Broadsheets | Anorak - Part 3

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Top news from The Times, Daily Telegraph, The Indepedent and The Guardian newspapers

Fostering fear and division in Tower Hamlets: the Christian child and her Muslim carers

foster muslim london


The Times‘ scoop became a big talking point: a five-year-old, white, native English specking Christian girl had been placed with a Muslim foster family by London’s Tower Hamlet’s council. What problem with that? If the vulnerable child needed help and help was forthcoming, what matter respective religions? The council surely vets foster parents and made an informed choice.

Maybe not.

The girl spent four months with her substitute family. She says the family did not speak English in the home, encouraging her to speak Arabic. Her primary foster carer veiled her face in public. When placed with a second foster family, also Muslim, the girl spoke of regularly eating meals on the floor. The girl was scheduled to return to the first foster carers, but a council worker heard her complain of having had her necklace removed and not returned. The necklace featured a cross-shaped pendant. The girl claimed the family had refused to let her eat carbonara prepared by her family because it contained bacon.

The girl is now back with her family, living with her grandmother on the orders of Judge Khatan Sapnara – the Mail tells readers on its front page, the judge is a Muslim; a fact the Times repeats on page 6 in a lengthy profile on the woman who arrived in the UK as child from her native Bangladesh. Judge Sapnara told the council to seek “culturally matched placements” for children. She also made a stand for free speech. Tower Hamlets tried to block the Times story but failed when Judge Sapnara made it clear she “would not stand in the way of the freedom of the  press to report, within the law and in a responsible manner, in respect of this case.”

The Mail adds that the girl’s family had “pleaded” with the council to let her live with her grandmother. The girl “begged” not to be returned to the Muslim family. By page 17, Sarah Vine is telling readers about the value of “a granny’s love”. But taken in isolation, without us knowing why the child was in care at all, why grandma was overlooked in favour of foster parents and what the foster parents hope to gain from their role, opinion rides roughshod over fact. But Vine tells us that Tower Hamlets advertises foster carer allowances of “£313 and £253 a week”. “That’s a nice little earner,” says Vine.

Easy money? On the Tower Hamlets website we read:

If you are interested in becoming a foster carer you will need to meet with a social worker many times to talk about yourself, your family and your experiences of looking after children. Some people find the idea of this daunting, but our social workers are highly experienced and will do everything they can to help you feel reassured during this process. You will also need to have police and medical checks and will need to ask employers, friends and families to give references.

And Vine’s undersold the job: “Fostering fees and allowances up to £474 per week (per child in placement depending on age).” But, yes, the payments for a five-year-old are as she says. Fostering is a cottage industry. Why the public sector is turning child care into a job creation opportunity is not touched upon. And it costs:

In the 2013/14 financial year an estimated £2.5 billion (gross expenditure) was spent on the main looked after children’s services in England. The majority of expenditure (55%) was on foster care services (around £1.4 billion, 55%) and children’s homes (around £0.9 billion, 36%).

So much for the money.

What’s wrong is when Vine says the “real scandal” is that social services “would rather pay someone, irrespective of whether or not  he child will be miserable, than find a home where someone wants  to offer the one thing that has no price: a mother’s love.”

Eh? Surely is can be argued that the “strict Muslim” women was offering  just that: a place where the child would be treated like one of their own. Moreover, where is the child’s mother? Is she able or capable of offering the kid of love Vine seeks? Let’s not pretend a mother’s love is the ultimate nurturer of life and love.

Also troubling is that the story is presented as one of child abuse. The child was refused food. The child  was with “strict” adults. The child was upset. The child “sobbed”. Everything is presented to make readers suspicious of adults. The child’s view is pure and passes challenged. We’ve not heard from the Muslim women at the centre of the story. The overriding impression from reading this story is that when society revolves around child protection, everyone who works with children is cast as a suspect.

Posted: 30th, August 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Tim Cook and Apple beat the principal-agent problem

Apple shares are soaring. The iPhone remains the best and most desirable phone on the market. And with success comes money.

Tim Cook, the chief executive of Apple, has collected $89.6m as part of a 10-year deal that he signed as an incentive to keep the iPhone maker at the forefront of the technology industry after he took over the reins in 2011 from company co-founder Steve Jobs.

Nice one:

The stock package awarded to Cook in 2011 was originally valued at $376m, but is now worth much more because Apple shares have increased by six-fold since he signed the deal.

Apple Insider has more:

If Apple’s performance fell in the middle third of the S&P 500, Cook’s RSU award would have been reduced by half. Cook would have collected nothing if Apple stock finished in the bottom-third.

Apple and Cook are bound.

The principal–agent problem, in political science and economics, (also known as agency dilemma or the agency problem) occurs when one person or entity (the “agent”) is able to make decisions on behalf of, or that impact, another person or entity: the “principal”. This dilemma exists in circumstances where agents are motivated to act in their own best interests, which are contrary to those of their principals, and is an example of moral hazard.

