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.

February was the warmest month ever, so they say

warmest february ever


Big news in the Guardian: “February was the warmest month in recorded history, climate experts say.”

Brr! It was cold in the northern hemisphere. And can you balance things out so easily?


Posted: 21st, March 2016 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Madeleine McCann and Ben Needham get the cash; Charlene Downes is an afterthought

ben needhamMadeleine McCann: a look at reporting on the missing child.

The Sun has a loaded headline:

Joy for Ben Needham’s mum as cops given extra £450k to find missing son – while Maddie hunt totals £11M

Are the two cases of British children who vanished on overseas trips connected? Why else would Madeleine McCann’s name be invoked in a headline about Ben Needham?

SOUTH Yorkshire Police have been given an extra £450,000 to find missing Ben Needham as the 25th anniversary of his disappearance draws near. Police were granted £700k by the Home Office last January for more resources into the investigation, but that money will have run out by the end of the month.

Good news. The disappearance of Ben Needham is an open sore. But then this:

The amount given to Operation Ben still pales in significance compare to the £11 million spent on Madeleine McCann’s search fund.

A great deal of money has been invested / spent on the hunt for Madeleine McCann. Good. Let’s hope we get to know what happened to her. The problem is not what is spent, rather what is not. Do you think it unfair that the case of one missing child gets more public cash than another because, like the media and police who stand accused of picking blondes over blacks and rich over poor, there is bias at work?

If you want to compare what is spent on what, it might be better wondering how much has been spent on the hunt for other children who vanished in the UK, like, say Charlene Downes? She disappeared 12 years ago from her home in Blackpool, Lancashire, when aged 14.  There is a £100,000 reward on offer for information leading to, well, something. Was she murdered, as Paige Chivers was? Paige went missing from her Blackpool home on 23 August 2007. She was 15. Three days later her feckless father reported her missing. The police operator recorded the year of Paige’s birth incorrectly – as 1962 not 1992 – and that she had left home voluntarily. Police were looking for a 45-year-old woman who had left home of her own accord. On 7 September the error was rectified.

Paige had sought help from Robert Ewing, 37 years her senior. Ewing, a known paedophile, had groomed Paige for sex. To keep her quiet, he murdered her. In July 2015, Ewing was convicted of murder at Preston Crown Court. His co-defendant, Gareth Dewhurst, 46, was convicted of disposing of her body three days later.

How much cash was spent investigating the disappearances of these two girls from impoverished backgrounds? How much police work has gone into either investigation?

The BBC provides notes:

Less than a fortnight before her disappearance, Ewing “tested the water” with police when he contacted them anonymously and said a “problem child” had turned up on his doorstep after being thrown out by her father. The prosecution said Ewing had wanted to see what official reaction there would be to a 15-year-old girl turning up on the doorstep of a 52-year-old man. “The answer he learned… was very little,” said Brian Cummings QC.

Back to the Sun’s story of stolen lives and money:

But it is still a promising step for Ben’s heartbroken mum Kerry Needham, as the government agreed to hand over more cash to find her long-lost son. Kerry said: “Please end the pain my family are suffering. I know he’s out there somewhere, please call the detectives and put an end to it.”

Ben was 21-months-old when he disappeared on July 24 1991 as he played outside the house his grandparents’ farmhouse in Kos.

Resources are finite, of course. But where police chose to spend their money and time should not be a decision triggered by media pressure.

Posted: 20th, March 2016 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

London mayor candidate Zac Goldsmith pits Hindu against Muslim in a hideous flyer

Zac Goldsmith, your Tory candidate for London mayor, woos the anglo-Indian vote with his flyer.


zac goldsmith flyer mayor


If you find that hideous – the idea that people only vote for a candidate from within ‘their own community’ – then we’re in agreement.

In any case, this divisive approach to politics doesn’t work. We, for instance, know a number of white, prep-school-educated Islington-immigrants who think a vote for Jeremy Corbyn (one of their own) less attractive a prospect than being tied to a radiator and forced to drink Terry Waite’s urine.

