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In its front-page farewell to Andrew Sachs, known chiefly for his work as Manuel, the well-intentioned and hapless Spanish waiter in Fawlty Towers, the Mail juxtaposes the actor’s portrait by the news “MIGRANT NUMBERS HIT NEW RECORDS”.
The Mail fails to say how many migrants hail from Barcelona.
PS: Andrew Sachs was born in Berlin in 1930.
Tabloid Questions – a look at headline-making questions in the national Press.
On Tuesday November 29, the Daily Mail asked: “Have swans predicted a mild winter?” The long-necked birds haven’t been presenting the wether on cable telly in Norwegian or otherwise. The Mail says swans have been forecasting the weather by arriving in the UK later than usual, a move “often interpreted as a sign of a mild winter to come”.
In 2007, the Mail asked: “Does the swans’ early arrival mean we’re in for an icy winter?” Said the paper:
The migrating Siberian swans have landed early this year, heralding harsh weather ahead.
Was it harsh? The Met Office told us:
December 2007 saw close to average daily mean temperatures over the UK, with January and February 2008 recording well above average temperatures.
In 2015, the Mail reported:
… while the magnificent bird was probably relieved to reach the warmer climes of the UK, its arrival – the earliest in 50 years – may well usher in a particularly harsh and unforgiving winter.
Was the winter especially harsh? The Met Office tells us:
Winter 2015/16 was third-warmest for the UK in a series from 1910, behind the winters of 1989 and 2007. For England and Wales, it was the warmest winter in the series.
So have swans predicted a mild winter?
Still not sure? Maybe the Mail can help us to answer the question?
In conclusion: never trust a Russian swan when you’re picking your winter coat.
Such are the facts.
The Mirror leads with the “FOOTY Paedophile Scandal”. We hear from former Chelsea player Gary Johnson, who says he was paid £50,000 last year to keep quiet about the abuse he suffered at the hands of a club scout in the 1970s.
Over pages 4,5,6, and 7, Gary Johnson claims he was sexually assaulted by Chelsea scout Eddie Heath “hundreds of times in three years”.
Eddie Heath is dead.
Says Johnson of Chelsea: “I think that they were paying me to keep a lid on this.” If they did, will Chelsea be asking for their money back? Johnson says Chelsea “asked him to sign a gagging order”. “They may have paid others for their silence,” he adds. We then learn that Chelsea “waived the clause in Gary’s settlement banning him from speaking about abuse after details of his claim were leaked to the media.”
Did Chelsea know Johnson was being abused in 1973 when he was a 13-year-old at the club, continuing until Gary was “around 16 or 17 and happened two or three times a week”, as he says?
Gary Johnson says Heath got him to perform in threesomes with other boys, “so I know there are mother victims out there.” He adds: “it is now up to them if they come forward”.
Do we expect them to?
Brendan O’Neill writes:
In these post-Savile times, we’ve come to think that all former victims of child abuse have some kind of responsibility to parade their wounds. We have come to expect, somewhat greedily, even perversely, that the abuse of decades ago must be relived, as publicly as possibly, in order to ‘raise awareness’. I’m sorry, but I think it’s possible there’s an element of moral titillation to all this. And I think it’s possible that it makes abuse victims even less likely to get over their experiences by making them go through it all again for our viewing or reading pleasure.
We learn that in 2014, Gary Johnson contacted the Met Police’s Operation Yewtree. He says he was “advised to go back to Chelsea with his case”. The police palmed him off to the club? If so, that’s abhorrent. Did they investigate? We’re not told. Mr Johnson says the “Professional Footballers’ Association did not return his calls”. So he contacted lawyers, who asked Chelsea for compensation.
Says Gary Johnson: “What makes me so angry is that I went to them to say I had been abused an they basically said, ‘prove it’,” Was that wrong of them? Chelsea are no longer owned by the Mears family, as they were in the 1970s. Why should the new owners take anything on face value alone when a man is asking for money and claiming to have been the victim of heinous crimes by a former employee? Gary Johnson says Chelsea’s “attitude when I came forward was to sweep it under the carpet”.
His claim was supported by Roger Kennedy, who says: “Mr Johnson has been haunted by the abuse for most of his life, but the intensity of the flashbacks have increased since he has become more aware of the nature of what happened due to the publicity around Jimmy Savile.”
The Mirror is quick to blame the club, saying Chelsea used its “financial might to cover up abuse”. It is the “tip of the iceberg”. Did Chelsea behave badly? All we know of the money and the deal is that Mr Johnson says: “I think that they were paying me to keep a lid on this.”
The Mirror says the story “implies they [Chelsea] cared more about commercial rights and sponsorship deals than helping survivors cope with the torment of abuse”. The paper says Chelsea are “morally questionable”.
What of the police, then, and the PFA, two institutions Mr Johnson says failed him? What of the lawyers who accepted an worked on the deal?
Writing in the Mail, Martin Samuel confronts the matter of a club’s role. He says the current Chelsea owners are part of the club’s heritage.
Yes, the sport is different now. Yes, stricter protocols and procedures are in place, and those in charge of youth development may protest that the past is a foreign country. But it isn’t.
Modern clubs must assume responsibility, be the custodians for all those years. Everything, from the fanbase, to the location, to modern revenue streams, and items in glass cases that directors view with pride, they owe to those ancient dates and what followed. And much of it may have been good.
But what isn’t, what is almost too poisonous to contemplate, cannot be disowned.
When you buy a club, you buy the heritage, the good and the bad.
It’s a shame we don’t know the full terms of Mr Johnson’s deal and how the £50,000 sum was agreed upon. Chelsea are investigating. Hopefully, Chelsea will be transparent and we will know more soon. Dare they be anything but? The Mail leads with the headline: “FA VOW TO HIT CHELSEA HARD.” Any club “who have given a child abuse victim hush money will be punished”. Chelsea are “in the dock”, says the paper. The club may well ask, “On what charge?”
By way of a footnote, the Mirror says Eddie Heath trained Barry Bennell, the convicted paedophile, when he was a 14-year-old at Chelsea. The Mirror says there is “no suggestion” Bennell was a victim of Heath’s.
Heath is dead. Also dead is Frank Roper, a man who former footballer Paul Stewart says abused him “every day for four years”. Gary Johnson says Paul Stewart encouraged him to tell his story.
We can expert to hear others.
