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.
ON the Anorak Forums: A MAJOR £4m operation to airlift more than 500 workers from a North Sea flotel accommodation platform attached to an oil rig was wound down yesterday afternoon after a suspected bomb threat turned out to be mistaken.
The incident was sparked after a woman was heard making comments thought to pose a security risk on the Safe Scandinavia.
It was the biggest evacuation attempt in the history of North Sea operations but was quickly stood down and criticised as an “over-reaction” by industry figures after it emerged that the 23-year-old woman,a worker on the rig and now under medical care, did not pose a security risk.
The rescue involved 14 private and military helicopters working flat out far out into the North Sea North East of Aberdeen through the early hours of Sunday morning to airlift 650 personnel to other rigs. I particularly liked this oil industry example of doublespeak when a spokesperson described the frantic heliports activity as “controlled down-manning”.
Well be fair, the uncontrolled evacuations will probably have been unpleasantly obvious as well as odorous. There would have 650 sphincters working overtime on preventing emergency evacuation.
There was massive broadcast news coverage (of the airlifts not the bowel movements).
Two major points HAVE to be answered: Why was a potential security risk such as the gynaecological (sic) balance of a member of personnel not picked up earlier in any training/interview process. This could turn out to be the most expensive result of PMT since Helen of Troy told her first husband to go and play with his army because she had a splitting headache and fancied a robust Paris excursion, and….
How on earth did anyone wake the Scottish freelance broadcast crews after Scotland’s rugby team had been so thoroughly grubbled by the Welsh in Cardiff?
Freelancers are not known to be slow about drowning sorrows excessively deeply.
I’ll get me claymore and tin hat for when Anorak’s female Moderators clock on should I?
The whole incident was later claimed to be the nightmare it actually was:
THE Archbishop of Canterbury Williams has told clergy at the Church of England synod he believed “some of what has been heard is a very long way indeed from what was actually said”.
And: “But I must of course take responsibility for any unclarity in either that text or in the radio interview and for any misleading choice of words that’s helped to cause distress or misunderstanding among the public at large, and especially among my fellow Christians.”
Then: “I believe quite strongly that it is not inappropriate for a pastor of the Church of England to address issues about the perceived concerns of other religious communities, and to try and bring them into better public focus.”
Part of the “burden and the privilege of being the Church” in the UK means the clergy needs “some coherent voice on behalf of all the faith communities living here”.
Adding: “If we can attempt to speak for the liberties and consciences of others in this country – as well as our own – we shall, I believe, be doing something we as a church are called to do in Christ’s name: witnessing to his Lordship, not compromising it.”
To speak on behalf of other religions – you know, those other religions with their own leaders…
ON the Anorak Forums: The great leg end that is Shearer, (who we must remember won nothing and was not even considered good enough for Newcastle in his youth), started his career at Southampton.
Won a Premiership medal at Blackburn and at present is the Premierships’ top all time scorer so this makes him a great Geordie hero then?
Good to see he retired from playing international football to save himself from being sacked cos he was crap – GG
AMY Winehouse – Camden Town is burning down…
“HE inspires me. I can’t even say. … He gives me so much hope,” Malabuyo said. “It makes me feel like something will actually change. So I’m speechless. I love him. I love everything he stands for. I love everything that he can bring to this country. And we just need to get him there.”
Can it be that the listening devices attached to RAF spy-in-the-sky surveillance machines mutate incoming chatter into a flat Birmingham burr?
Does the voiceover artist required to translate goings on in Kabul hail from Washwood Heath? Or is Brummie the spy’s accent of choice, the result of intensive studies proving it the one best suited to international skulduggery, the downward intonation at the end of most sentences acting as a silencer?
“Oy kwoyt loik it steered,” says Birming’am’s James Bond ordering his martini bianco.
It turns out that Brummie is not all and the RAF has picked up the sounds of a Yorkshire accent.
This dialect is, we suggest, best served for more forceful exchanges, when a Taliban is making his point vigorously in the manner of a bearded and less aggressive Harvey Smith.
A source, however, tells the Sun that the Taliban are “reverting to English when they couldn’t remember the Afghan Persian or Pashto”. This, says the RAF’s man in the air, is evidence that the fighters are natives of West Bromwich and Bradford, a sign that British citizens are fighting for the enemy.
That is entirely possible. But no proof is given.
And Anorak wonders if what the RAF is listening to is less a plot than it is evidence of the enemy’s limited broadcast entertainment, chiefly episodes of Crossroads and international showjumping from Hickstead..?
“EVERY FOUR MINUTES A MIGRANT IS ARRESTED IN BRITAIN.”
Then: “Figures show that a foreigner is being arrested every four minutes on the streets of Britain.”
Is Frank Carson working at the Express?
The Express sets them up, you hammer them in…
The Archbishop of Canterbury is talking about religious matters. Tsk! This shock is only overshadowed by the fact that anyone was listening to what he had to say. A selection of views from today’s press:
THE SUN: “74% OF BISHOP’S OWN FLOCK – Do the Lambeth walk, Williams”
A “straw poll” at Canterbury Cathedral reveals that 74 percent of the worshippers (number not given) want Rowan Williams out of Lambeth Palace.
But that’s nothing on Sun readers – 97 per cent of them want Williams to resign. Who they want to replace him is not enlarged upon, but front runners are Amiii, Nikkki and the Bishop of Rochester
DAILY MIRROR: “OUTRAGE AT INBRED MUSLIMS WARNING”
Environment Minister Phil Woolas says: “If you talk to the primary care workers, they will tell you that levels of disability among the Pakistani population are higher than the general population. And everybody knows it’s caused by first cousin marriage”
Everybody. That’s 100 per cent – even better than the Sun
Says the paper: “His comments follow the storm sparked by the Archbishop of Canterbury…who suggested some aspects of Islamic Sharia law should be allowed in Britain”
If Sharia law is included, we will, as Woolas’s line of thinking goes, all be marrying our cousins. Everyone. Peoples of Norfolk and the Forest of Dean get ready…
(The Mail notes that Labour MP Khalid Mahmood married his first cousin, and had a child with her)
“I FEAR SHARIA HERE” – Tony Parsons looks at “media Muslims (nutters) and decent Muslims (not nutters). “There is no place for Sharia law in the United Kingdom. There never will be”
Never? 100 per cent certain!
SAYS Tory blogger Iain Dale: “I don’t want any form of Sharia Law in this country at all. Ever. That is not being Islamaphobic. It’s my opinion and it’s one shared by 99 per cent of the British people, as well as, I suspect, by the majority of British Muslims.”
Is this right? Ninety-nine percent are opposed to any form of Sharia Law? But not British Muslims, who are a statistic apart.
Before the statisitics and the suspicions Dale writes: “Why is it that we cannot talk about issues of religion and race without people immediately jumping on a politically correct bandwagon?”
Not politically correct, then, rather one of the 99 per cent of Britons he says agree with him…
The Ottawa Citizen and Southam News wish to apologize for our apology to Mark Steyn, published Oct. 22. In correcting the incorrect statements about Mr. Steyn published Oct. 15, we incorrectly published the incorrect correction. We accept and regret that our original regrets were unacceptable and we apologize to Mr. Steyn for any distress caused by our previous apology.
AS reported: “On Friday, French far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen was handed a three-month suspended jail sentence on Friday for describing the Nazi occupation of France as ‘not especially inhumane’.”
Well, is wasn’t so bad for all the French. Some revelled in it…
PARIS Hirton is in a film. No, not that one. This one:
THE weekend’s biggest punchline, however, is reserved for Paris Hilton’s The Hottie & the Nottie (Regent Releasing). The final count will show that the critically reviled comedy featuring the seemingly talentless Hilton will sell a meager $25,500 in tickets at 111 locations over the weekend. That’s only $230 per screen for the theatres that were convinced to book this disaster. That means that, based on an $8 average ticket price, 29 paying customers showed up at each location over the 3-day. In a country that seems fascinated with Paris Hilton, only 3,219 unlucky Americans will have been suckered into seeing Hottie by Monday morning.
VLADIMIR Putin is a comedian:
Vladimir Putin has announced that if NATO does not act in a manner more to his likely in future negotiations, he will take action to let them know he is not to be trifled with by unleashing an arms race.
How mnay bombs do you need to win a race, and who decides on the winner?
HOW does Hillary Clinton finance her campaign?
Clinton, unlike rival Barack Obama, has not released her tax returns. But disclosure forms that Clinton filed with the Senate provide some clues to her family finances. They show Bill Clinton has earned tens of millions of dollars in recent years giving speeches at rates of up to $450,000 apiece. During one week in 2006, the former president collected $1.7 million for talks in Europe and South Africa. (He also collected speaking fees from Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, the Mortgage Bankers Association and other big firms.) The documents are more circumspect about other Clinton financial interests, including his annual income as a “partner” in billionaire pal Ron Burkle‘s businesses and from Vinod Gupta‘s InfoUSA. Both payouts are listed as “over $1,000″—a description that is legally adequate but not very enlightening.
Money and politics
WARMISTS? Religionists? Environmentalists? Alarmists: “Hundreds of oil workers are being airlifted from an oil platform in the North Sea following a security alert.
“A total of 539 people are being taken off the Safe Scandinavia accommodation platform in an operation involving 13 helicopters and a fixed wing aircraft.
“It is understood a bomb disposal team has been sent to the platform, although it has not been confirmed that a device has been found.”
Leave the lights on all day? Who says?
The Government previously opposed the idea on the grounds that using lights in the daytime would increase fuel consumption and emissions, but conceded it was unable to oppose European legislation.
Says Jim Fitzpatrick, the road safety minister: “The UK has been successful in arguing against the introduction of mandatory use of dipped headlamps during daylight hours by drivers of existing vehicles.
“However, from early 2011 all new types of passenger cars and light vans will have to be fitted with dedicated daytime running lamps in accordance with the relevant European directive. By summer 2012, all new vehicles will have to be so fitted.”
Leave your lights on in the summer. The endless summer…
SMOKERS for health:
It is well known that smokers tend to subsidize non-smokers because the former pay so much in taxes and die before they can collect their due in social security and Medicare benefits.
THE Advocate magazine talks of the “Homophobosphere” – the gay bashing web. Chris Crocker – the Britney Spears apologist – responds:
IT’S Fair Trade Fortnight:
It doesn’t seem like a year since the last time there was a “Fair Trade Fortnight” but guess what, it is. And with the same regularity we have motion tabled in Parliament praising it which says it “supports fair trade as an established way for developing communities to trade their way out of poverty”. Reality check. Free trade is the only fair trade. So called “Fair Trade” is a big con trick designed to make Islington Yummy Mummies feel like they are helping poor countries whilst the big rich countries maintain aggressive and oppressive tariff regimes on import.
There is nothing fair about “fair trade” because it has been designed to operate in a system of trade that is steeped in protectionism. The EU likes to think it is enlightened and in favour of international development. Gordon Brown claims that he wants to lift people in Africa out of poverty but he does nothing to remove the tariffs. If we really wanted to help developing countries trade their way out of poverty then how about we stop protecting our own industries and let them compete on a level playing field?
Wait! Ignore me, I’m being stupid. That would mean that lots of farmers here would have to diversify and adapt as they would not be able to compete with the prices, and we couldn’t have that now could we! When you see promotion of so-called “Fair Trade” remember this, it exists in order to ensure that these countries can never trade to a point where they can pass us. It’s claim to fairness is a lie.
MUSLIMS keep perspective:
Fifty-nine schoolchildren aged 8 to 18 were blown up by a suicide bomber. Anywhere between 40 and 130 women in the city of Basra were killed by zealots for various “religious” reasons. In the first attack on Benazir Bhutto (the one that killed 150) investigators from Pakistan’s People’s Party — whose rally was bombed — said that the bomb was strapped to a one year old infant. Mauritanian dacoists killed a French family vacationing. There was also reports of suicide bombers using a woman with Down’s Syndrome to carry out an attack, though it may be that the bomb deformed her head.
In the midst of all this, it is nice to see that Muslims are getting worked up over really important things: like the sisters who work in surgery but refuse to wash because they consider it immodest to bare their arms up to their elbows.
Here’s to having perspective.
GLOBAL warming round-up. Al Goreans look away – it’s snow, snow and cold – brrrr – snow:
Tucked away now – because it is so common – the news of the global freeze continues to come in, the latest from Milwaukee in the American mid-west, where residents are rushing to finish digging out from this week’s snowstorm, before the next batch of snow arrives – expected over the weekend.
So far, the major snowstorm has forced hundreds of schools and businesses to close and grounding hundreds of flights as snow piled more than 20 inches deep in some areas. Governor Jim Doyle called a state of emergency late Wednesday, sending National Guard troops to help about 500 vehicles stuck in a traffic jam behind semitrailer trucks blocking Interstate 90 south of Madison.
Meanwhile, without so much as a mention of global warming, the BBC Radio 4 World Tonight programme reported on the growing humanitarian crisis in Tajikstan which is in the grip of its coldest winter for five decades.
The poorest of the former Soviet Republics, this is a country which normally enjoys a mid-latitude continental climate, with hot summers and mild winters. With a population of seven million, the deteriorating food situation is part of the energy crisis which hit this mountainous nation. The cost of food has tripled in recent months, partially because of rising world prices. Some humanitarian agencies claim Central Asia’s poorest nation is heading towards catastrophe.
More details are also coming in of the effects of the prolonged freeze in China, which has killed at least 80 people, destroyed or damaged 800,000 houses and caused economic and agricultural damage valued at 80 billion yuan (about $11 billion)…
Closer to home, Eastern Turkey is also in the grip of freezing weather conditions, which is paralysing life in Eastern Anatolia. A person froze to death in Hizan town of eastern province of Bitlis, flights have been cancelled in Van due to heavy snowfall and, in the provinces of Erzurum and Ardahan, the temperature dropped to -31 degrees Celsius on Thursday night. Roads to 215 villages are still closed to traffic in the region due to heavy snow and blizzards.
Interestingly, in Canada, we are told that, back in 1991 before Al Gore first shouted that the Earth was in the balance, the Danish Meteorological Institute released a study using data that went back centuries that showed that global temperatures closely tracked solar cycles.
But did they win an Oscar?
CAN we now laugh at the War On Terror?
THIS video proves that the surge has failed miserably. The Iraqis are running wild with their scissors and refuse to drink milk and wear seat belt. The pitiful American forces can’t even muster the courage to summon insurgents to a shootout themselves. Instead, they have to order random drivers on the road as “human invitation cards”. This is sickening.
McShane was nicknamed – irony of ironies – “Roy the Rat”. He is in hiding, as the Telegraph reports.
Sinn Féin says Mc McShane can come home whenever he likes. He ahs nothing to fear.
“He is under no threat from republicans. If he wishes to return, it is up to him to make peace with his community and in particular his family,” a Sinn Féin spokesman says.
Forgive and forget. It’s the IRA’s motto…
BRITISH photographer Tim Hetherington wins the the World Press Photo competition.
The image is of U.S. soldier after a fire-fight in Afghanistan…
BEN Rich, deputy editor of the BBC’s Six O’Clock news on the suicide attack in Dimona, Israel:
We have a pretty firm rule about these things, especially at six o’clock in the evening. We do not show someone actually being killed. So we had to decide how much of the incident could be included in the piece.
In the end we used the pictures up to the moment the police officer fired his gun at the bomber lying on the ground, then froze it but carried on the sound of the shots over it. We did not then show the scene after the shooting finished.
Less is more…