Top news from The Times, Daily Telegraph, The Indepedent and The Guardian newspapers
In March 2005 Chelsea secured the legal rights to Jose Mourinho’s trademark for 20 years. This means that should Manchester United hire Mourinho, a move that seems as certain as Katie Price sleeping on her back, the Red Devils will be unable to stick their new manager’s name on such items as teddy bears, aftershave, computer games and all manner of tat. But how important is the Jose moniker?
In an “exclusive”, the Times says Chelsea’s ownership of the Mourinho trademark “will not delay his appointment at Old Trafford”.
Or as the Mirror puts it: “Jose Mourinho’s appointment as Manchester Untied manager is being delayed because Chelsea still own his signature.”
Not so, say the Times, which states: “Until recently Mourinho’s former employers [Chelsea] also owned the rights to reproduce his signature, but that ten-year trademark expired earlier this year…”
The Mirror then says United “face a six-figure bill to secure the rights to his signature and name”.
The Times says Chelsea could demand “several million pounds”.
The Sun says United will have to “£1million -plus” to use the name Jose Mourinho on merchandise.
The Mail says the 20-year licence Jose signed with Chelsea in 2005 expires in, er, 2013. That Mail says it’s between 2013 and 2015. The Times says it’s 2025.
Such are the facts.
In March, Liverpool were “confident of signing Mario Gotze”. So said the Guardian. Gotze has played for Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund, before he left the second best team in Germany for more money and silverware at the best team in Germany, Bayern Munich. The Guardian added that Gotze was “understood to be keen on a reunion with Jurgen Klopp”.
Gotze “is keen on a move away from the Allianz Arena despite the impending arrival of Carlo Ancelotti as Pep Guardiola’s replacement… The combination of a fresh start away from Bayern plus renewing acquaintances with Klopp is believed to appeal to the Germany international.”
The Express agreed:
The Metro also agreed: “Liverpool are clear to sign Mario Gotze as he is not in Bayern Munich’s plans for next season.”
And the Star added:
On May 21, the Sun stated that Liverpool were “close to landing £20million World Cup winner Mario Gotze”. The deal would be done in “the next few days”.
And so it is that today the Mirror declares: “Gotze snubs Kop – Gotze has pledged his future to Bayern Munich.”
Words from Gotze, Bayern and Liverpool in all reports mentioned above: nil.
So José Mourinho is the new Manchester United manager. Well, so say all the newspapers. The Guardian says the former Chelsea manger – twice-sacked by the Blues – will be handed £150m to spend and will first target Everton’s John Stones. Sounds good. Man United need defenders and wingers.
The Star says Mourinho has £200m and his number one target is Zlatan Ibrahimovich. Why? They have Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford. Why buy a player who will bock the talented Frenchman and the English tyro’s path? Will Jose just buy big to win big, farming youth out on loan?
The Star says Mourinho will sign a three-year deal worth £10m a year. The Mail says Jose’s Manchester Untied’s contract is £75m for five years, but does agree that he has £200m to spend on a new team. Inevitably one newspaper – the Mirror – calls the transfer kitty a “war chest”.
The Express says he has £300m.
The Mail adds that mid-way through this season, United paid the Portuguese £4m not to take another job. The Times says United deny making any payment.
The Sun says Mourinho’s arrival will trigger Ryan Giggs to leave Old Trafford. It also marks the end of Louis Van Gaal’s United stint. The Times says the Dutchman will leave with a bitter taste in his mouth and a sweet £5.4m in compensation.
As for the future, well it will interesting. One thing is certain: with Mourinho in charge, Manchester United will win back the fear factor.
The Guardian states the obvious:
Labour’s Future, Why Labour Lost in 2015 and How it Can Win Again, to be published this week, says the party is losing socially conservative voters to Ukip in droves, while appealing most to metropolitan liberals who tend to be better off and to have been to university.
Thankfully, Islington’s knowing and elitist dinner party chatters aren’t in the majority…
Sky News are reporting that Manchester United have offered Jose Mourinho the Manchester United job and the former Chelsea manager has accepted. Not all that good news for current Old Trafford boss Louis Van Gaal, then, who yesterday delivered the FA Cup, Man United’s first trophy in three years – albeit the pot Alex Ferguson’s serial winners didn’t even bother to defend in 1999, preferring to take a brand-building winter break in Brazil.
