RADIO GROUNDHOG

The temporary removal of Talk Radio’s YouTube channel yesterday could be viewed as something of a storm in a teacup in that it was unsurprisingly reinstated within a matter of hours. Mind you, a station with Rupert Murdoch and the best legal brains money can buy behind it was hardly going to be a permanent absentee online. I’ve never been a listener myself, but I have watched many of the ten-fifteen minute Talk Radio chats on YT in recent months, especially the ones in which TV historian Neil Oliver has revealed himself to be a rare beacon of sound common sense and reasoned, enlightened argument in a sea of fearful conformity and blind acquiescence to the consensus. I definitely would have missed him being given the kind of sensible platform he’d never receive from his principal media employer of the past decade or so had the suspension become permanent. Anyway, Talk Radio has been slapped on the wrist by Silicon Valley and now it’s back, just as though nothing ever happened. But it did.

A radio station that passed all the stringent tests of Ofcom and one that is hardly the home of today’s Lord Haw-Haw’s, Talk Radio has nevertheless insisted on transmitting dissenting voices actually questioning the unimpeachable wisdom of our elected representatives and their pandemic panaceas; and this didn’t find favour with the big tech overlords who are pulling the strings of all western world leaders. Any conspiracy theory involving clandestine organisations plotting a ‘great reset’ should always remember that the men and women fronting the governments of the globe are, on the whole, not exceptionally bright individuals; as with the Hollywood A-listers whose intellectual shortcomings are exposed when they mouth their own lines rather than those written for them by a scriptwriter, our Presidents and Prime Ministers are consummate salespeople for the brand and little more. If there are nefarious figures currently conspiring to reshape the planet so that it runs along lines more conducive to their worldview by inventing a virus that will finally give them the absolute power even Kim Jong-un can only dream of, they ain’t heading any democratically-elected administrations at the moment.

What the abrupt albeit brief absence of Talk Radio from a visual medium that has long-since abandoned its outlaw origins really demonstrates about where we are now is just how intolerant the true powers-that-be are of free speech, free thought and free opinions. Using a company with such financial strength-in-depth to make a token example of was an interesting development that sent out a message to all bedroom ‘influencers’ that nobody is beyond censure in this climate of fear; those who stood up to applaud when renowned rentagob fruitcake Alex Jones was excised from the history books did so in the belief Silicon Valley would only ever single out the most hysterical and intentionally outrageous online critics whilst respecting the rights of the rest to express their concerns without fear of cancellation. Think again. Whilst Talk Radio receives the maximum publicity due to its high-profile status, what of others on the hit-list who can’t command the same viewing figures, those motivated into setting up their own little online operation because there appears to be no other outlet if one has something to say? Who would even know if they vanished overnight, never to be seen again? State your case at your peril if that case doesn’t fall neatly into line with the orthodoxy.

Yes, it could be paranoia and it could even be simple hubris, but I have to admit the practice of ‘shadow banning’ – whereby one’s online output is still there yet is mysteriously no longer visible to the casual browser and non-subscriber – has increased in the past few months to the point whereby I wonder if I myself have been victim to it. Whenever I publish a post on here it automatically appears on my Twitter account, a process that has traditionally resulted in a modest albeit steady supply of likes and re-tweets. However, recent events prompted me into taking a look at the response of my 124 Twitter followers to the Winegum posts on there of late and I realised I hadn’t received a single like or re-tweet since the back end of November – the post titled ‘The Emerald Aisle’. There have been 17 posts since that one (not including this) and none have received any recognition from my Twitter followers whatsoever. Okay, so I have no divine right to receive such endorsements, and one might reasonably assume nothing I’ve written since November has been to the taste of 124 people who had previously been appreciative of my oeuvre; but I can’t honestly believe there’s been any dip in quality or a sudden drop in the variety of subjects that fall under my radar; I genuinely think I’ve continued to do what I do – that is, what regular readers expect and enjoy – and that doesn’t really warrant this overnight absence of interest. Makes you wonder, though, dunnit. If they could suppress an important story regarding the President-elect’s son, they’re hardly going to lose sleep over shadow banning me.

Anyway, I think the timing of the Talk Radio disappearance was particularly relevant, coming as it did on the first day of Lockdown 3, the latest sequel/reboot in a shitty franchise that nobody with half-a-brain wanted. 100 years on from the Prohibition of alcohol, the Prohibition of social interaction goes from strength to strength. As Boris addressed the sufficiently terrified masses, we were encouraged to believe any increase in infections was all our fault and were once again told to stay at home, save lives and protect the NHS – lest the latter found overflowing wards an impediment to TikTok dance routines, naturally. Mind you, it was refreshing to learn one more lockdown zealot had been caught out; this time round it was our favourite human oil-slick Piers Moron, exceeding Kay Burley’s birthday shindig by jetting away from the capital’s Tier 4 Hell to the more relaxed climes of Antigua during the festive season. You may well ask how a hypocrite sleeps at night, but normal rules don’t apply; after all, if they were in possession of a conscience that would immediately disqualify them from being a hypocrite.

