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Jeremy Corbyn sneers at 30 years of Matt’s ‘genius’ cartoons

Daily Telegraph cartoonist Matt Pritchett is celebrating his 30th anniversary at the paper. Plaudits come thick and fast. They’re deserved. The Duke of Edinburgh hails Matt as a “genius”, praising his “ability to think of wonderfully appropriate swipes at the idiocies of contemporary life”. to say nothing of the idiocies of hereditary privilege. And to say nothing at all of people the Telegraph refers to as  – dread phrase – “national treasures”.

Prime Minsters past and present love him.

Theresa May says Matt’s works lets politicos “laugh at ourselves”. David Cameron says he has a Matt cartoon lampooning his time as PM on his wall. Gordon Brown says: “Cartoonists often get far nearer to the truth than other commentators and over 30 tumultuous years Matt Pritchett has consistently demonstrated exactly that.”

Tony Blair calls Matt “brilliant”.

John Major says: “In the 1990s, when I was under heavy press bombardment, Matt produced a cartoon of a newspaper billboard reading: ‘Queen falls off horse: Prime Minister not involved’. It caught the moment magnificently.”

And Jeremy Corbyn, who doesn’t much like a free press, says:

Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, was also invited to join the anniversary celebrations. His team politely declined, saying none of the Matt cartoons they had seen about Mr Corbyn were funny.


Jeremy Corbyn, folks, the man who prefers to tell not listen, who says a “free press is essential to democracy” and then threatens the media he doesn’t like and who don’t agree with him. He wants more control over the Press. So much for freedom.

Helena Horton says the PMs who did comment are a”a lesson in how to handle being on the receiving end of a joke with good grace”.

Quite so. Corbyn comes across badly. As Tom Jamieson tweets: “It does, but for satirists getting under skin of a politician is very pleasing…”

More of Matt, please. And more cartoons in newspapers.

Posted: 24th, February 2018 | In: News | 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

Wenger watch: Arsenal manger swore at Chelsea player and never flinched

How did Arsene Wenger find life sat in the Chelsea press box for Arsenal’s League Cup match semi-final tie? Well, last time we discovered that he has a huge garden:

A year ago, when he was also serving a touchline ban, Wenger crept to his seat beside the corporate area in the East Stand at Stamford Bridge and was welcomed with a handshake by an Arsenal supporter.

“I said, ‘Good afternoon’ and he replied, ‘I’m your gardener at your house’,” Wenger said. “I didn’t even know him. I do have a big garden.”

And this time, what did we learn?

Here’s Jeremy Wilson in the Daily Telegraph:

Spending 90 minutes literally just a few feet from Wenger ensured a fascinating insight. Not for anything he said, but simply the magnified perspective provided by his body language. We hear so often of how football managers live every moment of a match that we become almost immune to the draining reality of that statement. Yet to see Wenger fidgeting with each pass, almost straining to make every tackle and, even surrounded by media, still letting out the occasional shout of encouragement or kick of frustration was to feel just how much it all means.

Phil McNulty was there for the BBC:

Wenger remained relatively calm, even when Lacazette wasted a presentable first-half chance, only rising from his seat once during the game when Welbeck was penalised for a foul on Moses, but it was also easy to detect the strains and stresses.

He banged the table in front of him when Granit Xhaka committed a foul against Eden Hazard, shifted constantly in his seat, throwing back his head in frustration when opportunities came and went, such as Lacazette getting carelessly caught offside and when a promising free-kick position was wasted.

The Islington Gazette:

“I was two rows down so I couldn’t hear what he was saying, but colleagues reported him kicking the backs of their chairs and using the odd swear word, especially when possession was lost or the ball hoofed into the air.

“Whatever you think of him you simply can’t deny his passion.”

Jack Polden in the Mirror:

Commenting on referee Martin Atkinson blowing up for a foul on the Spaniard, Wenger shouted: “Every time Alvaro Morata goes down it’s a f****** free-kick.”

Gary Jacobs dedicates an entire column to Wenger Watch. Highlights include:

Wenger gently leans back in his seat, as Arsenal look more comfortable…

Wenger’s presence is noticed by Chelsea fans to his left. They stand, thrust their arms towards him and chant, “We want you to stay.” There is no response

Jack Wilshere is injured — again. Wenger never flinches

Such are the facts.

Posted: 11th, January 2018 | In: Arsenal, Broadsheets, Chelsea, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Rebecca Dykes: abducted, murdered by the Uber killer and a rape that wasn’t

Rebecca Dykes


The man arrested in connection with the death of British diplomat Rebecca Dykes is Tariq H, says the Guardian. Rebecca Dykes’s body was found by the side of a motorway in Beirut, where she’d been working for the British government.

Reporting has been sketchy. The Mirror leads with news that the woman “in her early 30s” (she was 30) was “raped and murdered”. The Sun agrees, stating that she was “raped and murdered”. But she wasn’t raped, at least not according to autopsy reports. And we don’t know that she was murdered. Indeed, the Express says she was, er, “strangled to death”.

Still, at least we know that the dead woman “graduated with a 2:1” (Mirror) and went to “posh Rugby School” (Sun). 

The Telegraph says she was “abducted some time after” leaving a cafe where she’d been out with friends.

Kidnapped? No, says the Standard, which delivers the headline: “Uber driver’ arrested after British embassy worker found ‘raped and strangled’ in Beirut.” Did she catch a cab using the Uber app? An Uber spokesman goes on the record: “We are horrified by this senseless act of violence. Our hearts are with the victim and her family. We are working with authorities to assist their investigation in any way we can.”

Can it be that a taxi driver hired using an app which tracks his movements and that of his client did it? And if he did, is this an open and shut case?

The Telegraph also notes: “The Lebanese driver picked her up from Gemmayzeh and then drove to the nearby Achrafiyeh neighborhood where she lived, but did not drop her off there. Police traced the suspect’s licence plate through surveillance cameras on the highway, where he dumped the body around 4am, Lebanese news agency NNA reported. The suspect has a criminal record, but it is not known if he was picking Miss Dykes up in his capacity as an Uber passenger or not.”

The Telegraph also tells us for reasons unclear: “She had not been drinking as she had an early flight to catch home early the next morning for the Christmas holidays.” Or as the Times puts it: “Another of the crowd at the bar said Ms Dykes had recently been suffering from a bug and was not drinking heavily.”

The only thing certain is that Rebecca Dykes is dead.

