Anorak

Key Posts | Anorak

Key Posts Category

Prince Andrew: some of my friends might be child abusers

The media term for Ghislaine Maxwell is “British socialite”. Even when the elite are nicked for their alleged parts in heinous crimes we doff the cap and present them as something above the norm. A socialite translates as someone who likes to mess about and have fun whilst being stinking rich. Do the same whilst poor and you might be called a party animal, piss-head or shameless. Maxwell is the ‘British socialite’ accused of helping her former lover, the convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, abuse of minors. It’s alleged she helped to recruit and groom victims known to be underage. Ghislaine Maxwell has denied any wrongdoing.

The Daily Mirror, the paper Maxwell’s dad used to own, leads with that familiar photo of one of Epstein and Maxwell’s pals with his arm about the then teenage Virginia Roberts, now Virginia Roberts Giuffre. She says Epstein abused her and made her have sex with another of their social circle, the ‘British socialite’ Prince Andrew. Virginia Roberts Giuffre claims she was trafficked to London and forced to have sex with the duke in Ms Maxwell’s Belgravia home. Like Maxwell, Randy Andy has denied any wrongdoing. Prince Andrew also says he was too honourable to break off his friendship with a convicted paedo who put him up whenever he was in New York.

The media is excited. How we enjoy seeing the high and mighty taken down. Papers are as aroused as a toff in a harem of desperate young women. But let’s stick to the facts. Everyone is innocent until proven otherwise.

The Times says the Duke of York has been drawn further into the Jeffrey Epstein story. The Telegraph says Prince Andrew is in the crosshairsThe Guardian says Andrew must be feeling the pressure. Audrey Strauss, acting US attorney for the southern district of New York, says to Andrew, hey, “come and talk to us”. God bless America, where even a pampered prince can be RSVP-ed. “We would like to have the benefit of his statement,” says Strauss, “our doors remain open and we would welcome him coming in and giving us an opportunity to hear his statement.”

Andrew ‘s people say he’s cooperating fully. But it can be hard to see the Prince through the ranks of lawyers and PR handlers surrounding him. Does the US Department of Justice want to question the toff in person, under oath, in a magistrates’ court? Will Andrew do that? Has he anywhere to stay for the night in NYC now that Epstein is dead? Problems mount for the Queen’s favourite son.

Posted: 3rd, July 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family | Comment


Mercedes Petronas paints F1 cars black and joins anti-racist bandwagon – also hails an anti-Semite

Next F1 season will feature Mercedes cars painted black. This is “a signal of their commitment to greater diversity and inclusion in motorsport”. This does not mean everyone driving a black car is on the side of angels, nor that white van man is a racist sod. It’s all about changing the colour to fit the mood. Mercedes racing cars are usually silver. Mercedes said the Black Lives Matter movement had “shone a searching light on how much we need new measures and actions in the fight against racism”. So a black car will show how Mercedes is not racist and is anti-racist.

This is the board at Mercedes:

Mercedes black lives matters

The Mercedes board is white but the racing team has one high-profile black employee: F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton. He says driving in a black car is an “important statement we are willing to change and improve as a business”. Mercedes F1 team says “just 3% of our workforce identify as belonging to minority ethnic groups and only 12% of our employees are women. This lack of diversity shows that we need to find new approaches to attract talent from many areas of society we do not currently reach.”

Come, come. The talent is already attracted. Is he saying that less blacks, Kurds, Jews, gypsies and Turks want to work for a company that celebrates speed and spends the best part of the year travelling the planet in search of it? If he is, he’s talking rot. The barrier is in the hiring and opportunity, not the application.

Mercedes F1 team principal Toto Wolff adds: “Racism and discrimination have no place in our society, our sport or our team: this is a core belief at Mercedes. But having the right beliefs and the right mindset isn’t enough if we remain silent. We wish to use our voice and our global platform to speak up for respect and equality, and the Silver Arrow will race in black for the entire 2020 season to show our commitment to greater diversity within our team and our sport. We will not shy away from our weaknesses in this area, nor from the progress we must still make; our livery is our public pledge to take positive action.”

All well-intentioned and commendable, I’m sure. But until the faces making the decisions and owning the capital change, everything else risks looking like a marketing exercise.

Note: The F1 team is named Mercedes Petronas. Petronas says it is “the custodian of Malaysia’s national oil and gas resources”. It is wholly owned by the Government of Malaysia. Mahathir bin Mohamad served as the Prime Minister of Malaysia from 1981 to 2003 and 2018 to 2020. He is a member of the Parliament of Malaysia for the Langkawi constituency in the state of Kedah. He is, by his own definition, “proud to be labeled antisemitic” and who told the Cambridge Union: “I had some Jewish friends, very good friends. They are not like the other Jews, that’s why they are my friends.” He said a Jewish cabal “ruled the world”.

In his 1970 book The Malay Dilemma, he described Jews as being “not merely hook-nosed, but understand[ing] money instinctively,” sentiments he repeated in a BBC interview last year, when he also questioned the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust.

Here he is being hailed by Petronas.

Petronas Jews

Dr Mahathir, Malaysia’s longest serving prime minister, took on an advisory role at Petronas after stepping down in 2003.

Dear Mercedes. You’ve got a lot of work to do…

Posted: 29th, June 2020 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Madeleine McCann: Christian Bruckner will never be ‘free’, Wolters is missing evidence and Maddie link to Rochdale pub

Madeleine McCann: an at-a-glance look at news of the missing child.

Christian Brueckner could be out of prison next week, says the NY Post. The convicted peadophile and rapist suspected to murdering the missing child has applied for parole having served two-thirds of a sentence for drugs.

In the Sun we hear from an unnamed source “close to the German investigation”. “If the superior court decides to free him then it will severely impact the case,” says someone. “He could vanish and then we will not be able to put him on trial. We are fighting for him to be kept in court.”

How likely is it that if he is released from prison the man suspected of killing the child who has obsessed media for over a decade will vanish and not be closely watched by a million reporters, police, members of the public and bounty hunters keen to get their hands on the scoop and the reward money? And there’s the matter of his conviction for rape.

Christian Brueckner was pinched in 2018 on a warrant issued for a drugs offence in 2011.

But he was subsequently put on trial and convicted of raping a 72-year-old American woman at her villa in Praia da Luz in 2005. He was sentenced to seven years in December. But because he is appealing against the rape conviction, under German law the sentence is yet to be imposed.

So he will walk “free”? No. He won’t.

Maddie McCann

The Mirror looks at the child’s parents, as ever it has done. “Madeleine McCann parents face more pain as police say suspect could escape justice.” This headline pivots on your concept of justice. The teaser nails its:

“German authorities are convinced paedophile Christian Brueckner killer Maddie but prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters sais the investigation ‘could be stopped if we fail to find the missing evidence'”

In the dash to scream “no news” first, the Mirror makes two typos in one line. But worse than that is the interpretation of what justice is and if you can achieve it without evidence. German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters tells German newspaper Braunschweig Zeitung: “You have to be realistic that the investigation may not lead to a charge for the murder of Madeleine. It could be stopped if we fail to find the missing evidence. But we are still convinced of the guilt of the accused and hope for further promising investigative approaches.”

