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Manchester United pay through the nose for Arsenal’s bargain Sanchez

When Emmanuel Petit isn’t spending time with his hair, the former France and Arsenal player is creating to-deadline ‘news’ for Paddy Power, the bookmakers. On the firm’s website ‘writes’ that Arsenal “could have sold him [Alexis Sanchez]  last summer and received at least double the amount they’ll get now.” Er, no. The £60m Manchester City offered the Chilean last summer also included a signing on payment and a cut for the player’s agent, a man widely reported to be getting £10m from the £35m Manchester United have offered Arsenal. Arsenal were not getting £60m.

But, say it was £40m to Arsenal (the £60m less £10m to the agent and £10m to the player), the £20m Arsenal will get for Sanchez is boosted by Henrikh Mkhitaryan going the other way. He cost United £30m in 2016. Arsenal will get a player worth around that price – it’s what he would have cost them – plus £20m. That’s not too shabby. Factor in not paying Sanchez the £300,000 a week Arsenal offered him in a new contract – he’s on £130,000 a week; about the same sum Mkhitaryan earns at United – and that Sanchez is free agent in the summer, and Arsenal’s bankers aren’t jumping from top-floor windows just yet.

Petit goes on:

As for Mkhitaryan, since he signed for United he hasn’t been involved enough. I’m not sure he has a winning mentality, and sometimes he reminds me of Ozil: you really have to push him to show his character and put him under pressure to display his best qualities. There’s no doubt he has great skill, but I’m not sure he’s the kind of player that Arsenal need – they should be focused on other positions.

Put that through the tabloid mincer and it comes:

 

 

When the Armenian signed for United, he was greeted by his new manager Jose Mourinho thus:

“We have brought in the player who was voted the best player in the French league [Zlatan Ibrahimovic] and with Micki we have brought the player who was voted the best player of the Bundesliga. He was voted not by the fans, not by the journalists but voted by the fellow players and that is what means more, I believe, because when your fellow players are the ones that choose you then it means a lot.

“Micki is a fantastic player and what I like more is something that is undeniable, which is the number of goals that he scores by not being a striker. His number of goals per season is really high for somebody that is not a striker. The number of assists is also very clear because it shows clearly his creativity, his vision and his concept of collective play, and that is something that I believe is really important for a club like us.

“We try to be dominant and will, for sure, face teams with a very defensive profile which is his capacity of acceleration of the game. He has a change of speed with the ball and without the ball, and that is very, very important for a club like ours.”

“Mikhi Mouse”? Petit’s words are being manipulated, of course. But there’s no need because what else he says is entirely stupid and needs no sensationalising:

Arsenal are struggling to bring in top-quality players, and also to keep the ones they have. It has been like this for a long time. They must be more competitive on the market, both when buying and selling. Times have changed since I left Arsenal, but I’m pretty sure Arsène is still heavily involved when it comes from to the transfer market.

Can you keep a player earning £130,000 a week from being attracted to earning £500,000 a week at a different club?

…but with the money Arsenal have, they should be aiming higher. Because they are not competitive on the pitch at the moment, they need to be more competitive with wages: if you can’t guarantee trophies or at least compete to win them, then you must offer players more in order to come to the club. That’s just the way it works.

It helps if you have as much money as your rivals. Gary Jacob explains the “way it works”:

United earn and can spend much more money on wages, while City have a mega wealthy owner….Arsenal have championed a sustainable model built on being able to generate more income from tickets and corporate activities, but trail United in commercial income.

The model means Arsenal’s top earners are not way ahead of their lowest earners.

The bulk of Arsenal’s players earn between around £60,000 a week and £70,000 a week. Arsenal handed Alex Iwobi a contract worth around £35,000 a week when he put in some positive performances as they were keen to tie him down. At other clubs, inferior players earn relatively less by comparison….

In short: Arsenal take more of a punt than the two Manchester clubs or Chelsea on younger, less experienced players.  As Arsene Wenger has said:

“We have to revisit the way we structure our club, and our scouting policy. You look at world-class players now, you look at [Cristiano] Ronaldo, Neymar, Sanchez, their level of financial demands and the level of their costs, you have to go younger and certainly these players are not affordable.

“[Finding future stars] is more difficult nowadays because the competition is everywhere, it is very big. What is important today is that we are the club that can maybe give them a chance, more than many other clubs.”

Arsenal cannot compete with mega-rich owners who see the clubs as a branding exercise. But they can find stars of tomorrow. Indeed, when Sanchez joined the Gunners from Barcelona, didn’t they recruit a bargain, arguably paying under the odds for a top talent?

Posted: 19th, January 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Kazakh oligarch’s $179,000 wedding cake doubles as a starter home

To a wedding in Kazakhstan, where guests are touring the $179,000 wedding cake that doubles as a starter home for newly weds Amirzhan, grandson of Shymkent oligarch Serikzhan Seitzhanov, and Aruzhan, daughter of Kairat Satybaldy, a Kazakh businessman, nephew of the country’s president. Built by Renat Agzamov, a former Russian boxing champion, the cake is well appointed, with master bedroom, basement polo studio, games room and living quarters for umpteen servants.

 

Реализовали сложнейший международный проект🔥 диаметр торта 3 метра, высота 4,2 ( с тележкой) . Вес около 1500кг. С такими размерами доставить заготовки в другую страну – это ОЧЕНЬ сложно ! Но мы справились, потому что у нас самая сильная команда профессионалов в мире!🔥🔥🔥 Перед вывозом торта в зал – ровно 3 суток без сна, но результат того стоит! Благодарю свою команду за мощный рывок в космос 🚀 Просто ценю и уважаю каждого😘❤️. Благодарю принимающую сторону за очень тёплый и душевный прием🙏! Как приятно работать, когда тебя любят, ценят и уважают😘❤️. Ну и самое главное – счастья молодым и благополучия 🙏🙏❤️.

A post shared by RENAT AGZAMOV (@renat_agzamov) on

 

The icing on the cake is that, according to the World Bank, the GDP per capita for Kazakhstan is US$7,715.

 

Posted: 19th, January 2018 | In: News, Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Manchester United’s fee for Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez confuses the Daily Mirror

Manchester United are going to pay an “incredible” £182m for Alexis Sanchez. So says the Daily Mirror. And it’s wrong, of course. A desperate and rich United have agreed to pay a £35m transfer fee for the 29-year-old Chilean. That’s pretty much it.

