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Peak Guardian: fight fatphobia and why being unhealthy is deadly

guardian fat

 

The Guardian’s cover is a thing of wonder – the wonder being did anyone read it before going to print? Having invited readers to “fight fatphobia – ten ways to do the right thing” (well, if it’s a phobia, you should seek therapy or avoid the fat let you feel physically ill), the Guardian tells readers that “unhealthy lifestyles put four out of five adults at risk of an early death”. You’ve got a problem that need fixing if you look at someone whose obese and think them unhealthy – but don’t worry because 80% of them should die before you.

True enough being fat was once a sign of being jolly; whereas now you’re a victim and scourge of the NHS. But the juxtaposition of those competing headlines is dire. An it’s underpinned by those ‘Ten Ways’, including: “A fat activist once said clothing was the alphabet we used to express ourselves – and fat people have fewer letters.” What about XXXXL?

Oh, read it all if you must. But the pick is people praising others for their weight loss:

Make it a rule not to use language that focuses on your own or others’ weight. We have no idea what someone is going through, whether they are dealing with body shame or trying to heal from an eating disorder. When we stop using this kind of language altogether, we create an environment in which people of all sizes can coexist without a sense of weight surveillance.

More evidence of abuse are restaurants which don’t offer “sturdy chairs without armrests”, undoing the myth that the “proximity to fatness bears the threat of contamination” and a medic dishing out “medical discrimination” who failed to spot a fat woman’s cancer (Note: I wasn’t fat when five doctors missed mine.)

 

Posted: 4th, September 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment


In full: David Remnick’s memo to New Yorker staffers about the Steve Bannon interview

This is David Remnick’s memo to New Yorker staffers about the decision not to interview Steve Bannon at the magazine’s yearly festival. Remnick is the magazine’s editor who intended to interview former Breitbart Media chairman, former Trump aide and former chief White House strategist Bannon before a live audience at a festival of ideas. Remnick had “every intention of asking him difficult questions and engaging in a serious and even combative conversation”. Even if thrice-divorced Bannon is yesterday’s man, it sounds great. I’d never heard of the Festival before now but count me in.

But other notable guests – Jim CarreyJohn MulaneyPatton Oswalt and Judd Apatow – said they’d withdraw unless Bannon was given the elbow. The New Yorker’s Kathryn Schulz  tweeted: “I love working for [the New Yorker] but I’m beyond appalled by this … I have already made that very clear to David Remnick. You can, too.” She provided a New Yorker email address.

To which Remnick said: screw you. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Let’s expose the enemy with our wit and democratic values. It’s a Festival of Ideas not a bloody dinner party. And in any case, it’s rude to invite someone and tell them they’re not wanted. Nah. He kiboshed the whole thing.

So Bannon wins. He might have been irrelevant, an opportunistic rabble-rousers, but now banned he becomes a man of substance. And he’s issued a statement: “The reason for my acceptance was simple: I would be facing one of the most fearless journalists of his generation. In what I would call a defining moment, David Remnick showed he was gutless when confronted by the howling online mob.”

 

Steve_Bannon_new yorker

 

THE MEMO:

In 2016, Steve Bannon played a critical role in electing the current President of the United States. On Election Night I wrote a piece for our website that this event represented “a tragedy for the American republic, a tragedy for the Constitution, and a triumph for the forces, at home and abroad, of nativism, authoritarianism, misogyny, and racism.” Unfortunately, this was, if anything, an understatement of what was to come.

Today, The New Yorker announced that, as part of our annual Festival, I would conduct an interview with Bannon. The reaction on social media was critical and a lot of the dismay and anger was directed at me and my decision to engage him. Some members of the staff, too, reached out to say that they objected to the invitation, particularly the forum of the festival.

The effort to interview Bannon at length began many months ago. I originally reached out to him to do a lengthy interview with “The New Yorker Radio Hour.” He knew that our politics could not be more at odds — he reads The New Yorker — but he said he would do it when he had a chance. It was only later that the idea arose of doing that interview in front of an audience.

The main argument for not engaging someone like Bannon is that we are giving him a platform and that he will use it, unfiltered, to propel further the “ideas” of white nationalism, racism, anti-Semitism, and illiberalism. But to interview Bannon is not to endorse him. By conducting an interview with one of Trumpism’s leading creators and organizers, we are hardly pulling him out of obscurity. Ahead of the mid-term elections and with 2020 in sight, we’d be taking the opportunity to question someone who helped assemble Trumpism. Early this year, Michael Lewis interviewed Bannon, who made it plain how he viewed his work in the campaign. “We got elected on Drain the Swamp, Lock Her Up, Build a Wall,” Bannon said. “This was pure anger. Anger and fear is what gets people to the polls.” To hear this was valuable, as it revealed something about the nature of the speaker and the campaign he helped to lead.

