Stan Lee, fabled comic book storyteller, is not dead. Well, he’s not if you get your news from this paper, which declares: “Spike Lee Dies at 95.” A grinning Stan Lee seems to enjoy the news in New Zealand’s Gisborne Herald:
Spike Lee is away:
Is there room in the country for the right sort of asylum seeker? The Daily Mail, a paper whose existence gave rise to thousands of Twitter accounts that use it to define everything they are not, leads with its support for Asia Bibi, the Pakistani woman persecuted for her Christian beliefs and put on death row for eight years. Now released from that ordeal she faces the very real prospect of murder by Islamic extremists. Bibi’s crime was to be accused of being rude about the Muslim Prophet Muhammad as she argued with some Muslim women over a cup of water during a fruit harvest in 2010. She was soon beaten up, arrested, charged with blasphemy and sentenced to death by the hangman’s rope.
The case eventually came before Pakistan’s supreme court – yep, this one went to the very top. The judges said the accusations were “concoction incarnate”. In other words, the other women were liars. Bibi’s enemies had used her religion – she’s a Roman Catholic – against her to appeal to the county’s bigotry. It worked. For eight longs years and more it worked. It’s still working. Islamists want her dead. So is there room in the UK for Asia Bibi?
Wilson Chowdhry, of the British Pakistani Christian Association, says Britain is allegedly not offering Ms Bibi asylum because of fears of “potential unrest in the country”, as well as attacks on embassies. Pakistan’s prime minister Imran Khan refuses Bibi’s right to leave the country. Chowdhry says Khan is effectively “signing her death warrant”. Bibi’s lawyer has fled Pakistan.
Into the vacuum of Western indifference to the plight of a Catholic woman steps Boris Johnson. In a letter to the Home Secretary, the former foreign secretary who would be Prime Minister writes:
“I am well aware, as a former foreign secretary, of the constant threat to our overseas missions but we cannot allow the threat of violence to deter us from doing the right thing. I do not think it is a dignified position for the UK, given our historic links with Pakistan and the extent of our influence there, to look to others to do what we are allegedly nervous to do ourselves.”
Easy from the sidelines, no? Where was Boris when Asia Bibi was in prison? When a politico speaks it’s loaded with political ambition and vested interest. But the grandstanding and opportunism do not dismiss the point. Asia Bibi needs our help. It’s our duty to provide it. At a time when Donald Trump belches “America first”, promoting censorship and illiberalism with a policy that says the US will be fair to any country that is fair with it no matter how heinous their suppression of positive freedom, we need more than ever to amplify our belief in free speech, free expression and democracy. The Leader of the Free World has abdicated. Let’s fill the void.
Asia Bibi should be given safe haven in this country. If we want to go it alone post Brexit, this is how you show your worth. Boris Johnson, the Mail and everyone who values freedom, equality and liberty should demand Asia Bibi is granted asylum in the UK.
‘The only advice anybody can give is, if you wanna be a writer, keep writing. And read all you can, read everything” – Stan Lee (December 28, 1922 – November 12, 2018).
One story Stan Lee read and enjoyed was Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven. The artist and storyteller who created Spider-Man, Iron Man and the X-Men reads from the book. It’s terrific. Thank you for all the stories, Stan Lee. “Excelsior!”
Spotter: Stan Lee reads Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven – Open Culture
Clickbait Balls: a look at newspapers tricking readers . Today, as ever, it’s the Daily Express, which thunders: “Arsenal news: Gareth Bale transfer EXCLUSIVE, Unai Emery revelation, Wolves team news.”
It’s the first bit that bites, right? Can it be that Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale – formerly of Spurs – is on his way to Arsenal? Surely not? Or maybe… So you click. Your click triggers – get this – 32 adverts and sponsored links. But the news will be worth it. James Walters has the “exclusive”. Just get a load of that URL: “Arsenal-news Gareth Bale transfer exclusive”:
Gareth Bale EXCLUSIVE
Arsenal must go in for the best players on the planet – the likes of Gareth Bale – if they are to challenge for the Premier League, John Hartson says…
Hartson exclusively told Express Sport: “No disrespect to Arsenal, if say for arguments sake, a Gareth Bale becomes available [they won’t go in]. I know he’s ex-Spurs and it may not happen.
“But if a top player like that became available and he’s £95m with £40m wages over the next four years, will they go in for him? They might not.”
May. Might not. What a scoop!
Treating your readers like mugs is anti-journalism. But let’s give the Express a chance. How about part two of the sensational headline, the part about an “Unai Emery revelation”:
Arsenal are a more solid under Unai Emery compared to when Arsene Wenger was in charge, Matthew Upson claims.
And..? And nothing. That’s it. When ex-Gooner Upson speaks to the BBC it’s a “revelation”. The man’s a prophet. finally, how about that “Wolves team news”? It’s that Danny Welbeck, the bloke with the broken ankle, won’t be playing. More on him here.
