To Thornbury, south Gloucestershire, where swimmers at the Thornbury Leisure Centre hear music in the changing rooms. Hilary Kingswood, 64, says the music is “chronic” and “annoying”.
Music should be joyous. “Music is the best means we have of digesting time,” said Igor Stravinsky.
Kurt Vonnegut noted:
If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:
THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
Neither made their remarks while doing laps at a public pool in the early morning.
“Beforehand it was peaceful, but having this music is such an intrusion, something that no one has asked for,” Hilary adds. “We don’t need it and all it does is ruin the peaceful atmosphere that many of us want for an early morning swim. If people want to take music into the gym, they take headphones anyway.
Kate Hand, 62, adds: “I put my towel on, packed my bag, got in my car and went home to get ready for work. It is not that loud anywhere else in the centre, so why it has to be there I don’t know. We are customers and our opinion should be heard, but it seems like they don’t want to change anything.”
Andy Robinson, the centre manager, says: Music can be both motivational and relaxing and we hope it doesn’t hinder Mrs Kingswood and Mrs Hand from maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”
Well, it is raising their heart rates.
Friedrich Nietzsche has a word:
God has given us music so that above all it can lead us upwards. Music unites all qualities: it can exalt us, divert us, cheer us up, or break the hardest of hearts with the softest of its melancholy tones. But its principal task is to lead our thoughts to higher things, to elevate, even to make us tremble…
The musical art often speaks in sounds more penetrating than the words of poetry, and takes hold of the most hidden crevices of the heart… Song elevates our being and leads us to the good and the true. If, however, music serves only as a diversion or as a kind of vain ostentation it is sinful and harmful.
And annoying. Other people’s music can be truly awful.
Silence is golden, as the psychiatrist Paul Goodman observed:
Not speaking and speaking are both human ways of being in the world, and there are kinds and grades of each. There is the dumb silence of slumber or apathy; the sober silence that goes with a solemn animal face; the fertile silence of awareness, pasturing the soul, whence emerge new thoughts; the alive silence of alert perception, ready to say, “This… this…”; the musical silence that accompanies absorbed activity; the silence of listening to another speak, catching the drift and helping him be clear; the noisy silence of resentment and self-recrimination, loud and subvocal speech but sullen to say it; baffled silence; the silence of peaceful accord with other persons or communion with the cosmos.
Human skill fills the voice in Manchester, where bin collecting has become a luxury. You’d think getting rid of human waste would be a priority for any Western society, living longer and better on the back of improved hygiene and the availability of fresh water and cheap food. But in Manchester, collecting rubbish is a lifestyle choice.
Some householders in Greater Manchester are paying a private firm to empty their bins. Many are angry because some councils have reduced rubbish collections in an attempt to cut costs, and to motivate people to recycle more.
You’re motivated to recycle by having overflowing bins? Maybe not. For every problem, ingenious humanity conjures a solution:
A local businessman who bought himself a truck eighteen months ago is now emptying up to 800 bins a week.
Between 1 August and the end of October 2016 we’re taking your old rubbish bin away and replacing it with a new, smaller grey one. We’ll put an information sticker on your old bin on the collection day 2 weeks before the swap.
On the day of your swap we’ll take away your old bin and recycle it.
We’ll leave new grey bins outside front doors or in front gardens, anytime during the day until 7pm. Your address will be on your new bin.
We can’t let you keep your old larger bin – the switch to smaller bins is to help cut the amount of waste from grey/black bins and increase recycling – so we won’t empty old bins after the swap.
Coun Nigel Murphy, the council’s executive member for neighbourhoods, said: “When recyclable waste is put into the wrong bin, money is being needlessly being thrown away. Taking this action to boost Manchester’s recycling rates now will save the city almost £2.5m every year in waste disposal costs, helping to protect the vital council services that residents care about for the long-term future, while also helping the environment.
“Doing nothing is not an option and we are determined to work with residents to ensure that as much waste as possible is recycled.”
In steps Bury Bins.
Josh Morris, a 25-year-old businessman who is licensed to handle environmental waste, manages the bin collection service in Greater Manchester.
Local authority rubbish collection day – green wheelie bin being loaded onto a refuse cart, UK ALAMY
After starting in his hometown Bury, he quickly expanded his services to nearby Rochdale and Oldham due to a huge spike in demand.
He told the Daily Mail: “I started with a van last year. Now I have three trucks collecting 200 bins a day.”
He sends the rubbish he collects to a private sorting plant.
Says Josh of Busy Bins, “…apart from the regular emptying of their bin, they absolutely love the fact we put their bins back outside their home & not down the road.”
“Many households struggle to keep on top of their rubbish following the reduced bin size, citing problems with overflowing bins, fly-tipping, bad smells and increased problems from flies and rats.
“It’s a problem that a significant number of households’ face and our service provides people with the option to have their bin emptied before it is overflowing”.
People will pay for a good service. Demand and supply, right?
Intolerance is the byword in illiberal Britain. The Times reports on a disturbing case of right and wrong thinking. A foster couple want to adopt two children in their care. The bairns have been living with the married couple for almost a year.
Social services said it would not consider the couple’s request to adopt the children because they had aired “concerning” opinions about the possibility of a same-sex couple being chosen as the adoptive parents instead.
The issue seems to be one of equality. You must recognise, accept and validate an alternative point of view even if it is at the expense of your own heartfelt beliefs. If you thought fostering was about raising children in a secure, loving and thriving home, you were wrong.
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting them, said: “This couple’s viewpoint is lawful and mainstream.” This weekend the husband said: “We don’t want to fight or make ideological arguments. We are normal people.”
We live in age where identity is all and action is rooted in therapy. Life is about symbols and signalling.
The State seeks to control and legitimise your thoughts, using constraints on conduct to heel past wrongs. The irony of ironies is that the State that outlawed homosexuality, branded gay men a danger to children and decreed what consenting adults could think and do with their own bodies now says you must support gay rights or be despatched to ‘the wrong side of’ and, er, deemed unfit to be around children.
