Anorak

Key Posts | Anorak - Part 20

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Jesus Christ drives an Uber: driver’s message goes viral

Uber Christ I have arrived

 

Uber driver Chris has a message: “I have arrived.” On Twitter, Daniel Powell shared the incredible news that Christ is “arriving soon in a Hyundai Elantra”.

Praise be!

 

How did the trip go?

 

Uber Christ I have arrived

 

Was it really him?
 


 

Amen.

Posted: 3rd, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Predictive Policing perpetuates racism and makes us all suspects

Predpol is, according to it website, “the market leader in predictive policing”. Predpol collects data and uses it to show police where future offences will take place. Crime is contagious, the thinking goes – the same offenders target the same people in the same area. Pump in the bald facts for ostensibly objective analysis and an efficient police service. “PredPol is currently being used to help protect one out of every 33 people in the United States,” says the company. Really? The facts are unclear. But predictive policing is here in the UK.

Predictive police has many fans. Jeff Brantingham, an anthropology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles who helped to develop the Predpol algorithm, says: “If you are victimized today the risk that you’ll be a victim again goes way up.” Andrew Guthrie Ferguson, a law teacher at the University of the District of Columbia, warns that “under current Fourth Amendment doctrine predictive policing will have a significant effect on reasonable suspicion analysis”. Lindsey Barrett agrees: “These algorithms have the potential to increase accuracy and efficiency, but they also threaten to dilute the reasonable suspicion standard and increase unintentional discrimination in a way that existing law is ill-equipped to prevent.” It’s not the coppers who are racist; it’s the robot.

If past data is the barometer of future crime, how trusty is that data? For instance, if police spend more time in, say, black neighbourhoods nicking people for weed possession will they just repeat past patterns and mistakes? Can Predpol tell us where most white collar crime takes place and prevent it?

…civil liberties groups and racial justice organizations are wary. They argue that predictive policing perpetuates racial prejudice in a dangerous new way, by shrouding it in the legitimacy accorded by science. Crime prediction models rely on flawed statistics that reflect the inherent bias in the criminal justice system, they contend—the same type of bias that makes black men more likely to get shot dead by the police than white men. Privacy is another key concern. In Chicago, Illinois, one scientist has helped the police department generate a list of individuals deemed likely to perpetrate or be victims of violent crime in the near future; those people are then told they’re considered at risk, even if they have done nothing wrong.

Corey Doctorow took a look:

An anonymous security researcher recently contacted me with what may be a list of Predpol’s customers. This researcher had seen that Predpol assigns easy-to-guess subdomains to each Predpol customer, in the form of CITYNAME.predpol.com, for example, baltimore.predpol.com.

This researcher wrote a script that combined the name of every US city and town with “.predpol.com” and checked to see whether this domain existed. The full list of cities that had Predpol domains is both short and confusing:

longbeach.predpol.com
indianapolis.predpol.com
hollywood.predpol.com
albany.predpol.com
southjordan.predpol.com
berkeley.predpol.com
frederick.predpol.com
baltimore.predpol.com
pleasanton.predpol.com
modesto.predpol.com
tacoma.predpol.com
elmonte.predpol.com
elgin.predpol.com
livermore.predpol.com
reading.predpol.com
merced.predpol.com
haverhill.predpol.com

Predpol itself was tight-lipped in the extreme: they initially ignored all press requests, then sent a terse “neither confirm nor deny” response to my questions about this list. They wouldn’t even confirm whether the login forms at these domains were secure, despite repeated warnings from me that I would be making them public, requesting that they ensure that these forms require strong logins and passwords to avoid exposing sensitive policing data.

Robocop’s watching you. What can go wrong?

 

Posted: 2nd, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Technology | Comment


Aaron Ramsey to Manchester United as Liverpool rule out move and Arsenal progress

Aaron Ramsey says he’s no idea why Arsenal withdrew their contract offer. For months and months the club’s offer of £170,000-a-week for four years reportedly sat on the table. Ramsey never signed. Why not? We can only suppose he wanted more money, as much as £250,000-a-week to deliver one Premier League goal a season, as he did last season, and spend a large chunk of time sat in the treatment room. As Ramsey dithered and his Mr 15% thought they held all the cards, Arsenal moved on. First Arsene Wenger was sacked, then Ivan Gazidis, the ineffectual chief executive, went to work for AC Milan, a once great club now operated by a US hedge fund. The new Arsenal hierarchy looked at Ramsey, considered his value and thought him not worth the money.

Gazidis’ successor Raul Sanllehi can only be an improvement. “I don’t think I am inventing the wheel,” he told the Sunday Telegraph of the club’s new decision not to let key players enter the final year of a contract. “Anybody could agree on that.”

There’s a lot of chatter about where Ramsey might go next. The Star says Chelsea don’t want him because Ross Barkley, 24, and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, 22, are playing well. Sky says Liverpool have ruled out making a move for Ramsey. The Welshman could join Manchester United in January with Juan Mata moving the other way, says the Sun. Why United would want a slowing midfielder is moot.

The Telegraph says Arsenal “have embarrassed themselves again” by letting a £50m player leave for free. To which the question must be: which club was ever going to pay £50m for Ramsey, plus around £200,000-a-week in wages? And why is it embarrassing to get rid of players who rate themselves too highly and bring on hungry, fresh talent, as Arsenal have, notably in the shape of Emile Smith Rowe, Matteo Guendouzi and a vastly improved Alex Iwobi?

Arsenal called Ramsey’s bluff. Everton beckons him. He’ll leave behind an Arsenal side possessed of a new sense of direction.

 

Posted: 2nd, November 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Key Posts, Sports | Comment


Accountant who pretended house was his gets to keep it

Bill Gertos squatter australia

 

To Sydney, Australia, where Bill Gertos is the owner of a new home in Sydney, Australia. Twenty years ago, Mr Gertos was working as a tax accountant. (Just as all lawyers should be called Sue, all accountants must be called Bill.)  He spotted a tired looking house. No-one was living there. He discovered that the last resident had died. They’d been renting the home since the 1940s. Mr Gertos moved in. He changed the locks. And he rented it out. The actual owners – descendants of the previous owner, who died in 1947 – took Mr Gertos to court. And lost. He got to keep the house.

The BBC:

In New South Wales, squatters can be awarded ownership if they have occupied a property for more than 12 years.

The court granted Mr Gertos those rights because he had repaired and maintained the property since 1998.

Australian media outlets described the case as “bizarre” because the relevant law is typically used by those who move into a property themselves.

Wonder if the current lodgers begrudge paying Mr Gertos any rent – and how many landlords are looking at their accountants with renewed interest..?

