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Clickbait Balls: Daily Telegraph tricks ‘paranoid’ Liverpool and Manchester United fans

The Manchester United v Liverpool match was memorable for a number of things, according to the clickbait-mad Press.

The Mirror’s football expert learned “five things” from watching the game, one of which is that Paul Pogba’s “handball handed Liverpool the early advantage”. That was the handball that gave Liverpool a penalty kick, from which they scored their only goal of the game. David McDonnell leaned that. He also learned that Wayne Rooney got a yellow card and “Ibrahimovic keeps on scoring”, which he did when he scored United’s equaliser.

The Express also learned five things, one of which is, “Simon Mignolet put on a solid display.”

Coincidentally, the Sun also learned five things. Fred Nathan delivers his fistful of insight. He watched Pogba give away a penalty and learned that he “must not let silly mistakes creep into his game”.

In the Indy, which didn’t make enough money to remain as proper paper so went web only, there are just four things learned. But Fox News, which has oodles of money, learned seven things. Ryan Rosenblatt learned that when United and Liverpool drop points, their rivals are pleased. The other top sides “love this result” he learned.

But the prize for the biggest Clickbait Balls goes to the dire Daily Telegraph. The once great newspaper is now a clickbait factory. “Martin Tyler accused of ‘bias’ following Manchester United vs Liverpool commentary,” says the headline. It also says just that in the URL for the story:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2017/01/15/martin-tyler-accused-bias-following-manchester-united-vs-liverpool/

 

martin-tyler-manchester-united-liverpool

 

 

So who accused Sky TV’s commentator of bias? Liverpool boss Jugen Klopp? Manchester Untied manager Jose Mourinho? Well, no. A clue to how the story was the product of the paper’s clickbait factory is in the now revised headline: “Liverpool fans round on Martin Tyler following Manchester United’s last minute equaliser at Old Trafford.”

They “rounded on” Tyler on Twitter. The Telegraph picks three tweets to back up its story, which beings: “Paranoid Liverpool fans are becomingly increasingly convinced that SkySports’ Martin Tyler is a secret Manchester United fan.”

Tweet 1:

@dreamteamfc
Martin Tyler just called Zlatan: “THE TOWER OF POWER!” #MUNLIV

Tweet 2:

@StephenDuffy6

Still coming to terms with the fact Martin Tyler just called Zlatan the ‘Tower of Power’, since when has that been a thing?

Lest you think those “paranoid” Liverpool fans are just having a laugh and mocking Tyler’s absurd phrase, @Footy Humour tweets the third piece of evidence.

Tweet 3:

Martin Tyler: “Rooney here. Is it in the script? Is it in the stars?”

*Rooney gives away posession*

Martin Tyler: *silence*

 

The troubling thing is that the clickbait works. The story even the Telegraph recognised as bad enough to warrant a chance of headline (but not a change of URL) is the second biggest story on the paper’s website:

 

martin-tyler-manchester-united-liverpool

 

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 16th, January 2017 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, Liverpool, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


No, FTSE CEOs do not take home 130 times the average wage

The Guardian’s take on finance continues to entertain. In “Here are six ways to achieve a truly ‘shared society’”, Frances Ryan turn to ‘Income Equality’.

She links to a Guardian article which states CEOs at FTSE 100 companies are paid “130 times more” than the median pay of other staff (source). But Ryan alters that to become: “FTSE 100 CEOs take home 130 times more than their staff.”

Surely not. What of tax on wages, which is progressive – the more you earn the more tax you pay? Tax rates are how society views pay. It might not be fair that the man or woman at the top earns lot more than the average toiler in a shareholder-owned entity, but to negate the effects of tax is absurd.

 

Posted: 14th, January 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Money | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Graham Taylor versus The Sun: they came to bury him not to praise him

More on Graham Taylor in the Sun, where he is “Golden Graham”, “legend” and “hero”. Taylor “never bore a grudge”, says the Sun, “even after this.” The ‘this’ was the paper’s headline ‘Swedes 2 Turnips 1’, dreamt up after Taylor’s England side had lost a big match.

 

graham taylor the sun

 

Far from holding a grudge, the Sun says Taylor “admired” the headline that “summed up his failure as England manager”.

 

graham taylor the sun

 

But did that headline really sum up Taylor’s tenure as England’s manager? The Sun is being far too modest. Surely the headline that said so much was this one,which called golden Graham “Turnip Taylor’ and for added ooomph superimposed the root vegetable on his head.

The Sun came to bury him.

 

The Sun headline on 24 November 1993 following Taylor's resignation as England manager.

The Sun headline on 24 November 1993 following Taylor’s resignation as England manager.

 

The image might have escaped the Sun’s eyes today, but The Times, it’s New Corp. stablemate, does recall it. It says far from being delighted with the Sun’s mockery, Taylor was “upset” by it.

 

graham taylor the sun

 

The Sun apologises for anyone who read its newspaper and thought Graham Taylor a useless fool. It turns out he was brilliant.

 

Posted: 13th, January 2017 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, Key Posts, Tabloids | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Berlin suspect Anis Amri: the devious jihadi who left his ID papers at the scene

Anis Amri is the man wanted in connection with the massacre at a Berlin Christmas market. The Sun says he was “freed” three times by German police this year alone. The 24-year-old Tunisian was under “covert surveillance” months before the horror in Berlin. Now the police want to survey him as close quarters. Anyone who knows where Anis Amri is can earn £85,000 by telling the police. (The reward is €100,000.)

