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Isn’t elitism great. Governments – Labour and Tory – love it. Without elitism you get no Olympic gongs to buff and parade for the public good. In the Guardian, we read:
Schools are failing white, poor, working-class children and should adopt an approach similar to the British Olympic team to help bolster their performance, a thinktank has recommended.
Throw loads and loads money at the bods and reward the best?
Mark Morrin, the report’s principal author, notes:
“The Team GB approach is about looking across all the variety of inputs that can affect performance in the classroom, putting the right strategies in place and collecting data and measurements to identify what works and focus on getting the maximum returns. Those small gains can then add up to something bigger than a sum of its parts.”
Then you take the very best and put them in competition with the very best, right? You make them believe they can make it? Or is this about making the lowest perform a little bit better in the big tests they rarely win, rewarding progress over attainment – and testing new theories on the under-nourished?
It all began when the Labour government made Bulgarian and Romanians second-class citizens of Europe. Well, maybe it began way before that. But the point is that when the Daily Mail spotted an accident and that one driver had been on his mobile, the paper made nationality an issue.
“Seconds before four-car pile-up,. Romanian truck on his mobile,” observes the headline.
Would it have been less newsworthy had the driver been British? Reporter Rebecca Camber twice more mentions that driver Razman Rusu is Romanian.
The Telegraph only mentions the now jailed driver’s nationality once, when it becomes relevant to the story:
Rusu, a Romanian national living in the UK, returned to his home country but was arrested on his arrival back in the UK.
The Mirror mentions it once – and not in the headline.
The GetWestLondon website doesn’t mention it all, but does note: “Rusu had been living in the UK but left the country for Romania after the crash.”
The Sun reports: “DASHCAM DUMMY JAILED Terrifying moment lorry driver causes pile-up on M1 while staring at his mobile phone – Razvan Rusu, 30, will serve eight months behind bars after being convicted of dangerous driving.”
That Rusu is Romanian is mentioned once.
The Express however trumps even the Mail.
JAILED: Romanian lorry driver who caused M1 pile-up while distracted by his phone – A ROMANIAN lorry driver fled the country after ploughing into motorway traffic while distracted by his mobile phone.
No police report mentioned the man’s nationality being a factor in the crime.
Rolling Stone magazine publisher Jann S. Wenner should not have deleted the 2014 story on ‘Jackie’s’ alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia. There was no proof whatsoever Jackie had been raped. The Columbia University Journalism School called the story a “failure of journalism”.
Wenner’s been talking a libel trial brought by Nicole Eramo, a former associate dean of students at the university. She claims the magazine’s story portrayed her as the “chief villain”. She’s seeking a modest $7.5 million in damages.
“We did everything reasonable, appropriate up to the highest standards of journalism to check on this thing,” says Wenner, as quoted in the NY Times. “The one thing we didn’t do was confront Jackie’s accusers – the rapists.”
Confront? Surely ask for their version of events. As journalism goes, offering the accused a right to reply is pretty standard stuff. The paper adds. ‘Wenner said there was nothing a journalist could do “if someone is really determined to commit a fraud”.’
You could err on the side of caution. But this was an agenda-driven story.
He said that while the magazine rightly retracted “the Jackie stuff,” he disagreed with the decision to retract the entire article in the wake of a damning report on it in April 2015 by The Columbia Journalism Review. He said the bulk of the article detailed ways that the University of Virginia could improve its treatment of victims of sexual assault.
“I stand by the rest of the article: personally, professionally and on behalf of the magazine,” Mr. Wenner said.
Mr. Wenner added: “You just want to be double careful, and by and large we are. We are deeply committed to accuracy in a humanistic philosophical pursuit of the truth.”
Heads have rolled.
Mr. Wenner testified that he knew there was a problem when he came to work the first Friday in December 2014 and found his managing editor, Will Dana, distraught. The deposition also provided Mr. Wenner’s fullest account of his decision to terminate Mr. Dana and the reporter who wrote the article, Sabrina Rubin Erdely. She had just begun a $300,000 writing contract. Mr. Wenner said that the quality of their work had slipped, in part because of fallout from the article.
“I cannot run the company with devastated, traumatized people,” he said.
Some irony that one traumatized woman’s alleged trauma was their undoing. Can’t work with that state of mind amongst the staffers – but can use it as a subject matter. And as for trauma, what about what of the accused?
“I’m very, very sorry. It was never meant to ever happen this way to you,” Wenner told Nicole Eramo in taped testimony played at the
$7.85 million defamation trial.
“And believe me, I’ve suffered as much as you have,” he said. “And I know what it’s like. I hope that this whole thing hadn’t happened but it is, and it’s what we live with.”
The Daily Beast provides a neat summing up of the alleged crime and notes Wenner’s apology:
He insisted that then-managing editor Will Dana’s retraction was “inaccurate… We do not retract the whole story,” and that the magazine’s biggest mistake was not corroborating Jackie’s account with her alleged attackers.
Indeed, had Erdely and her editors even attempted to do so, they would likely have arrived at a similar conclusion as Charlottesville police did after a five-month investigation: that there was no party at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity on Sept. 28, 2012, the night that Jackie claimed she was brutally raped by eight men; and that they found no evidence that Jackie was assaulted at Phi Kappa Psi or any other fraternity at UVA.
And now for that apology:
“We screwed up. Bring it on. We suffered,” Wenner said, before going on to apologize to Eramo. “It was never meant to happen this way to you. And believe me, I’ve suffered as much as you have. But please, my sympathies.”
Like many internet users, Sarah-Louise Jordan recived an unsolicied picure of a penis in a Facebook message. She writes, “I found a surprising picture in my messages. So, I did the only English thing there was to do; I wrote them a letter.”
Thank you for the unexpected and unsolicited submission of your penis portrait for our consideration. We regret to inform you that it has failed to pass our most basic standards of quality control at this time.
However, for a nominal fee we can offer you a report that will help you change that.
The A4 report, provided via postal service, will include a personalised booklet that cover the following:
Why genitals are not an acceptable conversation opener (a step by step guide to saying hello)
How to appear as though you weren’t raised by wolves
Better ways to deal with your sexual frustration
How to dress your penis for social media (a rough guide to pants)
Penis reading: a new form of palmistry that may help you unlock the key to your future.
We will also answer questions you might have such as:
Do I have too much time on my hands?
Why did my penis fail basic standards of quality control?
(Note: the number one reason for this occurring is that it is attached to a bigger dick than itself.)
Finally, as a gesture of goodwill we intend to offer two free samples with all of your future penis portrait submissions:
An inventive critique of your pride & joy
A surprise consultation with your closest available family member about your portfolio.
We trust this exciting offer is acceptable and look forward to working with you in the near future.
So the FBI has found more emails from Hillary Clinton’s secret server. Apparently 1,000-odd emails were found as part of the Anthony Weiner investigation.
