Top news from The Times, Daily Telegraph, The Indepedent and The Guardian newspapers
CREDIT Crunch Watch: Anorak’s look at credit crunch in the news:
“Crooning banker Howard Brown has been axed from the Halifax ads because he is too cheery for the credit crunch” Daily Telegraph
Goodbye Howard, You came. You sang badly in an effort to get people to get into debt. You went, perhaps, to get a new job dancing and singing as people have their homes repossessed…
It’s the Big Brother reject and toothsome talker:
“The truth won’t mend the pain”
I SOMETIMES wonder if The Truth is all it’s cracked up to be. I wonder if there are times when NOT knowing is better than knowing.
Well, as Donald Rumsfeld once said, from whom Malone seems to be quoting…
Because now we think we know Madeleine McCann didn’t die, as police suspected, in her holiday apartment. Neither was she taken by an opportunist killer. Nor did she wander off into the sea.
Sure of that? Yeah, Sure of it. Positive. Sure of it? Facts are facts. Right? Facts…
However, what we now think may have happened is worse than all of those scenarios because it looks certain this angel-faced little girl was snatched to order by a vile paedophile ring and delivered to people who hunt down pretty children to degrade. Maybe even kill.
And we know this because..? Well, someone said something…it got in an email to someone else…Carole read it or heard it and it became news… and fact…and we read about it… and we told someone… and they told Carole…who knows all about it…
THE SUNDAY EXPRESS (front page): “IS THIS WHO TOOK MADDIE?”
A change in the quotidian Express story. No longer is Madeleine, “MADELEINE”. Madeleine McCann is now “MADDIE”. It’s the name the media, mostly, have dubbed her.
Maddie is what the missing child has taken to calling herself when she visits party shops in Amsterdam…
So who took her. The Express has a photfit.
NEWS OF THE WORLD (front page): “I spotted Maddie’s tell-tale eye”
This is the least savoury headline Anorak has read on the matter for some time…
“I WAS AFRAID TO GRAB HER – Witness was sure restaurant girl was Maddie but feared causing a scene”
A VITAL new witness in the hunt for Madeleine McCann has told cops: “I saw Maddie. I know it was her—I saw the unique blemish in her eye.”
BACK to Kingsnorth power plant, Kent, where campaigners are protesting about a new replacement power plant. To the climate camp, then, in the company of the Guardian’s Caroline Lucas:
Sitting in a teepee in the peaceful Kent countryside, surrounded by campaigners from across the UK mulling over the future of renewable energy and swapping vegan cake recipes, you could be forgiven for temporarily forgetting the outside world and its many woes.
Because you’re too busy wondering what the hell you did wrong in life to bring you to this hellhole?
LORRAINE KELLY (The Sun): “Watch your kids for Maddie’s sake”
It’s cellar-busting, tabloid bingo stalwart Lorraine Kelly:
OF all the many cruelties inflicted on Madeleine McCann’s parents, the possibility that their little girl begged an Amsterdam shop assistant for help shortly after she went missing is surely the deepest cut of all.
Begged? But it was Madeleine, right? Or Maddie as she – and the press – now know her by.
DAILY EXPRESS (front page): “MADELEINE: I SAW HER ON MONDAY”
“Guard tells police she was in a Brussels bank”
Can Madeleine McCann be the new Patti Hearst? What of the theory that she was kidnapped by freedom fighters, the Symbionese Liberation Army, and is being trained in covert operations and crime?
A bank worker in Brussels reported seeing Madeleine accompanied by a woman of North African appearance on Monday morning.
To Belgium, one of the low countries.
THE SUN (front page): “MADDIE: SEEN FIVE SAYS AGO.”
JAHANGIR Hanif, 46, a Scottish National Party councillor, has been shooting an AK47, in Pakistan:
A millionaire politician was suspended by his party yesterday after photographs were published of him apparently taking his family — including his five-year-old daughter — to fire an AK47 assault rifle at a military-style camp in Pakistan.