The ghouls have been out fo Arsenal striker Danny Welbck. Last night, Arsenal manger Unai Emery told media that Welbeck had surgery on his badly injured ankle on Friday – the day after he was injured playing in the Europa League match against Sporting Lisbon. “He won’t be back with us for a long time,” the Arsenal manager said. Will he play again this season? “The doctor can answer that better than me,” replied Emery.
No need to ask the doctors. The Express knows it all. Since Welbeck got hurt, the “World’s Greatest Newspaper” has published 10 Danny Welbeck articles. It began by labelling the incident a “horror injury“, as many tabloids did. Today the paper downgraded things to a “nasty” injury. The facts keep on coming in the Express eVulture news service:
Danny Welbeck prediction made by injury expert after horror Arsenal scenes. DANNY WELBECK is facing around four months on the sidelines after badly hurting his ankle, says injury expert Ben Dinnery.
November 9 – article 2:
Arsenal news: Welbeck ‘may never play again’
Danny Welbeck in Arsenal injury horror… pics BT Sport didn’t want YOU to see – WARNING.
WARNING – these are the pictures BT Sport didn’t want you to see of Arsenal star Danny Welbeck’s horror injury.
Achtung! Achtung! Gather round to see something horrible. Bring a knife and fork to feast on Danny Welbeck’s remains. (The photos are pretty much the same as those carried by every newspaper, although one is cropped to show Welbeck’s ankle twisting.)
November 10: fact 2
Danny Welbeck injury: Arsenal fear forward will miss the rest of the season
November 10: fact 3:
“Welbeck is in hospital and will undergo surgery after breaking his right ankle, which will rule him out for the remainder of the season.”
November 10: fact 4:
“Welbeck’s latest injury setback is expected to keep him on the sidelines for at least four months.”
November 10: fact 5
Danny Welbeck: New Arsenal contract demand made after horror ankle injury
No, not by Danny Welbeck. This is the opinion of Perry Groves, the former Arsenal player. It’s not a demand. It’s just Perry filling in space on one of his media stints.
November 10: fact 6:
“Unai Emery readying £45 move for Danny Welbeck replacement”
It’s Lille’s Nicholas Pepe. Sorry, Danny, you’re finished. Get well soon, mate. Chin up!
Arsenal news: Unai Emery admits Danny Welbeck uncertainty with fresh injury update
Not quote RIP Danny Welbeck, then.
To Split, Croatia, where a man broke his leg when a statue to an anti-fascist fell on him after he pushed it over. Centrist Croatian politician Krešo Beljak quipped on Twitter: “Rade Končar breaks the legs of fascists 76 years after they shot him.”
Rade Končar was a Yugoslav resistance fighter who took on Croatia’s pro-Nazi Ustasha regime.
Milost ne tražim niti bih vam je dao!Rade Končar lomi noge fašistima i 76 godina nakon što su ga strijeljali! 💪💪💪https://t.co/cdhBScboVW
— Krešo Beljak (@KBeljak) November 7, 2018
It’s what Mr Končar would have wanted.
When Raheem Sterling was awarded a penalty for falling over in the box during Manchester City’s 6-0 hammering of Shakhtar it was clear to everyone but the referee the wrong decision had been made. Sterling never thought to tell the referee he’d got it wrong. He never offered to take the penalty and deliberately miss. Sportsmanship was not the winner. But if Sterling’s looking for ways to improve his conduct, the former Liverpool player can read the Liverpool Echo’s story headline: “Raheem Sterling Man City penalty row – and the Liverpool example he SHOULD have followed.”
Which Liverpool example is that, then? This one?
No. It’s this one – when Robbie Fowler went to ground easily at Arsenal:
Fowler and Liverpool celebrated the egregious refereeing error by scoring the penalty and celebrating wildly. If only Sterling had stayed at Liverpool he could have learned what you “should” do when a penalty is awarded wrongly. But he plays in Manchester, having left Liverpool to earn more money and win trophies, so he’s a cheating sod.
Happy 43rd birthday Stephane Henchoz 👊
League Cups 🏆🏆
FA Cups 🏆
UEFA Cups 🏆
Saves in cup finals 👐 pic.twitter.com/UZXWamUG9U
— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) 7 September 2017
And sometimes you get away with it:
Happy 43rd birthday Stephane Henchoz 👊
League Cups 🏆🏆
FA Cups 🏆
UEFA Cups 🏆
Saves in cup finals 👐 pic.twitter.com/UZXWamUG9U
— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) 7 September 2017
Happy 43rd birthday Stephane Henchoz 👊
League Cups 🏆🏆
FA Cups 🏆
UEFA Cups 🏆
Saves in cup finals 👐 pic.twitter.com/UZXWamUG9U
— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) 7 September 2017
They say the victors write the history of war. Not always they don’t. French President Emmanuel Macron plans to award one of the losers a big tribute. Marshal Philippe Pétain (24 April 1856 – 23 July 1951), the Nazi collaborator and head of the Vichy government who oversaw the murders of thousand of French Jews sent to death camps, is to get a salute. Why? Because, says Macron, Pétain “was a great soldier in World War One”. World War 2, not so much. But you should have seen him before he facilitated mass murder and the persecution of “undesirables”: Jews, métèques (immigrants from Mediterranean countries), Freemasons, Communists, Gypsies (also known as Romani) and homosexuals. Whataguy!