Posted: 2nd, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Momentum uses Hillsborough to promote Jeremy Corbyn for Prime Minister

Jeremy Corbyn fans at Momentum want you to follow @PeoplesMomentum. “Let’s get a Socialist government to No.10! 💓 Join Momentum today! 👇,” runs their tweet.  And there’s a video. Things are interesting about 36 seconds in when the campaign uses the Hillsborough tragedy to promote Jez:

 

 

See that bloke chucking copies of the Sun newspaper into a bin bag? He didn’t do it because he wants Corbyn to be prime minster. He didn’t even do it to stick it to the right-wing media. The footage is of Everton fan Brian Kelly binning free copies of the Sun at Glasgow Airport as part of the boycott triggered by the paper’s appalling reporting on the horror of Hillsborough. The Sun apologised, albeit years later.

Mr Kelly told the Liverpool Echo: “A friend of mine, Tommy Fletcher, who’s a Liverpool fan, said put the lot in the bin and I gladly obliged. The rivalry obviously doesn’t come into it when this is involved… Loads of places now are gladly refusing to sell the paper. Football fans, true football fans, should agree to do the same.”

 

 

That Momentum thought using the Hillsborough horror to promote Corbyn was a good idea brings their judgement into question. The survivors, friends, relatives and loved ones of the 96 who died in 1989 still await justice. Hijacking their suffering is opportunistic and demeaning. Corbyn a pal of the working class who were defamed and monstered by a lying media and police a Hillsborough ? Don’t make me laugh. Back then football fans were “scum”, a white riot-in-waiting; today Corbyn portrays the tabloid reading masses as mentally negligible bigots who voted for Brexit and Tories because they were stupid enough to believe lies. Wary of these fools getting the wrong kind of information, Corbyn wants to nationalise the news.

Nothing’s changed.

Back then right and left were united in a war on football fans. Football was “a slum sport watched by slum people in slum stadiums(Sunday Times); a game produced by “yobs and slum cultures of the stricken inner cities” (New Statesman); a game for the “udserclass” (Sunday Times). They still seek to regulate and control behaviour by restricting our view.

Note: What does footage of a man chucking copies of tabloid newspapers into bins say about Corbyn’s attitude to press freedom? It’s chilling. Don’t vote for censorship.

 

Posted: 1st, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, Politicians | Comment


Transfer balls: Manchester United flop becomes the new Neymar PSG

As newspapers tank, red-top tabloids try to translate splashy sensation from paper to the web. The Sun thunders:
“Manchester United flop Alexis Sanchez wanted by PSG in shock transfer, amid continuing Old Trafford struggles.” Sanchez wants out of his absurd £600,000-a-week contract? And PSG in their wisdom think Sanchez is worth the effort?! The story is full of zero facts:

PSG would be willing to take Sanchez off their hands as long as they can land him on the cheap or even on a possible free transfer. It is understood the idea of getting him off their books has been talked about by the United hierarchy.

A “source” from somewhere inside or at least stood pretty close by Manchester United say it all “could” happen. The source is unnamed. But they are chatty:

“It’s no secret he has struggled and not lived up to the expectations. He isn’t getting any younger and it might never work for him. There was interest before the club signed him but he preferred staying in England at the time. That may have changed now. One of their [PSG’s] top stars could go and it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that a deal could be struck between the two clubs.”

Nonsense, then. But this is the desperate web and from that “exclusive”, we get the Daily Mirror thundering: “Alexis Sanchez transfer: Why PSG think they can sign Manchester United star on FREE.” Why? Dunno. But the guess is that he costs a lot of money in wages and is not all that good. And on it goes:

 

transfer balls sanchez manchester united

Sanchez- from ageing flop to the new Neymar!

 

 

Daily Express: “PSG want to sign Alexis Sanchez from Manchester United on one condition.”

Daily Star: “Man Utd news: PSG eye Alexis Sanchez on free transfer.”

talkSport: “Manchester United transfer news: Paris Saint-Germain plot shock move.”

Manchester Evening News: “Manchester United winger Alexis Sanchez ‘eyed’ for Paris Saint Transfer.”

All utter tosh.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 31st, October 2018 | In: Back pages, Key Posts, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Martin Scorsese’s Best 11 Horror Films

Hymned director Martin Scorsese has produced a list of his eleven most terrifying horror movies. There’s nothing after 1983. This might be more down to his age than any decline in the standard of horror. Scorsese was born in late 1942. Maybe when he reached his 40s, he stopped being frightened?

It’s also notable that noticeable that many of the directors whose work impressed him are no longer alive. Robert Wise died in 2005; Vale Lewton (1951); Lewis Allen (2000); Frank de Felitta (2016); Alberto Cavalcanti (1982);  Charles Crichton (1999); Basil Dearden (1971); Robert Hamer (1963); Stanley Kubrick (1999); Jacques Turner (1977); Jack Clayton (1995); and Alfred Hitchcock (1980). Perhaps there’s a bit of professional rivalry? Anyhow, the list if great:

The Haunting (Robert Wise, 1963)
Isle of the Dead (Val Lewton, 1945)
The Uninvited (Lewis Allen, 1944)
The Entity (Frank de Felitta, 1983)
Dead of Night (Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden and Robert Hamer, 1945)
The Changeling (Peter Medak, 1980)
The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
Night of the Demon (Jacques Tourneur, 1957)
The Innocents (Jack Clayton, 1961)
Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)

Spotter:  The Daily Beast (2015).

Posted: 31st, October 2018 | In: Film, Key Posts | Comment


After Pittsburgh the righteous and fair blame the Jews

After the massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue, hollow minds scout around for someone to blame. You can blame the web, rabid anti-Semitism now rife in British politics – we’re told never to forget, but it never went away – the prime suspect’s hatred of Jews, Israel (how the righteous and not-in-the-least-bit racist love to apportion collective blame on all Jews for events in a foreign country) and the Chief Rabbi. So here are Jenny Tongue, a member of the House of Lords, and Katie Hopkins, a member of the twitter doghouse, doing there bit for peace and harmony:

 

 

 

Posted: 29th, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


‘Disgusting’ and ‘greedy’: what they said about Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha

Praise for Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the Leicester City chairman killed in a helicopter crash. Jamie Vardy, the club’s striker, calls Srivaddhanaprabha the club’s “soul”. “He was a billionaire – a very wealthy and successful man,” said BBC Leicester’s Ian Stringer. “But also so humble and lovely.”

But when he oversaw the “ruthless” (talkSport) dismissal of Claudio Ranieri, the manager who led Leicester to the Premier League title, bouquets lobbed at the great man had thorns to the fore. Picking up on the “wave of shock, outrage and disgust” (BBC) was Gary Lineker, a former Leicester City and England striker now hosting BBC TV’s Match of The Day. He tweeted:

“After all that Claudio Ranieri has done for Leicester City, to sack him now is inexplicable, unforgivable and gut-wrenchingly sad.”

Daily Mirror columnist and former Leicester player Stan Collymore called it “disgusting”. Beneath the headline “Claudio Ranieri’s sacking was absolutely disgusting – it was modern football in a nutshell”, he opined:

…when Foxes owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha did wield the axe on Thursday it was such a joke.

