News | Anorak - Part 2

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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.

Arsenal: Hector Bellerin breaks Usain Bolt’s sprint record (sort of)


Is Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin faster than Usain Bolt, the world’s greatest 100m runner?

Elizabeth Cassin writes for the BBC:

When Usain Bolt broke the 100m world record in 2009, it took him 4.64 seconds to run the first 40m. But it’s been reported that Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin ran the same distance in 4.41 seconds. So could Bellerin beat Bolt in a race?

Over 40 metres, yes. From a standing start: no.

When he was asked if he would like to run against Usain Bolt, Bellerin replied, “Obviously I would fancy it, but there’s nothing I think I could do. He’s a sprinter, he’s the quickest man in the world.”

Who is the quickest man in football this season (speeds measure during a match)?
fastest footballer premier league
But who is the slowest?

Posted: 21st, November 2015 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Angelina Jolie not dead: weight falls to weekly deadline

angelina jolie dead


Angelina Jolie weighs 83lbs. We know this because the National Enquirer leads with the weighty issue on its cover page. The NE loves to talk about Jolie’s weight. Her love-rival, former Mrs Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, sucks the tabloid straw marked ‘Womb News”; Angelina gets “Thin” and “Death”. Brad, well, no-one ever mentions his luxuriant, post-ubiquitous-hat age-defying hair, odd for a middle-aged man seemingly in a state of perpetual “WORRY”.

Lest anyone reading think 83lbs an enviable weight, the NE tells us that Jolie has been on the wrong end of a “Doc’s DEADLY DIAGNOSIS”. It is a “heartbreaking medical crisis”. And Jolie’s not going alone or quietly because Brad Pitt “fears she’s a ‘WALKING TIME BOMB’.

Read the rest of this entry »

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

Spurs balls: Kane and Alli get pay rise but Manchester United and Chelsea wait

del alli


The Sun leads with news that Spurs will invest £25m in tying Dele Alli and Harry Kane to long term deals. The money won’t come in one hit. As the paper says:

Striker Kane, currently on £45,000 a week, is likely to be offered a deal worth £70,000 a week. Alli would double his pay from £12,500 to £25,000 a week.

Good money. Great money for young men doing what they love. But compared to the £300,00o-a-week Wayne Rooney earns at Manchester Untied or the £200,000-a-week Raheem Sterling earns over the same period at Manchester City, not much.

Spurs fans eager for their club to hang onto two bright prospects will not be comforted by the numbers. Any idea that Kane will stay put out of loyalty (the Spurs fans hopeful chant that Harry is “one of our own” is sweet and desperate) is undermined by pictures of the young Harry wearing an Arsenal kit.

As for Alli, he spoke with David Hytner in October:

In his first newspaper interview as a Tottenham Hotspur player, Dele Alli said “unreal” and “surreal” on a number of occasions. Then again, he was speaking after making his first start for the club, in the showpiece friendly against Real Madrid at Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena, in front of 70,000 fans and, 24 minutes in, he had nutmegged Luka Modric.

Alli said that he and Real’s superstar midfielder had “had a laugh about it in the tunnel afterwards”.

That’s Modric, who used to play for Spurs before a bigger club beckoned him over. He plays with Gareth Bale, who made the same move from White Hart Lane to Madrid. Alli joined Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham squad in February 2014 for £5m.

Says Pochettino:

“It is the same situation as with Harry Kane last season. Be careful with the young players that arrive in the Premier League. It is not easy. You can see that Dele is very mature and a player who shows great quality. He has a great personality and good character. But it is too much of a rush to talk about bigger steps for him. Always in football, you need to take it step-by-step, game-by-game.”

Until a big club with vast sums of money comes calling.

Posted: 21st, November 2015 | In: News, Sports, Spurs | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Dover school ticks off parents for smoking outside school gates

Parents stood by the school gates at Dover’s Eythorne Elvington Community Primary pupils are being told off. The school’s headmistress, Liz Bird has issued parents with a directive: stop swearing and smoking by the gates.

Mrs Bird tells her local newspaper:

“I think it came out that a child had heard some parents swearing. They brought it to the school council where they can share their concerns and can discuss them. They feel very strongly about these things.”

