British home sectretary Leon Brittan visits a prison on January 11, 1984. (Photo by Mike Moore/Express/Getty Images)
The VIP paedophile story unravels by the day. Today the Times reports on the man who claimed to have been sexually assaulted by the dead former home secretary and Tory MP Leon Brittan.
The man is known only as “David”. He told the BBC’s Panorama programme that he only realised Lord Brittan of Spennithorne had molested him when a “campaigner” showed him the peer’s photo and suggested a number of names to him.
“It were just done as a joke suggestion to start with but that suggestion became reality. I just went along with it. I identified him with a photograph.”
“But there again, he’s a well-known MP and I might have seen him on TV through the years and stuff and I might just have been confused.”
Do you blur reality with fiction? Do you think EastEnders is a documentary? Are you the kind of idiot who writes letters to your MP demanding Deirdre be freed for prison?
Surrey Comet, 10th August 1990:
The Times then notes the police reaction. The self-serving police have been trawling for victims. The PR-police have hounded celebrities, turning their arrest into TV entertainment.
The Metropolitan Police hit back last night, saying that it had serious concerns about the conduct of some BBC journalists who had shown photographs to a key witness in another abuse investigation. Such actions, the Met said, “could compromise the evidential chain should a case ever proceed to court”.
These journalists have saved the country the expense of a lengthy and expensive trial, one in which the accused is a corpse. They have got to the crux of a complaint against a Westminster face and exposed the machinations behind it. The BBC said it was “important and fair investigative journalism“.
“What we’ve found while we’ve been making this Panorama is a concern that all those big institutions – the police, press and politicians – are so determined to atone for the sins of the past that they’re in danger of inventing whole new categories of mistakes. The motivation may be good, but the outcome can be awful. What has emerged is a story which, arguably, says as much about how some of this country’s most important institutions are behaving now as it does about child abuse more than 30 years ago.”
Private Eye, 26th June 1984
A police spokesman replies:
“We have not yet completed our work. There are still lines of inquiry to pursue which are not in the public domain and we will not reach a judgment until that work is completed.”
The police reach a judgement? No. That’s the work of the courts. Their job is to gather evidence and present it to the CPS.
A Met spokesman adds:
“We are worried that this programme and other recent [media] reporting will deter victims and witnesses from coming forward in future. Seeing an individual make allegations and then be targeted by the media is not going to encourage others to speak out.”
The story of VIP peadophiles is rooted in many claims that the police ignored alleged victims when they first complained of abuse. The media does not prevent claims. The media amplifies them. The media drives through the police cu-de-sac. Well, it can do. As the cuttings on this page show, the media also loves a good scandal, wafting the pong into a stench fog. When it clears, however, there can be little of substance to see.
Panorama also criticised Labour’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, who raised the prospect of “a powerful paedophile network linked to parliament and No 10” in the Commons in 2012.
The Guardian, 27th June 1984
Watson’s the MP who played a game of Knock Down Paedo. You ring the bell, shout ‘Paedo’, give the crowd the side-eyes and saunter off. He stood in the House of Commons and suggested the existence of a “powerful paedophile network linked to parliament and No 10”. He named no names.
The programme said that he had written to the director of public prosecutions demanding a full review of allegations against Lord Brittan, and his letter prompted police to interview the peer at a time when he was gravely ill. Mr Watson told the BBC in a statement that his motivation had been to help the victims. He added: “It was clear to me very early on that some testimony would prove to be unreliable, yet not all of it.”
David Aaronovitch notes:
On January 21 this year Leon Brittan, the former home secretary, died after suffering for a long time with cancer. His family mourned and on Twitter his former cabinet colleague John Gummer expressed sadness at the news. Noting Gummer’s comments, Tom Watson, the MP and now Labour deputy leader, wrote the single word: “Hmm”.
My condolences go to the family and friends of Lord Brittan. They are grieving for someone they loved very much. I don’t want to add to their grief, but what I am about to say will distress them greatly. For that I am truly sorry.
Many have urged me over the past two years to reveal allegations against Brittan using parliamentary privilege. This allows MPs to say things that are not subject to libel laws. Some will ask why I’ve waited until his death to speak out. The reason is simple. I didn’t want to prejudice any jury trial he might one day face…
…it’s a travesty that Brittan will never be asked the truth. To answer questions about his conduct under oath at a public inquiry. It’s possible to spend a lot of time with a person yet know nothing of their true nature…
Daily Express, 27th June 1984
I’ve spoken to a woman who said he raped her in 1967. And I’ve spoken to a man who was a child when he says Brittan raped him. And I know of two others who have made similar claims of abuse…
Today, one survivor said to me that Brittan “showed me no kindness or warmth.” That Brittan was “as close to evil as a human being could get in my view”. This survivor said that Brittan and the others “took my childhood, they took the very essence of who I was and finally he’s taken away my right to see justice done.”
It is not for me to judge whether the claims made against Brittan are true.
It’s for the police to investigate these claims as they continue to do. But I believe the people I’ve spoken to are sincere…
All the glowing tributes reminded me of the media coverage immediately after Jimmy Savile’s death. How those journalists who wrote tributes to Savile must regret them now…
Former Home Secretary Leon Brittan stands accused of multiple child rape. Many others knew of these allegations and chose to remain silent. I will not. The police must continue their investigations.
…three main strands of claim remained, two at least of them featuring in Mr Watson’s repetition of claims about Brittan. The first was the story, repeated now in many newspapers, in documentaries, in books, interviews and speeches, that a private guesthouse in southwest London — the Elm Guest House — had, during the 1980s, been a place where boys from a nearby children’s home had been trafficked and sexually abused by a whole series of celebrities and politicians, one of whom was supposedly Brittan. This story had been on the edges of the internet for years (I came across it on a site run by a follower of the bizarre David Icke cult), but was now given credibility by a police operation set up to examine allegations.
Almost everything to do with Elm Guest House originates with a man called Chris Fay. Once a social worker in the area and then a Labour councillor, it is Fay who claims to have been given the list of “attendees” by the now deceased owner; Fay who claims to have spoken to many boys who were trafficked and Fay who “saw” photographs of Brittan at the guesthouse abusing under-age boys — photos now missing.
On last night’s Panorama, reporters spoke to one boy who Fay claimed was at the guesthouse and who said clearly that he was not there. Panorama also found a man who acted as a gay masseur in the house, who said that though sexual activity certainly went on, he never saw anyone famous or any children. Fay, it should be noted, is a convicted fraudster who went to prison in 2011.
The second strand of the accusations against Brittan concerned the supposed happenings at Dolphin Square in London in the early Eighties. Again this place had been the subject of internet rumours for years, but in the end the hard evidence boiled down to the testimony— most of it obtained by the Exaro news agency and then elsewhere — of three “survivors”: “Nick”, “Darren” and “Andrew”. Nick’s account even made it as the top item of the BBC’s Six O’Clock News last year.
Panorama chased down one of the key claims from Nick”, that he witnessed the hit-and-run murder of a schoolboy in Kingston, committed as a warning to him from his abusers. They established that no such accident happened and that no child was killed in this way in that location and timeframe.
9th August, 1982 – The Sun
If that murder didn’t happen, then a huge doubt must exist about his other stories, the most lurid of which (involving Edward Heath and a knife) were itemised by Harvey Proctor in a press conference last month where he protested his innocence and accused police of a witch-hunt.
Furthermore, the supposed corroboration from Darren was also highly dubious, since he is a convicted bomb-hoaxer and has been classified as delusional. The third witness, Andrew, told Panorama that he felt pressured into saying he was at Dolphin Square by Fay and the Exaro team.
Then there is the accusation of (unusually for a supposed homosexual paedophile) heterosexual rape. “Jane” contacted Mr Watson through a fellow Labour MP and claimed to have been raped by Brittan in 1967.
When the police investigated her claim a number of problems quickly arose. She said he had taken her to his basement flat, but at the time he had lived on the third floor. And friends of hers who she said could corroborate parts of her story flatly contradicted it. Finally, what she was alleging didn’t match the criteria for rape. The police concluded that they had no grounds for interviewing or arresting Brittan, who was obviously terminally ill.