But the Mirror tots up the £500,000-a-week ages Sanchez will earn before tax on a four-and-a-half year contract and adds £117m to that £35m. It then adds a further £20m Sanchez will get by way of a “signing on payment”. That’s £172m. But the Mirror conjures £182 by double counting £10m Sanchez’s agent will earn, which is already incorporated in the £35m transfer fee.

 

daily mirror sanchez

£10m becomes £20m at the stroke of a pen

 

But aside from the pisspoor accounting, readers have to imagine that United will pay Sanchez over four years wages in one tranche. They won’t, of course.

And there’s the wages. The Sun says Sanchez will earn £505,000 a week. The Mail says it’s £450,000, a week – £350,000 basic plus £100,000 in image rights. That’s a licence for United to exploit Sanchez’s name commercially on stuff like mugs and other merchandising spin-offs. Buying Sanchez is not just about buying his ability on the pitch. United will earn from Sanchez’ name. It’s not wages. It’s a partnership.

Sanchez stands to earn a fortune. But the Mirror thinks his vast income is simply not sensational enough and needs inflating.

But you can get to £180m if you include wages, fees and tax:

 

 

Posted: 18th, January 2018 | In: Arsenal, manchester united, Money, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Stormy Daniels: what’s it’s like to have sex with Donald Trump

Ever wonder what sex with Donald Trump is like? There might be bedwetting and orange skids on the sheets. But what about the actual intercourse? Lending Trump watchers and other enthusiastic sex watchers a small moistened helping hand is Stormy Daniels, a pneumatic aid to masturbation who tells us via a 2011 edition of In Touch magazine that sex with Trump in 2006 was “textbook”.

 

donald trump Stormy_Daniels_2010

Stormy in a G-Cup

 

In most of my school textbooks, sex was depictions of gigantic breasts and squirting knobs drawn in the margins. In Stormy’s edition of York Notes, we get more words than images:. “I actually don’t even know why I did it,” says the porn star of the billionaire, “but I do remember while we were having sex I was like, ‘Please don’t try to pay me’.” Well, d’uh. For one thing, where’s she’s gonna swipe the credit card?

She says he asked her to sign a DVD of one of her skin flicks and called her a “smart businesswoman” before they parted.

Anyhow, this is news because Trump says they never shagged. And she agrees, also stating that in no way was she paid $130,000 to never mention the incident.

Which she has and hasn’t.

Posted: 18th, January 2018 | In: Celebrities, News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal: Wenger laments Walcott sale

Everton have signed Theo Walcott from Arsenal. Walcott has joined on a £20m on a three-and-a-half year contract. This is good news for all parties. Walcott has stagnated at Arsenal. Everton could be the flip he requires to restart a career that promise much and delivered less. In his 12 seasons at Arsenal, Walcott has scored 108 goals in 397 appearances. Not too shabby at all. But the feeling persists that the stats should have been more impressive.

“It felt like it was time for me to move on [from Arsenal],” says Walcott. “It was sad but it’s exciting at the same time and I want to reignite my career and push Everton to win things as they have done before. The manager is very hungry and it’s just what I need. I’ve had a couple of chats with him and straightaway I felt that hunger and that desire that he wanted from me.”

In a statement, Arsenal said: “We all thank Theo for his contribution to the club and wish him well for the future.”

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he did not want Walcott to leave. But if you don’t give a player with ambition a starting berth in a team of journeymen, he has to go.

 

Posted: 17th, January 2018 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Justin Trudeau rides to the rescue on Khawlah Noman’s cut hijab

Racism exits, of course. But to prejudice incidents to fit our own prejudices serve no useful purpose. When CNN reported the claim of an alleged crime, the details were not couched in circumspection and a need to stick to the facts. The story told us: “Khawlah Noman was walking to her Toronto school when a man suddenly appeared behind her and cut her hijab.”

Fact. Nasty stuff. The story continues: ‘”I felt really scared and confused,” the 11-year-old girl said at a news conference Friday.’ A news conference for a nasty but not major crime seems overblown. No? You kind if wonder what role the police are taking. Child makes claim. Police stage press conference and issue a statement of fact.

The man approached the child from behind Friday morning as she made her way to school with her younger brother. He pulled the hood off the girl’s jacket and cut her hijab with a pair of scissors, police said.

More facts.

The story was so important that it went to the very top. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took to Twitter:

“My heart goes out to Khawlah Noman following this morning’s cowardly attack on her in Toronto. Canada is an open and welcoming country, and incidents like this cannot be tolerated.”

Was an alleged incident being used to polish the State’s sound morals? Canada was standing with Khawlah.

The facts kept on coming. Reuters wrote a report which was picked up by many publications. The following words appeared in the Daily Mail, NY TimesThe National and the Huffington Post:

Toronto police are investigating an attack on an 11-year-old girl whose hijab headcovering was repeatedly cut on her way to school on Friday, heightening pressure on Canadian governments to take further action against attacks on Muslims.

Newsweek rehashed the news:

Khawlah Noman, a sixth grader at Pauline Johnson Junior Public School in Toronto, Canada was walking with her younger brother to school when a man came up behind her, pulled off her jacket hood, and started cutting the bottom of her hijab.

Trudeau was breathless with pain as he told people that attacking children was not the kind of country Canada is.

 

 

It happened!

 

 

And now a report tells us:

An 11-year-old girl’s report last week that a man tried to cut off her hijab as she walked to school didn’t occur, Toronto police said Monday.

“After a detailed investigation, police have determined that the events described in the original news release did not happen,” police said.

“The investigation is concluded.”

Kids, eh.

Posted: 17th, January 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Former prostitutes demand the right to be judgement free

You can’t earn Brownies badges for running a self-employed enterprise, handling cash, dealing with difficult customers, fighting or avoiding prosecution for using your own body for sex, although there are badges for hostessing and watersports. Of course Brownies are underage, and former prostitutes seeking to work with them will stick to teaching children more age-appropriate skills than turning tricks.

The link between Brown Owl’s charges and prostitutes is made in the Telegraph, which delivers the headline: “Former prostitutes to sue the Government as criminal records stop them volunteering with Brownie groups.” What risk does a law-abiding former prostitute pose to children? None. Not unless you treat the women as suspects first and last, people who didn’t sell sex for cash because they had to or made a free and conscious choice, but because they are psychologically flawed, criminally minded and morally unsound.

In England and Wales, the sale and purchase of sexual services between consenting adults is legal. And it’s popular. According to a Government document from 2016, “around 11% of British men aged 16–74 have paid for sex on at least one occasion, which equates to 2.3 million individuals. In 2014–15, there were 456 prosecutions of sex workers for loitering and soliciting. An estimated 152 sex workers were murdered between 1990 and 2015…. Soliciting, kerb crawling, brothel-keeping and various forms of exploitation, are illegal.”

