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Daily Mirror (front page): “Maddie Police: We Hope to Find Her Alive”
Well, yes. Of course they do. They’re not ghouls.
Mick Duthie, the police chief leading the “hunt” for the missing child, says, “We hope that we will fine her alive.”
Page 5: “There is always a possibility that we’ll find her…work still needs to be done.”
Got that about the possibility of news? It’s PR-speak for, “We haven’t found her.” With, as the Mirror states, £12m spent on the search so far, police are keen to show they’ve made progress. If Duthie does know what happened to the child, he’s not letting on. He says, “We want to find her alive” but “If she’s been murdered…” She might be alive. She might be dead. Maybes.
Daily Star (front page): “Maddie Search Sensation”
Oh, go on. We’ll play along. What is the sensational news?
It is news that cops “hope to find her alive”. Read. All. About. It.
Page 7: “Top Maddie Cop: New Maddie Clues”
Joe Kasper writes: “Detective Chief Superintendent Mick Duthie says detectives are still pursuing “justifiable and reasonable” leads. No. What he said was that if the police needed more money to find Madeleine McCann, they would ask for it: “There is a missing girl and is she has been murdered and if we think we have got reasonable and justifiable lines of inquiry to pursue then they should be dealt with.”
The Sun (Page 6): “Cops ‘ no closer’ to locating Maddie.”
So much for the Star’s new leads sensation.
Duthie says cops “do not have a ‘full understanding’ what happened to her or why she was taken”.
Mentions of murder: nil.
Daily Express (front page): “Police: Maddy could Still Be Alive”
No body. No proof of anything.
Page 7: “Madeleine police follow up new leads”
Number of new leads mentioned by police: nil.
As another anniversary of Madeleine McCann’s vanishing looms into view, and the news cycle picks up the PR, we learn that nothing has change. Child disappears. And that’s the sum of all the facts.
Daily Mail: “Detectives believe the missing youngster could still be found alive”
Progress: nil. We are still in the lyrical land of “could” and “believe”. Time moves on but the single thread story of the child who vanished in 2007 is snared. The Mail notes the words of Detective Chief Superintendent Mick Duthie. He’s been speaking with the London Evening Standard. We read:
Detective Chief Superintendent Mick Duthie, the head of the Yard’s homicide squad…
Homicide? Is that significant? We are clutching at straws. No evidence whatsoever any harm befell Madeleine McCann, let alone murder.
…said officers were pursuing “justifiable and reasonable” leads in the investigation into the missing three year-old.
Good. Get on with it. Best of luck.
He was speaking weeks after the Home Secretary Theresa May granted police £95,000 to extend the five year old inquiry for a further six months.
This is about money, then, and value in how it’s spent.
Mr Duthie, who is in overall charge of the investigation Operation Grange, said: “There is ongoing work. There is always a possibility that we will find Madeleine and we hope that we will find her alive. That’s what we want and that’s what the family and the public want and that is why the Home Office continue to fund it. There is work that needs to be done still. “
The police chief admitted detectives did not have a “full understanding” of what happened to Madeleine or why she was taken but added: “That is why the work continues. “
Full understanding? Is that another way of saying they don’t know what happened to her?
He told the Standard: “There is a missing girl and if she has been murdered and if we think we have got justifiable and reasonable lines of inquiry to pursue then they should be dealt with.”
Murder. He said it. That’s grim. He added:
“The investigation continues. We go to the Home Office every six months. We have a smaller team dealing with it because we have less inquiries to deal with but we still have a job to do. I imagine that if we have not completed our inquiries within six months we will go back to the Home Office and ask for more money.”
We told you that.
He refused to give further details about the inquiry but confirmed that detectives were still examining possible links to a series of burglaries in the Algrarve area at the time Madeleine went missing.
If. Could. Possible. A child vanished. And that’s what we know.
What’s John Whittingdale been up to? The Star says the Tory MP, currently working as the culture and media secretary (GSOH, WLTM 4 MTV) “had a two-year fling with a Daily Star Page 3 girl”. Will he be involving himself with other mainstays of tabloid news, buying a lawnmower from the classified section, perhaps, or appearing in the TV pages as a Britain’s Got Talent wannabe?
