The Labour Party is “responsible for unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination” claims The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). Under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, Labour, there was, says the commission:
Political interference in anti-Semitism complaints
Failure to provide adequate training to those handling anti-Semitism complaints
“The equality body’s analysis points to a culture within the party which, at best, did not do enough to prevent anti-Semitism and, at worst, could be seen to accept it.”
An EHRC spokesman enlarged:
“The blame for this sordid, disgraceful chapter in the Labour Party’s history lies firmly with those who held positions of leadership – those who possessed both power and influence to prevent the growth of anti-Jewish racism, but failed to act.
“Never before in our collective history has the Labour Party so fundamentally strained the ties that have bound the Jewish community to the British Left.”
Over to you Dame Shami…
The New York Times‘ headline is choice: “Hillary Clinton Says It’s Different This Time.” The 2016 Democratic candidate on why she’s so confident that Joe Biden will win.
What is different “this time” is that Donald Trump not trying to beat Hilary Clinton.
The Unknown Soldier is British. He – yes, a it’s a ‘he’ – was shipped back from France and buried in Westminster Abbey on November 11, 1920. We do not know who he was. He is, as the name suggests, unknown. But there’s now a problem. The Telegraph notes:
Unknown Warrior likely to be white soldier because of ‘bias’, research suggests The National Army Museum suggested bias may have influenced the selection of the body whose remains were interred at Westminster Abbey
The British Unknown Soldier is most likely British. A curator named Justin Saddington tells us that he’s found that meeting minutes of the Memorial Committee tasked with creating the tomb “show no mention of Indian and other soldiers”. He says:
“That should be taken as evidence of unconscious bias really, that fact that they’re not discussed. This is a time 100 years ago when racism was much more ingrained, there was in fact a colour bar for black officers.”
But he is British. Black British, possibly. A British Jew, maybe? But not Indian, right? And then in the Mail:
He added that he doesn’t believe outright racism played a part but that those involved in choosing the unidentifiable body may have been influenced by demands for ‘British’ remains.
Over to Wikipedia:
The idea of a Tomb of the Unknown Warrior was first conceived in 1916 by the Reverend David Railton, who, while serving as an army chaplain on the Western Front, had seen a grave marked by a rough cross, which bore the pencil-written legend ‘An Unknown British Soldier’.
He wrote to the Dean of Westminster in 1920 proposing that an unidentified British soldier from the battlefields in France be buried with due ceremony in Westminster Abbey “amongst the kings” to represent the many hundreds of thousands of Empire dead. The idea was strongly supported by the Dean and the Prime Minister David Lloyd George.
So it’s a British soldier buried beneath the words “An Unknown British Soldier”. Who knew?
CLUE: The Unknown Soldier features this inscription, composed by Herbert Edward Ryle, Dean of Westminster:
Beneath this stone rests the body
Of a British warrior
Unknown by name or rank
Brought from France to lie among
The most illustrious of the land
And buried here on Armistice Day
11 Nov: 1920, in the presence of
His Majesty King George V
His Ministers of State
The Chiefs of his forces
And a vast concourse of the nation
Thus are commemorated the many
Multitudes who during the Great
War of 1914 – 1918 gave the most that
Man can give life itself
For King and country
For loved ones home and empire
For the sacred cause of justice and
The freedom of the world
They buried him among the kings because he
Had done good toward God and toward
Off to speak to the gels at their posho school. Why do children from wealthy families bother to attend? It’s not for the need to get good scores in maths, work and gain employment, surely. Terribly vulgar all that CV writing. It’s abut social modelling, belonging to an elite and breeding the next genertion of Beneden gels and Eton toffs. So we’re off to Kent, to listen to the headmistress of Beneden explain and apologise for talking about black people:
The headmistress at a top boarding school has “unreservedly apologised” for using the word “negro” in an assembly as a wave of protests by black pupils against “white privilege” sweeps across schools at the end of Black History Month.
Samantha Price, 46, headmistress at Benenden, the Kent girls’ boarding school where Princess Anne was a pupil, was explaining to pupils the origins of the month in 1926. At the time it was, according to Wikipedia, called “Negro History Week” in America, she said.
Some of the senior girls protested about her use of the word, fearing that other pupils would think they were also entitled to use a word some find as offensive as the n-word.
