We don’t just report off-beat news, breaking news and digest the best and worst of the news media analysis and commentary. We give an original take on what happened and why. We add lols, satire, news photos and original content.
Like you we too are delighted the ClubsCubes Cubs won the World Series of baseball for the first time since in ages – but still faster than is takes Theresa May to make a decsion. The Mail sees the celebrations:
The fall classic! Daredevil Cubs fans risk their lives with crazy ‘trust falls’ as SIX MILLION pack the streets of Chicago to celebrate their World Series win 108 years in the making
Six million people on the streets of Chicago, a city with a population of 2,720,546?
The Chicago Tribune is circumspect
By Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communication’s count, an estimated 5 million people lined the 6-mile parade route and gathered at the rally in Grant Park. But — like other official crowd counts — there’s reason to be skeptical, experts say…
“The guesstimates are almost always vast exaggerations,” said Clark McPhail, a sociology professor emeritus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Gordon Anglesea was a top copper in north Wales when he was molesting children. Today he was sentenced to 12 years in prison for his abhorrent crimes.
Gordon Anglesea is 79.
He was convicted of one charge of indecent assault against one boy, and three indecent assaults against another. His offences took place between 1982 and 1987, when both boys were aged 14 or 15.
Judge Geraint Walters said Anglesea was “beyond reproach”.
The BBC delivers a timeline of the conniving copper:
1967 – Anglesea starts work as a police officer in Cheshire. He later resigned following a marriage breakdown and joined Flintshire constabulary. 1976 – Promoted to inspector in Wrexham and in 1978, becomes responsible for the Bromfield area which included the Bryn Estyn children’s home 1978 – Sets up a Home Office attendance centre in Wrexham 1988 – Becomes a superintendent in Colwyn Bay
Community Care, 16th October 1986
1991 – Retires suddenly after 34 years’ service. Later that year the Independent On Sunday runs an article about Anglesea’s connections with Bryn Estyn. Similar stories follow in the Observer, Private Eye and on HTV Wales.
He said he was libelled. Anglesea said he had never molested boys when working as uniformed police inspector. The courts agreed. But he was lying.
1994 – Sues the four media organisations for libel and is awarded £375,000 in damages 1997 – Answers questions about allegations of sexual abuse before the north Wales child abuse tribunal. 2000 – The Waterhouse report says the allegations about Anglesea had not been “proved to our satisfaction”
News of the World, 23rd October 1983 Via
The Times reported on February 16, 2000:
Widespread sexual abuse of boys and girls occurred in children’s residential homes in North Wales between 1974 and 1990, according to the Waterhouse tribunal’s report, Lost In Care.
It found that a paedophile ring did exist in the Wrexham and Chester areas, consisting of adult men targeting boys in their mid-teens. Youngsters in care were particularly vulnerable to their approaches.
The tribunal was appointed in 1996 by William Hague, who was then Welsh Secretary, after Clwyd County Council decided against publishing a report by a social services expert, John Jillings, into abuse of children in care. The council feared that it would be sued for defamation; it was also warned against publication by its insurers because of the possible effect of compensation claims.
Although by 1996 12 people in North Wales had been convicted of abusing children, there was speculation that the abuse was on a much greater scale. In 1986, Alison Taylor, officer-in-charge of Ty Newydd local authority children’s home in Bangor, had complained to her superiors in Gwynedd County Council about alleged assaults on children. Dissatisfied with the response, she spoke to Keith Marshall, a county councillor, who reported her concerns to the Chief Constable of North Wales.
A police investigation was carried out by Detective Chief Superintendent Gwynne Owen, head of North Wales CID, from 1986 to 1988. The Crown Prosecution Service recommended no criminal proceedings. The investigation is described in the report as defective, sluggish and shallow.
Eric Davies, chairman of Clwyd social services, wrote a memorandum about Ms Taylor saying: “She is a blatant troublemaker, with a most devious personality … I would very humbly suggest … that this lady’s services be dispensed with at the earliest possible time.” Ms Taylor was suspended and eventually accepted voluntary redundancy.
However, she contacted the Prime Minister, Welsh Office, Health Secretary and Local Government Ombudsman. She compiled a voluminous document that was presented to the new social services chairman, Malcolm King, in 1991. He reported it to the police.
The report states that without Alison Taylor’s complaints, there would have been no public inquiry into the alleged abuse of children in Gwynedd. In general terms, she has been vindicated. The response by senior management at Gwynedd County Council to her complaints was discouraging and inappropriate. The Welsh Office’s response was inadequate.
The ensuing North Wales Police investigation, from 1991-93, took statements from more than 500 former children’s home residents who complained of abuse. Some of the most chilling came from beyond the grave. At least 12 children formerly in care have died, most by their own hand. Statements made by six, who died after telling police in the early 1990s about abuse and brutality in the Bryn Estyn community home in Wrexham, were read to the inquiry.
As the police investigation continued, newspaper articles, beginning with the Independent on Sunday, linked a former police superintendent, Gordon Anglesea, to child sexual abuse. He successfully sued for libel, receiving damages of Pounds 375,000, in 1994. The tribunal heard evidence alleging that Mr Anglesea did commit serious sexual misconduct at Bryn Estyn, but were not persuaded that the libel jury’s verdict was wrong.
The report details the abuse experienced by children from the 1970s and names some of the perpetrators. At the local authority-run Bryn Estyn, senior officers Peter Howarth and Stephen Norris sexually assaulted and buggered many boys. Norris continued to abuse boys as officer-in-charge of another home, Cartrefle, until he was arrested.
Alison Taylor, as described by the Guardian in 1998:
In North Wales, it was Alison Taylor, the manager of a children’s home, who spent five years banging on the door of her employers at Gwynedd Council, the police, the Welsh Office, the Department of Health, and the Social Services Inspectorate. All turned her away. Undaunted, she compiled a dossier of 75 separate allegations, won the backing of two local councillors and finally secured the conviction of four men for an orgy of abuse. As a result, the Government finally ordered the vast public inquiry which has now heard nearly 300 former residents of homes make detailed complaints of physical and sexual assault against148 adults. By that time, however, Alison Taylor had been suspended and sacked.
Private Eye, 20th February 1998 by Paul Foot (via)
Time rolled on.
2014 – Arrested and bailed by officers from Operation Pallial, an investigation into child abuse in north Wales care homes 2015 – Charged with historical sex offences
2016 – GORDON ANGLESEA IS JAILED.
Anglesea was investigated as part of Operation Pallial. As a results, 8 men have been convicted, including care home owner John Allen, who was jailed for life in 2014.
John Allen was 73 when he was jailed.
Old men get it in the neck after years of getting away with it.
Newcastle Journal, 18th February 2000
Former hotelier Allen opened his first home, Bryn Alyn Hall in Llay, near Wrexham, in 1968, although he did not have any qualifications in childcare, his trial was told.
He set up the Bryn Alyn Community, which was to become one of the UK’s largest providers of residential care, providing accommodation for children sent from about a dozen local authorities.
During the trial, which began in early October, the jury was told of Allen’s previous conviction in 1995 for six counts of indecent assault involving repeated abuse of six boys dating from the 1970s.
More victims came forward following the publication of the Waterhouse report into abuse in north Wales care homes in 2001 and after Operation Pallial was set up.
One former resident at the Bryn Alyn children’s home said living there “wasn’t care, it was like hell”.
