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News | Anorak - Part 8

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Charity trekker discovers Mount Kilimanjaro is no longer in Wales

Mount Kilimanjaro is not in Wales. Never has been. But Nikki Barnett didn’t know that when she signed up for a charity hike to the summit. “I just thought it was a mountain,” Barnett is quoted in the Metro, which gives her age as 51, one year younger than she is the Sun said. “I’m not being funny, but I’ve always struggled with the pronunciation of names in Wales, so I thought that’s where it was. It was a shock when we found out where it really was.”

In the Coventry Telegraph, which first published the story three days ago, Nicki (51!), says she’s doing the climb for the hospice that cared for her late sister.

You can back them both here. I’ve done a trek for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Raising the money can be very tough. A little bit can go a long way.

 

Posted: 8th, September 2017 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Hetty Douglas should join the Labour Party and really belittle the working class

By way of a follow up to the story of Hetty Douglas, the artist who sneakily took the piss out of scaffolders as they all waited in line for a McDonald’s in central London, the victims’ employer has issued a statement. It alerts readers to people, like Hetty, who equate high-vis jackets and steel-toe boot with stupidity. GKR scaffolding also notes that many highly successful businesses have been created by people with few or no academic qualifications – to say nothing of self-taught artists:

 

GKR hetty douglas

 

Hetty Douglas has now deleted her Instagram account. But her work remains online. As they say, no publicity is bad publicity. Although Hetty may be a little put out that the people she publicly labelled thick are appraising her work and, as the Sun says, finding it wanting. “Too much time on Facebook does this to you,” comes one comment. “Probably done at 5am after a late night,” is another.

 

 

Not that Hetty is of the same planet as her critics. On her website, Hetty’s bio presents Hetty in the third person.

Hetty Douglas makes work that represents both the light and dark that comes with simply existing. Douglas simultaneously conveys, subverts and celebrates the complexities of trust, sexual boundaries,and the labyrinth of unspoken intimacies of masculine/feminine truths.

The flippant and challenging textual content of this work is a deeply personal response to past and present relationships. It is obscure and hidden, and thus serves its unintentional purpose – to provoke an exploration of sincere emotions.

Underneath the tantalising layers of Douglas’s work lies a clear pursuit for something that truly matters – astable place and a true identity in a world that can happily chew you up, spit you out and not think twice about it.

Can Hetty turn adversity to her advantage? After all, the best bit of this story is that her Instagram photo is the most artful thing she’s produced. A series is surely in the offing, in which Hetty gets to the essence of what it is to exist today with a series of images in which she derides not only workmen, but also bankers, grammar school children, men on trains, the fat, smokers and Essex men. She should find a ready market for her stuff in the Labour Party.

 

Posted: 8th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal balls: Wenger on the legends, Liverpool and Thursday nights

Arsène Wenger’s Arsenal press conference revealed that he can talk about what might have been just as well on a Thursday as he can do on a Friday. Moving his usual press conference a day forward could be part of the club’s general shift towards Thursday night activities, such as the demand of the Europa League dictate. It’s about re-establishing body lock rhythms. Whereas once Thursday night meant a light supper in a Hertfordshire bistro and Bake Off on catch-up,Wenger is now faced with the tricky prospect of finding BATE Borisov on the SatNav and airplane snacks.

Ahead of the latest must-win game, this one against Bournemouth at the Emirates, where Arsenal boast an impeccable 100% win record this season (they’ve only played one match – ed), Wenger did his usual thing of reminding fans how close the club came to singing the cream of French footballing talent. None arrived, but it’s good for the Arsenal fanbase to know that the very best players have heard of Arsenal. Could the same be said of Hull, say, or Cheltenham?

Wenger than called for the transfer window to shut before the Premier League season begins. This, he reasoned, keeps players focused on their club. It might also stop managers selecting want-away footballers from playing the very team they are about to be flogged to, as Wenger did when he picked the anodyne Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to face Liverpool  hours before he joined them for an inflated £35m.

Wenger then turned his mind to those Arsenal ‘legends” grabbing the arms of BBC office furniture and sniping at the current crop. “I always have problems understanding what a legend is and what a legend isn’t,” said Wenger. “I’ve had all the players here and we speak about today but they all had their weaknesses, as well, don’t worry about that. They had their weak games and their weak behaviours. Nobody was perfect.”

Although they did win the Premier League. They did have that, Arsene.

Posted: 8th, September 2017 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Everton star Wayne Rooney’s holiday romance – and Gary Neville’s advice to Coleen

Rooney laura simpson

 

For those of you wondering how Wayne Rooney and the lovely Coleen are getting along, the Daily Star has front-page news: “ROONEY GIRL TRACKED COLEEN.” The Rooney girl is his could-have-been-shag Laura Simpson, who had been “tracking Coleen for six weeks” before having what says was a “kiss and a cuddle” with the married footballer.

Laura “knew when Coleen was on holiday”. How so? Did she bug the house? Stick a tracker on her car? Hack her phone? No. The devious Laura FOLLOWED Coleen on twitter and “RETWEETED” Coleen’s message: “So basically…yes on holiday again.” Coleen also “revealed” – not boasted? – she was on holiday again in another message on August 26. Just two nights later, Wayne was on the lash and driving Laura’s car when he was pulled over by the fuzz for alleged drink driving.

It’s a no-shag ‘n’ retweet story, a far cry for the 1980s, when footballers and even snooker players were making headlines five-times-a-night.

But what about those holidays? Laura’s not the only one watching Coleen testing sun creams. The Mail says  “Already this year she has visited Amsterdam, Madrid, Mallorca, Ibiza, Las Vegas, Barbados and Portugal.” And this is relevant, apparently, because the Sun reports on its front page: “Drink-drive footie ace Wayne Rooney gives wife Coleen an ultimatum ‘You quit the holidays and I’ll quit the boozing’.”

And the chauffeur service, Wayne, let’s not forget about that.