And then Mr Watson wrote a remarkable letter to the DPP, in effect demanding that Brittan be interviewed and citing in addition to the case of Jane some of the other spurious allegations against him. The DPP leant on the police. The subsequent interview of the dying man resulted in Brittan’s name becoming public. In my opinion this was partly a deliberate ploy to try to “flush out” other complainants.
In 1978 Penthouse magazine investigated the future of sex.
The October 1978 issue of Penthouse magazine zooms in on Science and the Future. This feature served as an intro to OMNI, “a magazine of science, science fiction and the future”, run by Kathy Keeton, future wife of Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione.
SPACE: the final, full-frontal frontier… the last hurrah… to go where no man has ever gone before, the forbidden and yet insidiously alluring planet of NYMPHON in the second quadrant of PHI DELTA PUBIS, hard by the tumescent moons of GLUTEON MAXIMUS. It was here that I said good-bye to an intrepid friend, a great lady, whose heaving decks and smoldering afterburners had served me well — the Yenta Prize, peripatetic mistress of the cosmic seas. I beamed down… down into the swirling, choking vapors that envelop NYMPHON, down to the very floor of this curious planet where, unused to the dense, jellylike atmosphere, I passed out.
Star Wars robot R2-D@ packed a little ambulatory pal:
Chelsea lose at home to Southampton and the Press being talk of Jose Mourinho getting the sack. Having seen his team defeated, Mourinho spoke with the Sky Sports, as he must. The Daily Mailsays Mourinho spat out a “seven-minute rant”.
Rant? Nothing of it. The man is measured. Here’s what he said in full:
Look, I think you know me and I think I don’t run away from responsibilities. I think, first of all I want to say that because we are in such a bad moment I think you shouldn’t be afraid to be also honest because when we are in the top there is quite a big pleasure in put us down but when we are so down I think it’s time to be a little bit honest and to say clearly that referees are afraid to give decisions for Chelsea.
Jose loves to establish the siege mentality. It’s Chelsea against the world. A for referees favouring Chelsea, well, they did beat Arsenal thanks to the kind of refereeing support that had Gunners fans looking for a Chelsea tattoo on Mike Dean’s throat.
The result 1-1 is a huge penalty and once more we don’t get and a penalty is a crucial moment in the game with the result at 1-1, and I repeat that if FA wants to punish me they can punish me they don’t punish other managers but they punish me, it’s not a problem for me.
Jose, as ever, tries to put the ME in TEAM. He employs an exemplum – an example that backs up his argument.
But I want to repeat because I think that my players deserve it, Chelsea fans deserve it. I am a Chelsea fan too and I want to say it again. Referees are afraid to give decisions for Chelsea. Why? Because when they give there’s always a question mark from you, there’s always a question there’s always a critique.
Quibbling. And dash of Metonymy, which takes one aspect of one thing and makes it stand for the entire. Of course, Chelsea have not had every decision go in their favour. No team has. But Mourinho wants us to believe that every error epitomises a wider conspiracy. But decisions don’t win games, goals and fine play does.
So you are always punished, we are punished because Diego Costa is suspended with images, in other matches we see the same thing and it doesn’t happen. Clear penalties are not given and it’s one and one and one and one and even in Champions League in a match you lose 2-1, even in the Champions League which is a game which is not three officials but with five you are not given a penalty in last minute and this penalty in this game today is more than crucial do you know why? Because for my team in this moment the first negative thing that happen, my team collapse.
The team mentally, psychologically, the team is unbelievable down it looks like good players are bad players and the first half was a game where we didn’t show our quality but we were in control, we were more than in control, and one mistake and lack of concentration, one goal and when you are having a good time.
In normal circumstances you come to the second half and you do your game, I told the players at half time no panic we are not losing 4-0 it’s 1-1, no panic, the team comes out with a good spirit we have a penalty and the penalty is a giant penalty and he is afraid to give like everybody is afraid to give so no penalty and after that the team lost even more confidence and you know that their second goal is an individual mistake, their third goal is another individual mistake. The team mentally, they try, they try, they try, they are in such a low moment that they collapse.
What Jose’s doing, of course, is dictating the conversation, or trying to. He tells you what to think. He tells you what to look out for. He is employing a rhetorical strategy. Jose wants us to take him out of the picture. His is disinterested in his own fate. This, he hopes, will encourage the audience to trust his opinions. His is the passive voice framing the terms of the argument. You may have seen no controversy at all in Diego Costa being banned after the match for slapping an Arsenal player in the face or the referee not giving Chelsea a penalty. But he seeks to sow doubt. He wants it to lead to consensus.
I can also know what you are thinking, what you are saying in studio, what people imagine, what is is going to happen, what is not going to happen, I want to let it clear. One, I not run away. Two, if the club wants to sack me they have to sack me because I’m not running away from my responsibilities from my team and from my convictions. That, be champions is obviously very difficult because the distance is considerable but I’m more than convinced that we finish top four, and when the season is so bad if you finish top four it is OK.
Third even more important than first and second, I think this is a crucial moment in the history of this club. Do you know why? Because if the club sacks me they sack the best manager that this club have, and secondly the message is again the message of bad result, the manager is guilty and this is the message that not just these players but the other ones before they got during a decade.
This looks like enthymeme. The enthymeme makers a claim and then bases it on commonly accepted opinion. Jose argument is filled with emotion but he pulls out his logic pack and flourishes it.
I think this is a moment for everybody to assume responsibility, I assume my responsibility I think the players should assume their responsibility and there are other people in the club that they should also assume their responsibilities and to stick together. And this is what I want.
The players they still have to play until the end of the season with the gold champions thing in their shirt and I want to work always, you know, I consider myself, I have a big self-esteem, a big ego, I consider myself the best, living the worst period of my career and worst results of my career, doing that as a professional hurts me a lot, doing it at Chelsea hurts me twice because it hurts me as a professional and hurts me because I like this club very, very much and was because of that that I come back so I want to carry on, I want to carry on no doubt, no doubt and I assume my responsibilities but I think it’s time for everybody to assume their responsibilities because when you go down to so many individual mistakes and fear to play, they have their responsibilities, they are players that are performing really, really bad individually, I can not come here and say you, and you, and you, and you, it’s not my job but I think it’s clear that we are being punished by too many individual mistakes and as I was saying sadness brings sadness, bad results they attract bad results, that first mistake is just the first because after that comes another one.
Jose is using a paromologia (Greek for “agree with”), conceding a point in order to make a stronger one.
This team needs to win the first-half two or three nil with the fears disappearing coming to play in the second half and play with a free brain, a free spirit. This is what this team needs and unfortunately for them this is not happening and again I repeat so I want to make it clear again, because I not want to be offensive, I don’t want to be none-polite I don’t want to put in cause the dignity of the people, but I repeat that the referees they are afraid to give the decision when you are top you want to see people come down when people is down give us a break and be honest and be loyal with us because the penalty is clear and 2-1 is a completely different story, thank you.
“I’m a bald man,” says Yann Marcotte, a swimmer at a pool in the Sainte-Julie suburb of Montreal, . “When I swim [with a cap on] it’s very, very hot … It’s very uncomfortable. I’m not a criminal. But it is not the law. It is just a pool rule.”
Those pool rules state that all swimmers must wear a cap in the water. Marcotte has thrice been thrown out of the pool for going bareheaded. The police have been called to escort him off the premises.
“There are more and more bald people,” says pool spokesman Éric Hervieux. “There are two types … those that I call the ‘real bald’ and the ‘false bald.’ The real bald are those that have naturally lost their hair. The false bald are those that shave their heads … When their hair starts to grow back, it becomes problematic. They’re used to not wearing the bathing cap – but then their hair comes back. It’s unhygienic.
Marcotte, ‘real bald‘ wonders why the man who swims in lane next to his can swim with a beard “like Fidel Castro’s” and not have to cover his face. Furthermore, women can wear loose-fitting shower caps, as long as they don’t dunk their heads in the water. And a boy with autism whose disability means he is uncomfortable in a tight-fitting cap is allowed in the pool without one.
“I think the only thing I can do now is a legal proceeding,” says Marcotte. “It’s like David versus Goliath.”
Welcome to the Brook Estate in Eltham, south east London. The breeding ground of four of the five men accused of stabbing Stephen Lawrence to death as he waited for a bus a short walk away on the eve of St George’s Day six years ago.
