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.
News from 2012 with Jeremy Ko:
I translated the video myself and added it in using FCP. It is as accurate as I can understand from it. Besides the obscure name of the villages, it is mostly accurate. Downloaded the video from Tudou. Xi’an Up Close 《西安零距离》, an investigative journalism programme which airs on Xi’an TV, has become a national laughing stock after airing a report on June 17 on a “mystery mushroom” which was discovered by villagers in a rural part of the city…
Why does everything about the last line sound like a euphemism?
The Daily Mail is overjoyed that migrants have reached the “promised land”.
Daily Mail readers might be tad confused by this take on the news. For years the Mail has told its readers that migrants, immigrants and asylum-seekers are bad news.
The Scottish Daily Mail corrected an article after a complaint from the Scottish Refugee Council:
In an article headlined: “Crisis as Asylum Seekers target Scotland” we stated that asylum seekers were ‘targeting’ Scotland. We now accept that asylum seekers are dispersed by the UK Border Agency on a ‘no choice’ basis and would not be able to choose to live in Scotland. With the current rate of asylum applicants to the UK well within the average rate of the past ten years, we also accept that it is misleading to categorise this as a ‘crisis’. We are happy to clarify the position and apologise for the error.
There were 4000 foreign-born rapists in the Mail’s Britain:
The scary headline was undone by the facts:
Nearly 4,000 foreign murderers, rapists and other criminals are roaming the streets, free to commit more crimes.
You say shoplifter, banned driver or fare dodger – the Mail says ‘rapist‘.
Allan Mallinson asked Mail readers a question more loaded than George Bush at a frat house:
Jeremy Swain, chief executive of the homelessness charity Thames Reach, wrote to the PCC about the Mail’s news of wandering foreigners getting a free wash at the expense of our ‘heroes’:
…the article suggests ‘the civilian shelters were full of Somalis and Poles’. This is inaccurate as whilst many people from overseas end up sleeping rough, they cannot access homeless hostel bed spaces as they have no rights to the benefits which would pay their rent. Quite simply, unless someone has paid national insurance contributions for over a year, they won’t be found accommodation in hostels and other ways of helping them are being sought within the homelessness sector. Hostels are not ‘full of Somalis and Poles’ as the article’s author states. Indeed they make up a very tiny minority of the hostel population.
There’s been apologising from the Scottish Daily Mail:
In December the Mail reported that over £5 million was being spent on last-ditch legal bids – judicial reviews – by asylum seekers to remain in Scotland. We are happy to make clear that this figure reflects the combined sums spent on advice and assistance (£3.5 million), assistance by way of representation (£1 million), and legal aid (£0.6 million) to asylum seekers and immigrants. The cost of legal aid work on judicial reviews falls within the latter figure. We apologise if readers were misled by our original story.
The Mail’s Richard Littlejohn said illegal immigrants and asylum seekers were the same thing:
From time to time I may have written about both asylum seekers and wheelie bins. But never before in the same sentence. Until now… Six illegal immigrants have been detained by a border patrol in Calais. The four men and two women, all from Vietnam, were discovered hiding in a consignment of wheelie bins bound for Britain…
Maybe Richard Littlejohn made handwritten notes he couldn’t read? He once opined:
Gloucester City Council is sending out census forms in no fewer than 56 different languages …why waste time and public money printing leaflets in 56 different languages, many of them scribble?
…any Afghan climbing off the back of a lorry in Dover goes automatically to the top of the housing list.
Really? No. Of course not.
And the Mail’s star columnist again:
A couple of months ago, after a Mayfair jewellery heist, I joked that it was heartening to see good old British blaggers making a comeback. For too long, they had been beaten at their own game by Eastern European gangs who I suggested carried out ‘most of the robberies in this country’. It seems I did the chaps a disservice. While Eastern European gangs have been responsible for many high-end jewel robberies across the Continent, our home grown villains are holding their own over here. If I have inadvertently offended any Balkan gangster, or local blagger come to that, as well as the vigilant reader who complained, I apologise unreservedly for any confusion which may have been caused.