In her newsletter she tells parents:

“We ask that smoking takes place well away from the school and appropriate language is used in the vicinity… The children at the school have a strong sense of what is right and what’s not right.”

Why is an adult smoking outside the school, stood on the pavement in the great outdoors, not right? The smoke from cigarettes can be harmful – but these adults are not puffing away in class and giving the kids blowbacks. The risk of infection is tiny. So why are the parents being banned? Because the Kinder Kops have bought into the idea that smoking must be wiped out and smokers made into the enemy of the right-minded. Foul-moths will not be tolerated.


Posted: 20th, November 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal balls: fear and panic sell Laurent Koscielny short

wenger fearArsenal could be without Laurent Koscielny for their next Premier League match at West Bromwich Albion. The Sun says in “WENGER’S PARIS FEARS OVER KOSCIELNY” that the Gunner’s French manager Arsene Wenger “fears” the player is “too traumatised by the Paris attacks to play tomorrow”.

That’s the same player who a couple of days after the mass murder in Paris played for France at Wembley.

What Wenger actually said was – and this was him responding to a question:

“I’ll look how deeply they [Koscielny and his France team-mate Olivier Giroud) are affected. You look for resilience and them showing a desire to play… West Brom is a big game for us so I will talk to him [Koscielny] to see if he is completely recovered and focused… If not I will not play him.”

Fair enough. The player is a human being. But there is something crass about inviting speculation on his mental state and yelling “Star traumatised”. If Koscielny is stressed, surely a back-page headline – being elevated to the biggest story in world sport – is not what he needs.


Posted: 20th, November 2015 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Songs of Vietnam: The Top 10

A human skull keeps watch over US soldiers encamped in the Vietnamese jungle during the Vietnam War. (Photo by Terry Fincher/Getty Images)

A human skull keeps watch over US soldiers encamped in the Vietnamese jungle during the Vietnam War. (Photo by Terry Fincher/Getty Images)


In We Gotta Get Out of This Place: The Soundtrack of the Vietnam War, Doug Bradley and Craig Werner, professor of Afro-American studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, narrate the story of the music that whirled about the heads of American fighters.



Read it all: The Top 10 Songs Of The Vietnam War: The Veterans’ Picks

Posted: 20th, November 2015 | In: Music, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: tabloid creates epic story about Liverpool and Arsenal ‘target’

daily star bullshit


Transfer balls: The Daily Star has a scoop about a “Liverpool target”. The headline tells us:

Liverpool target talks up shock move: It’d be a dream to play for them!

Who is it?

PARIS ST-GERMAIN winger Ezequiel Lavezzi hinted that he’s open to a move away from the French capital.

“Liverpool”. “Move”. “Dream to play for them”.

Chisanga Malata then writes about Lavezzi’s dream:

…the former Napoli star has talked up a move to the Nou Camp by revealing that it’d be a ‘dream’ to play for Luis Enrique’s side. “I’m not going to deny that it would be a dream to play in a team like that,” he said.

Number of times he mentions Liverpool: nil

Respect the Daily Star has for its reader: nil.

Previously in the Star:


daily star football


He went nowhere.


Posted: 19th, November 2015 | In: Liverpool, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Chelsea, Manchester United and Bayern Munich in Robben story plot

Transfer balls: Is Arjen Robben heading back to the Premier League to play for Manchester United?

Yes, says the Daily Express. He is. The paper’s headline is definitive:

Former Chelsea winger agrees January move to Manchester United


robben balls



Why wold Robben agree to join Man United now?

Adam Skinner writes:

United manager Louis van Gaal is keen to add some pace to his forward line and Robben is understood to be keen to leave Bayern Munich.

Well, d’uh. He’s agreed to join Manchester United. You told us that, Adam. Not sure how well that will go down with Bayern Munich fans when they watch him play for the German giants before the transfer window opens in January.

Skinner continues:

The Daily Mirror claim the former Chelsea winger is unsettled as a result of the fall-out and is relishing the chance to move back to England for a second crack at the Premier League.

What the Mirror claims is an actual done deal in the Express.

Van Gaal has already expressed his desire to make a marquee signing in the January transfer window and might continue his spending spree after completing a deal for the 31-year-old.

Might? And, Skinner, a marquee is a big tent not a human being.

Having made a statement and then denied it, Skinner adds:

Robben could form one half of a sensational double deal, with Gareth Bale also thought to be at the top of a list of targets.

Could. Thought. Might.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 19th, November 2015 | In: Chelsea, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arkansas judge allegedly offered sexual spankings or prison

spanking judge alleged


To Arkansas, where young white male offenders are offered a deal: take a sound spanking to your naked backside and get a  reduced sentence. It’s alleged that Judge Joseph Boeckmann, swapped jail time for hanky spanky times. Boeckmann is also accused of having child pornography on his computer.

Towerload writes:

Boeckmann regularly awarded “substitutionary sentences” of community service to certain defendants, typically white males between the ages of 18 and 35, according to the ethics complaint released Tuesday:




And there are, as ever, the alleged dirty pictures:


spanking judge


Despite the seriousness of the allegations, the commission investigating them has no power to suspend Boeckmann or remove him from office, according to a report from Instead, the commission would have to seek Boeckmann’s removal through the Arkansas Supreme Court.

Boeckmann, who isn’t commenting on the allegations, has 30 days to respond to the ethics complaint.

You wonder what kind of deal he’s try and negotiate, if found guilty.


Posted: 19th, November 2015 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Darren Raekwon McIntosh-Buffonge gets the Manchester United treatment

Manchester United have agreed terms with 17-year-old Darren Raekwon McIntosh-Buffonge. A mere five years ago, Darren was let go by Arsenal. He then tried his luck at Fulham. And now he’s signed a scholarship contract at Old Trafford.

Bit deal for him. But not a big deal for Arsenal nor Man United – unless you read your news in the Metro, where the move is:

 Done deal: Man United confirm signing of brilliant ex Arsenal midfielder

Good grief.



Posted: 19th, November 2015 | In: Arsenal, manchester united, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Abdelhamid Abaaoud: a naked dead body and the blonde

Is Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the drugged-up Muslim nihilist who planned the murders of 129 people in Paris, dead?

Abdelhamid Abaaoud dead body


The Mail wonders if Abdelhamid Abaaoud has been killed by French forces?

The Sun provides an answer:

Abdelhamid Abaaoud


But why is “dies” in inverted commas? “GOT HIM” is a neat update on the ugly “GOTCHA” by which the Sun heralded the sinking of the ARA General Belgrano, an Argentine Navy cruiser sunk by a British submarine during the 1982 Falklands War.


gotcha the sun


The Sun is less certain and uncertain. The article on the dead “mastermind” runs:

A TERRORIST’S body is carried from a flat after a gun battle with more than 100 police yesterday, as sources claimed it may be the IS mastermind behind the Paris massacre.

Officers hunting Abdelhamid Abaaoud — who planned last week’s carnage which killed 129 — said a blonde accomplice blew herself up as cops and special forces stormed the scene.

A blonde? Is he a brunette?

Armed cops fired an astonishing 5,000 bullets as they swooped on the terror cell. IS massacre mastermind Abaaoud was believed to be one of the two suspects who died in the pre-dawn swoop on a flat.


It was reported that the 27-year-old Belgian fiend had died in a hail of bullets and grenade blasts in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis.

His cousin Hasna Aitboulahcen blew herself to bits as she tried to lure the cops into a deadly trap. The suicide blast — Europe’s first involving a female — killed police dog Diesel, who had been sent to approach her and sniff out explosives.

The Mirror has more facts:

mirror mastermind

Abdelhamid Abaaoud is dead. Or as good as dead.

Eight people were taken alive, including this chap:


Abdelhamid Abaaoud naked


The Star nails it.




The end.


Posted: 19th, November 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Skydiver and cat jump sat in a fully furnished lounge

sky diver jump cat


In this advert professional skydiver Jeff Provenzano show us that so hip are Nvidia Shield tablet computers that anyone owning one can experience the thrill of skydiving with their cat by simply turning one on.


Spotter: Nerd Approved, Neatorama

Posted: 19th, November 2015 | In: News, Technology, The Consumer | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Roanoke mayor cites Japanese internment in letter opposing resettlement of Syrian refugees.

