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Key Posts | Anorak - Part 4

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Vagrants in Exeter are eating pigeons – but not everyone’s as happy as they should be

Feral pigeons in city centres are vermin. The good news is that homeless people in Exeter have taken it upon themselves to rid the city of these pests by eating them. But not everyone in the city is pleased that vagrants are both cleansing the city and beefing up for the coming winter on a diet of cheap protein.

Devon and Cornwall police are investigating. Police support community officer (PCSO) Sarah Giles has tweeted: “While doing the round of #sidwell street #exeter I have had news of #pigeons being captured for food. We will be looking into this.” Why? What crime has been committed?  Police do say it could be a case of causing the animals “unnecessary suffering under the Animal Welfare Act 2006”.

But are wild pigeons, aka rock doves, protected? The Act states:

An animal is a “protected animal” for the purposes of this Act if—
(a) it is of a kind which is commonly domesticated in the British Islands,
(b) it is under the control of man whether on a permanent or temporary basis, or
(c) it is not living in a wild state.

Pigeons are covered by section (a) but legitimate pest control is not regarded as causing unnecessary suffering. All wild birds in the UK are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. And according to the BBC, “feral pigeons can legally be shot”. But what about bagged and then offed with, say, a full can of Tenants Super to the head before being eaten?

On the forums of The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, we’re told, “Feral (urban) pigeons are legal game with an air rifle.” Indeed, if you hold a ‘General License’ you can kill pigeons, both wood pigeons and feral birds. Government advice  runs: “You must still follow animal welfare laws and kill birds in a quick and humane manner. You can eat birds killed under this licence, but you can’t sell any for human consumption other than woodpigeons.” And you can use a cage trap.

Melissa Gill of Natural England, which oversees the General Licenses in England adds: “The licensee is at fault if he sells on the meat of a bird he has killed under licence – it is a condition of the licence which he is granted that he does not do that… It would not be illegal to eat it, so long as the individual could prove that they had not killed it and had discovered it dead.”

The laws on eating a feral pigeon are a tad confused. And if you eat them, they don’t suffer as a species. Trafford Council notes:

…for most pigeon problems, lethal methods are totally ineffective. They simply reduce competition for food and shelter, and the remaining birds increase their breeding rates to compensate. Although there is an immediate decrease, numbers soon recover, resulting in an endless cycle of killing and re-population

Forget GM crops. Pigeons are the answer to world hunger.

One local trader at Exeter’s Sidwell Street Market goes on the record. She says the pigeon fanciers seduce the birds with seed and stuff them in a sack. PCSO Giles then puts the vermin catching in context. “Many are alcoholics [the vagrants; not the pigeons], who to keep a certain consumption level, will drink continuously… now we’re eating pigeons, now we’re killing seagulls. It escalates.”

Good. If the vagrants can be directed towards rats, mice and cockroaches, Exeter may become the cleanest city in the land.

PS: On the Exeter City Council website, we read:

Sidwell Street market…

Please note, we are unable to accept applications from catering vans or fast food lines although we do have a limited number of pitches available for unusual street food.

Forget the sack and lighter fluid, lads. It’s a stall you need. Make ready with the retro pigeon a la mode, Spingo. The hipsters will come flocking.

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


Louella Michie is dead and the Press all ask: ‘Who is John Michie?’

louella michie

 

Louella Michie is not the subject of reports on her untimely death. The 25-year-old woman’s body was found dead on her birthday at the Bestival music festival. And ever since that unhappy discovery, the Press have been telling us who did not die: her father. The Daily Mail has produced 7 stories on Louella Michie’s unexplained death. It’s hard to spot Louella as the media zoom in on John Michie, her dad.

The Evening Standard had the news first, sticking to the facts. The body of a young London woman had been found at Dorset’s Bestival. Police were investigating. Murder was one line of enquiry.

Louella Michie

 

And then the media realised that the dead woman’s father is on the telly.  The pick of the front pages being the Daily Telegraph’s, which amid talk of her alleged ‘MURDER” described Louella as a “TV detective’s daughter”. John Michie had for a while appeared in Taggart, the Scottish detective show. In the twilight zone between fact and fiction, Telegraph readers might wonder if DI Robert “Robbie” Ross would be investigating.

 

 

louella michie murder bestival paper john

 

These are the Daily Mail’s headlines. See if you can spot Louella Michie:

Holby City and Coronation Street star John Michie insists death of his daughter, 25, at Bestival was an ACCIDENT as he mourns his ‘angel’ after a man was arrested on suspicion of her murder  – September 11th 2017, 11:54:26 am

Man held after daughter of Holby City star John Michie dies at Bestival – September 11th 2017

Man arrested over actor’s daughter’s death released under investigation – September 12th 2017

Drugs quiz for man held over death of daughter of Holby City´s John Michie – September 12th 2017

Holby City star’s daughter looked ‘odd and unsteady’ in the hours before she was found dead in secluded woods in drug-related death  – September 12th 2017

But our pick of the Mail’s barrage of stories on the death of ‘John Michie’s daughter’ is this one about Louella Michie taking the ice-bucket challenge:

The daughter of TV actor John Michie, took part in the internet craze.

Today’s story in the Mail begins in customary fashion, with the victim absent:

The rapper boyfriend of Holby City star John Michie’s daughter has been released by police after being arrested over her death at Bestival, with the actor’s family saying they believe the pair had taken drugs

As the Mail thinks the “dead girl” not worthy of mention by name, the Sun (nine stories so far) knows so little about Louella Michie it’s reduced to focusing on her looks. Today’s update begins:

A festival-goer claims the forest area where the green-eyed 25-year-old died had been used by drug dealers and that she “didn’t look very well” when spotted before her death

As police investigate the death so other green-eyed women and look for a pattern, Sun readers find Louella Michie missing from the paper’s headlines:

FESTIVAL TRAGEDY – Holby City star John Michie’s daughter Louella was found dead at Bestival – 13 September 2017

Pals reveal Holby City star’s tragic girl looked ‘unsteady and odd’ in woods used by drug dealers before she died at Bestival as boyfriend is released by cops – 13 September 2017

BESTIVAL SUSPECT RELEASED Boyfriend of Holby star John Michie’s tragic daughter is released as her devastated family say ‘there was no malice’ in her death – 12 September 2017

BESTIVAL PROBE Man held on suspicion of ‘murder’ over Holby star’s daughter is also being quizzed over supply of Class A drugs – 12 September 2017

BESTIVAL DEATH DASH – Holby City star made 130 mile 1am dash to Bestival after WhatsApp map pinpointed where his daughter was found dead – 12 September 2017

DAYS BEFORE DEATH  – John Michie posted haunting photo of daughter sewing outfit for Bestival days before she was found dead – 12 September

HOLBY PAL’S HEARTACHE Strictly star’s heartbreaking message to Holby co-star after his daughter is found dead at Bestival – 11 September

But top prize goes in the John Michie news frenzy goes to the Daily Mirror, which has published no fewer than 11 stories on Louella Michie’s dad, the pick of which being:

Who is John Michie? Tragedy as ex-Coronation Street star’s daughter confirmed dead at Bestival

At a guess, we’d say he’s  man grieving for his daughter.

Posted: 13th, September 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Yid Army: Spurs fans should rejoice at Chelsea stupidity

spurs yids

 

So terrible was the sound of Chelsea fans hailing (surely heil-ing? – ed) new striker Alvaro Morata with a song about him hating “The Yids” that the Football Association is launching an investigation. How it means to investigate the chant directed at Spurs and its self-styled ‘Yid Army’ is unsaid. But reports abound that the FA contacted Chelsea in an effort to identify the individuals singing the song. The Telegraph adds that the FA is also expected to seek talks with “other authorities”, such as the Church of England, perhaps, the UN and the thought police.