A family spokesman tells everyone: “We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Rebecca. We are doing all we can to understand what happened. We request that the media respect our privacy as we come together as a family at this very difficult time.”

How does bad reporting help them?

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

Walking in polluted cities London is good for you

When seeing a shocking headline, it’s useful to turn it around. The Telegraph brings news that “Pollution wipes out the benefits of walking”. Turn it about and its reads: “Walking wipes out the harm caused by pollution.” Given that it’s cheaper to walk than it is to stop polluting, the solution to better health is simple, right?

The news is rooted in a study by the Imperial College London and funded by the British Heart Foundation, which looked at a sample of the over 60s, inviting 119 people to take a single two-hour stroll through London’s Hyde Park and neighbouring Oxford Street. The park stroll was good for the lungs, opening them up and improving arterial flexibility by up to 24%. But walk down the bus car park that’s Oxford Street and the walkers saw less improvement in lung capacity and up to 4.6 per cent rise in artery flexibility.

The Telegraph is putting a spin on the news. But in the Huffington Post it gets more confusing. It says:

Volunteers who took a walk in Hyde Park experienced a decrease in the stiffness of their arteries, a benefit normally seen after exercise. In contrast, volunteers who walked on Oxford Street had a “worrying increase” in artery stiffness following exercise.

You can read the study in full here. And it suggests that the media is picking data. The walkers’ health and what medication they were on might be vital. It might even be that some drugs prove an effective barrier to the detrimental effects of pollution.

The study’s authors write:.

In healthy participants, walking in Hyde Park led to a reduction in arterial stiffness that persisted up to 26 h, a benefit that was not only lost but even reversed after walking on Oxford Street. Participants with COPD or ischaemic heart disease also exhibited a reduced pulse wave velocity after walking in Hyde Park but increased pulse wave velocity after walking on Oxford Street. All three groups showed reductions in augmentation index following Hyde Park; and this beneficial change was significantly attenuated (even reversed at a few timepoints) after the Oxford Street walk.

Imperial says CODP is “a chronic lung condition linked with smoking”. It continues:

There are some limitations to this study. Because we did not include a resting control group, it would not be possible to be certain that walking contributed to the changes in lung function or arterial stiffness.


Our short-term study is unlikely to inform on the long-term benefits of exercise in relation to pollution. Moderate physical activity might protect against the adverse effects of air pollution on arterial stiffness

And then:

We have noted that adults free of chronic cardiopulmonary diseases lose the benefits of walking on pulmonary and cardiovascular function in a polluted environment. In participants with COPD and ischaemic heart disease exposed to traffic pollutants, the pulmonary benefit from walking seem to be lost too, but the improvement in arterial stiffness caused by walking is relatively well preserved in ischaemic heart disease participants, likely due to concomitant routine medication use.

So if you’ve got a sickly heart, walking in polluted environment might not do you as much good as walking in the park.

In 2016, Imperial College reported: “Walking and cycling in cities is good for health, despite worse air pollution.”

Dr Marko Tainio from the MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge, who led the new study, said:

“Our model indicates that in London health benefits of active travel always outweigh the risk from pollution. Even in Delhi, one of the most polluted cities in the world – with pollution levels ten times those in London – people would need to cycle over five hours per week before the pollution risks outweigh the health benefits.

“We should remember, though, that a small minority of workers in the most polluted cities, such as bike messengers, may be exposed to levels of air pollution high enough to cancel out the health benefits of physical activity.”


“These findings are important as for many people, such as the elderly or those with chronic disease, very often the only exercise they can do is to walk,” said senior author Fan Chung, Professor of Respiratory Medicine and Head of Experimental Studies Medicine at National Heart & Lung Institute at Imperial College London. “Our research suggests that we might advise older adults to walk in green spaces, away from built-up areas and pollution from traffic,” he added.

It’s interesting. But to look at the study and thunder “Air pollution wipes out benefits of exercise” as the Telegraph and Indy do it misleading.

Posted: 7th, December 2017 | In: Broadsheets, News, Technology | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Poppy monoculture: a draconian silence falls over Wembley

Without any hint of irony the Daily Telegraph hears that England – the national football side rebranded ‘The Three Lions’ – are allowed to wear pictures of poppies on their shirts and calls it a “major victory for the British game”. England might not win many meaningful football matches but when it comes to decorating our tops, decades of hurt have been undone. On November 10, England will wear poppies on their shirts as they play – get this – Germany at Wembley.

Before last year’s Armistice Day, FIFA banned England and Scotland — as well as Wales and Northern Ireland — from wearing the poppy, the symbol of remembrance, for matches on that day. FIFA says “political, religious or personal” designs should no infect the national shirts. But England and Scotland players wore them anyhow, albeit as black armbands with a poppy motif.  Odd, no? Football is about rules. It’s all about rules. Without rules there is no sport. Flouting the rules is no small deal.

Rory Smith notes that “Until 2009, it was rare for British club teams to display a poppy on their uniforms at this time of year… A campaign led by the Daily Mail that year changed all that. The intention, of course, is an admirable and honorable one: to show that football, as the slogan goes, remembers. That is not, however, necessarily the effect. Wearing a poppy is designed as an individual act; when it becomes compulsory, it loses not just much of its impact, but some of its meaning.”

An act of remembering in a minute’s contemplative silence became enforced duty. And it became political. Theresa May called it was “utterly outrageous” that FIFA should rule on poppies. The FA says “common sense” has won. The Sun calls it “VICTORY – Poppy ban KO-d as FIFA sees sense”.  “POPPY VICTORY,” declares the Express. “POPPY POWER,” hails the Mail. “Sportsmail ran a successful campaign in 2009 for all Premier League clubs to have the poppy emblem on their shirts, which is now commonplace.” No. It’s compulsory. And anyone who objects is portrayed as morally repugnant.

In 2010, Celtic fans protested a decision for their club’s shirt to feature the poppy. Their banner declared: “Your deeds they would shame all the devils in hell. Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan. No blood-stained poppy on our hoops.” Celtic vowed to ban he protestors. The Sun called them “hate mobs”. Don’t sing sectarian chants about past battles and loss, goes the top-down directive, but you must wear the poppy.

This is not about heartfelt remembrance, giving private thanks to the sacrifices of so many for our freedom (to choose) and supporting the armed forces; it’s about public displays of group think and compliance.