Denial and despair in North Wales (September 1997), The Guardian, September 1997, by Nick Davies:
Without power to resist, the children were utterly vulnerable to the paedophiles who had infiltrated the homes. They became sex objects – in the dormitory and in the sick bay, in Peter Howarth’s flat and in Stephen Norris’ room, in the showers, in the staff room, in the bath, in cars, in sheds, in tents, on the tow path of a canal; with men, with women, with residential workers, social workers and with anyone else who wanted them because on the evidence of these survivors, in these children’s homes, no paedophile ever failed to get his or her way…
For the adults, this was a world without boundaries: a woman worker saw a good-looking 14-year-old boy so she screwed him; a man saw a 12-year-old girl who was pretty so he pulled her into a shed and raped her. One boy was allegedly being used for sex by both his housemaster and the female deputy housemaster. When a teacher complained about this, and took the boy home to protect him, his superiors alleged that he, too, was abusing the child. The teacher protested his innocence, explaining that it was his wife and not he who had also started having sex with the boy.
Many simply buckled and did everything they could to comply, searching for favour from their tormentors. One man described how he had been anally raped with such violence that his backside had bled for days. He was afraid that someone would be cross with him for having blood on his underpants and so, several times, he had secretly taken them and flushed them down the loo.
Two girls ran away and were picked up by police who told them they were lying about conditions in the home. Once the police had left them, one of the women recalled, a care worker punched her in the stomach while her friend was taken into a side room, from which she emerged later with a bruised eye and a split lip. On at least 12 occasions, over the years, police were asked to investigate allegations of violence or paedophilia in the homes but, almost always, their inquiries came to nothing.
Who knew about Anglesea? And why did it take so long for Officer Anglesea to face justice?
Good news for you frumer yidden who like a toke on Shabbos. Cannabis is kosher. The bad news is, of course, that because everything made kosher is more expensive than the non-kosher strain, your Friday night joint will set you back a tidy sum.
But never mind the cost. Rejoice!
The Israel National News say Israeli clerics Rabbi Kanievksy and Rabbi Yitzchak Zilberstein say weed has a “healing smell” and blessed the leaves. In January 2016, a body called the Orthodox Union certified medicinal marijuana as kosher.
Rabbi Efraim Zalmanovich, an orthodox rabbi of some reputation, has issued a religious ruling sanctifying the use of marijuana. The rabbi’s ruling clarifies an opinion by Rabbi Hagai Bar Giora, of the Israeli chief rabbinate, who in March 2013 told reporters, “If you smoke it, there is no problem whatsoever.”
The United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union has been delayed because judges did their jobs. For Leavers and anyone who values democracy, that is disappointing news. The better news is that the media has a new idol. It’s Gina Miller. Who she? The Daily Mail has lots:
April 11, 2016: the Mail first notices Gina Miller. She is the “Glamorous investment manager”. She is a “feisty investment manager” who “delights industry critics with her fearless cage rattling”.
We got to appraise her assets. “Unsurprisingly, stylish Guyanan-born Gina is not short on admirers,” says the Mail. “During her modelling days I’m told she was the inspiration behind racy playwright Dennis Potter’s 1989 BBC drama Blackeyes, starring sexy Gina Bellman as a much-desired fashion vixen.”
Fast forward to the post-Brexit appeal to the judiciary to let Parliament delay the will of the people, and Gina Miller has a new Daily Mail profile.
On June 22, the Mail was looking again at Gina Miller. She is no longer the “Glamorous investment manager”, but the “Glamorous Guyanan-born investment manager”. She was at an EU Ref debate “politely arguing the benefits of remaining in the EU”.
A boorish audience member shouted: ‘I don’t see why anyone should listen to you. Perhaps you should stay in the kitchen.’ Witnesses report Miller maintained her composure and ignored the oafish heckler. A pity. The feisty mother-of-three, 55, is a tough cookie with a spectacularly acid tongue.
Those boorish oafs who attack the polite, glamorous woman are fools. And know that she is 55 years young.
On October 17, the Mail noted: “Campaigners led by former model Gina Miller, 51, have mounted a historic challenge to argue that Mrs May cannot leave the EU without the prior authorisation of Parliament.”
A short profile was included on now the 51-year-old
Ms Miller, a campaigning former model who is married to a multi-millionaire fund manager, was a supporter of Remain during the referendum campaign and has previously said she ‘felt physically sick’ when she heard the result.
This week, Gina Miller gets lots of coverage in the Mail. She is the “financial entrepreneur Gina Miller”. She is the “businesswoman and former model who…goaded Brexiteers by saying they should ‘celebrate’ the ruling.”
On November 3rd, Gina Miller is reduced to being the “Wife of Mr Hedge Fund”. Her foreign roots are once amore front and centre.
Martin Robinson’s story begins:
The wife of a millionaire financier nicknamed ‘Mr Hedge Fund’ today faced accusations she had derailed British democracy with her Brexit victory.
Is that boorish to reduce the glamorous and stylish tough cookiecampaigner (source: Daily Mail) to the role of Her Indoors?
On November 4th, the Mail was outraged. Gina Miller as being targeted by nasties.
Remainer Gina Miller is bombarded by vile abuse threatening death and rape after her High Court anti-Brexit victory
Trolls called for the lawyer to be shot while another wished cancer on her
Others called for the Guyanese-born mother-of-three, 51, to be deported…
The 51-year-old, who voted Remain, brought case following referendum
Alexander Robertson begins his story with… Oh, but before that, did the Mail tell you that Miller was 51? It did. Twice. Oh, good. And did it mention that she was born in Guyana? It did. Perfect. Now read on:
The woman accused of derailing British democracy following her Brexit victory in the High Court has received rape and death threats online. Gina Miller has been targeted on social media by online trolls, with calls from some for her to be shot dead, while others wished cancer on her. The mother-of-three, who was born in Guyana but grew up in Britain, was called a ‘foreigner’ and an ‘immigrant’ by some, with others saying she should be deported.
You wonder where these trolls got the idea that Gina Miller – once glamours and now just a “woman” – was foreign-born, and that the place of her birth is central to the story?
Richard Littlejohn uses his Mail column to call Gina Miller a “City slicker”.
His fellow columnist Katie Hopkins opines:
Gina Miller – The woman with the cash who brought this case against the government said Brexit had made her feel physically sick. Looking at this Guyanan-born wife of a multi-millionaire, laughing in the faces of ordinary Brits, her smug face makes me feel much the same way.
Gina Sunderland picks up a wooden ball to lob at Gina. She writes: “There is a whiff of the Jackie Collins heroine about Gina Miller – at least in the version she tells of her life story.”
Jackie Collins wrote fiction. Is Sunderland implying that Gina Miller’s life story is untrue? She continues:
She says she struggled alone to bring up a daughter with special needs and claims to have endured a troubled relationship – before emerging triumphant to find happiness with a multi-millionaire hedge fund manager husband. Often described as a former model – though it is not clear exactly when she was modelling – three-times married Mrs Miller styles herself as an investment guru and philanthropist.
The Mail has called her a model many times (see above) and a fierce campaigner in the City (see above).
As a young woman in the 1980s, La Miller is said to have been the inspiration behind Dennis Potter’s sexually charged TV drama Blackeyes about a model played by her slinky namesake Gina Bellman.
