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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:
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:
£1 is not enough to buy Messi – but it is enough to make a national newspaper write about it.
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?
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:
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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?
Did you catch Jodie Marsh Is Exposed Online? It’s on TLC, and it features the fragrant beauty striking a blow for privacy. The blurb tells us:
10 years ago Revenge Porn barely existed, but now thanks to a combination of smart phones and social media, it’s a term that is becoming more and more familiar, with victims ranging from Celebrities to school kids.
Jodie, the subject of bullying throughout her school years, was herself was a victim of an online stalker until recently, so can relate to how it feels to be ‘virtually’ harassed and victimised. She’s also confessed to taking intimate pictures of herself for former partners.
But how does it feel when someone posts images or videos of you doing the most intimate things imaginable, online, for the world to see?
In this film Jodie will talk to victims to see how devastating the effects can be and looks at what is being done to prevent this heinous crime. She’ll talk to tech experts and hackers to highlight how easy it is to hack into our private lives and she’ll meet the perpetrators face to face to see what motivates them to invade someone’s privacy and then share it with the world.
Kiss ‘n’ tell is a low act. But is Marsh the best person to highlight the issue?
In 2009, Marsh wore a T-shirt showing scores of her conquests out of 10.
The same Marsh, reportedly, told the News of The World about one former flame, Blue’s Antony Costa:
“He’s VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY small,the smallest I’ve ever seen in my life. I’m talking like maybe two inches tops. I must be really unlucky when it comes to men’s willies because I always seem to get really small ones. Antony’s very self-conscious about his and tried to make out that it wasn’t a tiddler. But I could tell straight away. It’s not just a little bit small, it’s like a button mushroom.”
Elizabeth Dickson has won damages from Playboy Enterprises for an incident at the Playboy Golf Finals at the Industry Hills Golf Club in Industry on March 30, 2012.
Dickson’s job was to act as novelty divot. Lying face down on the grass, her shorts shirt lipped down to help the golfer focus, the tee tucked between her taught buttocks, Playboy Morning Show host Kevin Klein stood over her and took aim.
Klein swung the club and “struck plaintiff on the buttocks, causing her injuries and damages,” her lawsuit suit alleged.
Arsenal manger Arsene Wenger wants more testing for drugs in football. Having already said his Arsenal side have faced sides using performance-enhancing drugs “many times”, Wenger said yesterday:
“I’m not satisfied with the level of testing because I believe blood tests should be done….Urine checks are superficial and not deep enough to say absolutely sure that we have no drug problem in football. Can you have 740 players at a World Cup and come out with zero doping? It’s a little bit surprising.”
But why not Let athletes take whatever drugs they want. If the drugs aren’t damaging their health, why not let allow drugs and so ensure all sportsmen are in the know?
And can any drug make a footballer more skilful? Can it sharpen the brain and muscles to good effect, more than adrenalin, caffeine or sugar? Should all steroids be banned – even the ones that aid recovery from injury?
It helps, of course, that La Marseillaise is the world’s most sing-alongable national anthem. England football fans can sing it when the Three Lions play Les Blues at Wembley.
The Daily Mirror is here to help everyone who doesn’t have access to the internet learn the lines to the stirring tune:
Other newspapers support the French:
But the winning newspaper is the Daily Star with its bikinis (traditions French attire) and balls.
The Times‘ football writers have ben indulging in a spot of international break chatter.
Final Premier League top four – predictions:
MD: Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur.
OK: Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur.
MH: Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur.
JD: Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur.
GC: Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur.
RS: Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea.
AR: Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United, Southampton.
TB: Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United.
City are going o walk it…
Can it be that, as the Mail reports, Charlie Sheen will announce that he is HIV positive on The Today Show?
NBC says Sheen will make a “revealing personal announcement”.
The story goes that Sheen’s interview is scheduled one day before a National Enquirer investigation claims the actor has the virus and, as the Daily Mail alleges, Sheen spent “$5 million to keep the news that he had HIV ‘silent.’”
“Charlie had sex with multiple partners since learning his HIV status without informing them of his potentially deadly HIV infection,” one source told The ENQUIRER.
