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Gosport Scandal: killing the old is easy but facts are hard

Dr Jane Barton’s is the face we are getting to know. The Mail leads with the demand “PUT HER IN THE DOCK”. On what charge? The Express demands “justice for hundreds killed by ‘Dr Death'”.

 

Dr Jane Barton

 

Dr Jane Barton

 

Dr Barton, dubbed ‘Dr Opiate’,  is “blamed” for failings that costs up to 650 lives  at Gosport Memorial Hospital. The dead were aged 62 to 99. the saying is true: if you want to be invisible, go grey.

A report “accused” Dr Barton of “giving patients powerful drugs they did not need”. The number of dead is staggering: 456 people died after being prescribed opioids “without medial justification”; the records of 200 more have gone missing. The Mail guesses that “they probably suffered a similar fate”.

Who needs fact when you’re talking about life, death and justice?

 

Dr Jane Barton

 

Dr Barton worked at the hospital between 1988 and 2000. The deaths making news occurred between 1987 and 2001. The report by the former Bishop of Liverpool James Jones does not mention her alone. His report is, says the paper, “scathing” about senior consultants, nurses, pharmacists and managers at the Hampshire hospital. None of them are pictured in any newspaper.

The dead have been the subject of reports, three police investigations, two reviews by medical bodies and 11 inquests. Nurses raised concerns decades ago. And not a single criminal charge has been levelled at anyone. The word conspiracy is flung around. Its reach extends to scores of people. But is it valid?

On pages 6 to 11, Mail readers hear more of the “deadliest coverup”. One fact seems notable above others: in 2010 the GMC found Dr Barton guilty of misconduct and that she prescribed “potentially hazardous” amounts of drugs. She retained her licence to practice medicine. The Mail says she was made the subject of sanctions, one being that she could not prescribe opiates for three years. In March 2010 Dr Barton retired on a “fat” pension.

 

Dr Jane Barton

“Murder.” Who mentioned murder?

 

We’re not being invited to sympathise with Dr Barton. But what we crave are facts. But the papers can’t get the most basic of those right. The Mail says Dr Barton is 69. The Sun says she’s 70. The Mail says she is in Menorca. The Express says she’s in Majorca.

 

Dr Jane Barton

The Express: Barton is 69 in Menoca

 

Dr Jane Barton

The Sun: Barton is 70

 

Dr Jane Barton

The Mail: Barton is 69 in Majorca

 

It’s worth noting that Dr Barton has not been charged with any criminal offence – ever. But you know who has…  Yep. Dr Harold Shipman.

 

Dr Jane Barton

 

Barton Shipman

 

Dr Jane Barton

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 21st, June 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment


Ant McPartlin, monstered Lisa and the blonde ‘rock’ who saved telly

Ant MacPartlin’s drugs habit and drink-driving have kept the papers busy. And now we read about his lover, one Anne-Marie Corbett, a 42-year-old married mum-of two. She used to work as a personal assistant to Ant and his wife Lisa. All tawdry and predictable stuff: married TV star takes drugs, drinks too much and shags blonde. But what’s interesting is how the tabloids are taking sides. You can tell which side they are on – Ant: the one who might give you interviews, sell newspapers and secure TV exclusives; or Lisa: the woman who won’t.

The Sun is Team Ant. Describing Anne-Marie as Ant’s “rock”, the Sun produces these photos of the trio:

 

ant mcpartlin anne-Marie Corbett

The Rock and the Hard Face. Ann-Marie is “upset” says the caption. Poor Anne-Marie.

 

ant mcpartlin anne-Marie Corbett

The photo the Sun chose to show of Lisa, who is not a drink-driver, has not taken drugs and has not been comforted by another

 

ant mcpartlin anne-Marie Corbett

The happy couple – look how happy Ant is. And we want him to be happy. He’s on the telly.

 

The Sun also adds that “blazing rows over his £62 million fortune have made it [divorce] increasingly acrimonious”. His fortune? Not their fortune? Childhood sweethearts Ant and Lisa have been married since 2006. This is about Ant and us continuing to like him. Good old Ant:

 

ant mcpartlin divorce

Good old Ant sharing his money with his wife. Waddaguy!

 

The Mirror leads with news that Lisa “suspected” Ant was with Ann-Marie “months ago”. Poor Lisa. Let’s take a look at her:

 

ant mcpartlin anne-Marie Corbett

 

ant mcpartlin anne-Marie Corbett

Page 5 family – Lisa looks pretty good

 

ant mcpartlin anne-Marie Corbett

Lisa Armstong in “torment”

 

ant mcpartlin anne-Marie Corbett

The hard-faced blonde

 

The Mirror says Lisa and Anne-Marie were “pals”. Anne-Marie split from husband Scott in October last year. But that has nothing to do with Ant, say “insiders”. Perish the thought. Ant and Lisa broke up “10 months ago” –  “long before he started dating his new love”. Ten moths ago was September 2017.

Over in the Mail and Lisa is looking happy. Ant is looking happy. Anne-Marie is wearing a “blue summer dress… with a plunging neckline, wedge heels, red lipstick and a Lulu Guinness tote bag”. She looks “glamorous”. The Express says Anne-Marie wore her “blonde hair loose”.

The final words is with an “insider, who tells the Express that Ant “could decide to to return to I’m A Celeb. That’s how far  things have changed thanks to Anne-Marie”.

Rejoice! Ant is happy. The show will go on.

 

Posted: 20th, June 2018 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, Tabloids | Comment


Canada seizes control of recreational marijuana market; under 18s turn to crime

marijuana

 

“Canada says ‘yes’ to cannabis,” announces Sky News. But it didn’t. If it could muster the energy to say anything, it mumbled, ‘oh, er, sure.’ Canada has legalised recreational cannabis use, the drug linked to asinine levels of apathy. The country’s Sensate passed the rule by 52 votes in favour and 29 against. The State now controls and regulates how weed is grown, distributed and sold. Let’s hear it for liberty!

Before cannabis was made illegal in Canada in 1923, the government had no control whatsoever. But in 2001 it approved the drug for medical use. And once the wonks get some control, they invariably tighten their grip. So from September smoking a refer will come with government approval. How cool is that?

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted, “It’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana – and for criminals to reap the profits. Today, we change that. Our plan to legalize & regulate marijuana just passed the Senate. #PromiseKept”

So from September it will be easier for over 18s to get marijuana and the government will reap the profits. Under 18s, sorry, dudes, you’ll have to get fake id or buy it in the resale market – but not from your big sister because buying weed from an unlicensed dealer is illegal. And anyone selling weed to a minor is in line for a criminal record and up to 14 year in prison.

The wonks and the police say its ok for adults to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis in public. The government will spend the next year working out what “edibles” are ok and equipping every law enforcement operative with scales. And no more than four plants per household.

But weed is legal. And thanks to Canada, weed is recast as an adult drug, no longer the stuff bored kids puff. It’s a serious narcotic, with budtenders and strains sold like fine wines; and all that marketing guff that turns a recreational spliff into the lifestyle choice for the knowing and dull. And the best bit is that the Government runs the market and makes the money.

Let’s hear it for personal freedom!

 

Posted: 20th, June 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Clickbait balls: Hazard keeps agreeing to leave Chelsea for Real Madrid

On a break from advertising biscuits, Chelsea and Belgium footballer Eden Hazard is doing his best to alienate the club’s fans. Well, he is if the BBC and Sun’s back-page headline is to be believed. “Belgium forward Eden Hazard, 27, has warned his club side Chelsea that ‘Real Madrid could interest me’,” says the BBC. The Sun leads: “EDEN WARNING – Eden Hazard has warned the club he will quit unless they sort things out in the summer.” Warning your employer to work hard to please you is an iffy move. But is that what Hazard really said in an interview with L’Equipe before he flew to Moscow for the World Cup?

What can we believe? Reporting on Hazard is so much more clickbait than fact.

