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Tania Amisi jailed: Express turns crook into a story about immigration

If Tania Amisi is “Queen of the Scroungers”, are her subjects also scroungers? And where might they be found?

The Express leads with Tania Amisi, 27, who on Monday began a four-year prison sentence for defrauding 22 councils out of at least £244,000. She raked in the cash by claiming benefits on properties she did not live in. To put the tin id on it, she was living in a swanky flat in Chelsea Harbour.

 

Tania Amisi

 

Congo-born Amis, who came the UK as a 12-year-old asylum seeker (she was granted indefinite leave to stay) after her father was murdered, would have most likely gone to prison earlier, having pleaded guilty to three charges of fraud. But she legged it. The law caught up with her in Paris in July.

On Monday the judge at Southwark Crown Court told her:

“You had a flat in Chelsea paid for by your fraudulent activities and your son had all the material benefits he could want. Once discovered, you could not face up to the consequences and you fled to mainland Europe until you were brought back.”

So how do you tell the story?

The BBC told it in a story called Britain on the Fiddle:

 

 

Over in the Express, there’s no word on why Amisi was granted asylum. The paper punctuates its front-page story with a “Daily Express Vote” (page 5) in which readers are invited to respond to the question “Should Britain be more careful about who get asylum?” – which begs another question not asked by the paper: how can you best vet a 12-year-old whose dad’s been murdered for any future crimes she may commit?

To help Express readers reach an answer, on page 12 the paper delivers the editorial: “Fraudster made fortune from soft-touch Britain.” Amisi is the “pregnant mother-of-three, who came to Britain from the Congo as an asylum seeker”. When she was 12. She didn’t come when she was pregnant and take Britain as a soft touch by pointing to her kids and her bump. This is a story on benefits fraud. But the Express makes immigration its thrust.

The London Evening Standard mentions Amisi’s place of birth not once. The Guardian doesn’t report on the story at all. But to the Express she is “the shameless former asylum seeker”. Why can’t she just be a crook?

 

Posted: 13th, December 2017 | In: Key Posts, Money, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Meghan Markle: show us your dirty laundry

Meghan Markle has a “rift “with her father. Well, she had, apparently, because in a video from when she was 19 in the summer of 1999 that’s now the Sun’s front-page news (“MEGHAN: MY RIFT WITH DAD”), the actress tells her pal “my dad and I aren’t on the best of terms”. We’d like to keep up with the Markles, but we’d have to check a new source because the video shooter was Ninaki Priddy, a woman no longer mates with Meghan, 36.

Alongside a photo of Meghan in a short dress, we read that Thomas Markle “now lives a nomadic life driving between rented homes on LA and Mexico in an old Volvo” – a car the Mirror tells us is an “old batted blue Chrysler PT Cruiser”.

The Sun says Thomas’s home is a “cliff shack”. He “proudly tells the locals Meghan’s is his daughter”. Odd because the Mail was looking for the “elusive” Thomas and telling readers that “placed in his position, many fathers would be singing their joy from the rooftops”. The Sun says Thomas’ roof might not take the weight, given that it’s atop a “tiny red-tiled home…on a 120ft cliff overlooking the Pacific.”

Having given a front page and two inside pages to Ninaki Priddy’s scrapbook, the Sun today finds space for Jane Moore to accuse Priddy of “betrayal”. So the tabloids don’t do chequebook journalism any more, expose celebs and feature kiss ‘n’ tells about the beautiful people? Or is it different for Royals? Why shouldn’t a woman sell her story for loadsa money when her ex-pal – and do we know why they fell out?; Priddy says “What came to light after Trevor [Engelson – Meghan’s ex] and I spoke ended my friendship with Meghan”? – is due to remarry, this time to a billionaire’s scion?

We never did get the full story of Princess Diana and Charles when they were engaged. The media kept the knobs on a pedestal by delivering a narrative soaked in magic and star-written love. Let’s not have it again.

Much guff has been written about Meghan and Harry. “Don’t underestimate the symbolism of a royal marriage. From now on, it will be impossible to argue that being black is somehow incompatible with being British,” trumpets the Guardian. “Is it too mad to wonder, once the Brexit dust settles, whether the younger royals may – against all the odds – represent a Britain looking forward to the future rather than an imagined past?” the Indy muses. Once more the royals are showing us the way. But if we want to be modern – and wouldn’t that involve getting shot of them? – then surely we should know who they are and why we need to crane our necks to see them.

Posted: 6th, December 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Media obsession over Kate Maltby and Damian Green is something Rotherham girls can only dream of

It’s always big news when a journalist becomes the story. Access is easy.  The newspaper with the hack’s number on speed-dial gets to ride high on the news cycle and be relevant. And all other media can take sides and judge. Kate Malby is the young Conservative activist in the limelight, writing in the Times about how “awkward I felt” when Damian Green, the Tory MP and first secretary of state, allegedly came on to her. He denies doing so. But the story is out there. And it’s open season on Green and Maltby, teh story veering between the invasive and the endemic.

Maltby kicked off her story with context. “After the Weinstein scandal we are asking new questions about the sexual abuse of power: all to the good,” she wrote, linking a powerful Hollywood figure’s alleged rapes and serious sexual assaults to her experience. What did Green do? Was it criminal?

Mr Green is almost exactly 30 years older than me. He has always cropped up in the peripheral circle of my parents’ acquaintances; he generously agreed to be interviewed by my school newspaper when I was the 16-year-old editor and he the shadow education minister.

Oh, god no!

I did not conduct the interview myself, and had no contact again until I became involved in Tory activism in my twenties.

Ah. Phew! The 16-year-old and the man in this 40s is not a story laced with sex and crime. We rejoin the story with Maltby in her twenties…

At that point I began to ask him for advice on internal matters. We met for a daytime coffee in 2014 to discuss a political essay collection I was co-editing. He was helpful and avuncular…

We fast forward to 2015, Maltby and Green are meeting once more:

He steered the conversation to the habitual nature of sexual affairs in parliament. He told a funny story about finding himself in a lift with the Cameron aide Rachel Whetstone and her alleged lover, Samantha Cameron’s stepfather, Lord Astor. He mentioned that his own wife was very understanding. I felt a fleeting hand against my knee – so brief, it was almost deniable. I moved my legs away, and tried to end the drink on friendly terms. I then dropped all contact for a year. I wanted nothing to do with him.

Awkward, right enough.

For a while I wondered if I’d imagined the incident. I had no proof. And was I self-regarding to think myself attractive? Women are trained to doubt our desirability.

Only women? Aren’t men also presented with ideals? They go loopy for a man with his shirt off drinking a Coca Cola or serving a yoghurt, but can only pity the hapless husband who can’t operate soap. And aren’t men now being recast as suspects? An LA Times article told us: “Sexual harassment is neither a Republican problem nor a Democratic one. It’s a man problem.” Like womanhood before liberation, manhood is a restrictive condition.

In May 2016, Maltby was” persuaded by The Times to write a piece about the history of corsets… It ended up being quite light-hearted, and I was talked into posing in a not-very-revealing corset.” The phone rang. It was Green:

“Long time no see. But having admired you in a corset in my favourite tabloid I feel impelled to ask if you are free for a drink anytime?” I ignored the message.

Indeed. She “wanted nothing more to do with him”.

Six weeks later, David Cameron fell and Mr Green was suddenly one of the most important men in Theresa May’s cabinet. As an aspirant political writer, it seemed impossible to avoid him professionally. So I sent him a message. “Many congratulations on joining the cabinet — you and your family must be delighted. I’ll look forward to seeing what you achieve in government.”

Cue Jan Moir, Mrs Michael Gove, the apogee of school gates knowing, who tells Mail readers:

Clearly driven mad with lust by the sight of the 31-year-old in a lace-up bodice and lumpy leggings, Green had only one thing on his mind. The brute! So she ‘actively ignored him’ until this June, when he was suddenly promoted to Deputy PM in Theresa May’s new government. The fact that Green was suddenly hugely important did not escape the single-minded Miss Maltby, who put the trauma of what had happened behind her and began texting him again.

 

maltby green

 

Will anyone stick up for ‘Miss’ lumpy legs? The Mail won’t. It’s Team Green, backing the man allegedly involved in Daily Mail scoops? The Mail’s double-page spread comes with a free hatchet:

One very pushy lady: Kate Maltby’s dad is a banker who dated Ann Widdecombe, and a family friend of the minister she accuses of touching her knee. ANDREW PIERCE profiles a woman determined to make it in politics – whatever the cost

Isn’t being determined a good thing?

Kate was brought up in Geneva, Switzerland, before the family moved back to Britain and into their £5 million home in Holland Park, West London. Kate, a highly- strung teenager, dropped out of Cheltenham Ladies’ College and moved to the £25,000-a-year St Paul’s Girls’ School.

Well-travelled, well-connected and well educated. Maltby can either spend her days lunching or work hard to put her nous to good use. Good on her for having a go, right?