Adult film star Scottine Ross, who an insider noted didn’t know of Sheen’s HIV status for four months while they had unprotected sex, railed against her ex-fiancé in a video provided to The ENQUIRER: “You exposed me to HIV for a year and a half!” she blasted.
Now Sheen, who doesn’t know how he contracted the virus, “has been tortured by the thought that his acting genius will be forgotten,” explained a source. “Charlie’s worst fear is that he will be remembered not as a great actor, but as someone who contracted the disease.”
Now read on…
The Kurds are at the bleeding edge of the war with Islamists. But the West is not backing them. Shilan Ozcelik, the British woman who allegedly wanted to fight Islamic State, has been dragged through the courts. A Kurdish homeland will free Israel and rid the Middle East of violent racism and misogyny. But the Kurds are not being cheered and championed. Why not?
U.S. officials are trying to persuade Turkey that the Syrian Kurdish fighters are not hostile toward Ankara. To underscore the U.S. commitment to Turkey’s security, Obama sent a squadron of F-15 warplanes in November to protect Turkey’s airspace against a growing number of Russian incursions after Moscow began its military buildup in Syria. At the same time, however, the U.S. has delayed deliveries of weapons Turkey needs to fight Kurdish militants, and many analysts suspect the move is intended to hobble further Turkish attacks on the YPG.
For now, heavier U.S. arms shipments to the Syrian Arab Coalition also appear frozen. A White House official tells Newsweek the administration plans to do more to support the group. But Carter, the defense secretary, recently said he’s still looking for more local forces to work with in Syria; that suggests the low ratio of Arabs to Kurds in the coalition remains a problem for a Raqqa offensive. And until that’s resolved, U.S. military cargo planes won’t be making any special deliveries of heavier weapons.
The Jerusalem Post:
On November 12, in the early morning, more than 10,000 Peshmerga started the military operation to liberate of Shingal (Sinjar) using artillery, tanks and with the help of other countries from the international coalition against Islamic State (IS). Due to the injustice of what had happened to the Yazidi in Shingal, thousands of volunteers from their community from Shingal, Duhok and other areas joined the Kurdish Peshmerga forces to take part in the liberation.
The operation moved slowly as we had to contend with the large number of booby traps, IEDs and TNT explosives on the roads. IS did not put up an efficient defense. One of the Peshmerga commanders jokingly said “if the coalition jets bombed the other IS locations like they did in the past week in Shingal, a week would be enough to clean the whole of Iraq of IS.”
This oddness is summed up beautifully — or horrendously — in the current G20 gathering in Turkey to discuss how to keep IS militants out of Europe in the wake of the barbarism in Paris. Cameron, Merkel, Obama: various world leaders have gathered in Antalya to denounce the assaults in Paris as an ‘attack on the civilised world’ and to promise ‘global efforts’ to smash IS. And they’re doing this while posing for photos alongside Turkish president and G20 host Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has okayed airstrikes against the Kurdish forces in Syria and northern Iraq that have shown more commitment to defeating IS than all those leaders put together. Our leaders talk war on IS, while green-lighting war on the most implacable enemies of IS.
The dearth of any true solidarity with the Kurds is striking. Of all the wicked things happening in the world today, the terrorising of the Kurds is up there with the worst, yet there’s little anger, barely any protest…
To Florida, where a woman has been shot in the head at the Regency Inn and Suites in Tampa. Tyrone Fields, 21, says he shot her by accident. He says they were in a ‘role-play scenario’. He would hold a gun to her head as they had sex.
Fields says he removed the magazine out of the 9mm semi-automatic pistol but forgot about one bullet in the chamber. He says he lay on top of her, put the gun to her head and then it just went off.
The dead woman, Christina Meagher, 18, of Tampa, had no injuries consistent with sexual battery. Tyrone Fields can now enjoy some more freaky sex in a long prison sentence.
Writing in the Sun, former England football captain Alan Shearer mentions the horror in Paris. He says he was in Paris only recently. It never crossed Shearer’s mind the city was dangerous as he ate dinner at a restaurant. He talks of the thought that all football fans will wonder about their safety at the match. All true.