Said by the Mail (see above):
Whether this story, or the tale that her silhouette was used in the opening credits of a Bond film, is true remains open to question. But she has done little to dispel the rumours.
You might suppose a national newspaper with huge resources could check these rumours – and its own reporting (see above) – to find the facts now fit to print in shadow. But no.
Sunderland has more to add:
Now a mother of three aged 51, Mrs Miller is a woman whose sultry appearance can still turn heads.
For her victory speech yesterday outside court, she was dressed, librarian-style, in a blue tweed jacket and high-necked navy T-shirt. Usually, though, she prowls the City – where in some quarters she is known as ‘the black widow’ after her campaign to force investment firms to make their charges clearer and cheaper – in killer heels and tight- fitting frocks.
Philanthropic? Investments guru? Is Gina self-styled thus or said to be so by the, er, Daily Mail?
And then Ruth looks at Mr Miller:
Today the balding, bespectacled financier is worth nearer £30million. Some have wondered why a livewire like Mrs Miller is married to him. Cynics may say she has about thirty million good reasons.
Ever go to Australia’s The Grove Hill hotel, a watering hole between Darwin and Katherine, in what might best be termed ‘the middle of nowhere’? The place is closing. Owner Stan Heausler wanted to sell it but no buyers came forward. Now in his 80s, ‘Stan The Man’ has had enough.
He might continue to drink a bottle of rum a day, as is his won, but he won’t be doing it at the Grove.
Grove Hill pub in February 1942
Stories abound about the pub “built in 1934 from materials scavenged from abandoned mining sites in the aftermath of the Great Depression.”
“We were in Victoria dredging for gold, me and Derek, and there was a total eclipse,” says one patron. “We were in the Beechworth pub, I was only 17 … He drank everyone’s beer in the bar while they were out looking at the eclipse. I had an old 350 twin motorbike and we got half a carton under each arm, but going up the hill he fell off the back. For weeks later we were picking cans off the road, picking them up every time we went into town.”
The Northern Territory hotel just existed. “It’s not a great little pub,” says Darwin restaurant owner Lars. “It’s just been here for so fucking long, no one really gives a shit. It’s just been here.”
PS: any gold left in the land, Stan? “We used to sell gold nuggets, ” he recalls, “but the locals had run out of them so we’ve got to wait for them to find some more.”
Nick Clegg is a LibDem MP. You need to carry that idea in your head as Clegg talks about Brexit in the Guardian:
Melton Mowbray pork pies, stilton cheese and British-made chocolate such as Cadbury’s could be under threat from Brexit, the former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has warned.
Speaking to a food and drink industry conference on the impact of leaving the European Union, Clegg said it was possible that European rivals would start producing lookalikes to British foodstuffs if they lost the legal protection from imitation offered by EU rules.
The French will start producing fake bars of sugar-rich CHOMP in a devious Brexit-fed plot to wean their population off delicious chocolate and onto junk food. Bulgarians will be free to make blue cheeses and serve them in bell-shaped pots.
It’s carnage, readers!
“Outside the EU they won’t enjoy the appellation bestowed on those products and I would have thought other countries would take advantage of that pretty quickly and put products into the European market that directly rival those protected brands,” Clegg said.
And sell them to, what, holidays Brits? Maybe Bulgarians can cook up a Marmite copy and sell it back to us cheaper.
After a match Sunderland manager David Moyes sits in the dark. “I probably spend Saturday night, and quite often, in a darkened room somewhere,” sys Moyes.
Sunderland are bottom of the Premier League. So bad are they that having been gifted parity in their last match against Arsenal – a penalty got them into a game they should have been losing 4 or 5 nil – the Mackems conspired to let in three goals. “Sunday gets a wee bit better,” adds Moyes, Sunderland’s seventh manager in the past five years, “but not much, and hopefully by the time Monday morning comes, you are ready to go again.”
What a life, eh. That bit about a “darkened room somewhere” fingers the spine. Anywhere without a light will do for Moyes on a Saturday night. Lock up your rabbit hutches. (On the lighter side, at least Mrs Moyes get to go to the cinema with her husband.)
Sunderland are now the holders of the worst start in Premier League history after 10 matches. They have amassed two points. As Moyes sits in the dark – and how’s that for a vision of the boss whose team play at The Stadium of Light – he can try to work out if there are three worse sides in the Premier League who can ensure Sunderland avoid relegation and stay up.
The wife of the Deputy Director of the FBI got a wad of campaign donations from Terry McAuliffe, a Clinton ally.
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Mr. McCabe’s wife, Jill McCabe, received $467,500 in campaign funds in late 2015 from the political-action committee of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime ally of the Clintons and, until he was elected governor in November 2013, a Clinton Foundation board member.
The embattled director of the FBI has been accused of covering up evidence of Donald Trump’s links to Russia while inflicting severe damage on Hillary Clinton, as Democrats hit back in a growing scandal involving her email server.
Having links to Russia is a crime?
Harry Reid, the Democrat leader of the Senate, accused James Comey of “a disturbing double standard” and, in a remarkably forthright letter, said he regretted supporting a man who he once believed was “a principled public servant.”
Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey and several conservative attorneys and legal scholars held a private forum last month in which they harshly criticized FBI Director James Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation just eight days before Comey sent a letter to Congress announcing his bombshell decision to review new emails in the probe. The event, billed as a discussion on “The Law after Comey’s decision,” featured several speakers including Mukasey, who served in the George W. Bush administration, hammering Comey over the legal precedent he set in concluding the email probe three months ago without charging Clinton with a crime.
FBI Director James Comey stressed in his letter to Congress Friday that investigators don’t know how significant the new emails may be. But even if they don’t implicate the Democratic presidential nominee, their mere existence could call into question testimony Abedin gave months ago about the email system.
FBI records reflect that she told investigators “that she lost most of her old emails as a result of the transition.”
During a June 28, 2016 deposition with the conservative Judicial Watch, Abedin also swore she looked for and turned over all devices she thought contained government work to the State Department.
“I looked for all the devices that may have any of my State Department work on it and returned – returned – gave them to my attorneys for them to review for all relevant documents,” Abedin said. “And gave them devices and paper.”
Why would she have 600,000 emails on a compute she shared with her dick pics husband?
They are the comfortable and well-educated mainstay of our modern Democratic party. They are also the grandees of our national media; the architects of our software; the designers of our streets; the high officials of our banking system; the authors of just about every plan to fix social security or fine-tune the Middle East with precision droning. They are, they think, not a class at all but rather the enlightened ones, the people who must be answered to but who need never explain themselves.
Let us turn the magnifying glass on them for a change, by sorting through the hacked personal emails of John Podesta, who has been a Washington power broker for decades….
I think the WikiLeaks releases furnish us with an opportunity to observe the upper reaches of the American status hierarchy in all its righteousness and majesty.
Ben Needham has still not been found. The renewed search for the toddler who vanished on Kos 25 years ago has given us nothing of substance. But the tabloids are at work. If we can’t see the child, we can continue to gawp at his mother.
“‘WHITEWASH’ ON KOS,” says the Sun. “Ben Needham case ‘has all signs of a cover-up’ with sex slurs used to discredit toddler’s mum.”
The story continues:
THE hunt for toddler Ben Needham – who went missing on the Greek island of Kos 25 years ago – has the signs of a cover-up, an investigation found. Greek police were “under pressure” to end their probe quickly, reports The Mirror, and a witness apparently falsely claimed he had slept with Ben’s mum Kerry in an attempt to smear her.