Roanoke mayor cites Japanese internment in letter opposing resettlement of Syrian refugees.


oanoke mayor cites Japanese internment in letter opposing resettlement of Syrian refugees.








Posted: 18th, November 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Irish dad has selfie stick the wrong way for entire trip – hilarious video

The selfie-stick met its match with Evan Griffin’s dad, who borrowed his lad’s Gopro for trip to Las Vegas. Dad wanders here and there, stick raised, narrating to the folks back home what they’re looking at.

They’re looking at you, dad.


Spotter: Kottke

Posted: 18th, November 2015 | In: Anorak TV, News, Technology | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Teenager burglary suspect caught masturbating into victim’s fridge

sex fridgeKink of the day features the 15-year-old who broke into a home in Laurel, Maryland, stole an iPad, masturbated into the fridge, ate some food from it, then left. No, wait. He ate the food before tossing off into the cold box.

The kid has standards.

|if you have been the victim of a break in, it might bean idea to toss out the mayonnaise.



Posted: 18th, November 2015 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal balls: Messi to the Emirates for £1 a week

Is Lionel Messi going to play for Arsenal? No. Of course he isn’t. But the ludicrous story is doing the rounds.

It began on Monday, when the Daily Star’s David Woods thundered:

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 15.28.48


LIONEL MESSI wants a staggering £600,000 a week to play in the Premier League.

Why not make it a £1m a week? why are only Mn United, Cheslea and Arsenal eyeing the world’s best player – why not AFC Bournemouth or Aston Villa, too. After all, they cannot afford him just as much as Chelsea can’t.

The story continues:

The four-time World Footballer of the Year is open to a move to England after falling foul of the tax authorities in Spain.

But the Barcelona superstar’s staggering demands look to have priced him out of the budgets of even big-spending Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.

He had us right up til ‘Arsenal’, which pay less for talent than those other clubs.

The 28-year-old Argentina ace is understood to favour moving to London, with the Gunners his preferred option if he quits Barcelona.

If. He won’t. But three days on from that nonsense the Independent has more news:


Lionel Messi to Arsenal: Gunners fans start crowdfund project to pay Barcelona superstar’s reported £600,000-a-week wages


Not quite. One Arsenal fan tweeted a joke:

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 15.43.36


£1 is not enough to buy Messi – but it is enough to make a national newspaper write about it.


Posted: 18th, November 2015 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal balls: ‘getting rid’ of players is easy for laptop managers

Arsenal daily mirror


A charming story in the Daily Mirror catches out eye. The paper invites readers to suggest which Arsenal footballer should be put out of work, or at least on a reduced wage:

Arsenal keep or sell: Which players should the Gunners get rid of in the January transfer window?

Perhaps Arsenal players should poll their staff to see if the journalist who dreamt up that hideous feature should be sacked or transferred to a regional title in, say, Belgium?



Posted: 18th, November 2015 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Sarah Vine: ‘fat’ Jorgie Porter helps Beatrice Gove develop her weight issues

Women-baiting Sarah Vine is talking about “pushy parents” in her Daily Mail column.

Excuse me while I perform a quick victory jig. A little wiggle of delight. Why? Because a new study reveals that being a pushy parent can actually harm a child’s chances of success in life….

Their ambitions arise out of pure vanity — because it’s all about them, you see. They believe the performance of their offspring directly reflects on them.

Not that Vine would ever be a pushy parent. You can read about how un-pushy Sarah is all over the media:

“Life lesson: Sarah Vine is pictured with her 11-year-old daughter Beatrice and nine-year-old son William” – Daily Mail

“Both my husband and six-year-old son are huge Smiths fans. We have The Sound Of The Smiths in the car CD changer, and on family outings it’s a popular request from the back. And yes, there is singing along” – Times

“One of Beatrice’s own teachers went on strike and then she said that she saw him on Newsround holding a banner going ‘Michael Gove out’ which I think is quite a strange experience for a small child – and I don’t know how it’s going to affect them at all. Part of me wants to put them on a plane to go and live with my mother in Italy, but part of me thinks it will make them tougher… I do think at some point there is going to be payback” – Ham & High

Vine said Beatrice was writing a book about a boy who flies away to “a land without bullies” – Telegraph

Like thousands of families across the UK with children in Year 6, we found out on Monday evening which state secondary our daughter Beatrice, age 10, will be attending. Unlike most other families, however, our choice of school made the news.

