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Posts Tagged ‘Daily Star’

Ant McPartlin drops into the therapy trap

At what point did a private man in a private vehicle involved in a collision in south-west London become a “scandal”? Ant McPartlin was driving when his vehicle collided with two other cars. He’s ok. His mother was in the passenger seat. No, not Meghan Markle in a state of undress. His mum Christine. She’s alright, too. A family of three and two work colleagues travelling in one of the other vehicles involved in the prang are also ok. None were hospitalised, although Shilpa Dandekar did suffer a cut lip, and her husband, Faheem says the whole thing has been a “nightmare”.


ant mcpartlin scandal


Ant was carted off to the police station to help police with their enquiries. There are allegations that he failed a roadside breath test, and he has been arrested on suspicion of drink-driving.


ant mcpartlin scandal


But in what way is any of that a “scandal”, as the Daily Star calls it on its front page? Is there public outrage at Ant’s accident? Surely not. If there is, well, get a grip. Ant’s back in rehab, where, according to the Sun, he will spend “months”. Maybe if it’s scandal were looking for we should gawk less at Ant McPartlin and more at the therapy industry, which operates behind a soft-hinged revolving door. Does anyone ever graduate from pricey therapy suites, or is it all designed to keep you coming back for more, replacing the patient’s initial obsession with one that keeps medics in jobs and business booming for whoever makes monogrammed towelling gowns and slippers?


Posted: 20th, March 2018 | In: Celebrities, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Vladimir Putin: Daily Star says Russian leader will pop round your house to help out

Vladimir Putin isn’t a bad bloke. Yes, he’s the boss of a gangster state and his regime is implicated in a chemical attack on Salisbury. But those hankering for a return to the Cold War should read the Daily Star, whereon there is news to warm the very cockles our souls: “PUTIN: I’LL TURN OFF YOUR GAS.”


Putin gas daily star

“And while I’m at it, I’ll put the bins out, air the upstairs and give the kitchen surfaces a once over” – Vlad


Good old, Vlad. He’s really tidied up the Crimea.

Posted: 16th, March 2018 | In: Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Recasting mosque murderer Darren Osborne as a grooming victim

How do you report on Darren Osborne? Yesterday at Woolwich Crown Court, Osborne was convicted of the murder of Makram Ali, 51, and the attempted murder of other Muslims outside a mosque in Finsbury Park, north London.

The Mirror calls him a “racist thug”. An “ex-schoolmate” calls him a “complete dick”. A former lover calls Osborne a “pill-popping sponger” who was banned from Toys R Us for “trying to steal Lego”. He stole from his “blinded great-grandad” and served a two-year prison sentence for assault. He’s the Sun’s “twisted loser” – a “maniac”. Darren Osborne, folks, a life-long bastard.


darren osborne muslim killer

The Sun says 4 weeks; the Star and Guardian says three.


But the Sun says he “turned into a hate-filled extremist in just four weeks”.  The Star declares “3 Weeks To Turn Into Racist Killer”. The Times classifies Osborne as a “a white loner” who was “rapidly radicalised after accessing far-right material on the internet”. No circumspection. One minute you’re browsing for photos of cats, online banking and asking to see a schoolboy’s fillings and when he opens his mouth to show you gobbing inside it (as Osborne reportedly did), the next you stumble across a website, get brainwashed by murderous loons and go on a killing spree. To see is to do, runs the mantra.

How long before Osborne is described as a victim because police “believe the catalyst for Osborne’s descent into hate was watching a BBC drama about a sex abuse scandal involving Muslim men, a swell as viewing extremist inline content” (Guardian)? Was he, you know, groomed?


darren osborne muslim killer

The Guardian


More descriptions of Osborne, 48, are forthcoming in the Times. He’s “unemployed”. He’s an “alcoholic”. Seeking background to those conditions might tell us more about the kind of man who deliberately drives a van into people minding their own business. But it’s the “radicalisation” that excites the old media, the State and police most. You can’t control a man as easily as you can control what a man sees and hears. So we read this:

Police said that Osborne, from Pentwyn, Cardiff, acted alone and was radicalised soon after joining Twitter and immersing himself in far-right material online. He took a particular interest in Tommy Robinson, the former leader of the English Defence League, and Jayda Fransen, the co-founder of Britain First.

Commander Dean Haydon, the head of Scotland Yard’s counterterrorism command, said that the first trigger for Osborne was a BBC television drama about the child-grooming scandal in Rochdale.

He was triggered. Like a switch going off (or on), the narrative is that Osbourne was a normal, average, rational and reasoned individual, a man whose motto was ‘Live and let live’, who never had a racist thought, and who after watching one show on the telly embarked on a mission to murder Muslims. There but for the grace of god, go we, eh. That’s hope the internet is trammelled, censored and controlled by those who know best so that we too are not damaged.


darren osborne muslim killer

The Mail: the web and BBC dunnit


Mr Haydon goes on the record: “That [a BBC TV show on rape gangs ] was the catalyst for him having a hatred for the Muslim community. From thereafter he accessed extreme right-wing material. He then became obsessed with that material and that sent him into a further spiral of him wishing to carry out an attack.” Haydon called Osbourne a “devious, vile and hate-filled individual”. Well, he did murder one man and try to slaughter many more. He did pledge: “I’m going to kill all Muslims.” Haydon’s appraisal of the convicted murderer is pretty spot on, but not needed. We, like the jury that took less than an hour to convict him, can make up our minds without police guidance.

But the police are not only there to tell; they are also there to censor:

The Met will not disclose the details of Osborne’s hate-filled interviews, or the full note that he left behind in the van that contained various slurs against Muslims, for fear of inciting more hate incidents.

From being an alcoholic loner, Osbourne is now an inspiration. He watched the telly to be become a killer; you only need to read a note to flip the switch. You’re all that vulnerable (aka: thick and in need to State-led supervision).


darren osborne muslim killer

The Sun


And then this:

Osborne was also said to have become angered after the string of Islamist attacks last year in London and Manchester.

So not just the telly show, then. There was more.

Two nights before the attack he told people at his local pub that he was “going to kill all Muslims” and said that he was going to take matters into his own hands. Callum Spence, a soldier, told the court: “I heard him saying: ‘All our families are going to be Muslim. They are all going to be terrorists.’ Things like that.”

The ravings of a deranged and violent criminal, who was, as the Guardian notes, thrown out of a pub near his home in Cardiff for making racist comments”. But Harun Khan, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, says Osbourne is a terrorist. “The scenes we witnessed last summer were the most violent manifestation of Islamophobia yet in our country,” he says. “We cannot be complacent and regard this as a one-off terrorist incident.”

But it was a one-off, a rare crime, thankfully.