Wow, indeed, that Greek police have spoken out. Good on them. But wait a moment.
…a retired cop, one of the first to join the hunt, admitted: “We were under pressure to close the case. Everyone wanted to find the child. We did our best.”
Unnamed ex-policeman says force was under pressure to end the case of the missing toddler who vanished on holiday to an holiday island? It’s news devoid of detail.
Ben Needham case has hallmarks of cover-up with cops wanting probe closed quickly and sex lies in bid to blacken mum’s name
We love a conspiracy, eh, readers? Who knew?
British police searching for answers to the disappearance of the toddler 25 years ago have tried hard to finally lift the gloom
Lucy Thornton writes:
The Ben Needham case has all the hallmarks of a cover-up, a Mirror probe has found. The Mirror can reveal Greek police were pressured to close their inquiry quickly and a witness lied that he slept with the boy’s mum, blackening her name.
A key witness account on Kos is missing and a Greek official has dismissed the UK police’s theory that Ben was run over by a digger.
As the last British tourists leave Kos at the end of the holiday season, a sinister cloud hangs over the island.
After that, Thornton makes it about, well, her.
Mirror colleagues and I have spent months investigating the mystery and found claims of a Greek “cover-up” as wicked lies, vanishing statements and smears against the family were made.
This is the Lucy Thornton who when reporting on the vanishing of Shannon Matthews, wrote: “I’ve shared the despair and relief, says the Mirror’s Lucy Thornton.” Adding: “Meanwhile, I was hugged in the street by people I barely knew less than a month ago. They thanked me. What For? For just doing my job.”
Never mind the missing child, get a load of the reporter.
Mirror colleagues and I have spent months investigating the mystery and found claims of a Greek “cover-up” as wicked lies, vanishing statements and smears against the family were made.
She then adds:
Rumours continue on the island, that Ben was taken by gypsies, or the mafia.
After the wicked- lies and “cover-up”, round-up the usual suspects. Gypsies. Always the gypsies.
Independent on Ben Needham – 1995. ‘Gypsies did it’
The search for Ben has become a crusade for Greek private eye Stratos Bakirtzis from Thessalonika, northern Greece. Two years ago he raised the alarm and told police he had found the missing toddler while investigating a gipsy family. However, he claims the child was swapped before police could search the house.
So much for rumours and belief. What of facts, and the Mirror’s investigation?
Kerry believes there has been a cover-up over her son’s death and people wanted her to “go away….and forget about Ben”.
More belief. And facts?
In a bid to smear the Needham name, a man who worked with Kerry at a hotel on Kos falsely claimed to have slept with her, while she was out hunting for Ben. He left Kos shortly after making the allegation. He turned public opinion against the unmarried British mum and many blamed the family as a result. But Kerry has now been told by South Yorkshire Police officers this witness has finally told the truth.
He confessed it was a lie, but claimed he felt bullied into it. It is understood prosecutors on Kos are looking at this admission.
As we are invited to understand what the Mirror has understood, we hear from the unnamed source:
But he said his main reason for speaking was to reveal the statement of a mysterious witness, a friend of his, was never taken because bosses ignored his report. “He told me he’d seen a car with number plates from abroad. It had two people in the car and they were not Greek people. The witness said the child was playing outside and someone stepped out of the car and took him. My friend does not lie. I went back but once he knew the child was still missing he didn’t want to speak.
Can we speak with the witness?
He said the witness, like so many others, has since died.
In “YOU’VE GOATEE BE KIDDING” the Sun zooms in on a “’22-year-old’ bearded migrant ‘uni student’” who “insists he’s just sixteen as he starts secondary school classes”.
Haris Stanikzai, from Afghanistan, plays the unenviable role of migrant teenager in the spotlight. Dan Sales spots Haris emerging from the now eradicated Calais Jungle. A new life in the UK means Haris has “already been enjoying classic UK telly Deal or no Deal and Countdown.”
It doesn’t get any better than that.
The Sun is not alone in questioning Haris’s age.
Child refugee allowed into UK had spent three years at university – Telegraph
‘Child migrant’ from Calais Jungle boasts of being 22 on a dating website – Mail
As the Mail appraises the teenager for signs of sexual maturity, Sales looks at evidence to suggest Haris is older than he claims to be:
A LinkedIn page says he studied at an Afghani university three years ago. But yesterday it was alleged he had enrolled in university three years ago and had a dating profile saying he was 22.
SHOCKER 1: Teenager pretends to be older to pull!
SHOCKER 2: LinkedIn is relevant!
Haris’s uncle, Jan Ghazi, 37, who Haris is living with, tells the paper: “We have spoken to him and we are happy he is 16 to 17. I happy he is a child. He says his plan is to become a doctor. He has said I want to go to school. We don’t know which year, we are waiting for the Home Office papers.”
The Sun than spoons on the lemon juice by captioning a picture: “Haris and uncle Jan chat on sofa by flat-screen television.” Wosamatter?! Cathode Ray Tube not good enough for them, eh?
Uncle Jan adds:
“These last two weeks he has been coming to work with me, to the pizza takeaway. On television he has been watching the news about the Calais Jungle. Of British programmes he’s watched Deal Or No Deal, Come Dine With Me and Countdown.”
Oh, yeah. What else, Uncle Jan?
“We don’t have a birth certificate for him, but we know roughly the date and the time. He is between 16 and 17 and he has not been to university. They said he was in the 7th semester of university, that would make him 25 to 27. Does he look 27 to you?”
“His brother was shot dead on the border of Iran. We were told he had been killed by one of the people smugglers.”
Haris has not had it easy. But he could have it easier. All he need do is shave, dye his hair blond and cry. We like our migrants to look very young, not too dark skinned and weak. Haris comes across as mature, resourceful, capable and, like many teens, a fan of day-time telly. And who has any sympathy for someone like that?
Isn’t elitism great. Governments – Labour and Tory – love it. Without elitism you get no Olympic gongs to buff and parade for the public good. In the Guardian, we read:
Schools are failing white, poor, working-class children and should adopt an approach similar to the British Olympic team to help bolster their performance, a thinktank has recommended.
Throw loads and loads money at the bods and reward the best?
Mark Morrin, the report’s principal author, notes:
“The Team GB approach is about looking across all the variety of inputs that can affect performance in the classroom, putting the right strategies in place and collecting data and measurements to identify what works and focus on getting the maximum returns. Those small gains can then add up to something bigger than a sum of its parts.”
Then you take the very best and put them in competition with the very best, right? You make them believe they can make it? Or is this about making the lowest perform a little bit better in the big tests they rarely win, rewarding progress over attainment – and testing new theories on the under-nourished?
It all began when the Labour government made Bulgarian and Romanians second-class citizens of Europe. Well, maybe it began way before that. But the point is that when the Daily Mail spotted an accident and that one driver had been on his mobile, the paper made nationality an issue.
“Seconds before four-car pile-up,. Romanian truck on his mobile,” observes the headline.
Would it have been less newsworthy had the driver been British? Reporter Rebecca Camber twice more mentions that driver Razman Rusu is Romanian.
The Telegraph only mentions the now jailed driver’s nationality once, when it becomes relevant to the story:
Rusu, a Romanian national living in the UK, returned to his home country but was arrested on his arrival back in the UK.