Emails, eh. You can accidentally (on purpose) wipe your own emails but the trouble is if they were sent, then they sit on the recipients server; if you received them, they’re on the sender’s electronic log book. These emails were on Weiner’s laptop.
Mrs Weiner, Huma Abedin, works for Hillary. She and Anthony are estranged.
What have the FBI found?
Mrs Clinton was supposed to have handed over all evidence relating to her use of a private email server – something she instigated in 2009, when she was appointed secretary of state. The Weiner investigation shows she did not.
Career politician misspeaks the truth. Read all about it!
In a letter to Congress, the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, said the emails had surfaced in an unrelated case, which law enforcement officials said was an F.B.I. investigation into illicit text messages from Mr. Weiner to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina. Mr. Weiner, a former Democratic congressman from New York, is married to Huma Abedin, the top aide.
The Guardian says the emails have nothing to do with Clinton:
Anthony Weiner takes center stage in presidential race about men’s sex lives
About men’s sex lives? Or about a woman who wants to be President lying?
It remains to be seen just what is in the emails, although whether Hillary sent emails with confidential content herself, or directed, or simply allowed her closest aide, Huma Abedin to forward such emails to her outside unsecured email address (where they subsequently ended up on Anthony Weiner’s notebook), is what this latest case will be all about and how it will be defended and prosecuted in the media, by the water coolers and perhaps, in court.
Howie Carr considers the (lack of) evidence in the Boston Herald:
Before he toppled over from the vapors, Paul Krugman called to cancel his nomination of FBI Director James Comey for next spring’s Profiles in Courage award for having the “courage” to broom the obstruction-of-justice rap against Hillary Clinton.
I’m not a big James Comey fan, to say the least. My feeling is, if you want to hide something real good, just stick it in one of his law books. He’s proven he’ll leave no stone unturned, except the one Hillary Clinton is hiding under.
But let’s be real. A bottom feeder like Comey would never have taken this high-stakes gamble if there were any way he could have kept sweeping the dirty laundry under the rug.
What they’ve already turned up from Carlos Danger’s cellphones obviously ain’t about yoga schedules and Chelsea’s wedding plans. Of all people, Comey knows what happens if you take a shot at these people and miss. Ken Starr, anyone?
As he says: “I Did Not Have Classified Relations With That Woman, Mrs Clinton.”
Even a fool like Trump can milk this.
Expect to hear more of Trump’s words two months ago:
“I only worry for the country in that Hillary Clinton was careless and negligent in allowing Weiner to have such close proximity to highly classified information. Who knows what he learned and who he told?”
Why did the Democrats go with Clinton? It looks like a massive error.
Baroness Jenny Tonge has been suspended by the Liberal Democrats. Yes, we know, some news there that Tonge and the LibDems still exist. And when you hear the story you might suppose that Tonge has been auditioning for membership to the un-anti-Semetic Labour Party.
Today, a LibDem spokesperson tells media: “The party has suspended the membership of Jenny Tonge. We take her comments very seriously and have acted accordingly.”
Suspended. Not kicked out. Put on hold. That’s how big a deal anti-Semitism is nowadays among the elite. It is not their problem. Of course, nothing is fact. As the Guardian states: “Jenny Tonge quits Lib Dems after suspension for alleged antisemitic comments.”
Tonge noted on Facebook:
“In the course of the evening one member of the audience made a ‘rant’ against Israel quoting some very confused history which I confess I did not hear or understand! I then called the next member of the audience and moved on. The contribution was ignored by the audience after a few claps of relief! Apparently this is my sin! I am at last free of being told what I must and must not say on the issue of Palestine, lest it offends the Israel lobby here, who like to control us, as they do in the USA.
“They are trying to destroy the Labour Party with spurious accusations of antisemitism and now they have set their sights on the Lib Dems. I have never been antisemitic, and never will be. I am anti-injustice and that is why I criticise the Israeli government’s flagrant disregard for international law and human rights in the Occupied territories of Palestine and Gaza.”
The story goes that earlier this week Baroness Tonge hosted an event in the House of Lords run by the Palestine Return Council. The events was part of a campaign for Britain to apologise for the 1917 Balfour Declaration that led to the creation of a Jewish home in Palestine.
The Jewish Chroniclenotes: “Attendees applauded when another member of the audience claimed that “if anybody is antisemitic, it’s the Israelis themselves.”
The paper adds:
Last week Baroness Tonge published a letter online which she said she had sent to The Guardian. In the letter, she discussed the Home Affairs Committee’s report on antisemitism, saying: “It is difficult to believe that a 75% increase in antisemitism it reports, have [sic] been committed by people who simply hate Jewish people for no reason.”
An audience member was applauded after suggesting that Hitler only decided to kill all the Jews after he was provoked by anti-German protests led by a rabbi in Manhattan. The speaker… said that in the 1930s Rabbi Stephen Wise, whom he described as a heretic, “made the boycott on Germany, the economic boycott… which antagonised Hitler, over the edge, to then want to systematically kill Jews wherever he could find them”.
The speaker went on:
“As opposed to . . . make Germany free of Jews, a Jew-free land. He became a madman after this boycott. Judea declares war on Germany. In Manhattan they had 100,000 people marching in the economic boycott in 1935, it was the same heretic rabbi who caused that.”
The speaker also said that Rabbi Wise told the New York Times in 1905 that there were “six million bleeding and suffering reasons to justify Zionism”. He urged the audience to note the number. This famous quotation is regularly used by Holocaust deniers to suggest that the figure of six million Jews later killed by the Nazis was a myth.
Another audience member opined:
“Chaim Weizmann [a founder of Israel] did a confidence trick back in 1917/1918. He made the British establishment think that world Jewry had power that it just didn’t have. The trouble is, 100 years on, I am not talking about world Jewry, I am talking about that segment which we called the Zionist movement, has that power and it has that over our own parliament.”
David Collier notes on his blog: “This is the transference of classic antisemitic tropes, from the hand of the Jew to the hands of the Zionist.”
The Times adds: “Lady Tonge made no attempt to challenge the provocative comments.”
David Aaronovitch observes:
“Ten years ago the baroness did the old one about Jewish financial power in the form of “the pro-Israeli lobby has got its grips on the western world, its financial grips. She got a reprimand from her party leader for it. Six years ago it was the ancient blood libel (Jews kill gentiles for their blood or body parts, see also under Shylock), when she demanded an inquiry into absurd allegations that an Israeli aid mission to Haiti was harvesting organs from Haitians. She lost a front bench job for that.”
And no, she was not booted out of the LibDems. He conbtinues:
Before she resigned, Baroness Tonge was suspended, not expelled, from her utterly complacent party. Because actually many people don’t care that much about antisemitism any more. They say they do, but they don’t. They cluck but secretly they think antisemitism isn’t really a problem, that Jews are generally rich and can look after themselves and that — one way or another — they probably have it coming.