In 2012, Maltby moved into a £1.3 million flat in Notting Hill… She bought the flat, now worth around £2 million, with no mortgage.

Which surely garners the reaction: so what? If this were a story about how anyone seeking a career in media needs to have private means, then we’d get it. We’d expect every Mail’s byline to come with a word on the writer’s schooling, market rate of their home and a family tree linking them to the owner. But it’s a story is about a woman feeling uncomfortable.

While she was in Notting Hill, the ambitious Maltby targeted Samantha Cameron… One member of the now defunct Notting Hill set recalled: ‘She was relentless and persistent in courting Mrs Cameron and others. We all got bombarded with emails and calls from her after she just sort of appeared in our midst. But I’m afraid there was something not quite right. I wasn’t sure we could ever fully trust her.’

And who better to trust than the anonymous source? The same or maybe it’s another anonymous voice tells us: “She might be more careful the next time she’s asked to write a piece trashing a decent man.”

Team Green is in full cry, then? But in the New Statesman, Sarah Ditum says Maltby is “paying the price” for speaking out as a woman. Damian Green’s relations with Maltby are being investigated by Cabinet Office. Green is also being investigated for alleged misuse of his Commons computer, namely to access porn, something he denies. Anna Soubry, a Tory MP, says he should be suspended. A “senior figure” tells the Sunday Times Green should contemplate suicide: “It’s time for the whisky and the revolver.”

Ditum wonders: “How posh does a woman have to be for her account of a man’s behaviour to be dismissed? How ambitious?”

The questions are rhetorical. It’s also clear Ditum is writing less about Maltby than the Mail’s reaction to her. You see. Media loves to talk about media. It’s the easiest news beat there is.

And if accusations of betraying friends, shaming family and publicising herself are too mild for you, don’t worry: Jan Moir is there on the facing page, calling Maltby “poison”, “disingenuous” and “not afraid to use all her charms to get herself noticed”.

But what about Maltby?

When a woman comes forward, she knows her credibility will be undermined, her past picked over and her character demolished. She might, like Labour activist Bex Bailey when she reported a rape, simply be told to hush up.

Rape? Is the heinous crime of rape relevant to Green? Isn’t that, you know, a bit unfair? Isn’t this about an alleged light brush of the knee, and flirtation? And if the media wants to investigate young vulnerable women being abused by older men, why don’t they talk more about attitudes to poor women in Rotherham and elsewhere? No #MeToo hashtags for the poor, ordinary and isolated. You stat to wonder if this about women or class? To rework Ditum’s question: How poor does a woman have to be for her account of a man’s behaviour to be dismissed? And does she have to live in London?

She continues:

When a national paper is willing to go to war for the hand on the knee and the presumptuous text, it’s not because they fear for one man’s career (which, again, was never threatened by Maltby): it’s because these are the things that keep women where we are.

Which is…where? Writing a column in a national newspaper or magazine? Four days after her original story, Maltby wrote in the Times:

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC came forward to confirm that I had confided in her a year ago about Green and was unlikely to have fabricated the story. At least two other women have said the same in public — and there are others who have offered to give similar evidence in private to a forthcoming Cabinet Office inquiry.

So my accusers changed tack. Seeming to accept that I genuinely believe my own claims, “friends of Damian Green” now suggest I may not have been able to tell the difference between the touch of a human hand and the flicker of tablecloth. This is the only story in a very difficult week that has given me reason to crack a hollow smile. Women know the difference between a hand and a tablecloth.

Women do. But do men, who are clueless when it comes to household items and laundry. Discuss.

Posted: 3rd, December 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Daily Mail’s List Of Things That Give You Cancer: From A To Z

SCARE Stories in the Daily Mail – here’s a list of things that give you cancer:
AFTERNOONShere
ARTIFICIAL FLAVOURS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-55023/Cancer-causing-chemicals-soy-sauce.html
BAGELS – here
BELTS – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2439962/Wearing-tight-belt-throat-cancer-Constricting-waistbands-cause-acid-reflux–increasing-risk-disease.html
CANDLE-LIT DINNERS – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1207726/Candles-release-scents-laced-cancer-chemicals-warn-scientists.html#ixzz0dufFps6a
CANNABIS – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-146853/Why-cannabis-greater-cancer-risk-tobacco.html
CATS: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2019170/Can-cat-cancer-Parasite-bellies-linked-brain-tumours.html
CHEESE (CHEDDAR) – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4322418/How-cheddar-cream-cheese-breast-cancer.html
CHILDLESSNESS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/columnists/article-474820/SUZANNE-MOORE-Im-sick-told-fault.html
CHILDREN’S FOODhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-201390/Health-warning-childrens-food.html
CHIMNEY SWEEPING: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3293707/Revealed-116-things-cause-CANCER-according-world-health-experts.html
COCAINE – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1267864/Drug-dealers-add-cancer-causing-chemical-cocaine-maximise-profits.html
CONTRACEPTIVE PILLShttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-181273/Cancer-risk-45-higher-Pill.html
DADS: http://www.anorak.co.uk/431859/tabloids/daily-mail-scare-story-dad-gives-you-cancer.html/
DEPRESSION http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2442249/Depression-triple-risk-developing-Parkinsons-disease-scientists-say.html
DILDOS –  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2611376/These-toys-arent-sharing-How-sex-aids-spread-cancer-causing-HPV-virus-partners.html
EGYPTIAN MOOBS – here
ENGLISH BREAKFASThttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1049142/Traditional-English-fry-raise-risk-bowel-cancer-63-cent.html
FREQUENT FLYINGhere
GADGETS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-3772629/Cancer-cases-children-40-20-years.html
HAIRDRYERS  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-3772629/Cancer-cases-children-40-20-years.html
HOLIDAYS – http://www.anorak.co.uk/400678/tabloids/the-daily-mail-lifestyle-gives-you-cancer.html/
KIDNEY TRANSPLATShttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-459097/TV-prize-kidney-carries-risk-cancer.html
KINDER bars – http://www.anorak.co.uk/436477/tabloids/scare-stories-nutella-and-kinder-eggs-give-ambassador-farages-guests-cancer.html/
LIFESTYLE – http://www.anorak.co.uk/400678/tabloids/the-daily-mail-lifestyle-gives-you-cancer.html/
LIFESTYLE – here
LIVER TRANSPLANTS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-207838/Cancer-liver-transplant-killed-husband.html
LONG FINGERS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2439430/Why-long-fingers-mean-youre-likely-depressed-small-ears-make-prone-kidney-disease.html
MIDDLE CLASS – here
MISSING A PERIOD – here
NUCLEAR POWER (there is no hint of irony in this article)http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-42066/New-study-links-nuclear-sites-c…
NUTELLA http://www.anorak.co.uk/436477/tabloids/scare-stories-nutella-and-kinder-eggs-give-ambassador-farages-guests-cancer.html/
ROAST POTATOES – http://www.anorak.co.uk/436735/tabloids/scare-stories-roast-potatoes-give-you-cancer.html/
X-RAYS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-207035/X-rays-bring-risk-cancer.html
ZEBRA TOYS – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2439656/Start-Your-Senses-Zebra-toy-recalled-cancer-risk.html
Spotter:

Posted: 1st, December 2017 | In: Key Posts, Tabloids | Comments (22) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Donald Trump and Britain First: a Twitter romance made in a safe space

Is a retweet an endorsement? It is if you’re cuddly Donald Trump, who has amplified anti-Muslim propaganda tweeted by Jayda Franse, the woman who fronts Britain First, the odious far right group.

That Trump has the brain of a cretinous adolescent is certain. It’s also a sure thing that when Trump tweets, it’s news. Four national newspapers lead with Trump’s retweets. The Times, Telegraph and Guardian all lead with Theresa’s May’s condemnation of the tweets Tump broadcasted to his millions of followers.

The i goes further. It says Trump’s sad, deeply pathetic and short-fingered grasp on the big issues of diplomacy, bigotry and racism, his undermining of the weight of high office, call into question his State visit to the UK. His retweets, says the paper, constitute “an attack on Britain”.

 

Trump tweets britain first

 

Should the UK be a safe space, where Donald’ Tump is banned from entering?

Trump takes pride in claiming to be saying the ‘unsayable’, telling it like it is. In his head, Trump’s engaging in home-spun wisdom. He’s a plain talking pioneer stripped of politicians’ artifice and cunning. His Twitter account’s a virtual stoop wherefrom he shares wisdom with the simple folks who gather at his feet. Little surprise he finds kindred spirits in fringe groups who purport to be doing the same, self-styled brave souls daring to speak the truth at a time when free expression is increasingly oppressed.

As debate withers and dies on the vine – free speech stymied by policed speech, activists posing as journalists and offence-seekers watching us for any misstep; when accusation is enough to establish guilt; when identity is all (and you know who agrees with that liberal view? Yeah: Nazis) – extremists with loud mouths position themselves as the voices of freedom. You want an alternative to the suffocation. There it is on the side, circling life’s plughole.