Posted: 19th, March 2016 | In: News, Politicians | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Man Up for Liverpool: Manchester United tackle Klopp and the language police

“MAN UP,” orders the Daily Mirror’s back-page headline. Manchester United manager Louise Van Gaal is looking for a “miracle” to see his side overcome Liverpool in the Europa Cup – and to help God’s plan the hammer-headed Dutchman wants his team to play like men.

Of course, it doesn’t require an act of divine surrealism for one mid-table Premier League to beat another; it just takes United to be as good as West Ham were when they defeated the once-mighty Reds 3-0 back in September.


Manchester United man up


But it’s not the match that makes us think – it’s the phrase “Man Up”. In July 2013, Liverpool included ‘Man Up’ in its list of banned words. The club produced a handbook to help staff better recognise and enforce the policing of words which could cause offence.


Liverpool banned words


Liverpool’s crusade smacked of a righteous, morally superior elite telling the pygmies how to behave. The message was clear: the fans were thick and in need to educating.

Our position is that if you don’t like so-called ‘offensive’ chants, then don’t join in. If it’s really ugly, then tell the singer to shut up. Don’t grass them up to the police and the stewards. You know, Man Up.


Posted: 17th, March 2016 | In: Back pages, News | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

The Psychoactive Substances Act is off its head and up its arse

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 17.51.03The Psychoactive Substances Act seeks to “ban the new generation of psychoactive drugs”.

It will soon be illegal to produce, supply or possess any drug capable of producing a psychoactive effect. You know, like LSD, magic mushrooms, vodka and tobacco. No, not quite. The Act excludes food, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, and medical products.

The stuff the elites like to get a buzz from are ok. The stuff the kids like to try out are forbidden, which, of course, will help to keep bath salts, dried winnits or whatever other crud Matt ‘The Talc’ has on sale edgy and counter-culture cool.

You might laugh – but not with laughing gas, the stuff the tabloids call – get this – ‘hippy crack’. That’s going to be illegal, too. Law-abiding hippies who need a laugh will have to make do with the Michael McIntyre boxset and jokes about greasers.

And how bad is are these new drugs? Voice of America says they’re very bad. This from March 3:

Illegal heroin and psychoactive substances pose emerging worldwide threats, an annual State Department report to Congress said.

The International Narcotics Control Strategy report, released Wednesday, offers details on efforts by foreign governments to reduce drug production and trafficking and related money laundering and terrorist financing.

Doesn’t prohibition create the trafficking and illegality? Banning something does not lead to a reduction in demand. It just alters the market.

Improved international reporting on drug use has led to a better understanding of heroin and psychoactive drug problems worldwide, a State Department representative told VOA on background.

More than half of the countries listed in the report cite heroin as one of their major drug control problems…

The report also found psychoactive drugs are a “rapidly spreading danger, particularly in Africa and in much of Asia” due to cheap production and the difficulty of regulating their manufacture.

The popularity of cheap drugs is rising at a higher rate the expensive kinds. Is this a shock?

What about investigating psychoactive drugs for any benefits? The Independent:

In January of this year Home Office minister Mike Penning said that the Government “recognizes that representations have been made to the effect that ‘poppers’ have a beneficial health and relationship effect in enabling anal sex for some men who have sex with men, amid concern about the impact of the ban on these men.”

He said the Home Office would consider “whether there is evidence to support these claims and, if so, whether it is sufficient to justify exempting the alkyl nitrites group.”

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drug says poppers are not ‘psychoactive substance’ under the terms of the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016.”

And a millions arseholes agree.

Posted: 16th, March 2016 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Rotherham: child prostitutes vanish and a purge on taxi drivers

Rotherham is now a town synonymous with sex crimes. The Times reports that “50 Rotherham taxi drivers have been stripped of their licences under new regulations introduced after the town’s sex-grooming scandal.”

Among them was the local authority’s former deputy leader, Jahangir Akhtar, who featured in a recent trial at which three of his relatives were convicted of multiple sexual offences against young girls.

Is it fair to single him out by name? He is innocent.