Five products of a twisted philosophy drummed into them from birth. “If they’re black, stab ’em in the back.”…
A way of life passed down from father to son. You see the link emerge in the fading white graffiti sprayed 30 years ago on the walls of the old railway bridges around the estate, written by the last generation of Eltham Boyz. In three feet high letters: “SKINHEADS.”…
Give me the father and I’ll give you the son who will give you the son who will abuse, persecute and even kill another human being for committing the heinous crime of not being born white.
Racism was inherited. Get the killers and purge the land.
This is White Man’s Gulch… This is E-reg Escort-land.
So much for the snobbery. What else does Reade know about Rooney?
Gary Lineker is letting it be known that next Monday’s documentary on Wayne Rooney is so touching it will radically change the nation’s perception of him. That’s why the BBC released previews about how Rooney is a sensitive soul who writes poetry for his wife.
Cue would-be satirists’ rhyming couplets running over as they imagine the literary outpourings of someone it has been assumed can barely write a cheque.
Would-be satirists like the, er, Daily Mirror’s Polly Hudson, who opines:
Depriving the public of enjoying these Rooney masterpieces is basically a crime… so it’s lucky that I’ve managed to get my hands on Wayne’s notebook…
Have snarked at Rooney, Hudson offers:
By Wayne Rooney, age 29 and 7/8
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
You are well hot.
So you’re probably more like a summer’s day abroad then,
Cos the weather here is usually rubbish.
So much for the satire.
It’s not that he’s a multi-title winner with a century of caps who has broken England’s all-time goalscoring record and become an extremely wealthy man. It’s that he has survived, and flourished, against all the odds in a class-obsessed country which loves nothing better than seeing council-estate kids who make good, very publicly self-destruct.
We get examples:
Think of George Best, Paul Gascoigne and Alex Higgins and how certain sections of our society have taken pleasure in pointing at them in the gutter and warning other working-class talents that serious life-enhancement should be left to their betters.
Would that be the same Paul Gascoigne whose phone the Daily Mirror hacked? Gazza told the High Court:
“I knew I was getting hacked by the Mirror. This continued for ages. Phone calls to my father and family were getting blocked so I changed my mobile. It happened again so I kept on changing mobiles, five or six times a month… I couldn’t speak to anybody, I was scared to speak to anybody… my parents, my family and kids, it was just horrendous. And people can’t understand why I became an alcoholic…. At the time I was going through a bad time because I knew I was getting hacked, 110 per cent. Of course (people) wouldn’t believe it – my family and Mr McKeown (therapist Johnny McKeown). As I was speaking to him on the phone, it clicked again. He told me I was paranoid, I was going through a mental disorder. I said ‘No, there’s fuck-all wrong with me’. I knew, I knew. I put the phone down… I’ve never told a lie, nothing to lie about, nothing. Disgusting. Crap… I have waited 15 years to be sat here so I am disgusted, really. I would like to trade my mobile phone in for a coffin because these guys have ruined my life. I have no life.”
In May the ex-England footballer was awarded £188,250 in damages.
Back to Reade:
Rooney came up across horrendous snobbery right from the off.
And back to Polly Hudson in the Mirror:
As celebrity adulteries go, this one is particularly bad, even by footballers’ standards. Coleen was pregnant at the time. But the only reason Wayne and his hooker didn’t get it on at the Rooney marital home was because SHE thought it out of order. When a prostitute has better morals than you, it’s probably time to worry.
Wayne may be known for being completely thick but his recent actions still beggar belief.
And Fiona Phillips in the Mirror:
Almost overnight, Coleen the innocent A-level student disappeared and Coleen the Queen of Chav arrived. It was disappointing
Chav? Yeah, that’s what the Mirror has called Coleen over and over
THE style bible of the fashionistas, Vogue, has asked Coleen McLoughlin to be a cover girl.
I don’t know what thrills me more. The idea of the curvy, chav girlfriend of Wayne Rooney on the cover of the world’s poshest magazine. Or the thought of Victoria Beckham’s face when she heard the news.
The Mirror told readers what a chav is:
YOU may know them as Kevs, Slappers, Neds, Townies or Scallies – but a new Internet website has branded them Chavs, from an old gypsy word for child…
Female Chav: When not wearing her baseball cap, you will notice her DIY facelift: badly-dyed hair scraped back into the tightest bun possible. She loves denim and shops at New Look, Pilot or her local market stall. Top Shop is too sophisticated. The classy female Chav wears t-shirts with slogans she finds witty – “Friendly when drunk”, French Connection’s FCUK or the “F*** You” one Britney Spears made famous. Her skirt is more like a belt, barely covering her mottled blue thighs and flabby midriff.
And they are thick:
For most of us cinema is an art form which enriches our lives. For Chavs it’s the place to text your mate and snog your bint. They love sequels because an original idea is something to be feared. Any flicks with an R&B star such as 50 cent, Aaliyah or Ice T is almost enough to make a Chav wet their pants in excitement. A good example is Romeo Must Die featuring Aaliyah and DMX. Don’t try telling them the plot is influenced by Romeo and Juliet. You’ll get a blank look.
Oh, and Wayne is also a chav:
For girls it’s Chelsea, Chardonnay, Kayleigh, Crystal or Britney. Boys are Jay, Wayne, Jake, Romeo or Dean.
But Reade makes no mention of his own paper in any of this snobbery. He just points the finger at a rival:
In a Daily Mail article which suggested he could be Gazza Mark II, a leading commentator asked: “Is there some hidden vice, some secret in Rooney’s psyche, which is yet to emerge? Drink, drugs, wife-beating?” It was a perfect summation of a country which judges people on their accent and background without getting to know their character.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says he’s not an anti-Semite, but some people he’s associated with are. Happily for Corbyn, Jewish Labour MP Luciana Berger has accepted the invitation to join his cabinet of all the boxes ticked. Corbyn had floated the sinister idea of a “shadow minster for Jews”, a Judenrat to help the State deal with any little Jewish problems. That hideous plan was dropped. Instead Corbyn looked round and offered a ministerial post to Berger.
And she accepted the role of shadow mental health spokeswoman.
In other news, Corbyn’s all-inclusive Labour Party could well welcome former LibDem MP Baroness Jenny Tonge. Tongue told the Sunday Times:
“I know that lots of Lib Dems are contemplating supporting Jeremy Corbyn, including me. I like and admire Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell (the shadow chancellor). I think they are some of the most honest people you could come across. On defence and foreign policy, Palestine and the bomb I agree with them and they are very green. I am not sure on Europe. I think the rich should be paying for the recession.”
“I have met Hamas leaders both in Damascus and in Gaza. So has Jeremy Corbyn. We were all favorably impressed by those people. We all feel it was very very important to listen to their point of view. They said a lot of wise things.”
Ambushed with the news on the Today programme, [Labour Deputy leader] Tom Watson said the woman deemed too beyond the pale to remain in the LibDems is “welcome” to join Labour.
Here are a few “wise words” from the Hamas Covenant:
Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious. It needs all sincere efforts. It is a step that inevitably should be followed by other steps. The Movement is but one squadron that should be supported by more and more squadrons from this vast Arab and Islamic world, until the enemy is vanquished and Allah’s victory is realised…
“The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.” (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem).
The BBC says of Hezbollah:
The party’s rhetoric calls for the destruction of the state of Israel. It views the Jewish state as occupied Muslim land and it argues that Israel has no right to exist. The party was long supported by Iran, which provided it with arms and money…
Hezbollah’s aim is not to “end the occupation of Palestine,” or even to “liberate all of Palestine.” Its goal is to kill the world’s Jews. Listen to the words of its leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah: “If Jews all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.” (NY Times, May 23, 2004, p. 15, section 2, column 1.)
As for Tongue, she lost credibility with the LibDems for a few comments of her own:
Tonge resigned as party whip of the Liberal Democrats in early 2012 after saying that Israel would not survive for long in its present form.
Tonge’s remarks, made at a meeting at Middlesex University, included the observation that the American people would soon “get sick” of the billions their government sends annually “to support what I call America’s aircraft carrier in the Middle East — that is Israel.” Party leader Nick Clegg called on Tonge to apologize, but Tonge refused and resigned instead.
