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The news as told by the UK’s tabloid press – The Sun, Daily Express, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Daily Star and News of the World.

50 Shades of guilt: Bruno Langley had legal sex with young woman

Heard the one about the famous actor and the young woman? The Sun leads with news that Bruno Langley, aka the “Corrie pervert”,  “preyed on a 16-year-old girl” five years ago. In November, Langley admitted molesting two women at the Band on the Wall on Swan Street, Manchester. He was sentenced to a 12-month community order at Manchester Magistrates’ Court. He must sign the sex offenders’ register for five years. Langley apologised for his “disgraceful behaviour”.

In sentencing, District Judge Mark Hadfield told the actor: “You have lost your good name and I know nothing of showbusiness, but… in the current climate, I suspect it may be very difficult for you to gain employment in that industry in the future.”

Well, quite.

 

 

Here he is on the front page the subject of a shag ‘n’ tell, one which might be sub-headed: “Actor has consensual sex – shocker!”

On page 5, we read that when on a date with the 16-year-old, he “spied the erotic novel 50 Shades in her handbag”. Says the woman, who is not named in the story: “He then asked me to read it to him, which was so embarrassing and cringeworthy.” I know. I’ve read it. Not that this is a book review, of course. It’s a review of Langley’s character. And when we read that “the sleazy soap star” pulled her when he “marched over to her at party in July 2012 – just weeks after she left school”, we are sickened.

The sleazy sod. Sun readers must be disgusted at men getting turned on by “girls” and chatting to them:

 

In the Sun – tasteful adverts to listen to “mother and daughter sex sounds”

 

The Mail reads the Sun’s story and thunders: “Disgraced Coronation Street star Bruno Langley, 34, ‘had sex with a 16-year-old girl and pleaded with her to read passages from 50 Shades of Grey'”.

The sick sod.

 

the sun ryan air

As seen in the Mail back in 2008- The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the “irresponsible” Ryan Air advert appeared to link teenage girls with sexually provocative behaviour.The advert was printed in the Herald, Daily Mail and Scottish Daily Mail.

 

Perverts, eh. How the tabloids hate ’em.

Posted: 18th, December 2017 | In: Celebrities, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Asthmatics gasp as another British cycling champion is accused of cheating

Has anyone blamed Chris Frome’s failed drugs test on Russia yet? Tour de France winner Frome was found to have high levels of an asthma drug in his urine. He might well be innocent, of course. And if he can explain the discrepancy, Frome will not earn a year-long ban from the sport. He says he is innocent. “My asthma got worse at the Vuelta [a Espana],” says Frome, “so I followed the tram doctor’s advice to increase my Salbutamol dosage. I tok the greatest care to ensure I did not use more than the permissible dose.”

In the meanwhile, the BBC has to work out if the cyclist should appear on Sports Personality of the Year. “It’s a massive headache, one which the BBC should do without,” says a BBC “source” in the Mirror. What asthma sufferers make of it is not mentioned. Presumably, they’re affronted that a man who has apparently overcome the condition with such gusto is being pilloried and possible censored.

Not that this is new. Bradley Wiggins, like Frome a Tour de France winner with Team Sky, has suffered with asthma. And like Frome, treatment of his condition has proven problematic. Perhaps asthmatics should confine their sporting activities to chess and panting down telephone sex lines?

As the BBC gets in a tizz about role models and who is fit to appear on its show, we get a bit more about Frome and Wiggins in the Mail. The paper picks up on a Facebook post by Lady Catherine Wiggins, Sir Bradley’s wife, in which she opines: “I’m going to be sick. Nothing in the news. If I was given to conspiracy theory I’d allege they’d thrown my boy under the bus on purpose to cover for this slithering reptile.” To ensure readers were not left in any doubt as to the identity of the reptile, Lady Wiggins’ post came with a photo of Frome.

Her ladyship has now removed the post and has posted an apology: “Sorry everyone for my emotional comments and insults. Too much stress got the better of me. Heat of the moment thing and certainly not my intent to fan the flames.”

No flames without smoke. Best open the window and let some sunlight and fresh air in. It’s getting claustrophobic for the asthmatics…

PS: what is it with cycling and asthma?

An assessment of the British Cycling team before the 2004 Olympics showed that around 40 per cent had asthma compared to only about eight per cent of the general population. For [Dr John Dickinson] Dickinson, this discrepancy stands to reason.

“Athletes are far more prone to asthma-related problems, mainly because of the environments they’re exposed to and the conditions required by the sport, such as the high breathing rates over prolonged periods.

“Cycling is done outdoors, often in dry, polluted air — there are lots of reasons for the high prevalence.”

And then there are the overtaking estate cars, media vehicles, villagers firing compressed-air horns into your eyeballs, finding the throat to scream “Get out the f***ing way” in French as you ascend a mountain pass Tibetan Sherpas view as a bit on the slippery side of steep, and the organ throttling lycra. It’s a miracle cyclists can breathe at all.

