News | Anorak - Part 5

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We don’t just report off-beat news, breaking news and digest the best and worst of the news media analysis and commentary. We give an original take on what happened and why. We add lols, satire, news photos and original content.

Phuc Off: Zuckerberg and Facebook’s thought police erase Napalm Girl and you’re next

Facebook napalmFacebook has a tricky relationship with censoring images. It recently censored a drawing of a human hand and banned Stephen Ellcock, who’d posted the image. But how do we stand of pictures of naked children?

Facebook’s boss Mark Zuckerberg has been accused of “abusing power” after Facebook deleted pictures of 9-year-old Kim Phúc, aka ‘Napalm Girl’, one subject in Terror of War, a Pulitzer prize-winning photograph by Nick Ut that showed children fleeing a napalm attack during the Vietnam war.

Norwegian Tom Egeland had posted the picture on Facebook as part of a wider debate on “seven photographs that changed the history of warfare”.

Espen Egil Hansen, the editor-in-chief and CEO of Norway’s Aftenposten, newspaper has used his organ’s front page to accuse Zuckerberg of “abusing your power”, adding:

“I am worried that the world’s most important medium is limiting freedom instead of trying to extend it, and that this occasionally happens in an authoritarian way.”

Egeland’s post earned him a one-month suspension from Facebook. Aftenposten posted the news on its Facebook page, including the offending photo. It received the warning:

“Any photographs of people displaying fully nude genitalia or buttocks, or fully nude female breast, will be removed.”

So what?

Facebook is a website – a very large one, but, nonetheless a website. You can post the picture on your own website if you like.

What Facebook should mind is that it’s dull. It thinks a startling picture of the pain and horror of war is too strong for its delicate readers. It thinks you might get sexually aroused by the image. Facebook has a pretty low view of its customers.

And what goes for pictures goes for words, too. At a 2016 event in Berlin, Zuckenberg vowed to work closer with the German police and look out for victims. “Hate speech has no place on Facebook or in our community,” he said, declining to explain what hate speech is and who gets to decide what is and what is not offensive. He expanded on his view of “protected groups”, saying that Facebook will “now include hate speech against migrants as an important part of what we just now have no tolerance for… Until recently in Germany I don’t think we were doing a good enough job, and I think we will continue needing to do a better and better job.”

Protect migrants seeking better lives in countries where they can think and speak freely by censoring people in those countries from doing just that, banning the natives from doing the very things that make those places desirable to the oppressed. Got it?

That’s the viewpoint from the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company like Facebook.

If you can be banned from Facebook for publishing a picture of a hand or a crying child, can you be banned for calling for a wall to be built between the USA and Mexico, saying ‘White Men Can’t Jump’, or stating that Nickelback fans are deluded?

Facebook is founded on human-to-human communication.

If you stymie that, the site loses its way. It becomes a safe space where only big corporations that play ball (and pay Facebook’s exorbitant fees to reach all of their own readers who ‘like’ their pages) show up on timelines. Then people will go elsewhere to talk freely and air an opinion.

Given the amount of time and effort we and many others have spent cultivating readers on Facebook – my own Flashbak page is soaring but not everyone who ‘liked’ it sees the thing – this is shaping up to be one of the biggest corporate pratfalls of all time.

UPDATE: Facebook will let this one go.

“Because of its status as an iconic image of historical importance, the value of permitting sharing outweighs the value of protecting the community by removal, so we have decided to reinstate the image on Facebook where we are aware it has been removed. It will take some time to adjust these systems but the photo should be available for sharing in the coming days. We are always looking to improve our policies to make sure they both promote free expression and keep our community safe.”

Protecting the community. Sheesh.

Posted: 9th, September 2016 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Fabric closes as London goes soft on fun and hard on drugs

Islington council’s licensing committee said a “culture of drug use” existed at Fabric, the biggest nightclub in its manor, and revoked its license. The Metropolitan Police called for Fabric’s application to be reviewed following two drug-related deaths at the club between June and August this year. The council was duty bound to investigate.

Jack Crossley, 18, died after collapsing outside Fabric on August 6. Ryan Browne, 18, died after taking drugs at Fabric on June 26.

Undercover police entered the club and observed revellers and staff. They reported their observations to the council.

“Staff intervention and security was grossly inadequate in light of the overwhelming evidence that it was abundantly obvious that patrons in the club were on drugs and manifesting symptoms showing that they were,” ruled the council. “This included sweating, glazed red eyes and staring into space, and people asking for help.”