So is Sky correct? For some months its sister organ, the Sun, has been reporting that Mourinho is a shoo-in for the job.
The Sun and Sky’s other sister organ, The Times, also banged the drum for Van Gaal’s end.
They’ve yet to proven right. If you continue to doubt just how wrong these journalists with the inside scoop can be, look at what the Sun’s Neil Ashton said of Manchester United’s on May 19:
Is Mourinho heading to United? What say the other papers?
Such are the facts.
Transfer balls spots more tales of Jose Mourinho to Manchester United. The Star thunders: “Mourinho to Man Utd in hours.”
How many hours is unspecified by Luke Gardener, who made his prediction on May 13th. But he does cite his course: “Sky Sports Italy claim he will replace Louis van Gaal at the end of the season and sign a deal imminently.”
Sky Sports states: “José Mourinho will be the next manager of Manchester United.” The story is titled: “Mourinho, yes to Manchester United.”
The Indy reads that and states: “Jose Mourinho to Manchester United: Former Chelsea boss reaches agreement to become manager.”
Or as, er, Sky Sports puts it today: “Manchester United have no deal in place with Jose Mourinho, say Sky sources.”
Does writer Rory O’Callaghan consider Sky as reputable source?
More transfer balls throughout the summer.
Manchester United v Bournemouth was called off yesterday. A suspect package was discovered at Old Trafford. The Telegraph tells the sorry tale:
A farcical security blunder led to Manchester United’s final Premier League game of the season being cancelled on Sunday, after a private security firm forgot to remove a fake bomb taped to the back of a toilet door as part of a training exercise at Old Trafford.
The colossal error had sparked fears of another potential terrorist attack and resulted in the match against Bournemouth being called off as tens of thousands of fans were evacuated from one of the world’s most famous sports grounds.
Heads will roll. No, not at ISIS. It wasn’t a bomb. At the security company that didn’t find all its ‘bombs’, then forgot to collect and count them. But really it’s just pretty funny.
PS: What’s odd is the Guardian’s front page, which leads with a picture of a sobbing child and a morose adult. Manchester United fans, which they surely are, should be delighted. That was the most urgency seen at Old Trafford this season:
As the Premier League season ends big media turns to transfer rumours. One issue is deciding how much each club has to spend on new players. With every club in line for a £99m bonus next season, you’d suppose every PL club can spend large on recruitment.
Sunderland: “Sam Allardyce will demand a summer war chest of up to £50million” – Sun
Spurs: “Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino to be handed £60m war chest to strengthen squad” – Mail
Arsenal: Arsene Wenger £75m transfer fund this summer to bolster fragile defence and midfield” – Daily Telegraph
Everton: “£100m war chest to fund spending bonanza” – Daily Mirror
Liverpool: “Liverpool boss handed £100m summer transfer warchest… and targets have been identified” – Daily Star
Chelsea: “Chelsea to use chunk of £130m warchest to beat Arsenal to Alexis Sanchez replacement”
Manchester City: “Manchester City to hand Pep Guardiola a huge transfer chest for the summer” – Manchester Evening News
Manchester United: “Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal to get £150m war chest even without top-four spot” – Daily Express
Manchester United: “United Uncovered: Jose Mourinho’s £300m warchest” – Daily Express
Such are the facts…
Transfer balls: a look a dire reporting on football rumours. Today the Indy reports on Arsenal:
Arsenal have made an official £33.8m offer for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Granit Xhaka after moving ahead with their first transfer of the summer, with the German club resigned to losing the Swiss international in the coming weeks.
Granit Xhaka plays for Borussia Mönchengladbach. Should Dortmund take the cash and keep quiet?
How much is too much? The Hindustan Times notes:
A 31-year-old assistant commandant-rank trainee Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officer allegedly committed suicide in his hostel room at the paramilitary force’s training centre in Gurgaon.
Identified as Mohaib M Mullah, hailing from Belgaum in Karnataka, was found hanging at 4 am from the ceiling fan of hostel room number 201 at the training academy in Kadarpur, police said.
Too much information?