Women with convictions for more or one of the above offences say their criminal records under the Street Offences Act 1959 have prevented them from taking up volunteering and job opportunities. They argue that the retention, recording and disclosure of criminal convictions arising from soliciting offences “discriminates against women and is contrary to the UK’s legal obligations in respect of the trafficking of women.” There case is to be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice.

Is it fair that past offences are allowed to damage us in later life, when we’re on the straight and narrow and haven’t offended for years?

One anonymous woman’s words feature in a press release from the Centre for Women’s Justice:

“It doesn’t matter what it is – trying to help out at my kids’ school or the local brownies’ coffee morning, trying to be a governor or a councillor, applying to education or training or employment – even volunteering in so many fields – with children, with the elderly, in care, with vulnerable people, with youth work, with social work – all need a DBS and then you get treated like some sort of pariah or sex offender.But it’s not fair – I never chose that life and I fought hard to get out of it but I’m always being pulled back to it as though that’s who I am, but it’s not who I am.”

Fiona Broadfoot has more on the exploitation and dangers that face prostitutes:

“I met a pimp aged 15 and two weeks later I was thrown into the violent and abusive world of prostitution. Rape became an occupational hazard but I was arrested, charged and criminalised for loitering for the purposes of being a common prostitute. After more than twenty years out of prostitution, I am still having to explain my criminal record to any prospective employer. It feels like explaining my history of abuse.”

That can’t be civilised and decent can it. Don’t we all of us deserve the right to move on? Moreover, isn’t it time prostitution was decriminalised – is it right that the State sees women’s bodies as public property open to judgement?

Posted: 17th, January 2018 | In: News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Police investigate Chelsea’s payment of £15m for Everton’s Ross Barkley

“The Assistant Chief Constable of @MerseyPolice has contacted @mayor_anderson to tell him no criminal offence took place in Ross Barkley’s move from #Everton to Chelsea. The Mayor of #Liverpool wrote a letter to them asking them to investigate if any fraud took place.” So told the BBC tweet at 11:25 AM on Jan 16, 2018.

Sleep well in your beds, perps. And keep ’em peeled. Merseyside Police will leave no stone unturned in investigating Barkley’s departure to Stamford Bridge. A top copper has assured Liverpool’s Everton supporting mayor that Ross Barkley was not abducted. The £15m Chelsea paid for him was not part of any ransom. And Everton are not set to unveil Barkley’s identical twin brother, also called Ross.

Mayor Joe Anderson reportedly wrote to the FA, the Premier League and the Police, requesting they look into the transfer. He thought it to cheap for such a bright talent. And, incredibly, what with Liverpool being crime free, the police did.

Posted: 16th, January 2018 | In: News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal transfers: Daily Mail writer doesn’t read the Daily Mail

Do journalist read their own newspapers? Writing in the Daily Mail about Arsenal transfers, Adam Shergold writes today:

 

arsenal transfers

It is a measure of how far Arsenal’s stock has fallen that they are spending the January transfer window trying to hold on to key assets rather than looking to strengthen their squad.

Rally? Because the Mail also reports in the past 24 hours that Arsenal are looking to sell Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott. And the club is looking at new faces:

 

 

Story 1:

Borussia Dortmud striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has already got one quality to be an Arsenal legend – he hates Tottenham.

Story 2:

The United boss omitted the Armenian from the squad to face Stoke on Monday night, with a potential swap deal with Arsenal for Alexis Sanchez being touted.

Story 3:

After Wenger’s initial apprehension towards a move, Arsenal are now working to complete the deal for the Gabon striker who would replace Manchester United-bound Alexis Sanchez.

Story 4:

Arsenal are reportedly keen to take Manchester United striker Anthony Martial in part-exchange for Alexis Sanchez. United have moved ahead of Manchester City in the race to sign the Chilean.

Story 5:

Premier League heavyweights Arsenal and Chelsea have identified Watford attacker Richarlison as a potential signing during the summer transfer window.

Story 6:

Alexis Sanchez set to leave Arsenal ‘in the next 48 hours’ with £35million transfer to Manchester United close as Arsene Wenger demands Henrikh Mkhitaryan is involved in any deal

Story 7:

Bordeaux’s Brazil forward Malcolm has been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium

Shergold was watching Arsenal play and beat Manchester United in an Under 23 clash last night. His reports tells us:

The other notable moment of the night saw January signing Konstantinos Mavropanos make his first appearance in an Arsenal shirt.

Either Shergold is right or all those stories on the Mail’s website are balls?

Posted: 16th, January 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, manchester united, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Insurance or the NHS: who pays for the rising cost of childbirth?

What does it cost to have a baby on the NHS? The Guardian says: having a baby without complications costs £2,790; having a baby with complications costs £5,000. Those figures are supplied by the Nuffield Trust, an independent charity. The Mirror says it would cost you “tens of thousands of pounds” to have a baby were it not for the NHS.

Would it? Would you all really pay tens of thousands of pounds to have a child?

In the Guardian, another question arises today: “Why does it cost $32,093 just to give birth in America?” The inference, of course, is that the NHS does it much better and much cheaper that any other alternative system.

The answer to the Guardian’s question is simple: there’s insurance that covers it. It’s less about what it costs than it is about who pays the bill and how it’s paid. Indeed, in paragraph five, the paper notes that “insurance typically covers a large chunk of those costs”.

And then this:

Medicaid, a program available to low income households that covers nearly all birth costs….Childbirth Connection put the average out of pocket childbirth costs for mothers with insurance at $3,400 in 2013.

But things do look pricey in the US. The BBC has this graph from 2015:

 

 

Prof Gerard Anderson of the Johns Hopkins Centre for Hospital Finance and Management explains the costings:

“If you can make more money as a doctor by ordering more tests, you are going to order them and therefore patients end up getting more tests.

“You also pay a fee for services a la carte in the US so if you are worried about the pain of the childbirth and have an epidural, you’ll have to pay for it. If you ask for a painkiller after giving birth, you’ll have to pay for it. And all those costs rack up.”

Money is the incentive that encourages more expensive care? The piecemeal approach can create a higher final bill. The NYTimes reports:

Recent studies have found that more than 30 percent of American women have Caesarean sections or have labor induced with drugs — far higher numbers than those of other developed countries and far above rates that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists considers necessary.

