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

Mob dallas george floyd murder

How do you react to the death of George Floyd. You should be angry. You should be sickened by the casual acts of violence that left a man dead after after he was abused by police. You should campaign for equality and blind justice. But in Dallas, Texas, lunatics thought it right to try to murder a man with bricks and feet. What do we see – violence, colour or just part of the story? The video was taken by Elijah Schaffer of Blaze TV. It is shocking:

Dallas murder
This looks like attempted murder

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

George Floyd: An Incredible photograph of the 3rd Precinct in Minneapolis burning

Minneapolis George Floyd fire

This striking image of a fire engulfing police Precinct 3 in Minneapolis, USA, was taken by @slate_mk.2 on Instagram. The allegation is that a police offer murdered George Floyd. There’s trouble in America. The divide between free people who arrived in the USA in search of opportunity and slaves shipped there in chains remains. Let’s give no quarter to racism. Hold it up to debate. Sunlight and blind justice are the best disinfectants.

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

George Floyd was ‘murdered’ but whodunnit?

George Floyd

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

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

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

Anger or Fury? Or salad?

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

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

Derek Chuavin

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

Are the police contrite?

The last word for now is from Killer Mike:

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

Durham Police statement on Dominic Cummings in full: he’s innocent (probably)

dominic Cummings coronavirus
Mirror misquotes police.

What of Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister’s aide whomay” have broken lockdown rules? “May” is the word of the moment because police in Derbyshire says Cummings “may” have broken the rules. The Star, Mirror and Guardian all lead with what “may” have happened. Or to put it another way, what may not have happened.

It’s always useful to reverse a headline to see the angle at work. So here’s a twist on the BBC’s front-page headline “Dominic Cummings ‘might have broken lockdown rules’ – police”: “Dominic Cummings ‘might not have broken lockdown rules’ – police.”

He may. He may not.

Durham Police have issued a statement on the matter that’s occupied the media for a week. Here it is in full:

“On March 27 2020, Dominic Cummings drove to Durham to self-isolate in a property owned by his father. Durham Constabulary does not consider that by locating himself at his father’s premises, Mr Cummings committed an offence contrary to regulation six of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020. (We are concerned here with breaches of the regulations, not the general Government guidance to “stay at home”.)

“On April 12 2020, Mr Cummings drove approximately 26 miles from his father’s property to Barnard Castle with his wife and son. He stated on May 25 2020 that the purpose of this drive was to test his resilience to drive to London the following day, including whether his eyesight was sufficiently recovered, his period of self-isolation having ended.

“Durham Constabulary have examined the circumstances surrounding the journey to Barnard Castle (including ANPR, witness evidence and a review of Mr Cummings’ press conference on May 25 2020) and have concluded that there might have been a minor breach of the regulations that would have warranted police intervention. Durham Constabulary view this as minor because there was no apparent breach of social distancing.

Had a Durham Constabulary police officer stopped Mr Cummings driving to or from Barnard Castle, the officer would have spoken to him, and, having established the facts, likely advised Mr Cummings to return to the address in Durham, providing advice on the dangers of travelling during the pandemic crisis.

“Had this advice been accepted by Mr Cummings, no enforcement action would have been taken.

“In line with Durham Constabulary’s general approach throughout the pandemic, there is no intention to take retrospective action in respect of the Barnard Castle incident since this would amount to treating Mr Cummings differently from other members of the public. Durham Constabulary has not taken retrospective action against any other person.

“By way of further context, Durham Constabulary has followed Government guidance on management of alleged breaches of the regulations with the emphasis on the NPCC and College of Policing 4Es: Engage, Explain and Encourage before Enforcement.

“Finally, commentary in the media has suggested that Mr Cummings was in Durham on April 19 2020. Mr Cummings denies this and Durham Constabulary have seen insufficient evidence to support this allegation.

“Therefore Durham Constabulary will take no further action in this matter and has informed Mr Cummings of this decision.”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 29th, May 2020 | In: News, Politicians | Comment

Justice for George Floyd: watch Precinct 3 burn

George Floyd murder police precinct burns

People are angry that George Floyd died after a run-in with police in Minneapolis. The key question is: could George Floyd’s death have been prevented? The answer must be a resounding ‘Yes’.