Police said that the exact cause is yet to be ascertained.
PAPERS! The Guardian has news of a plot to make you a card-carrying Brit, or European Unionist, or African etc.:
Government measures making people prove their nationality or face prosecution risk damaging community relations and are discriminatory, critics have warned. The Conservatives want to give police and immigration officers the power to order people who have been arrested to state their nationality and require those believed to be foreign nationals to produce their nationality documents, such as a passport.
Believed to be foreign? Out there in Government someone thinks this is going to end well.
Failure to do so within 72 hours would become a criminal offence under the policing and crime bill currently going through parliament.
Do you have a passport? How about your birth certificate? And what would either document prove, anyhow?
But who cares for sense? Pull over, son. You been on holiday in the sunshine, sunshine? Papers!
“She’s made remarks that she doesn’t agree with,” says Labout of Naz Shah, the Labout MP who doesn’t much like Jews.
As @MichaelPDeacon notes in the Telegraph: “She’s made remarks… that she doesn’t agree with. She made the remarks. But she doesn’t agree with them. She disagrees with her own remarks.”
File under: Jewish technology twists nice woman’s words.
What’s John Whittingdale been up to? The Star says the Tory MP, currently working as the culture and media secretary (GSOH, WLTM 4 MTV) “had a two-year fling with a Daily Star Page 3 girl”. Will he be involving himself with other mainstays of tabloid news, buying a lawnmower from the classified section, perhaps, or appearing in the TV pages as a Britain’s Got Talent wannabe?
Whatever’s next for Whittingdale, we are more interested in his past, chiefly his five-month romance with Olivier King, a dominatrix he met on Match.com, when he was single man and before he became a government minister, though he was chair of the Commons’ Culture, Media and Sport select committee. When Whittingdale discovered the single woman’s job he called off the affair. You might have read about his squeamishness in the tabloids, but when the story was hawked around Fleet Street, no-one bought it.
Anti-free Press, pro-privacy outfit Hacked Off and the BBC thought that a shame. Andrew Gilligan writes that Hacked Off worked with the BBC to produce their story of Whittingdale and the sex worker for Newsnight – that’s the show that opted to keep Jimmy Savile’s crimes private, spiking a story on the paedophile. These champions of privacy who bemoan press invasion into private lives wanted us to know about John’s sex life.
One theory is that tabloid newspapers passed on the story to keep Whittingdale in his job? He’s not all that in favour of Leveson and plans to clamp-down on the free press. If the Press expose John as – shock of shocks – a single man who likes women, he might be replaced by someone keen on an increasingly State-regulated Press. Or maybe he was being blackmailed? Or maybe that’s all nuts because if a free press is free the politicians have no say over what goes in it. So much for the conspiracies – which rather undermine the other story about tabloids being peopled by unscrupulous bastards who name and shame before fabricating facts to support their salacious gossip. It turns out they are edited and considered publications. Who knew?
And now about that Page 3 girl. Stephanie Hutton, for it is she, “said the Culture Secretary cheated on her with a dungeon-dwelling dominatrix known as Mistress Kate.” On pages 6 and 7 – after we’ve seen Page 3 girl Brook tell us about a love of topless ice-skating – we get to Stephanie, one half of the Boobie Twins. Stephanie say she met John on a dating site in 2013. “He told me he was a Russian arms dealer,” says Stephanie. “I don’t know if he was just being careful or trying to make himself more attractive, but it wasn’t necessary. I liked him.” She says at the Commons, he “always turned the lights out so we wouldn’t be recorded on CCTV”.
The Mirror says this caution approach to dating means Whittingdale is “addicted to danger”. The paper says Whittingdale has “been spotted with East European women at public events in the UK”. Scurrying about for anything to spank Whittingdale with that doesn’t make the phone-hacking Mirror look opportunistic and crass, we learn via a Labour MP of concerns about “powerful, middle-aged men being targeted by young women from the old Soviet Union and left open to blackmail”.
You see, it’s not about sex and privacy – it’s about State secrets and, er, sex and secrecy. Much better and in the public interest.