 

 

It had all been looking so promising. Chelsea appealed for their fans to stop singing the song because it upset Morata. “We’ve spoken to Alvaro after the game,” said Chelsea’s spokesman. “He does not want to be connected with that song in any way and both the club and the player request the supporters stop singing that song with immediate effect.”

This was grown-up stuff. No need for the police to get involved.

Chelsea appeared to recognise that fans create their own rules and solidarities. Some Tottenham Hotspur supporters formed the Yid Army, a group proud of the club’s large contingent of Jewish fans in an historically Jewish area using ‘Yids’ and ‘Yiddos’ to empower. I know of a fair few Jews who having faced real and violent anti-Semitism find the punchy sounds of ‘Yid Army’ and the rolling ‘We are the Yids/ We are the Yids / We are the Yids are we’ enjoyable. Some Chelsea fans joined the National Front, hurled abuse at black footballers and sang songs about gassing Jews. You pick your side and go with it.

And here’s the thing: not every Chelsea fan who says Morata hates the Yids is a full-on Nazi. They are most likely not anti-Semitic, either. In the context of football rivalry the Chelsea fan seething about ‘Yiddish scum‘ is not doing so because he’s a white supremacist, jihadi or far-Left activist calling for the systematic extermination of world Jewry. What drives the vast majority of Chelsea fans hymning Morata is the heartfelt desire to see Spurs fail.

Deprived of a proper local rival, Chelsea fans have scouted around other London teams and found Spurs to their liking. It is Spurs’ fellow North Londoners Arsenal, of course, who are the Lilywhites true rivals, and it’s largely down to Chelsea’s Jewish owner Roman Abramovich’s billions that the Blues have escaped those traditional big derby days with Fulham.

Sing What We Want

Football chants have meaning in the context of the game. Banning chants – censoring words; arresting people for saying them – is the stuff of loons. People will always find a way to insult each other through language.

In 2013 the FA and anti-racist campaigners commanded Spurs fans to stop singing about ‘Yids’. Spurs fans responded by declaring “We’ll sing what we want to”. All fans should rejoice in that. Sing what you want. And if Chelsea fans want to upset their star player and their club by labelling Morata an anti-Semite, Spurs fans should only smile at his pain.

 

Posted: 12th, September 2017 | In: Chelsea, Key Posts, Spurs | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Leave sex out of gender roles – it’s scaring the kids

pink blue gender sex

 

What are your criteria for selecting your children’s school clothes? Washability, durability, affordability, practicality and compliance to a dress code? What about if you see your children’s wardrobe as a chance to define your politics and your values.

And there’s the individuality. That dress isn’t just pretty, on-trend and like the one the pop star wears; it’s an explainer, an insight into the wearer’s anxieties, life goals and morals. The dress is useful if your six-year old boy is considering transitioning to girlhood, but terrible for girls, who should be wearing gender-neutral tracksuits and John Lewis’s non-stereotyping clothes “for boys and girls”.

Should the choice to dress as a boy or a girl be only for those children agonising over their gender? How does it further transgender rights and acceptance to present them as a special case?

 

Rowe family dressing as gender sex

 

Priory School in East Sussex, a mixed co-ed, has banned skirts, ordering girls and boys to wear grey trousers and shirt, jumper and tie. How is limiting what a girl can wear progressive?

Which brings us to the Rowes, who’ve removed their six-year-old son from a Church of England primary school on the Isle of Wight because a boy in his class was allowed to wear a dress. Last year they removed their 8-year-old from the same school when a boy in his class also started wearing dresses. Both will now be home-schooled.

Sally Rowe, 42, and Nigel, 44, plan to sue. Says Mr Rowe: “Our concerns were raised when our son came back home from school saying he was confused as to why and how a boy was now a girl. We believe it is wrong to encourage very young children to embrace transgenderism. Boys are boys and girls are girls. Gender dysphoria is something we as Christians need to address with love and compassion, but not in the sphere of a primary school environment.”

A Diocese of Portsmouth spokesman adds: “Our schools are inclusive, safe spaces where pupils learn to respect diversity of all kinds. We comply with the legal requirements of the Equality Act 2010 and believe that all should feel welcomed, valued and nurtured as part of a learning community.”

 

 

This alters gender from a fact into a problem. It recasts children not as pupils in academia, but as trainee adults conditioned to do away with today’s adult issues. Train the children to be gender neutral and gender-fluid and  – whammo! – you can eradicate sexism, misogyny and the gender pay-gap. All those life-limiting stereotypes that stopped women getting the vote and told men to suck up the pain and soldier on are gone faster than you can say “unisex toilets”. Women will no longer feel a need to stuff silicone balloons in their chests and men won’t spend years of their lives bulking up in the gym.

 

 

The problem is that the boy rather likes wearing blue, dinosaurs and playing football; and the girl likes pink and belting our songs in front of the mirror and nail polish. They don’t have to. Ballet dresses (girls) and monster trucks (boys) are not prerequisites of girlhood and boyhood, respectively. They are society’s norms against which you can rebel and test the boundaries. And doing so makes for a more – dread – diversity.

Things get messier when you link it all to sex. You can wear a dress and be a man. You can wear a business suit and be a girl. You can expand what is is to be male and female. But your biological sex cannot be ended because you prefer dresses to trousers. The boy won’t experience childbirth and menstruation because he feels better in girl’s clothes; just as the girl in trousers won’t grown testicles.

The smart move is to challenge gender roles but leave sex out of it. After all, as all adolescents know, every new generation invented sex.

Images: Artist JeongMee Yoon – Pink & Blue Project.

Posted: 12th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Paul Hollywood’s Nazi shame – Bake Off star battered

Paul Hollywood, 51, once pulled on a Nazi uniform and strode into the White Stag pub in Monkon, Kent. His wife was dressed a member of the French Resistance, albeit unarmed and of a sort imagined by writers of British sex comedies (low cut top, perky beret, fishnets and lots of ooooo-la-la).

 

paul hollywood nazi

 

That Hollywood pretended to be a Nazi officer 14 years ago as part of a private fancy dress do is neither here nor there.

The British public accord unquestioning respect to presenters on TV cooking show The Great British Bake Off, and as a role model for impressionable amateur bakers, Hollywood should be rightfully shamed. Yes, the Pope wore a Nazi uniform, often, so too Kurt Waldheim, the fourth Secretary-General of the United Nations, Prince Harry, and rockers like Lemmy, Keith Moon, Siouxsie Sioux, Sid Vicious and Brian Jones also pulled on the feldgrau and Swastika, but they never made cakes on the telly. And for that we should be grateful.

 

Keith Moon Nazi

Keith Moon

 

Pricne Harry NAzi

 

Ed Balls Nazi

Former Labour Party MP and shadow Chancellor Ed Balls

 

“I am absolutely devastated  if this cased offence to anyone.” says Paul, whose picture emerged in yesterday’s Sun. “Everyone who knows me, knows I am incredibly proud of the effort of those, including my own grandfather, who fought the Nazis during the war.”

In the Daily Mail, the paper that once infamously cheered for Hitler’s blackshirts, we hear not advice on how to sport the Nazi uniform and why Hollywood’s get-up is an affront to the shirt, rather the words of former Bake Off finalist Ruby Tandoh, who opined on Twitter: “Absolutely creasin at pple telling me: “IT WAS TEN YEARS AGO” as is the Nazis weren’t bad back then.”

To say nothing of them not being on he telly all that much.