Of course, I’m largely focusing on events in England here, for Soviet Scotland and the People’s Republic of Wales are already lost causes behind their own little Iron Curtains. And let us not neglect the fact that another national lockdown south and east of our respective borders is good news for that beleaguered public service which is especially gifted at shooting itself in the foot as it takes the knee. As was pointed out by Triggernometry co-host Konstantin Kisin on Twitter today, we’ve gone from flattening the curve to police demanding the right to smash your door down in less than a year; this was in response to an article in the Grauniad whereby David Jamieson, the West Midlands Police Commissioner, called for power of entry into the homes of suspected lockdown-breakers; the good old Met, never slow to gleefully leap on any passing bandwagon that earns them a few chattering-classes points, has simultaneously claimed it will be ‘more inquisitive’ with people out and about in the capital. You vill show me your papers! All well and good for a constabulary with such an impressive record of always getting the right man and never making a mistake when invading anyone’s personal space in their size nines.

So, school’s out for winter once more – and probably spring and summer as well – and it’s back to online learning for all those middle-class parents with the time and space to enforce it; as for those in the wrong catchment areas, good luck and tough shit. How fortunate we are to live in the age of the goldfish; Boris tells us the tunnel will be illuminated by a glimmer of light sometime around the back end of February and we’re supposed to believe him – just like we were supposed to last year. I have no doubt whatsoever that what six days of 2021 have shown us is essentially a condensed compilation of the entire twelve months ahead of us. I can’t bloody wait, though I must be careful what I say on the subject…

© The Editor

16 thoughts on “RADIO GROUNDHOG

  1. The suppression of dissenting views on mainstream media was disturbing enough when the BBC developed it into the ultimate art-form, but when those tactics, either overt or covert, are now being applied to the ‘independent’ channels of the Web, Twitter etc., then it gets even more sinister. It doesn’t happen by accident, someone is pulling the strings (or the cables) and it would be very helpful, or disturbingly revealing I fear, to know who that is.

    With Julian Assange continuing to be held in unconvicted purgatory, who else is likely to pick up the mantle of information freedom now? Maybe they feel safe now, they’ve shown how dirty they can play, just as “Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough” echoes on the streets of Liverpool.

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    1. Sad to say I saw this coming with my own experience on YT around five years ago – in fact, I seem to recall I penned an early Winegum post on the subject. Never thought it’d reach the scale it has now, but I should’ve known. I think Trump would probably have tried to break the cartel had he won, but it seems Biden’s team is packed with big tech people, so unless an alternative platform can do some damage, we’re destined for the Chinese approach to the internet, I suspect.

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    1. Yes, sadly. I’m proud to call Barbara a friend and I had a chat with her a month or so back when she told me about her condition. Pretty gutted, to be honest. She’s helped me out on numerous occasions, occasionally offering invaluable advice.

      I remember when the ex of my girlfriend in 2016-17 got a pal of his in the Met to do some illegal dirt-digging on me and broadcast the fact I’d been nicked for shoplifting in 2001, a fact he couldn’t have discovered by means other than foul. I immediately wanted to register a complaint with the Met but wasn’t sure how to go about it. I rang Barbara and asked her if I should approach the Police Complaints Commission; she told me to go direct to Scotland Yard, which I did, and the Met responded straight away. That’s just one example, but there are many more. Barbara really is one of the good guys to me, and it’s absolutely bloody tragic.

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      1. Ah ok. I wasn’t aware of all that – but of course there is no reason why I should have been. I have a DUI, coincidentally from the same year as your ‘previous’ but fortunately it is now considered a ‘spent conviction’ under legislation introduced in Ireland a few years’ ago. Damn lucky only to have had one. I saw this on Twitter and sent to my rehab friend Genevieve….we both got a laugh out of it (and no, I certainly don’t condone driving under the influence):

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      2. Officially, as I only received a caution for the ‘offence’, it too was wiped from the record books – or that’s what the Met informed me after their investigation. They claimed there’d been no illicit browsing of their records, though there’s no other way the info could have been accessed. I never really got to the bottom of it, but we are talking about an organisation not exactly renowned for its transparency, so there you go!

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      3. The Met…hmm….weren’t they heavily infiltrated by the Masons during considerably lengthy periods…not conspiracy theory, it is well-documented. Your experience does seem to suggest the possibility of a Masonic brother doing another brother a small favour.

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  2. Despite whatever YouGov and its associations with Nadhim Zahawi may say, I sense that more and more people have simply had enough of the lockdown measures. People are just going about their lives normally, such that this could be considered ‘non-compliance’ or ‘dissent’. The reason for this gradual shift is the New Year and the knowledge that the NHS always faces a winter ‘crisis’ so this winter is no different to any other. Additionally, whilst millions of people had learned to live with the Tier system, a full national lockdown complete with school closures has been a step too far for them. So to that end the government has overplayed its hand. The pro-lockdown lobby, such as Dan Hodges, are now on the defensive.

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      1. Perrins and the tweeters chiming in to agree with her are correct. There’s no opposition here, literally none. As a tweeter rightly put it , “smaller population, easier to brainwash”. In so far as the ‘left’ criticise the government on COVID, it’s only to demand more restrictions. But I wouldn’t expect the likes to have any sympathy for the plight of small businesses (*). If anything, the government are pushing back against the neurotic idiots. I know this sounds like one of those cliches that we used to hear “If Trump gets in, I’m leaving the US”, “If Labour get in and raise taxes, I’m leaving Britain”, but I can’t consider myself part of the Irish left anymore.

        https://twitter.com/paulmurphy_TD?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

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      2. I used to consider myself part of the British Left, but I feel like my favourite neighbours have moved out and the neighbours from Hell have moved in to take their place. Seems this has afflicted the Left throughout the English-speaking world, to be honest.

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