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News | Anorak - Part 4

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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.

The Jungle: reducing refugees to hapless saints

The Jungle refugee camp in Calais is troubling Stella Creasy MP. She writes in The Guardian:

As signatories to the 1951 refugee convention, Britain should share responsibility for helping more people, not just in camps in poorer nations but across Europe too. That means providing more legal safe routes to sanctuary and funding the administrative mechanisms for people to access them.

France is a safe haven for refugees. A refugee has been forced to leave their home by fear. Creasy’s lament scratches the notion of sovereignty. Where does the UK’s powers and and the EU’s power begin? Is a democratic state allowed to say who lives in its country?

If we are for allowing people to live and work in the UK, we should debate it. Creasy writes:

We can’t abandon refugee children – and that includes us, the politicians…

Why wouldn’t it include politicians, the people we elect to make decisions? Who made them something other than us, the mere humans who vote for them?

Refugee camps are not a long-term solution. But demolishing them or hoping other countries will deal with the problem because it isn’t happening on our soil isn’t a sustainable or honourable response.

Instead of meaningful debate about human freedom, the issue is reduced to infantalized virtue signalling over who cares most for the refugees, portrayed either as hapless and saintly or criminal and dangerous.

Time to treat them as adults.

Posted: 2nd, September 2016 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Gawker: power and money smash free speech and the right to offend

Sorry to see Gawker go? Here are a few words on what they said about the US site:

John Loyd (Reuters):

Denton’s self-starting staff crossed two rich and angry men. One was the wrestler Hulk Hogan, incensed when Gawker published part of a video showing him having sex with a friend’s wife. Hogan took Gawker Media to court and won a total of $140 million in March. Hogan’s suit was bankrolled by Peter Thiel, a billionaire whom Gawker had outed as gay in 2007. At last month’s GOP convention, Thiel told the audience that, “I’m proud to be gay. I’m proud to be a Republican.” Gawker, for its part, went proudly bankrupt.

Mick Hume (Spiked):

Gawker, the muck-raking, dirt-digging, mud-slinging internet magazine, has just been forcibly closed down. It was not found guilty of threatening America’s national security, or corrupting the nation’s youth. Instead, Gawker was put out of business for publishing true stories that some people found offensive. One of those offended people happened to be a Silicon Valley billionaire, who used his wealth and power to shut Gawker’s irreverent mouth as surely as if he had been a Third World tyrant sending the cops to close a dissident newspaper.

But this is more than an outrageous tale of a thin-skinned rich boy. Gawker’s demise is only the headline in a bigger story about a campaign to tame press freedom, online as well as in print, and to sanitise the news media. It is a campaign being led on both sides of the Atlantic, not by old-fashioned censors, but by a new alliance of illiberal-liberal prigs who want to ‘ethically cleanse’ the media of whatever is not to their refined taste.

Nick Denton (Gawker publisher):

Peter Thiel has achieved his objectives. His proxy, Terry Bollea, also known as Hulk Hogan, has a claim on the company and my personal assets after winning a $140 million trial court judgment in his Florida privacy case. Even if that decision is reversed or reduced on appeal, it is too late for Gawker itself. Its former editor, who wrote the story about Hogan, has a $230 million hold on his checking account. The flagship site, a magnet for most of the lawsuits marshaled by Peter Thiel’s lawyer, has for most media companies become simply too dangerous to own.

Peter Thiel has gotten away with what would otherwise be viewed as an act of petty revenge by reframing the debate on his terms. Having spent years on a secret scheme to punish Gawker’s parent company and writers for all manner of stories, Thiel has now cast himself as a billionaire privacy advocate, helping others whose intimate lives have been exposed by the press. It is canny positioning against a site that touted the salutary effects of gossip and an organization that practiced radical transparency.

As former Gawker developer Dustin Curtis says, “Though I find the result abhorrent, this is one of the most beautiful checkmates of all time by Peter Thiel.”

Lili Loofbourow:

That crisis and the editorial changes that followed it did almost as much as the Peter Thiel-funded Hulk Hogan lawsuit to illustrate that what made Gawker great also made it vulnerable. In a word: money. (And an internet that’s become increasingly responsive to it.) Gawker was able to be what it was because it existed at the whim of an eccentric millionaire, not beholden to corporate interests, who was interested in what journalism could be. It was only a matter of time, perhaps, before other eccentric billionaires (like Peter Thiel and Frank VanderSloot) would come along who were more interested in what it couldn’t.