Danny Cohen, the former director of BBC television, says no Jew can vote for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, an outfit embroiled in accusations of anti-Semitism. He tells the Times:
“If you are Jewish how can you vote for them? How could you? For me it would be like being a Muslim and voting for Donald Trump, how could you do it? You have to feel absolutely confident that it is totally unacceptable and it won’t be tolerated and I personally haven’t felt comfortable that it is happening yet in the Labour party.”
Do we really believe Corbyn’s Labour if full of anti-Semites? Surely not. Anti-Semitism is rife, but to lay the root of it at Corbyn’s door is wrong. The issue is that the Labour Party appears to acquiesce to anti-Semitism and anti-Semites.
“For too many on the Left, Jewish suffering does not touch them the way Muslim suffering or gay suffering or black suffering touches them,” writes Stephen Daisley on STV News. “Scrutiny of Corbyn’s associations elicits cries of ‘smear’ or just a collective shrug of the shoulders. It was always going to. We lack a language to talk about anti-Semitism because too many on the Left don’t consider it a serious problem and couldn’t recognise it as readily as racism, misogyny or homophobia anyway.”
Cranmer adds: “Jeremy Corbyn is not only a patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign: he supports the BDS agenda. What manner of peace-making diplomat supports sanctions against one party after hearing the grievances only of the other? Why invite Islamists to tea on the House of Commons terrace, but not extremist Zionists?”
Corbyn is a politician. His business is winning votes and gaining power. If anti-Semitism is ok on the Left, well, why rock the boat? After all, there aren’t that many Jewish voters. In 2010, Jonathan Freedland wrote in the Guardian:
I can no longer do what I and others did in 2008, putting to one side the statements, insults and gestures that had offended me, my fellow Jews and – one hopes – every Londoner who abhors prejudice. Back then I tried to shrug off Livingstone’s quip to property developers the Reuben brothers that they could “go back to Iran and see if they can do better under the ayatollahs”, even though telling immigrants to go back to where they came from is the language of a pub racist from the 1950s. (The Reubens are in fact an Iraqi-Jewish family and the brothers were born in India.)
Likewise, I accepted that when the mayor repeatedly likened a reporter to a concentration camp guard – even after he knew the reporter was both Jewish and offended – he was merely being irritable, his tongue loosened by a glass or two. I condemned his hugging embrace of Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the scholar who supports female genital mutilation, the murder of homosexual people, and suicide bombing so long as the victims are Israeli civilians…
This week he made the news again, as a group of Jewish activists, all lifelong Labour supporters, wrote to Ed Miliband describing a closed-door meeting they had had with Livingstone that had left them “despondent”. The letter was leaked, with most attention focusing on its account of Livingstone’s suggestion that “as the Jewish community is rich, [it] simply wouldn’t vote for him”.
Jews are privileged – the wealthy one, the poor ones, the disabled ones, the ones who might ever vote Labour or become a Labour MP. Under the terms of identity politics, where you’re defined by what you are and, more vitally, what you are not, being a Jew is a bad thing to be. Jews should check their privilege. There are anti-Semites in Labour, of course – there are bigots on all sides – but the Left’s little problem isn’t really with Jews, their customs and beliefs; it’s with what they symbolise.
When you’re devoid of ideas, have no direction of travel for your weak projects, you need to find something to bind, define and epitomise what you stand for. We don’t know what Labour is any more but the loyalists can show us what it is not: Israel.
Things soon get ugly. Just as anti-Semites say Jews are behind all the world’s ills, puppet-masters in a shadowy cabal, anti-Zionists say all problems in the Middle East are down to Israel. Defeat the Jews / Israel and all things in your life will be made better.
Hamas can be Jeremy Cornyn’s “friends” (his word) because as Zionist haters they are on the side of the good and the decent. But Corbyn’s “friends” don’t believe in sexual equality, women’s rights, gay rights, democracy, freedom of expression, a free press and human rights. To overlook all that anti-freedom – to blame all those Islamist and anti-progressive policies on Israel – is to side with the anti-Semites. Anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism become indistinguishable.
Jamie Palmer has written a terrific essay on the history of Jews, Israel and the West. He notes:
…the Left is unconcerned with Jewish interests and unwilling to take the matter of rising anti-Semitism seriously, preferring instead to dismiss it as a consequence of Israeli policies or a censorious attempt to close down discussion of the same. The horror with which many Jews greeted the election of Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the Labour Party was outstripped only by the realization that his supporters felt that his fondness for the company of anti-Semites was unworthy of their concern…
So why can’t the European Left change in such a way that European Jewish socialists and social democratic Zionists are made to feel welcome again? A number of recommendations suggest themselves:
1. Stop seeing the partition of Mandatory Palestine as some kind of act of paternalistic expiation for European sins rather than the realization of a persecuted people’s legitimate quest for self-determination.
2. Banish the term “anti-Zionism” from the realm of permissible discourse and reframe criticism of Israel—no matter how vehement—in political and not existential terms.
3. Respect the fact that for the vast majority of Jews, Israel represents an expression and final guarantor of Jewish security and identity.
4. Stigmatize anti-Semitism in the same way as any other kind of racism, including when it issues from the mouths and pens of other minority groups.
5. Stop treating Arabs in general and Palestinians in particular like children whose pathologies are to be patiently indulged.
6. Reject moral and cultural relativism, and hold all people to the same moral standards you would expect of yourself in the same circumstances.
7. Understand that differences of opinion with most democrats, of whatever political persuasion, ought to fall within the boundaries of respectable disagreement.
8. Appreciate the value of liberal democracy and learn to take seriously the threats of those who declare their intention to destroy it.
But the reality is that the Left is in no mood to do much, if any, of the above. On the contrary, it is moving in exactly the opposite direction. In Britain, the Labour Party has elected Jeremy Corbyn as its leader—an unrepentant hard-Left anti-Zionist who has shared platforms with genocidal terrorists, blood libelers, and Holocaust deniers in order to supposedly demonstrate his solidarity with the oppressed denizens of Palestine, even as he signed petitions calling upon a centrist Israeli MK to be arrested on arrival in the UK.
Brendan O’Neill and Tom Slater have been discussing Labour’s little problem. You can hear it below:
We hear you, Madonna, aka Madge the Vadge. What self-respecting cool kid drinks and smokes when they could be experimenting with smarts drugs and pour grade-A medications?
Madonna, we learn, is “fuming” 15-year-old son Rocco has been “snapped under a bridge in London swigging from a bottle and puffing on a suspicious-looking cigarette.” A suspicious looking cigarette is, of course, a cigarette, a Government-taxed cancer stick. A proper roll-up contains pure marijuana, a healthy substance (see Colorado State medical advice).
Manchester City will play Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals. The Sun and Times are debating matters.
“Ronaldo and Co con’t scare us,” says the Manchester City manager, Manuel Pelligrini.
But they should scare you, says the Times.
More financial illiteracy in the Guardian. The headline tells us:
US corporations have $1.4tn hidden in tax havens, claims Oxfam report
Some work there by Oxfam’s investigations arm to find such a gigantic stash of “hidden” cash.
The charity’s analysis of the financial affairs of the 50 biggest US corporations comes amid intense scrutiny of tax havens following the leak of the Panama Papers.
And the charity said its report, entitled Broken at the Top was a further illustration of “massive systematic abuse” of the global tax system.
In 2012, said Oxfam, US firms reported $80bn of profit in Bermuda…
Not hidden at all, then. The billions were all laid on in the companies’ accounts.
Now whose for a game of hide and seek, Oxfam style?
How clueless and lacking in direction is the Left? Get this from Polly Tonybee in the Guardian. She’s talking about off-shore tax idylls, like the British Virgin Islands and Jersey:
Today Cameron’s promise fell far short of that genuine transparency. He needs to get tough with the treasure islands and follow Charles de Gaulle’s example. When Monaco refused a tax measure he requested, he forced them to surrender by surrounding the kingdom with soldiers and turning off their water supply.
And you still wonder why the colonialists on the Left all loved Tony Blair?
“Half of British Muslims want gay sex banned, says poll.” That’s the Daily Telegraph headline. And it’s big news because it shows that half of British Muslims don’t believe in the letter of their religion.
This fact features in the Channel 4 programme, What British Muslims Really Think. It’s an ugly title from a broadcaster that brought us a look at Big Fat Gypsies. What Muslims Really Think starts from a position that they will think alike, and they’re hiding it from the rest of us. How enlightened is that?
The survey for Channel 4 found there was a “chasm” between views among the British Muslim community and mainstream opinion in this country.
Er, isn’t that because the mainstream – i.e. the biggest demographic – isn’t Muslim, let alone religious? And are the Telegraph and Channel 4 really shocked that religious people believe in their religion?
Of more than 1,000 British Muslims polled by ICM, 39 per cent agreed “wives should always obey their husbands”, and 31 per cent said it was acceptable for a man to have more than one wife. The survey also found 23 per cent said they supported the introduction of sharia law in Britain.
Asked their views on stoning those who commit adultery, five per cent said they sympathised with use of the punishment – often meted out under sharia – while 79 per cent condemned it.
You might think, ‘So what?’ But Trevor Phillips, a former head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, says, “The integration of Britain’s Muslims will probably be the hardest task we’ve ever faced. It will require the abandonment of the milk-and-water multiculturalism still so beloved of many, and the adoption of a far more muscular approach to integration.”
Sure, some hardline religionists will demand adherence to the letter of what they see as divine law. But the survey shows that most don’t.
If by integration Trevor means the neutralising of contrary thoughts, the removal of all attitudes viewed as unprogressive, then, yes, it will take time. And we and anyone who values free speech hope it never happens. Challenging the orthodoxy cuts both ways, Trevor. Or is that no longer a mainstream view to be allowed to think what you want to?
More tax illiteracy in the Guardian, which has seen David Cameron’s tax return:
It’s not all hardship, though. The prime minister’s own party supports him where necessary, the returns reveal. Expenses met by the Conservative party have varied between £5,105 and £13,149, which have been declared as taxable benefits. They cover travel, clothes and other associated expenses for Cameron and his wife.
When the PM next berates Jeremy Corbyn over a shabby suit, the Labour leader will be able to reply that, unlike Cameron, he isn’t receiving a taxpayer subsidy for it.
No. He paid tax on his work clothes. Sheesh!
In other news, his m other didn’t fancy leaving her kids with big inheritance tax bill. Nothing illegal.
Big news in the Guardian on David Cameron’s tax affairs:
David Cameron’s father sought legal advice on best tax havens
Did Ian Cameron, for it is he, seek advice from the same experts who advise the, er, Guardian? And isn’t seeking legal advice entirely sensible? We might not like schemes designed to cut tax bills, see them as “morally wrong” (source: Da. Cameron), but when did trying to stay on the right side of the law become a “revelation”?
In other news: corruption, Russian names, Chinese bigwigs, Middle Eastern despots and nutzoid amounts of cash squirrelled away in moves facilitated by London-based companies.
Why did mental health professionals fail to identify Helen’s abuse?
That question to the, er, scriptwriters.
Meet Dave Bry. Dave has a question for Guardian readers: “Does climate change make it immoral to have kids?” As the rule dictates, any headline posed as a question must be answered ‘No’. But Dave will not be sterilised so easily. He has a column to fill.
Bringing children into a disintegrating environment used to be a theoretical fear. Now it’s a very real one
Dave is scared of disintegration. He also tell us he has children. This being the Guardian, chances are they will soon be introduced in Dave’s column or one of their own, little Bry-lined specimens, keepers of the Bry hard stare.
…the world is a wonderful place, one we humans have made nicer for ourselves with wonderful inventions like books and record players, penicillin and pizza, it’s also a really awful place, one we’ve ravaged with deforestation and smog, nuclear weapons and mountains of pizza delivery boxes and other garbage.
Which one of those awful things do you suppose Dave and the Bry-lines rub up against on a given day? Nuclear weapons? (Isn’t Islington a nuclear free zone?) Deforestation by the Guardian’s new Kings X offices? Pizza? The Internet?
The awfulness seems to be getting worse, especially now that climate change has sped up – sea level rise that was supposed to take centuries has recently been projected as taking just decades. This complicates the already difficult decision of whether to have a kid.
It’s too late for Dave. But if he can put you off breeding, he’ll have made his contribution to Gaia’s health. And he will do it with science:
We’re living through what scientists call the “Sixth Extinction”, an era of precipitous decline in the number of species able to live on the planet. The last mass extinction, the fifth, happened 66 million years ago, when a giant asteroid crashed into Earth and 76% of all the species on the planet perished.