Why can’t Osbourne be like other terrorists who we’re told operate as lone wolves, gurning loons who represent only their own grotesque disregard for life and freedom, and have no truck with a greater cause and movement?

Khalid Oumar, a trustee of the mosque and founder of the Finsbury Park Attack victims’ voice forum, puts the case for trust in ourselves well: “The scars will stay with them for ever, but the community is determined to go about daily life without fear and to stand together against victimisation and violence.” Right on. Let’s not let this be all couched in dispiriting victimhood. We’re better than that.

Note: Darren Osborne has been sentenced to a minimum term of 43 years in prison. He’ll die there.

Posted: 2nd, February 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Well-paid BBC women are not thick as mince Grid Girl women

Spot the differences between the “BBC women on the march” for equal pay and ‘Grid Girls’ women being told they can’t work at Formula One events. Clue: age and class.

First up, the women who know what’s best for themselves and all women. The women taking a stand for equal rights, more money, opportunity and the sisterhood:



The women told they don’t know what’s best for themselves and who don’t know their own minds, being presumably too thick and infected by misogyny to earn an honest living of their choosing. Thankfully, more intelligent and higher ranking women are here to lend these losers a steer.


pit babes grid babes bbc sexism pay pit babes grid babes bbc sexism pay pit babes grid babes bbc sexism pay


And then this, in which the female expert in all things female schools two grown women no longer working the darts circuit in the right and wrong way to dress, earn money and conduct themselves. (Neither group is from the 70s – that’s the 1970s for the ‘babes’ and the 1870s for the bluestocking.)


Posted: 1st, February 2018 | In: Broadsheets, News, Sports, Tabloids, TV & Radio | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Arsenal sell Giroud to Chelsea for less than agreed price

Arsenal have yet to hand over the £60m it’ll take for Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to join them. The BBC says the move “hinges” on two other transfers:  Aubameyang to Arsenal, Giroud to Chelsea and Batshuayi to Dortmund.

We’re told Arsenal want £35, for Giroud, 31.



No they don’t, says The Metro, which declares: “Chelsea agree to sign Olivier Giroud from Arsenal for £15m.”

They have? No. Of course not. That’s the dire Metro, which can’t even get Giroud’s age right:




Football365 then gets itself in a mess over what words mean. Can you “give” a man to another – slavery? – and get £15m in return?



The Daily Express is also confused. It’s not “agreed” if it’s in ‘inverted commas’. But it is agreed if the story states: “Chelsea have agreed a deal with Arsenal to sign Oliver Giroud.”



The source for every one of these scoops seems to be Gianlica Dimario. Who he and why is his word taken as fact? He says he’s a “journalist registered with the Court of Milan”. On his website, we read (through the wonder of Google Translate):

With Dzeko, Chelsea has identified a new target for the attack. This is Olivier Giroud , for whom the Blues have found an agreement with Arsenal on the basis of 15 million pounds plus bonuses. The negotiation will be defined as soon as Wenger’s team will define every detail with Aubameyang and Borussia Dortmund will have found a substitute for Gabonese, which could be Batshuayi.


The utter balls is underlined by the Express, which on the same page as its report that Giroud to Chelsea for £15m is a done deal, declares this morning:

Giroud crunch talks
06.15: Chelsea are expected to re-open negotiations with Arsenal today regarding the sale Olivier Giroud, according to Sky Sports expert Guillem Balague.

Balague says that Chelsea had an initial offer of £20million turned down by the Gunners.

“I read Giroud could go to Chelsea for £15m but I believe #CFC last offer was £20m and was rejected by #AFC,” Balague wrote on Twitter.

“No negotiations took place after that rejection.

“But tomorrow contacts could be renewed.”

To recap: Giroud has joined Chelsea for £5m less than a bid Arsenal rejected?

Oh, and in the Sun we read that Chelsea are targeting Tottenham’s Spanish striker Fernando Llorente, 32.

Fact: Giroud has not signed for Chelsea.


Posted: 30th, January 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, News, Sports, Spurs, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Madeleine McCann: a sacked detective, a con and blood

madeleine mccann


Madeleine McCann returns in a story about a man’s death. The Star’s front-page headline bleeds: “MADDIE DETECTIVE DIES IN ‘BLOODBATH'”!



Maddie McCann private eye killed as blood-soaked body of ‘£300k conman’ found at mansion

A PRIVATE detective who allegedly conned the Maddie McCann fund out of £300k has been found brutally murdered.

Murder!? The body is that of  Kevin Halligen, found at a home in Guildford, Surrey. Hired to look into the disappearance of Maddie McCann in May 2008, he “was later accused of conning the fund out of £300,000”. Accused is not a judgement in a court of law. He allegedly conned the McCann family. But that lacks sensation. He denied misusing funds.

So what of the “murder”? Well, the police tell us:

“We were called to an address in Cobbett Hill Road, Normandy, Guildford, on Monday following a report of a man in his 50s having been taken unwell, who subsequently died.

“The death is being treated as unexplained and a file will be passed to the coroner’s office in due course.”

What about the blood, then?

The BBC hears from Adrian Gatton, a TV director and investigative journalist, who made a documentary with Halligen in 2014:

“There was blood around the house, probably caused by previous falls when he was either drunk or blacking out,” he said. “His house was full of empty drink bottles. A lot of people wished him ill but his death is almost certainly related to alcoholism.”

Not went blood, then. Dried, old blood.

What else do we know? The Mirror notes:

After being sacked from the McCann investigation, Halligen was arrested in the UK and extradited to America on fraud charges for an unrelated case.

He pleaded guilty to defrauding Trafigura, based in the Netherlands, who had hired him to help free two company executives arrested in Ivory Coast in 2006.

He received about $12 million to provide “security, intelligence and public relations”.

Trafigura gave Halligen an additional $2.1 million to “hire lobbyists and influence officials in the United States on Trafigura’s behalf”. The next day, Halligen used nearly $1.7 million of that money to buy a large home with a swimming pool.

Such are the facts.


Posted: 15th, January 2018 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Poor Ant and lucky Lisa: tabloids and PRs control Ant McPartlin’s divorce story

ant mcpartlin divorce


How do we feel about Ant McPartlin, the taller half of Ant ‘n’ Dec? The papers want us to sympathise with Ant, who’s filed for divorce from Lisa Armstrong after 11 years of marriage. The Mirror and Express lead with poor Ant: “Ant’s agony” (Express) and the “agony of Any” (Mirror).

