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Sunderland fan takes poo in the stands as Black Cats lose to Reading

How poor is your side performing? One Sunderland fan allegedly expressed his dissatisfaction with doings at the Stadium of Light by pulling down his trousers and laying a pipe. As the Black Cats toiled to a 3-1 loss to Reading, twitter users claims the man pulled down his pants and pooed on the seat, causing a fan sitting nearby vomit.

Reports abound that police took the site-down protestor away.

 

 

Stadium of shite:

Posted: 3rd, December 2017 | In: Back pages, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Media obsession over Kate Maltby and Damian Green is something Rotherham girls can only dream of

It’s always big news when a journalist becomes the story. Access is easy.  The newspaper with the hack’s number on speed-dial gets to ride high on the news cycle and be relevant. And all other media can take sides and judge. Kate Malby is the young Conservative activist in the limelight, writing in the Times about how “awkward I felt” when Damian Green, the Tory MP and first secretary of state, allegedly came on to her. He denies doing so. But the story is out there. And it’s open season on Green and Maltby, teh story veering between the invasive and the endemic.

Maltby kicked off her story with context. “After the Weinstein scandal we are asking new questions about the sexual abuse of power: all to the good,” she wrote, linking a powerful Hollywood figure’s alleged rapes and serious sexual assaults to her experience. What did Green do? Was it criminal?

Mr Green is almost exactly 30 years older than me. He has always cropped up in the peripheral circle of my parents’ acquaintances; he generously agreed to be interviewed by my school newspaper when I was the 16-year-old editor and he the shadow education minister.

Oh, god no!

I did not conduct the interview myself, and had no contact again until I became involved in Tory activism in my twenties.

Ah. Phew! The 16-year-old and the man in this 40s is not a story laced with sex and crime. We rejoin the story with Maltby in her twenties…

At that point I began to ask him for advice on internal matters. We met for a daytime coffee in 2014 to discuss a political essay collection I was co-editing. He was helpful and avuncular…

We fast forward to 2015, Maltby and Green are meeting once more:

He steered the conversation to the habitual nature of sexual affairs in parliament. He told a funny story about finding himself in a lift with the Cameron aide Rachel Whetstone and her alleged lover, Samantha Cameron’s stepfather, Lord Astor. He mentioned that his own wife was very understanding. I felt a fleeting hand against my knee – so brief, it was almost deniable. I moved my legs away, and tried to end the drink on friendly terms. I then dropped all contact for a year. I wanted nothing to do with him.

Awkward, right enough.

For a while I wondered if I’d imagined the incident. I had no proof. And was I self-regarding to think myself attractive? Women are trained to doubt our desirability.

Only women? Aren’t men also presented with ideals? They go loopy for a man with his shirt off drinking a Coca Cola or serving a yoghurt, but can only pity the hapless husband who can’t operate soap. And aren’t men now being recast as suspects? An LA Times article told us: “Sexual harassment is neither a Republican problem nor a Democratic one. It’s a man problem.” Like womanhood before liberation, manhood is a restrictive condition.

In May 2016, Maltby was” persuaded by The Times to write a piece about the history of corsets… It ended up being quite light-hearted, and I was talked into posing in a not-very-revealing corset.” The phone rang. It was Green:

“Long time no see. But having admired you in a corset in my favourite tabloid I feel impelled to ask if you are free for a drink anytime?” I ignored the message.

Indeed. She “wanted nothing more to do with him”.

Six weeks later, David Cameron fell and Mr Green was suddenly one of the most important men in Theresa May’s cabinet. As an aspirant political writer, it seemed impossible to avoid him professionally. So I sent him a message. “Many congratulations on joining the cabinet — you and your family must be delighted. I’ll look forward to seeing what you achieve in government.”

Cue Jan Moir, Mrs Michael Gove, the apogee of school gates knowing, who tells Mail readers:

Clearly driven mad with lust by the sight of the 31-year-old in a lace-up bodice and lumpy leggings, Green had only one thing on his mind. The brute! So she ‘actively ignored him’ until this June, when he was suddenly promoted to Deputy PM in Theresa May’s new government. The fact that Green was suddenly hugely important did not escape the single-minded Miss Maltby, who put the trauma of what had happened behind her and began texting him again.

 

maltby green

 

Will anyone stick up for ‘Miss’ lumpy legs? The Mail won’t. It’s Team Green, backing the man allegedly involved in Daily Mail scoops? The Mail’s double-page spread comes with a free hatchet:

One very pushy lady: Kate Maltby’s dad is a banker who dated Ann Widdecombe, and a family friend of the minister she accuses of touching her knee. ANDREW PIERCE profiles a woman determined to make it in politics – whatever the cost

Isn’t being determined a good thing?

Kate was brought up in Geneva, Switzerland, before the family moved back to Britain and into their £5 million home in Holland Park, West London. Kate, a highly- strung teenager, dropped out of Cheltenham Ladies’ College and moved to the £25,000-a-year St Paul’s Girls’ School.

Well-travelled, well-connected and well educated. Maltby can either spend her days lunching or work hard to put her nous to good use. Good on her for having a go, right?

In 2012, Maltby moved into a £1.3 million flat in Notting Hill… She bought the flat, now worth around £2 million, with no mortgage.

Which surely garners the reaction: so what? If this were a story about how anyone seeking a career in media needs to have private means, then we’d get it. We’d expect every Mail’s byline to come with a word on the writer’s schooling, market rate of their home and a family tree linking them to the owner. But it’s a story is about a woman feeling uncomfortable.

While she was in Notting Hill, the ambitious Maltby targeted Samantha Cameron… One member of the now defunct Notting Hill set recalled: ‘She was relentless and persistent in courting Mrs Cameron and others. We all got bombarded with emails and calls from her after she just sort of appeared in our midst. But I’m afraid there was something not quite right. I wasn’t sure we could ever fully trust her.’

And who better to trust than the anonymous source? The same or maybe it’s another anonymous voice tells us: “She might be more careful the next time she’s asked to write a piece trashing a decent man.”

Team Green is in full cry, then? But in the New Statesman, Sarah Ditum says Maltby is “paying the price” for speaking out as a woman. Damian Green’s relations with Maltby are being investigated by Cabinet Office. Green is also being investigated for alleged misuse of his Commons computer, namely to access porn, something he denies. Anna Soubry, a Tory MP, says he should be suspended. A “senior figure” tells the Sunday Times Green should contemplate suicide: “It’s time for the whisky and the revolver.”

Ditum wonders: “How posh does a woman have to be for her account of a man’s behaviour to be dismissed? How ambitious?”

The questions are rhetorical. It’s also clear Ditum is writing less about Maltby than the Mail’s reaction to her. You see. Media loves to talk about media. It’s the easiest news beat there is.

And if accusations of betraying friends, shaming family and publicising herself are too mild for you, don’t worry: Jan Moir is there on the facing page, calling Maltby “poison”, “disingenuous” and “not afraid to use all her charms to get herself noticed”.

But what about Maltby?

When a woman comes forward, she knows her credibility will be undermined, her past picked over and her character demolished. She might, like Labour activist Bex Bailey when she reported a rape, simply be told to hush up.

Rape? Is the heinous crime of rape relevant to Green? Isn’t that, you know, a bit unfair? Isn’t this about an alleged light brush of the knee, and flirtation? And if the media wants to investigate young vulnerable women being abused by older men, why don’t they talk more about attitudes to poor women in Rotherham and elsewhere? No #MeToo hashtags for the poor, ordinary and isolated. You stat to wonder if this about women or class? To rework Ditum’s question: How poor does a woman have to be for her account of a man’s behaviour to be dismissed? And does she have to live in London?

She continues:

When a national paper is willing to go to war for the hand on the knee and the presumptuous text, it’s not because they fear for one man’s career (which, again, was never threatened by Maltby): it’s because these are the things that keep women where we are.

Which is…where? Writing a column in a national newspaper or magazine? Four days after her original story, Maltby wrote in the Times:

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC came forward to confirm that I had confided in her a year ago about Green and was unlikely to have fabricated the story. At least two other women have said the same in public — and there are others who have offered to give similar evidence in private to a forthcoming Cabinet Office inquiry.