Posted: 25th, September 2017 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, Key Posts, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Louella Michie is dead and the Press all ask: ‘Who is John Michie?’

louella michie


Louella Michie is not the subject of reports on her untimely death. The 25-year-old woman’s body was found dead on her birthday at the Bestival music festival. And ever since that unhappy discovery, the Press have been telling us who did not die: her father. The Daily Mail has produced 7 stories on Louella Michie’s unexplained death. It’s hard to spot Louella as the media zoom in on John Michie, her dad.

The Evening Standard had the news first, sticking to the facts. The body of a young London woman had been found at Dorset’s Bestival. Police were investigating. Murder was one line of enquiry.

Louella Michie


And then the media realised that the dead woman’s father is on the telly.  The pick of the front pages being the Daily Telegraph’s, which amid talk of her alleged ‘MURDER” described Louella as a “TV detective’s daughter”. John Michie had for a while appeared in Taggart, the Scottish detective show. In the twilight zone between fact and fiction, Telegraph readers might wonder if DI Robert “Robbie” Ross would be investigating.



louella michie murder bestival paper john


These are the Daily Mail’s headlines. See if you can spot Louella Michie:

Holby City and Coronation Street star John Michie insists death of his daughter, 25, at Bestival was an ACCIDENT as he mourns his ‘angel’ after a man was arrested on suspicion of her murder  – September 11th 2017, 11:54:26 am

Man held after daughter of Holby City star John Michie dies at Bestival – September 11th 2017

Man arrested over actor’s daughter’s death released under investigation – September 12th 2017

Drugs quiz for man held over death of daughter of Holby City´s John Michie – September 12th 2017

Holby City star’s daughter looked ‘odd and unsteady’ in the hours before she was found dead in secluded woods in drug-related death  – September 12th 2017

But our pick of the Mail’s barrage of stories on the death of ‘John Michie’s daughter’ is this one about Louella Michie taking the ice-bucket challenge:

The daughter of TV actor John Michie, took part in the internet craze.

Today’s story in the Mail begins in customary fashion, with the victim absent:

The rapper boyfriend of Holby City star John Michie’s daughter has been released by police after being arrested over her death at Bestival, with the actor’s family saying they believe the pair had taken drugs

As the Mail thinks the “dead girl” not worthy of mention by name, the Sun (nine stories so far) knows so little about Louella Michie it’s reduced to focusing on her looks. Today’s update begins:

A festival-goer claims the forest area where the green-eyed 25-year-old died had been used by drug dealers and that she “didn’t look very well” when spotted before her death

As police investigate the death so other green-eyed women and look for a pattern, Sun readers find Louella Michie missing from the paper’s headlines:

FESTIVAL TRAGEDY – Holby City star John Michie’s daughter Louella was found dead at Bestival – 13 September 2017

Pals reveal Holby City star’s tragic girl looked ‘unsteady and odd’ in woods used by drug dealers before she died at Bestival as boyfriend is released by cops – 13 September 2017

BESTIVAL SUSPECT RELEASED Boyfriend of Holby star John Michie’s tragic daughter is released as her devastated family say ‘there was no malice’ in her death – 12 September 2017

BESTIVAL PROBE Man held on suspicion of ‘murder’ over Holby star’s daughter is also being quizzed over supply of Class A drugs – 12 September 2017

BESTIVAL DEATH DASH – Holby City star made 130 mile 1am dash to Bestival after WhatsApp map pinpointed where his daughter was found dead – 12 September 2017

DAYS BEFORE DEATH  – John Michie posted haunting photo of daughter sewing outfit for Bestival days before she was found dead – 12 September

HOLBY PAL’S HEARTACHE Strictly star’s heartbreaking message to Holby co-star after his daughter is found dead at Bestival – 11 September

But top prize goes in the John Michie news frenzy goes to the Daily Mirror, which has published no fewer than 11 stories on Louella Michie’s dad, the pick of which being:

Who is John Michie? Tragedy as ex-Coronation Street star’s daughter confirmed dead at Bestival

At a guess, we’d say he’s  man grieving for his daughter.

Posted: 13th, September 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Hani Khalaf: Hyde Park killer and the problem with immigrants

In today’s Daily Express, it’s another game of join the dots, of which there are just two. Page 5 tells readers of an “illegal immigrant” called Hani Khalaf. He’s been handed a 26-year prison sentence for murdering Jairo Medina, beating the man to death in London’s Hyde Park.

Khalaf, an Egyptian national, arrived in the UK in the back of lorry back in 2014, posing as a Syrian asylum seeker.

Judge Wendy Joseph QC tells the court:

“It is clear that Hani Khalaf, having absconded, came to the attention of authorities on at least six occasions. On each, he was re-bailed because they could not make arrangements for securing his deportation in a reasonable amount of time.”

The news is part of a page given over to immigration stories.


Immigration Special.


The phone poll on the same page asks: “Is Britain still letting in too many migrants?”



The story of how Hani Khalaf was free to murder is troubling. Why was a man in the country illegally not dealt with by the authorities? Joseph makes the valid point that Khalaf had no way of “lawfully maintaining himself”. How can man in the country illegally keep the rules?

So much for the Express. But how do the other paper report on the story?

The Daily Telegraph leads with the killer’s legal status:

Illegal immigrant murdered man in Hyde Park after Home Office repeatedly failed to deport him

It tells readers that the victim, a carer by profession, was born in Colombia. He was a Colombian national. The Express omits that fact. The Express also doesn’t say that Mr Medina, a migrant, has, according to his sister, won an award in 2015 for his “service to care in London”.

The paper adds:

The day before he [Khalaf] met Mr Medina, he was arrested for shoplifting in Regent Street and gave police the false name he had previously given to immigration officials.

He appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court and was bailed hours before the killing.

On August 11, Khalaf met Mr Medina in Hyde Park, where the victim had gone hoping to have sex with a younger man, the court heard.

Khalaf murdered and robbed Mr Medina. The judge ruled that it was a “murder for gain”.

Over in the London Evening Standard, the killer’s status is is once more the leading fact:

Illegal immigrant jailed for beating carer Jairo Medina to death in London’s Hyde Park

It was only good police work that saw Khalaf arrested:

Khalaf was arrested on August 16 for fare evasion and told police he was Hanni Hassan and later gave the name Khalaf, prosecutor Oliver Glasgow QC said.

Then on August 18, he was arrested again for shoplifting and taken to Charing Cross police station, where an “eagle-eyed” police officer recognised him from CCTV as the suspect seen with Mr Medina on the night of his death.