Photographs of Jahangir Hanif, 46, a Scottish National Party councillor in Glasgow who has campaigned against violent crime, were published yesterday by a newspaper beneath the headline: “Councillor Kalashnikov”. He admitted last night that his behaviour had been “foolish and inappropriate”.
His 17-year-old daughter, Noor, described how she and four of her siblings were driven in a blacked-out vehicle to an alleged training base in mountains near the Kashmir border and encouraged to fire the powerful weapon.
Video footage passed to the Glasgow Evening Times showed Mr Hanif’s youngest daughter, Sana, aged 5 at the time, being helped to fire the gun, the newspaper said. His son Ameer, now 14, also fired the Russian-designed rifle — the weapon of choice for Taleban insurgents in Afghanistan, with a firing rate of 600 rounds a minute — as did his daughters Zainab, 13, and Amina, 10, the paper added.
When contacted about the video, Mr Hanif said “What?” before the line went dead, the Evening Times reported.
Stupid? Is this any differnt to an American shooting AK47s for fun?
The FT’s Samuel Brittan is right to say that the financial sector is not the whole of the economy.
Financial services account for about 12 per cent of UK gross national product. The “wholesale” sector – from which the current crunch originated – contributes just under 4 per cent, although more than that of any other European Union country except Luxembourg.
Beaten by Luxembourg… The shame. First Eurovision. Now this. What it means is that if banks are doing badly, it need not be the be all and end all to all of us.
Olympic fans can recreate the glory of the Beijing games by locking themselves in a small, stuffy room – the downstairs loo is our tip, or a wheelie bin – lighting a pack of fags, spritzing the place with athletes’ foot power and eating a steaming hot plate of sweet and sour duck fat.
Says the Times on its front page: “Beijing Games to begin in smog of controversy.”
All day yesterday Beijing was obscured by thick grey air, a phenomenon known in the Chinese state media as “overcast and hazy skies”, and described by the rest of the world as smog.
DAILY EXPRESS (front page): “MADELEINE: I SAW HER ON A TRAM.”
All aboard. Here’s some the hacks…
“New sighting is linked to paedophile network.”
Linked by “Scotland Yard”. That’s enough evidence for the Express.
The Sun has more:
An email from John Shord of Scotland Yard’s elite clubs and vice intelligence unit reveals that a ring of child abusers made an order for a young girl just THREE days before Maddie was snatched. Her photo was passed to the gang and the chilling deal concluded.
Grim stuff. But no link to Madeleine McCann. Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
DAILY EXPRESS (front page): “MADELEINE: SHE COULD BE ALIVE”
Madeleine McCann has resumed her pitch on the Express’ front page. And the news is positive. But let’s not carried away on a wave of hope, Anorak has seen a peek at tomorrow’s front-page exclusive –“MADELEINE: SHE COULD BE DEAD”.
To Amsterdam, where one Anna Stam says “she is haunted by the face ‘of the angelic child with the big sad eyes’ who came into her shop near Amsterdam’s red light district.”
JORDAN, aka Katie Price, has written a letter to The Times.
So the Cartier Polo International was happy to invite a man convicted of assault on an elderly couple, dozens of aristocrats and an assortment of would-be actresses in minuscule dresses. But it wouldn’t have me. More than 35,000 people came to the polo match last weekend but I was excluded.
Why? I’m a successful author and businesswoman, a rider, I am learning to play polo and I compete in dressage events. I rode my first horse when I was 7, and saved up to rent my first pony, Star, when I was 11. He was the ugliest, hairiest pony in the yard but I adored him. My mum couldn’t afford for me to go to Pony Club but it didn’t stop me going to gymkhanas. I just wanted to beat all those smart little girls in their perfect jodphurs and jackets.
All my life I’ve been surrounded by horses, I earned my pocket money sweeping out stables and I now have six horses. I’ve been invited to take part in the Royal Horse of the Year show, I’ve even played a charity polo match at Cowdray Park.
My book Perfect Ponies: My Pony Care Book was shortlisted for the WHSmith children’s prize and I have written a bestselling series of stories about ponies. I know more about fetlocks and forelocks than most of the celebrities invited by Cartier and the Chinawhite nightclub. I’ve certainly mucked out more horses.