So my accusers changed tack. Seeming to accept that I genuinely believe my own claims, “friends of Damian Green” now suggest I may not have been able to tell the difference between the touch of a human hand and the flicker of tablecloth. This is the only story in a very difficult week that has given me reason to crack a hollow smile. Women know the difference between a hand and a tablecloth.

Women do. But do men, who are clueless when it comes to household items and laundry. Discuss.

Posted: 3rd, December 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Damian Green, Jacqui Smith and watching porn on The Job

Who do the police work for? Asking because Cabinet Office Minister Damian Green, effectively Prime Minister Theresa May’s deputy, allegedly had porn on his computer when police raided his office in 2008. Neil Lewis, a former Scotland Yard detective, tells media he found “thousands” of thumbnails of dirty photos in Green’s computer’s browser cache. There was, says Lewis, “no doubt whatsoever” that the porn was accessed by Green.

Green says if there was any porn found, it wasn’t his.

Which leads us to wonder: why would Lewis allegedly keep personal copies of potentially damaging information on an elected MP and cabinet minister? If the information was obtained during paid work hours, why has he got it out of the office? Or is this just about two men allegedly sharing the same taste in smut, storing thumbnails being the modern take on finding a jazz mag in a hedge?

Lewis told the BBC:

“The computer was in Mr Green’s office on his desk, logged in, you know, his account, his name. In between browsing pornography he was sending emails from his account, his personal account, reading documents, writing documents and it was just impossible it was exclusive and extensive that, you know, it was ridiculous to suggest that anybody else could have done it.”

A spokesman for Mr Green tells us, precisely:

“From the outset he has been very clear that he never watched or downloaded pornography on the computers seized from his office.”

The police add in a statement:

“Confidential information gathered during a police inquiry should not be made public. The appropriate course of action is to co-operate privately with the Cabinet Office inquiry as the Metropolitan Police Service has done.”

Jim Waterson, of Buzzfeed News, tweeted:

“The headline on this Damian Green story should be ‘The police don’t delete your data when ordered to do so and are liable to leak details of the legal porn they found in order to embarrass you’.”

And what about the quality of that porn? Thumbnail photos? Is looking at small aides to masturbation likely to make you go blind faster that the A4 shots?

Matthew Parris in the Times:

Be clear: all sides agree that none of the alleged material was illegal, and his accusers have withdrawn any claim it was “extreme”. Nobody is suggesting this was anything other than mainstream internet porn of the kind millions of men, probably most men, many journalists and many policemen, have accessed. There is a debate about pornography and the law but the fact remains: if Mr Green did what the police alleged (and he denies) he would have broken no law. Yet, now he is wounded, they close in on him.

The Register adds:

Lewis’s claims are also subtly different from other police leaks aimed at Green: a month ago Bob Quick, a disgraced former assistant commissioner of the Met, described Green as having “extreme” porn – which is illegal to own. Quick was sacked from the Met for letting press photographers see details of a secret briefing document as he walked into Downing Street, though he was also head of the police inquiry which decided to arrest Green.

And the backstory?

Green is under investigation by Parliamentary authorities for allegedly inappropriate behaviour with a young Conservative activist. He denies any wrongdoing.

The Guardian has more backgroundbin a story entitled “Damian Green and the decade-long feud with ex-Met officer Bob Quick”:

The decade-long feud between Damian Green and Bob Quick, now coming to a head with a Cabinet Office investigation into Green, can be traced back to a day in 2006 when a young civil servant working in Jacqui Smith’s Home Office was allegedly told by the now first secretary of state to get “as much dirt on the Labour party, the Labour government as possible”…

The Jacqui Smith who in 2011 was reported on the BBC thus:

Jacqui Smith has revealed she felt “frozen rather than angry” when told her husband had entered a parliamentary expenses claim for pornographic films. The former Labour home secretary told Radio Times she felt “protective” towards Richard Timney, despite the episode ending her political career.

Ms Smith said she had not gone “through the expense form closely enough”…

Despite outlawing violent pornography while she was home secretary, she said she was “shocked” at the amount of hardcore material still available on the internet. Asked if her husband had known about this, he might not have chosen pay-per-view films, she replied: “Yes, that’s what my 17-year-old son said: ‘Dad, haven’t you heard of the internet?'”

 

 

Back to the Guardian:

Over the course of the next two years Galley got a job in the home secretary’s private office and passed at least 31 separate documents, some classified restricted, from the heart of Smith’s department including from her private office’s inbox and private outer office safe.

Green made maximum use of the documents to secure damaging headlines in the Daily Mail, Sunday Telegraph and other papers…

In the Mail, any word on that?

Damian Green and Bob Quick crossed swords in 2008 when the Met assistant commissioner took dramatic action in an inquiry into leaks from the force. Mr Quick decided to arrest then then shadow immigration minister.
The Tory MP was held for nine hours while his Commons office, two homes and constituency office, were searched and computers removed by counter-terrorism officers.

The episode sparked a huge inquest at the Commons into whether parliamentary privilege should have protected the material held by an MP.

Adding:

In the ensuing political storm, it emerged Mr Quick’s wife was running a car hire firm from their home and details of their address were published on a website.

Or as the Guardian reports:

Three weeks later Quick, in a move he later regretted, publicly accused the Tories “and their press friends” of “acting in a wholly corrupt way” to try to undermine his investigation into Green.

What had provoked his anger was a Mail on Sunday article detailing a wedding chauffeur business run by his wife, Judith, from the family home.

As newspapers score points by omission and inclusion, Parris has the last word:

What Damian Green was alleged to have watched might be thought disgusting, but what two former Met officers have been up to is little short of sinister. Disgust can rule the headlines and may win the day, but former police officers are trying to destroy a senior minister with whom they have clashed. This is London, not Chicago. Parliamentarians, in retreat for a decade now, should unite to push back.

One day they’ll let robots run us…

Posted: 2nd, December 2017 | In: Broadsheets, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Daily Mail reported Mugabe’s demise 2 days before he went

As Robert Mugabe spends time with his money, it’s worth noting how the Mail knew he was going well before anyone else. On November 19 at 5:08 pm, the Mail thundered: “Robert Mugabe STEPS DOWN to end 37 years in power.” The was wrong, of course, Mugabe resigned two days later.

robert mugabe daily mail

 

How did the Mail know? And what were those people celebrating – Mugabe’s staying and going? The Mail’s Facebook page published this update:

 

robert mugabe daily mail error

 

Follow the link and the Mail story now reads: “Robert Mugabe now faces impeachment after REFUSING to resign”. Indeed, the paper’s Twitter link is confused. Having stated that Mugabe was gone, the updated teaser was picked up and tells readers: “Robert Mugabe REFUSES to step down.”

 

 

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 2nd, December 2017 | In: News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Bournemouth v Harry Redknapp in new flats row

Do we like Harry Redknapp the property developer more than Harry Redknapp the wheeler dealing football manager? The Guardian is upset by the man who once upon a time looked a shoo-in to be England manager. “Harry Redknapp ‘will make 30 people homeless’ with flats plan,” runs the headline. Those inverted commas should tell you something about plans to replace the unlisted Victorian Belgravia Hotel in Bournemouth with flats. The hotel, says the local Echo newspaper, is divided into 24 bedsits.

Plans by the football manager Harry Redknapp to demolish a former hotel and replace it with “posh” apartments would result in 30 people being made homeless, including several with disabilities, cancer sufferers, ex-offenders and other vulnerable individuals, according to opponents to the scheme.

What a basta…

Clifford Henley, one of the residents, claimed Redknapp… stood to make a fortune from the 21 flats and three mews houses, adding: “To be chucking 30 blokes on the streets with no consideration whatsoever – it’s brutal.”

Class war? “It’s walking over poor people,” says Henley. and then comes a right to reply. A spokesman for Redknapp’s company says the proposed homes range in price from £160,000 to £300,000.

In February 2017, Bournemouth councillors rejected Redknapp’s plans to replace the Belgravia with a four-storey block of 32 flats.  East Cliff Conservation Area board chairman and East Cliff ward councillor David Kelsey opined: “We can’t just pull a building down because we don’t like the people living in it, we all have a right to live somewhere. I am fed up of developers just pulling buildings down for the sake of pulling them down.”

