Media Silent as Toxic Tommy Robinson Gives His Vote to the Tories

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 24/11/2019 - 5:01am in

There are some individuals, who are so noxious, that their endorsement is instant death to organisations and causes. UKIP found that out when fuehrer Gerard Batten recruited Carl ‘Sargon of Akkad’ Benjamin, Mark ‘Count Dankula’ Meechan and Paul Joseph Watson. Oh yes, and Tommy Robinson, formerly of the EDL, formerly of PEGIDA, and frequently in the Nick, as a special adviser on Islam. The result was that, faced with competition from their rivals, the Brexit party, or Farage Political Vehicle Mark II and these horrors from the far right, UKIP’s members voted with their feet and walked out. UKIP collapsed, elected a Dick Braine as leader, and has since imploded in an ugly mass of accusations and litigation. This hasn’t dissuaded Robinson from endorsing other political parties, however. And the latest party he’s decided to give his public support is Boris Johnson and the Tories.

The Huffington Post, Mirror and Independent reported that Robinson had given his vote to Johnson, saying “Everyone should vote for Boris Johnson.If we want Brexit, if we believe in democracy, we have to have Brexit. So yeah. Go Boris”. The Huffington Post also stated that BoJob had been called on to reject the thug’s endorsement. Jo Swinson made an adverse comment about Boris’ new supporter, and Corbyn drily remarked “The Trump – Johnson – Farage alliance has a new member”. He didn’t need to make any further comment on Robinson giving his noxious support to two of this noxious trio.

But the Tory press have been mysteriously silent about it all, in sharp contrast to the glee with which they splashed all over their front pages the fake claims that David Duke, the former head of the Klan, had endorsed Corbyn and that the Labour leader had the support of Nick Griffin of the BNP. The Labour leader didn’t. But the Tories do have the support of Robinson. And while they’re silent about it, BoJob hasn’t repudiated it either.

Zelo Street observes that there’s a synergy about it. Robinson likes to turn up outside his critics’ and opponents’ homes in the middle of the night mob-handed, looking for a ‘polite conversation’ and has been jailed for assault. And BoJob was phoned up years ago by his friend Darius Guppy, who wanted the address of a journalist so he could have the man beaten up. BoJob kindly complied. This incident was discussed a few years ago on Have I Got News For You. This was when it was still satirically sharp and rather funnier.

Zelo Street remarks

‘It’s no surprise that Bozo is not disowning Stephen Lennon’s endorsement. Nor is it any surprise that his pals in the press are keeping schtum about it. A Bozo Government would not be averse to a little gratuitous thuggery and bullying.

Stephen Lennon and Boris Johnson – two peas in a pod. I’ll just leave that one there.’


But it also seems that Robinson has problems of his own. He’s facing bankruptcy from libel actions from two of the people he’s smeared.

Robinson is being sued for libel on behalf of Jamal, a Syrian refugee, who was beaten up at school. Robinson decided to go round and interview his attacker, during which the statements at the heart of the case were made. Statements which Robinson is having difficulty defending. The case has reached the High Court, and Robinson claims he is facing a possible bill of £650,000. Robinson has bleated that this is “financial terrorism”. Just as he has claimed that his arrest and conviction for contempt of court have similarly been the government trying to shut him up. The reality was that the judges, who had him arrested and tried were trying to give the defendants a fair trial. And this was placed in severe jeopardy by Robinson’s antics outside the court.

And the historian and teacher Mike Stuchbery is also raising money to sue Robinson. Stuchbery had blogged about Robinson’s activities, so Robinson dealt with him the way he frequently did with his critics. He turned up on his doorstep in the middle of the night with his stormtroopers, started banging on Robinson’s doors and windows and made what Zelo Street has described as, ah, ‘creative accusations’. He also doxxed him twice. Stuchbery has since moved to Germany, saying of the incident that Robinson’s

actions have cost me a lot, in terms of health and professional opportunities. It will take years to get back where I was before he directed his followers at me, with patently untrue allegations”.

A crowdfunding page has been set up to help Stuchbery raise enough money through donations to sue Robinson. And Roanna Carleton Taylor, who helped set up the crowdfunder, has appealed for more of Robinson’s victims will come forward so that legal actions can be brought against Robinson on their behalf.

“We intend to document, pursue and fund legal action to make Lennon and his gang members pay for each and every illegal action they commit … To this end we ask anyone who believes they have a legitimate case to sue Lennon to come forward”.

Zelo Street states that Robinson doorstepped several people before picking on Stuchbery, one of whom was Tim Fenton himself. He predicts that after Stuchbery finishes with Robinson, there will be no shortage of others going to court to sue the thug for what he did to them. And that’s not a threat, it’s a promise.

