Did Blairites FAKE ‘vermin’ t-shirt pic?

Final (?) edit: I was contacted by someone who said he knew the t-shirt wearer and that it was, in fact, real – the gentleman in question is a union official with a speech defect resulting from an operation (this fits with reports I’ve read that the man in the shirt had difficulty speaking).

The message on the t-shirt was intended as a tongue-in-cheek reference to Nye Bevan’s famour ‘Tories are lower than vermin’ speech, which the wearer realises backfired and now regrets.

Unless and until someone refutes this account, which appears to be genuine, this will be the final edit.


    1. No, because that would affect other parts of the image and not just the edited area. The fact compression is affecting a defined area with linear borders is precisely because that area has been edited over.

      1. Sorry, dude, that absolutely is JPEG compression. Ringing from high contrast transitions — you can just see it on the placard in the background as well.

      2. I don’t know what to say to convince you; this is exactly the expected behaviour of JPEG compression on such a scene and you should be able to replicate with any similar picture by setting the quality low enough. If you have looked at other pictures and can’t see it, you need to resave them at lower quality.

        That, and you shouldn’t ask designers questions about JPEG artifacts… try your local uni’s computer science department.

  1. Sorry, you are wrong, the guy was there with the tee-shirt, I commented on it to a friend on the day.

    Doesn’t make it right, but he is clearly a man very angry about what Blair had been responsible for, clearly lacks a decent vocabulary and clearly being used to smear the campaign.

  2. There is an alternative explanation for the rectilinear pixellation. When an image is compressed it is divided into blocks that handled separately. If the image contains more detail (e.g. where the text is) the need to represent this reduces the capacity to handle other aspects such as exact colour, and hence the blocks will become more evident. I’m not making any political point here. (Actually #votecorbyn(!))

    1. See the new evidence added – and look at lots of other high-contrast t-shirt text as I did, without finding anything like it. It’s been tampered with.

  3. Surely someone could have found the t-shirt wearer by now and asked for their side of the story?
    I’ve also had my suspicions about the words on the t-shirt since I saw it. I have been working with digital graphics software since the beginning. Harvard Graphics anyone 😎

    1. I suspect he may be a homeless person they’ve offered something to, to let them take his picture, and therefore hard to trace and unlikely to be aware of a furore on social media.

  4. Having subscribed to your blog last year because you were making some very good points at the time of the Election, I’m sorry to find you descending to this level of Corbynite paranoia. It isn’t obvious that this image is meant to be taken seriously; but even granting that it is a Tendentious presentation of the kind of language that’s been heard from Mr Corbyn’s supporters, why would the perpetrators go about it in this way? Appearing in the picture, as identifiable “Blairites”, would surely be a major error for people wanting to do something underhand. Then there’s the lettering. Why go to all the bother of manipulating an image, as you allege, instead of just getting a t-shirt made up with the incriminating message and getting a stooge to wear it? As another commenter says, the distortions around the lettering look very much like the commonly-seen artefacts of image compression. The most convenient way of dealing with anything that discredits the Corbyn supporters – the broken window at Eagle’s office, the threat to one of her meetings, the misogynistic attacks on his opponents (like Thangam Debbonnaire being barracked at a CLP meeting, which was reported to me first hand) – is to pretend it is made up. There’s meanwhile an avalanche of distortions and slurs now rolling down on Owen Smith, which I notice those supposedly valiant for truth on Corbyn’s side are doing nothing to impede. My suggestion is that all their effort would be better spent in getting to grips with the lies of the temporarily stabilised but by no means unassailable Tory government.

  5. Steve it must have been just premonition but I was only thinking the other day how much I missed your contributions to public debate, thanks for all you do.

    I have come to the view from all the actions of these unscrupulous MPs that their objective is do as much damage as they possibly can to Labour, before setting up their so called Centre Party, Blairites have already had tentative meetings with Tories rich backers are lurking in the background waiting to fund it.


    Owen Smith the classic Blairite claiming he is a radical left winger, you just couldn’t make it up, but they do nevertheless.

  6. Do you know how to identify fake Facebook profiles, Mr walker? There was one particular supposed threat I was looking into, sent from a suspiciously threadbare account.