We march at dawn.

 

Posted: 11th, September 2017 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Chelsea asks fans to police themselves but abusing Spurs is all part of the game

yid army Morata Chelsea Spurs

 

Chelsea want their fans to stop hailing new striker Alvaro Mora with the song: “He came from Real Madrid he fucking hates the Yids.” ‘The Yids’ is, for those of not au fait with footballing abuse, a reference to Tottenham Hotspur football club. The rich irony being, of course, that Chelsea are owned by Roman Abramovich, a Jew. Mr Abramovich is Chairman of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia. This might be a shock to the Chelsea goon who in the early 1980s sniffed my friend and hymned: “Fe-fi-fo-fum, I smell Yiddish scum.”

In blood, Abramovich is more of a yid than Spurs’ Harry Kane. But this isn’t really about racism. This is about finding ways to insult the opposition and upset their fans.

Most Spurs fans couldn’t give a toss about the song. The club’s self-styled Yid Army demand to sing what they want to, and good on them. The press ridiculously call it “The Y-word” (Daily Mail), fetishising the word through censorship, making it all the more exciting and daring to say aloud.

Chelsea have issued a statement:

“The club and the players appreciate the fans passionate support away from home, of course, but the language in that song is not acceptable at all.  We’ve spoken to Alvaro after the game and he does not want to be connected to that song in any way and both the player and the club request that the supporters stop singing that song with immediate effect.”

That’s a rather clever twist on the usual ham-fisted demands for football fans to stop saying things or else. If Chelsea fans are annoying their own new star turn, then surely they’ll stop singing the song. It’s progress. Chelsea are not threatening fans with the police or lifetime expulsion from watching the team for the crime of singing songs. They’re politely asking for the fans to sort it out amongst themselves.

Good-oh.

Posted: 10th, September 2017 | In: Chelsea, Key Posts, News, Sports, Spurs | Comments (13) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Gun heroes vow to shoot Hurricane Irma clean out of the sky

Ply board and corrugated iron won’t stop Hurricane Irma. But guns might. The terrifying and immense Hurricane Irma is heading to Florida. Over six millions Americans have been told to pack up and leave. But Ryon Edwards, 22, is staying. And he’s going to end the storm by shooting it out of the sky.

 

hurricane irma guns

 

Ryon’s Facebook event page has 46,000 repondents who say they might well join him in shooting at the wind.  “A combination of stress and boredom made me start the event,” Ryon tells the BBC. “The response is a complete and total surprise to me. I never envisioned this event becoming some kind of crazy idea larger than myself. It has become something a little out of my control.”

Take care, though, shooters. Aim wrong and the the bullet might not come back and kill you.

The better ideas might be to do as one man told Sky News. When asked what his plan to survive the Hurricane was, he replied: “Well, I got a big Chinese takeaway and some beers in the fridge.”

Give up, Irma. We have you surrounded.

Posted: 10th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Uganda vows to attack gays with a ‘homos’-sniffing machine

The Ugandan government is on the look out for homosexuals. Helping it to detect “homos and porn actors, especially those misusing applications like Whatsapp with sex acts” is a gadget imported from South Korea – that’s the country exporting porno fridges.

The machine was ordered last year. It’s just been delivered, reportedly. But who ordered it? And does it work?

In 2016, Uganda’s Red Pepper newspaper spoke with Father Simon Lokodo, the country’s Minister of Ethics and Integrity. Red Pepper is the Ugandan tabloid that in 2014 named the country’s “200 top homosexuals”, a day after President Yoweri Museveni signed into law a bill toughening penalties for gays: a fine of UGX 10 million ($3000) or up to 10 years in jail, or both.

 

 

The paper has an enthusiastic interest in gay sex.

 

 

uganda gay bum driller red pepper

 

The story began with a photo of the gay-hunting politician underscored with the caption, “Homos Want To Rape Me – Fr. Lokodo.” Readers were told:

The amiable man of God, who quit priesthood after being appointed minister in 2011, told Red Pepper in an exclusive interview that ever since he waged a war on homosexuality, shameless homos have decided to fight back by insulting him with gay sex advances. Lokodo’s most recent brush with the bum-drillers happened last week when — together with police — he stormed and foiled a gay pride parade that was being planned at Kabalagala in Kampala city.

 

 

Thoughts soon turn to the gay-detecting machine. Lokodo explained his “war” on homosexual love:

“We are going to attack and attack. I have fresh tactics. One of them is a censor gadget or machine. We are going to procure this machine and it will detect homos and porn actors especially those misusing applications like WhatsApp with sex acts. The South Koreans are programming it. And very soon we will ship it into the country and all the evil will be busted.

How the machine works, we don’t know. Perhaps the machine works a bit like the mysterious E-meter, the Scientology device, which, according to that group “does nothing. It is an electronic instrument that measures mental state and change of state in individuals and assists the precision and speed of auditing.” But does nothing.

TechZim has a theory about the G-meter.

The machine will detect pornographic pictures, videos or graphics taken or saved on phones, computers or cameras…. How does the pornography detection machine work though? This machine is not the first attempt at detecting porn on devices. There are several products already available, the Paraben Porn Detection Stick being an example. The Stick uses advanced image analysing algorithms to identify facial features, flesh tones and body parts that are potentially pornographic among other things.

The Stick actually works to a certain extent. It errs on the side of over-zealousness as it flags normal photos as pornographic more frequently than the opposite. The Stick however only scans for images and not videos which are harder to scan. Uganda’s machine does both, which it should at $88,000 because the Paraben Porn Detection Stick costs around $129.

Worryingly, the machine can also tap Virtual private networks (VPNS).

An interesting tidbit about the machine’s technology is that it can trace traffic from VPNs and proxy networks such as Tor. With such leads, they can they block the nodes routing traffic from the VPNs in question.

This means that we are unlikely to see a repeat of what happened during the social media blackout that was instituted in February during election time, when VPN clients were downloaded 1.5 million times to bypass restrictions.

Here’s the anti-porn committee being sworn in:

Worrying stuff.

Posted: 9th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Harriet Harman wants ‘deadbeat dad’ Jacob-Rees-Mogg to wake up and small the shit

rees mogg nappy

 

If you go to work, make money and provide well for the large family you love, you are, in the words of Harriet Harman, a “deadbeat dad”. To be a good dad, a lively one who matters, you need to wake up and smell the shit, literally.

Harman, the former deputy leader of the Labour Party last seen wooing women to vote Labour by driving around in a – I kid you not – pink bus in her bid to “bring politics to the school gate and the shopping centre”, turning women into a special-interest group, says Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg is a prime example of a “deadbeat dad”.

Celebrity stuff-shirt Rees-Mogg thought it wise to tell everyone after the birth of this sixth child Sixtus that he’d never changed a nappy. “Men who don’t change nappies are deadbeat dads – and that includes Jacob Rees-Mogg,” said Harman.

It’s the kind of preachy micro-management of our lives we should all kick back against. Do we care that the State approves of our ability and willingness to change a nappy? The State should get its nose out of your business – and your kid’s business, too.

For added look-at-me nonsense, Harman also wants all MPs to get six months’ paid parental leave. Hard cheese, mum and dad. You earn enough to hire child care, but Harman wants you at home. You can’t be a working parent. You just can’t.

Who pays for Harman’s regressive ideas? Is there a locum MP to step-in? Or maybe Harman and lots of other nannies can be left to run everything..?