The prospect does not look good for Robinson, who claims that from the last two days of donations, his fundraising is ‘dead’. If he loses, he just might have to move out of that very expensive house that’s in his wife’s name, because of his conviction for mortgage fraud, and go live in a smaller property. Like Hatey Katie Hopkins had to move out of her £500,000 house because of a libel case she lost.

Zelo Street suggests that the age of Robinson’s intimidation and bullying may soon be over. Let’s hope so. And let’s hope his hero Johnson goes down with him.

If you want to contributed to Mike Stuchbery’s campaign, go to this article at Zelo Street and follow the link:



What students and their teachers tell us about ESPP

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 30/08/2019 - 8:50pm in

“I told them it would be experimental,” says Carlos Cortinhas, who introduced the first beta units of Economy, Society and Public Policy (ESPP) to his students at the University of Exeter in 2018, “I explained to them that’s what economics is about. We try experiments. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don’t.”

Carlos created one of the innovative courses that used our beta version of ESPP over the last year. It worked for him: ESPP‘s 1.0 version, launched on 27 August, will now be the standard text for Exeter’s economics minors. The department is also introducing CORE’s The Economy for its 2019 cohort of Economics majors.

What inspired him to take a chance on the first draft of a new, and new type of, textbook to teach economics and policy to non-economics students? He explains that the cohort, like many similar courses, contained a broad mix of students who were majoring in 10 other subjects. The class was also made up of students who had studied economics at school alongside others who were new to the subject. Historically students from all backgrounds at Exeter had a similar opinion of their economics minor courses, which used a standard entry-level text: they didn’t like them.

“Teaching this course used to be challenging,” he recalls, “the students had done economics at A level were bored, because all the same material was repeated. The other half was struggling because it was quite technical.”

(If you want to hear in more detail how Carlos planned the ESPP-based course, what succeeded and what improvements he will make in 2019, watch the video of his presentation to our 2019 workshop).

Carlos’s new course sums up our approach: he teaches using empirical and policy examples drawn from the news and real life, applying theory to make sense of it. Using this technique, he has managed to challenge both groups equally. Students now have a course in which they are expected to take part in discussions in tutorials, instead of watching a TA going through the solutions to abstract maths problems. They sometimes have guest lecturers from outside the university, because they do their reading before the lectures, and so don’t want the book material repeated back to them. Of course, it’s not universally popular. Some students, veterans of school economics teaching, question why an economics course doesn’t start with supply and demand.

Exeter is not an outlier. When we collected student and teacher responses to the first year of ESPP teaching, practical relevance was overwhelmingly what attracted them to the course.

Teacher experiences of ESPP

Humberto Llavador has used ESPP with his students at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. “Policy problems, real data examples, and the companion Doing Economics make the frontier of modern economics accessible to students from all backgrounds without sacrificing rigorousness,” he says.

Mark Dodd, at the University of Adelaide, told us that “ESPP was a very successful text for non-Economics majors. They really appreciated how they could get a great introduction to economics that focused on the real world and data, and was meaningful to their own experience of the world.”

“I would recommend ESPP as an excellent resource for a wide range of courses teaching introductory economics with a focus on public policy,” says Stephen Wright at Birkbeck, University of London, who uses it to teach his PPE MSc students. “It takes some of the key material from The Economy and re-packages it for students who are not specialising in economics, and who want to see the subject in a wider context. I appreciate the increased focus on data.”

Stephen also points out that, if students or teachers want to go into more depth on a topic, he can always direct them to equivalent or follow-on material in The Economy.

Students enjoy it too

But of course, there’s no point in pleasing teachers if the students hate it. Before we created ESPP, we had been told there was an urgent need for a new type of material that to satisfy non-specialists, or for courses with a heavy emphasis on policy – for example, for the growing number of PPE degrees, or quantitative social science and public policy courses. Teachers who had attempted to use traditional economics text books told us that students found them too dry and mathematical. The theory-first approach often turned them off before they got to the policy applications that excited them. Also, traditional economics texts did not meet the increasing demand to learn empirical skills at the same time as theory.

Anecdotally, students overwhelmingly responded positively to ESPP‘s beta. For example, it has been used to help teach an MPA at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. Alaina Leggette, a student on the course, told us:

“Other economics textbooks teach you about the individual tools economists have in their toolboxes … ESPP, on the other hand, teaches you how to address complex issues such as inequality and unemployment by simultaneously using all the tools in the toolbox … this approach allowed me to evaluate current events and policy proposals through an economically comprehensive, rather than fragmented, lens.”