“I consider it entirely legitimate that we pay homage to the marshals who led our army to victory,” said Macron. “Marshal Pétain was a great soldier in World War One.” His role in the 1916 defence of Verdun was hymned. He soon replaced General Robert Nivelle as commander-in-chief of the French army. When the Germans invaded France, Pétain opted for self advancement, eugenics, genocide, theft, rape, racism, the betrayal of his country, the death of those brave French fighters who continued to fight German occupation and a nice office in a spa town.
The head of French Jewish organisation Crif, Francis Kalifat, says “the only thing we remember about Philippe Pétain is that he was, in the name of the French people, held in national disgrace during his trial in July 1945. I am shocked that we can honour a man who, it must be remembered, was himself responsible for the deportation of Jews from France, including the Vel’ d’Hiv raid ”
The Vichy regime rounded up 75,000 Jews, and deported them to the death camp. When the war ended, Pétain was convicted of treason and sentenced to death. But he never go the chop. The French government considered his behaviour in WW1 and commuted the sentence to one of life imprisonment. And now he’s to be honoured.
Never forget. Whatever they tell you. Never forget.
STOP PRESS: Macron’s gone full retreat. How very fitting. French government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux now says: “We had announced that we would honour the marshals of the Great War. Some have deduced that Pétain was one of them; this is not the case. If there was confusion, it was because we were not clear enough on that point.”
Bollocks. Cowardly bollocks.
“I consider it entirely legitimate that we pay homage to the marshals who led our army to victory,” Macron said. “You can be a great soldier during World War I and then go on to make disastrous choices during World War II.”
Pétain would have approved of such craven backsliding. It’s the most fitting tribute to him of all.
The new biopic about Queen singer Freddie Mercury (5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991), tells us how he met the band and pulled his partner, Jim Hutton. The is much artistic licence. In one sun, Freddie Mercury tells the rest of the band about his HIV. It’s during rehearsals for their hymned 1985 Live Aid appearance. But Mercury wasn’t diagnosed until 1987. The rest of Queen did’t know the full extent of his illness illness until 1989.
He had a very responsible attitude to everyone that he was close to and he was a very generous and caring person to all the people that came through his life and more than that you can’t ask,” said May in 1991. “I tell you we do feel absolutely bound to stick up for him,” added Taylor, “because he can’t stick up for himself anymore, you know?”
Spotter: Laughing Squid
The tabloids are tucking into the brutal attack on Peter Gouldstone, a 98-year-old beaten by burglars at his home in Bounds Green, North London. The burglars – one or two; Mr Gouldstone cannot be certain how many people brutalised him in his own home – took a telly (estimated value: £50) and some other personal possessions. The Mirror leads with a question: “WHAT HAVE WE BECOME?” We? Us? Me and you? We didn’t change into violent thugs. We’d like the sods caught and punished. We’d like Mr Gouldstone to make a speedy recovery. We’d like more people to check on their elderly neighbours. We’d like more respect for the aged. And, no, no-one has yet blamed Brexit for this crime – but let’s not let the opportunity pass. If racist incidents can be pinned on Brexit, why not crimes against the aged? Did granny-bashing go mainstream when the older (and wiser) voted for Brexit?
The novelist Ian McEwan said Breix was secured by “a gang of angry old men” who’d soon be dead, blessedly. He calculated: “By 2019 the country could be in a receptive mood: 2.5 million over-18-year-olds, freshly franchised and mostly Remainers; 1.5 million oldsters, mostly Brexiters, freshly in their graves.” Lord Heseltine was totting up the bodies. “Of course what you then find is that every year a serious number of elderly people die who are Brexiteers,” he told LBC. “Their place is taken by a group of younger people who are pro-European. So I don’t believe that there is a majority anymore, so if we have all this talk of democracy – let’s put it to work.” Alastair Campbell said “it’s time the youth was heard on Brexit”. Esquire magazine’s voice of reason noted that “some of the oldest and whitest people on the planet leapt at a chance to vote against the monsters in their heads”. GQ broadcast the argument for “a total ban on anyone of retirement age voting in the EU referendum … We take pensioners’ driving licences away… why not their right to vote?” “The wrinkly bastards stitched us young uns up good and proper on Thursday,” wrote Times critic Giles Coren. “We should cut them off. Rewrite the franchise to start at 16 and end at 60 and do this thing all over again.” And we can identify which oldies to deride by asking them one question: Vat did you do in der var?:
“And don’t go telling me that we owe at least a debt of respect to the elderly. Respect for what? Don’t confuse the elderly of today with the elderly of the recent past. This lot did not fight a war (not many of them). They didn’t free us from the yoke of tyranny. They didn’t live in modesty and hardship and hunger so that future generations might thrive. They just enjoyed high employment, good pay, fat benefits, enormous pension privileges, international travel, the birth of pop music and lashings of free sex. We don’t owe them a thing.”