Lady Tonge, the Liberal Democrat peer, is calling for Israel to set up an inquiry to disprove allegations that its medical teams in Haiti “harvested” organs of earthquake victims for use in transplants…
Attacking Israel’s policies is one thing; insinuating that the army of the Jewish state is stealing organs or – as the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet published last year, that the IDF was killing Arabs for their organs – is to repeat what antisemites were saying about the Jews in the darkest periods of history. A blood libel, in short.
One hundred and seventy years ago, the Damascus blood libel shocked the world. On 5 February 1840, Father Thomas, the superior of the Capuchin house in Damascus, and his Muslim servant disappeared. The local Jews were immediately accused of murdering the two for the intention of using their blood for making Passover Matzot. Several Jews were arrested and tortured, and some of them died, not before producing “confessions”.
The Guardian says:
The peer has a long track record of making trenchant criticisms of Israel. In 2004, when she was an MP, she was sacked from the frontbench by then party leader Charles Kennedy after she suggested that she would become a suicide bomber if she was Palestinian. At the time, Israel had endured repeated suicide bombings carried out by Palestinians during the second intifada. She was made a peer the following year.
In September, the Sunday Times noted:
A PROMINENT peer is considering defection to Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party after “a lifetime” in the Liberal Democrats. Baroness Tonge said she was “thinking about” joining Labour and “a lot of people” in her party were pondering the move as they found Corbyn “a breath of fresh air”.
More news on Ched Evans, the low-life footballer found not guilty of raping a woman. AOL says the the Attorney General has suggested “the law could be changed to give greater protection to alleged rape victims following the Ched Evans case”.
In “Ched Evans trial: Government considers rape law change”, the BBC adds:
Labour has condemned the decision to allow the jury to hear details about the sexual history of the complainant.
When the jury had not head about the alleged victim’s sexual history – in particular a phrase she used during sex – Evans was found guilty of rape beyond any reasonable doubt and imprisoned. When the woman’s sexual history was made known, he was found not guilty of rape. Her sexual history was important in the case for the defence.
Attorney General Jeremy Wright told the Commons it was not “routinely used” in such cases, but there was “a concern”.
It is a huge concern. A cartoon in this week’s Private Eye magazine has the judge asking jurors: “Do you find the accused ‘Guilty’ or ‘Not Guilty’ of raping the dreadful slapper?”
Jeremy Wright QC told Attorney General Questions in the Commons:
“We need to understand more about the decision in this particular case, we need to understand whether a change in the law is appropriate, and if not whether it is sensible to look at the guidance that is given to judges about when this evidence is admissible and the guidance that judges give to juries about how that evidence should be used.
“I think we need to do all of those things before we are in a position to understand what, if any, changes are needed…
“We must be confident that the message sent to those who may be currently worried about reporting these sorts of offences is not that they are not encouraged to do so, quite the reverse, they are, and we need to make sure that those messages are clear.”
…we all know that section 41 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act prohibits leading evidence or asking questions concerning a complainant’s previous sexual behaviour in sex cases. There are certain exceptions to this rule, and the Court of Appeal found in Ched Evans’ case that the complainant X’s previous sexual behaviour was relevant to the issue of consent and was “so similar” to the sexual behaviour of X at the time of the alleged rape that “the similarity cannot reasonably be explained as a coincidence”.
The precedent that has been set is none. The Court of Appeal decision sets down no new application of law or principle, and section 41 continues to operate exactly as it did before, excluding the vast, vast majority of questions about previous sexual behaviour. The newspapers, activists and charities propagating this false message are needlessly terrifying present and future victims, and will only risk deterring them from coming forward.
Whatever happened in this unusual case is unlikely to have any wider application; certainly there is nothing that suggests the Court intends to widen the scope of section 41. Victims should not be scared to come forward on the basis of what is being said, loudly and inaccurately, by those who should know better.
As for the not-guilty-of-rape Ched Evans, well, his name could become part of reworked law governing rapes. You might not like him, but does an innocent man deserve that?
To mark the Battle of Hastings (1066), the Royal Mint has produce a commemorative 50p coin. Over five million Battle of Hastings 50p pieces are expected to enter circulation. The Mint calls the Battle “the date that made history”.
So big is it that advertising a sterling silver version of the coin in the BBC’s History magazine, the Mint manages to get its facts wrong. The advert runs:
The Battle of Hastings altered the course of British history. This epic clash fought between two kings, and won by William the Conqueror, brought about huge social advancement that set the foundations for the nation as we know it today.
That would be King Harald and William, Duke of Normandy – one king and one wanna-be king.
Is everyone named, mentioned, implicated, saved, cleared and shafted by the Government’s inquiry into child abuse dead yet?
The inquiry rolls on and on and one. And gets nowhere. Pop out in a fast car and watch how soon the police nick you for DWB (Driving Whilst Black). Make a tasteless joke on twitter and listen for the copper’s knuckles at your door. Molest a child and chances are the wheels of justice will move slower than John Chilcot’s word-processor.
To date three inquiry heads have left. The most recent, shipped in Kiwi Beak Dame Lowell Goddard, departed the big desk in August clutching an £80,000 pay off and tickets for business class flights home.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is a huge job. The BBC describes it thus:
A major inquiry into historical child sex abuse in England and Wales is to examine claims made against local authorities, religious organisations, the armed forces and public and private institutions – as well as people in the public eye.
There are 13 strands to this massive process of writing everything down. And you could make it 14 – the final group comprised of everyone who heard a whisper and did nothing (and do include the media in that).
The good news is that some of the 13 headers have been prioritised.
The Inquiry has invited applications for Core Participant status, and has held one or more preliminary hearings, in relation to the following seven investigations:
Accountability and Reparations investigation
The Roman Catholic Church
Children outside the UK
The late Lord Janner of Braunstone QC
The Anglican Church
Cambridge House, Knowl View and Rochdale
One person is named on that list. And – get this – he’s dead. The cynic might suppose others will get star billing when they are also no longer able to give reliable evidence in court.
And there there is this: If it takes so long to take seriously allegations of abuse in high places, when will whatever is going on today be exposed? Oh, things are going on now that will be presented as shocking and shaming in years to come. What are they? And why aren’t they front-page news and worthy of inquiries and the State’s resources?
Hot dogs are un-Islamic, says the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (MIDD). To receive halal certification,the MIDD, a religious government body, says hot dogs must be renamed.
MIDD’s Sirajuddin Suhaimee explains says: “In Islam, dogs are considered unclean and the name cannot be related to halal certification.”
Yes, but the hot dog contains no dogs, it being most often a composite blend of pigs’s scrotum, anus and lips.
“Malaysian halal food guidelines say halal food and halal artificial flavour shall not be named or synonymously named after non-halal products such as ham, bak kut teh, bacon, beer, rum and others that might create confusion,” he adds.