That Thiel succeeded in destroying Gawker by secretly funding Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit is a serious sign in a media landscape that’s already lost most of its biodiversity. But Gawker’s closure is a loss for its own sake. And ours.

NBC:

Until the news broke that tech billionaire Peter Thiel was funding former pro wrestler Hulk Hogan’s suit against (now-defunct) gossip blog Gawker for outing him as gay nearly a decade ago, most people were unaware that third parties — traditionally, hedge funds — could bankroll a lawsuit against a person or business

As a result, start-ups in the field of litigation-finance investment have gained prominence, with a simple pitch to investors: Put up as little as $5,000 to fund lawsuits, and make money.

What price free speech?

Posted: 1st, September 2016 | In: Money, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


‘I adore distilled whippet shit’: ‘Tom Baker’s’ advert outtake (NSFW)

Is this Tom Baker talking in an outtake for an advert he was recording? YouTuber campfreddie thinks it might be:

Tom Baker is over here.

Posted: 1st, September 2016 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, TV & Radio | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer Balls: Liverpool got outstanding value with Balotelli, the new Luis Suarez

In among the headline figure of £1.165bn spent by desperate Premier League clubs in the transfer window is news of Liverpool’s Mario Balotelli. He’s singed for Nice. And Liverpool let him go for free. Well, so go the media headlines. But what Liverpool did was to save themselves £90,000 ever week in the wages Balotelli earned nicking a living (although the Mail says it was £125,000-a-week)

Balotelli, 26, made 28 appearances for Liverpool, scoring four goals, since joining from AC Milan for £16m in 2014.

It might be worth looking at what they said when Balotelli signed for Liverpool:

Balotelli: “I’m happy to be back because I left England and it was a mistake. I wanted to go to Italy but I realised it was a mistake. English football is generally better. English football is beautiful.”

Brendan Rodgers: “This transfer represents outstanding value for the club and I think we have done a really smart piece of business here.”

Robbie Savage: “Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Robbie Savage on why the signing would be a masterstroke by Brendan Rodgers…Life won’t be dull at Anfield when Balotelli is around. And after turning Suarez into a £75 million player, who’s to say Rodgers won’t repeat the trick with another exotic striker?”

“Exotic”?

 

Posted: 1st, September 2016 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Man who spotted The Beast of Dartmoor sketched it because he had no camera

“I memorised what it looked like and as soon as I got home I started drawing it.,” says Steve Swatton, 60, who saw the Beast of Dartmoor in a Plymouth field. “I used to be quite good at sketching and I just kept changing the drawing until I got it right.”

 

beast of dartmoor

Sketchy

 

“It was very sleek and about the size of an Alsatian. It was like looking at a shadow as it was jet black, as black as you can get. It was very powerful looking and its tail was very long too. What struck me about its tail was where it hung down its hindquarters it was very long and the same thickness all the way down. It was a perfect bow shape – if you put a piece of string across it, it would look like a strung bow. It was watching us and I think we spotted each other at the same time as we were about 50 – 60 yards away.

“Then all of a sudden it disappeared and hopped over a hedge into the scrub land which leads into the forest. I ran up there as I thought there might be a chance of seeing it, but it was gone. It was probably more scared of us than us of it. I wasn’t that scared at the time but thinking about it now if I had been cornered it could have got a bit nasty, as it probably weighs about 60/70lbs – heavy enough to bring a deer down.”

So they say…

Posted: 1st, September 2016 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


‘Muslim’ refugee assures Western paedophiles that raping boys is OK in Myanmar

The culture wars are heating up in Australia, A refugee from Myanmar is in the dock. The Mail calls him foremost a “Muslim refugee”.

 

refugee rape

 

He appears to be foremost a paedophile. There is no word that Islam played a part in his crimes. Maybe culture did?

A refugee jailed over the sickening rape of a 10-year-old boy told authorities that it was culturally acceptable to sexually assault children in his homeland.

Mufiz Rahaman, 20, slumped forward in the dock at Downing Centre District Court yesterday as he was sentenced to five years in jail, with a non-parole period of three years, after pleading guilty to aggravated sexual assault of the boy in the child’s bed on January 8 last year …

In sentencing Rahaman, Judge Andrew Scotting said the community from which the offender came from “had demonstrated a lack of proper morality”.