This is because Beatrice’s father (for her sins) is not only the current education secretary but also, it transpires, the first ever Conservative education secretary to enrol a child in a state-funded secondary school.

Don’t get me wrong: Grey Coat Hospital Church of England Comprehensive School for Girls (in Westminster) is not exactly Sinkhouse High. It’s an amazing school, rated outstanding by Ofsted. It was the first one we went to visit, back in 2012 when we started thinking about secondaries – Guardian

And this gem:

Michael Gove’s nine-year-old daughter has been pulled out of her ballet classes because of fears that they were making her worry about her weight. The Education Secretary’s wife, Sarah Vine, says she took the decision after Beatrice did not want to eat on the days that she was due to attend the dance lessons.

“It began when she mentioned that some of the girls in her group were better than her, even though they hadn’t been doing ballet as long, because ‘they were more the right size’. Another time, I collected my daughter, customary lollipop in hand (our little ritual), and she refused it. When I asked why, she just said she didn’t want to talk about it. She started complaining of a tummy ache on the days when she had classes.

Then she wanted to wear her old leotard, the one that’s too small for her. She clearly felt that if she could fit into a smaller size, that would be a good thing. That was the final straw. What used to be a fun way of exercising and a good excuse for a floaty skirt and a bit of glitter had become a stressful and somewhat sinister ordeal.”

The columnist, who lives with Gove and their two children in North Kensington, adds: “I only hope I’ve caught the rot early enough.”

You can read about Vine and the rot of making women and girls fret about their weight in her Daily Mail column:


sarah vine pushy parent


Not such a Klass act

Universal excitement as Jorgie Porter, the pretty, sexy, young one in this year’s I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!, changed into a transparent white bathing costume for that all-important Myleene Klass memorial jungle shower moment.
And briefly, it looked like it was going to be a triumph for the 27-year-old Hollyoaks star: the swept back wet hair, the mouth dripping with water, the half-closed eyes.

And then … the legs. And there all similarities with Myleene Klass end.

Ah, there is a God after all!

You just know who gets to play God at Sarah’s school play…



Posted: 18th, November 2015 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester United staffer in nominative determinism tribunal

In “Women peep in Utd loos”, the Sun reports on Marcus King, a man who claims that whilst working at Manchester United’s training ground he was spied on by three women. “He told a a tribunal he heard sniggering outside the disabled toilet when he sat on the loo.

The three women he alleges bullied him at work are all called…Sue.

The case of reverse nominative determinism continues.


Posted: 18th, November 2015 | In: manchester united, Money, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

The Sun says 800,000 Muslims ‘MIGHT not be cold-blooded murderers’

jane moore


Jane Moore has a few words to say on Muslims in the wake of the Paris massacre. She tells Sun readers, some of whom might be Muslims, but not any based in Liverpool, obviously:

After the brutal Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris earlier this year, a damning poll revealed that 27 per cent of British Muslims quietly sympathised with the attackers.

And thus a quarter of British Muslims are damned.

Assuming there are around three million of them, that’s approximately 800,000 who, while they might not be cold-blooded murderers themselves, are radical enough to think that the murder of 11 magazine staff and five others was justified because it printed a satirical cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad.

Following the recent slaying of 129 innocent people going about their daily lives in the French capital, how many of that deeply worrying statistic still feel these thugs murdering in the name of Islam have a valid point?

Might? Moore is wrong on that, and wrong on the data – 27 per cent of British Muslims said they have “some sympathy for the motives behind the attacks”. They did neither support nor foment murder. The expressed an opinion that caused offence to some. And as for being radical, the poll was commissioned by BBC Radio 4, a station about as radical as wearing socks on your feet.


Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 09.45.12


The BBC reported on the poll it commissioned:

Asked if acts of violence against those who publish images of the Prophet Muhammad can “never be justified”, 68% agreed that such violence was never justifiable. But 24% disagreed with the statement, while the rest replied “don’t know” or refused to answer.