Tonge has a well-known history of making inflammatory comments about Israel. In 2004, as a member of Parliament, she was fired as the children’s spokeswomen of the Liberal Democrats after she said she might consider becoming a suicide bomber if she were forced to endure the same conditions as Palestinians.
In 2006, she said, “The pro-Israeli lobby has got its grips on the Western world, its financial grips.” That comment also was condemned by the party leadership.
She was sacked as a health spokeswoman in 2010 after she claimed Israeli troops sent to Haiti after the earthquake there were trafficking organs.
Baroness Tonge, the Liberal peer, said this week that Israel should set up an inquiry to disprove allegations that its medical teams in Haiti “harvested” organs of earthquake victims for use in transplants.
Her call has been sharply criticised by fellow LibDems, but party leader Nick Clegg has refused to act against her.
The organ theft claims were published last week in the Palestine Telegraph, an online journal based in Gaza of which Baroness Tonge is a patron.
In a statement to the JC, she said the Israel Defence Forces were “to be commended for their fantastic response to the Haitian earthquake”. But she added: “To prevent allegations such as these — which have already been posted on YouTube — going any further, the IDF and the Israeli Medical Association should establish an independent inquiry immediately to clear the names of the team in Haiti.”
If she joins the Labour Party, what will Berger do?
Bone defended those who attacked the Cereal Killer Cafe with paint bombs and graffiti because they had helped publicise the movement across the globe. “Everyone on that march, who are so pissed off with the lot they’ve got in life, was fighting back. I totally understand and support it,” said Bone, who founded Class War in 1982.
So you hit the Honey Monster’s pals? You attack people who set up a legal business? Is the Cereal Cafe the epitome of the rich’s taunt to the poor? The huddled masses have been so very quiet as the government reduces their paltry incomes to a pittance. But is larking about in central London, rather than Sunderland, Blackpool or Knowsley, about class war or adolescent priapism. Look at the demo’s name. Surely it should be the ‘Fucked Parade’, but what cool kids keen to run about with their genitals flapping around would come to a mobile Glastonbury come down?
The Guardian adds:
He promised the movement, which has so far organised three Fuck Parade protests in London, would seek to expand. He said: “They’re going to take place all around Britain. I’m going up to Scotland now to talk to some people in Glasgow and Edinburgh about possible ones there.”
Bone was asked about attacking independent businesses. He replied:
“We’d be mad to go for Pret a Manger and Foxtons. A broken window at Foxtons isn’t going to get any publicity at all, whereas we’ve seen what happens with independent shops. We’d be stupid not to.”
So much for ideology, vision and anarchy. It only matters if the Fourth Estate take notice. This is class war with a black hoddie doffed to middle-class stability and nostalgia.
Bone’s Parade had been protesting against 1 Commercial Street, a new block of luxury flats:
“We were campaigning outside 1 Commercial Street for 10 months last year, which is quite funny when people are now saying we should concentrate on property developers. There’s was lots of stuff going on there – arrests, burning effigies – and not a peep in the press. Then someone throws a couple of bags of paint at a cereal cafe and it’s in the newspapers from Italy to New Zealand.”
The Cereal Killer Cafe… You attacked a cafe selling cereal. Was that planned?
“No, it’s just what happened. The way the Fuck Parade works, people are there and then they wander off. It’s 1,000 or so anarchists and other people – it’s very hard to tell them to do anything. We just happened to be going past it. Anyway, I must have been one amongst many people astounded to see a cafe flogging cereal open at nine o’clock at night. If I’d have put money on us going for anything it would have been Foxtons, and it wasn’t.”
No. You picked the softest target you could find.
“Everyone keeps saying: ‘Wrong target, you should have done the City, you should have done parliament, you should have done Pret a Manger, Foxtons.’ It doesn’t work. You don’t get any publicity. We had a riot virtually every night outside 1 Commercial Street, and it doesn’t get a dicky bird.”
But it wasn’t a riot, was it. It was drums, whistles and shouting at bricks and glass.
“We wouldn’t have got any publicity if it hadn’t been for the cereal cafe. But I give those two brothers their credit. They’ve milked this brilliantly. They’ve run a masterful campaign. I salute them for that.”
Milked it? Is that a joke? Is that the intentionally funny bit?
Police and miners at a demonstration at Orgreave Colliery, South Yorkshire, during the miners’ strike, 2nd June 1984. (Photo by Steve Eason/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
If you want a class war, you need to look back at the minsters’ strike, when the State smashed the organised working class.
…the striking miners were not just victims. They were fighters. The problem was that they were not organised enough for the Battle of Orgreave, not properly prepared to meet the police army’s force with force. Their leaders saw the mass picket at Orgreave as a symbolic stand. The other side saw it, in Thatcher’s words, as ‘mob rule’, and acted accordingly to smash it. Many of the miners did fight back, and hard, but it was too little too late. The BBC news infamously edited its film of Orgreave to make it appear that the miners charged the police lines first, rather than waiting to be attacked. Some might think, if only they had…
So to today’s moralising class warriors, taking on the all-day cereal business in the fight for a global ideology.
Happy Traveler “all Natural” calming chews reduces your nervous or anxious cat or dog. What’s in this “all-natural herbal calming formula for stressed, nervous, or anxious pets?” And where can we get some?
St. Johns Wort
The Sun wants readers to know that BBC DJ Steve Wright is not slim. The paper’s Bizarre columns notes:
RADIO 2 favourite Steve Wright appears to have increased the bandwidth of his trousers again.
Look, everyone, it’s Steve Wright from the show Steve Wright In The Afternoon, aka the Sun’s…
It’s Steve Wright CHIN the afternoon
Not too long ago the Sun’s “Head of Showbiz” Dan Wootton – read him every day in Bizarre – was cheering on his ‘No More Skinny’ drive, calling for fatter models and the end to the skinny obsession “madness” that does “so much damage to our body-conscious youngsters”.
Wootton wanted to end the cult of skinny models. He invited not-skinny reality TV star Gemma Collins to tell his readers:
“Encouraging girls to be thin is no way to produce a generation of confident healthy women”
Singer Alexandra Burke added:
Beauty should not be defined by waist inches.
The Sun told us that what went for women was true for men:
Around 15-20 per cent of those affected by eating disorders are male. Over 300,000 men were hospitalised with an eating disorder last year. For help and support, visit Men Get Eating Disorders Too at Mengetedstoo.co.uk.
Despite being a Sun man through and through, I’m also about as far from the tabloid stereotype as you can get. I only moved to the UK from my homeland of New Zealand when I was an adult. I’m also gay – something I’ve been open about since my first job on Fleet Street when I was 23.
I’ve also very openly struggled with my weight for the last decade, with fluctuations of up to four stone across a 12-month period pretty normal for me. As a result, when I became a showbiz columnist I made it a policy to never comment negatively on the weight of a celebrity. This was a sea change from previous male showbiz columnists who didn’t have the same background as me.
So why does the Sun’s showbiz teamthink it fine to mock Steve Wright?
You can The Mary Tyler Moore Masturbation Society, the group created by James J. Kagel of Cleveland, Ohio. Proving our theory that any weirdness you’ve thought of someone else has formed a group for, Kagel invites other fans of Mary Tyler Moore’s “beautifully curved, ever so shapely, silken, creamy smooth, seductive, velvety soft, long, lean, graceful, tantilizing [sic], erotic, sinuously sexy LEGS” to join him in a tribute toss.
Kagel’s interest in MTM began when he watched The Dick Van Dyke Show as a lad.
There’s chance, of course, that you already know all this, being as you are a member of MTM Legs(“for your jacking pleasure”).
A poster for a series of church services is displayed opposite BBC Broadcasting House on October 22, 2012 in London, England. A BBC1 ‘Panorama’ documentary contains new allegations about the handling by BBC2 programme ‘Newsnight’ concerning claims of sexual abuse allegedly carried out by former BBC television presenter, Jimmy Savile, the transmission of which was subsequently dropped.
Jimmy Savile’s rotting corpse continues to bob around the news. Today the Sun has news of “BBC boss Yentob and the Savile cover-up.”