They added: “We are Christians and we expressed the view that a child needs a mother and a father. We expressed our views in modest, temperate terms based on our Christian convictions. We love everyone (regardless of sexual orientation) and we love the children and believe that they would benefit from the foundation offered by a mother and a father.
“The decision… appears discriminatory to us and not related to the children’s needs. The children love us: we love them. All the reports show that we are a loving, caring and stable family. What more could a child need?”
Asked how he would react if one of the children came out as gay, the husband said: “It is hard to accept, but we would accept it.”
But the State is not listening. It’s telling. It has an agenda and you must comply to it.
They claimed that the social worker became upset that they did not endorse “views that go against our conscience” and they became “concerned about his motives”. They claimed that he threatened that their status as foster carers might be reviewed…
They also said that they had mentioned their interest in adopting the children many times to the social worker but he had put them off, saying their home was too small. Two days after they were told that a gay couple were being lined up as adoptive parents, the husband and wife formally applied to adopt the children themselves.
This smacks of a new form of religious persecution. Agree and adhere with State policy or be relegated in the country’s status league tables and punished. You are no longer an upstanding citizen worthy of the State’s trust. All of us – gay and straight – should recognise that when the State tells you what to think, what to believe in and how to be human, none of us wins.
Gordon Anglesea was a top copper in north Wales when he was molesting children. Today he was sentenced to 12 years in prison for his abhorrent crimes.
Gordon Anglesea is 79.
He was convicted of one charge of indecent assault against one boy, and three indecent assaults against another. His offences took place between 1982 and 1987, when both boys were aged 14 or 15.
Judge Geraint Walters said Anglesea was “beyond reproach”.
The BBC delivers a timeline of the conniving copper:
1967 – Anglesea starts work as a police officer in Cheshire. He later resigned following a marriage breakdown and joined Flintshire constabulary. 1976 – Promoted to inspector in Wrexham and in 1978, becomes responsible for the Bromfield area which included the Bryn Estyn children’s home 1978 – Sets up a Home Office attendance centre in Wrexham 1988 – Becomes a superintendent in Colwyn Bay
Community Care, 16th October 1986
1991 – Retires suddenly after 34 years’ service. Later that year the Independent On Sunday runs an article about Anglesea’s connections with Bryn Estyn. Similar stories follow in the Observer, Private Eye and on HTV Wales.
He said he was libelled. Anglesea said he had never molested boys when working as uniformed police inspector. The courts agreed. But he was lying.
1994 – Sues the four media organisations for libel and is awarded £375,000 in damages 1997 – Answers questions about allegations of sexual abuse before the north Wales child abuse tribunal. 2000 – The Waterhouse report says the allegations about Anglesea had not been “proved to our satisfaction”
News of the World, 23rd October 1983 Via
The Times reported on February 16, 2000:
Widespread sexual abuse of boys and girls occurred in children’s residential homes in North Wales between 1974 and 1990, according to the Waterhouse tribunal’s report, Lost In Care.
It found that a paedophile ring did exist in the Wrexham and Chester areas, consisting of adult men targeting boys in their mid-teens. Youngsters in care were particularly vulnerable to their approaches.
The tribunal was appointed in 1996 by William Hague, who was then Welsh Secretary, after Clwyd County Council decided against publishing a report by a social services expert, John Jillings, into abuse of children in care. The council feared that it would be sued for defamation; it was also warned against publication by its insurers because of the possible effect of compensation claims.
Although by 1996 12 people in North Wales had been convicted of abusing children, there was speculation that the abuse was on a much greater scale. In 1986, Alison Taylor, officer-in-charge of Ty Newydd local authority children’s home in Bangor, had complained to her superiors in Gwynedd County Council about alleged assaults on children. Dissatisfied with the response, she spoke to Keith Marshall, a county councillor, who reported her concerns to the Chief Constable of North Wales.
A police investigation was carried out by Detective Chief Superintendent Gwynne Owen, head of North Wales CID, from 1986 to 1988. The Crown Prosecution Service recommended no criminal proceedings. The investigation is described in the report as defective, sluggish and shallow.
Eric Davies, chairman of Clwyd social services, wrote a memorandum about Ms Taylor saying: “She is a blatant troublemaker, with a most devious personality … I would very humbly suggest … that this lady’s services be dispensed with at the earliest possible time.” Ms Taylor was suspended and eventually accepted voluntary redundancy.
However, she contacted the Prime Minister, Welsh Office, Health Secretary and Local Government Ombudsman. She compiled a voluminous document that was presented to the new social services chairman, Malcolm King, in 1991. He reported it to the police.
The report states that without Alison Taylor’s complaints, there would have been no public inquiry into the alleged abuse of children in Gwynedd. In general terms, she has been vindicated. The response by senior management at Gwynedd County Council to her complaints was discouraging and inappropriate. The Welsh Office’s response was inadequate.
The ensuing North Wales Police investigation, from 1991-93, took statements from more than 500 former children’s home residents who complained of abuse. Some of the most chilling came from beyond the grave. At least 12 children formerly in care have died, most by their own hand. Statements made by six, who died after telling police in the early 1990s about abuse and brutality in the Bryn Estyn community home in Wrexham, were read to the inquiry.
As the police investigation continued, newspaper articles, beginning with the Independent on Sunday, linked a former police superintendent, Gordon Anglesea, to child sexual abuse. He successfully sued for libel, receiving damages of Pounds 375,000, in 1994. The tribunal heard evidence alleging that Mr Anglesea did commit serious sexual misconduct at Bryn Estyn, but were not persuaded that the libel jury’s verdict was wrong.
The report details the abuse experienced by children from the 1970s and names some of the perpetrators. At the local authority-run Bryn Estyn, senior officers Peter Howarth and Stephen Norris sexually assaulted and buggered many boys. Norris continued to abuse boys as officer-in-charge of another home, Cartrefle, until he was arrested.