The Mirror says the “star looked exhausted and had a bandaged hand during a walk in London.” These are “tough times” for Ant. An unflattering photo of Lisa, shown on the Mirror’s front page and on its page 5, shows her looking less than cock-a-hoop. Over two pages, we read Ant’s message in the Mirror. He has “admitted he is to blame for the break-up”. He “showed the strain of the split and his battle with pill and booze addiction” as he walked wth his mother. A “source” tells us, “the best thing is now that they both move on”.

Beneath that a lawyer opines that because “no one else is involved at present” the assets can be split equally between Lisa and Ant. No-one else involved “at present”? Might that change, then? And those assets are big.

The Sun and Star lead with the cash.

The Star calculates the couple’s pot to be worth £62m. And everything is couched from Ant’s viewpoint. We read that Lisa “stands to gain half of his £62m fortune”. Gain? Doesn’t she, like him, stand to lose control of £62m for half that amount? On page 5, we read that Lisa, who’s been with Ant for 23 years, “could pocket” and “rake in” a fortune. The Sun says Ant must “pay wife £31m“. Pay? Surely split the assets. He is “prepared to part with half his fortune“. Well, yes. That’s marriage mate. The assets are shared. What’s mine is yours. An unnamed “source” arrives to tell us what a good bloke Ant is. “It’s a huge amount,” says Messrs Anon and Anon, ” but he wants Lisa to be financially and emotionally supported.”

One page 4, the Sun tells its readers: “Star just wants Lisa to be happy.” “A source” says, he is “happy to give Lisa 50 per cent in the divorce if that is what is agreed by their lawyers.” Give? And noble of Ant to adhere to what the pricey lawyers hammer out and the law decides. “He wants to divorce for health reasons,” says the source.


ant mcpartlin divorce


And then the mood changes. Over pages 22-23, the Mail asks: “Why DID Ant abandon the wife who stood by him in his darkest hour – and still adore him?” Bravo, eh? You either take the PR’s word and wrap your story about it, or you form a position your readers will relish. And how does the Mail end its take on a divorce?”Everyone feels for Lisa,” says a “friend”.

Posted: 15th, January 2018 | In: Celebrities, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Gaia Pope: Connor Hayes and putting the clocks back

Gaia Pope continues to occupy minds in the tabloids. How the 19-year-old died, we do not know. but we do know she was not murdered. And there is no evidence anyone else was involved in her death. Today the papers carry the image of Conor Hayes. The Star says Gaia Pope”was on the verge of a nervous breakdown” after “learning Connor Hayes may be released early”.

Who is he? Well, we read that Gaia Pope accused Hayes of sexually assaulting her two years ago. The Star says he was not prosecuted for the alleged crime. Why Conor Hayes in in prison is featured on the Dorset police website.



Connor Hayes


Two men jailed for child sex offences
18 April 2017
Two men who filmed a video of themselves having sex with a teenage girl that was subsequently published on the internet have been jailed.

Connor Hayes, 24 and of Namu Road in Bournemouth, pleaded guilty at Bournemouth Crown Court on Monday 5 December 2016 to taking an indecent moving image of a child, possession of indecent images of a child and paying for the sexual services of a child.

William Wright, 24 and of Andover Green in Bovington, pleaded guilty at Bournemouth Crown Court on Friday 3 February 2017 to taking an indecent moving image of a child, intentionally obtaining for himself the sexual services of a child under the age of 18, distributing an indecent moving image of a child and making indecent images of a child.

The pair were sentenced to two years in prison at Bournemouth Crown Court on Thursday 13 April 2017. Both of them were also handed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for five years.

The court heard that Hayes befriended his victim in 2014. The girl was over the age of consent, but under the age of 18, meaning it is illegal to make or possess indecent images of her.

In November that year, Hayes got his victim to take part in a sex video with his friend Wright, telling the girl that the video was just for them and would not be shown to anyone else. Hayes told her that if the video got out he would be in trouble as she was under the age of 18, the court was told. After it had been recorded the victim asked the pair to delete the video.

The video was discovered to have been uploaded onto the internet around November 2015…

An examination of the iPhone belonging to Wright showed that there were ten video clips and 27 still images of the victim. Examination of a laptop used by Hayes showed there were 18 images of the victim which were indecent.


Nasty and sad stuff And the tabloids are happy to pile in on the “revenge porn convict”. The paper quotes Hayes’ mother, who says  in a statement:

“I am aware that my son had a brief friendship with Gaia Pope when she was 16 and had just started college. Within weeks of their friendship ending Gaia made an accusation to the police which was not upheld. To the best of my knowledge my son has not had any contact with Gaia since their friendship ended at least two years ago.”

In the Mirror, we read about the police. On page 2, the paper quotes Greg Elsey, related to three people arrested on suspicion of murder – all of whom have been cleared. “They totally mishandled it,” he says, “and the guy in charge want to walking the beat.” In the Express, we hear Mr Elsey accuse the police of launching a “vendetta” and “witch-hunt” against the trio. He asks, “For anybody in the future, why should their family members be accused of murder when they absolutely no evidence it has happened.”

Over two pages in the Sun, we hear of “GAIA COPS’ CLCOK GAFFE”. Rosemary Dinch, 71, was one of the trio hauled in. She and they are now billed as “a frail pensioner and her family”. She says: “We gave hem [police] CCV footage that showed Nathan going to his gran’s house round the corner. When they questioned him, he time didn’t match because the clocks went back and the time on there didn’t change.” Paul Elsey adds: “The police got it all wrong but it was like talking to a brick wall.”


Posted: 21st, November 2017 | In: News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Gaia Pope: suing the police for a crime that never happened

After the febrile reporting and shadowy photos of innocent people, police say foul play played no part in the death of Gaia Pope, the 19-year-old who went missing in bucolic Dorset.


murder gaia pope


You might wonder why police arrested three people on suspicion of murder. All three were released under investigation. Greg Elsey, whose son Paul Elsey was arrested by police, accuses investigators of behaving like “wooden tops“. He says his son can prove he was elsewhere when Gaia Pope went missing. So why was Paul Elsey arrested and subjected to harsh media scrutiny?

The newspapers piled in, as ever they must when a photogenic blonde is missing. But from front-page news, the Express relegates the case of “tragic” Gaia Pope to page 4. The police says the young woman might have taken her own life or died of natural causes.

The Mail presents her death as a mystery, asking a question we will never know the answer to. “Did fear of prisoner who assaulted her push Gaia to suicide?” asks the Mail, wrapping two questions into a headline to which the only sensible answer is ‘no’.


Gaia Pope newspapers front pages

Blonde woman goes missing


As for that assault, a “friend” tells the paper: “She was assaulted when she was 17 and I think she thought the man would be released early from prison.”