The BBC delivers the headline:

“Illegal immigrant jailed for Hyde Park murder”

And in the Guardian? Well, this is the headline:



It’s story begins:

A homeless man has been jailed for at least 26 years for murdering a “kind and peace-loving” carer…

To the Guardian, it is not Khalaf’s illegality that matters most. “Homeless man jailed for Hyde Park murder,” says the headline. Its report carries not a single mention of the words “migrant”, “illegal immigrant” or “immigrant”.

The Express and Guardian both massage the facts to fit an agenda. Neither is helpful.

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

Chelsea balls: Conte out and Tuchel in a fact-free story designed for clickbait

How clickbait football reporting works in the Daily Telegraph. The paper has no news for Chelsea fans.

A: The Daily Telegraph’s football reporter Matt Law tweets:

Chelsea Tuchel MAtt Law


Chelsea are not interested in out-of-work German manager Thomas Tuchel. Got it.

B: The Daily Telegraph clickbait factory processes their top correspondent’s news. At 1:37 it reports:

Former Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel to replace Antonio Conte at Chelsea

Says who? Not Matt Law, the paper’s own expert. The Telegraph’s balls is linked to a story in German tabloid Bild. It says – and reading via Google translate is always fun:

The fuse of Klubinger Roman Abramovich and his confidante, the Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia, is now to be very brief in the Conte case. And Granovskaia, who is considered to be the most powerful woman in world football, has apparently already been informed about Tuchel in detail and has decided on him as a new Chelsea coach.

What makes sense is that the international tradeshow market is currently producing only two names that have worked successfully at the Champions League level at large clubs and are directly available. Next to Tuchel are Luis Enrique (47), who worked for FC Barcelona until the end of last season. However, his English is not exactly good. Advantage Tuchel, the language almost perfectly mastered.

In addition, Tuchel is more likely to lead young players at the highest level while at the same time inspiring the top stars for themselves, their work and their goals. Exactly with this, Conte had problems after winning the championship. He will be lured into the club.

So Tuchel has not been hired to replace Conte at Chelsea. And he’s tipped for the job because he speaks decent English. Don’t clear your locker just yet, Antonio.

Posted: 23rd, August 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Chelsea, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal balls: Jack Wilshere hits ‘career low’ as Man City’s Smith auditions for the big time

How much editorial spin can be heaped upon Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere, who last night responded angrily to a late foul by Manchester City’s Matthew Smith as the pair contested an Under 23 encounter. (Wilshere is 25.) Once viewed as the greatest English player of his generation, Wishere has by way of injury and the emergence of brighter talents at Arsenal and elsewhere fallen well down the pecking order.

In the handbags that followed, Wilshere shoved Smith in the chest – the City player went down faster than a Love Island contestant, before clutching his head and laying in the foetal position for some time – and scrapped with Tyreke Wilson. Both Wilshere and Wilson were sent off. Smith was dispatched with a single bullet to the temple.

And the press?

Wilshere sent off for Arsenal after pushing opponent – Evening Standard

Jack Wilshere sent off for Arsenal after flooring Man City player – The Sun

It was a “career low” – The Sun

Jack Wilshere sent off for Arsenal to cast further doubt over his futureDaily Telegraph

After the hype, let’s leave you with the balls. Matthew Smith, take a bow… and keep going down and down and down until your nose hits the turf. (Tip: next time you audition for the Premier League, remember to slap the grass with an open hand as if you’re giving birth and to check the other hand – the one that’s been holding your head on – for signs of blood and brain.)


Posted: 22nd, August 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Broadsheets, Manchester City, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Daily Telegraph says Prince Philip has died – regret the error

Prince Philips has retired from public service. The Prince has completed his final public engagement, of which there have been 22,219 since 1952.

But over in the Daily Telegraph no work means you’re dead!


Prince Philip dead



The story goes:

The Duke of Edinburgh, the longest-serving consort to a monarch in British history, has died at the age of XX, Buckingham Palace has announced.

“Prince Philip, whom the Queen described as her ‘strength and stay’ during her record-breaking reign, passed away XXXXXXX


“He will be given a royal ceremonial funeral in line with his wishes, which is expected to take place in seven days’ time.””

Clock’s ticking, Phil…

Posted: 3rd, August 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Royal Family | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal balls: the Alexandre Lacazette fact file

Always good when a new name arrives into the Premier League. The Daily Mail looks for a photogenic lover. And the Daily Telegraph produces insight into the player’s career and life by looking at YouTube videos and the, er, Daily Mail.

The Telegraph has gone big on Alexandre Lacazette, the Frenchman kept out of the France national side by Olivier Giroud – he’s wanted by Everton – and seemingly on his way to Arsenal.

One story asks Tele readers: “Alexandre Lacazette: why are Arsenal buying him, what are they getting and will he be a success?” Readers aren’t sure. Will he be a success? Presumably Arsenal are buying him in the hope he’ll score lots of goals. The paper’s Daniel Zeqiri says Arsenal have bought him to score “goals”. Now we know.

As for other questions, well, they keep on coming:

Why did the club not buy him last summer if they deemed him good enough? Will he play with Alexis Sánchez or is he a replacement? Why does Olivier Giroud play ahead of him for France? Is he really an upgrade on existing options?

Readers of a big national newspaper with large resources might expect answers to those questions to come from someone at Arsenal or Lyon, Lacazette’s current club – or at least be put to them. But the story contains not a single word from the club on their likely new striker.

“Why did Arsenal not sign him previously?” asks Zeqiri. It’s a rhetorical question because he soon replies: “One can only speculate.” If you want to know if he’s any good, you can “glance at the goalscoring charts and the advanced scouting tool known as YouTube”.

Happily, writers have watched short videos of the player and can tell Arsenal fans what he’s all about:

Zeqiri says the Frenchman is..:

…a player who can finish and scores a variety of goals; tap-ins, dinks, side-foot finishes into the far corner à la Thierry Henry and strikes from distance. Lacazette is also quite strongly right-footed…

He is sharp across short distances, but is not really a sprinter capable of shredding defences with speed in behind in the manner of Henry or a young Nicolas Anelka. Lacazette’s movement is more economical, relying on subtle movements in tight spaces, which puts him closer to the van Persie end of the Arsenal striker spectrum.

He sounds fantastic, a combination of former Arsenal captains Robin Van Perise and Thierry Henry, but not all that quick.

Or as the Daily Mail’s Adam Crafton says:

Lacazette is perfectly suited to Arsenal’s needs, with sharp technical instincts and a brutal turn of pace.