Do citizenship lessons include a section on morals? And isn’t raping boys why so many Western men travel to south-Eastern Asia?

Posted: 1st, September 2016 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Your Free Porn Day guide: but who pays for it?

Big news for Sun readers.  Tom Gillespie has produced a guide for web users keen to watch porn for free.

IF work’s giving you the blues and you’re in need of some light relief it might be time to celebrate FREE PORN DAY… after all Christmas is still four months away.

Is it also Masturbate at Work Day? Yeah, why wait until Christmas to experience the guilty pleasures of Home Alone?

It’s: “A HANDY GUIDE Free Porn Day is coming and adult websites Evil Angel, Vivid and Kink are inviting users to watch sex all day for free.”

Who knew anyone paid for porn?

 

free porn day

‘Hoe, a dear, a female dear, Ray a porn star up your bum…’

 

Posted: 31st, August 2016 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Stefan MacRitchie becomes a footballer ‘ace’ after he drugged a girl

The tabloids love nothing more than the story of a wayward footballer. In “FOOTIE ACE WALKS FREE” we read of the “Player who left girl, 14, in coma after slipping ecstasy into her mouth when they kissed”.

Who is this “ace” player? He must be a star name to be an “ace”?

Well done to anyone who guessed Stefan MacRitchie, a 20-year-old player with the mighty Highland league side Strathspey Thistle (founded 1993; stadium capacity: 1600; 150 seated). He used to play for the still mightier Fort William.

At court in Inverness, it’s found that the girl did not know Ritchie was going to slip her the drug at a party on December 31, 2013, nor what it was until she asked him.

MacRitchie was ordered to carry out 200 hours of community work and must remain under the supervision of a social worker for 18 months.

But the mother of his victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, slammed the sentence and said: “I’m shocked. Deep down inside I thought there’s no way they’ll let him walk away from this. Obviously, it would have taken my daughter to die and a murder charge for him to be put behind bars. We were lucky she survived. One of these days he will really harm someone. I’m shocked and disgusted. Petty criminals get put in jail for less.”

She tells the Daily Record:

“She was black and blue. We were holding her, trying to keep her safe, but she was hallucinating, thinking things were coming out of the walls to get her.”

 

Strathspey Thistle

 

MacRtichie is a scrote. What he did was dangerous and pathetic. But why wasn’t he jailed? Well:

Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood decided against jailing the footballer because the girl had a cocktail of other drugs in her system. He said the girl had told hospital staff who treated her that “she had been given them by an adult at the party and not Stefan MacRitchie.” Analysis showed that the teenager had also consumed amphetamine, meth-amphetamine and an anti-depressant on top of the ecstasy, the court heard.

We don’t know if all or any of those drugs were given to her without her consent, although the Mail says “she told [hospital] staff she had been snorting white powder at the party”. News is that she had also been drinking.

As for MacRitchie, well, drugs changed him. Before he became a criminal, he was never an “ace” footballer. He only became when one of them when the Press wanted to bash the national sport.

Posted: 31st, August 2016 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Marianne and the burkini ban

France’s prime minister, Manuel Valls, wants French women to be like Marianne. “Marianne has a naked breast because she is feeding the people,” he declared. “She is not veiled, because she is free! That is the republic!”

As the Guardian notes, “Marianne officially became a symbol of the French Republic in 1848, after the fall of the monarchy”, who preferred crowns and fur-lined robes.

The paper than quotes the oft-ridiculous UN then wades into the debate over burkini bans – the UN Human Rights Committee features some unlikely members.

The UN human rights office welcomed a decision last week by France’s highest administrative court to suspend one of the burkini bans, ruling it “manifestly illegal”. This decision is likely to set a legal precedent. But most of the mayors who have banned burkinis are still refusing to withdraw the restrictions and four face further legal action from rights groups this week.

Is it “manifestly illegal” to make a woman wear a headscarf in Saudi Arabia, then, and ban them from wearing certain items of clothing in public?