Derek Chauvin, the armed policeman who felt it within his civic duty to put his knee on unarmed George Floyd’s neck and leave it there as the handcuffed man complained of feeling unwell and being unable to breathe, has yet to be charged with any crime. He is innocent until proven guilty. George Floyd was not given that right. His alleged offences were to attempt to pass a fake cheque at a grocery store and then resist arrest. His other apparent offence, as many see it, was to be black.

Derek Chauvin and three police colleagues who looked on as George Floyd fought for life on, his face pushed into the asphalt by the forces of law and order, are no longer serving police officers. They’ve been sacked.

And in lieu of legal justice, the people watch police station Precinct 3 burn:

Posted: 29th, May 2020 | In: News | Comment

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

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

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

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

Vote now and vote often

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

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

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

Fake news: BBC broke rules in stating that Dominic Cummings broke lockdown rules

Cummings Maitlis

Last Tuesday’s edition of BBC’s Newsnight kicked off with presenter Emily Maitlis telling viewers: “Dominic Cummings broke the rules, the country can see that, and it’s shocked the government cannot.” Boris Johnson’s aide had broken the rules on lockdown by travelling from London to County Durham, said the impartial BBC. For added oomph, the audience was told that the “public mood” was “one of fury, contempt and anguish”. Cummings had made us “feel like fools”.

And there was more. Maitlis went on: “The prime minister knows all this. But despite the resignation of one minister, growing unease from his backbenchers, a dramatic early warning from the polls and a deep national disquiet, Boris Johnson has chosen to ignore it. Tonight we consider what this blind loyalty tells us about the workings of Number 10.”

Problem was that the BBC’s facts were just the BBC’s opinion, which it has sought to clarify in the following statement: “While we believe the programme contained fair, reasonable and rigorous journalism, we feel that we should have done more to make clear the introduction was a summary of the questions we would examine, with all the accompanying evidence, in the rest of the programme. As it was, we believe the introduction we broadcast did not meet our standards of due impartiality.”

Disappointing stuff. Biased news is fake news. Eat yer heart out, Twitter.

Transcript of Newsnight monologue:

“Good evening, Dominic Cummings broke the rules. The country can see that and it’s shocked the Government cannot. The longer minister and the Prime Minister tell us he worked within them, the more angry the response to this scandal is likely to be.

“He was the man remember who always got the public mood – who tagged the lazy label of elite on those who disagreed. He should understand that public mood now – one of fury contempt and anguish. He made those who struggled to keep to the rules feel like fools and has allowed many more to presume they can now flout them.

“The Prime Minister knows all this but despite the resignation of one minister, growing unease from his backbenchers, a dramatic early warning from the polls and a deep national disquiet, Boris Johnson has chosen to ignore it.”

Why not let the facts speak and the people, the very ones Newsnight says are angry, make up their own minds? Does the BBC not trust it’s own audience?

Posted: 27th, May 2020 | In: News, Politicians, TV & Radio | Comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clap for Cummings and the lockdown breakers

Was Boris Johnson’s successful in shutting don the story that his top handler Dominic Cummings broke the lockdown rules when he drove from London to Durham? No. The story is the lead on every national newspaper, save for the Daily Star. Let’s being with the name calling. Cummings is a “cheat” says the Mirror. He’s like 29% of us who broke the lockdown. Should be clap for them, the people who want to get on with their lives?

He’s a “Svengali”, says the Mail. Johnson is a “coward” says the Mirror. “What Planet Are They On?” asks the Mail. Cummings “violated the spirit and letter of the lockdown,” says the Mail‘s editorial. He’s “given every selfish person a licence to play fast and loose with public health”.

Johnson’s office says Cummings “has acted responsibly, legally and with integrity”.

And on and on it goes, pages of polemic and dissection on whether a man should have driven 200-odd miles with his wife when they were both ill with coronavirus and wanted to be closer to family in case they could not care for their young child. No crime was committed.

So what’s the fuss. Man in power is a hypocrite? Well, d’uh. If that’s the benchmark, sack ’em all.