 

hazard chelsea the sun real madrid

 

On January 11, the Sun reported: “EDEN HAZARD has NOT agreed to join Real Madrid in the summer, despite reports.”

Reports like… this one in the Sun from July 2o17. The word ‘agrees’ is in inverted commas but fro SEO purposes hazard to Real Madrid is a statement of fact.

 

hazard chelsea the sun real madrid

 

Not that the Sun is alone in milking the ‘Hazard has gone nowhere for years’ story. In January the Independent said Hazard was staying at Chelsea. Fact.

 

hazard chelsea the sun real madrid

 

The Express told its readers: “…the Belgium international has now quashed rumours that he will leave the Blues by confirming he intends to sign a new deal…However, he has claimed he will not do so until his fellow countryman Thibaut Courtois has also extended his stay at Stamford Bridge.”

Really? No. He said nothing of the sort.

So much for the trusty Express, then, which performed the same trick as the Sun in gearing news for the robots. Like the Sun, the Express said Hazard ‘agrees’ to join Real Madrid. But because Google’s bots don’t read those conniving inverted commas, Hazard to Real is a statement of fact:

 

express hazard transfer

 

So will Hazard remain at Chelsea or leave for Real Madrid? This is what he said when pressed on his future as quoted in the Sun:

“I will stay at Chelsea if the team is better than it was last season. I don’t want to stay if we are less good,” says Hazard, who might reflect on is role in the team and how you can know next season is better before its been played? “It would be too easy for me to say that I want to leave because I have done it all. I have won everything bar the Champions League in London. I am where I am in my career thanks to Chelsea. Above all I would love to know what will happen at the club next season. I will wait and see whether the manager stays or goes. As everybody knows, Real Madrid could interest me. But if tomorrow they don’t want me, I won’t talk about them any more. If they want to buy me they know what they have to do.”

And this is what he said in May, as quoted by the Guardian:

The 27-year-old knows his next contract could well be the last in his prime. “That’s why I’m taking my time,” he said. “It’s something big, so I need to think about a lot of things. But one thing is for sure: I’m happy here.”

Asked to elaborate on the factors that would influence his decision, he added: “I’m waiting for new players next season. I want good players, because I want to win the Premier League next season.

“Like I’ve said many times before, I think the FA Cup final is not my last game for Chelsea. It’s the last game of the season, that’s it. After the World Cup then we will be ready for the next season. But, for me in my mind, I’m here. I have one week to play now. Saturday is a massive game, I just want to win, for me and them also.”

He’s not warning Chelsea over anything, is he? Hazard’s Chelsea contract runs til 2020. He’s not going anywhere unless Real Madrid or any other club pay a huge transfer fee.

NOTE: Maybe he just wants more money? Chelsea are to offer him £300,000 a week says the Sun:

 

hazard chelsea

 

Although according to the Sun they made the offer last year:

 

hazard chelsea wages

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 19th, June 2018 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Key Posts, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Middle-class nightmares: Guardian readers panic over post-Brexit au pair shortage

Brexit matters trouble the Guardian’s readers as they made their way to Jezfest, aka Goodstock. What would it all mean for au pairs? One of the most-read stories on the Guardian’s website begins: “Au pair shortage sparks childcare crisis for families.” This from the paper that mused: “Is au pairing the new slavery?” and “Au pairs on a pittance: the young women minding kids.” And so to the looming Brexit disaster for the Guardian’s caring readers:

Many families are facing a childcare crisis following a 75% slump in the number of young Europeans willing to work as au pairs, as Brexit, plus other factors such as last year’s terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, deter young people from coming to the UK.

May, June and early July are when most au pair placements are arranged, before the beginning of the school term in September, but Guardian Money has learned that some agencies are unable to find a single young European for British families to even interview.

Or to put it another way not versed in the paper of the knowing liberal who outsources child rearing on the cheap: ‘Brexit ends au pair slavery’; and: ‘Brexit ends scandal of teens minding other kids.’ Says the paper, at pains to assure readers that an au pairs shortage affects not only middle-class professionals who can’t afford full-time staff:

While families who have an au pair are often characterised as well off, agencies say many are “ordinary” people such as doctors, nurses, firefighters and academics who work long hours, have long commutes or do not work nine to five, which means breakfast clubs and after-school clubs often do not benefit them. An au pair can be an affordable alternative to employing a nanny.

Since when did GPs and university dons become anything other than middle-class and wealthy? Does the Guardian really think GPs – average wage: £100,000 per annum – are anything but well off?

Maybe it does? And maybe if Brexit happens their kids will have to put their own plates in the dishwasher? The horror!

Posted: 17th, June 2018 | In: Key Posts, Money, News, Politicians | Comment


Labour Live: the highlights of Jeremy Corbyn’s Goodstock Festival

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Live Festival was  terrific fun. Let’s see what you missed as Corbyn continues his drive to turn a mainstream party into a fringe movement:
 

John McDonell sings Find The Magic Money Tree:

 

Clean Bandit Don’t Need No Educashun

 

 

Jeremy Corbyn front The Average White Band (Diversity No-Mix)

 

Transforming the World one rubbish dance at a time

 

The Electric Light Orchestra

 

Marx & Spender

 

If You Build |it They Will Come (the journalists; the local Labour MPs, the people with free tickets, the security…)

 

The Hacks

 

The Handlers


 

Brexit Means whatever Jeremy Corbyn Thinks You Want It To Mean


 

A Cultural Exchange


 

Your Mum…

 
His Mum…


 

Our Father (Ted)

 

Organising a Piss-up In A Brewery

 
Next week: The Women’s Institute.

Posted: 17th, June 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Transfer balls: Arsenal and Liverpool both favourites to sign Mario Gotze

With two Borussia Dortmund players already on the books, and another scheduled to be announced on July 1, Arsenal are looking at recruiting Mario Gotze. The  Germans want £18m for the 26-year-old Dortmund – the kind of money Arsenal can afford. The Mirror says Everton and West Ham are “among the clubs keeping tabs” on the man once hailed as Germany’s answer to Lionel Messi.  The same paper then adds in a separate story that Gotze wants to play for Jurgen Klopp again. We’ve been here before:

 

Liverpool Gotze klopp

The Daily Express got it wrong

 

 

This latest story of Gotze to Liverpool is rooted in the players words on the DAZN documentary Being Mario Gotze. Gotze left Dortmund for Bayern Munich in 2013. He made the reverse trip in 2016, picking Dortmund over Liverpool.

Says Gotze: “I decided to leave Bayern and Jurgen Klopp was interested in getting me to Liverpool. And I was also interested in working with him again.. He is a world-class coach and that’s why it’s always an option. I decided to join Borussia Dortmund, but it was not a decision against Liverpool or Jurgen Klopp.”

Churn that through the journalism mincer and the Metro can declare: “Mario Gotze drops Liverpool transfer hint and reunion with Jurgen Klopp.” “Mario Gotze still keen on reunion with ‘world-class’ Jurgen Klopp,” says Goal.com. “Liverpool transfer news: Mario Gotze talks up reunion with former manager Jurgen Klopp,” yodels The Independent’s clickbait factory.

In March 2016, the Guardian told its readers: “Liverpool confident of signing Mario Götze because of Klopp connection.”

Liverpool are confident of completing the marquee signing of Mario Götze this summer with the World Cup winner understood to be keen on a reunion with Jürgen Klopp.

 

Liverpool Gotze

The Express got it wrong…again

 

gotze klopp

Gotze ‘snubs’ Liverpool in 2016 – the Sun

 

This dire reporting on a player being touted round the Premier League by his agent is summed up on Google, where a search for ‘Gotze Liverpool’ guffs out these three top stories:

 

mario gotze liverpool

 

Liverpool are favourites to sign Gotze, says the Express – because, er, Gotze, who turned Liverpool down in 2016, says Klopp is a good coach. Liverpool should not want Gotze says the Liverpool Echo. Liverpool and Arsenal both want Gotze says the Star.