But we’ll end with some advice from Gary Neville, Wayne’s former Manchester United teammate. “Look at Wayne Rooney there,” said Neville, spotting the striker in the tunnel before a match. “Old-school, looking forward, not hugging, kissing.” Wise words that Wayne and Coleen – but especially Wayne – can hang on to.

 

Posted: 7th, September 2017 | In: Back pages, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Kak-handed Spanish police alienate Saudi King

Look out Bournemouth, here come the Saudis! Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz is most displeased with the treatment meted out to his eldest son, Prince Abudullah, as he dined with his entourage at Marbella’s Finca Besaya eatery. Spain’s Territorial Security Unit raided the place, reportedly acting on a tip-off that members of the royals’ security detail were not carrying the required permits.

The prince’s party were asked for IDs and interrogated, and, as one eyewitness claims, “treated like terrorists”. For a double-whammy, the armed police then raided another restaurant, El Ancla, where Prince Abdullah’s daughter, Princess Susu, was celebrating her 17th birthday, again the story goes that two of her bodyguards had not been properly certificated.

 

finca besaya raid

 

So incensed is King Salman by the police’s actions that he’s threatening to pack up his millions – his presence is estimated to be worth €100,000 a day to the local economy; and that’s just in handbags – and never to return to Spain.

 

saudi king row marbella

saudi king row marbella

 

Well, that’s if you read EuroNews and believe my source who claims to be close to the King’s circle. The local Costa del Sol news paints a very different picture:

A National Police inspection of the private security guard detail of the Saudi royal family, carried out last week at a restaurant and a private property in Marbella, revealed that four guards had no license to act as security guards and were carrying blank-firing pistols, not real ones. Police officials said a representative of the Saudi royal family thanked the department and told it that the guards would be fired [no pun intended].

El Mundo also reports the fiasco as a triumph of Spanish policing – via Google Translate:

The National Police has detected irregularities in the escort service of members of the Saudi royal family who spends their holidays in Marbella when they discover that the four men in charge of their security do not have the professional qualification required to carry out this function…

In the first, Princess Susu celebrated her 17th birthday and in the second her father, Prince Abdullah, son of King Salman of Saudi Arabia, dined with his family to fire his vacation. Faced with this situation, Prince Abdullah lodged a complaint with the Spanish Ministry of Interior for a supposed vexatious treatment of the police to his family and his entourage . The officers, according to their version, came to gag their daughter. For their part, escorts of the royal delegation denounced that the police action was excessive and that they asked for passports and documentation without allowing them to give any explanation.

The police argue that the inspections were carried out with “absolute respect”, without “at any time” occurring “no violence or intimidation” . He also underlined that the identifications were carried out by plainclothes agents and uniformed police officers to avoid “any confusion in the inspection”.

The troublesome thing for the heavy-handed Spaniards is that a source tells me that when the French upset the King a few years ago – he wanted a public beach reserved exclusively for his use; locals objected with a 100,000-name petition – he left and vowed never to return to his family’s seafront home in Vallauris, preferring to take his summer hols at his palace on the beach in Tangier. He’s not holidayed in France since.

So with France and Spain out, Bournemouth it is.

 

Posted: 6th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Ted Heath, Jim Hemming and the evidence gap

John Hemming

 

Police have stopped investigating former LibDem MP John Hemming for his alleged part in a paedophile ring. The former MP for Birmingham Yardley – he left the Commons in 2015 – was accused along with two other men of being a paedophile. His accuser, Esther Baker, claimed Mr Hemming had abused her when she was six. In 2015, Baker, then 32, waived her right to anonymity.

She told Sky News that police took part in the alleged abuse:

“I got the feeling very much that they were protecting somebody, that they were with one of the men. One of them (police officers) I knew from church. There were a few occasions where they would be in uniform, and I kind of knew, I learnt that when they were in uniform that it was going to be a rough night.”

Sky added:

Abuse survivor Esther Baker has named a politician as one of the men who abused her while police officers stood guard. She told detectives at Staffordshire Police that he was one of a number of men who would regularly abuse her in the 1980s and 1990s.

She believes a Lord and a judge may also have been among her abusers. Ms Baker described the political figure as: “One of the core members. He was there quite often – I was one of his favourites.”

Mr Hemming has always denied any involvement with alleged child abuse and any wrongdoing. On his website he’s posted this message:

I am pleased that the Police have now made it clear that there has been a concerted effort to promote false criminal allegations against me and that the allegations had no substance whatsoever.

I would like to thank Emily Cox, my children, Ayaz Iqbal (my Solicitor), my local lib dem team and many others who supported me through this dreadful experience. There are many worse things that happen to people, but this was a really bad experience.

It is bad enough to have false allegations made about yourself to the police, but to have a concerted campaign involving your political opponents and many others in public creates an environment in which it is reasonable to be concerned about ill founded vigilante attacks on your family and yourself. Luckily there was a more substantial lobby to the contrary as well, which included many people who were themselves real survivors of abuse, which has helped.

I am normally someone who helps other people fight injustice. Being subject to an unjust campaign of vilification is something I do not wish to repeat.

The police themselves have handled the allegations well. However, although it was obvious from the start that the allegations were nonsense, it has taken two and a half years for this to be resolved. Identifying why that is will take time, but I believe that the system is too tolerant of false allegations. The current CPS guidelines on handling false allegations are in my view too tolerant of malicious allegations and need review. The unnecessary delay of around 2 years in resolving the issue I believe arises from procedures that are being used being flawed.

It has been in the public domain for 2 years that the complainant changed her allegations in early 2015 from those she had made publicly previously and that she had stated publicly that she had never met a politician.

It is worth people more generally learning a little about criminal procedure particularly that when someone is not arrested they are most likely to be innocent – even an arrest does not imply guilt. The police asked me not to put key information in my defence into the public domain, I agreed to keep that out of the public domain. That obviously made the public campaign against me harder to handle.