Sweating means you’re on drugs?

Cameron Leslie, who co-founded Fabric, said: “The police no longer want to work with us… they started from the end point, and gathered [evidence] accordingly.”

Alan Miller, chairman of the Night Time Industries Association, thinks holidaymakers will go elsewhere. “People come on easyJet and the Eurostar to see Buckingham Palace and Madame Tussauds, but they also come to go to Fabric,” he said “Now our nightlife is on the ropes. People will vote with their feet and go to Berlin or Barcelona.”

It’s a matter of reputation, for London and Fabric. The thinking seems to be that Fabric – not the drugs – were behind the awful deaths of two young men. But Fabric does not sell illegal drugs. It expressly forbade them. The venue has been closed because its adult patrons chose to break the rules. Can that be fair?

Alex Proud, owner of the Camden Proud nightclub, adds: “They’ll come for me next. Once the police have the ability to close a club that is well-run on those sorts of grounds, every club in London has to think it could be closed tomorrow. It’s a profoundly disturbing precedent to set.”

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, is unimpressed. “Late-night clubs are crucial to the health of restaurants, pubs and cafés,” she says. “Also, Fabric was a world-class venue and a breeding ground for up-and-coming DJs and acts. It had one of the most stringent door security regimes and, like any other club, had a vested interest in making sure venues are safe and crime free.”

Note: If you want a sneer, the police operation was called Lenor, presumably after the Fabric softener.


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

Why I’m not buying an iPhone 7

Like millions of you, I’m not buying the New iPhone 7 because: a) they told me the iPhone 6s was the greatest phone ever and could not be beaten, and I beliveed them – still do!; b) the new cameras are so clear they force you see your own life as it really is; c) something about tax and stuff.

In the Guardian, you can read one man’s reasons for opting out:

….because they had pulled the Double Irish, the European commission has ruled, Apple deprived the EU of $14.5bn over the last 10 years. The EU ordered Apple to pay the taxes with interest at the end of August, a decision whose logic the company refutes.

No. The EU does not set tax rates.

This is hardly surprising: Apple is a massive multinational, and behaves like one despite its sanitized image. It has a long track record of looking the other way on suppliers’ human rights abuses, documented by the New York Times and other outlets. And it pays a tax rate lower than that of 99.99% of the human beings reading this story right now – and they clearly work harder at that profit margin and squeezing their supply chain now than they do on their actual technology. And in the last few years it is beginning to show.

d) They’re expensive.

Posted: 8th, September 2016 | In: Money, News, Technology | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Dani Mathers naked gym shots make our skin crawl

Playboy model Dani Mathers, Playboy’s playmate of the year 2015, took a photo of a naked woman in the changing rooms at her gym, posted it on twitter and for explained: “If I can’t unsee this, then you can’t either.”

TMZ says Los Angeles police have spoken to a woman in her 70s who is apparently keen to prosecute Dani Mathers.

Mather says she’s sorry for mocking a woman minding her own business in the gym and only “accidentally” posted the image publicly and that it was intended for a friend.

As for Mathers being ageist, well, we await the after-show shots:


dani mathers shower bath


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

Manchester United’s Academy is full of soft lads, says Nicky Butt

Former Manchester United stalwart Nicky Butt is talking to Henry Winter in the Times. Butt is now runs the Manchester United academy. It;s a good read, but the pick is what Butt has to say about today’s youth, schooled by helicopter parents and indoor sports:

“I see players in our academy and they can’t move. Our lads don’t know how to fall, roll, and you should see the amount of injuries we get from popped shoulders or their arms. I probably fell out of a tree 15 times and never hurt myself. I don’t think my son’s ever climbed a tree.

“Body mechanics lose so much when you’re not climbing trees, not playing basketball, cricket, rugby. I played rugby, cricket, football, basketball…

“I’m a softie parent. I don’t let my kids go anywhere. My daughter’s 12, I don’t think she’d be able to cross a road. The whole life now is middle class: all kids have iPads and PlayStations. Social media’s a massive problem. We had a player who put his address on Facebook and gets a knock at the door from people asking why he’s chatting up this girlfriend. We reiterate to them every six weeks about what to do and not do on social media.

“They’re not streetwise. We’re looking for leaders on the pitch, so when you’re down, they fight back, somebody like [Paul] Scholes who was playing football on the streets at 12 and knocking around the park at 15. They get a lot of street knowledge through that.”

Is it because these children see football mainly as a way to riches, not as a sport to play for fun?

Former United youth player Danny Higginbotham:

I learned so much from the responsibilities I had as an apprentice at Manchester United. I made the orange squash for the players and was anxious watching Peter Schmeichel take his first sip in case it was too weak or too strong. I had the privilege of cleaning the boots of Roy Keane and Brian McClair. I was so proud of it that I would tell all my mates. I would be pleased when the pitch was especially muddy because it meant that I could do an even better job. It meant the world to me.

If I had done a good job, the first-team players would be grateful, and we would be given a bit of cash – just £10 or £20 – at Christmas, and at the end of the season. If we had not done a good job we would know about it too.

This mattered, first, because it taught us apprentices – players like Wes Brown and Jonathan Greening – about the importance of responsibility. But it also mattered because it was a shared rite of passage between us and the senior pros…

That does not happen in football any more. That old bond is broken…

The fact is that young players today do not need to do that sort of thing. When I was an apprentice at United I was paid £40 per week. When I played for the A and B teams we got a £4 win bonus and £2 if we drew. That was only 20 years ago.

Teenage players at top clubs can now hope to earn £20,000 per week before they’ve even made themselves noticed in the first team.

That sounds a tad cynical. Academy players are not all on great salaries:

How many new young players does a club like Liverpool or Arsenal sign every season? The answer is very few. The fact is that most trainees will never make the grade.

Trainees released from scholarship schemes are put into a central pool which allows other interested clubs to come in for them. And former Fulham scout Roger Skyrme believes there’s nothing wrong with lowering your standards. “Never lose faith in your ability, but do be prepared to move down a level,” Roger told BBC Sport.

Your parents can take you there and keep you in a cosy bubble, but they cannot make you want it and go for it.

Posted: 8th, September 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

EastBenders: rewriting the ‘legend’ of Michael Cashman and ‘yuppie poofs’

barry and colin eastbendersLord Michael Cashman, the Labour MEP, is making a return to BBC soap opera EastEnders as  Colin Russell, the show’s first gay character.

Colin is remembered for a scene in 1987 when he and Barry Clark (Gary Hailes) preformed the first gay kiss on a British soap opera.

The Sun is delighted Colin is back, calling the character a TV “legend”.

Back then the paper dubbed the show EastBenders and called Barry and Colin “yuppie poofters”, whose “homosexual love scenes” was performed “when millions of children were watching”.

The Gay Times recalls:

When the storyline did air, Michael’s real-life boyfriend found his world turned upside down. On the centre pages of the News of the World read the headline “secret gay love of AIDS scare east ender” – outing Michael’s partner to his friends and family. “They printed our address – all but the door number – and that afternoon a brick came through the window.”

Legends can involve real people. Who knew?

Posted: 8th, September 2016 | In: News, Tabloids, TV & Radio | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

IKEA balls: customer who said he got testicles caught in stool comes clean

When news broke that Claus Jorstad had got a testicle trapped in an IKEA stool, he laughed. “Haha, part of the story is a lie,” he tells Altaposten. “What is true and less true I won’t go into here.”

It was his penis that got trapped as he sat on the stool in the shower?


IKEA testicles stool

Passing a stool


“I sat there and discovered all of a sudden that stool use could have unfortunate consequences for a man,” says Jorstad. “So decided to warn Ikea about what potentially could happen in future.”

Thanks, Claus, for the public service announcement. Others have been even more selfless, like herhimhim and him. And mind out in the hardware ssection:

Dr. Kevin Klauer, an E.R. doc based in Canton, Ohio, still remembers the day he dealt with a patient who was trying to fix his roof when he fell off and impaled himself on a shovel. You can see the shovel sticking out of what appears to be the rectal area. Even when you’ve seen a lot of bad injuries, this is really a cringe moment. Turning somebody to examine them while they have a shovel impaled in their rectum is not something anyone’s been trained to do. You have to work as a team.”

IKEA is not for everyone. Take care in there.


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

Assad takes care not to hit Obama’s red line as he drops chorine on Aleppo

Compare and contrast the following:


Yesterday Assad government helicopters dropped barrels of chlorine on a rebel neighborhood in Aleppo.

CNN, August 1, 2012:

“We cannot have a situation where chemical or biological weapons are falling into the hands of the wrong people,” Obama told reporters at the White House. “We have been very clear to the Assad regime — but also to other players on the ground — that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus; that would change my equation.”

Maybe the chorine is to clean the city’s swimming pools?

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

Britain builds a wall in France to keep them out

CNN reports that the UK is to build a ‘big new wall’ in Calais to stop migrants.

The four-meter (13 foot) high wall is part of a £17 million ($23 million) deal struck between Britain and France earlier this year to try to block migrants from crossing the English Channel.

Donald Trump is wrong: you need to build the wall inside Mexico.

“We’ve done the fence. Now we’re doing a wall,” British Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill announced at a government hearing on Tuesday.

It’s all about ambition. But we’d like to see a traditional dry-stone wall. British walls for British wallers!

PS: With any leftover bricks, we can shore up the Chunnel.

PPS: If the would-be Britishers can jump it in a photogenic fashion, they’re in. There’s a TV show in this. Call me Channel 4, I have ideas:


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

IKEA customer gets his testicles trapped in MARIUS

Claus Jørstad of Alta, Norway got his testicle trapped in a MARIUS Stool from IKEA. We mention the product’s name so that any masochists know which one to go for.


Ikea balls

MARIUS – GSOH, loves to hug


Claus was seated on his stool in the shower when one of his testicles got stuck in a hole on the seat. The story goes that hot water caused them to expand – not the holes; the nuts – and Claus was transformed into a Nordic-budget furniture hybrid.

“Sitting there and noticing the accident, I bent down to see what happened, I realized the little nutter has got stuck,” he tells the Daily Mail.

Happily, Claus eventually ran out of hot water and the cold stuff caused considerable shrinkage.

Elsewhere in IKEA:


IKEA meatballs testicles

Posted: 7th, September 2016 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Derby balls: Manchester United and Manchester City fight The War Bitchy Comments

Why don’t Manchester City’s Pepe Guardiola and Manchester United’s Jose Mourinho just duke it out. The Mail previews the big United v City match by drooling over the prospect of violence:


pep jose manchester united manchester city daily mail


“Police fears for Jose v Pep,” screams the headline.

The usually harmonious Manchester derby is causing police to be scared?

“The explosive rivalry between Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola – and the increased tension it may bring to the terraces – are part of the police’s planning for the Manchester derby. Sportsmail understands that officers on duty for Saturday’s clash between the two sides, the first battle between the feuding managers with their new clubs in England, will be told of the pair’s feisty history and the effect that may have on their operation.”

It’s war. We’ve had the War of Jenkin’s Ear, the War of The Stray Dog and The Pastry War. Prepare yourselves for The War of The Bitchy Comments. It’s gonna be bloody (marvellous).

Posted: 7th, September 2016 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, manchester united, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Dear Guardian readers, Ede & Ravenscorft is not for investment bankers

Former BBC journalist Paul Mason offers guidance to Guardian readers: “How to blag a job in finance: buy some black shoes and talk like an aristocrat.”

Big news any of my friends who worked on the LIFFE floor – including ‘The Professor’, so nicknamed because he had two A-levels (grades C and D) -, no, it wasn’t sarcastic – and those from very non-aristo backgrounds (hard to fake being a toff if you’re Jewish, black or Asian) working throughout the money markets.

Mason, however, has honed in on investment banking:

There’s supposed to be a war for talent. If so, it became pretty clear last week why Britain’s investment banks are losing it. The recruitment filter, revealed in a report from the Social Mobility Commission, works like this: you can only join the customer-facing part of an investment bank if you went to one of four public schools; got a first from one of five universities; and possess “sheen”.

Yes, sheen. And polish. No matter how good you are, if your tie is not right or your suit does not fit like a glove, you are destined to take your excellence somewhere else.

Big news: people with lots of money prefer dealing with people who grow up at ease with lots of money and who succeed in academic studies. But the best part of this article in the picture used to illustrate the unfairness of it all.


paul mason


The label on the shirt says “EDE & RAVENSCROFT”. Who are they? Well;

We provide ceremonial robes for all occasions, dress the judiciary (including providing handmade wigs) and ensure that graduates from all over the world look their best at graduation ceremonies.

You don’t wear brown in town. And you don’t wear an Ede & Ravenscorft shirt in investment banking. Of course, had the Guardian’s picture editor gone to the right school, they’d have known that.

Spotter: Tim Worstall

PS : jobs at The Guardian, this way!

Posted: 7th, September 2016 | In: Broadsheets, Money, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Of course Adidas and Nike discriminate against disabled athletes

Are Nike and Adidas prejudiced against disabled athletes? Yes. Is that prejudice immoral or illegal? Surely not. The Guardian reports on Hannah Cockroft, a British paralympian who accuses sportswear companies of discrimination.

Cockroft, who is expected to be one of the stars of the Paralympic Games in Rio after winning two golds at London 2012 and three in last year’s world championships, is the dominant figure in her sport but said Adidas and Nike have cited her inability to use their footwear in competition as a justification for not sponsoring her.

That seems reasonable. Nike and Adidas are most renowned for making trainers. If you are not known for wearing trainers, sponsorship would be waste of their endorsement cash.




Cockcroft says:

“The real reason? I have been told it’s because I don’t wear shoes when I compete. What do I do with that? I wear a shirt, I wear trousers, I wear shoes on the podium when I’m collecting a gold medal. But apparently because that’s not when I’m competing that’s not enough. I’ve been told this by Nike, Adidas, all the big brands. I told them it was discrimination. It is discrimination.”

Yes. It is discrimination. Of course it is. But it’s about her not it.

Adidas also rejected Cockroft’s claims, pointing out it has designed ParalympicsGB’s kit for the Games. “As a sports brand we have partnerships with teams, including ParalympicsGB, and individuals across both apparel and footwear,” a spokesperson said. “Whilst we will not discuss negotiations with specific athletes we can say we sponsor a number of athletes who don’t wear footwear to compete.”

So why has no big brand sponsored her?

Cockroft has had talks about kit sponsorship in the past but it is understood the companies’ offers have fallen below expectations.

She wants more money.

As for shoes:

Zoal Budd ran barefoot, but was sponsored by running shoe companies. One of the best known barefoot runners in history, Budd has actually been sponsored by a couple of shoe companies during her career – firstly Brooks and then Newton in more recent years.

Maybe Cockcroft is looking at the wrong brands?

Posted: 7th, September 2016 | In: Money, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Brazzers porn tossers left exposed in hacking parody

Anyone using the masturbatory site Brazzers “should be worried’ says Techworm. The site has been hacked. The data of – get this – 800,000 wankers is out there?

But why worry? Porn is ubiquitous. Wanking goes hand-in-hand with the web.


brazzers hack forum



We popped along to the forum for wankers to see what one-handed typist talk about among friends. Sadly the site is down. So the latest tips on treating callouses, how to beat the dreaded dry wank blues and ‘Stains that look like Benedict Cumberbatch’ will have to wait.

In the meantime:


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

Only the fearful sneer at ‘Giant Troll’ Milo Yiannopoulos

You don’t have to like him to support his right to free speech. Ann Althouse gets it:

“ABC’s Nightline goes after Milo Yiannopoulos and I’ve never bothered with this guy one way or the other… but this ham-handed effort to cut him down made me side with him. Why is the ABC reporter sneering and yelling at the person he’s interviewing?”

The hectoring reporter makes anyone who values free speech side with Milo. We all value the right to be offensive, right?



PS: The Ghostbusters remake is crap.

Posted: 6th, September 2016 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Elitist Black Lives Matter activists block London City Airport

Snotty Black Lives Matter protesters have forced London City Airport runway to shut. Nine protestors have “locked themselves together” on the runway.

Black Lives Matter UK says:

“Whilst at London City Airport a small elite is able to fly, in 2016 alone 3,176 migrants are known to have died or gone missing in the Mediterranean. Black people are the first to die, not the first to fly, in this racist climate crisis.

“We note, however, that the UK is willing to charter special flights to remove black people from the country based on their immigration status.”

The small “elite” are holidaymakers and fellow travellers of all colours who want to fly, often on low-cost airlines, to other places. No planes fly from City Airport to Africa.

The even smaller elite are the nine know-alls who have adapted a US protest movement against police shootings of black citizens to be a rallying cry for all manner of ills. As Brendan says: “Its key UK spokespeople are a postgraduate geography student and a ‘black, British, queer, non-binary Muslim’ who goes by the pronoun ‘they’.”

It’s not about inclusivity, equality and civil rights; it’s about exclusivity, creating a space for the righteous and self-absorbed to pose and meet like minds in. It wants to create racial division, dividing society into blacks (victims) and whites (guilty).

‘Check your privilege’, goes the command to whites. But they, like the blacks and everyone else, should spend more time checking their boarding passes and passports than being preached at by these un-radicals. Class and wealth matter. Progressive movements matter.

The regressive and factional Black Lives Matter UK is all very cosy. Look:

Posted: 6th, September 2016 | In: News | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Hillsborough: Merseytravel is wrong to ban the Sun from Liverpool

In Liverpool, Merseytravel wants to ban the Sun newspaper. The city’s councillors all support the company’s efforts to force vendors stop selling the Sun across the Liverpool City Region transport network. It part of a campaign, to “eradicate the paper from the city”.

It’s rooted, of course, in the Sun’s awful reporting on the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, in which 96 football fans died. The paper fanned the flames of bigotry, falsely presenting the dead and injured as agents of their own fate. Liverpool fans had not “picked the pockets of victims” and “urinated” on police officers. The Sun lied to its readers. The police lied to public it serves. They turned victims into criminals.

It was not “THE TRUTH”, as the Sun claimed in its front-page headline.




But banning the paper is weak. The Society of Editors says the move was “stretching towards censorship”. No. It is censorship.

Merseytravel chairman Liam Robinson says: “Lots and lots of people in this city get offended by this newspaper, they are offended to see it on sale. People who have to sell it are offended to touch it. We are here to represent the travelling public and local people. [This motion] was backed unanimously by all political parties.”


The Sun the truth Hillsborough


Paul Collins, from the Total Eclipse of the S*n campaign, says the newspaper had “slandered the dead, it slandered the city with lies. It upsets decent people.”

Are you indecent if you buy the Sun, which people do, presumably? Are you morally wrong if you read the paper?

This campaign does nothing to honour the dead, the bereaved and the hurt. It seeks only revenge.

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

The Queen has no crown on Australia’s new high-tech bank notes


In the UK:




But New Zealand wins. It’s five-dollar note was named the International Bank Note Society’s banknote of the year for 2015.

Her Majesty is much changed:


New Zealand money

Posted: 5th, September 2016 | In: Money, News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Ill woman wants stolen illegal medicinal marijuana returned

At her home in Christchurch, New Zealand, Jane, 49, is surveying her loss. “They took my medicine,” she says of her missing marijuana crop.

Thieves broke in and stole Jane’s drug of choice, the one she uses to treat chronic debilitating foot and leg pain after a car accident. “Other drugs upset my system so badly,” she says. “I have tried all the pills, none of them agree with me. Tramadol put me in hospital, damaged my pancreas. I rely on cannabis – it’s the only thing that doesn’t upset me.”

They took her Afghan Kush.

“I can’t have any old stuff. I need the stuff that numbs me,” she adds. “I know that does it beautifully. Other varieties I need to take three times the amount to get the same effect, just so I can walk without screaming.”

But weed is banned in New Zealand. Jane is unfazed: “I have a mother who is 84 years old. She’s seen me on the pills, in hospital. She approves of me smoking. As far as she’s concerned hers is the only permission I require.”

Good on her.

If it helps Jane, why should Jane be made a criminal for helping herself? Whey should the State own her body?

Posted: 5th, September 2016 | In: News | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

‘Camp’ Keith Vaz’s sex life ‘shame’ looks like gay-bashing

The Mail leads with news of Keith Vaz, the Labour MP the Daily Mirror claims paid two men for sex. It calls him “SHAMELESS”, adding: “Keith Vaz was shamelessly clinging to power last night after he was exposed for paying rent boys for sex.”

‘Clinging to power’ make him sound like the leader of the country rather than a Labour party MP (the two positions being mutually exclusive as Labour dissolves under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership).


keith vaz


As for paying “rent boys” for sex, what else do you pay them for? And boys? No. They were men, allegedly. Why do gay men who pay for sex do so with “rent boys” and not “prostitutes”? There is a whiff of something nasty in the air.

Surely we’ve got over the news that some men enjoy sex with other men? But in his catty profile of the man, Quentin Letts calls Vaz “Camp Keith”, noting his “flamboyant bitchiness”; he was “giggly and silly” as a Minister in Tony’s Blair’s cabinet; he “sashayed around Westminster”; “If you stood  down wind of him you were more likely to catch a whiff of aftershave”.

Is it the alleged extra-marital sex that upsets the Mail or the fact it involves men?


keith vaz


Aside from Letts (married!) The Mail is aghast that Vaz did not not step down as Labour MP when the story broke. Why should he resign. Did anyone elect him on the strength of his sex life?

The paper says he should stand down from his role on a panel looking at “crime, migration and  sexual exploitation”.  Again, why? If all is true, perhaps he would have a worthwhile contribution to make.

Posted: 5th, September 2016 | In: News, Tabloids | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

‘Wanton and furious’ cycling is a crime but speeding on a bike is not

You can break the law is your cycle too fast. The Mail:

Battery-powered bicycles are being modified to travel at almost 30mph – twice the speed permitted in public places – putting owners and pedestrians at risk.

Cyclists fit devices that override a speed sensor on the bikes that cuts the motor at the legal limit of 15.5mph. Others are being sold bikes with motors that exceed the 250-watt power limit permitted on roads.

The Highway Code (rule 124) states speed limits but there are no figures for bicycles. And why is 15.5mph the maximum? How was that ascertained?

This site says:

Cyclists can’t be booked for speeding, but might be fined for ‘cycling furiously’ or ‘riding furiously’ which is an offence under the 1847 Town Police Clauses Act. However, cyclists can be convicted for ‘wanton and furious driving’ under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 ( amended by the Criminal Justice Act 1948 (. 58), s. 1()) if they cause bodily harm to any person. They are then guilty of a misdemeanour and could, at the discretion of the court, be imprisoned for up to two years.


You can go fast but not go furious.

Posted: 5th, September 2016 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Keith Vaz: Vazeline sex, Paris Brown and a casualty of Modern Warfare 2

Keith Vaz MP is riding high on the news cycle. The Sunday Mirror has news on the Labour politician. It’s a story of sex, drugs and power. By way of a titter, the BBC notes: ‘Mr Vaz has been referred to in the media as the “Teflon” politician and “Vazeline” – because, in the words of the Telegraph, “nothing sticks”.’ The story is of gay sex with two male prostitutes, at leat one of whom is from Romania, allegedly.


Keith Vaz sex


The Mirror claims:

He is one of the most influential MPs in the House of Commons and is currently overseeing the biggest shake-up of Britain’s prostitution laws in a generation. But today the Sunday Mirror can reveal Keith Vaz, a married father of two, is leading a double life paying young male escorts for sex.

(As is alleged.)

Was he for or against legalised sex with prostitutes?

The Mirror:

Mr Vaz last met two Eastern European prostitutes eight days ago, even though he is chair of a powerful parliamentary group probing vice and drugs. And as the talk ranged from sex to pets, Mr Vaz eventually said: “We need to get this party started.”

Pets? Richard Gere legend stuff? Dunno. But we’ve not seen Gordon the Gopher for a while, and you know how much Vaz loves celebs. But back to the story of sex for hire:

While chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Mr Vaz has publicly said he was “not convinced” that men who pay for sex should face prosecution.

He said:

“Treating soliciting as a criminal offence is having an adverse effect, and it is wrong that sex workers, who are predominantly women, should be penalised and stigmatised in this way. The criminalisation of sex workers should therefore end.”

Good. What consenting adults do with their bodies is not the State’s business.

In a 90-minute rendezvous on August 27, the former Minister for Europe offered to cover the cost of cocaine if it was brought to the flat – but said he did not want any himself. He is currently heading up the committee which has investigated harm caused by the illegal Class A drug.

Mr Vaz, Labour MP for Leicester East since 1987, also told the pair to bring along poppers – the sex-enhancing drug.

Cocaine? In 2009, Vaz said:

“As part of our investigation into the cocaine trade we want to explore the human cost of drug taking, particularly on users and their families. We are pleased Mitch Winehouse, the father of Amy, has agreed to share with us research for a documentary on the damaging effects of drug abuse and of the effectiveness of drug rehabilitation.”

A touch hypocritical, then? Maybe. There is no suggestion he took any illegal drugs. If adults want to take banned narcotics, well, that too is their own affair. Cocaine should be legal. If what’s alleged is true, Vaz is coming across as a liberal.

Vaz tells the Mail on Sunday:

“I am genuinely sorry for the hurt and distress that has been caused by my actions in particular to my wife and children. I will be informing the Committee on Tuesday of my intention to stand aside from chairing the sessions of the Committee with immediate effect.”

He then said in a statement:

“At this time I do not want there to be any distraction from the important work the Home Affairs Select Committee undertakes so well. Select Committees do vital work in holding the government and others to account. We are due to publish two Reports, one into Anti Semitism and the other into FGM in the next few days, in addition we have a number of key witnesses.

“I will of course inform Committee members first of my plans when we meet on Tuesday.

“My decision has been based entirely on what is in the best interests of the Committee which I have had the privilege of Chairing for the last 9 years.”

Got that? Vaz has stepped down from a committee looking into sex and drugs because it’s alleged he might know about them.