Type ‘Arsenal Gotze’ into the world’s largest search engine and you get:

 

arsenal gotze

 

The Metro’s news that Gotze wants to play in the Premier League is a “boost” to Arsenal but, oddly, not a boost to Everton and West Ham. The Guardian just wonders if the Gunners will sign him. They don’t know.

In other news, ESPN says Arsenal not Liverpool are favourites to sign Gotze:

 

gotze arsenal liverpool

 

Such are the facts…

 

 

Posted: 15th, June 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Key Posts, Liverpool, Sports | Comment


Narcissism saves 30m North Koreans from nuclear destruction

Baseball caps off to Donald Trump. It turns out that he and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un want to make America great again. The paid had “a really fantastic meeting. A lot of progress” says Donald in that manner he of saying things like he’s heard the words for the first time. It’s why he says everything twice, isn’t it, because after guffing out the words the first time he tries to work out what they mean so repeats it. If the first peroration gets a cheer, he might say it three times. So how was it, Don? “Really very positive,” he explains. “I think better than anybody could have expected. Top of the line. Really good.”

And now after the tea and the handshakes, the other guys and gels – “my people”, as Don calls them – will sort out all the details, you know, the stuff about nuclear weapons, trade, human rights, lots of tanks aimed at South Korea, repatriating the dead and other odds and sods. And that’s to say nothing –  and nothing was said – about North Korea trading with the EU, the US or even UKplc, North Korean students being able to study overseas and the general opening up Mr Kim’s  hermetic camp. But let’s not split hairs. North Korea back in the fold of international relations is good thing. Its people will get richer.

 

trump kim north korea

Many papers lead with a photo of Trump looking like gameshow host – Mr Kim, Come On Down! ‘You wanted peace but… you got a prawn cocktail. Hard cheese! Or more like no cheese at all, or meat or much food for your people of any sort.’

 

In case you missed it, this is the document Don and Kim signed:

1) The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity

2) The US and the DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula

3) Reaffirming the 27 April 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work towards complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula

4) The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.

 

The media is the message, right? Don’t sweat the details because life will take care of those. The doings will out. So Trump can denigrate his predecessors. Only he can do it the right way. And maybe you can do if you stay tuned, buy the book, watch DVD and work out if the 30m people – that’s the number Trump said he was saving – can be saved from obliteration by the power of narcissism.

 

 

Posted: 13th, June 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson reunited in Mirror and Mail cut and paste disaster

The Mirror is promoting an auction of photographs by “royal snapper” John Scott, who died in 1986. The paper omits to mention where the auction is talking place – you can buy them at Cornwall auctioneer David Lay. But it does lead with a group phots that features “Fergie met Andy…possibly for the first time”. The Mail says is “the moment a young Fergie fixed eyes on Andrew”. No it isn’t. Not unless Sarah Ferguson, for it is she, was boss-eyed.

The paper trills: “A smiling Sarah Ferguson is clearly impressed by Prince Andrew as she claps eyes on him for the first time  in the early 1970s.” Ferguson is described as being “very young” at the time. It was the summer of 1970. Fergie and Andrew was 10 – although the Mirror and Mail say they were “about 12”. The Mail also says they are both 10.

The Mail is clueless:

fergie andy

 

sarah ferguson andrew first meeting

 

sarah ferguson andrew first meeting

 

Having told readers this was not the first time Sarah met Andy, the Mail wonders, er, if it was:

 

sarah ferguson andrew first meeting a

Daily Mail: question asked; question answered

 

The tin lid on the utter balls is when you realise that she isn’t looking at Andrew – who isn’t looking at her –  but towards Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones.

The Mirror: the peril of copying a Press Release

 

Such are the facts.

Posted: 6th, June 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment


‘Role Model’ Raheem Sterling should stick to junk food, gay bashing and gambling

Some news that the FA has a Code of Conduct for England players and that Manchester City and England striker Raheem Sterling might have fallen foul of it on account of his M16 tattoo. The Sun cites the Code in its front-page news story on Sterling’s tattoo. The paper links Sterling’s tat to the Vietnam War.

 

raheem sterling m16 tattoo

 

raheem sterling m16 tattoo

 

raheem sterling m16 tattoo

 

 

You can read the full Code of Conduct which Sterling has not flouted here.

And you can read the list of FA ‘parters’ here, highlights of which are: Mars, Lucozade Sport, Emirates, Budweiser, Carlsberg, Walkers and Coca Cola. All the kind of stuff to get the kids fit, lean and healthy. And there’s Emirates, the airline that sponsors the FA Cup. It’s owned by the government-run Investment Corporation of Dubai. In Dubai, the NYTimes says “homosexuality is subject to the death penalty”. Grab your rainbow laces and run like hell.

In 2017, the Football Association ended all of its sponsorships with betting companies, including mutually terminating a long-term Ladbrokes deal. The BBC’s Dan Roan commented:

…it does at least finally address mounting concerns the governing body was being hypocritical and its role as a regulator of gambling was hopelessly compromised by a clear conflict of interest. However, there will still be concerns the football and gambling industries are too closely linked. It will be interesting to see if the clubs follow the FA’s lead.

The Premier League itself may not have an official gambling partner (like the FA), but last season 11 Premier League teams were sporting betting company logos on their shirts, and Sky Bet are title sponsors of the Football League.

Gambling. What harm does that do, eh? Former England player Kieron Dyer told the Mail in 2018:

We were gambling such large sums that we knew we couldn’t possibly do it in public. So we gambled in each other’s rooms, behind locked doors.

We were like clandestine drinkers, hiding ourselves to get wasted. Except the drug was gambling and there was a sizeable band of us that were addicted.

If you’re going to pretend that England players are “role models” to anyone but their nearest and dearest, why focus on a tattoo of a gun and not their employer’s profiteering from gambling, booze, gay bashing and junk food?

PS: Previously the Sun has gunned for Sterling:

 

Young man from working-class background buys house!

 

Sterling-Social-Media-drugs

Spot the obscenity – the story had nothing to do with Sterling

 

raheem sterling PFA daily mail

The Sun: Man has car; eats breakfast; minds own business

 

sterling

Get Sterling

 

To recap: Raheem Sterling is a professional athlete and England footballer.

 

Posted: 29th, May 2018 | In: Back pages, Key Posts, Manchester City, Sports | Comment


Gareth Bale gives Liverpool and Spurs fans something to remember

gareth bale 4 champions leagues

 

Liverpool tyro Mohamed Salah was injured in the Champions League final against Real Madrid. Talks is of a suspected dislocated shoulder. He was hauled down by Real captain Sergio Ramos in the 26th minute. Real are merciless. Liverpool had nine shots with Salah on the pitch. After he left the pitch they had no more in the first half. Then after the break: goals. Benzema scored in the 51th minute. Mané equalised for Liverpool in the 55th minutes. And then – and then – Gareth Bale scored a belter. There were four former Southampton players on the pitch for Liverpool when the one former Saint on the Real team scored. Bale then scored another.

Bale has now won four Champions League titles since leaving Spurs for Madrid.

Worth repeating, then, what the experts said of Bale when he made the move:

Former Spurs manager David Pleat says Bale, 24, was too young to work abroad: “I think he’s a little bit young to go abroad. I doubt he’d find it easy. Many have failed when they have moved overseas. One or two have succeeded, but not many. Most have had a difficult time.”

Former Spurs manger Harry Redknapp told us: “He’s not an over-ambitious lad. He wants to be successful obviously but he’s not someone I can see moving to Real Madrid at this stage in his life.”

Former Spurs great Glenn Hoddle offered: “He’s had a new baby and I’m not sure if he’s ready for a move abroad.”

And this is what the mighty Bale said in 2011: “I’m not afraid to leave the country. I left home at 15 [to join Southampton’s academy]. If I leave the Premier League, I’ll learn another language … I will grow as a person.”