Prince Harry has taken an HIV test to promote World Aids Day. It works. The papers are all covering the blood letting as Harry tours Barbados. It helps, of course, that Harry was not alone, accompanied as he was by pop star Rihanna.
This was his second public test. In July Harry took an HIV test on Facebook live. The Guardian said Harry “admitted to being nervous before the result came back negative”. The results of yesterday’s test are, as yet, unpublished.
The Telegraph reported that following Harry’s test the Terrence Higgins Trust saw a fivefold increase in orders for testing kits in the days after.
All good, then. A man who seems to live an airbrushed life, Harry has found a use and a use has been found for Harry.
PS: Of course the tabloids need a twist on what was a pretty routine afternoon’s PR work for Harry, so we get the Daily Express saying Rihanna was “flirty” with Harry and talked about not having sex in a barber’s hop; the Sun punning “Wince Harry”; and the Mail asking “Is it really worth testing 11 million Britons for HIV?”
The Star once more leads with Lotto news. And as ever it’s bad news. “Lottery site hacked, it could be you,” warns the front-page headline. The story goes that hackers have “stolen” the passwords of 26,000 people registered with the National Lottery’s website – “Dozens had email addresses and passwords stolen”. It looks like they did. But the theft did not occur on the Lotto site.
‘Experts say it could have “serious consequences” for those who use online bank accounts,” says the paper. Why the Star should lead with this story can have nothing to do with the fact that it’s owned by Richard Desmond – the Press baron who also owns the Health Lottery, a rival to the Lotto.
The Mirror has a slightly different angle on the same story:
Thousands of National Lottery players’ accounts are feared to have been hacked after Camelot confirmed “suspicious activity”. Around 26,500 accounts fear to have been compromised after the log-in details were accessed by a third party. Camelot claims it doesn’t believe it’s own system was hacked, but that the details were taken from elsewhere. It added that no money has been withdrawn or added to any accounts.
And in the Guardian, we get this:
About 26,500 National Lottery players are facing compulsory password resets on their online accounts after they were apparently accessed by cybercriminals.
Camelot, the firm that operates the game, said it had become aware of “suspicious activity on a very small proportion” of accounts, and it was now taking steps to understand what had happened. Logins may have been stolen from other websites where players use the same details, it said.
Far be it for us to stick up for the greedy, kak-handed so-and-sos at Camelot, but it’s useful to have all the facts.
We would like to make clear that there has been no unauthorised access to core National Lottery systems or any of our databases, which would affect National Lottery draws or payment of prizes. In addition, no money has been deposited or withdrawn from affected player accounts.We do not hold full debit card or bank account details in National Lottery players’ online accounts and no money has been taken or deposited. However, we do believe that this attack may have resulted in some of the personal information that the affected players hold in their online account being accessed.
The advice is to change your passwords and use different passwords for different products. And if you read the Star, look at least one other news source for the full story.
We are at a loss. Cultural imperialism is rife. The Sun reports on “mum” Priscilla Terumalai, who was “hauled” into Mayville Primary School in Leytonstone, East London, to explain why her 5-year-old daughter and her classmates had been giggling at their teacher: Miss Butt. For some reason, the figurative blighters found the name funny.
Indeed, dear reader, this is grim news. Miss Bottom, Miss Gluteus Maximus or Miss Arse would all be more suited to triggering laughter at a traditional British school. Miss Butt is so Americanised. It can’t be long before the kids are finding Miss Booty-Call hilarious.
Anyhow, Priscilla says the school is unhappy that Miss Butt was the butt of the kids’ laughter and may now move her children Annalise and Destiny to… Yes, Destiny.
Stop that! Stop that laughing. Stop it now!
PS: the local newspaper began its report: “A MOTHER says she feels ‘intimidated’ by a school after a teacher became the butt of her daughter’s humour.”
Free speech. No butts.
IT’S “FOOTBALL’s BIGGEST EVER CRISIS,” says the Daily Mirror as it continues to lead with the sex abuse story. Is it? Is it bigger than the Hillsborough disaster that saw 96 people lose their lives and be branded criminals by the State’s lying police force? Barry Bennell, the awful man at the epicentre of the story, is a convicted paedophile. He’s now been charged with eight sexual assaults involving a boy under 14 dating between 1981 and 1985.
Bennell has been living as a free man in Milton Keynes. Is that justice? Eric Bristow thought it not. He said he’d have smashed the “poof” Bennell’s face in, as “real men” should. The men who did not confront their abuser are “wimps”. For expressing his crass opinion on twitter, Bristow has been sacked as a pundit on Sky Sports and paraded throughout the media as a pariah, an enemy of any right-minded human being.
You could compare Bristow to Eamonn Holmes, the Sky News presenter who earlier this year said an attack by West Ham fans on the Manchester United team bus was like Hillsborough. “Now this is going back to the 70s and to the 80s to everything you were seeing that was bad about Hillsborough for instance,” opined Holmes on the TV. Unlike Bristow, he wasn’t shunned, and sacked.
Does the media operate a hierarchy of outrage, with being ‘unlawfully killed’ and branded a killer – and do consider 10-year-old Jon-Paul Gilhooley, the youngest to die in the horror (the coroner ordered a sample of his blood to be checked for signs of alcohol), Phillip Hammond (14), Victoria Jane Hicks (15), Peter Andrew Harrison (15), Lee Nicol (14), Philip John Steele (15) and Kevin Tyrrell (15) – lower in the table than child abuse, the horror that can be a useful way to showcase your own sound morals?
Holmes apologised and kept his job. Bristow deleted his tweets, apologised and lost his.
When 96 people died at the football in 1989, the media blamed the victims, the State stomped on their relatives and presented all football fans as suspects. It took an arduous 26 year fight for the Hillsborough campaigners to be told the blameless dead had been unlawfully killed.
The story of sexual abuse in football is grim. Child sex abuse is an evil. But to say it is a worse football scandal than the horrors of Hillsborough is a cop out. Bennell is alive. Bennell’s victims are speaking out and being heard. They could have spoken out earlier. They might be heard in court yet. Bennell appears to have attempted suicide. He’s thought to be in the Lister Hospital, Stevenage.
The story of sex abuse in football has faces to attack, blame and shun.
The victims of Hillsborough could not speak. The coppers who lied to make killers of the victims all escaped court. They still await justice. Maybe the bereaved and abused should do as Bristow advises, take the law into their own hands and crack skulls. But that’s not easy when the weight of the State is against you. Where do you begin?