 

Anis Amri terror Berling jihad Islam

 

We then get a few facts. Amri arrived in Europe in 2012, landing by boat in Italy and posing as a minor. In June 2015 he arrived in Germany. In April 2016 he was refused asylum. The Germans wanted to send him back to Tunisia but the Tunisians said they had no idea if he was one of theirs. Amri had no papers.

The Times manages to establish Amri’s roots by speaking to his family in Tunisia.

Speaking to The Times yesterday from Kairouan, Tunisia, Amri’s father said that his son had been a violent, drug-taking adolescent. He was jailed for four years in Italy for setting fire to a migrant reception centre before arriving in Germany in February.

When did he arrive in Germany, was it February or April? The Press seem unsure. The Express says he’s 23. The Express and Mail says he arrived in Germany in July 2015. The Mail says he’s 24 in one report and in another that’s he’s 23.

Today is Anis Amri’s birthday. He’s now 24.

The Times adds:

Expulsion orders had been issued but the Italian and German governments could not deport him until Tunisia confirmed his identity and granted him a passport, which was finally issued yesterday.

Scheduled to be sent packing, Amri struck? Well, that’s the allegation.

The Mirror says Amri – the “world’s most wanted man” – could have been injured with the Polish driver whose lorry he allegedly stole. “It is believed that Lukasz Urban, 37, fought with the terrorist as the vehicle began to plough into the Breitscheidplatz market in west Berlin,” says the Times. “Mr Urban was found dead in the cab, having been stabbed and shot.”

Really? The men were fighting as the truck ploughed into shoppers? And how do we come to know Amri? The Guardian notes:

German authorities said they had found Amri’s identity card under the driver’s seat of the truck he allegedly drove into a crowd of people at the Breitscheidplatz Christmas market.

Does that strike anyone as odd? A devious known criminal left his ID paper by the seat of the vehicle that murdered so many?

“When I saw the picture of my brother in the media, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I’m in shock, and can’t believe it’s him who committed this crime,” Amri’s brother Abdelkader Amri tells AFP. “But if he’s guilty, he deserves every condemnation. We reject terrorism and terrorists – we have no dealings with terrorists.”

His sister Najoua Amri adds: “He never made us feel there was anything wrong. We were in touch through Facebook and he was always smiling and cheerful. I was the first to see his picture and it came as a total shock. I can’t believe my brother could do such a thing.”

The Guardian says Amri has ‘links with the radical Salafist Abu Walaa, alias Ahmad Abdulaziz Abdullah A, a 32-year-old Iraqi Isis supporter known as the “preacher without a face”, who was arrested in the northern town of Hildesheim in November’ and ‘known Turkish Islamic fundamentalist, Hasan C, 50’ and with Boban S, ‘a hate preacher from Dortmund’.

According to an anti-terror investigator speaking on condition of anonymity to German media, Amri had sought accomplices for a terror attack in early 2016, and had shown an interest in weapons. Despite authorities being made aware that he wanted to buy a pistol, there were apparently no attempts to take him into custody.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 22nd, December 2016 | In: Broadsheets, News, Tabloids | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Brexit balls: ersatz Liberal Nick Clegg says Leavers have ruined your pork pies

Nick Clegg is a LibDem MP. You need to carry that idea in your head as Clegg talks about Brexit in the Guardian:

Melton Mowbray pork pies, stilton cheese and British-made chocolate such as Cadbury’s could be under threat from Brexit, the former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has warned.

How so?

Speaking to a food and drink industry conference on the impact of leaving the European Union, Clegg said it was possible that European rivals would start producing lookalikes to British foodstuffs if they lost the legal protection from imitation offered by EU rules.

The French will start producing fake bars of sugar-rich CHOMP in a devious Brexit-fed plot to wean their population off delicious chocolate and onto junk food. Bulgarians will be free to make blue cheeses and serve them in bell-shaped pots.

It’s carnage, readers!

“Outside the EU they won’t enjoy the appellation bestowed on those products and I would have thought other countries would take advantage of that pretty quickly and put products into the European market that directly rival those protected brands,” Clegg said.

And sell them to, what, holidays Brits? Maybe Bulgarians can cook up a Marmite copy and sell it back to us cheaper.

Clegg the liberal!

 

Posted: 2nd, November 2016 | In: Broadsheets, News, Politicians | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Olympic elitism can train white-working class kids to know their place

Isn’t elitism great. Governments – Labour and Tory – love it. Without elitism you get no Olympic gongs to buff and parade for the public good. In the Guardian, we read:

Schools are failing white, poor, working-class children and should adopt an approach similar to the British Olympic team to help bolster their performance, a thinktank has recommended.

Throw loads and loads money at the bods and reward the best?

Mark Morrin, the report’s principal author, notes:

“The Team GB approach is about looking across all the variety of inputs that can affect performance in the classroom, putting the right strategies in place and collecting data and measurements to identify what works and focus on getting the maximum returns. Those small gains can then add up to something bigger than a sum of its parts.”

Then you take the very best and put them in competition with the very best, right? You make them believe they can make it? Or is this about making the lowest perform a little bit better in the big tests they rarely win, rewarding progress over attainment – and testing new theories on the under-nourished?