Gareth Bale: Number of regrets – nil.

Posted: 26th, May 2018 | In: Key Posts, Liverpool, Sports | Comment


Chinese corruption crackdown screwed Cartier watches

cartier fakes china

 

These aren’t things you’d really think would be connected. How much corruption there is or isn’t in the Chinese economy and the profits of a Swiss watchmaker. But there is indeed a link and it’s worth about £400 million.

The connection is that when people Out East make buckets of cash money from doing something they shouldn’t have done then they’ll invest some of the proceeds in a good looking watch. And the brand matters – because the watch is a signifier of being one of the rich guys. Therefore it has to be one of the brands which is seen as showing that you’re one of the rich guys.

Sure, it’s showing off but with a purpose. It shows you’re a player and if you can show you’re one of those them more games to play in will be offered.

Then what happens with a crackdown upon corruption? Fewer people have the cash to buy them of course. But also, even those who can legitimately buy them from properly earned money won’t – who wants to be market out as a player when there’s a crackdown?

The company took action after stocks of its wristwatches began building up in display cabinets in Asian markets amid a crackdown on corruption in China, where luxury products such as watches and whisky had been dished out as lavish gifts to curry favour with officials, as well as a wider sales slowdown. It was worried that unsold stock would end up being discounted in the so-called “grey market” of unauthorised resellers, damaging the image and pricing power of its brands.

There’s also that point that fewer “presents” were being bought. The effect is rather large:

Shares in Richemont fell sharply on Friday after the Swiss luxury goods group reported annual profits had been hit by more than €200m spent buying back excess stocks of watches to protect its brands from “grey market” discounted sales.

It was a couple of hundred million the year before too.

The real lesson here is that the world economy is a hellishly complex place. Less corruption in China means smaller Swiss watch profits. How can anyone plan something of this complexity? And that really is why planned economies don’t work, it’s just not possible to even know what’s going on let alone predict what will.

Posted: 19th, May 2018 | In: Key Posts, Money, News | Comment


Arsenal balls: Arteta accepts the manager’s job

In the rush to say they got the scoop, the BBC declares: “Ex-Arsenal and Spain midfielder Mikel Arteta has agreed to become the club’s new manager.” He has? Because elsewhere on the BBC we can read: “Should Manchester City assistant Arteta leave Etihad Stadium to move to the Gunners, City boss Pep Guardiola’s preference is to bring in 34-year-old Spain and former Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta as player-coach.” But Arteta to Arsenal is “agreed”. We read it on the BBC.

And as for Iniesta joining Man City, well, Iniesta said in April this year: “I will make a decision to stay at Barcelona or go to China before April 30. I have to assess what is best for me and it will be the most honest for the club.” The BBC reported that.

And then Man City manager Pep Guardiola went on the record: “There is a lot of fake news about the transfers… Andres had to decide his own future and he has decided to go to China to play there. He is going to finish there and after, he has to come back to Barcelona for the next generations, to help us be the club we are. We cannot offer him what he had in Barcelona here. He decided for other reasons, not just football terms.”

On May 9, Iniesta added: “I said that I would not go to Europe and apart from that all possibilities are open. They said I’m not going to China, now they say Japan is an option and I’ve also heard Australia.”

The BBC is wrong. Iniesta is not heading to Man City. So what’s the source of the Arteta to Arsenal story? It’s Goal.com.

 

arteta

 

As soon as someone shouts ‘first’, the rest pile in:

 

arteta arsenal

 

arsenal arteta manager

FIRE!

 

Goal thunders:

The former Gunners midfielder’s return to the club is set to be announced in the coming days as he prepares to replace Arsene Wenger. Mikel Arteta has agreed in principle to replace Arsene Wenger and become the new manager at Arsenal.

In principle? Coming days? Any more facts?

Goal understands that, while no contract has yet been signed, the announcement of Arteta’s return to the Emirates Stadium will be made in the coming days.

Utter guesswork, then. But – yep – Arteta’s looks like the only name on the list (and he’s relatively cheap!).

Posted: 19th, May 2018 | In: Arsenal, Key Posts, Sports | Comment


Standing in a betting shop made women want me

They shoot horses and put greyhounds out to graze on the hard shoulder. And now there’s “bloodbath at the bookies” featuring human beings. The Star is labouring under the impression that bookmakers give two hoots about their staff as it leads with how the Government has “slashed maximum stakes at fixed odds betting terminals from £100 to £2”. This will, we’re told, lead to job cuts among the people detailed to scoop up the proceeds of the pitiless gambling industry and deposit the filthy lucre into the burgeoning bank accounts of the big companies running the show.

 

betting adverts tabloids

Betting is sexy!

 

betting adverts tabloids

Who sane dials these lines?

 

The Association of British Bookmakers warns that curbs on “crack cocaine” betting machines will lead to the loss of 21,000 jobs as 4,000 high-street bookies shut. All balls, of course. The big betting companies spend fortunes telling us to bet online, offering inducements for a more fun sporting experience from your smart phone. They don’t do that to improve the lot of their shop workers. Online bookies are often based overseas. They’re happy for British punters to chuck their money to non-British workers.

Switch on pretty much any televised sporting event and someone will tell you how betting is for hard men – men ‘hard’ to argue with, like actor Ray Winstone, or ‘hard’ to touch, like the priapic saddos who think betting on Harry Kane will get them laid, possibly with an actual flesh-and-bone woman.

 

betting adverts tabloids

 

Inside today’s Star there are plenty of adverts for gambling. “Bets plan is a loser,” says the Star’s editorial. The adverts agree – it’s free FUN and you GET YOUR MONEY BACK:

Page 50: topless stunna Michelle Marsh advises readers to “BET HARD & FAST” (see above). Subtle it ain’t.

Pages 46- 48: horse racing times are wrapped round adverts for tipster hotlines (£1.50-a-minute); and more ads for Ladbrokes and Coral – “Bet £5.. .& Get £20 in Free Bets” – “When The Fun Stops Stop – Be Gamble Aware.” Yeah, right.

Pages 27-30:  An entire section advertising Paddy Power bets on the FA Cup final – “The Craziest bets punters have placed this weekend.”

And it’s all done to keep people in work and the high-street bustling. It’s selfless stuff…

Posted: 18th, May 2018 | In: Key Posts, Money, News, Tabloids | Comment


Thomas Markle should profit from Meghan’s wedding like the Royals do

The Daily Mirror picks up the story which first appeared in the Mail on Sunday – the one about Thomas Markle allegedly earning a few quid by posing for photos which can be sold to the Press. Thomas is, of course, Meghan Markle’s father, and when he’s not being door-stepped by Mirror reporters, he’s getting on with his own life. But his alleged staging of a set of photos with British photographers has upset the tabloids, who presumably wanted their men in the bushes to shoot pics of Thomas being a “virtual recluse” for less and syndicate them for more, packaging the album as “The Royals DO Deserve Privacy”, “Has Meghan Inherited Her Dad’s Fat Genes?” and “How Did Thomas Markle Afford A Five-Star Holiday To Thailand?”

 

thomas markle photos newspapers

 

The paper quotes the father-of-the-bride’s son, also called Thomas, who apparently said: “He’ll apologise sincerely to Meg.” Why? The Royal Family are often caught guffing out photos of their lives and their children, including ones taken by Kate. The no-expense spared PR drive that frames Harry, Kate and Wills as a trio of caring, down-with-the-proles workaholics is not just about us loving absurdly entitled, wildlife slaughtering billionaires when they’re between private islands and ski lifts, but the Royals being able to carry on after Her Majesty waves her last and we’re invited to defy gut feelings and nature by looking up at Prince Charles and Camilla. Princess Diana left such a stain on The Munsters that our view is being directed over the crowns of the two people that cheated and lied to the Windsors’ brood mare, falling instead on her children and Kate.