Meanwhile, over at the Guardian, which repeats the story of Cook’s earnings from a newswire feed without mention of the penalties Cook faced for missing targets:

The Guardian has confirmed losses of £69m for the last financial year but said it was making significant progress in its membership scheme, with more than 50,000 people paying to sign up.

At least the newspaper now is trying to produce a viable business, asking readers to donate (no, not to pay, as the Times does):

The new editor of The Guardian is to be paid tens of thousands less than her male predecessor, according to figures published by the newspaper group.

Katharine Viner received a salary of £340,000 for 2014-15, putting her basic earnings well behind the £395,000 handed to Alan Rusbridger, whom she replaced last month as editor-in-chief of the paper.

Taking into account Mr Rusbridger’s other payouts from the group, where he was editor for two decades, the former newspaper boss took home £492,000 over the past year, £152,000 more than his successor.

And for his last seasons in charge:

The revelation of the pay gap came as Guardian News and Media, the publisher of The Guardian and The Observer, reported an underlying loss of £19.1 million for its latest financial year, a slight improvement on the £19.4 million it lost the previous year.

Performance-related pay can be perilous.

Posted: 30th, August 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Money, Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

100 MPs could be killed in 5 minutes

Big news is that a mock terror attack on the Houses of Parliament shows that it “could” take just 5 minutes to kill 100 MPs. In the “middle of the night” police pretending to be terrorists pulled up by the Commons, climbed the steep wall to the terrace and then gained access to the debating chamber. The Sunday Telegraph says that had the house been sitting “more than 100 MPs” would have been massacred.

An unnamed source described the MPs as “sitting ducks”. Another adds: “I remember thinking ‘Jesus Christ, if that’s where we are at and that can happen, then the public would be horrified’.” (Discuss.)

Is such an attack likely? The water around Westminster can be sea-like, choppy and tidal. It’s very tricky to pull up. The east front of the Palace of Westminster – the bit on the river – measures approximately 265m, and is the longest façade of any building in London. So plenty to room. But navigating the building can be tricky. Take a left turn instead of a right one and a seasick jihadi could end up in House of Lords Chamber!

Posted: 29th, August 2017 | In: Broadsheets, News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Ministers embarrassed by successful academies want leaders’ salaries capped

Would it shock you to know that the boss of a group of high-ranking schools earns £420,000 a year? Sir Daniel Moynihan, of the Harris Federation, a chain of 44 schools, is the country’s highest-paid chief executive of an academy trust. His annual wage is the sort of money a Premier League football take home every fortnight. But that’s not really a valid comparison is it. After all, both the footballer and the schools’ executive are in the private sector.

The Federation says on its website:

67% of all of our Academies inspected so far have been graded as Outstanding (compared to 20% nationally) with the rest judged as Good. 83% of our Secondary Academies have been judged as Outstanding so far.

In Primary education our Academies have been judged to be the top performing group of schools compared to all other local authorities and academy trusts in England, in both 2015 and 2016 by the highly respected Education Policy Institute.

At Secondary Harris Federation has regularly been named as one of the top performing groups in the country for disadvantaged pupils by the Sutton Trust charity.

The charity was created by Lord Harris, who acts as its sponsor. A dyslexic who left school early, his story is an inspiration:

Educated at Streatham Grammar School, he had to cut short his education at 15 after the death of his father in order to take over the running of the family business of three carpet shops. He went on to set up Carpetright, now a public company with over 600 branches across the UK and the rest of Europe.

But it;s no good, say Ministers seeking to stop “fat cat” salaries.

Sir Michael Wilshaw, a former chief inspector of schools, and Lord Adonis, a former Labour schools minister, told The Sunday Times that ministers must cap salaries for academy high-earners. Adonis wants to prevent anyone being paid more than £150,000, the salary paid to Theresa May.

Why should a public servant’s salary, moreover a politician’s, be the benchmark for someone working in the private sector, especially one doing such a good job?

The row comes as school budgets are being cut, teachers face a 1% pay rise and parents are being asked to pay for basics at state schools, including textbooks.

Adonis said: “It is a simple question of morality and use of public funding.”

Morality? Phew! good job its not about results.


Posted: 28th, August 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Money, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Hani Khalaf: Hyde Park killer and the problem with immigrants

In today’s Daily Express, it’s another game of join the dots, of which there are just two. Page 5 tells readers of an “illegal immigrant” called Hani Khalaf. He’s been handed a 26-year prison sentence for murdering Jairo Medina, beating the man to death in London’s Hyde Park.

Khalaf, an Egyptian national, arrived in the UK in the back of lorry back in 2014, posing as a Syrian asylum seeker.

Judge Wendy Joseph QC tells the court:

“It is clear that Hani Khalaf, having absconded, came to the attention of authorities on at least six occasions. On each, he was re-bailed because they could not make arrangements for securing his deportation in a reasonable amount of time.”

The news is part of a page given over to immigration stories.


Immigration Special.


The phone poll on the same page asks: “Is Britain still letting in too many migrants?”