Alison Taylor, as described by the Guardian in 1998:
In North Wales, it was Alison Taylor, the manager of a children’s home, who spent five years banging on the door of her employers at Gwynedd Council, the police, the Welsh Office, the Department of Health, and the Social Services Inspectorate. All turned her away. Undaunted, she compiled a dossier of 75 separate allegations, won the backing of two local councillors and finally secured the conviction of four men for an orgy of abuse. As a result, the Government finally ordered the vast public inquiry which has now heard nearly 300 former residents of homes make detailed complaints of physical and sexual assault against148 adults. By that time, however, Alison Taylor had been suspended and sacked.
Private Eye, 20th February 1998 by Paul Foot (via)
Time rolled on.
2014 – Arrested and bailed by officers from Operation Pallial, an investigation into child abuse in north Wales care homes 2015 – Charged with historical sex offences
2016 – GORDON ANGLESEA IS JAILED.
Anglesea was investigated as part of Operation Pallial. As a results, 8 men have been convicted, including care home owner John Allen, who was jailed for life in 2014.
John Allen was 73 when he was jailed.
Old men get it in the neck after years of getting away with it.
Newcastle Journal, 18th February 2000
Former hotelier Allen opened his first home, Bryn Alyn Hall in Llay, near Wrexham, in 1968, although he did not have any qualifications in childcare, his trial was told.
He set up the Bryn Alyn Community, which was to become one of the UK’s largest providers of residential care, providing accommodation for children sent from about a dozen local authorities.
During the trial, which began in early October, the jury was told of Allen’s previous conviction in 1995 for six counts of indecent assault involving repeated abuse of six boys dating from the 1970s.
More victims came forward following the publication of the Waterhouse report into abuse in north Wales care homes in 2001 and after Operation Pallial was set up.
One former resident at the Bryn Alyn children’s home said living there “wasn’t care, it was like hell”.
Denial and despair in North Wales (September 1997), The Guardian, September 1997, by Nick Davies:
Without power to resist, the children were utterly vulnerable to the paedophiles who had infiltrated the homes. They became sex objects – in the dormitory and in the sick bay, in Peter Howarth’s flat and in Stephen Norris’ room, in the showers, in the staff room, in the bath, in cars, in sheds, in tents, on the tow path of a canal; with men, with women, with residential workers, social workers and with anyone else who wanted them because on the evidence of these survivors, in these children’s homes, no paedophile ever failed to get his or her way…
For the adults, this was a world without boundaries: a woman worker saw a good-looking 14-year-old boy so she screwed him; a man saw a 12-year-old girl who was pretty so he pulled her into a shed and raped her. One boy was allegedly being used for sex by both his housemaster and the female deputy housemaster. When a teacher complained about this, and took the boy home to protect him, his superiors alleged that he, too, was abusing the child. The teacher protested his innocence, explaining that it was his wife and not he who had also started having sex with the boy.
Many simply buckled and did everything they could to comply, searching for favour from their tormentors. One man described how he had been anally raped with such violence that his backside had bled for days. He was afraid that someone would be cross with him for having blood on his underpants and so, several times, he had secretly taken them and flushed them down the loo.
Two girls ran away and were picked up by police who told them they were lying about conditions in the home. Once the police had left them, one of the women recalled, a care worker punched her in the stomach while her friend was taken into a side room, from which she emerged later with a bruised eye and a split lip. On at least 12 occasions, over the years, police were asked to investigate allegations of violence or paedophilia in the homes but, almost always, their inquiries came to nothing.
Who knew about Anglesea? And why did it take so long for Officer Anglesea to face justice?
WHERE’S LEFT? Wayne Rooney’s future takes bleak twist with Sven Goran Eriksson ruling out a mega-money move to take him to Chinese Super League
Bleak? Rooney earns over £300,000 a week on his current Manchester United deal, which has two years to run. He won’t be ending his playing days in China. It’s not the kind of stuff a modern day Charles Dickens would have written on, is it?
Simon Austin writes:
SVEN-GORAN ERIKSSON has told long-time favourite Wayne Rooney: I don’t want you in China.
Is that when Sven said? Not exactly, no:
“Everyone knows how much I admire Rooney. That’s one thing. To make out we are going to sign him is something else. There is absolutely nothing in it, zero. It is not something we have ever even spoken about at the club — and we have been discussing our options for next season a lot.”
Sven hasn’t rejected Rooney. Sven has rejected the story that Rooney is off to join him in China. Stories like:
Wayne Rooney in talks for huge China deal to quit Man Utd – The Sun
Jose Mourinho says he will never sell Wayne Rooney as captain emerges as Chinese Super League target – The Sun
In “YOU’VE GOATEE BE KIDDING” the Sun zooms in on a “’22-year-old’ bearded migrant ‘uni student’” who “insists he’s just sixteen as he starts secondary school classes”.
Haris Stanikzai, from Afghanistan, plays the unenviable role of migrant teenager in the spotlight. Dan Sales spots Haris emerging from the now eradicated Calais Jungle. A new life in the UK means Haris has “already been enjoying classic UK telly Deal or no Deal and Countdown.”
It doesn’t get any better than that.
The Sun is not alone in questioning Haris’s age.
Child refugee allowed into UK had spent three years at university – Telegraph
‘Child migrant’ from Calais Jungle boasts of being 22 on a dating website – Mail
As the Mail appraises the teenager for signs of sexual maturity, Sales looks at evidence to suggest Haris is older than he claims to be:
A LinkedIn page says he studied at an Afghani university three years ago. But yesterday it was alleged he had enrolled in university three years ago and had a dating profile saying he was 22.
SHOCKER 1: Teenager pretends to be older to pull!
SHOCKER 2: LinkedIn is relevant!
Haris’s uncle, Jan Ghazi, 37, who Haris is living with, tells the paper: “We have spoken to him and we are happy he is 16 to 17. I happy he is a child. He says his plan is to become a doctor. He has said I want to go to school. We don’t know which year, we are waiting for the Home Office papers.”