The last word is with Trump. Having been called out for his actions, he tweets:

@TheresaMay, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!

 

No, Donald. No! That’s the wrong Theresa May.

 

 

America. Would someone over there please take Trump’s phone away from him and put him to bed. Grown-ups are talking. Well, we will just as long as those progressive liberal voices who view human interaction as a potential crime scene allow it…

Posted: 30th, November 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Trumpy Bear: your very own Donald Trump-themed teddy to groom

Stuck for gift ideas? Looking for a warm hug ? Want something to groom? Well, Trumpybear is the answer.

 

Trump bear

 

Trumpy Bear is a plush 22″ bear with an attached 28″ by 30″ flag themed blanket. $39.90 plus $6.95 shipping. Trumpy has a zippered neck where the blanket is stored. Texas residents will be charged sales tax at the rate of 8.25%- all other states are neither collected nor remitted.

Do not set detonate your bear, pull its hair nor delve inside for sign of substance:

There is a 30 day money back guarantee for product price only. Shipping charges non refundable. Sorry, we cannot accept returns of intentionally damaged bears. Most orders are shipped within three business days. However, during periods of excess demand, please allow up to 6 weeks for delivery.

 

Trump bear donald trump tedy

 

‘God bless Anerica. And Good Bless Trumpy Bear!”

 


Spotter: TrumpBear

Posted: 29th, November 2017 | In: Key Posts, Politicians, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Ant McPartlin: airbrushing the drugs doesn’t make him a role model

Ant McPartlin, the taller one from Ant ‘n’ Dac, is on the Sun’s cover. “ANT NOT GOING HOME TO WIFE,” runs the headline. A “source” tells the paper that Ant and his wife, Lisa Armstrong, are “struggling to find a way to move forward together”.

Lest anyone suppose there was something more to this story, on page 7 readers are told: “ANT’S FACING XMAS ALONE.” Poor Ant! The “telly favourite faces a lonely Christmas in a rented pad.” Anything else? Well, Ant is “getting over an addiction to painkillers following knee surgery”. Nothing illegal, then. No illegal drugs are mentioned, just the ones sanctioned by the State and pumped out by big pharma. “Ant is focused on recovery,” adds the source.

Lest we wonder why Ant has left home and how it is that recovery does not include being in the bosom of his family, the “source” tells us that Ant is delighted the “public still support him” and his wife is “having a good time with her pals”.

We do like Ant and Dec, who are easily the best things about I’m A Celebrity, which features a nice enough platoon of celebs. The pity being that none of them are interesting. But there is something PR-driven about the Sun’s “exclusive”. It was the Sun which broke the story about “booze, pills and substances”:

 

 

In a world exclusive interview, emotional Ant tells The Sun on Sunday: “I was at the point where anything — prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs — I would take.

“And take them with alcohol, which is ridiculous. The doctors told me, ‘You could have killed yourself’. ”

Dec is the victim:

Squeaky-clean Ant’s descent into dangerous prescription drugs came after he damaged his knee in 2014, then had a botched operation on it the following year.

Is he that squeaky clean? Dan Wootton says he is. And he adds: “Ant is bright-eyed, trim and sporting a youthful new hairstyle when we meet.”

 

 

In 2013, Ant and Dec were interviewed in the Guardian:

By the laws of show business, at least one of them should have succumbed to the traditional hazards of child stardom – drink and drugs, sexual transgression, monstrous egomania. Yet, with the solitary exception of a drunken night involving Dec and a lap dancer, which ended up in the tabloids, the pair have been almost freakishly clean. Have they never even tried taking drugs?

“Years ago, yeah,” Ant admits, “but we’re not really druggy people, that’s the thing. I think you either go into that crowd as a kid or you don’t, and we didn’t. We found the love of alcohol very early on and we stayed with it.” Laughing, Dec adds, “There’s a real pub culture where we’re from in Newcastle, so we’re just more boozy people.”

If one had ever been at risk of self-destruction, though, who was the likelier candidate? Without hesitation, both point at Ant. “Probably me, yeah,” he admits. Dec points out affectionately: “There’s nothing like the love of a good woman, though.”

Ant’s plight then becomes a campaign:

“‘I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE’ Three ex-addicts reveal agony of getting hooked on prescription medication like TV star Ant McPartlin

The number of opioid painkiller prescriptions in the UK has doubled over the past decade to 24 million – yet nobody knows how many people are struggling with addictions

 

 

We should all wish Ant McPartlin well. But to suppose he’s not a human being susceptible to the same temptations as the rest of us buys into the myth that anyone who appears on the telly is a ‘role model’. We don’t mind it when rockers and artists take drugs and illuminate our lives with bursts of vibrant culture, so why should we care if a talented, immensely likeable and engaging TV presenter does? Screw the PR guff. What Ant does to his own body is his own affair.  We’re big enough to understand that, right?

Posted: 27th, November 2017 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Daily Mail versus The Guardian: wrapping Nazis and eugenics in Paperchase guff

Have you boycotted Paperchase, sellers of printed stationery – yep, people really do still send letters (though not to Daily Mail readers who communicate by holding their noses and yelling into the wind)?  Hope not. Paperchase tried its best to shine a light into society’s darkest recess. It reached out to the Daily Mail’s  Untermensch readership, hoping that in offering them two free rolls of Christmas wrapping paper, they’d be put on the path to decency.

 

paperchase brexit

Paperchase – not fan of Brexit

 

But Stop Funding Hate thought Mail readers beyond salvation and bombarded Paperchase’s social media account with complaints. Paperchase didn’t rescind the offer, but did vow never again to reach down into the sewer. It was “truly sorry”. Some people are just not worth the effort. Wrapping paper is a not a right; it’s a moral choice. The tree gods gladly give up their own to wrap useful gifts like photos of Jeremy Corbyn, DVDs of The 100 Best Silences and the Pop-Up Book of Safe Spaces. But save for the odd Japanese knot weed and leylandii, no vegetation wants to be seen dead around the kind of stuff Mail readers buy at Christmas – jackboots, flaming torches and Jeremy Clarkson audio tapes.

Sarah Baxter tells Times readers Stop Funding Hate is interested in muzzling the Press. The group’s founder, Richard Wilson, ‘admitted on Newsnight that “the end point for us is a media that does the job we all want it to”.’ Which is? Baxter says it’s “suppressing the array of opinion reflected in the British press… Stop Funding Hate, however, has morphed into an arrogant group of hate-mongering activists who are outraged about an ever-expanding range of subjects”.

The idea is simple: starve the publication you don’t like of advertising money and watch it die. If this also deprives thick-as-custard people of reading the tabloids, all to the good. If those mouth-breathers can’t be banned from sharing views of the right-minded, their reading material must be censored. The caring Left knows best.

The Advertising Association is concerned, stating: “The UK has a free press and advertising plays a vital role in funding that. Pressure group lobbying of this kind has negative implications for our press freedom.” Advertising body Isba, warns: “We shouldn’t take for granted the freedom of the press.”

Over in the Guardian, which would surely be the only newspaper on the bottom shelf when the anti-haters have won the day, Peter Peston thunders:

Stop Funding Hate may legitimately urge Mail readers to quit (and Mail readers may, equally legitimately, examine the causes SFH espouses and make up their own minds). But trolling rather nervous companies such as Paperchase isn’t legitimate. It’s the thin end of a dangerous wedge – with no winners in sight, from left or right.

As last week’s Ipso complaints ruling on Trevor Kavanagh’s “The Muslim Problem” column for the Sun mordantly observes: “There is no clause in the editors’ code which prohibits publication of offensive content”. Nor should there be.

In the same paper, Stewart Lee writes beneath the headline: “My futile attempt to sell satire to the Daily Mail.” Well, the paper does employ the sublime Craig Brown, so maybe he’s enough? Guardian readers are told:

Usually, I am the sort of person who thinks that anyone who has ever worked for the Daily Mail is worse than Adolf Hitler, even the temps and the tea lady. And I’m not alone. So disgusted are youth voters by the repellent newspaper, it’s now clear that the Daily Mail’s increasingly hysterical attacks on Jeremy Corbyn, the coddled egg of British politics, may even have helped secure his triumphant loss in the last general election.

Worse than Hitler? Satire, right? Phew! And people not voting for Corbyn because the Mail told them, too? I thought it was about anti-Semitism. But, then, I’ve not been keeping up with the Guardian’s news on Jews and Jezza’ Labour Party, not since one of their columnists wrote in the Guardian: “I have developed a habit when confronted by letters to the editor in support of the Israeli government to look at the signature to see if the writer has a Jewish name. If so, I tend not to read it.”

I didn’t call for a boycott. And the sport pages are good. Boycotts are, after all, for censors and Nazis.

Lee also turns to the subject of Nazis, riffing on when the Mail hailed the blackshirts.