The senior gels think the younger gels will hear the word “negro” and think it’s ok to use it? The n-word is now more noticeable by its rarity of use – its what makes it newsworthy – that it’s use in everyday parlance, especially to demean and abuse.
Note: Samantha Price is not black. But she is studying the matter.
How do tabloids stay relevant in the digital age? By investing a fortune in quality journalism and attracting newsreaders to paper products, encouraging the hip and youthful to give newsprint the same respect they’ve rediscovered for radio, vinyl and books? Nah. Easier to keep the ageing readership you’ve already got and feed it headlines based on World War 2 (1939-1945) and Thunderbirds (1965-1966).
Time for a rethink…
Scotland’s national clinical director Jason Leitch says there is “absolutely no question” of a “normal” Christmas being permitted by the State. Leitch says it’s time for people to “get their digital Christmas ready”. Has the ever been a more awful phrase than “digital Christmas”?
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is not shamed by the message and says it’s not right to “tell people what they want to hear to make it easier in the here and now”.
So a digital Christmas it is, then – with Carols:
Dongle Merrily On High
The First Comment
Once In Royal Sim City
O Come (on) All Ye Webcams
Do They Know It’s Christmas Time At All?
And many more..!
How do you report on the pandemic, the confusion sewn by a government with all the nous of a puppy sat by a pile of poo and Boris Johnson air-punching Manchester mayor Andy Burnham on the telly, treating him and the city with all the contempt of a bully thanking his victim for bringing so much lunch money to school.? If you’re the Sun you lead with Meghan Markle in a green dress and pictures of a “takeaway food app addict” being hoisted from his Surrey flat, before presumably being dropped on Salford as an emergency fuel source.
Helpfully, the Express does lead with the Covid-19 story, telling us: “Only National Unity Will Defeat Virus”. Which means: comply or die. Which sounds like a threat. Question the Government and you risk lives. Comply with the Government and your business will go bust, you’ll run out money and die from curable cancers. But you’ll do so in the warm glow that it was for the common good – especially for the NHS which must be “saved” for when we rally need health care and granny, who’s seen neither the outside world not any loved ones for months.
The Mirror says Johnson’s “playing poker with the pandemic”, which makes him sound more fun than fool. Such is the tabloid’s love of betting apps and deals that fill the pages, you expect to see the story sponsored by Paddy Power and a shot of Johnson pulling down his trousers to reveal a pair of green knickers on which are displayed the odds for “everyone dead by teatime”.
The aforesaid Burnham wanted £65m to “prevent a winter of real hardship”. Johnson and his chums offered £60m. They then handed over £22m and forced a Tier 3 lockdown on Manchester. That £60m might still be on the table. But Johnson did his usual bluster and bluff and failed to answer questions about what is on offer and what is not.
We know Johnson thinks Tier 3 is fine and the following venues throughout Manchester must shut or else: bars, unless they serve meals, betting shops, casinos, Bingo halls, games arcades and soft play areas.” You know, all the places Johnson and his Government spend the evening when the lap dancing club is full.
But there is help. The Star brings news: work in the pub. People from different households in different tiers can mix indoors if they are doing work. Call it a “working lunch” and you can mix indoors. “People are permitted to meet indoors for work purposes in high or very high areas,” says an unidentified Government wonk. If Johnson (London – Tier 2) wants to meet a tech guru in a Manchester hotel room, (Tier 3), he can.
Just remember to bring your own pole.
American Jennifer Arcuri, 35, says Boris Johnson bombarded her “with avalanches of passion” during what the Mirror claims was a four-year affair that ran like a spluttering tap feeding a gelatinous fatberg between 2012 and 2016. At the time, Johnson, a serial ‘love bomber’, was married to second wife, Marina Wheeler.
Arcuri has been talking with a sympathetic Daily Mail. Get a lot of “her big smile and effervescent personality”; “she attracts admiring glances from passing male guests”; and “she and Boris had a deep emotional attachment”.
They also shared office space. But nothing untoward occurred. The Independent Office for Police Conduct said there was no evidence Johnson had influenced payments to Ms Arcuri or her companies. Acruri, a “technology entrepreneur”, joined then mayor Johnson on overseas trade missions in 2014 and 2015. The BBC noted:
According to an investigation by the Sunday Times one of her businesses had received £11,500 in sponsorship money from a mayoral organisation when Mr Johnson was mayor and a £15,000 government grant for foreign entrepreneurs in Britain.