Nora Mulready takes a view:

I have by now read countless tweets, articles, facebook posts etc with reference to some variation of “a woman was forced to strip at gunpoint by the French police.” I’m sorry, but this didn’t happen. The French police carry guns. If they give you directions, did they tell you to tourner à gauche at gunpoint? No, of course not. There was never any threat that the woman would be shot, and to suggest there was is either deliberately dishonest or genuinely daft. This is France, where they subscribe to Human Rights law, it’s not the wild west of an ISIS’ ‘caliphate’. She was never in any danger from the police. Further, there was no ‘force’. A woman was asked to comply with a publicly advertised dress code, or leave the beach. She was given a choice. She choose to stay on the beach. In Venice recently I wasn’t allowed to enter St Mark’s Basilica without covering my shoulders. I had a choice, wear a shawl given by the church security, or don’t come in. I wanted to go in, I made a choice, I complied. It’s infantilising to suggest that women are incapable of making such a choice without feeling mortally offended, feeling vulnerable, feeling violated. We’re pretty robust, rational creatures these days, capable of weighing up our options and making decisions.

The Enlightenment continues.

Posted: 31st, August 2016 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Headline of the week: ‘How would you like to enter Miss Southampton?’

Miss touhampton headline fail.

 

Spotter: @subedited

Posted: 30th, August 2016 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Facebook bans Stephen Ellcock and his photos of art

Good news. Facebook has reconsidered. The picture of 16th-century theologian Desiderius Erasmus’s fingers is not offensive. When Stephen Ellcock posted the image on his Facebook page, Facebook banned him, suspending him from posting for 30 days.

 

ellcock hand

 

Facebook soon blamed it on “human error” by one of its employees and reinstated his account.

Mr Ellcock, 59, tells the Times:

“I’ve had death threats, I’ve had stalkers. I have received threatening messages from photo agencies and American academic institutions warning me of dire consequences if I didn’t stop posting copyrighted material… What I’m trying to do is create an online museum in the same way Uber is a cab company without any cabs.”

We’re delighted to say that Stephen Ellcock will soon be contributing to flashbak.com.

Posted: 30th, August 2016 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


University of Iowa’s Athletics mascot Herky the Hawk lacks motional depth

Is the University of Iowa’s Athletics mascot, Herky the Hawk, a little lacking in emotional depth?

 

Herky

Botox?

 

“I believe incoming students should be met with welcoming, nurturing, calm, accepting and happy messages,” Resmiye Oral, a clinical professor of paediatrics at UI, writes in an email to UI athletic department officials. “And our campus community is doing a great job in that regard when it comes to words.  However, Herky’s angry, to say the least, face conveying an invitation to aggressivity and even violence is not compatible with the verbal messages that we try to convey to and instill in our students and campus community.”

Oral is big on words. She wants to “bring diversity” to how Herky emotes.

“UI athletic department officials are aware of this request and are in the process of formulating a response in regard to Herky,” replies Steve Roe, the department’s director of communications.

Says Herky: “I have no regrets about using Botox. But I deny having had cosmetic surgery. My face is my fortune.”

Posted: 30th, August 2016 | In: News, Sports, Strange But True | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


North Korea uses anti-aircraft gun to execute man who fell asleep as the leader spoke

North Korea finds a use for its vast haul of bullets:

Two senior North Korean officials were executed with an anti-aircraft gun in early August on the orders of Kim Jong-un, South Korea’s JoongAng Ilbo newspaper reported, citing people it did not identify.

Unless North Korea is saving every bullet it can and the officials were beaten with the anti-aircraft gun or it was dropped on them?

Ri Yong Jin, a senior official in the education ministry — possibly minister — was arrested for dozing off during a meeting with Kim and charged with corruption before being killed, the paper said. Former Agriculture Minister Hwang Min was purged over a proposed project seen as a direct challenge to Kim’s leadership, it said.

Sleeping in class is a crime:

Since taking over after his father’s death in late 2011, Kim has carried out a series of executions of party and military officials. The most high-profile was the December 2013 execution of Jang Song-thaek, Kim’s uncle and former political guardian. Another high-profile execution was that of Hyon Yong-chol, North Korea’s former defense chief, who South Korean intelligence said was executed by firing squad in April 2015 on charges of dozing off during a meeting attended by the supreme leader.

Remains are then tossed to the dogs. Well, maybe. The source for this story offers no evidence. In fact, we never see any evidence of Mr Kim’s toughness:

In late April [2015], the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea uncovered “a ghastly sight” at a military firing range: analyzed satellite images showed six anti-aircraft gun systems being fired upon a small target at short range last October. The group assessing the bizarre scene decided it was an execution that had been watched by high-level officials who’d driven in from the capital of Pyongyang.