Although, sadly, the act was ­symptomatic of the greedy and ill-thought-out nature of the game. It was modern football in a nutshell…

The fact that Ranieri has been sacked is disgusting, absolutely ­disgusting.

And Ranieri wrote:

“Yesterday my dream died. After the euphoria of last season and being crowned Premier League champions all I dreamed of was staying with Leicester City, the club I love, for always. Sadly this was not to be. I wish to thank my wife Rosanna and all my family for their never ending support during my time at Leicester.”

Jurgen Klopp provided context:

“It is not only football. For me there have been a few strange decisions in 16/17: Brexit, Trump, Ranieri.”

The Guardian:

This is the part of the story that shines a light on football’s deceit and two-facedness almost as much as the fact that barely a fortnight earlier, only two days before deciding they had to cut him free, the people in charge at Leicester promised Ranieri their “unwavering support”. Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the club’s chairman, and his son, Aiyawatt, clearly find it easier to employ others to carry out their dirty work. Yet, after everything that has gone before, was it really too much to think they might have afforded Ranieri the common decency of a first-hand explanation?

Jose Mourinho added:

“I thought last season, when I was sacked as a champion, it was a giant, negative thing. Now I recognise it’s peanuts compared to Claudio.”

Forbes looks at the money:

In his book The Billionaires Club, James Montague says Leicester’s shock title win in 2016 also helped shield owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha from some of the turbulence of Thai domestic politics. Owning a team in the Championship doesn’t have quite the same effect.

As for now, well, Lineker noted:

“A quiet, unassuming man who will always be remembered with great fondness and respect. He also helped to bring the most magical, miraculous title win in the history of football. Thank you, Chairman for all you did for our football club. #RIP”

It was incredible.

 

 

 

Posted: 29th, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Sports | Comment


After Pittsburgh the internet bans Gab

gab paypal medium pittsburgh

 

In response to the massacre of 11 Jews and police officers at the Pittsburgh synagogue, PayPal will no longer be processing payment to Gab. It’s a social network a bit like Twitter. The main suspect in the synagogue shooting, Robert Bowers, operated a Gab account where he displayed the neo-Nazi code-phrase 1488. He told other Gab users that refugees being helped by a Jewish organization were “invaders”, and that he was “going in”. Gab has been called a “hate-filled echo chamber of racism and conspiracy theories” (The Guardian), and a “safe haven for banned Twitter trolls, Gamergaters, Pizzagaters and high-profile white nationalists” (Mic).

PayPal told Gizmodo: “PayPal has canceled the Gab.Ai account. The company is diligent in performing reviews and taking account actions. When a site is explicitly allowing the perpetuation of hate, violence or discriminatory intolerance, we take immediate and decisive action.”

So long, Gab? The outfit made a statement on Medium:

Gab.com’s policy on terrorism and violence have always been very clear: we have zero tolerance for it. Gab unequivocally disavows and condemns all acts of terrorism and violence. This has always been our policy. We are saddened and disgusted by the news of violence in Pittsburgh and are keeping the families and friends of all victims in our thoughts and prayers.

Gab’s lament is no longer on Medium. Gab is no longer available – the site tweeted a message saying it web hosting provider, Joyent, has told it to get thee hence. “We have been systematically no-platformed by App Stores, multiple hosting providers and several payment processors,” says Gab. Private companies can take money from who they like. That’s free speech.

Gab continued:

“Gab’s mission is very simple: to defend free expression and individual liberty online for all people. Social media often brings out the best and the worst of humanity. Free speech is crucial for the prevention of violence. If people cannot express themselves through words, they will do so through violence.”

People remain free to talk. Radicals will lampoon ideals and gods. Nothing will be beyond criticism, open debate or public ridicule. Gab just needs to find a partner willing to host it. In the meanwhile, the internet, an online version of life you can turn off and on, will continue…

Image: Gab’s now retired logo.

Posted: 29th, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Technology | Comment


Arsenal vow never to let player contracts run down to final year

Arsenal’s ‘head of football’ – what a great title that is; as if Arsenal’s purpose his anything but football – Raul Sanllehi promises everyone that the club will no longer allow the contracts of key players to enter the final year. Right now Aaron Ramsey is nearing the end of their current deals, so too Danny Welbeck.

In recent seasons, Arsenal have allowed the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez to enter the final six months of their contracts. This foolish negotiating tactic overseen by the not-in-the-least-bit-lamanted chief executive Ivan Gazidis, now at AC Milan, resulted in Ozil getting a whopping £350,000-a-week on a new deal and Sanchez heading to Manchester United last January. Jack Wilshere’s contract expired. He ended up getting a free transfer to West Ham.

“In general, I do believe that a player’s contract should never go to the last year, as a policy,” Sanllehi told the Sunday Telegraph. “But I don’t think I am inventing the wheel. Anybody could agree on that.” It appears that Gazidis did not agree. “Normally, the contracts of the players are for five years. You need to have a clear idea of what you want to do with that player when he is in the third year, at the latest.”

“We don’t take decisions overnight, on a quick reflection. We really go through not only a long period of thinking but also a lot of people are involved. People in which we have a high trust. In general I would like to make that point clear. There are no decisions that are left to the last minute. When we reach a decision, it is for a reason.”

To further illustrate how slack things got at Arsenal under Gazidis and Arsene Wenger, Per Mertesacker and Huss Fahmy, have been promoted to the club’s “executive team” as the club look to increase the “football representation” at decision-making levels. It’s the school of the bleeding’ obvious. Ignore the actual football, focus too much on marking and branding, and watch the club turn into, well the current Manchester United mess.

But it’s not all about the footy. Mertesacker, Fahey,  Sanllehi and Sven Mislintat are the only “footballing representatives” on the 15-man executive team, which “encompasses everything that we do as an organisation”. Eleven people do what exactly? As Sonny put it so succinctly on the night of the big dance-off in the hit movie Grease, ‘Let’s hear it for the toilet paper.”

Posted: 28th, October 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Key Posts, Sports | Comment


After Pittsburgh Jews advised to build militarised homeland to deter attacks

 

President Donald Trump says mass murder at a Pittsburgh synagogue would have been “better” if the Jews had been armed.  “They had a maniac walk in and they didnt have any protection and that is just so sad to see,” said Trump. “The results could have been much better.” One day when Jews return to their homeland after millennia of persecution they can invest heavily in the military. Then no-one will be attack them. They will be treated with respect and murderous anti-Semitism will end.

As for now, we’re told that Robert Bowers walked into the Tree of Life Synagogue during Shabbat service and shouted “All Jews must die” before shooting dead 11 people sand wounding many more.

“This has little to do with it,” said Trump when asked what role US gun laws played in the massacre. “If they had protection inside the results would have been far better. This is a dispute that will always exist I suspect. But if they had some kind of protection inside the temple, maybe it could have been a much different situation. But they didn’t and he was able to do things that unfortunately he shouldn’t have been able to do.”