Spotter: Guardian

Posted: 9th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Hetty Douglas should join the Labour Party and really belittle the working class

By way of a follow up to the story of Hetty Douglas, the artist who sneakily took the piss out of scaffolders as they all waited in line for a McDonald’s in central London, the victims’ employer has issued a statement. It alerts readers to people, like Hetty, who equate high-vis jackets and steel-toe boot with stupidity. GKR scaffolding also notes that many highly successful businesses have been created by people with few or no academic qualifications – to say nothing of self-taught artists:

 

GKR hetty douglas

 

Hetty Douglas has now deleted her Instagram account. But her work remains online. As they say, no publicity is bad publicity. Although Hetty may be a little put out that the people she publicly labelled thick are appraising her work and, as the Sun says, finding it wanting. “Too much time on Facebook does this to you,” comes one comment. “Probably done at 5am after a late night,” is another.

 

 

Not that Hetty is of the same planet as her critics. On her website, Hetty’s bio presents Hetty in the third person.

Hetty Douglas makes work that represents both the light and dark that comes with simply existing. Douglas simultaneously conveys, subverts and celebrates the complexities of trust, sexual boundaries,and the labyrinth of unspoken intimacies of masculine/feminine truths.

The flippant and challenging textual content of this work is a deeply personal response to past and present relationships. It is obscure and hidden, and thus serves its unintentional purpose – to provoke an exploration of sincere emotions.

Underneath the tantalising layers of Douglas’s work lies a clear pursuit for something that truly matters – astable place and a true identity in a world that can happily chew you up, spit you out and not think twice about it.

Can Hetty turn adversity to her advantage? After all, the best bit of this story is that her Instagram photo is the most artful thing she’s produced. A series is surely in the offing, in which Hetty gets to the essence of what it is to exist today with a series of images in which she derides not only workmen, but also bankers, grammar school children, men on trains, the fat, smokers and Essex men. She should find a ready market for her stuff in the Labour Party.

 

Posted: 8th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Kak-handed Spanish police alienate Saudi King

Look out Bournemouth, here come the Saudis! Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz is most displeased with the treatment meted out to his eldest son, Prince Abudullah, as he dined with his entourage at Marbella’s Finca Besaya eatery. Spain’s Territorial Security Unit raided the place, reportedly acting on a tip-off that members of the royals’ security detail were not carrying the required permits.

The prince’s party were asked for IDs and interrogated, and, as one eyewitness claims, “treated like terrorists”. For a double-whammy, the armed police then raided another restaurant, El Ancla, where Prince Abdullah’s daughter, Princess Susu, was celebrating her 17th birthday, again the story goes that two of her bodyguards had not been properly certificated.

 

finca besaya raid

 

So incensed is King Salman by the police’s actions that he’s threatening to pack up his millions – his presence is estimated to be worth €100,000 a day to the local economy; and that’s just in handbags – and never to return to Spain.

 

saudi king row marbella

saudi king row marbella

 

Well, that’s if you read EuroNews and believe my source who claims to be close to the King’s circle. The local Costa del Sol news paints a very different picture:

A National Police inspection of the private security guard detail of the Saudi royal family, carried out last week at a restaurant and a private property in Marbella, revealed that four guards had no license to act as security guards and were carrying blank-firing pistols, not real ones. Police officials said a representative of the Saudi royal family thanked the department and told it that the guards would be fired [no pun intended].

El Mundo also reports the fiasco as a triumph of Spanish policing – via Google Translate:

The National Police has detected irregularities in the escort service of members of the Saudi royal family who spends their holidays in Marbella when they discover that the four men in charge of their security do not have the professional qualification required to carry out this function…

In the first, Princess Susu celebrated her 17th birthday and in the second her father, Prince Abdullah, son of King Salman of Saudi Arabia, dined with his family to fire his vacation. Faced with this situation, Prince Abdullah lodged a complaint with the Spanish Ministry of Interior for a supposed vexatious treatment of the police to his family and his entourage . The officers, according to their version, came to gag their daughter. For their part, escorts of the royal delegation denounced that the police action was excessive and that they asked for passports and documentation without allowing them to give any explanation.

The police argue that the inspections were carried out with “absolute respect”, without “at any time” occurring “no violence or intimidation” . He also underlined that the identifications were carried out by plainclothes agents and uniformed police officers to avoid “any confusion in the inspection”.

The troublesome thing for the heavy-handed Spaniards is that a source tells me that when the French upset the King a few years ago – he wanted a public beach reserved exclusively for his use; locals objected with a 100,000-name petition – he left and vowed never to return to his family’s seafront home in Vallauris, preferring to take his summer hols at his palace on the beach in Tangier. He’s not holidayed in France since.

So with France and Spain out, Bournemouth it is.

 

Posted: 6th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Double rapist who underwent sex change harasses inmates in his women’s prison

Here’s one to ponder. Martin Ponting, 50, a father-of-three, is serving a life sentence for raping two young girls. Jailed in 1995, Ponting became Jessica Martina Winfield after a sex change operation paid for by the NHS. In 2007, Winfield told prisoners’ newspaper Inside Time:

“Unfortunately there is a minority of staff and inmates that give me a hard time because of my sexuality, possibly through lack of understanding and empathy.

“So not only do I have the problem of dealing with serious emotional issues surrounding my gender reassignment sex change but also added pressures and issues due to comments and abuse from certain individuals… I work in the main kitchens here at Whitemoor and the majority of staff and management, along with most inmates, have been extremely supportive. The same on my wing.

“I have changed my name to that of a female to prove to the authorities and everyone concerned that I am very serious about my gender and that I do not feel right being a man. I feel like a female trapped in a male body.

The State stepped in, helping through surgery Ponting solve any self-declared incongruence between his biological sex and gender identity, what the NHS terms ‘gender dysphoria’.

In March 2017, the rapist now known as Winfield was transferred from Cambridgeshire’s male-only HMP Whitemoor to Europe’s largest female-only prison, HMP Bronzefield in Surrey.

He’s now been segregated from other prisoners for allegedly making inappropriate advances.

One of his victims told the Sun in March: “There are not enough words to describe him and the evil he has done. It is diabolical they have allowed him to have a sex change and diabolical that he could be freed this year. He may have changed physically but his brain is still the same.”

When Winfield is released, she can use women-only colleges, women-only cab services, women-only changing rooms and women-only toilets. Might it be that feeling like you imagine a woman thinks and is does not necessarily make you one?

You might also wonder under what tyranny a rapist is housed in a female prison.

Posted: 6th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Whalid trousers cost a fortune to make wearer’s look really poor

poverty porn trousers

 

As the blurb states:

Walid al Damirji’s sharp eye is what makes his pieces for By Walid so covetable. Sourcing vintage treasures to incorporate into handsome thoughtful pieces, texture, colour and shape define his collections. Clothing from the past is transformed into pieces with modern sensibility.

And the £798 trousers you can see in the photo above and below:

Walid’s lightweight tonal-brown and navy silk-poplin Boro-print Morton trousers are artfully ripped and patchworked together for an offbeat lived-in feel. They suspend from an elasticated waistband into a slim-fitting shape that tapers at the knees, then are lent a further discerning twist by the extended raw seams. Runs true to size.

 

walid trousers

Putting the wally in Walid

 

Or as Nigel Meister puts it:

[Dept. of Contemporary Obscenity] So, these trousers (by Walid) are described as “offbeat and lived in”. They are made of silk. They retail for $951. I doubt anyone who had un-designed trousers that looked anything like these would describe them as “lived in” or “offbeat”. There is something deeply distasteful about this kind of poverty porn (IMO). That the economic misery that an (indubitably artful) design like this implies or references could be worn as an expression of 1% luxury is, to my mind, obscene. It magnifies and exemplifies the economic disconnect rampant in our world. It is vivid symptom of a kind of moral rot at the heart of late-stage capitalism in the 21st century.

