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Broadsheets | Anorak - Part 5

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Top news from The Times, Daily Telegraph, The Indepedent and The Guardian newspapers

Madeleine McCann: Yorkshire Ripper IS a bastard and ‘Maddie’ not found in Africa

Today in Tautological Tabloid news we read that Peter Sutcliffe has engaged in a “SICK RIPPER RANT”. Sutcliffe is perhaps better known as the Yorkshire Ripper, a man who in 1981 was convicted of murdering thirteen women and attempting to murder seven others. But what’s “sick” about the mass murderer is what he said about Madeleine McCann.

 

Yorkshire Ripper Madeleine Mcann

 

The story begins:

The Yorkshire Ripper sparked outrage with a sickening slur claiming Madeleine McCann’s parents were involved in her disappearance.

Hanging’s too good for him!

For any reader who gives a shit what the murdering bastard thinks about EastEnders, the price of fossil fuels, Theresa May’s haircut or the disappearance of an innocent child ten years ago, the Sun relays Sutcliffe’s opinions, as shared with a “source” at Frankland Prison:

Sutcliffe – serving life for murdering 13 women – said: “It makes you sick really, keeping it in the limelight. They’ve got a cheek anyway because they made it all up. They were involved. There’s no other explanation. They’ll do anything to try and make money out of a situation.”

What Sutcliffe thinks abut the Sun keeping him in the limelight will doubtless form the substance of another scoop. As for what happened to Madeleine McCann, Sutcliffe’s reported opinions appear based on prejudices, hunches, a murderous hated of women and very possibly psychotic delusions rather than any evidence-based appraisal. The parents are innocent.

To recap: Everyone is innocent. There are no suspects. Indeed, the police have yet to prove what crime if any befell the child. All we know is that a child vanished.

The Sun then adds:

A source said: “He was spouting off to anyone who would listen after Gerry and Kate did the television interview to mark the 10 year anniversary. It was callous and heartless to hear him go on about how the parents were to blame.”

Peter Sutcliffe Sensation! Yorkshire Ripper is ‘callous and heartless’. Says one mum in tonight’s special edition: “He seemed so nice.” Read all about it!

The unnamed source continues:

“It’s awful to hear criticism of them given what they have been through, especially from someone like him.”

Of course, had the killers’ views not been aired in the national Press, the McCanns might well not have heard them.

In other news…

Daily Mail: “Tycoon who flew by £1.5million private jet to Africa to find Madeleine McCann was left ‘shattered’ when tip-off about a lookalike blonde girl proved wrong”

It’s a great shame he didn’t find her. (Is £1.5m expensive for a jet?)

It was revealed last month by the missing youngster’s family spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, that a plane was put on standby after the English-speaking blonde girl was located in Morocco.  But, millionaire Brian Kennedy 50, and his son, Patrick, 32, went one step further by actually taking off and flying across the Mediterranean in a bid to identify her.

Patrick tells the Sun: “They were shattered. You can’t even imagine how they must have felt… We realised very quickly it was not Madeleine.”

Clarence Mitchell adds in the Telegraph:

“All the information coming back to us suggested heavily that it could be Madeleine, so much so that an aircraft was put on stand-by, with its engines running, waiting to fly to pick her up.  Kate and Gerry sat tight. They had learned by that stage to be sceptical, not to give in to natural hope only for it to be dashed. They preferred to wait until the Moroccan authorities had checked it out. And when they did, it became clear she was not Madeleine.”

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 11th, May 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | 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


Arsenal: one player or maybe seven wins the title for Gunners, says Souness

Mystic Meg, eat yer heart out. In his article on Arsenal v Manchester United for the Sunday Times, former Spurs and Liverpool player Graeme Souness begins by tooting his own horn: “I predicted in March in this column that Manchester United and Arsenal would both miss out on the top four and I have seen nothing since to change my mind.”

The man’s got the gift, I tell you.

This is the same Souness who at the start of the season predicted the Premier League title going to Manchester United or Manchester City:

I think it will be one of the Manchester teams. If Ibrahimovic can fire on all cylinders – and I think there is a good year left in him – he will inspire those around him.

He’s someone who I enjoy. I enjoy his arrogance because he’s someone who can back it up. I think he could be the difference.

His Top Four ran: “1. Man Utd 2. Man City. 3. Tottenham 4. Arsenal.”

Whoops!

Having told readers back in August “Obviously it’s our job to make forecasts”, Souness today writes:

Arsenal should be looking at the likes of Griezmann and Bale… Over the past decade their recruitment has simply not been good enough, which is one of the main reasons Wenger should step aside. For seven or eight years they were only two or three top players away from being the team to beat but in the past few years it has not been a question of two or three players they need, it’s six or seven.

Ot as Souness put it in November 2015 – during the 2015-2016 season – just one season ago:

Arsene Wenger’s only major signing last summer was Petr Cech and he alone will give them a major chance of winning the Premier League this season. He could be worth anything up to 10 points for them.

Not two or three players, then. Just the one.

 

 

Posted: 7th, May 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Broadsheets, Sports | Comment


Green Left Weekly: ‘British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has done remarkably well’

jeremy corbyn the green paper

 

Australian publication Green Left Weekly aims to deliver “news and ideas the mainstream media won’t”. For instance, it’s the only paper we can find that says “British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has done remarkably well since Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May’s April 19 announcement of general elections on June 8.”

Green Left Weekly reported that on May 4. Two days on and the poisonous mainstream media has a different view on Corbyn’s performance.

 

council elections theresa may corbyn newspapers

 

Spotter: Tim Worstall

Posted: 6th, May 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment


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


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


Madeleine McCann: most of the British Press ignores the 10th anniversary

Ten year ago today Madeleine McCann was reported missing. Today the media marks the unhappy truth that a decade of reporting, fund-raising, investigating and watching has added not a single new fact to the original report: child vanishes. This is a round-up of the anniversary’s reporting. It’s a the usual mixture of speculation, name-calling and gawping.

 

madeleine mccann newspapers

 

Daily Mirror (front page): “As the McCanns mark 10 agonising years without their Maddie, how can Portuguese police keep being so vile”

Are feelings of paramount importance when investigating what happened to an innocent child? The Mirror’s front page promises more on pages 13 and 17.

Page 13: We see Madeleine McCann holding tennis balls. She is “THE LOST GIRL”. The headline tells us: “Portuguese cops: Brits’ search for Maddie is a waste of £11m.”