It’s all too much like when an adviser to Poland’s president said Israel was ashamed “at the passivity of the Jews during the Holocaust.”

Jews have sometimes been described, often for the purpose of assigning blame or inflicting humiliation, as having acted passively in the face of the Holocaust. Key acts of resistance contradict the trope, most notably the Warsaw Uprising of 1943. Smaller revolts took place in death camps, including Sobibor and Treblinka, where starving prisoners without weapons faced heavily armed German guards.

Image: Felix Nussbaum (1904-1944), Camp Synagogue, Saint Cyprien, 1941. (Via)

Posted: 28th, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Philip Green and my part in his downfall

Judging by the reaction to Peter Hain’s outing of Philip Green as an alleged sex pest, law matters not a jot – it’s a matter of like or dislike. People who view Green as a bastard deserving of opprobrium will think it good the sitting Lord used parliamentary privilege to repeat the claim the Top Shop boss was using NDAs and big money pay-offs to quieten several members of staff at his Arcadia Group from going public with claims of sexual harassment or bullying.

If you like Green or are indifferent to him, you might be more circumspect, trusting the judges who approved requests for an injunction banning journalists from naming the tycoon or revealing details of those aforesaid allegations more prudent than Hain. You might wonder if being super-rich can be a double-edged sword: sure, you can afford the best legal teams but in the court of public opinion people delight in the worst and are entertained by downfall.

Sky News doorstepped Green in a hot and sunny Arizona. “He’s now miles from parliament,” says the reporter, offering viewers a mix of shock and snark that a billionaire would chose to spend the week at an exclusive resort rather than at a B & B in Bridlington. It’s alright for some, eh.

And what of the alleged offences? An ‘insider’ alleges in the Guardian that Sir Philip gave women lingering hugs, asked if they were “naughty girls”, wondered if they “needed their bottoms slapped”, said a woman “must be a lesbian because no man would marry her”, responded to one woman who asked Green to use her name rather than “sweetheart” by telling her to “shut the f*** up”, and asked an Asian woman if she had been “eating too many samosas”. The Times says it’s been reported that “several” claims reached a settlement of at least £1,000,000. “It is not known if these cases were among the five subject to the interim injunction that kept the billionaire’s identity secret until he was named in parliament by Lord Hain on Thursday,” says the paper. “It is thought a number of the complainants signed non-disclosure agreements.”

Facts are thin on the ground. There are lots of claims and allegations. Green says he’s done nothing wrong, issuing a statement: “I am not commenting on anything that has happened in court or was said in parliament. To the extent that it is suggested that I have been guilty of unlawful or improper sexual or racist behaviour, I categorically and wholly deny these allegations… Arcadia and I take accusations and grievances from employees very seriously and in the event that one is raised, it is thoroughly investigated. These settlements are confidential so I cannot comment further on them.”

We can wait. And the lawyers can run a tab. Green plans to issue a formal complaint to the House of Lords. “As many people have said,” says Green, “Lord Hain’s blatant disregard of a judgement made by three senior judges is outrageous.” The Times adds more layers of intrigue: “The Labour peer failed to mention that he had worked for Gordon Dadds, the law firm employed by The Daily Telegraph to fight the case. Adding:

The former Tory attorney-general Dominic Grieve said that he was alarmed by the link. “I would make a formal complaint if I were a member of the House of Lords,” he said, adding: “That there is now a suggestion that it might have been in the solicitors’ firm’s interest to do it [reveal the name] rather than a disinterested decision by him [Lord Hain], even if one which I think is completely wrong, makes me even more alarmed.”

Says Green:

“When Lord Hain made allegations about me in the House of Lords … he failed to disclose that he has a financial relationship with the law firm, Gordon Dadds, who represent the Telegraph.

“I have been advised that his actions are likely to have been a breach of the House of Lords Code of Conduct. As many people have said Lord Hain’s blatant disregard of a judgment made by three senior judges is outrageous.

“If he hadn’t read the judgment, on what basis was he apparently talking about it. If he had, Gordon Dadds’ name is on the front page.

“I will be lodging formal complaints with the relevant authorities in the House of Lords.”

Lord Hain and Gordon Dadds deny any wrongdoing. Says Hain:

“I took the decision to name Sir Philip Green in my personal capacity as an independent member of the House of Lords. I was completely unaware Gordon Dadds were advising The Telegraph regarding this case… I stand RESOLUTELY by what I’ve said and neither retract nor apologise for standing up for human rights.”

A spokesman for Gordon Dadds adds – and best to include this because big lawyers can ruin you:

“Peter Hain is a self-employed consultant who provides occasional advice to the firm, relating principally to African affairs. Any suggestion that Gordon Dadds LLP has in any way acted improperly is entirely false.

“Peter Hain did not obtain any information from Gordon Dadds regarding this case. He has no involvement in the advice that we provide to The Telegraph newspaper, and he had no knowledge of any sensitive information regarding this case.”

From dealing with allegations of abuse of power and laws skewed against the little people, we’re all being entertained by the rich and powerful pulling each other to pieces. Meanwhile, the conversation in many households amounts to: if a rich man offered you a £1million quid to not tell anyone he’d committed an allegedly criminal act on your person, would you take the cash? Wonder if anyone’s got any dirt on the Royal Family they’re forbidden to tell us about – are they the only billionaires who never do wrong? And will women now stop spending at Top Shop?

 

 

Posted: 27th, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Pipe Bombs, Donald Trump and the surge in Demophobia

The rush to blame President Trump for the nut job posting pipe bombs to leading Democrats has been notable for its haste. Do you really believe that a vote for Trump was a vote for terrorism? Blimey, the man’s a berk possessed of all the diplomatic nous of a puppy sat by a pile of poo, but to jump on the link that banging on about ‘fake news’ and locking up Hillary Clinton leads to acts of potential murder is a leap onto a convenient lily pad.

Did we all rush to blame Islamism for the attacks on Paris, London, Barcelona, Nice, New York, Berlin, Toulouse, Brussels, Manchester and Madrid? The advice after those attacks was to look to ourselves for signs of Islamophobia. It wasn’t the loons we need worry about. The real danger was non-Muslims reacting with phobic-born violence towards Muslim mates, work colleagues, family, nurses, doctors, pot heads, cab drivers, lawyers, postmen, Lords, politicians, waiters, victims of crime, victims of Islamist terrorism and any other Muslims who after mass murder would surely mutate before our lizard brains into the enemy unless we were monitored. After Manchester was attacked, we got candles and pledges to unite and remain united. But after pipe bombs in the post, the message is get Trump because the man on the trigger for millions of dangerous fools.

If you want to politicise extreme violence and terrorism, then allow all terrorism to be openly debated. There have been no renditions of ‘Love is All you Need’ in response to the pipe bombs posted to George Soros, Baraka Obama, CNN and Hillary Clinton. We’re not warned to look out for Demophobia and fight it when he see it. Why? Because it’s safe to attack what we believe we can change. Trump can be undone by linking him to acts of violence, hope his decriers ; but confronting the issues that drive a radical, murderous form of Islam, well, best light a candle, create a hashtag and hope for the best.