We are free to speculate, of course, but why did an apparent objective police investigation lead to the arrests of three people and talk of murder? Surely they knew of Gaia Pope’s past, and of her severe epilepsy, which, we are told, could take her life at any time? We read now that Paul Elsey, Nathan Elsey and Rosemary Dinch, the three innocent people arrested for a crime that never took place, are planning to sue police for wrongful arrest.


The Sun zooms in on innocent Paul Elsey


Over in the Sun, which talked of police “swooping” on Paul Esley’s “prized” car – no, not that car –  the story (page 7) is one of “Tragic Gaia’s Attack Agony”. The paper reads the dead woman’s mind. “She feared fiend’s release,” says the paper. She did? Well, maybe. Maybe not.

In the Daily Mirror (page 9), Gaia is the “tragic teen”. She is “Gaia from Langton Matravers”. In the Sun she is “Gaia from Swanage”. Gaia Pope was from Langton Matravers. She was staying at an address in Swanage when she disappeared on Tuesday 7 November 2017.

Such are the facts.

UPDATE: Det Supt Paul Kessell, of Dorset Police tells everyone:

“We have today released from our investigation two men, aged 19 and 49, and a 71-year-old woman, all from Swanage, who had been arrested and were assisting with our enquiries. I appreciate our enquiries would have caused these individuals stress and anxiety, however we have an obligation in any missing person investigation to explore every possible line of enquiry. The public would expect Dorset Police to fully investigate the sudden disappearance of a teenage girl. Our aim was not only to find Gaia but to find out what happened to her. Gaia’s family has been informed of this latest development and our thoughts remain with all her family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.”

What happened to people ‘helping he police with their enquiries’? Why the rush towards arrest?


Posted: 20th, November 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comments (5) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal balls: Sanchez and Wenger meet in secret and all about that handshake

Alexis Sanchez Watch: an at-a-glance look at the Arsenal striker in the media. Today the Mail leads with a question: “Was this the moment Alexis Sanchez ignored his Arsenal manager ahead of training?” We, of course, adhere to Ian Betteridge’s law of headlines, which states: “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.”

So, no. And, indeed, after clicking the link, the Mail delivers a further headline:

Alexis Sanchez appears to snub Arsene Wenger at Arsenal training as contract dispute rolls on

The dispute is, of course, nothing of the sort. Sanchez has not gone on strike. Arsenal are not sacking him, nor suing him. The Gunners want him to stay. Sanchez wants a lot more money to play for the Premier League’s fifth best team. Negotiations are ongoing.

Sam Morshead then adds:

Was this the moment Alexis Sanchez ignored his Arsenal manager ahead of training?


The Chilean striker, whose Gunners future remains up in the air, appeared to blank his boss prior to a session at the club’s London Colney facility on Wednesday.

Wenger, who was embarking on his ritual of shaking each of his players’ hands before putting them through their paces, was acknowledged by Nacho Monreal and Mesut Ozil – but a short video clip shows Sanchez apparently walking on by.

Take a video clip. Remove it from context, Stick it into a pre-ordained narrative. And write a clickbait headline. Bingo! And having seduced Arsenal fans with total ball, Morshead then notes:

They saw Sanchez head on towards a group of his team-mates instead of approaching Wenger, though the Gunners manager did not offer his hand to his star striker and appeared to say ‘I’ve already done you’.

To put it another way, then:

“Arsene Wenger appears to snub Alexis Sanchez at Arsenal training as contract dispute rolls on”


“Wenger does not shake Sanchez’s hand twice”

Or how about:

“Sanchez happy with team-mates and life at Arsenal”

Or as Morshead puts it:

…given reports about a frosty relationship between player and coach in the past, moments like these always give rise to speculation.

What frosty relationship? Oh, the one the tabloids keeps harping on about. Because no sooner has one tabloid conjured total balls from a non-event than the rival organs are reporting the tosh as fact:


alexis sanchez handshake snub wenger arsenal


We do like the Daily Star’s idea Sanchez is “troubled”, in the manner of a recovering drug addict or a Hollywood wild child is ‘troubled’.


And here’s the video of the huge happening that excited the national Press:




So, what really heppened? Well, Sanchez was one of the first players who arrived at training, and Wenger greeted him well before the video was shot.

In other words: “Wenger and Sanchez meet in secret!”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 19th, October 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Spurs Harry Kane to Manchester United says one source and £170m

Huge news for Manchester Untied and Spurs fans. The Sun says “MANCHESTER UNITED boss Jose Mourinho is eyeing a record £170m swoop for Tottenham star Harry Kane’”.

The story of how United will recruit a rival club’s best player is rooted in a nameless “Old Trafford source”. And in between the headline and the readers’ poll (“Should Spurs cash on on £170 Harry Kane?”, Daniel Cutts delivers his “exclusive”: Jose Mourinho thinks Kane is good at football. And that’s it.

Cutts does note that it’s “understood” Spurs will “offer Kane a new contract next summer, upping his wages to around £150,000-a-week to keep him at White Hart Lane.” Kane is currently on just under £100,000-a-week.

It’s an easy story to reveal that a rich club that pays wages of £250,000-a-week plus will try to entice Kane. So easy isnit that thewher one tabloid leads, the rst dutifully follow:

“Manchester United plotting £170m swoop for Tottenham’s talisman Harry Kane” – The Metro

“Manchester United prepared to rival Real Madrid with £170m transfer bid for Tottenham striker Harry Kane” – Daily Mail

“Man Utd news: Jose Mourinho plots £170m bid for Tottenham star Harry Kane” – Daily Express

“Jose Mourinho wants Harry Kane in £170m deal to partner Romelu Lukaku at Man Utd – report” – Daily Star.

Such are the facts.


Posted: 12th, October 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Spurs | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal balls: Theo Walcott leaves Gunners in tabloids betting scoop

Arsenal are ready to sell nice middle-class boy Theo Walcott in January, says The Week. “Gunners are getting ready to blast the dead wood from the Emirates and top of the flops is Theo Walcott,” thunders the review magazine.  The mag’s source is The Sun, which says Arsenal are “preparing to sell Walcott in January”.



Who wants Theo, then? Well Walcott, has “attracted interest” from “West Ham and Everton”. On the Sun’s website, we  read: “He has 18-months left on his £110,000-a-week contract, and is one of the club’s highest earners, according to TeamTalk.”

Over there we learn that “Arsenal are reportedly preparing to sell Theo Walcott in January, unless he can cement himself in Arsene Wenger’s first team.” The source for this TeamTalk story is The Gambling Times.

The Gambling Times mentions a betting company in its report, which carries no source to support its well-travelled scoop, which features unchallenged in the Sun, The Week, The Daily Mirror, The Daily Star. What The Gambling Times does cite in its Arsenal news is a betting company. “We spoke to BetVictor and their Head of antepost Football Michael Triffitt about Walcott and their market on his future, with West Ham, Everton and Southampton the favourites to land him,” says the paper, which tags BetVictor in its SEO. Indeed, BetVictor features in many of the site’s articles, including a daily horse racing tips sheet – and Triffitt is a not infrequent source of opinion.