The story of how Hani Khalaf was free to murder is troubling. Why was a man in the country illegally not dealt with by the authorities? Joseph makes the valid point that Khalaf had no way of “lawfully maintaining himself”. How can man in the country illegally keep the rules?

So much for the Express. But how do the other paper report on the story?

The Daily Telegraph leads with the killer’s legal status:

Illegal immigrant murdered man in Hyde Park after Home Office repeatedly failed to deport him

It tells readers that the victim, a carer by profession, was born in Colombia. He was a Colombian national. The Express omits that fact. The Express also doesn’t say that Mr Medina, a migrant, has, according to his sister, won an award in 2015 for his “service to care in London”.

The paper adds:

The day before he [Khalaf] met Mr Medina, he was arrested for shoplifting in Regent Street and gave police the false name he had previously given to immigration officials.

He appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court and was bailed hours before the killing.

On August 11, Khalaf met Mr Medina in Hyde Park, where the victim had gone hoping to have sex with a younger man, the court heard.

Khalaf murdered and robbed Mr Medina. The judge ruled that it was a “murder for gain”.

Over in the London Evening Standard, the killer’s status is is once more the leading fact:

Illegal immigrant jailed for beating carer Jairo Medina to death in London’s Hyde Park

It was only good police work that saw Khalaf arrested:

Khalaf was arrested on August 16 for fare evasion and told police he was Hanni Hassan and later gave the name Khalaf, prosecutor Oliver Glasgow QC said.

Then on August 18, he was arrested again for shoplifting and taken to Charing Cross police station, where an “eagle-eyed” police officer recognised him from CCTV as the suspect seen with Mr Medina on the night of his death.

The BBC delivers the headline:

“Illegal immigrant jailed for Hyde Park murder”

And in the Guardian? Well, this is the headline:



It’s story begins:

A homeless man has been jailed for at least 26 years for murdering a “kind and peace-loving” carer…

To the Guardian, it is not Khalaf’s illegality that matters most. “Homeless man jailed for Hyde Park murder,” says the headline. Its report carries not a single mention of the words “migrant”, “illegal immigrant” or “immigrant”.

The Express and Guardian both massage the facts to fit an agenda. Neither is helpful.

Posted: 25th, August 2017 | In: Broadsheets, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Conor McGregor’s going to lose – even Rocky lost

You watching the big fight between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather? You’d best not miss the beginning because it could be quick. Boxing is a sport. And Mayweather’s a lot better at it than MacGregor.

Or as the Guardian puts it:

Conor McGregor’s biggest weapon? His lack of boxing experience

No. It isn’t. As anyone who has ever stepped into a ring with a professional boxer will confirm, not being a boxer with a track record is a big disadvantage. Even Rocky lost.

The allure of Saturday’s much-hyped fight in Las Vegas is that no one knows what will happen in the ring – not least the overwhelming favorite, Floyd Mayweather

Nah. I think he’s got a pretty good idea what will happen.

Spotter: Guardian

Posted: 25th, August 2017 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Clickbait: Conor McGregor thrashes Game of Thrones TWICE

It will cost you £1 to read the Daily Telegraph‘s story “Why dragons and fantasy are ruining Game of Thrones“.



Rebecca Hawkes begins:

On the face of it, asking whether Game of Thrones has “gone too fantasy” feels like a bit of a ridiculous question…

Clickbait isn’t all that easy when you’re not talking about sport. Hawkes can look enviously at other Telegraph headlines in today’s batch, and think about writing her next story as a question:

Alexis Sanchez fit to play against Liverpool – but will it be his final game for Arsenal?

Mayweather vs McGregor: What time does the fight start this weekend and who is predicted to win?

Not to be confused with the other story:

Mayweather vs McGregor: What time will the fight start, what date is it on and who is predicted to win?


Champions League group-stage draw 2017 – when and what time is it, what TV channel and what are the teams?

New Zealand vs Australia, 2017 Rugby Championship – what time is the Bledisloe Cup, what TV channel is it on and what is our prediction?

Can America remove President Donald Trump from office?

Two years after opening Germany’s doors to refugees, Angela Merkel stands tall. How has she done it?

Which celebrities have these GCSEs?

‘I’m a student about to go to university, will I need a TV licence?’

And the Top Most Read stories today:


mcgregor mayweather


Posted: 24th, August 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Reviews, Sports, TV & Radio | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Chelsea balls: Conte out and Tuchel in a fact-free story designed for clickbait

How clickbait football reporting works in the Daily Telegraph. The paper has no news for Chelsea fans.

A: The Daily Telegraph’s football reporter Matt Law tweets:

Chelsea Tuchel MAtt Law


Chelsea are not interested in out-of-work German manager Thomas Tuchel. Got it.

B: The Daily Telegraph clickbait factory processes their top correspondent’s news. At 1:37 it reports:

Former Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel to replace Antonio Conte at Chelsea

Says who? Not Matt Law, the paper’s own expert. The Telegraph’s balls is linked to a story in German tabloid Bild. It says – and reading via Google translate is always fun:

The fuse of Klubinger Roman Abramovich and his confidante, the Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia, is now to be very brief in the Conte case. And Granovskaia, who is considered to be the most powerful woman in world football, has apparently already been informed about Tuchel in detail and has decided on him as a new Chelsea coach.