Goes well with hat (£3,545), artisan stick (£8,986) straw (£98) and bare feet (model’s own):

 

whalid clothes

 

Spotter: Nigel Maister

Posted: 5th, September 2017 | In: Fashion, Key Posts, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Free speech: Robbie Travers, Esme Allman and the great Macaroon War

We’re all suspects now. What we say is written down on Twitter and Facebook can be used to ridicule and incarcerate us at any time. News reaches us of Robbie Travers, a 21-year-old law student at the Edinburgh university. Travers has 1980s hair and, reportedly, an ongoing investigation for having committed a hate crime.

 

Robbie Travers

Not Carol Decker

 

The 21-year-old third-year student wrote on Facebook post after the US Air Force bombed an ISIS stronghold in Afghanistan in April: “I’m glad we could bring these barbarians a step closer to collecting their 72 virgins.”

The Mail says his fellow student Esme Allman, a second-year history student and the former black and ethnic minority convenor of the university’s students’ association, accused Travers of Islamophobia. Her complaint goes:

“Not only do I believe this behaviour to be in breach of the student code of conduct, but his decision to target the BME Liberation Group at the University of Edinburgh, and how he has chosen to do so, puts minority students at risk and in a state of panic and fear while attending the University of Edinburgh.”

The Sun says her accusation has triggered “outrage”.

Travers adds an update on Facebook:

“Afraid I’ve been a little more quiet as I have been accused of Islamophobia because I mocked ISIS, and I’m being investigated on such a ground by my University. Mocking ISIS allegedly made Islamic and minority students feel ‘threatened’ and ‘unsafe,’ so goes the complainant’s ramblings. Have engaged legal advice to dismiss this nonsense. Wish me luck.”

The Times hears from Travers:

He said: “I am deeply worried that I am being investigated for comments which are expressions of opinion in a jovial way . . . I do not incite the harassment or racist treatment, nor attack anyone with an illegal suggestion or suggest, indeed, that they be deprived of their human rights.”

Allman is quoted further – and for those of you not versed in student speak, this is pretty much what now passes for the norm:

“I value inclusivity as well as building and preserving safe spaces for us. Creating a truly intersectional campaign is incredibly important to me and my first job will be to work alongside the other liberation groups to ensure EUSA are fully representative of our views. Here at Edinburgh I want BME Students to engage in conversations about the issues that affect us.”

The big news is that Robbie Travers is in the news. And he might well like it that way.

 

 

In 2015, he told The Tab:

“I can also talk about football and rugby, if you like. And, sometimes, I just like to go and have a little dance at a party”, he said. “But being a public figure means that people engage with you as a ‘brand’ rather than as a real person”.

Meanwhile…on Twitter Ido Bock – “Writer for the New Statesman, Haaretz, Prospect, CapX” – has some claims regarding Travers’ postings:

 

 

Exciting times on campus, where everyone’s a victim.

Posted: 5th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Nurse Alex Wubbels arrested and assaulted for obeying the law

To Salt Lake City, where police detective Jeff Payne intends to take blood from an injured man undergoing treatment at the University of Utah Hospital’s burns unit. To remove blood you need the patient’s consent. But he’s out cold. What to do, then? The injured man is not under arrest. But Payne wants that blood. So he tells Nurse Alex Wubbels to take it. She refuses. Wubbels seeks advice. Her supervisor tells her not to take the blood – doing so would mean breaking the law. But Detective Payne disagrees.

So he grabs her, bundles her outside, pushes her against a wall and slaps her in handcuffs. A host of other overweight, unsympathetic cops look on. Thankfully, one of them films the whole assault on a body camera.

The Washington Post has more:

Nurse Alex Wubbels politely stood her ground. She got her supervisor on the phone so Payne could hear the decision loud and clear. “Sir,” said the supervisor, “you’re making a huge mistake because you’re threatening a nurse.”

Payne snapped. He seized hold of the nurse, shoved her out of the building and cuffed her hands behind her back. A bewildered Wubbels screamed “help me” and “you’re assaulting me” as the detective forced her into an unmarked car and accused her of interfering with an investigation.

The explosive July 26 encounter was captured on officers’ body cameras and is now the subject of an internal investigation by the police department, as the Salt Lake Tribune reported Thursday. The videos were released by the Tribune, the Deseret News and other local media.

On top of that, Wubbels was right. The U.S. Supreme Court has explicitly ruled that blood can only be drawn from drivers for probable cause, with a warrant.

Wubbels, who was not criminally charged, played the footage at a news conference Thursday with her attorney. They called on police to rethink their treatment of hospital workers and said they had not ruled out legal action.

 

 

Salt Lake police says Detective Payne is still on active duty – sleep easy, people – but that he has been “suspended” from the department’s blood draw unit.

Indeed, readers, what happened to the good old days when police obtained blood by smacking you over the head in the back of the van, where nobody could see?

Posted: 4th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Dear Coleen: Wayne Rooney tips and where you can find Laura Simpson

laura simpson

 

Everton’s former Manchester United and England footballer Wayne Rooney only had a “kiss and a cuddle” with Laura Simpson, 29, whose car he was driving when police nicked him for drink driving. All the tabloids wonder what this means for his marriage to Coleen Rooney. The Mirror says she’s fearful for the couple’s three children, “worried about playground taunts” because kids can be cruel.

Coleen, we learn, is also worried about media intrusion. Which is presumably why she, as the Sun reports, uploaded photos of her boys on Instagram and wrote: “No matter where I am they always follow me, and I hope that last forever.” No, not a coded message to the paparazzi, marketeers and celebrity magazines. That was a “heavy hint that she would keep the kids with her if Wayne and she split”.

 

laura simpson

 

By now you’re itching to know more about pneumatic Laura Simpson, who “boasts” (Mirror) of having 32E breasts, which Wayne “ogled”, hair extensions, false eyelashes, Botox and lip enhancers. Unlike Wayne, she does not smoke and have a spouse, but she does have a child.

The Sun then pinpoints the single mother struggling to make a living, helping anyone who wants to bounce into and off of Laura find her. We learn that she works at a lettings agency (wages: £38,000 a year); once went on two trips to Dubai in one month; is “cash-strapped”; and lives in a “terraced house in Irlam, Greater Manchester”. If you can’t find her there, maybe you can reach her on the sugar daddy website, where the Sun says she functions under the name “Lolaura”.

 

laura simpson

 

As journalists and pornographers stampede to Laura’s door, the kindness of strangers kicks in. In “Dear Coleen”, Coleen Nolan, writes an open letter to her namesake. “Oh love, my heart ached for you yesterday,” says Coleen, to say nothing of her mouth and she dictated 300 words of to-deadline advice. “Back from holiday, piles of washing to sort, school uniforms to get ready,” says Nolan, proving she has the inside track on the life of a woman who counts her millions by the dozen. “Whenever anyone askw me for advice,” says Nolan, “my first tip is…” Call my agent? “…never, ever, make life-changing decisions when emotions are high.” Coleen’s life is far from over because as Nolan reminds her, she too has been cheated on by a wayward and well-known husband, and had her private life scrutinised in the national press. She moved on, forging a new life as the Woman Whose Famous Husband Cheated On Her And Had Her Life Scrutinised In The Press in the Mirror and on TV’s Loose Women. Hang in there, Coleen. There’s a multifaceted career in this, maybe.