The point of an interview, a rigorous interview, particularly in a case like this, is to put pressure on the views of the person being questioned.

There’s no illusion here. It’s obvious that no matter how tough the questioning, Bannon is not going to burst into tears and change his view of the world. He believes he is right and that his ideological opponents are mere “snowflakes.” The question is whether an interview has value in terms of fact, argument, or even exposure, whether it has value to a reader or an audience. Which is why Dick Cavett, in his time, chose to interview Lester Maddox and George Wallace. Or it’s why Oriana Fallaci, in “Interview with History,” a series of question-and-answer meetings with Henry Kissinger and Ayatollah Khomeini and others, contributed something to our understanding of those figures. Fallaci hardly changed the minds of her subjects, but she did add something to our understanding of who they were. This isn’t a First Amendment question; it’s a question of putting pressure on a set of arguments and prejudices that have influenced our politics and a President still in office.

Some on social media have said that there is no point in talking to Bannon because he is no longer in the White House. But Bannon has already exerted enormous impact on Trump; his rhetoric, ideas, and tactics are evident in much of what this President does and says and intends. We heard Bannon in the inaugural address, which announced this Presidency’s divisiveness, in the Muslim ban, and in Trump’s reaction to Charlottesville.What’s more, Bannon has not retired. His attempt to get Roy Moore elected in Alabama failed but he has gone on to help further the trend of illiberal, nationalist movements around the country and abroad.

There are many ways for a publication like ours to do its job: investigative reporting; pointed, well-argued opinion pieces; Profiles; reporting from all over the country and around the world; radio and video interviews; even live interviews. At the same time, many of our readers, including some colleagues, have said that the Festival is different, a different kind of forum. It’s also true that we pay an honorarium, that we pay for travel and lodging. (Which does not happen, of course, when we interview someone for an article or for the radio.) I don’t want well-meaning readers and staff members to think that I’ve ignored their concerns. I’ve thought this through and talked to colleagues — and I’ve re-considered. I’ve changed my mind. There is a better way to do this. Our writers have interviewed Steve Bannon for The New Yorker before, and if the opportunity presents itself I’ll interview him in a more traditionally journalistic setting as we first discussed, and not on stage.

— David Remnick

Bannon should write Remnick a thank you note for making him ‘great’ again.

Posted: 4th, September 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Lana Del Rey cancels Israel but lines up shows in BDS friendly Syria

Bad news, pop fans. Lana Del Rey will not be headlining the Meteor Festival in Tel Aviv. She can’t make it because the venue, Kibbutz Lehavot HaBashan, is in Israel and she been cowed by activists and censors working for the quintessentially white, middle-class Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Del Rey did say, “performing in Tel Aviv is not a political statement or a commitment to the politics there”, adding that “singing in California” does not equate to a support for the government there either. But according to the BDS lobby, Israel is a case apart from all other countries. Del Rey was free to play in Madrid, and thus support the government’s attacks on Catalan separatists. But Israel is out. Israelis – Arabs, Christians and Jews –  are forbidden from hearing Del Rey sing live in a socialist idyll. She tweets:

“It’s important to me to perform in both Palestine and Israel and treat all my fans equally. Unfortunately it hasn’t been possible to line up both visits with such short notice and therefore I’m postponing my appearance at the Meteor Festival until a time when I can schedule visits for both my fans, as well as hopefully other countries in the region.”

As her managers looks at venues in Iraq, Syria, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the totalitarian, racist hellhole that is Dubai (fly direct from Gatwick), we wonder about the lack of Western campaigns for equal rights in any of those countries. Don’t those Arabs trapped in fascist kingdoms deserve freedom and an alternative to absolute monarchism, misogyny, the persecution of homosexuals and marginalisation of ethnic minorities? Or do they target Israel because unlike lobbying to stop gays from being executed in Iran, demonising Israel might actually get results. Those uniquely barbaric Jews are more likely to listen.

