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Transfer balls: The BBC says Chelsea’s owners Roman Abramovich has sanctioned a move for Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci, 29. The Blues will offer the Italians £60m.
The Telegraph says this would be a world-record fee for a defender, beating the current record £50m PSG paid for Chelsea defender David Luiz – they bought him back for £30m.
Bonuccio is, says the paper, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte’s “dream signing”.
Bonucci has been full of praise of Conte, who managed him at Juventus and Italy. “Conte will be a big success in England, Chelsea are already a very good team and he will have them challenging both in England and in Europe,” said Bonucci, who might care to look again.
But the British Press know not all that much about Bonucci.
In June, the Metro said the player had agreed to join Chelsea.
The Sun said a “three-year deal for defender Bonucci, worth around £130,000 a week, has been accepted by the player and his agents.” The headline tol readers: “ANTONIO CONTE is plotting an amazing £57million double swoop for Italy stars Antonio Candreva and Leonardo Bonucci.”
Three months ago Bonucci cost £25m.
He’s now apparently worth £60m.
And in July he singed for Manchester City. The Sport Bible told us that:
Good news and bad news in the Daily Mail. The good news is that apartheid in South Africa has well and truly ended. The bad news is that South Africa is not a very rich country and productivity is low enough to mean poverty grips blacks and whites. No longer protected by a system designed to give them the biggest slices of pie and privilege over blacks, South African whites are free to fall.
Chris Summers is shocked.
The WHITE ghettos that blight South Africa: 20 years after the fall of apartheid, how it is now white people who live in squalid camps?
Answer: see above.
While the black South African middle class has grown and many live in big houses, with swimming pools and drive around in BMWs like their white peers; many poor whites live in squalid squatter camps just like their black peers.
There were poor whites before Apartheid ended, but the system meant they were elevated above the blacks. You whites might be poor, but you’ll never be as poor as the Untermensch.
Around 42,000 of the 4.5 million white South Africans are thought to live in poverty, which equates to 0.9 per cent. But 63.2 per cent of the country’s 43 million black South Africans also live in poverty and around 37 per cent of ‘coloureds’ – people of mixed race.
Most first-time visitors to Cape Town are mesmerized by the majesty of Table Mountain, and wowed by the vivacity of the Victorian-era waterfront. As a new visitor myself last month, I was captivated by both. But what has lodged most in my memory is something very different.
Driving from the international airport, I was struck by the sheer wretchedness of Cape Flats: the series of black townships, comprising mostly shacks with corrugated steel roofs, that stretch from the highway almost to the horizon. Few people — tourists or locals — want to talk about the Cape Flats. But there is no better starting point for a discussion of the state of contemporary South Africa.
Leonardo DiCaprio thinks democracy and free though – and thereby free speech – are overrated. Speaking at the White House ahead of a screening of his new grandiose documentary, Before the Flood, DiCaprio opined:
“If you don’t believe in climate change, you don’t believe in facts, and science, and empirical truths. And, in my humble opinion, [you] should not be allowed to hold public office.”
Believe or else. Orthodoxy rules!
Are there any more views DiCaprio disagrees with that should bar you from holding public office, even if the people have voted for you?
Al Qaeda have been a bit quiet of late. We used to see lots of their gurning loons on the TV news. Now nothing. Might this be down to the rise of Islamic State and the apparent fact that a lot of the stuff we watched was made in the Pentagon?
Sputnik News looks at a report by the grandiose Bureau of Investigative Journalism which says the Pentagon “paid at least $540 million to a UK public relations firm to produce fake Al-Qaeda videos as part of a clandestine propaganda campaign”.
The company that won this lucrative contract is Bell Pottinger, which “gave high-ranking military officials information on people who watched the fraudulent segments, which were made to look like insurgent videos and Arabic news programs”.
Got that? 12th Century Wolf, or whatever the big Qaeda film co. is called, made movies as honey traps for would-be enemies of the State. Pop one these films in a player and your details are sent to the National Security Council, the Pentagon and the CIA. (Anyone familiar with those old adverts for TV detector vans will think that’s getting off lightly.)
Crofton Black & Abigail Fielding-Smith of The Bureau of Investigative Journalism tell the Daily Beast:
In the first media interview any Bell Pottinger employee has given about the work for the U.S. military in Iraq, video editor Martin Wells told the Bureau his time in Camp Victory was “shocking, eye-opening, life-changing.”
The firm’s output was signed off by former General David Petraeus—then commander of the coalition forces in Iraq—and on occasion by the White House, he said…
There were three types of media operations commonly used in Iraq at the time, said a military contractor familiar with Bell Pottinger’s work there. “White is attributed, it says who produced it on the label,” the contractor said. “Grey is unattributed, and black is falsely attributed. These types of black ops, used for tracking who is watching a certain thing, were a pretty standard part of the industry toolkit.”
And the films?