This sort of situation is inevitably an attack on my family not just myself. I am still in discussion with the police about some of the criminal incidents involving my family and myself during this process. Therefore I do not wish to make further comment on those at the moment.

It should be noted that the newspapers generally have handled the issue reasonably well. Exaro and Exaro’s funder have behaved dreadfully. Sky should recognise that not only was their broadcast of the original allegations in May 2015 a complete nonsense, but also had it been based upon truthful allegations that it would have undermined a criminal investigation. The attempts to drum up additional false complainants through the use of publicity highlights a difficulty with publicising cases whilst a police investigation is going on. There are people who will make false allegations merely because someone suggests that they are looking for such allegations.

Some members of the Labour Party, including my opponent in the last two General Elections, have invested considerable time in promoting these allegations. The promotion of the complainant as an expert in this subject area as a consequence of these allegations has caused addtional difficulties for my family.

I am not myself aware of another situation where members and supporters of a political party have promoted such allegations in such a public manner – essentially arming the villagers with torches and pitchforks and setting off on a lynching. There were public attempts to prevent me from standing as a candidate because of allegations made maliciously by a Labour Party member backed by other members of the Labour Party. Many Labour members will find this unacceptable and it is an issue that needs consideration by the Labour leadership.

I have asked the police to investigate this attempt to pervert the course of justice and await their response. There are, of course, many procedural options that are open to me to obtain justice for my family. I will consider those over the near future.

Meanwhile, what of Ted Heath, the stubbornly dead former Tory PM accused of being part of a Satanic cult that abused and murdered children? Not much. But you can read about him in European Psychiatry Volume 33, Supplement, March 2016, Page S456 under the headline: “The Satanist cult of Ted heath: Ethical implications of authority compromise.”

The paper highlights the corrosive impact on society of powerful pedophile rings that are protected by compromised authority representatives and professionals.

To say nothing of the corrosive effect of being accused of heinous crimes that are never tested in court.

Staffordshire police have also released a statement:

We have now concluded a thorough and sensitive investigation into a number of non-recent child sexual abuse allegations made by Esther Baker.

Throughout this process our priority has been to support Esther and ensure all potential lines of enquiry were carefully assessed and investigated. We submitted the findings to specialist lawyers at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) who have now concluded that there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction of any suspect in this case.

We recognise this investigation, and subsequent review by the CPS, has taken a great deal of time.

Supt Amanda Davies said “It was vital we gave the victim the time, space and support she needed to disclose the information. Over 100 hours of interviews were conducted by specially trained officers, and throughout the investigation we have kept her informed and continued to provide support.

“In this case Esther made the difficult decision to waive her right to anonymity and we will continue to support her, as we would with all victims of crime. We want to take this opportunity to reassure other potential victims that their identity is protected by law.”

“Supporting victims remains our absolute priority, rest assured you can contact us confident that you will be listened to and we will provide the support you need.”

Three people were interviewed under caution during this investigation, one of which was arrested, he has now been released from bail.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 6th, September 2017 | In: News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Hetty Douglas is your internet hate figure of the day

Vying with Robbie Travers for the title of Hate Figure of the Minute is Hetty Douglas, a 25-year-old artist, it says here, living in south London. On anthropological manoeuvres in the McDonald’s restaurant in London’s Piccadilly, Hetty thought it a good idea to take a photo of three men in the queue and caption the image: “These guys look like they got 1 GCSE.” The men were not jumping in the air for joy, clutching their exam results and screaming ‘YES! DONE IT!!!”. They were facing the other way and minding their own business.

Superior Hetty Douglas was making fun of them in a snide and sneaky way. It adds grist to the mill that Hetty is as the Star captions her photo, “posh”, although how it knows this we’re not told. It fits the narrative of the rich looking down on the poor, and that’s enough to bash her with.

The Sun tells Hetty to “Burger off!” The paper finds out that the three men are scaffolders with have a combined total of 8 GCSEs. It also tells reader where they can find Hetty, who works at “skate shop Supreme, in Soho, central London”. Is that fair?

The Sun is disgusted that anyone should mock another person like that. It’s not as if the scaffolders play football, like Wayne Rooney.

 

 

rooney wayne shrek fat

The Sun salutes the captain’s intellect and physique

 

In the Mail, “a close friend of the family says Hetty was actually speaking up in defence of the McDonald’s staff who were being abused by the construction crew”. The unnamed source tells the paper:

“They were being rude and swearing at those youngsters working behind the counter and Hetty thought they were out of order. I’m sure the builders would just dismiss it as banter but they were very unkind and intimidating… It was bullying to her mind. So she thought she would take these lads down a peg or two. Sadly it has backfired but she meant well. It’s typical of social media that people go off half cocked with their opinions and threats without knowing the full story. Well now the real facts are out there a lot of people will be regretting what they have said about Hetty. She’s not some posh little rich girl. She’s actually as working class as they come it’s just as a model some of the pictures of her are upmarket.”

Assumptions can be a problem.

 

 

On student website The Tab, art graduate Hetty Douglas has her entire being analysed. You can know everything about someone from a single Instagram post, apparently:

The real reason so many people have rounded on Hetty is because we all know someone exactly like her. Posh, privileged and seemingly not really aware of what’s going on in the world around them.

Johnny Long (wealth not noted) adds:

This upbringing has afforded these types of people a lot, but sometimes it appears as though they don’t have the empathy to think about anything from the point of view of people who are not like them

Bitchy stuff.

Tomorrow… some other poor sod will get it in the neck.

PS: Hetty Douglas might be auditioning for a leading role in the Labour Party. After all, Emily Thornberry is the hard Left’s choice to replace Jeremy Corbyn as Party leader. More about her empathetic attitude to workmen here.