A further £100,000 grant was awarded to Ms Arcuri’s company, Hacker House, by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in January.
All legit. So…
Mail: But you did have an affair?
Arcuri: ‘I think that goes without saying,’ she purrs throatily. ‘It’s pretty much out there . . . But I’m not going to talk about it.’
The takeaway part from this grubby story is not Arcuri’s realisation that ‘no comment’ is still a comment, but that UK’s bargain bucket version of JFK and Marilyn Monroe includes Arcuri telling us:
“You’d have to be a fool not to get swept away by those avalanches of passion.”
Strap on the goggles, hold your breath and tell the plasterer to wrap his radio in clingfilm – we’re stood on the edge of crevasse and Boris Johnson’s barrelling towards us with his dripping snow machine proud and primed for a quick Brexit…
This video of dancers with the Dance Theatre of Harlem dancing though the streets of New York City is a delight.
Of course what they’re really doing is making their way in the only way they know how towards the UK government’s retraining scheme for ballet dancers. Yesterday, the British State’s CyberFirst initiative told a ballet dancer called Fatima to squash her dreams of working as a dancer beneath the toe of her pumps and get a job in tech.
Funny, no, how dancers and artists are told to retrain but the Government workers under the auspices of the dire and impeccably connected Dido Harding are ok to carry on in the face of the fact they can’t even work out how to add columns to Excel spreadsheets and maintain accurate records of Covid-19 tests.
Zach Margolin says he has “got this year’s Christmas advert figured out.” He’s videoed his grandmother Josie Singer counting down the days til Christmas. Covid-19 has left her alone. She wants to see her loved ones.
It’s a fun advert with a neat take on the end that makes us all feel warm and fuzzy.
And it reminds us of that scene in Friday Night Dinner, Robert Popper’s hit TV show about a Jewish family who, like Josie, live in north west London. (Full disclosure: me too.) Do Jews celebrate Christmas? Is that a Christmas Tree or a Channukah Bush in the lounge? Isn’t Christmas, you know, just nice?
Downing Street says the advert suggesting a ballet dancer called Fatima should retrain in cyber security is “not appropriate”. Fatima should not limit herself to working in tech but reach out and consider careers as a personal shopper at Ocado, Covid tester or grave digger.
“Fatima’s next job could be in cyber (she just doesn’t know it yet). Rethink. Reskill. Reboot,” says the advice in an advert as part of CyberFirst, a programme led by the National Cyber Security Centre since 2017. CyberFirst aims to encourage young people to get into tech, and to HM Government. No, not webcam modelling at RedBox.com. Well, not only that.
So here’s to the dancers brave enough to give up all that prancing about and get real jobs in the virtual world. If in the coming days you’re approached by a ballet dancer seeking to broaden their skill base, remember, be kind. These people have spent the larger parts of their lives pretending to be swans.
Note: In real life, “Fatima” is a picture of American dancer Desire’e Kelley, taken by photographer Krys Alex at the Motion Dance Studio in Atlanta, Georgia. Rumours that she now works on the headphones desk at Curry’s in Basildon are unproven.
Allegra Stratton is the Government’s new US-style press secretary. She’ll deliver the Government’s daily televised briefings to the people. This changes the old way of political hacks speaking off camera with the Prime Minister’s spokesman, a politically anonymous civil servant. Hired by the Tory Party, her reported £100,000-a-year salary paid by the taxpayer, Stratton will be free to attacks opposition parties.
So what can we expect to see from Tory Telly and the former political correspondent for the Guardian, political editor of BBC’s Newsnight, national editor at ITV News, co-presenter of Robert Peston’s show Peston on Sunday and director of strategic communications for Chancellor Rishi Sunak?
Stratton is unarguably a high achiever. And with that comes connections. In 2011, she married James Forsyth, the political editor of The Spectator, the conservative magazine which Prime Minister Boris Johnson used to edit. Mary Wakefield, wife of Johnson’s chief aide Dominic Cummings is the Spectator’s Commissioning Editor.
Someone not on that dinner party list is Shanene Thorpe. In 2012, Stratton reported on the government’s proposed cuts to welfare benefits. To the then coalition government, welfare was a “lifestyle choice”. Londoner Thorpe was juggling full-time employment with raising a young child.
“The government is thinking of saying to young people: if you don’t have work, don’t leave home,” said Stratton to camera after the patronising interview ended.