Posted: 15th, December 2017 | In: News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Indian bookmakers offer to fix The Ashes and offer odds on Pope wearing funny hat

After two matches played, England’s cricketers are two down in The Ashes best of five series. You might think the results so far were down to a combination of poor England performances and a superior Australian team. But you’d be wrong. Maybe. The Sun leads with news that bookmakers have been plotting to fix the games.

The paper says it’s been handed a “bombshell dossier to the International Cricket Council which details attempts to fix” the Third Test.

 

fix ashes the sun

 

Would it be possible to fix a Test without anyone realising? You could argue that an England victory would be so shocking that no-one would notice peculiar betting patterns. We’d be too busy head-butting one another, dousing themselves in beer and arranging time off work to watch the victory bus on its way to Downing Street. And if Australia win, well, plus ca change.

The Sun shines a light on two men. Sobers Joban and Priyank Saxena allegedly asked for up to £140,000 to “spot fix” markets, such as the exact amount of runs scored in an over. It’s alleged that when a cheating player gives a secret signal – a fielder moves to a certain position; bowling a first-ball wide; wearing a long-sleeve top; tugging his ear; tugging the umpire’s ear; etc. – a network of bookmakers gamble “millions” on the sure thing. We also hear of India’s ‘Mr Big’ and Australian cricket’s ‘The Silent Man’.

Who they? Dunno. So the Sun tells us a bit more about the people it did meet, who can allegedly reveal all for a not inconsiderable consideration. Around a photo of Joban dressed in cricket gear we read about his “lavish lifestyle”, house in the “swanky, diplomatic area of Delhi” and his engagement “to a Russian martial arts specialist”. Saxena “was described by his partner Sobers as a tobacco and spice tycoon with business interests in South Africa”.

They urged our investigators, who posed as financiers for underworld London bookies, to pour millions into a new Zimbabwean league where matches would be fixed.

Corruption. In Zimbabwe?! Say it ain’t true, Joe!

Joban allegedly told the paper:

“I will give you work in Ashes Test. Session runs. Maybe day one, two, three. We have two session work, one session costs 60 lakh rupees (£69,000), two sessions 120 lakh rupees (138,000).

“If you are interested Priyank will talk to the Silent Man. If you want to go with him alright, but you will not sit in meeting. I don’t know what he give, script or session.

“Right now if I tell you he want one crore (£116,000), he might want five crores (£580,000).”

Fast forward a few hours and the ICC is on the case. “We have now received all materials relating to The Sun investigation,” says Alex Marshall, the ICC general manager anti-corruption. “There is no indication that any players in this Test have been in contact with the alleged fixers.”

England captain Joe Root tells BBC Test Match Special: “It’s very sad that this has been written about. We’ve got to focus on this Test match and do everything we can to win it.”Australia captain Steve Smith adds: “As far as I know, there’s nothing that’s been going on or anything like that. There’s no place for that in our game.”

In other news: anyone who wants to know the result, can contact us on the usual address. For £850,000, we will tell them who is going to win The Ashes. But given that you’re our loyal readers, we’ll let you in on the secret: keep your eyes on Joe Root’s wicket. When the umpire raises his finger, it’s on!

 

Posted: 14th, December 2017 | In: Back pages, Money, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Grenfell Tower: antisemites, Trots and other agendas

The Times has been looking at people around Grenfell Tower protests and campaigns. In one story headlined “Russian TV wanted to stir class unrest after Grenfell” we hear about reports on RT (formerly Russia Today), the broadcaster through which, as one colleague opines, Vladimir Putin trolls the West.

The story begins:

A Kremlin-controlled TV station seized on the Grenfell Tower fire to try to foment “class war” in Britain.

An RT broadcaster is cited as having told his audience:

“£10 million was spent on cosmetic changes to the outside of the building to make it look better for rich residents who live near by.”

The Times checks the facts and finds them wanting:

“In fact the £10 million figure was the cost of the entire refurbishment between 2014 and 2016, not just the cladding.”

RT has responded, albeit in a slightly confusing manner.

If this did happen, and it probably did because we have to trust that The Times has studied the hell out of the coverage in order to squeeze out any accusation it can, could it be that the RT reporter made a mistake?

If this did happen? Can’t it check its own footage? But this part of the lengthy response seems to be in surer ground, picking up on an anomaly in the Times report:

The paper usefully quotes “class war,” but it’s not really obvious where that quote is from. Top investigative reporter Dominic Kennedy wasn’t in the mood to make that clear. The word ‘foment’ is not part of a quote – that is The Times’ own little addition. So essentially it appears RT is accused of putting the words ‘class’ and ‘war’ together… and saying them out loud!!!

If RT is trying to “foment class war” with its coverage of Grenfell (I asked around, and it’s not) you have to wonder what kind of war The Times is trying to ‘foment’ with its unending, sensationalist and misleading coverage of anything linked to the word Russia.

Three other stories form part of the Times’ investigations into people around Grenfell Tower. In “How the far left tried — and failed — to hijack Grenfell” we get to look at Justice4Grenfell which “has suggested there were hundreds of fatalities even though the police say 71 people were killed”.

