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Posts Tagged ‘Independent’

Public Health England wants a return to rationing

This photo shows customers lining up for sugar at an unknown location during rationing in 1943.


England is making moves to control your insides. The Indy has news for people who like food and freedom. The Government wants to monitor your shopping bags:

Public Health England (PHE) is demanding a “calorie-cap” on supermarket ready meals and fast food dishes.

Can that be enforced? Public Health England says it works so that “the healthier choice becomes the default choice”. PHE wants to order chefs to change ingredients, reduce sugar, fat and salt from dinners; or bring back rationing, albeit only for the well-fed and ‘too fat’. We’ve never had it so good, so let’s have less of it.

The suggested ruling, which may come into effect in March, would limit breakfasts to 400 calories and lunches and dinners to 600 each.

May or may not. The paper fails to say under what powers PHE can make such a ruling.

Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, tells The Times. “This is all about things like pizzas and readymade sandwiches. We will need to set out guidelines and, I suspect, a series of calorie caps.”

So the Indy was wrong. There will be no rules. The Indy doesn’t bother to check its story, preferring to hype the news it read in another paper. Compare and contrast the Indy’s and the Times’s opening lines:

The traditional January detox when Britons stop drinking and start dieting could last all year under new government health guidelines. – Times

The ubiquity of new year diets and detoxes could extend beyond January and last all year – Indy

It’s worth looking at what PHE does. This from the ‘About’ section on its website:

We are responsible for:

making the public healthier and reducing differences between the health of different groups by promoting healthier lifestyles, advising government and supporting action by local government, the NHS and the public

We are an executive agency of the Department of Health, and a distinct organisation with operational autonomy to advise and support government, local authorities and the NHS in a professionally independent manner.

PHE can’t make rules. Buy it can try to justify it existence with a spot of PR that, as ever, tells us how to behave.

Posted: 15th, January 2018 | In: Broadsheets, News | Comment

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

Woman accused of raping a man was born a man

Hear the one about the woman accused of raping a man – twice? The Indy delivers the facts in headline and teaser: ‘Woman appears in court charged with raping man twice – Newcastle woman will face four-day trial in December.’

Rape, as defined in English law, is:


The elements of rape are:

(A) intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis;
(B) does not consent to the penetration, and
(A) does not reasonably believe that (B) consents
Penetration of the mouth is included.

The story of the woman accused of rape is, thus, an unusual one. The accused is named as Katie Brannen. Katie appeared at Newcastle Crown Court ‘accused of two offences of rape after allegedly attacking the man in January in South Shields’.

In all reports Katie is described as a woman, and self-identifies as such. The interesting part is that Katie has a penis. Katie is out on bail. Katie is banned from contacting the alleged victim and from all licensed premises.

Rachel Johnson tells Mail readers that Brannen was born male. Johnson says that this fact was ‘omitted in the moral panic around both privacy and misgendering, the progressive cause de nos jours. To call someone by the wrong title is considered verbal assault and even bigotry.’ This self-censorship has led to what Johnson calls a ‘fake fact – that women can and do rape men – rather than telling us the literal truth.’

It leads to all manner of questions. Is this a case of misattributed pronouns? Should we stick to gender-neutral language? Has liberation become censorship? How does this impact on the world beyond words – do we have gender-neutral prisons? To what extent can simple biological fact be altered? Is gender located not in culture, biology or society but in performance?

Transgender people should be free to identify however they choose but what about the rest of us? It’s confusing, no?

Posted: 12th, March 2017 | In: Reviews | Comment (1)

Who thinks this photos from the Independent looks like gay Olympics porn?

“People think these photos from the Olympics look a lot like pornography,” writes Joe Vesey-Byrne in the Indy.

NBC has been censoring Olympic swimmers with the infamous ‘black bar’, and now the games look rather smutty.


Everyone Thinks These Photos From The Olympics Look Like Porn


Not as smutty as the Indy’s lead photos, however, which was from a gay porn film.


Indy gay porn rio olympics


Is sex an Olympic sport yet?

Posted: 19th, August 2016 | In: Reviews, Sports | Comment

Transfer balls: Arsenal offer Dortmund £33m for Mönchengladbach’s Xhaka

granit arsenal


Transfer balls: a look a dire reporting on football rumours. Today the Indy reports on Arsenal:

Arsenal have made an official £33.8m offer for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Granit Xhaka after moving ahead with their first transfer of the summer, with the German club resigned to losing the Swiss international in the coming weeks.

Granit Xhaka plays for Borussia Mönchengladbach. Should Dortmund take the cash and keep quiet?