What makes sense is that the international tradeshow market is currently producing only two names that have worked successfully at the Champions League level at large clubs and are directly available. Next to Tuchel are Luis Enrique (47), who worked for FC Barcelona until the end of last season. However, his English is not exactly good. Advantage Tuchel, the language almost perfectly mastered.

In addition, Tuchel is more likely to lead young players at the highest level while at the same time inspiring the top stars for themselves, their work and their goals. Exactly with this, Conte had problems after winning the championship. He will be lured into the club.

So Tuchel has not been hired to replace Conte at Chelsea. And he’s tipped for the job because he speaks decent English. Don’t clear your locker just yet, Antonio.

Posted: 23rd, August 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal balls: Jack Wilshere hits ‘career low’ as Man City’s Smith auditions for the big time

How much editorial spin can be heaped upon Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere, who last night responded angrily to a late foul by Manchester City’s Matthew Smith as the pair contested an Under 23 encounter. (Wilshere is 25.) Once viewed as the greatest English player of his generation, Wishere has by way of injury and the emergence of brighter talents at Arsenal and elsewhere fallen well down the pecking order.

In the handbags that followed, Wilshere shoved Smith in the chest – the City player went down faster than a Love Island contestant, before clutching his head and laying in the foetal position for some time – and scrapped with Tyreke Wilson. Both Wilshere and Wilson were sent off. Smith was dispatched with a single bullet to the temple.

And the press?

Wilshere sent off for Arsenal after pushing opponent – Evening Standard

Jack Wilshere sent off for Arsenal after flooring Man City player – The Sun

It was a “career low” – The Sun

Jack Wilshere sent off for Arsenal to cast further doubt over his futureDaily Telegraph

After the hype, let’s leave you with the balls. Matthew Smith, take a bow… and keep going down and down and down until your nose hits the turf. (Tip: next time you audition for the Premier League, remember to slap the grass with an open hand as if you’re giving birth and to check the other hand – the one that’s been holding your head on – for signs of blood and brain.)


Posted: 22nd, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Broadsheets, Manchester City, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

After Barcelona: the driverless van hired by an innocent man

Carnage in Barcelona. Islamists have driven a truck into the city centre, murdering 13 and injuring 100 more. #punchanislamist is NOT trending on twitter, as #punchanazi has done. Barely a week has passed since a woman was killed by a nutcase at a far-Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Those gaggle of losers look like amateurs compared to Islamists.

The newspapers report on the horror. Do they mention Islamists at all? And know that Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the slaughter.

The Star spots “terrorists in a speeding white van” marauding down Las Ramblas. The Mirror says a “van was driven into crowds”. The “terrorist driving a van” ran into anyone in his path.

Both newspaper lead with a photo of Maghrebi Driss Oukabir, the Moroccan-born man suspected of hiring the van. He says his ID was stolen. He says he’s innocent. But Spanish police handed out his photo, and the media pepper his face over the papers.

The Star’s story makes not a single mention of Islamists. Odd, indeed, for a newspaper that once supporting he anti-Muslim EDL to leave religion out of it.

The Sun leads with “BARCELONA BASTARDS”. Again we seen Oukabir, now under arrest. We’re told the killer was a “maniac driver”. Was he an Islamist? The paper does not say. But we do hear over two pages about Driss Oukabir is a “fan of dope, rap & booze”. Well, that’s what it says on his Facebook Page, where his likes include Durex condoms, Heineken larger, marijuana, hip-hop and “several Islamist pages”.

As Durex and Heineken’s PRs wonder if all publicity is good publicity. we learn that Oukabir might have handed himself into the police. He’s innocent, then? No, says Piers Morgan, paragon of virtue, he’s a “snivelling, pathetic, loathsome, deluded cowardly little prick”. And presumed innocent, right?

Oukabir’s there again on the Express’s cover. It’s an old photo of the suspect from a past run-on with the police. Not much more on him is reported.

But the Times says Oukabir’s “identity documents were believed to have been used to rent” the van used in the attack. We learn that Oukabir walked into a police station in Ripoli, north of Barcelona, and said his papers had been stolen by his 18-year-old brother Moussa, who lives in Barcelona. Oukabir did hand himself in. We also learn that Oukabir likes Prison Break, the song AK47 by the Albanian rapper Noizy and has 725 friends on Facebook. None of them have been rounded up  nor abused by Piers Morgan – yet.

Only the Times makes “Islamists” the main thrust of its report, leading with “EVIL strikes again – Islamists mows down innocents in Barcelona.” You wonder why the other papers don’t?

