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.
What is the point of education? The Telegraph looks at Lisa Duffy’s views on the matter of who decides what children learn at school. Duffy is a councillor in Cambridgeshire. She wants to lead UKIP. She wants a say in what children can be taught at school.
A “total ban” on Muslim state schools has been called for by Lisa Duffy, the Ukip leadership hopeful.
Ms Duffy, who is expected to be announced as once of the candidates in the party’s leadership race at noon today, has called for Islamic faith schools to be shut down in a bid to tackle radicalisation.
Duffy knows best. She wants to ban traditions she considers to be the wrong ones. An attack on freedom of education can be readily linked to an attack on freedom of worship, something any liberal country should hold dear.
Maybe Duffy doesn’t like what she sees as intolerance preached as faith schools. Maybe this is why Duffy wants to ban them, censor views alternative to her own? Duffy is a bansturbator. She tells the Express:
“I will be calling for the Government to close British Islamic faith schools. That doesn’t mean I am picking on British Islam…
Wrong. It does.
“…but if you think about what our security services are looking at 2,000 individuals that have come from those faith schools. When does indoctrination start?”
Dunno, Lisa. Where did you learn your illiberal views?
“I am not far right, I am very much common sense and centre right.”
Lisa affects to know what the country’s values are and then undermines them. Freedom for all is great so long as it is freedom from things Duffy doesn’t much like.
Why should the State know better than parents? Why should education be so politicised? Why should education adhere to a homogenous ‘norm’ proscribed by the elite? Parents must be free to chose the schools that reflect their own prejudices, views and wants.
Why doesn’t the State do something truly radical: ask teachers what they think and let them set the curriculum? (And interfering parents are every bit as dire as the State dictating what is right thinking.)
And if not religious schools, then why non-faith State schools, places where moving targets, new techniques and measures of learning create a system lacking substance – where children are schooled not educated. State schools are often out-performed by their religious-orientated rivals, where knowledge can be tested across ages and critical thinking is encouraged and engaged.
Lisa Duffy should try it.
Alternative energy video of the day is called “Windmill Fire – Live Video Palladam Tamilnadu 2016”. Clean energy – we’re not quite there yet:
Plastic bags. you pays loads money for your shopping then are asked to cough up surcharge to carry the stuff. Tim Newman:
I think the behaviour that governments and the lobbyists want the citizens to adopt is one whereby they turn up to the supermarket with one or more robust, reusable grocery bags but this only really works when the shopping trip is planned. What somebody is supposed to do if they pop into the supermarket to buy more than two items on the way home is anyone’s guess, unless they fancy forking out a fiver for one of those robust, reusable grocery bags. I expect what we’ll find is people taking up the habit of carrying around a small, compact bag in case they need to do some unscheduled grocery shopping at some point in the day. During the good old days of the Soviet Union, the happy citizens would routinely carry around a string bag called an avoska, which roughly translates as “perhaps bag”, on the off-chance they would stumble across a store selling something worth buying and would be able to carry it home (before swapping it with a neighbour or friend in return for something they might actually want).
For some people, particularly middle-class environmentalists, forcing the masses to adopt practices common in the Soviet Union is probably seen as progress.
The plastic bag charge is nuts.
“TIME to bing back the Great British passport,” demands the Sun. It’s front-page news. The paper says the blue passport is a “symbol of the UK regaining sovereignty from the EU”.
We want a pledge from No10 to reintroduce the true blue, ditched in 1988 for an EU-approved burgundy passport.
Tory MP Andrew Rosindell adds: “It’s a matter of identity. Having the pink European passports has been a humiliation.”
It’s burgundy, Andrew. Your old analogue driving licence was pink. Colour matters. Your passport is a fashion choice. Don’t believe us – believe actress Liz Hurley, then, who when not using the Union flag as a merkin, is saying things like:
“I yearn for the days when my (gorgeous navy blue) passport got stamped when I went anywhere in Europe and I loved puzzling over fistfuls of Italian lire, French francs and Deutschmarks. It was glamorous and exciting.”
The Sun shows us John Lennon’s old British passport. It was blue. Did Lennon go for the pink one? No. Granted, he was dead before it was introduced. Yes, he did chose in live in America. But the Sun has made it’s point – the pink one is not what the resting Beatle would have wanted. “Imagine,” says Lennon, “there are no countries… that don’t show due respect to the Great British Blue passport.”
Meanwhile…at the Democrat Party’s convention, a woman stomping on a burning US flag caught fire.
— Natalie DiBlasio (@ndiblasio) July 28, 2016
First the good news: there will be plenty of supplies to eat when the world ends. Now the less good news: only Walmart produce can survive armageddon. We know this because police spotted “a car full of men in body armour holding semi-automatic weapons” at the Richmond Road Walmart in Lexington, Kentucky.
A six-month old baby was also in the car.
The group told Lt Jackie Newman they were preparing for Doomsday and needed supplies.
The men were armed with pistols and semi-automatic rifles. A licence is not required to have semi-automatic weapons in a car – but the marijuana the men had with them is banned. They were given a citation for the weed but were not charged with any other violations.
Isn’t America great.
Hey, Mr Tambourine Man, take your instrument and **** off, or else. That’s the message British police gave a man they arrested after he was seen playing a tambourine to watching crowds on the sandbanks of the River Mersey in Liverpool.
Before his arrest the man wrote “The Matrix has U” in the sand.
Toby Fagan, saw it:
“I was down the Pier Head and I saw all these emergency service vehicles down there. I headed down to see what was going on and the area was starting to be cordoned off. He was walking up and down the banks of the Mersey playing a tambourine. I sort of stayed with him as it happened, he went almost down to the ECHO Arena.
“Then he was detained by the police after being chased across the mudflats. It was quite interesting, not something you see everyday. He wrote ‘The Matrix has U’ and he seemed of the opinion he was doing nothing wrong, he was shouting for the crowd to join him.”
The Pied Piper has many guises. The crowd didn’t move into the trap.
Merseyside Police say the man has been arrested but for what crime they cannot specify. We’d go for attempted kidnap, carrying a tambourine in public whilst not in a 1960s tribute band and graffiti.
Londoners in search of affordable housing can head to Paraguay – just remember to take a huge stash of cocaine in your suitcase on departure. With any luck you too will be housed in one of the country’s well-appointed prison cells.
Until recetly, Brazilian drug lord Jarvis Chimenes Pavao was living in fully furnished three-room cell, boasting a conference room, plasma screen television, library, kitchen, air conditioning and an en-suite bathroom. When ‘out’, Pavao would rent his pad to other inmates.
Pavao was due to complete his sentence for money laundering next year, at the end of which he was likely to face extradition to Brazil. He has now been transferred to a special unit away from his luxury cell in Tacumbu prison, near the capital Asuncion.
It being handier for the airport.
The country is in crisis. The Telegraph reports on a consumer panic:
German discounter Lidl is removing its brand of fruit yoghurts and honey peanuts from the shelves because it fails to tell customers they might contain milk and peanuts.
Only ‘might’? Not ‘do’. Supermarkets are hedging their bets.
What else might a pot of yoghurt or packet of nuts contain? Pretty much anything, right?
You will recall that Harambe was shot dead at Cincinnati Zoo after he began dragging a four-year-old human child around his enclosure.
Also, 18 percent of voters think Hillary Clinton has ties to Lucifer.
To Escondido, California, where Adam Cripe is displeased with the $18 hairstyle he got at En Salon. “It was so terrible, I went home and I shaved my head,” says Cripe. At the salon, he met another customer:
“The lady who was getting her hair cut comes around the corner screaming at me. She gets up in my face and says you’re uneducated, you’re a tattooed piece of shit… And ‘her husband] says, ‘quit being a sissy, it’ll grow back.’”
Cripe alleges salon employees did not intervene.
It gets messier.
“She starts coming at me accusing me of assaulting her, which you can see on the video,” he adds. “I never even touched her, I was holding my phone up, hands in the air…. Pushing me, pushing me. You know a little bigger lady, bump me with her chest, she chest bumped me…
“Then at one point she grabbed my little love handle right here and squeezed it really hard and tried to push me back with that.”
Outside, he says the lady told him in words that suggest English is not her first language: “Get out here and pound it down.”
Adam Cripe then takes to his Facebook page. Having avoided swearing on the TV news, Cripe is happy to utter lots of swears in this video:
Is this an example pub public shaming? We don’t know the woman. It’s a small spat in a small shop that has escalated, fanned by the media. Is it fair that the woman is filmed, humiliated and called names on the giant echo chamber that is social media? Had the police been called, then, sure, the video, such as it is, might well have been useful. But this doesn’t look like justice. It looks more like revenge.
When a man armed with a bomb blew himself up outside a music festival in Germany, the media went into action. Why had he done it?
Reuters went into action: “Syrian man denied asylum killed in German blast.”
The poor man. He was killed in a country that denied him asylum. This man suffered terribly at our hands. Reuters continues:
A 27-year-old Syrian man who had been denied asylum in Germany a year ago died on Sunday when a bomb he was carrying exploded outside a music festival in Ansbach, Germany…
A bomb he was carrying exploded? Was he taking it a museum, having found it?
Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said the man had tried to commit suicide twice before.
And he failed a third time. The “bomb exploded”. He was “killed”. He is the victim.
The Guardian leads with: “A 27-year-old man who had been denied asylum dies after explosion in southern German town”
The BBC: “Ansbach explosion: Syrian asylum seeker blows himself up in Germany.”
A failed Syrian asylum seeker has blown himself up and injured 15 other people with a backpack bomb near a festival in the south German town of Ansbach. The 27-year-old man, who faced deportation to Bulgaria, detonated the device after being refused entry to the music festival.
He was clearly an avid music fan. Denied entry he had nothing else to live for – well, aside from a new life in Bulgaria.
CNBC: “Bomb-carrying Syrian dies outside German music festival; 12 wounded.”
Al Jazeera: “A 27-year-old Syrian man died when a bomb he was carrying in a rucksack went off outside a music festival in Germany and wounded 12 people, an official said. A spokesman for the prosecutor’s office in Ansbach said the attacker’s motive wasn’t clear.”
The bomb went off. He did not detonate the bomb. It just went off. Why he died remains a mystery.
The Mail: “Syrian suicide bomber – nicknamed ‘Rambo’ – who blew himself up outside German music festival had pledged allegiance to ISIS, had Islamist videos at his home and had enough chemicals to make ANOTHER bomb.”
Ah. That’s why the asylum seeker was killed when the bomb he was carrying went off. He was an Islamist trying to murder people. Thanks to the Mail, the mystery has been cleared up.
The Guardian creates the world-class clickbait headline: “Jeremy Corbyn: Labour could win snap general election.”
But wait a moment. Did Corbyn actually says it? Does he think Labour can win the General Election?
The Conservative government has had “a field day” amid Labour divisions, Jeremy Corbyn has said in a Guardian interview, while insisting he believes the party could win a snap general election…
…when asked whether Labour could win a potential snap election this autumn or next spring, Corbyn seemed confident. “We’re going to go for it and win it,” he said.
‘Seemed confident’. He seems delusional.
The Indy has news that Britain is in the grip of an explosion of post-Brexit race crimes.
The website “reveals: the “shocking scale of racist hate since the Brexit vote”. After “painstaking” research, the Indy found 500 incidents in the past “weeks”.
We soon discover that the painstaking research was not carried out by the Indy, It was merely granted “access to a database”
All verified racist incidents, then, right? You can post an incident anonymously on the site Worrying Signs. The Moderators will then moderate it. How can they check if it happened or not without a witness and evidence?
These are some incidents on the Worrying Signs blog:
London – 22 July
I was on the platform of the central line in Tottenham Court Road tube station, and I saw a woman wearing a veil in front of me looking at her shoulder. I noticed it was wet. I asked her was she ok, she said someone spilt alcohol on her. I asked if she thought it might be an accident, she didn’t think so. I didn’t see the incident but I believe her. I said I was really sorry that happened to her. I wish I had asked her if she wanted to report it. But I was too shocked. I left the station and then returned to report it to staff,
Did anyone speak up or offer support?
I asked her if she was ok, and we had a brief chat. I also reported it to staff.
Bridlington – 13 July
Called a Pole
Did anyone speak up or offer support?
Racism is hateful. One offence is revolting. But is the Indy cranking up isolated incidents and linking it to Brexit to fit an agenda that holds Leave voters as bigots? A post-Brexit ComRes poll found that only 34 per cent said immigration was their main concern.
Racism is manifest in many ways. We’ve argued that favouring Europeans within the EU over Africans is a form of racism. Making Bulgarians and Romanians wait seven years to join the EU was bigotry in action.
It is not hard to think that Brexit has given a few numbskulls the confidence to says nasty things to people. But there is a whiff of another kind of prejudice at play in the Indy’s story and the aforesaid campaign groups’ activism, one that says people who voted out – a large majority of the white working class did – are driven by racism.
That’s an abhorrent view.
Trawl for examples of racism and use the stats to prove you’re right. Pre-judge an incident and chalk it down one as driven by racism. Is it really like the 1970s and 1980s, when the police and the state sanctioned racism? Is the Indy right to speak of “Comparisons with 1930s Nazi Germany” and not at all hyperbolic in doing so?
Rather than speaking up and taking a stand against racism, the Indy is undermining the ugliness of racism, making light of past horrors and demeaning victims.
Britain is not a country infected by a race hate epidemic. But seeking ways to define 17.4 million people who voted for Brexit as racist is prejudiced.
The Daily Express is no fan of the European Union. Fair enough. Most of us aren’t. But the Express made a few reporting errors it now regrets. On 20 May 2016 the paper published “Amazing things we get back if we leave EU”.
Amazing. And wrong. The paper of record now says sorry.
The gallery was formed of 11 images. Each image carried a caption. The captions for images 3 (eggs), 5 (jam), 6 (water) & 9 (swedes) were inaccurate. In the case of caption 3 (eggs), the caption claimed that “A dozen eggs: In 2010 the EU said that food could not be sold by number but by weight”. In 2010 the European Union was considering legislation governing food labelling. In June 2010 Renata Sommer the MEP responsible for steering the legislation confirmed ‘There will be no changes to selling food by numbers”. In fact a consumer who purchased eggs in the UK would be able to do so by number. Caption 3 (eggs) was therefore incorrect. Given that 4 of the 11 captions were incorrect this gallery has been deleted.
Sure as eggs is eggs…
Is the Guardian beyond parody? In “The highway to summer hell leads straight through the Hamptons” Emma Brockes moans about holidaying in the exclusive enclave. Damned is she forced to holiday at one of the resort towns on the Long Island coast, where the average property goes for over $1m.
The American summer tradition of clearing out of cities for the beach every weekend is at odds with an equally strong tradition of avoiding inconvenience. But for some reason the beach always wins.
Six hours on the road with small children in the back? No problem. A two-hour tailback? Just part of the package. A three-hour journey out of Penn Station to East Hampton, on a train so crowded you have to stand the whole way? Deal with it.
She then knocks the UK:
Granted, unlike in Britain, where you can stand up for hours on a train to get to a beach that looks like a large mudflat, at least the sand on Long Island is pretty. The dunes are pristine, the weather is hot and, if you trudge far enough from the path, you don’t have to see another human for hours.
Hell is other people with loads of money.
And Emma is earning out of her hols to the Hamptons, having on June 30 this year written more about her jolly hols:
The apartment complex was on a stretch of idyllic, empty beach and a five-minute drive from a town where a litre of coffee, a bag of pistachios and a small strawberry ice cream cost a fortune…
Pass the bucket. No, not to be sick in it. If you and the other 1 per cent can chuck a few coins in the thing, we and The Guardian (£173 pre-tax loss!) would be ever so grateful…
Joshua Hare, 24, was by the Homebase DIY megastore in Salisbury, Wiltshire, when he was arrested.
At Swindon Magistrates Court, Hare admitted possession of 7.2 grams of cocaine. He was jailed for 12 weeks.
Oi, fatso! David Aaronovitch has a plan to win the “obesity war”. He writes in the Times:
It’s not enough to fiddle about with food labelling and a distant sugar tax. Bans may be draconian, but they’re essential
Bans are for censors. No ‘may’ about it. They are draconian. They are not essential.
Of course, we could try to attach the same opprobrium to being fat as to being a smoker.
Second-hand fat? We are getting fatter, yes. We are getting fatter because we do less. We have more down time. More of us live in small flats – stairs burn calories (just ask the aged who downsize). We have central heating. We have telly. Is there shame in being a smoker? No. although people who light up electronic cigarettes, especially the ones with the glowing end, do look like twats.
And what of the facts? Chris Snowdon notes:
All the evidence indicates that per capita consumption of sugar, salt, fat and calories has been falling in Britain for decades. Per capita sugar consumption has fallen by 16 per cent since 1992 and per capita calorie consumption has fallen by 21 per cent since 1974.
And Tim Worstall has an interesting aside:
One more little factoid on this: the current average UK diet has fewer calories than the minimum acceptable diet under WWII rationing. Quite seriously: we are gaining weight on fewer calories than our grandparents lost weight on.
Back then you could be fat and jolly. Now you must be fat and unhappy. The bitter and thin want revenge.
Ban fast-food outlets from stations and airports. Ban the sale of confectionery and sugary drinks to the under-16s. Ban the sale of over-sugared products in supermarkets (as measured by a ratio of sugar to other nutrients). Ban the bringing into schools of unhealthy foods. Ban the presence in offices (like our own here at The Times) of vending machines that seem to sell mainly crisps and chocolate. Specify a weight-to-height ratio limit on air passengers wishing to avoid a surcharge.
In short: bash the poor.
To Scotland, where the council of Europe has outlawed a local fascist plot. The Scottish Government wanted teachers, State-approved workers, doctors – whoever – to treat all other parents and guardians as suspects.
Since 2014, the Scottish government passed a law that “every child in Scotland should have a named person – such as a teacher, social worker or health visitor – to look after their welfare up to the age of 18.”
No need for parents. The State is in total control. It has the final say.
A flagship government plan to assign a state-appointed figure to oversee the welfare of every child in Scotland has been blocked after the Supreme Court ruled that the controversial named person’s scheme was unlawful.
Judges said the proposals breach rights to privacy and a family life under the European Convention on Human Rights.
Simon Calvert, spokesman for the No to Named Persons (NO2NP) campaign, adds:
“It’s wonderful news for mums, dads and children all across Scotland who no longer have to worry about this unjustified invasion of their private lives.
“To many of them the named person scheme felt like a legal battering ram to gain access to their homes. The court has taken sides with ordinary families and put the Scottish Government back in its place.”
Sense prevails. The Scottish State recoils.
Scottish Deputy First Minister John Swinney insists the campaigners’ bid to scrap the named person scheme has “failed” as amending the wording of the law could still allow it to go through.
He said it would still be “implemented nationally at the earliest possible date” once changes have been made.
“Ministers remain absolutely committed to the named person policy, developed over several years in consultation with a wide range of individuals and organisations working across Scotland, to support children and families.”
The good old SNP, eh.
Spotter: Evening Times
If there is one thing a cop should know it is
Driving Whilst Black is a crime what is and what is not doughnut material. But in Orlando Florida the police are confused:
A Florida man was arrested after police mistook icing from a Krispy Kreme doughnut with methamphetamine, WFTV reports.
Unless, cops eat doughnuts for their narcotic properties?
Unless cops are just thinking up ways to seize doughnuts from perps, thus keeping more for themselves?
The National Assembly for Wales has a few words on the VIP paedophiles.
You will recall, no doubt, how the story of a ‘ring’ of murderous Westminster paedophiles had abused children for decades. The Met Police created Operation Midland to gather evidence and bring these high-ranking paedos to trial. After 16 months of frenzied looking, hyperbole – Labour MP called the dead Sir Leon Brittan “close to evil” (he later apologised – whoops!) – and voracious reporting, often around Nick, the assumed name of a man who claimed to have been raped and witnessed child murder at Dolphin Square, a block of flats close to Westminster – DS Kenny McDonald, told journalists “I believe what Nick is saying is credible and true” – Operation Midland failed to find a murder victim, evidence of criminality and bring any charges against a co-called VIPs.
And to the website of the National Assembly for Wales. Surely it will stick to facts.
EXHIBITION: Wall of Silence
Date: Monday 27 June 2016 to Sunday 3 July 2016
Location: Pierhead Main Hall
Description: The Wall of Silence is the inspiration of Carl. Carl grew up in Powys and is in recovery from child sexual abuse. He was abused by some powerful people and is now decades on seeking justice…
Bit vague, no? For this to appear on an official government website is peculiar. Why mention ‘Powerful people’. Surely anyone can be a child abuser. We know that. It smacks of sensationalism and in light of the Operation Midland debacle undermines the issue.
How do you report the murder of Father Jacques Hamel in a Normandy church?
The International Catholic News Weekly reports: “The nun – who did not want to be named – told Le Figaro newspaper: ‘They entered brusquely and took over. They spoke in Arabic.'”
Any ideas what the men wanted?
The Telegraph is clueless: “The men shouted ‘Daesh’ and cut the priest’s throat before being ‘neutralised,’ police said. Le Figaro newspaper reported that the priest died after his throat was cut. The men’s motives are still unknown.”
What did they want? Any clues?
As the Press muse on what two self-declared Islamists murdering a priest in France could possibly mean, let’s look at the front pages?
The Metro nails it.
The Star is also good. “Scum” is the language we can all understand.
The Express is conniving. The murder of an elderly unarmed man in a church is juxtaposed alongside a story of migrants.
The i relays the words of the French President. Daesh has declared war on France.
As the tabloids get it, the broadsheets miss. The Guardian’s story is poor. It talks of the “killing” of Father Jacques Hamel. No, he was murdered. This killing “shocks France”. It appalls every sane one of us. It shocks the West. But Christians under persecution in places like Egypt, Iraq, Yemen and Pakistan will be less shocked.
Coptic Priest Father Rafael Moussa was killed instantly when a man shot him in the head in North Sinai capital El-Arish in June. This month, Coptic pharmacist Maged Attia was stabbed and beheaded in Tanta. Five Coptic Christian homes have been torched in Abu Yacoub, Minya, after rumours spread that a church was being constructed in the area. The Archangel Mikhail Coptic Church was burned to the ground in village of Naj al-Nassara in Madamoud. And a 27-year-old Coptic Christian man stabbed to death in the village of Tahna al-Gabal, Minya, where the local priest’s family was also attacked…
His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, has issued the following statement:
What must be considered very clearly and with great concern however is that an attack on any individual member of a society is an attack on that same society and what it stands for, so our prayers are not only with those who have suffered these unspeakable and horrid violations, but for the society that is undermined and made more vulnerable with each and every one of these incidents. The system of law and order in Egypt is not one for Christians, Muslims or any other individual group of people, but it is for all Egyptians, and so when violated this violation is against all.
The Times leads with news of a “religious war” and “fears” over one. France is not at war with Islam. the President did not say that. France is at war with Islamic State and the nihilists who adhere to it doctrines.
The Daily Express brings news of a new poll: “98 per cent say NO to EU deal.”
98% of whom?
A NEW Daily Express online poll has revealed that 98 per cent of respondents…
So 98% of people who read the Brexit-supporting Daily Express want out now. Were the other 2% Daily Mirror readers looking to corrupt the perfect score?
3,548 people – want the historic Brexit vote to be enacted now instead of Britain being embroiled in months or years of talks with Brussels bureaucrats.
As it happens, Anorak agrees. We want Article 50 triggered now. The waiting smalls funny. So. Read all about it: 100% of Anorak readers want Brexit. No need to vote. You already did.
The Daily Mail has a new cancer scare story. The headline suggests that dads give their children cancer. No, not through their genes, rather through their guts:
Junk food-loving fathers raise their future daughters’ risk of breast cancer
The picture the Mail uses is not of junk food.
Former BBC staffer Paul Mason is making some sort of point about Sports Direct and Newcastle United FC tycoon Mike Ashley and his underlings:
What is striking, when you consider the modern reality of precarious work and coercive management, is how the concept of human rights stops at the factory gate.
The workers of Georgian England had no democratic rights or access to law. But the 21st century is supposed to be an age of universal rights. Every one of the practices described at Sports Direct appears to not just have broken employment law, but also violated the human right of the citizen not to be bullied, shamed, endangered or sexually harassed.
So things are better now because there are laws and human rights. Sports Direct’s working practises can be tested in a court of law. The workers have redress. Things are much improved. So what exactly is Mason’s point?