Bell Pottinger would send teams out to film low-definition video of al Qaeda bombings and then edit it like a piece of news footage. It would be voiced in Arabic and distributed to TV stations across the region, according to Wells.
That’s £500m to make sub-standard YouTuber videos.
Police has demolished part of a farm house on the Greek island of Kos. The extension was built after the 21-month-old from Sheffield went missing in 1991. The Beeb’s report contains this eyebrow raiser: “South Yorkshire Police said the owners had agreed to officers ‘dismantling the lower part of the building’.”
You can knock down the ground floor but keep all the floors above it intact. Easy!
This is what it looks like in the Times:
The hunch is that Ben Needham was accidentally killed and, well, you can guess the rest. Unless you read the Sheffield Star, wherein we read: “LATEST: Farmhouse demolition starts in search for remains of Ben Needham.”
ITN invites armchair detectives to wonder: “Could farmhouse extension hold key to Ben’s whereabouts?”
Det Insp Jon Cousins, of South Yorkshire Police, tells media:
“Early this afternoon I will be dismantling the lower part of the farmhouse including the ground around it… just making sure that I haven’t missed any opportunity to get the answers that we require. The [Greek] family are clearly upset about what we’re doing. They have very kindly agreed to allow us to do that and I am extremely grateful. Clearly it’s going to be a very distressing time for them. This is where many generations, including the current generation, were born and grew up and we’ve got to deal with it as sensitively as possible.”
So you’re knocking down part of their home.
But needs must.
Thoughts are with Ben family. His sister Leigh-Anna is quoted in the Sun: “We just feel numb and very empty and the moment. We’re a family that’s lived in hope for 25 years that one day he will walk back through that door and now we’re facing the possible reality that he was there all along.”
Five robbers stole millions of pounds worth of jewellery and two cell phones from social media socialite Kim Kardashian in Paris. They held a gun to her head, says Sky news.
The tabloids lap it up.
The Mail wonders what really happened. “What IS the truth behind the heist?” it asks. Well, we don’t know because the culprits have yet to be caught. But the Mail’s headline is suggestive of some kind of plot on the victim’s side. We don’t know the facts but let’s hold our noses and take a hard look at the victim. That seems fair.
The Mail then invites Alison Boshoff to write:
As ratings for Keeping Up With The Kardashians keep falling, is it any wonder Kim’s gunpoint ordeal is seen by some as a huge PR stunt.
Having appraised her stolen jewels and found them wanting, Boshoff says:
Good taste aside, the mother-of-two, who was robbed at gunpoint by five masked men who tied her up in the bathroom of a luxury Paris apartment in the early hours of Monday while they stole £7.8 million of jewellery, may now be reflecting that it could have been a tad unwise to show off her wealth so ostentatiously.
As the Queen pulls on her crown and answers the door to the ‘CID’, Boshoff sees fit to repeat a few of the voices who have wondered aloud about where Kim’s security at 2am (her bodyguard Pascal Duvie as in nightclub with her siblings) and why the TV cameras were not filming the crime. Where was the woman who holds her skin in place as Kim sleeps? Why was Kim selfie implant not woking?
Boshoff then delivers a long review of Kim’s career as a reality TV star.
What the point of her article is other than to cast shade on the victim of an armed robbery, we can’t be certain. Maybe it just exists to fill space. We can add Boshoff’s to-deadline article to the – get this – 36 other Daily Mail articles on the robbery. So much for those falling rating. Kim is click-tastic in the Mail!
As for the crime, well, the Sun sums up well:
The last word on the robbery is with Sarah Ditum, who tells Indy readers: “Kim Kardashian did not deserve to be robbed just because she learned the truth about being female and famous.”
Oh. Are you sure the telly star didn’t deserve to be attacked, fear she would be raped and robbed? Her last show was a bit dull. Says Ditum:
Who can blame her for recognising a primary truth of being female and famous – that either you profit from your exposure, or someone else does – and trying to control it? Judging from the reactions to this robbery, a lot of people do.
Add that to the hundreds of articles on Kim Kardashian published today.
Doris Bohrer has died. She worked as a CIA agent, joining its forerunner the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) to defeat the Nazis. She wanted to be a fighter pilot but they wouldn’t let women do that job. So Bohrer joined the CIA – as a typist. She rose through the ranks to become the CIA’s highest ranking woman.
Her Times obituary contains a gem for anyone worried about what to do when confronted by sexism.
…Bohrer and her female colleagues were treated with near-universal condescension. Men doing the same work were addressed by their military rank; the women were dismissed as “the girls”… Indignant at the the sexist language of the mess hall, she at one point placed a fake hand grenade on the table at which she and a group of officers were eating. One of the men offered, loftily, to take the grenade and make it safe, at which point she pulled the pin. The men scattered, leaving Bohrer to finish her meal in peace.
And that’s how you deal with sexism.