The group has angered some locals by taking possession of the slogan it uses as its name, registering it at Companies House and on the internet registry, and adopting a high public profile. It said that it would apply for core participant status, which would bring privileged rights to see paperwork, make statements, question witnesses and apply for money for legal advice.

But if it’s all legal, what’s wrong? And, in any case, the group doesn’t seem to be at the heart of things.

Residents have created their own exclusive self-help group, Grenfell United, after becoming alarmed at attempts to hijack the disaster by fringe pressure groups, political extremists and agitators. Grenfell United is treated by everyone from Downing Street to local charities as the authentic voice of the tower’s former residents.

We are introduced to some of the alleged ‘hijackers’, all of whom appear in the Daily Mail’s story in today’s paper “Far-left activists in bid to hijack Grenfell: Fire victims hit out at rabble-rousers to exploit deaths of 71.”

We meet Sue Caro, 60, a “diversity expert” who questioned the death toll, believing it to be higher. The Mail says she is no longer a member of Justice4Grenfell. There’s Ishmahil Blagrove, 49, the founder of Justice4Grenfell. The Mail says of him:

He launched Justice4Grenfell with a speech warning: ‘You know me and when I’m ready to start a fire I’ll start a fire.’ He added that ‘if we burn down anywhere’ it might be Chelsea.

The Mail does not find room for what we can read in the Times:

He said: “My statement in regards to starting a fire is to indicate that now is not the time.” Young people were on the streets seeking retribution for the fire and he was “indicating that if this anger and frustration were to boil over, then it would be in a part of the Royal Borough [of Kensington and Chelsea] to which the government and the media pay close attention.”

The Times also notes:

Grenfell protests have been joined by the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), which suffered mass defections over the suggested cover-up of sexual assault and rape allegations in 2010.

In another story, this one titled “Antisemitic outbursts of prominent Grenfell aid organiser” we get to meet Tahra Ahmed. The Times us:

A leading proponent of the conspiracy theory that the 9/11 terror attack was faked by Jews has gained a prominent role as a Grenfell Tower volunteer.

We’re not told what that role is and if she has anything to do with any organised groups. One writer has tried to find out more. But a look for her name around the disaster reveals very little. The name does feature in a Daily Mail story from June 19, when a Tahra Ahmed was quoted as part of a protest at Kensington Town Hall:

Tahra Ahmed, who was involved in organising the protest, branded the tower fire a ‘holocaust’. The former Metropolitan Police worker admitted she was ‘hoping the protest doesn’t get worse’ after repeatedly being forced to intervene to stop violence against police throughout the evening.

Having featured her a source of information then, the Mail today tells readers beneath the sub-head “The Antisemite”:

…she has repeatedly made antisemitic outbursts and has claimed that the 9/11 terror attack was faked by Jews. Miss Ahmed, who lives in London, has previously described Hitler’s massacre of Jews as the ‘holohoax’. And in a previous comments, the activist has said: ‘Grenfell is owned by a private Jewish property developer just like the Twin Towers. I wonder how much Goldman [Sachs] is standing to make in the world’s most expensive real estate location, [Kensington].’

The Mail then explains:

Goldman Sachs has had no involvement in the disaster apart from donating 100 boxes of children’s clothing and books, helping former residents get access to technology and matching employees’ appeal donations.

Or as the Times put it one day earlier:

Goldman Sachs has had no involvement in the disaster apart from donating 100 boxes of children’s clothing and books, helping residents access technology and matching employees’ appeal donations.

As the Mail checks its sources, we get to a Times’ story on Cathy Cross, 54, who seems to be a product of nominative determinism, being described as a “self-proclaimed rabble rouser”. Beneath the headline “Grenfell council accuser is a [John] McDonnell activist”, we do get to hear her response:

Ms Cross denied using the tragedy for political ends. She said she asked legitimate questions and had a reply from the council leader about assistance from other boroughs.

In it’s top and tail story, the Mail makes no word of Cross’s reply, stating:

Despite living outside the borough, she heckled the new leader of Kensington & Chelsea council at the latest meeting. As Elizabeth Campbell was making an opening address, Miss Cross, 54, shouted: ‘You have blood on your hands.’

It does seem unfair not to afford people a right to reply.

No other papers carry any word on the activists.

Posted: 12th, December 2017 | In: Broadsheets, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Brexit: breakthrough deal please the status quo

“REJOICE!” screams the Daily Mail from it front page. “WE’RE ON OUR WAY?” Where to?  Out of the European Union, dummkopf. “It’s a “HUGE BREXIT BOOTS,” declares the Daily Express from its front page. “Now let’s get on with ditching the EU.”

Agreements have been reached. But we don’t know what the UK’s relationship will be with the EU.