The Mirror mentions it once – and not in the headline.
The GetWestLondon website doesn’t mention it all, but does note: “Rusu had been living in the UK but left the country for Romania after the crash.”
The Sun reports: “DASHCAM DUMMY JAILED Terrifying moment lorry driver causes pile-up on M1 while staring at his mobile phone – Razvan Rusu, 30, will serve eight months behind bars after being convicted of dangerous driving.”
That Rusu is Romanian is mentioned once.
The Express however trumps even the Mail.
JAILED: Romanian lorry driver who caused M1 pile-up while distracted by his phone – A ROMANIAN lorry driver fled the country after ploughing into motorway traffic while distracted by his mobile phone.
No police report mentioned the man’s nationality being a factor in the crime.
Rolling Stone magazine publisher Jann S. Wenner should not have deleted the 2014 story on ‘Jackie’s’ alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia. There was no proof whatsoever Jackie had been raped. The Columbia University Journalism School called the story a “failure of journalism”.
Wenner’s been talking a libel trial brought by Nicole Eramo, a former associate dean of students at the university. She claims the magazine’s story portrayed her as the “chief villain”. She’s seeking a modest $7.5 million in damages.
“We did everything reasonable, appropriate up to the highest standards of journalism to check on this thing,” says Wenner, as quoted in the NY Times. “The one thing we didn’t do was confront Jackie’s accusers – the rapists.”
Confront? Surely ask for their version of events. As journalism goes, offering the accused a right to reply is pretty standard stuff. The paper adds. ‘Wenner said there was nothing a journalist could do “if someone is really determined to commit a fraud”.’
You could err on the side of caution. But this was an agenda-driven story.
He said that while the magazine rightly retracted “the Jackie stuff,” he disagreed with the decision to retract the entire article in the wake of a damning report on it in April 2015 by The Columbia Journalism Review. He said the bulk of the article detailed ways that the University of Virginia could improve its treatment of victims of sexual assault.
“I stand by the rest of the article: personally, professionally and on behalf of the magazine,” Mr. Wenner said.
Mr. Wenner added: “You just want to be double careful, and by and large we are. We are deeply committed to accuracy in a humanistic philosophical pursuit of the truth.”
Heads have rolled.
Mr. Wenner testified that he knew there was a problem when he came to work the first Friday in December 2014 and found his managing editor, Will Dana, distraught. The deposition also provided Mr. Wenner’s fullest account of his decision to terminate Mr. Dana and the reporter who wrote the article, Sabrina Rubin Erdely. She had just begun a $300,000 writing contract. Mr. Wenner said that the quality of their work had slipped, in part because of fallout from the article.
“I cannot run the company with devastated, traumatized people,” he said.
Some irony that one traumatized woman’s alleged trauma was their undoing. Can’t work with that state of mind amongst the staffers – but can use it as a subject matter. And as for trauma, what about what of the accused?
“I’m very, very sorry. It was never meant to ever happen this way to you,” Wenner told Nicole Eramo in taped testimony played at the
$7.85 million defamation trial.
“And believe me, I’ve suffered as much as you have,” he said. “And I know what it’s like. I hope that this whole thing hadn’t happened but it is, and it’s what we live with.”
The Daily Beast provides a neat summing up of the alleged crime and notes Wenner’s apology:
He insisted that then-managing editor Will Dana’s retraction was “inaccurate… We do not retract the whole story,” and that the magazine’s biggest mistake was not corroborating Jackie’s account with her alleged attackers.
Indeed, had Erdely and her editors even attempted to do so, they would likely have arrived at a similar conclusion as Charlottesville police did after a five-month investigation: that there was no party at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity on Sept. 28, 2012, the night that Jackie claimed she was brutally raped by eight men; and that they found no evidence that Jackie was assaulted at Phi Kappa Psi or any other fraternity at UVA.
And now for that apology:
“We screwed up. Bring it on. We suffered,” Wenner said, before going on to apologize to Eramo. “It was never meant to happen this way to you. And believe me, I’ve suffered as much as you have. But please, my sympathies.”
Like many internet users, Sarah-Louise Jordan recived an unsolicied picure of a penis in a Facebook message. She writes, “I found a surprising picture in my messages. So, I did the only English thing there was to do; I wrote them a letter.”
Thank you for the unexpected and unsolicited submission of your penis portrait for our consideration. We regret to inform you that it has failed to pass our most basic standards of quality control at this time.
However, for a nominal fee we can offer you a report that will help you change that.
The A4 report, provided via postal service, will include a personalised booklet that cover the following:
Why genitals are not an acceptable conversation opener (a step by step guide to saying hello)
How to appear as though you weren’t raised by wolves
Better ways to deal with your sexual frustration
How to dress your penis for social media (a rough guide to pants)
Penis reading: a new form of palmistry that may help you unlock the key to your future.
We will also answer questions you might have such as:
Do I have too much time on my hands?
Why did my penis fail basic standards of quality control?
(Note: the number one reason for this occurring is that it is attached to a bigger dick than itself.)
Finally, as a gesture of goodwill we intend to offer two free samples with all of your future penis portrait submissions:
An inventive critique of your pride & joy
A surprise consultation with your closest available family member about your portfolio.
We trust this exciting offer is acceptable and look forward to working with you in the near future.
So the FBI has found more emails from Hillary Clinton’s secret server. Apparently 1,000-odd emails were found as part of the Anthony Weiner investigation.
Emails, eh. You can accidentally (on purpose) wipe your own emails but the trouble is if they were sent, then they sit on the recipients server; if you received them, they’re on the sender’s electronic log book. These emails were on Weiner’s laptop.
Mrs Weiner, Huma Abedin, works for Hillary. She and Anthony are estranged.
What have the FBI found?
Mrs Clinton was supposed to have handed over all evidence relating to her use of a private email server – something she instigated in 2009, when she was appointed secretary of state. The Weiner investigation shows she did not.
Career politician misspeaks the truth. Read all about it!
In a letter to Congress, the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, said the emails had surfaced in an unrelated case, which law enforcement officials said was an F.B.I. investigation into illicit text messages from Mr. Weiner to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina. Mr. Weiner, a former Democratic congressman from New York, is married to Huma Abedin, the top aide.
The Guardian says the emails have nothing to do with Clinton:
Anthony Weiner takes center stage in presidential race about men’s sex lives
About men’s sex lives? Or about a woman who wants to be President lying?
It remains to be seen just what is in the emails, although whether Hillary sent emails with confidential content herself, or directed, or simply allowed her closest aide, Huma Abedin to forward such emails to her outside unsecured email address (where they subsequently ended up on Anthony Weiner’s notebook), is what this latest case will be all about and how it will be defended and prosecuted in the media, by the water coolers and perhaps, in court.
Howie Carr considers the (lack of) evidence in the Boston Herald:
Before he toppled over from the vapors, Paul Krugman called to cancel his nomination of FBI Director James Comey for next spring’s Profiles in Courage award for having the “courage” to broom the obstruction-of-justice rap against Hillary Clinton.
I’m not a big James Comey fan, to say the least. My feeling is, if you want to hide something real good, just stick it in one of his law books. He’s proven he’ll leave no stone unturned, except the one Hillary Clinton is hiding under.
But let’s be real. A bottom feeder like Comey would never have taken this high-stakes gamble if there were any way he could have kept sweeping the dirty laundry under the rug.