We worried that our non-traditional teaching approach might be off-putting to mature students, or for those who had studied the subject before. But then we received a testimonial from Simon Greaves, for 30 years a writer for the Financial Times and FT.com. He is also now an MSc PPE student at Birkbeck, University of London (Birkbeck does most of its teaching in the evening so that its students can study while working).

“When I took my economics honours degree 43 years ago I always felt it unfinished business,” he wrote to us, “We were warned by the course leader before the start that we would not see the world in the same way after studying the [CORE] module and this proved to be the case. While tackling the deep issues of global inequality and market failures CORE also gave us quick insights into specialist areas and analytical tools so I was able in the exam to solve a pure strategy Nash equilibrium, and answer questions on the use of monetary policy and explain models of welfare economics. The course succeeded in refreshing and updating my thinking and gave me confidence to work in more depth within the economics field.”

Tell us your story or ask us for advice

We’re always looking to hear about how you have used our material, both the things you liked, and the challenges you faced. It helps us to improve. It also helps us to build a community of ESPP users who can share experiences, and so we are pleased to hear from you if you’re considering using the whole book, a unit, a project, or even just a model, and don’t know where to start. We will try to help.

Because no two courses will use ESPP (and the companion empirical projects in Doing Economics) in the same way, they we realise that adoption may be daunting for some departments. But if you want to challenge your students and refresh your teaching, please get in touch. We will try to share the experiences of teachers like Carlos, Humberto, Mark and Stephen. Many of them have shared their course material and teaching slides with the community too – so if you have teacher access, sign up for CORE Labs to help you get started.

The post What students and their teachers tell us about ESPP appeared first on CORE.

Launching today: Economy, Society and Public Policy version 1.0

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 27/08/2019 - 8:15pm in

Today we can unveil the 1.0 version of Economy, Society and Public Policy (ESPP), designed to introduce the power and excitement of economics to a wider audience – whether they are non-specialists taking a course in economics, in the workplace, or learning for themselves.

ESPP 1.0 is online now and, as always, is free and open-access. As with our other publications, it is the joint work of The CORE Team. You can find out more about who has contributed to ESPP here.

The 1.0 launch of our second ebook is another major milestone for CORE. ESPP has been two-and-a-half years in the making: at the beginning of 2017, we were given a grant by the Nuffield Foundation to develop a course for students who were not majoring in economics. The idea was that they could learn economic methods by engaging with policy issues such as inequality, climate change and innovation.

Our idea was to produce units that were inspired by The Economy, our text for economics majors that has been used in 206 countries, by more than 87,000 learners that we know of, and more than 8,300 teachers. ESPP shares some of the discussion, figures and models, but is focused on public policy and has been designed to be accessible to students from every background and discipline.

If you have seen or taught last year’s beta version (it lives on, here), you may be wondering what’s different in version 1.0. The structure remains the same, but there are five major improvements:

1. A major rewrite in response to feedback

We pride ourselves on listening to ideas and opinions from a wide range of sources, including reviewers and academics and teachers, but also students’ experiences, so that we can crowdsource a better textbook.

We successfully pioneered this approach for The Economy, and we have applied it just as rigorously here. This spring and summer we rewrote, adapted and updated large sections of ESPP to make it easier to teach and more readable, but crucially to bring the empirical, policy-led approach out even more. Teachers and students alike told us that this was what interested them most about economics.

2. Interactive data charts at Our World in Data

For the first time, many of ESPP‘s figures now have links to the website of our partner Our World in Data (OWiD). You can now click on the button to see the latest data in an interactive format. Look for a clickable button underneath many of the data figures in ESPP:

For example here’s ESPP Figure 4.2 (Figure 3.1 in The Economy too) in OWiD’s interactive version.

Top left and right: a video timeline, and a button to download the data.  Bottom left and right: the sources in full, save the output as an image, and note the buttons for social media.

3. Combining labour market, product market, and the economy in a single model

There’s a major innovation in Unit 8.

Since day one of the project, we have argued that product and labour markets are fundamentally different in their structure (as intermediate and advanced students will learn). We do not help introductory students when we draw crossing curves of labour demand and labour supply, and then create reasons why the empirical data on wages, inequality and unemployment don’t match what this model tells us.

We believe our treatment of the labour market has always been a better introduction. But, for the first time, we have found a way to integrate it into a single model of a firm that sets a price and wage, extend it to the aggregate economy, and show the outcome for unemployment and inequality.

“One way to think about it is that it’s CORE’s alternative to consumption, production and general equilibrium,” says Wendy Carlin, who leads our steering group, You can listen to Wendy explaining how the model works in Session 9 of the 2019 CORE workshop.