 

Posted: 6th, September 2017 | In: News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Double rapist who underwent sex change harasses inmates in his women’s prison

Here’s one to ponder. Martin Ponting, 50, a father-of-three, is serving a life sentence for raping two young girls. Jailed in 1995, Ponting became Jessica Martina Winfield after a sex change operation paid for by the NHS. In 2007, Winfield told prisoners’ newspaper Inside Time:

“Unfortunately there is a minority of staff and inmates that give me a hard time because of my sexuality, possibly through lack of understanding and empathy.

“So not only do I have the problem of dealing with serious emotional issues surrounding my gender reassignment sex change but also added pressures and issues due to comments and abuse from certain individuals… I work in the main kitchens here at Whitemoor and the majority of staff and management, along with most inmates, have been extremely supportive. The same on my wing.

“I have changed my name to that of a female to prove to the authorities and everyone concerned that I am very serious about my gender and that I do not feel right being a man. I feel like a female trapped in a male body.

The State stepped in, helping through surgery Ponting solve any self-declared incongruence between his biological sex and gender identity, what the NHS terms ‘gender dysphoria’.

In March 2017, the rapist now known as Winfield was transferred from Cambridgeshire’s male-only HMP Whitemoor to Europe’s largest female-only prison, HMP Bronzefield in Surrey.

He’s now been segregated from other prisoners for allegedly making inappropriate advances.

One of his victims told the Sun in March: “There are not enough words to describe him and the evil he has done. It is diabolical they have allowed him to have a sex change and diabolical that he could be freed this year. He may have changed physically but his brain is still the same.”

When Winfield is released, she can use women-only colleges, women-only cab services, women-only changing rooms and women-only toilets. Might it be that feeling like you imagine a woman thinks and is does not necessarily make you one?

You might also wonder under what tyranny a rapist is housed in a female prison.

Posted: 6th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Free speech: Robbie Travers, Esme Allman and the great Macaroon War

We’re all suspects now. What we say is written down on Twitter and Facebook can be used to ridicule and incarcerate us at any time. News reaches us of Robbie Travers, a 21-year-old law student at the Edinburgh university. Travers has 1980s hair and, reportedly, an ongoing investigation for having committed a hate crime.

 

Robbie Travers

Not Carol Decker

 

The 21-year-old third-year student wrote on Facebook post after the US Air Force bombed an ISIS stronghold in Afghanistan in April: “I’m glad we could bring these barbarians a step closer to collecting their 72 virgins.”

The Mail says his fellow student Esme Allman, a second-year history student and the former black and ethnic minority convenor of the university’s students’ association, accused Travers of Islamophobia. Her complaint goes:

“Not only do I believe this behaviour to be in breach of the student code of conduct, but his decision to target the BME Liberation Group at the University of Edinburgh, and how he has chosen to do so, puts minority students at risk and in a state of panic and fear while attending the University of Edinburgh.”

The Sun says her accusation has triggered “outrage”.

Travers adds an update on Facebook:

“Afraid I’ve been a little more quiet as I have been accused of Islamophobia because I mocked ISIS, and I’m being investigated on such a ground by my University. Mocking ISIS allegedly made Islamic and minority students feel ‘threatened’ and ‘unsafe,’ so goes the complainant’s ramblings. Have engaged legal advice to dismiss this nonsense. Wish me luck.”

The Times hears from Travers:

He said: “I am deeply worried that I am being investigated for comments which are expressions of opinion in a jovial way . . . I do not incite the harassment or racist treatment, nor attack anyone with an illegal suggestion or suggest, indeed, that they be deprived of their human rights.”

Allman is quoted further – and for those of you not versed in student speak, this is pretty much what now passes for the norm:

“I value inclusivity as well as building and preserving safe spaces for us. Creating a truly intersectional campaign is incredibly important to me and my first job will be to work alongside the other liberation groups to ensure EUSA are fully representative of our views. Here at Edinburgh I want BME Students to engage in conversations about the issues that affect us.”

The big news is that Robbie Travers is in the news. And he might well like it that way.

 

 

In 2015, he told The Tab:

“I can also talk about football and rugby, if you like. And, sometimes, I just like to go and have a little dance at a party”, he said. “But being a public figure means that people engage with you as a ‘brand’ rather than as a real person”.

Meanwhile…on Twitter Ido Bock – “Writer for the New Statesman, Haaretz, Prospect, CapX” – has some claims regarding Travers’ postings:

 

 

Exciting times on campus, where everyone’s a victim.

Posted: 5th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Spiders alert: Daddy Pig places Peppa in mortal danger

Peppa Pig’s parent are lying to her. In ‘Mister Skinny Legs’ Daddy Pig tells Peppa that spiders are lovely. They are “very very small” and “can’t hurt you”. Daddy Pig does this to stop Peppa freaking out when she spots a spider in his room. Daddy Pig does not vacuum the spider nor does he flush it down the toilet. The pigs pick up the spider, puts it to bed in a dolls’ house and Peppa offers it tea.

Nobody dies.

It turns out, of course, that Daddy Pig’s lies are putting his kids in mortal danger. As Australians know ABC, spiders are huge and terrifying. ABC, the national public broadcaster, says the show is “inappropriate for Australian audiences” and banned it from future broadcast in 2012

But on 25 August 2017, the episode was broadcast on Nick Jr, a children’s channel affiliated with Nickelodeon. When one mother complained, a spokesman for the TV station opined:

“The context of the way the spider is portrayed in the episode lessens any impact of scariness or danger; the spider does not look real, it has a smiley face and is shown in context of a show with other talking animals.”

Whatever you say, Skippy:

 

peppa pig spider

 

Posted: 5th, September 2017 | In: News, TV & Radio | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Nurse Alex Wubbels arrested and assaulted for obeying the law

To Salt Lake City, where police detective Jeff Payne intends to take blood from an injured man undergoing treatment at the University of Utah Hospital’s burns unit. To remove blood you need the patient’s consent. But he’s out cold. What to do, then? The injured man is not under arrest. But Payne wants that blood. So he tells Nurse Alex Wubbels to take it. She refuses. Wubbels seeks advice. Her supervisor tells her not to take the blood – doing so would mean breaking the law. But Detective Payne disagrees.

