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.
To Chicago in search of nominative determinism. We find Larry Gambles. Mr Gambles just won a $1,050,000 Lucky Day Lotto jackpot prize. He says: “Nine years ago, I won $50,000 playing the numbers from the jerseys of my high school basketball team. I’ve been playing the same numbers ever since. I can’t believe they paid off again.”
In “I want my country back” Laurie Penny seeks to make her voice the authentic sound of the self-regarding who see the Brexit vote and say #NotMyVote. She writes in the New Statesman:
This was never a referendum on the EU. It was a referendum on the modern world.
And the news is that 52% of UK voters rejected Penny’s view of modernity. Says Penny.
This morning, I woke up in a country I do not recognise. David Cameron’s big gamble – the future of Britain against his personal political ambitions – has backfired so badly that we’ve blasted clean out of the EU. By the time I’d put the kettle on, the stock markets were in free fall, Scotland was debating a new independence referendum, Sinn Fein was making secession noises, and the prime minister had resigned.
You might call it exciting. If politics is about change and daring, then this is it.
The markets were not in free fall. On a day in which the brokers and bankers were found to have backed the wrong side, the FTSE ended 3.15% lower at 6,138. But the pound is weaker (good for exporters, then) and the FX traders are playing catch-up.
Politicians are making their moves. The SNP wants another referendum because just two years ago they lost one and like the EU they want to keep going until the people give the ‘right‘ answer. Sinn Fein’s call for a plebiscite is something they are almost certain not to get.
Penny then launches a rant against people who dare to vote for what they believe in. Unlike Cameron, she is no gracious loser.
There’s not enough tea in the entire nation to help us Keep Calm and Carry On today. Not on a day when prejudice, propaganda, naked xenophobia and callous fear-mongering have won out over the common sense we British like to pride ourselves on. Not on a day when we’re being congratulated by Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen, and nobody else. Well done, turkeys. Santa’s on his way.
This from the New Statesman, a magazine that told of a Kosher Conspiracy. Can you spot the bigot, turkeys? Maybe this can help you:
So, here’s the thing. This was never a referendum on the EU. It was a referendum on the modern world, and yesterday the frightened, parochial lizard-brain of Britain voted out, out, out, and today we’ve all woken up still strapped onto this ghost-train as it hurtles off the tracks.
Penny says “I want my country back”. Wherever that is it looks a like a place where prejudice is rife.
So why did Jamie Vardy reject a move to Arsenal? Was it because when, as reported, his agent called Arsenal to tell them about the “escape clause” it was just a ruse to get a rival team to bid for his client and so kickstart negotiations on a new deal with Leicester City? Vardy was on £70,000 a week when the agent called Arsenal. After Arsenal bid the £20m (Sun) / £21m (Telegraph) / £22m (Guardian) to trigger Vardy’s release, and offered him a reported £120,000 a week, the player scored a new deal with the Foxes worth £100,000 a week basic and maybe bonuses for ‘loyalty’, goals and appearances.
Other reasons why Vardy snubbed Arsenal are all over the media.
Donald Trump is in Scotland to talk about golf, Brexit and golf for the paranoid at one of his gated sports complexes. Scots are wowed as the Republican Presidential nominee walks among them. One takes the trouble to make her own sign. It says Donald “Trump is a cunt”.
Wondering what to study at college to earn a living when they spit you out? Mark J Perry has news on how to use your time:
a. A 2-year degree from the Community College of Denver in Dental Hygiene has an ROI of $612,991, which are the additional earnings a graduate can expect to earn over 20 years compared to a high school graduate. Average first-year wages are about $61,000 and the cost of the degree is less than $16,000.
b. A 4-year degree from the University of Colorado-Boulder in Women’s Studies has an ROI of only $173,545, at a cost of more than $92,000 and estimated first-year earnings of only $23,461.
Abdul Rahman Haroun, 40, left his native Sudan in 2004. On August 4 2015, Mr Haroun walked through the 31-mile long Channel Tunnel and claimed asylum. The Express says there is “outrage” as “migrant is freed”. It laments the “border shambles” that allows Haroun to be a free man. Reading that you might suppose that Mr Haroun escaped any legal censure for his actions.
The Independent’s headline is at odds with the Express. It turns Mr Haroun from migrant to “refugee”. The Indy sums up: “Refugee Abdul Rahman Haroun given nine-month prison sentence for walking through Channel Tunnel to reach UK… He was prosecuted under Victorian legislation – the Malicious Damage Act 1861 – for ‘obstructing an engine or a carriage using a railway’.”