The Sun says Peter Gouldstone is a “war hero”. Best he wear his war medals from now on so the righteous, fair-minded youth and their middle-aged enablers can identify which oldies to hate.
And on it went. TV presenter James Corden chimed: “I can’t get my head around what’s happening in Britain. I’m so sorry to the youth of Britain. I fear you’ve been let down today.”
The Daily Record offered: “The generation aged between 18 and 30 have been done precious few favours by the ballot-box activities of their elders. They have inherited international uncertainty, low wages, zero-hour contracts, and a political system which, at times, looks broken beyond repair.” Louise Ridley told Huffington Post readers, the young had been “screwed by older generations”.
“I saw this older couple in the street and just felt this sudden, enormous wave of fury towards them and their generation. It was almost physical,” said a knowing Guardian writer. Owen Jones wanted the young to “ring your grandparents” and tell them to vote Labour.
The old, bigoted enemy within ruined the world. Get the old! Ageism is good.
Maybe Peter Gouldstone’s ordeal has nothing to do with Brexit. Maybe the people who attacked Peter Gouldstone have no-one to blame but themselves. Maybe broken bones are not the same as harsh words, and equating physical violence and offensive language is wrong; “to claim that a speaker or writer can be held directly responsible for the actions of others infantilises the listeners.”
Maybe – just maybe – each of us is an individual who just account for their own actions. Let’s not give the bastards who attacked Peter Goulstone any excuse. It wasn’t us. It was them.
You can’t see Johann Rehbogen’s face. The German judicial authorities say the former SS guard’s face must be pixelated. Given the passing of time, the trial of Johann Rehbogen promises to be one of Germany’s final Holocaust trials. He’s 94. And depending on your view that means he’s an old man who should be left alone, or a man accused of one of the worst crimes in human history who lived free and protected by others for decades. Blessed is the man who lives to see his children grow old.
And cursed is his soul if you believe in that sort of thing and know that Johann Rehbogen is accused of being an accessory to the murders of at least 300 Jews, Russian prisoners and political dissidents at the Stutthof camp near Gdansk. The victims were killed by toxic injections to the heart, poison gas, the hangman’s rope, electrocution and the result of being ordered to stand naked outdoors. Mr Rehbogen was at the camp from 1942 to 1944. He was born in Romania. He joined the SS at age 18. He denies all wrongdoing. He says he was unaware of the killings and did not participate in them.
There were more than 29,000 deaths — and possibly as many as 65,000 — at the camp over the course of the Second World War. When the Red Army captured Stutthof in May 1945, its soldiers discovered a laboratory where Nazis experimented on corpses. Mr Rehbogen seemed to weep silently as lawyers representing Holocaust survivors and relatives of the dead recounted their suffering in the camp. Some criticised the Germany for having taken more than seven decades to bring the guard to justice. One said it was “too little, too late”. The defendant spoke only to confirm his identity. His lawyers said he would make no plea until they received an expert opinion on procedures of the camp from a historian.
Ah, the banality of alleged evil:
After the war he completed a PhD in business management and taught landscape gardening. He is divorced with three adult children. He has admitted working at the camp but repeatedly denied knowledge of the executions.\
Why are old Nazis hunted? Simon Wiesenthal (31 December 1908 – 20 September 2005) explained in The Murderers Among Us: “But I, even before having had time to meditate carefully, understood that we should not forget, if we all forgot, the same thing could happen again after twenty, fifty or a hundred years.”
Never forget. And fight. Never stop fighting:
“When the Germans first came to my city in Galicia, half the population was Jewish: one hundred fifty thousand Jews. When the Germans were gone, five hundred were alive. … Many times I was thinking that everything in life has a price, so to stay alive must also have a price. And my price was always that, if I lived, I must be deputy for many people who are not alive.”
Image: The Holocaust memorial in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Aug. 13, 2012. The memorial to the 6 million Jews killed in Europe under the Nazis was created by U.S. architect Peter Eisenman and consists of an undulating field of 2,711 steles through which visitors can wander. (AP Photo)
Clickbait Balls courtesy of the BBC, which spots Everton player Seamus Coleman contributing to the fund set up to help Sean Cox, the Liverpool fan set upon by Roma fans before a Champions League match. The BBC says Coleman is “worried Everton fans would question him for donating money to Liverpool fan Sean Cox.” Sheesh! Coleman must think Everton fans are real numbskulls. Are they so loyal to Everton that they’ll condemn a player for helping a fellow countryman – both Coleman and cox are Irish.
Clicking on the link we’re told:
Everton defender Seamus Coleman worried fans would question him for making a donation to help an injured fan of city rivals Liverpool.