Is that an opinion exclusive to former Portuguese police officer Carlos Anjos, who says the the theory that the child was taken dying a burglary is “absurd”?  He states: “Not even a wallet disappeared, no TV disappeared, nothing else disappeared. A child disappeared.”

Is that “vile”? Isn’t it just a statement of fact? Reading on we are told that Kate and Gerry McCann will attend a prayer service in Rothley, Leicestershire. We get to read a “leaked” 2010 Home Office report, which says: “The McCanns acknowledge a distinct lack of trust between all parties.”

We read of “more bile” from another former Portuguese policeman, this time it’s Goncalo Amaral, who appeared on the telly to tell viewers that the child could have been cremated. He says: “Three figures went into the church. They had a box. It is possible the child’s remains were in the box and cremated a well.” Can he prove his theory? Clearly not. But we get to hear Amaral’s opinion, and we are told how to read it.  It is “vile”. It is full of “bile”. It is a “snub”. It’s speculation. There’s been a lot of that.

Page 17: “Fresh hell adds to Maddie pain.”

Alison Phillips uses her column to record “another agonising anniversary for the McCann family”. She spots the “slug-like” Amaral. She says the chances that the parents will be reunited with Madeleine are “less likely than ever”. Having told of the parents’ hurt and suffering, Phillips says: “Yet as the family mark 10 agonising years without Maddie today, how can some Portuguese cops be so cruel?” Amaral has been “airing his ludicrous claims about her disappearance.” He’s been on “local” TV in Portugal.

On May 10 2007, the Mirror produced “6 THEORIES” of its own. They were: “PAEDOPHILE GANG”, the “LONE PAEDOPHILE”, the “JEALOUS MOTHER”, Madeleine wandering off and “DROWNED”, the “OPPORTUNIST PAEDOPHILE”, the “CHILDLESS COUPLE”.

They never did get to the burglar theory.

Phillips returns to Amaral’s appearance on the TV, where he was “again pointing the finger at Maddie’s parents”, making “ludicrous claims about her disappearance”. Phillips wonders: “Why the Portuguese broadcasters give him airtime is a total mystery”. For those of you missed the show, the Mirror helpfully transcribes parts of it. Why a British newspaper gives him front-page coverage is a total mystery. Phillips says Anjos and Amaral could do “everyone a favour…by keeping their opinions strictly to themselves.” Even if it does give a columnist one less thing to write about.

She then notes – get his  – “…these men know every smear or suggestion will be lapped up and repeated by sickos and saddos on social media.” There are some nasty sods on twitter and Facebook. Perish the thought that the mainstream media would stoop do low as to point the finger and whisper.

Daily Star (front page): “MADDIE: Parents Kept Info From Cops.”

The story begins:

“Madeleine McCann’s parents withheld information from police that had been gathered by private investigators hunting for her, says a Home Office report. The couple believed their treatment by Portuguese police was ‘inhumane’.”

Page 9: “Maddie’s parents did not trust them”

Jerry Lawton writes that the parents “did not truth detectives handling the case after they were declared suspects… Though the couple’s ‘arguido’ status was lifted in 2008 and the case archived as unsolved, the McCanns withheld details unearthed by their private eyes from both them and their local Leicestershire  force , the report states.”

Daily Express: nothing. Not a single word is published on the child who has featured on the paper’s cover many times.

Telegraph (page 23): Allison Pearson says it is “miracle” of faith and fortitude that the McCanns are still together. She then embarks on a ‘Maddie & Me’ story:

My own children were small when she was taken and, for a while, my son was obsessed with her. I had to answer endless questions. “No, they didn’t find her yet, sweetheart. Yes, it’s very sad. No, a bad man will not take you. Because Mummy and Daddy will keep you safe, that’s why.”

In the past decade, how many parents have mentally run the “Madeleine safety test” before daring to leave their children even for a moment? It’s no consolation to the McCanns, but that may be her lasting legacy.

The Sun (page 6): “MADDIE BRUSH’S RERURN”

“A hairbrush belonging to Madeleine McCann has been returned to her parents on the tenth anniversary of her disappearance.”

Are the two moments linked, the brush’s return and the anniversary? Surely this isn’t some kind of macabre tribute?

The brush was in the possession of Danie Krugel, a private investigator. It was “handed” to the ex-cop after he offered to help the search for the the child. The McCanns spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, says: “Gerry did give a hairbrush to Mr Krugel at the time to assist in his work. He eventually returned to  South Africa and the hairbrush slipped their minds. But they were delighted to get one of Madeleine’s possessions back.”

The paper goes on to refer to Amaral and his “vile suggestion Madeleine’s body had been frozen before being cremated”. Mitchell says the claim is “deeply offensive”.

Daily Mail (Page 31): “McCanns fell out with Portuguese and UK police”

Madeleine McCann’s parents fell out with both the Portuguese and British police investigating her disappearance, a leaked report revealed today. Gerry and Kate McCann’s relationship with detectives became so poor that they refused to share information dug up by their own private investigators.

A Home Office report ordered by then Labour minister Alan Johnson before the 2010 election shows that the couple’s ‘turbulent relationship’ with police led to a breakdown in trust.

It says that the McCann’s felt badly treated by the Portuguese authorities who closed the investigation into Madeleine’s 2007 disappearance.
But when the Met Police came in they then fell out with police in Praia de Luz – and later the McCanns too, the report says.

 

madeleine mccann theories

 

The Mail says its report is rooted in a Sky News scoop. Over on Sky, alongside a story on – yep – 6 theories on what happened to Madeleine McCann, we read:

The revelations are contained in a report ordered by the then Home Secretary Alan Johnson who wanted to know if it was worth getting Scotland Yard involved after Portuguese officers closed their first investigation. The report said: “It is clear that from the beginning the McCanns felt there was a lack of clarity and communication on the part of the Portuguese police. Despite the involvement of British consular staff, they were, by their own accounts, left for long periods without any updates or communication with the investigators. They state they were taken to the police station on more than one occasion and then left for hours waiting to speak to someone who never materialised.

“They describe this situation as inhumane, with no real consideration for their emotional and physical wellbeing.”

The report, written by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, also said too many UK law enforcement agencies had rushed to help and caused chaos, and that frequent criticism of the Portuguese investigation led to accusations the UK was acting like “a colonial power”.

The report said: “Clearly, the McCanns have had a turbulent relationship with both Portuguese and UK law enforcement. They now openly acknowledge that there is a distinct lack of trust between all parties.”…

The report said: “It is clear that the McCanns and the private investigators working on their behalf have gathered a large amount of information during the course of their enquiries. This information does not appear to have been shared fully with the Leicestershire constabulary or the Portuguese authorities.

“It is imperative that they are encouraged and persuaded to share this information.”

What happened to Madeleine McCann? She vanished. And that’s the sum of the facts.

Posted: 3rd, May 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Madeleine McCann, Tabloids, TV & Radio | Comment


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


Brexit blamed for Croydon attack on Kurdish asylum seekers

Grim news from Croydon, where a 17-year-old Kurdish-Iranian asylum seeker has been beaten up as he and two friends – also Iranian Kurds – were at a bus stop. Police are calling it a “hate crime”, which of course it is. Any violent attack is hateful. The Mail calls it a “suspected ‘hate crime'”.

Why are the police so sure it was a hate crime and the Mail and Guardian less certain? According to the CPS: “A Hate Incident is any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someones prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender.”

If you think it is a hate crime, then it is a hate crime. Were the thugs who beat up three teenagers waiting for a bus looking for asylum seekers to further a racist cause or violent people looking for an excuse to hit someone? The police know. The rest of us should be less certain.

We should also wonder why existing laws are not enough and the State thinks we need a new kind of crime to cover what looks like a brutal attack?

What happened?

The teenager was set up by upon by up top eight other youths, who chased him down the road and kicked him unconscious. Croydon’s Metropolitan Police Borough Commander, Ch Supt Jeff Boothe, calls it “a frenzied attack by a large number of people”. As the victim was being kicked, “members of the public [were] asking them [his attackers] to stop”. This “horrendous and frenzied attack” only ended when the police arrived.

Gavin Barwell, Croydon Central’s MP, labels the attackers “scum”.

Det Sgt Kris Blamires has more:

“At this early stage it is believed that about eight suspects approached the victim as he waited at a bus stop with two friends outside The Goat public house in the Shrublands. It is understood that the suspects asked the victim where he was from, and when they established that he was an asylum seeker they chased him and launched a brutal attack. He has sustained critical head and facial injuries as a result of this attack, which included repeated blows to the head by a large group of attackers.”

Four 20-year-olds, a 24-year-old woman and 24-year-old man have been arrested.

The Agenda.

But can this attack be politicised? Can any agenda-driven soul find political mileage in a violent assault about which all facts are not known? Yes. Al Jazeera links the attack to Brexit. The police – those right-on champions of civil liberties – know a hate crime when they see one. Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, Diane Abbott, tells the Sun: “Sadly, this is not an isolated incident but part of a sustained increase in hate crimes that this Tory government is yet to offer any effective response to.”

She adds: “With rightwing politicians across the world scapegoating migrants, refugees and others for their economic problems, we are seeing a deeply worrying rise in the politics of hate. We must make clear that there is no place for anti-foreigner myths, racism and hate in our society.”

It’s no longer a very nasty incident outside a pub at 11:40 on a Saturday night. It’s a politically-triggered attack. Well, it is if you want it to be.

UPDATE.

Posted: 2nd, April 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians, Reviews, Tabloids | Comments (2)


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


Unions are good because it’s hard to sack bad workers

There are many way to praise the public sector but in the Guardian you can read about a new one. In a story entitled ‘Do the maths’  Abi Wilkinson praises unions and the work they do securing workers’ rights and improved pay. All good, then. She tells us unions ‘save taxpayers money in the long run’.

‘Research undertaken on behalf of the Trades Union Congress found that, in the public sector, there are 8,000-16,000 fewer dismissals every year thanks to union reps,’ she tells us. Employers prevented from sacking staff they consider inefficient or slack is a good thing and makes sound economic sense. Who knew?

Not stopping there, she adds, ‘Recruiting and training new employees is expensive, and it’s estimated that £27m-£54m of public money is saved by reducing staff turnover.’

How on earth does it help productivity and efficiency if you create an environment wherein its very hard to get rid of failing workers?

Posted: 16th, March 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Money | Comment


Bruno Fernandes should quit football and get a job in the media

Brazilian footballer Bruno Fernandes admitted ordering the killing of girlfriend Eliza Samudio and feeding her body to dogs. He’s a nutter. Having served 7 years of a 22 years sentence, Bruno is out of prison. He has served his time. And now that he’s out, he can seek work. The Sun hears of Bruno’s agent, Lucio Veloso Coutinho, who reportedly said: “Almost 10 clubs have already shown interest. We cannot mention them all now for contractual reasons.”

As Mr 15% makes loud no comment, the Guardian is aghast:

There’s a problem with Murdering Bruno returning to football. No, not mass protests, a life ban and questions in parliament. The problem is he’s not quite match fit. Just give it a few weeks, his agent says. He’s back, baby. Murdering Bruno is back.

What’s Bruno’s job got to do with parliament? It’s a matter between him and his employers.

Or is somehow different when you’re a footballer? The Sun has employed a known killer. The Guardian has promoted the work of reformed violent criminals who have written books and worked on TV.

If the media’s big and robust enough to accept the work of former criminals, why is it so troubled if a football club does the same?

 

Posted: 11th, March 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


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


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


The North Face’s revenues v profits

More financial illiteracy in the Guardian (natch.), wherein we learn about those anoraks TV reporters love to wear:

It’s a sales pitch that has yielded big profits. The North Face reported annual revenue of $2.3bn last year, with 200 stores around the world.

Profit does not equal revenue. They’re not the same thing. The North Face is a thriving business controlled by the VF Corporation, which also owns brands like Vans, Reef, Timberland and Eastpak. To equate annual revenue with profit – negating all costs – is absurd.

As for which brands are doing best, the company’s report for 2016 tells us clearly:

 

the North Face profit

 

The profit margin across all brands for 2016 was 9.95%.

 

Posted: 7th, March 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Money | Comment


Dear Mariella: A Guardian rape culture fantasy

Did you hear the one about the woman who enjoyed porn? Yeah, an actual flesh-and-bone woman – not a latex and silicon love doll reading a grunty Porn Valley script – got off on watching other humans have sex? Shocking isn’t it? Well, not to you who bought 50 Shades of Grey – especially you who bought it online and so negated the need to reach for it in the bookshop. I;m talking about you, the Guardian readers who study the Dear Mariella agony aunt column for research purposes:

The Dilemma I am a woman in my early 20s, about to graduate from university and consider myself very independent with a healthy, normal, happy life. About two years ago I started watching porn. I didn’t even know what to look for, then I began to develop my own tastes and searched for specific things.

Porn is so mainstream it no longer shocks. It very rarely surprises. Oddly, there are no moves to ban porn; but there are calls to censor images that portray woman in certain ways in the bottom-shelf media. Apparently, you can be insulted by Page 3 and shamed by an advert inviting women to be ‘Beach Body Ready’ but it’s ok to access hardcore porn broadcast via your Sky TV box and talk about what gets you hot in public. The woman in the bikini on the London Underground poster is obscene; but the woman in the newspaper advert for sex chat lines is not. Porn is just there. Deal with it.

Censorship’s a funny old game.

What worries me is that my searches are for simulations of abuse – something that doesn’t reflect at all what I feel about the subject. I hate patriarchy and rape culture. Another issue that worries me is that now, when having sex with my boyfriend, I invent abuse stories and play them in my head in order to reach orgasm. I don’t like to role play any of those fantasies, I like to feel loved when having sex. I feel like none of this is healthy nor nurturing for my self development. Is it really that worthy of preoccupation?

The thing about porn is that it’s safe. There’s no need for intimacy when you can just gawp and toss. No fear of rejection, pregnancy, STDs, a court case and where to go for a pre-bonk dinner and post-coitus escape. As ‘Worried of The Guardian’ notes, she doesn’t really need her boyfriend for sex. Sex without whatshisface is more satisfying. Intimacy is so very out of fashion. Sex, as with so much in modern life, is all about me, me, me – of god, yes – ME!.

 

Posted: 6th, March 2017 | In: Broadsheets | Comment


Uber driver are workers not employees and Travis Kalanick should drive

uber row

 

The video of Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick arguing with an Uber driver is all over the media. Kalanick is seen talking with Uber driver Fawzi Kamel. The conversation between the man Forbes estimates to hold a net worth of over £5.1billion and the mini-cab driver runs like this:

TK: Good to see you man, thank you.

FK: Good to see you too. I don’t know if you remember me but it’s fine.

TK: So we are reducing the number of black cars on the system over the next six months.

FK: Yeah it’s good.

TK: Yeah you probably saw it on the email.

FK: I saw the email, it starts in May. It’s all about the rating but you, you’re raising the standard and dropping the prices.

TK: We’re not dropping the price on black cars.

FK: Yeah but in general.

TK: We have to, we have competitors. Otherwise we’d go out of business. 

FK: But you have the business model in your hands, you could have the price as you want but you choose to buy everybody a ride.

TK: No, no, you’re misunderstanding. We started high end. We didn’t go low end because we wanted to, we went low end because we had to.

FK: Why? (Because of) Lyft?

TK: Yeah.

FK: That’s a piece of cake right there.

TK: No, it seems like a piece of cake because I’ve beaten them. But if I didn’t do the things I did, we would have been deep (inaudible).

FK: Why? We could go higher and more expensive.

TK: So here’s the thing. Luxe is in San Francisco so I have guys working on Luxe which will be 15 to 17 percent more expensive than black…

FK: But people aren’t trusting you anymore. Do you think people will buy cars anymore? We’ll buy them through Europe and invoice, nobody wants to buy a car. I lost $97,000 because of you. I’m bankrupt because of you. You keep changing every day.

TK: Hold on a second, what have I changed about black?

FK: You dropped the prices.

TK: On black?

FK: Yes.

TK: Bulls***. Bulls***.

FK: We started with $20. How much is the mile now, 2.75? 

TK: You know what, some people don’t like to take responsibility for their own s***. They blame everything in their life on somebody else. Good luck.

FK: Good luck to you too but I know you’re not going to go far.

Kalanick comes across as a greedy and rude swine.

Newsweek says this is just the latest episode in a company mired by a ‘dysfunctional culture, bad press, a sketchy financial outlook [and] dissatisfied employees’.

Is there a certain delight in hoping the mighty will fall? ‘Every time we take an Uber we’re spreading its social poison,’ says Laurie Penny in the Guardian.

Keep in mind she’s talking about catching a taxi when she writes:

What we’re dealing with here is a new class of bastard: the bro gone pro, the freewheeling post-Randian slimeball whose insecure sense of entitlement is the foundation of his business model… This matters because Uber is more than just a tech firm. It is a social engineering outfit masquerading as a tech firm… Here’s the awful truth: we have entrusted the reorganisation of our social infrastructure to the sort of people who shout at their subordinates and drivers and view women as a collection of parts. We do not owe these people our money or our admiration.

All that from hailing a car. And more!

It remains to be seen whether Uber will be damaged by the activist call for riders to please, for goodness sake, stop using this service. A great many people feel they have no option but to be complicit. Uber grew in the social sludge of American cities with patchy and precarious public transport provision and high unemployment. In areas where there are few late-running trains and taxis are unaffordable, taking an Uber home is the ethical equivalent of the greasy late-night kebab: you know it’s bad for you, but there’s a filthy, guilty pleasure in being able to meet your immediate animal needs. Your gut might make you answer for your midnight takeout, but it won’t kill you.

Using a service like Uber, however, is slow social poison. We are living in a socioeconomic reality whose driving philosophy can be accurately described by a sauced-up frat-boy in the back of a taxi, and we continue to venerate its winners. How much complicity can we tolerate before we get off this dodgy ride?

First world problems never got so important.

Another Guardian writer is conflicted. Sonia Sodha writes: ‘My finger has hovered over the delete button on more than one occasion. So far, I haven’t pressed it.’

And you thought President Trump had issues with that other button.

And then he looks at the fact – and gets them wrong:

The extent to which drivers are satisfied in the here and now is irrelevant to whether they are employees or self-employed in the eyes of the law, and the rights to which that entitles them. In a scathing ruling last year, an employment tribunal ruled that Uber drivers are, in fact, employees, because Uber exerts a degree of control over them – including dictating the price they can charge consumers – that should not exist between a company and its self-employed contractors.

Wrong. They are classed as ‘workers‘. Workers enjoy some of the rights of employees but not all. They also get a degree of flexibility, which many Uber river prefer.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 5th, March 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, Money, Reviews | Comment


American Allan V. Evans of Colorado says he’s the rightful king of Britain and ready to seize power

An American called Allan V. Evans of Colorado USA has taken out a big ad in the Times to say he’s the rightful king of Britain and intends to seize power.

 

American Allan V. Evans of Colorado says he’s the rightful king of Britain and ready to seize power

 

Allan V. Evans of Colorado king of britain times advert Allan V. Evans of Colorado king of britain times advert Allan V. Evans of Colorado king of britain times advert

 

 

Posted: 1st, March 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, Royal Family, Strange But True | Comment


Jordan Horowitz wrongly awarded best director Oscar in the Telegraph

How bad is the Daily Telegraph’s subbing? In its report on the monumental Oscars ‘fiasco’ (its word) that saw the Oscar for Best Picture awarded to the wrong movie – the paper calls it ‘the worst blunder in Hollywood history’ – Moonlight got the statuette mistakenly awarded to La La Land – The Telegraph makes an error.

After branding the unscripted entertainment ‘excruciating’, ‘confusing’ and ’embarrassing’, the paper shows ‘La La Land director Jordan Horowitz’ holding up the note that says Moonlight won.

In which case Horowitz may care to have a word with Damien Chazelle, who actually took home the Oscar for best director. It was Chazelle who directed La La Land.

 

la la land beatty

 

If you’re writing about another outfit’s errors, it’s a good idea to check your own report for accuracy.

Posted: 28th, February 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Celebrities | Comment


Spurs and England’s nasty Dele Alli isn’t like Arsenal’s filthy foreigner Granit Xhaka – he’s brave and British

Dele Alli plays for Spurs. He’s British. Granit Xhaka plays for Arsenal. He’s Swiss. According to former Liverpool captain Graeme Souness, both possess a “nasty streak”. For one of them it’s a blessing. For the other it’s a curse.

 

dele alli

Pride of Britain

 

On February 26, Souness noticed Ali’s red card for an awful foul against Ghent in the Europa League that earned him a red card.

‘It was nasty and unnecessary, born out of frustration,’ wrote Souness in the Sunday Times. ‘He really snapped into it, intending to leave a bit on the guy, so he got what he deserved with the red card. Yet that’s also one of the reasons he could become a top player. Alli has a bit of devil in him, an edge that most top players possess. As strange as it sounds, if I was his manager, I’d be quietly saying to myself: “Thank goodness he’s got that in him.”

A bad foul is sign you’re a top player.

When Granit Xhaka was sent for Arsenal against Burnley, Souness took a different view. On January 25 he wrote: ‘What isn’t registering with him? He’s obviously got the exploding head. I don’t look at him and think, ‘you’re an aggressive player’. It’s a lapse in concentration and he’ll be annoyed he gave the ball away so cheaply. For me, he doesn’t run around making aggressive challenges. He is the run of mill midfield player for me. He must have something in him where it goes.”

If you’re British and playing in your home country, a bad foul is sign of your mental toughness. If you’re foreign and playing overseas, a bad foul is sign of your mental weakness.

Got it?

Posted: 27th, February 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Broadsheets, Sports, Spurs | Comment


Ted Heath becomes ‘Ed’, the ‘Fred West of child murder’ and celebrity police appeal for calm

Time for another look at Ted Health’s corpse. A high-ranking policeman reportedly said that the former Prime Minister was a paedophile. A ‘source’ told the Mail on Sunday that Wiltshire Chief Constable Mike Veale, for it is he, is “120% certain” the dead man was a child rapist. You can either believe it and think, ‘Yeah, always knew he was a wrong un.’ Or you can wonder about the evidence, the messenger, the timing and if the hunt for the morally reprehensible can ever be satiated?

Pick your prejudice and read on…

In the Salisbury Journal, dead Ted’s local paper, we read Veale’s response to the Mail on Sunday’s story. This is it in full:

“On Friday 2 December 2016, I prepared and distributed an unequivocal open letter outlining the Wiltshire Police position in relation to the ongoing investigation into allegations made against Sir Edward Heath.

“This letter was written as a direct consequence further to unhelpful and inappropriate speculation about this case. However, this speculation continues and is of huge concern to me as I believe it will undermine trust and confidence in the police, have a potential prejudicial impact upon a live ongoing investigation, not to mention an impact upon the confidence of persons who have come forward with information.

“In my letter I made a number of points to provide absolute clarity about why Wiltshire Police is conducting this investigation. To reiterate, there is a clear legal requirement and supporting national policy from the College of Policing that I am required to undertake an investigation where allegations have been made, regardless of whether the alleged offender is living or deceased.

“In relation to the recent unhelpful speculation regarding the veracity of the allegations made, let me once again be clear, it is not the role of the police to judge the guilt or innocence of people in our Criminal Justice System. Our role is to objectively and proportionately go where the evidence takes us. Further, those who choose to continue to make comment on this case whilst not in possession of the facts ultimately may serve to unfairly damage both the reputation of Sir Edward Heath and / or those who have disclosed abuse.

“At the end of my open letter I stated that I would not be making further comment about the investigation unless it was for operational policing purposes. Other than to provide clarity around a number of key points, my position remains unchanged.

“The operational security of this investigation and the anonymity of the people who have come forward remains of paramount importance to Wiltshire Police.”

That’s a very long ‘no comment’. And he doesn’t specifically say if the Mail on Sunday’s story is false or true. Pity.

 

ted heath satanic abuse

 

Mindful of the copper’s words, the Sun dutifully bows its head and reports with circumspection:

HEATH’S SEX CULT LINK Edward Heath ‘linked to a murderous paedophile ring that killed 16 kids’

Ted Heath was in cahoots with serial killers?! The story begins:

BIZARRE claims that former Prime Minister Ted Heath was part of a satanic paedophile ring which murdered 16 children have been dismissed as “wild allegations” by a close family friend.

Sensational claims make for sensational headlines.

Who are making the outlandish claims?

A group of women allege the Tory PM abused them as children as part of a sex cult run by their own parents which burnt babies in satanic orgies.

Wiltshire Police have spent more than a year investigating the allegations as part of an inquiry that has cost taxpayers over £883,431, the Daily Mail reports. But Sir Edward’s godson Lincoln Seligman said: “I understand that these claims from the 1980s were at the time dismissed as complete fantasy by police. It is disappointing that these wild allegations have been reheated and randomly attached to Edward Heath’s name.”

Oh, and:

There is reportedly no suggestion that Sir Edward killed any children in the women’s accounts.

Only ‘reportedly’? But gerraload of that headline!