Let’s not bury debate and allow the berks and bigots to fill the void. Don’t do it if you want to get rid of Trump and stop empowering the likes of Tommy Robinson…

Posted: 26th, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Southampton student leader regrets vow to destroy art painted by Jewish ‘white man’ Sir William Rothenstein

Do we believe in redemption? And is redemption only possible after punishment, preferably one meted out by the court of public opinion, or something more brutal, like ‘Frothing at the Mouth With Rage, of Twitter’? Emily Dawes, student union president at Southampton University, has apologised after she told her twitter followers of her plans to paint over a “mural of white men”. For those of you not paying attention, “white men” is now an insult.

emily dawes

 

The mural Dawes wants destroyed was painted by Sir William Rothenstein in 1916. It’s a memorial to British students who served in the First World War. The Echo tells us the mural “depicts an academic procession and an unknown soldier being presented with a degree”. On planet Student Union, it seems that laying down your life for democracy and positive freedom – freedom to – is a sin if the perpetrators of this heinous act were white men.

 

Ban this sick filth

 

The Times cites another of her tweets:

She posted an image of the mural with the caption: “One of the women just said, ‘It’s nearly Armistice Day so are we covering up this tapestry??’ And Holy Shit. F*** Yes. Grl Pwr.”

A quick note about that swine Rothenstein (29 January 1872 – 14 February 1945):

William Rothenstein was born into a German-Jewish family in Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire where he was educated at Bradford Grammar School. His father, Moritz, emigrated from Germany in 1859 to work in Bradford’s burgeoning textile industry…

Rothenstein was principal of the Royal College of Art from 1920 to 1935, where he encouraged figures including Edward Burra, Evelyn Dunbar, U Ba Nyan and Henry Moore. Moore was later to write that Rothenstein “gave me the feeling that there was no barrier, no limit to what a young provincial student could get to be and do”.

 

Jews Mourning in a Synagogue 1906 Sir William Rothenstein 1872-1945 Presented by Jacob Moser J.P. through the Trustees and Committee of the Whitechapel Art Gallery in commemoration of the 1906 Jewish Exhibition 1907

Jews Mourning in a Synagogue 1906 Sir William Rothenstein 1872-1945 Presented by Jacob Moser J.P. through the Trustees and Committee of the Whitechapel Art Gallery in commemoration of the 1906 Jewish Exhibition 1907

 

An utter swine, then. His works must be defaced and destroyed. And there’s more. The Tate tells us about the panting above – Jews Mourning in a Synagogue:

This is one of eight paintings of Jewish ritual which Rothenstein made over a two year period, following a visit to the Spitalfields Synagogue in Brick Lane, in London’s East End. The artist describes in Men and Memories (II, pp.35-6) how he chanced to visit the Machzike Hadaas Synagogue…

Rothenstein was excited by the unusual scene: ‘Here were subjects Rembrandt would have painted – had indeed, painted – the like of which I never thought to have seen in London … It was the time of the Russian Pogroms and my heart went out to these men of a despised race, from which I too had sprung… Not permitted to draw in the synagogue, which would have been a violation of the Law, and ‘determined not to waste a subject so precious’, he took a room nearby in Spital Square and persuaded some of the men to sit for him. They were initially reluctant, as they feared he might sell the pictures to churches. The first of the paintings Rothenstein made was The Talmud School, 1904. In Jews Mourning in a Synagogue, Rothenstein has perhaps misunderstood the ritual, as Jews would not have been mourning in a synagogue, and the scene is posed in a studio, in any case.

What a nasty sod, eh. My mother’s Sephardi ancestors fled the pogroms in Russia and settled in the East End. Thanks to Rothenstein’s work, I can be transported to that time. Art has power. Great art has presence. Anyone who destroys it is a fool.

Emily Dawes can be forgiven for thinking that in the binary world of identity-driven student politics, where pioneering figures are trashed and their deeds poured down the memory hole, she’d get an agreeable audience when she tweeted: “Mark my words – we’re taking down the mural of white men in the uni senate room, even if I have to paint over it myself.”

After a lot of blowback, Dawes deleted the Tweet and apologised for her words.

“Firstly, and most importantly, I would like to apologise for the offence and upset I have caused with what I have said. I never meant the disrespect to anyone past, present and future. I had no intention of the tweet being taken literally, and upon reflection have realised how inappropriate it was. My intention was to promote strong, female leadership and not the eradication of history. I do not believe that to make progress in the future, we should look to erase the past. Once again, I would like to apologise for the offence and upset I have caused.”

Students, eh, they do go to the school to learn. Ignorance isn’t always bliss…

 

Posted: 25th, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


US Marine Corps draws huge Sky Penis

Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range

 

Did a pilot with the U.S. Marine Corps trade the outline of massive penis in the sky? It’s hard to tell because you can’t see the huge bellend. But give a man a joy stick, loads of thrust under his pants and watch his mind wander. USA Today has more on going on by the Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range:

Maj. Josef Patterson, spokesman for 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, told the Marine Corps Times that the aircraft in question belongs to Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101. Patterson could not say whether the pilot was an instructor or in training.

The teach you to draw knobs in the sky?

“Obscene or inappropriate actions, flight or not, do not reflect the core values we hold as Marines,” Patterson told NBC 7 San Diego.

Dreaming of huge knobs being more akin to side issues. The Marine Times is appreciative:

As Claude Monet applied soft, surgically meticulous brush strokes to his iconic paintings, so did the pilot of the T-34C deftly weave the aircraft through the sky, cutting like a knife through hot butter to reveal their atmospheric tour de force.

Radar readings first picked up the masterpiece — a sky penis, appearing to nestle over the ancient salt deposits of the Salton Sea, in the bosom of the Chocolate Mountains.

A press release is released by the MAW:

“A T-34C aircraft assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, flew an irregular flight pattern over the Salton Sea that resembled a phallic image. An investigation to uncover the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident is ongoing. The aircrew’s chain of command are committed to maintaining an environment of professionalism, dignity and respect. The Marines and Sailors of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing will perform at the highest levels expected of professional war fighters, and uphold our core values of honor, courage and commitment.”

Knobs away!

Posted: 25th, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True | Comment


Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman vows to find Jamal Khashoggi killers

crown prince saudi arabia

 

Good news for police investigating what on earth happened to Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist killed on a visit to the country’s consulate in Turkey. His King’s son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is on the case. At the so-called “Davos in the Desert” – what is with the rich and extreme climates – getting them used to Hell? – the Crown Prince vowed to get to the bottom of things, possibly by drilling through the spinal column and using a bone saw to reach the insides of the matter before burying the mess in an unmarked grave in, say, a Turkish woodland.

What say the guests at the big do in the sand as the Prince accepted a standing ovation before the great washed?