The Auntie Anne store has been refused halal certification unless it renamed its “Pretzel Dog”. Mr Suhaimee says it should be called a Pretzel Sausage”.
And in keeping with Islamic law, Auntie Anne might care to ‘circumcise’ the tip of its Fat Torpedo:
Harry Redknapp was dropping his wife Sandra in Westbourne, a suburb of Bournemouth, when her coat got caught in the door of his Range Rover. The Indy says the 69-year-old [Sandra] “screamed with agony on the pavement after being dragged along the road”.
An eyewitness tells the Sun:
“I was in a shop and a couple of people came in and said, ‘Crikey, there’s a lady who’s been dragged along the road’, then someone else came in and said it was Harry Redknapp who had just dropped his wife off. I heard as he drove off she got her coat caught in the door. She was dragged along the road before he realised. I think she has been badly injured.”
The Indy says there was lots of blood.
The Telegraph identifies the car: “Harry Redknapp drags wife along road in ‘freak accident’ in his Range Rover.”
This private horror is then given the Daily Mail treatment. Can it be possible to attack a man who has been left “shaken” buy seeing his wife hurt? Yes, The Mail sees fit to include this in its report:
In 2006, the BBC’s investigative programme Panorama showed Mr Redknapp on camera expressing his interest in approaching a player illegally in order to arrange a transfer.
Following an investigation by HMRC in 2010, he was charged with two counts of cheating the public revenue, but was later found not guilty at a trial.
It then concludes:
Last night, representatives for Mr Redknapp denied that an incident had taken place.
Brexit is impelling some people to make a choice: stay in the UK or live in the European Union? TheGuardianreports that many Britons are appealing to become citizens in other countries.
The number of Britons seeking citizenship in other EU countries has surged as a result of the Brexit vote, with some member states recording near tenfold increases on 2015 figures.
The British are not queuing up to live in Romania and Bulgaria. The report says they fancy new lives in Denmark, Italy, Ireland and Sweden, which all report “spikes” in “citizens eager to secure proper status in the EU”.
Between January and October 2016, 2,800 Britons applied for citizenship in other EU countries. This, says the paper is a 250% increase on numbers recorded in 2015.
Compared with last year’s figures, numbers have surged almost tenfold in Denmark and threefold in Sweden.
Denmark might not be best best option. Many Danes want their own EU referendum on what is dubbed Dexit.
Several applicants told the Guardian that it was the Brexit vote that prompted them to take action.
The numbers are not big, are they. Under 3,000 Britons have applied to be non-British citizens in other countries. And “several” said Brexit promoted the move.
The Guardian was in favour of the country remaining in the EU. So too was the Independent, which said: “Brexit prompts surge in Britons applying for citizenship in EU countries.”
In April the FT noted:
The German embassy in London told the Financial Times that 200-250 requests for information on how to apply for citizenship have been received per day since the referendum result was announced, compared with an average of 20-25 daily inquiries a month earlier.
The Hungarian consulate has received 150 inquiries since the vote, while it said it had received less than 10 during the rest of this year.
How do you qualify?
It is hard to tell what the chances are of the citizenship applications succeeding — people living in the UK depend on their ancestry to qualify.
The German embassy said UK residents would need a German parent. “There are certainly quite a number of people where it seems obvious they won’t qualify. We don’t have any figures for that though,” said Norman Walter, a spokesman.
Other countries have more liberal conditions. Italy, which has received around 500 email requests at its UK embassy since the Brexit vote, offers citizenship to foreigners who can prove that at least one of their grandparents was Italian.
The same grandparent rule applies to anyone seeking an Irish passport.
And less glamorous destinations?
Yet that has not deterred inquiries for a Bulgarian passport. The country’s London embassy has received 15 citizenship inquiries by British people since June 24. “We usually don’t receive such kind of requests so this is a new thing for us,” said a spokesman.
Estonia said it had seen a “notable” increase in residency requests and Lithuania reported a rise in applications to 34 since June 23, from a typical average of one or two per month.
Malta and Cyprus are both in the EU, and both offer a fast-track to citizenship for people who are able to invest a significant amount of money.
Maltese citizenship is available to those who invest €1.15m (£965,000; $1.3m) there; the country added a one-year residency requirement after EU pressure. The scheme is aimed at “ultra-high net worth individuals and families worldwide”.
The Cypriot government offers citizenship to those who put €5m (£4.2m; $5.6m) into approved investments – this is reduced to just €2.5m for those taking part in a collective investment. Applicants need to have a property in Cyprus but do not need to live there all of the time. Family members are included in the application, which can take as little as three months.
On July 18, the Sun featured a column but its former editor Kelvin MacKenzie in which he asked, “Why did Channel 4 have a presenter in a hijab fronting coverage of Muslim terror in Nice?”.
That the question was rhetorical became apparent in the next line: “Would C4 have used a Hindu to report on the carnage at the Golden Temple of Amritsar…of course not.”
And again: “Would the station have used an Orthodox Jew to cover the Israeli-Palestine conflict? Of course not.
Hundreds complained to Ipso, the press regulator. This meant lots of people were talking about the Sun and MacKenzie – and so both became relevant.
MacKenzie posed more questions:
…I could hardly believe my eyes. The presenter was not one of the regulars — Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Matt Frei or Cathy Newman — but a young lady wearing a hijab. Her name is Fatima Manji and she has been with the station for four years. Was it appropriate for her to be on camera when there had been yet another shocking slaughter by a Muslim?
Was it done to stick one in the eye of the ordinary viewer who looks at the hijab as a sign of the slavery of Muslim women by a male- dominated and clearly violent religion?
So why did they do it?
With all the major terrorist outrages in the world currently being carried out by Muslims, I think the rest of us are reasonably entitled to have concerns about what is beating in their religious hearts. Who was in the studio representing our fears?
Questions upon questions. And like all good columnists, MacKenzie triggered a heated debate.
Manji called MacKenzie’s words “ill-informed, racist and Islamophobic”.
Ben De Pear, who edits the Channel 4 news show, said:
“Whilst we agree that freedom of expression is a fundamental right, we do not believe that it should be used as a licence to incite or discriminate. His inflammatory comments on Fatima Manji’s professional status, which were widely condemned, and his attempts to equate the wearing of a hijab with support for terrorism, have no place in a properly informed and tolerant society… We employ reporters based on their journalistic skills, not their ethnicity. We see no reason why a Muslim journalist should be prevented from covering any story and Fatima will continue to report and present the news on the issues of the day with impartiality and depth. We are grateful for all the support shown to Fatima during this difficult time.”
Difficult time? Really? (See those questions are catchy.) Channel 4 is hardly a fan of the Sun and its readers. Surely the broadcaster got some satisfaction from MacKenzie’s rant? Prejudices, you know, we do so love them when we can back them up with evidence. Manji did not like it. But Ipso has rejected her complaints.