 

Posted: 31st, October 2016 | In: Broadsheets, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Brexit: British federalists and ex-pats seek EU passports in other countries

Brexit is impelling some people to make a choice: stay in the UK or live in the European Union? The Guardian reports that many Britons are appealing to become citizens in other countries.

The number of Britons seeking citizenship in other EU countries has surged as a result of the Brexit vote, with some member states recording near tenfold increases on 2015 figures.

The British are not queuing up to live in Romania and Bulgaria. The report says they fancy new lives in Denmark, Italy, Ireland and Sweden, which all report “spikes” in “citizens eager to secure proper status in the EU”.

Between January and October 2016, 2,800 Britons applied for citizenship in other EU countries. This, says the paper is a 250% increase on numbers recorded in 2015.

Compared with last year’s figures, numbers have surged almost tenfold in Denmark and threefold in Sweden.

Denmark might not be best best option. Many Danes want their own EU referendum on what is dubbed Dexit.

Several applicants told the Guardian that it was the Brexit vote that prompted them to take action.

The numbers are not big, are they. Under 3,000 Britons have applied to be non-British citizens in other countries. And “several” said Brexit promoted the move.

The Guardian was in favour of the country remaining in the EU. So too was the Independent, which said: “Brexit prompts surge in Britons applying for citizenship in EU countries.”

In April the FT noted:

The German embassy in London told the Financial Times that 200-250 requests for information on how to apply for citizenship have been received per day since the referendum result was announced, compared with an average of 20-25 daily inquiries a month earlier.

The Hungarian consulate has received 150 inquiries since the vote, while it said it had received less than 10 during the rest of this year.

How do you qualify?

It is hard to tell what the chances are of the citizenship applications succeeding — people living in the UK depend on their ancestry to qualify.

The German embassy said UK residents would need a German parent. “There are certainly quite a number of people where it seems obvious they won’t qualify. We don’t have any figures for that though,” said Norman Walter, a spokesman.

Other countries have more liberal conditions. Italy, which has received around 500 email requests at its UK embassy since the Brexit vote, offers citizenship to foreigners who can prove that at least one of their grandparents was Italian.

The same grandparent rule applies to anyone seeking an Irish passport.

And less glamorous destinations?

Yet that has not deterred inquiries for a Bulgarian passport. The country’s London embassy has received 15 citizenship inquiries by British people since June 24. “We usually don’t receive such kind of requests so this is a new thing for us,” said a spokesman.

Bloomberg aded:

Estonia said it had seen a “notable” increase in residency requests and Lithuania reported a rise in applications to 34 since June 23, from a typical average of one or two per month.

Meanwhile, you can always just be rich.

Malta and Cyprus are both in the EU, and both offer a fast-track to citizenship for people who are able to invest a significant amount of money.

Maltese citizenship is available to those who invest €1.15m (£965,000; $1.3m) there; the country added a one-year residency requirement after EU pressure. The scheme is aimed at “ultra-high net worth individuals and families worldwide”.

The Cypriot government offers citizenship to those who put €5m (£4.2m; $5.6m) into approved investments – this is reduced to just €2.5m for those taking part in a collective investment. Applicants need to have a property in Cyprus but do not need to live there all of the time. Family members are included in the application, which can take as little as three months.

Should you stay or should you go?

Posted: 20th, October 2016 | In: Broadsheets, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Ched Evens interview: the role model explains everything

Sat with his fiancée, Natasha Massey, and two dogs, footballer Ched Evans – not a rapist – talks to the Sunday Times about his ordeal.

He says:

“This has never been about me as a footballer but [about me] as a person, a human being. A father who wants to take his son to the park knowing that no one can look at me and say, ‘He’s a rapist.’ That’s why I wasn’t going to stop until I was proven innocent. From the first day, I would have agreed never to kick another ball in return for people accepting I was not a rapist.”

But to many it was about his role as footballer. Why else was the news on the front pages? One line stuck. Evans told police: “We could have had any girl we wanted … We’re footballers.”

The woman?

“I have got mixed emotions really. The fact is I cannot say she has ever accused me of rape. She hasn’t. She went to the police, believing her bag had been stolen. When me and Clayton got arrested [Clayton McDonald] we told the truth straight away and still to this day five years on she has never claimed that she had been raped.

“My belief is that it got put to her that she had been raped by two footballers. But my feelings towards the girl involved is that I can’t actually say I am angry, because – if she genuinely doesn’t remember – it doesn’t mean that we raped her. It doesn’t mean she didn’t consent. It just means that she can’t remember.

“I’d be lying if I said I feel some hatred towards her. I don’t. It would probably be more [correct] to say I feel sorry for her because of what she has been put through.”

The sex?

‘I have gone in the room and at the time Clay is having sex with the woman. As soon as I walked in, and I will never forget this, the door bangs behind me and they have both looked at me…

“It escalated into sex and as soon as I did that, I started to think, Tash [girlfriend Natasha] was coming up the next day and I’d better get home because I couldn’t have explained why I’d stayed in the hotel. Clay decided to come with me and he stayed at my house.”

The lover?

“Tasha’s life would have been easier if she just cut all ties with me the moment I told her I cheated on her. She knows me, she knows I wouldn’t commit a crime like that. She didn’t stay with me for money, that’s for sure… My behaviour that night was totally unacceptable but it wasn’t a crime.”

Evans has also been talking to the Mail on Sunday.

Ched the activist?