 

thomas markle photos newspapers

 

The Standard updates the story by leading with news that Markle’s half-sister is to “blame” for Thomas’s “fake pictures”. “The bad press over my father doing staged photos is my fault,” says Samantha Grant – who is not invited to the wedding. No. It isn’t. The bad press is over the scurry for post-wedding stories, when the Markles become old hat and we crave scandal and division over “love at first sight” tedium and a marriage”destined” ever since Meghan tried on a Disney Princess outfit when she was five and Charles fancied the Three Degrees. Although the Standard does deliver a two-page feature on the “unlikely love story” of an “ambitious girl from LA” and – get this – “the rebel prince”. Oh, do the other one. The only rebel Prince in recent memory was Edward VIII, formerly a Prince of Wales, who rather than merely pratting around dressed as a recreational Nazi, wore the authentic garb and politics of the Herrenvolk; and married a woman with two living ex-husbands who referred to staff as “lazy, thriving niggers”; and advised Britishers to survive the war on roasted terrapin. Harry’s less rebellious than a weather cock.

 

thomas markle photos newspapers

 

And, reportedly, Grant is here to help stir the pot. She’s rumoured to be penning a rift ‘n’ tell called The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister. “The media can be so cruel,” Grant is quoted by the Daily Star. But at £15 a pop with serialisation rights, a book packs a bigger whack.

 

thomas markle photos newspapers

 

Note: The Daily Mail vowed on 8 September 1997, eight days after the death of Princess Diana:

Mail leads the way in banning paparazzi pictures.

The proprietor of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Evening Standard announced last night that his papers will not in future purchase pictures taken by paparazzi Viscount Rothermere, chairman of the Daily Mail and General Trust plc said: ‘I am, and always have been, an admirer of Diana, Princess of Wales, and nagged my editors to protect her so far as they could against her powerful enemies. In view of Earl Spencer’s strong words and my own sense of outrage, I have instructed my editors no ‘paparazzi’ pictures are to be purchased without my knowledge and consent.’

Such are the facts.

Posted: 14th, May 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment


Freedom wins as MPs reject Leveson 2

Only two newspaper, The Times and The Sun (prop R. Murdoch), lead with the great news that Ministers have fought off an attempt to trigger a second stage of the Leveson inquiry into Press standards. Why more don’t is a mystery. But, then, a Commons vote on the Data Protection Bill was low on the news cycle. The Government won by just nine votes – 304 votes to 295. It was that close. Five Tories voted with Labour.

We should celebrate this victory for freedom, cheer a vote that thumbs its nose at the sneering drive to diminish the Press, to destroy all that frenetic, thrusting, contrarian, offensive, truth-seeking and enlivening news and opinion, and beat it dull with a legal cosh.

Culture Secretary Matt Hancock said it was a “great day” for a free press. Hacked Off, who want State-backed regulators to oversee what can and cannot be said, warned “the fight goes on in Parliament and the courts”. But yesterday the censors lost. And the public don’t back them. When asked if we supported Section 40 and Leveson 2, 79 per cent of us from a whopping 174,730 responses said ‘No’ and ‘No’.

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband is upset that his bid to shackle free expression, reduce choice, stick it to the gutter press and the slum people who read it, and boot the ‘Press barons’ was defeated. Had it passed publishers not signing up to the state-approved regulator would need to pay their own and their opponents’ legal costs in relation to alleged data breaches and more – win or lose. It would have been another blow to our beleaguered free Press. Had Miliband, Tom Watson, the deputy Labour leader, and their side won the day, it would be heretical and financially ruinous to print something the Government disapproves of. If you can’t be trusted to censor yourself, the Government would enforce your compliance and prevent you from corrupting the slack-jawed masses with your words. Vote ‘yes’ to Ed’s policy and we all move a step closer to speaking with the assuredness of a man who has read one book and agreed with everything in it.

 

ed miliband leverson

“Do as I think”

 

Most newspapers have signed up to Ipso, the Independent Press Standards Organisation, which has no intention of applying for recognition under the royal charter. good, Some control is required. But the State should be kept well out of it.

We should let people decide what they want to read. Don’t smear readers as stupid and incapable of reason. Progress comes through dialogue and challenge. Censorship is for prudes, control freaks, bores, totalitarian regimes, and people who mistook The Young Ones for a documentary and knew Rick was always right. Yesterday’s vote was a victory for trust in humanity. It was that big.

Posted: 10th, May 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


The scandal of Motorway coffee costing more

motorway service station coffee

 

The Daily Mail has noticed that a coffee at a motorway services station costs more from McDonalds, Costa or KFC than it does from the same outlets not at a motorway services station. The explanation for this is really very simple – rent – and it’s the one explanation that we’re not given. Which is a pity because it is a very simple explanation.

Breaking up your journey with a coffee stop at a motorway service station? You may find it breaks the bank too.

An investigation has found that roadside stores charge up to 28 per cent more for a medium latte – costing motorists an extra 74p compared with the high street.

How desperately awful, eh?

Breaking up your journey with a coffee stop at a motorway service station? You may find it breaks the bank too.

An investigation has found that roadside stores charge up to 28 per cent more for a medium latte – costing motorists an extra 74p compared with the high street.

We’re given varied reasons for this, including the station operators claiming that it’s more expensive to operate such stations than general run of the mill services so therefore prices are higher. But it’s why costs are higher than matters and that’s rent.

The basic underlying story here goes all the way back to the very dawn of economics when David Ricardo published his book on rent, in 1817. If you can produce more crop from a piece of land then the rent on it will be higher than land that produces less. We can say the same thing by insisting that the cost of the land will be higher where there’s more money to be made. A third way of saying just that same thing is that the landlord always gets a chunk of whatever can be produced from a piece of land.

This is actually why Starbucks was making no profit – thus paying no tax – a few years back. They had lots of leases on lots of buildings that would be good to sell coffee out of. Because the landlords get a piece of that action places good to sell coffee out of have higher rents. Starbucks wasn’t making a profit selling lots of coffee but the landlords were doing just fine.

But that’s where there are lots of shops around. Starbucks couldn’t raise the price of coffee in those expensive places because if they did then we’d go to the one around the corner. Where prices were lower because they were paying less rent. That landlord’s share was thus coming out of Starbucks profits, not ours, the customers.

Now replay the same game but where there isn’t another shop just around the corner. We all know that lots of money can be made running a services station. Once people have decided to go there they’re a rather captive market though. So rents are high. But instead of those high rents coming out of the profits of the operators, they come out of our pockets in the form of higher prices. Because once we’re there we cannot go to another coffee shop.

There is no solution to this either. Just because there are only so many service stations, and once we stop at one we’re going to be doing our buying there, there’s lots of money to be had from running a service station. That means high rents – and that will, because of the lack of competition, lead to higher prices.

It really is all there in Ricardo’s book from 1817. It’s about time everyone understood it too, isn’t it? Two centuries being long enough?

Image: The Drive of Our Lives – The Heyday of the Motorway Service Station

 

Posted: 8th, May 2018 | In: Key Posts, Money, News, The Consumer | Comment


Racism is only unacceptable if McDonnell and Corbyn notice it in Pendle

The story of the Tory and the racist joke features Pendle Council, Lancashire, and Rosemary Carroll’s return to the Conservative party’s ranks. In July 2017, Carroll was suspended from the Conservative Party for sharing a joke on Facebook. The Lancashire Evening Post added a dash of tautology and called the joke “racist and derogatory”. Council leader Mohammed Iqbal made an official complaint and called for Carroll councillor to be expelled from the Council and the Conservative Party.

Pendle Tory leader Coun. Cooney acknowlegded the “racist post which had been shared on Facebook by one of our councillors” and stated: “We will not tolerate racism of any form.”