Whatever’s next for Whittingdale, we are more interested in his past, chiefly his five-month romance with Olivier King, a dominatrix he met on Match.com, when he was single man and before he became a government minister, though he was chair of the Commons’ Culture, Media and Sport select committee. When Whittingdale discovered the single woman’s job he called off the affair. You might have read about his squeamishness in the tabloids, but when the story was hawked around Fleet Street, no-one bought it.
Anti-free Press, pro-privacy outfit Hacked Off and the BBC thought that a shame. Andrew Gilligan writes that Hacked Off worked with the BBC to produce their story of Whittingdale and the sex worker for Newsnight – that’s the show that opted to keep Jimmy Savile’s crimes private, spiking a story on the paedophile. These champions of privacy who bemoan press invasion into private lives wanted us to know about John’s sex life.
One theory is that tabloid newspapers passed on the story to keep Whittingdale in his job? He’s not all that in favour of Leveson and plans to clamp-down on the free press. If the Press expose John as – shock of shocks – a single man who likes women, he might be replaced by someone keen on an increasingly State-regulated Press. Or maybe he was being blackmailed? Or maybe that’s all nuts because if a free press is free the politicians have no say over what goes in it. So much for the conspiracies – which rather undermine the other story about tabloids being peopled by unscrupulous bastards who name and shame before fabricating facts to support their salacious gossip. It turns out they are edited and considered publications. Who knew?
And now about that Page 3 girl. Stephanie Hutton, for it is she, “said the Culture Secretary cheated on her with a dungeon-dwelling dominatrix known as Mistress Kate.” On pages 6 and 7 – after we’ve seen Page 3 girl Brook tell us about a love of topless ice-skating – we get to Stephanie, one half of the Boobie Twins. Stephanie say she met John on a dating site in 2013. “He told me he was a Russian arms dealer,” says Stephanie. “I don’t know if he was just being careful or trying to make himself more attractive, but it wasn’t necessary. I liked him.” She says at the Commons, he “always turned the lights out so we wouldn’t be recorded on CCTV”.
The Mirror says this caution approach to dating means Whittingdale is “addicted to danger”. The paper says Whittingdale has “been spotted with East European women at public events in the UK”. Scurrying about for anything to spank Whittingdale with that doesn’t make the phone-hacking Mirror look opportunistic and crass, we learn via a Labour MP of concerns about “powerful, middle-aged men being targeted by young women from the old Soviet Union and left open to blackmail”.
You see, it’s not about sex and privacy – it’s about State secrets and, er, sex and secrecy. Much better and in the public interest.
Front-page news in the Sun: “Britain’s Got Talent ballet sensation is Beau’s cousin.” The “sensation” is Jack Higgins, 14, a young stage school ballerina who “wowed” the TV show’s judges with his dancing, causing Amanda holden to gape and stop blinking, Simon Cowell to use up the expression he was saving for when he sees the face of Mamon, David Walliams to swoon and Alesha Dixon to hail it as the best thing ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever.
The best bit, of course, was that Jack cried. Tears are the cynical BGT’s pop shot, the moment of release. (Remember Hollie Steel who sobbed half-way through Edelweiss and triggered a race to see which celeb could reach her with the comfort hug? Hollie… Oh, never mind.)
Jack said he’d been “bullied for ballet since five”. He’s been at stage school for nine years, so you wonder who had been bullying him for that long – the smart money is on the tap dancing mob or the country dancing toughs?
Today the Sun tells us that Jack is related to Beau Dermott, the stage school singer who belted out a show tune one week earlier. Their mothers are twin sisters. To help us tell them apart. Jack’s mum Debbie is the one in the T-shirt yelling “GO JACK – BGT 2016”.
Jack says, “It would be amazing to both get to the final. We are completely different acts, so it wouldn’t feel like we were competing against each other.”