 

eu brexit newspapers

 

The Mail gives over an entire page to nodding heads. “Theresa May won,” says Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, wafting perfume into the stultifying air. “The doomsters and pessimists have been confounded,” says Norman Lamont, former chancellor. The deal is “the personal success of Theresa May”, says Donald Tusk, the European Council president.  May “negotiated in  “very gentlemanly manner”, says Jean-Claude Junker, European Commission president, muddying the eye of those who say a woman cannot behave as well as a bloke in demanding company. At the bottom or 13 opinions, we get to Jeremy Corbyn, who says it’s “Tory chaos and posturing”.

Having hailed the historic handshake” (Page 1), “triumph” (pages 4-5), a “breakthrough deal” (pages 6-7), the early arrive of Christmas for City bosses (pages 8-9), a confounding of the “Jeremiahs” (page 9), “record booms for British exports” (page 8) and May making it “back from the dead ” (page 25), the Mirror gives front-page space to someone calling May  “lily-livered”. “Softly Softly,” says the Mirror on pages 4 and 5. Is that praise or criticism? “Softly, softly, catchee monkey” is taken to mean “Don’t flurry; patience gains the day.”

On page 4, the Mirror says any deal could be “ripped up” should trade talks fail. And, er, that’s it. The leading Left-wing tabloid can muster just three pages for the Brexit deal, the Mail calls “historic”.

Over in the Sun, which sees the Brexit news as less important than an actress being “pelted with glasses in a pub” and Toff’s jungle bikini, Trevor Kavanagh says May was “summoned in her pyjamas by three unelected bureaucrats”. But “we will not be surrendering last year’s referendum vote by carrying on as EU member in all but name”. Brexiteers, says Kavanagh, are “keeping their powder dry”.

Have we “taken back control”, then? No. The Brexit vote was radical. But when the same old faces are organising it, what did you expect, revolution? Here’s Gove in the Telegraph:

“If the British people dislike the arrangement that we have negotiated with the EU, the agreement will allow a future government to diverge.”

Keep on voting! Eventually you’ll reach the right decision.

Anyhow, here are three key things from the agreement, as told by the BBC:

No “hard border” between Northern Ireland and the Republic

The rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU to live, work and study will be protected. The agreement includes reunification rights for relatives who do not live in the UK to join them in their host country in the future

The so-called “divorce bill” will amount to between £35bn and £39bn, Downing Street sources say. This includes budget contributions during a two-year “transition” period after the UK leaves the EU in March 2019

You can read the full text of the UK-EU agreement here.

Posted: 9th, December 2017 | In: Broadsheets, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Thomas Markle gets doorstepped

Turns out that Thomas Markle is’t all that “reclusive” after all. He’s on the Daily Mirror’s front page talking about his daughter, Meghan Markle.

 

thomas markle

 

“I’m delighted,” says Thomas of the wedding. For reasons that are not clear, the Mirror presents Thomas Markle with a bottle of French champagne and some Darjeeling tea. “Thank you, that’s very kind,” says Thomas as a stranger gives him free treats.

Not that Thomas needed a free drink. The Mirror’s says it “tracked him down” to his, er, home, and looked on as Thomas Markle “bought a four-pack of Heineken and cigarettes”. Lest we be disbelieving, the Mirror features a video of Thomas walking from a store.

Lest you think that invasive and not in the least bit newsworthy, the Mirror uses an editorial to tell readers: “Thomas Markle’s eyes will have a little more sparkle than most” when he walks his daughter own the aisle. The booze, right? The Mirror says the “British public” will “instantly take to such a down-to-earth chap”.

That’s the divorcee sat in the gold coach, scarfing booze and puffing on a fag. And that’s Camilla wondering what might have been…

Posted: 8th, December 2017 | In: Celebrities, News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Epic fail: Cambridge News front-page headline clanger

The Cambridge News has an epic headline on today’s front page. “100PT SPLASH HEADING HERE.”

 

cambridge news typo

 

The BBC has fun:

 

cambridge news typo

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


Meghan Markle: show us your dirty laundry

Meghan Markle has a “rift “with her father. Well, she had, apparently, because in a video from when she was 19 in the summer of 1999 that’s now the Sun’s front-page news (“MEGHAN: MY RIFT WITH DAD”), the actress tells her pal “my dad and I aren’t on the best of terms”. We’d like to keep up with the Markles, but we’d have to check a new source because the video shooter was Ninaki Priddy, a woman no longer mates with Meghan, 36.

Alongside a photo of Meghan in a short dress, we read that Thomas Markle “now lives a nomadic life driving between rented homes on LA and Mexico in an old Volvo” – a car the Mirror tells us is an “old batted blue Chrysler PT Cruiser”.

The Sun says Thomas’s home is a “cliff shack”. He “proudly tells the locals Meghan’s is his daughter”. Odd because the Mail was looking for the “elusive” Thomas and telling readers that “placed in his position, many fathers would be singing their joy from the rooftops”. The Sun says Thomas’ roof might not take the weight, given that it’s atop a “tiny red-tiled home…on a 120ft cliff overlooking the Pacific.”

