Heard the one about the baby bison looking for love in Yellowstone National Park?
Karen Richardson of Victor, Idaho, was one of several parents chaperoning a group of fifth-graders on a field trip to Yellowstone this week.
Richardson says on Monday, as students were being taught at Lamar Buffalo Ranch, a father and son pulled up at the ranger station with a bison calf in their SUV.
“They were demanding to speak with a ranger,” Richardson tells EastIdahoNews.com. “They were seriously worried that the calf was freezing and dying.”
Rob Heusevelet, a father of a student, told the men to remove the bison from their car and warned they could be in trouble for having the animal.
“They didn’t care,” Heusevelet says. “They sincerely thought they were doing a service and helping that calf by trying to save it from the cold.”
Yellowstone rangers tells us what then happened
Last week in Yellowstone National Park, visitors were cited for placing a newborn bison calf in their vehicle and transporting it to a park facility because of their misplaced concern for the animal’s welfare.
In terms of human safety, this was a dangerous activity because adult animals are very protective of their young and will act aggressively to defend them. In addition, interference by people can cause mothers to reject their offspring.
In this case, park rangers tried repeatedly to reunite the newborn bison calf with the herd. These efforts failed. The bison calf was later euthanized because it was abandoned and causing a dangerous situation by continually approaching people and cars along the roadway.
Phew! Good job the experts were there…
The Sun has been telling us for months that Manchester United are to sack Louis Van Gaal and manager and replace him with Jose Mourinho. The paper’s Neil Ashton finds another reason to undermine the hammer-headed Dutchman’s leadership:
JESSE LINGARD’S video from the team bus gave an insight into life under boss Louis van Gaal at Manchester United. Discipline, once a bastion of this great club under Alex Ferguson, has pretty much disappeared under the Dutchman. Lingard’s 28-second film of the chaotic scenes inside the coach ferrying United’s players to West Ham on Tuesday is proof of that.
Lingard is a wally. Videoing himself on the team bus as it was pelted by beer cans tossed by West Ham fans and then posting the video on social media was the mark of a fool. Should United need a new coach – yes, that one with wheels and an improved SatNav – they might consider getting Lingard a car seat, such as the Mothercare Sport Car Seat in red with an integral harness, soft padded body, head support cushion, and chest and buckle pads. To blame Van Gaal for a 26-year-old using social media is madness.
As for the Sun warning against the perils of mobile phone abuse and linking it to poor leadership – the bucks tops with the boss – well, let’s just say we wish former Sun and NoTW editor Rebekah Brooks (innocent of all any any involvement in her underlings’ phone hacking and ill discipline) well in her new job as head of News Corp.
Ashton goes on.
With Lingard larking around, it showed how slack these players have become. Imagine Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs or Peter Schmeichel sticking their tongue out and shouting for “mommy” in similar circumstances.
That dressing room, which accounted for 13 Premier League titles during Fergie’s rule, used to police itself. When someone overstepped the mark or broke the rules, the big voices at United would close in on them. Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand or Keano saw to that.
To say nothing of lawyers:
To say nothing of it being the era before smart phones and social media:
Ashton ploughs on:
When Lingard took the trouble to send his footage to some friends, who helpfully posted it on social media, his amateur video went viral.
Sadly for Van Gaal, who is still trying to figure it all out at United, it showed another side to events at Upton Park.
Ill-discipline is rife inside the United camp.
Or as Roy Keane put it:
Asked by ShortList if Ferguson ever had words over his drinking, Keane said: “Oh, of course. And quite rightly. This idea that me and Ferguson just had one bust up right at the end… We had loads! We had disagreements about my drinking, as fans are happy to report you if you’re spotted out at 3am. But if we had a game on a Wednesday and the manager said to me, ‘I heard you were out Sunday night,’ I’d say, ‘Yeah, I go out Sundays.’ I was single, I was 21. I wasn’t a golfer. Drinking was my hobby, I suppose. I’m not giving it the thumbs up, but it was my trait. I don’t know why – because I’m Irish, maybe, because I lived by myself. Boredom kicked in.”
Such are the facts…
Do you trust machines? Would you buy a driverless car? To Tobermory, Ontario, Canada, where a 23-year-old woman who followed her car’s SatNav instructions ended up in a harbour.
Ontario Provincial Police say the driver “took a wrong turn into Little Tub Harbour… weather conditions and the driver being new to the area, a fully submerged vehicle was the result,” police said. The woman escaped by sliding from the car’s window and swimming 30 metres to the shore in 4°C water.
Zimmerman Sells Gun Used In Trayvon Martin Death
The gun belongs to the shooter.
Maybe a museum will buy it. In 2015, the BBC reported:
An assault rifle used in seven unsolved murders has been discovered on public display at the Imperial War Museum. BBC Panorama has learned that investigators re-examining paramilitary murders in Northern Ireland found the gun on display in an exhibit on the Troubles. The families of the murder victims had previously been told by the police that they had disposed of the weapon… Forensic tests conducted in the 1990s showed the rifle was one of two weapons used in an attack on a Belfast betting shop in 1992. Five Catholics, including a 15-year-old boy, were killed in the attack on the Ormeau Road by Protestant paramilitaries. The rifle has also been linked to the unsolved murders of two other men in 1988.
Is the Zimmerman gun an American artefact? He says:
“I am honored and humbled to announce the sale of an American firearm icon. The firearm for sale is the firearm that was used to defend my life and end the brutal attack from Trayvon Martin on 2/26/2012.”
We will know its value by its sale price. Zimmerman can sell it – but let’s see who buys it and for how much.
Said Manchester United fan Holmes: “Now this is going back to the 70s and to the 80s to everything you were seeing that was bad about Hillsborough for instance.”
No, Eamonn. Everything bad about Hillsborough was caused by a corrupt police, media and State treating football as a “slum sport watched by slum people“. The elite then spent 27 years blaming the victims for their own deaths at a football match.
We all know the Truth about Hillsborough. Only a fool or swine would deny it. It took the longest jury case in British legal history to clear supporters of any blame for the tragedy. The 96 had been unlawfully killed due to “a catalogue of failings by the police and ambulance services”.
Hillsborough had nothing to do with hooliganism. Sad, indeed, that police and media lies continue to pervade the Holmes brain matter. Not that he gets it. He tweeted:
“Just being made aware of someone trying to use me to stir up trouble re The Hillsborough disaster. How low, how disgusting. The Hillsborough families have suffered enough without distasteful sniping like this. For the record there is no comparison between events last night at West Ham and Hillsborough. On the programme I was trying to talk about images we never ever want to see again.”
Eamonn, who made the comparison, is outraged that anyone could make so disgusting a comparison. He’s the victim. Got it? He then softened a little, tweeting:
“I apologise unreservedly if anyone thought I was making that connection.”
Spot that “if”. If you twisted his words and thought something disgusting, then he apologises for your wrong thinking. It’s a wonderfully dishonest form of apology, the non-denial denial.
And spare us the outrage from big media. The police and elite hate football fans, the frothing mob they seek to control in ever more insidious ways. From being penned in physically in the 1980s, football fans are now regulated in more conniving ways. Lord Justice Taylor’s report into the Hillsborough tragedy didn’t only order the removal of the metal posts and pens that trapped so many at Hillsborough. He noted: “This inhospitable scene tends to breed bad manners and poor behaviour.” The old fans were to be kicked out with the old concrete grounds. To make football safe for the new, wealthier fans, you can no longer booze and smoke in the stands, swear, sing what you want to, stand or engage in anything another human being – most likely a steward – deems offensive to mind and body. And it’s expensive. The police still treat football fans as criminals-in-waiting, enacting kettling, bubble-match restrictions and Section 27 orders.