Posted: 11th, May 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Broadsheets, Sports | Comment

An open letter to Katie Hopkins: keep going!

Katie Hopkins

Katie: keeping hacks employed

When the Independent vowed to say no more on former reality TV contestant Katie Hopkins’s to-deadline polemics, we wondered if it would last. The paper’s story, headlined “Dear Katie Hopkins”, was an Indy manifesto:

“You don’t know us, but sometimes you retweet the articles we write about you. You might retweet this one, who knows. We’re writing today to say we’re ignoring you from now on.”

The open letter contained links to six Indy articles on outrageous things Katie Hopkins had uttered in other publications and social media. It was pretty clear that when Katie spoke, the Indy listened. But no more. That was then.

So how many articles has the Indy produced on Things Katie Hopkins Says since its open letter of September 25?

Answer : 26.


Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 09.50.04


Why don’t they just employ her and cut out the middleman?


Posted: 28th, November 2015 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, Reviews | Comment

Manchester United balls: the mounting injury crisis gets better fast

Ahead of Manchester United’s Champion’s League tie with PSV, the Independent has news:

Champions League: Manchester United’s injury woes continue to mount for PSV visit

United fans will see that headline. Worry. And click.

They will arrive at the Indy’s website, and we told:

Champions League: Manchester United’s injury woes continue to mount for PSV visit

Yes, yes. And in small print:

There is some hope that Rooney, Martial and Mata will be fit to face PSV

A headline on mounting injury woes turns out to be news that three top players are in line for a return to the fist XI.


Posted: 24th, November 2015 | In: manchester united, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Ronaldo 99% certain to join Manchester United (and 100% certain not to)

The Independent is so independent of thought its writers contradict each other freely. Sometimes they ever contradict themselves in the space of a few minutes. Today the paper has NINE stories on Real Madrid footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.

David Ward writes:


Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 14.46.13



Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United: Alex Ferguson ‘99% sure’ forward will return to Old Trafford, says Patrice Evra

Writes David Ward:


Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 14.51.11


Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United: Real Madrid star will not leave Bernabeu, claims agent Jorge Mendes

Those November 24 scoops in full: 100% says Ronaldo stays; 99% says Ronaldo leaves.

Such are the facts in the trusty Independent.


Posted: 24th, November 2015 | In: manchester united, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: The Independent Gets Arsenal News From Wikipedia

ONCE upon a time a journalist’s job was to find answers. Now it’s just about asking questions to get clicks. Take this balls from the Independent, which added a new low to the media bilge about Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen making a move to Manchester United. (More on that here.)


Independent newspaper arsenal


Posted: 11th, August 2014 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment

Everything you wanted to know about Julian Assange in one front page

WHO is Julian Assange and why is he famous? The Independent explains it all one neat front page:

Posted: 19th, August 2012 | In: Reviews | Comment

Johann Hari leaves the Independent and may yet learn to be a journalist

IOHANN Haris has left the Independent:

Johann Hari, the journalist at the Independent who was suspended for plagiarism, has announced that he will not return to the newspaper. Hari had been undergoing retraining in the United States and was expected to return to the Independent next month but said on his personal website that he did not want to see colleagues taking the blame for his mistakes.

It’s incredible that a journalist who cheated should be be wanted back at the paper, even at the Indy, which is not only the dullest read on the news shelf but spawned the i, a tabloid stripped of the hard-nosed opinion, humour and wit that make tabloids so popular.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 24th, January 2012 | In: Reviews | Comment

Supermarket Uses Amy Winehouse To Sell Cheap Booze?

AMY Winehouse died from alcohol abuse. The Independent tells its readers this news right alongside a big advert for cheap booze at Sainsburys.

Perhaps this is what George Monbiot meant whan he told Guardian readers and advertisers:

“I detest this poison, but I also recognise that I am becoming more dependent on it. As sales of print editions decline, newspapers lean even more heavily on advertising. Nor is the problem confined to the commercial media. Even those who write only for their own websites rely on search engines, platforms and programs ultimately funded by advertising. We’re hooked on a drug that is destroying society. As with all addictions, the first step is to admit to it.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 28th, October 2011 | In: Celebrities | Comment

London Riots: Independent Drops Jody McIntyre For His Tweets

JODY McIntrye is no longer blogging for the Independent. Why? Well, it may have something to do with his tweets on the London riots.

You may recall Jody from his time as a peacenik who rolled in the direction of police at the student fees demo.

His tweets:




Posted: 9th, August 2011 | In: Reviews | Comment

Independent Forgets HSBC In News That UK Is A Nation Of Renters

THE front page of the Independent says “Britain to become nation of renters”.