What they’ve already turned up from Carlos Danger’s cellphones obviously ain’t about yoga schedules and Chelsea’s wedding plans. Of all people, Comey knows what happens if you take a shot at these people and miss. Ken Starr, anyone?
As he says: “I Did Not Have Classified Relations With That Woman, Mrs Clinton.”
Even a fool like Trump can milk this.
Expect to hear more of Trump’s words two months ago:
“I only worry for the country in that Hillary Clinton was careless and negligent in allowing Weiner to have such close proximity to highly classified information. Who knows what he learned and who he told?”
Why did the Democrats go with Clinton? It looks like a massive error.
Baroness Jenny Tonge has been suspended by the Liberal Democrats. Yes, we know, some news there that Tonge and the LibDems still exist. And when you hear the story you might suppose that Tonge has been auditioning for membership to the un-anti-Semetic Labour Party.
Today, a LibDem spokesperson tells media: “The party has suspended the membership of Jenny Tonge. We take her comments very seriously and have acted accordingly.”
Suspended. Not kicked out. Put on hold. That’s how big a deal anti-Semitism is nowadays among the elite. It is not their problem. Of course, nothing is fact. As the Guardian states: “Jenny Tonge quits Lib Dems after suspension for alleged antisemitic comments.”
Tonge noted on Facebook:
“In the course of the evening one member of the audience made a ‘rant’ against Israel quoting some very confused history which I confess I did not hear or understand! I then called the next member of the audience and moved on. The contribution was ignored by the audience after a few claps of relief! Apparently this is my sin! I am at last free of being told what I must and must not say on the issue of Palestine, lest it offends the Israel lobby here, who like to control us, as they do in the USA.
“They are trying to destroy the Labour Party with spurious accusations of antisemitism and now they have set their sights on the Lib Dems. I have never been antisemitic, and never will be. I am anti-injustice and that is why I criticise the Israeli government’s flagrant disregard for international law and human rights in the Occupied territories of Palestine and Gaza.”
The story goes that earlier this week Baroness Tonge hosted an event in the House of Lords run by the Palestine Return Council. The events was part of a campaign for Britain to apologise for the 1917 Balfour Declaration that led to the creation of a Jewish home in Palestine.
The Jewish Chroniclenotes: “Attendees applauded when another member of the audience claimed that “if anybody is antisemitic, it’s the Israelis themselves.”
The paper adds:
Last week Baroness Tonge published a letter online which she said she had sent to The Guardian. In the letter, she discussed the Home Affairs Committee’s report on antisemitism, saying: “It is difficult to believe that a 75% increase in antisemitism it reports, have [sic] been committed by people who simply hate Jewish people for no reason.”
An audience member was applauded after suggesting that Hitler only decided to kill all the Jews after he was provoked by anti-German protests led by a rabbi in Manhattan. The speaker… said that in the 1930s Rabbi Stephen Wise, whom he described as a heretic, “made the boycott on Germany, the economic boycott… which antagonised Hitler, over the edge, to then want to systematically kill Jews wherever he could find them”.
The speaker went on:
“As opposed to . . . make Germany free of Jews, a Jew-free land. He became a madman after this boycott. Judea declares war on Germany. In Manhattan they had 100,000 people marching in the economic boycott in 1935, it was the same heretic rabbi who caused that.”
The speaker also said that Rabbi Wise told the New York Times in 1905 that there were “six million bleeding and suffering reasons to justify Zionism”. He urged the audience to note the number. This famous quotation is regularly used by Holocaust deniers to suggest that the figure of six million Jews later killed by the Nazis was a myth.
Another audience member opined:
“Chaim Weizmann [a founder of Israel] did a confidence trick back in 1917/1918. He made the British establishment think that world Jewry had power that it just didn’t have. The trouble is, 100 years on, I am not talking about world Jewry, I am talking about that segment which we called the Zionist movement, has that power and it has that over our own parliament.”
David Collier notes on his blog: “This is the transference of classic antisemitic tropes, from the hand of the Jew to the hands of the Zionist.”
The Times adds: “Lady Tonge made no attempt to challenge the provocative comments.”
David Aaronovitch observes:
“Ten years ago the baroness did the old one about Jewish financial power in the form of “the pro-Israeli lobby has got its grips on the western world, its financial grips. She got a reprimand from her party leader for it. Six years ago it was the ancient blood libel (Jews kill gentiles for their blood or body parts, see also under Shylock), when she demanded an inquiry into absurd allegations that an Israeli aid mission to Haiti was harvesting organs from Haitians. She lost a front bench job for that.”
And no, she was not booted out of the LibDems. He conbtinues:
Before she resigned, Baroness Tonge was suspended, not expelled, from her utterly complacent party. Because actually many people don’t care that much about antisemitism any more. They say they do, but they don’t. They cluck but secretly they think antisemitism isn’t really a problem, that Jews are generally rich and can look after themselves and that — one way or another — they probably have it coming.
Lady Tonge, the Liberal Democrat peer, is calling for Israel to set up an inquiry to disprove allegations that its medical teams in Haiti “harvested” organs of earthquake victims for use in transplants…
Attacking Israel’s policies is one thing; insinuating that the army of the Jewish state is stealing organs or – as the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet published last year, that the IDF was killing Arabs for their organs – is to repeat what antisemites were saying about the Jews in the darkest periods of history. A blood libel, in short.
One hundred and seventy years ago, the Damascus blood libel shocked the world. On 5 February 1840, Father Thomas, the superior of the Capuchin house in Damascus, and his Muslim servant disappeared. The local Jews were immediately accused of murdering the two for the intention of using their blood for making Passover Matzot. Several Jews were arrested and tortured, and some of them died, not before producing “confessions”.
The Guardian says:
The peer has a long track record of making trenchant criticisms of Israel. In 2004, when she was an MP, she was sacked from the frontbench by then party leader Charles Kennedy after she suggested that she would become a suicide bomber if she was Palestinian. At the time, Israel had endured repeated suicide bombings carried out by Palestinians during the second intifada. She was made a peer the following year.
In September, the Sunday Times noted:
A PROMINENT peer is considering defection to Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party after “a lifetime” in the Liberal Democrats. Baroness Tonge said she was “thinking about” joining Labour and “a lot of people” in her party were pondering the move as they found Corbyn “a breath of fresh air”.
More news on Ched Evans, the low-life footballer found not guilty of raping a woman. AOL says the the Attorney General has suggested “the law could be changed to give greater protection to alleged rape victims following the Ched Evans case”.
In “Ched Evans trial: Government considers rape law change”, the BBC adds:
Labour has condemned the decision to allow the jury to hear details about the sexual history of the complainant.
When the jury had not head about the alleged victim’s sexual history – in particular a phrase she used during sex – Evans was found guilty of rape beyond any reasonable doubt and imprisoned. When the woman’s sexual history was made known, he was found not guilty of rape. Her sexual history was important in the case for the defence.
Attorney General Jeremy Wright told the Commons it was not “routinely used” in such cases, but there was “a concern”.
It is a huge concern. A cartoon in this week’s Private Eye magazine has the judge asking jurors: “Do you find the accused ‘Guilty’ or ‘Not Guilty’ of raping the dreadful slapper?”