After a few lines on tortured babies, Devil worship and murder, the paper delivers a selection of facts:

Sir Edward, who was Prime Minister from 1970-1974, was never married and died in 2005 aged 89. The lurid claims were dismissed by police in 1989, and Sir Edward’s name was never mentioned to police at the time.

Over in the Mail, the Sun’s source, we read more.

Group of women who say they were abused by Sir Edward Heath also claim their parents ran a satanic sex cult that was involved in SIXTEEN child murders

Like the Sun, the Mail delivers the claim in a big, bold headline before noting at the very start of the story:

The farce came as police probe incredible claims that the former prime minister was linked to a paedophile ring that killed as many as 16 children – which would make them the worst child murderers in British history.

It’s hard not to feel sympathy for Ted Heath, the subject of a ‘bizarre’ ‘farce’. The paper adds:

The seemingly far-fetched allegations have been made by a family who allege that the politician was part of a satanic sex cult run by their own parents.

The paper delivers more on the allegations of terrible acts that only ‘seem’ to be far-fetched:

They say that the cult regularly slaughtered children as ritual sacrifices in churches and forests around southern England and also participated in similar ceremonies in Africa.
They claim their mother and father – who is said to have known the former Conservative leader – were responsible for slaughtering children ranging from babies to teenagers – yet they evaded justice.

The paedophile ring – which they say Sir Edward was part of – stabbed, tortured and maimed youngsters in churches and burnt babies in satanic orgies before men, women and children gorged themselves on blood and body parts, police have been told.

Can we take some small relief that no sex was involved in this alleged orgy of depravity? What we’d like, of course, are some facts. But instead of them we get news that, ‘If the bizarre allegations were to be proved, the parents who allegedly led the killings would be responsible for murdering more children than Fred and Rose West.’

Did Fred and Rose West meet Ted? Sorry, ‘Ed’? If ‘wild claims’ are newsworthy, look out for tales of MPs at the Wests? Reading on, we’re told:

The women’s lurid claims were dismissed by police in 1989 when they came forward. Sir Edward’s name was never mentioned to police at the time. It was only last year that he was named for the first time after one of the claimants said she had ‘remembered’ a man called ‘Ed’ was a prime mover in a network of paedophile abusers.

The story is so weak, a cynic might wonder if it’s put up to create a smokescreen to derail the whole search for so-called VIP paedophiles?

Maybe the Times can be more helpful? Beneath the headline ‘We can link Ted Heath to alleged victims of abuse, police claim’, the paper tells us:

The police investigating claims that Sir Edward Heath was a paedophile believe that they have evidence linking the former prime minister to a series of alleged victims.

Believe?

More than 30 alleged victims have contacted Wiltshire police with claims of abuse involving Sir Edward from the 1960s to the 1990s. A source close to the investigation said that “strikingly similar” allegations made against Sir Edward include the names used for the former politician, the type of abuse and the locations.

Detectives were reported to be initially sceptical about the allegations but “now believe them”.

And?

Wiltshire police said it did not know if the investigation report would be published. Two men have been arrested on suspicion of child abuse, although not linked directly to Sir Edward. The investigation is also considering claims that the abuse was reported to the police years ago but was covered up.

The paper then mentions Mr Veale’s aforementioned letter, noting:

The chief constable had previously apologised for launching the investigation in 2015 with a public appeal outside Sir Edward’s former home beside Salisbury Cathedral.

And what of the alleged Satanic murders?

An expert called in by the force to assess the claims by three women who alleged that Sir Edward was involved in occult abuse said that the police inquiry was the result of on “an over-active imagination”.

Is any of this going to be tested in court?

The Times revealed last week that three prominent victims of false abuse claims are suing the Metropolitan Police over their treatment in a separate inquiry. The legal actions by the former Tory MP Harvey Proctor, the former chief of the defence staff Lord Bramall and the broadcaster Paul Gambaccini could cost Scotland Yard an estimated £3 million.

The widow of the former home secretary Leon Brittan was reported yesterday to have sent a “letter before action” to the force as a result of raids on their homes in London and North Yorkshire after her husband’s death.

Having read what the police believe and what women imagine, David Mellor, the former Tory minister, takes to his blog on LBC radio, where he hosts a phone-in show:

In an interesting scoop yesterday, the Mail on Sunday claimed that the Chef Constable of Wiltshire, Mike Veale, believes that Ted Heath was a serial paedophile, whose crimes were covered up by the establishment. The MOS report that thirty complainants have allegedly been identified, and “Mr Veale believes them 120%, and thinks they are totally convincing”.

Scoop or utter balls?

He is not directly quoted in the piece, so it could all be made up. But I doubt it.

So much for facts. It’s all about belief.

It’s worth taking a look at the original ‘Statement from Wiltshire Police following the IPCC announcement re. Sir Edward Heath investigation’.

A spokesperson for Wiltshire Police said:

“Following the announcement today regarding an independent investigation by the IPCC into allegations concerning how Wiltshire Police handled an alleged claim of child sex abuse made in the 1990’s, we are carrying out enquiries to identify if there are any witnesses or victims who support the allegations of child sex abuse.

“On becoming aware of the information, Wiltshire Police informed the IPCC and later made a mandatory referral. The IPCC investigation will specifically consider how the Force responded to allegations when they were received in the 1990’s. [sic]

Sir Edward Heath has been named in relation to offences concerning children. He lived in Salisbury for many years and we would like to hear from anyone who has any relevant information that may assist us in our enquiries or anyone who believes they may have been a victim.”

Sir Edward Heath has been named. By whom? Dunno. What’s the dead man been accused of? Dunno. The statement kickstarts the hunt. We don’t know what Sir Ted’s been accused of but we know any ‘victims’ will be believed. They are not ‘alleged victims of…’ They police are at pains to paint them as victims:

“We are working closely with the NSPCC to ensure that any victims are appropriately supported. They provide trained helpline counsellors to listen and provide assistance… Victims will receive support throughout any investigation and associated judicial process…

“Please call the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000 or email help@nspcc.org.uk as they have dedicated staff in place to deal with victims or if you have information that may help police please call us via 101.” Ends

But it’s not all bad for Ted Heath. In the Telegraph, an article on a hot London property spot name-checks Ted as a stalwart of good taste:

Jermyn Street’s distinctive shops, some of which are still owned by the descendants of the original families that established them, have been frequented by Diana, Princess of Wales, Ted Heath and Joanna Lumley.

And you know who Diana was mates with, don’t you.

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 21st, February 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment


Fake News: European Union Baroque Orchestra quitting UK over immigration

Looking beyond fake news, we turn to the Guardian, which tells us about yet another casualty of the Brexit vote. The headline is to the point: ‘Top orchestra quits Britain over Brexit migration clampdown.’ The musicians are so worried by ‘looming restrictions on travel’ they are all moving to Belgium.

The Guardian hammers the point home: ‘One of Britain’s most successful orchestras is moving to Belgium amid fears that its musicians may be among the victims of a post-Brexit crackdown on immigration.’

One clue that this story might not be as it’s presented appears in the orchestra’s name: the European Union Baroque Orchestra. It’s been based in Oxfordshire since 1985.

 

European Union Baroque Orchestra

 

The Guardian says the London-based ‘highly influential European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO), could also leave the UK.  Marshall Marcus, chief executive of the EUYO, says: “For some time we have been forming our plan to be ready to relocate, if and when this becomes necessary. Or indeed simply advantageous.”

That’s the second clue as to the value of this anti-Brexit story. The orchestra is located in the place where it gets the most advantageous terms – inside the EU.

So what else do we know about the EU Baroque Orchestra? On its website we learn that it’s an ‘Official Cultural Ambassador for the EU’.

Its activities are open to young musicians from all 28 EU member states. EUBO renews its personnel 100% each year.

For 28 years, between 1985 and 2013, EUBO was funded annually through various European Commission Culture programmes, most recently and aptly with Operating Grants as a Cultural Ambassador for the EU.

It’s not about immigration. It’s about an orchestra funded by the European Union to promote the EU’s activities moving to a country that actually pays for it and is part of the EU. The site continues:

Since 2014 a change in the EU’s cultural funding policy meant that funding from the EU was only available for projects under the EU’s new Creative Europe programme.

EUBO’s application for Creative Europe funding in 2014 was unsuccessful. EUBO decided to re-apply in September 2015 and managed to maintain a reduced programme of activities during 2014, the unfunded period.

EUBO’s second and revised application entitled EUBO Mobile Baroque Academy [EMBA] was successful. The project was found to meet the aims and criteria of the Creative Europe programme. The training orchestra EUBO remains at the core of the activities. The project is organised in partnership with nine other organisations across nine EU Member States for the period 2015 to 2018…

EUBO’s Honorary Patrons are the Culture Ministers of all of the 28 EU Member States.

It might well be a pity that a cultural outfit is leaving the UK, but the European Union Baroque Orchestra is not moving to Brussels because the UK’s become anti-migrant and anti-foreigner. Maybe the orchestra is moving to be closer to the money?

Posted: 20th, February 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, News | Comment


Cambridge student who burned cash saved homeless man’s life

Helping us know why an 18-year-old set light to a £20 note in the streets of Cambridge is a delighted Press. Above a picture of a £20 note – so helping Guardian readers know one should they encounter it lit or otherwise – the paper explains from the off that the berk ‘burning cash’ was a member of ‘Cambridge University Conservative Association’, an organisation the paper calls ‘prestigious’ but which I’d brand ‘ghastly’, in keeping with all student politics.

The Mail tells its readers the money burner was ‘drunk‘. No blood test needed. The paper knows a drunk when it sees one on a Snapchat video. The Mail soon names the wally as one Ronald Coyne, who now only ‘tried to set fire to a £20 note in front of a homeless man’.

Like the Guardian, the Mail politicises the pillock’s antics by telling its readers in the third paragraph that Coyne is a ‘relative of Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’. Brother? Son? In the 30th paragraph, readers learn: ‘He is believed to be the nephew of the First Minster’s sister-in-law’s ex-husband.’

 

cambridge student cash burning-6

 

As you work out if that makes Master Coyne closer in blood to Sturgeon than Kevin Bacon or a bacon bap, the Telegraph tells its readers in a shouty headline: ‘Cambridge University student who boasted of being related to Nicola Sturgeon filmed burning £20 note in front of homeless person.’ So keen is the Tele to work the Sturgeon angle into its story that whilst her name features in the opening line – ‘Cambridge University student who claims he is a direct relative of Nicola Sturgeon…’ – you have to wait until paragraph two to hear of Coyne. Sturgeon is name-checked five times in the article.

There’s no mention of Sturgeon in the Tab’s report, although it does note: ‘It has been rumoured that burning a £50 note in front of a homeless person is one of the initiation ceremonies of Oxford’s notorious Bullingdon club.’ Whether that’s before of after they defile a dead pig and toss a pot through a restaurant window is left un-investigated.

Having gone off on a fact-free tangent, the Tab notes that the ‘motivations of the student, other than odiousness, are unclear’. Helpfully an unnamed source is on hand to call Coyne an ‘arsehole’.

By now you’re wondering about the video. Here it is.

 

 

Over in the Sun, we get to hear about the other man in the frame, Ryan Davies. The rough sleeper says Coyne first offered him the note.

Ryan, an unemployed crane operator who has been homeless for three months, thought his luck was in – until the Pembroke College student, who has distant links to SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, set the money alight.

He said: “There were some people going past and I was asking them for spare change. I’m homeless. I asked one man for spare change. I was polite about it as I always am. I couldn’t believe my luck. But then he pulled it back and lit it and said ‘I’ll give you some change, I’ve changed it into fire.””He says let’s see what I’ve got and pulls out a £20 note and went to pass it to me.”

Is the Sun on the side of beggars? In 2016, the paper told its readers:

Revealed: Just one in 5 beggars are homeless… as one boasts she’s using cash for new kitchen

SUN INVESTIGATION: Just 1 in 5 on our streets are homeless and one office worker even admitted to begging after work … to buy a new kitchen

 


cambridge student cash burning-2

 

cambridge student cash burning-3

 

cambridge student cash burning-4

 

Can bad press turn people against a certain type of person? The Sun says it can:

 A CAMBRIDGE student was attacked on his bike in suspected retribution for Nicola Sturgeon’s relative goading a homeless man. One college has even warned students against wearing gowns in public – in case they inflame further violence.

 

cambridge students cash burning

 

And what of the argument that says it’s wrong to give beggars money? The Sun reported in 2016:

Charities last night urged people NOT to hand out money in the street.

Jeremy Swain, chief executive of London-based homelessness charity Thames Reach, said: “The evidence is indisputable that the overwhelming majority of people begging on the streets spend their begging money on crack cocaine, heroin and super-strength booze.