By now you want to know two things: what was the joke and what happened next? Well, the Daily Mirror reproduces the joke. Most other newspapers and the BBC do not. Indeed the BBC says: “Tories urged to act in ‘racist joke’ row at Pendle Council,” the broadcaster unsure what is racist. Without the joke, the story is lacking. Here it is:

“I took my dog to the dole office to see what he was entitled to. The bloke behind the counter said ‘you idiot, we don’t give benefits to dogs’. “I argued ‘why not? He’s brown, he stinks, he’s never worked a f***ing day in his life & he can’t speak a f***ing word of English’. “The man replied: ‘His first payment will be Monday’.”

Nasty stuff.

Carroll spoked to LADbible. Her apology contained a blend of sympathetic back story and the caveat now routine in all apologies, the one that places the onus on the recipient and their reaction, ‘if I have caused offence’. She said:

“It was a mistake, obviously, somebody posted it to me and I thought I was deleting it. I don’t use Facebook much. Everything has gone over the top now. It was a genuine mistake. I can only apologise, because I am not racist by any means. All I can say is, if I’ve caused offence, I am truly sorry. I don’t do stuff like this and have closed that Facebook thing.”

In May, Carroll rejoined the Tories.

Tory leader Paul White says Ms Carroll had “learned form her mistake”. Mohammmed Iqbal says:  “They should have done the decent thing and distanced themselves from her. I’m appalled. The suspension was a gimmick.”

Carroll’s return was timely. In the council elections, the Tories won control of Pendle council by a single seat. The Conservatives control Pendle with 25 seats, ahead of Labour’s 15 and the Liberal Democrats’ nine.

And then the story got bigger. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said it was “unacceptable” for Carroll to return. “To have the Conservative Party take control of that council by reinstating a councillor who used the foulest, foulest joke, a racist joke is unacceptable,” he said.

If Carroll’s return is wrong is – and argue amongst yourselves if it is – is it also wrong for Naz Shah, Jeremy Corbyn and others accused of racism to be in the Labour Party?

Shah was John McDonnell’s PPS. Shah is the Bradford West MP – and what if her job gave the Labour Party an overall Commons majority? – who shared on Facebook the idea of “transporting” citizens of the world’s only Jewish state (that’s Israel, not New York) to the middle of the USA. Having called for a country to be obliterated and “foreigner” Jews forcibly relocated away from what many see as their ancient home, she added the comment “problem solved”.

The JC added: “Shah also posted a tweet with a link to a blog which claimed Zionism had been used to ‘groom’ Jews to ‘exert political influence at the highest levels of public office’.”  The BBC adds: “A number of other posts emerged, with her comparing Israel to the Nazis and saying ‘the Jews are rallying’.”

Nasty. Labour suspended Shah. But she apologised, kept her job and her salary. After a brief suspension (a little over 3 months), Shah was back.

Former Labour major of London Ken Livingstone is still suspended by Labour. He said Shah’s comments were “rude and over-the-top” but not anti-Semitic – even though Shah accepted it was and apologised. And then he doubled down, opining: “When Hitler won his election in 1932 his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.”

John Rentoul noted:

Livingstone’s refusal to accept that he had ever come across anti-Semitism in his 47 years in the Labour Party. And hence his refusal when pressed on the BBC’s Daily Politics today to accept that Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, whom he invited to London and who wrote that “every Jew in the world” should be fought by “every Muslim”, was anti-Semitic because he had never said anything anti-Semitic to him.

Back to Jeremy Corbyn, then, of whom Nick Cohen writes:

Corbyn invited Hamas and Hizbollah to Parliament and called them his ‘friends’. Bear in mind that Hamas’s Charter is explicitly genocidal – it makes it clear its supporters want to kill Jews and repeats Nazi conspiracy theories. Their founding Charter also rules out any peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestine problem. It says:

Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement… There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad.

See a pattern?

Ben McIntrye has a good article in the Times on why Livingstone is no historian:

The suggestion that Hitler backed the idea of a Jewish homeland underpins an association between Nazism and Zionism that is fundamentally antisemitic. It is also wrong. “You can’t expel someone for stating historical fact,” Livingstone insists. But his claim is not a fact: it is a distortion of history, a defence of the indefensible that has undoubtedly emboldened antisemites within his party, leading to the current meltdown…

The Haavara Agreement was really just one more way of ethnically cleansing the Jews from Germany and taking their wealth. The idea that it represented any kind of support for a Jewish homeland, a central tenet of Zionism, is ludicrous and a deliberate perversion of its real import…

The idea that the Holocaust was due to the onset of “madness” on Hitler’s part is also wrong, reducing a programme of collective evil to an act of insanity on the part of one man. Hitler’s genocide was not the unexpected policy of a lone madman but premeditated, rational by Nazi logic, and purely wicked.

The oldest trick in the book of cornered politicians is to claim to have been accused of something they have not been accused of, and deny it. “I did not say Hitler was a Zionist,” the former London mayor said. “And that was why I was suspended.” Again, not true: he was punished because he claimed Nazi “support” for Zionism, a more subtle insinuation and a misreading of historical fact.

After Livingstone’s comments, things escalated. The Times again:

John Mann, who chairs the all-party parliamentary group against antisemitism, branded Mr Livingstone a “Nazi apologist” in a confrontation outside a TV studio that was captured live on camera. Mr Mann is reported to have called him a “f***ing disgrace”.

When the party released a statement early in the afternoon to announce Mr Livingstone’s suspension, a spokesman added that Mr Mann had been summoned to see the chief whip about his conduct.

Michael Dugher, Labour MP for Barnsley East and a former frontbencher, said that announcing the actions at the same time represented “drawing some kind of moral equivalence between John Mann and Ken Livingstone”.

“Yet again they’ve prevaricated because it was another of their close allies up to their necks in antisemitism again,” Mr Dugher said.

Is any of that “unacceptable” to John McDonnell?

In January, we got more:

On Saturday, International Holocaust Memorial Day, Mr Livingstone, 72, a former mayor of London, appeared in a programme called Has the Holocaust been exploited to oppress others? on the Iranian state-owned channel Press TV.

He said that Hitler had worked with the Zionist movement to move Jewish people to Israel: “He worked with the Zionist movement to move . . . to get 60,000 to go, but it was about half a million — and then he changed his policy and went for genocide.”

The presenter, Roshan Muhammed Salih, told viewers that Mr Livingstone, who has been suspended from Labour since April 2016, had been “targeted by the Zionist lobby here in the UK”.

You know who else used to appear on Press TV? Yeah: Jeremy Corbyn who used to present a show on the channel – although since Labour was exposed as haven for anti-Semites, traces of Corbyn’s journalism seem to have vanished from YouTube.

 

Corbyn mural east london

Corbyn and ‘Yvonne Ridley’ – someone of that name also used to present a show on Press TV  – both voice their support for an anti-Semitic mural in East London.

 

If Rosemary Carroll’s return to the Tories is “unacceptable” to Labour – she underwent diversity training and apologised;  Shah went on a “journey” of self-discovery and apologised fully; Corbyn says of supporting a huge painting of Jewish bankers sat on the backs of naked workers, something the Guardian says “resembled a homage to the Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer”, “I sincerely regret that I did not look more closely at the image I was commenting on.”

Labour only notices racism when it’s not about them and everyone else is pointing at it.

Posted: 7th, May 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Only bigots and fools think Jews lost Barnet for Labour

According to the Indy, the Conservatives won control of Barnet Council in north London because “Labour was punished by voters for the antisemitism controversy”. Er, no.

Also wrong is Owen Jones, who writing beneath the hopeful headline “The biggest election threat facing Labour is complacency”, tells Guardian readers:

“Westminster, Barnet and Kensington and Chelsea are all Tory citadels in the capital that have never surrendered to the wooing of Labour.”

Jones’s long and monocular story tells of Tory “chaos” over Windrush and makes a single mention of all that anti-Jew hatred in the heart of Labour’s ranks:

Barnet, in north London, is home to Britain’s biggest Jewish population, many of whom feel angry about, and fearful of, the left’s antisemitic fringe.