If it’s about housing people, isn’t the plan an improvement, offering space for more people than the current situation? You might suppose not because the Guardian has also delivered such stories as: “The truth about property developers: how they are exploiting planning authorities and ruining our cities” and “Virtual realty: can a computer game turn you into an ‘evil’ property developer?”

The Guardian ends by telling readers: ‘…in an interview last month, another footballing legend, the former England and Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman, said that owning too many properties was “just greedy and expensive”.’

Any journalists own more than one home? Or is it just footballers whose morals get examined?

 

Posted: 2nd, December 2017 | In: Broadsheets, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


David Dearlove: the Facebook photo that jailed a child killer

dearlove booth crime scene

 

David Dearlove is starting a life sentence for the murder of Paul Booth. David Dearlove is 71. He will serve at least 13 years behind bars. Paul Booth is 19 months old. He will always be 19 months old because on October 1 1968 David Dearlove swung him by the ankles and smashed his step-son’s head into a fireplace.

We only know what happened because Paul’s brother Peter saw it all when he went downstairs to fetch a drink. Peter was three-years-old when he peered through the crack in the door and saw the horror. Having seen his brother murdered by their stepfather – Dearlove had moved into their home in Stockton, Teesside, one month earlier – Peter ran back upstairs.

How did the authorities think the toddler died? The inquest into Paul Booth’s death delivered an open verdict.

 

dearlove booth crime scene

 

In 2015, Peter did tell the police what he’d seen. His sense of injustice and anger was triggered by a photograph posted by a family member on Facebook. The photo (above) shows his younger brother sat on Dearlove’s knee. “Dearlove’s son David posted an image of his dad with Paul and I got angry,” Mr Booth told jurors at Tyneside Crown court. “I did not want it on there because of what he had done to Paul and what he had done to me.”

 

 

The killer denied it all. He said Peter was a liar. He said Paul Booth was instrumental in his own death, claiming he’d fallen out of bed on to a concrete floor.

The court heard Dearlove had a history of violence towards Peter, Paul and their sister Stephanie Marron.

“What happened behind closed doors stayed behind closed doors,” Peter told jurors. “You didn’t tittle-tattle. You don’t tell tales. So everything that happened I just kept it to myself. You just got on with it. You’d cry yourself to sleep.” Peter told how Dearlove tortured him. He held him under water in the bath. He stood him outside in the cold and ran his hands under ice-cold water. He beat him.

Stephanie told the court that Dearlove punched her “full force” in the stomach. He’d lay on top of her until she could not breathe. “I can still feel his weight,” she said.

And then we know this: the Crown Prosecution Service told the court it had not been able to exhume Paul’s body as burial records had been lost. On October 7 1968 Paul Booth was buried at the Haverton Hill baptist church, since closed and demolished. The case would reply on the documents prepared for his inquest at the time. Paul’s mother Carol Boot died in 1991.

Would the records be enough?

 

dearlove booth crime scene

 

Thankfully, the coroner’s report contained photographs (above). They showed injuries to Paul’s feet and ankles, older bruising to his body, that his front teeth had been knocked out and, most damning, a Z-shape injury that crossed two plates in his skull. Had he hit the floor, as Dearlove claimed, the wound would have been in a straight line.

Indeed. Why didn’t that occur to anyone at the original inquest? Why did a postmortem cause the police spokesman to “rule out foul play”?

Paul Booth was remarkably accident prone on Dearlove’s watch. He fell down the stairs. And:

Pictures from inside the Rodney Street home [above] show the hot water pipes Dearlove claimed little Paul had burned his hand on. They also show a moped he claimed had fallen on Paul, which left him with visible bruising.

And then there was that fatal wound to his head.

 

dearlove booth crime scene

The killer

 

Outside court, Paul’s family make a statement:

“Thinking about this makes us sad, as Paul would have been a man, no doubt married and more than likely with children of his own.

“However, sadly Paul was not given the opportunity to live his life due to the cruel and wicked actions of David Dearlove.

“This was a man who entered Paul’s life and was supposedly to act as a father figure to Paul. A man, who was supposed to care for him and look after him. Instead of doing this he ended Paul’s life in the most violent way.

“The actions of David Dearlove on 1st October 1968 not only physically killed Paul but also destroyed his memory. He was buried into an unmarked grave the location of which remains unknown and he was not spoken about for many years.

“However, we now believe as a family that this court case has shown everyone that Paul did live a life and that his memory will never be forgotten. Naturally we are delighted as a family that justice has now been done, even if it did take 47 years to achieve it.

“David Dearlove is now behind bars.

“This has been a long journey to get to this point and we would like to thank Cleveland Police and those that assisted in bringing the case to court. We now hope to move on with our lives, and with justice having been served, hope that Paul can now rest in peace.”

Paul Booth RIP.

Posted: 1st, December 2017 | In: News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Spurs balls: Mauricio Pochettino’s Brave New World falls apart

As Tottenham slip to 7th place in the Premier League, the Sun elbows its way to front of the queue to bash team manager Mauricio Pochettino. In “Chapter And Worse”, the paper wonders, “Is Posh book to blame for Spurs’ Real Shocker?” The answer is, of course, no.

In case you missed Pochettino’s book, Brave New World: Inside Pochettino’s Spurs “reveals secrets behind his success”. He reveals: he likes eating crisps; “Whenever I am slightly down, I like to smell Argentinian wine”; “Poch is very keen on building-up an unbreakable team, spirit”; “the ever-professional Poch…likes to quiz his stars on selected topics from their most recent team meeting if he bumps into them in the corridors… just to make sure they were listening”; and he “once dropped a player for eating LASAGNE”. All those killer facts are in the Sun’s review of the book in an article dated October 27.

One month on and, according to the Sun, the book that told of Poch’s “success” and his skill for building team spirit is the catalyst for disaster.

In the online version of the story of the cursed book, the Sun answers its own question with a ‘YES’:

The Spurs boss’ book, Brave New World, appears to have jinxed his title-chasing side since it reached shelves on October 26.

In the paper version (pages 56 and 57), the story begins by answering that same question with a ‘NO’:

It is surely coincidence that since the story of Mauricio Pochettino’s ‘Brave New World’ was published, Spurs’ title dream has died.’

Mark Irwin tells us that five games ago, Spurs were “Manchester City’s most likely challenges”. Fourteen matches into the season, Spurs are seventh. After nine matches played, Spurs were in third place, five points behind Manchester City. Manchester United were second, surely making them the side most likely to topple City.

Reading on we learn that the book “has not gone down well with certain players, who are uncomfortable with some of the manager’s revelations”. The crisps, right? Or was it how he likes to pick the washing powder for the team’s kit?

This is the same Pochettino who was subject to the Sun’s story of September 23 2017, which focused on his talent for team bonding:

MAURICIO POCHETTINO took his Tottenham stars and Daniel Levy out to dinner this week – at a cost of £7,000. The generous Spurs boss picked up the whopping tab after inviting FIFTY of his club colleagues, including chairman Levy, to his team-bonding get-together at posh West End diner Beast on Wednesday night.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 1st, December 2017 | In: Back pages, News, Sports, Spurs | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Donald Trump and Britain First: a Twitter romance made in a safe space

Is a retweet an endorsement? It is if you’re cuddly Donald Trump, who has amplified anti-Muslim propaganda tweeted by Jayda Franse, the woman who fronts Britain First, the odious far right group.

That Trump has the brain of a cretinous adolescent is certain. It’s also a sure thing that when Trump tweets, it’s news. Four national newspapers lead with Trump’s retweets. The Times, Telegraph and Guardian all lead with Theresa’s May’s condemnation of the tweets Tump broadcasted to his millions of followers.

The i goes further. It says Trump’s sad, deeply pathetic and short-fingered grasp on the big issues of diplomacy, bigotry and racism, his undermining of the weight of high office, call into question his State visit to the UK. His retweets, says the paper, constitute “an attack on Britain”.

 

Trump tweets britain first

 

Should the UK be a safe space, where Donald’ Tump is banned from entering?