“There can be no doubt that this was deeply offensive to the complainant and caused widespread concern and distress to others. This was demonstrated by the number of complaints IPSO received.
“The article was highly critical of Channel 4 for permitting a newsreader to wear the hijab. It also contained pejorative references to Islam. But the essential question for the committee was whether those references were directed at the complainant.
“Clause 12 seeks to protect individuals while respecting the fundamental right to freedom of expression enshrined in the preamble to the code.
“The article did refer to the complainant. But it did so to explain what triggered the discussion about a subject of legitimate debate: whether newsreaders should be allowed to wear religious symbols.
“While the columnist’s opinions were undoubtedly offensive to the complainant, and to others, these were views he had been entitled to express. The article did not include a prejudicial or pejorative reference to the complainant on the grounds of her religion.
“Clause 3 seeks to protect individuals from harassment. In the light of its findings under Clause 12, and given that the course of conduct complained of was the publication of a single article on a matter which, while sensitive, was the subject of legitimate public debate, the Committee took the view that it did not amount to harassment under Clause 3.
“The columnist’s view that Islam is ‘clearly a violent religion’ was a statement of his opinion. This view, however extreme or offensive to many, did not raise a breach of Clause 1.
“The suggestion that the complainant was a ‘pawn in this tv news game’ was clearly conjecture, and underlined that the author’s criticism was directed at Channel 4 and not at the individual newsreader. There was no breach of Clause 1.”
Kelvin MacKenzie and newspapers are still relevant after al these years. Who knew?
Ched Evans continues to excite the Press. In the Mirror, David Kidd writes beneath the headline “Ched Evans acted like a scumbag, but that’s no excuse for this systematic kicking football is getting.”
Kidd says mixing with lots of footballers has not left him with “the impression that they are a group of men who are contemptuous of women”. Adding that “footballers are easy scapegoats for an establishment dominated by inherited wealth and private schooling which dislikes their game.”
Ched Evans, a lowlife innocent of rape, no more epitomises the game any more than Jimmy Savile is a typical children’s entertainer. Evans represents himself only. So why does Kidd use him to support his own prejudices against those who went to fee-paying schools and are lucky enough to have well-off parents?
It’s not just toffs in positions of authority who, when not parading footballers as role models for inept and slack-jawed football fans, want to give footballers a good kicking.
Footballers and football fans behaving badly gives the elite what they want: someone to make them look good.
Giving football a shoeing is nothing new. In 1985 a Sunday Timeseditorial called it “a slum sport watched by slum people in slum stadiums”.
Of course, Clegg did go to public school. so let’s hear form someone who did not. Get this from Caitlin Moran in the Times, who in 2014 through Evans was forced to reconsider her belief in redemption:
Perhaps young, rich, fit, unrepentant men who have raped do need to see their lives reduced to ash – without prospect of forgiveness, employment or absolution – until the day they die. I’m starting to see the sense in choosing, say, a hundred rapists and making their lives publicly, endlessly awful – unrelentingly humiliating, without prospect of absolution. Of making them famous for being appalling; regarded as untouchable. So that men become terrified of raping, in the same way women are terrified of being raped. So that rapists spend their lives dealing with the night they raped in the same way women currently do.
Perhaps the only way society can be good – to progress; to change – is to stop believing in redemption for a while. Perhaps redemption does women no good at all.
One law for the rich footballer – who, it must be said, was unrepentant because he always maintained his innocence, something now on the law books as fact – and one law for all other kinds of criminals and crimes.
Teenagers are all over the tabloids. The Mirror leads with the 14 years olds who murdered a mother and her daughter. Katie Edwards, 13, and her mother Elizabeth Edwards were murdered by the 14-year-old girl and her boyfriend in Spalding, Lincolnshire. The children broke in and grabbed their victims in the next as they slept.
The other teenagers on the front pages are those trying to reach the UK for a better life. Some are older than they claim to be. So one Tory MP wants them to be X-rayed to see if their teeth are under age or over age. The Home Office says: “We do not use dental x-rays to confirm the ages of those seeking asylum in the UK. The British Dental Association has described them as inaccurate, inappropriate and unethical.”
“We work closely with the French authorities and their partner agencies to ensure all those who come to the UK from the camps in Calais are eligible under the Dublin regulations.
“All individuals are referred to the UK authorities by the France Terre d’Asile [charity] and are then interviewed by French and UK officials. Where credible and clear documentary evidence of age is not available, criteria including physical appearance and demeanour are used as part of the interview process to assess age.”
Mr Davies reasons that refugees keen to reach the UK won’t mind being examined. “Someone who is willing to throw themselves on to an electrified rail line or jump into a moving lorry isn’t going to be terribly worried about having an x-ray,” he reasoned on BBC Radio 4 Today. He stopped short of suggesting electrocution and being run over should be part of the entry process.
“We must not be naive about this. It’s no good Lily Allen turning up with tears in her eyes and all the rest of it. We need to be quite hard-nosed here,” he added. “People are desperate, I understand that, and they will say what they need to say to get in. When I was in the camp in Calais there were caravans with notices on saying, ‘Come here, we will coach you in what to say to get into the UK’.”
Entrepreneurs are everywhere.
He adds: “People in Britain, I think, want to help children but we don’t want to be taken for a free ride either by people who seem to have got to the front of the queue even though they clearly look, in some cases, a lot older than 18.”
Forget dentists. Hire school bus drivers to appraise age. Some of those kids are massive.
The Daily Star leads with news that Ched Evans could take libel action against Gloria Hunniford and ITV after “she expressed doubt over striker’s not guilty rape verdict on Loose Women TV show”. “Ched to sue Loose women,” thunders the front-page headline.
Ched, reduced to one name like all top TV entertainers, is not a rapist. But his case is a talking point on daytime telly. The Mail notes:
The family of cleared footballer Ched Evans are set to engage lawyers to look at libel action against Gloria Hunniford and ITV following comments made on Monday’s Loose Women programme.
Chesterfield and Wales striker Evans, 27, was found not guilty of raping a 19-year-old woman at a hotel near Rhyl in 2011 at a Cardiff Crown Court retrial on Friday.
His age now is used against her age then. He was 22 then. Both were young adults. The Mirror does the same: “The 27-year-old was found not guilty of raping a woman, then 19, in a hotel room in Rhuddlan, North Wales, in May 2011, following a retrial.”
Back to the Mail:
However, 76-year-old Hunniford hit out at the former Manchester City and Sheffield United striker on the popular daytime show on Monday afternoon. Despite the not guilty verdict, Hunniford expressed doubt over the jury’s decision. She later added: ‘I wouldn’t send my grandchildren to him for sex education.’
Well, no. It’s unlikely he’d answer the door to them, let alone get out the whiteboard and ask Gloria’s grandkids to take notes as he pontificated on fidelity, honesty, love, reproduction, and consensual sex. Ched Evans will have to look elsewhere for a celebrity to endorse his sex ed classes.