Doris Bohrer, CIA agent, was born on February 5, 1923. She died of heart failure on August 8, 2016, aged 93
Denzel Washington has attempted to strangle Aretha Franklin. Washington, 20, admitted to strangling his mother, 52-year-old Aretha Franklin, in Manhattan, New York.
“I am informed by Aretha Franklin,” says the complaint filed by police, “that she observed the defendant place his hands around her neck and apply pressure, thereby causing redness, bruising and substantial pain to her neck.”
Washington has admitted an harassment charge. He’s been sentenced to a conditional discharge and an anger management programme. Washington was also ordered to stay away from Franklin’s home.
PS – “Why should I change? He’s the one who sucks,” says a character named Michael Bolton in the 1999 film Office Space.
Has Article 50 been triggered? No. But we’re getting lots of news that it might be, maybe. It’s the Tory Party conference and leader Theresa May is keen to please all sides of her Cabinet by talking up Brexit whilst doing very little top make it happen.
May will formally begin the Brexit process by the end of March 2017, she has told the BBC.
Great. Pull the trigger…and:
The prime minister confirmed the deadline for triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which sets in place a two-year process of withdrawal. She has also promised a “Great Repeal Bill” in the next Queen’s Speech, which will overturn the act that took the UK into the forerunner of the EU.
The Sun says we are on the “March to Freedom”.
The Mail says Theresa May is “not for tuning” – just like Margaret Thatcher said she wasn’t.
All good. The people voted to reject the European Union.
The BBC adds:
It will remove the European Communities Act 1972 from the statute book. The government will also enshrine all existing EU law into British law.
Hands up those who voted to regain control the country?
Knock. Knock. The anti-free speech police are surely on their way to Margate, Kent, home of “Extremist Zebadiah Abu-Obadiah”. The Daily Mail says he’s called for the death of former Ukip leader Nigel Farage. He “labels the Queen a ‘w****’ in vile video…. Abu-Obadiah, real name Robert Boaler, also warns ‘chat s***, get Rigby’d’.”
Alex Matthews has exposed this heinous behaviour.
Among the disturbing lyrics he warns people that if they ‘chat s***’ they will get ‘Rigby’d’ – referring to the fatal stabbing of fusilier Lee Rigby by Islamic extremists Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale in 2013.
Nigel Farage is name-checked:
Some brehs [sic] are destined for damnation like Farage, off with his head.
There are a couple of people who are more than evil, that make you frustrated and need decapitating.
They spread the hate and fear and they get no rating around here. So lets make it clear I want their heads on spears.
Sing along if you know the words:
The chorus then repeats: ‘Kill them, Kill them.’
At one disturbing part of the film a voiceover is heard calling for the death of ‘children and babies’ while in other sections a child’s doll is pictured among flames.
Who is this nutter? He must be stopped. Well done to the Mail for bringing this underground rapper to the nation’s attention.
Boaler ran against Mr Farage for the South Thanet seat under the Al-Zebabist Nation of OOG party, in the General Election, but only garnered 30 votes.
Al-Zebabist Nation of OOG party? Who are they? Helpfully, they run a website. But Matthews could have kept his browser history from alerting the Internet Watch team by looking at less dark sources.
RT: “The Nation of Ooog [“a semi-satirical group”], which takes its name from the deity it worships, also vowed to legalize the use of heroin and consumption of dog meat.”
Vice: “We meet the party’s leader, Zebadiah Abu Obadiah, to talk about why they don’t have time for spoof parties, why every female in Britain should wear a hijab and why everyone should take a massive fatal heroin overdose on their 50th birthday.”
“The group, officially registered as a political party in the constituency with the Electoral Commission, says it wants to eradicate Broadstairs, one of the towns on the Isle of Thanet, and establish a “a Zebabist state run by Boalia Law”. The party, led by the ‘Prophet Zebadiah’, real name Robert Bealer, campaigns to ban all hetero-marriage and to lower tax for bearded families – with women and children allowed to wear fake beards.
Adam Johnson, the former Sunderland, Manchester City and England footballer jailed for sexually abusing a 15-year-old fan is a lowlife. But the Mail is shocked and amazed by his life in prison. The paper declares:
Paedophile footballer Adam Johnson is still earning £5,000-a-week despite being locked up for sexually abusing a teenage fan.
Is there some sick trade in a celebrity paedo’s image rights? Maybe, because the Sun says a little ambiguously: “Disgraced footballer Adam Johnson is still raking in £5000 a week while behind bars for child sex offences.”
The Star makes it sounds as if Johnson is getting paid to be a lag: “The ex-England footballer will pick up £250,000 for every year he is locked up on child sex charges.” The longer the sentence, the more he earns?
Back to the Mail, which thunders:
The winger, who was capped 12 times for England, used to earn £60,000-a-week while under contract with Sunderland. The Black Cats sacked him after he plead guilty to the child sex offences, but it has emerged that Johnson will not be strapped for cash when he is released from prison.
