Top news from The Times, Daily Telegraph, The Indepedent and The Guardian newspapers
THE TELEGRAPH: “Esther Rantzen: Fear of paedophiles is harming children”
Esther Rantzen has admitted she blames herself for raising fears of paedophiles to such a degree that adults are now scared to help crying children.
Rantzen! Last week the Telegraph brought us: “Baroness Neuberger: Children will grow up not trusting anyone in Britain’s risk-averse society”
Very soon everyone will be agreeing with this new premise, it being the way opinion is formed: one celebrity says something; another agrees; the media reports it as fact; all hacks agree; a woman in the Daily Mail says she disagrees; a reader says it’s “common sense gone mad”; a celebrity agrees; and so on and on…
The veteran broadcaster, who founded the counselling service ChildLine, warned that young people are now being harmed by the widespread suspicion that anyone who has contact with children could be a child abuser.
Well, they could be…
A report on cannabis prepared for next year’s UN drug policy review will suggest that a “regulated market” would cause less harm than the current international prohibition. The report, which is likely to reopen the debate about cannabis laws, suggests that controls such as taxation, minimum age requirements and labelling could be explored.
(Image: Beau Bo D’Or Website)
Says the Guardian:
A FEATURE on thriller writer John le Carré in the Sunday Times:
“JOHN le Carré: I nearly left the West” – how the writer wanted to “defect to the Soviet Union during the Cold War” – Sunday Times headline.
“I had from time to time placed myself intellectually in the shoes of those on one side of the Curtain who took the short walk to the other… Only when traduced by your editors does it acquire such disproportionate and damaging significance” – John le Carré letters to the Sunday Times
How newspapers work…
And it’s a good job that the Bank of Cameron is open, but not all that good, maybe, if Lady Louise Patten, wife of Tory education minister John, is running things.
Until recently she was a non-executive director of Bradford & Bingley, aka Bring & Buy, aka Boom & Bust etc.
And there is Christopher Gent, director of Lehman Brothers, who has given tens of thousands of pounds to the Tories.
THE Sydney Morning Herald illustrates its coverage of John McCain’s claim that his Vice Presidential running mate Sarah Palin’s family had taken a $US20,000 dollar hit in falling stock prices made her an “ordinary Joe” in fact a “six pack” Babe…
As AGW puts it:
PRINCESS Diana’s “engagement blouse” is to go under the hammer.
Not literally, although sending shards of the fabric to all corners of the world would surely be a gesture of great spiritual meaning. For such reasons, a miniature of the Diana wedding dress made from the greater wedding dress material is to also up for sale. More miniatures may be in the offing.
The Telegraph says the engagement blouse is being put up for sale by Elizabeth Emanuel, who tells us:
“It is sad, especially for me, but I don’t know what to do with them … There comes a point where it is so expensive to store.”
Yes, what with property prices so high in London, the space occupied by a blouse can go for as much £3million to £4million.
PAUL Newman is dead, and the Mirror’s Sue Carroll salutes the “family man”.
Newman had six children, three from an early marriage that ended in divorce and three with actress Joanne Woodward, whom he married in 1958.
A two family man.
WHAT’S the Turner Prize all about then? Are Cathy Wilkes, Goshka Macuga, Mark Leckey, and Runa Islam three women and a man trying to win a prize, or are they three women and man trying not to win a prize? Their surnames are listed in Reverse alphabetical order, which might mean something.
Anorak has once again entered Vomit In Sock, our installation that grows with the times and reflects the changing diet of the modern British palate: see Vomit In Leg Warmer (1983); Vomit In Leggings (1990); and Vomit In Crocs (work in progress).
SAYS the Telegraph: “Financial crisis: Bradford & Bingley nationalisation will cost taxpayers £150bn.”
So says the Telegraph, which should note that it won’t it will only cost the British taxpayer £150bn if not a single one of B&B’s debtors repays their mortage..