To counter the dire reporting the Mail emplyed its own in-house immigrant in the shape of Australian-born Amanda Platell. She would champion the new arrivals seeking a better life in the UK. Or not:
Sadly, though, it is not the indigenous middle-class, hard-working, tax-paying population that’s exploding… it’s not so much a baby boom we’re experiencing as a benefits boom. Middle Britain, stand ready to empty your wallets.
More Mail errors followed:
This article has been amended. It previously contained a graphic that correctly listed the latest annual number of non-EU nationals admitted to each of ten European countries. However, a second table was wrongly headed “Non EU citizens to each square kilometre” instead of “Number of people to each square kilometre”. We are happy to correct this point.
So many errors being made about foreigners living in the UK. Cynics would argue that it indicates an agenda.
But surely the Mail is just sticking to the facts:
For at this time when our public services are strained beyond endurance, it means Britain must now, in a dramatic reversal of policy, give a home to all gay asylum-seekers who are prevented from displaying their sexuality openly in their home countries.
Where are we to draw the line? This is all about numbers and a small island’s ability to absorb an ever-increasing population.
At least the Mail knows its readers. At the end of the story “Migrant found dead in the back of a lorry as it prepares to enter Channel Tunnel”, the Mail approved such a comments as these:
one down, millions to go
– crackers, yorkshire, 31/10/2009 2:42
Good news. One less to worry about!
– keith jones, porthcawl, south wales, 30/10/2009 22:13
Shame but I would be a hypocrit if I said I was sorry!
– Nanny B, West Sussex, 30/10/2009 17:42
And you migrants who do make it here alive should know that it will take generations before the Mail considers you British. Steve Doughty and James Slacker wrote:
However although the figures from the Government’s Office for National Statistics show an increase in numbers of foreign-born people they still fail to record the true impact of immigration because they record their children as British rather than second- or third-generation immigrants.
Bit never mind all that because a couple of dead Syrian children had their photos taken on a Turkish beach and the Mail came to realise that only utter bastards would laugh, mock and monster the desperate.
The X Factor is back. Simon Cowell is one step closer to becoming his own waxwork. Cheryl Cole remains the nation’s sweetheart (that nation being Assad’s Syria). Nick Grimshaw brings all the cool of a BBC DJ (nice!). And Rita Ora’s rapper lover Wiz Khalifa “developed a $10,000-a-month cannabis habit — after his mum got him hooked on the drug.”
Well, so says the Sun of the singer who opines: “There’s nothing you can do wrong when it comes to smoking weed.”
You sit on the sofa better. You watch telly better. You skin up better. And above all you negotiate better – we don’t get to know how much weed $10,000 gets Khalifa every month but his dealer assures us it’s a very, very good deal and the unique best quality stuff he supplies is harder to find than a story on Louis Walsh’s private life.
The Sun can reveal his mum started him on the drug when Wiz — real name Cameron Thomaz — was a teenager.
Just as he revealed the same thing in 2011.
Katie “Peachie” Wimbush-Polk, 51, tells media:
“Before I went to work, before he went to school, it was our way of bonding. We would smoke together. He got his habit from his mother. He would smell it coming from my room with me and my girlfriends. He always knew there was a good time going on because there would be laughter and a pungent smell.
“When he got older, he would steal the marijuana butts I would leave, and smoke them.”
“He was always really mature. Hence Wiz Khalifa. Wiz is short for Wisdom. Wisdom because he’s mature and Khalifa because it’s the name my father gave him. It’s Arabic for the leader or the keeper of the light.”
Which is useful. Because when you’re goofed and the bongs gone out, it’s good to know whose got the light.
When we heard that Roberto Esquivel Cabrera, a 52-year-old Mexican, sported a 19-inch penis, we marvelled. And then we wondered if anyone had a photo of the massive member.
Cabrera says his penis is go gargantuan that he “can not go to church because I can not kneel … Wherever I go, [they] all stare.”
And now you too can stare because the fine minds at TMZ have filmed Cabrera and what appears to be the stuffed tail of a toy lion rooting from his knickers.
Unable to put the huge knob in a neckbrace, Cabrera has taken to swaddling it in bandages. The result is that you can’t see his penis at all. This looks a lot like the end of the legend.