May. Could. If. Missing evidence. The German prosecutors case looks watertight, in the same way a sieve makes a good lifeboat.

The Metro chips in with: “Madeleine McCann suspect might not be charged despite ‘concrete evidence’ of murder.” When “concrete evidence” is couched in inverted commas it’s not all that concrete. Says Wolters: “I am currently unable to predict the outcome of our investigation but we are still convinced of the guilt of the accused and hope for further promising investigative approaches.” But is there to convince a judge and jury?

Is the suspect about to walk free, then? Wolters explains: “Of course, it is always good to know where a suspect is to be able to access them if necessary. And, of course, detention always offers a certain guarantee that the detainee will not commit any further crimes.”

And on it goes. But wait. The Manchester Evening News has news!

Maddie McCann parents

“Lawyer who represented Madeleine McCann parents wants to turn village pub into nursery.” In Rochdale.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 27th, June 2020 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Man finds and rears caterpillars found in his supermarket broccoli

When Sam Darlaston found some caterpillars in his supermarket broccoli he tweeted Tesco: “I was about to cook my favourite vegetable of all time (broccoli) and after unwrapping it, to my surprise, found caterpillars inside! They’re really nice and we’ve ended up keeping one as a pet and naming him. but just as a heads up, some of your broc has c-pillars.”

Posted: 27th, June 2020 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Sacked Rebecca-Long Bailey – another victim of the Jewish conspiracy to defeat anti-semitism and racism

Rebecca-Long Bailey, the Labour MP who scored Jeremy Corbyn 10/10 for his leadership, has been sacked from the shadow cabinet. And you can thank the Jews for getting shot of her. I can reveal that there really is a Jewish conspiracy. Come closer. The plan is that Jews expose anti-Semites and pray to our brutal God that they get a sound re-education. Keir Starmer’s Labour Party says Long-Bailey gave a big thumbs up to an article that “contained an antisemitic conspiracy theory”. An article, you’d wager, that appeared in some far-Left outlet published on the outer reaches of the web. No. This was a story in the mainstream Independent.

The title of the article is the not pithy: “Maxine Peake: ‘People who couldn’t vote Labour because of Corbyn? They voted Tory as far as I’m concerned’.” After the snootiness, Peake, an actress, looks at the alleged murder of George Floyd at the hands US police. We read:

“Systemic racism is a global issue,” she adds. “The tactics used by the police in America, kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, that was learnt from seminars with Israeli secret services.”

Can it be that Mossad and those pesky Jews killed George Floyd? And why Israel and not another nation to have hosted US cops? Nietzsche told us that anti-Semitism is used by people hoping “someone must be to blame for the fact that I do not feel well”. Jews are “scapegoats for every possible public and private misfortune”. Labour lost. George Floyd was killed. Make the link…

In a correction to its story, the Indy notes: “Our article also implied that this training could have included neck kneeling tactics.” Oh? “There has been no suggestion that this training involved the tactics referred to in the article.” So who suggested it did? The Indy’s correction contains no time stamp so it might look as if it’s no correction at all and might have been there all along. In the Indy’s original version of the article, Peake’s comments included a link to an Amnesty International article that talked about US police departments training in Israel. Peake didn’t put it there. The Indy did. That link was later removed. The revised article fails to mention the presence of any link.

And so to the politician, a leading MP in a party under investigation for institutional anti-Semitism who saw an interview with someone she admires and retweeted it with high praise. “Maxine Peake is an absolute diamond,” said the now former Shadow Education Secretary. The Indy’s nastiness and Peake’s factoid should be more widely read. Peake later said that stuff about secret Jews training US police to kill blacks by kneeling on their necks was “inaccurate” .

Labour MP Stella Creasy tweeted that the interview was “textbook casual antisemitism”, adding that “being antiracist means countering, not indulging, such tropes”.

Should Long-Bailey get another go at education she can help pick which textbooks the youth read. “I think secondary school education should include a module on conspiracy theories,” tweets writer Matthew Sweet. “How to spot them, how to resist the way they seduce with simple explanations for complex phenomena and their appeal to prejudice and confirmation bias.”

Says Long-Bailey:

“I retweeted Maxine Peake’s article because of her significant achievements and because the thrust of her argument is to stay in the Labour Party. It wasn’t intended to be an endorsement of all aspects of the article.”

Jeremy Corbyn likes some bits of an anti-Semitic mural. Long-Bailey likes some bits of apparently anti-Semitic articles. You can read Mein Kampf and admire the writer’s use of grammar.

John McDonnell, who was shadow chancellor under Jeremy Corbyn, was critical of the decision to sack his ally, saying: “Throughout discussion of anti-Semitism it’s always been said criticism of practices of Israeli state is not anti-Semitic. I don’t believe therefore that this article is or Rebecca Long-Bailey should’ve been sacked. I stand in solidarity with her.” What about if the criticism is based on a falsehood? What if linking an alleged racially-driven murder in the US to a training programme run by secret Jews in a foreign land is a bit iffy?

The sane might think it indecent to debate the pros and cons of the Indy giving space to such things, adding police brutality in Minneapolis to the list of evils and ills that Israel is uniquely responsible for. The journalist wrote it. The sub-editors fact-checked it. The editor approved it. They all thought it fine. The Indy published the interviewee’s views uncontested. Labour List, the website funded by Unite the Union and UNISON, wants to see if Peake has a point. Says Labour List:

‘A 2016 Amnesty USA article states that law enforcement officials in Baltimore, Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California, Arizona, Connecticut, New York and other places “have all traveled to Israel for training”.’

So what? So nothing. It just’s there, dangled like low-hanging fruit for readers to lick and sniff, to sense and find meaning in the sickly scent.

But facts, what of them? George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is not known if Minnesota sent a secret cohort of police to Israel to learn how to murder black men by kneeling on their necks. But until we see evidence to the contrary, we should keep open minds. And if the Indy wants it, I can press f9 on the keyboard and bang out 500 words about how the world’s only Jewish state did it and is behind everything else that spoiled your day.

Posted: 25th, June 2020 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Marx Must Fall! Highgate statue to racist must be torn down

Marx statue vandalised

Statues are coming down across the country. Oriel College, Oxford, is readying to remove a statue to colonialist Cecil Rhodes. In Bristol, a statue to slave trader Edward Colston was rolled into Bristol Harbour. A statue to slaveholder Robert Milligan has been removed from view in London. Statue of racists are coming down all across America. So is it time to get rid of Karl Marx statues, including the huge headstone that sits atop his grave in London’s Highgate cemetery?

In 2019, the words “doctrine of hate” and “architect of genocide” were painted on the Marx Highgate cemetery memorial. One onlooker was quoted in the Guardian: ““I wouldn’t like to say who or why someone did it but it was clearly someone very critical of Marx and that part of history. I am just surprised that somebody in 2019 feels they need to and do something like that.” No contrary view was quoted.

Spoof news website Babylon Bee quips: “Looking to protect their statues and other municipal monuments, cities and towns across the country have begun disguising their statues as Karl Marx. City councils all over are ordering Karl Marx wigs and putting them on Teddy Roosevelt, George Washington, Christopher Columbus, and other statues.”