We know the BBC failed to investigate claims their favourite uncle was a paedophile. Liz MacKean, the excellent reporter who wanted to reveal the story on Newsnight, was quashed. She is no longer on the hard-hitting (it says here) news show, which somehow managed to survive the scandal.
But what else? The Sun’s Harry Cole writes in what the Sun calls an “Exclusive“:
BEEB boss Alan Yentob said the journalists who exposed the cover- up of the Jimmy Savile scandal were “traitors to the BBC”, one of them has sensationally claimed.
Respected former producer Meirion Jones claims the remark about him was made to another employee after he contributed to Panorama’s exposé “Savile — What The BBC Knew”.
Jones worked with MacKean on Newsnight. He no longer works on the show.
Mr Yentob, 68, strongly denies making the comment. The film by Mr Jones and colleague Liz MacKean revealed the corporation’s bids to stop Newsnight exposing Savile as a predatory paedophile who struck on BBC premises.
They can’t both be right. Maybe one them has misspoken or mis-remebered or whatever modish PR-made word covers this wort of thing?
In an article for Spectator Life magazine, Mr Jones said: “A BBC colleague abused as a child wrote to Tony Hall [director general] to complain about the Savile affair. In his email he says he approached Yentob just after Panorama broadcast a film about whether or not there had been a cover-up at the BBC. He claims that Yentob denounced us. ‘Liz MacKean and Meirion Jones are traitors to the BBC,’ Yentob told him.”
…I heard Alan Yentob had been seen prowling the corridors, leaning on Newsnight, haranguing the reporter Lucy Manning and escorting Camila Batmanghelidjh into the Today studio. After Savile, it should have been abundantly clear that managers shouldn’t interfere with investigations close to home, but here was Yentob trying to influence the Batmangate probe into the charity he chaired. It also felt a bit like the Panorama investigation in 2013 into Comic Relief’s dodgy investments. That was delayed after celebrities appealed to the great and the good in the BBC.
A BBC colleague of mine who had been abused as a child wrote to Tony Hall to complain about the Savile affair. In his email (copied to me) he says he approached Yentob just after Panorama broadcast a film about whether or not there had been a cover-up at the BBC (the film included clips of Liz MacKean and me talking about what the BBC knew). He claims that Yentob denounced us. ‘Liz MacKean and Meirion Jones are traitors to the BBC,’ Yentob told him. He strongly denies saying this, but it wouldn’t be the first time he had complained about people breaking the BBC’s code of omertà.
Keith ‘Cheggers’ Chegwin is a man for hire. Anyone seeking mates and funsters for a Stag Do can hire the former children’s telly entertainer:
He’s been at the top of his game since he first burst energetically onto the screen in Swap Shop and remains one of the nation’s favourite stars.
DJ, presenter, host, actor singer and raconteur, Cheggers is one of life’s natural performers and a top bloke to have as part of your stag party. His boundless energy, quick fire gags and fearless attitude make him the perfect guest at any gathering. He also has a reputation as something of a party animal and will fit in happily as ‘one of the lads’.
Why? It’s utterly bizarre, no? I love star spotting. If saw Cheggers in the supermarket or pub I’d nudge whoever I was with are invite them to share my enthusiasm. But to actually have him come over and sit with you, play games and lark about is weird and desperate. It might work if you all get Keith Chegwin masks, including him.
You decide your activity, tell us your destination and we’ll check availability to include Cheggers as a surprise guest to join in one of our great stag challenges such as;
Bubble Football Go Karting Quad Biking Rage Buggies Inflatable Games Somerset Challenge Welsh Games Wrestling School Paintball Clay Pigeon Shooting You can line up for action alongside this TV icon and set Cheggers as you [sic] target of excellence, those that score more than Keith or post a faster time are safe, but anyone who gets beaten by Keith has to pay a Stag Forfeit.
Beaten By Keith. Now there’s a Stag Do TV-shirt. As for Keith’s own love-life, you can see his wedding to Maggie Phibin here. It ended in divorce.
The story that three children were murdered by VIP child abusers in Westminster is based on the words of ‘Nick’, a man who says that he had witnessed the sadistic abuse.
The Metropolitan police said the stories of a cabal of wealthy and powerful perverts raping and killing children for sport were “credible and true”. Circumspection and all other barriers to guilt were done away with. The police were on the side of the angels. The conspiracy was fact.
The Met’s spokesman has now reduced the temperature:
“We acknowledge that describing the allegations as ‘credible and true’ suggested we were pre-empting the outcome of the investigation.”
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) recognises the media’s and the public’s interest in its historic child abuse investigations, and in particular, in Operation Midland. The focus of this investigation is on allegations of the homicide of three young boys. There are also allegations of sexual abuse but the MPS has made clear from the outset that this is, and remains, a murder investigation.
No bodies. No evidence. No proof. But that’s not to say no crime was committed.
The historic nature of the allegations means this is a complex case where the normal avenues of evidence-gathering from CCTV, DNA and telephone data, are not open to us. These cases take time, but the public can have confidence that allegations from witnesses will be investigated thoroughly. We can all see the legacy that has been created by police and other authorities who appeared not to take allegations seriously in the past and the impact that has had on the confidence of victims to come forward.
Appeared not to have been taken seriously by police in the past. Now the accused appear to be guilty.
There are particular challenges where details of the allegations and those facing accusations are in the public domain. This can create potential conflicts between media and criminal investigations, and have an impact on vulnerable witnesses and those accused. This has been especially true in Operation Midland, and we wish to highlight to the media and to the public the risks that our investigation may be compromised. We raised this concern when we initially appealed for more witnesses and it continues to be an issue. We also need to clarify our investigative stance in cases of this kind
When you go looking for victims – advertising for them – the investigation becomes a trawl.
Our starting point with allegations of child sexual abuse or serious sexual assault is to believe the victim until we identify reasonable cause to believe otherwise.
It is now. It was for long the police’s position to disbelieve the victim. What we want is for the alleged victim to be treated in an even-handed manner. Accepting a claim as fact is as wrong as to dismiss it as a lie.
That is why, at the point at which we launched our initial appeal on Midland, after the witness had been interviewed for several days by detectives specialising in homicide and child abuse investigations, our senior investigating officer stated that he believed our key witness and felt him to be ‘credible’. Had he not made that considered, professional judgment, we would not have investigated in the way we have.
But considered and professional judgements have not always been correct. It was a considered a professional judgement not to investigate Cyril Smith. It was a considered a professional judgement to investigate Jim Davidson, nicking the entertainer as he flew INTO Heathrow Airport. And there’s Paul Gambaccini, the BBC DJ falsely accused of sexually abusing two boys between 1978 and 1984. He was arrested and locked in a cell. That was a considered and professional judgement.
“I was accused of having sex with two males, whom I have never known in my life, in the decade before I started having sex with males,” he says. “It was completely absurd and yet I lived under the jackboot of the Metropolitan police for a year…The Metropolitan police, which we must now expand to include several British police forces, and the Crown Prosecution Service, have reduced our beloved country to the moral equivalent of Russia.”
The Met continues:
We must add that whilst we start from a position of believing the witness, our stance then is to investigate without fear or favour, in a thorough, professional and impartial fashion, and to go where the evidence takes us without prejudging the truth of the allegations. That is exactly what has happened in this case.
Rubbish. The police have an agenda. Just ask Paul Gambaccini. And why have no police been interviewed under caution?
The integrity of our investigation is paramount, and the public can have confidence that allegations of homicide are being investigated thoroughly. Our officers have the resources to test all the evidence, and we have not yet completed this task. It is then for the Crown Prosecution Service to make a decision on whether to prosecute. More significantly, only a jury can decide on the truth of allegations after hearing all the evidence.
What about if the accused is dead?
We should always reflect that in our language and we acknowledge that describing the allegations as ‘credible and true’ suggested we were pre-empting the outcome of the investigation. We were not. We always retain an open mind as we have demonstrated by conducting a thorough investigation.
What utter drivel.
In this respect, our approach in Operation Midland is the same as if we were investigating a contemporary rape allegation.
If that’s right, God help us all.
Anyone familiar with the history of child abuse and rape investigations will recall that for many years, the first instinct of investigators appeared to be to disbelieve those making the allegations, which had a negative impact on people’s confidence to report to the police or other authorities. This undoubtedly led to crimes going unreported and un-investigated, and we do not want to return to that situation.