The hideous story of sexual abuse in football rides high on the news cycle. The grim testimony from victims of an evil has taken on a life of its own. It’s become a good way to prove the country’s morals. In directionless times it’s useful to have a cause to rally round. We don’t know what we are but we know what we’re not: paedophiles.
Barry Bennell, a convicted paedophile, has been billed as football’s Jimmy Savile. He’s not. Bennell has been tried and found guilty. Sir Jimmy Savile died a national treasure, feted by the great and good. What both men do share is an eagerness to portray them as part of institutional failure. For Savile it’s the BBC, the NHS and children’s homes (but not the police, the Royal family and politicians); for Bennell it’s the FA and the nation’s favourite sport.
Everyone involved in football is now a suspect. If you are not suspicious of adults you are a fool or worse. Trust is for victims.
So the NSPCC opens a hotline, the police trawl for corruption and Karen Bradley, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, says people “must come forward… Come and give your story, you will be listened to, you will be believed”. The media plays along, looking for someone on the wrong side of the panic to update the story. And today it finds Eric Bristow, aka ‘The Crafty Cockney’, five times World darts Champion in the 1980s, an MBE holder and last seen eating kangaroo gonads on I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! with Limahl from Kajagoogoo.
As such his views are, er, entirely relevant to the horrific crime child sex abuse. And – irony of ironies for a man who walks to the oche to Rabbit by Chas and Dave (“With your incessant talkin’, You’re becoming a pest”) – Bristow’s chat has attracted ire.
The BBC says Bristow has been “condemned on social media” for suggesting football abuse victims are not “proper men” – and asking why they did not “sort out” their abusers “when they got older and fitter”. Not only on social media (see BBC). The Mail sees fit to repeat Bristow’s tweets for those readers not following the man: “Might be a looney but if some football coach was touching me when i was a kid as i (sic) got older i would have went back and sorted that poof out. Dart players tough guys footballers wimps. Bet the rugby boys are ok ha ha.”
He went on: “U got to sought him out when u get older or dont look in the mirror glad i am a dart player proper men. Trouble is nowadays u cant tell the truth what do u feel out there tweet me. Everybody that works on tv is frightened to say the truth because they are frightened to lose their job, life shouldnt be like that.”
Katie Hopkins, that jobbing to-deadline Aunt Sally, must be gutted. Used to seeing unattractive people from the 1980s telly unearthed to help police with their enquiries, it’s a novelty to see one helping the media in its narrative.
Having seen and very possibly enjoyed the shitstorm, Bristow backtracks a little on twitter:
Britsow’s language update shows he’s a man can move with the times. If he carries on like this, there’s a job as a tabloid columnist heading his way.
Update: Sky have sacked him as a darts pundit.
The paedophiles in football story continues unabated in the Mirror, which leads with the front-page headline “10 questions the FA must answer”. It must? No. This is the newspaper making a story that first appeared in the Guardian into its own campaign. On November 16, former footballer Andy Woodward told the Guardian’s Daniel Taylor about the “horrific abuse he suffered from the age of 11 by one of his coaches, in the hope that others will come forward too”.
Taylor noted on November 26 in a story headlined “When I started talking to Barry Bennell’s victims, I had no idea how deep abuse ran in football” that the story throws up questions.
Some of those questions may never be addressed properly and, all the time, there is that nagging sense that, when it really mattered, the sport of Andy Woodward, Steve Walters, Paul Stewart, David White, Chris Unsworth, Jason Dunford and Ian Ackley – and I dread to think how many others – looked the other way.
So to the Mirror today and its 10 questions, which can be summed up as, ‘Who knew what and why wasn’t Barry Bennell exposed sooner?’ We’d add: “Why didn’t newspaper get hold of this story before Andy Woodward felt brave enough to tell all?
“Only now, at the age of 43, I feel I can actually live without that secret and that massive, horrible burden,” Woodward told Taylor. “I want to get it out and give other people an opportunity to do the same. I want to give people strength. I survived it. I lost my career, which was a massive thing for me, but I’m still here. I came through the other side. Other people can have that strength.”
Bennell began his football career coaching juniors in 1970, when he was 16. On a 1994 tour with the Stone Dominoes, a 13-year-old club player claimed that Bennell had sexually abused him.
The Dominoes’ website has a note:
A professional coach joined from Crewe Alex and ex Manchester City, and accelerated development. Tours to the USA took place in 1993 and 1994 with great success.
5 Wedgwood Keele Classics were collected with several Championships and Cups as well.
Unfortunately the coach was dismissed by the Club in 1994 for gross misconduct and a review of the club’s situation undertaken.
The Mail notes:
The founder of the Stone Dominoes football club, where Bennell was working in the early 1990s when first arrested and convicted of sex offences against boys, has told this newspaper that a lawyer connected to the League Managers’ Association did ‘due diligence’ on Bennell before they hired him, and after consulting previous employers, including Manchester City and Crewe, ‘cleared’ Bennell as a suitable man to hire.
Bennell’s convictions can be listed (via the Mail):
1994: Barry Bennell is sentenced to four years in prison in the United States after pleading guilty to six counts of sexual assault, including the rape of a boy, while coaching Staffordshire side Stone Dominoes during their youth tour of Florida.
1998: Bennell was found guilty at Chester Crown Court in 1998 of 23 offences against six boys, aged from nine to 15, and was sentenced to nine years in jail.
2015: Bennell was given a further sentence in 2015 when he pleaded guilty to sexually abusing another boy at a camp in Macclesfield in 1980.
The 1997, the Independent warned readers: “Football-mad boys are being put in “potentially dangerous situations” where they could be abused by the people who train them, according to a Channel 4 programme to be screened tonight.”
The show was Dispatches, a documentary series on Channel 4.
An investigation by Dispatches says that the hold coaches have over their school-age proteges – the chance of a career in professional football – can give them the opportunity to abuse boys for years with little fear of discovery.
One former coach, Barry Bennell, who worked at Manchester City, Stoke City and Crewe Alexandra is currently serving four years in a United States prison after admitting buggery and assault on a boy.
Another amateur club, Ipswich Saracens, found that their coach Keith Ketley was a convicted sex offender. Despite this he had been able to set up another team with Football Association affiliation. He is now serving five years in jail after being found guilty on four counts of indecent assault…
One of the boys was Ian Ackley, who played for a Derbyshire side coached by Bennell. “Looking back on the things that have happened [I have] lots of regrets really,” he said. “It reminds me very much of the control he had basically over people. And how he very much had people in his grip.”…
It was not until 1994 when Bennell took youth teams from Staffordshire on tour to Florida that a 13-year-old boy spoke out about the abuse he suffered and Bennell was arrested. He could only be charged with offences committed in the US.