Trump takes pride in claiming to be saying the ‘unsayable’, telling it like it is. In his head, Trump’s engaging in home-spun wisdom. He’s a plain talking pioneer stripped of politicians’ artifice and cunning. His Twitter account’s a virtual stoop wherefrom he shares wisdom with the simple folks who gather at his feet. Little surprise he finds kindred spirits in fringe groups who purport to be doing the same, self-styled brave souls daring to speak the truth at a time when free expression is increasingly oppressed.

As debate withers and dies on the vine – free speech stymied by policed speech, activists posing as journalists and offence-seekers watching us for any misstep; when accusation is enough to establish guilt; when identity is all (and you know who agrees with that liberal view? Yeah: Nazis) – extremists with loud mouths position themselves as the voices of freedom. You want an alternative to the suffocation. There it is on the side, circling life’s plughole.

The last word is with Trump. Having been called out for his actions, he tweets:

@TheresaMay, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!

 

No, Donald. No! That’s the wrong Theresa May.

 

 

America. Would someone over there please take Trump’s phone away from him and put him to bed. Grown-ups are talking. Well, we will just as long as those progressive liberal voices who view human interaction as a potential crime scene allow it…

Posted: 30th, November 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Daily Mail: Underage YouTube watchers are ‘looking more grown up than ever’

The Daily Mail today publishes the “Terrifying truth about what your child watches on YouTube”. There is a welter of bilge on YouTube, some of it troubling. But is the Mail best placed to criticise? The paper tells readers that YouTube hosts “sexualised child content”. Another story is headline “3-year-olds watching YouTube”. The story is that paedos are out there. And what looks innocent to kids, appeals to perverts.

So should Mail Online be accessible only to adults?

This has all appeared on the website:

* Chloe Moretz appears to have aged rather rapidly since her first turn in film Kick-Ass.With flowing blonde locks, and artfully applied make-up, she looked rather mature for her 15 years…

* She’s still only 15, but Chloë Moretz…The strawberry blonde stepped out with a male friend in a cute Fifties-style powder blue sleeveless collared shirt which she tied at her waist – revealing just a hint of her midriff.

* “Classy Chloe: Teen actress Moretz, 14, looks all grown up…

*“Rather risqué for a 14-year-old? Kick Ass star Chloe Moretz sports a sheer blouse and short leather skirt at film premiere…But it seems her rising Hollywood star might have caused 14-year-old Chloe Moretz to grow up a little too fast.The young actress stepped out on the red carpet at the Toronto Film Festival last night wearing a rather risqué outfit…”

Remember when Suri Cruise was big news:

 

 

Heidi Klum’s daughter was spotted. She was eight years old, when the Mail reported on the pre-pubescent “leggy beauty“:

Model in the making: Klum’s daughter Leni has model stems like her mommy

And:

 

 

Ban this sick filth!

Posted: 29th, November 2017 | In: News, Tabloids, Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Iran tells fighter to abandon sporting values, lose deliberately and avoid Israeli athlete

Alireza Karimi-Mashiani israel iran

 

Iran has set out to prove that sport is pointless. Iranian wrestler Alireza Karimi-Mashiani was winning a quarter-final fight in the under-23 world championships. Russian fighter Alikhan Zhabrailov looked set to lose the 86kg bout. The winner would take on Israel’s Uri Kalashnikov. A voice calls out, reportedly, “Alireza, you have to lose!”

“In a moment, my whole world seemed to come to an end,” Karimi tells the Iranian Students News Agency. “I was told that the Israeli wrestler defeated his American rival, and that I must lose to avoid facing an Israeli opponent. I have trained hard for months to win a gold medal, and it was easy for me to win.”

Poor sod. But no matter about your sporting prowess. The State loves you. You’re not an athlete. You’re a role model. Iran’s sports ministry posts a statement: “Your noble and heroic action in the world competition in Poland, abandoning the medal and the podium in support of the highest human values, is a source of pride and praise.”

What those values are is not noted. But we believe them to be not a lot unlike the values extolled at the 1936 Olympics. Front Page Mag goes further: “The Mullahs transform international sport into Jew-hate.”

Now those results in full.

 

Posted: 29th, November 2017 | In: News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


When Harry met Meghan: tabloids deliver the wedding, the dress and honeymoon facts

Prince Harry wedding newspapers

 

By now you’ll be wondering what Prince Harry and Megan Markle are up to. Thankfully, the tabloids understand your thinking and have produced a few words on the prince and his paramour.

The Sun: 25 pages.
Daily Mail: 18 pages
Daily Star: 6 pages, including one of Page 3 stunna “Royal fan Megan”
Daily Express: 7 pages
Daily Mirror: 9 pages

What about the wedding:

THE MOTHER-IN-LAW

“Tourits flocked to Kensington Palace last night to salute the happy couple and tell of their excitement that ‘new Diana’ Meghan’ will become a royal… She’s very appealing to people, like Diana was” – Star

“Diana would have been thrilled – Meghan’s just the kind of woman she wanted to be” – Mail

THE DRESS

“Meghan Markel’s wedding dress with a glamorous red-carpet gown” – Express

“EXCLUSIVE: Fit for a Princess! Will Meghan Markle choose an Australian designer to make her bridal gown for the ultimate modern Royal wedding?” – Mail

“Meghan Markle is likely to opt for a low-key, cool designer to create her wedding dress” – Standard

“She once revealed what her dream dress would be when talking about her character Rachel in legal drama Suits, who wore a wedding gown in one episode.  She revealed the dress worn in the show wasn’t her “personal style”, adding: “I’m a lot more relaxed than Rachel… Classic and simple is the name of the game, perhaps with a modern twist. I personally prefer wedding dresses that are whimsical or subtly romantic.” – Star, “Meghan Markle’s wedding dress REVEALED: Harry’s fiancee’s dream gown PICTURED”

THE COAT

“Did you spot Meghan Markle’s subtle fashion nod to Princess Diana?.. With the photocall taking place in Princess Diana’s former residence, it seems only fitting that Meghan would wear white, a nod to Diana and the memorial white garden that was created in her memory this year to mark the 20 year anniversary of her death.” – Marie Clair

“Meghan wore a white coat…it did slighlty resemble a dressing gown” – Sun

The coat “was not unlike something her future sister-in-law the Duchess of Cambridge would wear” – Mail

“Meghan’s journey to fashion icon status continued yesterday when she wore a white-belted coat” – Mirror

THE WEDDING FOOD

“Roast chicken, sweet potato and white-bean soup” – Mirror

THE HONEYMOON

Bostwana; Croatia; Bordeaux, Athens, Madrid, New York – Mirror

The Seychelles is “the red-hot favourite” – Star

 

Posted: 28th, November 2017 | In: Celebrities, News, Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Trust Project balls: Arsenal and Manchester United fans tricked by MEN Ozil news

In the twilight zone between fact and fiction, sits football reporting. Today’s Manchester Evening News turns a simple story on Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil’s bout of the sniffles into “positive news” for Manchester United fans. Before we get to Samuel Luckhurst’s story, the headline:

Manchester United get Mesut Ozil boost from Arsenal

Rumours abound that Manchester United will move for the Arsenal star whose contract expires at the season’s end. Notions of pending transfer business is the meat to the story. That’s only reinforced by the teaser:

Mesut Ozil is interested in moving to Man Utd next year and Jose Mourinho has received some positive news from Arsenal.

 

the trust project

 

Can it be that Ozil is on his way to Old Trafford? Are Arsenal and United arranging things? Before reaching the story, we’re told that the MEN is part of the ‘Trust Project’. What’s that?

The Trust Project is an international consortium of news organizations collaborating to use transparency to build a more trustworthy and trusted press.

It’s clear, then. Ozil to Manchester United is on.

The story begins:

Mesut Ozil could be a doubt for Arsenal’s weekend Premier League fixture with Manchester United due to illness.

And… And nothing. The entire story is that Ozil was ill and couldn’t play for the Gunners at Burnley. He might be ill for when  Arsenal play United next weekend. Arsenal have offered no boost for any transfer. The ‘good news’ is that Ozil is ill.

So much for trust, eh.