But then he turns football into a moral force. He recalls the great France side that won the 1998 World Cup, and how its players from a range of backgrounds “brought French people…together”:
“It is even more important now that Euro 2016 does that again and show a united front in the face of those terrorists.”
That France team did not win because the players were black, white or brown. They won because they were the best team. In Shearer’s call for sport to have a public message, the public are cast as bovine, simple minds who know only what they are told.
It’s suggestive of the insecurity that allows the enemy inside the gates; the idea that if France drops or picks a Muslim, Jewish or black footballer there will be massacres and race riots.
The lack of trust in ourselves aligns us with the loons aiming to murder Western ideals and ways of life. The jihadi seeking reason in a death-cult will not be appeased by a quota of Muslim footballers in the France side, just as picking a team to a proscribed, compliant, morally pure, self-conscious agenda fails to show a nation in a positive, liberal, progressive and confident light. One side seeks to annihilate the West; the other to undermine it and bare its uncertain heart, a culture riddled with self-doubt and self-loathing.
If freedom counts for anything, it means freedom to choose; to say what we feel; to pick a football team based on hope not fear.
We’ll sing what we want to. We’ll pick who we want to.
The Daily Express says there are “450 Jihadis on The Loose in the UK”. That’s a precise number. Where are they, and how do we know they are ‘on the loose’?
One line into the story and we read that there are “up to 450 battle-hardened jihadis on the street of Britain after fighting in Syria”. Surely if these people have been to Syria and then arrived or retuned to the UK, the border forces know of them?
The paper’s headline comes from a warning issued by Charles Farr, director of the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism in a speech last week.
He said that about 750 British citizens “of interest to the security and intelligence services” had travelled to Syria of whom “about 60 per cent had returned”.
What the Express does not note is what Farr said in June:
“It’s not to say the challenges they pose are not significant, they are. But … the more we overstate them the more, frankly, we risk labelling Muslim communities as somehow intrinsically extremist, which actually despite an unprecedented wealth of social media propaganda, they have proved not to be. So I think we need to be cautious with our metaphors and with our numbers.”
In other Express news:
The Express picks up the news that one of the Paris murderers could have been a ‘refugee’ from Syria. It invites readers to respond to a premium-rate phone poll:
Does the Express have an agenda?
As the Express builds fences and divides, the Mirror says 2000 “extra spies” are being recruited to protect the UK”. To which the obvious question is: recruited from where?
Inside we learn that spies will be taken from SAS and SBS troops and seconded to Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command. These, presumably, would be crack troops not needed on the streets of Iraq and Syria to off the enemy?
The Mirror ads that any Syrian’s entering Britain as migrants are being vigorously screened.
But is it enough? The Mail leads with “THE DEADLY BLUNDERS”. It says suicide bomber Ahmad Almohammad “was waved into Europe posing as a Syrian refugee”. Salah Abdeslam “was in police clutches – but they let him go” – he was stopped and let go by police close to the Belgian border.
Let go? Or followed?
One other murderer attracts the Mails‘ attention – “blue-eyed” Ismael Omar Mostefai. Why his eye colour matters is odd, and something neo-Nazis are free to discuss.
The Mail then thunders: “They ever butchered fans in wheelchairs”.
Again, one for the Nazis.
The Mail then cites the aforesaid Farr: “450 jihadis back in UK but has a single passport been seized?” Like the Express, it too fails to note Farr’s other words on Muslims. But it does say:
Why is that news? Are all Muslims not under suspicion – the man in the newsagents, your friend at work, the bank manger, the wonderful singer Nadine Shah?
Over in te Sun, the message is that it’s “Time for Britain to take the fight to ISIS”.
Better yet, why not just give the Kurds guns and personnel. For some time the (Muslim) Kurds have been protecting Western civilisation from the Islamist nutters. Might be an idea to recognises your allies and back them.
Sky TV’s Kay Burley has news from the carnage in Paris:
Beyond parody. Or is it?