Ketley had run a team in Southend-on-Sea, but after pleading guilty to indecently assaulting boys he was sentenced to 18 months. He moved to Ipswich, changed his name and started up another club.
Around 43,000 clubs are currently affiliated to the Football Association (FA). The chairman of Suffolk FA told the programme: “No checks would necessarily be made on their background unless we were particularly suspicious.”
In 2005, the Observer reported: “Child abusers who shame British football.”
The mother’s voice trembles as she describes the night her 14-year-old son was sexually assaulted at the home of a referee he had befriended on a FA course.
‘He fled from the house at 4am wearing just his trainers, a fleece and his boxer shorts because the man had hidden his clothes. He called 999. It was terrible,’ she says. ‘It’s a parent’s worst nightmare and for my son it’s a life sentence.’
Over pages 4 and 5 in the Mirror, we learn that more than 20 players have now made accusations they were abused. The paper lists clubs implicated: Leeds United, Blackpool, Manchester City, Stoke City, Newcastle United and Crewe Alexandra.
In the Mail, on page 10, we learn that the FA is to launch an independent inquiry into the abuse scandal. On page 75, Martin Samuel writes:
“It is false to speak of past crimes or misdemeanours as historic. Football clubs mine those centuries, milk them for all they are worth, certainly in commercial terms. They are not directly responsible for events that happened decades ago; but are not separate to them, either. The duty of care extends way beyond the present day.”
Some victims will come forward. Not all will. In 2012, we read in the Telegraph of the late Gary Speed:
As a junior player, the Wales football manager, who committed suicide last November, was considered “special” by Barry Bennell and stayed at his house as a child.
Can we make a link between Gary Speed and Bennell on anything but speculation?
The coroner returned a narrative verdict after deciding it was impossible to determine whether the 42-year-old had intended to end his life. Mrs Speed’s lawyers, Harbottle & Lewis, denied that his death was linked to Bennell.
The lawyers issued a statement to The Sunday Times Magazine: “Whilst Gary Speed knew Mr Bennell through football connections, he was not a ‘victim’ and thus played no part in the investigation. The Speed family have been assured that the police investigation at the time was exceptionally thorough and there is no legitimate reason to link Mr Bennell to Mr Speed.”
Nonetheless the Mail makes a link to Bennell and suicide:
At least one of the agencies working on the fallout from the scandal is examining the possibility that there may have been multiple suicides among players who were coached by Bennell.
And then there is this:
Former Wales manager Gary Speed took his own life five years ago this week. Speed’s family have said he was ‘not a victim’ of Bennell, as far as they are aware
The Mail seems to be ignoring the word of the family to make a link where no proof of one exists.
The Mirror adds: “Tragic Gary Speed stayed at paedophile coach Barry Bennell’s home but was ‘too clever’ to be victim, says dad.”
Gary speed’s father, Roger Speed, had been talking to the Telegraph. It headlined the story “Was Gary Speed a victim of sex abuser Barry Bennell?”
It’s an unpleasant story. Roger Speed lost his son and is now being asked to speculate. The Mirror notes: ” During his interview with The Telegraph, Roger also said he does not believe his family will ever get the answers they want over his son’s passing.”
Cardiff council has invested £30,000 renting the biggest Christmas tree in the country.
At 40 metres the fake tree made of metal, plastic and more plastic would have been the envy of every municipal council in the land. But something went wrong and the tree if only 40ft high.
The tree, made in China, was hired for £10,000 a year on a three-year contract.
The council has yet to put an ‘angel’ on the tree but the city’s head of parks and gardens is being lubed up as we write.
Are you confused by all the story of paedophiles in every walk of life? Hopefully by around 2099, the Government’s nationwide trawl of historic sex crimes will be completed. Of course, by then most famous faces will be long dead. The sane move is to forcibly freeze anyone of note and then when they get accused of an awful crime defrost them over burning torches and then beat them with sticks. Sure their brains might be mush but don’t let Lord Janner’s story put you off.
So weird has the story gotten that the Mail is not alone in realising that the story of the systematic sexual abuse of minors has taken on a life of its own.
On the front we get to know that former prime minister and Tory MP Ted Heath (dead) was not a nonce.
But on the back we get to know that football and all other sports are riddled with paedos – maybe.
Look down not up, says the class-conscious peado hunter.
As Andy Dawson puts it: “Showbiz, sport, this stuff is/was rife. BUT NOT IN TOP-LEVEL POLITICS, OKAY?”
Do you recall those halcyon days when truth ran through the media as blood flows through a virgin’s veins? No, me neither. In recent times, the media has become open. Great. The old media refer to the most vibrant parts of new media as ‘social media’, which is not like the, well, unsociable media, whose job was to tell not listen. Those “gatekeepers” of truth have seen the doors to the temple blown open.
The Guardian is aghast. Andrew Smith says the “pedlars of fake news are corroding democracy”. Lots of voices being heard is the enemy of democracy, whereby lots of voices get heard. Got it? No, me neither. To put the tin lid on the snottiness, Smith writes in a section called – irony of ironies – “Comment Is Free”.
In the past week, however, the collective postmortem – on the left and right of politics – has focused on a concern with far greater long-term impact: the accidental or deliberate propagation of misinformation via social media.
Not media. Social media, something to be viewed with circumspection and the kind of disdain a Guardian writer usual reserves for tabloids. So nothing like the other sorts of fact-pure media, then.
Many millions of people saw and believed fake reports that the pope had endorsed Trump; Democrats had paid and bussed anti-Trump protesters; Hillary Clinton was under criminal investigation for sexually assaulting a minor.
Millions saw. Agreed. Millions believed? How do we know that? Where did we read that? Or do we just assume that Trump voters are all too thick to seek out objectivity and go and find the real story? You know, like proper journalists do – or don’t do, given that so much news is shaped by the journalism of attachment, exposing the dead and churning stories leaked in reams of data. Sod all that searching for truth and just cop a load of subjective facts and knowing angles.
About the only accusation not levelled at Clinton was implication in the murder of JFK, and that was because Trump had already used it against his Republican primary rival Ted Cruz. If democracy is predicated on reliable information, it’s in serious trouble right now.