And here’s the hook. Anderson explains;

“If you don’t have health insurance in the US, hospitals and doctors will ask you to pay three to four times what someone with insurance will pay for the same service because no-one is negotiating rates on their behalf.”

Andrew Sullivan:

Matt Yglesias drools over the possibility of getting the entire country under the government’s healthcare thumb. Medicare is a particularly revealing program idea in this respect. At a deep level, the left sees all of us as the equivalent of senior citizens, dependent on the benevolence of government for our needs and wants. Of course, they will provide our needs as they see fit – they’re good people, you know. And so much smarter than the rest of us. There will be none of that wasteful drug spending we now have. How dare Americans spend their own money on treatments they actually want? It’s inefficient! This remains the key template for liberals: citizens as permanent supplicants. Those who do manage to look after themselves? Don’t worry. They’ll tax you till you really do need the equivalent of Medicare. And expect you to be grateful for it.

Is the NHS efficient, providing heath care at the points of need? Not always. It spend lots of money on other stuff. In 2014, the NHS’s future was outlined in a policy document:

‘The first argument we make in this Forward View is that the future health of millions of children, the sustainability of the NHS, and the economic prosperity of Britain all now depend on a radical upgrade in prevention and public health… The NHS will therefore now back hard-hitting national action on obesity, smoking, alcohol and other major health risks. We will help develop and support new workplace incentives to promote employee health and cut sickness-related unemployment.’

Does your private quack do that? Would you want them to? Would you pay them to?

And is it fair to take one part of your ‘cradle to grave’ health needs out of context?

The OECD tells us that the UK spends less on health as a share of GDP than the USA:

 

 

The message seems to be: if you can afford it, get insurance and read the small print. If you can’t, be poor enough to qualify for help but don’t expect many of the optional extras. And then ask if the NHS – a tax-funded, free at the point of delivery healthcare provider – serves the needs to the patient best, how it compares to foreign alternatives and if we shouldn’t be looking at other solutions, including better funding for community care?

Posted: 16th, January 2018 | In: Money, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Referee Tony Chapron admits mistake after trying to kick player in Nantes v PSG match

Ligue 1 referee Tony Chapron took a starring role in Nantes’ 0-1 home defeat to PSG on Sunday night. Chapron cut across  Nantes defender Diego Carlos while sprinting after Kylian Mbappe and fell to the ground. He then aimed a kick at Carlos. To put the tin lid on thing, Chapron awarded the blameless Brazilian a second yellow card. He was off.

We have video footage of the incident.

 

 

The French Football Federation (FFF) says Chapron will be “withdrawn until further notice” .

Now Chapton has issued an apology, albeit wrapped in a sympathetic backstory. Humility ranks low in his statement to AFP, translated via the BBC:

“During the Nantes-PSG match, I was barged by Nantes player Diego Carlos.”

Victimhood established.  (What happened: You cut across him. Your legs tangled. You were not barged.)

“As a result of the impact, I felt a sharp pain from a recent injury. I reacted badly by moving my leg towards the player.”

Victimhood. Low level acceptance of blame.

“I have sent a report to the (LFP) disciplinary commission so that the [second] booking received by the player can be withdrawn, because having seen the images his action did not seem deliberate.”

Fairness. It did not seem deliberate. But it might have been. (It wasn’t. But your kicking out was.)

The LFP has rescinded the card. Chapron is recovering.

Posted: 15th, January 2018 | In: News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Daily Express uses fake Sanchez story to seduce Manchester United fans to Bullshit.com

As Alexis Sanchez prepares to sign a new deal with Manchester City or Manchester United – something that looked unlikely before Arsenal made the Barcelona reject look a bargain – the Daily Express gets the scoop, as ever it must. No fewer than two hadlin es scream that Sanchez to United is a done deal.

 

Alexis Sanchez to Man Utd: Romelu Lukaku 'confirms' transfer on Snapchat

 

Alexis Sanchez to Man Utd: Romelu Lukaku confirms transfer on Snapchat

Alexis Sanchez to Man Utd: Fans rage at each other as Lukaku confirms deal

The clue to this being total balls is in thoes inverted commas about ‘confirms”. You might spot them, but the Google bots that serve content to the world do no. In terms of getting traffic, inverted commas are the fake news’ friend.

The story, such as it is, is classic clickbait.

…on Lukaku’s personal Snapchat, the Belgian posted an image with three emojis. The Chile flag had an arrow next to it with a devil emoji in a black background.

The image was swiftly deleted but not before fans spotted Lukaku’s apparent confirmation and fans on social media believe it’s a clear sign that Sanchez has chosen United over Manchester City.

And so after two headlines and eight paragraphs, the fact emerges:

…eagle eyed fans spotted that the image was fake. Lukaku’s Snapchat account is Romelu.Lukaku10 but the image has Lukaku’s username as rLukaku9.

Ha. Yeah. The Express should put Romelu Lukaku’s name in inverted commas, too, because the story has nothing to do with him.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 15th, January 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, manchester united, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Poor Ant and lucky Lisa: tabloids and PRs control Ant McPartlin’s divorce story

ant mcpartlin divorce

 

How do we feel about Ant McPartlin, the taller half of Ant ‘n’ Dec? The papers want us to sympathise with Ant, who’s filed for divorce from Lisa Armstrong after 11 years of marriage. The Mirror and Express lead with poor Ant: “Ant’s agony” (Express) and the “agony of Any” (Mirror).

The Mirror says the “star looked exhausted and had a bandaged hand during a walk in London.” These are “tough times” for Ant. An unflattering photo of Lisa, shown on the Mirror’s front page and on its page 5, shows her looking less than cock-a-hoop. Over two pages, we read Ant’s message in the Mirror. He has “admitted he is to blame for the break-up”. He “showed the strain of the split and his battle with pill and booze addiction” as he walked wth his mother. A “source” tells us, “the best thing is now that they both move on”.

Beneath that a lawyer opines that because “no one else is involved at present” the assets can be split equally between Lisa and Ant. No-one else involved “at present”? Might that change, then? And those assets are big.

The Sun and Star lead with the cash.

The Star calculates the couple’s pot to be worth £62m. And everything is couched from Ant’s viewpoint. We read that Lisa “stands to gain half of his £62m fortune”. Gain? Doesn’t she, like him, stand to lose control of £62m for half that amount? On page 5, we read that Lisa, who’s been with Ant for 23 years, “could pocket” and “rake in” a fortune. The Sun says Ant must “pay wife £31m“. Pay? Surely split the assets. He is “prepared to part with half his fortune“. Well, yes. That’s marriage mate. The assets are shared. What’s mine is yours. An unnamed “source” arrives to tell us what a good bloke Ant is. “It’s a huge amount,” says Messrs Anon and Anon, ” but he wants Lisa to be financially and emotionally supported.”