Having given a front page and two inside pages to Ninaki Priddy’s scrapbook, the Sun today finds space for Jane Moore to accuse Priddy of “betrayal”. So the tabloids don’t do chequebook journalism any more, expose celebs and feature kiss ‘n’ tells about the beautiful people? Or is it different for Royals? Why shouldn’t a woman sell her story for loadsa money when her ex-pal – and do we know why they fell out?; Priddy says “What came to light after Trevor [Engelson – Meghan’s ex] and I spoke ended my friendship with Meghan”? – is due to remarry, this time to a billionaire’s scion?

We never did get the full story of Princess Diana and Charles when they were engaged. The media kept the knobs on a pedestal by delivering a narrative soaked in magic and star-written love. Let’s not have it again.

Much guff has been written about Meghan and Harry. “Don’t underestimate the symbolism of a royal marriage. From now on, it will be impossible to argue that being black is somehow incompatible with being British,” trumpets the Guardian. “Is it too mad to wonder, once the Brexit dust settles, whether the younger royals may – against all the odds – represent a Britain looking forward to the future rather than an imagined past?” the Indy muses. Once more the royals are showing us the way. But if we want to be modern – and wouldn’t that involve getting shot of them? – then surely we should know who they are and why we need to crane our necks to see them.

Posted: 6th, December 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Damian Green: taxi for David Mellor and police in the dock

The Daily Damian: a look at de-facto Deputy Prime Minister Damian Green in the newspapers. We kick off on page 2 of the Daily Mirror, where former Tory minister David Mellor says Green would not be missed for a “millisecond”. Mellor, who fell on his bellend (surely sword – ed) in 1992 after a sleaze scandal, tells one and all: “Damian Green should have said, ‘I will resign to clear my name’ and he would have lots of sympathy.” But no job. Mellor adds: “Damian is the sort of guy who, under Mrs Thatcher, would have been the Minister of State for Latrines and would have lived in total obscurity.”

Sorry. Yes,. Mellor. M.E.L.. He’s the top bloke who told a London cabbie (something he later apologised for): “You’ve been driving a cab for 10 years, I’ve been in the cabinet, I’m an award-winning broadcaster, I’m a Queen’s Counsel. You think that your experiences are anything compared to mine?”

Ring a bell? No? This bloke:

david mellor newspapers sex

Yeah, him. But not her:

 

 

In the Sun, Green’s story is a police issue. On page 6, the paper hears Cressida Dick, the Met’s top copper, say is was “quite wrong” for “ex-Detective David Lewis to go public on the contents of Mr Green’s machine”. (That’s Green’s computer which allegedly contained lots of porn. He denies it.)

Nick Cohen writes in the Spectator:

The police, or rather the retired officers, want to use legal but shameful behaviour to destroy their target. In Russia, Putin’s agents send women to lure opposition activists into honey traps, then post sex tapes on the web. Our police seem too close to their colleagues in Moscow for comfort…

I am sure an eager detective could find something to discredit you. Everyone has legal but potentially shameful secrets, and if you do not, you are too good for this world…

But:

…the inquiry into Damian Green’s conduct has nothing to do with computer pornography real or imagined. Green is accused of the sexual harassment of Kate Maltby, a women 30 years his junior, and a family friend to boot.

I am told on good authority that it is not just Maltby’s story the inquiry is hearing. Other women have gone to Sue Gray, the director-general of propriety and ethics at the Cabinet Office, to tell stories of their own.

Should we hear them, too?

The Mail (page 4) continues to stick it to the police. Cressida Dick “condemns” police leakers. A Tory MP says Green is a “steady pair of hands”. No, not wandering. Steady.

On page 14, the Mail rages against “police flouting the law”. Police have made a “clear attempt to ruin Mr Green’ career”. On page 17, Richard Littlejohn wonders: “If the Deputy PM isn’t safe, what chance have we got?” Which makes you wonder why the Deputy PM should be viewed as being any different to the rest of us?

“Ex-officers may face court over MP porn claims’,” says the Express (page 2).

Meanwhile… the Cabinet Office has still to report on Green’s computer and Maltby. Why not let them do their job and see what occurs?

 

Posted: 5th, December 2017 | In: News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Damian Green: flagrant abuse is what we love best

The Daily Damian: a look at Damian Green in the newspapers. The story so far: the Deputy PM is accused of having porn on his PC and chatting up a younger woman, whose knee she says he touched. The Cabinet Office is investigating. Damian Green say he’s innocent. Now read on…

The Sun (page 6) says Education Secretary Justine Greening “all but called for him to be sacked”. Greening told BBC viewers to Andrew Marr’s Sunday morning show that  “most employers” would think it unacceptable to watch porn at work. On the other side (ITV) was Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, telling everyone that he trusts Damian Green and “I believe what he says”.

 

damian green

0800GREEN – HOW MUCH ABUSE CAN HE TAKE?

 

On Page 10, Trevor Kavanagh says the story is based on a “politically motivated vendetta” against Green by two “bitter” former police officers, Bob Quick and “co-conspirator” Neil Lewis. We learn that Quick “led the scandalous raid” on Green’s office in 2008 over alleged leaks from the Home Office. Quick “seized the computers. Lewis fund the porn.” And then comes the worrying bit: “thousands of perfectly legal images were copied – against orders – and squirrelled away by Lewis for future use.” Kavanagh alleges it’s part of moves to get back at Theresa May for threatening to “smash  their Mafia-style trade union”.