The Express quotes an MP who says Haroun received only a “slap on the wrist”. The MP says Haroun should have been deported automatically. The Express says Haroun benefitted from a “soft touch” justice system. Haroun has been “rewarded [for his criminality] with leave to remain and taxpayer handouts”.
The Mail says Haroun is “free to work and live here… if he has a wife and child under 18 he can bring them to Britain”.
Mr Haroun is free. That much is true. But only because from the time of his arrest until January this year Mr Haroun was a prisoner at HMP Elmley in Kent. In December 2015, the “African migrant” (Telegraph) was granted permission to remain in the UK as a refugee.
In January, he was bailed. At Canterbury Crown Court Mr Haroun, who “braved speeding trains” (New York Times) pleaded guilty.
The Daily Star sees no bravery. It states: “Migrant who walked through Chunnel free to live here – despite guilty plea.” The paper adds: “The news comes after truck drivers told of their fears of another summer of migrant mayhem in Calais, France.”
The final word is with the judge, Adele Williams, who “acknowledged Haroun had travelled from Sudan ‘in a state of desperation'” (Sky News). She added: “The reason why the courts of the United Kingdom take such a serious view of this criminality is that those who enter in this way seek to evade the authorities, who can, therefore, have no check upon who is entering the country. In the world in which we live of international crime and terrorism that is a very serious matter.”
So was the bigger crime in letting a man wander through the Channel Tunnel undetected?
It’s the EU Referendum, the day the country votes for independence (Sun) or not not fall into an abyss (Mirror).
The Express wants us to “VOTE LEAVE’. But not al that many people read the Express. The weight is with the Mail, the country’s most widely read newspaper. It says the EU are liars. It says vote out. If the Mail mobilises its readers, the Mail will have won it.
Did you enjoy the EU referendum debate live from Wembley Arena? Helping us decide what we saw and missed are the newspapers’ political sketch writers. What did they see?
ON SADIQ KHAN (Labour, In)
Quentin Letts, Daily Mail (OUT!):
But the new London mayor is a feral little nipper and came up with the most vicious slurs of the first hour when he accused the Leave camp of running ‘Project Hate’ on immigration. The crowd oohed and booed.
Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph (Dunno):
Inevitably the fiercest clashes concerned immigration. “Boris, your campaign has been Project Hate!” squawked Mr Khan. This won the night’s most furious cheer, followed by riotous stamping. It was like listening to an army charge across a tin roof.
John Crace Guardian (IN!):
“You’re not Project Fear, you’re Project Hate,” said Sadiq, to the biggest cheer of the evening.”
Mikey Smith, Daily Mirror (IN!):
Sadiq’s attack was the first damaging blow of the two hour event, and it attracted a long and loud round of applause from the audience.
What they said: Boos. Applause. Huge cheer.
ON RUTH DAVIDSON (Tory, In)
Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph (Dunno):
Ms Davidson, though – surely the night’s star performer – won cheers with her rocket-powered zeal and patriotism.
Quentin Letts, Daily Mail (OUT!):
…did the highly rated Miss Davidson slightly underperform? She twice invoked the name of President Obama, who has supported Remain. Maybe that sort of thing works in Edinburgh but at Wembley last night it earned raspberries.
What they said: Star. Rubbish.
ON BORIS JOHNSON (Tory, Out)
Quentin Letts, Daily Mail (OUT!):
And then his closing remarks. Let Thursday be our ‘Independence Day’. As those south American commentators say, ‘Gooooallllll!’
Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph (Dunno):
When Mr Johnson promised that June 23 would be Independence Day, the crowd nearly blew the roof off.
John Crace Guardian (IN!):
Boris bounced around on his feet, disappointed he hadn’t been able to get any of his favourite gags in. And that’s the way the rest of the night continued.
Daily Express (OUT!):
Huge cheers for Boris after his closing statement. The Wembley crowd are on their feet and chanting his name.
The Queen, reportedly, has stepped into the EU Referendum debate. The Express leads with: “QUEEN ISSUE EU CHALLENGE. – Give me 3 good reasons to stay, she asks guests.”
How many guests preferred it when Her Majesty just held up her gloved robotic waving hand and asked “And what do you do?” Now she wants three reasons why the country should remain in the European Union. Gongs and pudding portions depend on guests giving a favourable answer.