Some who did attend said they were there just to do business and dismissed the Khashoggi situation.

“It’s just noise to me,” said Michael Slater, who runs the Middle East and Africa investment business for Northern Trust and is based in Riyadh. “The people I need to see are here, and that’s what I care about.”

Meanwhile, in Yemen…

Spotter: Seattle Times via Boing Boing

 

Posted: 24th, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


The British #MeToo and other #iBelieve witch-hunts

me too NDA

 

The Daily Telegraph has been legally gagged from publishing allegations of sexual harassment and racial abuse made against a top businessman. Is that fair? We usually get to know the name of the accused in such case but not the name of the accuser. the BBC once hired a helicopter to get to the accused first. The paper’s story is billed, rather unappealing, as the “British #MeToo scandal”, what many see as a divisive movement, one rooted in sexual misconduct allegations about Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. It was ‘Time’s Up’ for sexual aggressors – time to divide leering men who use power to abuse, belittle and intimidate women from, well, the rest of us.

The writer Lionel Shriver said #MeToo was “important to begin with to expose some of these real malefactors”, but then as she told an audience at the Cheltenham Literary Festival:

“Then it took a turn and suddenly we were talking about bad dates and bad taste or making crass remarks and it trivialised itself and I thought that was really regrettable. I don’t like the feeling that now everyone has to have their story of some kind of terrible sexual abuse in order to be able to have an opinion about any of this stuff. I don’t want younger women to locate their sense of power in their weakness, in their fragility. I think the movement has run its course and we can pretty much call time on it now.”

Whereas feminism was once about women seeking equality and opportunity through their resilience, strength, modern feminism is about seeking victimhood and demanding special zones and rights. Shriver says MeToo encourages women to “locate their sense of power in their weakness, in their fragility”.  She also said: “I am concerned that we are increasingly wont to confuse genuine abuse of power in the workplace with often distant memories of men who have made failed – ‘unwanted’ – passes.”

The Telegraph would love to tell readers the accused man’s name. But maybe not knowing is better than knowing because it allows the Telegraph to make a cause from could otherwise be a good bit of gossip. “The public have a right to know when the powerful seek to gag the vulnerable,” says the paper’s leader. We learn that the accused man spent “close to £500,000 in legal fees”. Who knew that saying nothing could cost so much?

The paper lines up the guns:

A businessman has used NDAs [Non Disclosure Agreements] in at least five instances to pay employees substantial sums to stop them accusing him of sexual harassment and racial abuse. He has used considerable resources to fight disclosure, achieving an interim injunction preventing publication.

Interesting to know what pressure was applied on the alleged victims to take the money? A QC tells the paper: “A lot of claimants are forced to enter NDAs because of the sheer cost and unpredictability of litigation.” To nothing of the huge stress of going to court. But the rich can afford it. So is it one rule for them and another for us?

And what of gender? Christina Hoff Sommers, host of The Factual Feminist noted:

Powerful men are falling left and right – but not because women are second-class citizens. Just the opposite. Girl Power is real. Instead of carrying on about how frightened and degraded we are, maybe it’s time to acknowledge the truth: in 2017, we can destroy almost any man by a single accusation.

To believe the women without thinking and circumspection is surely no good. To call out illegal behaviour by pathetic men is good.

Back to the scoop, then, and there’s an inkling that however much the Tele wants to tell us the alleged cretin’s name, not telling us puts it on the side of the angels:

A High Court judge had refused to grant an injunction. But the Court of Appeal has overturned that ruling and imposed an injunction which remains in place pending a full hearing in the New Year. We have, in other words, been gagged, contrary to the age-old principle against prior restraint of the press. If the businessman had used defamation laws to block publication, he would not have been granted an injunction since this newspaper would have declared its readiness to prove the truth of the allegations.

The paper ekes four more stories from the gagging order: “Schillings: The ‘attack dog’ firm that acted for Giggs, Terry and Ronaldo”; “The day press freedoms received a devastating blow”, “How gagging orders became the MeToo war’s weapon of choice” and “This decision will discourage exposure of oppressive workplace cultures”. A huge deal. Papers need a campaign and the Telegraph has one.

Stop Press – this is important: “it is now illegal to reveal the businessman’s identity or to identify the companies, as well as what he is accused of doing or how much he paid his alleged victims”. How this pans out on twitter and areas outside the judiciary’s control remain to be seen. In 2011, the Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming “used parliamentary privilege to name Ryan Giggs as the footballer identified on Twitter as having brought an injunction to prevent publication of allegations he had an affair with a former reality TV star.” They might do it there. But don’t do it here.

The Telegraph says there is “a clear public interest in publishing the claims, not least to alert those who might be applying to work for him.” But innocence is presumed, of course. And if what we read is true, well-fed lawyers working for him were not mired by the accusations. And to repeat this to make it no less true: believe what you like, but innocent must be presumed.

 

Posted: 24th, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Bob Marley features on League of Ireland side Bohemians’ new kit

bohemians-bob-marley-kit

 

The new away kit of the League of Ireland side Bohemians features a big photo of Bob Marley along with Rasta-styled trim. It looks a bit naff, a T-shirt version of those coffee bars in Amsterdam that play Bob Marley songs on loop in the hope that priapic Stag dos and goofed teens ignore the freezing winds and think they’re fighting for freedom in Jamaica. But the Bohs want to explain why they chose Marley and not Che Guevara or some other cultural totem turned by marketing ninnies into a hackneyed teen icon. Bob Marley played a gig at their Dalymount ground on 6 July 1980. The stadium has “special place in the hearts of football and music fans”. So Marley is on the shirt.

Denis Buckley was at that show. “Inside the dilapidated ground the facilities were woeful,” he recalled in an article for The Journal:

The national press pondered pompously on whether he should be allowed to bring his weed into the country. It was tempered by the prevailing belief that despite the epidemic of alcohol abuse throughout the county allowing this “Rastafarian” to bring marijuana into Ireland would be the gates opening on something far more damaging than the public brawling and domestic violence visible on every street.

The music itself was perfect for political messaging. The rhythm section was serious and adult. Dancing Queen it was not. Marley put a speech by Haile Selassie over a dub: “Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and totally abandoned, everywhere is war.” Right time, right place.

The Boomtown Rats also played at Dalymount in the 1970s, but for some reason the club didn’t feel a large graphic of Bob Geldof would have the same impact.

Posted: 23rd, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, Music, Sports | Comment


Julian Cole Truth Campaign: Family want to know who broke his neck?

No criminal charges have been brought in the case of Julian Cole. His family launched the ‘Cole Family Truth Campaign‘ to achieve seven things. All we do know is that Julian Cole’s neck was broken during a night out in Bedford back in 2013. Mr Cole suffered a serious spine injury. He was unresponsive. He went into cardiac arrest. Julian Cole is paralysed. He has brain damage. He lives in a care home because he needs 24 hour nursing care.