The Sun than spoons on the lemon juice by captioning a picture: “Haris and uncle Jan chat on sofa by flat-screen television.” Wosamatter?! Cathode Ray Tube not good enough for them, eh?
Uncle Jan adds:
“These last two weeks he has been coming to work with me, to the pizza takeaway. On television he has been watching the news about the Calais Jungle. Of British programmes he’s watched Deal Or No Deal, Come Dine With Me and Countdown.”
Oh, yeah. What else, Uncle Jan?
“We don’t have a birth certificate for him, but we know roughly the date and the time. He is between 16 and 17 and he has not been to university. They said he was in the 7th semester of university, that would make him 25 to 27. Does he look 27 to you?”
“His brother was shot dead on the border of Iran. We were told he had been killed by one of the people smugglers.”
Haris has not had it easy. But he could have it easier. All he need do is shave, dye his hair blond and cry. We like our migrants to look very young, not too dark skinned and weak. Haris comes across as mature, resourceful, capable and, like many teens, a fan of day-time telly. And who has any sympathy for someone like that?
Manchester United’s manager Jose Mourinho was sent to the stands as his hugely expensive side eked out a 0-0 home draw with the mighty Burnley. For the second half, Mourinho got to see what the fans see as he was escorted to a seat in the stands. He then moved to the directors’ box. This was the 13th touchline punishment of Mourinho’s career.
Poor old Jose, eh. Only last week he was moaning about grim life in the Presidential Suite of the city’s five-star Lowry Hotel. “For me it’s a bit of a disaster because I want sometimes to walk a bit and I can’t,” he said in words any regent will surely sympathise with. “I just want to cross the bridge and go to a restaurant. I can’t, so it’s really bad.”
Why was he sent off? Did he just fancy a walk, an early jacuzzi bath and with it an untroubled walk over a bridge and on to eat anything other than room service at a time when he was unlikely to meet many United of City fans, what with them watching their teams play?
“I think the events of recent weeks have got to him,” opines Match Of The Day pundit Danny Murphy.
Moutinho’s assistant Rui Faria adds “I don’t know what happened. It is not important what Jose said. What is important is what the referee writes in his report.”
David Walsh (Sunday Times) thinks Jose was upset by the referee (plus ca change):
Mourinho had stood in the technical area through the first half, not that far from an incident involving his Italian full-back Matteo Darmian and Burnley’s Jon Flanagan. Attempting to get past the Burnley defender, Darmian fell to the ground. Some United players appealed for a penalty but Mark Clattenburg reacted with indifference and replays of the incident supported the referee’s decision.
Mourinho made his feelings known and in terms that Clattenburg deemed unacceptable.
…it is pretty safe to presume that Mourinho’s half-time comments towards the officials that earned him his dismissal were connected to Matteo Darmian’s failed penalty appeal just before the break, because the United boss was visibly incensed by that decision while the game continued.
His mood was probably not helped by having to move seats and go into the directors’ box in the second half, because he was initially sitting too close to the dugout.
The Daily Mail sees a problem with Jose at United:
He complained last week about the quality of his life living in a Manchester hotel and there will be those associated with United who will be alarmed that Mourinho’s behaviour will reflect badly on the club. Mourinho refused to speak to media outlets about the incident with Mr Clattenburg, which United say was a verbal altercation.
This is what happens when you live alone, of course. You seek out others to talk with. In the end anyone will do. Having had his fill of trying to strike up conversation with touring businessmen in the hotel bar, couples on romantic mini-breaks and Hen parties in the spa, Jose simply reached out to the nearest person, who just happened to be Mark Clattenburg. Stripped of everyday human contact and now versed only in the language of hotel exchanges, Mourinho most likely asked the ref to turn down his bed for the night and join him for a humble repast of asparagus mouse, almond bon bon and salsa allemande followed by native lobster, fennel & apple, pea mousseline and pepper sabayon topped off by Coconut Malibu Souffle with pineapple sorbet and coffee on the terrace.
Clattenburg probably misconstrued that as some sort of bribe, when it was, of course, a cry for help.
Now let’s take a look around Jose’s digs and wonder if there is one simple solution to all the man’s woes: get a dog.
Like many internet users, Sarah-Louise Jordan recived an unsolicied picure of a penis in a Facebook message. She writes, “I found a surprising picture in my messages. So, I did the only English thing there was to do; I wrote them a letter.”
Thank you for the unexpected and unsolicited submission of your penis portrait for our consideration. We regret to inform you that it has failed to pass our most basic standards of quality control at this time.
However, for a nominal fee we can offer you a report that will help you change that.
The A4 report, provided via postal service, will include a personalised booklet that cover the following:
Why genitals are not an acceptable conversation opener (a step by step guide to saying hello)
How to appear as though you weren’t raised by wolves
Better ways to deal with your sexual frustration
How to dress your penis for social media (a rough guide to pants)
Penis reading: a new form of palmistry that may help you unlock the key to your future.
We will also answer questions you might have such as:
Do I have too much time on my hands?
Why did my penis fail basic standards of quality control?
(Note: the number one reason for this occurring is that it is attached to a bigger dick than itself.)
Finally, as a gesture of goodwill we intend to offer two free samples with all of your future penis portrait submissions:
An inventive critique of your pride & joy
A surprise consultation with your closest available family member about your portfolio.
We trust this exciting offer is acceptable and look forward to working with you in the near future.
So the FBI has found more emails from Hillary Clinton’s secret server. Apparently 1,000-odd emails were found as part of the Anthony Weiner investigation.
Emails, eh. You can accidentally (on purpose) wipe your own emails but the trouble is if they were sent, then they sit on the recipients server; if you received them, they’re on the sender’s electronic log book. These emails were on Weiner’s laptop.
Mrs Weiner, Huma Abedin, works for Hillary. She and Anthony are estranged.