4. Closer integration with Doing Economics

It has been a busy summer, as we are also improving and expanding the 12 empirical projects in Doing Economics. While you can use either text independently, we believe they complement each other even better than before – not least because many teachers have adopted ESPP for courses with a strong quantitative element. You will find a guide to the matching empirical project at the end of each unit of ESPP. (And, if you want to find out how teachers have used it in their courses, Session 6 of the 2019 CORE workshop will help.)

5. Windows, Android and Apple iBook apps

Watch this space! They will be available later this week. Apps mean you can access the material even when you don’t have a data connection. Check back on our website for the links.

A print edition, too

On 12 September at 6:45pm, Oxford University Press will launch the print book at the ‘Developments in Economics Education’ conference at the University of Warwick. You can order copies online here.

Just as with The Economy, the printed version will have an affordable price. It will sell for £34.99 in the UK. And as always, we continue to be free and open-access online.


We hope you agree with us that the 1.0 version of ESPP is the best text available to teach these topics to non-economics students. If you are teaching it already, please tell us about your experience (we will be covering some of the feedback we have already in our next blog). If you have feedback on any element of the 1.0 version, or are planning to use ESPP in your teaching and would like to contact a teacher who has experience using the text, please let us know.

The post Launching today: Economy, Society and Public Policy version 1.0 appeared first on CORE.

Who Gave Tommy Robinson Zelo Street’s Address and Details?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 11/08/2019 - 5:03am in

One of Tommy Robinson’s grotty Fascist tactics is to try to intimidate his critics and opponents into silence by turning up at their doorstep unannounced, mob-handed, and demanding a word. The crusader against Islam has done it to Mike Stuchbery, a teacher and academic, and to an unnamed lad in Luton. This was a student, who had angered the self-professed defender of truth and free speech, by putting clips out on the web showing instances where Robinson contradicted himself or was otherwise made to look stupid. He also made the point that, whatever he claimed to the contrary, Robinson was no longer quite the working class hero he claimed to be. He was living in a very expensive house, thank you very much, paid for by his followers’ donations. The lad showed the type of house Robinson was living in, but did not show Robinson’s own. Nevertheless, the islamophobic thug and jailbird decided to drive 300 miles up to the lad’s parents’ house in Cumbria in the company of two of his storm troopers. One of these was an Australian-Israeli bruiser, who claims to have shot an unarmed Palestinian when he was in the IDF. They turned up on the couple’s doorstep in the middle of the night, where they demanded to see them and generally behaved in a threatening manner. They also did this to Tim Fenton, the Sage of Crewe, who runs the excellent Zelo Street blog. And now that Robinson is banged up on a charge of contempt of court, many people are starting to wonder where Robinson got his information. Including Tim, who has posted an article about it.

He notes that when Robinson began his ‘Troll Watch’ programme for the Canadian far-right outfit, Rebel Media, he was usually assisted by Caolan Robertson and George Llewellyn John. In one edition, he turned up at the address of a paper, which had run a story about him. As Tim says, it wouldn’t have been difficult for him to get the address of the paper. But he then turned up at Tim’s own because of a piece Tim had put on Zelo Street about the Spectator endorsing Robinson. And it would have been difficult for Robinson to get Tim’s address. Zelo Street doesn’t give out phone contact details, doesn’t appear on the electoral roll and doesn’t have a landline phone number look up. Someone would have had to have given Robinson Tim’s address. Tim believes that the prime suspect at the moment is Robertson, who might like to tell all about how Robinson selected his target now that he’s parted ways with the infamous bigot. Other suspects include Fraser Nelson, the Speccie’s editor, and the author of the article Tim blogged about, James Delingpole. Tim asks

So now that Caolan Robertson has split from Lennon, perhaps he would care to let everyone know how his former boss got hold of peoples’ addresses? Did Lennon, as I concluded at the time, get mine from a discredited former tabloid journalist who had managed to gain access to my NHS records? Or did the information come via those nice and highly principled people at the Spectator magazine?

He goes on to state that Robinson is right in one regard when he claims to be a journalist – he does use the same Dark Arts they do. It’s just a pity that his connection with our free and fearless press is an illegal one.

See: https://zelo-street.blogspot.com/2019/08/who-sent-tommy-robinson-to-my-house.html

If the Spectator, or someone associated with it, did give Tim’s details to Tommy Robinson, it shows how even more of a low rag it has become. And perhaps it wouldn’t be surprising if it did give Robinson Tim’s address. It does, after all, have a very strong racist, Alt Right slant, as shown by its continuing publication of articles by the horrendous anti-Semite, Taki.