Maybe rabid Liverpool fans don’t want his money? Or maybe the BBC’s heading is total clickbait balls:
“You think ‘Do you put your name towards it or not?'” Coleman said. “You might get people saying ‘he might have put more money in’ or whatever,” he added… “I wanted to put my name to it because sometimes that raises more publicity. That’s what the Liverpool manager did.”
Mentions of Everton fans? Nil.
He doesn’t say that at all though does he? You fucking horrible little arseholes, fuck off.
— Everton Aren't We (@EvertonArentWe) November 6, 2018
Absolute joke! Everton and Liverpool share a great rivalry but when it comes to community we are always together i.e. Hillsborough. Good on Seamus for putting something back in! 🙂
— William Wallace (@BillyWallace89) November 6, 2018
More BBC clickbait soon…
You won’t see a coin that commemorates the life of Roald Dahl (13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990) because the Royal Mint was put off by the author’s antisemitic views. The Guardian says the Royal Mint’s planned to produce a coin in 2014 to coincide with the centenary of Dahl’s birth. But this was stopped when it was decided that Dahl was “not regarded as an author of the highest reputation”.
Instead of Dahl, the Mint opted for coins to mark the lives of William Shakespeare and Beatrix Potter.
The decision was made despite the Royal Mail honouring the children’s author with a set of commemorative stamps celebrating his books, many of which have been adapted into films. These include Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the BFG.
The minutes state: “The themes set out below were considered but not recommended. 100th anniversary of the birth of Roald Dahl. Associated with antisemitism and not regarded as an author of the highest reputation.”
In 1983…Dahl told the New Statesman: “There is a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity, maybe it’s a kind of lack of generosity towards non-Jews. I mean, there’s always a reason why anti-anything crops up anywhere; even a stinker like Hitler didn’t just pick on them for no reason.”
Dahl told the Independent in 1990:
“I’m certainly anti-Israeli and I’ve become antisemitic in as much as that you get a Jewish person in another country like England strongly supporting Zionism. I think they should see both sides. It’s the same old thing: we all know about Jews and the rest of it. There aren’t any non-Jewish publishers anywhere, they control the media – jolly clever thing to do – that’s why the president of the United States has to sell all this stuff to Israel … ”
So instead of Roald Dahl, we got coins for Potter, the woman who opined: “The strongest impelling motive of the Jewish race is love of profit as distinct from any other form of money earning.”
What is is about wealthy, guilt-ridden Christian anti-Semites and their hatred for Jews who work in the face of prejudice to be as successful as they are?
Six people have been arrested over a cardboard model of Grenfell Tower burning on Bonfire Night in someone’s private garden. Someone filmed the pre-medicated idiocy – the Tower was populated with paper faces stuck at the windows – and stuck it on WhatsApp. Lots of other people saw the video when it reached Twitter and Facebook, and became understandably upset. So six arrests have been made – that’s six more than have been arrested for any part in the actual fire in which 72 people lost their lives.
The six have been arrested on suspicion of committing a public order offence. Which offence is unclear. It could be a hate crime, but, then, what isn’t? Under the Public Order Act, racially or religiously aggravated offences carry a prison sentence of up to two years, a fine or both. What is the sentence for being a bellend who made a despicable video? Is making an offensive joke in private a crime? Maybe Theresa May, the actual prime minister, who called the video “utterly unacceptable”, can advise?
On the video, onlookers can be heard shouting “Help me! Help me!” and “Jump out the window!” A kind soul says: “All the little ninjas getting it at the minute”. Ninjas appears to be a slight on Muslim women who wear the veil. Another quips: “That’s what happens when they don’t pay their rent.”
Police have been visibly concerned and swift to act. They swooped on a home in South Norwood, south London. Things were taken away. Moyra Samuels, from the Justice For Grenfell campaign group, say the video “doesn’t represent ordinary British people”. No-one said it did, did they? “But there is a worrying rise of racism in this country at the moment. And that is concerning, because it’s now starting to impact on us directly, which means that we actually need to be thinking what we do about this, and how we respond to this as a whole.”
If found guilty, the media and judiciary will name them. And we can all realise that we’re reading about people mocking others who died in horrific circumstances because it’s a rare event – thankfully – and not an inspiration.
UPDATE: The alleged nasties have been named in the media. The Times:
Five men aged 19-55 and from south London are being held on suspicion of public order offences after handing themselves into a police station last night. Detectives from the Metropolitan Police are searching a property in South Norwood, south London, where two of the suspects, Clifford Smith, 49, and his son Bobbi Connell, 19, are believed to have hosted a bonfire night party on Saturday…
Mr Smith and Mr Connell were arrested with Paul Bussetti, also from south Norwood, a 49-year-old man from Lambeth and a 55-year-old man from Beckenham. All are suspected of intentionally causing harassment, alarm or distress under section 4a of the Public Order Act.
Mr Connell’s grandfather, David Connell, told Mail Online: “It’s an appalling thing to do given the tragic loss of life. It’s in dreadfully bad taste and utterly shocking and I don’t condone it at all. I don’t know what they were thinking.”