Fringe? Is Jeremy Corbyn now on the fringe of the party he leads?

Jones might also like to read this letter in the Guardian:

Labour took control of the council in 1994 with the support of the Lib Dems, remaining in power until the election of 2002. From 1997 until 2010, it returned two Labour MPs: Rudi Vis (Finchley and Golders Green) and Andrew Dismore (Hendon). Not so “otherworldy” then.

Having reduced Jews from individuals with their own likes, dislikes, needs, contradictions and prejudices to a group who vote en masse – what racism? – the Indy adds:

Labour was widely expected to win the borough for the first time since the local authority was created in 1964. London Mayor Sadiq Khan had predicted the party would “probably” claim victory but admitted fears about left-wing antisemitism could damage their campaign.

Depressing stuff, no, not least of all because the narrative goes that only Jews give a toss about anti-semitism at voting time. Is Barnet the only borough where race hate is punished by voters? Can it be that everywhere Labour won is a haven for anti-Semites?

Barnet’s Labour group leader Barry Rawlings tells us:

“…to be honest most of the conversations have been about potholes rather than antisemitism. That said, we want people to know it is an issue we take very seriously in the Labour Party.”

No. You don’t. Anti-semitism is not something Labour takes seriously. Of course, if the Guardian and Indy are correct, only lots more Jews in lots more wards would force Labour to censure Jew baiting and Jew hatred in its ranks. But thinking that way is to fall into the trap of Jews losing Barnet for Labour.

Council leader Richard Cornelius, a Conservative councillor, also said voters were generally more concerned about “local issues” rather than accusations of antisemitism within Labour.

“It’s things like potholes, the collection of their rubbish bins and keeping the council tax low,” he said.

Most people didn’t bother to vote at all. Voter turnout in Barnet 43.7% – an increase from 41.1% four years ago. Sod the Jews – it’s apathy that prevented a bigger Tory win.

 

2011 – census

 

And how many Jews are there in Barnet? The census tells us:

Garden Suburb in Barnet was the most populous Jewish ward in 2001, even though it has grown since, it has been overtaken by Golders Green, which has increased by a third in a decade.

JPR [ Jewish Policy Research] now puts the number of Jews in Golders Green at 7,661 – which is considerably higher than the 6,795 people in the ward who identified themselves as Jews by answering the religion question in the census.

Not all that many, then. Although many don’t want their thoughts and aspirations to be calculated and sieved through race:

JPR has adjusted the total by adding the estimated number of Jews from among people in the ward who did not answer the religion question. In fact, JPR demographer David Graham has found that in wards with large Jewish populations, the number of residents overall who omitted the religion question was 9.3 per cent — more than the 7.2 per cent who left it blank across the country as a whole.

 

Total Barnet population*, 2001–2016

Total Barnet population, 2001–2016 – Via

 

What about non-Jews?

According to the 2011 census, by religion, Christianity is the largest faith in Barnet accounting for 41.2% of the total population. The next most common religions are Judaism (15.2%) and Islam (10.3%).

Drop those flaming torches and stand down the hunt, Corbynists. It wasn’t the Jews wot wunnit for the Tories in Barnet. It’s doubtless comforting for Corbyn and his supporters with their adherence to the reductive and patronising power of identity politics to view Jewish voters as a ‘community’ best managed through lunch with a ‘community leader’, but people are individuals. Labour lost and the Tories won for as many reasons as there are voters.

 

Posted: 4th, May 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Transfers: Arsenal, Soyuncu and the truth about Turkish football

Arsenal have seen off a bid from Bayern Munich to sign 21-year-old Turkish defender Caglar Soyuncu, says the BBC. Not that it requires much thought for a hungry defender to pick the Gunners – any defender with even a modicum of pace, power, poise and positional awareness will walk into the current Arsenal team.

But the Beeb is wrong. Soyuncu hasn’t signed. He remains on the books of Bundesliga club Freiburg. News of his arrival at Arsenal is fanned by Altinordu president Seyit Mehmet Ozkan.

Who?

Well, Soyuncu used to play at Turkish club Altinordu. “Caglar Soyuncu is set to join Arsenal,” Ozkan is reported to have told the “International Football Economic Forum”.

The what?

“Arsenal demanded his youth information from us,” says Ozkan. “We’ll earn from him, if he joins Arsenal. Bayern Munich wants him too, but he’s on the way to the Premier League.”

 

 

 Turkish defender Caglar Soyuncu

 

Back to the International Football Economic Forum, something introduced to readers by the Standard, which is the source for the Beeb’s ‘fake’ news on Soyuncu signing for Arsenal. Not much information on this body appears on the web.

But a bit of digging reveals that it was held at the Grand Tarabya Hotel, Istanbul. Sabah newspaper, which hosted the event, lists the international names on the rostrum:

Youth Sports Minister Osman Aşkın Bak, TFF President Yıldırım Demirören , TFF 1st Vice President and Member of UEFA Board of Directors Servet Yardımcı, G.Saray President Mustafa Cengiz , Beşiktaş President Fikret Forest , Başakşehir President Göksel Gümüşdağ,  Altınordu President Mehmet Ozkan, former director of Manchester United and Chelsea Peter Kenyon, star players Gomis, Adebayor, Babel, Rodallega, SABAH Sports Manager Murat Özbostan, Fotomaç Newspaper Editor-in-Chief Zeki Uzundurukan, İnteltek AŞ. General Manager Ahmet Sezer, Passolig General Manager Ceyhun Kazancı, Aktif Bank General Manager Assist. Ahmet Erdal Güncan, Director of Türk Telekom Services Özlem Kalkan Karabulut, G. Saray Commercial Operations Director Kerem Ertan, F. General Manager of Communication Services Hakan Demir, writer Levent Tuzemen, Bülent Timurlenk and Spanish journalist J. Castro Nogale.

The only non-Turks on the panels appear to be: 4 “star players”, Peter Kenyon and a Spanish journalist.

It’s aims:

The International Football Economy Forum… aims to increase knowledge and awareness by creating rational, visionary, creative, sustainable and qualified targets and to increase the brand value of Turkish football by creating public opinion…

Fikret Orman tells the lads:

“Taking a glance at the star players’ perceptions about Turkey; It seems to be a stop before going to the Middle East. If we increase the brand value of the Super League, we can transfer the appropriate players to more economic conditions…

“If we increase the traceability, as in the case of Cenk Tosun [now at Everton], soccer player sales will come at a high price, all of them related with traceability and if we can increase this, the revenue rights of broadcasting rights will increase too. The majority of the sponsors in the league are doing it to become a world brand ..

In light of this marketing drive, are Arsenal really looking to sign Soyuncu for a fee as high as £40m? Ozkan’s words to the Forum are sieved through the wonders of Google Translate:

Speaking at the International Football Economy Forum… Özkan stated that they will continue to trust and provide young players with “We have won Çağlar Söyüncü and Cengiz Ünder for Turkish and European football. I will go to Germany for Sunday and to follow Chelsea to England on Sunday, and I’m going to sell football to both of them.”

And on Arsenal:

Of Turkey in the world take place in the football market, emphasizing that it is linked to the universal Seyit Mehmet Ozkan, “beginning of last season we sold Freiburg Ages Söyünc is to be transferred to Arsenal.”

Well, maybe… Only to the trusty BBC is Soynucu to Arsenal a done deal. And look out for the BBC’s scoop that Roma’s Cengiz Ünder has joined Chelsea. He hasn’t.

Posted: 4th, May 2018 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Key Posts, News, Sports | Comment


Government championing free speech at Universities is beyond irony

Sam Gyimah, the universities minister, presents himself as a champion of free speech. He says prudes, activists’ and censors attempting to silence voices not like their own are “chilling” in a democracy. Those “safe spaces” on British campuses are for fools. “No platforming” is for losers. (No platforming was adopted by the National Union of Students in 1974.) Banning things from campus, like the Sun newspaper, the Christian Union and Nietzsche, is for prigs.