“Anyone who has witnessed the damage one single U.S. .50 caliber round does to the human body will shudder just trying to imagine a battery of 24 heavy machine guns being fired at human beings. Bodies would be nearly pulverized,” the report reads. “The gut-wrenching viciousness of such an act would make ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ sound like a gross understatement.”

He’s a vicious sod is Mr Kim. Well, so they say…

The victims of this brutality are unknown, but there is no shortage of past examples. In 2012, a shocked international press reported that a military officer was sentenced to death for drinking during the official mourning period for Kim’s father, Kim Jong Il. The method of execution was reportedly by short-range mortar firing squad. According to a source talking to South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo, it was ordered that “no trace of him [be left] behind, down to his hair.”

Show me the body.

Posted: 30th, August 2016 | In: News, Politicians | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Breaking news: ‘Not serious … just life threatening’

Breaking news from Australia. A man has been attacked. His wounds are ‘not serious…just life threatening”.

 

Posted: 29th, August 2016 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Chelsea’s new ground held up by bats

The Times says “Chelsea’s new stadium has been delayed by “quiet assassins on the wing”. Surely the noise police don’t have a problem with Chelsea expanding their ground. That place has been quiet ever since the old die-hards were priced out of the place.

The story is not about people who enjoy the quiet. It’s about creatures who are quiet:

A colony of bats in the neighbouring Brompton cemetery, a Grade I-listed Victorian burial ground…threatens to derail the project and make the proposed completion date of 2020 appear optimistic.

The local council, Hammersmith and Fulham, has asked the club managers to explain how they propose to protect the cemetery and the denizens of its catacombs before approving the new stadium, which the architects claim is inspired by Westminster Cathedral.

Easy. Rebrand the cemetery as a stand. The bodies should up the crowd for those mid-week matches.

 

 

 

 

Posted: 26th, August 2016 | In: Chelsea, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Somerset police seek man who urinated in River

The search goes on for who urinated into the River Cale at Wincanton, Somerset. PCSO Janet Sparkes addressed a meeting of Wincanton Town Council: “Members of public have made us aware of adult drinkers in the skate park. “Also a male was seen urinating in the river. Regular patrols are being carried out by officers in order to establish the identity of the offenders.”

Says one fish: “Ever since the council shut the toilets, we’ve nowhere else to go.”

 

Posted: 26th, August 2016 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer Balls: ‘shrewd’ Arsenal ‘panic buy’ ‘star’ striker Lucas Perez

Arsenal have hired Lucas Perez. The Mirror says it is a “PANIC BUY”, which is odd because Arsenal are usually criticised for being over cautious in the transfer market.

 

Lucas Perez Mirror Arsenal

 

The paper goes on to say that Arsenal “compiled several scouting reports on the Deportivo La Coruna striker”. So not a panic buy, then, but something they considered at length.

The Mirror adds: “Arsenal’s first offer was rejected by Deportivo on Thursday after they tried to pay the modest fee in two instalments.” Paying a “modest fee” does not suggest panic, either. It suggests the Gunners have done a good deal for the player the Mirror has called a “star striker”, hailing him as “a relative bargain for a man who scored or assisted 25 goals in La Liga last season”.

In yet another Mirror story on Perez, the paper show him “scoring a nuclear thunder volley” and says he is a “shrewd buy”.

Today’s headline is utter balls.

 

Posted: 26th, August 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


God tells man to carry a huge cross up Mount Snowdon

The Rio Olympics legacy has not inspired a man from Llandysul in Ceredigion, Wales, to recreate his own version of the Brazilian looming statue of Christ the Redeemer. God has.

 

cross Mount Snowdon

Living the dream

 

Emyr Mathias stys God told him to carry a huge wooden cross  – 12ft tall and 6ft wide – from St Davids in Pembrokeshire to the top of Mount Snowdon.

Emyr, 48, explains: “I had a vision that the Lord wanted me to carry a St Davids flag from St Davids to Snowdon. I thought that was ridiculous at first, but then the Lord said about the cross.”

 

And then it all made sense.