He sees “global economic collapse, famine, border disputes, wars.”
Thinking about the horrific future scientists predict hurts a very specific part of me, a part of me that I only first learned was there when I met my newborn son, 11 years ago, as he lay on the tray of the scale where the doctors had just weighed him and counted his fingers and toes.
The moment is wordless, and as mind-blowing as any drug trip I ever took.
Trust me. I’m a stoner. And Dave is re-evaluating:
Was I complicit in the damage? I remember every extra paper towel I’ve ever unspooled from the roll, and think about a tree falling in the Amazon, and then think about my son growing up in a gray, dying world – walking towards Kansas on potholed highways. Maybe while trying to protect his own son, like the father in The Road. Will he decide to have a kid? I have foisted upon him a decision even more difficult than my own. It’s all very depressing.
No. It’s hilarious. And curse those mahogany paper towels!
What if, and this is obviously a huge “if”, some young person, perhaps a certain 11-year-old in a Black Sabbath T-shirt (I highly doubt it, he can rarely remember to take his lunchbox out of his knapsack at the end of the day), perhaps someone who is not yet born, perhaps not yet conceived, is the one super-genius to figure out the invention that could save the planet?
For anyone not laughing themselves silly at Dave, the story ends with a line about his science:
This article was amended on Saturday 2 April 2016, to correctly identify the timing of the last mass extinction.
Spotter: Brendan O’Neill.
Survey of the day comes to us via the Telegraph, which has great news for non-smokers:
Smoking ban sees 40 per cent cut in heart attacks in UK since 2007 law was introduced
Did smoking cause 40% of heart attacks? We know smoking is bad for you. But really..?
Heart attack rates in the UK have fallen by up to 42 per cent since the 2007 smoking ban…
And then it gets really woolly:
A review of 77 studies found that reduced exposure to passive smoking has caused a “significant reduction” in heart problems across the population.
Did passive smoking lead to so many heart attacks? It turns out the researchers have no proof:
He [Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director of the British Heart Foundation] said the studies were observational and all had their limitations, but it would be difficult to study the effects of passive smoking in a more robust scientific way. Researchers said the evidence was less clear about whether the introduction of bans had actually helped people to give up smoking.
Heart attacks rates have been falling. Links between the smoking ban and heart attacks caused by passive smoking is nonsense.
Transfer balls salutes the Daily Telegraph, which declares: “Everton close in on Niasse.” That’s Oumar Niasse, the Senegal international who has now joined Everton in a £13.5m move from Lokomotiv Moscow.
What’s odd about the Telegraph’s report is that it features on the paper’s “Chelsea transfer news and rumours” page. Niasse has no links to Chelsea – he’s not one of their myriad loaned players. So why is he on the Chelsea page? Helpfully the Telegraph explains:
“What does this have to do with Chelsea?” I hear you ask. Well, quite a bit, actually.
You see, Chelsea are a team who get googled a lot, so if you have the word “Chelsea” in your headline you’ll get lots of clicks and the sweet, sweet literal fractions of pence that accompany each one. I mean, they’re googled enough to warrant a transfer blog all to themselves even though they’re not going to do anything (where’s my SJA nomination, come to think of it?). Anyhow, that means that a bunch of websites are retrospectively making Niasse a Chelsea target when reporting that Everton are going to sign him, even though they’d never mentioned Chelsea’s interest in the past.
This is how transfer deadline day reporting works. Lap it up.
Having earned clicks from Chelsea fans for that report and misleading headline, we wonder what the Telegraph has said about Niasse? Well, on January 9 this year, the paper of record stated:
Chelsea transfer news and rumours: Chelsea poised to make £15million swoop for Oumar Niasse…Whilst Manchester United prepare to launch a £40million bid to sign his compatriot Sadio Mane… Chelsea are hoping to pick up more of a bargain in signing Niasse for around half of that figure.
Having learned that £15m is about half of £40m, readers were also told that Chelsea and Tottenham wanted to sign the player. Mentions of Everton’s interest: nil.
Such are the facts in the Telegraph.