And there’s Sachin Nakrani in the Guardian:

“Lacazette is a natural talent,” says Julien Brun, a Paris-based commentator for beIN Sports. “Physically he is not that strong but he is very fast, hard-working and clever.”

Such are the facts.

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

Arsenal Balls: Mesut Ozil kisses the badge but Welbeck get Sanchez’s Number 7 shirt

Transfer Balls: The Daily Telegraph no longer exists to report news. It exits to foster rumour on the back of unbelievable fantasy and what it dramatically calls “cryptic messages” –  and the rest of us call tweets. In today’s Telegraph, we read that Arsenal fans are “rejoicing” in the news that “Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez have helped launch the club’s new 2017/18 kit”.

Anyone not reading that with a jaundiced eye hasn’t been using the internet and noticing how newspapers have gone from informing from gathering facts to churning continual denial and assertion. So the fact that two employees of a club bother to model the club’s new kit is a matter of intrigue and guesswork designed to entice.

The paper spins the launch of a new kit into: “The pair’s presence in the promotional material for the new kit will give Arsenal fans renewed hope that they will both extend their contracts with the club.”


arsenal balls


Arsenal fans rejoice! Just as you rejoiced when before the 2012-2013 season, Arsenal’s then captain Robin van Persie pulled on the latest kit. He left soon afterwards to play for Manchester United.

Oh, and just to ensure all bases are covered the Telegraph then belches this out:


arsenal balls


No. They don’t accidentally do anything.

Posted: 21st, June 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Broadsheets, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Peak Clickbait: Arsenal player transfers to Arsenal

Have we reached peak clickbait in the Daily Telegraph? In “Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to leave Arsenal? Seven destinations and seven replacements”, the paper of record ticks all the boxes in how to create clicks from nothing.


clickbait arsenal telegraph


Having asked the question to which you’d once-upon-a-time have expected a national newspaper with experts to answer – and the answer is always ‘No’ to any question posed in a headline – the paper then sets about making a Transfer Balls list.


The Tele argues that Oxlade-Chamberlain could leave Arsenal for – deep breath – Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, West Ham, Everton, Manchester United and…Arsenal! Can you leave and remain at the same club?

As the paper mangles the English language, it also lists 7 players who could replace the underwhelming Ox. One of them is Kylian Mbappe, a striker, which Oxlade-Chamberlain most certainly isn’t.


Posted: 20th, June 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Broadsheets, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Alvaro Morata expects Chelsea move, joins Arsenal and agrees to play for Manchester United

Transfer balls: Alvaro Morata has “agreed to join Manchester United” from Real Madrid. The BBC says a fee of “around £60m” has been agreed.

The Guardian says Morata’s agent, Juanma Lopez, has negotiated a deal for the former Juventus player’s move to United.

But the deal’s not done. And in the greedy world of the football meat trade, nothing is completed until the player pulls on the shirt and kisses the badge. The Guardian adds that negotiations between the clubs may not be straightforward because of friction relating to David de Gea:

United have frustrated Madrid’s attempts to sign the goalkeeper and fear the Spanish club will drive a hard bargain over Morata as a result. The De Gea issue has led to a strained relationship in the past, with a proposed move breaking down in 2015.

The BBC has jumped the gun – just as the Bleacher Report went too soon in 2014, when it reported that Morata had joined Arsenal, which he never did:


morata arsenal

Guillem Balague told readers:

Alvaro Morata, the 21-year-old striker who was considered a potential starter at Real Madrid in years to come, has agreed to join Arsenal. Not on loan, but transferred.


morata chelsea


And in February 2017, Morata was on his way to Chelsea, said the Telegraph:

Chelsea’s hopes of landing a significant transfer blow on Saturday’s opponents Arsenal have been boosted after Álvaro Morata told friends that he expects to move to Stamford Bridge in the summer.

And on May 25, the Express told its readers:

Real Madrid News: Alvaro Morata snubs Manchester United and Chelsea to agree AC Milan move

Either Morata isn’t a man of his word or else the media is full of utter balls.


Posted: 10th, June 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Burqa Babes: Daily Telegraph identifies jihadi bride of the month

Working on the Telegraph’s picture desk is a skilled task. To illustrate the story that “British jihadi brides are returning home after being widowed, or being sent away by husbands preparing to make a final stand with the Islamic State group”, the paper publishes this:



jihadi brides


“A woman believed to be British female jihadi Asqa Mahmoud, 20,” is the figure in the “centre”. She is “pictured with friends”.

Their identities are unknown. Although the one on the right is ringer for Lord Lucan whilst the other could be Shergar.


Posted: 31st, May 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Pippa Middleton’s wedding tips: be shaggable

When Pippa Middleton married James Matthews reporting was split: he was all money; she was all looks. Stood in the supermarket queue a woman saw me looking at the Hello! magazine cover featuring Pippa and her sister Kate (who she?) and asked: “Which one do you think’s more attractive?”

The Telegraph:

Pippa Middleton is due to tie the knot to a wealthy financier today in what is expected to be the society event of the year. The Duchess of Cambridge’s younger sister will marry Chelsea-based multi-millionaire James Matthews at a small, private affair with reportedly just 150 people invited.

The Sun:

pipa midcleton wedding sex


Being known for your arse make you pretty unthreatening, no, and thus all the more likeable. In the much lampooned Pippa’s Party Tips, the second Middleton gel showed an apparent acceptance of her role as nice but dim, serving up statements of the bleedin’ obvious beneath a stock photo smile.

But what the Press really love about Pippa is that they give the papers a chance to feature their own photos of Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

Pippa Middleton newspapers Prince George wedding James matthews Pippa Middleton newspapers Prince George wedding James matthews Pippa Middleton newspapers Prince George wedding James matthews Pippa Middleton newspapers Prince George wedding James matthews Pippa Middleton newspapers Prince George wedding James matthews Pippa Middleton newspapers Prince George wedding James matthews Pippa Middleton newspapers Prince George wedding James matthews



Posted: 21st, May 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Health shocker: water contains less calories than beer

water beer


Health News sensation. The Press Association has news: “Swapping a daily beer for a glass of water cuts the risk of obesity by a fifth and aids weight loss, research suggests.”

Yep. It’s true. Consuming less calories can stop you becoming fat. Who knew? The newswire story then gets topped and tiled to become a scoop.

“Switching daily beer for water cuts risk of obesity, study finds,” says The Guardian:

Replacing a beer with a glass of water every day could cut people’s chances of becoming obese by 20% on average, according to a study. Researchers from the University of Navarra in Spain found that the same holds true for sugary soft drinks – having a water each day instead cut the risk of obesity among more than 16,000 participants in the study by 15%.