In its desperation for bums on seats and to milk the England brand, the FA have commissioned Wayne Rooney for a one-might stand. The former Manchester United striker and England captain has been picked to play in a friendly against the USA at Wembley. The match has been called “The Wayne Rooney Foundation International”, but the Times says the player’s eponymous organisation won’t get a penny. The charity will only benefit if fans who’ve forked out for the privilege of seeing Rooney play in an England testimonial make their own donations on match day. Putting the tin lid on they box of balls is Rooney’s desire to were his old No.10 jersey.
The FA is expected to earn up to £3 million in ticket sales for the match.
Disappointingly, Gareth Southgate, the England manager, backs the plan and has spouted the usual X-Factor-style balls: “Acknowledging the Three Lions legacy has been a major part of our journey with this group of young players and Wayne Rooney is a hugely significant part of that history.” It’s marketing 101. Call England the ‘Three Lions’? Tick. Guff on about a “journey”. Tick. Talk of legacies. Tick.
In other Wayne Rooney news, an alleged one-night stand with these people was a lot cheaper:
The usual mouth breathers have been having a go at Charlene White over her refusal to wear a poppy onscreen while reading the news. She’s made an entirely fair point about this, has Ms. White, but she’s not in fact correct about the poppy wearing either. Really, rather the point of the whole exercise is to remember those who fought so we’d have the freedom to wear a poppy or not as we wish. This is something the Royal British Legion at least understands.
ITV News presenter Charlene White has explained why she will not wear a poppy while on screen after receiving a wave of online abuse.
The 38-year-old was most recently called a “f*****g disrespectful c***” this week after she didn’t wear a poppy while delivering the news.
One person on Twitter said: “If @CharleneWhite isn’t willing to wear a poppy she shouldn’t be on our TV screens. She’s more than happy taking a wage out of this country. F*****g disrespectful c***.”
Yes, quite, delightful isn’t it. By the way, it’s not the country that pays her wage, it’s the advertisers, the people who cough up the money to put those little bits inbetween the programs.
Charlene White as responded on Twitter:
For those asking tonight – some nicely, others not – here’s an article explaining why I don’t wear a poppy on air: https://t.co/YNXJeWJ5OS
– I wear a poppy off screen
– I donate to the British Legion
– I come from a forces family
– I’m really not a b***h, c**t or p***k
— Charlene White (@CharleneWhite) November 2, 2018
The explanation is that she supports a number of charities. And she’s not allowed to support them on air, wearing the right ribbon for this or that. The poppy, yes, that can be worn, that has a special exception. But she’s not happy with supporting just the one – if she can’t support all, then none.
No, we don’t have to agree with this but we do have to understand it. But then, as the Royal British Legion says, that choice is rather the point in the first place:
A spokesperson for The Royal British Legion said: “We take the view that remembrance honours the sacrifices and contributions our Armed Forces community have made in defence of freedom, and so how people choose to remember, or not to, must be a matter of personal choice.
“If remembrance became compulsory it would lose its meaning and significance.”
Quite so. Or, as we might put it, Charlene White is exercising the freedom those fought and died for by deciding for herself whether to wear the poppy or not, when and where. That’s actually the damn point.
Egyptian sculptor Mia Abdel Allah’s work is the subject of much appraisal after her statue of Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah was unveiled in the Liverpool player’s home country. On view in Sharm el-Sheikh, the statue is part gonk part Leo Sayer – and yes, they are not one and the same.
This Mo Salah statue is certainly something… 😂🙈 pic.twitter.com/DPE0k9iBlg
— Mo Salah Facts (@MoSalahFacts) November 4, 2018
Abdel Allah says she found the pose “distinguished and executable”, according to the Egyptian Independent.
Distinguished? Maybe. Executable? Off with his head!
Madeleine McCann returns to the fore with news that Gonçalo Amaral, the “poisonous, grazing, shambles” ex-copper, has made money from her story. How much the Sun has made from ‘Our Maddie’ stories is not calculated, but the missing child is on the paper’s front-page once more so her face must shift copies. Amaral has apparently made £350,000 from his book, the Truth of the Lie, and a DVD. This, says the paper, is a “fortune” – the kind of money that buys a studio flat in a decent bit of London.
On page 7, we spot the McCanns, Kate and Gerry. The Sun says they’re challenging the Amaral decision at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). They are taking on the Portuguese State not Amaral, as the Portuguese Resident website notes. The McCanns won a libel case against Amaral’s book but saw the decision reversed on appeal – a move supported by Portugal’s Supreme Court. Contesting that ruling at the ECHR is, says the Sun, the McCann’s “final effort to avoid paying £750,000 compensation to the man who cruelly claimed Maddie’s parents covered up her death” in May 2007. The McCanns deny any part in their daughter’s disappearance.