And therefore never send to know for whom the bellend tolls; It tolls for thee.
To China, where Liang Xiuzhen of Sichuan sports a 13-centimeter by 6-centimeter horn. It’s not stuck on. It’s part of her.
The 87-year-old’s growth is known as a cutaneous horn. Made of keratin, the horn grew over a period of just two years from a small mole.
It might be an idea to get your new ‘beauty spot’ checked out…
In 2011 Lauren Giddings had been reported missing. The TV news crew interviewed her classmate and neighbour, Stephen McDaniel.
He was keen to talk.
Look out for the part when he’s told the body has been found:
Stephen McDaniel confessed to killing Lauren Giddings.
He is serving a life sentence for her murder.
Questions aplenty in light of the Torquay Herald’s story of Paul Clint Wells, 38, who stood before the Beak at Torquay Magistrates’ Court for the alleged offence of “attempting to rob a woman of money of a value unknown from her private parts”.
Wells will appear in court on October 10.
File under: money box.
Wolves v French farmers.
French farmers kidnap Alps park chiefs, demanding protection from wolf attacks. “French farmers have kidnapped the head of a national park in the Alps, demanding stronger measures against wolves that are attacking their flocks. France’s rising wolf population is causing concern for many sheep farmers, mainly from Provence to the Hautes Alpes area. The number of wolf attacks nationwide has doubled in the past five years and the population – now at around 300 – has tripled since 2005.”
Which side are the Brtish holidaymakers on?
The transfer season might be over, but the Daily Mail is still talking balls. The paper leads with the shouty headline that Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal is a displinarian nutter whose already baring his fans at new £58m teenage sensation Anthony Martial:
Van Gaal’s warning for £36m Martial… You’ll play where I tell you
As we look for signs that nutty Van Gaal plans to play Martial in goal, we get to the actual quote that drives the backpage screamer:
‘He (Van Gaal) asked me my preferred position,’ said Martial, who has been given the No 9 shirt. ‘I prefer to play in the centre but he told me I could play in a number of positions — it is the coach who decides but whatever position I play, I will do the best I can.’
What says Van Gaal, man behind that “warning“? Nothing. The story contains not a single quote from the Dutchman.
“It was just so dirty. I went to pick my daughter up and there at the bottom of the flume was faeces. She nearly stepped in it. It was horrendous. We told a lifeguard and he just stood there grinning.”
It’s a good ride. Scary. But good.
The venue counters:
“We can confirm a customer reported to lifeguards that there was faeces on the floor next to the bottom of one of our flumes. The incident was reported to the supervisor and the faeces promptly cleaned up and the floor area disinfected. There was no indication that this had originated from inside the flume, and faeces was not found in the pool itself.”
The Bells have been offered a refund and family free entry on their next visit.
They’ll have to bring their own snacks.
Never step on a cricket. That’s a nematomorpha.
You’ve most likely seen the photos of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi and his older brother Galip, 5, both drowned fleeing Syria for better lives in the West, their bodies washed up on Turkish shores.
Their faces are all over the papers, images ostensibly intended to shock us from apathy into action but working only to exploit one family’s personal tragedy as mourn porn.
What did the editors of our caring national newspapers think a dead body looked like? And why is it that a dead child should matter more than a dead anyone or someone escaping a living Hell?
Aylan and Galip are being used to bolster our own morals, a fact no more evidenced than in the Sun, which has spent years mocking and demonising migrants of all ages but now champions the dead.
The pictures of dead children infantalise any debate, reducing it to a posing contest between people outraged at the sight of dead kids on a European beach and those who are not (which is to say nobody sane).
A few weeks ago, the internet seethed at the picture of a dead lion named Cecil. The dead beast gave us all a chance to declare how much we hated his killer, an American dentist named… Can you remember it? Oh, come on. We all hated him. He was World Enemy Number One, real scum. He was on the national news in the UK. Mia Farrow tweeted his home address so we could all go round and throw things at him. The man was a demon.