“I was young at the time and I was stupid and I wasn’t aware of the situations you could potentially find yourself in that would land you in trouble. I have never been taught about anything like that. You get your gambling and drinking training but nothing else on top of that. In this day and age people need educating on alcohol and consent.

“I read somewhere you would have to get signed consent. That wouldn’t be realistic but someone needs to come up with something. The best thing is just to be educated. And when they are drunk to think twice about it. How would it look in a court of law?”

This was big news because footballers are portrayed as scum. When you have one whose depravity is manifest, he gives lie to the top-down use of footballers as “role models”. Evans appears to have fallen into the trap of believing the hype. The Guardian notes: “Footballer acquitted this week of raping waitress says he wants to speak to young players about risks they face.”

No. Young footballers can speak with their mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters. Thanks but no thanks, Ched. Save it for your book.

Ched Evans is not a criminal. That much is fact. Why the police and CPS pursued him and sought his conviction is debatable.

 

Posted: 16th, October 2016 | In: Broadsheets, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Brexit: Guardian says Zara shoppers epitomise the working class

What does it mean to be working class? Aditya Chakrabortty knows. Having analysed the 17m people who voted to leave the European Union and found them “delusional”, he tells Guardian readers what it is to be working class:

What the pound’s weakness will chiefly achieve is to stop Britons buying as much. The middle classes will swap the wonders of the Alhambra for a week in Anglesey. The working classes will find Zara 15% more expensive.

 

working class

Tops, shits, hobnail boots and hats by Zara. Grime: models’ own

 

The working classes rather enjoy packages holidays to Spain. But, yeah, shopping at Zara is just what defines the working class, those people employed in the blue collar trades who having put food on the table and coins in the gas metre can’t afford market-stall schmutter and catalogue shopping and are forced to do with Zara fashions.

PS: In April the Guardian increased its cover price in the UK by 20p, taking the cost of the weekday print edition to £2 and Saturday edition to £2.90. The working class should form an orderly queue at the newsagents.

Posted: 12th, October 2016 | In: Broadsheets, Money, News, The Consumer | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Cinema ticket alternative makes everyone look like George Clooney

Alcohol remains relatively good value. Cinema tickets less so. Laura Donnelly is shocked, telling Telegraph readers: “Alcohol now so cheap 13 pints can be bought for price of cinema ticket.”

Or to flip that: Cinema is so expensive you can buy 13 pints and watch telly for the price of one ticket.

She writes:

Teenagers are able to buy more than 13 pints of cider for the price of a cinema ticket, according to a new report which says children are being put at risk by “pocket money prices.”

Teenagers buying cider? Do they get it cheaper than the rest of us. She means people over 18, right?

The study from the Alcohol Health Alliance says supermarkets are selling alcohol at prices that are attracting children and harmful drinkers, because of the absence of minimum prices.

And now the facts:

Consumers could buy two and a half bottles of the cheapest white cider – Frosty Jacks – containing more than 13 pints for the standard £8.24 paid for an off-peak cinema tickets, the study found.

You can get big bottles of cider for the price of a discount cinema tickets. Why not forgo a peak-time trip to the cinema and buy a bottle of champagne?

PS: drink enough and everyone looks like a movie star – in glorious technicolour (yawn).

 

 

cinema ticktes

Posted: 6th, October 2016 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, Money, News, The Consumer | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


BBC twists Liverpool star James Milner’s words on Klopp

Can the media makes Liverpool midfielder James Milner sound controversial? Milner, 30, features on the BBC’s ‘gossip’ pages. The State broadcaster reports: “James Milner, 30, says Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is the best manager he has played under.”

That’s a bold statement. Milner has been managed by such top managerial talents as Terry Venables, Sir Bobby Robson, Graeme Souness, Martin O’Neill, Roberto Mancini, Manuel Pellegrini and Brendan Rodgers. Milner says Klopp is better than all of them. Well, so the BBC says.

The Telegraph is less certain: “Liverpool news: Jurgen Klopp may be best manager I’ve ever had, says James Milner.”

So what did the honest and likeable Milner actually say?

“I’ve probably had too many managers but every manager is different,” said Milner. “They all have their own strengths and weaknesses. He [Klopp] is a top manager and he’s definitely one of the best that I have worked with.”

Did Milner says Klopp is the best manager he has ever played for? No. Did he snub the other managers? No. Did he say something controversial? No.

Did the BBC twist his words? Yes.

Posted: 3rd, October 2016 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, Liverpool, Sports | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Greedy Sam Allardyce trapped in ‘slavery’ sting and ‘Woy’ Hodgson insult

England manager ‘Big’ Sam Allardyce wraps the Sun in a choke hold. He’s embroiled in an alleged “dodgy deal”. The FA have launched a “probe” into his affairs.

 

Allardyce sam sting money

 

Allardyce is accused of trying to cash in on his England position – one that pays a mere £3m a year plus bonuses for tournament wins (so that’s £3m a year, then). Undercover reporters from the Daily Telegraph posed as foreign businessmen keen to deliver overseas players to England. Allardyce, 61, told the stingers “how they could circumvent FA rules which prohibit third parties ‘owning’ players”.

The key point is not that Allardyce comes across as greedy and thick, but that third-party ownership of players was banned by the FA in 2008 for being akin to “slavery”.

