News | Anorak - Part 10

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We don’t just report off-beat news, breaking news and digest the best and worst of the news media analysis and commentary. We give an original take on what happened and why. We add lols, satire, news photos and original content.

Transfer Balls: Karim Benzema says Arsenal rumours are a joke

What news of Karim Beenzema’s transfer to Arsenal? The Metro says Arsenal are “set to lodge a £50m bid for his services”. Real Madrid’s French striker is “ready to accept a transfer to the Emirates”. The Daily Star hears a “Madrid insider” says Arsenal will take the player in “the next 48  hours”.

According to no less an authority than the Daily Star, Karim Benzema will arrive at Arsenal today. The Daily Telegraph told us he joined Arsenal two weeks ago.

The player has taken time out from his packing to tell fans that, er, it’s not happening, tweeting:

For all those clowns who want to make believe things at my fans. Here this is my home !


benzema arsenal laughs


Or as the Star, Metro and Daily Telegraph would surely put it: “Benzema looks for second home in Arsenal!”


Posted: 24th, August 2015 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Naked and pregnant Amanda Palmer recreates Damien Hirst’s Verity in New York (photos)



Amanda Palmer is eight months pregnant and painted brightly as she recreates Damien Hirst’s Verity statue to promote the New York Public Library’s children’s book campaign. Father of the bump Neil Gaiman helps her down from the plinth.


palmer 1 palmer 2 palmer 3


Spotter: Maria Popova

Posted: 24th, August 2015 | In: Celebrities, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Paris train attack heroes get the Legion of Honour



It’s the greatet story of the year – the tale of three American tourists, a French banker, an American teacher living in Paris and a British ex-pat who took down heavily armed Ayoub El Khazzani, a Moroccan, on a train to Amsterdam.

Today France’s President Hollande awarded the Legion of Honour to Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler, Spencer Stone and Chris Norman.

The young French banker who first accosted the gunman wishes to remain anonymous. Mark Moogalian, 51, a university teacher based in Paris, was shot in the back. When he leaves hospital, he too will receive the Legion of Honour.

Said Hollande:

“You have shown us that, faced with terror, we have the power to resist. You have given a message of courage, solidarity and hope.”

We? No. They did.

El Khazzani, had a Kalashnikov assault rifle. Mr Skarlatos tells us:

“If he knew what he was doing or even got lucky and did the right thing, he would have been able to operate through all eight of the [ammunition] magazines and we probably wouldn’t be here today along with a lot of other people.”

Mr Moogalian’s French wife, Isabelle Risacher, saw what happened:

“My husband threw himself on the man to take his Kalashnikov away. When my husband collapsed, I saw him through the seats. He looked at me and said: ‘I’m hit, I’m hit’. He said that it was all over and he was going to die. There was blood everywhere.  My husband is one of the heroes of this story and he nearly paid for it with his life. A few millimetres difference and his cartoid artery would have been sliced by the exiting bullet.”

He lived becasue Spencer Stone staunched the bleeding. Stone had been cut with a Stanley knife.

Posted: 24th, August 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Dismaland: Banksy’s authentic face of sarcastic rebellion

One of the elusive tickets to the Banksy show in Weston Super Mare which was visable on the Dismaland website but unpurchaseable for all of the day. See SWNS story SWBANKSY; The public flooded into Banksy's new pop-up exhibition  with some queuing for HALF A MILE to see the creation inside a derelict swimming pool. The graffiti artist's show, called 'Dismaland', a sinister twist on the Disneyland theme park with a remarkably similar branded logo, was revealed to 1,000 lucky locals. Residents, within a limited postcode, queued for more than half a mile, in a bid to exchange a voucher, printed in the local paper, for one of the golden tickets. The doors will open to the rest of the public today (Sat) though tickets for the sessions proved difficult to buy yesterday (Fri) due to the large amount of traffic to the website.


What do we think about Banksy’s Dismaland theme park in Western-Super-Mare’s Tropicana.? So edgy is it that before the great unwashed were allowed inside, there was a private party for stars and the rich who collect his work. Jack Black was there. Glastonbury Festival adminstrator Emily Eavis was there. Actor Nicholas Hoult was there.

You see. Edgy.

The brochure invites paying visitors (using actual coin of the realm and not Mickey Mouse money):

Are you looking for an alternative to the soulless sugar-coated banality of the average family day out?

Well keep looking, Average Family. Stay in the rain-mortared car and have a row.

Or just somewhere cheaper. Then this is the place for you—a chaotic new world where you can escape from mindless escapism. Instead of a burger stall, we have a museum. In place of a gift shop we have a library, well, we have a gift shop as well.

Bring the whole family to come and enjoy the latest addition to our chronic leisure surplus—a bemusement park. A theme park who’s big theme is: theme parks should have bigger themes…

They do. Banksy assures use that the big theme at Disney is globalism, free markets, capitalism, cheap travel, cheap protein and feminism- the princesses are always the stars. Disney also liked atomic bombs. How’s that for edgy? Walt sees your dystopian wasteland, Banksy, and raises you millions dead and nothingness.

This event contains adult themes, distressing imagery, extended use of strobe lighting, smoke effects and swearing. The following items are strictly prohibited: knives, spraycans, illegal drugs, and lawyers from the Walt Disney corporation.

Probably because soulless lawyers for Walt Disney’s would find this vision of Hell a welcome escape from the contents of the evil in their own heads.

It’s the authentic face of anti-consumerism as the London Dungeon is the authentic face of torture.




Richard Jobson has been:

In addition to art you’ll also find functional a terrifying carousel, a mini golf park, a ferris wheel, and some ludicrously impossible fair games (like ‘topple the anvil with a ping pong ball’ by David Shrigley), roving occupy protests, and a Star Wars stormtrooper who sulks around the exhibition in a state of complete misery. The park is staffed by morose Dismaland employees who are uninterested in being helpful or remotely informative. Entrance to the event requires an uncomfortably awkward NSA-esque security screening, and of course you get to exit through the gift shop.Entrance to the event requires an uncomfortably awkward NSA-esque security screening, and of course you get to exit through the gift shop.

Brendan O’Neill writes:

Banksy has made a deathly Disneyland to mock our crass consumer tastes and the ease with which we can be distracted from important issues (like the MIGRANT CRISIS) by a few crumbs of crap leisure. As one of the numerous ecstatic media reviewers said — favourably — Dismaland is a reminder that ‘our fellow humans are a sham’…

Banksy is wildly successful because he regurgitates in sixth-former-style cynicism the prejudices of the chattering class: their agitation with the blob; their loathing for the little people’s material desires; their hatred of the super-rich; their concern for nature and its beasts if evil mankind doesn’t halt his destructive ways. A searing critic of capitalism? Please. Banksy is modern capitalism’s loss of faith in itself made flesh.

Waldemar Januszczak finds it “entertaining“:

The first thing you see when you walk in is a battered old television set on which the Disney film is about to come to an end. Cinderella has been to the ball. She has met her prince. He has tracked her down with the glass slipper. They are about to live happily ever after.

‘Entry-level anarchism’ in action

But wait. What is that light flashing on and off in the darkness beyond? Oh no. There has been a terrible accident. Cinderella’s coach has crashed, and some life-sized police have turned up to investigate. There is a body hanging out of the door. It is Cinderella. And is it just me, or does she not suddenly look a bit like Lady Di?

Using the language and methods popularised in theme parks, Banksy has built a full-scale alternative to Disneyland in which every ride, game and exhibit sets out to question not just the purpose of theme parks but also the crumbling, grotty state of modern Britain.

Mark Brown:

Works by 58 handpicked artists including Damien Hirst and Jenny Holzer have been installed across the 2.5-acre site. Julie Burchill has rewritten Punch & Judy to give it a Jimmy Savile spin. Jimmy Cauty, once part of the KLF, is displaying his version of a fun model village complete with 3,000 riot police in the aftermath of major civil unrest.

In one tent would-be anarchists can find out how to unlock the Adshel posters seen at bus stops. For £5 people can buy the tools to break into them, replacing the official posters with any propaganda they please. Is it legal? “It’s not illegal,” said the vendor…

Across the way is a “pocket money loans” shop offering money to children at an interest rate of 5,000%. In front of its counter is a small trampet so children can bounce up to read the outrageous small print drawn up by artist Darren Cullen.

Cullen said he had met so many people taking out payday loans who were well aware of how ridiculous the payback was. “As the welfare state is retreating the market is filling the gap in a really predatory way. People are being saddled with insane amount of debt for years.”

Like other artists involved, he has never met Banksy, but he was delighted to be part of the show.

“This place is brilliant. I only knew the minimum amount before I got here,” he said, “but it is so cool. It is just amazing having this much sarcasm in one place.”

And for £3 – the price of a ride on a fairground Dodgem – for teenagers bored with everything it’s worth a visit. Mums and dads, aka ‘the idiots’, it might be a tad dull.

Posted: 24th, August 2015 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Benzema arrival at Arsenal delayed

benzema arsenal transfer


The Metro continues to report on rumours of Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema joining Arsenal. In the free paper’s race to make news from air, George Bellshaw writes about “Arseneal”:

Karim Benzema is reportedly ready to complete a transfer to Arsenal from Real Madrid… a deal worth £48million is believed to be on the cards that would see Benzema join Arsenal in the coming weeks.

Given that the transfer window shuts on September 1, weeks is too long.

Metro reader will also be shocekd by the news, having read in the trusty organ:

August 22: “Arsenal preparing to reveal Karim Benzema transfer at home to Liverpool”

Arsenal play Liveprool tinight.

Posted: 24th, August 2015 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal bid for Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender (just like every year)

Lars Bender Arsenal transfer


Arsenal wil make a bid of £18m for Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender, says the Mirror. The paper’s scoop contains not a single fact, other than nerws that an Arsenal scout watched the German (and everyone other player on the pitch) in Bayer’s Champion’s League qualifier against Lazio.

Arsenal fans should realise that Bender to Arsenal is a annual favourite on the rumour mill.


November 2012, The Sun

MANCHESTER UNITED and Arsenal face a struggle to sign German star Lars Bender.


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September 2013, Daily Star

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May 2014, Daily Mirror

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 09.11.29



July 2014, Daily Mail

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 09.07.11



November 2014, Daily Express

Screen Shot 2015-08-24 at 09.04.44


So Bender to Arsenal it is…




Posted: 24th, August 2015 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Benedict Cumberbatch is ok: the Telegraph’s tawdry reporting on the death of Archie Lloyd in a holiday fight

Archie Lloyd

Archie Lloyd

Archie Lloyd, 18, was punched in Malia Crete, where he had been holidaying. His head hit the ground. Having refused help, he managed to get up and take a taxi to his hotel. He died in his hotel room. Archie Lloyd went to sleep and never woke up.

It is horrible story of young life ripped apart in moment of brutal stupidity.

But in the hands of the Press it becomes a story of money and privilege. This is how the Telegraph begins its report:

An 18-year-old Harrow-educated schoolboy has died….

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 23rd, August 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Watch: Jewish American singer Matisyahu takes down the BDS bigots

Jewish American singer Matisyahu did appear at Spain’s Rototom SunSplash music festival on Saturday. He sang his hit Jerusalem. Pro-Palestinian groups had called for him to be boycotted.

Monoculists with the local Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement accused the 36-year-old of being a “Zionist” (filthy, filthy word) who supports the practice of “apartheid and ethnic cleansing”.

What craven and cowardly balls.

The show’s organisors t first conceded to the bigots. Then they saw the light.

Posted: 23rd, August 2015 | In: Music, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Watch the Foo Fighters Rick Roll Westboro Baptist Church

Posted: 23rd, August 2015 | In: Celebrities, Music, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Regret the error: actor Mark Benton meets ‘honey’ the human dog in St Leonards hospice

The Hastings and St. Leonards Observer


The Hastings and St. Leonards Observer hails Mark Benton’s role as ambassador for St Michael’s Hospice in St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex.

Honey the dog is away.

Posted: 23rd, August 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Cross-dressed: offence-seeking transgender group calls police on children’s hospice charity race

Not funny. Not funny at all

Not funny. Not funny at all


How thin is your skin? The Telegraph reports on “the Charity race for children’s hospice where runners dress in drag is ‘a hate crime’.

If dressing up a woman is hate crime will Dame Edna be summoned before the Beak?

A charity fun run that invited men to dress up as women is being investigated by police after a transgender charity claimed the dress code constituted a hate crime.

We’re offended that transgender is being confused with transvestite.

Officers were asked to look into the ‘Dames on the Run’ race – where men run dressed as women to raise funds for a children’s hospice – by a transsexual support group.

Chrysalis Transsexual Support Groups say the five kilometre run, organised by Derian House Children’s Hospice, in Chorley, Lancashire, is “dehumanising”.

It is.


dames on the run


Anorak has long wondered why some men seize the chance to dress as women – always tarty ones, too. If asked to dress as awoman to save a child’s life, I’d pull on Comfi-Slax and a smart tank top over a crisp white shirt in tribute to the BBC’s ubiquitous Clare Balding.

They are now attempting to stop the run, due to take place in October, which raises money to support the hospice that looks after sick and terminally ill children. Steph Holmes, of Chrysalis, said: “We get enough confusion with the word transgender, which mixes us up with transvestites.”

Yeah. That was our point, too.

“Transvestites certainly don’t dress for comic purposes and I don’t get up in the morning and think ‘what can I put on today to give people a laugh?'”


Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 08.01.38


What about if it’s for charity? What then, Steph?

“This race pokes fun at cross-dressing and, by association, us, reducing us to objects to be laughed at.”

We’re laughing now, Steph. You’re a witty one, alright. Your parody is a bit to knowing to rival the aforesaid Dame for belly laughs, but the intelligensia and the student Unionists should get it.

“Dehumanising us this way gives carte blanche to those that would do us physical harm, much like the gay bashers of old.”

Raising money for sick children is dehumanising. Steph’s a bit edgy for mainstream tastes, but we’ll go with it.

“It’s a small step from ridicule to persecution. The current stats suggest a 34 per cent chance of beaten up, raped or killed for being trans. We do not need to give the bigots any more ammunition.”

If you want to rape the charity runners, you’ll have to catch them first.

“I am sure that Derian House didn’t intend to give offence. The very fact that its a children’s hospice should make them sensitive to potential bad publicity and the effect that this has on young trans people.”

At which point we’d take this as a cue for young trans person who also happens to be desperately ill to say how offended they are. If Jerry Sadowitz is looking for a new gag, this might be it. The desperately ill transgender person could go into a long riff on how they’d like to murder everyone on the Derien House money raising committee but lack the strength to do so. Sadowitz would rattle a tin and invite anyone who cares to give money and thereby hire an assassin to help out the poorly young transgender victim.

That for later. For now a spokesman for Derian House says: “Oh, just F*** off.”

No. They don’t. They say:

“As a children’s hospice, we deal with highly sensitive and emotive issues all the time and would never have considered organising a fundraising event that might cause upset or offence. Dames on the Run was conceived as a fun event, drawing on the much-loved Pantomime Dame character that is part of our theatrical heritage and supported by hundreds of thousands of people in every year.

“It was intended appeal to the fathers of desperately sick children, who do so much to hold their family together in the face of their child’s devastating illness and who ask for very little support in return.

“We wanted to provide an opportunity for them to participate in a fun-packed event and encourage other men to show their support and raise vitally needed funds for the hospice.

“We were shocked to receive a complaint, and our chief executive wrote immediately to apologise for any offence caused and assure her that none was intended.
“She has accepted an invitation to visit the hospice on Monday.”

We then her from Lancashire Police, who say:

“We are aware of and investigating an incident that was reported to us as a hate crime on Thursday.”

And that’s the biggest joke of the lot.

Posted: 23rd, August 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Shoreham Air Show: the Daily Mail’s sick tweet and an empty school of undead children

Shoreham Airshow disaster: a look at reporting on the horrific accident that left seven dead in West Sussex.

The Sun: “Like a warzone”

Like “Hell”.


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The plane, a 1950s Hawker Hunter, was coming out of a loop the loop when it hit the road. Pilot Andy “Hilz” Hill was dragged from the carnage alive.

The plane had been attempting a loop- the-loop manoeuvre when it nosedived at 300mph into traffic queuing at a red light on the A27. A group of cyclists standing by the road were engulfed by a wall of flames.

Witness Tony Wallace, 48, tells what he saw:

“It looked like a warzone. The Hunter flew over us and did a loop to head back towards the airfield. But at the bottom it almost seemed to lose power and crashed into the A27 by the traffic lights. There were around 200 people watching on a hill and there was a gasp of horror and an enormous ball of flames.”

Motorist David Bell, 37, was close to the horror:

“There were four or five cyclists standing by the side of the road and they were all wiped out.”



The Sun takes its bearings:

It headed in the direction of Lancing College public school, which is one and a half miles to the north of the airfield…

Were the pupils in danger on a Saturday afternoon during the summer holidays?

The school has a policy of ensuring it is empty during Shoreham air shows.

Why mention the school when there are so many homes in the area? Why would the Sun imply that school children were in danger? Are we supposed to imagine how much worse it could have been? Is a child’s life so much more sacred than those of the adult cyclists? The Sun’s angle is ghoulish.

Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, looks at the positives:

“Given the thousands of people attending the air show, we thank God that the aircraft did not hit a larger crowd.”

Sunday Times: “It looped the loop, but just carried on into the ground.”

After statements from many witnesses we hear of a victim:

One vehicle destroyed in the crash, a Daimler DS420 State Landaulette limousine, was on its way to a wedding. The chauffeur, in his seventies, is believed to have been killed. Jay Sherwin, owner of Chariots chauffeur hire, said: “We don’t know, we can’t find him. I don’t want to upset the bride and groom’s wedding day. They just know the car didn’t show up. They don’t know why.”

Who owned the plane?

The Hawker Hunter is believed to have belonged to Graham Peacock, the part owner of Malthurst, one of Britain’s biggest independent fuel retailers. Peacock, a former Texaco executive, start­ed Malthurst in 1997 with £1,000 and 25 petrol sites leased from Texaco. He owns other vintage aircraft, including a Second World War Hawker Sea Fury.

Daily Mail: We learn that Andy Hill flies for British Airways. And we learn more of the impact.

The aircraft, which first entered service with the RAF in 1955, crushed a Vauxhall Corsa which was heading along the A27 passed the airport. The jet lost control after striking the car and soon broke up, engulfing a vintage Daimler DS420 in a fireball as the disintegrating jet sprayed burning aviation fuel over the carriageway. The Daimler was on the opposite side of the road, heading from Brighton towards Worthing when it was destroyed.

This is a story told by eyewitnesses who must be shaken by what they saw. Cue a crass request from the Mail for some of those “GREAT” photos of people dying on a day out in the summer:

The pictures tell the story:

Posted: 23rd, August 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

‘Go get him Spencer Stone’: when three American heroes met one Islamist gunman on a train



Chris Norman, 62, was on the high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris when a man began shooting. Three Americans were also onboard. What happened next is a story about bona fide heroes. We hear a lot about the enemy, the nihilistic, death-loving jihadis – the shooter, 26-year-old Ayoub el-Qahzzani, has been linked to Islamist groups. But their enemy is fierce.