I also have a business career, I’ve a No1 perfume and a lingerie line. I’m a wife working as hard as I can to bring up my children, Harvey, Junior and Princess Tiaamii, and be a good role model for them.
I didn’t want to go to Windsor to meet royalty. I’ve met the Prince of Wales and the Queen before. I don’t need to be photographed with the A-list, I’ve met quite enough celebrities. I wanted to watch the matches and give my family a treat.
It’s pure snobbery. However good a horsewoman I may be, I’m also a glamour model. That embarrassed the organisers. I paid Chinawhite £6,000 for my table, but my manager was told that I was not the sort of person they wanted. Eliza Doolittle went to the races with Henry Higgins after a few elocution lessons, In Pretty Woman Julia Roberts went to the polo straight from Sunset Boulevard, but in the 21st century we have become even more class-ridden. Unless you are a toff or an aspiring actress, they don’t want you.
Polo should be for people who love horses, not a media charade. It should be about the sport. Horses are a wonderful hobby, one that gets you outside and keeps you fit. They should be for everyone – little girls, glamour girls, working-class girls like me. No one should be excluded.
For your comments…
POLICE LOG: Crime in the news…
A woman has been let off her community service order imposed for handling a stolen mobile phone because of her obsession with cleanliness.
Llandudno magistrates’ court heard that 18-year-old Emma McNicholas was worried about working in a charity shop because of second hand property. North Wales probation service accepted she had obsessive compulsive disorder.
District judge David Webster was told there was no other work available that would not involve cleanliness issues.Defence solicitor Chris Dawson said she had failed to pick up litter previously because of her situation.
Robbers who stole diamonds valued at £217,000 from a jeweller’s shop were foiled by shoppers who removed the keys from their getaway car.
Madonna is on the cover of New York magazine. The accompanying article says Madonna has the “ultimate face”.
The ultimate face for what is not said.
But a clue comes via the Telegraph, which quotes Writer Jonathan Van Meter:
“Looking at Madonna, I kept thinking of the British expression for reconditioning a saddle: having it ‘restuffed’.”
And reporters are divided: are the McCanns outraged or furious?
Disgrace in Holland:
The couple’s spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: “If it was Madeleine, it was a disgrace that it was not passed on. We need to know what happened with this.
THE SUN (front page) “MADDIE’S BED”
“First photo of room…”
But we’ve seen the room before, last November.
“…hours after abduction”.
Pages 4-5: “TERROR FROZEN IN PICS”
Terror turns out to look like an empty bedroom.
Know that “by grim coincidence” “Maddies’s passport “expired yesterday”
Such are the facts.
SAYS Michael Gove, the Conservative’s education spokesman, and Times hack:
“Titles such as Nuts and Zoo paint a picture of women as permanently, lasciviously, uncomplicatedly available.
“The images they use and project reinforce a very narrow conception of beauty and a shallow approach towards women. They celebrate thrill-seeking and instant gratification without ever allowing any thought of responsibility towards others, or commitment, to intrude.”
Nuts and Zoo, the Argos jewellery section of the magazine shop.
Here’s a thought, Mr Gove: boys who buy Nuts and Zoo do so because they can’t reach the topshelf magazines.
Mr Gove’s thoughts are published in the Guardian. (The words hereunder are scored through because of the comments below, and a note to Anorak from Simon Waldman, Director of Digital Strategy and Development, Guardian Media Group):
In March 2008 Emap plc was acquired by Eden Bidco Ltd, a joint venture between Apax and Guardian Media Group plc.
Emap publishes Zoo. The Guardian is run by The Scott Trust – “As the sole shareholder in Guardian Media Group the Scott Trust measures the return on its investment in terms broader than pure financial performance.”
The Scott Trust values are:
- cleanness (now interpreted as integrity)
- a sense of duty to the reader and the community
We put these principles into action and fulfil our responsibilities primarily through our day-to-day business conduct and the editorial content of our newspapers, websites and other media.
Cleanness – all the girls on Zoo are scrubbed ready for your inspection.