And what about the poll? Anorak is suspicious of all polls. They suggest something but prove nothing. Who has the time to answer a poll? Are people who answer them more likely to say something dumb? At college I occasionally took part in market research tests. I didn’t give a toss about the questions and products in front of me. I did it because it gave me food, drink and £50 cash. If I was bored, I’d say something challenging, like the cigarettes should be green; people with short arms should be banned from buying the new bags; the new recipe made the drink non-kosher.

The BBC poll did not ask non-Muslims if they sympathised with the Charlie Hebdo attacks. It did not poll Guardian journalists, or people like Peter Herbert of the Society of Black Lawyers, who tweeted that he’d consider reporting the Charlie Hebdo cartoons “as incitement to hate crime and persecution before the International Criminal Court”; Pat Buchanan, who said “there is no doubt” that the dead brought it on themselves; or the New Statesman which opined “none of us believes in an untrammelled right to free speech”.

The BBC poll went like this:

ComRes interviewed 1,000 Muslims living in Britain aged 18+ by telephone between 26th January and 20th February. Data were weighted to be representative of the known population. Sample was drawn from two sources, as outlined below:

National Random Digit Dialing (RDD) Surveys: A database collected from national, RDD surveys where respondents identified as being Muslim who were happy to be re-contacted for research.

Super Output Areas: RDD sample was drawn based on the Office for National Statistics’ Output Areas – the statistical regions created by the Office for National Statistics that are the lowest geographical level at which census estimates are provided – in order to determine the Middle Layer Super Output Areas that have the highest density and incidence of BME adults (18+).

No, us neither. The upshot is that 1000 people who say they’re Muslim on forms, have time to reply to polls, most likely do not read Charlie Hebdo, and do not think someone asking them if they “feel loyal to Britain” is deserving of a smack in the chops created a news item about race and tolerance.

The 1000 were also asked if they felt victimised. Sheesh. Ask anyone – anyone – if they feel victimised and they will most likely say ‘yes’. Ask Prince William and aristos if they think the country is being less tolerant of the landed gentry, and what will they say?

The poll is utter balls. Moore’s comment that 800,000 Muslims”might not be cold-blooded murders” is clumsy and ill-judged – but at least it’s not like that BBC poll: well-intentioned, knowing, superior liberal bilge presented as a worthwhile study into the minds of Others.

Posted: 18th, November 2015 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Chelsea in for Berahino and agree to meet Sneijder release clause

Chelsea are looking to buy West Brom striker Saido Berahino. The Daily Telegraph says the 22-year-old is valued at £20m.

Chelsea are also hopeful of signing Valencia’s Algeria winger Sofiane Feghouli, 25. Well, so says Fichajes, which has little by way of fact to support the claim.

That’s not all. The trusty Metro says Chelsea are on track to sign Bologna midfielder Amadou Diawara, 18.

The Daily Express claims Chelsea and Valencia are among “the top 15” clubs in the world keen on Lyon’s Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi, 22. Yeah, just the top 15 clubs. Hard cheese on the top 16th club, which, as the player’s agent knows, is AFC Bournemouth.

And to round things up Chelsea will very soon sign Galatasaray’s Wesley Sneijder, 31, Fanatik claims Chelsea will meet the player’s release terms. 


Posted: 18th, November 2015 | In: Chelsea, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

John Prescott on ISIS: a blunt tool hacking the West

Anti-phone hacking firebrand John Prescott uses his column in the phone hacking Daily Mirror to explain how ISIS can be defeated and the West remain intact.

Former deputy prime minister John, who backed the Iraq War, tells us:

Like 9/11 and 7/7, it will represent a moment when a country, its government and people realise an uncomfortable truth. That we can never truly be safe from terror .

Because we can never, hand-on-heart, say we can protect the public.

Who we?

Whether in the Twin Towers of New York, the London Underground or even on the beaches of Tunisia, fundamental extremists will always find a way.

Right enough. But what to do when they do strike?

And while governments promise swift justice and retribution there is very little we can do.

Oh? What about bombs and guns?

There will be politicians who will use the deaths in Paris, just as they did after 9/11, to push an agenda of greater military intervention in the Middle East.