The Telegraph: “Experts at the world’s largest obesity conference said the simple change is an easy way of beating the bulge.”

We’re also told: “Experts suggested that the fact beer is so calorific may be to blame.”

In tomorrow’s shocking news: Katie Price sleeps on her back!

Posted: 18th, May 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Reviews | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Labour activist Bethany Barker gets publicly shamed

Kids, eh. They say the darndest things. Take Bethany Baker, 19, described in the Telegraph as the “student chosen to introduce Jeremy Corbyn at his local election launch”. Bethany Baker has just resigned as general secretary of Nottingham Labour Students. She doubtless had a bright and rosy future in the Labour movement until someone spotted “a series of racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic tweets” on her account.

Take these tweets from 2013:

“I cooked brandon chicken and rice, supporting the n***** race.”

“I hate bbc one, f****** c**** black f****** b**** I hate everyone #mayday.”

There’s another tweet mocking Jews in their unlovely “Jew caps”.


bethany barker labour


The stars and frosting are used lest any reader not on twitter and therefore not used to such nastiness get offended.

The paper adds:

In response to a tweet about the jewellery firm Pandora knowing “your mood” she tweeted “it’s a jewellery company you f****** f****t it will never know your mood”.

Miss Barker has issued a statement:

“Some screenshots have resurfaced about what I said in the past. I’m absolutely horrified and beyond disgusted about these tweets and they are in no way representative of the views I hold now.

“I have no recollection of writing these tweets and I am unequivocally sorry for the shadow that has been brought over our society because of it.

“These views are in no way what I align with today and I am beyond upset that I could ever say such things.”

You might wonder how someone who says such things gets to be a leading light of Labour student politics? Or you may not. You might see the anti-Semitism as some part of Bethany Barker’s audition to be a Labour activist. Or you may not.

But can we not be sympathetic to Bethany’s plight? The Sun features a line from Bethany’s apology that the Telegraph does not. She writes: “I have changed so much since I was 14, I was not nice and my past is something I am ashamed of.”

The Independent makes her age-at-tweeting a key part of the story:


bethany barker



Fair enough, no? Who at 14 is not a bit of a dick and says ugly things? And who sane wants to be publicly shamed? If we can spend a moment wondering about Bethany Barker’s state of mind rather than the media’s shaming of her, don’t our hot views cool a little? Those tweets stick and prick with stigma. And we wonder how language became more important than deeds?


bethany barker


Jacob Collier, chairman of the student group, tells us it’s not Labour policy to be a bigot: “We reiterate these comments are not reflective of Nottingham Labour Students members and we will do everything as a committee to ensure that our society is an inclusive and welcoming place for everyone regardless of their background, ability, age, ethnicity, race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.”



What price many student activists are now hitting the delete button.

Posted: 9th, May 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Google Translate News: Moscow hack gives Manchester’s fat slags and ‘disgusting’ gays a thrashing

If anyone is going to call British women fat slappers and out homosexuals it’ll be the British press. So when Alisa Titko, a writer for Komsomolskaya Pravda, ridiculed British women and lambasted Manchester for allowing gays to be loving in public, that champion of feminism and homosexual rights the Daily Telegraph was aghast. Chris Graham alerted the paper’s readers to Titko’s “homophobic rant”.

Manchester is a city of “fat people” and “debauchery”, a columnist for Russia’s largest selling newspaper wrote in a homophobic article that described the sight of gay people as “disgusting”.


gay putin clown


He relays Titko’s words – words she wrote in Russian – to English speaking readers:

Having recently visited Manchester, she wrote: “It is true that there are many fat people in Manchester. Local young women don’t mind when fat hangs down from their stomach and body – and does not fit into their jeans. Whatever, when they go to a nightclub they put on tight fit leggings and mini-dresses.”

Do all East European columnists speak like Alan Partridge’s East European lover?



Here’s more from Alisha Titko (trans: Alice My-Tit):

“In Manchester there is a whole part of the city for gay people. Nobody told me about it, I have found it myself when I was walking around the town. There is even a plate there saying ‘Gay Village’. It is the most popular place for such couples, there are cafés and clubs there with small rainbow flags. Of course, a young man with a girl can also go into the gay club but they should know that if somebody approaches them, it maybe not just for a chat but for something more deep. Of course, it is hardly possible that men turn gay because girls are too fat and non-sexual. But it can influence it too.”

Who says the mainstream press is dying on its arse?

Over on Komsomolskaya Pravda, you can read Titko’s words in her native Russian. But it’s more fun to shred it through Google Translate. So I did. And it gives us:

Moscow does not need gayest street in Manchester

Look out for the claim that a quarter of men in Manchester are gay, a bride can marry a butterfly and things can go “deep” with just a friendly ‘Wotcha cocker!”:

From his friends in Moscow more often I hear that to homosexual couples should be treated more tolerant. Like, people love each other, and what’s the difference … Let. But we should not talk about it openly, to go around the city by the handles and kissing passionately. Shockingly so. And I never understand. Couple – people of different sexes. Historically, only men and women have children. These are the basic things. Understandable. But here, gays and lesbians have found a way – the children they give birth to a surrogate mother or take the baby to an orphanage.

And on such a quiet talk in the newspapers, on television. But in my head does not fit, when I know that some of our idle singers and actors (never would have thought!), And do not dream of the traditional family, and because they are better men. As a girl I was upset, their female fans, probably, too. And such relations are not only in show business, there are gays and lesbians among stylists, managers, and flight attendants. Yes, and no matter the profession. But it is becoming so commonplace that already scares. Where rolling part of Russian society? Why is it more openly demonstrated, and even citing that in Europe – is the norm.

I saw these your rules. In Manchester, for example, there are a quarter of gay men. And about it I whispered to no one in your ear, I found it myself, walking around town. At the beginning of the quarter even have a label “gay village”. It is like this place for couples. They then its cafes, clubs with small rainbow flags, even in Ukraine, the rainbow will be greater when dokrasyat Arch of Friendship of Peoples. Of course, Manchester geyskoy clubs start up and a guy with a girl. But the single boys and girls need to understand that it may be appropriate to meet and not to just talk, and for more in-depth.

Gays and lesbians in the evenings, not hiding emotions, rest not only in private clubs, and even open out onto the veranda. On the walls causing posters. For example, kissing Batman and Superman.