 

julian cole

 

The Cole Family Truth Campaign adds: “Julian had suffered a spinal injury called a ‘hangman’s fracture’. This kind of injury, as the name suggests, is associated with the sudden and violent pulling backwards of the head, usually when there is a counter force against the body.” We know he was twice taken to the ground, once by bouncers at a night-club held been asked to leave and was trying to get back into, and once by police officers. Three officers involved in that incident have been sacked after being found guilty by a misconduct panel.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) referred its findings of an earlier investigation to the Crown Prosecution Service, which weight up the facts, such as they were, and decided that no criminal conduct had occurred. IOPC Regional Director Sarah Green told media: “It will never be known exactly how his neck was broken, or if swifter care could have prevented the awful consequences of the break.” Can we guess?

Bedfordshire Police have a report on their website.

Julian Cole suffered catastrophic neck injuries in an incident outside Elements nightclub on 6 May 2013. None of the officers were accused of causing the injuries following lengthy investigations by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC now Independent Office for Police Conduct – IOPC) and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

But “lessons have been learned”. Why is that good news or news at all? The rules were in place before the incident.  Assistant Chief Constable Jackie Sebire does on the record:

“At the centre of our thoughts today are of course Julian Cole, his family and friends. This case is an absolute tragedy, which has had a devastating effect on a young man and his loved ones, and we should not forget that.

“That said, there are a number of things to highlight about this case. Firstly, it is entirely right that proper independent investigations were carried out, to collect and review all of the evidence impartially and decide whether there was any criminal conduct, professional misconduct, or any actions which could have prevented this awful situation and, crucially, whether any lessons could be learned to prevent such an occurrence happening in the future.”

An “awful situation”. An unfortunate event.

“This hearing in essence reviewed a seven minute encounter which took place more than five years ago, and I agree with the panel that the length of time the IOPC and CPS enquiries have taken to get to this stage is simply unacceptable to Mr Cole, his family, the officers concerned and the force. On far too many occasions investigations such as these take years to come to a resolution and this cannot be right.”

So lessons were not leaned from the handling of past investigations. Why will this one prove to be any different. Mr Cole is the one person who cannot tell us what happened.

“It is clear that no evidence was found that any of the officers involved were in any way to blame for the catastrophic injuries suffered by Mr Cole. This misconduct hearing focused on the actions of our officers in the care given to Mr Cole and their honesty and integrity in the events following his injury. I apologise that their conduct following the incident fell well short of what we expect at Bedfordshire Police.

“Honesty and integrity is vital in policing. The public should be able trust that officers will always be truthful and open and act professionally at all times. Police officers must display the highest standards of integrity and truthfulness and three of our officers have faced the consequences of being found not to have done that today.”

The CPS put it in 2017:

“CPS lawyers considered charges of misconduct in public office, perverting the course of justice and breaches of health and safety law. They have now concluded that there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction against any of the officers and no further action will be taken.”

Cole’s mother Claudia responded:

“Today, I learned the CPS have decided that there is not sufficient evidence to bring any criminal charges against any officer. Their decision makes no sense to me or Julian’s family.  The CPS letter says that the case cannot go ahead because of conflicting medical evidence. But it seems clear to me that, even if it is not possible to say who in the group of people injured Julian, their complete lack of care for his welfare when he was so obviously injured was a criminal offence. I have instructed my solicitors to seek a review of this decision.”

Here are the seven question the Cole family are seeking answers to:

To find out what happened to Julian on 6th May 2013 after he was seized by officers of the Bedfordshire Police Constabulary.

To find out who in particular was responsible for using the force on Julian that caused him to suffer a broken neck.

To see the individual responsible for breaking Julian’s neck held to account in the criminal court.

To see the officers who failed to take basic first aid measures to immobilise Julian’s neck at the scene, or call for an ambulance held to account in the criminal court.

To see the officers who dragged Julian and bundled him unconscious/paralysed handcuffed with his neck unsupported into the back of a police van held to account in the criminal courts.

To see the officer who diverted an ambulance at the scene away rather than calling on the paramedics inside for assistance to be held to account in the criminal court.

To see the officers who attempted to cover up what had happened by falsely alleging that Julian was ‘chatty’ in the police van, and that he had consumed a lot of alcohol, held to account in the criminal court.

The test is simple: would you expect a criminal charge if you tackled a man and his neck was broken? on he Just for Julian website, we’re told that on the night of the incident: “Family informed two bouncers have been arrested on suspicion of assault.” No-one else was. Or how about this: if Prince Harry was taken down twice n night out and wound up in a persistent vegetative state, do you suppose a criminal trial would follow?

It took over five years for part of the truth to emerge. If anything else does happen, once thing is certain: it won’t be quick…

You can help the campaign here.

Posted: 23rd, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Saudi Arabia ‘dressed Jamal Khashoggi look-alike in dead man’s Western clothes’

Did Saudi Arabia use a body double to pose as Jamal Khashoggi, the US-based Saudi journalist last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey around three weeks ago and now dead, presumed murdered? Is this footage of a body double wearing the newly dead man’s clothes?

 

 

And vitally, what does it mean for the moralising West, which can turn a blind eye to mass killing, murderous homophobia, a virulent and open anti-Semitism to which the Labour Party can only aspire, misogyny and slavery, but is aghast at the death of one man ?

For their part – and let’s be fair – the Saudis say Khashoggi was not tortured – did not have had his fingers cut off before being dismembered by a team of Saudi agents armed with a bone saw. He left the place fully intact and in good health, they said. Then they said he perished in a “fist fight”. Khashoggi was at the consulate to finalise his divorce. Those things can be tough, and when the other party’s lawyers look like trained killers, it might be time to let her keep the house and car.

The Saudis reviewed the matter and decided Khashoggi was offed by “rogue” Saudi agents – a hard bunch to find in an absolute monarchy. But thanks to Turkey’s vigilance and Saudi Arabia’s burning desire for justice, 18 men had been arrested in connection with the incident and two senior officials dismissed.  “The individuals who did this did this outside the scope of their authority,” Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told Fox News. “There obviously was a tremendous mistake made, and what compounded the mistake was the attempt to try to cover up.”

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has got a few servants to wash his hands and embarked on an urgent review of Saudi intelligence. He’ll have the report into his actions ready for his own desk to review very soon.

Fingers stuck back on and crossed it can be proven that the Crown Prince is an okay kinda guy. “I would love if [he] wasn’t responsible,” said Donald Trump, showing that he possesses the power to duck the big decisions.

As we await the result of the whitewash, sorry, investigation, into a man’s vanishing, the world’s super-rich are shunning the meeting, the so-called Davos in the Desert which they signed up to when Saudi Arabia was merely killing Yemenis, executing people for such crimes as “incitement to protest”, “chanting slogans hostile to the regime”, “attempting to inflame public opinion” and “filming protests and publishing on social media”, and having lifted the ban on women drivers, arresting the campaigners (aka “traitors”) who campaigned for that very change.