Not for you, maybe. But for your mums it could be. There will be T-shirts…
Danny Cohen, the former director of BBC television, says no Jew can vote for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, an outfit embroiled in accusations of anti-Semitism. He tells the Times:
“If you are Jewish how can you vote for them? How could you? For me it would be like being a Muslim and voting for Donald Trump, how could you do it? You have to feel absolutely confident that it is totally unacceptable and it won’t be tolerated and I personally haven’t felt comfortable that it is happening yet in the Labour party.”
Do we really believe Corbyn’s Labour if full of anti-Semites? Surely not. Anti-Semitism is rife, but to lay the root of it at Corbyn’s door is wrong. The issue is that the Labour Party appears to acquiesce to anti-Semitism and anti-Semites.
“For too many on the Left, Jewish suffering does not touch them the way Muslim suffering or gay suffering or black suffering touches them,” writes Stephen Daisley on STV News. “Scrutiny of Corbyn’s associations elicits cries of ‘smear’ or just a collective shrug of the shoulders. It was always going to. We lack a language to talk about anti-Semitism because too many on the Left don’t consider it a serious problem and couldn’t recognise it as readily as racism, misogyny or homophobia anyway.”
Cranmer adds: “Jeremy Corbyn is not only a patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign: he supports the BDS agenda. What manner of peace-making diplomat supports sanctions against one party after hearing the grievances only of the other? Why invite Islamists to tea on the House of Commons terrace, but not extremist Zionists?”
Corbyn is a politician. His business is winning votes and gaining power. If anti-Semitism is ok on the Left, well, why rock the boat? After all, there aren’t that many Jewish voters. In 2010, Jonathan Freedland wrote in the Guardian:
I can no longer do what I and others did in 2008, putting to one side the statements, insults and gestures that had offended me, my fellow Jews and – one hopes – every Londoner who abhors prejudice. Back then I tried to shrug off Livingstone’s quip to property developers the Reuben brothers that they could “go back to Iran and see if they can do better under the ayatollahs”, even though telling immigrants to go back to where they came from is the language of a pub racist from the 1950s. (The Reubens are in fact an Iraqi-Jewish family and the brothers were born in India.)
Likewise, I accepted that when the mayor repeatedly likened a reporter to a concentration camp guard – even after he knew the reporter was both Jewish and offended – he was merely being irritable, his tongue loosened by a glass or two. I condemned his hugging embrace of Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the scholar who supports female genital mutilation, the murder of homosexual people, and suicide bombing so long as the victims are Israeli civilians…
This week he made the news again, as a group of Jewish activists, all lifelong Labour supporters, wrote to Ed Miliband describing a closed-door meeting they had had with Livingstone that had left them “despondent”. The letter was leaked, with most attention focusing on its account of Livingstone’s suggestion that “as the Jewish community is rich, [it] simply wouldn’t vote for him”.
Jews are privileged – the wealthy one, the poor ones, the disabled ones, the ones who might ever vote Labour or become a Labour MP. Under the terms of identity politics, where you’re defined by what you are and, more vitally, what you are not, being a Jew is a bad thing to be. Jews should check their privilege. There are anti-Semites in Labour, of course – there are bigots on all sides – but the Left’s little problem isn’t really with Jews, their customs and beliefs; it’s with what they symbolise.
When you’re devoid of ideas, have no direction of travel for your weak projects, you need to find something to bind, define and epitomise what you stand for. We don’t know what Labour is any more but the loyalists can show us what it is not: Israel.
Things soon get ugly. Just as anti-Semites say Jews are behind all the world’s ills, puppet-masters in a shadowy cabal, anti-Zionists say all problems in the Middle East are down to Israel. Defeat the Jews / Israel and all things in your life will be made better.
Hamas can be Jeremy Cornyn’s “friends” (his word) because as Zionist haters they are on the side of the good and the decent. But Corbyn’s “friends” don’t believe in sexual equality, women’s rights, gay rights, democracy, freedom of expression, a free press and human rights. To overlook all that anti-freedom – to blame all those Islamist and anti-progressive policies on Israel – is to side with the anti-Semites. Anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism become indistinguishable.