The Americans heard a noise. It sounded like a gun being loaded. The noise came from a locked toilet cubicle. The two military trained men – Spencer Stone and Alek Skarlatos, Air Force serviceman and member of the US National Guard, from Oregon, not long back from a tour of Afghanistan, respectively – jumped el-Qahzzani. They seized control of his automatic weapon. Now a third American, one Anthony Sadler, and the aforesaid Mr Norman joined in.

Mr Norman spoke to French media:

“I saw a guy carrying an AK-47, or at least I assumed it was some kind of machine gun, anyway. I ducked down in my seat, Alek looked at what was happening, Spencer looked at what was happening, and Alek said to Spencer, ‘Go get him’. Spencer jumped up and tackled him and actually started getting the terrorist under control. Alek jumped up and helped Spencer, followed immediately by Anthony, and I came in at the end of it all and I guess just helped get the guy under control at the end of it all.

“We ended up by tying him up, then during the process the guy actually pulled out a cutter and starting cutting Spencer.

“He cut Spencer behind the neck, he nearly cut his thumb off too. Spencer held him and we eventually got him under control. He went unconscious, I think.”

Mr Skarlatos added:

“Spencer ran a good 10 metres to get to the guy and we didn’t know that his gun wasn’t working or anything like that. Spencer just ran anyway and if anybody would have gotten shot it would have been Spencer for sure and we are very lucky that nobody got killed, especially Spencer… 

Skarlatos disarmed the gunman’s cache of qeapons. He noticed that the loaded AK47 had jammed.

“If that guy’s weapon had been functioning properly I don’t even want to think about how it would have went. Spencer would have been dead for sure, because he was the first one up. We were incredibly lucky.”

These men are heroes. The word is overused. But you know one when you see the real deal. And it’s Spencer Stone.

Mr Sadler, a US student, says:

“I’m just a college student, it’s my last year in college, I came to see my friends on my first trip in Europe and we stopped a terrorist, it’s kind of crazy…. In the aftermath, we saw that a man’s throat had been split and he was bleeding profusely. Spencer, who has some paramedics training, just clogged up his neck so he wouldn’t die. This is all in the midst of Spencer bleeding profusely himself. It was just really heroic of him to do something like that…. If Alek didn’t yell ‘Go!’ and Spencer didn’t get up straight away who knows how many people he would have shot.”

Spencer Stone is in hospital. He’s on the mend.


Posted: 22nd, August 2015 | In: News | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Watch: Northern Star Wars directed by Ken Loach

Ken Loach star wars

Northern Stars Wars directed by Ken Loach.

Posted: 22nd, August 2015 | In: Film, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Arsenal buy Benzema before Manchester United swoop

How football reproting works. The Daily Star has ben writing about Arsenal’s annual move for Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema. Compare and contrast the Star’s scoops:

August 21:

Benzema to join Arsenal on Tuesday


Screen Shot 2015-08-22 at 13.47.40


August 22:

Arsenal set to unveil Karim Benzema before Liverpool game after he passes medical – ARSENAL will unveil the signing of Karim Benzema before kick-off of their game against Liverpool at the Emirates on Monday.

benzema liverpool


Monday it is, then.

But hold on a moment. Benzema has not had any medical. In fact, he’s not yet on sale.

August 22:

Man United prepare to hijack Arsenal move for Real Madrid star Karim Benzema – MANCHESTER UNITED are monitoring Karim Benzema and are ready to move for him should he become available.


Screen Shot 2015-08-22 at 14.03.56


The Daily Star is not alone. In today’s Daily Telegraph – once upon a time the paper was a source of hard news – readers learn that Benzema is on his way:

Arsenal transfer news and rumours: Gunners charter private jet to fly Karim Benzema to London for medical

Fact! Or not. Because the story is based on a single tweet.

These claims are being made by Italian journalist Emanuele Giulianelli, who has become a familiar figure to Arsenal fans for his regular updates on the Benzema saga. 

And what he says is:

Arsenal are believed to have rented a Gulfstream private jet to accommodate Benzema on Sunday evening.

What a man “believed” on twitter is news?


Screen Shot 2015-08-22 at 14.11.01


If you say it enough times, eventually it might happen.


Posted: 22nd, August 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Manchester United can make Neymar ‘World Player of The Year’

Transfer Balls: Manchester United Want Neymar

Hold the phone! Manchester United are in “secret talks” to buy 23-year-old Brazil and Barcelona forward Neymar, says the Sun. In a trice the secret talks are no longer secret. 

Shaun Curtis writes: “a top Barcelona source has told SunSport the Red Devils have made a discreet approach to the La Liga champions.”

Not that discreet was it. After all, the approach only made it into the country’s largest-selling tabloid. A cynic might see it as a load of PR balls, a story rooted not in a bid for Neymar, rather in a desire to assure Manchester United fans that the team are thinking big.

Aree there any fact to support the anonymous source who says Man United have have made a secret approach to buy one of world footballer’s star names. Any facts?

Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has been to Barca three times in the last two months with all the talk being about United’s chase for Pedro. But, under the radar, Woodward has made an audacious bid for Neymar.

Man United never did buy Pedro, losing out to Chelsea for the winger’s signature, although the official Old Trafford line is that Van Gaal dropped his interest in the Spaniard at the 11th hour. Van Gaal has ben splitting hairs, telling media:

 “When you ask me does Pedro fit into the profile, I cannot lie, then I say yes. I cannot deny that but I did not say I was interested — that’s the difference.”

Back to Neymar, of whom Curtis adds: “...the Brazilian superstar is well aware that if he moved to Old Trafford he would become the undisputed main man and a challenger for the title of World Player of the Year.”

Hispanic players dream of playing for Real Madrid and Barcelona. They do not dream of playing for Manchester United. But the Sun’s anonymous source has something to add: “United are one of the biggest clubs in the world so it is right they should be chasing a player who has the potential to be the best player on the planet.”

Chase away. You won’t catch him. But maybe the club’s shares will rise on the stock market and the fans will dream anew…

Posted: 22nd, August 2015 | In: manchester united, News, Sports | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Manchester City buy Kevin de Bruyne for £50m, Chelsea hail the new Torres

Transfer Balls: Kevin De Bruyne, who “cried every day” when he was at Stamford Bridge, has agreed personal terms with Manchester City, says the Guardian.

The 24-year-old winger will earn – get this – £200,000-a-week at City. For that money he might even kiss the badge.

The Belgian is scheduled to become City’s fifth new major signing of the summer. City need just to agree a fee with Wolfsburg. The paper says City will have to go as high as £55m.

The Daily Mirror says the deal has been done for £50m.

Is he really that good?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 22nd, August 2015 | In: Manchester City, News, Sports | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester United won’t sell De Gea because the Real Madrid ‘virus’ have yet to make a bid

More news on Manchester United’s David De Gea, who is surely heading to Real Madrid. But having dropped the wantaway Spaniard, Man United manager Louis Van Gaal says he’s going to block any sale. The Dutchman told media:

“I think when Manchester United wants a player he shall come, besides when a club isn’t selling. It is the same with us. We are not selling De Gea.”

Van Gaal is pretty much the only Dutchman in top-flight football who speaks English worse than the English. But the end part of his tatement is clear: De Gea stays at Old Trafford.

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Posted: 22nd, August 2015 | In: manchester united, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Devon graffiti watch: who wrote ‘Gingers smel of piss’? on the B3227?

devon graffiti


Is all graffiti wrong? The Plymouth Herald says “RUDE graffiti” has been scrawled on a Devon road.


The message went:

‘Gingers smel of piss”


The misspelled statement was daubed on the B3227 between the village of Chittlehampton and Holsworthy.

Who did it? And why didn’t they alter the sign to Chittlehampton to say Shittlehampton?