Posted: 27th, November 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Everton balls: the biggest match ever (until Martin Keown’s next deadline)

Not content with ignoring facts to have a pop at Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil, Martin Keown is making historically incontinent comments about his other former club, Everton. Buying into the hype that everything in Premier League football is of monumental importance, Keown notices that Everton are playing badly, furrows his brown, leans in and tells Match of the Day viewers:  “You think now, Wednesday they play West Ham at home. Is there a bigger game in Everton’s history?”

A bigger game? No. Many bigger games? Yes. Even if you buy into Keown’s bilge that football began in the Premier League era, Everton have had big games. In 1994, they secured a momentous 3-2 win over Wimbledon.

Two goals down, with nine minutes of the season remaining – and needing to win to stay up – Everton scored the winner.

 

 

 

Four years later, Everton endured more last-day drama.

 

1997-98

 

Everton stayed up by way of superior goal difference over Bolton. Everton needed only a point against Coventry if Bolton lost at Chelsea, which they did. Everton were one goal up – then with five minutes to go missed a penalty. With two minutes to go Coventry scored. Tension. You betcha.

 

But none of that nor the glory nights, when Everton won Cups and league titles matters. Because 14 games into the season, Martin Keown says a home match with West Ham is the biggest match in Everton’s history.

Posted: 27th, November 2017 | In: News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Paul Hollywood’s Indian Summer

Summer Paul Hollywood

 

No topless photos of Paul Hollywood, 51, the TV baker leaving his wife of umpteen years. No photos of Paul in his undies, posing with a cheeky glance to camera as his taps his buttocks. And no revelations that he likes to hang homemade ring donuts on his manhood in the way the actor John Bindon used to hand five half-pint glasses on his penis.

Instead we get Paul telling us that years ago a fortuneteller told him he would be “very wealthy and very famous” (Daily Star), and two big photos of Summer Moneys Fulham, a 22-year-old barmaid (Daily Mail). In one, Summer does the splits on the bar of a Kent pub where she met the TV oven stuffer. In another she smiles in a low-cut top.

The Mail recalls Hollywood’s affair with Marcel Valladolid, his co-judge on the US version of the Great British Bake Off, telling readers that he called it “the biggest mistake of my life”.

On the Mirror’s front page, it’s “Bake Off Paul” and the “barmaid”. Hollywood ‘Splashes the dough” (geddit?) on “young barmaid Summer Monteys-Fulham”, now given a hyphen.

The message is clear: he is money and fame; she is seduction and regret. Love and sex are different for girls.

We read that Summer has “apparently quit her job”, deleted her social media profiles and moved out her parent’s “£1m home”.  Her life seems to have been changed since the Sun on Sunday broke news that she and Hollywood had become friends. “It has clearly upset her a lot,” says an unnamed source to the Mail.

So the single woman gets profiled and finds herself in the paper, the object of our heated debate and judgement. Wonder what the stars said lurked in store for her.

Posted: 27th, November 2017 | In: Celebrities, News, Tabloids, TV & Radio | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Woman self-indentifies as Madeleine McCann

madeleine harriet

 

Madeleine McCann has been found. Or, rather, someone has self-identified as the missing child.

Harriet Brookes noticed a mark in her eye an another on her leg similar to the missing child. “Right guys,” said Harriet. “I don’t usually believe in conspiracy theories but honestly I think I’m Madeleine McCann…I’m Madeleine McCann and I don’t know what to do with myself.” Harriet published photos of her face and leg next to images of Madeleine McCann’s face and leg.

 

harriet books maddie mccann

 

 

 

What looks to anyone sane like a joke becomes The Tab’s “We spoke to the Leeds student who thinks she’s Madeleine McCann… What started as a bit of group-chat banter has now become a fully-fledged internet conspiracy theory.”

No. It hasn’t. What started out as joke is till a joke, albeit one in the news. And what says the woman who “thinks” she the missing child? Says Harriet: “Well I wasn’t really convinced, I just thought it was funny we looked similar… I just sent it for a joke hahaha.”

News that Harriet’s parents have ben arrested are wide of the mark.

Posted: 27th, November 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Daily Mail versus The Guardian: wrapping Nazis and eugenics in Paperchase guff

Have you boycotted Paperchase, sellers of printed stationery – yep, people really do still send letters (though not to Daily Mail readers who communicate by holding their noses and yelling into the wind)?  Hope not. Paperchase tried its best to shine a light into society’s darkest recess. It reached out to the Daily Mail’s  Untermensch readership, hoping that in offering them two free rolls of Christmas wrapping paper, they’d be put on the path to decency.

 

paperchase brexit

Paperchase – not fan of Brexit

 

But Stop Funding Hate thought Mail readers beyond salvation and bombarded Paperchase’s social media account with complaints. Paperchase didn’t rescind the offer, but did vow never again to reach down into the sewer. It was “truly sorry”. Some people are just not worth the effort. Wrapping paper is a not a right; it’s a moral choice. The tree gods gladly give up their own to wrap useful gifts like photos of Jeremy Corbyn, DVDs of The 100 Best Silences and the Pop-Up Book of Safe Spaces. But save for the odd Japanese knot weed and leylandii, no vegetation wants to be seen dead around the kind of stuff Mail readers buy at Christmas – jackboots, flaming torches and Jeremy Clarkson audio tapes.

Sarah Baxter tells Times readers Stop Funding Hate is interested in muzzling the Press. The group’s founder, Richard Wilson, ‘admitted on Newsnight that “the end point for us is a media that does the job we all want it to”.’ Which is? Baxter says it’s “suppressing the array of opinion reflected in the British press… Stop Funding Hate, however, has morphed into an arrogant group of hate-mongering activists who are outraged about an ever-expanding range of subjects”.

The idea is simple: starve the publication you don’t like of advertising money and watch it die. If this also deprives thick-as-custard people of reading the tabloids, all to the good. If those mouth-breathers can’t be banned from sharing views of the right-minded, their reading material must be censored. The caring Left knows best.

The Advertising Association is concerned, stating: “The UK has a free press and advertising plays a vital role in funding that. Pressure group lobbying of this kind has negative implications for our press freedom.” Advertising body Isba, warns: “We shouldn’t take for granted the freedom of the press.”

Over in the Guardian, which would surely be the only newspaper on the bottom shelf when the anti-haters have won the day, Peter Peston thunders:

Stop Funding Hate may legitimately urge Mail readers to quit (and Mail readers may, equally legitimately, examine the causes SFH espouses and make up their own minds). But trolling rather nervous companies such as Paperchase isn’t legitimate. It’s the thin end of a dangerous wedge – with no winners in sight, from left or right.

As last week’s Ipso complaints ruling on Trevor Kavanagh’s “The Muslim Problem” column for the Sun mordantly observes: “There is no clause in the editors’ code which prohibits publication of offensive content”. Nor should there be.

In the same paper, Stewart Lee writes beneath the headline: “My futile attempt to sell satire to the Daily Mail.” Well, the paper does employ the sublime Craig Brown, so maybe he’s enough? Guardian readers are told:

Usually, I am the sort of person who thinks that anyone who has ever worked for the Daily Mail is worse than Adolf Hitler, even the temps and the tea lady. And I’m not alone. So disgusted are youth voters by the repellent newspaper, it’s now clear that the Daily Mail’s increasingly hysterical attacks on Jeremy Corbyn, the coddled egg of British politics, may even have helped secure his triumphant loss in the last general election.

Worse than Hitler? Satire, right? Phew! And people not voting for Corbyn because the Mail told them, too? I thought it was about anti-Semitism. But, then, I’ve not been keeping up with the Guardian’s news on Jews and Jezza’ Labour Party, not since one of their columnists wrote in the Guardian: “I have developed a habit when confronted by letters to the editor in support of the Israeli government to look at the signature to see if the writer has a Jewish name. If so, I tend not to read it.”

I didn’t call for a boycott. And the sport pages are good. Boycotts are, after all, for censors and Nazis.

Lee also turns to the subject of Nazis, riffing on when the Mail hailed the blackshirts.

And a sepia-toned card of the first Viscount Rothermere, the paper’s 1930s proprietor, declares, in Daily Mail font, “I urge all British young men and women to study the Nazi regime in Germany. There is a clamorous campaign of denunciation against ‘Nazi atrocities’ which consist merely of a few isolated acts of violence, but which have been generalised, multiplied and exaggerated to give the impression that Nazi rule is a bloodthirsty tyranny. Congratulations on passing your driving test.”