Marx was a champion of the masses and the oppressed, say some. Other says he was a hardcore anti-semite who called for “the emancipation of mankind from Judaism” and fed the 2,000-year-old prejudice that Jews were all about the money and behind every ill, writing, “Money is the jealous god of Israel.” As Jonathan Freedland notes:

The historical explanation for this enduring linking of Jews and money is that Jews were pushed into financial roles by a church that barred Christians from, say, lending money for interest, and barred Jews from doing much else, such as owning and farming land. As Anthony Julius – whose Trials of the Diaspora is the definitive history of English antisemitism – puts it, in a feudal society in which Jews could be neither peasants nor lords, there was “no other niche” available. But psychological explanations also suggest themselves, starting with the notion that Christian society was able to split off that aspect of itself it regarded as sinful – its pursuit of wealth and profit – and project it instead on to a hated other: the Jew.

Bob Seely adds:

…Karl Marx’s conspiratorial view of the world is at the rotten root of both hard Left and Right. Marx helped provide the intellectual base for both the Holocaust of the Jews…

In his 1843 essay, The Jewish Question, Marx, whose father converted from Judaism to Protestantism, equated emancipation from capitalism and Judaism as being one and the same. “Money is the jealous god of Israel” Marx wrote. “The god of the Jews has become secularised and has become the god of the world.” He jumbled together hostility to private property and capitalism, and his personal hatred of Jews as self-interested, rootless and enablers of secret control, updating miserable medieval tropes for the modern world. Once society succeeded in the preconditions of Capital, “the Jew will have become impossible [Marx’s italics],” perhaps the most profound example of bastardised pseudo-science in modern political history.

Frederick Engels addressed Marx’s racism in a letter date April 19, 1890:

…you might not be doing more harm than good with your anti-Semitism is something I would ask you to consider. For anti-Semitism betokens a retarded culture…

In North America not a single Jew is to be found among the millionaires whose wealth can, in some cases, scarcely be expressed in terms of our paltry marks, gulden or francs and, by comparison with these Americans, the Rothschilds are veritable paupers. And even in England, Rothschild is a man of modest means when set, for example, against the Duke of Westminster. Even in our own Rhineland from which, with the help of the French, we drove the aristocracy 95 years ago and where we have established modern industry, one may look in vain for Jews.

Hence anti-Semitism is merely the reaction of declining medieval social strata against a modern society consisting essentially of capitalists and wage-labourers, so that all it serves are reactionary ends under a purportedly socialist cloak; it is a degenerate form of feudal socialism and we can have nothing to do with that. The very fact of its existence in a region is proof that there is not yet enough capital there. Capital and wage-labour are today indivisible. The stronger capital and hence the wage-earning class becomes, the closer will be the demise of capitalist domination. So what I would wish for us Germans, amongst whom I also count the Viennese, is that the capitalist economy should develop at a truly spanking pace rather than slowly decline into stagnation.

In addition, the anti-Semite presents the facts in an entirely false light. He doesn’t even know the Jews he decries, otherwise he would be aware that, thanks to anti-Semitism in eastern Europe, and to the Spanish Inquisition in Turkey, there are here in England and in America thousands upon thousands of Jewish proletarians; and it is precisely, these Jewish workers who are the worst exploited and the most poverty-stricken. In England during the past twelve months we have had three strikes by Jewish workers. Are we then expected to engage in anti-Semitism in our struggle against capital?

Nietzsche noted that anti-Semitism was used by people hoping “someone must be to blame for the fact that I do not feel well”. Jews were “scapegoats for every possible public and private misfortune”.

Let’s get the racists and chop down statues to them. Marx must fall! Right?

Posted: 25th, June 2020 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Mass murder in Reading was driven by Covid-19, cannabis, mental health but not racism, homophobia and Islamism

Khairi Saadallah

How did James Furlong, David Wails and Joe Ritchie-Bennett die? The three men were at a pub in Reading when someone stabbed them to death. Khairi Saadallah, 25, has been arrested on suspicion of murder.

In the BBC’s profile of the suspect we learn that Saadallah was arrested under the Terrorism Act. Can we guess why he might have attacked three white, middle-aged gay men? If we see everything through the prism of gender and race, as those on the far-Left and far-right insist that we should, isn’t the men’s identify relevant? Does the identity of victims and the alleged perpetrator play a role in the way political leaders and media respond to attacks? Let’s see what the BBC says about the heinous crime.

We’re told that Saadallah arrived in the UK from Libya in 2012. The police noticed him. MI5 had him marked as a person who might travel abroad for terrorism purposes.

Why? What is driving such thoughts and suspicions?

The BBC cites someone who knows Saadallah. They say the suspect suffered from “post-traumatic stress from the civil war”. We read that his “long-standing mental health problems had been exacerbated by the coronavirus lockdown.” Last year he threw a TV from his top-floor flat window. He had a “mental health key worker”.

If this is a care in the community or health issue, why has the suspect been arrested as a suspected terrorist? If he is a terrorist, can we guess at his ideology? The BBC notes that police are “keeping an open mind as to the motive for this attack”. Keep an eye out for news that he played video games or watched ‘video nasties’.

The head of counter terrorism policing, Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, says the attack was “unrelated to a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest held hours earlier in the park”.

So what is it related to? In the language of identify politics, was it a homophobic attack? Was it a racist attack? Was it a revenge attack?

BBC’s home affairs correspondent Daniel Sandford reports that Saadallah seemed to be a “normal, genuine guy” who smoked cannabis. Did normality or marijuana drive him to it?

In his analysis of the horror the BBC’s home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani says: “Saturday’s horrifying killings may be another example of what security chiefs call a “lone actor” attack where a single individual turns extremist beliefs into murderous actions.”

What beliefs? Religious beliefs? We’re not told. Why not? The Mail says Saadallah was on the MI5 watch list “because of a tip-off that he wanted to join Islamic State”.

Conservative chairman of the defence select committee Tobias Ellwood stated:

“At the time of the Bali bombing there were 26 proscribed organisations by the Home Office, that number has risen to 86. It isn’t just a problem for the UK, but we need to look wider afield. The reasons why these things are happening is because there are fanatics working in ungoverned spaces, preying on vulnerable individuals, promoting a false interpretation of Islam. We pat ourselves on the back to say we defeated Daesh, but that’s only territorially, that ideology lives on and continues to grow. The threat is there and until we address this wider picture, the threat of terrorism in the UK will continue.”

So, about that cannabis…

Posted: 23rd, June 2020 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Edward Colston the moral saint and father of Bristol: why the statue to a slave trader was built 170 years after his death

1722 portrait by George Vertue, after Jonathan Richardson

For some time campaigners wanted to add a ‘corrective’ plaque on the statue of Edward Colston (2 November 1636 – 11 October 1721). Last week, protestors went further, pulling down the statue to a man who traded in wine, fruit and slaves, and tossing it into Bristol Harbour. Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, said he felt no “sense of loss”, but that the statue made in 1895 would be retrieved and it was “highly likely that the Colston statue will end up in one of our museums.”