Do some people want Brexit mastermind Cummings defenestrated because the want revenge for losing the referendum. Do they see a Cabinet rife with mediocrities and want the man who picks them out – the tedious and witless Gavin Williamson is the education secretary, existing as proof to pupils that so long as you keep you writing between the lines and have a good attendance record you can be chalk monitor? Or is it because newspapers can’t get a grip on Covid-19 – they’re unable to hook any agenda or campaign to it, and are relieved and delighted that finally they have something to give them a sense of purpose? Sack Dom or clap for Dom. Pick a side and run with it. Meanwhile…the elderly wait for God.

Posted: 25th, May 2020 | In: News | Comment

JK Rowling offers a year’s salary to whoever tweeted about Cummings and Johnson being ‘truth twisters’ from the official UK Civil Service twitter account

The tweet was live for around 20 minutes: “Arrogant and offensive,” said the UK Civil Service’s official twitter account. “Can you image having to work with these truth twisters.” That’s a reference to Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s advisor. Cummings is accused of breaking the spirit of the lockdown by driving from London to Durham to see his family.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling makes the tweeter an offer:

JK Rowling civil service tweet

Is that a year of her salary or a year of their’s. Asking for a mate…

Posted: 24th, May 2020 | In: News | Comment

Exterminate: Dalek delivers Government’s coronavirus update

dalek coronavirus

The Government’s Daily coronavirus update gets a new speaker thanks to Miriam Elia on Facebook. Unless that’s man of the moment Dominic Cummings? Exterminate!

Posted: 24th, May 2020 | In: News, Politicians | Comment

Coronavirus means the Cannonball Run record has been broken

The Cannonball Run record for the fastest drive across the US has been beaten seven times in five weeks. The new record stands at 26 hours. That means making the 4507 trip at an average speed of a least 108 miles an hour. Accounting for fuel stops means the new record holders averaged 193km/h when crossing “several” States. You can thank the coronavirus pandemic for the empty roads.

Posted: 24th, May 2020 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment

The Covid-19 movie: couple trapped on never-ending honeymoon

covid 19, coronavirus, the maldives

The made-for-TV Covid-19 movie is being outlined in the Maldives, where Egyptians Khaled and Peri are living in a never-ending honeymoon. The Dubai-based coouple married on 6 March in their adopted homeland. Then it was off for honeymoon in Cancún, Mexico. On March 19, they headed back to Dubai. They never made it. “While we were on the plane we had access to internet and then we started getting messages from people ‘Are you going to be able to get to Dubai? There’s a new law, they’re banning expats,'” Peri told the BBC.

The coronavirus pandemic had hit. They’d left Mexico and had arrived in Istanbul for a connecting flight home. But flights to Egypt were suspended. And Turkey would not let them enter the country. For two days they languished at the airport.

“We decided to go on Google and check all the countries that allowed Egyptians without a visa, and then check if they had flights,” Peri said. It appeared they only had one option: the Maldives.

“Every time we tell people we are stuck in the Maldives, they laugh and they’re like ‘it’s not the worst situation, I wish I could be in your position’,” Peri added. “It’s not as easy or happy, it’s definitely very stressful… enjoy being at home with family. I would take that over anything.”

Posted: 24th, May 2020 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment

Do the fat-busting coronavirus diet and be like reformed fatty Boris Johnson

No longer is ‘fat’ a pre-runner to ‘and jolly’. Fat means death. Fat must be wiped out because: fat people give you cancer, probably (Daily Mail); fat people use up more aviation fuel and thereby kill the planet (Guardian); fat people kill kittens (Star); fat people will end the NHS by falling ill (all newspapers). Today’s news is that a “third of all viruses are linked to diabetes”. So the other two thirds of us who contract Covid-19 get it because… we’re too thin / old / young / poor / unloved? No matter. The key fact is in. Thin is good. The secret to long life is to be thin, which surely is why the Grim Reaper is as thin as a rake. And look who’s leading “by example”. Yeah, it’s reformed chubster Boris Johnson, who reduced his BMI by falling seriously ill and having his sustenance drip fed. And where he leads you too can follow his shining example. Here’s what you do:

  1. Go to a hospital and shake as many hands as possible.
  2. Struggle to breathe.
  3. Got to intensive care.
  4. Look beach-body ready.*

*Beaches are restricted to one per person until further notice.