And a sepia-toned card of the first Viscount Rothermere, the paper’s 1930s proprietor, declares, in Daily Mail font, “I urge all British young men and women to study the Nazi regime in Germany. There is a clamorous campaign of denunciation against ‘Nazi atrocities’ which consist merely of a few isolated acts of violence, but which have been generalised, multiplied and exaggerated to give the impression that Nazi rule is a bloodthirsty tyranny. Congratulations on passing your driving test.”

Haha. Got one about the Guardian opposing the creation of the National Health Service as it feared the state provision of healthcare would “eliminate selective elimination”?

This is not to defend the Mail. It’s to highlight how censorship is formed by bigotry.

Owen Jones disagrees. He writes in the Guardian: “Paperchase rejecting the Daily Mail is another victory against hatred.” No, he’s not being ironic.

This paper, whose less than glorious history includes cheerleading for the Nazis and Oswald Mosley’s blackshirts, is one of the most vindictive bullies in Britain.

And the Guardian? The Spectator tells us that not all leading figures in the Left, including eugenicist George Bernard Shaw, minded tyranny. ( In March 1933 Shaw was a co-signatory to a letter in The Manchester Guardian protesting at the continuing misrepresentation of Soviet achievements: “No lie is too fantastic, no slander is too stale … for employment by the more reckless elements of the British press.”)

Malcolm Muggeridge, was initially supportive of the Soviet regime. But then he went to Moscow as a correspondent for the Manchester Guardian and learned about the Ukrainian famine. The Guardian censored his reports. The left was divided by the atrocities of the Soviet Union into honest, moral people and those who turned a blind eye.

Is this a row between newspapers: the Guardian in need of the Mail to showcase what it is not; the Mail and right-wing Press, doing much the same? The difference is, though, that only one side supports censorship.

Posted: 26th, November 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, News, Tabloids, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Jon Venables: turning James Bulger’s murder into good and moral entertainment

Jon Venables, the child who killed a child, is back in the news. News is that he’s been caught in possession of child abuse images, just as he was in 2010. This means he’s back in prison.

The Sun leads with the news, saying how Venables’ probation officials spotted the images on a computer belonging to the 35-year-old who together with Robert Thompson killed James Bulger in February 1993. Over pages 4 and 5, we see the familiar photos: Venables at age 10 stood for the police cameras; his partner in crime Robert Thompson in the same pose; and that haunting CCTV picture of James Bulger being walked form a Merseyside shopping centre to his gruesome death.

Venables, of course, is not known by that name. He got a new name, one which cannot and should not be revealed. Right now he’s in a category A prison, his alleged offences under investigation. If it goes to court, the paper says Venables will be afforded a crown court trial. Venables keeps costing the State money. Last time in prison, we learn he was given around-the-clock protection, and “access to guitar lessons and a rowing machine”. Before his release in 2001, he was given “years of costly treatment”.

The crime was heinous, one that shocked us all. But the story is without end. The country does try to seek out Venables, much less exact vigilante justice. So what is the purpose of the Sun’s story? Is it to show that rehabilitation does not work. Surely not because Robert Thompson is “now hailed as rehabilitation success story”.

Venables served seven years of a life sentence for the murder of James Bulger. In 2001, aged 18, he was set free, albeit under license, able to be recalled for any misdemeanour. He got a new name, a job that enforced unsociable hours on just above minimum wage and a place to live. The press were forbidden by law from revealing any details on Venables’ new identity. But we only knew their real names because the judge told us the killers’ names in an adult court, moving on from ‘Child A’ and “Child B’. Was that right? Venables was ordered never to reveal his original identity to anyone. He must live a lie. Was that freedom?

Then, aged 27, Venables was back in prison, serving a two-year sentence for downloading and distributing indecent images of children. Now he’s back inside again. And the media continues to stoke the fires. Denise Fergus, James Bulger’s mother, is back on our screens, her pain clear to all. Her lot is to be a media celebrity dished up for us to gawp at. On Sky News, once more she is encouraged to revisit the horror. Our utmost sympathy must be with her and Ralph Bulger, James Bulger’s father. They have no need to forgive.

But why are we invited to stare? Why are we being invited to be entertained by their suffering?

It was ever so. The rare murder of a child by children might have been sui generis had the Labour spokesman on home affairs not milked the story. Tony Blair, for it was he, seized the moment to amplify the murder into a national crisis. Thompson and Venables’ crimes were “hammer blows struck against the sleeping conscience of the country, urging us to wake up and look unflinchingly at what we see”. He told us: “A solution to this disintegration doesn’t simply lie in legislation. It must come from the rediscovery of a sense of direction as a country… We cannot exist in a moral vacuum. If we do not learn and then teach the value of what is right and what is wrong, then the result is simply moral chaos which engulfs us all.”

There are other murders. But this one served a purpose. Blair tapped into the trial judge’s comments on it being a crime of  “unparalleled evil and barbarity”. If that was evil the likes of which had never been seen before manifest in our midst, then Tony Blair was the force for good.  And so it was that the murder of James Bulger became a totem for the nation to rally around. James Bulger, the innocent child, became a New Labour symbol and a political football. The crime was submerged in the age’s reaction to it. And there was the video and the pictures to promote the message on rolling news. They’re still being used in a crime packaged for our age.

 

Posted: 23rd, November 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Jack Maynard: outrage as ‘racist’ vlogger avoids being eaten by rats

So farewell, Jack Maynard, aka ‘YouTuber Jack Maynard’, who has left I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! to sort out “circumstances outside camp”. Maynard wanted to “do the internet proud”. And he did just that, introducing the TV-watching tribes to life on the web. As the Sun thunders: “YouTube sensation, 22, was forced to apologise for racist and homophobic slurs on his Twitter account where he branded users ‘retarded’.”

Twitter’s a bit like a 1970s comedians showcase, albeit without the wit, laughs, likeable characters and fun.

 

 

The Sun took it upon itself to “reveal” some of Maynard’s “racist and homophobic tweets”, although it saw reason to edit them. Too rude for the paper that used to feature stunnas on Page 3 and still advertises phone lines for onanists seeking on-the-clock relief – yesterday readers were invited to call “X-Rated Cheap Girls – 18-94 Year Olds” and “HOT GIRLS [age unspecified]”. Thankfully, Pink News is less prudish. Damning Maynard as someone “famous for being the younger brother of singer Connor Maynard”, we read:

When an abusive commenter suggested he had profited off of his brother’s fame, Maynard hit back: “Completely forgot you know how I got it YOU RETARDED FAGGOT”.

He also used what the mainstream media terms ‘the N-word”. Censorship is provided by the Sun. (If you want to read the bad words, you need to get yourself on twitter.)

 

 

So Jack’s gone to spend time with his selfies, denying his accusers the chance to watch him being locked in a buried coffin and terrorised by rats. You had your chance.

Even better is the “spokesperson for the vlogger” – yep, even narcissists have their limits – who tells the Sun:

“Jack is ashamed of what he said in these tweets, many of which were deleted a long time ago and were sent in response to a neighbour who was bullying him. Jack was a lot younger when he posted them in 2012 but realises that age is no defence.”

Anyone else read that and see an adult explaining the action of a child? Jack is a big boy, says the grown up, and he knows he has done wrong. That leads to the a classic non-denial denial with sympathetic back story:

“He would never use that language now and realises that, as someone who was bullied himself, this kind of retaliatory, inflammatory, insulting language is completely unacceptable.”

Look at Jack Maynard less as the perpetrator, but as a victim living out fantasies born of a difficult childhood.

Posted: 22nd, November 2017 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Tabloids, TV & Radio | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Scientists make shock discovery: the internet invented sex

Stop sniggering. News is that sex education “may need to become more graphic” to keep pace with experimental teens engaging in “taboo practices”.

Boffins at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and University College London have been monitoring what the Telegraph terms the “changing sexual practices of youngsters since 1990”. Is monitoring young people having sex a kink, one of those taboos? The sex researchers’ findings are published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, and via a press release.  In it we read:

Whilst vaginal intercourse and oral sex remained the most common combination of sexual practices experienced in the past year, the proportion of sexually active 16-24 year olds who said they have had vaginal, oral and anal sex during the last year has risen, from approximately one in ten women and men in 1990-1991, to one in four men and one in five women in 2010-2012. Some of the largest increases in the prevalence of oral and anal sex over the past decade were observed among those aged 16-18.

Observed? No. Just what those surveyed felt able to say they engaged in. No need for a dark room anymore when you can just click and save. Every generation likes to feel as though they invented sex, and him, her and the turkey baster did it just the once in order to create the wonder of you. But the sex that doesn’t lead to a missionary’s idea of procreation has always been popular.  (Have you seen Catherine the Great’s furniture?) Still, we’re at the bleeding edge of sex, so the Sun can read the researchers’ notes, overlook the fact that in 1275, the first age of consent was set in England at age 12, and declare: “Brits are having sex younger than ever – and experimenting more in bed.”

And it’s all about the internet, sink of porn and depravity.

 

Literature from the staid 1950s (more)

 

The press release tells us:

Lead author Dr Ruth Lewis, who conducted the work while at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine but is now based at the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow, said: “At a time when much sex and relationships education is being updated, keeping pace with current trends in sexual practices is crucial so that curricula are tailored to the realities of young people’s experiences.”

Masturbation: discuss.

“By shedding light on when some young people are having sex and what kinds of sex they are having, our study highlights the need for accurate sex and relationships education that provides opportunities to discuss consent and safety in relation to a range of sexual practices. This will equip young people with the information and skills they need to maximise their wellbeing from the outset of their sexual lives.”

Kaye Wellings, senior author and Professor of Sexual and Reproductive Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, echoes the view that sex is a problem. “It is important to keep up to date with trends in sexual lifestyles to help young people safeguard their health and increase their well being,” she says.

Then this:

They found that the number of 16-24s moving away from traditional sexual intercourse had doubled, with experts claiming that the easy access to internet pornography was partly behind the rise..

Medieval French manuscript showing nuns picking “fruit” from “a medieval penis tree”.

Before web porn: French manuscript showing nuns picking “fruit” from “a medieval penis tree”.

 

 The thinking is that as the kids find new way to get their rock off, adults must keep overtake them and get in tune with what they might be into next (good luck guessing what they’re into) . The sex educator explains everything to the rutting youth, who realising that what hasn’t been said is the new ‘taboo’, decide to have a go at that bit. One upon a time, kids had the ‘dirty squad‘, pop stars, saucy postcards, wartime sado-masochism, art and mucky books to tell them what was naughty. Now they have adult experts in what to do and how to do it.

Posted: 20th, November 2017 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Gaia Pope: suing the police for a crime that never happened

After the febrile reporting and shadowy photos of innocent people, police say foul play played no part in the death of Gaia Pope, the 19-year-old who went missing in bucolic Dorset.

 

murder gaia pope

 

You might wonder why police arrested three people on suspicion of murder. All three were released under investigation. Greg Elsey, whose son Paul Elsey was arrested by police, accuses investigators of behaving like “wooden tops“. He says his son can prove he was elsewhere when Gaia Pope went missing. So why was Paul Elsey arrested and subjected to harsh media scrutiny?

The newspapers piled in, as ever they must when a photogenic blonde is missing. But from front-page news, the Express relegates the case of “tragic” Gaia Pope to page 4. The police says the young woman might have taken her own life or died of natural causes.

The Mail presents her death as a mystery, asking a question we will never know the answer to. “Did fear of prisoner who assaulted her push Gaia to suicide?” asks the Mail, wrapping two questions into a headline to which the only sensible answer is ‘no’.

 

Gaia Pope newspapers front pages

Blonde woman goes missing

 

As for that assault, a “friend” tells the paper: “She was assaulted when she was 17 and I think she thought the man would be released early from prison.”

We are free to speculate, of course, but why did an apparent objective police investigation lead to the arrests of three people and talk of murder? Surely they knew of Gaia Pope’s past, and of her severe epilepsy, which, we are told, could take her life at any time? We read now that Paul Elsey, Nathan Elsey and Rosemary Dinch, the three innocent people arrested for a crime that never took place, are planning to sue police for wrongful arrest.

 

The Sun zooms in on innocent Paul Elsey

 

Over in the Sun, which talked of police “swooping” on Paul Esley’s “prized” car – no, not that car –  the story (page 7) is one of “Tragic Gaia’s Attack Agony”. The paper reads the dead woman’s mind. “She feared fiend’s release,” says the paper. She did? Well, maybe. Maybe not.

In the Daily Mirror (page 9), Gaia is the “tragic teen”. She is “Gaia from Langton Matravers”. In the Sun she is “Gaia from Swanage”. Gaia Pope was from Langton Matravers. She was staying at an address in Swanage when she disappeared on Tuesday 7 November 2017.

Such are the facts.

UPDATE: Det Supt Paul Kessell, of Dorset Police tells everyone:

“We have today released from our investigation two men, aged 19 and 49, and a 71-year-old woman, all from Swanage, who had been arrested and were assisting with our enquiries. I appreciate our enquiries would have caused these individuals stress and anxiety, however we have an obligation in any missing person investigation to explore every possible line of enquiry. The public would expect Dorset Police to fully investigate the sudden disappearance of a teenage girl. Our aim was not only to find Gaia but to find out what happened to her. Gaia’s family has been informed of this latest development and our thoughts remain with all her family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.”

What happened to people ‘helping he police with their enquiries’? Why the rush towards arrest?

 

Posted: 20th, November 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comments (5) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Ian Wright: Arsenal great was ‘bullied’ at Crystal Palace

Former Crystal Palace and Arsenal footballer Ian Wright is an ambassador for Cartoon Network’s anti-bullying campaign CN Buddy Network. Helping to promote the cause, Wright is telling media about his own experiences with bullies.

Alyson Rudd writes in the Times:

It is the silence that worries Ian Wright. The silence of those who suffer at the hands of bullies. The former England striker wants children who are picked on to speak up. If they keep their secrets they will, he says, find themselves suffering in the shadows.

We are introduced to Crystal Palace club captain Jim Cannon, there when Wright started out at the London club at the tender age of 21. In 2005, Cannon was part of Palace’s Centenary XI, losing the title “The Player of The Century” to – yep – Ian Wright.

“He was oppressive, a bully and he was nasty,” says Wright, who comes over as a resilient and engaging character. “He was threatened by me for some reason and I don’t know why. He was a horrible bully. It didn’t last long because once I started playing well, my confidence came and I didn’t feel that if I said anything they would let me go. When I told Steve Coppell [the manager] about it, he said he [Cannon] wouldn’t be around for long, that I should carry on doing what I was doing and stand up for myself.”

Cannon gets a right to reply. “I wasn’t a bully, he was just a loud-mouth upstart,” says the 64-year-old. “I was an experienced centre half and I knew he was going to come up against people worse than me so I gave him a little slap one day and that was the extent of the bullying. I’m not interested in Ian Wright, he was an exceptionally good player and if he thinks I bullied him maybe I bullied him into being a good player.”

Not altogether a bad point. For some individuals, being bullied can damage your confidence, leading to depression and isolation. For others, there can be less negative outcomes. It might be even positive, making the victim tougher, better able to navigate society and more self-aware. Professor Dennis Hayes, co-author of The Dangerous Rise Of Therapeutic Education, argues: “The more you talk about bullying, the more it sensitises people to every social slight and the more it becomes a problem.”

So, Wrighty, any more bullying? Wright recalls a lift home with another player, Micky Droy: “He never spoke to me in the car but he knew I needed a lift. It felt like a headmaster driving you home after being in trouble.”

Wright says that he does not know why Droy never spoke but that “deep down he was a good man and knew if he didn’t give me a lift I wasn’t getting home.”

This gives rise to the headlines:

 

ian wright bullying

 

Is bullying the right word? Wright’s experiences suggest a fraught adult relationship, perhaps one based on professional rivalry. Upsetting? Yes. Life-defining? No. If you look for toxic human relationships, surely you’ll find it in many places. How Wright’s story speaks to youngsters suffering abuse is moot. The story and cause seem to be all.

Posted: 16th, November 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Josh Rivers: Gay Times editor’s only crime was to be unfunny

Josh Rivers Gay Times bigot tweets

 

Today’s hate figure is Josh Rovers, editor of Gay Times magazine, now suspended for tweeting things between 2010 and 2015.  Examples of Rivers’ tweets are many. One mocked women and the fat:

“I’ve just seen a girl in the tightest white tank & lord help me if she’s not pregnant, she should be killed. #gross.”

And, of course, there’s always the nastiness about Jews:

josh-rivers-jews are gross

And:

“I wonder if they cast that guy as ‘The Jew’ because of that fucking ridiculously larger honker of a nose. It must be prosthetic. Must be.”

In the Guardian LGBTQ rights campaigner Peter Tatchell is aghast: “His history of grossly offensive tweets is such a letdown. It undermines whatever good he was planning to achieve in the magazine.” Looks like equality rules: LGBT people can be every bit as nasty as the rest of us. Who knew?

Want some more examples of Rivers’ tweets? Of course you do. Here goes:

 

Josh Rivers Gay Times tweets

 

Josh Rivers Gay Times tweets

 

Josh Rivers Gay Times tweets

 

Josh Rivers Gay Times tweets

 

Josh Rivers Gay Times tweets

 

By way of background, it turns out that Rivers is not a person: he’s a walking box-ticking exercise. The Guardian notes that Rivers “is the first BME editor of a gay men’s magazine, and took on the role with a mandate to promote inclusivity and diversity.” And you thought he was just the best person for the job on account of his editing abilities and cutting-edge wit.