Rotherham council said that a decision was taken 12 months ago that Mr Akhtar’s licence should immediately be revoked. No reason was made public but a council spokesman said that such a decision could only be taken after the receipt of information that “gives rise to significant and serious concerns for risks to public safety if the licence remains in place”.

Why is a reason not made public? The phrasing implies that there was a reason to revoke the licence, so why not state it?

An independent inquiry by Alexis Jay “..noted frequent past warnings that taxi operators and their drivers played a prominent role in the abuse. A follow-up inspection of the council, ordered by the government and led by Louise Casey, found that Pakistani-heritage councillors had a disproportionate influence in the council, particularly on issues which affected the Pakistani community ‘such as the taxi trade’.”

The Times harks back to an incident it helped to broadcast:

Mr Akhtar, 55, resigned as council deputy leader in 2013 after The Times revealed his role in a deal under which a violent child abuser to whom he was related, Arshid Hussain, agreed to hand a missing 14-year-girl to police at a petrol station after he received an assurance that he would not be prosecuted.

Hussain, 40, was one of three Rotherham brothers jailed by Sheffield crown court last month for offences against 14 children, including the girl involved in the petrol station handover. Mr Akhtar was unavailable for comment last night.

The Sheffield Star has more:

Rotherham Council is pursuing its former deputy leader Jahangir Akhtar for £2,000 of court costs after he withdrew an appeal against his taxi licence being revoked.

The council has confirmed Mr Akhtar had said he would appeal against his licence being revoked in February 2015.

But ahead of the scheduled hearing at Rotherham Magistrates Court in September 2015, he withdrew his appeal – with the court awarding costs to the council in relation to their legal work in preparing a case for the hearing.

A spokesman for Rotherham Council said: “The council is pursuing collection of this through the civil debt enforcement process.”

The Sheffield Star also has a few words on the new routine:

The new ‘fit and proper’ persons test takes account of previous criminal convictions and complaints, while there are more stringent requirements regarding safety and the age of vehicles.

The report from the commissioners said: “An audit of all drivers against the new standard identified that six per cent of drivers may be in breach.

“All of these 67 were offered the opportunity of a case hearing which has resulted in around 70 per cent of these licences being revoked.

“By January this year, 963 drivers had attended training sessions on safeguarding children and vulnerable adults; the remaining 171 drivers are suspended until they complete the training.

“If they fail to do so within the required timescale, the licence suspension will take full effect.”

As for the sex with underage children, the Rotherham Advertiser tells us:

MP SARAH Champion has succeeded in changing how some child sex abuse crimes are officially categorised.

The Rotherham MP and shadow minister for preventing abuse and domestic violence, pressured the Office for National Statistics (ONS) into removing the term “abuse of children through prostitution” from national crime statistics.

The ONS had reported in their latest release in January that “abuse of children through prostitution” had increased by 65 per cent in the last year.

But Ms Champion wrote to the Government pointing out that the use of the word “prostitution” was wrong as “it infers criminality on the part on the child and does not acknowledge that children cannot consent to sex themselves, but are instead exploited.”

She states:

“Victim blaming has been a barrier to justice for many and this change is another step in the right direction.”

No word yet on what the police think of that.

Posted: 16th, March 2016 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Race and blind justice as fasting Muslim driver escapes prison for fatal crash

It is a tragic story. The Sun writes:

A MUSLIM postie who “dozed off” behind the wheel and killed a dad-of-eight while fasting for Ramadan has been spared jail. 36-year-old Sajid Hussain was asleep when his Volkswagen Polo smashed into David Hinton, 47, at 2pm on June 20 last year. Mr Hinton was strapping his baby into his car when he was crushed, a court heard.

The story’s headline and teaser direct readers:

No jail for Muslim postie who killed dad of eight when he fell asleep at the wheel during Ramadan fast. Sajid Hussein fell asleep after fasting for over 10 hours for Muslim festival Ramadan

Would prison have served any purpose? Did Mr Hussain deserve to be removed from society? (And it is Hussain – even if the Sun cannot settle on the spelling.)