The Daily Star reports that thanks to shrewd property investments and high interest funds before he was convicted, the Premier League star is set to take home around £250,000-a-year without kicking a ball.
Wow! Adam Johnson is the shrewd paedophile, then, the criminal who invested his legally earned money soundly.
Do we expect the State and victims to take control of all a convicted criminal’s investments and money?
As newspaper investigations go, the Mail’s look at the piece of coffee 30,000 feet in the air aboard a plane is weaker than a happy hour cocktail in Riyadh. In “Revealed: How low-cost airlines inflate the price of in-flight coffee by up to 4,000 per cent”, Qin Xie repurposes as bit of PR from Kayak.co.uk, which “looked at the prices for coffee on five low-cost airlines departing from the UK – Ryanair, easyJet, Thomas Cook, Flybe and Jet2 – and compared them with the cost of making the same beverage at home.”
Budget airline unveils new low-cost seats
Unless you live aboard a passenger jet, the relative costs don’t hold water. But undeterred by the obvious, the Mail ploughs on:
For example, the cost of a cup of Lavazza coffee on Ryanair is the equivalent of £2.55 when converted from euros. But if you purchased the same coffee at supermarkets, available in 100g tins for £3, each serving comes in at just six pence.
This means a mark-up of 4,150 per cent was applied to the coffee.
What does a cup of coffee cost in high-street coffee shops, like Nero or Costa, or in a local greasy spoon cafe? Qin Xie doesn’t mention that.
But look out for the Mail campaign for the right for passengers to take aboard their own kettles, coffee granules and mugs.
PS – And look out for other ‘revelations’ on other things that cost more when not bought in bulk and consumed in the home, like, well everything.
When its the right time to switch off the machines keeping a patient alive? On July 20, Sam Hemming, 22, a Bangor University graduate and keen sportswoman, was a passenger in her boyfriend’s car when it crashed on the M6. The car flipped over. Sam Hemming banged her head hard on the window.
At hospital, after six hours of operations doctors placed the badly injured woman in a coma. They told her parents Emma had no chance of recovery. For 19 days she showed no sign of brain activity. They were all set to tun off the life-support machines when Emma’s toe moved when a staff member inadvertently brushed it with an ice-cold wipe.
“The computer showed some brain activity,” Ms Hemming’s mother, Carol, tells the Times. “It was amazing. She would have had the heat and cold test before they switched the machine off but they brushed it across her toe earlier than expected and it saved her.”
Eight weeks later Emma returned to her parents’ Hereford home. She has learnt to talk and walk.
“Doctors are totally in shock,” Mrs Hemming adds. “You see the specialist surgeons, paramedics and police and they look at Sammy and their mouths fall open. Why her condition is different is that part of the brain has developed her speech and movement. That is why all the neurosurgeons were getting so excited as it is very rarely seen. She is a walking miracle.”
Says Emma: “My talking is fine and I just want to get better now. Before the accident I wanted to be a solicitor and that ambition hasn’t changed. I still want a career in the law.”
Medicine is amazing. (The legal profession, less so.)
Marijuana stinks. The scent is a bit like boiled cabbage, only sweeter and more sickly. Marijuana smells like your mum’s air-freshener and Washington DC.
Matthew Little smells of weed. Not everyone likes his perfume. His local bus operator has now banned Matthew from riding their vehicles in Bremerton in Kitsap County, Washington, for six months. His ban includes his standing at bus stops.
Kitsap Transit says its passengers can be banned from smelling of: cat urine, human faeces and sweat.
“From time to time, I smell like I just smoked some marijuana probably because I just did,” says Little.
Kitsat Transports says Little smelled so bad “the driver began to choke and had to cover her nose”. Little “chose to ignore repeated warnings that violating our rules of conduct would result in his exclusion.”
When asked what he thinks he smells like, Little responded: “Ganga or Karl Lagerfeld.”
Note: Karl Lagerfeld smells of leatherette with base notes of talc and warm mug.
John Garrett Burrow, 24, pleaded guilty to cruelty to animals. In 2014, the soldier tied up Riley, an 8-month-old Lab mix puppy, with parachute cord and threw it into McFadyen Lake in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The dog drowned.
The Fayette Observersays “Kelsey Burrow, 21, the soldier’s wife, awaits judgment for misdemeanor accessory after the fact for false Facebook accounts saying the dog died during surgery to repair a broken leg as part of a Go-Fund-Me money solicitation to pay for the surgery cost [Defense Attorney David] Courie said was about $2,500.”
Superior Court Judge Jim Ammons sentenced Burrow to 30 days in jail, 100 hours community service and ordered the dog killer to spend two years on probation, during which Ammons ordered him to carry a photo of Riley in his wallet.