– Do you realize that we have something going with you staring, and they may think that we are not just friends, – told me Anna.

– Well, let’s say that we are not a lesbian, if that – I said to her friend.

At one of the tables was a wedding of two rather large girls, one was a veil, and on the other – the butterfly. We sat next to their mothers and girlfriends. At another table sat a man in a leather mask and pop out of her tongue to lick his partner’s eye. Ahead was a pretty nice guy in stylish jeans and jacket. With him is another. And how I would like to believe that they are just tourists and come here by chance as we are. But no. A friend took his belt and with a playful smile, pulled to itself, and then a couple came in one of the cafes.

– Yes, they are full of women that men are simply disgusting – throw in our conversation with a friend friend Anton. – You’ve seen the same as fast food and potato they eat. A beer of any drink huge glasses. As they say, the result is obvious.

Full in Manchester really quite a lot. And local girls not steamed that fat hanging from the abdomen, flanks , does not fit into jeans. In the clubs, they still pull tight leggings and dresses-mini. Of course, it is unlikely that men become gay because of the fact that the girl thick , not sexy. Although this, too, can influence.

– How good that in Moscow there are no streets. Well, now imagine. Come on Tverskaya , svarachivaem on Chamberlain and Grand Dmitrovka men in leather pants and whips. Oh, no – I can tell your friends after we leave the gayest village. – And if not banned gay parades, all these “free” men in pink, with arrows and bare nipples would be, for example, on the New Arbat.

– How to go there after some ordinary people? – disgust ask about Anna.

– Even so?

I can already imagine that some would say the familiar: “That’s not you they offend They are different This is a limitation of freedom….” Yes, what is freedom? Mom as a child gave a little belt. It is a measure of promiscuity. This is necessary precisely to hide, and not to put on display, and even demand to marry. I like the approach of registry offices in Russia . They say: “The law stipulates that marriage is between a man and a woman, period.”. And what’s more there gay people in Russia – it is bad and shameful.

It’s bad parenting parents, not inspected, not explained. And then the son grows and the mother says, you became a grandmother, but I do not have a wife. Or: “Mom, men – all goats, I love Lena “. Even after five years, they will lead their children to school. And they ask: “Why are the other two parents?” And what to say? There are different family? But the main question: what generation we are waiting for?

PS Let’s be Russian. Create a normal family. Have children in wedlock. And do not confuse love with debauchery.

It’s not fake news – it’s The News According to Google Translate.

Posted: 5th, May 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, Reviews | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Press: ‘200 year old wolves return to Denmark’

Wolves are back in Denmark. The Telegraph has the scoop:

At least five wolves, including one female, have returned to Denmark for the first time in two centuries, a zoologist who has obtained DNA evidence said on Thursday.


wolves denmark


Those wolves sure do live for a long time.

Posted: 5th, May 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Strange But True | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Madeleine McCann: the Met’s 10th anniversary PR exercise ‘COULD’ be news

Madeleine McCann: 10th anniversary news round-up.

The Daily Mail (front page): “MADDIE POLICE CHASING ‘CRITICAL LEAD'”.


maddie mccann daily mail


That Madeleine McCann remains front-page news 10 years after her vanishing – and after ten years of no evidence of what happened to her emerging – is remarkable. As for the news, we learn that police are “chasing a critical leader”. How critical? Well, it “could crack the Madeleine McCann case”. So only potentially critical, then.

What of the “mysterious new clues”, then, that “could explain why the three-year-old vanished in May 2007″?

We hear from Mark Rowley, a Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner, who tells us that the “latest lead” is “worth pursuing”. He says: “It could provide an answer, but until we’ve gone though it I won’t know whether we are going to get there or not.”

That’s three “coulds” on the front page alone. So much for the “critical lead”. Rowley says – without irony – “I’m not going to discuss…because it is very much a live investigation”.

The Mirror makes “COULD” part of its front-page lead. It could just as easily says ‘Could Not”.

daily mirror maddy mccann


Millions of pounds invested in the search for answers and still none are forthcoming. Ten years of looking and the Met are in full PR mode. They “don’t want to spoil it by putting titbits of information our publicly,” says Rowley as he chucks a tasty morsel to the Press. Indeed, this isn’t a hunt for alleged VIP sex criminals. There will be no televised raids and no airport arrests. So can Rowley tell us anything? “We don’ have evidence telling us if Madeleine is alive or dead.” says Rowley, “but as a team we are realistic about what we might be dealing with.”

As the Met gets realistic about theories, the Mail moves on to look at the parents. Over pages 4 and 15, we get “10 YEARS OF PAIN”.

Pages 14-15: “Maddie’s bedroom is piled high with a decade of unopened gifts. Kate’s given up work to care or their twins – while Gerry’s now a world-renowned heart doctor. As police reveal a ‘significant’ new line of inquiry… 10 YEARS OF HOPE AND HEARTBREAK”.

What a parent looking after their own children has to do with the case is moot, moreover the husband’s job. But this story always was laced with a middle-class thread. The blonde child. The medical professional parents. The upmarket holiday camp destination. It all overshadows the fact that police only might have a significant new line of enquiry. We don’t know. They don’t know. All we know is that Kate McCann is a “fitness fanatic” who “finds finds comfort in daily work-outs at he gym”; Gerry McCann “was recently praised for saving the life of former footballer Alan Birchenall after he suffered a heart attack and ‘died’  for seven minutes”; and “they have coped in different ways with the tragedy”.


daily express maddy mccann


Daily Express (front page): “VITAL NEWS CLUES IN MADDY HUNT.”

No. They could be critical clues. They might not be of any value at all. The Express notes that Operation Grange, the police investigation, has cost £11m.

Page 5: “Yard reveals ‘critical lines of inquiry’ in Maddy case.” It did. And it didn’t. The Met mentioned the leads and then said they were secret.

The paper does have some news, though. We learn that in 2013, “officers identified four people as possible suspects but they have now been ruled out.”

The Telegraph prefers to lead with a question: “Madeleine McCann: Are the police any closer to knowing the truth?” As Betteridge’s law of headlines states: “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.”

This is Mark Rowley’s statement in full – delivered to deadline. The Met calls it “AC Mark Rowley reflects on the tenth anniversary of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.” It reads like mixture of school report and therapeutic journey:

As an investigation team we are only too aware of the significance of dates and anniversaries. Whatever the inquiry, we want to get answers for everyone involved.