What have the FBI found?
Mrs Clinton was supposed to have handed over all evidence relating to her use of a private email server – something she instigated in 2009, when she was appointed secretary of state. The Weiner investigation shows she did not.
Career politician misspeaks the truth. Read all about it!
In a letter to Congress, the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, said the emails had surfaced in an unrelated case, which law enforcement officials said was an F.B.I. investigation into illicit text messages from Mr. Weiner to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina. Mr. Weiner, a former Democratic congressman from New York, is married to Huma Abedin, the top aide.
The Guardian says the emails have nothing to do with Clinton:
Anthony Weiner takes center stage in presidential race about men’s sex lives
About men’s sex lives? Or about a woman who wants to be President lying?
It remains to be seen just what is in the emails, although whether Hillary sent emails with confidential content herself, or directed, or simply allowed her closest aide, Huma Abedin to forward such emails to her outside unsecured email address (where they subsequently ended up on Anthony Weiner’s notebook), is what this latest case will be all about and how it will be defended and prosecuted in the media, by the water coolers and perhaps, in court.
Howie Carr considers the (lack of) evidence in the Boston Herald:
Before he toppled over from the vapors, Paul Krugman called to cancel his nomination of FBI Director James Comey for next spring’s Profiles in Courage award for having the “courage” to broom the obstruction-of-justice rap against Hillary Clinton.
I’m not a big James Comey fan, to say the least. My feeling is, if you want to hide something real good, just stick it in one of his law books. He’s proven he’ll leave no stone unturned, except the one Hillary Clinton is hiding under.
But let’s be real. A bottom feeder like Comey would never have taken this high-stakes gamble if there were any way he could have kept sweeping the dirty laundry under the rug.
What they’ve already turned up from Carlos Danger’s cellphones obviously ain’t about yoga schedules and Chelsea’s wedding plans. Of all people, Comey knows what happens if you take a shot at these people and miss. Ken Starr, anyone?
As he says: “I Did Not Have Classified Relations With That Woman, Mrs Clinton.”
Even a fool like Trump can milk this.
Expect to hear more of Trump’s words two months ago:
“I only worry for the country in that Hillary Clinton was careless and negligent in allowing Weiner to have such close proximity to highly classified information. Who knows what he learned and who he told?”
Why did the Democrats go with Clinton? It looks like a massive error.
To mark the Battle of Hastings (1066), the Royal Mint has produce a commemorative 50p coin. Over five million Battle of Hastings 50p pieces are expected to enter circulation. The Mint calls the Battle “the date that made history”.
So big is it that advertising a sterling silver version of the coin in the BBC’s History magazine, the Mint manages to get its facts wrong. The advert runs:
The Battle of Hastings altered the course of British history. This epic clash fought between two kings, and won by William the Conqueror, brought about huge social advancement that set the foundations for the nation as we know it today.
That would be King Harald and William, Duke of Normandy – one king and one wanna-be king.
How can you tell a migrant’s age? The tabloids lead with faces of child refugees heading to the UK. “THE ‘CHILD REFUGEES’ DEBATE” is the Mail’s lead story. You can tell the paper has suspicions about the age of these children because it uses inverted commas to cast doubt on their status.
Over pages 4 and 5, we see men – only men – “Mature Beyond Their Years”. One child migrant has the “features of a 38 year old”. No, not a 38-year reality TV star – rather one with crows’ feet around his eyes and skin that moves. This 18-year-old from sunny and bucolic Afghanistan “says he has an older brother living in the UK”. So says an unnamed “source”, who claims to have access to such information, although apparently not the authority to check the child’s/man’s claims.
The Mail says two thirds of child migrants “quizzed” about their age were fund to be adults. Yeah, who knew that people desperate enough to look for a new life in the UK could lie about their ages? Shock of shocks, indeed.
As Tim Worstall notes:
Many will read that as two thirds of so called child refugees are not children. No. Two thirds of those that officials suspected were not children, and thus investigated, were found to be adults.
So how do well tell a person’s age?
David Davies, the MP for Monmouth (not to be confused with “Brexit” secretary David Davis, says the Indy) says: “I hope British hospitality is not being abused”. He wants migrants to have their teeth checked to determine their ages. If teeth are covered in a film of Coca Cola, they belong to a child. If shards of butterscotch are stuck to their stumps, they are adults. Simple.
CAUTION: If the kids have black teeth full of holes, they are most likely British children and unless Afghanistan wants them, should be allowed to remain.
Last night Liverpool and Manchester United bored the watching public to their second 0-0 on Premier League history. Manchester United were unambitious, carrying 35% possession, their lowest total in a Premier League match since Opta began recording this data in 2003-04.
Jose Mourinho side have won their lowest points total after his first eight league games with a new club since his time with Uniao de Leiria (10 points).
The BBC say the game was “rubbish”.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says: “No one will show this game in 10 or 20 years.”
Chris Crocker adds: “Reality is if Van Gaal’s team had played like that every ‘expert’ would be slating him for weeks. Jose does it he is a genius.”
Not everyone. But some, yes.
This is what Neil Curtis said in the Sun on the morning of the big match:
JOSE MOURINHO is desperately trying to rid Manchester United of the memories from the Louis van Gaal era. That is why he will never serve up a borefest like the Dutchman with his much vaunted ‘philosophy’…
Mourinho is up for another tactical masterclass just like he delivered two years ago…
The Portuguese said: “Last season Liverpool vs United and Liverpool had 14 shots on target and United had one and the result was 0-1. I don’t think that is going to happen again.”
It didn’t. Last night United had one shot on target and failed to score. Under Van Gaal United player Liverpool four times in the Premier League. They won them all.
It’s all about Mourinho in the media. The BBC holds a debate on the United manager with itself:
“Is this a new United way?” asks the BBC. Yes there is, says the BBC.
How United fans will be thrilled by supporting a pragmatic team.