 

Allardyce sam sting money

 

The BBC lays it on:

During the meeting with the businessmen, who were undercover reporters, it is alleged Allardyce – who was only named England boss in July – said it was “not a problem” to bypass the rules and he knew of agents who were “doing it all the time”.

It is alleged by the paper that a deal was struck with the England boss worth £400,000, which could represent a conflict of interest if he is paid by a company whose footballer clients could benefit from preferential treatment by an international manager.

The Mail says this is the end of Allardyce who should be “axed”.

But it’s the Telegraph that has the big scoop.

 

allardyce scoop sting

 

In the “England manager for sale” readers are told

Before he had even held his first training session as England’s new head coach, Allardyce negotiated a deal with men purporting to represent a Far East firm that was hoping to profit from the Premier League’s billion-pound transfer market.

He agreed to travel to Singapore and Hong Kong as an ambassador…

Unbeknown to Allardyce, the businessmen were undercover reporters and he was being filmed as part of a 10-month Telegraph investigation that separately unearthed widespread evidence of bribery and corruption in British football.

Allardyce really is in the mire.

But that bit about his calling Roy Hodgson “Woy” makes us chuckle. After all, this is what the Sun said when Hodgson got the job:

 

Rop Woy Hodgson the sun allardyce

 

What a load of Wubbish!

 

Posted: 27th, September 2016 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, Key Posts, Money, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Human virus: making IPAT divided by technology

Writing in the Gaurdian, Travis N Rieder wants to talk about what leading Left-wing British politicians call ‘the human virus‘:

Yes, humans are producers, and many wonderful things have come from human genius. But each person, whatever else they are (genius or dunce, producer or drag on the economy) is also a consumer. And this is the only claim needed in order to be worried about climate change.

Eating and breathing are wrong? Before we go on, one of the comments below the line is wonderful:

Daverob

‘Modern human beings’ have only inhabited the earth for around 200,000 years. I have no doubt that one day a microbe will wipe us out, efficient little things that they are…

Mother nature will have its day! So I’d stop worrying about population growth and concentrate on saving the NHS for the here and now.

Once you stop rolling your eyes and sneering, we can continue:

The problem here is that we have a finite resource – the ability of the Earth’s atmosphere to absorb greenhouse gases without violently disrupting the climate – and each additional person contributes to the total amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. So although humans will hopefully save us (we do, in fact, desperately need brilliant people to develop scaleable technology to remove carbon from the air, for instance), the solution to this cannot be to have as many babies as possible, with the hope that this raises our probability of solving the problem. Because each baby is also an emitter, whether a genius or not.

Wow. Utter tosh, of course.

He is stuck on this:

What is the IPAT Equation, or I = P X A X T?
One of the earliest attempts to describe the role of multiple factors in determining environmental degradation was the IPAT equation1. It describes the multiplicative contribution of population (P), affluence (A) and technology (T) to environmental impact (I). Environmental impact (I) may be expressed in terms of resource depletion or waste accumulation; population (P) refers to the size of the human population; affluence (A) refers to the level of consumption by that population; and technology (T) refers to the processes used to obtain resources and transform them into useful goods and wastes. The formula was originally used to emphasize the contribution of a growing global population on the environment, at a time when world population was roughly half of what it is now. It continues to be used with reference to population policy.

George Monbiot notes:

David Satterthwaite of the International Institute for Environment and Development, points out that the old formula taught to all students of development – that total impact equals population times affluence times technology (I=PAT) – is wrong. Total impact should be measured as I=CAT: consumers times affluence times technology. Many of the world’s people use so little that they wouldn’t figure in this equation. They are the ones who have most children.

The Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES), a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), was published in 2000. Tim Worstall looks:

More humans means more emissions therefore we should have fewer humans. This is one of those things which is possibly true. But of course what we want to know is, well, is it true? And the answer is no.

For this has been considered. In the SRES which came out in, erm, 1992? And which is the economic skeleton upon which every IPCC report up to and including AR4 was built. And it specifically looks at the varied influences of wealth, population size and technology upon emissions. That’s what it’s actually for in fact. It can be thought of a working through of Paul Ehrlich’s I = PAT equation, impact equals population times affluence times technology. Except, of course, it gets that equation right, dividing by technology, not multiplying by it.

And the answer is that population isn’t the important variable. Nor is affluence, not directly, it’s technology which is. Move over to non-emitting forms of energy generation (and no, not some crash program, just the same sort of increase in efficiency which we had in the 20th century will do it) as in A1T and we’re done. Or if you prefer a bit more social democracy, as in B1.

Population size just isn’t the driving force behind the problem. Thus it’s also not the solution. And we’ve known this for more than 20 years.

Carry on breeding, then.

Posted: 13th, September 2016 | In: Broadsheets, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Dear Guardian readers, Ede & Ravenscorft is not for investment bankers

Former BBC journalist Paul Mason offers guidance to Guardian readers: “How to blag a job in finance: buy some black shoes and talk like an aristocrat.”

Big news any of my friends who worked on the LIFFE floor – including ‘The Professor’, so nicknamed because he had two A-levels (grades C and D) -, no, it wasn’t sarcastic – and those from very non-aristo backgrounds (hard to fake being a toff if you’re Jewish, black or Asian) working throughout the money markets.

Mason, however, has honed in on investment banking:

There’s supposed to be a war for talent. If so, it became pretty clear last week why Britain’s investment banks are losing it. The recruitment filter, revealed in a report from the Social Mobility Commission, works like this: you can only join the customer-facing part of an investment bank if you went to one of four public schools; got a first from one of five universities; and possess “sheen”.