Like you we are shocked and appalled (surely, sniggering and gossiping – ed). After all, when Paris Brown, then just 17 years old, was chosen to be Kent’s youth police crime commissioner, her Twitter account made waves. There was a comment on drugs – “I really wanna make a batch of hash brownies” – sex –  “Worst part about being single is coming from a party/night out horny as f*** and having to sleep alone” – and argy-bargy – “I don’t condone violence but im so pleased that my brother thumped the fat little fuck.”

Teenagers, eh. Exposed in the tabloid Press, Paris soon resigned.

And who was outraged and disgusted by Brown’s mere words? Yep, Keith Vaz, who stated:

“Public money should never be given to anyone who refers to violence, sex, drunkenness and other antisocial behaviour in this offensive manner.”

Paris was getting £15,000 a year as the police wonk. Vaz’s public service earns him far more. Although his alleged comments were made in private, via text.

PS: Think of the children. We look to our MPs as role models. If Keith Vaz is being linked to drugs and sex on the clock, won’t kids follow his example? After all, when he saw the computer game Modern Warfare 2, Vaz was “absolutely shocked at the level of violence in this game”. He asked what steps ministers were taking to ensure that violent games did not fall into the hands of children and young people. “It’s not about censorship,” said dad-of-two Keith, “it’s about protecting our children.”

 Amen to that.

Posted: 4th, September 2016 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Daniel Ratcliffe regrets the error: Seamus Milne is away and Jeremy Corbyn might not be magic

The big question is: does Harry Potter like Jerrmy Corbyn? The Guardian says he does:

Daniel Radcliffe has endorsed Jeremy Corbyn for leader of the Labour party, saying the veteran leftwinger’s sincerity won him over. The Harry Potter star told The Big Issue that Corbyn’s informal style had excited voters and was a welcome departure from scripted politics.

The Guardian was sticking to the right script, albeit wrongly. The paper later regretted the error:

NOTE: This article was published in error. It was based on social media circulation of an interview Daniel Radcliffe gave to the Big Issue in September 2015. It is not known whether he still holds these views. It originally ran with the headline ‘Daniel Radcliffe endorses Jeremy Corbyn for Labour leader’ and was published at 4.55am on 4 September 2016. The original article read as follows:

Whoops! As the Guardian checks the date of Seamus Milne’s contract (the paper says, he’s “a Guardian columnist and associate editor”; he’s also Jeremy Corbyn’s spin doctor), we look at what Radcliffe told the Big Issue:

“I feel like this show of sincerity by a man who has been around long enough and stuck to his beliefs long enough that he knows them and doesn’t have to be scripted is what is making people sit up and get excited. It is great.”

A days is long time in politics. A year is a lifetime…

Posted: 4th, September 2016 | In: Broadsheets, Celebrities, News, Politicians | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Modern life gives your cancer?

The Daily Mail says cancer cases in children have risen by 40% in less than two decades “because of pollution, pesticides and gadgets”. They have been added to the list.

The paper cites the work of Professor Denis Henshaw, scientific director at Children with Cancer UK, who tells the Daily Telegraph: ” “These significant rises in cancer cases cannot be explained by improvements in cancer diagnosis or registration alone – lifestyle and environmental causal factors must be considered.”

The Mail adds:

He told the Sunday Telegraph that burnt barbecues, the electric fields of power lines, and hairdryers were contributors to the rise, as well as a pregnant mother’s diet and working shifts.

Over in the Telegraph, we learn:

Modern life is killing children with the number of youngsters diagnosed with cancer rising 40 per cent in the past 16 years because of air pollution, pesticides, poor diets and radiation, scientists have warned.

Modern life gives you cancer?

New analysis of government statistics by researchers at the charity Children with Cancer UK found that there are now 1,300 more cancer cases a year compared with 1998, the first time all data sets were published. The rise is most apparent in teenagers and young adults aged between 15 and 24, where the incident rate has risen from around 10 cases in 100,000 to nearly 16.

It continues:

Dr Denis Henshaw, Professor of Human Radiation Effects at Bristol University, the scientific adviser for Children with Cancer UK, said air pollution was by far the biggest culprit, accounting for around 40 per cent of the rise, but other elements of modern lifestyles are also to blame.

Among these are obesity, pesticides and solvents inhaled during pregnancy, circadian rhythm disruption through too much bright light at night, radiation from x-rays and CT scans, smoking during and after pregnancy, magnetic fields from power lines, gadgets in homes, and potentially, radiation from mobile phones.

Radiation. Might that be the link. It’s use has risen over the pst two decades. Also, some cruel twist to think that the radiotherapy and CT scan that tests for and treats cancer might be making things worse.



Posted: 4th, September 2016 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0