Posted: 21st, May 2020 | In: News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment

Facebook knows the Coronavirus truth – Facebook bans news editor-in-chief Zuckerberg disagrees with

Facebook must know the truth about coronavirus Covid-19 because it’s banned fake news on the pandemic. Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg says misinformation will not be tolerated on his social network. There is one version approved of events and you can read about it on Facebook.

Zuckerberg will remove any content likely to result in “immediate and imminent harm” to users. “Even if something isn’t going to lead to imminent physical harm, we don’t want misinformation to be the content that is going viral,” he tells the BBC. Does he not trust his customers to use circumspection when reading news on his website? Does Zuckerberg think Facebook users gullible fools in need of his protection, the sort of people who read one website and believe everything on it?

Facebook has removed Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro’s claim that scientists have “proved” there was a coronavirus cure. No need to hold it up to ridicule and check it for yourself. Facebook has banned it – or censored it, if you prefer. The claim is “obviously” not true, says Zuckerberg. Obvious to him. But maybe not obvious to you. You will also not be able to consider and debunk the view that the 5G digital network has spread Covid-19. It’s been banned. Says the BBC:

David Icke had suggested that 5G mobile phone networks are linked to the spread of the virus and in another video he suggested a Jewish group was behind the virus.

Well, d’uh. Every conspiracy theorist ends up blaming the Jews. The good news is that with so much information out there, the loons are easy to disprove. Ban it and watch the conspiracy fester. It’s grist for the mill.

Says Zuckerberg: “We work with independent fact checkers. Since the Covid outbreak, they have issued 7,500 notices of misinformation which has led to us issuing 50 million warning labels on posts. We know these are effective because 95% of the time, users don’t click through to the content with a warning label.”

So you can still click it. But Facebook has edited it. Which suggests that Facebook is a publisher. And Zuckerberg is de facto Facebook editor-in-chief.

Posted: 21st, May 2020 | In: News | Comment

Stewart Lee mocks a Jewish MP’s name for sounding too foreign in the right-on Observer

After all the clever wit aimed at racists and Daily Mail readers, stand-up comic Stewart Lee, self-effacing star of the BBC’s Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle, used his Observer column to take the piss out of someone for having a funny Jewish name. Lee never mentioned Tom Tugendhat’s Jewish heritage in his column, the one entitled “Now Boris Johnson is talking through his Tugendhat”. But what he did say about the Tory MP was enough for the Jewish Chronicle’s editor Steven Pollard to write beneath the headline “My father changed his name because of people like Stewart Lee. Nothing changes”:

Seventy years ago my dad needed to change his weird foreign name to avoid the sly glances of bigots. Stewart Lee is that bigot – a man who thinks the best response to a foreign sounding Jewish name is to ridicule it in a national newspaper

Might be worthwhile to see what Lee wrote before we brand him an anti-Semite or make him Labour Party leader:

Stay alert! Many names – Fisher, Cook, Smith – derive from ancient trades. But “Tugendhat” is just different words put together, like Waspcupfinger, or Appendixhospitalwool, or Abortionmaqaquesymptom. This former intelligence officer is the nephew of a real man called Baron Tugendhat. Baron Tugendhat is not a character from a 19th-century German children’s book about a baron with a weird hat, the end of which gets tugged.

It’s a weak joke. But the mention of solid English names to mock Tugendhat makes it all it bit stinky for Mr Lee, which is a name not derived from Levison, Levi nor Levine (I’ve checked). He wants us to compare and contrast those ancient yeoman of olde England with the weirdo foreigner. In 2012 then Labour leader Ed Miliband championed his family’s immigrant roots by telling conference in Manchester: “My family hasn’t sat under the same oak tree for the last 500 years.” Fisher, Cook. Smith. They have. You can understand them. Their roots run deep and true.

Tom Tugendhat was unimpressed by Lee’s snipe. He retweeted the following by Jonathan Greenblatt:

Stewart Lee Jews

If you see anti-Semitism, brace yourself for what Lee went on to say:

Peasants! Get back to work! Over the top, boys! Gas! Gas! For God’s sake, gas!