Like many, I’m interested in why and how the statue ever came to exist, a totem bearing the legend: “Erected by citizens of Bristol as a memorial of one of the most virtuous and wise sons of their city.” Edward Ball investigates:

Despite the claims on the statue of Edward Colston and local myth, the idea of having a statue of to memorialise the ‘great benefactor’ did not come from popular demands by the “citizens of Bristol”. It was in fact the brainchild of one person, James Arrowsmith, president of the Liberal dominated Anchor Society. Arrowsmith was a wealthy businessman who owned the largest printing and publishing company in the city. In a speech to the Colston Fraternal Society in October 1893 he proposed that a statue should be erected and in March of the following year a fund raising committee was set up by officials of the four Colston commemoration societies, with Arrowsmith as honorary secretary.

The money did not pour in. Even with lots of letters to the local paper, fundraisers and campaigning among the monied classes, the target was only met when an anonymous donor rumoured to be one James Arrowsmith dug deep and deeper to make his dream a reality. And so it was that a few wealthy Victorians with an agenda to create and promote a sense of tradition erected a statue to the “father of the city”, a “merchant prince” and a “moral saint’.

The unveiling was led by the Mayor and Bishop of Bristol, surrounded by the business and political elite of the city. The mayor’s  speech concentrated on Bristol’s maritime history of mercantilism and Colston’s philanthropy. There was, of course, no direct mention of Colston’s leading role in the slave trade through his management positions and investments in the Royal African Company. The same had been true of the whole fund-raising campaign. However, the Mayor made one major indirect reference in his speech in stating that Colston’s “business was mainly with the West Indies”; essentially code for involvement in slavery and the slave trade. It is interesting that in 1895 there was at least some clarity about this aspect, albeit indirect. This should be compared to clumsy attempts by apologists over a century later to ‘airbrush the history’ by portraying Colston as merely an Iberian, Mediterranean or Levant merchant with no direct connections to trans-Atlantic slavery.

The mayor’s right – the thing belongs in a museum with other statues of long dead gods, saints and angels. The accompanying note will explain its history.

Spotter: Bristol Radical History Group

Posted: 9th, June 2020 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Madeleine McCann: The Sun versus Christian Brueckner and what Tasmin Sillence really saw

maddie mccann suspect witness

The Sun has been talking about depraved criminal Christian Brueckner with a “Key Madeleine McCann witness”. But has the paper been sticking to the facts to get a story? The paper reports:

The woman reported the sighting within hours of three-year-old Madeleine’s disappearance on May 3, 2007, and has always been viewed as a credible witness. Her confirmation came amid claims of glaring blunders by Judicial Police feared to have let the beast cheat justice.

The Sun understands from another British witness that Portuguese detectives circulated a photograph of Christian B years ago but failed to act. The second woman saw the image in 2007, and also confirmed it was a man she had seen behaving bizarrely in the days after Madeleine went missing…

A Sun trawl of witness statements all pointed to a man matching the paedophile’s description.

“Claims.” “Understands.” The hunt for facts continues. Can the Sun cut through the fog and help us form a clearer picture?

The Sun mentions British-born Tasmin Sillence, 12 at the time of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance in 2007 and living in Portugal since she was two months old. Twice she saw the man in the area of the McCanns’ apartment. The Sun says she “told police she saw a white man in dark glasses with his gaze fixed on the complex. Moments later, she looked up and saw a girl around Madeleine’s age on a sun deck in the same block. Tasmin provided police with the photofit picture circulated at the time which bears a striking resemblance to Christian B, 43. It would appear Christian B’s name and background were known to police all along.”

But that’s not exactly what she told police.

christian maddie

The Sun says this is what Tasmin Sillence told police in her statement of 9th of May 2007:

“She saw the man, this time in front of the Ocean Club reception, once more looking at Madeleine’s house.”

And:

She added that his face was pockmarked, he looked “ugly” and was casually dressed and wearing large-framed sunglasses.”

The Sun has got things in a muddle. Facts matter. This is what she told them, her words helping to form the efit image you can see above. (He words have been translated from Portuguese by Google translate):

Concerning the individual, she describes him as being: Caucasian race, light skin, so he wasn’t Portuguese, but could be British, according to her criteria. Approximately 180 cm tall, thin complexion, 30/35 years of age. Short hair, like shaved with 1 cm of length and fair, but she isn’t sure if it was blonde because the sun was reflecting, and made perception more difficult. She didn’t see the eyes because he wore dark glasses of black colour, with a structure of mass, a thick frame. He had a large forehead. Nose of normal size, a bit pointy and sharp. Large ears, close against the head. Mouth with thin lips, she didn’t see his teeth. Chin pointing up, which stood out on a face that she describes as sharp. No beard, no moustache, a clean shave. No other special signs, apart from some small pimples on the face as a result of shaving. He looked ugly, even ‘disgusting’.

Christian Brueckne has pockmarked skin. The witness did not say the man she saw did. He had a bit of pimply shaving rash. And there’s more.

Let’s recall for a second times what the Sun says:

What the Sun says she saw

Tasmin Sillence, 12 at the time, told police she saw a white man in dark glasses with his gaze fixed on the complex. Moments later, she looked up and saw a girl around Madeleine’s age on a sun deck in the same block.

But the police report does not present the same picture. In it we learn:

She also mentions that she lived in the apartment where the missing child was staying, that belonged to her Grandmother, who is already deceased. That she didn’t actually reside there, but spent extensive and repeated periods of time there, with her Grandmother and her Mother. The apartment was bought in 1994 and sold in 2002 and therefore she knows it perfectly, both from the inside and from the outside.

She wishes to clarify. On the 30th of April, Monday, at around 8 a.m. and when she was walking to the bus stop for the school bus that leaves at 8.15, a path that she walks every day when there is school, she noticed the presence of a male individual, at the back of Madeleine’s house, on a little pathway to the apartments that exists there, looking in an ostensive manner at the house’s balcony. This happened when she was walking down the street, on the left side, which was right in front of the balcony, and the distance between them was the width of the road. That when she was walking down she decided to look at the pathway, because as she lived there, she likes to watch the house and the neighbouring garden. She walked with her mother, that she is certain she didn’t see the man, and she was walking two dogs on a leash, which forced them to cross the road, a bit further down. At that moment she saw the man more closely, as they crossed the road, and then lost visual angle when they finished crossing.

Says that the man didn’t see the deponent, because he was staring at the balcony.

She presumes that nobody was on Madeleine’s house’s balcony, but she cannot state it beyond doubt.

On May 2, she saw the same man for the second time. She did not see him again:

She started walking up the street on the left side going up, and saw the man, this time in front of the ‘Ocean Club’s’ reception, once more looking at Madeleine’s house in an ostensive manner, where he stood he could observe, she thinks, the house’s two side windows and part of the balcony. She thinks that he could also be looking at the other residences that are located in the same direction.

And then this:

When asked she says that she saw Madeleine once, on a day that she cannot indicate, on the balcony where the man was staring at, the first time. She even waved at her because it was a small child, in a caring gesture.

She did not see the man stare at the balcony and then “moments later” see Madeleine McCann on the same balcony. She used to look at the McCann’s rented holiday home a lot, as she says. She once lived there. She could recall the two dates and times she saw the man and how she did not see anyone on the balcony on either occasion. She did see once Madeleine McCann on the balcony the man had observed but not when he was there. She did not see him looking at Madeleine McCann.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 6th, June 2020 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


Madeleine MaCann: Christian Brueckner, blonde Inga Gehricke but not darker Aref Ismaili

Inga Gehricke

After moral panics, conspiracy theories, false accusations, arguidos and hundreds of journalists typing the words “every parent’s worst nightmare”, we are now invited to wonder if Christian Brueckner kidnapped and murdered Madeleine McCann. As pastimes go, debating an innocent child’s fate is one down from dogging. But you can play armchair detective from the comfort of your own home and shape the single-thread story – child vanishes – to fit with your own prejudices.

And so to Christian Brueckner. Did he also kidnap and murder a child in his native Germany, a girl called Inga Gehricke? We don’t know. And innocence, even when the suspect is a convicted paedophile and rapist should be presumed. Evidence and proof are the stuff of justice. But the ‘maybe’ keeps us reading. The tabloids lead with the story of what might or might not have happened.

Inga appeared on these pages in 2015. A child killer named Silvio S had been arrested in connection with her disappearance. But he had nothing to do with Inga’s vanishing from a family trip to the woods in Wilhelmshof. The Sun told readers Inga is known as “The German Madeleine”. As we’ve noted, many countries seem to have a version of the missing child. Madeleine McCann is the media’s benchmark for all the world’s missing children – but only the white ones:

Australia has an Our Maddie – Chloe Campbell Is Australia’s Madeleine McCann

Brazil has an Our Maddie – Madeleine McCann: Isabella Nadoni Is Brazil’s Our Maddie

Israel has an Our Maddie– Madeleine McCann: Israel’s Rose Is The International Our Maddie

France has an Our Maddie –Typhaine Taton Is France’s Madeleine McCann

America has an Our Maddie – America’s Madeleine McCann Turns Up Alive

Spain has an Our Maddie – Madeleine McCann: Mari Luz Cortes, Maddy 2 And Gerry McCann Writes

New Zealand has an Our Maddie – Madeleine McCann: Patronising Aisling Symes

South America has an Our MaddieA Madeleine McCann Found In Panama

Holland has an Our Maddie – Madeleine McCann: Milly Boele Is Holland’s Our Maddie

Australia has an Our Maddie – Kiesha Abrahams Is Australia’s Madeleine McCann

What else Inga Gehricke and Madeleine McCann have in common is made plain in the Daily Mail: they are both blonde:

It was Madeleine McCann’s blondness that helped turn her into the media’s ‘Our Maddie’, Would a black child have been news for 13 years, his or her face on the national newspapers’ front pages and leading the TV news bulletins? No need to answer. The answer is ‘no’. Black lives matter. Blonde lives sell papers.

Aref Ismaili has been missing since April 4, 2016. He had fled from Afghanistan to Germany under adverse circumstances with his parents. Aref Ismaili vanished in the small town of Wanfried in Hesse, Germany. He has dark hair and dark eyes. His face is not familiar to people the world over.

This is news as much as it is entertainment. Take this story also in the Mail: “Luxury villa where new Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner raped a 72-year-old US tourist is just a ten minute walk from apartment where the toddler vanished 18 months later.” The circumstantial nature of the link is clouded further by pictures of the luxury villa (price on application; there’s a swimming pool). Again the Mail notes Inga’s “blonde hair and blue eyes”.

In 2017, Jens-Uwe Gehricke recalled in German media how he’d seen his daughter Inga shortly before she disappeared on the footpath that leads from his friends’ house to the barbecue area on the edge of the forest. Inga was carrying two large bottles of water. She wanted to help prepare for a barbecue. Shortly afterwards, two other children watched her again as she made her way back home. That was around 6:30 p.m. Nobody knows what happened then. Said Jens-Uwe Gehricke: “It was only 100 meters to the house. But she never got there.” Read that and your skin crawls and your heat breaks.

But if we’re looking for links why not look at the vanishing of six-year-old René Hasee? Eleven year before Madeleine McCann disappeared, the boy from Elsdorf, Germany, was on a summer holiday with his family in Aljezur, not far from Praia da Luz when he disappeared. René Hasee is blond, so we may well hear of him in the British tabloids before any mention of Aref.

Posted: 6th, June 2020 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: assumed dead, photos of German paedo Christian B and Jimmy Savile

Yesterday Madeleine McCann returned to the front pages. A relaxing of the Covid-19 induced lockdown meant the time was ripe for police and media to bring us an update on Operation Grange, the investigation into what happened to the innocent child who vanished in May 2007. News is that a convicted German child abuser named Christian Brueckner, 43, was in Portugal at the time Madeleine vanished from the Praia da Luz resort where she’d been holidaying with her family and their friends.

The prisoner has been spoken to by British and German police. Today papers lead with the opinion of German police that Madeleine McCann is dead. Well, maybe she is. They “assume” she is. You might assume she is not. In the field of cold case facts, assumptions are not evidence of anything other than opinion and prejudice. British police are keeping an open mind.

Want to see what the man named in Germany as ‘Christian B’ looks like, the man the Guardian says is the “strongest” suspect yet? This is how the BBC reveals the face of the suspect:

Have we come any distance since the early days of the investigation, when these suspects occupied newspaper front pages?

belgium-suspect1

Picture 1 of 6

If The Dandy comic did abductions

But in the newspapers and all over the web we can see the suspect’s face:

The Daily Mail publishes a picture of Christian Brueckner in a bar in 2011 and posted to his Facebook page. He has more than 17 criminal convictions. But what links him to the missing child? Well, allegedly he confessed or boasted to a friend that he’d kidnapped Madeleine McCann as they watched a TV show on the tenth anniversary of her disappearance. The Sun says Christian Brueckner also showed his friend a video on his mobile phone of him raping a woman. You might well wonder how the revolting Christian Brueckner came to have any friends and at what point you grass your drinking buddy to the police?

The bigger question is why we should accept Christian Brueckner at face value. This is a man described by German prosecutors as “a predator convicted of crimes against little girls”. He is a deeply nasty individual who has led a “sordid” (Times) life. The Sun tells us he is in prison for “raping a 72-year-old woman in the Algarve resort [Praia da Luz] in 2005”. German police say they suspect him of selling drugs and burglarising homes when he lived in a rented home near Praia da Luz. They suspect him of murdering Madeleine McCann.

And then the paper says: “The rapist’s alleged confession led to the latest breakthrough, but Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry’s hopes of finding her alive were yesterday dealt a crushing blow.” But the German authorities don’t know anything. They are assuming and believing. The investigation and the current appeal for help and witnesses is the enduring hope that this story will reach a conclusion.

‘Christian B’ on the BBC. In Germany, privacy laws mean authorities will not fully identify any suspects. Suspects in criminal cases are often only identified in German media by their first name followed by the first letter of their surname.