“Immediately after filming I was upset: I felt as if I’d been mugged,” said Thorpe. “I’d been led to believe I’d be defending young people from benefit cuts, not defending my family.” She tweeted: “To set the record straight, I work for tower hamlets council, I’ve worked since 16 and I only get help towards my rent because it is so high.”
Thorpe was upset enough to start an online petition – it was signed by over 50,000 people:
I was approached by the BBC to be interviewed on Newsnight to talk about what it’s like being a working mum struggling to pay rent and housing costs. Of course I was happy to do it, being a working mum is something I’m proud of. It hasn’t always been plain sailing. But I did not expect to be personally scrutinised, have judgements made about my choices and asked why I chose to have my child – a beautiful, sociable and happy three year old girl. I have done my best for her and wanted to bring her up independently. But the BBC has humiliated me and I want them to apologise for portraying me and my family in this way.
It took Newsnight more than three months to broadcast an apology for creating the entirely false impression Shanene Thorpe was unemployed, entirely dependent on benefits and living off the state as a lifestyle choice.
Stay tuned for Tory Telly every day.
Nicola Sturgeon likes things to be short and sharp – and you’d imagine her husband does, too. Scotland’s First Minister (her) says the decree to shut all pubs, bars and restaurants in central Scotland from 6pm this Friday until October 25 is “intended to be short, sharp action to arrest a worrying increase in infection”. This lock out will stop the rise in coronavirus cases.
In other bits of Scotland, licensed premises can serve alcohol outdoors. The people of Scotland accept the challenge:
Brave heart (freezing cold arse).
In a story on Islamophobia in the Conservative Party, the Guardian cites the appointment of Munira Mirza to lead a Government commission on racial equality as a bad thing. We read:
Given that the party appointed a woman who does not believe in structural racism to the government commission on racial inequalities, the Tories’ investigation into their issues with race and Islam is unlikely to be a rigorous affair.
Why does she need to believe in structural racism to investigate if structural racism exists? Do you only get a job as an investigator if you know the outcome of the investigation before it begins?
To consider it another way: how did Sharmishta “Shami” Chakrabarti, lead a 2016 Labour Party investigation into anti-Semitism in Labour and find it to be “not overrun by anti-Semitism”. At the suggestion of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a man at the centre of the anti-Semitism in Labour furore, Shami soon became a Dame. Labour, under new leader Keir Starmer, admitted in 2020: “Antisemitism has been a stain on our party. I have seen the grief that it’s brought to so many Jewish communities. On behalf of the Labour Party, I am sorry. I will tear out this poison by its roots and judge success by the return of Jewish members and those who felt that they could no longer support us.”
By now you might have supposed the prosecution and defence would be deep into preparations for a trial. But months after being named as the chief suspect in the vanishing of Madeleine McCann, Christian Brueckner remains stubbornly innocent. Just as he was when we were introduced to ‘Christian B’, the depraved criminal remains housed in a Kiel jail cell. We know where he is, who he is and that he’s a convicted paedophile and rapist. What we don’t know is if he had anything to do with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in May 2007. German prosecutors “believe” he might have murdered her.
The Star picks up the news that “Madeleine McCann cops hired a prison inmate to gather information on the prime suspect”. German tabloid Bild reports: “Madeleine McCann cops hired a prison inmate to gather information on the prime suspect.” You know the routine: stick an informant into the cell with the suspect and wait for the confession. The Star says we don’t know what Brueckner told the grass, if anything, nor if the grass cooked up a story to make himself look good and secure any deal he’d made with the judiciary.
In other news, British police investing the disappearance of Madeleine McCann with Operation Grange have been given an extra £350,000, says the Mirror. It takes the total invested in looking for the missing girl to more than £12 million. The new cash will keep the Operation going til the end of March 2021.
Hard cheese on anyone searching for QAnon conspiracy theory stuff on Facebook. The publisher, sorry, social media platform has banned all mention of the group that blames all bad things on a shadowy cabal of elite Satan-worshipping paedophiles. According to theory, only Donald Trump can defeat the blood-sucking child killers.