Outed and suspended from the post he only got in October, Rivers has issued an apology, the language of which might be a better reason than the lame tweets to dislike him:

 

 

The apology is terrific, isn’t it. It’s not about you, it’s about him. Josh, an arch narcissist, is now on a therapeutic journey, taking “steps” to self-discover a better him, to be the kind of wonderful person he truly is and knows he is. After guffing about “pivoting” and “empowering”, Rivers – he used to work in marketing, natch. – co-opts us all into his ugliness, hoping that “we” can “grow”, “heal” and move “forward”. It’s a journey. Get on the bus. You too, fatso.

But I’ll pass. I’m okay, Josh. You’re the berk, not me, the dick who thought it clever to make jokes about Jews, women, Asians and pretty much anyone not just like you.

Rivers’ sentiments expressed in his tweets are pathetic, puerile and horribly unfunny. He appears to be aiming at waspish humour, a snarky, offensive, live-it-loud gay laugh-in where anything goes. He fails miserably. Josh Rivers is not like his namesake Joan Rivers, the caustic, tough-talking American who wielded a comic stiletto with gusto and precision. Josh’s attempts at humour are every bit as wet as his name suggests. And he’s a fool. Rather than explaining it all as misplaced banter, stupidity, letting off steam and the result of his over-arching vanity, Rivers tells us that the tweets actually explain him, each presenting an insight into his mind. To wit, he was a racist, sexist, anti-Semitic misogynist. Those tweets weren’t just idiotic. They really meant something.

Let’s not trivialise Rivers’ tweets, but remind ourselves that Rivers has committed no crime. He’s apologised and that should be an end to the matter. He can hold the most abhorrent views on Jews, women, Asians and more but if he keeps them to himself, or else voices them to an audience more sympathetic to his prejudices – just as many of us have down in the privacy of our own homes and amongst friends – I’m fine with it. Shocked? Offended? “Oh, grow up!” as the aforesaid Joan advised.

Josh Rivers’ offence wasn’t to hold childish and nasty views; it was to voice them in the wrong context. Now, back to work. But time for a quick survey: anyone out there actually read Gay Times?

Posted: 16th, November 2017 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t count Israel among his Jew-hating ‘friends’

Corbyn anti-semitism

 

In 2015 then Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn went on the telly to explain why he addressed Islamist militant organisations Hamas and Hezbollah, a group that calls for the murder of all Jews,  as “friends”. (Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah opined: “If Jews all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.” Hamas states in its charter a mission to “fight the Jews and kill them”.)

Saying he met his “friends” Hamas in Lebanon and Hezbollah in this country and Lebanon, peacenik Corbyn told us: “What it means is that I think to bring about a peace process, you have to talk to people with whom you may profoundly disagree.”

Can this be the same Jeremy Corbyn, now leader of the Labour Party and with a decent shout of becoming Prime Minister, who called for an investigation into anti-Semitism in his Labour Party and found it squeaky clean (in much the same way a defecating bear cannot see the wood for the trees) and of whom the Sunday Times reported on October 29 2017:

Jeremy Corbyn has refused to attend an official dinner with the the country’s [Israel’s] prime minister this week to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, which helped to pave the way for a Jewish nation state.

The Labour leader’s snub came as Israel’s ambassador to London told The Sunday Times that those who oppose the historic declaration are “extremists” who reject Israel’s right to exist and could be viewed on a par with terrorist groups such as Hamas…

The move is reminiscent of last month’s Labour Party conference in Brighton, where Corbyn avoided a Labour Friends of Israel reception attended by Regev.

So much for talking with people with whom you profoundly disagree…

Posted: 16th, November 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Prince Charles has Jewish ‘friends’ but they’re all self-serving lobbyists

Jews Prince Charles letter IsraelIn 1986, Prince Charles penned a letter to his pal Laurens van der Post. In it he bemoaned the “Jewish lobby” and the state of the State of Israel. None of what you are about to read suggests Charles is, like some of his fellow toffs in harbouring an intense dislike of Jews. Indeed, the Mail, which publishes the story of Charles’ letter, tells readers: “He has many prominent Jewish friends and in 2013 became the first Royal to attend a chief rabbi’s inauguration ceremony. In a speech that year, he expressed concern at the apparent rise of anti-Semitism in Britain.”

Off hand, I couldn’t name any of Charles’ Jewish pals, and scouring pictures of the perpetual heir to the throne’s skiing hols and shooting jaunts, I’m unable pick out any Jews in the happy throng. Although rumours abound that he did one fancy Barbara Streisand.

The paper also notes, “Charles has always enjoyed a close and supportive relationship with the Jewish community in Britain”. What the Jewish community is can be hard to define, but most often in community matters, it amounts to a few well-appointed, pushy knobs and knobesses serving to represent anyone and everyone who shares their faith, religion or skin tones. It’s a handy shortcut that saves on gentile shoe leather and hand sanitisers.

And so it is that Charles – not a Jew hater – writes:

‘Tried to read bit of Koran on way out and it gave me some insight into way they [Arabs] think and operate. Don’t think they could understand us through reading Bible though!”

Well, so long as you read one of the good bits, understanding an ancient religion need cost you no more than a copy of York Notes. Charles looks up from the text that consumed minutes of his busy day and continues:

 “I now appreciate that Arabs and Jews were all a Semitic people originally and it is the influx of foreign, European Jews (especially from Poland, they say) which has helped to cause great problems. I know there are so many complex issues, but how can there ever be an end to terrorism unless the causes are eliminated? Surely some U.S. president has to have the courage to stand up and take on the Jewish lobby in U.S.? I must be naive, I suppose!”

“Incendiary,” says the Mail. And it is odd. Was it not the Jews returning to their God-given homeland after being forced to ‘wander’ for eons, taking in lands such as Poland where they were punished for BWJ (breathing while Jewish) with State-sanctioned murder? Was Israel not their birthright, taken from them by enemies that caused them to suffer? Can we include some of Charles’ ancestors in the list of Crusading angels who caused Jews to wander into Nazi death camps in German-occupied Poland?

As for the Jewish lobby, what is that? It’s an old anti-semitic trope of a Jewish cabal running the world for their own advantage. You can be black, white, male, female, transgender, disabled, a peacenik, a veteran or whatever, but if you are a Jew, then in the eyes of Charles your campaign is driven by Jewish self-interest. It’s echoed throughout society, alluded to by the likes of Richard Ingram, who wrote in the Guardian: “I have developed a habit when confronted by letters to the editor in support of the Israeli government to look at the signature to see if the writer has a Jewish name. If so, I tend not to read it.”

So much for the deserving Jews, one big shadowy mass of group-think. But what of the royals, specifically the blood and oil-socked kings who rule with an iron fist over many Arabs? Well, Charles rather likes them.

“Much admire some aspects of Islam,” says Charles to his Afrikaans friend. “Especially accent on hospitality and accessibility of rulers.” When they’re not booting out Jews, those Arab toffs are tops. Julie Raven nails him:

He likes Islam because monarchs aren’t answerable for the vilely hypocritical lives they lead (the drinking and whoring of Muslim monarchs compared to the treatment meted out to their subjects who indulge) and because they can divorce at their whim with no comeback. The very worst and weakest Western men are attracted by Islam – he’s no exception.

This is Charles who on Mar. 21, 2006 weighed in on the Muhammad cartoon controversy, telling an audience of more than 800 Islamic scholars at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University: The recent ghastly strife and anger over the Danish cartoons shows the danger that comes of our failure to listen and to respect what is precious and sacred to others.” No, not freedom of expression, a cornerstone of our democratic right. He didn’t mean that. Charles is all for the sanctity of theocratic Islam, which abhors our hard-won freedoms, stymies womanhood and raises monarchs to the pantheon of living gods. That’s what righteous Charles wants defending: the powerful.

Charles is a weak and feckless sort, a man searching for a legacy but failing to find a purpose.  He’s exactly the type of right-on plodder who eventually reasons that the main cause of trouble are Jews. To wit it’s worth reminding him that his son and heir is married to Kate, of whom Iran’s Mehr News Agency warns:

“This lady’s family roots show that she is considered a Sephardic Jew from her mother’s side. Moreover the timing of the wedding and the way it was held which was based on Jewish culture verify the evidences. William’s marriage as the inheritor of the crown to a Jewish girl will leave the future of Britain to the hands of the couple’s Jewish children.” *

Yeah. They got you Charles. They got you good…

 

 

Posted: 13th, November 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


All MPs are suspects as sexual harassment panic grips Westminster

In time for Halloween, a witch hunt. Allegations unspecified are front page news. No need for reason and objective judgement because the story of MPs allegedly sexually harassing “furious female researchers, secretaries and aides working across Whitehall and the Houses of Parliament” (Sun) has a life of its own.

Women have “shared horror ­stories and warned of sleazy male politicians”. And they’ve chosen to do so on WattsApp. The Sun has a list of accusations, which include “groping”, “leering”, “pursuing” and having sex with staff in Parliamentary offices. The paper tells of anticipated resignations. Because an allegation is enough to end a career. It’s not justice we grave; it’s guilt.