German public prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters adds: “The public prosecutor’s office in Braunschweig is investigating a 43-year-old German national on suspicion of murder. From this you can see that we assume that the girl is dead.” And then we learn: “B was investigated by Portuguese cops in 2008 over Madeleine’s disappearance but was ruled out at the time.”

So they bungled it or correctly ruled him out? Says the Sun, “Experts said B matched the profile of a Jimmy Savile-style “paraphiliac”, who targets victims of all ages.” Jimmy Savile was never arrested. He was neither tried nor convicted of any crime.

The investigation continues…

Posted: 5th, June 2020 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


Madeleine McCann: maybe the German in the van took her – or maybe not

maddie mccann

There’s a new suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. It’s a 43-year-old German man. No need to look for him. He’s already in prison. German media has identified him as ‘Christian B’. Hans Christian Wolters, from the Braunschweig Public Prosecutor’s Office, says: “We are assuming that the girl is dead. With the suspect, we are talking about a sexual predator who has already been convicted of crimes against little girls and he’s already serving a long sentence.”

The story leads the news cycle. The Times says he’s a “paedophile”. The Telegraph says it’s the “biggest breakthrough yet”. It’s “time to nail” him, says the Star. Great news. And it is – until you get the facts… How can you charge a man with a crime with no evidence he committed one – and no evidence any crime took place?

The Mail and Sun both lead with questions. “Did German take Maddie in this van?” wonders the Sun, making the suspect’s nationality a key part of the story. “Have they found man who took Maddie?” asks the Mail.

And one more question: did police working on Operation Grange keep the story from media until coronavirus had been washed from the front pages? Was it done to help their appeal for anyone who saw the man or his van to come forward? If they did, it’s worked. Did they also want to show us that for £11m, the cost of the investigation so far, you get results?

The BBC leads its story by telling us, “He is believed to have been in the area where Madeleine was last seen, when she disappeared in Portugal 13 years ago.” Believed by..? “Someone out there knows a lot more than they’re letting on,” says Det Chief Inspector Mark Cranwell.

So did you see a man with a camper van in Portugal 13 years ago? He has short short blond hair and about 6ft tall with a slim build at the time. German and British police have spoken with him about Madeleine but he’s not confessed.

Time to review the evidence:

The Express says he was known to be in Praia da Luz when Madeleine McCann vanished. He had 30-minute phone conversation with a “mystery caller” the night Madeleine went missing. The day after Madeleine vanished in 2007, the suspect transferred the Jaguar to someone else’s name. The BBC says this is “suspicious”.

On the night of the vanishing, he received a phone call at 7.32pm, which ended at 8.02pm. Madeleine is believed to have disappeared between 9.10pm and 10pm that evening.

The Telegraph says he’s a multiple child sex offender.

The Mail says the suspect was renting a “ramshackle farm building” two miles from Praia da Luz where the McCann family were holidaying.

German police also suggested there “may” have been other people involved who are still at large, says the Mail. As one German officer puts: “There is reason to assume that there are other persons, apart from the suspect, who have concrete knowledge of the course of the crime and maybe also of the place where the body was left.”

It all adds up to a lot of belief, assumption and maybe. Plus ca change.

And you can help find Maddie. Scotland Yard is launching a joint appeal with German and Portuguese police with a £20,000 reward for information that leads to the conviction of the person responsible for Madeleine’s. Remember when the reward was huge and the innocent girl who became the media’s ‘Our Maddie’ was spotted in: Canada,ItalySwedenPortugalSpainMoroccoMajorca,BelgiumBosniaFranceAustraliaBrazil,Wales, MaltaItalyGermanyAustralia, France, IndiaDubaiDorsetUSA and New Zealand (taken there by boat).

The last word is with the parents who issue this statement:

“We would like to thank the police forces involved for their continued efforts in the search for Madeleine. All we have ever wanted is to find her, uncover the truth and bring those responsible to justice. We will never give up hope of finding Madeleine alive, but whatever the outcome may be, we need to know as we need to find peace.”

Madeleine McCann is missing.

Posted: 4th, June 2020 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


Fabulous Photographs and Art Prints of Manchester United and Manchester City Football Fans 1976-1977

Manchester united fans art prints 1977

Thanks to the Flashbak art prints shop for showing us these brilliant photographs of football fans in Manchester in the late 1970s. They were taken by Iain S. P. Reid in 1976 and 1977. The photographs zoom in on Manchester derby games between Manchester United and Manchester City. Plans are for the photographs and the stories around them to appear in a book. So i you are in any of the photographs or know someone was is, please get in touch.

Manchester united fans 1977

Sadly Iain passed away in November 2000. He was cremated at Hazelhead Crematorium, Aberdeen on the 8th November 2000. The mourners were so many that some had to stand outside…. A testament to his life. He was much loved by many. His photographs are arguably the best images of British football culture in the 1970s. More from the Manchester series are being posted on Iain’s Facebook Page.

15% of all profits from prints and the book go to the charity Melanoma UK

You can buy the art prints here.

Please follow Iain’s Facebook Page for more of these great photos.

All images are the copyright the Estate of Iain S. P. Reid and must not be used without permission.

Posted: 2nd, June 2020 | In: Key Posts, manchester united, Sports | Comment


George Floyd Riots: video of mob trying to murder and rob sword wielding man in Dallas

Mob dallas george floyd murder

How do you react to the death of George Floyd. You should be angry. You should be sickened by the casual acts of violence that left a man dead after he was abused by police. You should campaign for equality and blind justice. But in Dallas, Texas, lunatics thought it right to try to murder a man who’d thought it sensible to carry a sword into the street. The mob used bricks, feet and a skateboard to crush his skull. What do we see – violence, race, crime or just part of the whole story? The video was taken by Elijah Schaffer of conservative broadcaster Blaze TV. It is shocking. The mob is cowardly. The mob always is:

Dallas murder
This looks like attempted murder

And as for the police:

Posted: 31st, May 2020 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


George Floyd was ‘murdered’ but whodunnit?

George Floyd

The death of George Floyd has been televised the world over. But who to blame for what his alleged murder? The Telegraph leads with Donald’s Trump’s role in the story. “Trump race row as police officer is charged,” runs the front-page headline. ‘George who?’ ask Tele readers.

Trump says Mr Floyd deserves “justice”. He also says that “looters should not be allowed to drown out the voices of so many peaceful protesters”. And he also guffed: “”When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Which sounds like a threat and a glorification of violence, no?

The head of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, spoke out about what he called the “murder” of Floyd and said his organisation rejects the “continuing discriminatory practices against black citizens of the USA”.

Anger or Fury? Or salad?

The Guardian says it’s “America blaze“. “Fury erupts over police killing in US.” A police officer was killed? No. A police officer named Derek Chauvin (44; armed; white) thought it fair to place his knee onto the neck of George Floyd (46; unarmed; handcuffed; complaining of being unable to breathe; suspected of tying to use a counterfeit $20 note; black) for little under nine minutes. If the video of the incident doesn’t make you angry, you may need to check your angle.

And get this: sources says Mr Chauvin and Mr Floyd had both worked as bouncers at the same nightclub venue. Did they know one another?