One page 4, the Sun tells its readers: “Star just wants Lisa to be happy.” “A source” says, he is “happy to give Lisa 50 per cent in the divorce if that is what is agreed by their lawyers.” Give? And noble of Ant to adhere to what the pricey lawyers hammer out and the law decides. “He wants to divorce for health reasons,” says the source.

 

ant mcpartlin divorce

 

And then the mood changes. Over pages 22-23, the Mail asks: “Why DID Ant abandon the wife who stood by him in his darkest hour – and still adore him?” Bravo, eh? You either take the PR’s word and wrap your story about it, or you form a position your readers will relish. And how does the Mail end its take on a divorce?”Everyone feels for Lisa,” says a “friend”.

Posted: 15th, January 2018 | In: Celebrities, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


UKIP leader Henry Bolton slinks back into anonymity as Jo Marney auditions for LBC

A few weeks ago, relatively few of us would have known the name of UKIP’s current leader. But then he left his third wife – the mother of his two young children, 42-year-old Tatiana Smurova – shacked up with a much younger woman, and because news media love blondes – which the lover is – the name Henry Bolton is now hard to avoid. Harder still to miss than the man who looks like a spin-dried Harry Enfield is the blonde, a “topless model” (Mirror) and UKIP member called Jo Marney.

She’s a deliciously dislikable character who after fire took the lives of so many at Grenfell Tower, opined: “Disgusting. That entire tower was a nest of illegal immigrants of all varieties. That’s why they can’t identify most of them. Meanwhile, British families wait on the council housing list for years.”

Other bon mosts include, according to the Sun: “Eastern European s****’ who would ‘f*** a mangey dog for about 10 quid and a Big Mac”. The Mail “can reveal Miss Marney has plumbed even further depths with horrific messages in which she joked with a friend about raping a baby. The Mail has chosen not to print the distressing exchange.”

Which makes us wonder what it was. But no matter if it was “taken out of context” and had been “part of an outrage competition”, which someone billed as Marney’s “friend” tells the Mail it was, what really made Marney fly were her ugly words on Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s intended:

 

marney bolton markle

 

Of course, they were private messages, a point Marney makes as she speaks to the Mail:

“I’m absolutely devastated by the messages that I’ve sent and the distress that I’ve caused anyone by those messages. They were unnecessary, they were reckless, they were overly exaggerated purely for effect. They were never intended to be put in the public domain and I’d like to take this opportunity to offer my sincere and deepest apologies to anyone I’ve hurt and for the distress and embarrassment I’ve caused my family, friends and the party.”

And news just in. Henry Bolton has dumped Jo Marney, leaving her free to pursue a carer as a shock jock on LBC.

Henry Bolton is single once more. Lock up your bigots!

Posted: 15th, January 2018 | In: News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Public Health England wants a return to rationing

This photo shows customers lining up for sugar at an unknown location during rationing in 1943.

 

England is making moves to control your insides. The Indy has news for people who like food and freedom. The Government wants to monitor your shopping bags:

Public Health England (PHE) is demanding a “calorie-cap” on supermarket ready meals and fast food dishes.

Can that be enforced? Public Health England says it works so that “the healthier choice becomes the default choice”. PHE wants to order chefs to change ingredients, reduce sugar, fat and salt from dinners; or bring back rationing, albeit only for the well-fed and ‘too fat’. We’ve never had it so good, so let’s have less of it.

The suggested ruling, which may come into effect in March, would limit breakfasts to 400 calories and lunches and dinners to 600 each.

May or may not. The paper fails to say under what powers PHE can make such a ruling.

Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, tells The Times. “This is all about things like pizzas and readymade sandwiches. We will need to set out guidelines and, I suspect, a series of calorie caps.”

So the Indy was wrong. There will be no rules. The Indy doesn’t bother to check its story, preferring to hype the news it read in another paper. Compare and contrast the Indy’s and the Times’s opening lines:

The traditional January detox when Britons stop drinking and start dieting could last all year under new government health guidelines. – Times

The ubiquity of new year diets and detoxes could extend beyond January and last all year – Indy

It’s worth looking at what PHE does. This from the ‘About’ section on its website:

Responsibilities
We are responsible for:

making the public healthier and reducing differences between the health of different groups by promoting healthier lifestyles, advising government and supporting action by local government, the NHS and the public

We are an executive agency of the Department of Health, and a distinct organisation with operational autonomy to advise and support government, local authorities and the NHS in a professionally independent manner.

PHE can’t make rules. Buy it can try to justify it existence with a spot of PR that, as ever, tells us how to behave.

Posted: 15th, January 2018 | In: Broadsheets, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Donald Trump and Obama’s shithole, by John Cusak

When, as reported everywhere, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin said Donald Trump called Haiti, El Salvador and some African countries (none of which have been identified) “shitholes” in an other instalment of his soap opera presidency. Trump’s beef, allegedly, is that immigrants are coming to the US from “shithole countries”. He’d rather aspirational people seeking better lives came from countries he admires, like Norway.

Many people were upset.

Trump denied it:

 

“I cannot believe that in the history of the White House, in that Oval Office, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president speak yesterday,” countered Mr Durbin.

Did Trump call African countries and Haiti “shitholes”? And if he did, is that really the worst thing any US President has ever said?

Actor John Cusack was among the upset:

john cusak trump shithole

Or as John Cusack out it in 2012: “One is forced to asked the question: Is the President (Obama) just another Ivy League A**hole shredding civil liberties and due process and sending people to die in some sh**hole for purely political reasons?”

No-one voted for Cusak.

Spotter: Tim Blair

Posted: 14th, January 2018 | In: Celebrities, News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Fight library closures and ignorance with this librarian action figure

Librarian-Action-Figure censorship

 

Libraries are in peril. Those places of leaning – dry, warm sanctuaries from the cut and thrust of life, where you can sit and think without any need to hand over cash – being closed. Struggling to balance the books, libraries are throwing them away.  It’s not been all bad news. Books are being saved by volunteers.  New libraries are opening. But the trend is towards less of them. In the last seven years one in six of all Wales’ libraries have closed.

Libraries need a hero. And here she is. The librarian action figure is based on Seattle librarian Nancy Pearl. She has “a removable cape that symbolizes how much of a hero a librarian really is.”

Spotter: Open Culture

Posted: 14th, January 2018 | In: News, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Will Sanchez leave Arsenal for Manchester City glory of Manchester United desperation?

Would Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez thrive at Manchester United? Jose Mourinho calls Sanchez “phenomenal” as he attempts to woo the player with honey and tons of cash. But Sanchez wants to join Manchester City.

It’s easy to see why. Under Pep Guardiola, with whom he worked at Barcelona, Sanchez would play for a fluid team going places. Under United, he’d be part of a big club’s desperate attempt to catch City.

Phil Neville, says United signing Sanchez would be a coup every bit as big as when Alex Ferguson recruited Eric Cantona from Leeds United. Cantona was the catalyst for United’s resurgence. Would 29-year-old Sanchez have the same effect on Mourinho’s dreary side?

As ever the reporting is based on guesswork.

The Sun (prop. R. Murdoch) says: “Sky Sport Italia [prop. R Murdoch] are now reporting that the Red Devils have agreed a financial package with Sanchez.” On January 9, the same Sun reported: “Arsenal news: Alexis Sanchez ‘agrees deal to join Manchester City’… it’s now just a matter of when.” And over on Fox Sports (Prop. R Murdoch) we are told: “Sanchez to Manchester United.” Beyond the Murdoch bubble, the Indy adds: “Alexis Sanchez: Manchester City ready to walk away from deal even if it means United sign him instead.”

The one thing we can all agree on: Arsenal can’t hang on to their best players and always tease their fans with the hope of a better tomorrow. Here’s Arsene Wenger: “It looks like Sanchez will not extend his contract, but we want to keep Jack and if we have an opportunity maybe to keep Ozil, the rebuild will be less deep than if all three left.”

Yeah, maybe. Or maybe not.

Posted: 13th, January 2018 | In: Arsenal, Manchester City, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Peter Thiel bids to spike Gawker for good

Having almost buried Gawker media, Paypal tycoon Peter Thiel, is making moves to buy Gawker.con, the media company’s eponymous gossip and news site that’s been inactive for over a year. Why does he want it? The New York Times thinks it’s “to finish an independent journalism outfit that angered him in 2007 when it reported, without his permission, that he is gay, a fact widely known at the time in Silicon Valley.” Will he get it? “There are going to be multiple factors to consider, which will not be solely economic,” says Will Holden, the administrator of Gawker’s bankruptcy plan. Things like keeping the site alive, the archive online and it’s tone of irreverence intact?

In which case it’s worth looking at how Gawker came unstuck. Gawker went under in 2016. The law agreed with Hulk Hogan that his privacy had been invaded when Gawker published a grainy sex tape of the former wrestler giving it the Full Nelson. A Florida jury awarded damages of $140m to Hogan after a two-week trial. And, as the NYT says:

It also emerged that Mr. Thiel had spent about $10 million in secretly backing the lawsuit, a move that many Gawker employees interpreted as an attempt at revenge. Mr. Thiel told The New York Times: “It’s less about revenge and more about specific deterrence. I saw Gawker pioneer a unique and incredibly damaging way of getting attention by bullying people even when there was no connection with the public interest.”

Are the super-rich the best judges of what’s in the public interest?

Business Insider has more on the offering:

Gawker, which has been inactive for more than a year, is conducting an auction of its remaining assets, including its domain names and nearly 200,000 archived articles. Most of its assets, including its sister pages Deadspin, a sports site, and Jezebel, a feminist blog, were bought in 2016 for $135 million by media company Univision Holdings Inc.

Thiel has not said why he wants Gawker, though the potential acquisition would let him take down stories regarding his personal life that are still available on the website, and remove the scope for further litigation between him and Gawker…

Some former Gawker staffers have tried to buy the site. On Kickstarter, they appealed for funds:

Gawker isn’t gone, it’s up for auction. The person who drove the site into bankruptcy wants to buy it.
We’re a group of former Gawker Media employees across editorial, tech, and business, and we want to put in our own bid to buy it back. We believe the site can thrive in an entirely membership funded model…

If we don’t raise enough money to buy the site, we will preserve the archive and launch a new publication under a different name. We’re bringing this back whether we have the Gawker URL or not. So if you miss Gawker like we do and feel like supporting our mission, become a member, tell your friends, share this project, and send us your tips. We have work to do.

The bid failed. Reports are the appeal raised $90,000, which though not too shabby is the kind of cash a billionaire has down the back of his manicurist’s sofa.

Posted: 13th, January 2018 | In: News, Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Manchester City won’t pay Arsenal star’s wages up front

It’s not just the Mirror online that seduces online readers with news that exists in headline form only. Today’s back page lead is that Manchester City are going to hijack Manchester City’s bid to recruit Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez. And the fee? Well, it’s an eye-popping £124m!

 

sanchez mirror

 

And after the headline the facts: Arsenal want £35m for their player. But before you can work it out how £35m becomes £124m, the Bleacher Report has echoed the Mirror’s “exclusive”. “Manchester United ‘Close to Agreeing’ Alexis Sanchez Deal Worth £124m,” yells the website.

 

How close? The BR doesn’t know. It’s story is based on the Mirror’s story. And over there we read:

Blues are baulking at paying £124million this month for striker who is set to be a summer free agent — and Jose Mourinho is lining up a stunning player-plus-cash deal involving Henrikh Mkhitaryan

On what planet are Arsenal getting £124m for Sanchez? They’re not. The Mirror has added up the “striker’s demand for a three-and-a-half-year contract worth £400,000-a-week” and his “£15million signing-on fee”.

Do all clubs pay the entire wage packet up front?

The other part of the news is that Manchester City “believed a £20m fee and contract worth £300,000-a-week would be enough to land Pep Guardiola’s No 1 target”.

Well, £20m is tad low. And just three days ago the Sun told us: “Arsenal news: Alexis Sanchez ‘agrees deal to join Manchester City’… it’s now just a matter of when.”

And a bit of if. Arsenal have said they will only sell Sanchez if they have a replacement lined up, which is why they didn’t flog him to Man City in the summer.

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 12th, January 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Manchester City, manchester united, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal fans rejoice: Walcott might be off to Everton

There are signs of progress at Arsenal. Theo Walcott is in negotiations with Everton. Everton manager Sam Allardyce says Walcott would be a “fantastic addition”, who would offer “goalscoring threat”. Yeah, good luck with that, Sam. This is good news for only one team: Arsenal.  Having jettisoned Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool for the inflated sum of £40m, the Gunners are getting shot of that other nice middle-class boy with all the durability of a wet paper bag.

Walcott has featured 395 times for Arsenal. And you’d be hard press to recall many occasions when he shone. Two moment from his career at the club: signalling Arsenal were 2-0 up to Spurs fans as he was stretchered off; and in the Champions’ League quarter-final at Anfield in 2008, going on a delicious run and setting up Emmanuel Adebayor for a tap in.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he wants Walcott to stay at the club, and has told him as much. “We still have a good relationship and I don’t want him to be frustrated or lose any opportunity to play in the World Cup, because Theo went to the World Cup in Germany in 2006 and we are now in 2018 and he’s not been since for different reasons,” says Wenger. “That of course is a sensitive subject.”

Walcott joined Arsenal for £5m from Southampton in 2006. Back then he had promise. Time for Arsenal to get an upgrade.

Posted: 12th, January 2018 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Toby Young, The Fabian Society and eugenics for life

Is Toby Young a eugenicist? Young has been riding high on the news cycle ever since we was given a job at the Office for Students (OfS). People held up Young’s offensive tweets and, depending on your prejudices, either hounded him from a job he was well-equipped to perform or exposed a pervert who benefitted from friends and family in high places to score a job he was unfit for. Under pressure, Young resigned from the position.

Prejudice has played a part in Young’s undoing, of course. Labour MP Angela Rayner wanted Young banned from the OfS for his “historical comments”. That’s the same Rayner who supported her fellow Labour MP Jared O’Mara, the charmer who labelled his fellow humans “sexy little slags”,  “poofters” and “fudge-packers”. Angela Rayner told the BBC’s Today Programme: “I am happy to sit alongside him, because he made those comments 15 years ago… People do change their views…it is important that they recognise that and apologise and correct that behaviour.”

And what of Labour’s shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, who called Tory MP Esther McVey a “stain on humanity”? He mused: “Why aren’t we lynching the bastard?” Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, has described Mr Young – who apologised “unreservedly” for previous “ill-judged” comments – as “horrible”. Appearing on BBC Radio 5Live, Thornberry was asked if she believed Mr McDonnell should apologise. “I think that those who remember what it was that she [McVey] said around the time that she was cutting benefits to disabled people will be horrified to hear that she is now the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.”

Isn’t that, you know, victim blaming?

What of death threats aimed at McVey following McDonnell’s attack? “Well, that is wrong but what she needs to do is she needs to ensure that she educates herself properly about what the effects of cuts to benefits have on real people on a day to day basis,” said Thornberry, who saw no need for McDonnell to apologise.

And there’s more. On the BBC’s Question Time last night, the matter of Young’s attendance at a get together called the London Conference on Intelligence (LCI) at UCL was raised. The London Student Coop site highlights some of the matters discussed there: “The London Conference on Intelligence, is dominated by a secretive group of white supremacists with neo-Nazi links.,, Among the speakers and attendees over the last four years are a self-taught geneticist who argues in favour of child rape, multiple white supremacists, and ex-board member of the Office for Students Toby Young.”

Private Eye says the conference “serves as a rendezvous for academic racists and their sympathisers”.

Young says:

Yes, I heard some people express some pretty odd views. But I don’t accept that listening to someone putting forward an idea constitutes tacit acceptance or approval of that idea, however unpalatable. That’s the kind of reasoning that leads to people being no-platformed on university campuses.

Fair point, no? If attending equates to approval, what of working for the Iranian regime? Nick Cohen noted:

Jeremy Corbyn has been paid £20,000 to appear five times on the totalitarian Iranian regime’s propaganda channel, which was banned in the UK for its role in filming the tortured forced-confession of Iranian liberal journalist Maziar Bahari… Iranian democracy campaigner Maziar Bahari’s own thoughts on Corbyn, who he describes as ‘a useful idiot’, and goes on to say:

People who present programmes for Press TV and get paid for it should be really ashamed of themselves — especially if they call themselves liberals and people who are interested in human rights.

The Iranian regime executes gay people, democracy activists, Kurds, and orders the rape of female prisoners. But Corbyn is happy to take their money and aid their propaganda campaign. Watch the end of this clip as Jeremy hosts a caller who describes the BBC as having hosted ‘Zionist liars’.

And what of inviting Hamas and Hizbollah to Parliament? Corbyn called them his “friends”. That’s Hamas which calls for all Jews to be killed and states:

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.

Double standards? Of course. That much is certain.

And as for eugenics being, as Question Time panelist comedian Nish Kumar called it “some dark Nazi shit”, well, not all eugenicists are Nazis. There’s Marie Stopes, the family-planning pioneer, who in a book called Radiant Motherhood denounced any society that “allows the diseased, the racially negligent, the thriftless, the careless, the feeble-minded, the very lowest and worst members of the community to produce innumerable tens of thousands of stunted, warped and inferior infants.” Helen Keller said that allowing a “defective” child to die was simply a “weeding of the human garden that shows a sincere love of true life.” In 1910, ardent socialist George Bernard Shaw’s lecture to the Eugenics Education Society was reported in the Daily Express: “A part of eugenic politics would finally land us in an extensive use of the lethal chamber. A great many people would have to be put out of existence simply because it wastes other people’s time to look after them.”

Polly Tonybee, who like Bernard Shaw did, writes for the Guardian, also forgets history. Does she forget that the Fabian society once advocated eugenics? The Fabian Society, as the Guardian notes, “joined with the trade unions to found the Labour party”. Says Tonybee in that paper:

Despite the non-emergence of an “intelligence gene” and the predominant importance of environment over heredity, the far right’s search for reasons why the poor are inferior has a long history. Steve Jones, renowned geneticist, puts it this way: he points out that wealth is considerably more heritable than genes. He says moving to affluence increases a working-class child’s IQ by 15 points. As for super-breeding, Darwin asked a racing dog breeder how he succeeded: “I breed many and I hang many,” was his reply. Not so easy with humans.

Young’s New Schools Network is an odd beast, a charity drawing £2m, 90% of its income, from the state, to advocate and help people set up new schools. But there haven’t been any successful applications since before the 2015 election.

The closing date for the renewed contract to the NSN is 19 January – though it has always gone to the same outfit. Toby Young earns some £90,000 per year as its head. There is, in the tender, no mention of applicants being fit and proper – or non-eugenicists.

Is it a “witch-hunt” as Young says it is?

Brendan O’Neill says it is. He sees a cull:

…the worst thing about this days-long, now successful demand for a metaphorical head on a platter is that it will intensify one of the nastiest strains in British politics right now: the urge to purify public life; the thirst for harrying and hectoring and shaming out of polite and political society anyone who isn’t fully au fait with PC-speak, who isn’t completely versed in the new and prudish sexual strictures, who doesn’t believe that men can become women, who thinks it’s okay to make jokes about things, and who isn’t an obedient bower and scraper before the worldview of a staggeringly narrow but sadly influential section of society. Toby Young’s fate confirms the intellectual straitjacketing of public life, and the borderline criminalisation of eccentric, daring or simply daft thought and speech.

If we’re all being judged by people so certain they are right and another is wrong – people who have stopped arguing with themselves and now occupy a settled position where disturbance is taboo, differing views must be destroyed and uncertainly, that force that creates ideas and humour, is ended – an essential part of what it is to be human dies. In which case, can please hurry up with those robots…

Posted: 12th, January 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Master embroiderer performs wing transplant on Monarch butterfly

Romy McCloskey used not little skill to transplant a new wing onto a Monarch butterfly. “I am a professional costume designer and master hand embroiderer,” says Romy. “This was right up my alley.”

Equipped with a coathanger (wire), a towel, a wire hanger,  a toothpick, cotton swabs, scissors, tweezers, quick-drying cement, talcum powder, Romy set about using a dead butterfly’s wing to give flight to a newborn.

No anaethetics were used. Apparently, Monarch butterflies do not feel pain in their wings.

 

monarch-butterfly-new wing

“The patient: this 3-day-old little boy was born with torn upper and lower wings. Let’s see how we can help!”

 

 

“The operating room and supplies: towel, wire hanger, contact cement, toothpick, cotton swab, scissors, tweezers, talc powder, extra butterfly wing”

“The operating room and supplies: towel, wire hanger, contact cement, toothpick, cotton swab, scissors, tweezers, talc powder, extra butterfly wing”

 

“Securing the butterfly and cutting the damaged parts away. Don’t worry it doesn’t hurt them. It’s like cutting hair or trimming fingernails”

“Securing the butterfly and cutting the damaged parts away. Don’t worry it doesn’t hurt them. It’s like cutting hair or trimming fingernails”

 

“Ta-da! With a little patience and a steady hand, I fit the new wings to my little guy”

“Ta-da! With a little patience and a steady hand, I fit the new wings to my little guy”

 

“The black lines do not match completely and it is missing the black dot (male marking) on the lower right wing, but with luck, he will fly”

“The black lines do not match completely and it is missing the black dot (male marking) on the lower right wing, but with luck, he will fly”

“FLIGHT DAY! After a day of rest and filling his belly with homemade nectar, it is time to see if he will fly”

monarch-butterfly-new wing

“With a quick lap around the yard and a little rest on a bush, he was off! A successful surgery and outcome! Bye, little buddy! Good luck”

Via Romy McCloskey on Facebook; Bored Panda

Posted: 11th, January 2018 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Wenger watch: Arsenal manger swore at Chelsea player and never flinched

How did Arsene Wenger find life sat in the Chelsea press box for Arsenal’s League Cup match semi-final tie? Well, last time we discovered that he has a huge garden:

A year ago, when he was also serving a touchline ban, Wenger crept to his seat beside the corporate area in the East Stand at Stamford Bridge and was welcomed with a handshake by an Arsenal supporter.

“I said, ‘Good afternoon’ and he replied, ‘I’m your gardener at your house’,” Wenger said. “I didn’t even know him. I do have a big garden.”

And this time, what did we learn?

Here’s Jeremy Wilson in the Daily Telegraph:

Spending 90 minutes literally just a few feet from Wenger ensured a fascinating insight. Not for anything he said, but simply the magnified perspective provided by his body language. We hear so often of how football managers live every moment of a match that we become almost immune to the draining reality of that statement. Yet to see Wenger fidgeting with each pass, almost straining to make every tackle and, even surrounded by media, still letting out the occasional shout of encouragement or kick of frustration was to feel just how much it all means.

Phil McNulty was there for the BBC:

Wenger remained relatively calm, even when Lacazette wasted a presentable first-half chance, only rising from his seat once during the game when Welbeck was penalised for a foul on Moses, but it was also easy to detect the strains and stresses.

He banged the table in front of him when Granit Xhaka committed a foul against Eden Hazard, shifted constantly in his seat, throwing back his head in frustration when opportunities came and went, such as Lacazette getting carelessly caught offside and when a promising free-kick position was wasted.

The Islington Gazette:

“I was two rows down so I couldn’t hear what he was saying, but colleagues reported him kicking the backs of their chairs and using the odd swear word, especially when possession was lost or the ball hoofed into the air.

“Whatever you think of him you simply can’t deny his passion.”

Jack Polden in the Mirror:

Commenting on referee Martin Atkinson blowing up for a foul on the Spaniard, Wenger shouted: “Every time Alvaro Morata goes down it’s a f****** free-kick.”

Gary Jacobs dedicates an entire column to Wenger Watch. Highlights include:

Wenger gently leans back in his seat, as Arsenal look more comfortable…

Wenger’s presence is noticed by Chelsea fans to his left. They stand, thrust their arms towards him and chant, “We want you to stay.” There is no response

Jack Wilshere is injured — again. Wenger never flinches

Such are the facts.

Posted: 11th, January 2018 | In: Arsenal, Broadsheets, Chelsea, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Donald Trump’s gorilla channel dupes the media

Donald Trump watches a channel that only shows gorillas fighting. It’s true. We read it on Twitter. Pixelated Boat, the self-styled “Prince of Lies”,  shared an extract from Michael’s Wolff’s book on the President, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House:

 

donald trump gorilla channel

 

“On some days he’ll watch the gorilla channel for 17 hours straight,’ an insider told me. ‘He kneels in front of the TV, with his face about four inches from the screen, and says encouraging things to the gorillas, like ‘the way you hit that other gorilla was good.’ I think he thinks the gorillas can hear him.’”

We know it’s true because no sooner had “Prince of Lies” tweeted it than the New York Times broadcast it as fact:

 

donald trump gorilla channel

 

Newsweek had more.

 

 

The Atlantic’s contributing editor Shadi Hamid hooted:

“This is my favorite part of Wolff’s book so far. Amazing for what it says about this administration! (It’s worse than you think!!). So amazing, I can barely even believe it. It’s *literally* incredible.”

Even more incredible than Pixelated Boat’s previous Tweet to the Gorilla TV news:

 

 

 

David Burge nails it: “is that the gorilla turned out to be Trump and the stupid gorilla-obsessed Trump turned out to be the media.”

 

Posted: 11th, January 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0