Can the ECHR come good for the Brits? Let’s see what the Sun has had to say about the court in the past:
A third of those who have won against Britain at the European Court of Human Rights are terrorists, prisoners or criminals, figures show.Among claimants the court found in favour of since 1975 are murderers, terrorists in Iraq and IRA gunmen. It [the figures] is a response to criticisms of the Strasbourg court by Tory ministers and The Sun… Commons Justice Committee chairman Bob Neill MP said: “This is well beyond what any sensible person would say is real human rights. It’s mission creep, law made by judges who are not judges and many from countries with questionable human rights and very little judicial experience.” – “European Court of Killers’ Rights”, the Sun 2016.
Jon Henley wrote in 2013: “Why is the European court of human rights hated by the UK right?”:
Grayling said last week the ECHR did not “make this country a better place”. David Cameron has said the court risks becoming a glorified “small claims court” buried under a mountain of “trivial” claims , and suggested Britain could withdraw from the convention to “keep our country safe”.
An unnamed source tells the Sun: “Kate and Gerry have full confidence the European Court of Human Rights will find in their favour. It hasn’t altered their determination to carry on searching for their daughter.” Best of luck. The Sun seems to doubt the court’s trustworthiness. The paper says it could be an 8-year wait for the case to be heard. The Express says the cost could be “astronomical”.
An ECHR spokesperson is quoted in the Sun: “The case McCann and Healy v Portugal is still under consideration and there is no fixed time for examining it. There is no date fixed date for any judgement or decision to be delivered.” And so it goes…
The FA are blinking hard at Stoke City’s James McClean. The player used his private Instagram account to call Middlesbrough supporters who abused him for not wearing a remembrance poppy “uneducated cavemen and c***s”. At the weekend’s match between the clubs, a few Middlesbrough supporters rushed towards the pitch to tell McClean what they thought of him. The BBC says “objects were thrown at the Ireland international”. McClean hurled some invective before being ushered away.
“They have nothing in their whole imperial arsenal that can break the spirit of one Irishman who doesn’t want to be broken,” McClean wrote on Instagram. That’s a quote by provisional IRA member Bobby Sands (9 March 1954 – 5 May 1981), who died on hunger strike while imprisoned at HM Prison Maze .
Irish nationalists view the red poppy as a symbol of British rule. McClean, raised on the nationalist Creggan estate in Derry, has talked about his decision before, notably when he was playing at Wigan Athletic: “For people from the north of Ireland such as myself, and specifically those in Derry, scene of the 1972 Bloody Sunday massacre, the poppy has come to mean something very different. For me to wear a poppy would be as much a gesture of disrespect for the innocent people who lost their lives in the Troubles – and Bloody Sunday especially.”
Now he continues:
“Your abuse, your throwing things, your booing, do your worst… to the home fans that are actually educated and support me, thank yous… to the section of uneducated cavemen in left-hand corner of the boothen end stand that want to sing their anti irish song each game and call me a fenian this and that… i am a PROUD FENIAN no c@#t will ever change that, so sing away.”
Fair enough, no? McClean doesn’t have to wear a poppy on his shirt. Just as Manchester United’s Nemanja Matic doesn’t have to wear one on his. The Serb poppy removed the poppy from his shirt before Manchester United’s 2-1 win away to Bournemouth. United called it a “personal decision”, which it is.
TV newsreader Jon Snow called the drive for conformity ‘poppy fascism‘ – “…there is a rather unpleasant breed of poppy fascism out there – ‘he damned well must wear a poppy!’. Well I do, in my private life, but I am not going to wear it or any other symbol on air.”
In 2016, But, FIFA, football’s world governing body, said England and Scotland players must not wear poppies at their World Cup qualifier. The poppy is a political symbol, said FIFA, so it was banned.
It’s all a public fuss over what should be a private matter. But like so much about what is a fun leisure activity, football is politicised. Whether it’s standing for a minute’s silence or the national anthem, professing a dislike of racism, and players being dragged before the proles as ‘role models’, football has become a tool for public health issues, moralising and compliance.
There aren’t that many of us who don’t know who Mario is. You know, the plumber in the video games for those whose memories are fading? Yes, that’s the one, on the Nintendo. The thing is, he’s now dead.
Well, no, not the character, but the character the electronic one is named after. Hey, we’ll all take whatever immortality and fame is on offer, right?
So, the background is that Nintendo was trying to break into the US market and they had an office in Seattle. Their character already existed but he was called “Jumpman.” Obviously, if they were renting an office then they were renting it from someone, and when they needed a better name for the character then why not the name of the guy they were renting from, the one who always gave them such a hard time about being late with the rent?
The story goes that in the early 1980s, Nintendo was setting up their U.S. headquarters just outside of Seattle. The owner of the office they rented was Mario Segale, whose name they used as the main character for their signature series. He made quite the impression on them when he came in demanding overdue rent payment, and the rest is history.
Up to that point, Nintendo’s character had been known as “Jumpman,” so we have to say “Mario” was quite the improvement.
Well, quite so, why the hell not?