The source for this story of regal parlour games is “Royal biographer” Robert Lacey, who says he believes the Queen is a Eurosceptic but not necessarily a Brexiteer.
The story is taken up with the gusto in the Sun, which leads with “Sorry Ma’am, we can’t think of ONE.”
Proof that the Queen asked her guests the question comes there none. The tabloids’ story is rooted in a story Lacey wrote for the Daily Beast. Below the headline “Why the Queen Should Oppose Brexit” he says the Queen “apparently” has been asking her dinner guests for three reasons for the country remain in the EU. He adds that “Buckingham Palace has rightly deplored the impropriety of disclosing Her Majesty’s private remarks.”
Sick of listening to experts in money, war and politics talking on the EU Referendum? Us too. thankfully, the Daily Star has produced a double-page feature on what non-exerts have been saying. Not one of these people has bene elected for public office, but they have been on the telly. Some of the quotes are fantastic.
“If it means we can go back to using decent lightbulbs and hairdryers, I’m joining Brexit” – Liz Huley , expert in wearing dresses
“The European Union reminds me of an overpriced, badly run hotel” – Alex Polizzi recommends a new UK with neutral colours and a kettle in every room
“The EU is like a huge rock festival: Everyone has colour-coded passes and there are no wars” – Eddie Izard has never watched The Rolling Stones at Altamont, nor STEPS during the school holidays
And the pick of the bunch:
“Britain is not just stronger in Europe, it is more creative and imaginative” – Benedict Cumberbatch, the actor who made his name as playing the pre EU Sherlock Homles
Yes! Yes! Yes!!! That’s the sound of channel 5 executives celebrating. Big Brother remains relevant as Ofcom launches an inquiry after contestants Laura Carter and Marco Pierre White Jr groped, grunted, frotted and reached on the Channel 5 show before the 9pm watershed.
Why did Channel 4 reject the show that continues to titillate the great unwashed, allowing it to slip over to Channel 5?
More than 600 people have complained at seeing White, the son of a celebrity chef of the same name, slide his hands down Carte’s knicker – whilst she was wearing them. Who knew that Channel 5 had such a big audience for Big Brother? Of course, we cannot overlook the chance that many of the 634 outraged citizens who called Ofcom to complain work in TV. Moan and groan enough and – hey, presto! – Big Brother is all over the tabloids.
A spokesperson for Ofcom says: “We’re investigating whether sexual scenes in this episode of Big Brother exceeded generally accepted standards for its time of broadcast.”
Madeleine McCann: a look at the missing child in the news.
Daily Star (page 8): “Peado MP’s New Links to Maddie”
The paedo MP is the alleged paedophile MP Sir Clement Freud. He’s dead. He’s no longer an MP. Indeed, when he was alive he was not a known paedo, either. For a man who achieved celebrity and popularity in his lifetime, Freud’s post-breathing career has been disappointing.
The Star says that “bombshell emails” between Freud and Kate and Gerry McCann will be investigated as part of the police probe into the dead man’s alleged crimes against children. The former BBC TV broadcaster reached out to the McCanns when their daughter vanished. He had a home in Portugal not far when were Madeleine went missing. Kate says Freud “cheered her up”. Now a “source close to the family” says: “They took it at face value that he sympathised with their situation. They did not see anything sinister in his behaviour.”
You wonder what sinister intent he might have had? The mind boggles.
Daily Mail (Page 8): “Freud ‘drank in resort bar with ex-Maddie suspect'”.
Who is this former suspect? Why, it’s the entirely innocent Robert Murat, the poor sod libelled by sections of the British press. The Mail says the “paedophile ex-MP” – now a fact, apparently – “was said to have been on ‘nodding terms’ with Robert Murat”. What happened to Murat and Freud being drinking buddies, drinking “with” each other?
The Mail says the “ex-MP’s local was dubbed the Plough and Paedophile”. It’s the Plough and Harrow, dubbed a haven for child molesters after a Briton working at the pub “went on the run after police tried to talk to him about allegations of child sex abuse images and grooming”.
But that is not where Murat drank. The pub Freud and Murat visited – but not together – is called the Pig’s Head. The landlord, one Robert Hurst, has been speaking with the Sun. That paper reports:
Freud, who was unmasked as a child abuser last week, was also a regular at a pub in Praia da Luz dubbed The Plough and Paedophile. The fact Freud and Murat knew each other is one in a series of odd links that the dead former Liberal MP had to the McCanns. He had also entertained Gerry and Kate at his house in the days after Madeleine disappeared in 2007.