Over in the Mirror (page2 ), Justine Greening is telling Green to “fall on your sword”. Which isn’t a euphemism for masturbation, rather a euphemism for career suicide, or maybe actual suicide. On page 8, Kevin Maguire wonders if the Tories would back an “ordinary worker” – are MPs made extraordinary in anything but the glorious building they occupy? – “if police found thousands of indecent images on his or her desktop.” Dunno. Maybe police should all check their PCs and let us know what occurs?

And how is watching porn on your PC any different from watching porn in a magazine or newspaper, say, perhaps one that on Page 41 offers readers the chance to call premium-rate phone numbers and get some “X-RATED CHEAP CHAT” from “18-94 years olds” and “REAL HOUSEWIVES”? The Mirror does. And it offers no warning against doing so whilst at work, nor displaying the porny images that go with the adverts lest it offend workmates and paymasters.

The Mail (pages 6 and 7), says Lewis “could be prosecuted – as watchdog accuses him of ‘flagrant violation of the public’s trust in police.” New Met commissioner Cressida Dick says the force is thinking about investigating Lewis. Dick, you will recall, was in charge when armed police shot dead innocent Jean Charles de Menezes as he waited for a train on the London Underground. No police employee was disciplined for that.

Speaking on BBC Radio London today, Dick said: “All police officers know very well that they have a duty of confidentiality, a duty to protect personal information. That duty in my view clearly endures after you leave the service. And so it is my view that what they have done based on my understanding of what they’re saying… what they have done is wrong, and I condemn it.”

We also hear in the Mail from Eleanor Laing, who says deputy speaker of the Commons, who says in a letter dated November 14:

A member of my parliamentary staff has told me that, several years ago, before we had effective screening of our parliamentary computers, she used to find pornographic images on her computer every morning when she switched it on…

She was certainly not accessing pornographic sites deliberately or even accidentally. The material was just there on her computer every day. She simply deleted it. This happened before 2010.Thus, it would appear that material found in the parliamentary computer system can be proved to have been put there by some other means than by the deliberate actions of the person operating the computer.

Lax security in parliament. Who knew?

Over in the Guardian, a columnist thunders: “!If Damian Green harassed a woman or lied, he must go.” Yeah. If. But do consider it for as long as it takes to read 500-odd words about today’s burning issue.

In other news: I took up porn to help me stop smoking, says man looking for five-minute work break.

Posted: 4th, December 2017 | In: Broadsheets, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Meghan Markle’s dad Thomas is an international man of mystery

Meghan Markle has a “mysterious dad”. And by mysterious we mean not a man who weaves mysteries, vanishes in puff of smoke or is, as one dictionary defines it, “difficult or impossible to understand, explain, or identify.” We mean a man who doesn’t much fancy being a celebrity.

The Daily Mirror makes Thomas Markle Senior its front-page story. They say that aside from his family, “no-one even knows where Thomas Markle Senior is.” It might be less a mystery than a question of budgets and being bothered to track down a man who was living in Rosario Beach on Mexico’s Baja California Peninsular. He moved on, says the Mirror, “determined to avoid any chance of public attention”.

 

Thomas Markle

 

Not that the man’s absence detracts from the story. He “gets by on his £1,307 monthly pension”, we learn. How the Mirror knows what money he earns and spends is moot. The ‘facts’ are provided to fit the narrative of the future princess’s dad living if not in poverty then at least in humdrum simplicity. Thomas is “driving around in an old batted blue Chrysler PT Cruiser”. His new family-to-be are “one of the richest and most powerful in the world”. He “devoted his life to his daughter”. He “may” be avoiding the spotlight “due to the humiliation of bankruptcy”.

Thomas Markle’s “solitary life means Harry has still not met his future father-in-law”. Or as the Mail puts it: “EXCLUSIVE: Prince Harry has met his girlfriend Meghan Markle’s father.”

 

Thomas Markle

 

 

That’s not to say the Mail isn’t also on the scent.

“Why is Meghan’s dad so determined to hide from the world?” wonders the Mail. “Where is the elusive Mr Markle? Why has this enigmatic man concealed his whereabouts so determinedly?” And: “After all, placed in his position, many fathers would be singing their joy from the rooftops.” Why, because an American – a citizen of the world’s greatest republic, a bastion of freedom and hope to the world – is getting shackled to a man who symbolises inequality? Maybe not because the Sun says Meghan’s dad is “said to be impressed by Prince Harry”.

Shedding light on the international man of mystery is Thomas’s brother Michael, who tells everyone: “Tom is trying to comply with the royal directive to keep a low profile so that’s where he’s coming from. He doesn’t want to upset the Royal Family.” Indeed, there’s nothing like a normal bloke to undo the ‘magic’ of monarchy.

 

Posted: 4th, December 2017 | In: Celebrities, News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Damian Green, Jacqui Smith and watching porn on The Job

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

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

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

Lewis told the BBC:

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

A spokesman for Mr Green tells us, precisely:

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

The police add in a statement:

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

Jim Waterson, of Buzzfeed News, tweeted:

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

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

Matthew Parris in the Times:

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

The Register adds:

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

And the backstory?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Back to the Guardian:

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

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

In the Mail, any word on that?

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

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

Adding:

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

Or as the Guardian reports:

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

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

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

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

One day they’ll let robots run us…

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


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

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

robert mugabe daily mail

 

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

 

robert mugabe daily mail error

 

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

 

 

Such are the facts.

 

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


Daily Mail: Which cancer goes best with cheese?

Stark choices for Daily Mail readers: which kind of cancer do you want. As we know, pretty much anything gives you cancer, but cheese allows you to pick.

daily mail cancer

 

In March 2017, readers were told “cheddar and cream cheese could give you breast cancer”.

 

 

That followed news in April 2017 that cheese cold “prevent you from getting liver cancer”.

In August the Mail had more news:

As diet-conscious Britons are mistakenly shunning dairy, we reveal why you SHOULD be saying …more cheese please

AVOID DAIRY…AT YOUR PERIL

Unless it’s bladder cancer you want:

 

 

So which cancer do you want with your cheese?

 

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


The Daily Mail’s List Of Things That Give You Cancer: From A To Z

SCARE Stories in the Daily Mail – here’s a list of things that give you cancer:
AFTERNOONShere
ARTIFICIAL FLAVOURS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-55023/Cancer-causing-chemicals-soy-sauce.html
BAGELS – here
BELTS – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2439962/Wearing-tight-belt-throat-cancer-Constricting-waistbands-cause-acid-reflux–increasing-risk-disease.html
CANDLE-LIT DINNERS – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1207726/Candles-release-scents-laced-cancer-chemicals-warn-scientists.html#ixzz0dufFps6a
CANNABIS – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-146853/Why-cannabis-greater-cancer-risk-tobacco.html
CATS: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2019170/Can-cat-cancer-Parasite-bellies-linked-brain-tumours.html
CHEESE (CHEDDAR) – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4322418/How-cheddar-cream-cheese-breast-cancer.html
CHILDLESSNESS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/columnists/article-474820/SUZANNE-MOORE-Im-sick-told-fault.html
CHILDREN’S FOODhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-201390/Health-warning-childrens-food.html
CHIMNEY SWEEPING: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3293707/Revealed-116-things-cause-CANCER-according-world-health-experts.html
COCAINE – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1267864/Drug-dealers-add-cancer-causing-chemical-cocaine-maximise-profits.html
CONTRACEPTIVE PILLShttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-181273/Cancer-risk-45-higher-Pill.html
DADS: http://www.anorak.co.uk/431859/tabloids/daily-mail-scare-story-dad-gives-you-cancer.html/
DEPRESSION http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2442249/Depression-triple-risk-developing-Parkinsons-disease-scientists-say.html
DILDOS –  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2611376/These-toys-arent-sharing-How-sex-aids-spread-cancer-causing-HPV-virus-partners.html
EGYPTIAN MOOBS – here
ENGLISH BREAKFASThttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1049142/Traditional-English-fry-raise-risk-bowel-cancer-63-cent.html
FREQUENT FLYINGhere
GADGETS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-3772629/Cancer-cases-children-40-20-years.html
HAIRDRYERS  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-3772629/Cancer-cases-children-40-20-years.html
HOLIDAYS – http://www.anorak.co.uk/400678/tabloids/the-daily-mail-lifestyle-gives-you-cancer.html/
KIDNEY TRANSPLATShttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-459097/TV-prize-kidney-carries-risk-cancer.html
KINDER bars – http://www.anorak.co.uk/436477/tabloids/scare-stories-nutella-and-kinder-eggs-give-ambassador-farages-guests-cancer.html/
LIFESTYLE – http://www.anorak.co.uk/400678/tabloids/the-daily-mail-lifestyle-gives-you-cancer.html/
LIFESTYLE – here
LIVER TRANSPLANTS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-207838/Cancer-liver-transplant-killed-husband.html
LONG FINGERS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2439430/Why-long-fingers-mean-youre-likely-depressed-small-ears-make-prone-kidney-disease.html
MIDDLE CLASS – here
MISSING A PERIOD – here
NUCLEAR POWER (there is no hint of irony in this article)http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-42066/New-study-links-nuclear-sites-c…
NUTELLA http://www.anorak.co.uk/436477/tabloids/scare-stories-nutella-and-kinder-eggs-give-ambassador-farages-guests-cancer.html/
ROAST POTATOES – http://www.anorak.co.uk/436735/tabloids/scare-stories-roast-potatoes-give-you-cancer.html/
X-RAYS http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-207035/X-rays-bring-risk-cancer.html
ZEBRA TOYS – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2439656/Start-Your-Senses-Zebra-toy-recalled-cancer-risk.html
Spotter:

Posted: 1st, December 2017 | In: Key Posts, Tabloids | Comments (22) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


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

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

So should Mail Online be accessible only to adults?

This has all appeared on the website:

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

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

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

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

Remember when Suri Cruise was big news:

 

 

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

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

And:

 

 

Ban this sick filth!

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


Ant McPartlin: airbrushing the drugs doesn’t make him a role model

Ant McPartlin, the taller one from Ant ‘n’ Dac, is on the Sun’s cover. “ANT NOT GOING HOME TO WIFE,” runs the headline. A “source” tells the paper that Ant and his wife, Lisa Armstrong, are “struggling to find a way to move forward together”.

Lest anyone suppose there was something more to this story, on page 7 readers are told: “ANT’S FACING XMAS ALONE.” Poor Ant! The “telly favourite faces a lonely Christmas in a rented pad.” Anything else? Well, Ant is “getting over an addiction to painkillers following knee surgery”. Nothing illegal, then. No illegal drugs are mentioned, just the ones sanctioned by the State and pumped out by big pharma. “Ant is focused on recovery,” adds the source.

Lest we wonder why Ant has left home and how it is that recovery does not include being in the bosom of his family, the “source” tells us that Ant is delighted the “public still support him” and his wife is “having a good time with her pals”.

We do like Ant and Dec, who are easily the best things about I’m A Celebrity, which features a nice enough platoon of celebs. The pity being that none of them are interesting. But there is something PR-driven about the Sun’s “exclusive”. It was the Sun which broke the story about “booze, pills and substances”:

 

 

In a world exclusive interview, emotional Ant tells The Sun on Sunday: “I was at the point where anything — prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs — I would take.

“And take them with alcohol, which is ridiculous. The doctors told me, ‘You could have killed yourself’. ”

Dec is the victim:

Squeaky-clean Ant’s descent into dangerous prescription drugs came after he damaged his knee in 2014, then had a botched operation on it the following year.

Is he that squeaky clean? Dan Wootton says he is. And he adds: “Ant is bright-eyed, trim and sporting a youthful new hairstyle when we meet.”

 

 

In 2013, Ant and Dec were interviewed in the Guardian:

By the laws of show business, at least one of them should have succumbed to the traditional hazards of child stardom – drink and drugs, sexual transgression, monstrous egomania. Yet, with the solitary exception of a drunken night involving Dec and a lap dancer, which ended up in the tabloids, the pair have been almost freakishly clean. Have they never even tried taking drugs?

“Years ago, yeah,” Ant admits, “but we’re not really druggy people, that’s the thing. I think you either go into that crowd as a kid or you don’t, and we didn’t. We found the love of alcohol very early on and we stayed with it.” Laughing, Dec adds, “There’s a real pub culture where we’re from in Newcastle, so we’re just more boozy people.”

If one had ever been at risk of self-destruction, though, who was the likelier candidate? Without hesitation, both point at Ant. “Probably me, yeah,” he admits. Dec points out affectionately: “There’s nothing like the love of a good woman, though.”

Ant’s plight then becomes a campaign:

“‘I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE’ Three ex-addicts reveal agony of getting hooked on prescription medication like TV star Ant McPartlin

The number of opioid painkiller prescriptions in the UK has doubled over the past decade to 24 million – yet nobody knows how many people are struggling with addictions

 

 

We should all wish Ant McPartlin well. But to suppose he’s not a human being susceptible to the same temptations as the rest of us buys into the myth that anyone who appears on the telly is a ‘role model’. We don’t mind it when rockers and artists take drugs and illuminate our lives with bursts of vibrant culture, so why should we care if a talented, immensely likeable and engaging TV presenter does? Screw the PR guff. What Ant does to his own body is his own affair.  We’re big enough to understand that, right?

Posted: 27th, November 2017 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Paul Hollywood’s Indian Summer

Summer Paul Hollywood

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

 

paperchase brexit

Paperchase – not fan of Brexit

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Transfer balls: when will Liverpool sign Didier Baptiste?

Didier Baptiste liverpool

Dream Team

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

 

Spotter: 365

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


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

JAck Maynard

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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


Clickbait balls: Daily Mirror tricks Manchester United fans with rehashed FIFA 18 press release

Clickbait balls in the Daily Mirror, the self-styled “intelligent tabloid”, which appears not to have the utmost respect for its readers. The headline is unequivocal: all-time Manchester United great Peter Schmeichel has named an “ultimate XI” that does not include a single players from his former club:

 

 

That’s newsworthy stuff, especially for Manchester United fans. But click on the link and you get the story that Schmeichel wasn’t picking actual players. He was picking virtual footballers made up of code and pixels. It’s a glorified press release from EA Sports, who asked their man to name a FIFA 18 ultimate XI from the game’s current choices, taking in every player in every virtual team in every virtual league.

 


It’s clickbait.

 

 

Why not just name the video game in the headline? Well, it’s all about the clicks…

 

Posted: 22nd, November 2017 | In: manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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