Hussain was handed an eight-month suspended jail sentence after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving. The judge ruled that the Dudley postman, who bowed his head and wept throughout the hearing, had showed “genuine remorse”.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 14th, March 2016 | In: News, Tabloids | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Unicef report: Syrian birth rate entirely predictable

Syria children


The New York Times has seen a Unicef report on Syria. News is “One-Third of Children in Syria Were Born During War, Unicef Report Finds.”

Pro-democracy protests erupted in March 2011. It’s now five years later and Syria is a bloody mess. But this is about a press release that isn’t all that surprising:

One-third of all Syrian children were born in the five years that conflict has convulsed their country, the United Nations said on Monday in a report that suggests a new lost generation.

Childhood is from 0 to 18.  Five years is between a third and a quarter of that. Depressing stuff, but it’s not news.

Posted: 14th, March 2016 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

North Korea’s threat to nuke Manhattan is B-movie mastery

North Korea has issued a statement. Hear ye, Western filth!

“Our hydrogen bomb is much bigger than the one developed by the Soviet Union… If this H-bomb were to be mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile and fall on Manhattan in New York City, all the people there would be killed immediately and the city would burn down to ashes.”

But what does he really mean?

Posted: 14th, March 2016 | In: News, Politicians | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Catholic school kids chant ‘You killed Jesus’ at Jewish opponents

catholic anti-semiticFor some time the conversation has been shaped by nuanced arguments whether anti-Israel movements are driven by anti-Semitism, and how Islamists and the Left share a hatred of Jews. Now, finally, we get to see some more in-yer-face proper old-school racism. At the all-boys Catholic Memorial School in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, students taunted the visiting Newton North High School team with anti-Semitic chants. The visitors have a considerable Jewish population.

“You killed Jesus,” yelled the Catholic kinder.

Catholic Memorial President Peter Folan says the chants were “abhorrent behaviour.”

Indeed, surely the correct racist term is, “You killed Our Lord Jesus.” Where’s the respect for tradition?



Posted: 14th, March 2016 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Woman busted for marijuana after police respond to lost keys down toilet

toilet keysWhen Anna Reed of Spirit Lake, Iowa, dropped keys to her rented car down a public toilet she did as any rational human being would have done: she called the plumber locksmith rental office police.

When police arrived they asked Reed for her name. They ran it through the big computer and spotted an outstanding warrant for possession of a controlled substance. For added oomph, she told them there were drugs in the locked car.

The police called a locksmith, who opened the car door, allowing the officers inside to find  a “large variety of prescription pills and a small amount of marijuana”.

Reed has been charged with possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance, and possession or use of drug paraphernalia.

Police were unable to retrieve the key from the toilet, which, like Reed, remain in deep shit.

Posted: 14th, March 2016 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Calling someone ‘English’ is racist in Hull but making monkey noises to a dying black man is ok?



That’s racist! The Telegraph reports on an incident in Hull:

A motorist has been prosecuted for racially abusing a traffic warden by calling him “English”. Mohammed Akhlaghi swore at traffic warden Robert St Paul by telling him he was “English” during an argument over a parking fine.

Go on…

Humberside Police charged Akhlaghi, 35, with being racist during the incident which also saw him push Mr St Paul in the back.

The police are so hot on race issues.

He pleaded guilty at Hull Magistrates Court to racially aggravated assault by beating. In his defence Akhlaghi, of Hull, claimed he had been the victim of racial abuse. He said he has been subjected to abuse over the last seven years he has lived in the UK.

He’s from Iran.

Meanwhile, this is from 2002:

A tape capturing monkey chants made as a black man lay dead on a police station floor was missed by investigators for nearly four years, it emerged yesterday.Christopher Alder, 37, died handcuffed and face down in a Hull police station in April 1998 surrounded by police officers, after choking on his own vomit. Sections of the tape show the officers joking and chatting as the former paratrooper died.

Last month five Humberside policemen were cleared of manslaughter and neglect of public duty over the death.

Tapes from the custody suite cameras were seized in April 1998, but a section containing monkey chants and laughter was not investigated until March 2002, a fortnight before the trial began.