Yes, sheen. And polish. No matter how good you are, if your tie is not right or your suit does not fit like a glove, you are destined to take your excellence somewhere else.

Big news: people with lots of money prefer dealing with people who grow up at ease with lots of money and who succeed in academic studies. But the best part of this article in the picture used to illustrate the unfairness of it all.

 

paul mason

 

The label on the shirt says “EDE & RAVENSCROFT”. Who are they? Well;

We provide ceremonial robes for all occasions, dress the judiciary (including providing handmade wigs) and ensure that graduates from all over the world look their best at graduation ceremonies.

You don’t wear brown in town. And you don’t wear an Ede & Ravenscorft shirt in investment banking. Of course, had the Guardian’s picture editor gone to the right school, they’d have known that.

Spotter: Tim Worstall

PS : jobs at The Guardian, this way!

Posted: 7th, September 2016 | In: Broadsheets, Money, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Daniel Ratcliffe regrets the error: Seamus Milne is away and Jeremy Corbyn might not be magic

The big question is: does Harry Potter like Jerrmy Corbyn? The Guardian says he does:

Daniel Radcliffe has endorsed Jeremy Corbyn for leader of the Labour party, saying the veteran leftwinger’s sincerity won him over. The Harry Potter star told The Big Issue that Corbyn’s informal style had excited voters and was a welcome departure from scripted politics.

The Guardian was sticking to the right script, albeit wrongly. The paper later regretted the error:

NOTE: This article was published in error. It was based on social media circulation of an interview Daniel Radcliffe gave to the Big Issue in September 2015. It is not known whether he still holds these views. It originally ran with the headline ‘Daniel Radcliffe endorses Jeremy Corbyn for Labour leader’ and was published at 4.55am on 4 September 2016. The original article read as follows:

Whoops! As the Guardian checks the date of Seamus Milne’s contract (the paper says, he’s “a Guardian columnist and associate editor”; he’s also Jeremy Corbyn’s spin doctor), we look at what Radcliffe told the Big Issue:

“I feel like this show of sincerity by a man who has been around long enough and stuck to his beliefs long enough that he knows them and doesn’t have to be scripted is what is making people sit up and get excited. It is great.”

A days is long time in politics. A year is a lifetime…

Posted: 4th, September 2016 | In: Broadsheets, Celebrities, News, Politicians | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Periods in sport are no taboo, Serena Williams gets over it

When watching the Olympics, did you think I wonder if she’s on her period? Ross George did. She tells Guardian readers:

My gold medal goes to Fu Yuanhui – for talking openly about her period

Well, if dressage can be a sport, why not your body clock?

 

Serena Williams period

 

The swimmer’s admission of what affected her Rio Olympics performance shouldn’t be a big deal, but it is. It’s one more step towards stamping out a pathetic taboo

It’s not a taboo in the Guardian:

 

Serena Williams period

 

January, 2015:

Menstruation: the last great sporting taboo

When Heather Watson crashed out of the Australian Open this week, she put her poor performance down to starting her period – publicly breaking the silence on an issue that affects all sportswomen. But why is it still something we never hear about?

January 2015:

My period may hurt: but not talking about menstruation hurts more, Rose George

Menstrual taboo is bad enough for female athletes such as Heather Watson.

 

Serena Williams periods

 

May 2015:

On the second Menstrual Hygiene Day, Ellie Mae O’Hagan looks at what NGOs are doing to break the taboo around periods

March 2016:

Bad blood: the taboo on talking about periods is damaging lives

Is the great female athlete Serena Williams wrong?

Posted: 19th, August 2016 | In: Broadsheets, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Inequality makes you fat and food is therapy

Why are you fat? Why are you not fat? Polly Tonybee knows. She writes in the Guardian:

The Tories must tackle the real cause of obesity: inequality

When fat meant prosperous and jolly and thin meant poor and mean, it was about inequality. Now that fat means you’re poor and thin means you’re on message, it’s all about inequality. The only thing that fits for all is that the rich and knowing want to school you.

Polly want to ban advertising of certain foods to youngsters watching telly.

Obesity is no one’s choice, as everyone wants to be thin: young children now worry about body image, and rates of anorexia – obesity’s evil twin – are rising.

The simple fact is that we eat more calories than we can burn off. When the poor had no cars and central heating, they walked and worked in manual jobs. They were thin. The rich with their hearths, carriages and desk jobs were fat.

To be obese signifies being poor and out of control, because people who feel they have no control over their own lives give up…

It signifies the post-war miracle of plentiful food for all.

It is inequality and disrespect that make people fat…

…the social facts suggest Britain would get thinner if everyone had enough of life’s opportunities to be worth staying thin for. Offer self-esteem, respect, good jobs, decent homes and some social status and the pounds would start to fall away.

This abstraction that being thin means you have more to live for and have higher self-esteem is bizarre, as is the news that being fat means you have psychological issues. Food isn’t eaten because you’re greedy, don’t walk enough, don’t do physical labour and it’s cheap. Food is State-sanctioned therapy. And you’re the victim.

 

Posted: 19th, August 2016 | In: Broadsheets, News, The Consumer | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Duke of Westminster left his son very little (but the trust got loadsa tax-free money)

The Duke of Westminster has died. There will be no land grab for his vast estates in London’s Mayfair and Belgravia. Chinese and Russian investors can stable the horses.  The Duke, whose family gained their estates thanks to an ancestor’s friendship with William the Conqueror, who took charge of the land after a successful invasion, has left the spoils of war to this heirs. The Guardian is upset that the State won’t get their chunk of change:

…the sixth duke is said to have left an estate worth £9.9bn upon his death this week to his son and yet, despite the fact that inheritance tax is supposedly payable on all estates on death worth more than £325,000, it has been widely reported that very little tax will be due in this case.

He did? No. He left the estate to a trust managed by his son. As the departed Duke said:

I’d rather not have been born wealthy, but I never think of giving it up. I can’t sell. It doesn’t belong to me.”

It belongs to the trust. Indeed, the Guardian adds:

The English legal concept of a trust is believed to have been developed during that era, when knights departing the country with no certainty of returning wanted to ensure that their land passed to those who they thought to be their rightful heirs without interference from the Crown. Trusts achieved that goal and the concept has remained in existence ever since, representing the continual struggle of those with wealth to subvert the rule of law that may apply to others but that they believe should not apply to them.

No. They are using the rule of law to stay legal.

The late Duke had this advice for his heir: “He’s been born with the longest silver spoon anyone can have, but he can’t go through life sucking on it.. He has to see himself as a caretaker, keeping the estates in good shape in his lifetime. It took me ten years just to understand what I had inherited.”

 

Posted: 13th, August 2016 | In: Broadsheets, Money, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


George Monbiot: vegans against cow shit

George Monbiot wants to tell us about his meals in the Guardian. We live in an age of narcissism, so a broadsheet writer talking about his dinner is staple fare:

I’ve converted to veganism to reduce my impacts on the living world

Cows swoon:

The world can cope with 7 or even 10 billion people. But only if we stop eating meat. Livestock farming is the most potent means by which we amplify our presence on the planet. It is the amount of land an animal-based diet needs that makes it so destructive.

We should slaughter all the animals?

An analysis by the farmer and scholar Simon Fairlie suggests that Britain could easily feed itself within its own borders. But while a diet containing a moderate amount of meat, dairy and eggs would require the use of 11m hectares of land (4m of which would be arable), a vegan diet would demand a total of just 3m.

And lots of manure to grow the stuff with? Human shit is only good for columnists to make a living. The rest of us need horse, bird, pig and cow shit.

Rothamsted tells us:

Livestock manures are a valuable source of nutrients in many organic rotations. Making best use of these nutrients:
• contributes towards economic sustainability
• minimises pollution of the wider environment

Can you have good animal shit without animals to do the shitting? Monbiot adds:

Not only do humans need no pasture, but we use grains and pulses more efficiently when we eat them ourselves, rather than feed them to cows and chickens.

If not more animals to create more animal manure to grow crops with, is the option to go for increased GM crops and artificial fertilisers?

This would enable 15m hectares of the land now used for farming in Britain to be set aside for nature.

Nature? Are human beings not natural?

File under: show us your shit.

Posted: 10th, August 2016 | In: Broadsheets, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Policy Exchange Übermensch want British people barcoded

Policy Exchange sound like a revolting bunch. The Guardian reports on their plans to bran you all with a barcode:

British people should be given a “unique person number” to help the government keep track of the population following the vote for Brexit, according to a new report by a leading thinktank.

What has Brexit to do with being anti-human?

The paper from Policy Exchange said people feel Britain is being used as an “economic transit camp” and these fears could be allayed by creating a “population register”.

The Übermensch at Policy Exchange can go first. Form an orderly queue while we heat up the banding irons.

Posted: 8th, August 2016 | In: Broadsheets, News, Politicians | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


UKIP wants to ban Muslim schools: first they came for the kids and the parents

What is the point of education? The Telegraph  looks at Lisa Duffy’s views on the matter of who decides what children learn at school. Duffy is a councillor in Cambridgeshire. She wants to lead UKIP. She wants a say in what children can be taught at school.

A “total ban” on Muslim state schools has been called for by Lisa Duffy, the Ukip leadership hopeful.

Ms Duffy, who is expected to be announced as once of the candidates in the party’s leadership race at noon today, has called for Islamic faith schools to be shut down in a bid to tackle radicalisation.

Duffy knows best. She wants to ban traditions she considers to be the wrong ones. An attack on freedom of education can be readily linked to an attack on freedom of worship, something any liberal country should hold dear.

Maybe Duffy doesn’t like what she sees as intolerance preached as faith schools. Maybe this is why Duffy wants to ban them, censor views alternative to her own? Duffy is a bansturbator. She tells the Express:

“I will be calling for the Government to close British Islamic faith schools. That doesn’t mean I am picking on British Islam…

Wrong. It does.

“…but if you think about what our security services are looking at 2,000 individuals that have come from those faith schools. When does indoctrination start?”

Dunno, Lisa. Where did you learn your illiberal views?

She adds:

“I am not far right, I am very much common sense and centre right.”

Lisa affects to know what the country’s values are and then undermines them. Freedom for all is great so long as it is freedom from things Duffy doesn’t much like.

Why should the State know better than parents? Why should education be so politicised? Why should education adhere to a homogenous ‘norm’ proscribed by the elite? Parents must be free to chose the schools that reflect their own prejudices, views and wants.

 

religious school

 

Why doesn’t the State do something truly radical: ask teachers what they think and let them set the curriculum? (And interfering parents are every bit as dire as the State dictating what is right thinking.)

And if not religious schools, then why non-faith State schools, places where moving targets, new techniques and measures of learning create a system lacking substance – where children are schooled not educated. State schools are often out-performed by their religious-orientated rivals, where knowledge can be tested across ages and critical thinking is encouraged and engaged.

Lisa Duffy should try it.

Posted: 3rd, August 2016 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Lidl Britain crisis: nuts might not contain nuts

The country is in crisis. The Telegraph reports on a consumer panic:

German discounter Lidl is removing its brand of fruit yoghurts and honey peanuts from the shelves because it fails to tell customers they might contain milk and peanuts.

Only ‘might’? Not ‘do’. Supermarkets are hedging their bets.

nuts lidl

 

What else might a pot of yoghurt or packet of nuts contain? Pretty much anything, right?

Posted: 1st, August 2016 | In: Broadsheets, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Ansbach bomb mystery solved: why the victim did it

When a man armed with a bomb blew himself up outside a music festival in Germany, the media went into action. Why had he done it?

Reuters went into action: “Syrian man denied asylum killed in German blast.”

The poor man. He was killed in a country that denied him asylum. This man suffered terribly at our hands. Reuters continues:

A 27-year-old Syrian man who had been denied asylum in Germany a year ago died on Sunday when a bomb he was carrying exploded outside a music festival in Ansbach, Germany…

A bomb he was carrying exploded? Was he taking it a museum, having found it?

Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said the man had tried to commit suicide twice before.

And he failed a third time. The “bomb exploded”. He was “killed”. He is the victim.

The Guardian leads with: “A 27-year-old man who had been denied asylum dies after explosion in southern German town”

An explosion.

The BBC: “Ansbach explosion: Syrian asylum seeker blows himself up in Germany.”

A failed Syrian asylum seeker has blown himself up and injured 15 other people with a backpack bomb near a festival in the south German town of Ansbach. The 27-year-old man, who faced deportation to Bulgaria, detonated the device after being refused entry to the music festival.

He was clearly an avid music fan. Denied entry he had nothing else to live for – well, aside from a new life in Bulgaria.

CNBC: “Bomb-carrying Syrian dies outside German music festival; 12 wounded.”

Al Jazeera: “A 27-year-old Syrian man died when a bomb he was carrying in a rucksack went off outside a music festival in Germany and wounded 12 people, an official said. A spokesman for the prosecutor’s office in Ansbach said the attacker’s motive wasn’t clear.”

The bomb went off. He did not detonate the bomb. It just went off. Why he died remains a mystery.

The Mail: “Syrian suicide bomber – nicknamed ‘Rambo’ – who blew himself up outside German music festival had pledged allegiance to ISIS, had Islamist videos at his home and had enough chemicals to make ANOTHER bomb.”

Ah. That’s why the asylum seeker was killed when the bomb he was carrying went off. He was an Islamist trying to murder people. Thanks to the Mail, the mystery has been cleared up.

 

Posted: 31st, July 2016 | In: Broadsheets, News, Tabloids | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Jeremy Corbyn flying pig news: ‘Labour can win snap General election under my leadership’

The Guardian creates the world-class clickbait headline: “Jeremy Corbyn: Labour could win snap general election.”

But wait a moment. Did Corbyn actually says it? Does he think Labour can win the General Election?

The Conservative government has had “a field day” amid Labour divisions, Jeremy Corbyn has said in a Guardian interview, while insisting he believes the party could win a snap general election…

…when asked whether Labour could win a potential snap election this autumn or next spring, Corbyn seemed confident. “We’re going to go for it and win it,” he said.

‘Seemed confident’. He seems delusional.

 

Posted: 30th, July 2016 | In: Broadsheets, News, Politicians | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Guardian writer moans about her holiday ‘from hell’ in the super-expensive Hamptons

Is the Guardian beyond parody? In “The highway to summer hell leads straight through the Hamptons” Emma Brockes moans about holidaying in the exclusive enclave. Damned is she forced to holiday at one of the resort towns on the Long Island coast, where the average property goes for over $1m.

 

Hamptons Guardian

 

The American summer tradition of clearing out of cities for the beach every weekend is at odds with an equally strong tradition of avoiding inconvenience. But for some reason the beach always wins.

Six hours on the road with small children in the back? No problem. A two-hour tailback? Just part of the package. A three-hour journey out of Penn Station to East Hampton, on a train so crowded you have to stand the whole way? Deal with it.

She then knocks the UK:

Granted, unlike in Britain, where you can stand up for hours on a train to get to a beach that looks like a large mudflat, at least the sand on Long Island is pretty. The dunes are pristine, the weather is hot and, if you trudge far enough from the path, you don’t have to see another human for hours.

Hell is other people with loads of money.

And Emma is earning out of her hols to the Hamptons, having on June 30 this year written more about her jolly hols:

The apartment complex was on a stretch of idyllic, empty beach and a five-minute drive from a town where a litre of coffee, a bag of pistachios and a small strawberry ice cream cost a fortune…

Pass the bucket. No, not to be sick in it. If you and the other 1 per cent can chuck a few coins in the thing, we and The Guardian (£173 pre-tax loss!) would be ever so grateful…

Posted: 29th, July 2016 | In: Broadsheets, News, The Consumer | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0