And now it’s the total reverse. The police are still biased but in a much improved way.
The media has shown in recent years how important they are in bringing issues concerning historic abuse to public notice and has been both challenging and supportive of the way in which police and the criminal justice system have adapted our approach.
Reporting has also rightly questioned the official response to allegations. The media is also valuable in witness appeals and to show possible victims that they can have confidence their claims will be investigated.
Always good when the police tell the media what their job is. Not in the least bit chilling.
What can be overlooked, at times, is that those making allegations are very often vulnerable individuals. A useful definition of ‘vulnerable people’ is set out in the Ofcom code for broadcasters (8.22). It is important to note that the police must take account of this vulnerability at all stages, irrespective of whether the allegations can be substantiated or not. We ask the media and those asked to comment to do likewise. We also think the press should consider following Ofcom’s approach by amending its code to recognise that vulnerability in reporting of crime is not just a matter of the age of witnesses or victims.
From praising the media the police now want the media brought to heel.
Our other main concern is the risk that media investigations will affect the process of gathering and testing evidence in our criminal investigation. In recent weeks, one journalist reporting on Operation Midland has shown the purported real identity of someone making an allegation of sexual assault to a person who has disclosed that they have been questioned by police concerning those allegations. This action has a number of potential impacts.
Note to police: do you recall arresting Jim Davidson in the full glare of the TV cameras?
First, for those who have made allegations of sexual abuse, it is extremely distressing to discover that their identity might have been given to anyone else, particularly if that is to someone who may be involved in the case. Secondly, possible victims or witnesses reading the article may believe their identities could be revealed as well, which could deter them from coming forward. Ultimately, that could make it harder for allegations to be proved or disproved.
Yes. there are laws that cover that sort of thing.
This might not just deter those who could provide information for this investigation but also concern anyone thinking of coming forward with sexual abuse allegations. Finally, the potential disclosure by a journalist of a name may possibly hamper an investigation. Names will be disclosed by police to those involved in the case, but that will be at the appropriate time for the investigation depending on how those lines of enquiry progress.
Yes, yes. This we all know.
We do understand that there are occasions when people making allegations of crime – including sexual abuse – disclose their own identity to the media and disclose facts associated with the case. Again, we ask that the media exercise care and caution when these are the circumstances and recognise our earlier point about vulnerability.
Again the police portray themselves of guardians of right.
We would also like to make it clear that the Metropolitan Police Service does not name or confirm names of those arrested or interviewed. That is our clear policy. We will be as open as we can be about policing activity – for example confirming arrest activity – but not confirming the names of individuals. If a police employee revealed the name that would be a clear breach of policy and dealt with in the appropriate manner. Moreover, the Commissioner told the Home Affairs Select Committee in March that he supports the proposal for granting accused people anonymity until charge.
We expect the challenges for media and police alike to continue once witnesses start to give evidence to the Goddard Inquiry. We think it is important, therefore, to offer this context now so that journalists and police officers can continue to do their job, and pursue a shared interest in justice for victims and fairness to those facing allegations.
In other words: the PR exercise goes on.
The Times adds:
Operation Midland has drawn criticism since police forces leapt on unsubstantiated abuse claims against Edward Heath, and the former MP Harvey Proctor condemned as preposterous the allegations of torture and abuse put to him by officers. The home of Lord Bramall, 91, a former chief of the defence staff, has also been searched by officers working on Operation Midland. He has described the accusations put to him as “a load of rubbish”…
There are known to be big internal concerns at the Met that the £1 million Dolphin Square investigation is based on flimsy evidence, is being pursued partly because of external pressure, and is diverting homicide detectives away from frontline inquiries.
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”.
Well, Watson’s now the Labour Party’s deputy leader. The conspiracy theorist has a bigger chair.
“Nick” approached police last year after speaking to the Exaro News website. He said he had been abused by a group of people after being taken to Dolphin Square and had witnessed three boys being killed. One was said to have been stabbed with a penknife and another run down with a car. The witness is understood to have given some 70 hours of videotaped interviews over several days to detectives. Many of his claims have since appeared in the newspapers and the BBC has broadcast an interview with him. It is thought, however, that police have not identified any likely victims of the alleged murders nor searched for bodies. The account of another witness who initially seemed to corroborate Nick’s account has since been ruled out.
Lest we only highlight the police’s PR-driven purge on paedos, it;s worth recalling Theresa May’s response to news of a conspiracy: “There might have been a cover-up.”
In readiness for today’s Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal, the Sun fearlessly confronts the serious issues:
PUNTERS can get 11/4 on Mourinho and Wenger shaking hands.
In “Hands up Jose: I’ll offer Arsene a shake” we once more revisit the issue of pre-match handshakes, something which occupied reams of print and hours of Sky telly when Patrice Evra and Louis Suarez, then of Manchester United and Liverpool, respectively, were in disharmony. And there was the Chelsea shake, when John Terry and Wayne Bridge were due to go palm-to-palm after the Chelsea captain had been accused of rubbing his hands and god knows what else over Bridge’s lover. And there was Terry once more, this time shaking and not shaking the hands of Anton Ferdinand and his brother Rio.
We’d always suggest that most football fans would prefer there to be no handshaking at all – no teams walking down the lines shaking hands before matches; no cloying talk of the ‘football family”; and no presenting of the match ball on a tee, as if it were the Holy Grail or golf. Most fans actually enjoy the animosity, the rivalry and the passion.
But we were wrong. The media tells us that the handshake is steeped in meaning. Shaking someone’s hand is not a shallow routine dreamt up by a FIFA wonk, possibly to mask the passing of cash, rather a sign that the handshakers are soulmates, working in harmony, each in tune with the other’s needs and morals. Don’t kiss the bride, shake her hand. And keep shaking it should she fall over, lose a game of Pictionary or be substituted for a younger, fresher wife.
The encouraging thing is that Jose Mourinho can work his snark into anything, and when the Sun says he will offer Arsene Wenger “a peace handshake” we give it the side-eyes and examine the comment for it being more loaded than Boris Johnson at a Bullingdon Club house party. Minds turn to previous peace handshakes between Neville Chamberlain and Adolf Hitler, Tony Blair and Colonel Gaddafi, Noel Gallagher and Liam Gallagher.
Indeed the Sun adds:
He may put Wenger on the spot by offering him his hand in full view of TV cameras, instead of in the Stamford Bridge dressing room.
That the TV cameras are zooming in on the managers’ hands is in itself odd – but when you have 6 hours of pre-match and post-match airtime to fill with chatter and heated debate, you seek action in dust. For instance, if Mourinho is using his hands to shake, will he not be using them to wave in the air and point at perceived signs of unfairness; will Arsene Wenger be able to work the long zip on his coat with just one hand? Will either manager mark goals, bad fouls or injustices with a handshake?
As for Wenger, well, he says:
“Realistically, people come to watch football and all the rest is a little bit secondary. What’s important is the quality of what we will see on Saturday at 12.45pm — and you want people to focus on that.”
You do. But BT and Sky have invested heavily in camera technology, so expect lots of forensic focus on pretty much any hand that moves or doesn’t.
Helen Mirren has been talking with Bella Blissett for the Daily Mail. When not selling Rubber Gloves, Dame Helen works for anyone company. Can you guess which one it is – and, no, the Mail didn’t see fit to label it’s article an ‘advertorial’:
The 70-year-old actress has four Emmy awards, five Baftas and two Golden Globes to her name, and received a damehood in 2003. In sum, she’s the epitome of a ‘national treasure’…
In sum, she’s the epitome of a ‘national treasure’…
Ok, we get it. Move on…
“I’m pretty laissez faire about my beauty routine… Yesterday, I whacked on L’Oréal Paris Excellence Age Perfect Hair Colour in Light Beige Blonde [shade 9.31] for 25 minutes, then washed it off – job done.’
Who is her ‘beauty hero”?
“I love cleansers and body creams that make me feel clean and fresh, but my absolute favourite is L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Classic Night Cream.