As told by his family in the obituary, Segale was the only child of Italian immigrant farmers. He started his own construction business soon after graduating from high school in 1952, and later began focusing on real estate and property development, establishing the Segale Business Park in the 1970s.
It was then that Segale leased warehouse space to the still young U.S. wing of Nintendo. He reportedly made such an impression on the video game company that the company decided to use his name for its hero, NPR reported.
Quite the joy of this is that Mario Segale did indeed do construction and did pretty much everything in construction, from digging through to owning the business park at times. Except, except, the one thing he never did do was plumbing…
February 1 1976: three months after the death of dictator Generalísimo Francisco Franco (4 December 1892 – 20 November 1975), the Assembly of Catalonia (Asemblea de Catalunya) marched in Barcelona under the banner ‘Libertat, Amnesty, Estatut d’Autonomia’ (Freedom, Amnesty, Autonomy).
Local residents’ associations, Trade Unions, political parties (many illegal), along with members of cultural and artistic entities participated. Initially it was peaceful. There was a sit-in on the Passeig de Sant Joan, at the corner of Carrer de Provença. But the Civil Guard and riot police police-threw smoke bombs at the seated protesters and charged them. Later, numerous groups marched through the streets of the Eixample to reach the Modelo prison, where they sought the release of political prisoners.
The Civil Guard waited. They were armed with rifles. Manel Armengol had a camera.
Who says chivalry is dead? Surely not 22-year-old Kierah Lagrave, of Plattsburgh, N.Y., who is accused of choking a nightclub bouncer into unconsciousness. Lagrave thought he’d slapped her backside. He hadn’t. Her friend had – the friend who when the attack was taking place appeared to do nothing to stop it.
The odd bit is in the reporting by NBC News: “Newly released video shows a 5-foot-1 New York woman choking a much taller nightclub bouncer unconscious…” That makes it sound like Lagrave is some kind of hero. She isn’t. The bouncer says he didn’t defend himself because at the Five1Eight Nightclub because he “thought it was a friend playing a joke on him”.
Others also present the story as a blow for womenkind: “Woman Knocks Out Bouncer After She Thought He Groped Her,” says iHeart.com. How about “Woman Accused of Attacking Innocent Man”? The Independent makes her a “5-ft woman”, reducing her height for extra power. The bounce’s height is not given.
Lagrave has been arrested and charged with strangling. The bouncer can be thankful for CCTV. As the NY Post notes:
LaGrave, of Plattsburgh, later admitted to police that she choked the bouncer, telling investigators she did so because he had grabbed her. Surveillance footage, however, proved otherwise.
Memoirs written, shed built, David Cameron is now so “bored shitless” there’s nothing left to do but to return to his old job. The Sun quotes a mate of Dave’s telling us that the former prime minister who quit when his campaign for Britain to remain in the EU failed thinks the role of foreign secretary will fill his days. Good job Dave has private means because one former foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, told friends his minister’s salary of £141,405 a year was not enough to live on. He now muddles along on less, having selflessly resigned his post. If Johnson does become leader let’s hope his fellow toff Cameron isn’t insulted by the derisory sums on offer.
Over the water, another upper-class politico, Hillary Clinton, was asked about her return to the fore. “Well, I’d like to be president,” she told the Recode podcast. Many would. But why you, Hillary? “I think, hopefully, when we have a Democrat in the Oval Office in January of 2021, there’s going to be so much work to be done… The work would be work that I feel very well prepared for, having been at the Senate for eight years, having been a diplomat in the State Department, and it’s just going to be a lot of heavy lifting.” With the CV filed, Tom Slater reminds us, “She is still, believe it or not, less popular than Donald Trump“. If she stands, they’ll be no Democrat in the Oval office in 2021.
Another Clinton. Cameron redux. They never leave. Incidentally, Tom’s post is entitled ‘The New Aristocrats”, which made me think of this. It’s NSFW.
What Donald Trump will make it has yet to be revealed, but for now all we have is Turkmenistan’s president Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov lifting golden weights bar before his applauding Cabinet. Mr Berdy is also the country’s prime minister and commander-in-chief of the country’s armed forces. And sine you asked, male homosexuality is illegal:
Turkmenistan’s president lifts golden weights bar before his applauding Cabinet. Will the madness ever cease? pic.twitter.com/9MszhO4dD4
— Peter Leonard (@Peter__Leonard) November 2, 2018
According to Human Rights Watch:
Turkmenistan remains an extremely repressive country. The government severely restricts all fundamental rights and freedoms, including freedoms of association, expression, and religion. President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, his relatives and their associates control all aspects of public life, and the authorities encroach on private life. The government carries out forced evictions without adequately compensating those affected. The government continues to conceal the fate and whereabouts of dozens of people forcibly disappeared following their imprisonment during waves of arrests in the late 1990s and early 2000s, although it has begun to return to families the bodies of several inmates forcibly disappeared years ago who have recently died in custody. Activists and independent correspondents critical of the government face increased intimidation, harassment, physical attacks and imprisonment. The country remains closed to any independent scrutiny.