Mr Alder’s family are furious that this evidence was never put before the jury. The crown prosecution service said it never tried to have this evidence admitted because it could not be determined who was making the noises.

The officers were cleared of all charges on the orders of the judge.

In 2006, the case was updated:

Four police officers were guilty of the “most serious neglect of duty” over the death of ex-paratrooper Christopher Alder in 1998, a watchdog has ruled.
Mr Alder, 37, who was black, died while lying face down and unconscious in a pool of blood in a police custody suite in Hull, as a group of officers stood chatting nearby.

The police watchdog said the officers had been guilty of “unwitting racism”.

Humberside Chief Constable Tim Hollis apologised following the Independent Police Complaints Commission’s report.

It gets better:

No-one will be prosecuted over a mortuary mix-up that led to a woman’s body being buried in the grave of a man who died in police custody. Grace Kamara, 77, was buried in Christopher Alder’s grave after he died at a police station in Hull in 1998.

His body was discovered in a Hull mortuary in 2011.

Mr Alder’s sister, Janet, said the family was “devastated” at the decision made by South Yorkshire Police, who investigated the mix-up. In a statement, the force said there was “no realistic prospect” of conviction for misconduct or the prevention of a lawful burial. Following an exhumation, Ms Kamara’s body was discovered in Mr Alder’s grave in the city’s Northern Cemetery.

Mr Alder, a former paratrooper, choked to death at Hull’s Queen’s Gardens police station after being arrested in 1998.

A group of five police officers charged with neglect of duty following Mr Alder’s death were cleared by an independent inquiry in 2003 after their trial for manslaughter collapsed the previous year. Mr Alder was believed to have been buried in 2000 at Northern Cemetery but his body was found in the mortuary in November 2011.
Both bodies have since been reburied.

In 2015, it was revealed that the police had spied on Mrs Alders sister, who is campaigning on his behalf.

The evidence of surveillance came to light after all police forces were asked to check their records following claims the Metropolitan Police spied on the family of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence.


The operation was mounted “in anticipation of potential public disorder as a result of the tensions to which it was perceived your brother’s death had given rise”.

So, about that racism…


Posted: 13th, March 2016 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Old Americans don’t like college degrees, bear shits in woods

college degrees olderBig news in the WSJ:

College Degrees Are on the Rise, But Not Among Older Americans

In other news: Pope has balcony…

Posted: 13th, March 2016 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Blitzkrieg Bop! Cambridge University ‘parlour committee’ bans ‘racist’ fancy dress do

In what the Times is calling a “political correctness row”, Pembroke College, Cambridge, has banned a do themed around Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days because dressing up could lead to “cultural appropriation”.

Good. I loathe fancy dress.

The Pembroke “junior parlour committee” told students:

“Having discussed the matter at length as a committee, we have decided that the most appropriate action is to break with the tradition of reusing finalists’ first fresher bop theme, in their end of Lent term third year bop. Instead we are using an alternative theme to avoid the potential for offense [sic] to be caused by the theme Around the World in 80 Days.”

Yeah. The “junior parlour committee”. Let’s be clear: anyone who signs up for an outfit called the “junior parlour committee” is a bit of a knob. Anyone who heeds their views on acceptable behaviour without laughing themselves sick is themselves laughable.


A typical parlour party (from Diary of a Nobody, aka the minutes of the Pembroke Junior Parlour committee )

A typical parlour party (from Diary of a Nobody aka ‘Minutes of the Pembroke Junior Parlour Committee’ )



One student who claimed to have chosen the theme wrote on Facebook: “Doesn’t any theme contain aspects which could be spun into an offensive costume?… This seems overly controlling and a little insulting.”

Another said, however: “This is a way to minimise the risk of people of colour having a s*** night, being reminded that they share a college with ignorant people who don’t understand the impact of their ‘harmless’ bop outfit.”

We propose this Bop instead*. RAUS!



* Too offensive to Germans, says the Parlour committee. BANNED! Oxford University Student Union says it’s not Nazi-themed enough. Also banned!