More advice for Coleen in the Mail, where Bel Mooney has “inimitable advice” for the Rooney. “Dear Coleen,” begins the heartfelt advice once more, it being a well-established fact that Coleen is a dear and likes to surround herself with dear things, some very dear, some very, very dear. “Bloody men, eh,” says Bel. “At it again!” As with Nolan, Mooney presents herself as Coleen’s kindred spirit. Coleen was born in Liverpool and so too was Mooney. Wayne was boozing with Laura in Alderley Edge’s Bubble Room.”My best friend lives in Alderly Edge,” says Money, “and I’ve been to  those upmarket joints, Piccolino’s and  the Bubble Room”.

“Good luck, Bel,” says Mooney, which sounds a bit like Rooney, and a bit self-obsessed.

Good luck, Coleen!

 

Helen Wood

Picture 1 of 9

Wood is, reportedly, the other woman who shagged Wayne Rooney in a lesbian threesome with Jennifer Thompson. The Manchester United player got Wood in a package deal, allegedly. NSFW Video: Wayne Rooney’s Jennifer Thompson Sex Tape Helen is 23 and a single mum. Wayne’s own wife, Coleen Rooney, is not a single mum – yet – but she will surely take it a boost to her confidence that her husband might not only shag childless women but someone whose body has been through childbirth.

Posted: 4th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Diana and Me: Paul Burrell’s Paris pilgrimage and the day he died

Just in case you hadn’t heard, it’s 20 years since the death of Princess Diana. The Diana Industry is in full cry. In today’s instalment, former royal servant Paul Burrell is seen eying the site of the car cash that killed his boss in Paris and sharing his “troubling questions” over her death.

Paul’s thoughts are front-page news in the Mirror. And on pages 4 and 5 you get a lot more of them. Burrell, who has made a career from being Diana’s “Rock”, says, “My heart tells me it was a terrible accident.” To say nothing of the countless books, coroner’s reports, police inquiry, TV specials and a million to-deadline opinions about the car crash.

Paul then takes time out to gives us a city tour. He says he “never realised how close the Eiffel Tower was” to the Pont de l’Alma tunnel, where Diana died, an underpass he “never realised” was so small. “Now I realise it [the Tower] must have been the last thing she saw before the crash,” says Paul.

Having realised much and shared her last view, Burrell then shares Diana’s demise, albeit mentally. “I dreamt last night I would crash and die in the exact same place,” says Burrell. Not all dreams come true. And Paul is alive to place a “touching” card on the bridge. It says – and it’s all written in easy-to-read capital letters:

YOU WILL BE WITH ME FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE … AND ONE DAY WE WILL BE RE-UNITED AND SIT AND LAUGH AND LOVE.

YOUR ROCK.

P.

Always nice when a staff member enjoys their work, but Paul seems a tad besotted with Diana. He says it took a few hours before he realised “she had left me”. In the hospital where she died, coppers showed him the room where Diana is lying, her hair washed, her body carrying the scent of formaldehyde – “I can still smell it, like I still smell her perfume, Hermes 24 Faubourg.” The Mirror plays along, saying Burrell was “the first person to see her body” (if  so, who washed her hair and declared her dead?). He says he entered the room to “stare death in the face”. Lest you think facing the Grim Reaper something you do when faced with your own mortality, Burrell opines: “I’d lost my reason for being.”

But he found a new one, and whether it be talking about Diana in the tabloids, writing about Diana in your book, eating ‘roo gonads on I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!. judging would-be Dianas on Australian Princess, working out anagrams of ‘CROK’ on Countdown, singing on Celebrity Stars in Their Eyes, or shopping on Celebrity Big Brother, Burrell’s soldiered on.

Posted: 30th, August 2017 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Fostering fear and division in Tower Hamlets: the Christian child and her Muslim carers

foster muslim london

 

The Times‘ scoop became a big talking point: a five-year-old, white, native English specking Christian girl had been placed with a Muslim foster family by London’s Tower Hamlet’s council. What problem with that? If the vulnerable child needed help and help was forthcoming, what matter respective religions? The council surely vets foster parents and made an informed choice.

Maybe not.

The girl spent four months with her substitute family. She says the family did not speak English in the home, encouraging her to speak Arabic. Her primary foster carer veiled her face in public. When placed with a second foster family, also Muslim, the girl spoke of regularly eating meals on the floor. The girl was scheduled to return to the first foster carers, but a council worker heard her complain of having had her necklace removed and not returned. The necklace featured a cross-shaped pendant. The girl claimed the family had refused to let her eat carbonara prepared by her family because it contained bacon.

The girl is now back with her family, living with her grandmother on the orders of Judge Khatan Sapnara – the Mail tells readers on its front page, the judge is a Muslim; a fact the Times repeats on page 6 in a lengthy profile on the woman who arrived in the UK as child from her native Bangladesh. Judge Sapnara told the council to seek “culturally matched placements” for children. She also made a stand for free speech. Tower Hamlets tried to block the Times story but failed when Judge Sapnara made it clear she “would not stand in the way of the freedom of the  press to report, within the law and in a responsible manner, in respect of this case.”

The Mail adds that the girl’s family had “pleaded” with the council to let her live with her grandmother. The girl “begged” not to be returned to the Muslim family. By page 17, Sarah Vine is telling readers about the value of “a granny’s love”. But taken in isolation, without us knowing why the child was in care at all, why grandma was overlooked in favour of foster parents and what the foster parents hope to gain from their role, opinion rides roughshod over fact. But Vine tells us that Tower Hamlets advertises foster carer allowances of “£313 and £253 a week”. “That’s a nice little earner,” says Vine.

Easy money? On the Tower Hamlets website we read:

If you are interested in becoming a foster carer you will need to meet with a social worker many times to talk about yourself, your family and your experiences of looking after children. Some people find the idea of this daunting, but our social workers are highly experienced and will do everything they can to help you feel reassured during this process. You will also need to have police and medical checks and will need to ask employers, friends and families to give references.

And Vine’s undersold the job: “Fostering fees and allowances up to £474 per week (per child in placement depending on age).” But, yes, the payments for a five-year-old are as she says. Fostering is a cottage industry. Why the public sector is turning child care into a job creation opportunity is not touched upon. And it costs:

In the 2013/14 financial year an estimated £2.5 billion (gross expenditure) was spent on the main looked after children’s services in England. The majority of expenditure (55%) was on foster care services (around £1.4 billion, 55%) and children’s homes (around £0.9 billion, 36%).

So much for the money.

What’s wrong is when Vine says the “real scandal” is that social services “would rather pay someone, irrespective of whether or not  he child will be miserable, than find a home where someone wants  to offer the one thing that has no price: a mother’s love.”

Eh? Surely is can be argued that the “strict Muslim” women was offering  just that: a place where the child would be treated like one of their own. Moreover, where is the child’s mother? Is she able or capable of offering the kid of love Vine seeks? Let’s not pretend a mother’s love is the ultimate nurturer of life and love.

Also troubling is that the story is presented as one of child abuse. The child was refused food. The child  was with “strict” adults. The child was upset. The child “sobbed”. Everything is presented to make readers suspicious of adults. The child’s view is pure and passes challenged. We’ve not heard from the Muslim women at the centre of the story. The overriding impression from reading this story is that when society revolves around child protection, everyone who works with children is cast as a suspect.

Posted: 30th, August 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Trucker has tattoo of himself driving his own body

trucker tattoo

 

Trucker Kenny Ollerenshaw got a tattoo of himself driving his own body. You can get one from Richard Batey of Immortal Art Studio.