You should see the hyenas…
Qanta Ahmed says the slaughter in Paris was an attack on Islam. The jihadis are new form to totalitarianism:
To assert that this Islamism is un-Islamic is not a kneejerk response to the atrocities we saw last night, and so many times around the world. It is the only conclusion that can be drawn after serious consideration of its principles. The Damascene Muslim scholar, Bassam Tibi, identifies six tenets of Islamism – all quite new, and none can be honestly described as Islamic.
- Seeking a new world order through a new dictatorial global ‘caliphate’. (It matters little that the word ‘dawla’ — Islam as state — appears nowhere in the 80,000-word document that we accept as the revealed Quran.)
2. The establishment of Islamism within democracies — Islamists are keen to stand for election, but once they get into power they want to shut the democratic gate behind them.
3. Positioning Jews as Islam’s chief enemy, thereby making anti-Semitism central to the Islamist project (as Hamas’s founding charter attests).
4. The mutation of classical jihad into terrorist jihadism — with which the world has, alas, become all too familiar.
5. Sharia law. Not sharia as described by the Quran, but a concocted version used to impose a form of totalitarian rule which is without historical precedent. As the Islamic State regularly demonstrates, mercy has no place within Islamists’ version of sharia. In his searing study of the subject, the British lawyer Sadakat Kadri makes the critical observation that ‘pitiless punishment’, while lacking in Islam itself, has found a comfortable home in much of the Islamist world. Medieval barbarity has become a modern-day reality across much of the modern Muslim world — except that such punishment was unusual even in medieval times. Kadri notes that in five centuries of documented Ottoman legal history, there is only one record of a stoning to death.
6. The Islamists’ concept of purity and authenticity. Any challenge to Islamism is, to them, de facto evidence of an un-Islamic behaviour. As Professor Tibi puts it, this is what makes Islamism ‘a totalitarian ideology poised to create a totalitarian state’ on a par with Nazism and Leninism. ‘Given that Muslims constitute more than a quarter of humanity,’ he concludes, the tension ‘between civil Islam and Islamist totalitarianism matters to everyone’.
Image: Armed police are deployed in Place de la Republique during a false alarm incident on November 15, 2015 in Paris, France. France is currently observing three days of national mourning members of the public continue to pay tribute to the victims of Friday’s deadly attacks. A special service for the families of the victims and survivors is to be held at Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
The hideous far-right politico Marine le Pen looks at the massacre in Paris and sees her chance to become a credible leader:
France must “annihilate” Islamist radicals and regain control of its borders, the far-right National Front party leader Marine Le Pen said on Saturday after deadly attacks in the French capital. “Urgent action is needed,” Le Pen told reporters the day after 127 people were killed in assaults on cafes, a concert hall and a soccer stadium. “Islamist fundamentalism must be annihilated, France must ban Islamist organizations, close radical mosques and expel foreigners who preach hatred in our country as well as illegal migrants who have nothing to do here,” she said.
Intolerance will not be tolerated! Le Pen has joined the chant “Je suis Charlie”, in honour of the massacre at Charlie Hebdo magazine. She hasn’t a clue what it means. Free speech is just that. She is a face of control.
Islamic State claimed responsibility on Saturday for a coordinated assault by gunmen and bombers at locations across Paris, which President Francois Hollande said amounted to an act of war against France. Polls have been suggesting that Le Pen, known for her strong speeches against immigration, is likely to win regional elections in northern France in December. Surveys also see her making it to the second round of the presidential election in 2017, although not winning the run-off.
Terrifying stuff. Hollande’s next move will be crucial.