The disappearance of Madeleine McCann is no different in that respect but of course the circumstances and the huge public interest, make this a unique case for us as police officers to deal with. In a missing child inquiry every day is agony and an anniversary brings this into sharp focus. Our thoughts are with Madeleine’s family at this time – as it is with any family in a missing person’s inquiry – and that drives our commitment to do everything we can for her.

On 3rd May 2017, it will be 10 years since Madeleine vanished from her apartment in Praia Da Luz, a small town on the Algarve. In the immediate hours following her disappearance, an extensive search commenced involving the local police, community and tourists. This led to an investigation that has involved police services across Europe and beyond, experts in many fields, the world’s media and the public, which continues to this day. The image of Madeleine remains instantly recognisable in many countries across the world.

The Met’s dedicated team of four detectives, continues to work closely on the outstanding enquiries along with colleagues of the Portuguese Policia Judiciária. Our relationship with the Policia Judiciária is good. We continue to work together and this is helping us to move forward the investigation.

We don’t have evidence telling us if Madeleine is alive or dead. It is a missing person’s inquiry but as a team we are realistic about what we might be dealing with – especially as months turn to years.

Now is a time we can reflect on an investigation which captured an unprecedented amount of media coverage and interest. The enormity of scale and the complexity of such a case brings along its own challenges, not least learning to work with colleagues who operate under a very different legal system. The inquiry has been, and continues to be helped and supported by many organisations and individuals. We acknowledge the difference these contributions have made to the investigation and would like it known that we appreciate all the support we have and continue to receive.

Since the Met was instructed by the Home Office to review the case in 2011, we have reviewed all the material gathered from multiple sources since 2007. This amounted to over 40,000 documents out of which thousands of enquiries were generated. We continue to receive information on a daily basis, all of which is assessed and actioned for enquiries to be conducted.

We have appealed on four BBC Crimewatch programmes since April 2012. This included an age progression image which resulted in hundreds of calls about alleged sightings of Madeleine; an appeal for the identity of possibly relevant individuals through description or Efit; and information sought relating to suspicious behaviour or offences of burglary. These programmes collectively produced a fantastic response from the public. The thousands of calls and information enabled detectives to progress a number of enquiries. This was in addition to over 3,000 holiday photographs from the public in response to an earlier appeal.

The team has looked at in excess of 600 individuals who were identified as being potentially significant to the disappearance. In 2013 the team identified four individuals they declared to be suspects in the case. This led to interviews at a police station in Faro facilitated by the local Policia Judiciária and the search of a large area of wasteland which is close to Madeleine’s apartment in Praia Da Luz. The enquiries did not find any evidence to further implicate the individuals in the disappearance and so they are no longer subject of further investigation.

We will not comment on other parts of our investigation – it does not help the teams investigating to give a commentary on those aspects. I am pleased to say that our relationship with the Portuguese investigators is better than ever and this is paying dividends in the progress all of us are making.

We are often asked about funding and you can see that we are now a much smaller team. We know we have the funding to look at the focused enquiry we are pursuing.

Of course we always want information and we can’t rule out making new appeals if that is required. However, right now, new appeals or prompts to the public are not in the interest of what we are trying to achieve.

He says publicly.

As detectives, we will always be extremely disappointed when we are unable to provide an explanation of what happened. However the work carried out by Portuguese and Met officers in reviewing material and reopening the investigation has been successful in taking a number of lines of interest to their conclusion. That work has provided important answers.

Answers? But there was only ever one question: what happened to Madeleine McCann?

Right now we are committed to taking the current inquiry as far as we possibly can and we are confident that will happen. Ultimately this, and the previous work, gives all of us the very best chance of getting the answers – although we must, of course, remember that no investigation can guarantee to provide a definitive conclusion.

However the Met, jointly with colleagues from the Policia Judiciária continue the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann with focus and determination.

No progress, then. The Met is looking back – just as it always has done.

Posted: 26th, April 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Murphy’s Law strikes Guido and the Daily Telegraph

murphy's law


Hard times at Daily Telegraph Towers. The once great newspaper that now produces tons of clickbait balls is looking to remove staff. Guido Fawkes tells his readers as much:

Yesterday the Telegraph told its staff they were planning to lay-off 20 sub-editors and farms out their work to Press Association.

Perhaps one of the ex-proofreaders can knock on Guido’s door? We all of us make mistakes, of course, but when you make it in a story about proofreading, it’s so much the better.

The error is in accordance with Murphy’s Law, aka Muphry’s Law. It states: “If you write anything criticizing editing or proofreading, there will be a fault of some kind in what you have written.”


Posted: 30th, March 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Reviews | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Mary Berry’s ‘shocking and appalling’ TV dinner

Big news in the Telegraph, wherein TV cook Mary Berry is causing viewers of her show to gasp and gag. The paper tells us:

Mary Berry’s bolognese recipe leaves viewers ‘shocked and appalled’ because of its unusual ingredients

What did she put in the sauce? Her face? Terry Waite’s urine? The Queen Mum’s ashes? What was so vile that it upset Fleet Street’s last broadsheet organ?

The truth soon arrives in the shape of wine and cream.

It’s shocking and appalling stuff to all those Telegraph reader who didn’t read the paper’s 2016 story that the Italian Academy of Cooking’s official recipe for bolognese contains white wine and milk. Also in 2016, the Telegraph’s Zanthe Clay told us that adding dairy to your bolognese is ‘considered de rigeur in dairy rich Emilia Romagn’.

So that’s three articles in the past six months on cooking bolognese with white wine and ream. For those readers still shocked and appalled by Mary Berry’s pasta, the paper adds yet another story by way of a follow up: ‘White wine and cream in spag bol? 10 other classic dishes you’ve been cooking all wrong.’

Chances are you’ve been cooking them wrong because you don’t read the Daily Telegraph, which like an over-cooked dinner is repeating long after its use-by date.

Posted: 7th, March 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Celebrities | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Clickbait balls: The Daily Telegraph’s cutting-edge journalism puts Chelsea on top

In the race for clicks, the Daily Telegraph continues to mine news seams of bullshit. The paper asks a question it then aims to answer by name-checking all the Premier League’s top sides.

Champions League race – Who is best placed to finish in the top four and what will it mean for those who don’t?

Well, a quick look at the PL table, tells us that – and we can even list them in order – Chelsea, Spurs, Manchester City and Liverpool – are best placed to get Champions’ League football next term on account of them being 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th, respectively.

For the two clubs of the top 6 that don’t finish in the top 4, it will man: the Europa League.

Such are the facts.


Posted: 7th, March 2017 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0