Posted: 26th, August 2016 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Man who unlawfully cut down neighbour’s tree caused it to destroy his own home

To Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, where Raymond Mazzarella is upset that sap from a neighbour’s tree is damaging his car. He picks up a chainsaw, cuts down the tree and sees it come down… right on top of his own home.

So bad is the resulting damage that the apartment block is now unfit for human habitation.

 

Mazzarella tree

‘At least it missed the car’

 

“He decided it was the best thing to do, to get rid of the tree, where he thought it was going to go, I don’t know,” says Terry Best, a Pittston Township code enforcement officer.

 

=

Posted: 26th, August 2016 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Camber Sands: Super-sensitive Police report Katie Hopkins to Twitter for saying mean things

We live in strange and worrying times. Katie Hopkins, a woman who lost a competition for an office job in Brentwood, Essex, (The Apprentice), has said something about the deaths of five people in the seas off Camber Sands. When I first saw the Independent’s headline, I thought it was a typo, with the words the wrong way around:

Katie Hopkins reported to Twitter by police over Camber Sands deaths poll

It can’t be so that the British police demure to twitter in criminal matters? It can be. That’s no typo. The story goes:

Sussex police has reported Katie Hopkins to Twitter after she conducted a poll mocking the possible identities of five men whose bodies were pulled from the sea at Camber Sands beach.

 

katie hopkins

 

This was the Tweet that had Sussex police upset:

5 dead at Camber Sands were:

Aspiring footballers, mentally ill, fans of Anders Brevik or big fans of inflatables.

 

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 18.35.58

 

Stewart Ayrey @StewartAyrey was offended. He called the police, asking the State’s enforcers to deal with some one said something he didn’t like.

@sussex_police is there anything you can do about this from @KTHopkins? Bad taste at very least.

Can the police arrest you for doing things in bad taste? No. Not yet. They admit as much in their reply:

@sussex_police @StewartAyrey @KTHopkins incredibly insensitive, although not criminal. We suggest reporting her to @Twitter. We have already.

A spokesperson for Sussex police goes on the record:

“At about 10.30am on Thursday (25 August), Sussex Police were made aware of a tweet regarding the tragic incident at Camber Sands on Wednesday (24 August). The force considered this tweet to be insensitive towards the victims and their families and reported it to Twitter under the categories “abusive or harmful” and “disrespectful or offensive”. Shortly after this the tweet was removed.”

Who knew the police were so sensitive. We knew they were censorious and keen on PR. But sensitive?

 

Katie Hopkins free speech

 

Chief Inspector Julia Pope then adds:

“Our primary reason for doing this was out of respect and concern for the thoughts and feelings of the next of kin of those who sadly died at Camber. Since the removal of the tweet we have been asked whether we will investigate and seek prosecution. After reviewing CPS guidance we have made the decision that this communication does not meet the prosecution threshold. Therefore, whilst the communication is distasteful it would not be criminal or fit within the guidelines for prosecution.

“We are satisfied that the tweet has now been removed.”

They checked. They wanted to see if a tweet they didn’t much like could be criminal. We know it can be. Liam Stacey’s plight taught us that.

We live in strange times when words are policed and free speech is criminalized. Stranger still they we all don’t get angry about it.

PS: On the Sussex Police Facebook Page, these comments appear below the story. None are deemed insensitive by the Force:

 

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 18.52.43

 

Free speech: it’s not only ok when you agree with what’s being said. It’s the right to say unpleasant things, too.

Posted: 25th, August 2016 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Mia Ayliffe-Chung: Smail Ayad, Allahu Akbar and mental illness

The Townsville Bulletin has more on the alleged murder of Mia Ayliffe-Chung. We don’t why she was killed.  We may never know, let alone understand the alleged killer motives. It’s alleged yelled Allahu Akbar as she struck. One line is that he did this because he might be mentally ill.

Smail Ayad, 29, had fawned over Mia Ayliffe-Chung, 21, for several days, telling other backpackers at the Home Hill hostel the pair were deeply in love and married … Furious at the unrequited love, he allegedly stabbed Ms Ayliffe-Chung multiple times while screaming “Allahu Akbar”, leaving her to die on the floor of her Shelley’s Backpackers room.

 

Mia Ayliffe-Chung smail ayad

 

He’s been arrested and charged:

Yesterday afternoon as police transferred Ayad from hospital to the watchhouse, he allegedly bashed two police officers, after they had to pull over on Woolcock St as he was lashing out in the back of the police paddy wagon. Both officers were hospitalised.