So which side are we supporting: the women and men who want democracy – or the Divine Right of Kings to murder at will in it role as go-ahead partner against Arab nationalism and Iranian power?

Posted: 23rd, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Reasons to love Emery: Arsenal got rid of Wilshere

Reasons for Arsenal fans to love Unai Emery mass by the day. After last night’s Wenger-esque victory over Leicester City, a performance illuminated by three synchronised team goals of rare beauty, what one writer compared to “watching a tribute band play better than the act they are paying homage to”, comes news that were it not for Emery Jack Wilshere would still be at the club.

Well, so says Wilshere, who tells the Islington Gazette:

“If Arsene had stayed I would have stayed, because of the influence he had in my career and the trust he had in me. He gave me the armband and respected me a lot. So, I had pretty much agreed to stay. And then he left and that changed things. Arsene had said to me previously ‘stay and fight your way back into the team’. Because I knew Arsene and knew he had trust in me, I knew I could do that and fight my way into the team.”

Wilshere was a hugely promising talent who rarely delivered. Arenal fans will wish him well at West Ham, but would he really get into the current side, who play such a high-tempo game? No. And if he did, when the ball reached Wilshere, the move would slow.

Emery is now working his magic on Aaron Ramsey, who having seen his demands for £250,000 a week in wages and a four-year deal rebuffed is seeking pastures new when his contract expires in the summer. As Ramsey’s agent whines on twitter about there being “no other option” for their low-scoringinjury prone midfielder of a client to leave because he can’t get £1m a month wages (plus loyalty bonuses?), Emery’s stock rises.

 

Posted: 23rd, October 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Key Posts, Sports | Comment


Julian Cole: after five years of waiting police sacked for lying over paralysed man

julian cole

 

Julian Cole was on night out at Elements nightclub in Bedford on May 5 2013. He was 19. Things went badly wrong. Having been asked to leave the club, which he did, Julian Cole asked for a refund. He was refused. He tried to get back into the club. A bouncer ‘took him to the ground’. Police were called. He was then “taken to the ground” – that’s a police term –  by PCs Nicholas Oates, Sanjeev Kalyan and Hannah Ross. Julian Cole was handcuffed with “his face down on the ground”. The three coppers pulled him off the ground and dragged him to the police van.

At the station, Mr Cole was not breathing. Paramedics were called. Julian Cole had a broken vertebra. He is now brain damaged and paralysed.

 

 

Today an independent panel found all three officers guilty of gross misconduct and dismissed them:

The panel found that PC Ross “made up her account” of Mr Cole moving his legs in an “attempt to demonstrate she had taken Mr Cole’s report of neck pain seriously when she had not”. The hearing was also told that PC Kalyan tried to “shift responsibility” over what happened to the student.

He was found to have lied in his statement when he stated that he had heard PC Ross ask Mr Cole if he could move his legs, and that he moved them in response.

PC Oates had also said that Mr Cole had walked to the police van during his arrest, which the panel said he knew was not true.

PCs Ross, Kalyan and Oates “did not ask any basic questions concerning his welfare”. However, the panel added this was “most unlikely to have changed the outcome for [Mr Cole]”…

The panel also said that Sgt Andrew Withey failed to make “any enquiry” when PC Ross asked whether Mr Cole should go directly to hospital or custody, and failed to “react” to hearing Mr Cole say his neck hurt.

A crime? No:

None of the police officers were accused of causing Mr Cole’s injuries and The Crown Prosecution Service decided there was no criminal conduct following lengthy investigations…

“Julian Cole was a young athletic man whose life was changed forever. It will never be known exactly how his neck was broken, or if swifter care could have prevented the awful consequences of the break,” Independent Office for Police Conduct Regional Director Sarah Green said.

“The panel today have concluded however that the officers failed in their duty to provide adequate welfare checks, and worse, that three of them were dishonest in how they presented their version of events.

“This dishonesty has only added to the anguish of Mr Cole’s family.”

No crime?

Posted: 22nd, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Chelsea’s Ross Barkley gets rid of his tattoos

Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley says he got his tattoos removed because he “got them at a young age and sometimes when you are young you do stupid things and not think about it. But I went into it too quick and over the years I felt I wanted to get them removed, so I went through the process in the last couple of years.”

 

Barkley got his first cry for help and sign of low-self esteem, sorry, tattoo, when he was 14. He just kept filling in the gaps with crosses, words, faces, stars and swirls until his armed looked as confusing and unnecessary as a Where’s Wally cartoon, only without the purpose.

But not of that lasering and scabbing off means Ross is off tatts forever. “I would never rule out getting another,” he says, “maybe when I have kids I might have something done to go with that. I don’t know.”

Whereas once we had the high-street portrait photographer to serve up awkward family photos, we now have the inkologists who can draw the face of your beloved nipper on your arms, back, chest or, well, face, leading to the full meta line, “He looks just like his dad.”

Posted: 22nd, October 2018 | In: Chelsea, Key Posts, Sports | Comment


Women fight over the wonderful Ant McPartlin

Update time on the lives and loves of Ant McPartlin (dontchajustlovehim!) and his now ex-wife Lisa Armstrong (boo! hiss! move on, luv!).

 

Ant McPartlin anne -MArie Corbett

Good ol’ Ant letting the women fight as he makes a dignified retreat.

 

Ant admitted adultery. And the Star leads with the news that Lisa, who was monstered in the Press, is “gagged” from liking tweets calling Ant’s new true love and rock, one Anne-Marie Corbett, a “backstabber”. Rumours are that Anne-Marie’s lawyers “reportedly demanded” Lisa stops liking messages calling Anne-Marie things like a “husband-stealer” and “cretin”. Yeah, that’s what we thought: when did Twitter become so civilised and measured? Although the Sun does says Lisa liked a tweet calling Ant a “lying addict”.

But the really irritating thing is that the Star says Lisa is in line for loadsa cash “from Ant’s £62m fortune”. His fortune? Surely their fortune?

This soft-soaping of poor Ant continues via Simon Cowell, who harps on about Ant being “grumpy” and “depressed. “We’re living in a time now when people do get  depressed or crack up,” says Cowell, who not only has huge grasp on human history but also a vested interested in the world siding with good-old Ant, “and it was harder for him because it was in public.” His alleged affair wasn’t in public. His drug taking wasn’t in public. His crashing into car carrying a family whilst he was well over the drink-drive limit was in public.

The Press has been very much on the side of Ant McPartlin, as he was “getting over an addiction to painkillers following knee surgery”; his condition connived into a campaign we all can take heart from; turning McPartlin from a man who deserves a private life into a role model; his plight told in his own words; a “source” assuring Sun readers that divorce would be “the right thing for his health”. This is “freakishly clean” Ant who in 2013 admitted to having taken drugs.

Cowell the historian might note than whilst come thing change others remains constant: famous man leaves long-suffering wife for blonde is a story as old as the hills.

 

Posted: 22nd, October 2018 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, Tabloids | Comment