After the verdict was delivered and the heroic survivors and the loved ones of the dead who had fought the lies breathed, the Guardian wrote, “The authorities failed the Liverpool fans at Hillsborough. But so did the real hooligans.” No. Fans played no part in the crime, other than to be the victims. Spare us the thought that fans who had a drink and were rowdy, who called the police “murdering bastards” should be stained with such horror. You don’t go out with your mates to the match to be prudes and saintly. You go to let off steam and enjoy yourself.
You want justice for the 96. The media says the bereaved got it. They didn’t. They haven’t. Not yet.
This picture may only be used within the context of the Hillsborough court case. An undated file showing the tunnel at the Leppings Lane end of Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough ground, shown to the jury at Leeds Crown Court. * ...at a private prosecution brought by the Hillsborough Family Support Group. Match commander Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield and Superintendent Bernard Murray deny the manslaughter of two of the victims of the disaster at the FA Cup Semi-Final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Sheffield Wednesday's ground on April 15, 1989.
Goncalo Amaral is back in the news. The former Portuguese detective has won an appeal against his libel defeat to Madeleine McCann’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann. The court order for him to pay the McCanns £395,000 in damages in April 2015 has been overturned. The Press pick up the story of Amaral and his 2008 book, The Truth of the Lie, in which he accuses the McCanns of “faking Madeleine’s abduction to cover up her accidental death in their apartment” (Star).
Daily Star (front page): “Maddie: Cop Wains Right To Accuse Parents”
“A banned book which accuse Madeleine’s McCanns parents of covering up her death will go on sale across Europe after a shock ruling by three appal court judge in Portugal yesterday,” writes Jerry Lawton. No shock here, at least not to Anorak readers. Back in 2010, AGW told you:
The media awaits the verdict of McCanns Versus Goncalo Amaral. Much depends on it. The McCanns have taken a risk in going against the former police officer in a foreign country. While it can be argued – as they have done – that any publicity for their missing daughter is good because it keeps her name alive in the voracious media.
But it does not keep us looking for the child. It just allows us to gawp at them, the distraught parents of a missing innocent:
YOU know when an accident is going to happen. They even have corporate speak phrases for it these days: “Risk Assessment” is one.
You know when a playing kitten is going to fall from the arm of the chair, you know when the child is going trip and fall, no matter how quick you are to try and get there.
Sometimes you see disasters being created and thundering, in silent-movie slowed down train-wreck style, toward you or others and there’s little you can do other than stand and watch horror-struck by the enormity of it all.
You know the accident’s about to happen and there is nothing you can do but perhaps wonder why you knew?
It has nothing to do with sixth senses, it is because the most powerful computer known to man, your brain, has gathered in all the previous experiences you have weighed in the balance and made a predictive analysis.
That is what is so strange about the current and past behaviour of the parents of the missing child Madeleine McCann.
They have started a court action defending their reputations in Lisbon because the former chief investigating officer Goncalo Amara, is accusing them of being involved in Madeleine’s disappearance. They have also started an action seeking a money settlement for the Portuguese equivalent of libel and in addition are taking on a Lisbon-based documentary production unit for reporting on the detective’s objected to book and the case.
Lisbon was never going to be a perfect spot for the McCann’s to start legal sparring and this week they were dealt what can only be termed a body-blow when the detective’s lawyers produced evidence the UK’s top criminal profiler has said there were “contradictions” in their statements and both should be treated as possible “homicide” suspects.
No arguments, no amount of reshuffling or clarifications can change that and the facts can not be forced back into the can of worms which the McCann parents themselves have allowed to be opened.
The background PR work after the Lisbon shocker has been impressive. The McCann lawyers strode from the courtroom and counter-claimed there were tens, hundreds or more sightings of the missing girl. The UK’s Red Tops dutifully followed the thread and reported the lawyer’s statement. My experience and training gave the brain the predictive text that this looked like a smoke screen, a damage limitation. The missing fact was all these sightings came after the McCann’s themselves had been released from Arguido, suspect, status. The case was archived. It was a cold, leading nowhere, case in the eyes of the top legal and police professionals in Portugal…the responsible authorities have no clues and have suspended work on the case.
It has already been said in these columns, taking on the Portuguese legal system was going to be a minefield but there is one question:
Who is taking the responsibility for the Risk Assessment for this McCann course of action?
Whoever it was needs to be replaced or kept out of the limelight.
Mass public opinion is turning. The McCanns are slipping lower and lower down the celebs’ to be seen with list, certainly no-longer A list and slightly embarrassing to be around according to some whispers.
The McCanns are innocent. No charges have been brought against anyone…except the Chief Investigating Police Officer, Goncalo Amaral.
A second question would have to be: Who on earth took the Risk Assessment decision Amaral was a buffoon an incompetent, bungling, Jacques Clouseau Pink Panther type of police officer?
Come on, wake up! Police officers do not rise through the ranks to positions of authority without being good thief-takers and being very good at spotting the wrongness of something.
Amaral is tougher than the baying section of Britain’s media has portrayed.
The McCanns are becoming battered and worn by this. Just look at their recent photographs. The child is still missing, lost, gone. Arguments still rage over the rightness or wrongness of it all.
Something is judgementally wrong in the Risk Assessments taken here. This week has been hugely damaging to the McCann’s and their cause. The information given this week in the Lisbon court can no longer be ignored or forgotten. It will have a high cost and one of the costs are potential new helpers and donations to the campaign of finding the child.
Daily Star Page 7: “Maddie SHOCK”
The Portuguese appeal court judges “ordered” the McCanns to pay “full legal fees of the three-year hearing”. The McCanns have “instructed lawyers to appeal against the new ruling”. But the judges call Amaral’s book a “legitimate exercise in the right to express an opinion”. Portugal was once a police state. Free speech is enshrined. The lawyers’ appeal looked doomed.
We then get a rapid-fire vox pop. The McCanns deny Amaral’s claims. A “pal” says they are “seething”. Their spokesman Clarence Mitchell says, “It is a matter for Kate and Gerry’s lawyers to deal with .”
The Sun (front page): “MADDIE: Agony for McCanns as cop wins libel case”
Page 4: “Hunt Hit By Cash Crisis – Maddie £430k Libel Loss Blow – Tec wins against McCanns”
The payment “deprives the Maddie Fund o9f cash to keep the nine-year search going”. Private cash. But not public purse monies. That continues to be spent on the search.
Daily Mirror (Page 7): “Bungling cop in libel triumph over the McCanns”
Is every policeman who fails to solve a case a bungler?
And then we get to the money. The cash Amaral was ordered to pay the McCanns never left his account. All payments – £360,000 and £76,000 in interest – was held until the appeal judges had ruled. The money never came out of the Maddie Fund, did it? It was never in the Fund.
Daily Express (Page 8): “McCanns ‘seething’ as Maddy detective overturns book ruling”
We finally hear from the McCanns’ legal aide. Their Portuguese lawyer, Isable Duarte, “said she was ‘disappointed’ but not surprised” at the ruling.
Daily Mail (Page 30): “McCanns suffer £395k libel loss”
Page 30. The story continues – but less and less people are listening to it.
The Central Somerset Gazette has news:
Glastonbury Festival supporting British steel with 250,000 reusable stainless steel cups for 2016
How is that supporting British steel, then? The Tata-owned steel works at Port Talbot in south Wales is in trouble. It produces slab, hot rolled, cold rolled and galvanised coil. That’s new steel – virgin steel.
Festival organiser Michael Eavis pulls on a thick glove, holds aloft a steel cup for your red-hot coffee (ouch!) and tells the Somerset paper: “..the single most important thing was being able to source British stainless steel for the cups from the place where it was invented – Sheffield, and then to take it on to the home of manufacture – Birmingham.”
But how does this help British steel?
Teaming up with APS Metal Pressing Ltd, the cups are made from recycled steel which is smelted in Sheffield… “Week after week, there’s a story in the national press about jobs in the UK steel industry being put at risk. There’s seemingly no end to the negative slide of this critical industry and with it the jobs, skills and infrastructure are lost and won’t be replaced.”
