the current MP is a Tory.

This strategy would be nothing if Boris Johnson hadn’t already performed a purge of the party and guaranteed 100% loyalty to the Hard Brexit cause.

Personally I believe the EU and the ECB are awful corporatist militarist vehicles that UK should have nothing to do with.

So now Trump, Bannon, Farage, Rees-Mogg, Cummings, & Johnson are a more immediate threat.

They have to be dealt with but not by staying in the corporatist EU.

Ad Libraries

If you look at Facebook’s arguments for profiteering from political BS, the rôle of the Ad Library takes centre stage.

Facebook lets politicians scam its users by citing free expression and increased transparency about who is buying adverts and how much they are spending.

Here is today’s UK Ad Library (link above). It shows information about Sunday 9th November, as I write this post it is 0438 on the morning of Tuesday 12th November (GMT )

You can click on any of the entries for more details.

This is the Boris Johnson Page :


The openness with which politicians now lie is not something we are going to be able to do much about as gatekeepers and intermediaries, ie press barons and their digital counterparts, now allow all sorts of untruth to go unchallenged.

It’s a great time to be blogging about the truth, sadly a little too great.


Babylon Health, Mass Shootings, Von der Leyen, Facebook, Oborne

London Conversation News Review

Should politicians be allowed to lie on facebook?

Should political correspondents not scrutinise british politicians?

Who is really behind babylon health?

What is the deal with the police sharing boycam footage with facebook?


French to Police Facebook

According to the Wall Street Journal, France are granting regulators wide and sweeping powers to audit and fine large social media companies.

Le Monde has reported that Macron wants to ban the use of the term Police Violence

Macron says there is no such thing as police violence in a country which upholds the rule of law.

The cover up is worse than the crime. Russia highlighting police violence is now referred to as disinformation! It is now unpatriotic to decry police violence. Maybe it has always been this way, but now, its easier to just say it.


Social Cleansing Silicon Valley Style

Today’s FT has an excellent piece on Social Cleansing in Silicon Valley.

It made me think of Jamie Bartlett‘s BBC Show, The Secrets of Silicon Valley.

I’ve only seen episode one in which Bartlett interviews the young head of Y Combinator — a Silicon Valley venture capital company.

The conversation quickly moves from automation and disruption to universal basic income.

Old school socialists believe in economies that produce jobs.

This puts them at odds with Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs.

But a read of the today’s FT’s Silicon Valley social cleansing report shows how little of its Dublin cash pile or attention span Apple spends on cleaning its footprint.

Forget the filter bubble, the FANGS are only after your blood and your eyeballs so you can share your status and press like while they geographically displace you on a basic income ready for your new role as fresh faced contributor to the Organ Trafficking Market.

Meanwhile the Vampire Squid gets ready for its ‘alumnus’ Gary Cohn’s imminent contribution to Public Service as the likely next head of the Fed where he will run interest rates and QE so as to take getting high off your own supply Zombie Economics to a whole new level.

Have financial cannibalism, nepotism, necrophilia & incest become so normalised that we barely register – let alone resist?

Do Boiling Frogs dream of Red Tape?

Meanwhile Amazon and Whole Foods are slashing food prices in the organic food space while Google team up with Wal Mart.

So now the unemployed can eat organic food with their Basic Income. Of course.

I don’t mean to sound alarmist or anything but in the history of financial and non-financial regulation, has any institution existed that has been able to stand up to these all-powerful conglomerates and actually create anything that remotely protects human beings and the planet from the self destructive logic of pure financialisation?

Would the Kurdish resistance movement in Syria (currently US backed) count?

They’re fighting ISIS who also seem to be US-backed so I see some problems with this simplistic analogy – but good effort.

The UN and the EU seem to be far too captured to put anything forward that will question the logic or values of the Transnational, US and Corporate lobby.

The EU illegal state-aid case against the Apple and Ireland arrangement that allows Apple to avoid paying any tax anywhere is going nowhere.

And all the media is bought up by very stock market players they are supposed to be reporting on.

Bezos bought the Washington Post and Mrs Jobs just bought the Atlantic.

If it’s Breitbart Vs the New York Times, Economist & FT then we will never find a solution.

Bannon isn’t anti-tech. He’s just pro-White People dominating global politics and Economics.

How different is that to the people at Facebook, Apple, Amazon and even Google and Microsoft (the last two firms are run by Indians)?

Hillary was supposed to be the Shareholder / Wall Street candidate.

But Trump is about to appoint a Goldman banker to run the Fed, so what difference does it make?

(Spaking of California, in the UK we seem destined for our very own Snoop Moggy Mogg)

It looks like the Vampire Squid has launched a counter-coup within the White House.

May I suggest revisiting Matt Taibbi’s permanently relevant Great American Bubble Machine.

The existence of tools such as language and numbers ultimately haven’t been used to liberate us from this wanton destruction.

I wonder why.

Perhaps this is how it is all supposed to be – we ought know our place and only ever articulate the unchanging desire to continue conspiring to keep everything moving on its current path..