QAnon believers claim someone called Q is sending them coded messages about Donald Trump’s war with the ‘deep state’. It is, as with all conspiracy theories, utterly devoid of evidence or proof. But if you believe the CIA murdered JFK, that Barack Obama was not born in the USA, the moon landings were faked, Prince Philip offed Princess Diana, VIP paedophiles were murdering children in Westminster or that the 9/11 terror attacks were carried out by the Jews (most conspiracy theories end with the Jews), banning all mention of such things will not change your mind. It will most likely make you believe your theory all the more. Why ban the ridiculous and not debunk it? Facebook is surely just in on the conspiracy, right? Rebuttal is proof. Not that conspiracies requires proof, relying instead on unblinking faith and an open-eyed belief in a reality that transcends mere fact.
But the really deal with conspiracy theories is that they are entertaining, give good telly, sell lots of books and distract you from the truth. You know, that we are all controlled by a lizard called Brenda?
Boris Johnson, the man who wanted to build a bridge between the UK and Ireland and land passenger jets on a raft sat on the River Thames, says the UK will lead the world in wind power. Says the Prime Minister:
“Some people used to sneer at wind power… and say it wouldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding,” says Boris Johnson.
Those sneering idiots:
Such are the facts.
Spotter; Adam Bienkov
Derlin Newey works a 30-hour week as a pizza delivery man in Utah. He’s 89. The Valdez family recored Newey delivering their pizzas and loaded the interactions on TikTok. A fanbase grew and people asks why Derlin was working? The answer is that he needs the money – social security payments aren’t enough to cover his bills. A cry for help went out and $12,069 was delivered to Newey’s house. “How do I ever say thank you? I don’t know what to say?” he responded.
This is, says CNN, proof of goodness of humanity. But the Guardian it’s a problem. The paper asks, “What sort of social security net forces an 89-year-old man to have to run around delivering pizza in his old age just so he can make rent?”
And then came the maths:
Americans who are his age and make the average US yearly income of $35,977, can expect to receive about $1,579 a month in social security payments; barely enough to make the average rent – or roughly the same amount as what Donald Trump pays in taxes across two years.
So you make around $36,000 a year in wages PLUS around $18,000 in social security cheques? The Guardian means “made” not “make”, of course. And with that one error the entire story changes meaning. And Mr Newey? He’s doing pretty well, no, enjoying life and working into his dotage? As for the pension (what the paper actually means), well, just under 50% of the working wage in the retirement years is not abysmal.
“German police ‘don’t need Madeleine McCann’s body to prove suspect murdered her’,” declares the Mirror. The more depraved killers, often take their victims’ whereabouts to the pit. Ian Brady and Myra Hindley never pointed police nor bereft relatives to Keith Bennett’s remains. It took 23 years for the child rapists, kidnappers and killers to confess to Keith’s murder. Brady confessed to newspaper reporters from his prison cell where he was serving life for three other murders. Police believed the pair had done it. But belief is not what the law deals in. A confession was all the police had. Neither Brady nor Hindley were prosecuted for Keith Bennett’s murder.
The justice system needs evidence to prosecute. The Mirror’s headline is rooted in the to-deadline thoughts of German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters. In one of this many TV appearance, this one on Portugal’s RTP show Sexta as 9, Wolters offered: “To indict someone we don’t need a body. A person can be convicted without a body being found but we have to be convinced a person is dead.” And you are convinced Madeleine McCann is dead? And don’t you also have to have some evidence that your suspect, Christian Brueckner, killed the person whose body is missing? Don’t you need evidence to hurdle all those barriers to justice?
You begin to wonder is what Wolters is on the telly? What does he know? What does he merely think he knows? Asked if he had any forensic evidence placing Brueckner inside the flat where Madeleine was sleeping, Wolters added: “I have an answer but we have decided not to divulge this information. I can’t say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ as that would bring a thousand other questions and I cannot go into details. But you have to believe me when I say we have more evidence. Here in Germany our Public Ministry only divulges things when they are solid.”
Which is why Christian Brueckner has not been charged with any offences linked to the vanishing for Madeleine McCann. We can believe Wolters has “more evidence” but we do not know what he has evidence of? And his appearing on the telly, points to it being a fishing expedition, a warning to criminals that Wolters and his team are on to you so it’d be best if you confessed now.