The Mail adds:
Hunniford may not be alone should lawyers decide to take action, with Evans’s representatives considering launching proceedings against a number of parties including Sheffield United, who released the player when he was originally convicted of the offence in 2012, and Brabners, who represented him at his original trial.
Father-of-one Evans served half of a five-year prison sentence. He had always protested his innocence and a retrial was ordered by the Court of Appeal earlier this year. A spokesman for ITV’s Loose Women said: ‘We’ve received a complaint from the father of Ched Evans’ partner, to which we are responding.’
An online feminist lynch mob – and even Gloria Hunniford on ITV’s Loose Women – have chosen to ignore that decision, with possible libel actions to follow. They seem to think that “not guilty” doesn’t mean that Evans, who served two and a half years in jail, is off the hook, despite what the Court of Appeal says. Right. I mean, what would they know?
How can you tell a migrant’s age? The tabloids lead with faces of child refugees heading to the UK. “THE ‘CHILD REFUGEES’ DEBATE” is the Mail’s lead story. You can tell the paper has suspicions about the age of these children because it uses inverted commas to cast doubt on their status.
Over pages 4 and 5, we see men – only men – “Mature Beyond Their Years”. One child migrant has the “features of a 38 year old”. No, not a 38-year reality TV star – rather one with crows’ feet around his eyes and skin that moves. This 18-year-old from sunny and bucolic Afghanistan “says he has an older brother living in the UK”. So says an unnamed “source”, who claims to have access to such information, although apparently not the authority to check the child’s/man’s claims.
The Mail says two thirds of child migrants “quizzed” about their age were fund to be adults. Yeah, who knew that people desperate enough to look for a new life in the UK could lie about their ages? Shock of shocks, indeed.
As Tim Worstall notes:
Many will read that as two thirds of so called child refugees are not children. No. Two thirds of those that officials suspected were not children, and thus investigated, were found to be adults.
So how do well tell a person’s age?
David Davies, the MP for Monmouth (not to be confused with “Brexit” secretary David Davis, says the Indy) says: “I hope British hospitality is not being abused”. He wants migrants to have their teeth checked to determine their ages. If teeth are covered in a film of Coca Cola, they belong to a child. If shards of butterscotch are stuck to their stumps, they are adults. Simple.
CAUTION: If the kids have black teeth full of holes, they are most likely British children and unless Afghanistan wants them, should be allowed to remain.
As the Sun vies for the woman’s story, the Guardian continues to focus on Ched Evans, a man jailed and vilified for a crime he did not commit. A depraved young man? Yes. A criminal? No. The Guardian’s Opinion column tells readers:
The verdict of a jury last Friday that found Ched Evans not guilty of rape appears to be a devastating setback for justice for rape victims. The footballer admits that he had sex with a woman he barely knew, who was drunk, and to whom he addressed not a word. He was convicted by the first jury to try him in 2011. But at his retrial, the jury decided they could not be certain that the woman had not consented, a verdict they reached after they had heard evidence that she had behaved in a similar manner with two other men at around the same time.
You could stop reading right there. She was not a rape victim. The jury heard the evidence, we did not. But let’s read on. And see if you can spot any prejudice at work.
Everything about this case stinks.
Yes. Everything about this ugly case is desperately awful.
A rich young man who on his own admission behaved in a way that most people would find unacceptable is found not guilty, while his victim, a young woman who was only 19 at the time, has had to move house five times, change her identity twice after Twitter trolls outed her on social media, and now has her alleged sexual history spread over the tabloids.
On small thing: he went to prison for over two years, having been sentenced to five years inside and getting out early for good behaviour.
The Guardian fails to mention that.
Second big thing: she was not his victim. He did not rape her.
As for unacceptable behaviour, this was rape. We can all agree, that rape is a hideous thing to be accused of. He was not charged with unacceptable behaviour. It was rape. Put that against your name and see how it looks on CVs, obituaries and family albums.
As for his wealth, would it have matted less if the women had been rich, or if he’d have been poor? What did cash have to do with it? The Guardian’s round-up smells of prejudice. And wasn’t he young at the time of that awful night, too, “only” 22 years old.
It is true that not all the evidence that Mr Evans’ legal team finally won on was available at the first trial.
In a criminal case evidence matters. And if he only “finally” won when all the evidence was in, wasn’t he unfairly jailed when it wasn’t? Why not mention that?
A subsequent appeal against conviction was dismissed. Only after a new legal team was employed was the original evidence reconsidered and the witnesses re-interviewed. A new defence was presented to the Criminal Cases Review Commission. The court of appeal considered the new evidence and decided that it met the condition of “similar fact”: that meant there could be a retrial, and the new evidence of sexual behaviour could be introduced. Explaining her reasons, Lady Justice Hallett admitted she did so with “a considerable degree of hesitation”.
And there’s another miss in the Guardian’s monocular round-up. His conviction was quashed.
The Daily Mirror’s headline is unequivocal: former Manchester United and Aston Villa striker Dwight Yorke is a victim of racism. The headline states: “YORKE: I’m Being Held Back By Racism.”
To further drum the point home, the Mirror adds: “Wannabe manager Dwight Yorke insists racism is stopping him even getting INTERVIEWS for jobs.”
The story begins:
“You keep hitting a wall, keep constantly not getting anywhere” says ex-Man United star who has the coaching badges but cannot get his foot in the door
That’s a pretty big claim. Football is just about the least racist industry in the UK – a quarter of Premier League playing staff are black. Why should Yorke, discovered by the then Aston Villa manager Graham Taylor on a tour of the West Indies in 1989, think racism is stopping his career?
The Mirror is adamant:
Ex-Manchester United striker Yorke insists racism in football has stopped him and other retired stars breaking into management.
Only racism has prevent Yorke from becoming a manager? No. Reading on we get a qualifier:
He says he has completed his coaching badges but is convinced his colour has played a part in stopping him from building a career in England.
The Mirror did not get the story. It is repackaging Yorke’s words to beIN Sports, in which he said:
“I’m still looking to get in. I’ve done all the coaching badges at St George’s and the one thing I find very difficult, let alone get a job, is to even get an interview. I’m finding it very, very difficult at the moment. Yes, you are doing all your coaching, all your badges, but then when it comes to getting a job, you are not even getting an interview. It’s all about who you know as well, that has to play a role. Despite all my experience of being a player, I’ve never had the experience of being a manager which is a different concept from being a coach.”
So a lack of experience and not knowing the right people are factors in his failure to secure a managerial job.
BeIn Sports not Yorke brought up race. Yorke responded:
When asked whether it was down to his lack of managerial experience or his colour, Yorke replied: “I think there’s a bit of both there. I genuinely think there’s a bit of both. It’s often been discussed, no-one has really taken it up, but I do have a tendency when I speak to everybody, certainly black players who are trying to break into managerial department are coming up against the same concept because of your race.”