Posted: 11th, March 2016 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Boris Johnson caught in hilarious exchange at a Kent factory

'You can't leave - the doors are bolted"

“You can’t leave – the doors are bolted”


Boris Johnson today delivered his Brexit speech at a factory in Kent. He approaches the crowd. He shakes a woman’s hand.

Boris Johnson: “Thanks for coming!”

Woman: “We have to come, we work here.”

Spotter: Michael Deacon

Posted: 11th, March 2016 | In: News, Politicians | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Madeleine McCann: unrewarding work in Paraguay

Madeleine McCann: a look at reporting on the missing child.

Daily Star (front page): “Maddie is potted in Paraguay”

A “massive police hunt” is underway in Paraguay, says the Star, which adds that this is “Paraguay, South America”, and must not to be confused with any other Paraguay.

Page 9: “Copes Probing Maddie Sighting in Paraguay”

Is the missing child “living in custody of a woman in the city of Aregua”? Was British private eye Miraz Ullah Ali, who “praised the alarm”, right to believe sources who told him the child arrived in Paraguay “a month or two ago” as “sources” told his “team”?

The paper adds: “He says wealthy well-wishers were offering a 2million euro reward for information leading to the youngster’s safe return.”

Daily Mirror (Page 9): “‘I saw Maddie’ claim denied

Claims made by Briton Miraz Ullah Ali Isa (his name keeps on growing) have been “dismissed”.

So much for the “massive” police search, then.

Not other news in the British Press, os we go to AS Color in Paraguay (South America), where this story first aired.

We learn that many locals have now claimed the “juicy reward” – “part of that reward was posted by English magnate Richard Branson”. That reward still stands? In 2007, the BBC reported:

Rewards totalling £2.5m have been offered to anyone who can help with information leading to the safe return of Madeleine McCann. The News of the World and businessmen including Sir Richard Branson have jointly pledged £1.5m. Scottish tycoon Stephen Winyard has offered £1m.

The NoTW is no more.

The News of the World has promised £250,000 – matching the contribution of Top Shop owner Sir Philip Green.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 10th, March 2016 | In: Madeleine McCann, News | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Madeleine McCann spotted in…Paraguay

madeleine mccann sickMadeleine McCann has been spotted in Paraguay. Yes. Really. Well, maybe. The media cranks up the journalisomobile.

The Mail: “Heartache for McCann family as authorities debunk reports missing Madeleine is living ‘in the custody of a woman’ in Paraguay following claims by British ‘private eye'”

Is that huge reward still on offer, the one the News of the World put up?

British man Miraz Ullah Ali Isa, who claims to be a private eye, had said Maddie was living ‘in the custody of a woman’ in the city of Aregua. His claims are believed to have triggered a major search involving four local police stations, an anti-kidnapping division and Interpol.

Claims. Claims. Believed. Any more facts?

Her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, had been informed of the reports and appealed for anyone with information to come forward. But investigators have now debunked the alleged sighting and questioned the credibility of researcher Miraz Ullah Ali Isa.

Maybe he just made an honest mistake? Many others have seen her in – deep breath:

Canada,ItalySwedenPortugalSpainMoroccoMajorca,BelgiumBosniaFranceAustraliaBrazil,Wales, MaltaItalyGermanyAustrialia, France, DubaiDorset, USA , India and New Zealand (by boat).

The Mail adds:

But the report is still understood to have sparked in investigation.

Any other names in  this story?

Commissioner Sanny Amarilla, a deputy chief involved in the search, said four police stations, intelligence personnel from the Interior Ministry and Interpol divisions were involved in the search. He said: ‘We are investigating neighbourhoods where there are foreign citizens, villas, condos, to see if there is someone with a similar description that corresponds to the newspaper clipping. ‘This news stretches across the globe, it is very important. So if they are in the area we need to find this girl and return her to her family.’

Well, yes.

But the allegations have now been dismissed by inspector Luis Ignacio Arias of Interpol in Paraguay, who said that his office had ‘nothing concrete’ about Isa’s identity. He told EFE the researcher had never contacted the National Police or the Foreign Ministry with his reported sighting.