 

free speech boston

 

Mr Gyimah says:

“A society in which people feel they have a legitimate right to stop someone expressing their views on campus simply because they are unfashionable or unpopular is rather chilling. There is a risk that overzealous interpretation of a dizzying variety of rules is acting as a brake on legal free speech on campus. That is why I am bringing together leaders from across the higher education sector to clarify the rules and regulations around speakers and events to prevent bureaucrats or wreckers on campus from exploiting gaps for their own ends.”

Writing in the Times, he adds:

The current landscape around free speech on campus is murky at best with a dizzying array of disjointed guidelines for universities, student unions and associations to follow. When there are so many different interpretations of the rules, there is the risk that legal free speech will be stifled, either by well-intentioned but jittery managers, or by ill-intentioned wreckers.

The office for students, which came into force on 1st April, will play a key role in this area and can use its powers to name, shame or even fine institutions for not upholding the principle of free speech. But for them to be effective, we need all our institutions to work together to make sure free speech is upheld.

But safe spaces and trammels on free speech do not grow in a vacuum. The Government has banned people from entering the UK and speaking at universities. In 2017, Julien Blanc, aka ‘the pick-up artist’ was banned from entering Britain on the reasoning that he promotes sexual assault. Just as we are to suppose that sane and intelligent students – adults – hearing a different view will turn into gibbering wrecks or else jihadis, one word from Blanc and a bloke will ignore the law, the love and respect for his mother, values strong and vibrant women in his life have instilled in him, and commit a heinous crime.

The troubling thing is that Government, politicians of all stripes and students are on the same page; they are all in favour of censorship. Both view their fellow humans as suggestible and vulnerable, mentally-negligible weaklings in need of protection from things (see the bans on advertising gambling, ciggies and sugar) and individuals holding dangerous ideas. A strident view can be cast out as ‘hate speech’. To the censors it’s morally brave to protect lesser minds from other ideas, which are, of course, wrong. Intolerance must be tolerated, say these saviours, lest correct and virtuous ideas be undermined.

The result of all this banning and censorship on society – both official and creeping self-censorship – is malign. It’s either free speech or it isn’t. No buts.

 

Posted: 3rd, May 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Staffordshire ‘pigs’ tell butcher to remove smutty signs

Butcher Pete Lymer no longer sells ‘big breasted birds’, ‘big cocks’ and ‘horny sausages’ at J W Ash & Son, in Ball Haye Street, Leek. “We’ve put the signs out for years and it’s always been a bit of a laugh,” he tells his local paper. “Just after Christmas apparently somebody complained to the police, saying it was offensive.”

Horny sausages? What’s in them – bone and rhino?

But here’s the thing: no shopper complained to the police about the smutty language on the butcher’s signs, the kind of puns former Great British Bake Off presenters Mel and Sue have built a BBC career on.

“Last month a lady from the police came in and asked if we could pull our sign in,” adds Mr Lymer. “And a bobby came in last Thursday. They’re just doing their job so I’m not annoyed with the individuals.”

What is the job of the police? When did Saudi Arabia open an office of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in England? Because Staffordshire Police have gone on the record to say it all them. “We’ve received no complaints about signage outside J W Ash and Son butchers in Leek,” says a police spokesman. “However, the local Chief Inspector for the Moorlands did advise the owner to give careful consideration to what was written on the boards in case anyone took offence. No other action has been taken.”

Pigs! No, not the unformed men and women going about the place preventing non-crimes and thought crimes before they’ve happened. Not the police’s top brass cleaning the streets of things that don’t comply with their narrow world view. Actual pigs diced and slid onto skewers – you know, ‘meaty pork swords’.

Posted: 3rd, May 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


AS Roma president Jim Palottta on Sean Cox and Liverpool is powerful stuff

AS Roma president Jim Pallotta has a few words to say on Sean Cox, the Liverpool fans left for dead by violent criminals – “fucking morons” – when the sides met in the Champions League, his club and more:

I don’t want to talk about the game at all at Liverpool. What I want to talk about is how these games are great but they’re not life and death. What’s going on right now with Sean Cox in Liverpool, that’s life and death and that affects his family. I don’t really give a shit about the score of the game. It’s disappointing to me that Rome and AS Roma get blamed for a few individuals who do stupid things.

Now, I don’t know the whole story. All I’ve seen is what I saw on the video, like most others, and at least that part of the video with Sean is just the most disgusting stupidity and my prayers are for him and his family.

It’s depressing though that all of the other fans at Roma get blamed for something that, going back to that saying that I had about a year and a half ago… a few people wrecking things for everyone else. I don’t blame our fans. We have unbelievably great fans across the board. The Curva Sud… the only reason we come back and win games like we did against Barcelona is because of the 99.9% of the fans in the Curva Sud who are great. Then, occasionally, you get a few, normally outside of the game, more than anything else… it’s just absolutely ridiculous.

But it’s time now for things to change in Italy and in Rome, because it is just happening too much. I’ll go back to something that happened in 1993. I was in Florence in 1993 and I was in a museum that all of us know. At the end of the day, when the museum closed, I was going to have dinner in a restaurant right next to the museum and I ended up getting into a better restaurant about a mile away. The next morning I got up and I drove at six in the morning to Paris. Most of the night, all I’d heard was sirens. I got to Paris and I pulled up to the hotel and the doorman asked me where I was coming from. I said I was coming from Florence and the doorman turned to me and said, ‘Ooh, big bomb!’ I couldn’t understand what he was saying and I went inside and checked in and was having a beer with a friend of mine and CNN was on and it turned out they’d blown up 20% of the museum. All I remember after that night was Italians got together and said, ‘Enough is enough of this shit!’ I remember millions of Italians, or it looked like millions of Italians, all over the country started marching against the criminal elements and saying, ‘You are destroying our history’.

We have a long history at Roma and what’s going on when you have a few stupid people is that they destroy our history and they attack our legacy and I’m tired of it. It’s not just an issue for Rome. It’s an issue for Italy and it’s an issue for the authorities and it’s an issue for all of to band together and to finally wake up so that we don’t have a reputation – that’s not deserved around the rest of the world – that our fans are not good fans because our fans are the best fans in the world – it’s just a couple of fucking morons that take the rest of us down.

Much better than the usual corporate guff.

Posted: 29th, April 2018 | In: Key Posts, Liverpool, Sports | Comment


Daily Mail: not knowing what gives you cancer gives you cancer

daily-mail-cancer

 

Lots of people wrongly believe things like stress, electromagnetic frequencies, microwave ovens, GM foods and drinking from plastic bottles cause cancer. A study in the European Journal of Cancer, by a team from University College London (UCL) and the University of Leeds surveyed 1,330 people in England. Lion Shahab, from UCL, tells media: “People’s beliefs are so important because they have an impact on the lifestyle choices they make.”

Where do people get the idea that all manner of stuff gives you cancer – that disease the slack-jawed and mentally negligible tell us people “battle” (BBC)  and “Stand up to” (Channel 4)?

 

daily mail cancer

 

The Daily Mail has seen the research and tells its readers:

Do YOU know what increases your cancer risk? An alarming number of people believe in fake causes – and don’t know about the real dangers…

What are the real dangers?

…many people are still confused about risk factors, despite vast sums being spent on public health education campaigns.

A sizeable minority of the public either fail to appreciate the significance of known risk factors or hold unfounded beliefs about possible causes, such as using mobile phones or being near overhead power lines.

 

daily mail cancer

 

daily mail cancer

 

Who to blame for what the lack of knowledge? The Mail warns, “people increasingly getting their news from social media – sometimes from unreliable sources (so-called ‘fake news’).”

Some read the Daily Mail.

Like this – The Daily Mail’s A-Z of Things That Give you Cancer.

Posted: 28th, April 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment