Top news from The Times, Daily Telegraph, The Indepedent and The Guardian newspapers
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.
The Daily Telegraph has illustrated an advertorial on Venice with a photo of The Venetian hotel, Las Vegas.
Spotter: Lucy Fisher
Jessica Valenti is writing about gender unfairness in the Guardian. The headline to her story: “Women are overpriced.” Ha!
A report this month on products in the UK found something very similar: when it came to the same products marketed differently for men and women, there was a whopping 37% difference in price. Beauty products, toys, everything. It doesn’t even get better as you age: adding insult to injury, women are even charged more for adult diapers.
Beyond the profound unfairness of having to pay more for the same products (while making less money, to boot!) there’s something quite frustrating about the fact that shopping is something that has long been used to paint women as frivolous and financially irresponsible.
Got that? Women are unfairly portrayed as frivolous, says Valenti, because they didn’t realise (i.e. bother to check) they are over-paying for stuff.
It’s January. Football’s transfer window is open. Manchester United goalie David De Gea has a new Facebook profile photo.
Did you join the dots?
The Telegraph, did. It takes the updated photo as a sign that De Gea is preparing to leave Manchester United, causing “mild panic” to spread among the club’s supporters.
Why all the fuss? Well, chiefly because there’s no United badge on De Gea’s shirt.
De Gea is communicating in code.
But has the Telegraph missed a trick? Our pals at Pies have rotated the De Gea symbol 90 degrees…
Simon Danczuk, the sleazy Labour MP for Rochdale, is wrapped around the news like a randy middle-aged man at a bridal shower. The smart move would be for mired Simon to undergo a sex change and emerge as Margaret, or Cherie, a sultry temptress who can make a decent stab at being Woman of the Year, thus cementing his role as the British man / woman most likely to shag a Kardashian, or become one.
Let’s round-up the news.
Sunday Times (front page): “Wives at war over Disgraced Danczuk”
On the cover we see sportswear enthusiast and nipple wrangler Karen Danczuk, Simon wife Number 2.
The scandal engulfing the Labour MP for Rochdale erupted in sexual claims and counter-claims after both his ex-wives, his former girlfriend and the young woman with whom he was caught exchanging sex messages became engaged in a war of words.
Pull up a chair. This is juicier than a Gwyneth Paltrow dinner party.
Danczuk accused Sonia Rossington, the mother of his two oldest children, of demanding a “six-figure sum” to “dish the dirt on me” by peddling “untrue allegations . . . of a criminal nature”.
In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Rossington claimed that he had driven her into therapy with drug and alcohol-fuelled bullying and obsessive demands for sex.
More on that later. For now, Simon says:
“She has chosen not to take them to police but to a newspaper instead… She has not moved on and remains embittered to the point where she has prevented me from seeing or having a close relationship with my children. She has also become obsessed with trying to ruin my political career.”
He’s issued a statement:
“Ever since I was elected an MP in 2010 she has been pestering journalists, trying to spread malicious falsehoods and defamatory allegations about me. I am led to believe she’s been trying to get newspapers to enter a bidding war, asking for a six-figure sum for interviews to ‘dish the dirt’ on me.
“Out of respect for the fact she is the mother to two of my children I have not responded to her continual abuse and…”
So says Simon to the media, a man now Danczuk suspended from the Labour party after he exchanged sex texts with the then 17-year-old Sophena Houlihan.And on her:
Last night it was claimed that Houlihan, now 18, has been working as a dominatrix.
You want more on that? Of course you do. The People notes:
She was 17 when Labour MP Danczuk, 49, sent text messages in which he said he was “horny” and asked if she wanted spanking. The teenager claimed to be shocked by those “sexts” – but on a website Sophena called herself Goddess Rosalie Von Morelli, a financial dominatrix.
She used the site to sell used and worn thongs, “frenchies” and knickers for £15 a pair, and offered bras and toe-nail clippings for £10 a time.
Cue Karen Karen Danczuk, who tweets about Sonia:
“Sell your body for sex . . . I’d sit back and think before you speak. An ex friend of someone sent me explicit photos & evidence of ‘escorting’ . . . amongst other things.”
Rossington says she’s not and never has been a prostitute. She says:
“I’m aware of this, he threatened it years ago. Danczuk does smear, it’s quite easy [to] go through intimate marital pictures of us when we were together and create a false incriminating profile of me on certain websites.”
Over pages 6 and 7, Camilla Long tucks into the Danczuks. It’s sex, sex and sex.
A new relationship with a Labour councillor called Claire Hamilton failed after four months of public snogging and a threesome (amazingly not in public) in which Hamilton kissed Karen for “about an hour” while Danczuk took pictures. Hamilton eventually dumped Danczuk after she claimed he cheated on her, saying she had “no idea” how many women he had “been messaging on Twitter”. She guessed “a lot”…
Nearly a year ago, he was caught favouriting hardcore pornography on Twitter while he was out canvassing for the election. He said he was “a man of the world”, so of course he watched porn, but in this case it was an accident. His phone clicked on the porn owing to a fault. He seemed convincing, even though he was an MP blaming his own telephone for driving him to sex…
The Mirror (front page): “DISGRACED MP ‘ CRIED LIKE A BABY”
It’s super snogger Claire Hamilton. Labour Councillor Claire says:
“He craves attention so much from anywhere he can get it, but he’s sunk to a new low this time. He told me he had come up with a plan for 2016 to make more money out of the celebrity and press side of things than from being an MP.”
Achievement unlocked. And the sex…
“He said he’d been messaging this teenage singer on Twitter when he was up late or couldn’t sleep in the early hours about ‘life and music and stuff’. I asked if the messages were friendly or intimate and why text someone so young? He wouldn’t tell me or show me the messages”…
“He was saying ‘I’m sorry, Claire, I’m sorry.’ I packed his bag and gave him it. He was crying like a baby. I went on Twitter straight away and typed ‘Danczuk dumped’. I didn’t want to give myself any chance to go back – it was over, done.”
Twitter is so definitive.
“I felt emotionally drained that he was in touch with someone so young. He obviously thought he had a chance with her because he essentially wanted us to have an open relationship. Having now seen the texts, I feel physically stick to my stomach.”
Pass the toenails…
The Sun (front page): “SEX TEXT MP: I LOVE YOUNG WOMEN”
“Younger women are my Achilles heel. My first wife was ten years younger than me, my second wife was 17 years younger, my last girlfriend is 17 years younger. Some men like older women, some like younger women, some like brunettes, some like blondes.”
Some like having their balls slammed in the car door. It’s a funny old world.
Daily Mail (front page): “My Years of Abuse from Sex Text MP”
It’s Sonia. We’ll skip to the sex:
When she complained about him having sex with her, while she slept at 3am, he told her: ‘You’re my wife. I can have sex with you whenever I want.’ She said: ‘You learned not to cross him. He would say to me “If you get on the wrong side of me I will destroy you”. And he means it – he wants to take you down so you have nothing, not even a way of making a living.
‘I’ve been in therapy for years over this. I was terrified of relationships. I was afraid of so many things. Simon has cast a long shadow over my life.’
It gets sinister:
…when he came to bed he would have sex with me, interrupting my sleep. I would just wake up and it would be happening. It was always in the missionary position.
‘After a few weeks I was so exhausted I said to him “Please stop this” – but he tried to make me believe it was me who was initiating it. I was so confused. I thought I was going mad. I had no recollection of this at all. I started covering up, wearing long johns, pyjamas, socks, anything to make it more difficult for this to happen. I asked him to stop again.
Bit odd, no?
‘But this went on for months. I thought I was going mad. If it was me initiating things why was he always on top? So I decided to stay awake and see what he actually did and try to find out the truth. What happened was sly and awful.
‘He’d sneak into the room, take off his clothes and peel back the bed covers, roll me on to my back, open my legs and start having sex with me. I let him do this a few times, pretending to be asleep and even tried to record it on a camera, but of course it was dark.
‘I confronted him about it later. I said, “I know what you do and I want it to stop. I can’t believe you tried to make me think it was me initiating things.” He said, “It’s a husband having sex with his wife”.
‘He said, “Listen, Sonia. This is the deal. You are my wife and it’s expected from a wife to give her husband sex whenever he wants it. If you don’t give it to me when I want it I’ll go and look elsewhere.” I burst into tears. But after that he carried on for months with a much more careless attitude.
‘He would throw the blankets off and roll me over though he only took 15-20 seconds to finish.’
Simon has mentioned “injunctions” and layers, He says Sonia’s words are “unfounded and malicious”.
To which we can only add: Danczuk for Labour Leader! The campaign starts here…
Did you read the story on the Paris kindergarten teacher stabbed in the neck by a jihadi who told her this “was for Daesh”?
The Independent reported the news as fact, even identifying the weapon:
Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith had lots of facts:
A hooded man shouting allegiance to Isis has stabbed a nursery school teacher in the throat in his Paris classroom. The attack, which happened a month and a day after the jihadist massacres in France, took place before children arrived at a state nursery school in Aubervilliers, just north of the Paris city boundary.
But CNN reports that the man “made up the attack.” The teacher is in the hospital with wounds but it’s not clear how they were actually caused.
The Independent’s report is complete and utter balls.
Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud is playing very well. Having scored a hat-trick in Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Olympiakos in the Champions League, the Frenchman is feeling confident. But the Daily Star has grim news:
Can it be that Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, is threatening his star turn, the man whose goals saved the Gunners’ blushes? Is he axing Giroud, the player who has scored 11 goals in his last 14 matches for Arsenal?
No. It’s balls.
“I think he is in the same league as [the very best],” says Wenger at his Press conference. “He plays for one of the best clubs in Europe and he scores goals. If you look at the number of games and the number of goals, you have to give him credit. I think he’s among the best strikers in Europe.
“He is not only a goalscorer, he’s a guy who puts work in for the team. If you look at his record, I believe he has special qualities that are difficult to find, but of course you want him to be efficient as well.
“Where he has improved a lot is his link play with the other players, and that’s very important in our team. He’s a guy who wants always to improve and he has a positive mentality, and a strong one. I think that’s why he has come back in a very strong way.
“We are in a job where you have to accept that in every game, you are questioned. In his job, as a centre forward, [it’s] even more. If you don’t score for three games, you’re questioned again. That’s part of the job.”
Not threat. No axe. Other than that the Star is spot on.
So how did the Star manage to create the story that Giroud is being dropped from Wenger praising the player’s form and talent? From this?
“He had a breather and came in and out,” Wenger continues. “I think I will have to do that again because it is so demanding now and he has a game that demands a lot of energy. Sometimes you need a breather in that squad.”
Such are the facts.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says he will buy…no-one on the January trasnfer window. He wants to give his existing players a chance.
Well, so says the Telegraph – which is wrong.
But what Klopp actually said was that Liverpool cold buy a player. Maybe.
“It’s much more important to work with people and if you trust them they have to feel it – and not just for two days but for a longer time…
“If we need something we will do it, not talk about it before. In this moment I don’t think about it. No one should be in doubt that we are prepared for any situation. We have 24 hours always at work.
“We always watch players on video but if we take them in winter, in summer or never I don’t know at this moment.”
In short: if we buy anyone, we won’t be advertising the fact in the media.
Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal has news for the club’s fans: your team isn’t as good as it was when it was winning things season on season.
Man United no longer dominate the Barclays Premier League and target top European honours as they did under Sir Alex Ferguson. Van Gaal says anyone looking at the past and expecting a repeat is in dream land.
He told the Press:
“I am working very hard and my players are working very hard to do everything we can. The problem is that we have to meet with expectations and the expectations at Manchester United are very high. That is our problem. You can see there were a lot of positive things [during the Champions League defeat by Wolfsburg], but if you don’t want to see that, that’s not my problem. I work hard, my players work hard and now we are in the Europa League and we have to work hard to win that. That is not easy, but nobody hears that.
“They don’t want to hear me. They say a club like Manchester United has to win. That’s the past. You have to analyse the club now. [You cannot] compare it with ten years ago, because there has been an evolution in football, European football. It is not as easy as everybody thinks. Now we have many more clubs [in England and in Europe] who have money, and the structure to win things. Next year, all the clubs in the Premier League have a bigger budget than most of the clubs in Europe. That makes a big difference. Every club can buy a player: the difference [in the transfer market] is not so big.
“You think Manchester United has a lot of money, that is true, but the difference [with others] is not so big any more. The confirmation is every week. The bottom clubs can beat the top teams. There is no other league that this happens as often as it does in the Premier League. That makes it very difficult for a Premier League club to match [teams] from other leagues in the Champions League.”
“We shall do everything to win something, but it is very difficult. It is not only difficult for Manchester United. It is also difficult for Manchester City and Liverpool, Arsenal or Chelsea or Leicester.”
Leicester City did not spend more than £250 million on players, as United have done since Van Gaal took over at Old Trafford. Money matter – but it can’t be the only reason teams win.
Oliver Kay tells Times readers:
Does Van Gaal really want to play the money game? OK, Louis, you asked for this. For the year ending June 2015, Manchester United’s turnover was £395.2 million. The corresponding figure for this season has been forecast to break £500 million and, if it falls slightly short, it will only be because their slice of Champions League revenue has dropped as a result of their elimination at the group stage…
By contrast, PSV Eindhoven, who took four points from them in that Champions League group, generated £45 million in revenue in 2013-14 and if their accounts have been swollen since then, it has only been through the £40 million they raised by selling their two most marketable players, Georgino Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay, to Newcastle United and Manchester United.
Which makes you wonder at United’s transfer policy. It’s not just about having more money than your opponent – thank God – it’s about what you do with it. And right now, United are investing badly.
PS: Man United play Bournemouth today in what will be the first league meeting between the two clubs. Annual turnover (2013-14) Bournemouth £10.1m v Man United £433m. Easy, then.United will win by 40 goals to 1.
Who can be blamed for Manchester United crashing out of the Champions League in the group stages? It’s worth noting that this is an improvement on last season, when United failed to even qualify for European football’s biggest tournament.
The Mail says the buck starts and stops with United manager Louis Van Gaal, who is “hammered for his abysmal tactics”. Martin Samuel says United lost “because they could not not pick ip an old-fashioned big lad in the penalty area at set-pieces”.
As Van Gaal admits to his side going “backwards”, Chris Wheeler says United’s owners, the Glazer family, want to extend his contract beyond 2017.
No evidence that they do. But just saying it is enough to start that most wanted to tabloid aims: a heated debate.
Overall, though, the papers are split between leading with a dejected Van Gaal…
…or a his over-paid, under-talented side:
Any United fans in need to a laugh – or at best a distraction – can look to the Mirror, where David McDonnell delivers a tortuous intro:
And so it proved Emission Impossible for Manchester United as their Champions League campaign spluttered to a halt.
Wolfsburg may have been rocked by the emissions scandal that has engulfed sponsors Volkswagen, but last night it was the Reds who were left on the hard shoulder of European football.
As you wince at that, better, perhaps, to turn to the Times, where Henry Winter is in his pomp:
Embarrassing. Manchester United deservedly departed the Champions League because they defended like amateurs, not like elite professionals. They were drawn in an easier group than Manchester City yet find themselves in the Europa League. Welcome to Thursdays. Excruciating.
And Van Gaal?
Van Gaal’s reputation was damaged here. For United’s biggest game of the season, he took two eye-catching decisions. Guillermo Varela, the 22-year-old Uruguayan who made his debut against West Ham United on Saturday, started at right back; he made a couple of good tackles, but betrayed his inexperience by getting dragged into the centre, gifting André Schürrle space outside.
More controversial was Van Gaal’s decision to field Marouane Fellaini alongside Bastian Schweinsteiger with Michael Carrick kicking his heels on the bench and having to wait until 20 minutes from time for his 70th Champions League appearance. Fellaini lost the ball twice in the opening five minutes and did little to stop Wolfsburg’s counterattacks.
Which can all be summed by two words from the Sun: “Van Damned.”
Yesterday Bournemouth beat Chelsea 0-1 at Stamford Bridge. It was cracking result for the south coast club playing for the first time in the Premier League.
But in the Times, Rory Smith has a word to the wise:
More Jose Mourinho sacking news now. The Times leads with a story that the Chelsea boss is “in last chance” to save his job.
Matt Hughes says José Mourinho has been told that “he must guide Chelsea into the knockout stages of the Champions League this week to safeguard his position as manager”.
Win a single point against Porto on Wednesday and Chelsea qualify for the round of 16 – “Defeat, though, could bring the end of Mourinho’s second spell as manager at Stamford Bridge.”
From a headline stating Mourinho has one chance, to a story beneath it that the Portuguese could be given more last chances. The Times has no idea.
And neither does the Daily Mirror, which reports that Chelsea “could sack manager Jose Mourinho whether or not they beat Porto in the Champions League on Wednesday”.
The Sun hedges its bets, giving Mourinho two games to save his job. It sticks a wet finger in the air and discovers that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich “may act if the Blues lose to Porto and then against leaders Leicester in the Premier League next weekend”.
Or else, he may not.
Such are the facts.