Says Jose Mourinho:
“I think was a positive performance. If you analyse the game see the reason why did it, playing Young and Fellaini. We had control of the game – there were two amazing saves by David de Gea it’s true but they were out of context. The reaction from their crowd was permanent disappointment. People expected us to come here and be really in trouble, which we were not.”
To recap: United were boring when they won at Liverpool with a philosophy; United are exciting and new when they draw 0-0 with a “masterclass” and a “new way”.
Still, at least Jose has won over the media. Van Gaal never did.
After the televised witch-hunt, Sir Cliff Richard has come out fighting. Angered and upset by the BBC’s antics in filming a raid on his home in August 2014, Cliff is suing Aunty for £1m. You will recall how the BBC saw fit to scramble the newscopter to broadcast live footage of South Yorkshire police raiding the singer’s home in a sex abuse investigation.
The police and BBC have form with this high-profile shaming. In 2013, comic Jim Davidson was arrested at Heathrow airport on the eve of filming Celebrity Big Brother. He was flying into the country not out of it when police pounced. They could have waited and nicked Davidson at his home. But the cameras were there and the police fancied a spot of PR. So Davidson was put in the stocks and paraded for our pleasure and reassurance. Operation Yewtree was here to help.
Hang the fact that allegations against an innocent Davidson had nothing to do with Jimmy Savile and child abuse. The Celebrity Police Force had a new old face. They never even charged him.
So to Sir Cliff. After the raid and 22 months of investigating claims made against the singer, the police dropped it. Again, no arrest made.
You might wonder how the BBC knew Cliff was under investigation and his home was to be raided? How they were there at the exact time the police swooped?
Cast your minds back further and recall how the BBC spiked its story on Sir Jimmy Savile but saw fit to broadcast allegations against former Tory party chairman Lord AcAlpine. The BBC was forced to apologise to the innocent Lord and pay him £185,000 libel damages. Savile went to his grave a hero. It was only later he was dug up and beaten with sticks.
He’s rarely on the telly these day, Although the BBC News at Six saw fit to broadcast footage of the depraved knight of the realm with – yep – Sir Cliff. A report on Dame Janet Smith’s investigation into sex abuse at the corporation featured tape of Savile’s voice saying Cliff Richard’s name.
The BBC and police are damaged.
This is why so many take pleasure in micturating on investigations into historic sex abuse and VIP paedophiles.
A judge will put a number on the damage inflicted on Sir Cliff’s good name.
And Rod Stewart’s is here to help. “Pay attention please, Cliff. You’ve been persecuted, mate, and we all know it,” said Rod at a charity event he and Cliff were performing at. “We are one hundred million per cent behind you. You sue those b******* – I’ll give you half.”
He’s back! The str of ‘thirdeaglebooks’ is a Donald Trump supporters. He’s written a song for Don. As the blurb says, this is the “unofficial” campaign song for the 2016 Trump-Pence Republican Presidential ticket. The official song will find this impossible to beat.
Take it away…. William Tapley (co Prophet of The End of Times)
We know all about Donald Trump and TV host Billy Bush sharing a “locked-room” chat during which the tsunami-haired bricks-and-golf tycoon advised randy males to “Grab her by the pussy“? But why are we hearing about this now?
Is Trump’s exposure linked to media bias? Rupert Murdoch’s Heat Street says NBC is part of the problem:
More to the point, why hasn’t all this terrible audio already surfaced? At any point in the last year, when there was still time to deprive Trump of the GOP nomination, did NBC brass ask Apprentice producer (and Trump friend) Mark Burnett for a look into his archives? Or were they complicit in allowing Trump to cruise to the GOP nomination when they knew there was likely evidence in Mark Burnett’s basement that could disqualify him?
Reality TV is a cut and paste job. The amount of stuff edited out would fill a silo. But is it right to blame the messenger? The Mail has been blaming the victim.
There are clear lines of accountability here – to NBC News Chairman Andy Lack and NBCU CEO Steve Burke. Did these executives just look the other way for many months while a former employee whose bad behavior was well-known got closer and closer to the White House? And did they place the career of Billy Bush – reportedly being groomed to replace Matt Lauer on the hugely profitable Today program – ahead of the US presidency? That sounds absurd, but this is the twisted world of network television and NBC has some explaining to do.
The Guardian 2008: “Another casualty of the internet age: Obama’s speechwriter is caught in a compromising position with a cardboard Hillary.”
NBCNighty News host Brian Williams “misremembered” being aboard a helicopter hit and downed by two rockets and small arms fire fire during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Williams had been on a different Chinook. “I would not have chosen to make this mistake,” Williams said. “I don’t know what screwed up in my mind that caused me to conflate one aircraft with another.”
People at NBC are fallible. People make mistakes in wartime.
Glenn Reynolds adds:
HE WAS A DEMOCRAT WHEN HE MADE THOSE REMARKS, SO IT WAS OKAY. IT’S ONLY WHEN HE SWITCHED PARTIES AND BECAME GOP NOMINEE THAT THE REMARKS TURNED DISGRACEFUL.
Back then he wasn’t in or standing for public office.
How do we tell the story of reality TV star Donald Trump telling gibbering TV host Billy Bush “Grab her by the pussy“? The British news has made Trump’s “crass” comment (Express) the lead news story. Bigger than mass murder in Syria, desperate migrants and bellicose Russia is Trump’s “sex boast” (The Observer).
The Mirror looks at more pressing issues.
Trump is a story. The reality TV creation is news because he’s said something pathetic and is cheap to produce.
But should one comment scupper Trump’s White House bid?
Nick Kristoff opines in the NYTimes: “In fairness to Trump, other senior men in politics and business — John Kennedy and Bill Clinton come to mind — also sometimes showed a sense of entitlement toward young women.”
The digging for dirt begins.
Said Gennifer Flowers: “I just know what Bill told me and that was that he was aware that Hillary was bisexual and he didn’t care. He should know. ‘He said Hillary had eaten more p***y than he had.’”