Spotter: Design Taxi

Posted: 26th, August 2017 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Reclaim the Internet and protecting the dead from online abuse

Twitter can be nasty place, full of angry prudes, prigs, bigots and berks. And then you’ve got the nastier types. The Fawcett Society says Twitter is “failing women” threatened online. The Fawcett Society is, as it says it is, the “UK’s leading charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights”. Created in 1866 to campaign for women’s suffrage – from championing equality the group now wants special rules to protect women (facepalm) –  the charity is now looking at free speech and law in partnership with a group called Reclaim the Internet. Which is? Well, it’s mission statement begins: “The internet must be a forum for freedom of speech. But…”

If there’s a ‘but’ there’s no free speech, is there. Yvette Cooper, the Labour MP who set up the organisation that seeks to control what can and cannot be said, might not be able to see the irony of her position, but anyone who values free speech should.

free speech fawcett

This comes after last week’s news that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has vowed to “treat online crime as seriously as offline offences”. The CPS will “prosecute complaints of hate crime online with the same robust and proactive approach used with offline offending”.

The Telegraph has more:

The two groups identified 14 cases of threats and abuse against women including the MPs Luciana Berger, Diane Abbott and the late Jo Cox, as well as the campaigner Gina Miller, and reported them to Twitter earlier this month.

Tweets reported by the two groups also included threats of rape as well as images and video of apparently non-consensual sexual acts alongside abusive comments aimed at groups of women including migrants and Muslims.

On Monday night five of the 14 accounts remained active with the tweets in question still on the site, while Twitter had taken up to nine days to suspend the other accounts reported to it…

The offending tweets included a vile slur on the late MP Jo Cox, who was murdered by a constituent in 2016, and racist and misogynistic abuse directed at the shadow home secretary Diane Abbott. Other tweets included a description of raping migrants as “ethnic cleansing”.

Can you sue someone for saying something nasty about a dead person? Seems pretty incredible. Especially given that the prop is that online threats carry the same weight as threats carried out in the real world, where real sticks and stones can break your bones.

It all creates more questions. What’s abusive? Who gets to decide when words are illegal? Is it up to the police and then the CPS to decide? The law is sure to be very busy looking into every tweet someone found beyond the pale and reported? Are there enough resources? And do you want to live in a nation of narks getting off on setting the full weight of law on a fool who made a moronic, challenging or rude comment online?

Might be best to debate all this and more face to face, say in the pub, where notes are not taken and used in evidence against you. Problem is that since our protectors brought in the smoking ban and pubs started to become gastro-led family creches or flats, that option’s not all that attractive. Pub’s are out. Graffiti’s illegal and any conversation could take years. And no-one reads the papers, so letters to the editor are useless. So shouting at pigeons in the precinct it is, then. How’s that for progress?

Posted: 22nd, August 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


After Barcelona: people are fighting Islamists with candles

Marina Ginesta, anti-fascist fighter during the Spanish Civil War. This picture was taken in Barcelona in the summer of 1936.

 

After mass murder on the streets of Barcelona, how are people responding? When a nutcase allegedly murdered a woman at a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, hashtags exhorted us to #PunchaNazi. The Guardian wrote 31 stories on the fight between Nazis and counterprotestors in a small US city.

British TV news featured Social Justice Warriors toppling the Confederate Soldiers Monument in Durham, North Carolina, and kicking it. Rage was the watchword.

The Nazis were not true Americans, we were told. Calls came to sack protestors from work places and colleges, to make them unemployable. The SJW presented a few hundred Nazis who move their lips when they once read bits of Mein Kampf as the vanguard of a Fourth Reich, with themselves cast as the embodiment of the Dunkirk spirit, ‘The Few’ giving no quarter in the bloody battle for civilisation.

And then came the slaughter of 13 people out and about in a touristy part of Barcelona. In the past three years, 460 (and rising) people have been murdered by Islamists in Western Europe. #PunchAnIslamist was not tending on Twitter. It never has done. Symbols of Islamism are not being torn down. The racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, misogynistic, rapacious, murderous, thieving, barbaric Islamists who seek to colonise the world will be defeated with candles, repurposed pop songs and hugs. Because in the playbook of the right-on, it’s not about them. It’s all about us.

From being hymned “Don’t look back in anger” after the jihadi attack on Manchester and encouraged to “Imagine” John Lennon’s anodyne world of total peace, we will not rage against the horror in Barcelona. We will stand together with candles and stare into the light until it dies.

Photo above: Marina Ginesta, anti-fascist fighter during the Spanish Civil War. This picture was taken in Barcelona in the summer of 1936.

 

 

Posted: 19th, August 2017 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Charlottesville racist casts off his robes and declares ‘I’m an actor not a Nazi’ (video)

More on the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a would-be white supremacist is casting off his white polo, cap and khakis (apparently dressing like a golfer makes you a fascist. Who knew? Discuss) and tells the counter-demonstrators chasing him he’s not Nazi. He’s just playing dress-ups and shouting in public. He might even be golfer in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“In the hole!”

 

 

CJ Hunt recored their conversation:

Since I’m a person of color, my identity is not a uniform I can take off when I am feeling unsafe—when I’m stopped by police or when my white girlfriend and I travel through southern towns where Confederate flags billow from porches and pickup trucks. Like all minorities, I’ve grown used to the way that difference marks me—the burden of being ever ready for the moment my skin turns me into a target for angry white men determined to take back what they think the world owes them.

Maybe the lad’s an actor? In the run-up to the fighting, an LA-based company posted an advert of Craigslist. The company called Crowds on Demand, a “public relations firm specializing in innovative events”, was looking for protestors. For a decent $25 per hour “actors and photographers” were invited to get involved in events in the Charlotte, NC area”n  If you’re “ok with participating in peaceful protests:, then get in touch.”

The ad chimed:

Actors and Photographers Wanted in Charlotte

Crowds on Demand, a Los Angeles-based Public Relations firm specializing in innovative events, is looking for enthusiastic actors and photographers in the Charlotte, NC area to participate in our events. Our events include everything from rallies to protests to corporate PR stunts to celebrity scenes. The biggest qualification is enthusiasm, a “can-do” spirit. Pay will vary by event but typically is $25+ per hour plus reimbursements for gas/parking/Uber/public transit.

For more information about us, please visit www.crowdsondemand.com

If you’re interested in working with us, please reply to this posting with the following info:

Full Name

Prior relevant experience (as an actor/performer, photographer, brand ambassador, political activist, etc)

When are you usually available for work?

Resume (optional)

If you’re a photographer, what equipment do you use?

Are you ok with participating in peaceful protests (optional)?

And a screenshot of the original post:

 

Crowds on Demand add under a section on their websiteProtests and Rallies”:

Are you looking to create a buzz anywhere in the United States? At Crowds on Demand, we provide our clients with protests, rallies, flash-mobs, paparazzi events and other inventive PR stunts. These services are available across the country in every major U.S city, every major U.S metro area and even most smaller cities as well. We provide everything including the people, the materials and even the ideas. You can come to us with a specific plan of action and we can make it happen. OR, you can approach us with a general  idea and we can help you plan the strategy then execute it.

We’ve made campaigns involving hundreds of people come to action in just days. We have a proven record of delivering major wins on even the toughest campaigns and delivering phenomenal experiences with even the most logistically challenging events.

The CEO of Crowds on Demand tells Snopes:

“We were not involved in any capacity with the recent tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those impacted by the violence”

As he asks: “Silly question, but if your cause is worthy of protest then why would you need to pay $25 per hour to get people to show up?”

Fake news isn’t just being made in journalism boiler rooms; it’s being made on the street.

Spotter: GQ

 

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


Charlottesville: white supremacist rally brings out liberals’ inner Nazi

Peter Cvjetanovic

 

Do you agree that pin-brained loons on the furthest reaches of the far right deserve free speech? Should Nazis get the same freedom of expression as the extreme far Left, the softest liberals, jihadis, Christians and the rest of us? If you answer ‘no’, you’re wrong. They should do.