No. No! His analogy is for WW1, not the later conflict WW2. The gas Lee mentions is mustard, which killed Smith, Fisher and Cook in the trenches. It’s not Zyklon B gas, which murdered Levy, Cohen and Zitter in the Nazi death camps.

The anti-Semites didn’t murder Benhamu because he fled Spain’s Inquisition a few hundred years ago, eventually becoming Benham so that my mother’s family would stand a better chance of dodging Jew haters and finding work in London. And the bastards didn’t get Zaransky either, which became Sorene at the will of a border guard when my great-grandfather wisely listened to a premonition he had about a looming pogrom and fled Poland, arriving in Leeds having survived on a diet of dumb luck and pig swill.

Sorene is still a bit unusual, of course, and when a French teacher at school used to pronounce it ‘sirène’, like siren, and go ‘mee-maaa-meeeee-maaaaaaah’ when he wanted me to respond and get a cheap laugh from his tame class pets, I never thought him an anti-Semite, just a condescending twat – which brings us to Lee.

Posted: 18th, May 2020 | In: Celebrities, News | Comment

Wanted for alleged sexual assault: Derbyshire police seek man who kissed women on the cheek for helping him move his stuck lorry

“We are appealing for help to identify a man who kissed a woman on the cheek to thank her for helping when his lorry became stuck under a low bridge,” tweet Derbyshire Police. “Were you in the area of Dale Road, #Matlock, between 12pm and 4pm on Tuesday, 28 April.”

Sexual assault is a serious crime. Derbyshire Police are appealing, in a manner of speaking:

Derbyshire sexual assault

“The woman did not the man kiss her on the cheek,” says Derbyshire Police. You can try and fill in the missing word.

Derbyshire Police crime

We are appealing for help to identify a man who kissed a woman on the cheek to thank her for helping when his lorry became stuck under a low bridge.

The incident occurred between 12pm and 4pm on Tuesday, 28 April, in Dale Road, Matlock.

The heavy goods vehicle had become stuck and the woman, who is in her 70s, helped the men to ensure the lorry did not hit the bridge.

After the lorry became unstuck one of the men in the lorry left the vehicle, thanked the woman and kissed her on the cheek.

Officers want to speak to anyone who was in the area at time and may be able to help our enquiries into the incident – of particular interest are any drivers who were in the area at the time and may have captured the lorry on dashcam.

And remember, if you do help the police with their enquiries, you’d better have a good reason for being out at that time.

Posted: 16th, May 2020 | In: News | Comment

Coronavirus: nearly half of all Brits have had Covid-19; government to attack fat people

The news on Coronavirus is positive. More than 19 million Britons may already have been infected with the virus, say researchers at Manchester University. It’s the lead story in the Mirror. Better news is that 1,000 people have been injected with a vaccine and it’s “so far so good” (Metro). We could have a vaccine this summer (Express). Oh – and get this – new antibody test are found to be 100% accurate in stating if someone has already had the virus (i). And in London, signs are that the virus is dying out. Fewer than 24 people are catching coronavirus each day in London (Telegraph). Analysis by Cambridge University estimates the R reproduction rate of the virus to have fallen to 0.4 in London, with the number of new cases halving every 3.5 days. If you don’t know what the R number means, this should help:

Most newspaper leads with the positive news. But the Guardian talks of “chaos”, leading with allegations that a private firm contracted to run the government’s stockpile of personal protective equipment was hit by “chaos” at its warehouse.

And as for the risk of dying from Covid-19, the Sun leads with news that a quarter of those killed by the bug have diabetes. A double-whammy for them. Overweight and obese people are at increased risk of diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.

So the Times leads with news that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is readying a “much more interventionist” approach to tackle obesity as part of the fight against coronavirus. Can the Government make Covid-19 part of the decades long drive to turn the fat social pariahs? Of course they can. They always do. But people do have the right to be fat.