Is it news or is it affiliate marketing? It’s worrying that the national press don’t make any attempt to differentiate between the two…

Posted: 4th, October 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal riot, stroll and stumble at BATE Borisov

Arsenal ran out pretty easy winners in their Europa League match against BATE Borisov, winning 4-2, having been 3-0 up after 25 minutes. Arsenal are the first team to beat Bate on their own patch in European competition since Barcelona defeated them in 2015 – a run of seven games.

What do the newspapers have to say about the match?


The Daily Mail calls it an “Arsenal stroll”. The Sun agrees that it was a “stroll”. The Gunners, boasting a squad of nine players aged 20 or younger, “ran riot”. The Express saw Arsenal “picking apart the BATE defence at will”. The Daily Star says it was “stunning stuff from Arsenal”.


The Daily Mirror says it “wasn’t an easy ride” for the Gunners in Belarus.

And the Times:

Times Arsenal


One man’s stroll is another reporter’s stumble.

Such are the facts.




Posted: 29th, September 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Broadsheets, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Madeleine McCann: police get more cash for another 6 months of looking

Madeleine McCann news watch – a look at reporting on the missing child. There is “new hope” in the “Maddie hunt” says the Daily Express. Is hope born of new clues? (Any clues?) New evidence? (Any evidence?) No. It’s just that police have been given an extra £154,000 to keep investigating what happened to the child who vanished on a family holiday in May 2007. This, says the paper, is a “massive boost”.

But is it, really? It keeps the investigation going, yes, but unless we know on what it will be spent and if any investment will answer to the question ‘What happened?’ it’s pretty meaningless. What value £154,000 when the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Grange has cost over £11million? It’s less a massive boost than a top-up deal.

The story continues on page 9. We see a the familiar photo of Madeleine McCann in her Everton kit. And we see a picture of her parents, Gerry and Kate McCann. We hear Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ spokesman, say his clients are “extremely thankful to the Home Office and Scotland Yard for continued funding”. The McCanns are “encouraged that there remains work to be done that requires the extra budget,” he says. What work that is, we’re not told. Perhaps wrapping up a large police operation caries its own costs?

The story is all about the money because the changing number is the only new fact. The single thread story remains just that: child vanishes.

The Star carries the same story on its page 4, sticking to that bald fact and summing up the entire case in a caption that says “Missing: Madeleine”.

But the Mirror thinks the news of “MADDIE COPS” being “GIVEN ONE LAST CHANCE” worthy of its front page. The paper reasons that if police “fail” to find “fresh leads” the probe “could be axed”. On page 5, readers learn that £154,000 is enough for fur police to work full time on the case for 6 months.

Unless they find out what happened sooner, of course…



Posted: 29th, September 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

After Parsons Green, sympathy for the bombers

parsons green newspapers tabloids


“Is THIS the Tube bucket bomber?” (Daily Star). Or to put it another way, “ON HIS WAY TO BOMB TUBE?” (The Sun). Or “Is this the Bucket Bombed On Way To Tube?” (Daily Express). To which the answer is ‘Dunno, is it?’

All that cash once earmarked for pre-Leveson shag ‘n’ tells could to be used to investigate jihadis in our midst. But the big-budget tabloids are content with playing catch-up. So around a grainy photo of a figure dressed in a grey tracksuit carrying a Lidl shopping bag in Sunbury-on-Thames, we get to wonder if he’s the one who placed a bomb at Parsons Green station. And, of course, we don’t know what to make of the video caught on a homeowner’s CCTV. We also don’t know why a homeowner in leafy Surrey is filming the street. Is it a dangerous area?

The Express has more on the attack over pages 4 and 5. Two men have been arrested. One arrived in the UK when he was 15, having “fled” Iraq. He was fostered by Penelope Jones and Ronald Jones. The other man is 21. He’s an Iraqi refugee also once cared for by the Joneses. The couple’s neighbour says the lad “wanted to leave home”. Well, job done. Another neighbour says the 18-year-old “seemed a really nice chap”. But he “seemed to be up at unusual hours”. In the Mail, however, he’s a “tearaway” who “was held by police just two weeks ago at Parsons Green station”. The Mirror hears him called “out of control”.

In other news, the terror threat has been reduced from ‘critical’ to “severe”. Just two weeks ago, it was at ‘Armageddon’, what with North Korean threats and Hurricane Irma. We live in hyperbolic times.

Think Of The Children

In the Sun, we get to know the name of the 21-year-old suspect. He’s Yahyah Farroukhm who was pinched at Aladdins [sic] Fried Chicken in Hounslow, West London, not far from his home in Stanwell, which is within inhaling distance of Heathrow Airport. At the time of his arrest, Farroukh was carrying a Kitkat and a drink can, which he dropped. The Mail says he has posted about his passion for smoking weed and anti-Israel images. But if those interests mark your out as a jihadi, then so much the worst for snowflake students and the hard-Left, although neither of those groups would be seen dead with a high-sugar KitKat.

Only in the Mail do we see the story couched as an asylum issue. “Council struggle to cope with influx” of “thousands of troubled teenagers” says the paper. It counts them all: a “staggering 4,2010 asylum-seeking juveniles” in council care across Britain”. The Mail says this is not to say they are all nutcases, just to highlight how many “vulnerable” children could “fall prey to radicalisation”.

A few words from some loon on the internet, and the normal, caring lad morphs into a mass murderer. Well, so goes the narrative. What it misses, of course, is the bit about what draws people towards radical and violent Islam? Why do they think it’s a worthy cause?

Frank Furedi:

Policymakers and the media continually refer to young Muslims as ‘vulnerable to radicalisation’. The term ‘vulnerability’ suggests passivity, powerlessness and gullibility. It suggests, in short, that those called vulnerable lack the intellectual resources necessary to cope with challenges. No doubt there are some weak and confused individuals drawn towards the jihadist subculture. But the reality is that most people who travel to Syria, for example, do so because they are inspired by a cause they believe is worth fighting for. Often such individuals show a capacity for planning, dissimulation, inventiveness and, above all, initiative.

The idea of vulnerability invokes individual characteristics that are often the very opposite to those actually possessed by people making the risky voyage to the Middle East. Contrary to the myth of vulnerability, these young people are – albeit misguidedly – attempting to exercise a measure of agency over their life.