Compare that to the Guardian, which begins: “Thirteen people were killed and at least 50 injured after a van rammed into a crowded street…” A van did it? “At around 5pm a large white Fiat van veered off the road… ploughing its way through the crowd…” It ended “by a colourful mosaic by the artist Joan Miro. It was here that the van, with its front bumper smashed up, came to a halt.” Words on the driver come there none. But the magic, driverless van’s on the mend.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 18th, August 2017 | In: Broadsheets, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Barcelona terror: the front pages

barcelona terror newspapers


barcelona terror newspapers barcelona terror newspapers barcelona terror newspapers barcelona terror newspapers barcelona terror newspapers barcelona terror newspapers barcelona terror newspapers barcelona terror newspapers

Posted: 18th, August 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Polly Tonybee misses the point about Kensington and Chelsea property tycoons

Polly Tonybee is writing about London property in the Guardian.

Empty property bought by investors to sit unused is a scandal the Guardian has exposed this week, finding 1,652 in the Grenfell borough of Kensington and Chelsea alone.

Why is buying expensive property a scandal? Tonybee says these “mothballed houses” ares”sitting there as gold bullion in the bank, not homes for anyone.” Are the kind of people who can afford to rent gold bullion-homes are of prime concern in the poster pats of London?

Even the prospect of collecting £10,000 a month is not enough to encourage wealthy owners to fill their vacant properties

Rich invest money to get richer. Not exactly news, is it, let alone a scandal on a par, say with blood diamonds or blowing the crap out of oil-rich Iraq? (What changes his mind?” asked Tonybee in 2003. Her question was rhetorical because she swiftly answered: “Only the barrel of a gun up his nostril.”)

She then adds this – and it’s great:

What happens at the top end of the market knocks on all down the chain – and what’s happening at the bottom is a disaster.

She’s right. And the top end is booming. If the big property developers build more, then good. No matter who buys the bricks, it’s the building of more than makes things work. The story should not be about affordable homes; it should be about more homes.

PS: Polly Tonybee knows all about foreigners buying property overseas and leaving it empty for most of the time. She owns a second home in Tuscany. It’s all that non-working-class Left-wing politics. Hold the equality and fighting the powerful, Polly’s into class guilt, the family firm and prejudice.

PPS: This from 2016: “More than 7,500 local authority properties across the capital are lying empty as thousands of Londoners struggle to find a home.”

Posted: 4th, August 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Money | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Daily Telegraph says Prince Philip has died – regret the error

Prince Philips has retired from public service. The Prince has completed his final public engagement, of which there have been 22,219 since 1952.

But over in the Daily Telegraph no work means you’re dead!


Prince Philip dead



The story goes:

The Duke of Edinburgh, the longest-serving consort to a monarch in British history, has died at the age of XX, Buckingham Palace has announced.

“Prince Philip, whom the Queen described as her ‘strength and stay’ during her record-breaking reign, passed away XXXXXXX


“He will be given a royal ceremonial funeral in line with his wishes, which is expected to take place in seven days’ time.””

Clock’s ticking, Phil…

Posted: 3rd, August 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Did the Kosher Conspiracy do for Kevin Myers – sacked for using anti-Semitic tropes in the Sunday Times?

The Sunday Times has sacked Kevin Myers for his appalling article on the BBC gender pay gap. In it, Myers looked own the list of BBC earners and picked out Vanessa Feltz and Claudia Winkleman. The two Jews, he suggested, earned more because of their Jewishness.

The story is no longer on the paper’s website but you can see part of it below:


Sunday Times Kevin Myers Jews


Myers wrote:

I note that two of the best-paid women presenters in the BBC – Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz, with whose, no doubt, sterling work I am tragically unacquainted – are Jewish. Good for them. Jews are not generally noted for their insistence on selling their talent for the lowest possible price, which is the most useful measure there is of inveterate, lost-with-all-hands stupidity. I wonder, who are their agents?”

Myers has gone. The paper has apologised. But how did the nastiness ever make it into print in the first place? Frank Fitzgibbon, editor of the Sunday Times Ireland, tells everyone: “As the editor of the Ireland edition, I take full responsibility for this error of judgement.”

Judgement? He means the story was looked at and approved? And what of Myers, who in 2009, wrote for the Irish Independent:

“There was no holocaust (or Holocaust, as my computer software insists) and six million Jews were not murdered by the Third Reich. These two statements of mine are irrefutable truths.”

That article remained online until yesterday. Didn’t the Sunday Times know what it was getting with Myers on the payroll? Didn’t it just get what it paid for?



Irish Indy Kein Myers holocaust



The New Statesman’s ‘Media Mole’ says Myers has been sacked for using an “antisemitic trope”. It goes on:

The Irish edition of the Sunday Times operates separately from the UK versions of the Times and Sunday Times. However, the column’s appearance on the is likely to reflect on the brand as a whole.

Rival organs like to stick the boot in, using the others’ pain to bolster their own sound morals. But readers might recall the New Statesman’s vile cover which employed another anti-Semitic trope, that of Jews being only out for themselves:


anti-Semitic new statesman kosher conspiracy


Its editor followed up:

“The cover was not intended to be anti-Semitic, the New Statesman is vigorously opposed to racism in all its forms. But it used images and words in such a way as to create unwittingly the impression that the New Statesman was following an anti-Semitic tradition that sees the Jews as a conspiracy piercing the heart of the nation.