Is that an odd link – two Britishers abroad on the Med frequenting the same local pub? Murat is innocent. The Sun features a photo of him and the caption “Prime suspect…Murat was later cleared by cops.” So, he’s not a prime suspect, then. He’s not a suspect at all. He was an arguido, much as the McCanns were branded. They too were libelled in the British Press. They too must be presumed innocent. There are no suspects in the case of Madeleine McCann. But there are victims who have been tarnished by association.
Robert Hurst, landlord of the Pigs Head, said: “I find that really odd. I can’t imagine why he would suddenly want to invite them to his house. At the time Madeleine went, all hell was going on. Police everywhere, people just stunned and he’s straight in there having them over to dinner. When it came out this week that he was a paedophile, it made you wonder what he was up to?”
Back in the Mail, we hear of Vicky Hayes, “one of Sir Clement’s victims”, who says she told the police of Freud after she read of his befriending the McCanns in Kate McCann’s book. She was “convinced he was part of a paedophile rings operating in the Algarve”. The paper notes that Freud’s son, Matthew, says his dad was in the UK when the child vanished.
Some claims can’t be hard to prove. The rest of it invites nothing but speculation.
To Nashville, Tennessee, to see Multi-tasker of the Day, Jonisia Morris, 25, answer charges that she robbed a man on whom she was performing a sex act.
The police report alleges Morris, 25, was “performing oral sex on the victim while sitting in a car located at the Clarion Hotel”. Morris is claimed to have taken the man’s wallet from his trousers, removed the debit card, secreted it under the passenger seat and then returned the wallet back into the man’s pocket all whilst fellating him.
Russell Hawkins cultivates the Carolina Reaper chilli pepper – the world’s hottest vegetable. Hawkins thought it a worthwhile experiment to see what happens if he vaped the red-hot chilli pepper and rubbed the stuff in his eyes.
They suspended EU Referendum campaigning in respect to Jo Cox, the Labour MP killed in the streets of her Yorkshire constituency. No-one told the Daily Mirror. As Jo Cox’s alleged killer, Thomas Mair stood in the dock at Westminster magistrates’ court, giving his name as “death to traitors”, the Mirror wondered: could Jo Cox’s barbaric killing help the Remain camp win the vote?
The paper teasers its readers: “ComRes analysts were amazed when the results coming in after 2pm began to show a marked change of heart from Brexit to Remain.”
Nigel Nelson continues in the paper that supports Remain: “Voters became more inclined to want to stay in the EU after MP Jo Cox was shot.”
The astonishing finding comes in a ComRes poll for the Sunday Mirror. And it shows the murder of the 41 year old mum of two could have a direct effect on Thursday’s result.
Awful if it does. Awful if a heinous crime decides the direction the future of the United Kingdom. Awful if Thomas Mair, Mrs Cox’s alleged killer, has a decisive say in the vote.
Our pollsters were asking questions on the EU referendum at the exact time news broke of the attack on the Batley and Spen Labour MP at 2pm on Thursday. ComRes analysts were amazed when the results coming in after 2pm began to show a marked change of heart. Before Ms Cox was shot 45 per cent of those polled said they would be “delighted” if the UK voted to leave the EU.
That dropped to 38 per cent after it – and the Remain camp got an astonishing nine point boost from those saying they would be delighted if we stayed.
Jo Cox made a difference then, so too did Thomas Mair, allegedly.
ComRes polled a total of 2,046 people between Wednesday June 15 at 9pm on Thursday. Most people had answered our questions before Ms Cox was gunned down on Thursday afternoon, but 192 answers came in afterwards.
Seems a bit woolly, no? The poll contained no question on Jo Cox. It’s pure guesswork to say her death had an impact.
EU referendum poll: 44% would be ‘delighted’ if Britain voted to Leave. Only 28% would feel the same if it’s Remain. Exclusive ComRes poll for The Independent finds voters feel more strongly about leaving the EU than staying…
In the only reaction that favours Remain, 41 per cent said they would feel “anxious” in the event of a Leave vote, more than the 33 per cent who would feel the same about Remain.
But what about the “tragic Jo poll surge”?