Michael Gove writes for The Times, owned by New Corp, publishers of How to Make Love Like a Porn Star (Jenna Jameson), The Sun (Page 3 Girls) and the News of The World, which contains adverts for readers to call dirty college girls live.
Anorak feels dirty just writing about it…
“The BBFC should realise there are scenes of gratuitous violence in The Dark Knight to which I certainly would not take my 11-year-old daughter. It should be a 15 certificate.”
Oh, the embarrassment of being the younger Vaz, daughter to the oleaginous chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee. Oh, to presume that your 11-year-old daughter would want to go to the cinema with her dad, a man once censored for a “serious breaches of the Code of Conduct and a contempt of the House”.
But Vaz is not alone.
THE GUARDIAN: “: Has the Fringe lost its sense of fun?”
“With shows about the Holocaust, military abuse and repressive societies, theatre in Edinburgh is trying to be more serious than ever. Is that a good thing?”
Mark Fisher is that big performing artzzzz show. He sees entertainment in suffering. He sees Madeleine McCann:
Ashok Sinha writes:
There’s a little village in Kent called Kingsnorth, population 7,000. You probably haven’t heard of it. It’s got a doctor’s surgery, a pub, two primary schools and a part-time post office.
Ah, bucolic Kingsnorth, scene of rural splendour. And if Sinha turns around he might just see ye olde coal-powered power station sticking over the golden fields.
THE AGE is hot on climate change:
If society is to confront climate change, it must change its behaviour and the way it conducts business.
The Age is very hot on the business of climate change:
The Age is rewarding a handful of its best Victorian Real Estate Agent clients with a special bonus: a trip to South America.
Last one to Cannes is a loser…
Anorak wonders if Sean Connery is a member of CAOSH, or, as is more likely, fighting it in his guise as James Bond?
Emma Thompson, the actress, is not a member of CAOSH. Says she in the Sunday Times:
There is no greater partnership, when on a rock, than that of egg and crisp. Textural reasons present themselves immediately – even, perhaps, to those who have never sampled the above. The softness of the egg marries beautifully with the edges of the crisp – of course it does. That much is obvious. But one can extrapolate the pleasures still further.
THE GUARDIAN: “On the front line in the search for Maddie – Gonçalo Amaral’s intriguing memoir of the Madeleine McCann case offers no solution but reveals a man obsessed by the investigation”
Ned Temko is reading Amaral’s book:
It is a shame that this revealing memoir from Gonçalo Amaral, the police chief who ran the Madeleine McCann investigation until he was unceremoniously fired last year, has not been published in English…
Indeed it is. And a disappointment that no British paper has sought to serialise the work. Aren’t we interested in what the copper thinks? Or are we too scared to publish it? What of free speech, then?
Wouldn’t any reader of sound mind dismiss slights against the McCanns’ involvement?
Within minutes of its appearance in Portuguese bookshops, the McCanns’ spokesman let it be known their lawyers would be giving it a thorough read, with an eye to the kind of libel action that ended up costing the Express group £500,000 earlier this year. And that was before the Portuguese authorities finally cleared the couple last month of any suspicion.
We’ve been scared off. But:
Surely it won’t be long before enterprising translators feed the juicier bits to an online conspiracy community that, in the 15 months since the cherubic three-year-old went missing from Praia da Luz, has elevated Madeleine into something close to a new Elvis.
DO you hear bells?
Cathedral officials have denied accusations of financial mismanagement after admitting that a £103,000 bequest to pay for new bells had lost two thirds of its value in the credit crunch.
The legacy, consisting of shares thought to be in a high street bank, has lost £67,950 in value in the 18 months since it was made.
Innocent Smoothies tells consumers on its website that “fruit always travels by boat or rail” because these methods use less fossil fuel than air or road transport per kilo of fruit. Customers are also told the drinks are produced in the UK.
However, the Daily Telegraph can reveal that the drinks are blended on the continent before being driven in dozens of tanker lorries hundreds of miles across Europe for bottling in the UK.
To mix the contents just so…