The Sun: “‘Madeleine in Paraguay’: Cops launch manhunt after missing McCann is ‘spotted'”

More inverted commas, or are four in one headline enough? We hear more from the PI:

Ali told Color ABC: “My team and I received the information that Madeleine arrived in Paraguay a month or two ago and is living in Areguá in the custody of a woman.”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 9th, March 2016 | In: Madeleine McCann, News | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Bill Wyman: what will they say about sex and Mandy Smith when he’s dead?

wyman mandy


Bill Wyman is not dead. The former Rolling Stone’s been to the wedding to Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall. The Sunday Times featured him in an article on the “stars aligning for Rupert and Jerry”.

Today the Express leads with news that Bill Wyman, 79, is unwell. He is battling prostate cancer. In paragraph 14 on the paper’s Page 3, we wear that “his life has not been without controversy… There was an outcry in 1989 when after divorcing his first wife he married his 18-year-old girlfriend, the model Mandy Smith, who had had been dating since she was 14. He was 52 at the time.”


wyman mandy 3


Bill Wyman is not dead. In life he’s invited to all the best parties.

The Mirror wants us to be more like “Brave Bill”:


bill wyman


Today the BBC reports:

In recent years, as the Jimmy Savile scandal unfolded, he approached police to ask whether they wanted to question him about their relationship. “I went to the police and I went to the public prosecutor and said, ‘Do you want to talk to me? Do you want to meet up with me, or anything like that?’ and I got a message back, ‘No,'” he said. “I was totally open about it.”

The Press and the BBC love Bill. Last season he was on a BBC sports show predicting the weekend’s Premier League results.

Get well soon, Bill. Don’t die. Because when you do, it’ll be open season on your past exploits. (Unless you’re David Bowie, John Peel or anyone else the BBC and mainstream media likes.)

Posted: 9th, March 2016 | In: Celebrities, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

The Queen: ‘vote yes to Brexit and bring on the Republic of Great Britain’

queen brexit


The Queen wants the country to leave the European Union. She doesn’t vote, much like Russell Brand, but she knows the right course to plot. Well, so says the Sun, which delivers the news in an “exclusive bombshell”.

Readers might wonder why Her Maj would want to opt out of a union with countries that slaughtered their royals. Go it alone and the country needs a leader, someone who represents the place. Vote out and The Munsters are doomed.

The Sun adds that “Her Majesty let rip” at Nick Clegg. The phrase ‘let rip’ is ripe with odour. Betty spoke with “venom and emotion” in a “bust-up” with then deputy PM Nick Clegg. The source of this story is not named. And since publication the Queen’s PR mob have moved to distance her from it.

Oddly, this news comes just one day after the Sun led with a picture of the Queen’s grandson, Prince William, larking about on a “luxury ski trip”. Wills was “accused of shirking his job”, although it’s hard to pinpoint what that is other than being alive to claim the crown and extending the royal line. He’s accomplishing both tasks with skill. There is talk of his work with helicopters. What is it with helicopters and the Windsors? Prince Andrew flew one; Prince Harry learned to fly one; Sarah Ferguson drew one… Maybe the Anglo-Germans are making ready for a vote to remain in the EU, and the moment when they’ll need to beat a hasty retreat from the roof of Buckingham Palace.

Lower the rope ladder, Fergie. Fergie… FERGIE!!!!

Posted: 9th, March 2016 | In: News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Read the most brilliant Guardian newspaper correction




A review of David Astor: A Life in Print, a biography of the former editor of the Observer, contained a number of errors (20 February, page 7, Review).

In the article we suggested that William Waldorf Astor was named after a hotel, when in fact his name referred to the family’s native Rhineland village.

He didn’t build Cliveden, as we suggested, but bought it, and he didn’t sack the editor of the Observer for spiking his contributions (although he did sack the editor of the Pall Mall Gazette, another Astor acquisition, for spiking his contributions).

We said Katharine Whitehorn was women’s editor of the Observer when in fact she was a columnist.