Jeremy Wright QC told Attorney General Questions in the Commons:
“We need to understand more about the decision in this particular case, we need to understand whether a change in the law is appropriate, and if not whether it is sensible to look at the guidance that is given to judges about when this evidence is admissible and the guidance that judges give to juries about how that evidence should be used.
“I think we need to do all of those things before we are in a position to understand what, if any, changes are needed…
“We must be confident that the message sent to those who may be currently worried about reporting these sorts of offences is not that they are not encouraged to do so, quite the reverse, they are, and we need to make sure that those messages are clear.”
…we all know that section 41 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act prohibits leading evidence or asking questions concerning a complainant’s previous sexual behaviour in sex cases. There are certain exceptions to this rule, and the Court of Appeal found in Ched Evans’ case that the complainant X’s previous sexual behaviour was relevant to the issue of consent and was “so similar” to the sexual behaviour of X at the time of the alleged rape that “the similarity cannot reasonably be explained as a coincidence”.
The precedent that has been set is none. The Court of Appeal decision sets down no new application of law or principle, and section 41 continues to operate exactly as it did before, excluding the vast, vast majority of questions about previous sexual behaviour. The newspapers, activists and charities propagating this false message are needlessly terrifying present and future victims, and will only risk deterring them from coming forward.
Whatever happened in this unusual case is unlikely to have any wider application; certainly there is nothing that suggests the Court intends to widen the scope of section 41. Victims should not be scared to come forward on the basis of what is being said, loudly and inaccurately, by those who should know better.
As for the not-guilty-of-rape Ched Evans, well, his name could become part of reworked law governing rapes. You might not like him, but does an innocent man deserve that?
To mark the Battle of Hastings (1066), the Royal Mint has produce a commemorative 50p coin. Over five million Battle of Hastings 50p pieces are expected to enter circulation. The Mint calls the Battle “the date that made history”.
So big is it that advertising a sterling silver version of the coin in the BBC’s History magazine, the Mint manages to get its facts wrong. The advert runs:
The Battle of Hastings altered the course of British history. This epic clash fought between two kings, and won by William the Conqueror, brought about huge social advancement that set the foundations for the nation as we know it today.
That would be King Harald and William, Duke of Normandy – one king and one wanna-be king.
Is everyone named, mentioned, implicated, saved, cleared and shafted by the Government’s inquiry into child abuse dead yet?
The inquiry rolls on and on and one. And gets nowhere. Pop out in a fast car and watch how soon the police nick you for DWB (Driving Whilst Black). Make a tasteless joke on twitter and listen for the copper’s knuckles at your door. Molest a child and chances are the wheels of justice will move slower than John Chilcot’s word-processor.
To date three inquiry heads have left. The most recent, shipped in Kiwi Beak Dame Lowell Goddard, departed the big desk in August clutching an £80,000 pay off and tickets for business class flights home.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is a huge job. The BBC describes it thus:
A major inquiry into historical child sex abuse in England and Wales is to examine claims made against local authorities, religious organisations, the armed forces and public and private institutions – as well as people in the public eye.
There are 13 strands to this massive process of writing everything down. And you could make it 14 – the final group comprised of everyone who heard a whisper and did nothing (and do include the media in that).
The good news is that some of the 13 headers have been prioritised.
The Inquiry has invited applications for Core Participant status, and has held one or more preliminary hearings, in relation to the following seven investigations:
Accountability and Reparations investigation
The Roman Catholic Church
Children outside the UK
The late Lord Janner of Braunstone QC
The Anglican Church
Cambridge House, Knowl View and Rochdale
One person is named on that list. And – get this – he’s dead. The cynic might suppose others will get star billing when they are also no longer able to give reliable evidence in court.
And there there is this: If it takes so long to take seriously allegations of abuse in high places, when will whatever is going on today be exposed? Oh, things are going on now that will be presented as shocking and shaming in years to come. What are they? And why aren’t they front-page news and worthy of inquiries and the State’s resources?
Hot dogs are un-Islamic, says the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (MIDD). To receive halal certification,the MIDD, a religious government body, says hot dogs must be renamed.
MIDD’s Sirajuddin Suhaimee explains says: “In Islam, dogs are considered unclean and the name cannot be related to halal certification.”
Yes, but the hot dog contains no dogs, it being most often a composite blend of pigs’s scrotum, anus and lips.
“Malaysian halal food guidelines say halal food and halal artificial flavour shall not be named or synonymously named after non-halal products such as ham, bak kut teh, bacon, beer, rum and others that might create confusion,” he adds.
The Auntie Anne store has been refused halal certification unless it renamed its “Pretzel Dog”. Mr Suhaimee says it should be called a Pretzel Sausage”.
And in keeping with Islamic law, Auntie Anne might care to ‘circumcise’ the tip of its Fat Torpedo:
Harry Redknapp was dropping his wife Sandra in Westbourne, a suburb of Bournemouth, when her coat got caught in the door of his Range Rover. The Indy says the 69-year-old [Sandra] “screamed with agony on the pavement after being dragged along the road”.
An eyewitness tells the Sun:
“I was in a shop and a couple of people came in and said, ‘Crikey, there’s a lady who’s been dragged along the road’, then someone else came in and said it was Harry Redknapp who had just dropped his wife off. I heard as he drove off she got her coat caught in the door. She was dragged along the road before he realised. I think she has been badly injured.”
The Indy says there was lots of blood.
The Telegraph identifies the car: “Harry Redknapp drags wife along road in ‘freak accident’ in his Range Rover.”
This private horror is then given the Daily Mail treatment. Can it be possible to attack a man who has been left “shaken” buy seeing his wife hurt? Yes, The Mail sees fit to include this in its report:
In 2006, the BBC’s investigative programme Panorama showed Mr Redknapp on camera expressing his interest in approaching a player illegally in order to arrange a transfer.
Following an investigation by HMRC in 2010, he was charged with two counts of cheating the public revenue, but was later found not guilty at a trial.
It then concludes:
Last night, representatives for Mr Redknapp denied that an incident had taken place.
Brexit is impelling some people to make a choice: stay in the UK or live in the European Union? TheGuardianreports that many Britons are appealing to become citizens in other countries.
The number of Britons seeking citizenship in other EU countries has surged as a result of the Brexit vote, with some member states recording near tenfold increases on 2015 figures.
The British are not queuing up to live in Romania and Bulgaria. The report says they fancy new lives in Denmark, Italy, Ireland and Sweden, which all report “spikes” in “citizens eager to secure proper status in the EU”.
Between January and October 2016, 2,800 Britons applied for citizenship in other EU countries. This, says the paper is a 250% increase on numbers recorded in 2015.
Compared with last year’s figures, numbers have surged almost tenfold in Denmark and threefold in Sweden.
Denmark might not be best best option. Many Danes want their own EU referendum on what is dubbed Dexit.
Several applicants told the Guardian that it was the Brexit vote that prompted them to take action.
The numbers are not big, are they. Under 3,000 Britons have applied to be non-British citizens in other countries. And “several” said Brexit promoted the move.
The Guardian was in favour of the country remaining in the EU. So too was the Independent, which said: “Brexit prompts surge in Britons applying for citizenship in EU countries.”
In April the FT noted:
The German embassy in London told the Financial Times that 200-250 requests for information on how to apply for citizenship have been received per day since the referendum result was announced, compared with an average of 20-25 daily inquiries a month earlier.