And do medical practitioners want to tell people they are too fat? And what is ‘too fat’? At least one medic finds it easy to tell:

Posted: 15th, May 2020 | In: News, Tabloids | Comment

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

miley cyrus virus covid 19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coronacoma (New York Times)

Spotter: Kottke

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

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

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

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

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

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

Introducing The Prince Andrew Jeffrey Epstein Commemorative Mug

Michael Epstein Prince Andrew

“To commemorate a sweat-free and honourable relationship” some bright spark has created the Prince Andrew – Jeffrey Epstein souvenir mug. It was a “special relationship” – until the billionaire paedophile apparently killed himself inside a maximum security New York prison where he was awaiting trial for more depraved crimes. It was a suicide we’re told nobody witnessed on CCTV. What Andrew saw and didn’t see has yet to be tested in a court of law.

Posted: 10th, May 2020 | In: News, Royal Family | Comment

Coronavirus Lockdown is over: London police bemoan people enjoying pizza and beer in parks

Having been told the lockdown would be relaxed for the back holiday weekend or just after, and then that it wouldn’t be, it’s not all that surprising to see people using parks and beaches to relax in as the sun shines brightly. London police are unhappy with the al fresco dining:

Do we care that police are unhappy? Has all police action been sensible? From Derbyshire to London and beyond, police have got it wrong. Matt Kiloyne notes: “If you’ve ever wondered what a petty bureaucrat is, it’s the one that has taped off a log in Victoria Park.”

In Clapham:

A virus will do what a virus does. But people have free will and use common sense to gage the risk to themselves and their loved ones. Many are ready and willing to go out – and get back to work. The lockdown – it’s over, isn’t it…

Posted: 9th, May 2020 | In: News | Comment

FASCIST! Spiked wrongly accused of being part of a ‘broad trend towards (far) right-wing politics’

Indy Nazis SPiked

No. Spiked magazine is not part of a “broad trend towards (far) right wing politics”. If you believe it is, you don’t understand what far-right wing politics is. Nazism isn’t about allowing everyone to speak and to be heard, championing free speech with no ‘buts’ and respect for the individual. Nazism champions fear. It is the opposite of courage, a moral force we should value most.

And on Spiked, open discussion rules. So can we talk about the lockdown? It invites a myriad questions, perhaps the biggest for many of us being when schools and colleges will reopen? But the Independent used Spiked!, a magazine I know well, to illustrate the rise of how the “libertarian right” are getting it wrong over Covid-19. The article notes:

With his contrarianism and pseudo-radicalism, as if a global pandemic was nothing but another opportunity to exploit, Brendan O’Neill, editor of Spiked!, condemned the closing of pubs and called for “Dissent in a time of Covid”, criticising the “chilling” and “dangerous” “witch-hunting of those who criticise the response to coronavirus”. This led to a backlash from mainstream commentators and even his fellow travellers.

O’Neill and Spiked! are only marginal examples of this reaction – albeit with disproportionate access to popular platforms and attention – operating as part of a broader trend towards (far) right-wing politics.

Brendan wasn’t having it. He wrote this to his followers on Facebook:

So, here's a story for our times…. I hope you will take the time to read it.A couple of weeks ago, the Independent…

Posted by Brendan O'Neill on Friday, 8 May 2020

Posted: 8th, May 2020 | In: News | Comment

Dumb Coronavirus lockdown question of the day: why are DIY shops open and not museums?

Simon Jenkins Covid-19

Simon Jenkins has a question for Guardian readers. There are many question about the Covid-19 pandemic – when will there be a cure?; will there be a cure?; if you survive it are you immune? – and governments’ reaction to is – is total lockdown right?; should more countries have followed Sweden’s model?; is China lying?. But he wants to know: “Why can I visit a DIY shop but not a museum?” Opening DIY stores and not museums is evidence, he reasons, that lockdown is failing. The simple answer to his puzzler is: because you can’t fix a leak with a statue.

Says Simon Jenkins:

Why can I crowd Oxford’s supermarkets but not its Ashmolean Museum? Why are people trusted to “socially distance” in a DIY shop but not in a garden centre or a National Trust park? My local hardware store can sell from its front door, but not my local pub.

Well, a pub is not an off licence. See here. And a visit to the Ashmolean is not comparable to buying food to survive, even if the cafe is open (which it isn’t). Also: you can look at statues and stuff online and get some kind of mental sustenance, but pictures of food will not supply the necessary vitamins and nutrients.

Posted: 8th, May 2020 | In: News | Comment