It’s a mystery.

Posted: 21st, August 2015 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Heather Mills: ‘Me and Paul McCartney are both very musical’

heather mills musicQuote of the week was supplied by Heather Mills, the fomer wife of Beatle Paul McCartney. Speaking to the Guardian, Mills spoke about she and Paul’s daughter, Beatrice:

Beatrice says she’s 99% me. I don’t know if that’s a good thing. I think she’s got the best of both of us, we’re both very musical. I taught her the saxophone, because her father can’t read music so I do all the music teaching, and I’m good with languages. She’s a brilliant poet so obviously gets that from him, but I think she’s got the best of both of us.

Mind tun to what Paul said of writing the not-all-that-unpopular song Yesterday:

“I just fell out of bed and it was there. I have a piano by the side of my bed and just got up and played the chords. I thought I must have heard it the night before or something, and spent about three weeks asking all the music people I knew, ‘What is this song?’ I couldn’t believe I’d written it.”

Had he heard it before? Did Heather Mills write Yestarday and all the Beatles hits? You know, in another life..?


Posted: 21st, August 2015 | In: Celebrities, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Other parents: police hunt family who left their baby inside a hotel room safe

baby locked in safeYou want to look after your kids, prevent harm befalling them and keep them safe. But keeping them in an actual safe might be a tad over-protective.

Police in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, are looking for the parents of a baby found locked inside a safe at the Howard Johnson Hotel.

The family had approached the hotel’s cleaning staff in a panicked state at approximately 10am, saying their child was trapped in a safe in one of the three rooms. It took maintenance workers approximately 20 minutes to free the baby. Police say the baby was alert and crying at the time. It’s believed the family had difficulty communicating with hotel staff. “They did have a language barrier,” Det. Const. Amanda Sanders said. “And there was an incident that happened inside with one of the safes…  the incident may have been nothing more than a preventable accident.”

Sources say they were from Brooklyn, New York. So much for the language barrier. That’s understandable, eh. But the mind reels as to how a baby accidentally gets locked inside a hotel room safe.

We might never know – the family left before the police arrived.



YouTube link.


Posted: 21st, August 2015 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Man trapped in IKEA hell leaves trail of small pencil-drawn penises

IKEA penisIKEA is a low circle of Hell. You do what you can to survive it. A 31-year old man from Aalborg, Denmark, used one of the store’s wooden pencils to draw small penises on the walls and pieces of furniture on display as he marked life’s ebb. “He drew up to 30 penises on walls and shelves around the warehouse,” says Rikke Poulsen from the North Jutland police.

“The man has admitted to being behind these drawings, but not as many as 30. He has no prior convictions and he has explained that he did it because he had seen similar drawings in IKEA. He has regretted his actions, but that doesn’t change the fact that he has still committed vandalism.”

The man received a suspended sentence of 20 days.

IKEA has yet to license his range of patterned homeware.

Posted: 21st, August 2015 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Watch: In 1987 Margaret Thatcher reviewed records on a BBC kids TV show

Margaret Thatcher Saturday Superstore


In 1987, Maggie Thatcher was well into her second term as British Prime Minister. With an election looming – which she won – Thatcher thought it a good idea to appear on the BBC’s Saturday morning show Saturday Superstore. 

Dressed in uniform ‘hearing-aide beige’, Maggie would seduce the mums and dads to her cause and turn the kids on to politics. She tooks calls. One caller, an Alison Standfast, asked her, “Where will you be if nuclear war breaks out?” Maggie said she’d be in London, possibly stood amidst the ruins in a blackened concrete hellscape. It’d be awful but at least she could finally empathise with the miners.



Incidentally, Maggie wasn’t the most right-wing personality on show. That honour goes to presenter Mike Read, the BBC Radio DJ who released this record in praise of UKIP (remember them?). For resons unclear, Read sang his tune in a West Indian accent, like Max Bygraves.


Posted: 20th, August 2015 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0