The Hungarian consulate has received 150 inquiries since the vote, while it said it had received less than 10 during the rest of this year.
How do you qualify?
It is hard to tell what the chances are of the citizenship applications succeeding — people living in the UK depend on their ancestry to qualify.
The German embassy said UK residents would need a German parent. “There are certainly quite a number of people where it seems obvious they won’t qualify. We don’t have any figures for that though,” said Norman Walter, a spokesman.
Other countries have more liberal conditions. Italy, which has received around 500 email requests at its UK embassy since the Brexit vote, offers citizenship to foreigners who can prove that at least one of their grandparents was Italian.
The same grandparent rule applies to anyone seeking an Irish passport.
And less glamorous destinations?
Yet that has not deterred inquiries for a Bulgarian passport. The country’s London embassy has received 15 citizenship inquiries by British people since June 24. “We usually don’t receive such kind of requests so this is a new thing for us,” said a spokesman.
Estonia said it had seen a “notable” increase in residency requests and Lithuania reported a rise in applications to 34 since June 23, from a typical average of one or two per month.
Malta and Cyprus are both in the EU, and both offer a fast-track to citizenship for people who are able to invest a significant amount of money.
Maltese citizenship is available to those who invest €1.15m (£965,000; $1.3m) there; the country added a one-year residency requirement after EU pressure. The scheme is aimed at “ultra-high net worth individuals and families worldwide”.
The Cypriot government offers citizenship to those who put €5m (£4.2m; $5.6m) into approved investments – this is reduced to just €2.5m for those taking part in a collective investment. Applicants need to have a property in Cyprus but do not need to live there all of the time. Family members are included in the application, which can take as little as three months.
On July 18, the Sun featured a column but its former editor Kelvin MacKenzie in which he asked, “Why did Channel 4 have a presenter in a hijab fronting coverage of Muslim terror in Nice?”.
That the question was rhetorical became apparent in the next line: “Would C4 have used a Hindu to report on the carnage at the Golden Temple of Amritsar…of course not.”
And again: “Would the station have used an Orthodox Jew to cover the Israeli-Palestine conflict? Of course not.
Hundreds complained to Ipso, the press regulator. This meant lots of people were talking about the Sun and MacKenzie – and so both became relevant.
MacKenzie posed more questions:
…I could hardly believe my eyes. The presenter was not one of the regulars — Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Matt Frei or Cathy Newman — but a young lady wearing a hijab. Her name is Fatima Manji and she has been with the station for four years. Was it appropriate for her to be on camera when there had been yet another shocking slaughter by a Muslim?
Was it done to stick one in the eye of the ordinary viewer who looks at the hijab as a sign of the slavery of Muslim women by a male- dominated and clearly violent religion?
So why did they do it?
With all the major terrorist outrages in the world currently being carried out by Muslims, I think the rest of us are reasonably entitled to have concerns about what is beating in their religious hearts. Who was in the studio representing our fears?
Questions upon questions. And like all good columnists, MacKenzie triggered a heated debate.
Manji called MacKenzie’s words “ill-informed, racist and Islamophobic”.
Ben De Pear, who edits the Channel 4 news show, said:
“Whilst we agree that freedom of expression is a fundamental right, we do not believe that it should be used as a licence to incite or discriminate. His inflammatory comments on Fatima Manji’s professional status, which were widely condemned, and his attempts to equate the wearing of a hijab with support for terrorism, have no place in a properly informed and tolerant society… We employ reporters based on their journalistic skills, not their ethnicity. We see no reason why a Muslim journalist should be prevented from covering any story and Fatima will continue to report and present the news on the issues of the day with impartiality and depth. We are grateful for all the support shown to Fatima during this difficult time.”
Difficult time? Really? (See those questions are catchy.) Channel 4 is hardly a fan of the Sun and its readers. Surely the broadcaster got some satisfaction from MacKenzie’s rant? Prejudices, you know, we do so love them when we can back them up with evidence. Manji did not like it. But Ipso has rejected her complaints.
“There can be no doubt that this was deeply offensive to the complainant and caused widespread concern and distress to others. This was demonstrated by the number of complaints IPSO received.
“The article was highly critical of Channel 4 for permitting a newsreader to wear the hijab. It also contained pejorative references to Islam. But the essential question for the committee was whether those references were directed at the complainant.
“Clause 12 seeks to protect individuals while respecting the fundamental right to freedom of expression enshrined in the preamble to the code.
“The article did refer to the complainant. But it did so to explain what triggered the discussion about a subject of legitimate debate: whether newsreaders should be allowed to wear religious symbols.
“While the columnist’s opinions were undoubtedly offensive to the complainant, and to others, these were views he had been entitled to express. The article did not include a prejudicial or pejorative reference to the complainant on the grounds of her religion.
“Clause 3 seeks to protect individuals from harassment. In the light of its findings under Clause 12, and given that the course of conduct complained of was the publication of a single article on a matter which, while sensitive, was the subject of legitimate public debate, the Committee took the view that it did not amount to harassment under Clause 3.
“The columnist’s view that Islam is ‘clearly a violent religion’ was a statement of his opinion. This view, however extreme or offensive to many, did not raise a breach of Clause 1.
“The suggestion that the complainant was a ‘pawn in this tv news game’ was clearly conjecture, and underlined that the author’s criticism was directed at Channel 4 and not at the individual newsreader. There was no breach of Clause 1.”
Kelvin MacKenzie and newspapers are still relevant after al these years. Who knew?
Ched Evans continues to excite the Press. In the Mirror, David Kidd writes beneath the headline “Ched Evans acted like a scumbag, but that’s no excuse for this systematic kicking football is getting.”
Kidd says mixing with lots of footballers has not left him with “the impression that they are a group of men who are contemptuous of women”. Adding that “footballers are easy scapegoats for an establishment dominated by inherited wealth and private schooling which dislikes their game.”
Ched Evans, a lowlife innocent of rape, no more epitomises the game any more than Jimmy Savile is a typical children’s entertainer. Evans represents himself only. So why does Kidd use him to support his own prejudices against those who went to fee-paying schools and are lucky enough to have well-off parents?
It’s not just toffs in positions of authority who, when not parading footballers as role models for inept and slack-jawed football fans, want to give footballers a good kicking.
Footballers and football fans behaving badly gives the elite what they want: someone to make them look good.
Giving football a shoeing is nothing new. In 1985 a Sunday Timeseditorial called it “a slum sport watched by slum people in slum stadiums”.
Of course, Clegg did go to public school. so let’s hear form someone who did not. Get this from Caitlin Moran in the Times, who in 2014 through Evans was forced to reconsider her belief in redemption:
Perhaps young, rich, fit, unrepentant men who have raped do need to see their lives reduced to ash – without prospect of forgiveness, employment or absolution – until the day they die. I’m starting to see the sense in choosing, say, a hundred rapists and making their lives publicly, endlessly awful – unrelentingly humiliating, without prospect of absolution. Of making them famous for being appalling; regarded as untouchable. So that men become terrified of raping, in the same way women are terrified of being raped. So that rapists spend their lives dealing with the night they raped in the same way women currently do.
Perhaps the only way society can be good – to progress; to change – is to stop believing in redemption for a while. Perhaps redemption does women no good at all.
One law for the rich footballer – who, it must be said, was unrepentant because he always maintained his innocence, something now on the law books as fact – and one law for all other kinds of criminals and crimes.