If the would-be killer is so vulnerable – groomed by sick adults – is he recast from perpetrator to victim? It’s not terrorism. It’s child abuse. And how can the vulnerable be protected? The Mail says we should clamp down on Google and all that easy-to-reach knowledge. Yvette Cooper, the Labour MP, agrees. “The internet giants have made it much harder for people to find child abuse images online,” she says. “It’s time they showed the same commitment to tackling terrorism.” See images of child rape and become a paedophile, goes the thinking? See instructions on bomb making and blow up the London Underground. To see is to download and do.

The terrorists will never win, comes the declaration. But if their aim is to reduce our hard-won freedoms and make us distrustful of adults, then the enemy is having some success.

Posted: 18th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Reviews, Tabloids | 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

Lotto scratchcard ‘fury’ but no mention of the Health Lottery

The Daily Star picks up the sound of “punters’ fury at Lotto card Farce”.

Those “angry punters” have branded the National Lottery a “rip -off”. The Star says “nearly a quarter” and “most of the top prizes” on Lotto’s 42 scratch card games currently on sale offer prizes that have already been won. “What a waste of money,” says one unnamed gambler, without irony.


daily_star health lottery


We do hear from Camelot, which operates the cards. “There are only two scratchcard  on sale that have no top prizes remaining. No new packs of these scratchcards can be put on sale.”

That seems fair.


daily_star health lottery


What seems a little less fair is that the Daily Star does not mention that its owner (Richard Demond) is chairman of Northern & Shell, parent company of the Health Lottery, a Lotto rival which sells virtual scratchcards for online games. How it deals with scratchcards after the top prizes have been claimed is not mentioned.

We called the Health Lottery to ask them. Calls to The Health Lottery Helpline are charged at 7p per minute plus your telephone provider’s access charge. It took 59 seconds for us to be able to press ‘4’ to speak with an advisor.

We were directed to the Ts and Cs. They tells us:

The result of each Instant Lottery Game shall be pre-determined at the time of purchase and shall not include any element of skill. The Health Lottery Computer System will determine prizes based on the probabilities and not from a limited pool of prizes…

The chances of winning a Prize will be exactly the same at the point of purchase and shall not be affected by previous wins in the same Game or other Prizes previously paid in other Instant Lottery Games . The advertised prize structure shall remain in place at all times, with each prize tier always available for a win as the Instant Lottery Games do not use a limited pool.

It’s different system to the Lotto, then. Whether or not it’s any fairer is moot. Both systems are after all, odds-based punts.


Posted: 25th, August 2017 | In: Money, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Katharine McPhee, topless telly ‘babes’, Tiger Woods and Miley Cyrus are naked online

Have you seen the “SEX PICS” of the “TWO TO TV STARS”. The saucy photos “LEAKED ONLINE” are front-page news on the Daily Star. Nasty stuff, indeed, to have your private moments stolen and shared with the world. The two celebs, two of the country’s “biggest stars”, have called in the lawyers.


daily star sex


The Star is appalled. And anyone looking for the “explicits naked snaps” of the “2 telly babes” – the “extremely intimate shots” – of the “beauties”on an “X-rated” website should be ashamed of themselves. Says a spokesperson for one of the women:” “The selfies were taken from social media accounts but the topless images claiming to be of her are fake.”

So there are no sex pics. The images weren’t leaked, rather shared and photoshopped. Aside from that the Star’s lead story is, er, correct.

Meanwhile, in other celebrity naked news, Katharine McPhee is “fighting back”.

The actress and singer, 33, filed suit in Los Angeles County Tuesday in response to intimate photos of her being published on pornographic websites after her phone got hacked.

Miley Cyrus is naked in public – again:

Intimate pictures allegedly showing Miley Cyrus and Stella Maxwell together, Kristen Stewart apparently topless and former couple Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn apparently naked have surfaced online.

Vonn and Woods are considering legal action.

The odd things about all this is that while the newspapers report on the story of leaked sex photos, anyone who cares is online looking for the images. If there’s any one story that shows how out-of-step the dead-tree Press is, it’s when dirty photos get leaked online.

Posted: 24th, August 2017 | In: Celebrities, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Who is Neymar’s lover? Tabloids haven’t a clue

Bruna Marquezine nude


Brazilian footballer Neymar Junior has moved from Barcelona to PSG, and the tabloids are looking for a love interest. Unable to find one, they instead rest their gaze upon 22-year-old Brazilian actress Bruna Marquezine, who used to date the player. Bruna has 21 million Instagram followers. Discovering her is akin to finding your own arse with both hands.

But the Sun is excited, declaring: “NEYMAR’S world-record Paris Saint-Germain move is not the only reason for fans to be excited.” PSG’s sex-starved fans will be frothing at the lips because in a city short of women Neymar’s former girlfriend Bruna “could follow her man to the City of Love”. This guesswork is cemented in the headline: “Who is Neymar’s girlfriend?” Indeed, who is she? She’s not Bruna Marquezine. One down. A few million more model /actresses to go and the Sun should find her.

After seeing a mere 17 photos of Bruna reaped from her Instagram page, Sun readers might be able to recognise her should she walk past them, but they won’t know anything about her. Toby Gannon’s dossier doesn’t even include her age! (She turned 22 yesterday.)

The Star invites its readers to “click through the gallery to see photos of Neymar’s gorgeous on-off girlfriend Bruna Marquezine”. The Evening Standard’s Fiona Simpson opts to simply rewrite history. The headline above her story boasts: “With the Brazilian set to join PSG, we take a look at the lady in his life”. She isn’t the lady in his life. They are not dating. Indeed, after illuminating her text with a few photos taken from Bruna’s social media accounts, Simpson quotes Neymar: “Me and Bruna are separated.”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 5th, August 2017 | In: Back pages, Celebrities, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Jade Goody returns for one more Big Brother

jade goody derek acorah


Good news for TV types looking to create telly on a low-budget: when you hire to-deadline psychic Derek Acorah, you also get Jade Goody and David Gest. It’s a three-for-one deal. Sure, two of the trio are dead, but if it’s good enough for God, it’s more than works for Celebrity Big Brother.

In the Daily Star, we read: “Derek claims to be in touch with dead housemates Jade Goody and David Gest.” The rest of us can catch them on Big Brother highlights reels, which haven’t needed to be updated for years.

Now, who fancies a Popadom?


Posted: 3rd, August 2017 | In: Celebrities, News, TV & Radio | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal Transfer Balls: Alexis Sanchez goes missing in Paris

Transfer Balls: How much money is Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez’s worth? Much guff has been written about the Chilean player whose Arsenal contract expires in a year’s time. The pick of the stories is the one that placed Sanchez in a Paris hotel room in readiness for his move to the city’s PSG. He’d been “spotted” in Paris by a raft of top media titles – but no-one of them had had the presence of mind to take a photo of the player. Moreover, not a single passer-by, hotel worker or fan has produced a photo of Sanchez in Paris.