Maybe you called him Brueckner? Someone somebody you know called Bruckner while he was in the vicinity of the Ocean Club complex shortly after Madeleine McCann disappeared? That call lasted around half an hour. “We have the number that called him but we haven’t managed to attribute that number to anyone at the moment,” says Wolters. “We don’t know what the conversation was about and we don’t know the relationship between the people who spoke. We are searching for a witness to establish the content of the conversation which lasted nearly half an hour and so was quite a long conversation. We hope someone remembers that conversation. We don’t have any reason to believe that person could be involved in what happened that night to Madeleine.”
They’re searching for the witness – any witness will do. So Wolters is on the telly in Portugal and in the tabloids in the UK. His profile rises. But we learn nothing knew.
“Christian…must remain in jail until 2024 at least after losing a legal challenge last week,” says the Sun. “He was convicted in Germany of the 2005 rape of an American OAP in Praia da Luz.”
The clock ticks.
Looks like you kids are stuck with that mouldering bag of filthy clothes and sheets for longer, maybe until it be comes an ambulatory life form and sickened by its own stench washes itself in your sink. Matt Hancock, the feeble health secretary, is chewing over the idea of banning students from returning home at Christmas to limit the spread of Covid-19.
Appearing on the BBC’s Radio 4 Today Programme, Hancock says he has “learned not to rule things out”, “we have to work on all contingencies at the moment” and: “I don’t want to have a situation like that and I very much hope we can avoid it. We have said throughout that our goal is to suppress the virus, whilst protecting the economy and protecting education. And protecting people in education whether it’s school or university is obviously critical as is protecting the economy.”
The Scottish government’s national clinical director Jason Leitch says students in Scotland are forbidden from returning to their parents’ homes due to new restrictions that stop residents visiting other households.
“Was asked last night whether students in halls and flats can go back to parents’ homes. To clarify, they are a separate household. There are exceptions, e.g. caring responsibilities, but the law is clear: they can’t meet indoors with another household – even mum and dad. Sorry.”
Locked out of pubs, clubs and classes – and often locked into their expensive halls of residence after 8pm – students are now locked out of retuning home. Or else:
Looks like you kids are stuck with that mouldering bag of filthy clothes and sheets. Matt Hancock, the enfeebled health secretary, is chewing over the idea of banning students from returning home at Christmas to limit the spread of Covid-19. Appearing on the BBC’s Radio 4 Today Programme, said he has “learned not to rule things out”, “we have to work on all contingencies at the moment” and: “I don’t want to have a situation like that and I very much hope we can avoid it. We have said throughout that our goal is to suppress the virus, whilst protecting the economy and protecting education. And protecting people in education whether it’s school or university is obviously critical as is protecting the economy.”
The Scottish government’s national clinical director Jason Leitch says students in Scotland re already forbidden from returning to their parents’ homes due to new restrictions that stop residents visiting other households. He tweeted:
“Was asked last night whether students in halls and flats can go back to parents’ homes. To clarify, they are a separate household. There are exceptions, e.g. caring responsibilities, but the law is clear: they can’t meet indoors with another household – even mum and dad. Sorry.”
Locked out of pubs, clubs and classes, students locked into their over-priced halls of residences after 8pm are now locked out of returning home. Students returning home will be branded criminals. The higher education bubble must burst soon.
The Government is controlling things it should be controlling. Why is your loved one’s funeral, a wedding or birthday party any of their business? Are you forming the opinion that the only business thriving in the Covid-19 pandemic – well, aside from online supermarkets, Netflix and makers of hand disinfectant – is Government?
New rules are that: pubs and restaurants close at 10pm. Dally at your table – it’s table service only – after the 10pm lockout and Covid Cops will issue fines. Bar staff, non-seated customers, shop workers and waiters must wear a mask or else pay a £200 fine. Weddings will include no more than 15 people, including the happy couple (yeah, 13 guests for the feast – what can go wrong?) Up to 30 of you can hook up at funeral – but only if you remain in groups of six. This is part of the so-called ‘Rule of 6’, an arbitrary rule that says that when seeing friends and family you do not live with you should meet in groups of 6 or less.
Look out for VULTURE APP, a service that alerts the bored and isolated to funerals with spare capacity.
And what of your chances of dying from Covid? Well, the Office for National Statistics notes:
The coronavirus (COVID-19) did not feature in the top ten leading causes of death in August 2020, in England or Wales. In England, COVID-19 was the 24th most common cause of death and in Wales it was the 19th most common cause of death, for deaths registered in August 2020.