Blissett reveals the answer to our question:
Helen is a spokesperson for L’Oréal Paris Excellence Age Perfect Hair Colour, available nationwide
You know how it goes. You want to be with the cool kids but you’re a naif berk. You’ve heard that marijuana is great for looking grown up. You tell the big boys you can get some. You might even buy some from them. Problem is that it’s not weed – it’s tea / oregano/ your mum’s Bizzy Lizzy. And in the US of A that means trouble:
The student, the 11-year-old son of two school teachers, had to enroll in the district’s alternative education program and be homeschooled. He was evaluated by a psychiatrist for substance abuse problems, and charged with marijuana possession in juvenile court. In the months since September, he’s become withdrawn, depressed, and he suffers from panic attacks. He is worried his life is over, according to his mother, and that he will never get into college.
The only problem? The “leaf” found in the student’s backpack wasn’t what authorities thought it was — it tested negative for marijuana three separate times.
Sky One has returned gameshow darts to the TV schedules. One Hundred and Eighty features darts “legends” taking on contestants and challenges for prizes. Before this there was Bullseye, the show fronted by super-smashing-great Jim Bowen, a man for whom no superlative was overlooked. Losers took home a ‘Bendy Bully’, a rubbery smiling bull toy dressed in darts nylons. Winners scored “kiddies” toys, state-of-the-art VHS video recorders and “Bully’s Star Prize”, which on at least one occasion was a white fur coat.
One highlight of many was the spelling round, in which the non-dartist half of one of three two-persons contesting teams would attempt to spell a tricky word. It was only round 1. The darts players threw one dart at a board in which each sector represented a different category of question (such as Pot Luck, Faces, Places, Sport, Showbiz, Affairs, History, Books, Words, Britain, Spelling). In the white heat of a Birmingham TV studio, extempore spelling was a devilish test of nerve.
Let’s take a look a few of the words and spellers:
David Thorne wasn’t getting along with Simon, his co-worker. A row escalated after David took Simon’s Pen which had “Simon’s Pen” written on the side.
My very first run in with Simon was when he blamed me for stealing pens from his desk, which I vehemently denied. He then proceeded to point out the tiny engraved words ‘Simon’s Pen’ he had done on all eight of the pens currently on my desk. It was so small he had to point them out to me with the aid of a loupe. Each two-millimetre high letter was meticulous. When I asked how he had managed to get the letters so perfect, he told me that he had a headset at home with a light and magnifying glass on it. When I asked why he had a headset with light and magnifying glass on it he replied, “For painting collector figurines.”
There have actually been twelve formal complaints by Simon against me but two of those were complaining that nothing had been done about the previous formal complaints so I didn’t bother scanning those in.
I come from the underground. I am never comfortable in the middle of the stream, flowing in the same direction as everyone else. I think people assume that’s where I want to be, famous for being famous, because as part of what I do there is a high level of showing off. But my instinct is always to resist the pull of the obvious. It’s not easy.
Trends come along and people say, ‘Follow that trend’. There’s a lot of that around at the moment: ‘Be like Sasha Fierce. Be like Miley Cyrus. Be like Rihanna. Be like Lady Gaga. Be like Rita Ora and Sia. Be like Madonna.’ I cannot be like them – except to the extent that they are already being like me.
I have been so copied by those people who have made fortunes that people assume I am that rich. But I did things for the excitement, the dare, the fact that it was new, not for the money, and too many times I was the first, not the beneficiary.
Rihanna… she does the body-painting thing I did with Keith Haring, but where he painted directly on my body, she wears a painted bodysuit. That’s the difference. Mine is on skin; she puts a barrier between the paint and her skin. I don’t even know if she knows that what she’s doing comes from me, but I bet you the people styling her know. They know the history.
I remember when one of the singers on the list of those who came after me first said that she wanted to work with me. Everyone around me is going: ‘You have to do it, it will be so good for you, it will introduce you to a whole new audience, you will make a lot of money’. No! It will be good for her; she will draw from everything I have built and add it to her brand, and I will get nothing back except for a little temporary attention. No one could believe that I said no, but I am okay on my own. I am okay not worrying about a new audience. If the fuck don’t feel right, don’t fuck it.
With this one, who I will call Doris, I thought she was trying on other people’s outfits: she’s a baby in a closet full of other people’s clothes, a little girl playing dress-up, putting on shoes that don’t fit. I could see what she wanted to be when I watched her doing something when she started out that was starker and purer. Deep down, she doesn’t want to do all the dressing-up nonsense; she loses herself inside all the play-acting.
Singer and actress Grace Jones arrives for the screening of the new film “The Missing”at the 54th annual Berlin International Film Festival on February 7, 2004 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Kurt Vinion/Getty Images)
The problem with the Dorises and the Nicki Minajes and Mileys is that they reach their goal very quickly. There is no long-term vision, and they forget that once you get into that whirlpool then you have to fight the system that solidifies around you in order to keep being the outsider you claim you represent. There will always be a replacement coming along very soon – a newer version, a crazier version, a louder version. So if you haven’t got a long-term plan, then you are merely a passing phase, the latest trend, yesterday’s event.
They dress up as though they are challenging the status quo, but by now, wearing those clothes, pulling those faces, revealing those tattoos and breasts, singing to those fractured, spastic, melting beats – that is the status quo. You are not off the beaten track, pushing through the thorny undergrowth, finding treasure no one has come across before. You are in the middle of the road. You are really in Vegas wearing the sparkly full-length gown singing to people who are paying to see you but are not really paying attention. If that is what you want, fine, but it’s a road to nowhere.
I look at Doris and I think: Does she look happy? She looks lost, like she is desperately trying to find the person she was when she started. She looks like really she knows she is in Vegas, now that Vegas is the whole entertainment world filtered through the internet, through impatient social media. I don’t mind her dressing up, but when she started to dance like Madonna, almost immediately, copying someone else, it was like she had forgotten what it was about her that could be unique. Ultimately, it is all about prettiness and comfort, however much they pretend they are being provocative.
Grace Jones onstage at the MTV Europe Music Awards, held at the Echo Arena on November 6, 2008 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images)
Kate Moss often says to me that I am the only performer around at the moment who deserves to be called a diva.That gets us arguing, seemingly a little too serious if anyone hears us. I hate that word diva. It’s been so abused! Every singer given a makeover or a few weeks on a talent show seems to be called a diva these days! Christ almighty. Where’s the exclusivity? It’s so commercial now. For me, a diva is like the great opera singer, the great film star – out of reach, in their own world, with a real gift for invention, attention-demanding performance artists with a flamboyant, compelling sense of their own importance, so special and inimitable it verges on the alien. And of course the word is usually used to describe an apparently erratic female whose temperamental qualities, survival instincts, and dedication to perfection are seen as weaknesses, as self-indulgent, not a strength. So, Kate, I am not a diva. I am a Jones!
This is what I would say to my pupil: you have become only your fame, and left behind most of who you were. How are you going to deal with that? Will you lose that person forever? Have you become someone else, without really knowing it? Do you always have to stay in character for people to like you? Do you know that you are in character?
Doris, I would say fame is all well and good if you want to take it to another level. If you have some greater purpose. Me, I am just a singer, on one sort of stage or another, who likes to have an audience, but not all the time. Listen to my advice; I have some experience. In a way, it is me being a teacher, which is what I wanted to be. I still feel I could go into teaching. What is teaching but passing on your knowledge to those who are at the beginning? Some people are born with that gift. With me, the teaching side morphed into the performing side. It’s in there. And these are my pupils – Gaga, Madonna, Annie Lennox, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Miley, Kanye West, FKA Twigs and… Doris.
Grace Jones: if you ever get the chance, do see her live. She’s a force of nature.
The Metropolitan Police say hate crime is up. Crimes against Muslims have risen in London by 70% on last year (816 Islamophobic compared with 478 for the previous year). Anti-Semitic crime saw the biggest year-on-year increase, rising 93 percent over the same period (499 incidents compared with 258).
How do you report the grim statistics?
According to the Muslim Council of Britain’s (MCB) study of data from the 2011 census, there are 1,012,800 Muslims living in London. Sixty percent of the UK’s 263,000 Jews live in London – 157,800. If we crunch the numbers, Jews have move than double the chance of being attacked for their race than a Muslim does for their belief.
So how is this reported in the mainstream news?
Mention of Jews: nil.
Number of times Jews are mentioned: nil.
Neither the Guardian nor the Indy finds space to mention the rise in anti-Semitic attacks at all.