Polling was carried out online on Wednesday and Thursday this week, with 192 out of 2,046 interviews carried out after the news of the attack on Jo Cox, the Labour MP. Andrew Hawkins, chairman of ComRes, suggested that the attack might have influenced responses: “Not all respondents will have learned of the attack immediately, and the results should be taken with a degree of caution, but across all emotions reaction to a Leave vote was more negative among those interviewed after 2pm on Thursday.”
Thankfully, the poll is published online. Comres reports:
With less than a week to go until the vote, British adults are far more likely to say they would be delighted in the result of Britain voting to Leave the EU, rather than voting to remain (44% v 28%).
Similarly, more than two in five say they would be disappointed if Britain voted to Remain (44% v 33% who say the same if Britain votes to leave).
Despite this, many British adults remain uncertain over the future of a post-Brexit Britain; two in five say they would feel anxious if Britain votes to leave the EU next week, compared to a third who say the same for remain (41% v 33%).
Labour voters are more likely than their Conservative counterparts to feel anxious in the event of Britain voting to leave the EU next week (52% v 41%). This is the only emotion where a majority of voters of either major party share this sentiment.
Thomas Mair, 52, of Birstall, stood in the dock at Westminster magistrates court charged with the barbaric killing of Jo Cox, the 41-year-old MP for Batley and Spen. Why Westminster and not a court in Yorkshire, where Mrs Cox was killed? Because Westminster magistrates’ court is where terrorist cases are usually dealt with.
Asked for his name, Mair replies, “My name is death to traitors, freedom for Britain.” His lawyers step in and confirm that the self-styled Mr Britain is called Thomas Mair. He entered no plea.
Deputy chief magistrate Emma Arbuthnot noted: “Bearing in mind the name he has just given, he ought to be seen by a psychiatrist.”
Do all narcissists need to see a psychiatrist? Doesn’t the therapy industry create enough of them without inviting them in for a chat?
The suspect had allegedly been a supporter of National Alliance, the American neo-Nazi group that inspired Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, and has been called “the most dangerous hate group in America”.
Mair’s links to the “far-right” are front page news on the Times, Yorkshire Evening Post and Guardia. The Sun and Mirror also mention it on their covers, albeit in context of mental health and Jo Cox’s private life.
The Daily Star, which once supported the EDL, omits to mention Mair’s alleged “Nazi” sympathies on its cover, and leads with a pretty tawdry headline about what her last words were.
She is the Star’s “tragic Jo”. And on Page 4 readers do hear that Mair has Nazi memorabilia at his home. “The alleged killer also splashed out on books” from the National Alliance (NA), “a far-right US group”. The group “fight for an all-white homeland and slaughter of Jewish people”. The Times says the National Alliance”inspired Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber”.
The paper also notes there is no evidence that Mair had anything to do with the NA after 1999, when he “appeared to have ordered Ich Kampfe, the book given to all new members of the Nazi Party.”
So what about his mental health? Is it relevant? The Mail says it is:
The Daily Mailhas learned Mair walked into a centre which provides alternative therapies and counselling the evening before the shooting.
Staff said he came into the private business – 100 yards from the murder scene – asking what treatments he could have. Rebecca Walker, 43, who spoke to him for about 15 minutes, said she realised he was in ‘some sort of crisis’ She said: ‘He said he had walked by the centre every day for years and wanted to come in but never did.
‘He has never had the courage to come in. He suffered with depression and said he had been on medication for a long time.’
Miss Walker said he seemed a ‘quiet and gentle man’ and added: ‘I couldn’t believe what has happened.’ She said: ‘He was clearly have some kind of crisis. I think there was a real problem. He made a choice to come inside when he had never been able to do that before.’
Courage to come in to the health centre a day before he allegedly killed an innocent woman.
Why did Thomas Mair allegedly kill Jo Cox? Because he’s ill? Because he’s a Nazi? Because he’s a terrorist? Because he’s scared? Do we put the crime in a box and hammer the lid down, using the whys to still the dynamics and censor the crime? Why did a man stab and shoot an innocent women – a public figure, a mother, a wife, another human being, a Christian, a Labour MP and all the myriad things Jo Cox was? Do we want to know?
Jo Cox has been murdered. In a truly horrific crime the British MP was shot and stabbed by her alleged killer Thomas Mair as she walked on a street in Birstall, West Yorkshire. The Press are here to tell us about Mair.
The Sun (front page): “MP shot 3 times and knifed 7 times by crazed loner”.