Democracy is predicated on nothing other than one adult getting one vote. How you chose to be informed it up to you. There are lots of voices. Pick your poison. It might even be the case – get this – that media of all strains – social, anti-social, unsociable and that media that gets off on being tied to a radiator and forced to drink its own urine – presents a version of events of most appeal to its readership and their prejudices.
Social media is no enemy to democracy. On the contrary. The more voices we can tune into, the better for free thought and free speech.
PS: If you want to read some trusty news about US politicians, you can always turn to the Guardian and learn about George W. Bush’s fake turkey. That balls has been up on the paper’s site since 2003.
PPS: A fake news story about George W. Bush – a politician the Guardian campaigned against – and a monocular news story about Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn being forced to sit on a train might lead you to think the Guardian is, like “corrosive” social media, a tad biased.
The Mail leads with the football sex abuse story. “THERE COULD BE THOUSANDS” thunders the paper’s lead sports story.
Be in no doubt it’s getting worse. Earlier in the week it was “hundreds”.
The hundreds and thousands are not the paedophiles working as football coaches who abused young players – although given the nature of the reporting, they might be – but the victims.
The Mirror’s front-page story was based on words by their columnist Robbie Savage, who was a youngster at Crewe Alexandra, where convicted paedophile Barry Bennell coached. Bennell has served three prison sentences, amounting to 15 years, since 1994 for many offences committed against boys.
Says Savage: “Sometimes I’d go into training on a Monday and hear some of the lads say, ‘I stayed at Barry’s at the weekend.’ And I’d be thinking, ‘Why not me? Why didn’t he ask me? Am I not a good enough player? Have I done something wrong?’ Of course, I now know what happened to some of those boys and I know I’m one of the lucky ones but, at the time, that’s what went through my mind.”
He then speculates: “We need to know how many more Barry Bennells are out there. And how many victims are still suffering because of what happened to them.”
And from Savage’s guesstimate of hundreds, we turn to the Mail’s “thousands”. “Thousands of young footballers could have been abused by a nationwide paedophile ring,” says the Mail today.
The number is provided by former Manchester City youth player Jason Dunford, “who says he was targeted” by Barry Bennell:
‘There could be thousands of boys abused and I’m not exaggerating,’ said Dunford, who had fought off Bennell as a 13-year-old schoolboy at a Butlin’s camp.
Dunford came forward after Andy Woodward, a former Crewe player who was abused by Bennell, gave an account of his own experiences… triggering an earthquake within the game.
‘Andy has not even touched the surface with telling his own stories,’ added Dunford. ‘He told how he had been on a camp to Gran Canaria and Bennell had a different boy every night. So take the school holidays, training nights, tournaments. Over 30 years, it absolutely could be thousands.’
The story of depraved criminality has taken on a life of its own.
What of the police? Four police forces are not involved in the investigation.
The Metropolitan Police, Britain’s biggest force, said it “has received information relating to non-recent sexual abuse in football clubs in London”…
Hampshire Police said its detectives are investigating non-recent child abuse “within the football community”.
Cheshire Police said it had received ”a growing number of disclosures” and that allegations have been “made against more than one individual”…
Northumbria Police said it was investigating an allegation by an unnamed former Newcastle United player that he was abused in the club’s youth system.
The Guardian also leads with the story.
The story runs:
Crewe Alexandra, the club most heavily implicated in the Barry Bennell case, were warned he had sexually abused one of his junior footballers but allowed the man who turned out to be a serial paedophile to stay at the club for a number of years, the Guardian has been told…
Hamilton Smith, who was on the board from 1986 to early 1990, has told this newspaper he was so concerned at the time he asked for specially convened talks about concerns over Bennell’s relationship with young boys at the club and, specifically, to inform his colleagues that someone had marched over to him at a junior football match to allege that a friend’s son had been abused.
Crewe, we learn, “have declined to comment.”
Such are the facts.
Is the Lotto fixed? We never thought it was. But the Star leads with news of a “new ‘FIX’ FURY”. The BBC has called time on the live Lotto draw broadcast on BBC1. From January, the falling balls will appear on the Beeb’s steaming iPlayer and not on TV channels. This has left “punters fuming” says the Star.
On Page 9, we read that Lottery “bosses are facing new fix claims”. The thinking is that if the draw is not live on the telly, gamblers will “have to log on to the BBC iPlayer to watch the draw – meaning many are unlikely to see the balls coming out of the machine”. The many are “elderly people unable to use the internet”. The Star says the draw will be live on Facebook, but because that is on the elderly-proof Internet, it’s useless, too.
A “regular player” tells the paper: “Far fewer people will see the live draw, and they’ll be suspicious of the numbers as a result.”
What the Star doesn’t tell you is what the Radio Times does tell you – “the winning numbers will be announced after news bulletins at intervals during the week.”
The Star also forgets to tell readers that its owned by Richard Desmond – the Press baron who also owns the Health Lottery, a rival to the Lotto.
In “KIDS V COPS”, the Sun leads with an ugly incident in London’s New Cross. Around 30 schoolchildren attacked two police officers (one male, one female) in a “picture to shock even lawless Britain”. Bit overdoing it?
The images and footage are bad. The male police officer is dragged away from restraining a suspect on a car bonnet and floored by a gang of scrotes. But it’s not lawless. More police arrive and take the youth to the station. The officer’s head is “repeatedly stamped on”.
The story goes that two girls – one from Hatcham College and another from Deptford Green School – has arranged a fight. “A man believed to be a teacher intervened and there was a tense stand off before police reinforcements arrived and the male victim could be taken to hospital with severe bruising,” says the Sun. The paper calls the man a “brave teacher”.
Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation branch, says the officers did not pull their batons because “they could have been accused of going over the top with school children and subjected to complaints”.
Were any weapons involved?
The Sun says: “One member of the crowd was said to have been spotted with a knife.”
The Star adds a bit more: “One boy was thought to be carrying a large knife but when the two officers confronted him, they were turned upon.”
The Mail: “They were on a routine patrol of the area when they noticed a large knife being concealed by a young male.”
The BBC: “The pair had approached the group after noticing one of the youths was trying to conceal a large knife.”
How old was the youth taken away?
The Star: “A 15-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm and was bailed to a dad.”
The Sun: “A 15-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm and was bailed.”
A dad. But no knife. Well, not unless you get your news from overseas.
Russia Today picks up the story: “…this latest incident is an indication of increasingly fraught relations between London’s police force and its youth.”