Should we focus on something else? No say all the politicians of every stripe. The London Mayor wants more curfews, social distancing and mask wearing. In Scotland you cannot visit anyone in another home. Leading politicians are outdoing each other in a bid to exert more control. But…:
The leading cause of death in August 2020 was dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in England (accounting for 10.9% of all deaths) and ischaemic heart disease in Wales (11.0% of all deaths); both leading causes of death were the same in July 2020.
The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (“develops, promotes and disseminates better evidence for healthcare”), tells us:
While we found that roughly one in thirteen (7.8%) deaths with COVID-19 on the death certificate did not have the disease as the underlying cause of death, this proportion has risen substantially to 29% (nearly a third) for the last eight weeks of reporting.
Is our Government panicking? And why are we so supine in the face of rules and laws that need to be challenged and held up to scrutiny?
Christian Brueckner is innocent of any involvement in the vanishing of Madeleine McCann. If you doubt that statement is true, prove that it isn’t. That’s the challenge facing German prosecutors who believe the convicted peadophile stole the child and murdered her. “The disappearance of Madeleine McCann: Have they got the right man this time?” asks Martin Brunt, the Sky News reporter who has been hot on the heels of rumours. trolls and not a single meaningful development since Madeleine McCann went missing in May 2007 and became the media’s ‘Our Maddie’. Brunt has been speaking to lawyers. After a few paragraphs telling us who Christian Bruekner is, Brunt sums up the entire case against the infamous criminal:
The case against him is circumstantial – he is a convicted paedophile, he lived in the area, and on the night she disappeared, his mobile phone was in use nearby. The next day he changed the registration of one of his vehicles.
“Have they got the right man this time?,” ask Brunt seven paragraphs into his feature. Around 60 short paragrapahs later, Brunt concludes:
In fact, one source told me that Christian B may be no better a suspect for Madeleine’s abduction than two other principle targets.
They are the unnamed suspect, who may still be the subject of an undercover operation, and Euclides Monteiro, a sacked Ocean club waiter and thief who died two years after Madeleine vanished and was later eliminated from the inquiry.
The Mirror has a few words on the investigation. “Madeleine McCann investigators have ‘no smoking gun’ to charge Christian Brueckner,” trills the headline. Its worst than that. They have no gun. They have no smoke. They have a belief, an idea. German Prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters is doing the rounds, telling Portuguese media:
“All I can say is this is like a puzzle and there are many pieces that lead us to believe Christian B is responsible.”
Hold the book deal, Hans. You’re going to need more.
“One of the pieces is the signal from the mobile phone he was using at the time Madeleine McCann disappeared and has been shown to have been in the area of the Ocean Club resort where she was staying.”
You’ve 20 more chapters to fill, Hans. What else you got?
“The result of our investigation does not point in any way to the possibility the suspect might have kept Madeleine alive. We have nothing to indicate she could be alive. Everything we have points to her being dead. We have no margin of manoeuvre.”
Is that lost in translation – “no magian of manoeuvre”? Is that Google Translate for ‘we have no open mind’? Of course any good blockbuster needs a good plot. Goncalo Amaral is the Portuguese coppers who wrote a book about the case. Will any book Wolters writes reach a firmer conclusion, give us the definitive story?
Mr Wolters also rebutted claims made by disgraced former police officer Goncalo Amaral, who met with Brueckner’s defence lawyer Friedrich Fulscher last week in Portugal, that the German was being “scapegoated.”
The controversial ex-cop, who was removed from the initial Madeleine McCann investigation for criticising British police, is involved in an ongoing legal battle with her parents Kate and Gerry over his insistence she died by accident in their apartment and they covered it up…
German Belief v Portuguese Insistence? Or to put it another way: German Insistence v Portuguese Belief. Wolters continues:
“I know this former inspector speaks a lot and comments on our work. We’re not going to get into a war of words. All I will say is that we have carried out a very serious investigation and there is no indication whatsoever Madeleine McCann’s parents are linked to her disappearance. On the other hand we have a lot of evidence pointing to Christian B killing her. Goncalo Amaral knows how he reaches his conclusions and that’s not up to us to judge.”
To which the Sun thunders:
Kate and Gerry McCann are not suspects. They are on the record in the Star, sort of:
But Kate and Gerry “won’t believe she’s dead” until a body has been found, it is claimed. A source close to the family said: “Until a body is found and it is proved to be Madeleine’s, Kate and Gerry are not giving up hope. These latest ‘she’s dead but there’s no body’ theories have been repeated over the past three-and-a-half months but in all this time there appears to be no significant new development.”