Twice the Sun calls Mair a “crazed loner”. On page 2. Mair is a “mentally ill loner”. He “executed” Jo Cox with a “final bullet to the head”.
News media has quoted Aamir Tahi as having said the killer yelled “Britain first” as the knifed Mrs Cox. The Indy stated: “Aamir Tahir, of the Dry Clean Centre, said the gunman was heard shouting ‘Britain first’.”
Says Mr Tahi in a note on his shop window: “NO-ONE shouted Britain first at ANY TIME.”
Page 5: Mair is now a “quiet loner” with a “history of mental illness”. He has been on medication and receiving psychotherapy for “prolonged periods”. Did any of it do him any good? Not much. Mair said “gardening and voluntary works has done me more good that all the psychotherapy in the world.”
Psychotherapists would disagree – it pays better than gardening.
His half-brother Duane St Louis, says Mair “cleaned himself with brillo pads”. “Locals” say he was “very helpful”. St Louis says his brother “was not a violent man…and is not that political. We don’t even know who he votes for. He never expressed any views about Britain , or politics or racist tendencies. I’m mixed-race and I’m his half-brother, we got on well.”
Another neighbour says Mair “keeps himself to himself… He has lived her for 40 years and never caused any trouble. ”
The Sun, however, is searching for signs of something. Another local man who know Mair says, “…he spent a lot of time in the library and liked to go on the computers there. I don’t know what he was looking up.” Why would he know?
Daily Star (front page): ” MP DEAD AFTER ATTACK BY BREXIT GUNMAN”
The Star says it was a “Brexit-motivated attack”.
At no other point in the article is Brexit mentioned.
Daily Mirror (front page): “The mum of two was shot three times and stabbed by a man shouting: ‘Britain first'”.
On Page 7, the Mirror’s Paul Routledge says claims Mair shouted “Britain first” “may prove to be right, or it could be wrong”.
Daily Express says Mair lives alone in a semi-detached council house in Lowwood, Fieldhead.
Daily Mail (front page): Jo Cox was “murdered by a loner with a history of mental illness”.
Page 4: A source claims Mair yelled “put Britain first”.
The Sun says Mrs Cox was shot then stabbed. The Mail says she was stabbed then shot.
Page 7: “Timid gardener dogged by years of mental turmoil”. “Friends” – of the, er, “loner” – say he has shown no interest in politics or the EU Referendum.
The Mail says his name and address “appear on a list of former subscribers to an anti-ANC pro-white South African magazine”.
A local man says Mair “doted on his mum” and was a “lovely lad”.
Labour MP Jo Cox was shot and stabbed and shot outside her surgery in Yorkshire. Many reports claim her alleged killer yelled “Britain First” before striking.
A 52-year-old man, named as Thomas Mair, has been arrested. What do we know about him? The Guardian notes:
Neighbours say suspect, named locally as Thomas Mair, would help them with gardening and did voluntary work
His half brother, who is mixed race, claimed he had been volunteering at a school for children with disabilities for several years and had never expressed any racist views.
The paper says he has “mental health issues”.
Nick Gannon, 33, who lived two doors away from Mair, has known him since he was 10 years old…”He was friendly. If you said hello to him, he would say hello back. He was not aggressive or anything. He wasn’t frightening.”
Britain Stronger In Europe and Vote Leave have stopped their campaigns.
Britain First have moved to distance themselves from the assassination:
Staying with the Guardian, Polly Tonybee knows why it happened. Even with no access to police records and interviews, she knows:
This attack on a public official cannot be viewed in isolation. It occurs against a backdrop of an ugly public mood in which we have been told to despise the political class, to distrust those who serve, to dehumanise those with whom we do not readily identify…
Her words drip in bias and opportunism. She mentioned Hitler, and how a goon or goons in “my local Labour councillor in Camden, north London” stuck a neo-Nazi stickers on their car windscreen. She records the words on the flyer: “This is a lave [leave] area. We hate the foriner. Nex time do not park your car with remain sign on. Hi Hitler. White Power.”