But still, let’s try and make things sound worse than they are…
IN The Telegraph Tim Walker says Margaret Hodge is planning to leave the cabinet…
Your thoughts as to why she should do so now…
DAILY TELEGRAPH: “The News Quiz”
As The News Quiz returns, host Sandi Toksvig tells James Walton why it’s lasted so long – despite the ‘galling’ low pay she and her guests receive
Is Our Maddie fair game for comedy?
Needless to say, some news stories are funnier than others. (The show, for example, steered well clear of Madeleine McCann.) Fortunately, even in the darkest times, “politicians have the most staggering skill at producing material for us”. With that 66th series about to begin, Toksvig now finds herself “terribly grateful to Sarah Palin. For comedy writers, she’s just heaven.”
EUROGAMER: “Maddie reference spotted in Bungie trailer”
Speculation is mounting that the new trailer for Bungie’s next Halo project features a reference to missing five year-old Madeleine McCann.
In the Guardian’s article on a “surge in support for far right” in Austria threatens to make the country a haven of closested neo-Nazia (plus ca change), readers hear from one Karl Friedrich.
Karl is “proud to live in Karl Marx Hof, Vienna’s vast monument to municipal socialism. But not as proud as he used to be.”
“We had great times here. There were artists and writers all around. Great parties. They’re all gone now,” says the former communist. “Now half the families in my block are immigrants. They can’t speak German. They can’t even speak English.”
Yeah, they can;t even speak English in Vienna. The swine.
“We have worked it out,” says the Indy’s front page
All you need is 5,000 bodyguards – £1.5million security blitz to protect Macca from security threats,” says the Mirror, in words that Yasser Arafat look-alike Ringo Starr would put to music.
But what if… what if Macca is killed?
Solar power, with its promise of emissions-free renewable energy, boasts a growing number of fans. Some of them, it turns out, are thieves. Just ask Glenda Hoffman, whose fury has not abated since 16 solar panels vanished from her roof in this sun-baked town in three separate burglaries in May, sometimes as she slept. She is ready if the criminals turn up again.
“I have a shotgun right next to the bed and a .22 under my pillow,” Ms. Hoffman said.
POLAR Bear Watch: Anorak’s look at polar bears in the news…
KNUT, the German polar bear the Guardian calls an “activist” for global warming, is alive. But his former keeper is not. Thomas Doerflein has died.
THE INDEPENDENT reports: “Love story: Knut mourns his keeper”. Or as the experts put it:
Berlin Zoo yesterday categorically ruled out suggestions that Knut would experience feelings of loss as a result of his keeper’s passing. “It won’t be a problem for him,” said Klaus Lüdcke, a Berlin zoologist, “Knut has been looked after by a whole team – and for him the most important person is the one who brings the food.”
And Doerflein: “He said that he could wish the bear no better first-birthday present than permanent separation.”
DAILY TELEGRAPH: “Baroness Neuberger: Children will grow up not trusting anyone in Britain’s risk-averse society”
Recent figures show there are no men under 25 working in England’s state-run nurseries, such is the fear of being branded a paedophile…
But no figures are given. How many men used to work in state-run nurseries? The Telegraph does not say; but it does find time to tell readers that:
“Her comments come amid increasing concerns that Government policies are poisoning relationships between people.”
Since July 2007 it has been a criminal offence to “procure, test, process or distribute” any gametes (sperm and eggs) intended for human application without a licence from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.
Can the Guardian be right? Is it illegal to process and distribute sperm? Do men need a licence..?
CHRISTIANITY TODAY: “Christians pray for missing Madeleine”
Christians around the world joined in prayer on Friday for the safe return of missing Madeleine McCann and the release of all children held by criminal networks.
Do the Christians know what happened to Madeleine, then?
The worldwide day of prayer was organised by the Madeleine Prayer Circle.
ALICE WALKER is looking at Barack Obama and John McCain, and seeking Fidel Castro. No, not dear Che Guevara; he’s easy to find:
This is what I want for our country, more than anything. I want a leader who can love us.. But when the lights are out and I’m left with just the stars in a super-dark sky, and I feel the new intense chill that seems to be the underbreath of even the hottest day, when I know that global warming may send our planet into a deep freeze even before my remaining years run out, then I think about what it is that truly matters to me. Not just as a human, but as an American.
She wants Fidel to keep her cool at night. As Norm says:
The real-life stresses and strains of being married to an investment banker forms the backdrop to Katherine Bucknell’s bestselling US novel Canarino; Here she explains what the repercussions are for the families caught up in the latest financial meltdown…
At last, someone to make sense of it all…
For every vanished pile there will be crying children, an angry spouse, unemployed builders and domestic help, goods left on shop shelves, flats and houses available to rent or buy, empty restaurants, and villages in Africa that don’t get their new water pump after all.
HEADLINES like “WE‘RE ALL F***ED” (all papers) might have led readers to believe that the world’s economy was in freefall and we were all doomed to rearing turnips as a source of fuel, housing and good, clean, honest fun.
Now the Times says we’ve been to “Hell and back”. The Express leads with “SHARE BOOM SENSATION”. “The panic is over…possibly,” says the Independent. And the Sun commands readers to “FILL YOUR BOOTS”.
We’ve never had it so good.
(Image: Beau Bo D’Or Website)
And that goes for Gordon Brown, too, who is the recipient of the Guardian’s non-sequitur of the decade: “After the crash, a record bounce – and Brown fightback begins.”
How can I say what my new performance will be about? It’s impossible, and there can be no diagnosis until the audience takes what they get, the medicine on the spoon…
It just happens that I’m acting because I’m in the process of meeting someone, myself, on the way back…
It is the same thing whether I’m painting or acting. The common denominator is in the movement. I don’t dance but I paint in the air. Or I don’t paint, but I dance on the paper…
Look out for Juliette dancing with Juliette on Strictly Come Painting…
“A cabinet of minnows and spineless backbenchers include many – perhaps most – who want Brown gone, but lack the nerve to act. They wait for someone else, for Brown to walk away or for a proverbial bus to save them from the task” – Polly Tonybee, Sep 6, 2008
Not to be confused with this Polly Tonybee:
“…as they stepped into No 10 yesterday, here was as decent and clever a team of ministers as ever graced the cabinet table. Two Milibands, Ed Balls, Jackie Smith, Harriet Harman, Alan Johnson, Douglas Alexander, Peter Hain and Hilary Benn – with the likes of John Denham and Yvette Cooper in attendance – present a good front. It’s certainly the most genuinely united government in living memory” – Polly Tonybee, June 29 2007
Consistency is what we’re after…
BARACK Obama is partying with his celebrity backers at the Greystone Mansion, California, followed by entertainment by Barbra Streisand at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel. It’s what the elite do. Says Obama:
“It’s about those who will never see the inside of a building like this.”
The pastor whose prayer Sarah Palin says helped her to become governor of Alaska founded his ministry with a witchhunt against a Kenyan woman who he accused of causing car accidents through demonic spells.
SIMON Barnes, the Times’s Sports Columnist of the Year, is talking about Al Sugar, Manchester City and how football clubs have become rich man’s play things, as opposed to in those halcyon days of the minimum wage, when football clubs were, er, rich men’s play things.
Football is like a bird attached to a brick by a strong piece of elastic. The bird is flying skywards with all its might and there are only two things that can happen. Either the elastic will break or the brick will hit the bird up the arse. The bird is the billionaire owner, the brick is the supporters.
And the Sky in which it flies is the big money broadcaster which has done more to change football than any multi-millionaire, billionaire or trillionaire…
Not that Barnes notices. The Times is, incidentally, owned by the same company that owns Sky TV…