The BBC is perhaps the most shocking. A search for ‘hate crime’ reveals this result:
Number of time Jewish attacks are mentioned in any of the BBC’s three most recent stories on hate crimes: nil. Once might be an oversight – three times looks like an agenda.
It’s left to the local free press presents the full story.
When England footballer John Terry rowed with Anton Ferdinand, the matter came to court. In 2012, Chelsea captain Terry was acquitted of the racially aggravated public-order offence of calling QPR’s Ferdinand a “fucking black cunt“. In court the phrase became the acronym ‘FBC’. But his summing up at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, chief Magistrate Howard Riddle used the words many, many times.
The defendant does not deny that he used the words, “fuck off, fuck off”, “fucking black cunt” or “fucking knobhead”. His case is that his words were not uttered by way of abuse or insult nor were they intended to be abusive or insulting…
He says they were used after a perceived false accusation made by Mr Ferdinand, the accusation being to the effect that the defendant had used the term “black cunt” during their exchanges with each other…
The issue between the defendant and the Crown is whether Mr Terry uttered the words “fucking black cunt” by way of insult…
There is also no dispute that John Terry directed the words “black cunt” in the direction of Anton Ferdinand…
It starts off funny. And then it gets a tad wearing:
It is equally clear, and equally not in dispute, that he also directed the words “fucking knobhead” at Anton Ferdinand…
It is obvious, and again not in dispute, that at the time that John Terry said “black cunt” and “fucking knobhead” he was angry…
Ms Whitewood is of the opinion that the words spoken by John Terry are “Yeah and I [obstruction] you/ya fucking black cunt (pause) fucking knobhead”…
In cross-examination he accepted that he appears to use the word “and” and as a result the only difference between the prosecution and the defence is that the Crown alleged he says “you/ya fucking black cunt” whereas the defence case is that he said “a fucking black cunt?”…
And then it gets to being funny again:
There is then the evidence of Anton Ferdinand that he at no stage accused John Terry of calling him a black cunt…
In cross-examination Mr Ferdinand at first appeared to deny that Mr Terry said, in the dressing room, “do you think I called you are fucking black cunt?”…
There is no doubt the words “Fucking black cunt” were directed at Mr Ferdinand…
Another possibility, and this is a possibility suggested to me by the defence, is that he did indeed accuse John Terry of calling him a black cunt, knows perfectly well that the words observed on the TV footage were in response to that comment, and is lying about it…
Another doubt about the facts is what was said by Anton Ferdinand at the time of his obscene gesture to John Terry, shortly before the words “black cunt” were spoken…
And now tiring:
A related point is the way that Mr Terry’s facial expression changed at the moment he uttered the words “black cunt”…
On the other hand the footage of Mr Terry as he says “black cunt” adds credence to the defence account that something of a different order had just been said to him, something altogether more insulting…
The prosecution point out that in the FA interview Mr Terry was asked “can you remember exactly what you said back to him?” and replied “I think it was something along the lines of, “You black cunt, you’re a fucking knobhead”…
There was a word that looked like Bridges or black. There was another word that looked like cunt…
And finally you can’t stop laughing. You’re sat in the court giggling and snorting like an adolescent. You are riding the “black cunt” rollercoaster.
The prosecution has presented a strong case. There is no doubt that John Terry uttered the words “fucking black cunt” at Anton Ferdinand. When he did so he was angry. Mr Ferdinand says that he did not precipitate this comment by himself accusing Mr Terry of calling him a black cunt….
Weighing all the evidence together, I think it is highly unlikely that Mr Ferdinand accused Mr Terry on the pitch of calling him a black cunt…
And now to the video of the woman saying vagina in court.
Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were acquitted of murdering Meredith Kercher in Perugia. The case began on 2 November 2007, when the body of Kercher, 21, was found in the Italian flat she and Knox shared.
Italy’s supreme court said yesterday the verdict was down to police failures. The judges wrote:
“The trial had oscillations which were the result of stunning flaws, or amnesia, in the investigation and omissions in the investigative activity…The international spotlight on the case in fact resulted in the investigation undergoing a sudden acceleration, that, in the frantic search for one or more guilty parties to consign to international public opinion, certainly didn’t help the search for substantial truth….
“The kitchen knife, found in Sollecito’s house and the supposed crime weapon, was kept in an ordinary cardboard box, like the kind that Christmas gadgets are packaged in…
“The computers of Amanda Knox and Kercher, which perhaps could have furnished information useful to the investigation, were, incredibly, burned by imprudent maneouvers by the investigators.”
The gap is between the facts and the belief. And it does not end. The media spin continues. Knox, the American nicknamed ‘Foxy Knoxy’, was portrayed as either as the innocent abroad or the conniving “sex-crazed killer.”
‘What’s she thinking?’ The Times
The British Press continue to take a line:
Police failures led to Knox’s acquittal (Times)
Amanda Knox acquitted because of ‘stunning flaws’ in investigation (Guardian)
The headlines imply Knox got off because of police failures. But NBC news looks at the same ruling and says she should never have been a suspect:
The latest decision, from the Court of Cassation, Italy’s equivalent of the Supreme Court, slammed police and prosecutors for “stunning weakness” and “investigative bouts of amnesia.” Because no biological evidence from Knox or Sollecito was found at the house in Perugia where Kercher was murdered, the 52-page opinion said, their “participation” in the killing should have been “excluded.”
“There was no shortage of glaring errors in the underlying fabric of the sentence in question,” the court wrote.
“This has been a long struggle for me, my family, my friends, and my supporters. While I am glad it is now over, I will remain forever grateful to the many individuals who gave their time and talents to help me. Today would not have been possible without your unwavering support. I will now begin the rest of my life with one of my goals being to help others who have been wrongfully accused.”
It’s a widely held belief that IS – or “so-called Islamic State”, if you’re a BBC viewer – are murderous Islam supremacists who spend their days raping, pillaging and dreaming up news ways to brutalise humanity. Against them, we have Barack Obama’s rhetoric, President Assad of Syria’s murderous regime and the Kurds. Now thanks to the British justice system we can see one of these kurds at the Old Bailey, where Shilan Ozcelik is on trial for allegedly attempting to join the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
IS would surely have raped and murdered her my now, but we can assume they are broadly in favour of the British courts’ criminalising someone trying to fight for the West.
Shilan Ozcelik, 18, has been charged with “engaging in conduct in preparation to for giving an effect to an intention to commit acts of terrorism” under section 5 (10) (a) of the Terrorism Act 2006. Arrested in January, Shilan has been held on remand in Holloway prison since early March.
Her arrest and charge was met with outrage by the Kurdish community in the UK and supporters of the Kurdish struggle, who condemned it as a blatant example of selective and political criminalisation of the Kurdish community, which has continued since the PKK was listed as a ‘terrorist organisation’ in 2000.
We reject this labelling of the PKK, which we believe confuses the Kurdish people’s legitimate struggle for self-determination with terrorism and has the effect of criminalising anyone in the Kurdish community who is part of peaceful political activity. We know that Shilan has never committed any act of violence and poses no threat to the people of this country. As such, we reiterate our call for the charges against her to be dropped.
A woman keen to fight our enemy has been arrested for, er, trying to fight our enemy.
But this is also about the Turks. In July the Turkish government saw its chance to bomb the Kurds as it bombed IS:
[President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] said the peace process, launched in 2012 in order to put an end to the bloody conflict between the Turkish government and the PKK that has killed over 40,000 since it began in 1984, had become impossible to maintain. The PKK has said the air strikes, launched virtually in parallel with Turkish strikes against Islamic State fighters in Syria, rendered the peace process meaningless. But it has stopped short of formally pulling out.
The Turkish air strikes on Kurdish rebels were launched in tandem with Turkey’s first ever military operations against Islamic State in Syria after a suicide bomb killed 32 in the small border town of Suruç last Monday, an attack that Ankara blames on Isis. Critics have accused Turkey of using the Isis threat as a pretext to weaken the Kurdish opposition. Turkey’s Nato allies have expressed unease about the operations aimed at the PKK, since the Kurds have been a crucial ally in the fight against Isis both in Syria and in Iraq.
So instead of trying to fight for her people, Shilan Ozcelik is in jail.