James Ball

James Ball


Global Editor @TBIJ. Columnist @TheNewEuropean. Other stuff. Personal account. BOOKS: "Post-Truth, “Bluffocracy”, and others. NEXT BOOK: out May 2020.

71168 followers  •  4881 follow  •    •   https://t.co/00Ol2TArqZ

Removing the whip from Julian Lewis is such a stupid and self-defeating form of revenge it’s hard not to grab the popcorn. He’s the ISC chair. He’s aligned with the opposition already. The Russia report is coming. And now the government has no hold on him.

Number 10 has managed something no-one has managed before: the intelligence and security committee is now genuinely independent of government.

I haven’t laughed this much in months.

Number 10’s bid to secure their chair of choice led to the longest ever delay in forming the ISC and a huge delay to the #RussiaReport  . And so far it is backfiring in spectacular fashion.

@shashj  It does, but I expect the report will be quite mild. What doesn’t depend on No 10 approval is whatever the ISC chair chooses to say in interviews etc.

Like, seriously. Hopefully this will make loads of places check their security properly and Twitter review its security for this kind of exploit / information operation.

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Briefly seriously: this has been one of the most serious and interesting major security breaches in *years* and deserves proper coverage and scrutiny. If it was really just a Bitcoin scam, Twitter and its users got lucky. But it might have been something else entirely.

I know I'm not a lady, but: absolutely yes, this is utterly unacceptable and reportable.

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Canadian life expectancy: 82.1 years US life expectancy: 78.7 years Canadian health spend: $4,608/person US health spend: $9,451/person

It's Monday. It's COVID-19. We need a distration. So, I present to you a short thread of cats being total dicks to children. We open with a classic:

US life expectancy: 78.7 years UK life expectancy: 81.6 years US health spend: $9,892/person UK health spend: $4,192/person

Millennials and Gen Z are supportive of lockdown largely to protect *others*: their parents, grandparents, vulnerable people their age, etc. Lockdown has a high cost on them, and they're willingly bearing it. Mocking them as scared for their own sake is a cheap shot that misses.

Your occasional reminder that Priti Patel was fired from the cabinet for running her own backchannel diplomatic operation – via a lobbyist – behind the PM’s back. Her cabinet return after that kind of misconduct would in normal times be staggering.

Just making sure this doesn’t get lost: Number 10 is effectively – during a national emergency caused by a global pandemic – on-the-record accusing a police force of lying. They are directly contradicting Durham Constabulary’s statement.

How it should work: • Do a speech • Immediately launch clear online public guidance on what is and isn’t allowed, and when. What happens: • Journos briefed off the record in advance • Speech given, doesn’t include lots of details in briefings • Silence *TOTAL* confusion.

The 11-year search for the stupidest possible opinion is over. Twitter can finally shut down.

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