    1. Unfortunately I don’t think there’s a simple test you can do. Generally, I’d recommend checking historical posts and connections/’friends’. The absence or paucity of these before the ‘abuse’ would be a strong indicator of a fake account.

  7. How nice to live in your delusional universe. 40 women MPs are lying. Mao’s red guards were just helping with the garden, no one was beaten up at a Nazi or (another socialist die-hard) Moseley rally. No labour MP has ever said or done anything even vaguely anti-Semitic. This isn’t the Labour party, it’s the so-called Labour party.

    1. 40 women MPs are exploiting a (manufactured?) storm in a teacup for propaganda purposes. Just like Johanna Baxter, who claimed Corbyn failed to protect her by voting against a secret NEC ballot (something for which the rules don’t allow, btw) – and then went all over national media to proclaim how threatened she felt, letting the whole world know how she’d voted. None of the protestations add up – the proverbial ‘tangled web we weave’.

  8. Thanks for this….great to have you back even if it is fleeting! Chaz

    From: The SKWAWKBOX Blog To: chazstoll@yahoo.com Sent: Saturday, 23 July 2016, 23:56 Subject: [New post] Blairites FAKED ‘vermin’ t-shirt pic #yiv2021711038 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv2021711038 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv2021711038 a.yiv2021711038primaryactionlink:link, #yiv2021711038 a.yiv2021711038primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv2021711038 a.yiv2021711038primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv2021711038 a.yiv2021711038primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv2021711038 WordPress.com | skwalker1964 posted: “This is my first post on the SKWAWKBOX blog in well over a year. These days my time is taken up almost entirely by running a business and being a grandad, so with regret I’ve had to leave the investigations and analysis to others. However, this post was t” | |

  9. I think I have got to the bottom of this. The original picture was tweeted by Lewis Parker (@LewisParkerUK) on 27 June 2016. One can download a good copy from Twitter, which is attached. The original image shows no evidence of alteration, and I believe it to be authentic. There are innumerable defective copies, at varying resolutions, bouncing around the Internet in various file formats, many of which show classic ñ€œjpeg artefactsñ€ around the text. Some have been re-tweeted and degraded further in the process.

    So S.K. Walker and others were correct to say the image had been altered, but not as originally published. J K Rowling tweeted a lower resolution version on 27 June which had also been cropped to remove the two younger people (Lewis Parker and Anna Phillips) significantly altering its effect. This was the version published by the Daily Mail, which many commentators have used.

    The moral outrage works very differently with the cropped version than it does with the original. I wonder who cropped it, and why?

    John Illingworth

  10. Are you folks really wound up about what some booby has or has not on a T-shirt? Conspiracy by the right-wing press? Do you never stop to think – am I getting into a giant clichĂ©? My advice: stop throwing stones in a greenhouse. Labour is now stuffed with Stalinists, neo-fascists, homophobes, misogynists and Jew-haters. It’s the bar at the end of the universe. Example: the great leader and helmsman matched Islamic State with Israel and not a single one of you has demanded his suspension. Israel is a tiny, free, democratic, pluralist country, occupying less than 1% of its 3000 year ancestral lands. It is engulfed by bestial Muslim dictatorships and terrorists. What possible reason could there be for comparing it to ANY Islamic state? (yeah, yeah, there you go – islamophobia – the lazy ignorant reaction).

  11. What ACTION has been taken – not what has been said – about the homophobic and misogynist insults and threats women MPs have had – which one or other of the luminaries in the party has suggested are not backed by evidence? Any arrests or expulsions yet? Thought not. So-called Labour, the party of men, still in touch with its Union roots that opposed equal pay for women.

    1. How does any political leader take action against unevidenced and possibly fictitious ‘abuse’? The women MPs have shown no evidence of it, just empty claims – and before you come back with it, the recent arrests/convictions involve fascist numpties with no connection to Corbyn or Labour whatever. And no, the brick has been proven not to have been thrown through Ms Eagle’s window. Abuse from anonymous accounts is beyond the ability of a political leader to affect – and even if it exists, it’s just as likely to be ‘false flag’ smear attempts. You’ve really drunk the BBC/chickencoup ‘kool aid’, haven’t you?

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