In the Washington Post, we read:
Trump, facing a GOP exodus from his campaign and apparently desperate to change the subject, just retweeted two tweets from an account featuring the name of Juanita Broaddrick, the woman who publicly alleged in 1999 that Clinton had sexually assaulted her two decades prior. In both tweets, the Broaddrick account reiterates her accusation that Clinton raped her and accuses Hillary Clinton of enabling him.
Then, the country was presented with proof, incremental and suggestive at first, overwhelming and indisputable by the end of the decade, that Bill Clinton was an irrepressible and irresponsible sexual predator, at least by the moral and evidentiary standards established by feminist activists and the press corps that loves them. And, rather than face the consequences of applying their own principles consistently, they prostrated themselves to the Oval Office. Gloria Steinem raced to the pages of the New York Times to advance the “one free grope” rule. Susan Estrich, Susan Faludi, and countless other professional feminists defenestrated their principles in a desperate attempt to defend Clinton.
And can we blame the woman seen in the film when Trump went full frat house?
To the Mail it is not Trump’s ugly comment that could cost him the White House – it is elegant TV soap actress Arianne Zucker, a woman who diplomatically dealt with TV host Billy Bragg’s pathetic comments as to which of he or Trump she’d sleep with.
The obsession with Trump, the close monitoring of his every utterance, has reached the point that his political and media foes have – ironically – become important generators of support for him. Every time they tell Trump ‘you can’t say that’, he says it. Every time they demand an apology from Trump, he doubles down on it. Just by defying the strictures of political correctness, and not caving when challenged, Trump can look authoritative and daring.
We keep reading that Republicans have deserted Trump. Will his supporters care? No. Trump has turned the election into a referendum on the political establishment. Clinton should be miles ahead in the polls. Why isn’t she? Seen as untrustworthy by many, her policies should be more than ‘I’m not Trump’. Remember Bernie Sanders, who said failing to vote Hillary will lead to “more drought, more floods, more acidification of the oceans, more rising sea levels.”
The Republican nominee Donald Trump spoke for 75 minutes and for most of his speech, he outlined a laundry list of every conceivable fear he could conjure. Radical Islam, immigration (legal, illegal, Mexican, Muslim, whatevs), stagnant wages, rising violence in the streets, and really terrible trade deals were among the litany.
The US Presidential campaign has a long way to run.
And like so much in Trump and Clinton’s lives, it is a race to the bottom.
WikiLeaks has released bits of speeches Hillary Clinton gave in the years before her 2016 presidential campaign. It was a lucrative tour. Private audiences paid her “at least $26.1 million in speaking fees”.
We get to see the speeches because versions of them appeared in emails now hacked, such as an account operated by Campaign Chairman John Podesta.
We love a cover up. But if we don’t find any juice, then so what? Aren’t private emails part of everyday conversations – some things we say are good and others less so. Do emails give us the full context?
Meanwhile Clinton’s rival Donald Trumps is in the mire over his attitudes to women, what the BBC calls “obscene remarks on women”.
In the video, posted by the Washington Post, Mr Trump is heard bragging to TV host Billy Bush about trying to have sex with a married woman as well as kissing and groping others.
A clip was part of unaired footage for an Access Hollywood segment ahead of Mr Trump’s appearance on the soap opera Days of Our Lives.
“I moved on her and I failed. I’ll admit it. She was married. And I moved on her very heavily. I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phoney tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.”
He then says when he sees a pretty woman he hones in.
Bush notes actress Arianne Zucker, who’s waiting for Trump outside the bus. “Your girl’s hot as s***, in the purple,” Bush said.
“Whoa!” Trump replied. “Whoa!”
“I’ve gotta use some Tic-Tacs, just in case I start kissing her,” Trump continued. “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything.”
“Whatever you want,” said another voice believed to be Bush.
“Grab them by the pussy,” Trump replied. “You can do anything.”
All unedifying stuff. But what do we have but Clinton talking to the paying fans and what Trump calls “locker-room banter”?
Listen in. Language is NSFW. Trump is revolting. Bush is sleaze personified.
Trump has now apologised. Well, sort of. He said: “This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course – not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.”
His apology is not for his comments rather for your taking offence at them. It’s a remarkably dishonest approach to saying ‘sorry’.
Expert to hear lots now on Bill Clinton’s attitude to women and Jill Harth, the woman who sued Trump over an alleged sexual assault. The Guardian dished the dirt:
She first met Trump in December 1992 at his offices in Trump Tower, where she and her then romantic partner, George Houraney, were making a business presentation. The couple wanted to recruit Trump to back their American Dream festival, in which Harth oversaw a pin-up competition known as American Dream Calendar Girls. Harth described that meeting as “the highlight of our career”.
But in other ways, it was something of a lowlight: Trump took an interest in Harth immediately and began subjecting her to a steady string of unwanted sexual advances, detailed by Harth in her complaint.
She claims that in January 1993, Harth and Houraney were visiting Trump’s Florida mansion. She alleges:
“He pushed me up against the wall, and had his hands all over me and tried to get up my dress again, and I had to physically say: ‘What are you doing? Stop it.’ It was a shocking thing to have him do this because he knew I was with George, he knew they were in the next room. And how could he be doing this when I’m there for business?…
“Trump did everything in his power to get me to leave him. He constantly called me and said: ‘I love you, baby, I’m going to be the best lover you ever had. What are you doing with that loser, you need to be with me, you need to step it up to the big leagues.’
“He was constantly working on me during that time and that took a toll on me. But I moved on. I’m a forgiving type person, OK? I’m a Christian, I moved on.”
He denies the allegations.
America waits to elect one or the other of what must be the least appealing choice since Michael Barrymore asked “Top, Middle or Bottom?”
Emma Phillips, Wallasey, Wirral, is the trainee teacher who got a large dildo stuck in her anus (?). This is no secret. Emma has not been exposed or outed in some way. She wants to tell us all about her “embarrassing” accident because it is a “taboo” we need to be warned about.