The judge told Burrow: “What you did was horrible. Absolutely horrible. I don’t want this to be the ruination of your life, but I hope Riley’s legacy will bring awareness to animal abuse. There’s way too much abuse of animals. Animals need to be treated humanely.”
The judge is right. But the wallet order is nonsense. What 24-year-old carries wallet?
Although we are just beginning to answer basic questions about the canine brain, we cannot ignore the striking similarity between dogs and humans in both the structure and function of a key brain region: the caudate nucleus. … In dogs, we found that activity in the caudate increased in response to hand signals indicating food. The caudate also activated to the smells of familiar humans. And in preliminary tests, it activated to the return of an owner who had momentarily stepped out of view. Do these findings prove that dogs love us? Not quite. But many of the same things that activate the human caudate, which are associated with positive emotions, also activate the dog caudate. Neuroscientists call this a functional homology, and it may be an indication of canine emotions.
The ability to experience positive emotions, like love and attachment, would mean that dogs have a level of sentience comparable to that of a human child.
What next for the ubiquitous Shami Chakrabarti, whose June 2016 report for the Labour Party found no anti-semitism in its ranks? Shami – not a Jew – became a Labour peer in August 2016. The Standard says she’s in line to be Jeremy Corbyn’s new shadow attorney general in his cabinet of all the talents.
TheLabour Party supporting New Statesman – the magazine that brought news of a “Kosher conspiracy” – says Chakrabarti will get the job next week. The magazine says the woman who chaired the party’s anti-Semitism inquiry “wants to do more” and the “gig is a no brainer”.
And let us be clear, Shamni loves Jews. She enjoys seeing them in the ranks. It makes her feel better about things. At a rally in Liverpool, Chakrabarti, made a plea to Jewish Labour voters unnerved by the rife anti-Semitism in the far left of the party: “Please don’t go. Don’t leave me here, don’t leave me locked in a room with Essex Man… I don’t want to be left alone with people who lack the vision and views that you and I bring to this party as members of minority groups.”
No racism in Labour. Hell, no. But plenty of nose-holding elitism in a party that doesn’t like Essex Man, which appears to be code for the white working class. And you Jews are just like blacks, Asians, Muslims, Hindus and… are there any Inuits in the Labour house of all the creeds? (Raises hand.) Woot! We’re all right! Labour is all right! Your all so lovely and ethnic.
Maybe Shami Chakrabarti can chair a Labour inquiry into the kind of bigotry spouted by people who see ethnic minorities as essentially superior to monocular ‘Essex man’? Who knows, if she finds none, there might even be bigger civil gong in it for her…
Look out for the “if” in Momentum vice chair Jackie Walker’s apology over what the Indy call her “‘appalling’ Holocaust comments”. She says: “If offence has been caused, it is the last thing I would want to do.”
It’s not her. It’s you. It’s your reading of her inoffensive comments that create problems. Jackie Walker, vice-chair of the Jeremy Corbyn support group Momentum, was speaking – get this – at a Labour Party anti-Semitism training event. She said: “In terms of Holocaust day, wouldn’t it be wonderful if Holocaust day was open to all people who experienced Holocaust?”
Like Nazis, perhaps?
No. Don’t be silly. But we can’t work out who she means because Holocaust Memorial Day includes all victims of Nazism. Walker is wrong. Whoops!
She then tweeted a comment about multiple “Holocausts”.
The ‘typo’ related to a delated tweet in which she had noted:
(As a comment on that deleted tweet we’d say that Holocaust denial should not be banned. Bigots who seek to make liars of the millions dead should not be banned and martyred by law. They should be debated and their ideas ridiculed and proven wrong, as they have been. We don’t want to live in a space where free speech is managed. As you will read below, Jackie thinks us knowing what goes on inside her safe space is “unethical”.)
The Huffington Posthas more of what Walker reportedly said: “I came in here … and I was looking for information and I still haven’t heard a definition of anti-Semitism that I can work with… and in terms of Holocaust day wouldn’t it be wonderful if Holocaust day was open to all people who experienced holocaust… in practice it’s not actually circulated and advertised as such.”
She then apologised some more:
“A number of people made comments in a private training session run by the Jewish Labour Movement. As we all know, training sessions are intended to be safe spaces where ideas and questions can be explored.”
A safe space, for those of you not in the know about censorship, is a place where everyone agrees with everyone else. Those who do not are barred. They are popular at Universities. The NUS loves them. Indeed, it agrees that Holocaust memorial days is too Jewish.
“A film of this session was leaked to the press unethically. I did not raise a question on security in Jewish schools. The trainer raised this issue and I asked for clarification, in particular as all London primary schools, to my knowledge, have security and I did not understand the particular point the trainer was making. Having been a victim of racism I would never play down the very real fears the Jewish community have, especially in light of recent attacks in France.”
Jewish schools are behind razor wire and gates. On Saturdays and other times of Jewish worship, synagogues are patrolled by guards. The HuffPost adds: “Walker also said extra security measures in Jewish schools in the UK were not due to fear of anti-Semitic attacks.”