We said Patrick Leigh Fermor compared David Astor to Disney’s Pluto; Fermor actually compared the writer Philip Toynbee to that cartoon character.

Terence Kilmartin replaced Jim Rose as Observer literary editor, not JC Trewin.

During the war, David Astor didn’t merely suffer “a mild attack of dysentery” as suggested in the review.

In fact he was wounded in action during a German ambush in the Ardennes.

Terence Kilmartin is believed to have been involved in his rescue, and Astor was awarded the Croix de Guerre.

Apart from that, it was all bang on.


Posted: 8th, March 2016 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

US students get counselling after miniature sombreros horror

small sombrero maine


Like you, I too was “injured and affected” by students wearing small sombrero hats at a tequila-themed birthday party held at Bowdoin College, Maine. I too have been deeply affected by what the college rightly calls an “act of ethnic stereotyping”.

The college’s general assembly has understandably issued a “statement of solidarity” to stand by all students who were affected by the ‘tequila party’. Like you, I’m off to Bowdoin on the first jet to claim my “safe space” inside a large plastic dome and counselling sessions to help me cope with the emotional fallout from this phobic-based mocking of Mexicans with tiny heads and the greater tiny-headed hat wearing community.

Student Bill de la Rosa (head size: swollen) is neither shill, fatuous or dictatorial when she says, “These actions have consequences. These are leaders on our campus that were chosen and elected to represent the student body. Those actions did not reflect that last week.”

Note: In other news, Mexico’s Jewish community reminds one and all that patriotic, Speedy Gonzalez-themed yamulkas are sacrosanct – and at $3.99 each with discounts available for party orders a snip!

Posted: 8th, March 2016 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Man who exposed his penis to woo ex-partner flashed wrong woman

“A man exposed himself to a young mother on her way to watch her child in a school play,” reports the Stoke Sentinel.  Tony Cartlidge is 24. He flashed his penis at a woman on the street. When she pushed him away, he asked her, “What’s up? You’re not normally like this.”

Police were called. Cartlidge told them he thought the woman was his ex-partner. He hoped showing her his penis would win her back.

It never did work out. Cartlidge earned a 12-month community order with a rehabilitation activity requirement for 20 days. His ex remains at large and, one images, in heavy disguise.


Posted: 8th, March 2016 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Hitler made his niece shit a smiling poo on him, says Daily Mail

Hitler poo shit on niece



As they say at the Daily Mail:

Hurrah for the black shits!

Hurrah of the smiling emoji poo.

Spotter: @abstex

Posted: 7th, March 2016 | In: News, Tabloids | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Call of Duty turns Jamie Vardy into a ticking timebomb

call of duty 2


Big news in the Daily Mail that Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy is “gunning down rivals” by playing Call of Duty on his PlayStation.

Those rivals had best watch out. The Daily Mail told us Call of Duty turns you into a murderer – maybe:


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He shoots! He shoot! He keeps on shooting until the game is over and his wife call him down for dinner…


Posted: 7th, March 2016 | In: Back pages, Key Posts, News, Sports, Tabloids, Technology | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Tony Blackburn would have kept his job had he been a BBC boss

Not one paper reports on Tony Blackburn, the DJ sacked by the BBC because his recollections of a meeting in 1971 did not tally with an official memo someone wrote back then. Tony Blackburn was not charged with having unlawful sex with a teenager who later killed herself. He was never questioned by the police. Any allegation he’d behaved badly was later withdrawn.

You may wonder what it is he did to earn the sack?

And as you wonder that, know that the people who thought it best we never saw the Newsnight report on Jimmy Savile’s depravity and got to know of false allegations against Lord McAlpine are still working at the BBC.

Do they pass BBC director general Tony Hall’s test? On sacking Blackburn, he opined:

“I’m making no judgement about what happened in the past. I’m making a judgement about how someone has engaged with a seriously important inquiry. I’m making a judgement about the standards of behaviour I expect from everybody working at the BBC now.”

One for the Beeb’s continuity department….

Posted: 6th, March 2016 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0