Jamie Palmer has written a terrific essay on the history of Jews, Israel and the West. He notes:
…the Left is unconcerned with Jewish interests and unwilling to take the matter of rising anti-Semitism seriously, preferring instead to dismiss it as a consequence of Israeli policies or a censorious attempt to close down discussion of the same. The horror with which many Jews greeted the election of Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the Labour Party was outstripped only by the realization that his supporters felt that his fondness for the company of anti-Semites was unworthy of their concern…
So why can’t the European Left change in such a way that European Jewish socialists and social democratic Zionists are made to feel welcome again? A number of recommendations suggest themselves:
1. Stop seeing the partition of Mandatory Palestine as some kind of act of paternalistic expiation for European sins rather than the realization of a persecuted people’s legitimate quest for self-determination.
2. Banish the term “anti-Zionism” from the realm of permissible discourse and reframe criticism of Israel—no matter how vehement—in political and not existential terms.
3. Respect the fact that for the vast majority of Jews, Israel represents an expression and final guarantor of Jewish security and identity.
4. Stigmatize anti-Semitism in the same way as any other kind of racism, including when it issues from the mouths and pens of other minority groups.
5. Stop treating Arabs in general and Palestinians in particular like children whose pathologies are to be patiently indulged.
6. Reject moral and cultural relativism, and hold all people to the same moral standards you would expect of yourself in the same circumstances.
7. Understand that differences of opinion with most democrats, of whatever political persuasion, ought to fall within the boundaries of respectable disagreement.
8. Appreciate the value of liberal democracy and learn to take seriously the threats of those who declare their intention to destroy it.
But the reality is that the Left is in no mood to do much, if any, of the above. On the contrary, it is moving in exactly the opposite direction. In Britain, the Labour Party has elected Jeremy Corbyn as its leader—an unrepentant hard-Left anti-Zionist who has shared platforms with genocidal terrorists, blood libelers, and Holocaust deniers in order to supposedly demonstrate his solidarity with the oppressed denizens of Palestine, even as he signed petitions calling upon a centrist Israeli MK to be arrested on arrival in the UK.
Brendan O’Neill and Tom Slater have been discussing Labour’s little problem. You can hear it below:
We hear you, Madonna, aka Madge the Vadge. What self-respecting cool kid drinks and smokes when they could be experimenting with smarts drugs and pour grade-A medications?
Madonna, we learn, is “fuming” 15-year-old son Rocco has been “snapped under a bridge in London swigging from a bottle and puffing on a suspicious-looking cigarette.” A suspicious looking cigarette is, of course, a cigarette, a Government-taxed cancer stick. A proper roll-up contains pure marijuana, a healthy substance (see Colorado State medical advice).
To north Belfast, Northern Ireland, where it’s alleged a man smashed windows at the offices of the Public Initiative for Prevention of Suicide (PIPS). The man is now in hospital because reportedly one brick he threw bounced back and hit him on the head.
Police are investigating.
The Central Somerset Gazette has news:
Glastonbury Festival supporting British steel with 250,000 reusable stainless steel cups for 2016
How is that supporting British steel, then? The Tata-owned steel works at Port Talbot in south Wales is in trouble. It produces slab, hot rolled, cold rolled and galvanised coil. That’s new steel – virgin steel.
Festival organiser Michael Eavis pulls on a thick glove, holds aloft a steel cup for your red-hot coffee (ouch!) and tells the Somerset paper: “..the single most important thing was being able to source British stainless steel for the cups from the place where it was invented – Sheffield, and then to take it on to the home of manufacture – Birmingham.”
But how does this help British steel?
Teaming up with APS Metal Pressing Ltd, the cups are made from recycled steel which is smelted in Sheffield… “Week after week, there’s a story in the national press about jobs in the UK steel industry being put at risk. There’s seemingly no end to the negative slide of this critical industry and with it the jobs, skills and infrastructure are lost and won’t be replaced.”
Actress Gemma Atkinson has “revealed” that back in 2007 she and “footie ace” Cristiano Ronaldo watched Only Fools and Horses on their first date together.
If never did work out. Why not? Well in 2007, Gemma was quoted in the Sun: “I did go out with Cristiano, but it all ended when he was caught shagging prostitutes.”
All together now:
God bless Hooky Street
Viva Hooky Street
Long live Hooky Street
C’est magnifique Hooky Street
Magnifique Hooky Street
Big rat news in the unofficial big rat news newspaper, the Daily Star, which leads with “New Plague of Giant Rats – Nest of 2ft beasts found on housing estate.” We meet “shocked rat-catcher” – get this – Lord Dean Burr, who “snared” a family of “monster rats” on a housing estate in Tooting, south London.
Lord Burr, “who inherited his title after the death of his uncle”, says the big rats are too big for the traps. To paraphrase Jaws, we’re gonna need a bigger trap.
Of course, all this works on the assumption that people don’t much like rats. We can sympathise with gassed badgers and foxes being chased by deranged red-trousered toffs on sweating horses before being barbarically ripped apart, but we all want rats dead. And these hideous rats are getting larger, which means only one thing: they’ve escaped from a Tory breeding farm. The pro-hunt lobby plans to inflict upon the bien pensant metropolitan elite a swarm of fox-sized rats so terrifying that very soon wholly liberals will understand the need to control vermin.
Bans on hunting with dogs will be repealed, allowing the aristocrats to continue their bloody sport in farm, field and the underground carpark on an inner city estate.
Tally ho, Lord Burr!
Every Push for Pizza “comes with a “Pizza Pipe”. Well, this is still a concept, but the idea is sound. You rip off a section of the cardboard box, pop out the ceramic stand that stops the box from crushing the pizza and assemble the thing ready for your post-prandial puff.
“No longer will one have to search for a pipe before or struggle to remember the telephone number of the pizza parlor after its use,” says Push for Pizza. “Equally important, the pizza is in hand before the munchies set in, leading to a more relaxed and enjoyable experience without the interminable delay of its delivery or the pain of gnawing hunger.”
File under: stone baked.
Let’s bemoan the state of education that allows the Daily Mail’s Julian Robinson to miss up his seas:
A luxury Mediterranean winery that produces Sir Cliff Richard’s own brand of plonk has been put on the market – for more than £7.5million. Quinta do Miradouro and neighbouring winery Adega do Cantor in Albufeira in Portugal’s Algarve are up for grabs after 15 years of producing the singer’s wine, Vida and Onda Nova.
Anyone keen on inspecting the place should now that The Algarve is on the Atlantic Ocean.
More financial illiteracy in the Guardian. The headline tells us:
US corporations have $1.4tn hidden in tax havens, claims Oxfam report
Some work there by Oxfam’s investigations arm to find such a gigantic stash of “hidden” cash.
The charity’s analysis of the financial affairs of the 50 biggest US corporations comes amid intense scrutiny of tax havens following the leak of the Panama Papers.
And the charity said its report, entitled Broken at the Top was a further illustration of “massive systematic abuse” of the global tax system.
In 2012, said Oxfam, US firms reported $80bn of profit in Bermuda…
Not hidden at all, then. The billions were all laid on in the companies’ accounts.
Now whose for a game of hide and seek, Oxfam style?
As Texas Solicitor General, Ted Cruz argued that the government had an obligation to discourage masturbation:
Stop masturbating. Think of Ted. Literally.
Paris Lees is talking about free speech in the Guardian. Stephen Fry has something so say about therapy and victims being defined by their ordeal:
“It’s a great shame and we’re all very sorry that your uncle touched you in that nasty place – you get some of my sympathy – but your self-pity gets none of my sympathy…. Self-pity is the ugliest emotion in humanity. Get rid of it, because no one’s going to like you if you feel sorry for yourself. The irony is, we’ll feel sorry for you if you stop feeling sorry for yourself. Grow up.”
Agree? Not agree? Lees has a problem with it:
Fry is talking rubbish.
He is allowed to, of course, because of free speech: for in 2016, an absolutist interpretation of free speech has become popular among the chattering classes. If only the overwhelmingly white, middle-class, Oxbridge-educated, male-dominated commentariat would take “freedom from prejudice” as seriously as it takes “freedom of expression”.
Free speech is free for all. She’s wrong.
Tory MP John Whittingdale’s sex life is not a matter for gossips, ‘Outraged of Hacked Off’ of tabloids. As Francis Wheen puts it:
Just heard a Today programme “debate” on the Whittingdale affair which made the Republican primary debates sound like Socratic dialogues.
In the Hacked Off corner was Evan “Dr Death” Harris, lambasting the tabloids for not printing a story about an MP and a dominatrix – even though his pressure group actually wants to stop such stories ever being published. In the tabloid corner, Neil “Wolfman” Wallis pretended that a story about an MP and a dominatrix isn’t the sort of thing that would interest red-top editors, who prefer front-page scoops about Cartesian circularity and the eternal truths.
Toe-curling imbecility and insincerity from start to finish.
Audio to follow…
John Whittingdale, the Culture Secretary, says he has been “in a relationship” with a sex worker. The Telegraph takes up the story of the Tory MP and the “dominatrix”. The Mail calls her a “prostitute”.
The Cabinet minister released a statement stating that he did not know about the woman’s occupation when they were together and that he ended the relationship as soon as he was made aware of her job.
The Tory didn’t pay for his time with the “worker”. Plus ca change, eh?
“Between August 2013 and February 2014, I had a relationship with someone who I first met through Match.com. She was a similar age and lived close to me. At no time did she give me any indication of of her real occupation and I only discovered this when I was made aware that someone was trying to sell a story about me to tabloid newspapers. As soon as I discovered, I ended the relationship.”
Slaves and masters, readers. Slaves and masters.
The Daily Express says the “EU wants to control your pension”. Happily, like you, my pension is in the Cayman Islands, which is not in the EU – yet. But it does sound sinister. Talk of the EU controlling your cash is unsettling. How dare those undemocratic technocrats dip into my pension book.
The front-page story continues on the Page 9, whereon we learn that it’s, er utter bollocks.
Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman says a vote to remain in the EU means the “logical thing is to have common pensions…” It’s not planned. But it might be. Having produced a non-story story more loaded than George Bush at a frat house party, the Express invites readers to calls its phone lines and vote.
Vote now. And vote often.
How clueless and lacking in direction is the Left? Get this from Polly Tonybee in the Guardian. She’s talking about off-shore tax idylls, like the British Virgin Islands and Jersey:
Today Cameron’s promise fell far short of that genuine transparency. He needs to get tough with the treasure islands and follow Charles de Gaulle’s example. When Monaco refused a tax measure he requested, he forced them to surrender by surrounding the kingdom with soldiers and turning off their water supply.
And you still wonder why the colonialists on the Left all loved Tony Blair?
Adam Johnson, the former Sunderland footballer serving a six-year prison sentence for sexual activity with a girl of 15, is in a “Cushy” cell. So says the Sun, which features Johnson on its front page.
A “source” says people will “wonder if he should be kept in a much tougher prison given the nature of his offence”. People who read the Sun, perhaps.
As for Holme House, a few facts:
A DHL warehouse operates within holme House processing canteen forms and Picking/packing for eight establishments in the North East. This provides employment for 40 prisoners and NVQ qualifications can be attained…
Mon: 07:30 – 12:30, 13:30 – 16:30 & 17:00 – 19:15
Tue: 07:30 – 12:30, 13:30 – 16:30 & 17:00 – 19:15
Wed: 07:30 – 12:30, 13:30 – 16:30 & 17:00 – 19:15
Thu: 07:30 – 12:30, 13:30 – 16:30 & 17:00 – 19:15
Fri: 07:30 – 12:30, 13:30 – 16:45
Sat: 07:30 – 12:30 & 13:30 -16:30
Sun: 07:30 – 12:30 & 13:30 -16:30
The most recent report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons, noted:
there had been five self-inflicted deaths since the last inspection and what appear to be two further self-inflicted deaths since this inspection;..
first night cells were dirty with broken equipment and there was little support from staff or prisoner mentors for those new to prison;
many cells were dirty, toilets were inadequately screened and some prisoners shared cells designed for one which were too small;
laundry arrangements were chaotic and there were insufficient phones and showers;
The Sun, of course, wanted more for Johnson, noting on March 18.