Readers are told that these “revelations”, or what would be better termed ‘accusations’, “follow Hollywood’s Harvey Weinstein sex scandal, in which the movie mogul was accused by multiple women”. Weinstein has been accused of the heinous crime of rape, which he denies. And his innocence must be presumed. We can agree on that, right? Arrests, charges and trials are staging posts to truth. Allegations mean just that. Nothing tested in court and made to hurdle barriers to justice serves no purpose in a society founded on reason. If Weinstein did it – and, boy, are there a lot of claims made against him – put him through the system.

 

Harassing Who?

No MP has been named in the Sun’s expose. And none has been accused of the heinous crime of rape. But in our hot and heavy sexually-charged world, an unwelcome advance, a lewd comment or a misjudged flirtation is on a par with violent physical assault. How does that help victims of brutal, life-changing crimes?

Reading the Press is to realise that Westminster is embroiled in a sexual-harassment crisis. Is it?

 

 

Stymied from reporting on consensual sex between cheating showbiz stars, ministers, footballers and even snooker players in raucous and saucy kiss ‘n’ tells by the Leveson Inquiry, papers turned to the less potentially libellous news that dead men had been embroiled in a murderous VIP paedophile ring. The new focus is on another group in urgent need of protecting: adult women cowed into silence by a predatory patriarchy operating out of Westminster. (Anyone else miss the News of The World?)

 

BBC secret

Jimmy Savile is away

 

The story has reached the top. Theresa May’s spokeswoman tells media:

“Any allegations from anyone would be taken very seriously. We would encourage anyone who has a serious allegation to report it to the police, no matter who it is or where it is.

“My understanding is it would be House authorities [they would report to]. But obviously if they are working for an MP or party they can approach the party. If it’s a serious allegation they can go to the police.

“All parties, all employers in any walk of life including politics must take this seriously. No industry or area is immune to that, including politics.”

 

You Will Be Believed

Will the police be any more or less objective than May?

In 2016, Nottinghamshire Police said sexual harassment was a hate crime. “What women face, often on a daily basis, is absolutely unacceptable and can be extremely distressing,” stated chief constable Sue Fish. A spokesperson for End Violence Against Women added: “What we are talking about is not trivial behaviour – some harassment that women and girls receive in public is upsetting and should have the attention of the authorities.”

 

sex toys

Delicate, chaste woman shown sex toy! Ann Summers shocked

 

So much for equality. Women are vulnerable and in need of State protection from men, who are all sex criminals-in-waiting. For those of you unable to hire your own police guard, the message is don’t drive or cycle. If you must leave the house, travel in women-only train carriages, or wait until a trusted male relative is free to accompany you to the market. And wear a crinoline burka. The police can’t be everywhere, but you can take precautions.

In the meantime, it’d be sage for every MP, politico, sitting Lord and civil servant to publicly praise any woman saying #MeToo (what police might term “credible and true“) on an encrypted messaging App as ‘brave’. Failure will do this will place any man in the role of enabler and suspect.

Because equlity matters.

Posted: 29th, October 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Jared O’Mara is the worst of mankind

jared o'mara

 

I’m relieved Labour MP Jared O’Mara has been exposed. To think that young Bear Payne will one day read the crude remarks made by this man about his dearly loved mum, Cheryl Cole – a national treasure – is appalling. O’Mara, MP for Sheffield Hallam, told an internet bulletin board as recently as 2004 that he fancied an orgy with Chery’s old group Girls Aloud, said Michelle McManus won Pop Idol “because she was fat” and imagined jazz star Jamie Cullum being “sodomised with his own piano”.

Rightly Labour is looking into O’Mara’s words. “The party is investigating Jared O’Mara MP in relation to comments and behaviour which have been reported from earlier this year,”says Labour.

“If only he’d just slagged off Jews and denied the Holocaust, this would have been a storm in a tea-cup and easily ignored,” says on insider. “But he spoke about Cheryl and Sarah and the ginger one whose name escapes me, and there can be no excuses when it comes to commenting on Great British celebrities.”

And that’s not all. A woman called Sophie Evans bravely told the BBC’s Daily Politics she had met Mr O’Mara on a dating app and there had been “no hard feelings” when things didn’t work out between them. The BBC adds:

Mr O’Mara, who was DJing in a nightclub, made comments to her that “aren’t broadcastable” and called her an “ugly bitch”, she said.

Blimey. That’s from the broadcaster that shows us Mrs Brown’s Boys and EastEnders. It really must have been terrible – beyond god-awful. On yer knees, bitch O’Mara. Repent.

Mr O’Mara says it is “categorically untrue”.

But we’ve heard enough, No smoke without a pre-vape shafting, as they say. And in an open letter to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Justine Greening, the Education Secretary and Equalities Minister, thunders: “Violent, sexist and homophobic language must have no place in our society, and parliamentarians of all parties have a duty to stamp out this sort of behaviour wherever we encounter it, and condemn it in the strongest possible terms. It is time you step forward, as leader of the Labour Party, and send a message that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated.”

Perish the thought Girls Aloud and a row between a man and his ex can be used for political gain. Indeed, Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable says it’s only right Mr O’Mara has the whip removed. And who more reasoned and sober than he?

Says O’Mara: “I’ve stood down from the Women and Equalities select committee… I think it’s the right thing to do. I don’t think I can continue on that committee when I feel so deeply ashamed of the man I was 15 years ago.”

Oh, don’t beat yourself up, mate. Girls aloud were pretty shaggable back then.

Posted: 24th, October 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Jeremy Corbyn on Clive Lewis: context is no excuse in Britain but anything goes in Iran

Jeremy Corbyn tells the BBC about Clive Lewis, the Labour MP recorded telling a man, “On your knees, bitch“:

“Completely wrong, he should never have said it, completely unacceptable comments. He has apologised, I’ve been in touch with him, he’s been in touch with me to apologise personally to me and it’s a message to everybody that this kind of language is not acceptable in any circumstances, any time.”

Here’s the man who used to work for the Iranian government’s Press TV talking about causing offence. (Corbyn earned £20,000 from Iran’s propaganda broadcaster.

In 2011, Britain’s Ofcom media watchdog fined the company £100,000 for airing an interview with jailed Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari, saying the interview had been held under duress and after torture while Bahari — now a British resident — was in prison following his coverage of the 2009 Iranian presidential elections.)

That’s Iran where they execute you for being gay, deny the Holocaust, persecute Kurds and treat women as second-class citizens:

 

 

It’s all about standards, eh, Jezza. And nothing biased in any of it, of course. This is the same Lewis who said of Corbyn’s old paymasters in Iran: “There are far too many in politics today who wish to criticise only countries that fit into a black and white binary world view.”

Clive Lewis told the Commons on October 11, 2017:

“It was quite shocking to listen to the seemingly inexhaustible list of human rights abuses by Iranian authorities. It was quite numbing to hear them all. I think it is right that we focus on human rights, as that issue has been a central thrust of my very short parliamentary career since being elected two years ago, but I would also like to focus on the fate of journalists, both those working inside Iran and those working remotely from the UK. I declare an interest as a former BBC journalist and the chair of the National Union of Journalists parliamentary committee. I do that for the record to state my solidarity with journalists both in Iran and around the world, who strive to do nothing more than ask questions in an attempt to hold power to account.

“As we know, Iran has elections that many other inhabitants of the middle east can only envy. Here I state a truism, but it is essential that we set it down, that elections are only ever one element of a functioning democracy. A democracy where bloggers and reporters must risk their lives and the well-being of their families in order to comment on the political life of their country cannot be seen as a democracy in the true sense. Democracy is not worth the ballot paper it is printed on without freedom of the press. There is a barrier to informing the electorate, as the press provides feedback to the legislature. The often brutal suppression of those speakers also creates a chilling fear that acts as a cancer on all of those forming opinions and the ability to take action in the public arena.

“As my hon. Friend the Member for Torfaen (Nick Thomas-Symonds) mentioned a constituent of his who has been in prison, I would like to mention three journalists who are being held and are on hunger strike. Soheil Arabi has been in prison since 2013 and has been on hunger strike for over a month. Mehdi Khazali was arrested in August and has been on hunger strike since the day of his arrest. Ehsan Mazandarani was arrested in 2015 and has been denied early release despite very poor health. There are many more prisoners I could mention. Their stories make for chilling reading.

“The long arm of control reaches way beyond Iran and stretches as far as those working in our very own BBC, as the hon. Member for Argyll and Bute (Brendan O’Hara) mentioned. Charges have been filed against almost all the Iranian journalists working for the BBC’s Persian-language service in London; 152 journalists have been charged with conspiracy against Iran’s national security and have faced constant harassment and intimidation and an effective freeze on all their Iran-based assets. Those charged cannot defend themselves unless they return to Iran, which they feel unable to do for fear of reprisal. I beg the Minister to raise these names whenever he meets his Iranian counterparts and to push the issues of journalism, freedom of the press and democracy very clearly, as I know he will.