And the knife? “Two police officers on patrol in the area intervened when they noticed a large knife being concealed by a young male.
Anyone else see the knife?
The peado-hunt has reached football. Following the grim news that young players were molested by coaches, the Mail leads its sports coverage with a story that Manchester City are in a “sex abuse probe”. Is the entire club is in some way linked to paedophilia? Surely not. It makes you hanker for those wholesome days of randy footballers, glamour models, spit roasts at the Grosvenor hotel and super-injunctions. Seedy stuff it was was, but always between consenting adults.
The Mail’s story is overblown. City are looking at the club’s links with convicted paedophile Barry Bennell, who “coached junior teams connected to City”. The club is doing the sensible thing and looking into if Bennell ever represented City. We don’t know if he did, let alone if he abused any youngsters on City’s books.
The Mail seems to be linking a Premier League club with a lower-league scandal – Bennell was employed by Crewe Alexandra.
Over in the Mirror, which has twice this week led with the story on its front page, page 9 features a remarkable headline: “Rooney tells footy sex victims: Don’t suffer in silence.” That’s Manchester United and England’s Wayne Rooney. He wants anyone who has suffered to contact the new NSPCC hotline. ‘NSPCC chief Peter Wanless hoped Rooney would “give courage to those who may be afraid of coming forward’,” says the paper. How? Rooney was not molested. How does Rooney’s endorsement help middle-aged men confront their past? It all carries a faint whiff of PR, a chance for leading figures to be on the side of the right against a wrong anyone sane should know is criminal and revolting. Creating a sense of moral purpose from the pursuit of child-abusers is crass. But that’s how the peado-panic has been manifest for years. Child abuse stopped being about the victims and listening to someone regardless of age and social rank with respect when they make an allegation and into the nation’s defining characteristic.
And so the Sun. Over two page it invites readers to work out an answer to the headline poser: “Is beast Bennell the Jimmy Savile of football world?” The helpful bit about getting to any answer is that Bennell is alive and we know where he is: (Milton Keynes, says the Mirror; he’s in “hiding”, says the Sun). That makes him only half like Savile, who is decomposing, having died a blameless national treasure. The unhelpful bit is that the Sun’s story contains not a single fact linking Bennell to Savile. Other than in the headline, the Sun’s story on a convicted paedophile contains only one mention of the gibbering Yorkshire DJ – “the scandal now described as “potentially worse than Savile“.’
It’s lamentable that something as abhorrent as child abuse should be sensationalised. When being against child abuse is your media’s campaign, the bar has been set lower than Savile’s upturned toes.
Paedo-hunting has been a national obsession. One good thing about it is that with so many of the people accused dead, police, MPs and media need offer no right of reply, proof and cough up for damages when the thing goes tits up. One downside is that people who actually knew some of the shameless dead are upset. The widow of the late Lord Leon Brittan is one of that number. Having seen her husband labelled “as close to evil as any human being could get” in Parliament (Tom Watson MP apologised, albeit after the innocent man had died), it did not escape Lady Brittan’s notice that the Met Police failed to tell Leon he had no case to answer before he died of cancer in January last year.
“I think, particularly for him, he should have known that he was innocent of the charges before he died, but that didn’t happen,” she tells the BBC. “…I think he kept it very much to himself because his major objective during those last few months was to get better, get well, do everything that he could to get well. I went to see him one afternoon and he said: ‘I’ve just been just been rung by the police.’ I said: ‘What’s it about?’ He said: ‘I’m not terribly sure, but I’ve just said to them I’ll ring my lawyers.’ And then the lawyers rang me, and then they said to me this is an old rape allegation, 47 years old, against Leon. And then, about a couple of weeks later, he was interviewed under caution. And at the end of it he felt absolutely assured in his own mind that would be the end of the matter…
“I learnt, it must have been in July of the following year after he died, from the Independent on Sunday that no further action would have been taken. I then got my lawyers to write to the police saying, ‘Was this story true?’, because they hadn’t bothered to inform me, and I suppose about a month later I got a reply.”
Never mind, eh. Maybe the huge Home Office inquiry into paedophiles operating decades ago will have more luck with their admin? Currently under investigation are:
Accountability and Reparations for Victims and Survivors of Abuse
Cambridge House, Knowl View and Rochdale
Children in Custodial Institutions
Children outside the UK
Child Sexual Exploitation by Organised Networks
The Anglican Church
The Roman Catholic Church
Not under investigation – yet – are: the Midland Bank, British Leyland, the RAC, the FA and… No, scratch that. The FA is now in the mire. Following the disturbing stories that former Spurs striker Paul Stewart was sexually assaulted by a youth coach as a child and Andy Woodward was abused by Crew Alexandra coach Barry Burnell, the Daily Mail declares: “The scandal that could be worse than Jimmy Savile: How football has been shaken to its core by tales of sexual abuse by monsters in tracksuits.”
Worse than Jimmy Savile? That would be gibbering disc jockey Jimmy Savile who abused hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people. He did. Be in no doubt about it. In 2013, Met Commander Peter Spindler, the man then leading the Jimmy Savile abuse probe, told the BBC that the celebrity had “groomed a nation”. Now the old bastard is worm food, the nation can heel.
But we can’t move on because although Savile was never arrested, charged let alone tried for his apparent depravity, his name has become the gage by which all perverts are measured. It’s not enough that young footballers were molested. It has to be a national travesty that they were. We should be calling for the forces of law and justice to investigate the accused, weigh the burden of proof and for all evidence to be tested in court. But instead of substance, we get hype.
In 2014, the Metropolitan police said ‘Nick’s’ stories of a cabal of wealthy and powerful perverts raping and killing children for sport were “credible and true”. If you say you were abused, then it is fact. So today British football is full of paedos. It’s no longer an inquiry if guilt is known before the facts have been looked at. It’s an inquisition. Nick’s stories were not credible and true. But instead of learning from ‘Nick’ and treating the next story with circumspection, we get panic.
In February, the Met attempted to save face. The Guardian headlined a story: “Met police may end policy of automatic belief of sex abuse complaints – Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe, writing in the Guardian, says police should test evidence ‘with open minds’.” You should no more assume every claim is credible and true than you can take it as read that an IC3 male driving a car is guilty of DWB (Driving Whilst Black).
But gathering evidence and assuming innocence is not as exciting as the police’s propaganda unit nicking celebs for the cameras.
If the past few seasons of paedo hunting have taught us anything it is that we should treat all accusations with a healthy scepticism, be on the look out for the next witch-hunt and wonder if in 30 years time we’ll be looking back and wondering why the police, Parliament and media were so obsessed with the dead and decrepit that they overlooked and were incurious about troubling stories and crimes happening today.
More on the Donald Trump Death Cult – an occasional look at media chatter on Trump’s demise. The Star being news that the US President-elect will “DIE ON THE JOB”. Jeff Farrell hears that that Trump is at “Significant risk” of dying – “if the workload as the next US president does not give him a heart attack, his missus could”.
This news comes from two medics.
First up is Dr Karen Morton, billed as a “cardiologist”. There is no word that she’s ever met Trump let alone treated him. But Dr Karen has seen enough to tells us that Melania Trump will “make certain demands as a young woman in her prime”. Lest you think Dr Karen is a ghoul, she adds, “Let’s hope he doesn’t die on the job.”
The second expert is Dr Patrick Heck. He’s quoted as having told a medial conference: “He [Trump] is surely at a significant risk of a heart attack”.
Over the Express, Dr Karen is no longer a cardiologist, but “Gynaecologist Dr Karen Morton, of Dr Mortons”.
Dr Morton’s is a private medial service. We were quoted a fee of £10 per minute to speak to a doctor, after registering. An email consultation will set us back £25. The receptionist told us that, to the best of her knowledge, Dr Morton has not treated Donald Trump, father to a young child who will be surely delighted to know that such fine minds are discussing his dad’s death in the media.
It’s all done in the best possible taste, of course.
Madeleine McCann: a look at reporting on the missing child.
The Mirror (page 21): “‘MADDIE’ LIVING ROUGH IN ITALY IS SWEDISH STUDENT”.
Madeleine McCann was taken to Sweden, enrolled at university there before absconding to live rough in Italy? No. Tracey Kandohla tells us that Embla Jauhojarvi has been “identified” after “claims she could have been Madeleine McCann”. Madeleine McCann vanished in 2007. She was 4. Embla Jauhojarvi is 21.
The Mirror says photos of Embla, who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, look a bit like mock-ups of how Madeleine McCann might look were she 21-years-old and living rough on the streets of Rome.
Who on earth thought Embla could be the missing child? The Mirror notes: ” The Official Find Madeleine Campaign on Facebook, endorsed by parents Kate and Gerry McCann, alerted the Met Police.”
The story goes that Embla told Italian police her name was Maria and she was English. Italian police “said the girl was too old to be Madeleine”. Embla is 21. She is a woman. She is not a “girl”.
Daily Star (Page 6): “Hopes Dashed After Web’s ‘Maddie’ Claim”
Andrew James says Embla was “said to resemble Madeleine McCann”. She doesn’t. But she does have “the same distinctive blemish in her eye as Madeleine”. To recap: Embla is white and one of her eyes looks a bit like of the missing child’s eyes.
Say Rome police: “There has speculation but Madeleine would be 13 now and this is much older. It’s not her.”
As we look up the Italian for ‘No shit, Sherlock”, the Express has more.
Daily Express (Page 21): “Who is the mysterious ‘MARIA'”?
Well, you could find out by reading the Mail’s tory of two days ago: “EXCLUSIVE: ‘That’s my girl!’ Swedish father reveals the mystery English-speaking homeless girl of Rome is his daughter, 21, who suffers from Asperger’s and vanished six months ago.”
Or you could read Dominic Midgley, who pulls on his gumshoes and writes on the woman sleeping rough in Rome:
She could not be fingerprinted because she had committed no crime but she was photographed. She stares out of the pictures with dull blue eyes that betray a resigned acceptance of her plight rather than active unhappiness…
As Midgley reads minds, we learn that Embla is daughter to Tahvo Jauhojärvi, “the owner of a gym equipment company in Stockholm.”
Daily Mail and Sun: nothing.
We all want to see a happy ending to the story of Madeleine McCann’s vanishing. But, as ever, the tabloids are going with sensation over facts. How does this help?
Buckingham Palace is been given a refit. The Mail’s Sebastian Shakespeare is shocked and dismayed that the penny-pinching Queen will not chip in to help with the £370m refurb. So tight is Her Majesty that staff are being short-changed. Below the headline “Gardener at Palace won’t get London Living Wage: Staff member would have cost of living in docked from their salary”, he writes:
The Royal Household is advertising for an experienced, qualified gardener who will be paid £17,000 per year — which works out at £8.72 an hour for a standard 37-and-a-half-hour week.
However, the successful applicant will, in fact, be paid less than £17,000 because they will be obliged to live in, the cost for which will be docked from their salary.
A small studio flat in Mayfair will set you back at least £2,000 a month.
And the job includes perks other than living in the Royal Mews:
You will be rewarded with a comprehensive benefits package, including 33 days holiday (inclusive of Bank Holidays), a 15% employer contribution pension scheme (with the option for flexibility – to increase contributions or draw down as salary), meals provided, training and development, as well as a range of recreational facilities. In addition, as this is a live-in role, you will be provided with single accommodation, and if eligible, be able to apply for self-contained accommodation, for which your salary will be adjusted.
So you don’t get paid less than minimum wage at all.
Hats off to the Daily Star for one of the most absurd and joyous front pages. The paper brings news that Ant and Dec are in a “RACE STORM.
Ant and Dec are the faces of ITV’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, a show that’s been running so long the local wildlife has unionised.
The story is that Ant and Dec have insulted “sensitive Australians” by calling them “uncouth layabouts who rarely wash. The paper’s bit about the Poms’ joke upsetting “sensitive” Aussies is brilliant.
Years and years of storied abuse between the English and the Australians and the Star sets new standards. No longer rugged and tough, Aussies are “sensitive”.
It’s all very touchy feely Down Under.
The good new is that the next generation of prudes is on course to graduate from City University just as soon. The college’s student union has furthered democracy by voting to ban the sale of the Sun, Daily Express and Daily Mail from the campus. All papers have been ruled “facist” [sic] and “Islamophobiac” [sic] by the one percent of the student body that voted.
It used to be, of course, that the one percent referred to the gilded elite who exercised control over the proles. Now the 1% are the moral elite who think the 99% are the gilded, ignorant elite. If Labour and Jeremy Corbyn need to know why they won’t win a General Election, they should look at that 1% as their new core vote.
Also, it’s a tad ironic that the vote was more loaded than a Daily Express phone poll. But both newspaper and student union have a little way to go before they can emulate Saddam Hussein who in 2002 famously won 100% support from 11,445,638 eligible Iraqi voters.
In a vote on a motion called – and get this for title Joe Stalin would just love (deep breath) – Opposing Fascism and Social Divisiveness in the UK Media – these anti-fascists agreed that banning newspapers is just, right, progressive and human.
What does it all mean? Well, the “Press Gazette understands there are no retail outlets for newspapers on the campus”.
So you can bring your own to school, like these fine anti-fascists are doing.
Apparently, student fascists are now putting tabloids all over the campus (see photo above). Che Guevara is so out of date. If you students want to a real poster to showcase your rebellious credentials, slap up a picture of Vicky from Hounslow.
Chickens. If you eat them raw, you might get ill. It’s a lucky dip. The Daily Mail leads with news that 2 in 3 chickens sold in “British stores” have a superbug. The small print tells readers that the superbug is E.coli and its resistant to antibiotics.
Readers of the Scottish Daily Mail get a different version. In Scotland “half of fresh chicken sold in Scottish stores” is infected with the “e.coli superbug”.
Whatever the geographic differences in contaminated chickens, the issue is getting worse. In September, the Mail said it was one in four chickens.
Over in today’s Sun, the story is that “most” chickens have the bug. But the paper is not as terrified as the Mail, noting early in the story.
The strain of the infectious bug has developed a resistance to some antibiotics, meaning people who fall ill could be more difficult to treat. It is not the killer O157 food poisoning strain and does not cause the usual diarrhoea and vomiting.
Compare that to the Mail’s opening lines:
Two-thirds of the fresh chicken sold in British stores is contaminated with an E.coli superbug, according to experts. The scale is far higher than previous studies have shown and points to a serious public health threat.
The Mail, as ever, links the bug to cancer:
The alarming effects of the antibiotic-resistant strain of E.coli come when you get ill. Someone infected by chicken a few years earlier, who then ends up having chemotherapy for cancer, or surgery, is vulnerable to infections such as pneumonia, which then cannot be properly fought with antibiotics.
You can avoid illness by washing your hands after handling raw chicken and cooking the meat. The Food Standards Agency tell us:
Don’t wash raw chicken: Cooking will kill any bacteria present, including campylobacter, while washing chicken can spread germs by splashing.
This abusing of whites by whites is pathetic. The knowing used to be content with labelling a whole group of people ‘white trash’, sub-human rubbish identifiable by Londsale logos and slack-jaws. This hideous social racist term dehumanises a whole group of people as human dross – which is what Nazis and jihadis do.
Tired of outing the likes of Coleen Rooney as “a superchav” (Sunday Times) for having ideas above her station and appearing on the Vogue cover, branding Jade Goody “a vile, pig-ignorant, racist, bully consumed by envy of a woman of superior intelligence, beauty and class” (The Sun), belittling “Essex Man“ and giving Stephen Lawrence’s killers an excuse by calling their home town a “White Man’s Gulch”, an “E-reg Escort-land” (Daily Mirror) of uniformly hateful creatures, the new way for the right sort of whites to boost their self-esteem is to call out rich whites.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn lambasts Donald Trump and Nigel Farage as “rich, white, fake anti-elitists”.
There is no safe space to be white in public unless you are accusing other whites of some collective crime for which they should be ashamed. If you want to assure yourself that you’re the right kind of white, you can wear a safety pin on your clothes. Speaking to the BBC, Allison (she don’t want to give her full name), who seems to come up with the idea, opined: “If people wear the pin and support the campaign they are saying they are prepared to be part of the solution. It could be by confronting racist behaviour, or if that is not possible at least documenting it. More generally it is about reaching out to people and letting them know they are safe and welcome.”
It’s virtue signalling for people who have a pretty low view of humanity, who assume that only mentally negligible dupes and racists voted for Brexit or Trump. It’s long been assumed that you can spot by a bigot by their Klan hood, Nazi walk, raised jihadi finger or far-Left and far-Right politics. But stick on a safety pin and the pin heads position themselves in a moral station above all the non-pin wearers now cast as suspected bigots. Nazis made the Untermensch wear symbols to advertise their wrong-thinking and bad morals so their betters would know them; the new morally elite wear symbols to show their cultural superiority.
It’s weak to attack abuse an entire racial group. Debate and ridicule your enemies by all means. Name call if you like – but do try to be imaginative and gloriously bitchy. Just leave race and colour out of it. It makes you look like a snobby and envious twat.
Sophie Theallet has something to say. Having once provided clothes for Michelle Obama’s wardrobe, Theallet will not allow Melania Trump to fill her massive closets with the same.
Does Melania want to wear Theallet’s clothes? We’ve found no word that she does. But it is a shame one immigrant cannot support another.
Of course, banning people is what any tradesperson can do. It’s their right to be rude. Well, sort of.
One of my favourite rude shopkeepers was Kim Tickell, aka Kim Joseph Hollick de la Taste Tickell, who ran the Tickell Arms outside Cambridge until his death in 1990.
After parking carefully you approached the front door, on which was posted a long handwritten list of house rules – No Long-Haired Lefties, No Tee Shirts, No Trainers, No CND-ers and so on. The Squire himself usually presided over his empire in 18th century style attire including knee breeches and an eye glass. He was spectacularly rude, usually for no good reason, and was prone to outrageous behaviour. He once poured the ice bucket down a customer’s trousers because his shirt had come untucked and he was therefore “undressed”. A large pair of scissors was kept behind the bar so he could snip off any ties which offended him. Should a customer not have parked sufficiently neatly, he would call out their number plates through a megaphone, demanding they adjust the vehicle now. The walls were adorned with large weapons which he sometimes used for chasing people out of the building.
Londoners will recall Soho’s Wong Kei, a restaurant famed for its surly staff. When the new owner promised to offer a more genteel dining experience, patrons complained. Andrew Lebentz wrote: “Please don’t make Wong Kei a polite place to eat – the best thing about it is the rude staff.” James Bollen added: “RIP London’s most masochistic dining experience in Chinatown.“ Even Daniel Luc, who too over the place in 2014, said: “Maybe there was an issue with rude staff 20 to 30 years ago, but I don’t think so any more. I don’t know whether that’s a good thing or not.”
So more power to Sophie Theallet, whose snootiness should have them flocking. She is now The Rudest Designer in the USA. She should put that on a T-shirt.