Haha. Got one about the Guardian opposing the creation of the National Health Service as it feared the state provision of healthcare would “eliminate selective elimination”?

This is not to defend the Mail. It’s to highlight how censorship is formed by bigotry.

Owen Jones disagrees. He writes in the Guardian: “Paperchase rejecting the Daily Mail is another victory against hatred.” No, he’s not being ironic.

This paper, whose less than glorious history includes cheerleading for the Nazis and Oswald Mosley’s blackshirts, is one of the most vindictive bullies in Britain.

And the Guardian? The Spectator tells us that not all leading figures in the Left, including eugenicist George Bernard Shaw, minded tyranny. ( In March 1933 Shaw was a co-signatory to a letter in The Manchester Guardian protesting at the continuing misrepresentation of Soviet achievements: “No lie is too fantastic, no slander is too stale … for employment by the more reckless elements of the British press.”)

Malcolm Muggeridge, was initially supportive of the Soviet regime. But then he went to Moscow as a correspondent for the Manchester Guardian and learned about the Ukrainian famine. The Guardian censored his reports. The left was divided by the atrocities of the Soviet Union into honest, moral people and those who turned a blind eye.

Is this a row between newspapers: the Guardian in need of the Mail to showcase what it is not; the Mail and right-wing Press, doing much the same? The difference is, though, that only one side supports censorship.

Posted: 26th, November 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, News, Tabloids, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: when will Liverpool sign Didier Baptiste?

Didier Baptiste liverpool

Dream Team

 

November 24 is the day when Liverpool moved to sign Didier Baptiste for £3.5million. It was an unforgettable moment of Transfer Balls on November 24 1999. The News of the World reported that Liverpool were looking to sign the “French Under-21 international” from Monaco.

Baptiste to Liverpool was on.  The Times and The Guardian agreed, albeit valuing Baptiste at £1million. But Gerard Houllier’s Liverpool would never get the young defender: He didn’t (and still doesn’t) exist.

Baptiste was a character played by the late Tom Redhill in the Sky One football soap opera ‘Dream Team’ who arrived at Harchester United from Monaco in 1999.

The aforementioned papers were all drawn into a hoax that began on an Arsenal fan forum and got rehashed on Liverpool’s Clubcall line (a premium rate phone number supporters could ring to listen to the latest club-related gossip), from whence the News of the World plucked the ‘story’ and ran with it.

The News of the World duly blamed the Hayters sports news agency for feeding them the rumour, though the damage had already been done.

As Chris Wright quips: “The tabloid was ultimately forced to cease publication in 2011, though whether the Baptiste cock-up was directly to blame is still subject to debate.”

Posted: 25th, November 2017 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Lily Madigan: Labour, women and a terf war

Lily Madigan was once Liam Madigan. Lily is now the women’s officer for the Labour Party branch in Rochester and Strood in Kent. She’s been in the news before. In October 2016, “Brave Lily” (Kent Online)  received an apology from St Simon Stock Catholic School, Maidstone, for sending her home for “wearing the wrong uniform” and “preventing her from using the girls’ toilets and changing rooms”.

Said Lily, who threatened to sue the school: “I decided to come in dressed in the girls’ dress code, which basically meant I was wearing a top instead of a shirt. It made me feel so happy, until I was sent home.”

Lily, 19, was born male but identifies as a woman. The Times explains how her new job works:

Labour Party rules state that “the women’s officer must be a woman”.

Why? Can only women understand and represent women? Do you need to have been a girl to know womanhood?

Ms Madigan said it was “misguided” to suggest she could not fulfil the duties of the role, simply because she was born male.

That part at least sounds right.

Teresa Murray, Medway councillor and vice-chairwoman of the executive committee of Rochester and Strood CLP, says “Lily will have to work very hard to convince other people that her very presence there is not going to undermine them”. Adding: “Someone who is an accountant would probably make a better treasurer initially, but that doesn’t mean we should only give the role to an accountant.”

Accountants are born for the job, of course. It’s not something you can learn. It’s something in you. It defines you. You’re just built that way. Accounting is in the genes. But that’s not to say others don’t think accountancy more representative of their true selves. If they want to dress in grey suits, part their hair to the side and carry a briefcase, then that is their right.

Ella Whelan has more background:

Madigan hit the headlines after arguing that Anne Ruzylo, a Labour Party women’s officer in a different constituency, should be sacked for being ‘transphobic’. Ruzylo, a lesbian, feminist and trade unionist, had criticised the sanctification of the trans movement. For this, she was labelled a ‘terf’ (trans exclusionary radical feminist) and was harassed by transgender activists online. Eventually, the executive committee of Ruzylo’s local Labour branch resigned in protest at her mistreatment.

“I feel quite violated,” Ms Ruzylo told The Times. “I’ve worked as a trade unionist for 30 years and I’ve never been shut down in this way. It’s disgusting… Debate is not hate. If we can’t talk about gender laws and get shut down on that, what’s next? What else are we not allowed to talk about? We’re going back to the days of McCarthyism. It is disgraceful.”

“I don’t care if I get called a transphobe, says Whelan adds, “Lily Madigan is not a woman. At 19, he is barely even a man.”

Ouch.

One thing is certain: if you cannot express yourself, we are all the worse off for it.

PS:  The Times, which is on the Madigan beat, reports

The transgender teenager at the centre of a Labour Party row has applied for the Jo Cox Women in Leadership programme, angering and dismaying party members…

The leadership programme was started last year in memory of the murdered MP Jo Cox, with the specific aim of encouraging more women into politics.

Critics say that it defies the whole point of the scheme, which attracted more than 1,000 applications for 57 places in its first year, to include people who are biologically male or who have lived part of their lives as men.

What price equality?

“Women in the party are fuming,” said one Momentum activist who accused the leadership of quietly redefining the meaning of “woman” without consulting the membership.

Good grief.

Posted: 25th, November 2017 | In: Broadsheets, News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Come On Effzeh! The Daily Mirror trolls Arsenal and Spurs fans by misreporting FC Cologne song

Come On Effzeh! The Daily Mirror trolls Arenal and Spurs fans by misreporting FC Cologne song

 

At last night Europa League match between Cologne and Arsenal (-0 to the Germans), the Daily Mirror heard fans offering some tag-team anti-Spurs abuse. The headline is unequivocal: ‘”Tottenham are s***!” Arsenal and Cologne fans “join forces to troll Spurs” during Europa League tie”.

 

 

They did? No, of course they didn’t. The Mirror is trolling Arsenal and Spurs fans. But Mark Jones is hearing what he wants to, telling Mirror readers:

Arsenal fans seemingly joined forces with their counterparts from Cologne to troll Tottenham Hotspur during their Europa League tie in Germany on Thursday night… the two sets of fans linked up in perfect harmony at the RheinEnergieStadion, although Spurs fans won’t want to hear it.

Wrong. The Cologne fans chant “Come on FC!” or “Come on Effzeh!” over and over and over at every match. Cologne fans are not trolling Spurs fans. They don’t give a s*** about Spurs fans. But the Mirror’s advertising clicks do.

 

 

Spotter: 365

Posted: 24th, November 2017 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports, Spurs, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Jack Maynard: let’s feed him to the cockroaches and Dennis Wise

JAck Maynard

 

They’re gunning for Jack Maynard, the YouTuber who left the I’m A Celebrity Jungle accused of making alleged racist and homophobic tweets. Exposed by the Sun, Maynard is hammered by the Mirror, which leads with his face and the headline:”Teenage girl: I’m A CelebJack begged me for pic in my bra.” It might have been kinder to have Jack Maynard buried in a cockroach-infested hole in the Australian jungle with Dennis Wise for company. But that’s not to diminish from his apparent offence. Being buried alive for TV entertainment was too good for him.

On page 8, we read: “Your boobs are nice & would look good in bra shot…Ever take one?” The claim is that Jack “pestered the girl” when Jack was 17. We’re told there is “no suggestion he knew the girl was only 14 at the time”.

We then get introduced to the ‘victim’, who says she was a fan of Jack’s brother Conor Maynard and “sought his advice on becoming an online model”. They then allegedly got into an exchange, in which Maynard was told he is only famous through his brother and he told her: “Who the fuck even are you? You’re an ugly freak.”