There are no black managers in the Premier League. There are, however, many foreign-born managers. Only six of the current crop are British.
“You keep constantly hitting a wall, keep constantly not getting anywhere and even with all the noises that I’ve made, I’ve even tried to get in at Villa at this point. What I’m saying is that it would have been nice to just have your thoughts heard.
“OK, maybe you will never get a chance to be a manager but it would be nice to go in there, present yourself, get to know that person and [have them] say, ‘OK, Dwight, we like your concept, but you’re not experienced enough. Go away and do this or do that.'”
It’s hard to comment on York’s efforts to get a managerial job without knowing to which clubs he’s applied. Were Villa ever likely to take on an ex-player with no managerial track record to be their figurehead?
The Indy twists Yorke’s words a little to deliver the headline:
Dwight Yorke says being black is stopping him becoming a manager after missing out on Aston Villa job
To link Aston Villa with racism is absurd and unfair. And it wasn’t simply missing out on the Villa job that shaped his thoughts.
Ryan Giggs does not have a large managerial history to fall back on though, and the fact that he was installed as the bookmakers’ favourite for the Swansea job when Francesco Guidolin was sacked does support Yorke’s argument, given he has not been able to secure an interview at clubs in the lower tiers of English football.
Again that’s absurd, too. Giggs didn’t get that job. He tried and failed. Swansea appointed a foreigner. The bookies made Giggs the favourite because, well, he’s Welsh. What other reason was there? Swansea is owned by Americans – and they appointed one of their own. Gary Neville scored his first managerial job at Valencia on the strength of coaching a poor England side and being mates with the Spanish club’s owner.
Worse than that is the hype that misrepresents Yorke, who was circumspect and measured in his words. The tabloid twist makes for sensation. Rather than investigating racism in football’s boardrooms, they could look at racism on what passes for Fleet Street. See any top-flight editors, chairmen of the board, managing editors, new editors and so on?
But Yorke’s views do make us wonder why with so many black players there are so few notable black managers?
Former player turned media pundit Jason Roberts said it was due to “unconscious bias” at best or “possibly racism” at worst.
Cyrille Regis opined: “As a player, it’s tangible. You can hear the racist chants, you can see the bananas on the pitch and you can react to it, but when you are going for jobs and interviews and putting your CVs in, you can’t really tell somebody’s heart where they’re coming from, what prejudices they have inside of them.”
The football league is looking to introduce The Rooney Rule:
The ‘Rooney Rule’ was established in 2003 and named after Dan Rooney, the owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the chairman of the NFL’s diversity committee. It requires NFL teams to interview at least one black or ethnic minority candidate for head coaching and senior football operation opportunities that become available, as part of a transparent and open recruitment process
Brian Collins noted in the New York Law Review: “A decision-maker harbouring unconscious bias is forced to confront his own partiality by meeting face-to-face with a candidate he might never have considered.”
Time to help black managers and would-be black managers – and with it encourage more black faces to consider a role in management.
After the televised witch-hunt, Sir Cliff Richard has come out fighting. Angered and upset by the BBC’s antics in filming a raid on his home in August 2014, Cliff is suing Aunty for £1m. You will recall how the BBC saw fit to scramble the newscopter to broadcast live footage of South Yorkshire police raiding the singer’s home in a sex abuse investigation.
The police and BBC have form with this high-profile shaming. In 2013, comic Jim Davidson was arrested at Heathrow airport on the eve of filming Celebrity Big Brother. He was flying into the country not out of it when police pounced. They could have waited and nicked Davidson at his home. But the cameras were there and the police fancied a spot of PR. So Davidson was put in the stocks and paraded for our pleasure and reassurance. Operation Yewtree was here to help.
Hang the fact that allegations against an innocent Davidson had nothing to do with Jimmy Savile and child abuse. The Celebrity Police Force had a new old face. They never even charged him.
So to Sir Cliff. After the raid and 22 months of investigating claims made against the singer, the police dropped it. Again, no arrest made.
You might wonder how the BBC knew Cliff was under investigation and his home was to be raided? How they were there at the exact time the police swooped?
Cast your minds back further and recall how the BBC spiked its story on Sir Jimmy Savile but saw fit to broadcast allegations against former Tory party chairman Lord AcAlpine. The BBC was forced to apologise to the innocent Lord and pay him £185,000 libel damages. Savile went to his grave a hero. It was only later he was dug up and beaten with sticks.
He’s rarely on the telly these day, Although the BBC News at Six saw fit to broadcast footage of the depraved knight of the realm with – yep – Sir Cliff. A report on Dame Janet Smith’s investigation into sex abuse at the corporation featured tape of Savile’s voice saying Cliff Richard’s name.
The BBC and police are damaged.
This is why so many take pleasure in micturating on investigations into historic sex abuse and VIP paedophiles.
A judge will put a number on the damage inflicted on Sir Cliff’s good name.
And Rod Stewart’s is here to help. “Pay attention please, Cliff. You’ve been persecuted, mate, and we all know it,” said Rod at a charity event he and Cliff were performing at. “We are one hundred million per cent behind you. You sue those b******* – I’ll give you half.”
Other Parents spots this story from Florida. When Chelsea Wilson, 24, was arrested in connection with a bank robbery in Fort Lauderdale, she told the teller: “You have exactly one minute to give me all your $50 & $100 bills from both your drawers or I will shoot you! No dye packs, no alarms follow these instructions and no one will get hurt, act normal.”
Saving up for a car
Wilson then walked off with $300 in cash and got into a waiting car -a vehicle registered to Wilson’s father, who was in the driver’s seat.
“I drove her to a job interview and waited for her to return,” said dad. “I thought the cash was advance payment for her job.”
Wilson has admitted to robbing the TD Bank branch and the three other banks, presumably in her role as security assessor.
The latest hunt for Ben Needham has ended. Police have stopped excavating work ends on the Greek island of Kos. Ben vanished on 24 July 1991. He was 21 months old.
British police have sent “items of interest” to forensics in the UK. The Times says there are 60 such items.
Det Insp John Cousins, who is leading the investigation, tells media:
“I’ve got the confidence that we have done exactly what we can, given the plans we had before we came out here so that I can give an answer, whatever that might be, to Ben’s family… It has been a difficult job, the conditions have been extremely hot and very dusty and they are long hours they have been working.”
Ben vanished from a farmhouse, which his grandfather was renovating, in the village of Iraklis.
Officers are working on the theory that Konstantinos Barkas, who died of cancer in 2015, might be responsible for Ben’s death.
The BBC keeps things open. Sky Newshas a more precise guess:
Ben may have died on the day he disappeared, run over by a local digger driver, who was clearing land near the spot where the toddler had been playing.
After the guesswork, the speculation:
If nothing significant has been recovered, it will be a bitter disappointment for the Needham family…
But the prize for reporting goes to the Star:
Ben Needham dig called off as family told missing tot will ‘NEVER be found’
Is that what a cop said?
The Star has read the words of one Greek officer in the Mail:
“The British police will never find anything. We thoroughly investigated all the areas that the British investigators are searching now at the time and nothing was found. We examined all scenarios of the disappearance of the young English boy and a full report of our findings was compiled and sent to police HQ consistent with an allegation of the abduction of a minor. The investigation and the whole saga continues because the British have provided the money. But the whole operation is futile.”
Sat with his fiancée, Natasha Massey, and two dogs, footballer Ched Evans – not a rapist – talks to the Sunday Times about his ordeal.
“This has never been about me as a footballer but [about me] as a person, a human being. A father who wants to take his son to the park knowing that no one can look at me and say, ‘He’s a rapist.’ That’s why I wasn’t going to stop until I was proven innocent. From the first day, I would have agreed never to kick another ball in return for people accepting I was not a rapist.”
But to many it was about his role as footballer. Why else was the news on the front pages? One line stuck. Evans told police: “We could have had any girl we wanted … We’re footballers.”
“I have got mixed emotions really. The fact is I cannot say she has ever accused me of rape. She hasn’t. She went to the police, believing her bag had been stolen. When me and Clayton got arrested [Clayton McDonald] we told the truth straight away and still to this day five years on she has never claimed that she had been raped.
“My belief is that it got put to her that she had been raped by two footballers. But my feelings towards the girl involved is that I can’t actually say I am angry, because – if she genuinely doesn’t remember – it doesn’t mean that we raped her. It doesn’t mean she didn’t consent. It just means that she can’t remember.
“I’d be lying if I said I feel some hatred towards her. I don’t. It would probably be more [correct] to say I feel sorry for her because of what she has been put through.”
‘I have gone in the room and at the time Clay is having sex with the woman. As soon as I walked in, and I will never forget this, the door bangs behind me and they have both looked at me…
“It escalated into sex and as soon as I did that, I started to think, Tash [girlfriend Natasha] was coming up the next day and I’d better get home because I couldn’t have explained why I’d stayed in the hotel. Clay decided to come with me and he stayed at my house.”
“Tasha’s life would have been easier if she just cut all ties with me the moment I told her I cheated on her. She knows me, she knows I wouldn’t commit a crime like that. She didn’t stay with me for money, that’s for sure… My behaviour that night was totally unacceptable but it wasn’t a crime.”
Evans has also been talking to the Mail on Sunday.
Ched the activist?
“I was young at the time and I was stupid and I wasn’t aware of the situations you could potentially find yourself in that would land you in trouble. I have never been taught about anything like that. You get your gambling and drinking training but nothing else on top of that. In this day and age people need educating on alcohol and consent.
“I read somewhere you would have to get signed consent. That wouldn’t be realistic but someone needs to come up with something. The best thing is just to be educated. And when they are drunk to think twice about it. How would it look in a court of law?”
This was big news because footballers are portrayed as scum. When you have one whose depravity is manifest, he gives lie to the top-down use of footballers as “role models”. Evans appears to have fallen into the trap of believing the hype. The Guardian notes: “Footballer acquitted this week of raping waitress says he wants to speak to young players about risks they face.”
No. Young footballers can speak with their mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters. Thanks but no thanks, Ched. Save it for your book.
Ched Evans is not a criminal. That much is fact. Why the police and CPS pursued him and sought his conviction is debatable.
We know there is no anti-semitism in Labour because Jeremy Corbyn commissioned an investigation led by Shami Chakrabarti, and she found only a “minority hateful or ignorant attitudes and behaviours”.
Hatred of Jews was bundled in with all other forms of racism. Chakrabarti has since become a Labour peer and shadow attorney general. As Nick Cohen muses: “Can’t think of anyone who has destroyed her good name as thoroughly as Shami Chakrabati has? Paying for peerage would’ve been less shameful.”
Today a committee of MPs says there is anti-Semitism in Labour. The Home Affairs Select Committee says Corbyn has failed to display “consistent leadership”. Corbyn’s acquiescence to bigots has aided the spread of “vile attitudes” towards Jewish people.
But isn’t Corbyn just the head of a group that do the same, a representative of the liberals who turn a blind eye to anti-Semitism, who consider disliking Jews an acceptable part of normal, polite dinner-party chatter? The enlightened don’t like Jews. So what?
Corbyn’s Labour Party has “consistently and effectively to deal with anti-Semitic incidents in recent years risks lending force to allegations that elements of the Labour movement are institutionally anti-Semitic”, says the MPs’ report.
Are they right? The Anti-Semitism in the UK report says (via the BBC):
Labour MP Luciana Berger received more than 2,500 abusive tweets in three days in 2014
Since walking out of the launch of a report on anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, the Jewish Labour MP Ruth Smeeth has reported more than 25,000 incidents of abuse
Police-recorded anti-Semitic hate crime in England and some parts of Wales increased by 29% between 2010 and 2015, compared with a 9% increase across all hate crime categories
A fifth of British Jewish people responding to an Institute for Jewish Policy Research study had experienced at least one anti-Semitic harassment incident during the last year, with 68% of incidents taking place online
What says Corbyn?
“The report’s political framing and disproportionate emphasis on Labour risks undermining the positive and welcome recommendations made in it.
“Although the committee heard evidence that 75% of anti-Semitic incidents come from far-right sources and the report states there is no reliable evidence to suggest anti-Semitism is greater in Labour than other parties, much of the report focuses on the Labour Party…
“Under my leadership, Labour has taken greater action against anti-Semitism than any other party, and will implement the measures recommended by the Chakrabarti report to ensure Labour is a welcoming environment for members of all our communities.”
“Clearly, the Labour leader is not directly responsible for abuse committed in his name, but we believe that his lack of consistent leadership on this issue, and his reluctance to separate anti-Semitism from other forms of racism, has created what some have referred to as a ‘safe space’ for those with vile attitudes towards Jewish people… The result is that the Labour Party, with its proud history of fighting racism and promoting equal rights, is seen by some as an unwelcoming place for Jewish members and activists.”
The promotion of the human rights activist Shami Chakarbarti to Labour lawmaker shortly after she penned a report clearing Labour of institutional anti-Semitism has “thrown into question her claims (and those of Mr Corbyn) that her inquiry was truly independent,” read the Home Affairs Committee report.
Taking a peerage undermined the integrity of her own inquiry into racism in the Labour Party. She was ennobled after her recommendations absolved Jeremy Corbyn of any responsibility. The report acknowledges Mr Corbyn’s history of campaigning against racism but condemns his inability to recognise the unique nature of post-war anti-Semitism. In recent years, anti-Semitism has operated under the cover of anti-Zionism, to the point that denial of the right of Israel to exist can be a way of articulating hatred for Jewish people. The report concludes that failure to see this and to take action has helped create a “safe space” for anti-Semites in Labour.