Others have been more erudite on racism and Hitler, people like Labour’s Ken Livingstone and Labour MP Naz Shah, both of whom Tonybee does not mention. She does, however have a point to make about right-wingers, apparently keen to paint Brexit voters as bigots:
It’s been part of a noxious brew, with a dangerous anti-politics and anti-MP stereotypes fomented by leave and their media backers mixed in. Only an hour before this shooting Nigel Farage unveiled a huge poster showing Syrian refugees fleeing to Slovenia last year, nothing to do with EU free movement – and none arriving here. Leave’s poster read: “Breaking Point. We must break free from the EU and take control of our borders.” Nicola Sturgeon, Caroline Lucas and many others condemned it as “disgusting”, and so it is…
This campaign has stirred up anti-migrant sentiment that used to be confined to outbursts from the far fringes of British politics. The justice minister, Michael Gove, and the leader of the house, Chris Grayling – together with former London mayor Boris Johnson – have allied themselves to divisive anti-foreigner sentiment ramped up to a level unprecedented in our lifetime. Ted Heath expelled Enoch Powell from the Tory front ranks for it. Oswald Mosley was ejected from his party for it. Gove and Grayling remain in the cabinet.
This is a new low. A woman is dead. Murdered. And people are using using her death to campaign for the EU Referendum. On twitter, we know what we get, but in the national Press we should expect better.
Ashley Cervantes was 17 when US Customs and Border Protection on the Mexico border spotted her. Was she carrying drugs? They searched her vagina and anus. Then they sent her to hospital for an X-ray. Seven hours later Ashley Cervantes was released and handed a bill f0r $575.
Attorney Brian Marchetti said they accused the woman, 18 at the time, of possessing drugs. When she denied that was true, they took her into a detention room where, during the next several hours, she was handcuffed to a chair, had several dogs sniff her, and eventually taken into a separate room where she was patted down and asked to squat so female investigators could visually inspect her.
All that, said Marchetti, occurred without her consent or a warrant. In fact, he said, a request to call her mother was denied.
It was what happened next that Marchetti charges clearly violated his client’s rights.
He said an agent of Customs and Border Protection signed a “Treatment
Authorization Request” to have her taken to a medical facility as an alleged “potential internal carrier of foreign substance.” That form, he said, requested an X-ray.
Instead, Marchetti said Cervantes was taken in handcuffs to Holy Cross Hospital where the doctor probed her anus and vagina.
Owen Jones is talking about “The appalling Philip Green” in the Guardian. to Jones, Green is one of the “elite” who epitomises “broken Britain”.
Green’s testimony to the parliamentary inquiry into the collapse of British Home Stores was a crude, depressing but revealing insight into the psychology and workings of the upper reaches of British society.
Green might come across as a greedy bastard – he could well be one – but to claim him as a member of the upper reaches of British society is pushing it. Green is a Jew (and we know how much the aristocrats love Jews (clue: they don’t)). When he was 12, Green’s father dad died. Green left school at 15. Though from middle-class money, Green is not one of the British upper-class elite.
He oozed open contempt for the MPs questioning him. “Sir, do you mind not looking at me like that all the time, it’s really disturbing,” he snapped at a Tory MP, like a drunk spoiling for a fight on a night bus.
More bullyboy then Bullingdon boy, then. But the confusion over what Green is is nothing to Jones’ grasp on the the system he decries:
And here he has a point. No, “the system” doesn’t compel the likes of Green to behave as they do; “the system” didn’t put a gun to his head and force him to become a tax exile…
Much debate over why Omar Mateen murdered scores of people in a gay night club in Florida. Did he do it because he hated gays, loved Islamic State, was mentally ill, was able to buy guns, or because we there was nothing on the telly? The New York Times produces an editorial:
While the precise motivation for the rampage remains unclear, it is evident that Mr. Mateen was driven by hatred toward gays and lesbians.
He targeted gays deliberately. That much is certain.
Hate crimes don’t happen in a vacuum.
Hate crime? What’s a hate crime? This was mass murder.
They occur where bigotry is allowed to fester, where minorities are vilified and where people are scapegoated for political gain.
Hate crimes happen when expressing your opinion for something is deemed to be hateful by lawmakers. What is hateful is not fixed? Do you hate gays (wrong) or do you hate people tho hate gay marriage (fine)?
Tragically, this is the state of American politics, driven too often by Republican politicians who see prejudice as something to exploit, not extinguish.
You extinguish hate by making hate hateful and banning it, so they say. Mateen’s was a heinous crime. The New York Times conflates the slaughter of innocents with what people say. It puts violent acts on a par with violent words. Injury to feelings is placed on a on par with physical injury.
Incitement to violence, we can understand. But incitement to hatred can look a lot like outlawing expressions of heartfelt belief.