We then hear from her: “I looked up to Jack as a role mode and I found his persistence annoying. But I saw it as relatively harmless flirting given the small age gap… I don’t think he was aware I was younger than him. He was just a bit of a dickhead…” The Sun ignores the bra and says, “he had also begged a 14-year-old fan to send him nude pictures.”

The Sun also quotes the ‘victim’, no aged 10, who says: “He was 16, I was 14. It was something that happens to everyone. [The Mirror said he was 17.] I never once felt harassed. We were kids, it’s not once harmed me at all in any way. It’s in the past. It is a serious allegation to make, but you’re a kid, you make mistakes. He didn’t know how old I was, and I didn’t know how old he was at the time. I cannot stress enough that the messages were harmless.”

And that’s it. “I’m sorry to anyone that I upset, anyone that I offended, anyone I made feel uncomfortable,” says Maynard. “Growing up I was all over social, my entire life was on social media an through that it led to be my job. I’ve tweeted some bad things, some horrible things, that I’m just ashamed of.” The Sun says he wad “grinning” and “smirking” when he apologised in a video.

Thankfully, no journalists ever said anything that might have caused offence.

 

Posted: 24th, November 2017 | In: Celebrities, News, Tabloids, TV & Radio | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal: every Europa League winner loses

Arsenal were beaten by the mighty FC Cologne in the Europa Cup. The German side was poor, needing a pretty soft penalty to hit the net; but even when faced with the Bundesliga’s worst side Arsenal couldn’t score. But fear not, Arsenal fans. The Gunners can still win the second-rate cup. No team to have captured the trophy since the first winners in 2010 has gone the course undefeated.

The following is a guide to how many matches the eventual winners lost by. Defeats in two-legged knock-out rounds are in brackets.

2010: Atletico Madrid 3 (1)

2011: Porto (2)

2012: Atletico Madrid 1

2013: Chelsea 2 (2)

2014: Seville (3)

2015: Seville 1

2016: Seville 4 (2)

2017: Manchester United 1

Onwards and upwards, Arsenal. One the best players take part it’ll be shoo-in, right. Ozil and Sanchez will fire Arsenal home – unless thy leave the club in January.

 

Posted: 23rd, November 2017 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Jon Venables: turning James Bulger’s murder into good and moral entertainment

Jon Venables, the child who killed a child, is back in the news. News is that he’s been caught in possession of child abuse images, just as he was in 2010. This means he’s back in prison.

The Sun leads with the news, saying how Venables’ probation officials spotted the images on a computer belonging to the 35-year-old who together with Robert Thompson killed James Bulger in February 1993. Over pages 4 and 5, we see the familiar photos: Venables at age 10 stood for the police cameras; his partner in crime Robert Thompson in the same pose; and that haunting CCTV picture of James Bulger being walked form a Merseyside shopping centre to his gruesome death.

Venables, of course, is not known by that name. He got a new name, one which cannot and should not be revealed. Right now he’s in a category A prison, his alleged offences under investigation. If it goes to court, the paper says Venables will be afforded a crown court trial. Venables keeps costing the State money. Last time in prison, we learn he was given around-the-clock protection, and “access to guitar lessons and a rowing machine”. Before his release in 2001, he was given “years of costly treatment”.

The crime was heinous, one that shocked us all. But the story is without end. The country does try to seek out Venables, much less exact vigilante justice. So what is the purpose of the Sun’s story? Is it to show that rehabilitation does not work. Surely not because Robert Thompson is “now hailed as rehabilitation success story”.

Venables served seven years of a life sentence for the murder of James Bulger. In 2001, aged 18, he was set free, albeit under license, able to be recalled for any misdemeanour. He got a new name, a job that enforced unsociable hours on just above minimum wage and a place to live. The press were forbidden by law from revealing any details on Venables’ new identity. But we only knew their real names because the judge told us the killers’ names in an adult court, moving on from ‘Child A’ and “Child B’. Was that right? Venables was ordered never to reveal his original identity to anyone. He must live a lie. Was that freedom?

Then, aged 27, Venables was back in prison, serving a two-year sentence for downloading and distributing indecent images of children. Now he’s back inside again. And the media continues to stoke the fires. Denise Fergus, James Bulger’s mother, is back on our screens, her pain clear to all. Her lot is to be a media celebrity dished up for us to gawp at. On Sky News, once more she is encouraged to revisit the horror. Our utmost sympathy must be with her and Ralph Bulger, James Bulger’s father. They have no need to forgive.

But why are we invited to stare? Why are we being invited to be entertained by their suffering?

It was ever so. The rare murder of a child by children might have been sui generis had the Labour spokesman on home affairs not milked the story. Tony Blair, for it was he, seized the moment to amplify the murder into a national crisis. Thompson and Venables’ crimes were “hammer blows struck against the sleeping conscience of the country, urging us to wake up and look unflinchingly at what we see”. He told us: “A solution to this disintegration doesn’t simply lie in legislation. It must come from the rediscovery of a sense of direction as a country… We cannot exist in a moral vacuum. If we do not learn and then teach the value of what is right and what is wrong, then the result is simply moral chaos which engulfs us all.”

There are other murders. But this one served a purpose. Blair tapped into the trial judge’s comments on it being a crime of  “unparalleled evil and barbarity”. If that was evil the likes of which had never been seen before manifest in our midst, then Tony Blair was the force for good.  And so it was that the murder of James Bulger became a totem for the nation to rally around. James Bulger, the innocent child, became a New Labour symbol and a political football. The crime was submerged in the age’s reaction to it. And there was the video and the pictures to promote the message on rolling news. They’re still being used in a crime packaged for our age.

 

Posted: 23rd, November 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Transfer balls: Barcelona and Manchester United are desperate for Ozil but Arsenal want him to stay

Transfer Balls: Having secured a new talent spotter in the shape of Sven Mislinat from Borussia Dortmund – he helped the Germans recruit Robert Lewandowski, Shinji Kagawa, Ousmane Dembele and their want-away striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (any Gooners think he’s heading to the Emirates?) – news is of players leaving the club. And chief among them is Mesut Ozil.

The Sun says Ozil “is keen on joining Barcelona”. Arsenal are apparently eager to get £20m for the 29-year-old this January. The Manchester Evening News says “Ozil is keen on a move” to Old Trafford for £17.7m. The London Evening Standard says “Arsenal players expect Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez to stay”.

Much blather, then. But one story has roots: the Sun’s story is sourced in a report in Mundo Deportivo – the sports newspaper published in…Barcelona. Just as the Manchester-based paper knows Ozil wants to play for Manchester United, the Barcelona based newspaper knows he wants to play in Barcelona. As for the London-based Standard, well, it’s balls is based on the opinion of Nacho Monreal, who told a rival organ, “I can’t say much about it. It does not depend on me… If the club want them to stay beyond December [the January transfer window] they will follow. Yet, I do not know the club’s intentions.”

Let’s put the not-in-the-least-bit-biased Deportivo story through Google Translate and see what we learn:

Dr. Erkut Sogut , who represents Mesut Özil , has negotiations with Barça . The agent has confessed to the Barça club the tremendous interest of his represented in playing at the Camp Nou, but he has also made it clear that there are six sets more interested in the German international of Turkish origin.

Ozil played for Barcelona’s dread rivals Real Madrid.

In addition to the offer to Özil , they want to know what they will do to Arsenal , their current club. And, above all, the time of the duration of the contract, which would want it to be at least the rest of the season and two more years. The club would want that third season was negotiated between the two parties, taking into account the age of the German, 29 years.

Not exactly chomping at the bit, then.

The advantage of Barça is that Özil has the thorn in the “no” of Pep Guardiola in 2010 and wants to show that he has a place in the Catalan team. He really likes the way Barça played since he was at Werder Bremen .

The advantage? In Ozil’s Die Magie des Spiels, he states:

“Arsenal were interested in signing me after the 2010 World Cup, as were Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid. My agent sat down with Bayern to discuss a move. The club told him about their plans with me and how they intended to use me. He had similar talks with the other clubs that wanted me.

“Before I travelled to Barcelona, I was convinced that was my next club. I was leaning toward joining Barcelona. There was no team in the world that played more beautiful football. But Guardiola did not attend talks and he did not call me either the days after. He did not even send me a text. He did not show me that he wanted to sign me as well. My interest in a move to Barcelona quickly decreased.”

Got that? Barcelona’s “advantage” is that they ignored him. Undaunted by fact, the paper continues:

In addition, Özil believes that if he signs for Barça , playing alongside Lionel Messi , he could hope to win, for the first time, the Champions League .

If he wants to win that, his agent should court PSG.

The Arsenal has given the ‘OK’ to Erkut Sogut that Özil can march on the January market to earn some money, which would not happen at the end of the season to be free. They have the direct permission of Arsène Wenger .

Wenger said he can go? No quote to back that up. But Wenger did says last month: “I cannot tell you what is in his mind. I genuinely think he wants to stay. But I am always positive about that.”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 22nd, November 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Jack Maynard: outrage as ‘racist’ vlogger avoids being eaten by rats

So farewell, Jack Maynard, aka ‘YouTuber Jack Maynard’, who has left I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! to sort out “circumstances outside camp”. Maynard wanted to “do the internet proud”. And he did just that, introducing the TV-watching tribes to life on the web. As the Sun thunders: “YouTube sensation, 22, was forced to apologise for racist and homophobic slurs on his Twitter account where he branded users ‘retarded’.”

Twitter’s a bit like a 1970s comedians showcase, albeit without the wit, laughs, likeable characters and fun.

 

 

The Sun took it upon itself to “reveal” some of Maynard’s “racist and homophobic tweets”, although it saw reason to edit them. Too rude for the paper that used to feature stunnas on Page 3 and still advertises phone lines for onanists seeking on-the-clock relief – yesterday readers were invited to call “X-Rated Cheap Girls – 18-94 Year Olds” and “HOT GIRLS [age unspecified]”. Thankfully, Pink News is less prudish. Damning Maynard as someone “famous for being the younger brother of singer Connor Maynard”, we read:

When an abusive commenter suggested he had profited off of his brother’s fame, Maynard hit back: “Completely forgot you know how I got it YOU RETARDED FAGGOT”.

He also used what the mainstream media terms ‘the N-word”. Censorship is provided by the Sun. (If you want to read the bad words, you need to get yourself on twitter.)

 

 

So Jack’s gone to spend time with his selfies, denying his accusers the chance to watch him being locked in a buried coffin and terrorised by rats. You had your chance.

Even better is the “spokesperson for the vlogger” – yep, even narcissists have their limits – who tells the Sun:

“Jack is ashamed of what he said in these tweets, many of which were deleted a long time ago and were sent in response to a neighbour who was bullying him. Jack was a lot younger when he posted them in 2012 but realises that age is no defence.”

Anyone else read that and see an adult explaining the action of a child? Jack is a big boy, says the grown up, and he knows he has done wrong. That leads to the a classic non-denial denial with sympathetic back story:

“He would never use that language now and realises that, as someone who was bullied himself, this kind of retaliatory, inflammatory, insulting language is completely unacceptable.”

Look at Jack Maynard less as the perpetrator, but as a victim living out fantasies born of a difficult childhood.

Posted: 22nd, November 2017 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Tabloids, TV & Radio | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Madeleine McCann: The Todorovs, a dead Bulgarian and a purple haze

Madeleine McCann returned to the newspapers yesterday with news that the “Maddie hunt woman” is a…”waitress”. The Mirror saved this news for page 4, and reading on you wonder how it made it into the paper at all.

The story begins in typical ‘Our Maddie’ reporting style, using a shortened version of the child’s name in a report based on opinion. We read: “A criminologist claims to have identified a mystery woman being sought by British police in connection with Madeleine McCann’s disappearance.” Is a claim newsworthy?

We read that “Scotland Yard detectives want to speak to a female dressed in purple who was seen by two people standing outside the youngster’s apartment.”

And criminologist Heriberto Janosch Gonzalez “claims to have identified the woman as Bulgarian waitress Luisa Todorov”.

Grab your torch. Let’s go!

The 58-year-old was working with her husband at the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz when Madeleine vanished in 2007. Luisa and her husband Stefan, 50, gave statements to police five days after the three-year-old’s disappearance. They both denied having any knowledge of the case and have not been spoken to again for over a decade.

Seems fair. But then this: “British police are now scouring the globe for the pair so they can ask them if they saw anything suspicious.”

Scouring the globe? Not looking to speak with them. Scouring. That’s what you do when you want to reveal what’s beneath the dirt and grime. You scour. Is “scouring” the way to find two innocent people?

Luisa is believed to be the woman seen standing by a lamp post just outside the apartment at 8pm on May 3, 2007.

Claims. Believed. Any facts?

Gonzalez is quoted:

“I have been combing through all the police files trying to identify who the woman in purple could be. It has been widely reported that Yard officers are in Bulgaria. Examining all the known statements it seems highly likely the police are seeking the Todorovs. They are the only known people with a clear link to Bulgaria. I have been unable to trace them in Portugal and believe they could have moved away. It is widely known that many workers at the Ocean Club were made redundant so it is possible they went to Bulgaria seeking work.”

And after that speculation presented as news, we get the unchanging fact of this long-running story:

Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry, from Rothley, Leics, were dining in a tapas restaurant when she vanished.

Child vanishes. And that’s the story’s single thread. But the reporting remains frenzied. The Mirror’s story, which supports a Daily Express ‘exclusive’, is repackaged to read:

Madeleine McCann: Mystery ‘woman in purple’ sought by Met police identified as waitress – Indy

‘Woman in purple’ mystery witness tracked to Bulgaria. Waitress Luisa Todorov, seen twice near the holiday apartment on the night Maddie disappeared, could be a significant witness – International Business Times

Madeleine McCann mystery woman spotted outside Portugal apartment is identified – Leicester Mercury

MADDIE CLUES – Madeleine McCann cops hunt Bulgaria for waitress believed to be ‘woman in purple’ – The Sun

Madeleine McCann: Police hunt waitress believed to be mysterious ‘woman in purple’ – Daily Express

The Express’s story is pretty incredible:

Waitress Luisa Todorov, 58, is believed to be the mystery woman seen by two witnesses standing outside apartment 5a of the Ocean Club from where Madeleine was taken 10 years ago.

She has become the focus of Yard inquiries for months as officers want to know if she saw anything suspicious on the night of Madeleine’s abduction from Praia da Luz when she was aged just three.

But she spoke to police already, right? We were told that. And given that she worked in manual labour, might that huge reward have tempted her to talk more?

 

 

And:

One witness saw her standing by a lamp post just outside the apartment at 8pm on May 3, 2007 and another saw her about half an hour later nearby.

They saw her, or they saw a woman dressed in purple who we are told might have been her?

Luisa’s husband Stefan Todorov, 50, was working at the Tapas bar, where the McCanns and their seven holiday friends were dining when Madeleine was abducted.

Unless she wondered off, of course.

The Express adds:

In August 2007 a British woman reported seeing a child who looked mile Madeleine at Varna airport in Bulgaria, but the information was very sketchy and did not check out.

And hold on a moment. The Indy had other news, reporting on November 6:

 

 

The story began:

Detectives working on Madeleine McCann’s case have travelled to Bulgaria in search of a paedophile’s widow known as the “woman in purple”.

Oh?

On the evening of Madeleine’s disappearance an eyewitness saw a woman startng [sic] intently at the apartment block next to where the McCann’s were staying in Portugal.

Intently?

The woman is believed to have been the wife of a man of a convicted peadophile, who has is now believed to be dead.

The name of this convicted, dead paedophile? It’s not given. But two “believed” in one sentence is peak reporting.

And what about the woman in purple? British expat, Jenny Murat, introduced us to her. She said: “She caught my eye because she was dressed in purple-plum clothes. It struck me as strange. It’s so usual for anyone, particularly a woman, to be standing alone on the street in our resort, just watching a building. The next morning, we heard that a little girl had gone missing, and I later told police about the woman I’d seen right outside. I didn’t recognise her and don’t have a clue who she is, but she seems a bit suspicious.”

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 21st, November 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0