Nottingham Council advised:

 

PRess

begging

 

The Mail reported:

Thames Reach, a large-scale organisation with more than 350 staff, said that most people who beg on the street have some form of accommodation to go to.

Its spokesman Mike Nicholas said: ‘Giving to people who beg is not a benign act. It can have fatal consequences.
‘Many people asking for your money are caught up in a desperate cycle of begging from the public, buying drugs from a dealer and then taking these drugs.’ He added: ‘There are many services seeking to help people sleeping rough. Please work with them, not against them.’

Can we sympathise with Coyne? After all, it’s not as if beggars, people more likely to sleep on a newspaper than buy one, enjoy a favourable Press. No, say bleeding hearts. As the Standard reports:

Calls to have him kicked out of the university have quickly gathered momentum with more than 19,000 people signing a change.org petition by 5pm on Sunday.

Students always did have too much time on their hands.

 

Posted: 16th, February 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Key Posts, News, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment


Turning an £80 bottle of melted iceberg water into whine

I love bottled water. It makes the humble look exceptional. One Guardian writer is less impressed. She says bottled water is “ignorant, insensitive and irresponsible”. You see how interesting water has become. A simple glass of water is now steeped in meaning. You can talk about at dinner parties. Katherine Purvis says, “It’s just another ugly indicator of our world’s many inequalities”. Discuss.

We’ve reached peak bottled water. From today, for a sweet £80, Harrods will sell ‘luxury water’ harvested from icebergs off the coast of Svalbard.

If people want to spend lots of cash on bottled water, so be it.

In other hydration news to natter about, the Guardian says Brexit ‘threatens the craft beer revolution’.

The paper attempts to answer the questions they’re all asking in Sudan, ‘So what’s the best wine club to join?’ and ‘Are expensive wines worth the money?’. One writer warns that if you do spend £100 on a bottle of wine ‘you’d better be braced for sanctimony and ridicule’.

Another Guardian writer is struggling: ‘With champagne being promoted at anything between £9 and £126 this Christmas, it’s almost impossible to know what’s good value.’

No kidding.

Anyhow, mine’s a pint of melted artisan ice-berg (hold the celebrity). I’m driving.

 

Posted: 16th, February 2017 | In: Broadsheets, The Consumer | Comment


Did UKIP leader use Hillsborough lie to promote himself?

Ukip leader Paul Nuttall did not lose “close personal friends” at Hillsborough. In 2011, a post under Mr Nuttall’s name on his official website featured a quote attributed to him. The post regarding efforts to block the publication of files concerning the Hillsborough Inquiry went:

“Without them being made public we will never get to the bottom of that appalling tragedy when 96 Liverpool fans including close personal friends of mine lost their lives.”

When challenged, Nuttall told Radio City News: “I haven’t lost a close, personal friend. I’ve lost someone who I know… Well, that’s not from me… This was an article that I did not write and did not see prior to it being posted by a member of my staff. Of course I take responsibility for those things that are put out under my name, but I was genuinely taken aback when this claim was brought to my attention and am both appalled and very sorry that an impression was given that was not accurate.”

That radio interview followed his denial that he had, as the Guardian puts it, “lied about being a survivor of the disaster which claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool fans at the FA Cup semi-final in 1989”.

Nuttall, who is contesting the Stoke Central by election for Ukip on 23 February, features in a Guardian story that challenges his claim to have been at match. The paper notes:

Nuttall was 12 at the time of the disaster, and was a pupil at Savio high school in Bootle, Liverpool. One of his former teachers, a Roman Catholic priest, has told the Guardian that the school believed it had been aware of the identities of every boy who had been at Hillsborough in order to help them through a difficult period, and that Nuttall was not among them.

A fellow pupil at the school who says he has been a friend of Nuttall for decades said the Ukip leader had never mentioned being there. “I have been very good friends with Paul for over 25 years,” he said, adding that during that time they had “never spoken” about Hillsborough.

What does that prove? Nothing. The Guardian says so:

While the teacher and friend expressed surprise that Nuttall has said he was at Hillsborough, their comments do not prove that he was not present.

He said he was there. A UKIP statement tells us: “Paul was indeed at Hillsborough. He attended the match with his father and other family members. For political opponents to suggest otherwise and for left-wing media organisations to promote such claims constitutes a new low for the Labour party and its associates.”

Says Nuttall: “I just want to make it perfectly clear. I was there on that day. I’ve got witnesses, people who will stand up in court and back me 100 per cent. It’s cruel and it’s nasty. It’s making out as if my family are lying as well, which is just not fair or right.”

It’s all unedifying stuff.

The Daily Mail notes:

Today is not the first time Mr Nuttall has had to distance himself from claims on his own website. In November, he made embarrassing denial of a claim he played professional football for his local team.

The site has two references to Mr Nuttall’s past as a ‘professional footballer’ for Tranmere Rovers, just across the Mersey from his childhood home in Bootle.

But when MailOnline contacted the National League club to ask whether he had ever played for the first team, a spokesman said, ‘Definitely not’.

The New Statesman adds:

Last year he denied having been responsible for a post on his LinkedIn profile that inaccurately claimed he had received a PhD in History from Liverpool Hope University in 2004, blaming an “over-enthusiastic researcher” for the page’s contents.

Margaret Aspinall, the chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, whose 18-year-old son, James, was killed at the FA Cup semi-final in 1989, said: “There’s a lot of people who survived that day who did lose personal friends. It’s devastating for them because they’re still suffering and for the guy now to backtrack is appalling.”

 

nuttall hillsbrough

 

The Guardian is supporting the Labour candidate at the Stoke by-election, and it surely relishes the chance to hasten the disintegration of UKIP, a pre-Brexit force and a post-Brexit non-entity. So what says the UKIP-supporting Daily Express? Can it spin the story? The paper reports:

…a source close to Mr Nuttall has said the “first time” the Ukip leader encountered the statement on his website was during the Radio City interview.

They added the website is edited by a member of the party’s staff and not Mr Nuttall, and while he didn’t lose a “close friend”, he certainly knew people who had died in the disaster.

Mr Nuttall is said to be “furious” with the error, which as a result of “two words” has thrown up another “bad headline” for Ukip in the run-up to the February 23 by-election.

Politicians have a long history of using football to reach and control the plebs. But this episode might well be the nadir.

 

Posted: 14th, February 2017 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians | Comment