At least someone is dealing in facts. The unnamed source – why unnamed and not on the record? – wants facts not theories.
Over to the Mail:
A German drifter and partner-in-crime of Madeleine McCann prime suspect Christian Brueckner has branded him an ‘evil psychopath’ who is ‘capable of taking a child’.
Manfred Seyferth, 64, said 43-year-old Brueckner was known as ‘The Climber’ for his ability to break into homes, and was robbing apartments in Praia da Luz the year the young girl vanished.
Seyferth, who acted as a key witness against Brueckner when he was jailed for the rape of an American woman in 2018, believes the peadophile is guilty of taking thee-year-old Madeleine from her parents’ holiday apartment in 2007.
He tells the Sun:
“Christian is a bad, bad man. He is evil. I never liked him and he is a psychopath. He is obsessed with small children and I didn’t like it. He always had a young girlfriend with him and I think he is easily capable of taking a small child.”
“I think he may have something to do with Maddie.”
What of that rape case? Says the Sun:
Christian was convicted of attacking a 72-year-old woman in her own home at Praia da Luz in 2005.
Says the Mirror:
Brueckner, a German citizen, is currently in Justizvollzugsanstalt Kiel prison, where he is trying to overturn his sentence for raping a woman, 73, in Portugal.
Madeleine McCann is missing. It’s pretty much the only fact media and theorists can agree on.
Last week Sky News presented an exclusive news feature on Madeleine McCann and the man German police suspect of kidnapping and murdering her, the convicted paedophile and rapist Christian Brueckner, oddly dubbed ‘Christian B’ in an internet-denying spot of Teutonic legalise. The report revealed nothing. Martin Brunt reviewed the hunches and theories, but could not shake that we only know one thing for certain: child vanished. Today the Sun has more developments. The suspect’s lawyer has “admitted” something. Oh, yes, you think. Has he broken client-brief confidentiality and given us the word on the depraved criminal? No.
The lawyer of prime Madeleine McCann suspect Christian B has admitted he would not trust his client around his kids. Friedrich Fuelscher “insisted that if he had a daughter he would not let the convicted paedophile look after her”.
Before we demand he adopt a girl and test the theory, we wonder what other jobs Fuelscher could admit his client is unsuited to. I’d go for the obvious (kindergarten teacher, toilet attendant and paediatric nurse) and then consider the more exotic (UN Special Envoy to Thailand). The jury is out on whether Brueckner would make a decent BBC presenter of family TV shows in which he makes children’s wishes come true. There’s been a vacancy at the Beeb ever since Jimmy Savile gibbered his last and was subsequently ruled to have been the biggest paedophile who ever lived.
The Sun’s story is based on what the daughter-less lawyer told the Mirror. “I’d let him look after my dogs but I wouldn’t let him look after my children or my daughter – if I had them,” says Fuelscher. “He could be my dogsitter, yes, but because of his record I would not let him look after my own daughter.”
As to the value of giving a convicted paedophile a puppy, well, Charlie has something to say about that:
Do Chinese people living in China not buy scented candles from black people, like the actor John Boyega? The London-born star has resigned his role as “global ambassador” for scented candle-makers Jo Malone because he wasn’t a global ambassador at all. He was the face of melted wax in the UK and some other places but for Chinese consumers he was replaced in an ad he made for them called ‘London Gent’ by Chinese actor Liu Haoran.
The company has apologised for the “misstep”. Not an error, then? Surely this was a plan, the brand appealing to their target market, doing its best to shift product in China. Ads are usually products of market research. Did Jo Malone poll the Chinese and find they like Liu better than they do John? Do they rate Liu as the celeb more likely to deliver a full-nosed blast of candle fumes? Can we see the marketing reports and questions asked?
Boyega says Jo Malone was “wrong” to have used another actor “without my consent or prior notice”. Well, quite. What’s the point of hiring the Star Wars actor to be your global ambassador if you don’t employ him globally?
“We deeply apologise for what, on our end, was a mistake in the local execution of the John Boyega campaign,” says Joe Malone in a mealy-mouthed statement. Does it suppose Chinese consumers are racist against black people? And did it just use John Boyega to show us that it isn’t?