You don’t earn the right to have an opinion; you have it by hard-won right.

If you ban one group from free thought and free expression you badly damage democracy. Bans on what can and cannot be said stymie progressive thought. Bans on free speech hand sovereign power to the authorities, who can then judge what it is the rest of us get to hear. You want Donald Trump to be charge of what can and cannot be said?

And hands up who wants to read the banned stuff, those words deemed taboo and too potent for your feeble mind to scrutinise with reason and ridicule? Banning it fetishises the thoughts you want destroyed. There are already enough berks jacking off to Nazi memorabilia. No need to encourage them.

On the shrill and wholly intolerant Change.org site, people are being invited to add their name to the petition “Fire & Expel Peter Cvjetanovic”. He’s the gurning loon goon filmed chanting white nationalist slogans during the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where one woman allegedly was murdered. The petition calls for the University of Nevada, where Cvjetanovic studies, to boot him out. The petitioner writes:

We heard your statement about how it is challenging to expel him on legal grounds, but we are asking you to do it for moral reasons based on your school’s code of conduct. And we are asking you to do it because it is the right thing to do. 

Says who? Says you.

What a sad time we’re living in where we have to convince an institution of higher learning to expel a student for marching with the KKK and neo-Nazis.

No. A sad time was when you had to be in the Nazi party to go to college. One cretin giving full throat to his putrid thoughts is not sad for anything but him.

We know Cvjetanovic. Buy who else have the armchair detectives found? The New York Times reports:

After a day of work at the Engineering Research Center at the University of Arkansas, Kyle Quinn had a pleasant Friday night in Bentonville with his wife and a colleague. They explored an art exhibition at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and dined at an upscale restaurant.

Then on Saturday, he discovered that social media sleuths had incorrectly identified him as a participant in a white nationalist rally some 1,100 miles away in Charlottesville, Va. Overnight, thousands of strangers across the country had been working together to share photographs of the men bearing Tiki torches on the University of Virginia campus. They wanted to name and shame them to their employers, friends and neighbors. In a few cases, they succeeded.

Mr. Quinn, who runs a laboratory dedicated to wound-healing research, was quickly flooded with vulgar messages on Twitter and Instagram, he said in an interview on Monday. Countless people he had never met demanded he lose his job, accused him of racism and posted his home address on social networks…

“You have celebrities and hundreds of people doing no research online, not checking facts,” he said. 

Celebs like Jennifer Lawrence, who told her Facbeook followers:

“These are the faces of hate. Look closely and post anyone you find. You can’t hide with the internet you pathetic cowards!”As Twitchy notes, 

Say the wrong thing and the enlightened with pick up their torches, track down people and threaten’ them. Nice. As Reason states: “‘No Free Speech for Fascists’ Is a Truly Terrible Idea: The ACLU is right: Do you really want Donald Trump deciding who gets free speech?”

Greenwald gets it:

Last week, the ACLU sparked controversy when it announced that it was defending the free speech rights of alt-right activist Milo Yiannopoulos after the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority refused to allow ads for his book to be displayed on public transit. Lost in the debate was that other groups the ACLU was defending along with Yiannopoulos were also censored under the same rule: Carafem, which helps women access birth control and medication abortion; the animal rights group PETA; and the ACLU itself.

For representing Yiannopoulos, the civil liberties group was widely accused of defending and enabling fascism. But the ACLU wasn’t “defending Yiannopoulos” as much as it was opposing a rule that allows state censorship of any controversial political messages the state wishes to suppress: a rule that is often applied to groups which are supported by many who attacked the ACLU here.

The same formula was applied yesterday when people learned that the ACLU of Virginia had represented the white supremacist protesters in Charlottesville after city officials tried to ban the group from gathering in Emancipation Park where a statue of Robert E. Lee was to be removed.

Free speech for all, then. No buts. Karl R. Popper explains further in The Open Society and Its Enemies:

The so-called paradox of freedom is the argument that freedom in the sense of absence of any constraining control must lead to very great restraint, since it makes the bully free to enslave the meek. The idea is, in a slightly different form, and with very different tendency, clearly expressed in Plato.

Freedom from; or freedom to?

Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. — In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.”

In short: don’t be a Nazi.

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


British spite rules! The grotesque Garden Bridge is dead

Hurrah! Boris Johnson’s vulgar Garden Bridge will not happen. Londoners should rejoice that this corporate carbuncle is dead. But not everyone is pleased. The Times says the Garden Bridge over the River Thames was “killed off by ‘spiteful’ mayor at cost of £50m”. Reading that you might suppose London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s spite cost £50m. But you’d be wrong.

 

garden bridge

Turning the Thames into a moat

 

The comment was made by Johnson, now foreign secretary, who opined: “It is so sad that Sadiq Khan has killed the Garden Bridge and wasted so much time and money. Labour has no vision for London and no ambition. The garden bridge was a beautiful project. The Labour mayor claimed to support it but killed it out of spite – because it was not initiated in his period of office. The only crumb of comfort is that good plans have been developed and can be readily revived.”

Good plans for a vanity project. Maybe they can be sold to Dubai or some other place where style of the obvious and expensive sort masks the lack of substance? The grotesque bridge Johnson’s childhood pal Joanna Lumley called a “tiara for the Thames” was much more a space for corporate shindigs than a useful and grand public crossing. Situated 200 metres from an existing bridge, the Garden Bridge was to be accessed by stairs or lift, closed between midnight and 6am and for several days a year (so the corporate well off can enjoy it) and paid for by £37.4m of public funding.

Whereas New York’s High Line gives the city a green walkway made out of a former elevated rail track on stilts, the bridge – five times the square-foot cost of the High Line – was a skin-deep marketing venture.

So why does the Times lead with the “spite” and not the soaring costs of the expensive eyesore? The paper features a “strongly worded letter to Mr Khan” from Lord Davies of Abersoch, chairman of the Garden Bridge Trust, in which he moans: “About £9 million of public funds has been committed since the mayoral election, and had you made [in May 2016] the announcement you have made now, then most of that expenditure would have been avoided.”

Right enough. It should have been killed at the earliest opportunity. But if you’re going to focus on Khan’s costly dithering, why not mention also Johnson and his chums? The Times does note: “Although supporters had hoped that another benefactor would rescue the project, the estimated cost rose from £60 million to £200 million”. It was going to cost a lot more – and what of the ongoing maintenance?

And then this:

Despite raising £70 million in pledges, including £20 million from the Monument Trust, a charity, £10 million from Glencore, the mining company, and £5 million from Sky, a funding gap of £85 million remained.

So says the Times (prop, Rupert Murdoch) of Sky (prop. R. Murdoch). Part of the bridge the taxpayers funded and the elite wanted was to be named in honour of – yep – Sky.

The paper adds in “Behind the story”:

When work began in 2013, the Garden Bridge project showed every sign of flourishing and one day bearing fruit (Jonathan Morrison writes). It enjoyed the support of Boris Johnson, the London mayor and, through him, Transport for London; it had the blessing of George Osborne; and it enjoyed widespread support in the media and from celebrities.

Lumley loved it.

The design by Thomas Heatherwick, the man behind the London Olympics cauldron, was hailed as a masterpiece: showcasing, as the Games had done, the vein of optimism and genius running through Britain. Soon, £60 million had been allocated from the public purse.

A bad press helped to turn public opinion against the project…

Nah. The bad press had nothing to do with it’s spiking. Honesty did.

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