Police were forced to use capsicum spray on Ayad to subdue him and the Bulletin understands it took seven officers to get Ayad into a padded cell, as he continued to scream “Allahu Akbar”.

And the police continues to say::

Queensland Police Minister Bill Byrne described the stabbing attack as “tragic and disturbing” but sought to distance the incident from extremism. Despite police being unable to rule out radical links to the murder, Mr Byrne said the attacks were not “about race or religion”.

What they don’t know and what they do know.

The Guardian:

Queensland’s police minister Bill Byrne has called for an end to “opportunistic commentary” on extremism following the fatal stabbing of a British backpacker in the state’s north… Byrne said there was no immediate evidence to suggest extremism as a motive for the attack.

As police continued to interview 30 witnesses who saw the shocking attack, federal politicians began to link the incident to a debate on immigration. One Nation senator Pauline Hanson used the tragedy to reissue calls for a moratorium on Muslim immigration.

“I’m not going to be silenced on yet another attack involving Islamic extremism – especially one occurring in the state I am representing in the Senate,” she said…

While not referring to any politician specifically, Byrne said some of the commentary from “predictable sources” was highly speculative and unhelpful.

“There’ll be those that seek to exploit this incident,” he said. “What is required here is cool, calm and thoughtful consideration.”

More to follow…

Posted: 25th, August 2016 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


#traingate: Jeremy Corbyn and The Canary sing for an Aisle Free airline

On The Canary website, monocular readers can study Jeremy Corby’s responses to #traingate. “Corbyn delivers a brutal message to Richard Branson after the Traingate smear falls apart [VIDEO],” thunders one headline. The apparent “smear” being that Corbyn was misrepresented when he sat on the floor between carriages and said to camera that there were no seats on a packed train when there were, using his suffering to campaign for a return to State-owned railways.

Another story upbraids Richard Branson’s Virgin for running “fuel-guzzling trains”.

As Jeremy Corbyn books handgliding lessons and a sedan chair for his next trip up north, we notice that alongside the Canary’s self-styled “Fresh, Fearless Independent Journalism” is this advert for an airline offering “Aisle Seats for Everyone”.

 

jeremy corbyn train

 

‘Book now and book often’, as they don’t say in Corbyn’s office.

Posted: 25th, August 2016 | In: News, Politicians | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Dalian Atkinson: ‘You can stick your Tasers up your a***’

dalian atkinson taserDalian Atkinson: a look at reporting on the death of the former Aston Villa footballer.

BBC: “Tasered footballer given CPR for 35 minutes”

The post-Tasering facts are given to us straight:

Doctors battled in vain for 35 minutes to save ex-footballer Dalian Atkinson after he was Tasered by police, the inquest into his death has heard. He died 90 minutes after the weapon was used by police in Telford on 15 August.The 48-year-old former Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich striker went into cardiac arrest on his way to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

But why did he die?

The inquest was adjourned to 22 November after post-mortem tests failed to establish the cause of death.

Waiting is hard on the loved ones. Sky says they will have to wait nine months for an independent police watchdog investigation to complete its investigation. Thats seems like a very long time to wait. Why does it take so long?

The coroner’s officer Julie Hartridge said West Mercia Police officers were called there at 1.39am following a “report of concern for safety”. She told coroner John Ellery that Mr Atkinson became unresponsive shortly after being shot with a stun gun. “At hospital, following 35 minutes of CPR, he was confirmed deceased,” she added.

Tragic indeed that a call of a report for safety should end in a death triggered, as is alleged, by police action. It’s the kind of help you could do without.

Guardian: “Two police officers to be interviewed over death of Dalian Atkinson”

A spokesperson for the IPCC goes on the record:

“Our independent investigation into the death of Dalian Atkinson is expected to take around nine months. We recognise there is significant public interest and while we will carry out the investigation as swiftly as possible, we need to ensure it is thorough and robust. Interviews under criminal caution with two West Mercia police officers will take place shortly.”

The Star cocks an ear:

Aston Villa fans hurl abuse at cops over Dalian Atkinson Taser death

What did they say that was abusive?

As the officers move in to disperse the crowd, they can be heard repeatedly chanting: “You can stick your Tasers up your a***.”

Abusive? That sounds restrained.

Posted: 25th, August 2016 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Man accused of groping women goes free because women’s breasts were ‘gigantic’

He did not touch the breasts. The breasts touched him.

Swedish police investigator reportedly dropped a sexual assault charge because the two alleged victims had “gigantic breasts”. Two women reported a professional ice hockey player to police after he allegedly grabbed their breasts at the Marité nightclub in Ostersund, northern Sweden.

But on Tuesday the lead investigator Mikael Lundberg reportedly said there was no proof the player had assaulted the women, or that the man had touched them intentionally.

“It’s pertinent in this case that the women had gigantic breasts,” he told reporters from Expressen newspaper. “It wasn’t hard to brush up against them. If you’re drunk and draping yourself over someone, well, you can see how it might have happened.”

Swedish broadcaster SVT also reported that Mr Lundberg had told them that one of the girls had “very large breasts and it was hard not to brush against them.”

A friend who worked for London Underground told me about frotting, the habit of men who board trains at busy times with the intent of rub themselves against women. If they only go for bigger women, do they now have a defence?

Posted: 25th, August 2016 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Mia Ayliffe-Chung: the rush to blame poor mental health

Is the man accused of killing British backpacker Mia Ayliffe-Chung mentally ill? It’s the default position whenever anyone is killed in what could look like a racially-motivated attack. The Sun looks at Mia’s alleged killer, Smail Ayad, and wonders:

BACKPACKER KILLER’S ‘DEADLY OBSESSIONDeluded French knifeman killed British girl, 21, after ‘bizarrely claiming they were MARRIED and flying into a rage when she posed for a magazine’

Deluded. Obsessed. Bizarre. Rage. Mentally Ill?

All that follows an earlier headline:

 

Mia Ayliffe-Chung

 

What happened?

Mia was killed in a brutal attack at a backpackers’ hostel in Queensland, Australia overnight, while three others are thought to have been injured.

The tenth paragraph of the Sun’s story contains another idea, previously delivered in headline form:

She was knifed in a frenzied attack in front of 30 horrified witnesses, while her attacker is alleged to have shouted “Allahu Akbar” during the ordeal.

Oddly, what first appeared as a ‘claim’ soon appears as a caption:

 

Mia Ayliffe-Chung

 

English backpacker Mia Ayliffe-Chung, 21, was knifed by a man shouting “Allahu Akbar” at a hostel in Australia

The BBC says:

A 30-year-old British man – named locally as Tom Jackson from Cheshire – was severely injured in the attack in Home Hill, Queensland, and is in a critical condition. A French suspect, 29, who allegedly said the Arabic phrase “Allahu akbar” during the attack, was arrested.

The Guardian: “Queensland stabbing: British woman killed by attacker who allegedly shouted ‘Allahu Akbar'”

Steve Gollschewski, a deputy police commissioner, said the alleged offender’s comments “may be construed as being of an extremist nature” and investigators were working with Australian federal police to establish his motives.

What motives are being considered?

But police were “not ruling out any motivations at this early stage, whether they be criminal or political”.

Investigators would also consider whether “mental health or drug misuse” issues were a factor in the attack alongside any “indication of an extremist slant or he was radicalised”, Gollschewski said at a press conference in Brisbane.

They don’t know why. But they know enough to narrow the field of investigation:

This is not about race or religion, it is about individual criminal behaviour,” he said.

Is that a fact?

The Australian:

Friends of a British backpacker stabbed more than 20 times as he tried in vain to save the life of a young woman allegedly knifed by a Frenchman shouting “Allahu Akbar” at a north Queensland hostel are praying he recovers.

Up to 30 terrified witnesses at the Shelley’s Home Hill hostel 100km south of Townsville watched as Smail Ayad, 29, who had been singing the French ­national ­anthem, burst in crying “God is great” in Arabic.

The Mirror:

Australian Federal Police are now investigating if the attacker has any link to any terror organisations…

In a press conference, deputy police commissioner Steve Gollschewski said the investigation was in its early stages and all motivations were being considered, including criminal and political, as well as the impact of drugs and mental health problems.

Always the mental health issues. Just Press f9 on the keyboard and everything is ok. (Unless you suffer from the horror of poor mental health and are being profiled as a potential knife attacker, in which case, it’s awful.)

Posted: 24th, August 2016 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0