The Middle East is, in Prescott’s eyes, a unified mass. It is is not made up of different people with their own fights and dreams. It is THE Middle East, a definitive bloc. He makes no mention of the Kurds, a peoples used and dropped who are fighting ISIS and Turkey for their own state, the Coptic Christians, the Druze, the Jews, the Bedouin, Karim, and on and on.

The road to revenge didn’t stop with the Taliban in Afghanistan . It added new destinations – Saddam in Iraq, Gaddafi in Libya and then Assad in Syria.

Revenge? Does Preccott mean the moment when Al Qaeda murdered thousands of people in New York in an act of war? It can be noted that the “revenge” has resulted in no further attacks on the US soil.

One thing I’ve learnt is that this western intervention never helps, it only makes matters worse. So much worse.

No to Western intervention, then. Leave them to it, those Middle Easterners.

Our interventions, however noble of intent they may appear, only pour petrol on the fires of Middle East unrest.

That a pun, John, about the oil game?

So how do you crackdown on the terrorists in Paris? This will have been planned weeks if not months ago. How do you argue to close borders when the very extremists already carry French passports?

Prescott then answers his own questions:

To my mind, there are three things we can do. The first is to push for a regional solution in Syria.

But Western intervention doesn’t work. You said that, John.

That means the international community working with Syria ’s neighbours. A lasting agreement will only be reached by building consensus.

So the West should get involved with foreign countries, telling them what to do and so forth. What if thee foreigners say the West should butt out and get stuffed?

That takes me to my second point. From Afghanistan, to Iraq and Libya, Britain and the US stoked the unrest that allowed ISIS to emerge and thrive.

Stoked the unrest? Prescott is blaming the West for ISIS.

So we must stop all military involvement. Sending a drone to kill Mohammed ‘Jihadi John’ Emwazi may appeal to our baser instincts of vengeance. But it will be seen in the Middle East as a state-sponsored execution.

There he goes with that Middle East thing, again.

Britain and the US as judge, jury and executioner. Just like ISIS .

And there it is – the problem in a nutshell. Prescott symbolises the lack of moral conviction. He says we can’t be right because we have been wrong. Prescott sees shame and doubt. Whereas once the West was the Enlightened force for good, Prescott sees us as corrupted, even when faced with nihilists.

We hear echoes of Barack Obama, who said:

“Lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ… [And] slavery and Jim Crow all too often [were] justified in the name of Christ.”

When you’re that weak, little wonder you enemy is emboldened.

Here’s Prescott:

As the parents of Jim Foley said: “It is a very small solace to learn that Jihadi John may have been killed by the US Government. His death does not bring Jim back.”

Or as Journalist Steven Sotloff’s mother Shirley, whose son was Emwazi’s second victim, told NBC News: “If they got him great. But it doesn’t bring my son back.”

Stuart Henning, Alan Henning’s nephew, said he wanted Emwazi to suffer “the way Alan and his friends did”.

David Haines’ daughter, Bethany, told ITV News: “I think all the families will feel closure and relief once there’s a bullet between his eyes.”

Prescott continues:

So we must stop these drone attacks and take no further active military role in either Iraq or Syria. Let other regional players like Iran take the lead on this.

Iran? True enough, Iran-backed Shia militias are fighting ISIS. But Iran also arms Hezbollah. Iran is a dictatorship.

The final thing we can do is show Britain is committed to finding a lasting peace in all of the Middle East.

All I vant is a little piece!

We cannot let the running sore of ill-feeling and bad blood between Israel and the Palestinian territories continue.

How do you stop that, then, John?

Both Israelis and Palestinians deserve to live together peacefully. That means putting pressure on both governments to strike that deal.

How do you pressure them to get the result you, a Westerner wants, John?

The best tribute to those who died in Paris is not to send troops and drones to “eviscerate” ISIS and Syria. It is to channel that anger-fuelled energy to sue for a lasting peaceful solution across that region. Let the lasting memorial to those who died on Friday 13th be that they truly rest in peace.

In Prescott world you look good and noble by letting other do the fighting. If beating an enemy who represents everything your culture rejects is not worth fighting for, what is?


Posted: 17th, November 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0