Cecil, a big-fanged lion who it might have been acceptable to shoot dead 100 years ago, was our hero and our means to look good, go ahead and morally spot on. Tweeting your love for Cecil was as self-aggrandising and needy as wearing a T-shirt declaring your dislike of nuclear war and Pershing missiles. Cecil was PR for the PC. Not long after, wildlife killer and Royal family marketing gonk Prince Harry popped up on the news cycle to show his love for lions.
(Although most other animals think Harry’s a c***)
Now, about those children. Who can we blame to make ourselves feel good, pure of mind and sound of heart?
After all, it’s not about Cecil or Aylan Kurdi or Galip. It’s about us.
Migrants, don’t panic. We British have a proud history in letting you in. Sure, we’re not letting you in now, but look at our proud history, you swarming filth. The Sun swells with pride:
In other Sun news:
2013: The Sun buried a small correction:
2012: “Greedy Bulgars – Family of nine Bulgarian gypsies who targeted UK to scrounge benefits are housed in just three weeks — at the taxpayers’ expense”
2011: “160,000 Brits lose jobs to migrants”
April 2010: “Many asylum-seekers are no more than dole-scroungers”
2009: “NHS to be swamped by 1m illegals”
And not forgetting earlier this year the call to ‘Show Me The Bodies!”
Buy the Sun and stop the migrants!
The bodies are all over the beach – and the migrant-hating Sun’s front page.
All newspapers lad with the photograph of the dead boy washed up on a Turkish beach.
The dead boys on the beach were two Syrian refugees. Galip and Aylan, who died on a boat with their mother, Rehan. Their father, Abdullah, survived. The family hoped to join Abdullah’s sister Teema, a Vancouver hairdresser, in Canada.
Why can we not do it now? Why cannot the countries of Europe, possibly supplemented by our allies in the US, Canada and elsewhere, get together our most practical minds, our most experienced administrators, and create an agency for the resettlement of migrants and refugees? Such an agency would be responsible for devising workable and humane solutions on the scale that is needed, and be funded accordingly. I hear the obvious objection, but we’ll spend more in the longer term and in much worse circumstances otherwise.
Or do we lack something that our fathers and mothers had? Do our leaders lack the moral courage to lead and do we lack the moral courage to recognise the need to be led? If so, the outlook is dreadful.
The Sun: “Maddie cops in 5-star hotelsEXCLUSIVE: £11m hunt waste”
Waste? How can the search for the child be wasteful?
Tom Wells continues:
COPS heading the hunt for Madeleine McCann stayed in five-star hotels with rooms costing up to £200 a night. They included five luxury resorts where cheaper hotels were available nearer investigation scenes.
Did they really spend £200 a night on rooms, or is that just the peak-season headline price?
The officers were with Operation Grange, which The Sun revealed yesterday has cost £11million, without any arrests.
And, boy, does the Sun wants arrests. Last year it announced:
First new arrests over Maddie abduction…
Maddie swoop Arrests ‘days away’ in huge cop search…
The Sun now thinks the money spent raking over every detail of the case and the land around Praia Da Luz not well spent.
Last year they took 67 flights to Portugal, costing £16,000.
That just over £238 each. It’s unlikely the cops travelled first class.
In July officers stayed at the £180 a night Ria Park as they quizzed suspects at Faro police station a 20-minute drive away. There are two cheaper four-star hotels five minutes away.
The Sun is clearly upset at what it says is a “waste” of money.
In a The Sun Says addendum it asks:
WHY are cops living in luxury as they hunt for Madeleine?
Because she went missing in a resort town, where people go to get a little spot of glamour? Or is it because the police are feckless pigs who squander tax payer’s money on looking for Our Maddie on the 19th hole of a sun-dappled golf hotel, just as they spent millions hounding Sun journalists over the hacking scandal and subsequent tabloid journalist witch-hunt?
The Sun concludes:
It is no wonder the bill has soared beyond £11million when they are blowing £200 a night on hotels. The Government injected those millions to give police the best chance of finding out what happened to the girl. Not to pay their bills at fancy golf resorts.
What should it cost to solve the mystery?
To save 87-year-old Frank Reyes’s left hand – damaged when it was trapped under a sun-heated car bumper as he was changing a tyre – medics stitched it to his abdomen.
Surgeons at Houston Methodist Hospital left Frank’s hand inside his abdomen for three weeks to reduce risk of infection and save his fingers.
The Times invites readers to be the laid of their own Scottish glen. The story goes:
The Highlands offer quality of life, low prices and high happiness ratings. Take a tour of the hills, lochs and moors
You might spot some celebs:
Its lochs and glens have inspired songs, films and poems. The scenery of Skye formed the background to Virginia Woolf’s novel To the Lighthouse, which continues to win accolades nearly 100 years after its creation. Even the most unlikely of celebrities want to call it home — Bob Dylan purchased Aultmore House in Strathspey in 2007.
You won’t see Jimmy Savile but you might spot his old house Allt Na Reigh in the “bewitching” Highlands:
Let’s zoom in:
Looks like a nice spot. As the Times says:
Recently released surveys confirm what Highlanders already know: that living there is good for the soul.
Which might or might be residing in Hell.
What to do about migrants? What yo do about people searching for better lives? It should not be a hard question. But it is for the adults who make the decisions. There is only one thing to do: let them in.
Does langauge matter? Does it matter that we call the migrants as “swarm” or “flood”? No. It does not. These people can deal with the words. It’s the sticks and stones they fear.
Mehran Khalili on the terms for people from other places:
Immigration, a lexicon: You’re a ‘migrant’ when you’re very poor; ‘immigrant’ when you’re not so poor; and ‘expat’ when you’re rich.
Semantics matter: the images evoked by the words used to refer to a group of people will, over time, help to define what we think about that group and how we act towards it. And in the case of people migrating to Greece who have in recent years been badly mishandled by the state, the use of neutral language in reporting by international media and NGOs is vital.
Literally speaking, ‘migrants’ and ‘expats’ do indeed have the same meaning. But since practical usage can be something else entirely, feed both terms into Google Images to see how they’re illustrated. ‘Expats’ in Greece are depicted as white; ‘migrants’ as darker-skinned.
Who decides what ethnicity a person should have to be called a migrant? Who decides what socio-economic background, or legal status, qualifies someone for the ‘expat’ label?
Let’s scrap the ‘migrant’ label and call everyone living outside their native country an expat.
Anorak Spots: Steinbeck on love, hairy Victorian women, kinky Medievil books, Russian criminal tattoos
On Flashbak this week we covered:
Fifteen Beautiful French Art-Deco Travel Posters by Roger Broders: Roger Broders was born in Paris in 1883. A brilliant illustrator he is best known for his travel posters, many of them commissioned by the French railway company Paris, Lyon, Mediteranée (PLM). From 1922 to 1932 he dedicated himself to poster art, although producing fewer than 100 posters in that time.
John Steinbeck: A 1958 Letter To His Son On Falling in Love: John Steinbeck was a Nobel laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner. In addition to his great work – an oeuvre taking in Mice and Men, East of Eden (a book orginally addressed to his two young sons) and The Grapes of Wrath – he wrote letters.
The Horror of Guy N Smith: Guy N Smith was not considered suitable reading for English class when I was a kid, his gory tales of horror were the kind of frowned-upon fictions lumped beside such other verboten authors as Sven Hassel or Dennis Wheatley or Timothy Lea and his smutty Confessions of a… series.
Russian Criminal Tattoo Police Files: Decoding The Mark Of Cain 1960-1989: From the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s, Arkady Bronnikov, a senior expert in criminalistics at the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs, checked on prisoners in the correctional institutions of the Ural and Siberia regions, a beat that included St. Petersburg’s notorious Kresty Prison. As he did his rounds Bronnikov took photographs of convicts and their tattoos.
Watch A Bleak Film Of Every Atomic Explosion Since 1945: Walt Disney taught us to love the atom and its wondrous power to create. Ed Sullivan showed us a hellish vision of face-melting nuclear terror. We could learn how to survive the nuclear Armageddon with books made on paper, which might not endure the explosion but would give hours of fun for all what remained of your family. You kids could build your own bomb and dream of becoming Miss Atomic Bomb as you relaxed in a bath of life restoring radium, browsing the catalog full of things to help you thrive in the nuclear winter.