She’s told her story to Mercury Press, who have sold it to the Daily Mirror. How you prove the story of the vanishing viby is a moot point. Emma just wants to tell us about it. And we are all ears.
And no giggling as “Emma offers a thumbs up from her hospital bed”. Let’s hope she washes it first and removed any false fingernails.
One day her child will get to read about the tale of “Mum-of-one Emma Phillips”, her partner Lee Miller, 29, and the the 7 inch sex toy that “disappeared”.
When she leaned forward she could feel it vibrating inside her bottom wedged behind her hip.
Lee tried to extract the toy with a fork handle and BBQ prongs before calling for an ambulance.
In Wrexham hospital Emma underwent the “minute-and-a-half surgery which involved placing a camera down her throat and the surgeon pressing on her stomach before manually extracting i”.
And “Doctors offered her the toy as a keepsake but she decline”.
Hillsborough is back in the news. It never went away. We still await justice for the 96 people killed at the FA Cup semi-final in 1989. It took 26 years for the State to admit the dead were innocent. How long will it take to nail the guilty?
Soccer – Football League Division One – Chelsea v Arsenal – Stamford Bridge. A young fan is passed over the heads of the crowd to a better viewing position at the front of the terrace. Date: 01/11/1947
Today the Guardian reports on moves to bring back standing at Premier League football grounds.
The Liverpool supporters’ union (LSU) Spirit of Shankly wants to bring back standing. Premier League Football is sanitised and stripped of the passion that made the game so magical. Standing is one stop towards breaking the myriad controls forced on fans.
The LSU will ask other Liverpool fans and the families of those killed at Hillsborough for their views on a return to standing at top-flight grounds.
The Guardian says the Hillsborough Family Support Group is strongly opposed to standing. The Hillsborough Justice Campaign says: “There has always been a variety of views amongst HJC members. We do however, support a full and objective debate on the issue with safety being paramount.”
The LSU floated the idea at last month’s AGM. It said:
“There have been ongoing campaigns for the implementation of ‘rail seating’ at football grounds, similar to those often found in Germany. This has been alongside debate about supporters who currently stand in seated areas. It should be recognised and acknowledged that this occurs.
“LSU has never formally adopted a position on ‘rail seating’, ‘safe standing’ or these matters by whichever name it goes by. The debate, in recent months, has moved on, following the implementation of rail seating at Celtic and with football clubs openly discussing the idea. Supporters at other clubs are actively campaigning for the introduction of rail seating. Whilst LSU recognises that opinion amongst our fan base is divided, with supporters and Hillsborough campaigners and groups on both sides of the debate, our stance and opinion on such matters should be one directed by our members.”
It is an emotive issue. All-seat regulations were introduced into English football by Lord Justice Taylor’s report into the Hillsborough disaster. Rather than censure the police and look to themselves, the authorities moved swiftly to enforce further controls on fans. Sat in numbered seats these criminals-in-waiting were more easily monitored.
And don’t you dare move. In 2006, West Ham United sent the following note to 20 season ticket holders: “You have ignored repeated requests to remain seated and are therefore placing the club in jeopardy of losing capacity. As a result you are banned from attending Upton Park for two matches.”
Sit down or else.
And then came the advice to shut up. (Spurs fans must not champion the ‘Yid Army’. Celtic’s ‘Green Brigade’ and should stop singing the wrong kinds of songs, and so too Glasgow Rangers fans. Never mind that the bawdy chants are reminders of what binds fans to their clubs, they are possibly offensive to sensitive ears and must be banned. Songs will be censored or drowned out by blaring PA systems, piped music, anthems and ridiculous countdowns to kick-off.)
You want to know why 60,000 fans at Arsenal’s shiny new Emirates ground make less noise than half that number did at Highbury? They’ve been pacified. Sit down. Don’t drink. Book your seats in advance – no groups of mates rocking up to let off steam have a hope of getting in.
When the Emirates opened, the club heard the silence. They soon advertised for a ‘Singing Section’, a licensed place where the noisiest fans could sing approved songs. It was pathetic. And so too are standing zones. Football fans have been reduced to accepting scraps of legislated freedom.
Don’t stand up in the zone of tolerance. Stand up to the marketeers, control freaks and State that have subdued the fans and taken the fun out of football.
As Christmas rolls up we wonder about the atheists. Steve Martin is here to help. Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers perform at Merlefest 2010.
A little tune called “Athiests Don’t Have No Songs”
Christians have their hymns and pages.
(Hymns and pages)
Hava Nagila’s for the Jews.
(For the Jews)
Baptists have the rock of ages.
(Rock of ages)
Atheists just sing the blues.
Romantics play Claire de Lune.
(Claire de Lune)
Born agains sing He is risen.
But no one ever wrote a tune.
(Wrote a tune)
For godless existentialism.
(For godless existentialism)
There’s no good news.
They’ll never sing,
A song of faith.
In their songs,
They have a rule.
The “he” is always lowercase.
The “he” is always lowercase.
(Some folks sing)
Some folks sing a Bach cantata.
Lutherans get Christmas trees.
Atheist songs add up to nada.
(Up to nada)
But they do have Sundays free.
(Have Sundays free)
Pentecostals sing, sing to heaven,
(Sing to heaven)
Gothics had the books of scrolls,
Numerologists count, count to seven,
(Count to seven)
Atheists have rock and roll.
There’s no good news.
They’ll never sing,
A song of faith.
In their songs,
They have a rule.
The “he” is always lowercase.
The “he” is always lowercase.
Don’t have no songs!
Christians have their hymns and pages.
(Hymns and pages)
Hava Nagila’s for the Jews.
(For the Jews)
Baptists have the rock of ages.
(Rock of ages)
Atheists just sing the blues.
Dress up for mass.
And listen to,
Just take a pass.
Watch football in their underpants.
Watch football in their underpants.
Don’t have no songs!
(Don’t have no songs)