“I doubt very much that one single person was provoked into hatred of Jews by our cover. But I accept that a few anti-Semites (as some comments on our website, quickly removed, suggested) took aid and comfort when it appeared that their prejudices were shared by a magazine of authority and standing.”

It’s funny how so many intelligent, sensitive and compassionate people keep getting it wrong and coming across as anti-Semitic bastards. But – hey-ho – you can’t legislate for your readers’ misunderstanding.

Sunday Times cartoon shows bloodstained Netanyahu burying Obama in his wall of death

Posted: 31st, July 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Casual anti-Semitism creeps into a Times story on BBC pay: Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz are Jews

Kevin Myers writes in the Sunday Times:

I note that two of the best-paid women presenters in the BBC — Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz, with whose, no doubt, sterling work I am tragically unacquainted — are Jewish.

Good for them. Jews are not generally noted for their insistence on selling their talent for the lowest possible price, which is the most useful measure there is of inveterate, lost-with-all-hands stupidity.

I wonder, who are their agents? If they’re the same ones that negotiated the pay for the women on the lower scales, then maybe the latter have found their true value in the marketplace.


bbc jews


Ouch. How did that one slip past the editors?

sunday times jews bbc


Update: The Times online has removed the article.

PS: the Jewish Chronicle notes:

When the BBC reported on its list of highest-paid broadcasters on its News at Ten last night, it said there was no one from an ethnic background in the top 20.

Which was wrong (well, wrong depending on your definition of ethnic minority). For the top 20 included two Jewish women – Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz.

Spotter: Mat Morrison


Posted: 30th, July 2017 | In: Broadsheets, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Brexit supporting Daily Mail plans to stay in the EU by relocating to Ireland

The Daily Mail’s owners are considering relocating from Kensington, London, to Ireland (EU). The Times reports:


daily mail brexit


July 1, 2017:

Spencer-Churchill also let slip that the Daily Mail’s publishers are considering upping sticks after the Brexit vote. “I was talking to my friend Viscount Rothermere yesterday,” he said. “He’s thinking about moving his whole operation of Associated Newspapers [now DMG Media] to Ireland.” So much for crushing the saboteurs.

Previously in the Mail:

daily mail brexit


Take a bow (out), Daily Mail!

Spotter: @bellamackie

Posted: 23rd, July 2017 | In: Broadsheets, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Charlie Gard is being represented by the Voluntary Euthanasia Society

charlie gard


How well do you know your lawyer? Always an idea to check their credentials. As Charlie Gard’s apparent have discovered, you might not always get the ideal representation:

Charlie Gard’s parents have privately expressed their concern after discovering that the lawyer appointed to represent their 11-month-old son in court heads a charity that backs assisted dying.

No that private, then. To whom did they express their concerns, the media? This case is being played out in the news media, where emotion is the watchword and subjectivity belongs to a bygone age.

Victoria Butler-Cole, who speaks on Charlie’s behalf in court, is chairman of Compassion in Dying, a sister organisation to Dignity in Dying which campaigns for a change in the law to make assisted dying legal in the UK.


Dignity in Dying used to be called the Voluntary Euthanasia Society.

Whose doing the volunteering? Charlie Gard’s not. His parents aren’t. Strangers are. Well-meaning, strangers, yes, but nonetheless, strangers.

Spotter: Daily Telegraph

Posted: 17th, July 2017 | In: Broadsheets | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Jeremy Corbyn only wants a little peace (of pizza) and genocide denial

Jeremy Corbyn has been “enjoying pizza” with a man who supports “Syrian dictator” Bashar Assad. The Sun has spotted Corbyn eating, nay “scoffing” with “pro-Russian journalist Marcus Papadopoulos”. One Washington newspaper calls Papadopoulos a “Russian agent”.


Marcus Papadopoulos corbyn pizza


Most of us have no idea who Papadopoulos is lest what his opinions are. Helpfully, the Sun has searched Google and can tell us that last year Papadopoulos tweeted: “There was no siege of #Sarajevo, there was no genocide at #Srebrenica and there was no massacre at #Aleppo. Discard what Western media says”. This year he opined: “President Assad, the guardian of Christians in #Syria, celebrating Easter. I stand with him 100%…”

So much for the Sarajevo Roses. A Guardian leader article called Srebrenica a “place of horror that ranks alongside Auschwitz”. The one deed the dead can perform on behalf of the living is allowing us to bear witness to their suffering and the consequences of our freedom. Would you deny them that honour?

But no matter. Corbyn can explain. The Labour leader who was simply reaching out when he invited “friends” at jihad-endorsing, Jew-hating Hamas to take tea in Parliament (Hamas’s charter declares: “The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: ‘The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!”) and has a proclivity for sharing platforms with anti-Semites is yet again an innocent.