Image: French Front National party president Marine Le Pen takes part in a Unity rally ‘Marche Republicaine’ on January 11, 2015 in Beaucaire, France. The French far-right National Front (FN) held their own rally after being excluded from the Paris unity rally. An estimated one million people have converged in central Paris for the Unity March joining in solidarity with the 17 victims of this week’s terrorist attacks in the country. French President Francois Hollande led the march and was joined by world leaders in a sign of unity. The terrorist atrocities started on Wednesday with the attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12, and ended on Friday with sieges at a printing company in Dammartin en Goele and a Kosher supermarket in Paris with four hostages and three suspects being killed. A fourth suspect, Hayat Boumeddiene, 26, escaped and is wanted in connection with the murder of a policewoman. (Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images)
What happens are airport security? The Economist takes a look at the panto;
The growing certainty that the mid-air destruction of a Metrojet airliner flying from Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg was caused by a bomb placed in the baggage hold has led to predictable calls from politicians for tighter airport security across much of the world. “What we have got to do is ensure that airport security everywhere is at the level of the best,” said Philip Hammond, Britain’s foreign secretary. “That may mean additional costs; it may mean additional delays at airports as people check in.” The deaths of 224 people aboard the Airbus A321 is a tragedy. But if passengers groan at ever more intrusive security screening, they are right. . . .
Two things are striking about these events. The first is that, despite the terrorists’ fascination with blowing up airliners, attempts to do so are actually rather rare. Unless the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 that disappeared last year was brought down by terrorists (the most probable theory remains pilot suicide) the explosion of the Metrojet A321 over Sinai is the first major success they have had against an airline since 2004, when two Russian planes were blown up. The second striking thing is that the enhanced airport security introduced after the terrorist attacks of 2001 played no role in thwarting any of these attacks.
It’s a waste of time.
Image: A sign directs travelers to a security checkpoint staffed by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workers at O’Hare Airport on June 2, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Department of Homeland Security said that the acting head of the TSA would be replaced following a report that airport screeners failed to detect explosives and weapons in nearly all of the tests that an undercover team conducted at airports around the country.
Kenan Malik looks at the massacre in Paris in “AFTER PARIS“. The killers slaughtered people at the Jewish-owned Bataclan theatre. They hit the Stade de France, where ‘Les Bleus’ were playing.
What the terrorists despised, what they tried to eliminate, were ordinary people, drinking, eating, laughing, mixing. That is what they hated – not so much the French state as the values of diversity and pluralism.
This is not terrorism with a political aim, but terror as an end in itself.
Who leads the response?
An ideal policy would marry the beneficial aspects of the two approaches – celebrating diversity while treating everyone as citizens, rather than as simply belonging to particular communities. In practice, though, Britain and France have both institutionalized the more damaging features – Britain placing minorities into ethnic and cultural boxes, France attempting to create a common identity by treating those of North African origin as the Other. The consequence has been that in both Britain and France societies have become more fractured and tribal. And in both nations a space has been opened up for Islamism to grow.
And her some the next President of the USA. It’s Trump:
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump says victims of the terrorist attacks in France on Friday would have had a better chance of defending themselves if they were allowed to carry guns.
“When you look at Paris, you know, the toughest gun laws in the world, nobody had guns except for the bad guys, nobody,” Trump said at a campaign rally in Beaumont, Texas, on Saturday. “Nobody had guns, and they were just shooting them one by one.”
The billionaire business mogul said the outcome would have been “different” if citizens were armed.
“And I’ll tell you what, you can say what you want, but if they had guns, if our people had guns, if they were allowed to carry, it would have been a much, much different situation,” he said.
At least 129 civilians were killed in France in a series of coordinated terror attacks Friday. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has taken responsibility for the attacks.
Trump also called President Obama’s plan to take in displaced Syrian refugees “insane.”
What an awful idea. One thing we love about living in Britain is that citizens and not routinely armed.
Transfer balls: The Sunday Mirror says Manchester United are looking to make a move for Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben.
Apparently, Robben is “at war” with team-mate Robert Lewandowski.
Robben will be 32 in January.
Why would he leave winning Bayern, where he’s contracted to until 2017, to play for Louis Van’ Gaal’s also-rans?
The British papers are full of Manchester United shopping at Bayern, but as yet all they’ve secured is early middle-aged Hitler doll model Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Just take this scoop in the Daily Mail:
And in the Express.
Kroos signed for Real Madrid. Robben signed a new deal with Bayern. And Muller “is set to sign a new contract with Bayern Munich”, according to this week’s Daily Express.