No. The huge security exits to prevent Jews attacking any passing Quakers. Well, that’s what I heard in my safe space. And we all agreed it was true. So it is.
Walker said in her apology:
“In the session, a number of Jewish people, including me, asked for definitions of antisemitism. This is a subject of much debate in the Jewish community. I support David Schneider’s definition and utterly condemn antisemitism.
“I would never play down the significance of the Shoah. Working with many Jewish comrades, I continue to seek to bring greater awareness of other genocides, which are too often forgotten or minimised. If offence has been caused, it is the last thing I would want to do and I apologise.”
In May 2016, Walker was readmitted to the Labour party after she was suspended over alleged anti-Semitic comments on Facebook. She said Jews were the “chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade”.
To conclude: There is no anti-semitism in the Labour Party. Shami Chakrabarti, who Corbyn invited to lead the party’s investigation into anti-Semitism in the ranks, proved that beyond doubt.
‘Big’ Sam Allardyce left the England manager’s job in a hurry. It takes most a bit longer to realise how hopeless the team is and mutate into a root vegetable. Allardyce says he is “deeply disappointed” to have left the job after just 67 days. He had hoped to win a few matches against the might of Malta and Slovakia, qualify for a big tournament and then have his lack of tactical nouse pilloried in the Press. Instead his apparent greed has fast-tracked him to a foreign side with less scruples than England.
Allardyce “mutually agreed” with Football Association chairman Greg Clarke and chief executive Martin “I am not a football expert” Glenn it was time for him to go.
Allardyce has made a “wholehearted apology” for being caught in a newspaper sting mouthing off about Prince Harry’s arse, mocking Roy Hodgson’s speech impediment and discussing how to circumvent rules governing player transfers. He said it was “not a problem” to bypass rules on third-party player ownership, and claimed he knew of agents who were “doing it all the time”.
Claims against him include a £400,000 deal he allegedly agreed to represent a company to Far East investors and speak at events.
Sam Allardyce did nothing illegal. He talked about a rule he found “ridiculous” and opined how it could be got around. He was chatting over drinks with ‘businessmen’ in a hotel bar. He said he would speak to the FA before taking the speaking engagement.
The Press are loving it. And they should do. The Telegraph’s sting is a cracker. What is unclear is why they thought Allardyce was open to offers in the first place? And we’d like to see the full video and transcript, not just a few snippets.
We can see you sneaking out
But what next for England?
Ray Parlour, formerly of Arsenal, says Steve Bruce should be the next England boss. Henry Winter says Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe is the best fit. Martin Samuel wants Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. Neil Ashton says Princess Anne look-alike Gareth Southgate would be a sound option.
But why not take this as the ideal chance to give up, take a break from international football and start again in a few years, perhaps in 2066, when the marketeers who run the national game could package new England as a celebration of the World Cup centenary ? England aren’t all that good at football and a few years of quiet reflection would be therapeutic and save excited fans from watching too many players for whom money and adulation are their football goals.
Or the FA could go for Plan B: sell England as a franchise to wealthy overseas buyers, it being the Premier League way to see football less as a sport than a cash cow, flogging off clubs as vanity plates for billionaires?
The FA called Allardyce’s behaviour “inappropriate”. When you look at what football has become, you can sympathise with greedy Sam. Wasn’t he the manager English football deserved?
The President of the National Union of Students, Malia Bouattia, has been speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. The BBC is not owned by Jews (but you might want to check). So Malia Bouattia, who talks of the “Zionist-led media”, is unshackled. She wants to speak about safe spaces, places where the censorious, intolerant and illiberal can feel at home, much as they would in Nazi Germany, Stalin’s Russia or the student bar at Dundee University, where the telling of ‘religious or political jokes’ is banned, as is the Sun and a pro-life group.
“The thing about safe spaces is they have existed for a very long time in many different forms. It’s a call from the grassroots: it’s an application of democratic processes in order to ensure that spaces of education – students’ unions and so on – are safe places in which to debate and in which to discuss ideas.”
This all seems like satire until you note that these mass debaters are serious. They have tried to ‘no platform’ people like Germaine Greer and the gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell for saying things Bouattia and her fellow champions of debate and democracy might not like to hear.
Bouattia’s attitude to free speech is punctuated by a huge ‘but’.
She also has interesting views on Jews. She called the University of Birmingham a “Zionist outpost”. She bemoaned “mainstream Zionist-led media outlets”.
Is she disappointed with her attitudes towards Jews? “I would certainly review my language and would definitely want to explain the political context which I was discussing,” she says. “I absolutely was not saying the things that it has been interpreted as.”
You see what happens when your safe space views are aired in public. People get the wrong idea. Context matters.
Thankfully, with Bouattia at its helm the NUS can protect students from reading the wrong sort of media and having their views on Jews misunderstood. These students – the UK’s intellectual cream – will be able to function without having their views questioned by people who fail to agree with them. They will never be offended. What they believe will remain as fact. No argument. No dissent.
When they graduate – and it can take a long time for education to end (Malia was 28 when elected president by a few hundred voters) – they can go to work at the BBC, The Guardian or some other safe space where free thinkers mass to be on what they love to call ‘the right side of history’.
It’s not the 1930s, sheeple. Get with the program.
England manager ‘Big’ Sam Allardyce wraps the Sun in a choke hold. He’s embroiled in an alleged “dodgy deal”. The FA have launched a “probe” into his affairs.
Allardyce is accused of trying to cash in on his England position – one that pays a mere £3m a year plus bonuses for tournament wins (so that’s £3m a year, then). Undercover reporters from the Daily Telegraph posed as foreign businessmen keen to deliver overseas players to England. Allardyce, 61, told the stingers “how they could circumvent FA rules which prohibit third parties ‘owning’ players”.
The key point is not that Allardyce comes across as greedy and thick, but that third-party ownership of players was banned by the FA in 2008 for being akin to “slavery”.
During the meeting with the businessmen, who were undercover reporters, it is alleged Allardyce – who was only named England boss in July – said it was “not a problem” to bypass the rules and he knew of agents who were “doing it all the time”.
It is alleged by the paper that a deal was struck with the England boss worth £400,000, which could represent a conflict of interest if he is paid by a company whose footballer clients could benefit from preferential treatment by an international manager.
The Mail says this is the end of Allardyce who should be “axed”.
But it’s the Telegraph that has the big scoop.
In the “England manager for sale” readers are told
Before he had even held his first training session as England’s new head coach, Allardyce negotiated a deal with men purporting to represent a Far East firm that was hoping to profit from the Premier League’s billion-pound transfer market.
He agreed to travel to Singapore and Hong Kong as an ambassador…
Unbeknown to Allardyce, the businessmen were undercover reporters and he was being filmed as part of a 10-month Telegraph investigation that separately unearthed widespread evidence of bribery and corruption in British football.
One way to stop crime is to change the law that makes criminals of people who grow marijuana. Jon-Paul Fuller, president of a Crime Stoppers chapter in Ontario, Canada, has been arrested for part of a marijuana growing in greenhouses in Leamington, Ontario.
Police claim they found more than 2,900 marijuana plants and 41 kilograms of harvested marijuana. “It’s difficult to accept, very shocking, but nonetheless we’re moving forward,” says Charlie Hotham, who preceded Fuller as president and is once more the Crime Stoppers top man. “We don’t want to let one person take away from the good deeds that Crime Stoppers does,.”
Fuller has been charged with production of marijuana and possession for the purpose of trafficking.
The rest of us can wonder why growing marijuana is a crime when so many benefit from its use?
“I don’t think there’s any doubt that the enforcement of marijuana laws has been responsible for the overwhelming majority of drug arrests, about 75 per cent of all reported drug crime,” says Neil Boyd, a professor of criminology at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C.
The search for Ben Needham is all over the news. It’s grim. We are waiting to be shown the body.
Ben vanished on 24 July 1991 after travelling from Sheffield to the Greek island of Kos with his mother and grandparents. He was 21 months old.
A death-bed confession says Ben could have been killed by a digger. South Yorkshire Police today start digging on a site. They say the excavation could take 12 days. If nothing is found, they will start to dig on a second site.
This new search was trigged by a friend of Konstantinos Barkas. The BBC says he “reportedly died last year”. Facts are so sketchy we don’t even know when a man who could have killed Ben died. The BBC adds that Mr Barkas’ widow Varvara “strongly dismissed any suggestions her late husband had killed Ben”.
Sky News reports: “Ben may have been crushed by a digger.”
We hear from Detective Inspector Jon Cousins: “There has been a lot of myth and legend gathered over 25 years as to what has happened to Ben.”
Africa’s richest man is Nigerian Aliko Dangote, says the Sun. He wants to use some of his £8.3billion fortune to buy Arsenal football club within four years.
Dangote, described by Newsweek as “a lifelong Arsenal fan”, tells Bloomberg: “Maybe three to four years. The issue is that we have more challenging headwinds. I need to get those out the way first and start having tailwinds. Then I’ll focus on this.”
As Arsenal fans lick a collective finger and hold it in the air, Dangote adds: “It’s not about buying Arsenal and just continuing with business as usual. It’s about buying Arsenal and turning it around. I’ve run a very successful business and I think I can also run a very successful team. Right now, with what we’re facing, over $20 billion of projects, I cannot do both.”
Turning it around? According to Forbes, Arsenal are doing ok:
Here are the top 10 with profits (using June, 2015 exchange rates):
1. Manchester United: $190 million
2. Real Madrid: $162 million
3. Manchester City: $131 million
4. Arsenal: $122 million
5. Liverpool: $115 million
Looking around for more news on Dangote, the top story right now is: “Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote is not dead.”
Is he resting? No. He’s tweeting: “I am hale, hearty and alive. Please disregard malicious report saying otherwise. Thank you.”
When WBTV News of Charlotte Tweeted “LIVE NOW: Protesters on I-277 stopping traffic and surrounding vehicles. AVOID. Watch live » http://3wb.tv/1TGw8DS #KeithLamontScott”, @Instapundit, aka Glenn Reynolds responded, “Run them down.”
For that Reynolds was banned from free-speech loving twitter for a day. And it got worse. He was then suspended for one month by USA Today, which runs his twice-weekly column.
Reynolds works as a law professor at the University of Tennessee and publishes the Instapundit news aggregator and comment sheet.
The Dean of the University of Tennessee College of Law Melanie D. Wilson says: “Professor Reynolds has built a significant platform to discuss his viewpoints, but his remarks on Twitter are an irresponsible use of his platform…. The university is committed to academic freedom, freedom of speech, and diverse viewpoints, all of which are important for an institution of higher education and the free exchange of ideas. My colleagues and I in the university’s leadership support peaceful disobedience and all forms of free speech, but we do not support violence or language that encourages violence.”
Did he encourage violence? Would anyone sane who follows Instapundit see the tweet and be inspired to run someone down?
Twitter has a pretty low view of its users if it thinks they can be driven to commit violent acts in just 13 characters (including spaces). And does Tennessee College of Law really think Reynolds was advocating violence?
The tweet was snappy, a tad glib and, well, a tweet. The great American tweet has yet to be written. In the meanwhile, millions struggle to make a defining comment in 140 characters or less. The trouble is that in the current climate of ‘You can’t say that’ one tweet can be held up as something that defines you. The twitter mob love a twitter hunt. One tweet can ruin you.
Free speech needs context. Reynolds is no rabble-rouser bent on civil disobedience and violence. But stripped of context, a three-word tweet can be corrupted to reveal something essential about the tweeter and the banner. If you agree with it, then you’re a right-wing loon. Disagree with it and the tweet signals your virtue. You can get a T-shirt bearing the message: “Deliberately killing innocent people with a car is WRONG.” Honk twice is you agree. Don’t bother honking if you don’t (it’ll only warn them that you’re coming).
The backdrop to these tweets and their fallout is the death of Keith L. Scott, a 43-year-old black man shot dead by police officer outside an apartment complex.
It’s a highly sensitive subject. Was the victim armed? Are the police institutionally racist?
Do these questions scare twitter, the Press and the universities? If the subject is big enough, do the aforesaid champions of free speech start advocating a need for censorship, slapping a big ‘but’ after ‘I believe in free speech…”? Yes. It sure looks that way.
Reynolds has explained his position: “Sorry, blocking the interstate is dangerous, and trapping people in their cars is a threat. Driving on is self-preservation, especially when we’ve had mobs destroying property and injuring and killing people. But if Twitter doesn’t like me, I’m happy to stop providing them with free content.”
He says he removed the offending tweet “so that I can tweet my response to this affair. But once that’s over, I intend to shut it down. I don’t see why I should provide content to a platform that will shut me down without notice.”
The USA Today ban hurts more. That gig pays. Reynolds apologised to the paper’s readers. He explained some more, saying automobiles in a riot should keep driving, in order to ensure driver safety. “What I meant is that drivers who feel their lives are in danger from a violent mob should not stop their vehicles,” he said. “I remember Reginald Denny, a truck driver who was beaten nearly to death by a mob during the 1992 Los Angeles riots. My tweet should have said, ‘Keep driving,’ or ‘Don’t stop.’”
Two words beats three. On twitter, brevity rules. Play it safe and say nothing.
Reynolds explained some more: “But riots aren’t peaceful protest. And blocking interstates and trapping people in their cars is not peaceful protest – it’s threatening and dangerous, especially against the background of people rioting, cops being injured, civilian-on-civilian shootings, and so on. I wouldn’t actually aim for people blocking the road, but I wouldn’t stop because I’d fear for my safety, as I think any reasonable person would.”
To Kentucky, where Jonathan Martin, 20, has been arrested and charged with wearing a mask in a public place and disorderly conduct. Martin’s crime was to dress up as a clown. Police found him at 1:00am dressed in “full clown costume” crouching among trees.
The local news says, “Recent reports of clowns trying to lure children into woods have sparked alarm.”
On a list of things likely to seduce a child, dressing up as scary clown is one below a plate of raw broccoli.
“Dressing as a clown and driving, walking or standing in public can create a dangerous situation for you and others,” says Kentucky, police. “While dressing up is not, in and of itself against the law, doing so in public and thereby creating an unnecessary sense of alarm is illegal.”