With not a muon of evidence of Sanchez ever having been in Paris last week, the Metro nonetheless managed to connive the headline:

Alexis Sanchez agrees four-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain


lexis Sanchez agrees four-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain Read more:

Alexis Sanchez agrees four-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain


The Metro adds that PSG will secure Sanchez on a £36m transfer and pay him £275,000 a week – £5,000-a-week less than Arsenal have offered. Really? No. It’s total balls.

The Telegraph counters:

Wenger’s conviction that Sanchez will stay has been strengthened by influential French daily newspaper L’Equipe reporting that PSG have now switched their attention to Barcelona’s Neymar.

Plus Arsenal have already stated their resolve to keep Sanchez.

“My mind has been made up for a while now. I think I’ve made it clear a few times that this is my stance [he will stay at Arsenal],” said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger yesterday. “Sanchez has got one year to go on his contract and we have no need to make money. He will be part of the team next year and after that I can understand it. We are in a strong financial situation so we want to keep our best players. Has he asked to leave? No.”

So much for the facts. What about the fee?

£90mDaily Star, July 11

£80m Daily Express, July 9

£70mLondon Evening Standard, July 23

£50mDaily Mirror, april 17

£45m The Metro, July 22

£40mDaily Express, June 8

More fake news every day in the trusty mainstream media.

Posted: 24th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Ball: Alexis Sanchez staying at Arsenal unless Manchester City pay £80m

Transfer Balls: Alexis Sanchez news watch. Is the Arsenal striker leaving? Compare and contrast the Daily Star and other tabloid scoops:

Daily Star, July 4:

Alexis Sanchez will stay at Arsenal

Daily Star, July 9:

Arsenal waiting for Paris St-Germain and Bayern Munich to swoop for Alexis Sanchez –

ARSENAL star Alexis Sanchez will reportedly be allowed to join Paris St-Germain or Bayern Munich – but not Manchester City.

Daily Star, July 9:

Alexis Sanchez happy to swap Arsenal for Chelsea this summer.

Starsport exclusively revealed this weekend that the Gunners are not willing to sell the former Barcelona star to a title rival.

Daily Mirror, July 10:

Arsenal willing to sell Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City – but they want £80million for him

What news in the Mirror of Arsenal’s price?

Facts to support this tory: none.

Sanchez’s desire to play for Manchester City: “City are bolstered by the belief that the player is keen to link up again with Pep Guardiola.”

And on the strength of that belief, and citing the Mirror as its source, the Sun thunders:

“LEX IN THE CITY Arsenal willing to offload wantaway star Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City for £80million”

In other news: the Mirror says Sanchez wants £400,000 a week to stay at Arsenal. Presumably, the Citizens are going to pay that for a man who’ll be 29 in December, right?

Posted: 9th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, Manchester City, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Madeleine McCann found in a listicle, the child as big as the pyramids and free holiday posters

Madeleine McCann: very few words on the missing child haver featured in the national press of late. Big stories – murderous terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, and the horror that engulfed lives at London’s Grenfell Tower – have kept journalists and editors busy. No need to press f9 on the keyboard and fill the pages with no news of Madeleine McCann.

But let’s see what has featured in the past few weeks.

The Sun: “‘KEEP THE SEARCH ALIVE’ – Holidaymakers urged to print off and pack Maddie McCann posters when they go abroad in new bid to track down missing youngster”

Passports. Money. Tickets. Poster of missing child…The Sun tells us:

The posters have been printed in 17 different languages including Romanian, Filipino and Arabic

And English, right? Not just foreigners being reminded about the missing child. But anyone holidaying in Bucharest, St John’s Wood or Iraq can tell the locals to watch out.

None of the posters contain information on any reward.


posters maddy mccann madeleine

posters maddy mccann madeleine

posters maddy mccann madeleine


Posters have featured a reward:



Of course, maybe the posters will help. You never know.

The Sun then hears from people it calls “website fans”, people who read the Find Maddie Campaign website. Fans is an odd word. Can you be a fan of finding missing child?

Sharon Wood vows: “Every trip I make posters go up in Lanzarote and I keep my Find Madeleine tag on my case.” Sarah Green adds: “I’m in Crete and my eyes are peeled all the time for her.”

Madeleine McCann went missing in Portugal ten years ago.

The Star wonders if she left Portugal. “Is THIS where Maddie was hidden? Hundreds of wells were NEVER searched,” says the paper. “A WELL just 15 minutes from the apartment where Maddie disappeared is one of hundreds in the area reportedly never checked by investigators,” the paper reports.

The report runs the full gamut of Madeleine McCann reporting. We begin with the former detective’s opinion:

Ex-detective Roy Ramm said the well, which it’s claimed was used to hide swag by local crooks, was an obvious place to look for clues

Then we get the anonymous source:

The Brit, who asked not to be named, said: “This was brought up by an ex-cop who said that local criminals used it all the time. I don’t know whether that well has been investigated or not but if you pick wells on disused farms in the area of Luz there are lots of them.”

They don’t know about one well, and they don’t know about the other wells, either.

“It could be that one, it could be another one, it could be none of them. For it to matter, somebody needs to have information that Madeleine was in that well.”

And after speculation about place we get speculation about people:

Our source also said that – if a well was used to hide Maddie – her tormentor must have been someone with local knowledge who knew where to go.


Madeleine Mccann daily mirror


After the “ifs”, “coulds” and “maybes”, the Mirror shoves Madeleine McCann into a listicle . “Agony of 7 most famous unsolved cases in the UK – including Madeleine McCann, Jill Dando and Suzy Lamplugh,” comes the headline. Yeah, “famous”.

“The shooting of TV presenter Jill Dando alongside the disappearance of Suzy Lamplugh and Maddie McCann are among the infamous unsolved cases that may remain a mystery forever,” the paper continues.

Readers can play along. The “seven” cases to solve are: Jill Dando (shot dead); Jack the Ripper (presumed dead); a dead child’s torso in the River Thames; Ben Needham;  Madeleine McCann; and Suzi Lamplugh. Yes, that’s six. The seventh famous mystery will have to wait.

If you want more lazy journalism, South Africa’s East Coast Radio has a question: “What would you ask the universe to explain? If you could have one answer to any mystery of the universe, what would it be?”

“We live in a mysterious world and in mysterious times,” we’re told. “Do you ever stop to think about world events that just don’t have answers and wish you knew what had happened?”

The writer has a few wonders to get you started:

Things like the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that just literally disappeared off the face of the earth?

Bits of the plane were found on earth.

Princess Diana’s death, maybe? There’s been speculation and controversy around that story for two decades.

Had she worn a seatbelt, would she have survived a car crash whilst on holiday in Paris? Discuss.

Madeleine McCann – the young girl who disappeared while on holiday with her parents Gerry and Kate in Portugal?

Unlike the plane and Diana, no sign of the missing child has been found. And lest you think one missing child is a personal horror for her and her loved ones and not one of life’s great mysteries, the radio station tells just how big the story is.

What about the Bermuda Triangle, the pyramids, Stonehenge in England?

And above all else – and let’s toss in the meaning of life, God and why EastEnders is till on the telly – the writer has one burning question:

Mine would be: Where is Madelaine McCann [sic] and what really happened?

Maybe technology can help?

The Telegraph and Argus reports: “University of Bradford team develops digital face-ageing that could help in search for missing children like Madeleine McCann.”

As a test case, the researchers chose to work on the case of Ben Needham, who disappeared on the Greek island of Kos on July 24, 1991, when he was only 21 months old. Since then, several images have been produced by investigators showing how Ben might look at ages 11-14 years, 17-20 years, and 20-22 years. The team used its method to progress the image of Ben to the ages of 6, 14 and 22 years. The resulting images show very different results, which the researchers believe more closely resemble what Ben might look like today.


Ben Needham

The images of Ben Needham provided by police above, and those generated by the new algorithm below


Such are the facts.


Posted: 2nd, July 2017 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Tabloids lead with naked women, feuding women, mad women and lesbians

tabloids women


Who buys newspapers? Women and men who like looking at women do. Or at least they used to buy them – now they get them for free in supermarkets. Today’s tabloids are curious for the absence of men on the covers. They look like fashion titles, porn mag and women’s weeklies. Across all the tabloids, only the Daily Express features a man on the cover, and he’s Prince Charles, the kind of bloke who never understood what a T-shirt is and grimaces as he attempts to straddle two poles by being both relevant to the hoi polloi and beyond the reach of mere mortals. Charles is on the Express‘ front-page to illustrate how lucrative it is to be a royal. This year the proles are to fund the Queen to the tune of £82.2million, or £1.21 from each of us. That represents “such good value” says the Express. The Express costs 55p.

But the rest all focus on women only.

The Daily Star, the Express‘ fun stablemate, has Eastenders actress Jessie Wallace looking tired and emotional as she “boobs” on a bight out; “Sexy” Emma Willis illustrating the fact that Big Brother, the show she presents, is crap (yes, it is still on); Theresa May signing a deal with the DUP (pronounced D! U! P!) to give the county a working Government; and Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s current lover, often “nips over to Harry” on a plane.

The Sun leads with claims that “lesbian jailbird” Syndee Offord and “female prison guard” Faron Selvage enjoyed “LESBIAN ROMP BEHIND BRAS”; May’s deal; and the Sun’s “Chest test”, in which Alice Lazar covers her naked breasts in glitter and walks about the streets of London.

The Mirror leads with Theresa May and D!U!P! leader Arlene Foster engaging in a “handshake of shame”. It’s “May’s £1bn Bribe to Crackpots”.



But the Daily Mail takes the cake. Its cover shows a picture of Princess Diana and Camilla Parker-Bowes, once “Britain’s most hated woman” and now part of the PR camping to make us believe that after Her Majesty leaves the throne the feckless ninnies and knobs who make up her Royal Family will do a decent job of being our betters.

To recap, then: in this enlightened age, the tabloids lead with naked women, sexy women, mad women, women’s primary sexual characteristics, materialistic women and lesbians. We’ve come a long way, baby….

Posted: 27th, June 2017 | In: News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

DAY OF RAGE: tabloid facts and figures from the Grenfell Tower march

How many people attended the “DAY OF RAGE” March? Was it a success? What did they protestors achieve? The tabloids review the action.


day of rage


Daily Mirror: “Rage against the Maychine” – “400 people passed Downing Street shouting ‘Theresa May – murderer'”. The protest is front-page news. The protestors are seen behind a banner demanding: “We Need Justice for Grenfell Tower.”

The Mirror finds one person who survived the disaster at Grenfell Tower who supports the march. She wasn’t on it, however. It makes no mention of survivors who did not agree with the march. Says survivor Anita Mohamed, 46: “I blame the council and the Government. More than 100 people could be dead because of their policies.”

Daily Star: “DAY OF RAGE MARCH FURY.” The paper says protestors “clashed with police”. The Mirror made no mention of any aggro. The march “erupted in violence”. There were “several arrests”. How many were on the march to topple the Government? “Around 250,” says the paper.


day of rage sun


The Sun: “TOO HOT TO TROT.” The march to “bring down the Government” “fizzled out”. In all “around 400 turned out to march 5 miles from Shepherd’s Bush to Westminster”. How many people were nicked? “There were two arrests.” We don’t hear from any Grenfell Tower survivors who support the march. We do hear from aid worker Zeyad Cred, 29, who says: “The community are still trying to recover – the last thing we need is a day of rage.”

On Page 10, the Sun calls the marchers “the furious few”. It was a day out for “freshly-minted Socialist Worker propaganda”.

On Page 13, Rod Liddle tells readers the march was organised by “another tiny left-wing organisation, the Movement for Justice By Any Means Necessary”. They are “nasty, self-righteous, thick-as-mince Trots and snowflakes”. He says the people who suffered and the charities helping the Grenfell survivors “did not approve” the march. Their “misery has been hijacked by Left-wing nutters” – it was “egged-on by by the Labour Party”, specifically Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.  When McDonell doesn’t get his way “he can always be found standing in a street surrounded by furious anti-Semitic Muslim protestors, radical lesbians… bedwetting students and professional agitators”.

Daily Express: “Militant mob clashes with police outside Downing Street.”

There were “fewer than 500” on the march. The march continued “despite the pleas of victims’ families who said their grief was being hijacked”. One volunteer helping the Grenfell survivors tell the paper: “It’s politicising the anger. Now is not the time… They are running around saying how can we get Jeremy Corbyn in.”


day of rage mail signs


day of rage mail signs


Daily Mail: “‘THIS is class war!’ yelled a thug at an old boy in a blazer.”

“Hey! Hey! Theresa May! How many kids did you kill today?” ask the “few hundred” fair-minded marchers. One woman carries a poster of Jeremy Corbyn with the word “Hope” over his face. We learn that the march did include “some who had been personally affected by the fire”. One woman whose young son had lost a friend in the blaze in marching. We see a few banners. “WHY DO TRAGEDYS [sic] always happen UNDER TORIES?” asks one, the holder seemingly oblivious to goings on in Iraq and Libya.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 22nd, June 2017 | In: News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0