38 Photos That Prove Victorian Women Never Cut Their Hair: Women in the Victorian era competed to see who has the strongest next muscles. To prove their strength, these sporting types would grow a ton of hair on this heads. Last one to topple over or develop a fractured spine won. Top prize prize was a pair of shears and freedom.
Weird Trippy Sex Pictures From Illuminated Medieval Manuscripts: The Illuminated Medievil manuscripts contained asides, jokes, barbs and revelations as to what a monk was thinking as he sat, head bowed over a book, his being, soul and genitals lashed with dread warnings about sex, demons and the the hellish hereafter.
Joy Schaverien has a theory that boarding schools damage lives. She set up a group called Boarding School Survivors. This year she wrote a paper called caled Boarding School Syndrome. And now Schaverien has book out.
The book is part of a trend in education that focuses on the perceived emotional vulnerability of children, in which what’s impotant at school is to be emotionally competent and literate. School exist not to promote acemedic excellence, but to offer a holistic solution to human frailty in which everything gone before is part of your current existential crisis.
She tells the Times:
“I felt it was very risky, like going up against the establishment, but these were the stories and experiences I was hearing about. There is huge social pressure not to complain about what is generally seen as a benefit of privilege.”
If there is an establishment it is in supporting the therapeutic response to everything.
She speaks of her patients:
“They may never have been permitted to be angry. Someone who went to boarding school feels the whole world is coming to an end if they’re angry. That’s where a depression can start.”
“Is it a privilege to be sent away from your parents? I don’t think so.”
This isn’t science, is it. This is finding proof for your own prejudice.
Stefanie Marsh says the work is popular:
Hers is a very serious book aimed at clinicians and therapists. It is informed also by people who have contacted her since the publication of that first paper, including a number of boarding school counsellors who Schaverien supervises in her capacity as a psychotherapist. She also quotes Andrew Motion, Roald Dahl and George Orwell: all have written eloquently about their devastating boarding-school experiences.
The author adds:
“When children go to school when they’re very young it causes a psychological rupture. You’re on the steps, you’re introduced to the headmaster, then there’s the sudden realisation that your parents are in the car and the wheels are turning. I’ve heard of children running after the car.
Very young. Not teenaged. A very young child sent away from home is bound to be affected – using that event to explain problems in later life is neat and tidy. But her point is about boarding schools. Does the same ring true or orphanages, say, or when a child is sent to live with foster carers or the extended family when a parent is too ill to cope? Can every problem in adulthood be linked to school?
“In this country, there are children who go into care because their families break down and there is no other option, but these parents are actually paying for their children to go into care, basically. Or into prison. You’re watched all the time. Everything is regimented. It’s the abandonment of the very young.”
And we’re back to the prejudice and the anecdotal-based science.
“People grow up not having the language for their emotions. It causes a split between what you’re told you’re supposed to experience and what you’re actually experiencing. You’re actually very sad when you lose your family, your home, your pets, your nanny — everything you’ve ever had for those eight years of your life is suddenly gone. You’re told that it’s called homesickness and ‘you’ll get over it soon’. Actually, this is a major bereavement.”
One day we’ll look back at the therapy business and marvel.
Schaverien finds it troubling that “so many people who govern this country went to boarding school. What you learn in boarding school is fair play. It’s great, but the intimacy thing and understanding of the vulnerable, that’s what’s missing.”
“The polish is actually very good for socially oiling the wheels but in intimate relationships it’s also what keeps people at a distance.”
“First, they’re abandoned by their mother, the first love of their life. Then they are cut off from women in a society where women are joked about and belittled a lot.”
“I don’t see how you can protect children in boarding school from being bullied. If you go to a day school you can go home to your parents and talk about it. And don’t tell me weekly boarding is better if you’re having a bad time in a dormitory.”
And what of the older children who go?
“My feeling, is that to go to boarding school at eight is too young.”
Feelings. So much for the scientific syndrome.
There are children who choose to go at 13 and who have a really good time — ‘My parents were splitting up and it was the better option for me’ — but there are people who go at 13 and they get the same kind of shock.”
Of all the examples and reasons for going to boarding school, the author cites one: a broken home.
“The wealthiest, they’re the ones who have the most deprivation. Because boarding school has gone through the generations. So parenting skills are at a minimum really.”
What’s good about this, of course, is that selling therapy to the wealthy is easy – you can achieve wellbeing through therapy. The middle-classes will enjoy it becauae it will assure them that all that hot-house tutoring for grammer schools was much better for junior than spending a fortune on boarding school. And the poor won’t give a toss because for them it’s all about hard work and results. You can’t afford to be infantalised when you just need to get on with living…
What colour are the wrong socks? That question to readers of the BExhill-ion-Sea Observer, which reports on East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust’s decree that staff could face disciplinary action because of the colour of their socks.
The Trust’s uniform policy says sock must be plain and muted in colour. But staff at Eastbourne DGH and Conquest Hospital in Hastings are ordered to wear matching black socks.
Is black muted? Black is the colour of death and misery. Why not brightly coloured socks? What does the Trust have against them?
And why can’t female nurses wear black seamed stockings, like in the the Carry On films?
A staff member wonders:
“Coloured socks don’t affect how efficient we work. Most of us wear trousers that mean you can’t even see the socks – has there actually been any complaints from patients or relatives about our socks if they are visible? What happens if we refuse to lift up our trouser leg? They’ll be asking to check the colour of our underwear next. We’re not stupid – we won’t come into work wearing a dress with bright coloured socks pulled up to our knees. When we wear dresses, we wear tights and look professional and approachable to those who come first – our patients.”
Alice Webster, Director of Nursing, responds: “No member of staff has been disciplined for the colour of their socks.”
But if they do wear red ones, well, they’re asking for it.
In the Sun we meet “HORRIFIED Adam Travers” who found drugs in the pocket of his new Primark swimming shorts.
Adam’s girlfriend Hannah Youell found nine white pills in an envelope in the buttoned back pocket of the Chinese-made clothes as she prepared to wash them before a holiday.
Adam paid just £5 for the trunks at Primark in Portsmouth.
This was not an marketing scam to get adolescents into the store, but something else.
Their tests revealed the pills, marked with the letters MDZ, are a prescription anti-depressant.
Why-oh-why would a worker making dirt-cheap clothing for Primark need anti-depressants?
Primark said an investigation had shown the pills were put in the shorts at the time of manufacture after being sent to an unapproved sub-contractor in China. It added: “As a result, we have terminated our relationship with the supplier.”
A source said: “The shorts were supposed to be made in a factory but it appears they were secretly being made by prisoners in a jail.”
Chinese factory making cheap schmutters versus prison. It can be hard to spot the difference.
Madeleine McCann is back. The Sun highlights the £11 millions and rising spent looking for the missing child.
In “We can’t keep on chasing shadows”, the paper hears from a former Flying Squad chief. He urges Scotland Yard to “consider winding down its hunt for Madeleine McCann — adding: ‘You can’t keep chasing shadows.’
The voice of reason is John O’Connor, who pops on the media treadmill and opines:
“If there are no firm leads, and by that I mean no substantial operational things like active surveillance on suspects, then I’d have thought they should be considering winding it down now.”
There never have been any firm leads.
At the current rate it will top £12million by April — more than double the £5million promised by David Cameron when Operation Grange was launched in May 2011.
Does Dave dare to shut the investigation? We’d say ‘yes’. Once upon a time, Madeleine McCann was the mawkish ‘Our Maddie’, but time hardens opinions. Reality bites.
The task force, which at its height was 37 strong, has yet to make a single arrest.
“You can’t keep chasing shadows. Chasing sightings all over the world. It depends on whether the detectives are making any real progress. For me it needs to be reviewed by a senior officer. The Met’s rank and file would be thinking, ‘Are there more recent cases that could be progressed with the right resources?’ It’s about priorities.”
What the Met’s rank and file think about the case is not something we know. It’s not worth the effort to wonder at. The Met are there to find facts. And, as yet, we have but one: child vanishes.
O’Connor had much to say on the case in 2013:
The Sun, however, wants to apportion blame.
The initial Portuguese investigation into three-year-old Madeleine’s abduction was marred by blunders. Officers made the catastrophic mistake of deciding parents Kate and Gerry were the key suspects — and so failed to take elementary steps to secure evidence that might have caught the real abductors.
We have made not a jot of progress. The only angle is to bash the foreigners. Those blunders could include large chunks of the British media which libelled the McCanns and Robert Murat, the poor sod who went to help and was ‘grassed up’ to police and public by the Daily Mirror’s gossipy reporting.
They failed to seal off the family’s apartment, allowing the crime scene to become hopelessly contaminated. They also failed to put out a global missing persons report for five days and did not bother to set up checkpoints in and around the Algarve. In July 2008 the Portuguese authorities admitted there was no evidence against Kate and Gerry and said the unsolved case was to be closed.
There is no evidence against anyone.
Then in May 2011, following a campaign by Kate and Gerry that was backed by The Sun, the PM told Scotland Yard to launch its own investigation, called Operation Grange.
The PM was playing to the crowd. Politicians can only ever play politics. Would Dave dare say no to the Sun? But the Met are the best we have. And they’re very good. If they cannot find anything, we should suppose they have to yet to look beneath the right stone.
As ever we get a word form the child’s parents. We hear from a “source close to the McCanns”, who told us yesterday:
“Kate and Gerry are eternally grateful to the Metropolitan Police for making Operation Grange possible. They are pleased so many officers are still looking for Madeleine.”
The Sun then turns to the crowd and offers an aside:
There are currently 155 children on the Missing Kids UK website, including Madeleine. Research shows an average of £2,415 is spent investigating a missing child.
That’s because many are quickly found. The story of Madeleine McCann is so rare. It’s not often a child vanishes on holiday. What we are told and told is “every parent’s worst nightmate” – a syrupy tagline of a phrase that seeks to evoke empathy and sympathy and fear in equal parts – is not an every day event.
The child went missing. And that is all we know.
10 Transfer Deadline Day Facts: Liverpool buy badly, Chelsea buy anyone, Manchester City buy big, Manchester United sell Real Madrid a virus
Transfer Ball – deadline day: 10 things we learnt from Deadline Day.
Liverpool: Tiago Ilori’s departure from Anfield means 13 of the 24 players Liverpool signed from 2012-14 have either left the club permanently or are on loan.
Number 1: A record £870m waa spent by Premier League clubs this summer
Number 2: After the Premier League, the next biggest spending league was Italy’s Serie A, with a gross spend of £405m.
Exports: £585m of the £870 was given to foreign clubs
Chelsea Third XXXI: The Blues have 31 players currently out on loan
Chelsea X: Chelsea signed 10 players this summer
Unlucky: Watford signed 13 players
Oil gush: Manchester City spent £136.9m
Admin: Manchester Untied sold Real Madrid a virus instead of David De Gea
Go West: The £870m spent is about the same as the gross domestic product of Antigua and Barbuda
Transfer Balls: Arsenal defy Metro newshound Kike Marin and refuse to buy Martinez, Lewandowki, Aubameyang and Cavani
In the world of TransferBalls, the Metro – now feeder paper to the dire Daily Telegraph – is like that Lotto machine, tossing up all manner balls and spitting out hope with only a one in a billion chance of hitting a winner.
Today the paper links Arsenal to PSG’s Edison Cavani. The headline is all”
Top journalist says Arsenal hope to completing transfer of megastar before deadline
Who? And Who?
The star is, as we’ve noted, Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani. the top journo is… Kike Marin. He’s a Spanish journalist, who has the inside track on a South American footballer playing in France linked to an English club. Journalist in all three of those nations must look to Kike with envy.
This is what he tweeted about Cavani:
‘Wenger tried to sign Cavani the last summer. Perhaps he can sign him now? Hopefully!!’
Perhaps. Hopefully. And to the Metro that is news.
In earlier Metro news:
Jackson never came. Arsenal never bid for him.
Lewandowski never came. Arsenal never bid for him,
Aubameyman has never attracted a bid from Arsenal.
In fairness, Kike Marin just says what he thinks and what he knows. The Metro then turns it into fact.