Shoot scared: Footie perv Adam Johnson to pay for ‘protection’ while in horror prison – Paedophile faces being sent to tough jail where sex offender inmate was disembowelled
He is likely to be sent initially to Armley jail in Leeds before transferring to HMP Frankland in Durham, home to child killers Ian Huntley and Levi Bellfield.
He is in Armely. But Johnson’s murder in Frankland is no longer an option to excite the Sun.
And is prison “cushy”? One prisoner told me how it works: “It’s only hard for the innocent – the guilty all sleep well.”
You might not like David Cameron, but anyone sane should know that the fuss over his tax affairs is nonsense. The business pages of the Press – and the BBC’s own Money Box show – is full of tips on how to pay less tax and tax plan. In this video, the BBC speaks to tax expert James Quarmby. It slowly dawns on the financially illiterate BBC journalist that her big story is hollow:
Up the tofu mountain we trudge to Highgate, where James Atherton is looking to rent out his toilet. James owns a standalone bog inside a block of flats at the bottom of Highgate West Hill. He tells the Camden New Journal:
““The bus drivers in Highgate don’t have a toilet. I thought they might be interested in buying it, or maybe three of them could get together and rent it.”
Instead of pissing on Parliament Hill Fields, drivers will spend a
penny £3,000 to slash all over James’s plumbed potty. He then puns:
“I hope they don’t shut the public toilets in Pond Square because they are needed but it would be good news for me in a business sense.”
Says one local: “It’d make an ideal starter home.”
Der Spiegel has words for Her Majesty:
Prince Charles is away…
“It’s nothing I ever came across so I didn’t know what to do,” says Burger King employee Ethan Grewe, who works at the eatery in Coon Rapids, Minnesota,. “The caller told my manager the fire department were detecting dangerous levels of gas and if we didn’t break the windows the building would explode. I guess I was a little scared. My other co-workers were doing it so I just followed along.”
Threats to the King must be taken seriously:
“Half of British Muslims want gay sex banned, says poll.” That’s the Daily Telegraph headline. And it’s big news because it shows that half of British Muslims don’t believe in the letter of their religion.
This fact features in the Channel 4 programme, What British Muslims Really Think. It’s an ugly title from a broadcaster that brought us a look at Big Fat Gypsies. What Muslims Really Think starts from a position that they will think alike, and they’re hiding it from the rest of us. How enlightened is that?
The survey for Channel 4 found there was a “chasm” between views among the British Muslim community and mainstream opinion in this country.
Er, isn’t that because the mainstream – i.e. the biggest demographic – isn’t Muslim, let alone religious? And are the Telegraph and Channel 4 really shocked that religious people believe in their religion?
Of more than 1,000 British Muslims polled by ICM, 39 per cent agreed “wives should always obey their husbands”, and 31 per cent said it was acceptable for a man to have more than one wife. The survey also found 23 per cent said they supported the introduction of sharia law in Britain.
Asked their views on stoning those who commit adultery, five per cent said they sympathised with use of the punishment – often meted out under sharia – while 79 per cent condemned it.
You might think, ‘So what?’ But Trevor Phillips, a former head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, says, “The integration of Britain’s Muslims will probably be the hardest task we’ve ever faced. It will require the abandonment of the milk-and-water multiculturalism still so beloved of many, and the adoption of a far more muscular approach to integration.”
Sure, some hardline religionists will demand adherence to the letter of what they see as divine law. But the survey shows that most don’t.
If by integration Trevor means the neutralising of contrary thoughts, the removal of all attitudes viewed as unprogressive, then, yes, it will take time. And we and anyone who values free speech hope it never happens. Challenging the orthodoxy cuts both ways, Trevor. Or is that no longer a mainstream view to be allowed to think what you want to?