The Sun quotes a “Labour spokesman” who says Mr Corbyn had been “joined briefly by Mr Papadopolous [sic], who asked to be photographed with Jeremy. Photographs of Jeremy with members of the public do not mean he endorses their views, as is the case on this occasion too.”

Do the two men know each other? The Times adds that Mr Papadopoulos “is editor of Politics First, a bi-monthly magazine with a circulation of just over 1,000. Mr Corbyn wrote for its last issue.”

So much for the right-wing Press’s view on the pizza date. What say the Mirror and Guardian on the matter? Nothing. Not a word. Is it a sign of information denial? Is news about feeling good and moralising journalists attaching themselves to pet causes, or is it about presenting the facts and trusting your readers?

Things are taking a nasty turn. It’s not politics that supports Corbyn; it’s a personality cult. And it’s dangerous.

Posted: 12th, July 2017 | In: Broadsheets, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Army to recruit ranking officers from civilian world

There’s going to be a whole new rank of the officer class to send fighting men and women into battle. It’s not the politicians and toffs anymore screaming “CHARGE!” it’s the block who used to order stationery for the office, whatshername from logistics and Neville the drone enthusiast – he’s going to bomb Berlin from his garden in Melton Mowbray:

Army leaders will be recruited direct from the civilian world rather than rising up through the ranks, under a proposed overhaul to bring in specialist skills for 21st century warfare.

The plan to hire straight into the regular Army’s middle and possibly even higher ranks will overturn generations of tradition and a career structure that has seen leaders work their way up from the bottom.

Spotter: Telegraph

Posted: 10th, July 2017 | In: Broadsheets | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

RSPCA moves to become an unaccountable police force

Your home can be invaded at any tine if you own a pet and a charity suspects all it not well.

The RSPCA wants to be allowed to enter private property to seize pets in England and Wales.

The charity is in talks with the Government and police chiefs to negotiate new powers which will allow it to enter gardens, sheds and outhouses without an officer present.

An private police force in your home is progress?

Under current rules the RSPCA has to contact the local police force and wait for an officer to arrive if they believe an animal is in distress on private property.

Belief should always be questioned. But the RSPA want it enforced.

But if granted special statutory powers, its 33 officers would be able to remove animals from private land without police permission – though the powers do not extend to entering a private home.

First they came for your goldfish…

Spotter: The Indy


Posted: 9th, July 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal balls: the Alexandre Lacazette fact file

Always good when a new name arrives into the Premier League. The Daily Mail looks for a photogenic lover. And the Daily Telegraph produces insight into the player’s career and life by looking at YouTube videos and the, er, Daily Mail.

The Telegraph has gone big on Alexandre Lacazette, the Frenchman kept out of the France national side by Olivier Giroud – he’s wanted by Everton – and seemingly on his way to Arsenal.

One story asks Tele readers: “Alexandre Lacazette: why are Arsenal buying him, what are they getting and will he be a success?” Readers aren’t sure. Will he be a success? Presumably Arsenal are buying him in the hope he’ll score lots of goals. The paper’s Daniel Zeqiri says Arsenal have bought him to score “goals”. Now we know.

As for other questions, well, they keep on coming:

Why did the club not buy him last summer if they deemed him good enough? Will he play with Alexis Sánchez or is he a replacement? Why does Olivier Giroud play ahead of him for France? Is he really an upgrade on existing options?

Readers of a big national newspaper with large resources might expect answers to those questions to come from someone at Arsenal or Lyon, Lacazette’s current club – or at least be put to them. But the story contains not a single word from the club on their likely new striker.

“Why did Arsenal not sign him previously?” asks Zeqiri. It’s a rhetorical question because he soon replies: “One can only speculate.” If you want to know if he’s any good, you can “glance at the goalscoring charts and the advanced scouting tool known as YouTube”.

Happily, writers have watched short videos of the player and can tell Arsenal fans what he’s all about:

Zeqiri says the Frenchman is..:

…a player who can finish and scores a variety of goals; tap-ins, dinks, side-foot finishes into the far corner à la Thierry Henry and strikes from distance. Lacazette is also quite strongly right-footed…

He is sharp across short distances, but is not really a sprinter capable of shredding defences with speed in behind in the manner of Henry or a young Nicolas Anelka. Lacazette’s movement is more economical, relying on subtle movements in tight spaces, which puts him closer to the van Persie end of the Arsenal striker spectrum.

He sounds fantastic, a combination of former Arsenal captains Robin Van Perise and Thierry Henry, but not all that quick.

Or as the Daily Mail’s Adam Crafton says:

Lacazette is perfectly suited to Arsenal’s needs, with sharp technical instincts and a brutal turn of pace.

And there’s Sachin Nakrani in the Guardian:

“Lacazette is a natural talent,” says Julien Brun, a Paris-based commentator for beIN Sports. “Physically he is not that strong but he is very fast, hard-working and clever.”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 4th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Broadsheets, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

The Tories are rubbish but poll says we don’t want a Labour government

Labour Tories May Corbyn poll


Not much demand to overthrow the Government is there, according to this poll in the Times.