And what is below that news? Why, it’s an adverts for HSBC mortgages.

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Posted: 31st, May 2011 | In: Money | Comment

Royal Wedding Jelly Bean Watch: Independent’s PR Fiction For People Who Love Shit

FOLLOWING the debate in the Independent’s mini-me i newspaper on how to cover the Royal Wedding in a superior and condescending fashion,

And under the URL (click the image):

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Posted: 19th, April 2011 | In: Key Posts, Royal Family | Comments (4)

Independent’s i Paper Employs Popeye: ‘i Gets To The Point’

THE Independent’s mini-me daily, i, is not only finds work for the young but also for the old: Popeye is writing the posters.

i gets to the point

Spotter: @AndyRileyish

Posted: 2nd, November 2010 | In: Reviews | Comment

Independent’s Katy Guest Is Beyond Parody

beyond-parodKATY Guest is writing in the Independent about Katie Price and how awful she is. And writing about Barack Obama (& me), and how terrific he is. And writing about Big Brother and how dreadful it is. And somehow the whole thing just tells us all we need to know about the writer.

Guest is standing in for Janet Street-Porter and doing her best to make the great drawler looks half decent:

Katy Guest: A follow-up to ‘Big Brother’? Here’s an idea

Farewell, then, Big Brother – daring social experiment turned ruthlessly efficient famous-making machine turned public flogging of mental defectives for an ostensibly 21st-century audience….

Farewell, too, to thelondonpaper, a sort of print version of Big Brother that feeds off the new celebrity culture in the same way that certain types of beetle feed off animal faeces. It would be premature to announce (again) the death of the cult of fame; but would it be too optimistic to wonder whether readers have finally had enough of this peculiar brand of entertainment?

And how does Katy Guest follow news of how much she hates celebrity and a a late-night TV show? With this:

Kiss and text: The re-remodelling of Katie Price

We’ve all been there: you meet someone new; you take him back to your mansion in Surrey; you perform lewd sex acts upon his naked Brazilian person… and then it seems a good idea to send him a series of explicit text messages in a quirky and tender code that’s personal just to the two of you. And don’t you just hate it when it ends up in The Sun?

Last week, the paper published details of Price’s brief relationship with Andre Pinto, whom she met in a nightclub in Ibiza and then used, to his horror, “just for sex”. It also published the shocking text messages she sent him, edited to save the blushes of its readers. “I am going to *** ** **** **** ** ** until you beg me to stop,” she wrote. “Then *** ** **** **** **… *** ** *** ****….”

Katy Guest hates celebrity. Just hates it. Hates is enough to quote Katie Price and the Sun.

And lest you think Katy Guest is a fool, she tells you how smart she is:

Barack: a few holiday tips

Just like Barack Obama (in so many ways), I, too, set off on vacation recently with high hopes for my holiday reading

Sun. heat. OK! etc…

Posted: 30th, August 2009 | In: Reviews | Comment (1)

2013 And The Climate Crunch Will Squash Us All

IT’S not when the ice will melt and drown us all that triggers any debate, but why we are being made to wait so long for the big flood.

The Indy’s Johann Hari looks into this crystal ball:

We are living through two great meltdowns – the credit crunch, and the climate crunch. The heating of the planet is now happening so fast it’s hard to pluck a single event to fix on, but here’s one. By the summer of 2013, the Arctic will be free of ice. How big an event it [sic] this?

Climate crunch…

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Posted: 21st, October 2008 | In: Reviews | Comment

Anorak Beats Old Media, Again

The thieving plonkers!

We’re back to those default swaps again, and the reason why they have nothing to do with insurance and everything to do with speculating on other people’s property; Simon Evans in the Independent reports today, the 12th October:

‘It is like Joe Public buying an insurance policy on someone else’s house and pocketing the full value if it burns down.’

Ring any bells?

On the 25th September I wrote:

‘Anorak could take out a vast insurance policy on Anorak Towers, and if it burned down Anorak would get lots of dosh but no Anorak Towers.

Insurers won’t let me take out a vast insurance policy on Anorak Towers, because I would have a clear interest in setting fire to Anorak Towers and collecting lots of dosh.

Of course, I wouldn’t have Anorak Towers, but then I didn’t have Anorak Towers in the first place.’

My highly reputable lawyers, Messrs Sue, Sue and Suesomemore, will no doubt be in touch with the Indie’s briefs…


Posted: 12th, October 2008 | In: Broadsheets, Money | Comments (4)