Derek Chuavin

What o justice? Derek Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Hennepin County Prosecutor Mike Freeman says, “This is by far the fastest that we’ve ever charged a police officer.” Looks like video evidence gets results. So too anger. Stay angry.

Are the police contrite?

The last word for now is from Killer Mike:

Posted: 30th, May 2020 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Emily Maitlis, the New European and the 48% want a referendum on Mr Brexit

The New European, the newspaper created to campaign for a second referendum (failed) and keep the UK in the EU (ditto), reports on a petition created to support Emily Maitlis, lead presenter of BBC’s Newsnight who fell foul of the State’s broadcaster’s impartiality rules when she presented opinion as fact in her monologue on Dominic Cummings. “The New Pop-up Paper for the 48%” who voted to Remain in the EU, as The New European was originally billed, shares with readers the call to help Emily and a link advising “The online petition can be signed here”. The paper also features four voices in support of Maitlis but not one to say that the BBC should be politically impartial and in this instance was clearly biased.

“Less than 24 hours after Emily Maitlis spoke for people in the UK and spoke truth to power she has been removed from Newsnight. How can it be just and appropriate that a woman is removed for telling the truth, while an unelected man appears bulletproof even after lying and showing no contrition? Her removal tells us so much about the degree of control the government has on our national broadcaster. We have suspected it for a long time. This time it’s hiding in plain sight.Please join me and sign this not just to re instate Emily Maitlis but to also send a message to this and successive governments. You will not silence those brave women and men who choose not to stand by while terrible things happen.”

The terrible thing was Cummings, the Prime Minister’s aide and a leading architect of Brexit, allegedly breaking lockdown rules.

Vote now and vote often

The main problem with the paper’s report is that Maitlis was not taken off air. “I asked for the night off,” she says. The show was presented by UK editor Katie Razzall instead. But it can’t be that Maitlis spoke off the cuff. TV’s shows are scripted and planned. Razzall said she “wouldn’t have agreed to present the show” if Maitlis had been sidelined. Newsnight editor Esme Wrenn said Maitlis “hasn’t been replaced”. Deputy editor Stewart McLean added: “For the avoidance of doubt, @maitlis has neither ‘been replaced’ nor ‘been taken off air'”.

But how can we be certain? Why not hold a vote and see. A simple in / out choice on whether Dominic Cummings should keep his job and then one if Maitlis should keep hers?

Posted: 28th, May 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Non-violent murder by natural causes: the mysterious death of George Floyd

Non-violent murder by natural causes: the death of George Floyd

Death, murder and a killing. How do you report on George Floyd, the 46-year-old man filmed telling the policeman kneeling on his neck, “Please, please, please, I can’t breathe”? He had already been handcuffed. Four Minneapolis police officers have been fired and federal authorities are investigating what happened to George Floyd, an unarmed black man who had allegedly used a forged check in a grocery store. What we know is mostly broadcast in this video below. Police say George Floyd resisted arrest:

“Hundreds demand justice in Minneapolis after police killing of George Floyd,” says the Guardian. Mr Floyd was “killed when a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck as he lay on the ground during an arrest”. Does the policeman’s whiteness matter? Was the man killed, a word that suggest it was no accident? Was it murder? Did he “lay” on the ground or was he being pushed into it.

Minneapolis police department says George Floyd “died a short time” after a “medical incident”, after being transported to hospital. He just died. It was passive. “[They] were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and realized that the suspect was suffering a medical distress”. Dutifully, officers “called for an ambulance”. Was this medical incident related to the large, armed man named Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck? “He physically resisted officers,” MPD said in a statement. “Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress. Officers called for an ambulance. He was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center by ambulance where he died a short time later.”

The Daily Mail is no less circumspect, reporting that “footage emerged of a white cop kneeling on the neck of a black man who then passed out and died”. He was not killed. He just died. Al Jazeera agrees, although its headline only identifies the dead man by skin colour: “George Floyd: Black man dies after US police pin him to ground.” It was the “death of a black man” says the BBC. “CHAOS, ” yells the Sun, “Riots erupt in Minneapolis as thousands demand arrest of cops over George Floyd’s death with riot police firing tear gas.” Not a killing. A death that plays second fiddle to the “riots” -of which there were none. There was protest. Given what had occurred and the long, ugly history of African Americans being abused at the hands of white police and the US State, the crowd was remarkably calm.

Who do we fear – the police or the crowd looking on? A policeman is kneeling on a man’s throat. Another policeman stands by them both, watching the crowds for signs of insurrection. The man being pinned to the tarmac is about to breath his last.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports on “The nonviolent incident that led to Floyd’s death”, adding that “a cause of death has not yet been determined”. It’s a mystery. But the coroner may care to take a look around Mr Floyd’s neck area for signs of “non-violent” trauma.

The Washington Post says Mr Floyd “died at the hands of police”. There’s no mention of any underlying health conditions. He didn’t collapse. He was taken down and kept down in brutal fashion. Was his death preventable? That one for the experts.

From one newspaper’s”killing” to another’s “non-violent” incident, the story is packaged and shaped to our tastes and prejudices. We need the facts.

Posted: 27th, May 2020 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


‘I’ve Got The Miley’ – slang in the age of Coronavirus

miley cyrus virus covid 19

Australians Kate Burridge and Howard Manns tell us how coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic is creating new words and phrases. You got the ‘covo’, mate?

In these times of COVID-19, there are the usual suspects: shortenings like “sanny” (hand sanitizer) and “iso” (isolation), abbreviations like BCV (before corona virus) and WFH (working from home), also compounds “corona moaner” (the whingers) and “zoombombing” (the intrusion into a video conference).

Plenty of nouns have been “verbed” too — the toilet paper/pasta/tinned tomatoes have been “magpied”. Even rhyming slang has made a bit of a comeback with Miley Cyrus lending her name to the virus (already end-clipped to “the Miley”). Some combine more than one process — “the isodesk” (or is that “the isobar”) is where many of us are currently spending our days.

Linguist Tony Thorne, has a list of new language, writing beneath the headline: “CORONASPEAK – the language of Covid-19 goes viral”. Here are some from his glossary coined by an excited media:

Coronaverse (Guardian) – the now prevailing socio-economic order

Quarantimes – a hashtag or label for the prevailing circumstances under lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic

Viral anxiety (New Statesman) – fear and uncertainty, sometimes excessive, due to the COVID-19 outbreak and its ramifications

The coronopticon (Economist) – the notion of a national or global system of surveillance and control

Contagion chivalry (New York Times) – an act or acts of selflessness during confinement

Coronaphobia (Daily Mail) – fear experienced by the public at the prospect of having to return to work, send children back to school, use public transport, etc.

Corona-shaming (New York Times) – publicly criticising those, particularly celebrities, who have infringed public health regulations

Coronacoma (New York Times)

Spotter: Kottke

Posted: 14th, May 2020 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


England edges towards post- Covid-19 freedom, Scotland bans common sense and Wales threatens to arrest the English

The Government’s new Covid-19 guidelines tell us that two people from different households are able to meet in outdoor settings so long as they stay more than two metres apart. “If you’re out in the park and you’re 2m apart… and use some common sense and you socially-distance, you can meet up with other people.,” says Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. You can’t meet indoors, not even if you both wear wide-hooped crinoline skirts, gas masks and rubber gloves. (I’m sorry, Prince Andrew, but those are the rules.) You can “take more and even unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise” rather than only exercising once a day, “play sports” with people from the same household, and people from one household can drive to other destinations (such as forests, parks and beaches).