“To end with a general comment, there are far too many in politics today who wish to criticise only the countries that fit into a very black and white binary world view. I am not one of them. I believe it is entirely possible—nay, essential—to criticise and hold to account Iran just as much as Saudi Arabia for human rights abuses and attacks on civil liberties. The two are not mutually incompatible. The same applies to the US and Russia and the questionable choices those Governments continue to make domestically and internationally. In fact, our hand is strengthened and our criticism is more valid when we show neither fear nor favour to any country or regime, wherever they may be, whether they be friend or ally, when defending human rights and civil liberties.”

Anyone see Corbyn’s ears burning?

Posted: 21st, October 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Julia Roberts wins an award for ‘courage’ and the truly courageous get schooled

Dontchaloveshowbiz? At the James Corden-hosted amfAR Gala in Los Angeles, Julia Robert won a gong for…courage. Roberts has done good works in the fight against HIV/AIDS.AmfAR is “dedicated to ending the global AIDS epidemic through innovative research”. All good. But “courage”?

Courage is defined as the “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty”.

Aside from the hyperbolic language, Vanity Fair tells us of the do: “While accepting her award on stage at the sprawling home of billionaire investor Ronald Burkle’s Green Acres Estate in Beverly Hills.”

Courage under crystal in the bijou home ballroom.

And then there was this:

 

 

Gotta love the Hollywood elite, the people who gave Dances With Wolves seven Oscars.

David Letterman nails it as he introduces Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon – “Pay attention, I’m sure they’re pissed off about something”:

 

Posted: 20th, October 2017 | In: Celebrities, Film, Key Posts | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Couple sentenced for sex in a Domino’s take-away

Daniella Hirst and Craig Smith were filmed “in a sex act and having sex” at a Domino’s pizza take away in Scarborough, Yorkshire. Cancel the weekend in Paris and dinner at the candle-lit eatery, love, if it’s sex you’re after, neon lights and stuffed crust is all the fuel you need.

At Scarborough Magistrates’ Court, Hirst and Smith were each handed 12-month community orders, a curfew for 23 weeks which means they have to remain in their separate homes between 7pm and 7am, with a victim surcharge of £85. Hearing that he’d also have to complete 200 hours unpaid work, Smith asked: “Why do I have to do that extra?” (Accoing to the Burton Mail, Hirst has previous for offences including using threatening words or behaviour and theft. He was out on licence for an offence of wounding when he and Hist romped in the eatery.)

Defence solicitor Scott McLoughlin told the court:

“This footage is on the internet and it will be for ever more, for their children to see. One can only imagine the embarrassment this has caused. This is something that has escaped into the wild.”

Meet the kids: Supreme and Pepperoni.

“When they entered the store, they did not intend to cause any harm to anyone. They were in high spirits. It was completely devoid of customers and no-one initially noticed or saw what was happening. It’s blatant but not as blatant as it could have been. They moved to the right of the store.”

 

Posted: 19th, October 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Jamie Oliver’s sugar tax pushes lazy eaters to fruit juices

Jamie Oliver has fiddled with food every since Tony Blair realised the chef was popular on the telly and grabbed him for a conflab. Oliver has been raging against sugar for some time now. But signs are that it’s not working:

Jamie Oliver’s 10p tax on sugary drinks sold in his Italian restaurants has resulted in a significant drop in sales, a study has found.

Oliver gathers up all the 10ps and invests them in “food education and water fountains in schools”. He’s a food colonialist teaching the slack-jawed and sugar-toothed how to drink from a standpipe and worry about food. Sod the toque blanche and get the lad a pith helmet.

Now the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health tells us that sugar-sweetened drinks flogged in Jamie’s Italian-style eateries fell 11% in the first 12 weeks of the levy. At the end of six months, sales were 9.3% lower than before the tax was brought in.

The odd bit is that fruit juice sales were up 22 per cent – you know, those pricey drinks packed full of sugar.

The study, however, does not tell us how Jamie’s faux Italian outlets have fared as a whole over that period. I did have the misfortune to visit Jamie’s Italian at Gatwick Airport just the other week, and can reveal that his cooked breakfast (‘The Full Monty’) was greasy, unsatisfying, badly presented (it came on an oily skillet), mean (3 nasty little mushrooms; two splats of cherry tomatoes; a drool of beans; two undercooked sausages; innersole bacon; charred squares of potato; missing onions; a dry slice of black pudding; and poached eggs that were well cooked but trimmed to the size of tic-tacs) and expensive (£10.25).

Professor Susan Jebb of University of Oxford tells the Times, Jamie’s experiment was “encouraging news for public health ahead of the introduction of the soft drink industry levy”.

Oh, and this:

Jamie Oliver is to close six of his Italian restaurants after tough trading and the “pressures and unknowns” following the Brexit vote.

Oliver intends to close Jamie’s Italian restaurants in Aberdeen, Exeter, Cheltenham, Richmond, Tunbridge Wells and Ludgate Hill, near London’s St Paul’s Cathedral, by the end of the first quarter of the year.

Blame Brexit, then. Easy.

Posted: 18th, October 2017 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Tabloid Watch: what it looks like when the Sun takes on a local newspaper

hull police the sun

When the Hull Daily Mail reported “fantastic photos of Humberside Police officers having fun at Hull Fair”, the story was upbeat:

Whilst working effortlessly to ensure the safety of the tens of thousands of people who visit the annual event, police officers and PCSOs have managed to find a few moments to enjoy some fair favourites.

A copper was quoted:

“Hull Fair is one of those rare opportunities where it is a fantastic to be a police officer because the people are actually pleased to see you.”

When the Sun spotted the story, its readers were told of a “POLICE FARCE”. And, yep, it was an “exclusive:

 

Hull police the sun

 

People noticed:

 

 

 

 

Posted: 18th, October 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Simon McCoy delivers a royal breaking news alert and it’s brilliant

BBC News anchor Simon McCoy has BREAKING NEWS:

“We’ve just got this coming in from Kensington Palace, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to confirm they are expecting a baby in April.

“Now bearing in mind they announced she was pregnant back in September and it was thought she was around two or three months pregnant, I’m not sure how much news this really is but anyway…

It’s April so clear your diaries, get the time booked off because that’s what I’m doing. That’s news just coming in from Kensington Palace.”

Simon McCoy knows what’s coming. Having delivered the Windsors’ press release that another one of our betters is on the way, he can expect to be reporting LIVE on Kate Middleton’s womb to a captivated nation:

 

Posted: 18th, October 2017 | In: Key Posts, Royal Family, TV & Radio | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Hillary Clinton throws Harvey Weinstein under the bus (with all of Bill’s women)

Did you roll your eyes and let you mouth fall agape when Hillary Clinton told Andrew Marr about Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood mogul accused of rape? There’s delusional and there’s Hillary Clinton levels of delusional:

“I was really shocked and appalled because I’ve known him through politics as many Democrats have. He’s been a supporter – he’s been a funder for all of us, for Obama, for me, for people who have run for office in the United States.  So it was just disgusting and the stories that have come out are heartbreaking. And I really commend the women who have been willing to step forward now and tell their stories.”

This is same Hillary Clinton who allegedly vowed to “destroy” women who accused her husband, Bill Clinton, of sexual harassment – who, according to the New York Times, was part of a devious campaign to see one of Bill’s ‘victims’ branded a “bimbo” and a “pathological liar”. Does Bill get a pass when we talk of sexual predators? Is Hillary so delusional – so iconic – all talk of her being her husband’s enabler is taboo?

She goes on to tell Marr:

“But I think that it’s important that we not just focus on him and whatever consequences flow from these stories about his behavior but that we recognize this kind of behavior cannot be tolerated anywhere, whether it’s in entertainment, politics. After all, we have someone admitting to being a sexual assaulter in the Oval Office. There has to be a recognition that we must stand against this kind of action that is so sexist and misogynistic.”

No. Donald Trump has never admitted to being a sexual assaulter.

She then encourages comparrisons between Trump and Weinstein.

“I’m not a psychologist, I can’t draw that conclusion. There are credible reports from women about both that sound very similar.”

Trump’s “pussy” comment was nasty. He has questionable views on women. But he has not been accused of rape. You know who has? Yep, Harvey Weinstein and…Bill Clinton.

Get a load of this exchange:

MARR: “And this depends on women coming forward and the courage to come forward. And yet in your book the three women, brought onto the stage by Trump, attacking your husband and you kind of dismissed them. Was that the right thing to do, are you sure about that?”

CLINTON: “Well, yes, because that had all been litigated. That was the subject of a huge investigation as you might recall in the late ’90s and there were conclusions drawn and that was clearly in the past.”

But the past cannot be so easily boxed up:

“I was 35 years old when Bill Clinton, Ark. Attorney General raped me and Hillary tried to silence me,” Juanita Broaddrick tweeted from her home in Van Buren, Ark. “I am now 73. . . . it never goes away.”

Harvey Weinstein deserves a fair trial. Hillary Clinton deserves to have her record looked at. Justice must not be denied.

Posted: 15th, October 2017 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0