The headline is depressing: “Jewish Labour MP facing ‘intimidation and hostility’ from party members.”
Nick Cohen reasons: “Not long now before voting Labour becomes the moral equivalent of voting Ukip.”
Anti-semitism is not forbidden upon within the Labour ranks. It’s tolerated. Soon it will be pretty much assumed. Kevin Schofield writes:
A prominent Jewish Labour MP is being targeted by party activists “hell-bent” on attacking her, it has been claimed. Louise Ellman has faced an “orchestrated” campaign by members in her Liverpool Riverside constituency, according to the city’s assistant mayor, Nick Small.
The allegations come just days after Ms Ellman, chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, said Jeremy Corbyn must do more to tackle anti-Semitism in the party... some hard-left activists said the global rise in anti-Semitism was “down to the existence of Israel”.
If in doubt, blame the Jews.
Mr Small tells the Jewish Chronicle:
“I found these comments offensive and believe that they have no place within the broad church of the Labour party [pun intended?]. There are a tiny but vocal group within our CLP who seem hell-bent on attacking our MP in an orchestrated, horrible, personalised way. They are trying to create an atmosphere of intimidation and hostility that is making many members, particularly Jewish members, feel deeply uncomfortable.”
Says Ms Ellman:
“Most members of the Labour party are not anti-Semitic but some are and some are being allowed to get away with posting anti-Semitic comments in tweets and on their websites. The leader has spoken out clearly, he says he is against anti-Semitism. But it’s not just about words – there has got to be some action and we haven’t seen enough of that.”
Over to Twitter, where Jeremy Corbyn’s brother, Piers, offers a loaded retort: “#Zionists cant cope with anyone supporting rights for #Palestine.”
Zionists. Corbyn spits it out like a toxin; a shorthand for all the world’s ills. Naming someone a Zionist is the worst of all insults. It wasn’t always this way. Tony Benn once wrote for the Labour Zionist magazine, Jewish Vanguard. But then the Left changed the terminology. To be a Zionist, a person who believes in Zionism, the Jews return to an ancient Jewish homeland, is to be a threat to everything good and decent. To be an anti-Zionist is not necessarily to be anti-Semitic. Of course not. You don’t have to be a Jew to be hated by the Left, but it makes things a whole lot easier if you are.
The Zionist plan for Israel – a place promised to Jews in a Covenant with God (discuss) – is now apart from all other peoples’ rights to their own place on the planet. Last month the University of New South Wales guidelines, which are not mandatory, says Australia was “invaded, occupied and colonised”. It was not “discovered”. The Zionists would argue their lands were “invaded, occupied and colonised”. Palestinians would argue the same. It’s complicated. Israel is no romantic idyll flowing with milk and honey. But why should it attract so much more ire when many other places are settled and colonised? Why does Israel always top the BBC’s news cycle? Why does Israel get the Left so outraged when other countries at war and divided by sectarianism do not?
Answer: because you can pour all the world’s ills into it. Cure Israel and make the world a better place. Israel is not all about Jews, just as anti-Semitism isn’t. Israel, like the Jews, fits a bill and fills a vacuum. 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 they can show us what it is not: Israel.
And then 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.
Sweden’s foreign minister, Margaret Wallstrom, said Islamists blow people up because of – yep – Israel: “To counteract the radicalization, we must go back to the situation, such as the one in the Middle East of which not the least the Palestinians see that there is not future. We must either accept a desperate situation or resort to violence.”
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
Having heard what Piers thinks of Zionistssssss, Jeremy Corbyn tells the Sun: “My brother isn’t wrong… My brother has his point of view, I have mine and we actually fundamentally agree. We are a family that were brought up fighting racism from the day we were born.”
Smell that? It’s in the wind. It’s acidic, infectious and seductive to a Left wing shorn of ideas and progress. And it’s back…
Ronnie Corbett has died. I think he’s probably laughing at this Daily Mail caption error right now.
You might see Adam Johnson, the footballer, as a deeply unpleasant oddity. Jailed for six years for sexual activity with an underage girl, Johnson represents nobody but himself. But his job sets an agenda in motion. The Mail leads with news that Johnson has “damaged the reputation of football”. Well, so says Players’ Union supremo Gordon Taylor. He says the football authorities have to ensure a player grooming underage girls for sex “doesn’t happen again”, as if some kind of vetting process can be enforced to ensure anyone who thinks of kicking a ball for a living doesn’t think it ok to wilfully break the law. You might suppose the law was equally applied to the mundane and the celebrated, pointing to Johnson’s incarceration as evidence of just that. But footballs’ leading lights have bought into the top-down bilge that footballers are societal role models whose actions are aped by their fans.
Sticking with the Mail, Jeff Powell says the FA should “take back his caps”. Powell reasons that if a priest can be de-frocked, then a footballer can be un-capped. In Powell’s head a man who gives moral and divine guidance is on a par with a man who can pass a ball in a straight line. Wow, indeed. And then marvel at how Johnson’s name can be erased by taking away evidence that he ever played for England. The record books will show that when England defeated Switzerland 3-1 in 2010, the Three Lions fielded just 10 players and one goal was scored by a ghost, a non-person. Spooky stuff.
Over paged 4 and 5, we learn of things Johnson was not jailed for: looking at porn on a site called ‘Nice Young Teens’; having an STD; engaging in a number of “seedy trysts”; looking at animal porn; and liking sex on the bonnet of his Range Rover. The Express has more, telling readers how Johnson “scoured the internet for twisted animal porn” – is any animal porn non-twisted, of the straight-up sort? – and engaged in “vile discussions branding women ‘slags'”.
That’s the Express, which also owns the Daily Star. In today’s paper, readers are invited to dial a number to chat with “HORNY TEEN GIRLS”.
Adam Johnson is a depraved criminal who knowingly broke the law then lied and lied and lied, forcing his young victim to endure prolonged pain and humiliation. He is not a role model. He is not a typical footballer, any more than he is typical Sunderland-born male, father, porn watcher or tabloid reader. In labelling Johnson a “stain on the game” – typical of “an ugly side of the game rapidly losing its beautiful image” – the Mirror gives Johnson an excuse. ‘It’s not me, guv. It’s football wot made me do it.’
There is no hard evidence to support the idea that football culture makes individuals more likely to commit crime, sexually abuse minors and rape. Johnson’s crimes were not understandable responses to the prevailing culture around him, to his life at the office. He can’t get off that lightly. Framing his crimes as part of some perceived wider sickness in football gives him an excuse. He has none.
Johnson made a conscious choice to have sexual contact with a girl below the age of consent. His job did not force him into it. His professional peers did not present sexual abuse as an initiation. He represents no-one but himself. Football is innocent.
Operation Midland is closed. The Metropolitan Police’s investigation into allegations that a ‘ring’ of paedophiles operated out of Westminster is dead. After 16 months of lurid headlines and wicked whispers, the Met came up with zilch.
Midland is one of a number of inquiries that began after Labour’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, said in the House of Commons in 2012 that there had been “a powerful paedophile network linked to parliament and No 10”. He went on to call ex-top Tory MP Leon Britton “evil”. The Met called Nick’s claims “credible and true”. He was not an accuser. He was a victim.
Before the completion of an inquiry, let alone any charges brought or a trial, the people behind the inquiry knew its outcome. It was all credible and true. No evidence. No matter. The victim would be avenged. Objectivity and impartiality were no longer important barriers to justice. What followed would resemble not so much justice as a ritual cleansing, in which the morally right would purge the past and make clean the present. You might call it a witch-hunt.
Let’s review the coverage.
And we can begin with the Mirror, the paper that put so much stock in “Nick’, the man who said he knew children had been killed at sex parties. Nick said he had witnessed ‘VIP’ paedophiles rape and murder children between 1975 and 1984.
How many words does the Mirror tell its readers on the closure of Operation Midland, much of which was based on Nick’s claims? Nothing. Not a single word. Zippo. Wow, indeed. This is the paper that told its readers:
The Sun (front page): “VIP Paedo Probe Collapses”
Readers are asked, “Howe can he stay?” Howe is Met chief Bernard Hogan-Howe.
Page 4-5: “Probe was based on ramblings of a lying fantasist madman.”
ANGRY Harvey Proctor last night accused the Met of wrecking his life with a VIP paedophile ring investigation based on the ravings of a mad fantasist.
The gay ex-Tory MP, one of several prominent figures named by an anonymous accuser known only as Nick, wept with relief yesterday as the £3million Operation Midland inquiry shut down and he was told he faced no further action.
He said: “Operation Midland was based solely on the ramblings of a liar and a madman. The damage that has been done can’t be undone. The Met allowed me to be wrongly depicted as a paedophile, child abuser and child murderer by a fantasist. These are some of the worst things that can be said of another human being. Nothing the Metropolitan Police do or say, no weasel words of regret, can remove that indelible stain. I hope they are proud of themselves for irreparably ruining my life.”
To be innocent and accused of something you never did in such a public fashion is hideous. Proctor deserves our sympathy. For those readers late to the story, the Sun gives a potted history of Nick’s allegations:
He claimed he had witnessed Mr Proctor strangling and beating to death two young boys at one of these parties.
Nick also alleged former Home Secretary Lord Brittan, Britain’s most decorated soldier Lord Bramall, another senior Army officer and two ex-heads of MI5 and MI6 also attended sex parties in London.
The claims caused a sensation when they were publicised by Labour deputy leader Tom Watson and the Exaro News website. The homes of 92-year-old D-Day veteran Lord Bramall and the late Lord Brittan were raided. And one senior detective described Nick’s claims as “credible and true”.
But doubts began to surface when Nick’s stepbrother and ex-wife described him as a fantasist who was having a mid-life crisis. The claims against Lord Bramall were eventually dropped. Police also found there was no case against Lord Brittan.
What say the police?
Scotland Yard Deputy Assistant Commissioner Steve Rodhouse yesterday insisted Operation Midland had been “handled well”. He refused to apologise to Mr Proctor and said: “I regret any distress caused to any individual but the Met can’t apologise for investigating serious allegations.”
But why were these allegations played out in public? Was it all a panicked reaction to Jimmy Savile, a man celebrated in life but in death dug up and beaten with sticks – a papal and British knight who had “groomed the nation”?
Page 10: “Met’s disgrace”
The Sun’s lead editorial is given to a review of the Met, the police force that not so long ago was harassing Sun journalists.
FROM start to finish there was a loathsome arrogance about the way Bernard Hogan-Howe’s Met Police conducted its “VIP paedophiles” witch-hunt. It was still evident yesterday even as Operation Midland was shut down in failure and disgrace…
They publicly insisted from the start the claims, from one man, were “credible . . . and true”. They turned out to be baseless smears blackening several distinguished names.
But no one is held to account and no one resigns.
And, despite zero evidence, no one prosecutes the “victim” for perverting justice or wasting police time.
The Mail (front page): “Humiliation of the Yard”
Only, they are not humiliated. They just carry on. The police do not listen. The police only tell.
Controversially, there are no plans to prosecute Nick, despite calls for him and a news website which peddled his claims to be put on trial for allegedly perverting the course of justice. One of the most extraordinary claims was that former Prime Minister Ted Heath persuaded former MP Harvey Proctor not to castrate Nick with a penknife – which was then handed to him to keep as a souvenir. The tone of the Met’s statement was in sharp contrast to its media appeal to ‘victims’ 15 months ago in which senior investigating officer Det Supt Kenny McDonald described Nick’s allegations as ‘credible and true’.
We should cheer this:
Mr Proctor last night paid tribute to the ‘free, inquisitive and independent-minded media, who have all supported me over the last year’.
Free speech matters. Journalism must not be regulated with licenses and a State-run board deciding what is and what is not important for people to know.
Mr Proctor said: ‘I believe Operation Midland should now be the subject of a truly independent public inquiry. ‘I consider that Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, (Assistant Commissioner) Patricia Gallan, (Deputy Assistant Commissioner) Steve Rodhouse and (Det Supt) Kenny McDonald should tender their resignations. I believe Nick… should be prosecuted for seeking to pervert the course of justice.’ Lord Bramall told the BBC: ‘If they’d taken any trouble to put their effort into questioning the so-called victim, I think they would have found that (his allegations) were very unlikely.’
The Mail features the story over pages 4-5:. Guy Adams lists the “charge sheet” against the Met. He begins:
In December 2014, Det Supt Kenny McDonald held an emotional press conference and described Nick’s story as ‘credible and true’. McDonald has never explained why he made this extraordinary comment, given that Nick’s claims hadn’t been tested in court. At that point McDonald hadn’t interviewed a single suspect, didn’t know who the alleged murder victims were, and hadn’t found a single body.
So why did the police make such a big noise about the investigation? And how is it that amid the talk of VIPs and powerful people getting way with it, not a single top copper’s name – alive or dead – was dragged into the mire? But surely the biggest issue is that the failures of Operation Midland make us suspicious of all other investigations into past crimes. In the rush to look on the public’s side and morally correct, the police have damaged their own reputation and made us wary of complainants who allege they are victims of a cover up.
The Sun has a loaded headline:
Joy for Ben Needham’s mum as cops given extra £450k to find missing son – while Maddie hunt totals £11M
Are the two cases of British children who vanished on overseas trips connected? Why else would Madeleine McCann’s name be invoked in a headline about Ben Needham?
SOUTH Yorkshire Police have been given an extra £450,000 to find missing Ben Needham as the 25th anniversary of his disappearance draws near. Police were granted £700k by the Home Office last January for more resources into the investigation, but that money will have run out by the end of the month.
Good news. The disappearance of Ben Needham is an open sore. But then this:
The amount given to Operation Ben still pales in significance compare to the £11 million spent on Madeleine McCann’s search fund.
A great deal of money has been invested / spent on the hunt for Madeleine McCann. Good. Let’s hope we get to know what happened to her. The problem is not what is spent, rather what is not. Do you think it unfair that the case of one missing child gets more public cash than another because, like the media and police who stand accused of picking blondes over blacks and rich over poor, there is bias at work?
If you want to compare what is spent on what, it might be better wondering how much has been spent on the hunt for other children who vanished in the UK, like, say Charlene Downes? She disappeared 12 years ago from her home in Blackpool, Lancashire, when aged 14. There is a £100,000 reward on offer for information leading to, well, something. Was she murdered, as Paige Chivers was? Paige went missing from her Blackpool home on 23 August 2007. She was 15. Three days later her feckless father reported her missing. The police operator recorded the year of Paige’s birth incorrectly – as 1962 not 1992 – and that she had left home voluntarily. Police were looking for a 45-year-old woman who had left home of her own accord. On 7 September the error was rectified.
Paige had sought help from Robert Ewing, 37 years her senior. Ewing, a known paedophile, had groomed Paige for sex. To keep her quiet, he murdered her. In July 2015, Ewing was convicted of murder at Preston Crown Court. His co-defendant, Gareth Dewhurst, 46, was convicted of disposing of her body three days later.
How much cash was spent investigating the disappearances of these two girls from impoverished backgrounds? How much police work has gone into either investigation?
The BBC provides notes:
Less than a fortnight before her disappearance, Ewing “tested the water” with police when he contacted them anonymously and said a “problem child” had turned up on his doorstep after being thrown out by her father. The prosecution said Ewing had wanted to see what official reaction there would be to a 15-year-old girl turning up on the doorstep of a 52-year-old man. “The answer he learned… was very little,” said Brian Cummings QC.
Back to the Sun’s story of stolen lives and money:
But it is still a promising step for Ben’s heartbroken mum Kerry Needham, as the government agreed to hand over more cash to find her long-lost son. Kerry said: “Please end the pain my family are suffering. I know he’s out there somewhere, please call the detectives and put an end to it.”
Ben was 21-months-old when he disappeared on July 24 1991 as he played outside the house his grandparents’ farmhouse in Kos.
Resources are finite, of course. But where police chose to spend their money and time should not be a decision triggered by media pressure.
Hilary Clinton was asked by Ricky Jackson if she supported the death penalty. Jackson spent 39 years in prison and on death row for a crime he didn’t commit. He reminded her that innocent people have been executed.
As ever Clinton connived to utter many words but say absolutely nothing.
This is the politician running for President as a ‘wife, mom, grandma’. She markets herself on social media as #GrandmothersKnowBest. Why does she use identity to woo voters? Because Hillary Clinton has no values you can hang your hat on. When her public record and pronouncements are so vacuous, mis-spoken and squirming, all she has is her sex and her private life.
A vote for Hillary is a vote or Hillary – you get nothing else.
This is pathetic.
High-Rise is a vision of hell set in the 1970s. It’s a bit like the EastEnders omnibus, only without the nightmarish Shane Ritchie. In the Creative Review, Mark Sinclair interviews graphic artists Michael Eaton and Felicity Hickson:
Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise, looks at mid-70s Britain through the prism of an ultra-modern tower block. Adapted from JG Ballard’s 1975 nove by Amy Jump, the film follows Dr Robert Laing (played by Tom Hiddleston) as he adjusts to his new life as a tenant on the 25th floor and explores the relationships between the building’s various social groups and the tribal mentalities that emerge as the tower gradually descends into chaos. While working families live on its lower levels and aspirant professionals reside halfway up, a wealthy elite is confined to the uppermost floors – a structure that does not last long.
To help realise this unique world, envisioned by production designer Mark Tildesley, graphic artists Michael Eaton and Felicity Hickson created a legion of objects and products and several type treatments for the film’s locations: one for the high-rise itself, with its supermarket, gym, spa and swimming pool; a house font for the building’s architect, Anthony Royal; and signage for Laing’s place of work, the School of Physiology.
Nice work – and if it does make more than a passing nod to Sainsbury’s own-brand.
Big news in the Daily Mail that Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy is “gunning down rivals” by playing Call of Duty on his PlayStation.
Those rivals had best watch out. The Daily Mail told us Call of Duty turns you into a murderer – maybe:
He shoots! He shoot! He keeps on shooting until the game is over and his wife call him down for dinner…
The Sun leads with a fight aboard a RyanAir flight from Luton to Bratislava. In “Mile High Clubbed”, we meet Josh Mariner’s Stag Do party, two of whom are having a row. Six of the country’s finest were removed from the plane when the plane diverted to Berlin. The highlight of this episode is the exchange between two of the men which features an absurd mix of EastEnders English, therapy babble and LA street gang wit.
Stagger 1: “You’re a fucking prick bruv. I hate you. No disrespect to her but I hate her. You think you’re fucking real? You watch then mate. You’re a fucking… Fuck your mum, your dad.
“I’m not afraid of you, I swear on my mother’s life. I’d rather stab you in the face with a fork. My name to you is Tom. I am gong to make you respect it. Keep talking… keep talking..? You’ve done it now, anything goes. I swear on my dad’s grave I’ll take you. I’m not scared of you. You are a wrong ‘un. Why shouldn’t I batter your face? You are a pussy. I wish you would get wrapped up by people bigger than you.”
The other man does a small-fingered wanking gesture with his hand. He slaps Tom. Tom throws a punch. It misses.
Stagger 1: “We are not in Southampton now. More coming Jamie, I don’t care. I don’t want anything to do with you, you little wanker. I want you to know for the rest of your life every time we see each other…”
It’s brilliant stuff, worthy of a Bafta, or at least a writing job on Hollyoaks.
And, of course, as anyone whose travelled on RyanAir knows, everything ‘s extra. The fork, the one you’re gong to stab Jamie with, costs £4:50. It’s made of thin plastic, so you might also want to go for the spoon (£4:50).
Note: The Sun tells readers: “The Slovakian capital is popular with British stag parties where beer costs just £1 a pint and there are dozens of seedy strip joints and nightclubs.”
Which makes it the perfect place for Sun readers to go. You’ll love it!
Fights and forks extra.
In February 1970 the BBC broadcast the documentary Man Alive: The Disc Jockeys. The series was edited by Esther Rantzen’s future hubby Desmond Wilcox. (More on them here.) The show focused on the new wave of BBC Radio 1 DJs.
As Paul Gallagher writes:
In Britain during those promiscuous 1970s, millions of youngsters were shocking their parents by going to bed with John Peel and waking up with Tony Blackburn… and his dog Arnold. The sound of the DJs could be heard everywhere—from cars, shops, kitchens, homes, factories, schoolyards and those dinky little pocket radios that everyone and their Mom seemed to have, dangling from plastic wristbands.
The music revolution of the 1960s really began with the arrival of cheap polyvinyl chloride in the fifties which meant record companies could mass produce singles and albums. Previously record discs had been made of the far more expensive Bakelite. The PVC revolution tied in very neatly with the incredible flourishing of young musical talent—and so the Swinging Sixties were born.
Suddenly youngsters wanted to hear music before they bought it, or even if they didn’t buy it. This gave rise to Pirate Radio. At the time the BBC was the only organization in Britain with the license to transmit radio shows. However a small loophole in maritime law allowed DJs to broadcast from ships anchored just outside UK waters. And so pop-pickers Pirate Radio was born.
In 1967 the BBC admitted defeat and launched Radio One—a youth radio station for pop music. Radio One became the biggest and most successful radio station in the country with generation after generation of youngsters learning their love of music or finding their inspiration to form bands from listening to the station’s DJs.
This BBC documentary from 1970 looks at the rise of the Radio One DJ and features Emperor Rosko, John Peel, Kenny Everett and Tony Blackburn—a rum bunch of four very different radio hosts. Condescending in tone throughout, the documentary voice over even has the temerity to suggest that sex with fans was one of the perks of working for the BBC—-shurely not:
Radio One belongs to the taxpayer and doesn’t splash princely salaries around for men like Emperor Rosko. He accepts the BBC’s shop policy of paying low wages as both sides know about the big big perks that can accompany the adulation of this new empire—British teeny boppers.
The interviewer then grills one poor little teenybopper about her infatuation with Emperor Rosko:
“I listen to him and I like listening to his voice and I get carried away” says one young besotted teenager about the subject of her adoration DJ Emperor Rosko:
“What do you mean you get carried away?” says Ms. Prim from the BBC
“I just hear his voice and I imagine him…” says adoring young fan.
“When you say you imagine him…you imagine him doing what?” continues our interrogator.
“Talking and smiling and…all the actions with it. It’s just good.”
“And where do you do your listen to this?”
“In the bedroom.”
It’s an interesting hour well spent and worth watching mainly to see the pure genius of Kenny Everett making one of his shows and to hear some of the mumblings of the man himself, John Peel.
Tony Blackburn is pictured at his home in Hertfordshire on the Times’ front page. Mr Poptastic has been sacked by the BBC. Why? Is it because the BBC is controlled by untouchable, self-serving elitists who have, as Blackburn says, “hung him out to dry’?
Kaya Burgess puts is beautifully:
Tony Blackburn has accused the BBC of “hanging him out to dry” and says he is suing the corporation after being sacked over evidence that he gave to a sex abuse inquiry. Lord Hall of Birkenhead, the BBC’s director-general, said yesterday that the DJ’s dismissal severed the final link between the BBC and the individuals mentioned in a 1,000-page report on sexual abuse published yesterday by Dame Janet Smith.
The old and the unfanciable are gone. The BBC is targetting those who aren’t considered hip.
With any luck Blackburn will die before he can sue the BBC for making him into a “scapegoat”. Well, it’s not hard to imagine that’s what the BBC’s untouchables want. They’re all guilty in isolation when they’re dead; the crimes of the past wrapped in the wooden box and given to the other worms.
The report said that in 1971 a celebrity named as “A7” was accused by the mother of Claire McAlpine, a 15-year-old girl, of “seducing” her daughter, who later took her own life. Blackburn has revealed that he was A7 and denied the allegation. He said that the report made “no suggestion” that he was guilty of any misconduct, but said that he had been dismissed by the BBC because his recollection of the 1971 investigation “does not tally with theirs”.
Dame Janet’s report asserts that Blackburn was interviewed at the time by Bill Cotton, then head of the BBC’s light entertainment group, and by Sir Brian Neill, a QC who was investigating separate matters at Top of the Pops.
Blackburn said in a statement before the report’s publication: “I have repeatedly told Dame Janet and the BBC I was never interviewed by either man in this context and the BBC records are either very vague or have, conveniently, disappeared.”
You can read more on Clair McAlpine here.
The Star (page 4 and 5): Shamed BBC Turned blind eye for 50 years to VIP paedo Savile”
That would be the BBC that employed ‘national treasure’ John Peel as a DJ, a man who boasted of getting blow jobs from 13-year-olds.
And that eye was not blind. It saw.
The Mirror (front page): “Secret Been Memos that got DJ Tony Blackburn the sack”
The BBC is run along the liens of mid-sized Communist state.
The Mirror has obtained secret documents which led to the BBC sacking DJ Tony Blackburn. The veteran DJ, 73, was grilled by BBC bosses over claims he “seduced” a teenager dancer who later killed herself, the papers reveal. But the sacked star last night continued to insist the interviews never took place, despite documents to the contrary.
In one of the 1971 papers obtained by the Mirror, the BBC’s Assistant Head of Variety Tony Preston, told Assistant Solicitor George Derrick he and Head of Light Entertainment Bill Cotton had spoken to Mr Blackburn over the allegations made by 15-year-old Claire McAlpine.
He wrote: “As we expected, he has issued a flat denial. For my part, I must accept the situation, although I would be less than fair if I were not to record that his [Blackburn’s] recollection does not agree with the first thoughts of his agent.”
Preston, Derrick and Cotton are all dead.
Another note states: “Enquiries were duly made and two senior officials of the BBC interviewed the disc jockey concerned. The disc jockey denied categorically the allegation made.” The papers also reveal Mr Blackburn was interviewed again by Brian Neill QC between 1971 and 1972 as part of an inquiry into a string of scandals at Top of the Pops, where Claire was a dancer. The lawyer noted the DJ “told me that the girl had come to see him on several occasions and had invented stories for the purpose of getting access to him”. He added: “He said she seemed to him in a sort of fantasy world but that she had not made any sexual advances.”
As for Tony Blackburn:
Mr Blackburn was fired by Director-General Lord Hall this week, after a 49-year career with the BBC, over “inconsistent” evidence he gave to the Dame Janet Smith review. He continues to insist he was not quizzed by the two Beeb bosses. The veteran broadcaster, who has lost BBC contracts worth £200,000 a year, said last night: “I repeat what I told Dame Janet when I voluntarily gave evidence to assist her and the BBC. What I said in my earlier statement regarding the alleged meetings with Brian Neill QC and Bill Cotton 45 years ago still stands. Given Dame Janet Smith’s concerns of a culture of fear in coming forward at the BBC, the fact that I have been scapegoated for giving my honest account and best recollections of those events 45 years ago, which I felt was a whitewash, what whistleblower at the BBC would ever come forward when they see the way they have hung me out to dry?
“Sadly, today’s news agenda should have been about the survivors of abuse carried out within the BBC but, by sacking me, they have managed to take the focus off those who have suffered so much. My lawyers are now considering all statements made by the BBC about me today and we will be taking action.” He later said through his solicitor that the review “might well prefer the documentary evidence to his recollection”.
The Sun (pages 10 and 11): “Savile dressed as Womble to rape boy of 10”
Ah, the wholesome Wombles. Read more about them leering at young girls here.
BBC paedo Jimmy Savile wore a Womble costume when he raped a boy aged ten and sexually assaulted a girl of 12 in front of each other. The DJ struck in his dressing room minutes after he had finished filming a Top of the Pops pre-Christmas show in 1973.
The shocked lad “sat still like a statue” before Savile warned the pair: “It’s our special secret.” The attacks were revealed in Dame Janet Smith’s £10million, three-year report released yesterday in which she slammed the BBC for allowing Savile and pervert broadcaster Stuart Hall to abuse 93 victims… His youngest female rape victim was 13, the youngest male aged eight.
Many fans were terrified into silence. Savile told one: “Don’t even think about going to the papers.”
He was right. Largely, they didn’t give a toss.
You might have seen the BBC documentary on Radio One DJs. Man Alive: The Disc Jockeys (February 1970). The series was edited by Esther Rantzen’s future hubby Desmond Wilcox. (More on them here.)
It features this section on Emperor Rosko.
“Radio One belongs to the taxpayer and doesn’t splash princely salaries around for men like Emperor Rosko,” says reporter Jeanne La Chard. “He accepts the BBC’s shop policy of paying low wages as both sides know about the big big perks that can accompany the adulation of this new empire – British teeny boppers.”
The interviewer, Jeanne La Chard, goes on to grill these innocent little teenyboppers about her infatuation with Emperor Rosko:
“I listen to him and I like listening to his voice and I get carried away” says one young besotted teenager about the subject of her adoration DJ Emperor Rosko.
JLC: “What do you mean you get carried away?”
Teen: “I just hear his voice and I imagine him…”
JLC: “When you say you imagine him…you imagine him doing what?”
Teen: “Talking and smiling and…all the actions with it. It’s just good.”
JLC: “And where do you do your listen to this?”
Teen: “In the bedroom.”
When asked by a reporter in 2001 whether he was concerned if he would be remembered as a “conning pervert and abuser when he died,” Jimmy Savile replied:
‘If I’m gone that’s that. Bollocks to my legacy. Whatever is said after I’m gone is irrelevant.’
The reporter then asked if Savile was ‘into little girls’, to which the BBC presenter replied:
‘I’d rather not even opinionate on this. I’ll leave it to the psychologists to sort out the psychology of child abuse.’
Every day a new allegation emerges about Jimmy Savile. These allegations now cover 6 decades, and include allegations of the rape of children, mentally ill patients and the sexual assault of a disabled girl. The police are currently investigating over 300 lines of inquiry.
Savile’s attacks occurred in hospitals, clubs and the BBC. And it is the latter organization that is coming under considerable scrutiny by the police.
The question is how did the BBC employ such an individual, when there were known allegations against him? And what was the everyday culture at BBC that could allow Savile’s behavior to go unnoticed? Uncommented upon? Even tolerated?
How does new journalism work? Stephen Hull, editor-in-chief of Huffington Post UK, was talking with Steve Hewlett on Radio 4’s Media Show yesterday. He was asked why the website doesn’t pay for content. His answer is remarkable:
I’m not getting unpaid workers for a large corporation to suck them dry; I’m keeping you real, man.
What a visionary Hull is. To prove his dedication to a world free of filthy lucre still further, we can expect him to dispense with a salary, and give away the money he’s been paid to write during his time as Head of Content at Metro and with the London Olympics editorial team. He will then become authentic – a real journalist in this brave new age of opportunity.
Note: Hull reminds us that the HuffPost is no longer owned by minted socialite Arianna Huffington. She sold it for £300m. It’s now owned by Verizon, whose market cap stands at $202.5 billion. In March 2014, Bloomberg reported:
Verizon Communications Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lowell McAdam received $18.3 million in total compensation last year, a 16 percent increase. McAdam’s base salary was $1.58 million, $100,000 more than in 2013, his cash bonus fell to $3.8 million from $4.13 million, and his stock award jumped 28 percent to $12 million, the company said Monday in a regulatory filing.
But if McAdam were to decided on a new career in journalism at his own organ, surely he’d do it for free. Purity is all at the HuffPost.
On the BBC, Chelsea Alan from Twickenham is worried that the soul is being “ripped out” of Chelsea. He fears the Blues are becoming “a Man City who are full of mercenaries”.
“I look at Hazard and I look at Costa and I don’t like what I see, I don’t like their behaviour,” says Alan. “I look at the team and wonder where’s the soul of it?”
Did the soul of Chelsea vanish when Roman Abramovich bought the club and tossed a billion pounds of interest-free cash at it? Those millions bought great players who won lots of cups. Is City’s soul a concern for the club’s fans who watched that brilliant homemade Old Trafford clock click the years over and over since the Citizens last won a cup – the fans who stuck with their team, waiting for the sublime moment when Sergio Aguero would score that goal to win the title on the final day of the 2012 season?
A few years back I went to a FA Cup even sponsored by Budweiser. At a Q&A session with John Barnes, a prosperous looking man asked a question. He had a broad US accent. The compere, also an American, invited him to speak. “Hey, Barnsey,” he said, “What do you think of The Blues’ chances this time?” Another journalist sat beside me muttered, “More chance than you have of recognising John Hollins.”
It was easy to see that new Blue as part of the problem, a soccer fan who’d adopted the winning club as his own. But so what if he had? This new globalised Premier League is exciting. As Gary Lineker put it after Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck had scored a last gasp winner against Leicester City, “There is nothing quite like football for filling you with joy one minute and tearing your heart to shreds the next.”
Who can blame the American for wanting in to all that emotion?
Alan the Chelsea fan you can hear in the audio above is a whiner. At one time or another, most fans are. He wants his team to win. When they don’t, he looks for the problem. Right now he wants soul. But Chelsea have only the Belgian Hazard, a player unable to recapture last season’s brilliance. Ask a fan of the once mighty Leeds if they’d swap Hazard for a local lad who can run and play a bit, who sleeps under a Leeds duvet and can give you the name of Billy Bremner’s milkman, and they’d not refuse the offer – even the player’s mother, if she were a true Leeds fan, would wish her lad well as he packed his bags.
Hazard and Costa are not hollow-eyed mercenaries here to kill the game. They’re here because football fans pay to see them play.
Fans come to see the thrilling and the unexpected. Did Chelsea look like future Champions’ League winner when they were relegated to the then second division in 1988? Was that night at an expectant Anfield in 1989, when Arsenal won the title with pretty much the last kick of the match, more or less thrilling because it was so utterly unexpected? Arsenal fans who made the journey didn’t go to see their team win; they went because something extraordinary might just happen.
And the unexpected has been happening with increasing frequency. The Economist revealed that up until December 19 2015, the Premier League had the highest number of games won by underdogs in history:
Last season’s Blues were the first team in EPL history to lead the league wire to wire: they held at least a share of first place every day from start to finish. They were often compared to the unbeaten Arsenal “Invincibles” side of 2003-04 and Manchester United’s treble-winning squad of 1998-99, albeit without emulating either feat. In fact, most gambling companies wouldn’t have offered the bet: you could have taken 250 to one for Chelsea to finish in the bottom half, or 7,500 to one for the club to be relegated. Perhaps a generous bookie might have staked a mere 1,000 to one against Chelsea dropping into the bottom six in the depths of December…
Leicester’s improbable rise and Chelsea’s unprecedented fall have certainly been the biggest shocks of the 2015-16 season. But they are far from the only ones. Plucky West Ham have beaten Arsenal (at odds of 11 to one), Manchester City (11 to one) and Liverpool (eight to one) away from home. In the last fortnight, tiny Bournemouth have vanquished Manchester United and Chelsea, whilst struggling Newcastle have beaten both Tottenham and Liverpool—combinations that according to bookmakers were respectively 3% and 2% likely. Perhaps the only predictable feature of the Premier League in 2015-16 has been the regularity with which pundits have described it as the most unpredictable season ever. According to the betting lines, 42 of 160 games (26%) thus far have been won by the underdogs; since the turn of the century, no Premier League season has ended with the unfavoured teams winning more than 23% of matches.
It’s great when your team wins. And when they win when you least expect it, it’s magic. Will Chelsea come again? Sill Spurs rekindle those glory glory days? Are Leicester on the cusp of a coruscating victory?
We don’t know. And that’s that makes the Premier League so captivating.
When Adrienne LaFrance cancelled her subscription to Harper’s magazine she received a letter – a begging letter. Read it and weep (with annotations by Adrienne):
On Facebook people are sharing things Overheard In Waitrose. And it’s great. Here are five crackers:
“I can’t find anything here, we should have really gone to Selfridges” – Overheard in Waitrose Marylebone
Two people having a heated argument at the front of local store. -One said ‘I know I am right, I’m a solicitor’ .To which the second calmly said ‘So am I’
Overheard in Waitrose Twickenham… “Lysander put the papaya down!”
“I suppose we could have a coffee. I’ve just spoken to Susan and she’s still doing the ironing and there’s nothing worse than being in your own house when the cleaner is still there.”
“Jemima, you’ll have to take the Rosemary off the Focaccia before we feed the ducks, Darling…. They can’t digest it!”
How do you report on the 12 rapists who attacked a 13-year-old girl? The Daily Star puts the news on its front page: “Sex gang gets 143 years’ jail,” runs the headline. The story beings: “12 members of an Asian gang…” Before the names and location, we are told the gang is Asian.
The story continues: “They laughed and waved at friends in the court’s public gallery as they caged for repeatedly raping their white victim.”
Race plays a leading role in the Star’s story – the Star that once supported the EDL.
On page 9, the men are “sex monsters” stood in the dock at Bradford Crown Court. One who was not in court is named as Arif Choudhury, 20, who has “fled to Bangladesh”. He, says the Star, “arranged for the girl to be raped” when she refused to carry drugs for him.
Elsewhere Choudhury is called Arif Chowdhury.
Yorkshire Evening Post: “Keighley grooming case: ‘Arrogant’ Asian gang of 12 jailed for 130 years”
AN ARROGANT gang of 12 men in a West Yorkshire town have been jailed for a total of 130 years for the repeated rape and sexual abuse of a vulnerable schoolgirl they saw as “utterly worthless”.
Eleven were jailed for rape and a twelfth man was jailed for sexual activity with a child under 16. Their white British victim was aged 13 and 14 when she was repeatedly raped and sexually abused and passed around by the Asian men.
Asian men. But not Chinese, Thai or Cambodian men.
The Sun (Pages 8 and 9): “143 Years for rape gang ignored by cops.”
A GANG of Asian paedophiles who beat and raped a white girl of 13 was jailed yesterday for a total of 143 years. The terrified victim was repeatedly abused at various locations for over a year — despite being reported missing to cops 71 times. They ignored her family’s desperate pleas for help and instead told her anxious mum to keep a diary of her movements.
Criminality thrives when it goes unchecked. A ‘gang’ forms because one criminal gets away with it and tells an associate he can trust. The men did not join any rape gang because they were Asian – they joined in because they were criminally minded bastards who knew each other.
David Hines, of the National Victims’ Association, likened it to incidents in Rochdale and Rotherham — where up to 1,400 girls were abused by Asian paedos. He claimed: “I’m sure police heard the alarm bells. They just decided to ignore the noise.”
The first mention of the victim being white appears in paragraph 8:
Tory MP Kris Hopkins, who represents Keighley, said: “I’m well aware there are numerous white paedophiles and they should be dealt with just as harshly.”
Well, yes. But..
“But the sick model of organised groups of Asian men grooming young white girls to be sexually abused remains a blight at the heart of many communities across this country. And sadly Keighley is at the top of the list.”
Why? Who knew? Who ignored the victims?
In these cases it’s useful to ask some questions: what if the victim had been an aristocrat? What if she had been from a rich family? Would the police have told her parents to keep a diary of her movements had she been from an upper-class home? What if she was not from an impoverished background? What if her dad knew the chief inspector?
The Sun then quotes a local man with an opinion:
A COUNCILLOR sparked outrage yesterday after he appeared to dismiss the Keighley sex scandal – and claimed: “It takes two to tango.” Councillor Zafar Ali said he did not condone the abuse of white girls by Asian men – but claimed the gang had “got the wrong end of the stick”.
This was rape. They were the stick.
He said: “The grooming itself is totally out of proportion, we don’t condone that. As a a Muslim, living here for 52 years, I can tell you that no no-one does, it is categorically not Islamic.”
Who said it was Islamic? And since when does gang rape trigger a lesson in theology?
“Things have happened which means justice has been done for the people who have suffered and the punishment has been given. My feeling is the Muslim community should be addressing this quietly, amicably and sensibly. We should be rational. It takes two to tango, there are bad apples, but it doesn’t mean to say everyone is bad. There are a few who unfortunately have got the wrong end of the stick, but that’s not Muslim. Sensible, mature Muslims would never allow that. They have condemned that. We need to find a way to address it, it needs to be looked into.
“There are a few people who lose themselves but the entire community shouldn’t be labelled. There is some feeling from some people that she played her part in it, the victim had a part to play.”
She had a part to play, yes. She was the childish vessel into which the men – aged 19 to 63 – unleashed their perversions, desires, insecurities, anger, hatred and criminality.
The Express (Page 12): “A depraved gang of Asian men who raped and abused a vulnerable 13-year-old white girls have been jailed…”
Page 12: “Police, social workers and councillors turned a blind eye, too afraid of being labelled racist to confront a growing epidemic of abuse until the full scale of horrors became clear.”
Daily Mirror (Page 20): “12 men jailed for gang rape of teenage girl”
The word “Asian” first appears in paragraph 2. Nowhere does it mention that the victim was white.
Daily Mail (Page 20): 143 years for child rape gang but leader escapes justice with flight to Bangladesh”
Not once does the Mail says the victim was white. It commends her “bravery in giving evidence”, as well it should.
The bastards are:
Khalid Mahood, 34, was given an extended sentence of 17 years comprising a custodial term of 13 and a half years and an extended licence of three and a half years.
Sufyan Ziarab, 22, from Keighley, West Yorkshire, was jailed for 15 years.
His brother Bilal Ziarab, 21, from Bradford, West Yorkshire, was jailed for 12 years.
Yasser Kabir, 25, from Keighley was jailed for 15 years with a consecutive five years after being found guilty in June 2015 for offences on two girls aged between five and nine when he was between 13 and 15.
Hussain Sardar, 19, from Keighley received six years detention in a young offenders institution.
Nasir Khan, 22, from Keighley, was jailed for 13 years.
His brother Faisal Khan, 27, from Keighley was jailed for 13 years.
Saqib Younis, 29, from Keighley was jailed for 13 years.
Israr Ali, 19, from Keighley, received three and a half years detention in a young offenders institute.
Zain Ali, 20, from Keighley, received eight years in a young defenders institute.
Tanqueer Hussain, 23, from Keighley was jailed for 13 years and received a five year consecutive sentence for the rape of a second underage victim in 2009.
Mohammed Akram, 63, was jailed for five years.
Nazir Khan had a conviction for exposure and Bilal Ziarab a previous conviction for sexual activity with a child.
Only Tauqeer Hussain and Mohammed Akram were of previous good character.
The Times (Page 18): “Gang jailed for raping girl 13”
The paper begins: “A gang of men who groomed and repeatedly raped a vulnerable schoolgirl…”
No mention of race. Mentions of the world Asian, Muslim and white in the article: none.
The Times has not always been so shy of race:
ITV: “MP who warned of sex abuse gang says he was abused and threatened for making claims”
Conservative Kris Hopkins, MP for Keighley and Ilkley says:
In November 2012, I made a speech in the House of Commons expressing my horror at the fact that there were gangs of Asian men going around Keighley raping white girls.
I was castigated from many quarters, received many abusive pieces of correspondence and on one occasion was forced to clear my constituency office after receiving a threat.
This case, the many guilty verdicts reached and the heavy sentences rightly handed down underline the nature and the truth of the evil I spoke about back then and will continue to raise until it has been eradicated.
I am very well aware that there are numerous white paedophiles out there and they should be dealt with just as harshly. But the sick model of organised groups of Asian men grooming young white girls to be sexually abused remains a blight at the heart of many communities across this country. And sadly Keighley is at the top of the list.
I want to congratulate all of the police officers who played a part in bringing these guilty men to justice. It can often be a harrowing task to collect the necessary evidence to secure convictions and, once again, West Yorkshire Police has done an outstanding job.
I hope that the force’s dedication and professionalism will encourage other victims to come forward and help put other perpetrators behind bars. I am very happy to provide all necessary support through my office to facilitate this.
I continue to work very closely with senior police officers and ministers, including the Home Secretary Theresa May, to see what more can be done to uncover child grooming rings and track down those involved. We have already achieved a number of improvements to national law and I am confident that further positive changes will be made.
But I must end with a plea. Whilst the police, the Government and I as the local MP will continue to join forces to tackle these issues, we need the support of the entire community behind us.
I love Keighley, it’s the town I grew up in and I’m privileged to be its Member of Parliament. But Keighley’s proud name has been dragged through the mud too many times in recent years because of the heinous acts of sick men preying on vulnerable young girls.
I appeal directly to members of the local community that if you know of any individual or groups of individuals who may be involved in these activities, you have an obligation to pass this information on. We must work together to rid ourselves of this cancer, and we all have a part to play.
– KRIS HOPKINS MP
What to do?
The Anorak Inbox features this plea: Nigerian Astronaut is lost in space needs $3Million to come home
Subject: Nigerian Astronaut Wants To Come Home
Dr. Bakare Tunde
Astronautics Project Manager
National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA)
Garki, Abuja, FCT NIGERIA
Dear Mr. Sir,
REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE-STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL
I am Dr. Bakare Tunde, the cousin of Nigerian Astronaut, Air Force Major Abacha Tunde. He was the first African in space when he made a secret flight to the Salyut 6 space station in 1979. He was on a later Soviet spaceflight, Soyuz T-16Z to the secret Soviet military space station Salyut 8T in 1989. He was stranded there in 1990 when the Soviet Union was dissolved. His other Soviet crew members returned to earth on the Soyuz T-16Z, but his place was taken up by return cargo. There have been occasional Progrez supply flights to keep him going since that time. He is in good humor, but wants to come home.
In the 14-years since he has been on the station, he has accumulated flight pay and interest amounting to almost $ 15,000,000 American Dollars. This is held in a trust at the Lagos National Savings and Trust Association. If we can obtain access to this money, we can place a down payment with the Russian Space Authorities for a Soyuz return flight to bring him back to Earth. I am told this will cost $ 3,000,000 American Dollars. In order to access the his trust fund we need your assistance.
Consequently, my colleagues and I are willing to transfer the total amount to your account or subsequent disbursement, since we as civil servants are prohibited by the Code of Conduct Bureau (Civil Service Laws) from opening and/ or operating foreign accounts in our names.
Needless to say, the trust reposed on you at this juncture is enormous. In return, we have agreed to offer you 20 percent of the transferred sum, while 10 percent shall be set aside for incidental expenses (internal and external) between the parties in the course of the transaction. You will be mandated to remit the balance 70 percent to other accounts in due course.
Kindly expedite action as we are behind schedule to enable us include downpayment in this financial quarter.
Please acknowledge the receipt of this message via my direct number 234 (0) 9-234-2220 only.
Yours Sincerely, Dr. Bakare Tunde
Astronautics Project Manager