A Tory Party bereft of ideas with an illiberal ‘dead woman walking’ as a leader and yet Labour remains unattractive and less trusted on the biggest challenge. Corbyn’s hollowed-out Labour might be ready to form a government, as he keeps telling us they are, but we don’t want them to.

Glastonbury, however, does. And he’s very much at home in that hard-bordered, middle-class police state.


Posted: 23rd, June 2017 | In: Broadsheets, News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal Balls: Mesut Ozil kisses the badge but Welbeck get Sanchez’s Number 7 shirt

Transfer Balls: The Daily Telegraph no longer exists to report news. It exits to foster rumour on the back of unbelievable fantasy and what it dramatically calls “cryptic messages” –  and the rest of us call tweets. In today’s Telegraph, we read that Arsenal fans are “rejoicing” in the news that “Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez have helped launch the club’s new 2017/18 kit”.

Anyone not reading that with a jaundiced eye hasn’t been using the internet and noticing how newspapers have gone from informing from gathering facts to churning continual denial and assertion. So the fact that two employees of a club bother to model the club’s new kit is a matter of intrigue and guesswork designed to entice.

The paper spins the launch of a new kit into: “The pair’s presence in the promotional material for the new kit will give Arsenal fans renewed hope that they will both extend their contracts with the club.”


arsenal balls


Arsenal fans rejoice! Just as you rejoiced when before the 2012-2013 season, Arsenal’s then captain Robin van Persie pulled on the latest kit. He left soon afterwards to play for Manchester United.

Oh, and just to ensure all bases are covered the Telegraph then belches this out:


arsenal balls


No. They don’t accidentally do anything.

Posted: 21st, June 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Broadsheets, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Peak Clickbait: Arsenal player transfers to Arsenal

Have we reached peak clickbait in the Daily Telegraph? In “Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to leave Arsenal? Seven destinations and seven replacements”, the paper of record ticks all the boxes in how to create clicks from nothing.


clickbait arsenal telegraph


Having asked the question to which you’d once-upon-a-time have expected a national newspaper with experts to answer – and the answer is always ‘No’ to any question posed in a headline – the paper then sets about making a Transfer Balls list.


The Tele argues that Oxlade-Chamberlain could leave Arsenal for – deep breath – Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, West Ham, Everton, Manchester United and…Arsenal! Can you leave and remain at the same club?

As the paper mangles the English language, it also lists 7 players who could replace the underwhelming Ox. One of them is Kylian Mbappe, a striker, which Oxlade-Chamberlain most certainly isn’t.


Posted: 20th, June 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Broadsheets, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Times journalist calls everyone who doesn’t vote Labour a ‘c**t’

Times journalist Caitlin Moran has reportedly tweeted: “Obviously there’s more nuanced take on this, but, broadly, voting Labour = not being a cunt.”


Caitlin Moran Labour


In November 2016, the Sunday Times interviewed Conservative leader Theresa May – a non-Labour voter, like Tobias Ellwood, and millions more ‘deplorables’ who don’t agree with Labour and vote Conservative, SNP, Green, LibDem, Co-operative, Democratic Unionist, Plaid Cymru, Sinn Féin, UKIP, Ulster Unionist Party or no-one. One section in Eleanor Mills’ story stood out:

A few weeks ago, I attended the Women of the Year awards lunch, where May spoke and presented an award to Margaret Aspinall, chairwoman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, whose son James died in the Hillsborough disaster. Margaret Thatcher once told Aspinall that the police were doing “their job, my dear, their job”. May, by contrast, paid tribute to the families in their long fight for justice. In the queue for the ladies after the lunch, I chatted to another Hillsborough mum and asked what she thought of the prime minister.

“We’ve seen many politicians over the years,” she said, raising her eyes to heaven. “Theresa’s the only one who ever came through for us.”

Moran’s comment is nasty. The unpleasantness of those who claim to be most caring is jarring. To present swathes of people as inferior beings – Untermensch – is not enlightened. We should have more faith in one another. Humanity is underrated. Of course, it’s not only voices on the moralising Left writing off people who disagree with them as trash.
Corbyn the sun bin

This man is rubbish – actual rubbish

One other thing about was noteworthy: it showed that the Times employs writers with differing opinions. You cannot abuse Moran for toeing the line. Yesterday’s Times‘ editorial backed the Tories:
“The Conservatives have fought a poor campaign. Their manifesto includes policies lifted wholesale from Ed Miliband’s Labour platform of 2015, and a headline strategy on social care that was brave in principle but botched in practice.

“Mrs May has been pitched to voters as her party’s strongest asset but she has proved wooden when she needed to show charisma. She has been inflexible when she needed to think on her feet and evasive when she needed to be honest.

“That she is nonetheless by far the best prospective prime minister on offer speaks volumes about the choice voters must make tomorrow.”

In other news: Caitlin Moran’s tweet has been deleted.

Posted: 8th, June 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Celebrities | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0