But only in England. Politics has stepped in to muddy the waters. Many Scots will no doubt be delighted that more than one bout of daily exercise remains forbidden. The SNP Government in Scotland says the country must remain in lockdown. No common sense or you. And the Welsh Government’s counsel general, Jeremy Miles, says Wales is closed to the English. “Our regulations do not permit people to get in their car and drive to destinations in Wales,” says Mr Miles. “And that also means people getting in their cars in England.” Break the rules for Wales and you may well be fined.

Looks like only parts of the UK trust the people to stick to rules on social distancing and consider the risk and take responsibility for themselves.

Posted: 11th, May 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


British newspapers marks Hitler’s death with bizarre tribute

Adolf Hitler died on April 30 1945. The Independent newspaper seems to want to thank the German leader for doing his bit to end World War 2. The headline marking 75 years since the genocidal, mass murderer’s death chimes: “How Hitler met his death 75 years ago and brought the Second World War and brought the Second World War to a close.”

Hitler death independent

Not all bad, then, right?

On 20 April, Adolf Hitler made his final appearance above ground as he emerged from the sanctuary that had become his prison to hand out the Iron Cross to members of the Hitler Youth, among the devastated remains of what had been the Chancellery’s garden.

It was his 56th birthday and the last time he would feel the brush of sunlight against his cheek.

Aw. Shucks!

On 23 April, Eva Braun wrote to her sister Gretl, sending gifts of coffee and tinned food for their parents and giving instructions for the disposal of her gold and diamond watches, photograph albums and her love letters.

You want more? You should see what he did for gender equality:

On his last morning on earth, a pallid Hitler is said by biographer Hans-Otto Meissner to have greeted Magda Goebbels, the Nazi Party’s unofficial “first lady”, by taking the gold party insignia from his grey overcoat and fastening it to her lapel with trembling hands, prompting her to burst into tears at the honour. It was the highest recognition ever awarded to a woman by the Third Reich.

Adolf Hitler – gave his life to end the war. Whaddaguy! Such are the facts.

Posted: 1st, May 2020 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Kick It Out: Newcastle United’s Saudi Arabia money is perfect for the greedy, moralising Premier League

Newcastle United: Saudi Arabia money  is perfect for the greedy, moralising Premier League

The latest plot to make Newcastle United winners is under attack. beIn Sports wants the Premier League to stop Newcastle’s proposed £300million takeover from a Saudi Arabia-led consortium. The prospective buyers have funds from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund – money controlled by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Qatar media network beIN SPORTS has an exclusive deal to broadcast all Premier League football matches in the Middle East and North Africa for the three seasons 2019/20-2021/22. “Nothing brings people together and excites passions and emotions like sport; particularly football,” guffed beIn’s spots chairman as the £400m deal was signed. But sport can only do so much. The hand of friendship can be cut off at the wrist. The two countries are not on the best of terms:

Since 2017 Qatar has been subject to a boycott by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt (the Arab Quartet), creating a deep rift in a region already beset by civil wars and insurgencies

CityAm explains:

BeIN is locked in a bitter dispute with illegal Saudi-backed broadcaster BeoutQ, which it has accused of pirating its coverage of Premier League fixtures.

“In light of the Saudi Arabia government’s facilitation of the near three-year theft of the Premier League’s commercial rights — and in turn your club’s commercial revenues — through its backing of the huge scale BeoutQ pirate service, I would strongly suggest that you fully interrogate this deal, and ask the Premier League to do the same, as a matter of urgency,” al-Obaidly wrote.

“It is no exaggeration to say that the future economic model of football is at stake,” he added.

Pick a side: Qatar or Saudi Arabia? And don’t forget to pull on your rainbow laces. This is what Human Rights Watch says of each bastion of the beautiful game:

Qatari laws continue to discriminate against women, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals

The Premier League says: “The Premier League, proudly stand alongside Stonewall in promoting equality and diversity… we ask that all fans support LGBT people in football and beyond by making them feel welcome.”

Premier LEague kick it out

Saudi Arabia faced unprecedented international criticism in 2019 for its human rights record, including continuing repression of dissidents and activists and the failure to provide accountability for the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents in October 2018. Amid the criticism, Saudi authorities announced landmark reforms for Saudi women that, if fully implemented, represent a significant step forward, including allowing Saudi women over 21 years old to obtain passports and travel abroad without male guardian permission for the first time. However, women’s rights activists still remained in prison or on trial for their activism. In 2019, Saudi Arabia carried out 184 executions, 84 for non-violent drug crimes. Through 2019, the Saudi-led coalition continued a military campaign against the Houthi rebel group in Yemen that has included scores of unlawful airstrikes that have killed and wounded thousands of civilians.

Racism and sexism are the norm in Saudi Arabia. The moralising PL must be shocked. It support Kick It Out, stating:

The Premier League is making it clear there is No Room For Racism as we continue to work with all our clubs, fans, the FA, EFL, PFA, Kick It Out and the police to tackle discrimination across all areas of football.

The League’s No Room for Racism campaign demonstrates its continued commitment to equality and diversity, using the power and popularity of the League to oppose racism in football.

Racism is not acceptable in our competition or the wider sport.

The Saudi and Qataris are just the sort of people, then, that our moralising Premier League can do business with. Time for the PL to make a tough decision and stop using football to teach the fans how to think.

Posted: 23rd, April 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Sports | Comment


Tabloid readers flock to buy Vogue for news of Harry and Meghan as former royals ban the Sun, Express, Mirror and Mail from doing their PR

prince harry meghan
Harry and Meghan – live cam

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will no longer “offer themselves up as currency for an economy of clickbait and distortion”. The couple, now living in LA and functioning as the ambulatory Archewell brand, tell four of the main British tabloids, The Sun, Daily Mail, Daily Express and Daily Mirror, they are above such things. They are beginning “a new media relations policy”. They tell the media:

“It is gravely concerning that an influential slice of the media, over many years, has sought to insulate themselves from taking accountability for what they say or print – even when they know it to be distorted, false, or invasive beyond reason. When power is enjoyed without responsibility, the trust we all place in this much-needed industry is degraded.”

From now on the tabloids will have to rely on gossip, paparazzi photos and ‘sources’ close to the couple for news. Yeah. Plus ca change. Harry and Meghan will bar the media they don’t like from receiving official updates and photographs. The four newspapers of the apocalypse will not receive the couples press releases telling of their unique inspiring love and where you can buy their news range of scented candles. The papers will have to wait for other approved organs to publish the PR before splashing the statements across their web pages. The papers will also be banned from attending official Archewell events.

Tabloid readers will be distraught at the news and flock to buy Vogue and therein read of the couple’s wonderful lives and where to get their merchandise.

Posted: 20th, April 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment