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.
Londoners forced to subsist on skinny coffees and lo-cal yoghurt can look on with unbridled envy.
But news is that the Pompey Pokers are not overweight enough.
Should they require an operation to stop them from eating too much – thus sparing some food for the town’s other three-quarters who want to bulk up – the Pompey Pokers need to boast a body mass index of 60.
Government guidelines are to operate when the porker achieves a BMI of 40, but so fat are they in Pompey that 60 is the new 40.
Says Dr Sally Nelson, medical advisor for NHS South Central: “We are seeing a level of demand beyond what we estimated. Our surgeons simply do not have the capacity to operate on every morbidly obsese person.”
Anorak readers may know him as Abu Izzadeen. With hook-handed Abu Hamza in jail and “mad mullah” Omar Bakri in Lebanon, Izzadeen made his play to be the country’s recognisable face of Muslim extremism.
Brooks showed some promise when he heckled a speech given by then Home Secretary John Reid, criticising the politico for entering an “Islamic” area of London.
Blessed with equal parts lunacy – he called the 7/7 bomber “completely praiseworthy” – and bloodlust – “He who joins the British Army… he is a mortal Kaffir. His only hokum is for his head to be removed” – Izzadeen’s career as Nutter Number One was shaping up well.
And who lives there? Why, none other than Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, husband to Princess Anne, son-in-law to Her Majesty the Queen and chief executive of Defence Estates.
The point seems to be that while “Our Boys” live in rat-infested slums, the boss resides in splendour.
It is a point well made. But who is to say that Laurence does not earn his money and deserve his ermine toilet paper and luxurious Matey bubble baths?
THE SUN: “Cops quiz Shannon suspects for 7 hours”
Mike Donovan, the man accused of abducting and imprisoning Shannon Matthews was questioned by police for seven hours.
Any other facts?
Donovan, Meehan’s uncle, was taken to Huddersfield police station, West Yorks, from Doncaster jail. He was smuggled in and out under a blue coat, but could be seen wearing purple tracksuit bottoms and blue and white trainers.
What of Karen Matthews? Any more facts?
Matthews — a mother of seven by five fathers — is charged with perverting justice by concealing her whereabouts, and child neglect.
JON GAUNT: “KAREN’S IN A CLASS OF HER OWN”
“Karen Matthews isn’t and doesn’t represent the white working class.”
Phew! She’s no Lily Allen.
“The clue is the title ‘working’ she and her ilk have no intention of ever working – they just want to leech off the sweat of the rest of us.”
Undaunted by fact, Gaunt goes on:
“She may be shameless but the rest of us aren’t blameless, as we have allowed the Guardianistas to create new Britain where we are no longer allowed to be judgemental.”
But Gaunt is all about being judgmental. He is allowed to be judgemental, and in the national press of all places. But undaunted by contradicting himself, Gaunt goes on:
WRITES Lawrence Solomon: “As I’m writing this column for the Financial Post, I am simultaneously editing a page on Wikipedia. I am confident that just about everything I write for my column will be available for you to read. I am equally confident that you will be able to read just about nothing that I write for the page on Wikipedia.”
The Guardian’s Rachel Cooke meets Robert Fisk:
We are talking – or, rather, he is talking. Luckily he has a loud, uncompromising kind of a voice and the balcony is tiny, so he is close to me, both of which ensure that I can hear him above the roar of cruising Mercedes below. It is the end of a long day – he picked me up at nine this morning for a drive south to the border with Israel, and I’ve been with him every minute since – but, if anything, Fisk’s energy, unlike my own, increases with every word he utters. On he goes: unrelenting, furious, pernickety and labyrinthine in argument. Every anecdote involves three dusty side alleys, every explanation three historical examples.
ON May 10: World Population Hits 6,666,666,666…
A LOOK at sexist comments made against Hillary Clinton…
A CLOCKWORK Orange: “In Ukraine, three young men who went on a month-long killing spree have been charged with murdering 21 people. The violent attacks plunged the eastern city of Dnepropetrovsk into a vortex of fear in the summer of 2007. The three, who are now 20 years old, were teenagers at the time they allegedly battered their victims with hammers and pipes.”
The filmed the attacks on their mobile phones…
SAYS Wife In The North:
Writing a book is all sorts of things – amazing, bloody hard work and frightening for instance. One thing it isn’t, surprisingly enough, is an ego trip. Yesterday a friend took some photographs because my American publisher wants one. I suspect they think I am hiding a congenital deformity because they keep telling me to send a snap and they do not seem to believe I do not have any. Once you are a mother, your husband loses all interest in taking photographs of you and just photographs the children while mumbling “He really does look like me doesn’t he?”
JEFF Koons And the End of Western Civilization, says Marty Peretz:
Western civilization may still have a lot of ruin left in it. But the tocsin rang twice for me in the last weeks, and it told me that we are much closer than I had thought. Of course, the Metropolitan Museum of Art did not mean to alarm me. But it surely did.
And not only more crime, but a “huge surge” in crime. Hard, indeed, not to feel sorry for those East Europeans who arrive on horseback and li-lo only to have their horses, blankets and air pumps stolen on arrival.
And the crime is not random.
As the Express says: “‘Migration from EU has brought a huge surge in organised crime.” Words taken from a report by the Society of Chief Police Officers.
Says Leo McKinstry: “It’s ludicrous to deny that there is link between crime and immigration.”
POLAR Bear Watch: Anorak’s look at polar bears in the news
Another day and with it another German bear. Today the Mirror focuses on Wilbear, a four-month old polar bear club wowing the crowds at Stuttgart.
Knut Flocke and Wilbaer are all part of Germany’s reaction to global warming. In 2018, Germany will be as cold as the North Pole, and in readiness the country is already stocking up on polar bears.
That’s the Star’s front-page shocker as readers take in Fourth Division Wag Nicola McLean.
Nicola looks big enough already. Indeed, with her image posted on one side of the Anorak Towers’ indoor rifle range Nicola’s Jordans prove impossible target to miss.
But Nicola is ambitious to want more. Says she: “I want to go to Vegas and do topless shots on a roulette table. I’m really excited about it and hope everyone else is too.”
DAILY MIRROR (front page): “SHANNON’S HIDEAWAY”
A look at the room at Michael Donovan’s flat where Shannon Matthews lived in secret for 24 days.
Pages 4 and 5: “The dirty flat that was Shannon’s home for 24 days”
Look at the “THREADBARE CARPETS, DIRTY WALLS, TARRY FURNITURE…” It’s a “scruffy bedroom containing cheap wooden furniture.”
Amazing! This must the be the only flat not to boast a feature wall and a wet room.
An electronic keyboard and, bizarrely, a glue gun lie on top of a metal framed double bunk. Underneath there is a CD by Busted, one of Shannon’s favourite bands, and a leaflet giving details of a range of Sold Out action PC games.
Near a smoke alarm case there is a copy of Arrive Alive, a colourful highway code book for youngsters. The booklet gives children tips about planning their journeys. Ironically, it also tells how to make sure they know where they are going and recommends that they always choose the safest route.
“’LIES’ MUM IN COURT” – “Judge Peter Collier told her she will stand trial on November 11 alongside Michael Donovan, 39, who is charged with kidnapping and false imprisonment.”
DAILY STAR (front page): “SHANNON SECRET KIDNAP CELLS REVEALED”
Pages 4 and 5: “SHANNON’S SECRET LAIR”. It’s an “EXCLUSIVE” (see Mirror).
SAYS ALEX Singleton:
It is not the level of wealth that makes us happy. Instead, it is the process of betterment – the pursuit of it – that makes us happy. Whether we are twice as rich today as in 1971 has little bearing on our happiness, because it is in the past. Whether people can see their lives improving in the future is what counts. That is why economic growth remains a key component in happiness, despite what the happiness researchers might tell us.
AFTER the best film ever, Anorak in New York brings you the world’s best book – ever!
Bringing Home The Birkin is a spoof, that much is certain, and were we not to know better we’d be certain it was taken from the manuscript of our own Ed Barrett.
His work still awaits publicatisn on accont of it being not half as funny as this obvious-yet-subtle parody:
Pitched as, “An insider’s hilarious, whirlwind account of his years spent globe-trotting in search of the holy grail of handbags: the Birkin….. Flirting with danger, Michael recounts the heady rush of hand delivering his first big score to famed songwriter Carole Bayer Sager in Paris….
AN American Airlines masterclass in how not to run a corporate blog…
BARACK Obama says:
“You got into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
For Clinton, the odds are the incident is too late to save her candidacy. But more Bittergates would increase her chances…
Will the Democrats nominate yet another out-of-touch elitist?
The Democrats are doing a fine job of helping McCain get to the White House.
It was said behind closed doors to the chablis-and-brie set of San Francisco, in response to a question as to why he was not doing better in that benighted and barbarous land they call Pennsylvania.
Barack Obama’s going to be the bitter one at the end of this.
By calling small-town Americans “bitter,” Obama has deepened a long-standing rift in the Democratic base. The party’s success in November depends on healing it.
Is Barack Obama’s small-town America really a land of bitter gun-toting, Bible-thumping racists? Or are they just God-fearing American patriots? Maybe we should ask his “typical white” grandmother.
Democrats—all but committed to this fresh, charismatic figure—are forced to deny or downplay the almost daily revelations about Obama that would have derailed less promising candidates already.
What’s a lot more interesting is the question of how Obama’s “bitter” comments made it into the public domain in the first place. As you may know, the Huffington Post blogger who broke the story was a paying guest at the $1,000-a-head fundraiser. Most conventional journalists would have treated the remarks as off-the-record and thus off-limitsBig Snob or Little Snob?
There are so many problems with Barack Obama’s comments about small-town America, it’s hard to know where to begin.
Barack Obama should be advised to meet as often as possible with skeptical, and even hostile, working people in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
The secret story of how Obama’s gaffe made its way to the Huffington Post, of all places, and how it might affect campaign coverage from now on.
I STARTED Anorak beause I was bored of the press and of reading the same stuff by the same type of braying people. Writes Peter Wilby’s:
“Walk through our corridors,” a lecturer at one university journalism school told me, “and you will hear that homogeneous public school accent.” …In effect, the costs of training, once borne by employers, have been transferred to the prospective journalists…Before they can dream of a salary, many will do several months of “work experience”, possibly for a succession of employers. Some of them will make the tea, as wannabes did half-a-century ago, with the difference that they won’t get paid for it.
For entry to national newspapers and the main broadcasting and magazine companies, the result is geographical as well as social and ethnic bias… With most jobs unadvertised, families living in the right neighbourhoods, socialising in the right circles and working in the right jobs may provide introductions to those “pals at court” that [Nicholas] Tomalin thought so important.
You work for free and the paid job goes to a writer’s friend. More here.
After reading the piece we conclude: “Do they?”
But the final works must be with the Mail, which brings readers this scoop: “Could vitamin pills shorten your life?”
NICK Clegg was a Tory?
And it that was not enough to turn you on to the wonders of Romany living, then there is the accompanying front-page headline: “MENACE OF NEW SPEED CAMERAS.”
There is “Now no escape for drivers all across Britain.”
Right now a speed camera is being installed in YOUR driveway. Accelerate too fast and Whammo! a fixed penalty notice is on its way to you. In time all cars will come with a handy ticket printer, but let us not run before we can crawl.
AntiCitzenOne comments on David Thompson’s blog:
I think we should give Muslim men with self control problems horse-blinkers, rather than cover women from head to toe.
THOSE Mohammed cartoons in Denmark – publish and be damned:
The central issue of the “cartoon jihad”—the Muslim riots and death threats against a Danish newspaper that printed 12 cartoons depicting Mohammed—is obvious. The issue is freedom of speech: whether our freedom to think, write, and draw is to be subjugated to the “religious sensitivities” of anyone who threatens us with force.
That is why it is necessary for every newspaper and magazine to re-publish those cartoons…
Wanna see them?