So he grabs her, bundles her outside, pushes her against a wall and slaps her in handcuffs. A host of other overweight, unsympathetic cops look on. Thankfully, one of them films the whole assault on a body camera.

The Washington Post has more:

Nurse Alex Wubbels politely stood her ground. She got her supervisor on the phone so Payne could hear the decision loud and clear. “Sir,” said the supervisor, “you’re making a huge mistake because you’re threatening a nurse.”

Payne snapped. He seized hold of the nurse, shoved her out of the building and cuffed her hands behind her back. A bewildered Wubbels screamed “help me” and “you’re assaulting me” as the detective forced her into an unmarked car and accused her of interfering with an investigation.

The explosive July 26 encounter was captured on officers’ body cameras and is now the subject of an internal investigation by the police department, as the Salt Lake Tribune reported Thursday. The videos were released by the Tribune, the Deseret News and other local media.

On top of that, Wubbels was right. The U.S. Supreme Court has explicitly ruled that blood can only be drawn from drivers for probable cause, with a warrant.

Wubbels, who was not criminally charged, played the footage at a news conference Thursday with her attorney. They called on police to rethink their treatment of hospital workers and said they had not ruled out legal action.

 

 

Salt Lake police says Detective Payne is still on active duty – sleep easy, people – but that he has been “suspended” from the department’s blood draw unit.

Indeed, readers, what happened to the good old days when police obtained blood by smacking you over the head in the back of the van, where nobody could see?

Posted: 4th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Dear Coleen: Wayne Rooney tips and where you can find Laura Simpson

laura simpson

 

Everton’s former Manchester United and England footballer Wayne Rooney only had a “kiss and a cuddle” with Laura Simpson, 29, whose car he was driving when police nicked him for drink driving. All the tabloids wonder what this means for his marriage to Coleen Rooney. The Mirror says she’s fearful for the couple’s three children, “worried about playground taunts” because kids can be cruel.

Coleen, we learn, is also worried about media intrusion. Which is presumably why she, as the Sun reports, uploaded photos of her boys on Instagram and wrote: “No matter where I am they always follow me, and I hope that last forever.” No, not a coded message to the paparazzi, marketeers and celebrity magazines. That was a “heavy hint that she would keep the kids with her if Wayne and she split”.

 

laura simpson

 

By now you’re itching to know more about pneumatic Laura Simpson, who “boasts” (Mirror) of having 32E breasts, which Wayne “ogled”, hair extensions, false eyelashes, Botox and lip enhancers. Unlike Wayne, she does not smoke and have a spouse, but she does have a child.

The Sun then pinpoints the single mother struggling to make a living, helping anyone who wants to bounce into and off of Laura find her. We learn that she works at a lettings agency (wages: £38,000 a year); once went on two trips to Dubai in one month; is “cash-strapped”; and lives in a “terraced house in Irlam, Greater Manchester”. If you can’t find her there, maybe you can reach her on the sugar daddy website, where the Sun says she functions under the name “Lolaura”.

 

laura simpson

 

As journalists and pornographers stampede to Laura’s door, the kindness of strangers kicks in. In “Dear Coleen”, Coleen Nolan, writes an open letter to her namesake. “Oh love, my heart ached for you yesterday,” says Coleen, to say nothing of her mouth and she dictated 300 words of to-deadline advice. “Back from holiday, piles of washing to sort, school uniforms to get ready,” says Nolan, proving she has the inside track on the life of a woman who counts her millions by the dozen. “Whenever anyone askw me for advice,” says Nolan, “my first tip is…” Call my agent? “…never, ever, make life-changing decisions when emotions are high.” Coleen’s life is far from over because as Nolan reminds her, she too has been cheated on by a wayward and well-known husband, and had her private life scrutinised in the national press. She moved on, forging a new life as the Woman Whose Famous Husband Cheated On Her And Had Her Life Scrutinised In The Press in the Mirror and on TV’s Loose Women. Hang in there, Coleen. There’s a multifaceted career in this, maybe.

More advice for Coleen in the Mail, where Bel Mooney has “inimitable advice” for the Rooney. “Dear Coleen,” begins the heartfelt advice once more, it being a well-established fact that Coleen is a dear and likes to surround herself with dear things, some very dear, some very, very dear. “Bloody men, eh,” says Bel. “At it again!” As with Nolan, Mooney presents herself as Coleen’s kindred spirit. Coleen was born in Liverpool and so too was Mooney. Wayne was boozing with Laura in Alderley Edge’s Bubble Room.”My best friend lives in Alderly Edge,” says Money, “and I’ve been to  those upmarket joints, Piccolino’s and  the Bubble Room”.

“Good luck, Bel,” says Mooney, which sounds a bit like Rooney, and a bit self-obsessed.

Good luck, Coleen!

 

Helen Wood

Picture 1 of 9

Wood is, reportedly, the other woman who shagged Wayne Rooney in a lesbian threesome with Jennifer Thompson. The Manchester United player got Wood in a package deal, allegedly. NSFW Video: Wayne Rooney’s Jennifer Thompson Sex Tape Helen is 23 and a single mum. Wayne’s own wife, Coleen Rooney, is not a single mum – yet – but she will surely take it a boost to her confidence that her husband might not only shag childless women but someone whose body has been through childbirth.

Posted: 4th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Malta equal Spurs striker Harry Kane’s haul of Cup Finals

“Any time we play a team like Malta,” says Spurs and England striker Harry Kane, “it’s their Cup Final. They’re going to want to win, going to want to surprise the world.”

Number of Cup Finals Kane has been in: one – the League Cup final. And in that his Tottenham Hotspur side lost to Chelsea.

And this is the same Harry Kane who played the full 90 minutes when plucky England lost 2-1 to mighty Iceland at the European Championships in June 2016.

England losing to Malta would not surprise the world. It would surprise only Harry Kane – who given his record in Cup Finals, suggests that the Spurs star is a man as lacking in humility as he is in winner’s medals.

 

england iceland harry kane

 

In case Harry Kane is still grandstanding, these are highlights from the Guardian’s live blog from when England treated Iceland – the smallest nation ever to grace a major tournament – to a Cup Final:

66 mins: “England win a free-kick from about 30 yards and Harry Kane’s effort is appalling.”

83 mins: “Now it’s Harry Kane’s turn to miscontrol a simple pass and gift possession to Iceland.”

87 mins: “Harry Kane takes it and sends the ball soaring over the penalty area and straight out of play. That is absolutely pathetic.”

 

england iceland malta

 

Good luck in all those Cup Finals, Harry!

Posted: 3rd, September 2017 | In: News, Sports, Spurs | Comments (3) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Liverpool wanted £183m for crying Coutinho

Nobody from Sky News stood in the Anfield car park to herald Philippe Coutinho’s move from Liverpool to Barcelona. The Sun said the deal was done. But until a man wearing a Sky Sports pin, possibly with a large blue sex toy propositioning their earhole, tells us the move is done and dusted, we’re reaming circumspect. Coutinho stayed. And, if reports are to be believed, sobbed that the chance to play for Spain’s second or third best team passed him by.

 

Philippe Coutinho liverpool the sun

 

Panicky Barcelona had offered Liverpool the lunatic sum of £138 for the Brazilian. Swollen by the cash earned from Neymar’s sale to the PSG, Barcelona spotted another small Brazilian and thought if they slap him in the club’s colours fans wouldn’t notice. But Liverpool were having none of it. And now we know that the Reds wanted – get this – £183m for this their best player.

A source on the Barcelona board says Liverpool valued Coutinho at €200m (£183m). Liverpool say they placed no price tag on the player. He wasn’t for sale, so why mention a fee, says the Premier League club? So is Albert Soler, Barcelona’s club’s director of professional sports wrong when he said: “Late last night, Liverpool priced the player we wanted at €200m, and we decided we would not do it.”

Meanwhile, in a wind-batted car park, Sky’s reporter on the frontline wonders if Abu Dhabi or Qatar can buy out his contract…

Posted: 3rd, September 2017 | In: Liverpool, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Chile star says story of Sanchez to Manchester City is total balls

What really happened with Alexis Sanchez’s aborted move to Manchester City? The papers are unsure. The Sun says Arsenal called Manchester City to “flog” their star player for £60m. Arsenal then called Monaco to buy Thomas Lemar for that £60m plus another £32m. But Lemar “snubbed” the Gunners. So the whole deal was off because Arsenal only said they would sell Sanchez if Lemar agreed to join them.

The odd bit is that Manchester City – who only made their first offer for Sanchez as late as last Tuesday – apparently told Sanchez it was a done deal. He told his Chile team-mates, who – get this – “gave him a round of applause” (Sun). The other less odd bit is that Arsenal maintained they would not sell Sanchez – and they didn’t.

The result is that Sanchez is “disappointed” (Mail) and “furious” (Sun). But the player has made no comment. The fury comes from unnamed sources, who add that Sanchez could now go on strike (Express). He could also decide to knuckle down and play brilliantly, perhaps even signing a new deal at Arsenal and so earning £300,000 week, up from his current £140,000 a week.

The papers are guessing. But one man is willing to go on the record. Bayern Munich and Chile’s Arturo Vidal says Sanchez never did get that round of applause. He says Sanchez was focused on Chile’s game against Paraguay and never mentioned joining Man City. “To whom? No, no, to nobody. Not to me. I don’t think so,” said Vial when asked abut Sanchez. “I think it was all made up because he was very focused on today’s game.”

What price that anonymous source was already counting 10% of £60m until Arsenal stuck to their guns..?

Posted: 1st, September 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Manchester City, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Local News watch: Oldham Evening Chronicle shuts for good

oldhameveningchronicle

 

Farewell, the Oldham Evening Chronicle (founded in 1854). The paper has closed after 163 years reporting on the borough. It’s a bitter blow for the staff and those on the Chronicle’s four monthly stablemates – the Oldham Extra, Saddleworth Extra, Tameside Extra and the Dale Times.

In June the Chronicle had a circulation of 6,408. One was bought  by John Gilder, who had worked with the paper since 1981. He tells the BBC: “It will be sadly missed. It generates a lot of chat among local people. Before I found out, I popped into the shop and bought a copy without knowing it was the last one. I like reading a physical newspaper but very sadly it’s no more.”

 

Posted: 31st, August 2017 | In: Money, News | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Princess Diana: 20 years of emotion over conviction

Where were you 20 years ago when Dodi Fayed died in a car crash whilst on holiday with Princess Diana, a divorced mum-of-two?

The marking of the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death is a therapeutic process. Just as she was presented as the vulnerable woman abused by the country’s old values as she opened up her heart and talked about her issues on the telly, we too are now in need. The Mirror, one day on from its exclusive with Diana Inc.’s Paul Burrell, leads with: “Harry: all of us lost somebody.”

Diana, a totem for all our pain and woes, in whose aftermath emotionalism replaced resolve and conviction, is the saviour of us and them. “True disbelief, then the grief hit us hard,” says Fiona Philips. “Popularity of the monarchy is down to her,” says Brian Reade. In the rush to emote, the Daily Star puts the following words into the mouths of Diana’s sons: “We wish she was here say Harry & Wills as they visit Diana memorial garden.”

She can’t be in her own memorial garden for reasons all too obvious. But we can feel her, right? Because in the age of uncertainty, feeling is everything.

Posted: 31st, August 2017 | In: News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal agree Sanchez to Manchester City deal to get Monaco’s Thomas Lemar

Manchester City can have Alexis Sanchez for £60m. Arsenal have agreed to sell the Chilean star who shone in Arsene Wenger’s mediocre side to Pep Guardiola’s project.

The deal – £55million up front and £5million in add-ons (if City win the Premier League; if Sanchez wins the Balloon d’Or; if Sergio Aguero doesn’t sulk) – will allow Arsenal to sign Monaco’s Thomas Lemar for – get this – £90m.

Woomph!

The Times says it is “understood that Monaco have accepted Arsenal’s club-record bid”.

Of course, not everyone agrees that Lemar will go to the Gunners. No deal is done until the player kisses the badge and books an appointment at a local hairdresser.

The Metro says Lemar wants to join Liverpool. Although their report contains not a single word from anyone saying that he does.

 

 

Let’s see what happens…

Posted: 31st, August 2017 | In: Manchester City, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Arsenal FC is declared dead and only the parasites remain

Arsenal are dead. So says the Sun, which links the club’s pulse to Alexis Sanchez’s whims, declaring that when the Chilean quits the club today – it is “inevitable he will, says the paper’s Neil Ashton – he’ll be leaving behind a corpse where there was once a club.

Sanchez would also be leaving the leeches, footballers whose presence at Arsenal is more parasitic than proud. Granti Xhaka, Shkodran Mustafi, Lucas Perez and Calum Chambers are rubbish on the “Arsenal scrapheap”.

 

the sun arsenal

 

But might it be that the Sun’s trash talk is a little late? It was last March 8 when the Sun’s Ashton told readers:

Arsenal Football Club, Rest In Peace. This institution, one of the most famous clubs in the world, is dead and buried. Here at the Emirates, the heart finally stopped beating.

Can you die twice? And can a thriving football club with millions in the bank die once? Because having watched Arsenal breathe its last in March, on June 1, the same Neil Ashton wrote:

Arsenal, no matter how many times they win the FA Cup, are only ever one defeat away from another meltdown among their fans..

 

To wit the obvious question: is Neil Ashton a Gooner?

Posted: 31st, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comments (3) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Diana and Me: Paul Burrell’s Paris pilgrimage and the day he died

Just in case you hadn’t heard, it’s 20 years since the death of Princess Diana. The Diana Industry is in full cry. In today’s instalment, former royal servant Paul Burrell is seen eying the site of the car cash that killed his boss in Paris and sharing his “troubling questions” over her death.

Paul’s thoughts are front-page news in the Mirror. And on pages 4 and 5 you get a lot more of them. Burrell, who has made a career from being Diana’s “Rock”, says, “My heart tells me it was a terrible accident.” To say nothing of the countless books, coroner’s reports, police inquiry, TV specials and a million to-deadline opinions about the car crash.

Paul then takes time out to gives us a city tour. He says he “never realised how close the Eiffel Tower was” to the Pont de l’Alma tunnel, where Diana died, an underpass he “never realised” was so small. “Now I realise it [the Tower] must have been the last thing she saw before the crash,” says Paul.

Having realised much and shared her last view, Burrell then shares Diana’s demise, albeit mentally. “I dreamt last night I would crash and die in the exact same place,” says Burrell. Not all dreams come true. And Paul is alive to place a “touching” card on the bridge. It says – and it’s all written in easy-to-read capital letters:

YOU WILL BE WITH ME FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE … AND ONE DAY WE WILL BE RE-UNITED AND SIT AND LAUGH AND LOVE.

YOUR ROCK.

P.

Always nice when a staff member enjoys their work, but Paul seems a tad besotted with Diana. He says it took a few hours before he realised “she had left me”. In the hospital where she died, coppers showed him the room where Diana is lying, her hair washed, her body carrying the scent of formaldehyde – “I can still smell it, like I still smell her perfume, Hermes 24 Faubourg.” The Mirror plays along, saying Burrell was “the first person to see her body” (if  so, who washed her hair and declared her dead?). He says he entered the room to “stare death in the face”. Lest you think facing the Grim Reaper something you do when faced with your own mortality, Burrell opines: “I’d lost my reason for being.”

But he found a new one, and whether it be talking about Diana in the tabloids, writing about Diana in your book, eating ‘roo gonads on I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!. judging would-be Dianas on Australian Princess, working out anagrams of ‘CROK’ on Countdown, singing on Celebrity Stars in Their Eyes, or shopping on Celebrity Big Brother, Burrell’s soldiered on.

Posted: 30th, August 2017 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Fostering fear and division in Tower Hamlets: the Christian child and her Muslim carers

foster muslim london

 

The Times‘ scoop became a big talking point: a five-year-old, white, native English specking Christian girl had been placed with a Muslim foster family by London’s Tower Hamlet’s council. What problem with that? If the vulnerable child needed help and help was forthcoming, what matter respective religions? The council surely vets foster parents and made an informed choice.

Maybe not.

The girl spent four months with her substitute family. She says the family did not speak English in the home, encouraging her to speak Arabic. Her primary foster carer veiled her face in public. When placed with a second foster family, also Muslim, the girl spoke of regularly eating meals on the floor. The girl was scheduled to return to the first foster carers, but a council worker heard her complain of having had her necklace removed and not returned. The necklace featured a cross-shaped pendant. The girl claimed the family had refused to let her eat carbonara prepared by her family because it contained bacon.

The girl is now back with her family, living with her grandmother on the orders of Judge Khatan Sapnara – the Mail tells readers on its front page, the judge is a Muslim; a fact the Times repeats on page 6 in a lengthy profile on the woman who arrived in the UK as child from her native Bangladesh. Judge Sapnara told the council to seek “culturally matched placements” for children. She also made a stand for free speech. Tower Hamlets tried to block the Times story but failed when Judge Sapnara made it clear she “would not stand in the way of the freedom of the  press to report, within the law and in a responsible manner, in respect of this case.”

The Mail adds that the girl’s family had “pleaded” with the council to let her live with her grandmother. The girl “begged” not to be returned to the Muslim family. By page 17, Sarah Vine is telling readers about the value of “a granny’s love”. But taken in isolation, without us knowing why the child was in care at all, why grandma was overlooked in favour of foster parents and what the foster parents hope to gain from their role, opinion rides roughshod over fact. But Vine tells us that Tower Hamlets advertises foster carer allowances of “£313 and £253 a week”. “That’s a nice little earner,” says Vine.

Easy money? On the Tower Hamlets website we read:

If you are interested in becoming a foster carer you will need to meet with a social worker many times to talk about yourself, your family and your experiences of looking after children. Some people find the idea of this daunting, but our social workers are highly experienced and will do everything they can to help you feel reassured during this process. You will also need to have police and medical checks and will need to ask employers, friends and families to give references.

And Vine’s undersold the job: “Fostering fees and allowances up to £474 per week (per child in placement depending on age).” But, yes, the payments for a five-year-old are as she says. Fostering is a cottage industry. Why the public sector is turning child care into a job creation opportunity is not touched upon. And it costs:

In the 2013/14 financial year an estimated £2.5 billion (gross expenditure) was spent on the main looked after children’s services in England. The majority of expenditure (55%) was on foster care services (around £1.4 billion, 55%) and children’s homes (around £0.9 billion, 36%).

So much for the money.

What’s wrong is when Vine says the “real scandal” is that social services “would rather pay someone, irrespective of whether or not  he child will be miserable, than find a home where someone wants  to offer the one thing that has no price: a mother’s love.”

Eh? Surely is can be argued that the “strict Muslim” women was offering  just that: a place where the child would be treated like one of their own. Moreover, where is the child’s mother? Is she able or capable of offering the kid of love Vine seeks? Let’s not pretend a mother’s love is the ultimate nurturer of life and love.

Also troubling is that the story is presented as one of child abuse. The child was refused food. The child  was with “strict” adults. The child was upset. The child “sobbed”. Everything is presented to make readers suspicious of adults. The child’s view is pure and passes challenged. We’ve not heard from the Muslim women at the centre of the story. The overriding impression from reading this story is that when society revolves around child protection, everyone who works with children is cast as a suspect.

Posted: 30th, August 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


100 MPs could be killed in 5 minutes

Big news is that a mock terror attack on the Houses of Parliament shows that it “could” take just 5 minutes to kill 100 MPs. In the “middle of the night” police pretending to be terrorists pulled up by the Commons, climbed the steep wall to the terrace and then gained access to the debating chamber. The Sunday Telegraph says that had the house been sitting “more than 100 MPs” would have been massacred.

An unnamed source described the MPs as “sitting ducks”. Another adds: “I remember thinking ‘Jesus Christ, if that’s where we are at and that can happen, then the public would be horrified’.” (Discuss.)

Is such an attack likely? The water around Westminster can be sea-like, choppy and tidal. It’s very tricky to pull up. The east front of the Palace of Westminster – the bit on the river – measures approximately 265m, and is the longest façade of any building in London. So plenty to room. But navigating the building can be tricky. Take a left turn instead of a right one and a seasick jihadi could end up in House of Lords Chamber!

Posted: 29th, August 2017 | In: Broadsheets, News, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Madeleine McCann: the GCSEs, the Catholic academy and a vicar

The summer’s been light on Madeleine McCann news. What with there being no news to report (there’s not been any every since she vanished – Ed) and August being renamed ‘Diana’, the media’s largely ignored ‘Our Maddie’. But now the news arrives that the school Madeleine McCann would have attended to study for her GCSEs has kept her place open.

Madeleine would /could have been a pupil at Catholic academy De Lisle College in Loughborough, Leicestershire. And if she wasn’t missing she’d be with other 14-year-old girls getting ready to begin her GCSEs.

This we know because the Rev. Rob Gladstone, the family’s “local vicar” (not a Catholic), has told the Sun: “She would be going into Year 10 and they welcome her return. There is no evidence Madeleine has died. We encourage Kate and Gerry in faith, hope, strength, perseverance and courage.”

Lest we find this story less than illuminating, a “friend of the McCann family” adds: “It is both touching and fitting that the ‘big’ school where she would have gone holds a desk for her.”

In other news: Madeleine McCann is missing. There are no suspects.

Posted: 26th, August 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Carling reduced alcohol content but didn’t tell its customers

Anyone who drinks Carling pretty much get what they deserve. The revolting, fizzy pisswater Anwar Sedat and other urophagiasts (people who drink their own urine; as opposed to perverts (people who drink everyone else’s and flavoured cider)) would eschew as too weak is even worse than it appears. We hear the allegation that Molson Coors, the company that makes the stuff, has realised Carling drinkers are fools. The Mail reports:

Carling is marketed in Britain at 4 per cent alcohol strength, but brewers Molson Coors have admitted it is weaker for tax reasons. Court documents reveal the lager has been made to a strength of about 3.7 per cent for the past five years.

But Molson Coors did not change the strength recorded on Carling labels to prevent drinkers from ‘demanding a slice’ of the saving, tribunal documents said. The brewer insists customers have not been misled and its labelling was ‘entirely consistent with the law’.

The details emerged in a tax tribunal brought against the beer makers by HMRC over an alleged unpaid multi-million-pound duty bill.

 

Star Light bitter

 

We’ve been here before, of course. In the 1970s, Watney’s introduced Star Light – “this beer was so weak in strength that a 1971 Sunday Mirror investigation discovered that it could have been legally sold in the United States during Prohibition.”

Star Light had an alcohol content of about 1.4%.

Carling said: “Due to their natural ingredients, all beers are permitted to have a slight variation between the finished product and the alcohol content stated on the label. For most beers, the allowed variation is 0.5 per cent.”

Lucky, then, that the change was down not up. Drink drivers take note. “The beer was lying to me, occifer.”

Spotter: The Grocer

Posted: 26th, August 2017 | In: News, The Consumer | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0