Posted: 3rd, September 2018 | In: Celebrities, News | Comment


Unisex changing rooms are dangerous- Chesterton’s Fence again

A new report shows that unisex changing rooms are dangerous. Or at least claims that they are. Which brings us to an important philosophical concept, Chesterton’s Fence. The point being that if we see something then, before we decide to sweep it away, we’ve got to work out why that thing as put there or done in the first place. Only once we’ve worked out that original motivation can we think on whether it is still needed or not:

Unisex changing rooms are more dangerous for women and girls than single-sex facilities, research by The Sunday Times shows. Almost 90% of reported sexual assaults, harassment and voyeurism in swimming pool and sports-centre changing rooms happen in unisex facilities, which make up less than half the total.

Gender-neutral changing is growing as councils seek to cut staff costs and cater to transgender people. But one MP said it risked becoming a “magnet” for sex offenders and increased the danger to women and girls.

GK Chesterton pointed out that if you’re out walking in the countryside an you see a fence, well, you might well think that it doesn’t need to be there, tear it down. This may or may not be an error. In order to work this out you’ve first got to consider why was it built in the first place? Only once you’ve done that can you then go on to think about whether that original reason still holds, still justifies it:

Just under 90 per cent of complaints regarding changing room sexual assaults, voyeurism and harassment are about incidents in unisex facilities.

Hey, maybe we care more about being gender neutral than we do about complaints of sexual assaults. Thus that original reason for the segregation – it being a reasonable enough assumption that it’s going to be men preying upon women – no longer holds.

The point being that whether or not we have gender neutral or segregated bathrooms is a decision we can and should take. But we do need to understand why they were originally set up segregated. Only once we’ve one that can we decide as to whether that reason still holds. No, I dunno either but there’s near no one recommending unisex who seems to have considered the point at all.

Posted: 3rd, September 2018 | In: News | Comment


Police Taser gives boy a heart attack in Coventry

In the US they still kill prisoners by electrocution.  The last use of the chair was on January 16, 2013, when Robert Gleason, Jr., picked the electric chair over death by lethal injection. In the UK, the death penalty is not an option. But the law can still fire a Taser that zaps your body with up to 50,000 volts of power. Senior police officers say there is “an increased risk of cardiac arrhythmia and barb penetration in children and thin adults”. Ooomph! The metal punctures the skin – like being shot, right? – and the electricity gives your heart a kicking.

But it’s completely harmless. Really. The City of London police tell us:

Amps can vary in size, to put this into context no more than 13 amps are needed to power a kettle. 32 amps are usually found running around a typical house. Two to three amps are enough to cause a person some harm. Taser runs on considerably less at 0.0021 amps

At the science museum they had a Van de Graaff generator which the public were invited to touch. The generator had in excess of 1 million volts going through it. When the glass ball was touched it caused the persons hair to stand on end. They were able to do this safely because there were no amps carried by the volts.

Good-oh. Unless you die shortly after being Tasered, as some people have done. Police have fired on patients in mental health hospitals. And now to the latest news. Yesterday, police Tasered a 17-year-old in Coventry. He went into cardiac arrest.

West Midlands Police tells everyone:

“A 17-year-old was Tasered in an effort to detain him, but immediately required CPR as he went into cardiac arrest.”

They saved his life!

The boy and three other youths were detained on suspicion of violent disorder and assaulting a police officer. You might wonder which party was the more violent?

 

Posted: 2nd, September 2018 | In: News | Comment


Cosmopolitan stretches its arms wide and embraces obesity

Right now hundreds of skeletal and grey-skinned models are ordering double celery in the hope of getting work. Cosmopolitan magazine has featured a big girl on its cover and the dye is cast. Not only do bigger-boned models fill more of the page, thus negating the need for copy and ads for weight loss, liposuction and cosmetic surgery but the also make the magazine relevant in its ‘Celebration of Diversity and Difference’. This means anyone can be a model because everyone is beautiful. And with bigger pool to pick from , modelling rates are bound to plummet. Whereas ‘super model’ Linda Evangelista reportedly said “I don’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day” in the 1980s, today’s tall and skinny bird will be there for 10,000 lira (Turkish) and sleep standing up.

 

tess holliday

Tess socks it to the ‘haters’

 

And so the debate: will Tess Holliday, the Cosmo cover model, prove that we – given that so many of us are fat as the nation reels from an obesity crisis (see all press) – prefer to buy magazines that reflect us as we truly are: fat? Or are mags just a trite form of escapism in which we fetishise other people as celebs and learn how to look like them, dress like them and smell like them?

 

Cosmopolitan Super Diets & Exercise Guide Spring/Summer 1980 cover with Kathy Davis

Cosmopolitan Super Diets & Exercise Guide Spring/Summer 1980 cover with Kathy Davis

 

The encouraging news is that if you’re big you’re more likely to sweat than someone who’s thin, thus making it easier for perfumiers to fill vials with the celebrities’ essence from their scraped sheets and underwear. Look out for a whole range of Tess Halliday scents with names like ‘Difference’, ‘Diversity’ and in a bid to reclaim the word from the haters, ‘Obese’.

In the meanwhile, we can fret about how many children – won’t somebody think of the the children – will be inspired to pile on the pounds by Cosmo mag’s brave stance – the answer being none. Oh, and the rest of you can pick up a copy of Cosmopolitan magazine for free in your – get this – gut-busting gym.

NOTECosmo’s editor in chief is Michele Promaulayko, who got the job “having spent eight years as executive editor prior to her blockbuster run at Women’s Health“. On Women’s Health you can read lots and lots and lots about how to get slim and stay slim.

 

Cosmopolitan

DON’T BE FAT!

 

Cosmo – putting the fat in ‘fatuous’.

Posted: 2nd, September 2018 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News | Comment


Kuwait authorities shut down fishmonger selling old fish with googly eyes stuck on to make them look fresh

Kuwait’s Ministry of Commerce has closed a fishmongers that was sticking googly eyes on fish to make them appear fresher than they were.

 

fake fish googly eyes kuwait shop

fake fish googly eyes kuwait shop

 


 

Kuwait has issues with fish. I July this year, the Kuwait Times reported on fishmongers selling fish with nails into increase their weight and price. women complained of crunchy fish, the seller was convicted of fraud.

More facts should we get them. (How we hope the story of the googly fish is true.)
 

Spotter: 

Posted: 1st, September 2018 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment


Don’t panic: gamblers are deserting Corbyn’s nasty party

The Guardian’s headline is suggestive: “Antisemitism row ‘risks chances of Labour government’.” Jew hatred only increases doubt that the electorate will vote Labour and so get Jeremy Corbyn into Number 10. How fair we are, eh. Racism should obliterate the combatant’s chances of winning the popular vote.

Bookmaker William Hill is offering odds of 4-1 on Corbyn becoming Prime Minister after Theresa May. Given that the respective leaders of one of the Conservatives or Labour are shoo-ins for the top job, 4-1 is remarkably generous – all the more so when you realise you can get 5-1 on Boris Johnson, current leader of his TV’s remote control and little else (even his shorts seem to be working independently).

 

corbyn odds prime minister

 

The other things that stands out is that seven Tories are seen as having a better chance of replacing Theresa May in Number 10 than the towering figure who can replace Corbyn: Keir Starmer.

Is William Hill alone? Let’s see what Paddy Power is offering:

 

prime minister odds

 

Granted the question is skewed towards who will replace May. The odds on her being toppled from within are 1-3 (Corbyn is at 2-1). So you’d expect more Tories to stand a better chance than anyone from Labour becoming the next PM. However, May hasn’t gone. There is no leadership challenge. And the odds on Corbyn becoming the next PM are 6-1. One year ago Corbyn was favourite to become the next Prime Minister. He’s drifted.

Back in the Guardian, the aforesaid headline is rooted in the opinion of a former Labour MP. Look out for Ivor Caplin being trashed on twitter by Corbyn fans in 3…2…

Caplin, a former defence minister under Tony Blair who chairs the Jewish Labour Movement, tells the paper:

“It’s been depressing for members of the Jewish community, but not just for us, for members of the public as well, because they want to see the Labour party as an effective opposition to this shambolic Tory government, and particularly on Brexit, the NHS, schools.. I think that, for Labour, it is a very dangerous position to be in. It will affect any chance of a Labour government…

“I went to a CLP [constituency Labour party meeting] in deepest east Sussex the other week. A lot of them were very concerned about how we had got into this position. They weren’t saying it was smears. And a majority for them had voted for Jeremy to be leader.”

Interesting. Move away from the nastiness and toxicity on social media and you see people seeking not the weakest point in an opponent’s argument but the strongest. These people want to understand the other side’s argument before engaging with it. This is out of kilter with the mood around Corbyn, in which his monocular supporters cast any opponent as either mentally negligible or malicious. Caplin adds:

“In some constituencies, the constant aggressive nature of some people is wearing on activists and that is not right. One of the founding traditions of the Labour party is we are able to have different views but walk out and go for a drink afterwards, because that is what Labour is about. It is not about aggressive, nasty behaviour.”

If the bigots win the day, then Labour is spent. If you can’t engage with an opponent without branding them too old, too thick, too Jewish, too immoral, too racist (if they express concern over immigration) and discount them as a fascist for voicing any opinion not aligned to your own, you’re not ready for the big debates. You’re not fit to govern.

 

Posted: 1st, September 2018 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Corbyn is the anti-Semitic Prime Minister you voted for

Is Jeremy Corbyn a racist? He is if he you look at what else he said at a London conference convened by the Palestinian Return Centre in London in 2013. The conference was marketed by the Qassam Brigades, the Hamas military arm – they’re the group that want all Jews dead and who Corbyn has called his “friends”. Ok, ok, move on ,already. We know all about the mural, the iffy mates, Press TV and the report whitewashed and wrapped in ermine. Borrrr-ing! On this occasion Corbyn was irked by comments directed towards the Palestinian ambassador in response to a speech he’d made. Corbyn responded by saying Jews, sorry, Zionists heckling the ambassador suffered from two problems: “One is that they don’t want to study history, and secondly, having lived in this country for a very long time, probably all their lives, they don’t understand English irony either. I think they need two lessons, which we can help them with.”

Did he man Zionists or did he mans Jews? Do you smell something nasty or not? Nothing of it, said Labour, holding its nose. Corbyn was using the word Zionist in a political way. It was a word employed in “the accurate political sense and not as a euphemism for Jewish people”. Phew! He’s not othering British Jews. Corbyn was not billing Jews as the enemy within, a people loyal only to Israel, a country he sees as the epitome of all Western ills and the ultimate enemy. Jews are not, in terms employed by the Left to demonise Israel and make the Jews not worthy of the Holocaust (but maybe deserving of another  one; those uniquely barbaric sods never learn), Nazism’s fifth column.

And then he said this:

“[In the early 20th century], the progressive leadership in London of the trade unions and the Labour Party… was actually Jewish trade unionists and Jewish people in the East End of London. It was Zionism that rose up and drove them into the sort of ludicrous positions they have at the present time.”

That sounds a lot like anti-Semitism. British Jews used to be good. All of them. Now British Jews are bad. All of them. He didn’t mean Zionist in any political sense at all; he meant Jews.

Jews and the Left were once of a single mind and purpose. They joined forces at the Battle of Cable Street in 1936 to fight fascists in London’s East End. That was then. Now Labour has nothing in common with Jews, who do not hold English values. Born and bred British Jews are foreign and hold only the possibility of civilised humanity. This was Corbyn the tribalist, middle-class Jew hater of a type we know too well, who sees “large fat foreign” Jews, as the author Graham Greene did, a writer who opined for The Spectator in 1939: “How the financial crisis has improved English films! They have lost their tasteless Semitic opulence and are becoming – English.”

Are you still uncertain as to whether or not Corbyn is a racist? One Guardian writer said Corbyn’s words were “unquestionably anti-Semitic”; another said they were “anti-Semitic and unacceptable”. Both are right. That Corbyn is still in with a chance of being Prime Minister is depressing: how can a bigot lead the country? The conclusion must be that for too many people anti-Semitism is no big deal. It’s only the Jews, a Biblical people remarkable for having survived persistent persecution. This leaves Jews to form their own conclusion: grandma was right. The oldest story is back. Keep a bag packed under the bed and rely on nobody else to fight your battles. They always come for us.

 

Posted: 31st, August 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Kyron Horman: 8 years of hapless policing and accusations

We still don’t know what happened to Kyron Horman, the 7-year-old boy who vanished on June 4 2010. We’ve covered the story in depth – the hapless police to the fore. This month the missing child was remembered at Kyron’s Car Show held at the Golden Valley Brewery in Beaverton. The theme was child safety. But we don’t know if Kyron was unsafe. His last confirmed sighting as at his school in Portland as he posed with his science project. That a safe space, right?

 

kyron horman last photo

 

 

Since then: nothing. No sightings. No arrests. No new facts.

The press and police monstered Kyron’s step-mother, Terri Horman. Known as Terri Lynn Moulton since her divorce from Kyron’s father, she just remarried in Nevada. KGW says Terri married Jose De Jesus Vazquez Martinez on March 17 in Clark County, Nevada. She’s now Terri Vazquez. Oregon Live reports: “Authorities have said she was the last person to see then-7-year-old Kyron before he went missing from his school in Northwest Portland in June 2010.” Not exactly. She was last person we know to have seen him.

Such is the level of reporting on a case where the police kept a closed mind.

But something is coming. Kyron Horman’s mother says “something big is coming”. Desiree Young, for it is she, “has long stated her belief that the boy’s former stepmother, Terri Horman, was responsible for his disappearance”. Belief? What of the facts?

There is a $50,000 reward offered for information. Someone knows. Someone always knows.

Posted: 30th, August 2018 | In: News | Comment


Mazel Tov Frank Field! Finally a Labour MP resigns over Corbyn the racist

Labour MP Frank Field says Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour is “a force for anti-Semitism in British politics”. Since the BNP and NF disintegrated, Labour is pretty much the leading force in democratic Jew hatred. You hoover up votes where you can. Field, Labour MP for Birkenhead, says Corbyn’s Labour possesses a “culture of intolerance, nastiness and intimidation” in local parties. So Frank Field has resigned the Labour whip. Corbyn loves using the whip to get his MPs to side with him – which is odd given that he voted against his own party more times than former Tory PM David Cameron. According to a Labour Chief Whip Nick Brown, those rebellions shows Jeremy Corbyn’s  “strength of character”.

So Jez will be full of admiration in Field’s actions, a kindred spirit. As ever, of course, the glorious leader says nothing. But a Labour Party spokesman tells us: “Jeremy Corbyn thanks Frank Field for his service to the Labour Party.” Thank you, your Highness.

The bitterness in that snooty message is laced is rooted in Field’s move to vote with the government against an amendment that would have kept the UK in a customs union with the EU after Brexit. Momentum leader Laura Parker said Field must go. There was “no room” in Corbyn’s politburo for such disloyalty to the party (if not the Brexit referendum and the 17.4 millions of us who voted to leave). Sure Corbyn is a Eurosceptic who voted to leave the EEC at the 1975 referendum. Sure he voted against the Maastricht Treaty, which created the EU. Granted Corbyn voted against the Lisbon Treaty and EU’s constitution. But Corbyn is leader and it’s his way or else. What his way is, well, answers on a a propagandistic casus belli. pinned to the wall at your local synagogue.

Field resigned in a letter to the aforesaid Brown. “Britain fought the Second World War to banish these views from our politics, but that superhuman effort and success is now under huge and sustained internal attack,” he writes. “The leadership is doing nothing substantive to address this erosion of our core values. It saddens me that we are increasingly seen as a racist party.”

Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson said Field’s departure was a “serious loss to the party… It is a major wake up call. We cannot afford to lose people of such weight and stature.”

The question is this: why is he the only one to go? For a party that makes such a song and dance about identity and being anti-racist, there is little by way of actual anti-racism.

Posted: 30th, August 2018 | In: News | Comment


 Columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown says far Right ‘Allo Allo cast pose threat to British society

Did you see the Nazis massed in Gloucester? There was Herr Flick and the rest of the Herrenvolk who used to star in he BBC’s fly on the wall documentary Allo ‘Allo!.  These recreational Nazis were at the Gloucester Goes Retro festival.

 

Gloucester Goes Retro

 

Columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown spotted them. She noted: “Too busy accusing Labour of anti-Semitism to heed the real scary threat posed posed by the hard right.” Yeah, all four of the Far Right enthusiasts surrounded by media – which is pretty much par for the course when it comes to reporting on Nazis, a minority focus group with huge reach. There the “real” threat – unlike the Jew hatred that’s rife in the Labour Party, which is presumably fakery made up by a team of scriptwriters.

 

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown allo allo nazis

 

As they used to say on the TV show, she’s the one with the ‘big boobies’.

Posted: 30th, August 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, TV & Radio | Comment


Bono joins forces with the EU to irritate everyone

Minted tax-exile Bono, aka Paul Hewson, aka the stately Mr G21, has not been wasting his bath time. He’s thought up a new way to irritate everyone: the U2 singer will wave the EU flag on stage when the band begin their European tour in Berlin. It’s “provocative”, says Bono in Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper.

“I’m told a rock band is at its best when it’s a little transgressive: when it pushes the bounds of so-called good taste, when it shocks, when it surprises,” he writes. “Well, U2 is kicking off its tour in Berlin this week, and we’ve just had one of our more provocative ideas: during the show we’re going to wave a big, bright, blue EU flag.

With a rebel yell, Bono will wave the EU flag that pokes a finger in the eye of those elitist, conformist swine in Catalonia, Greece and Portugal. Waving the flag of those lands’, let’s call them the oppressors is, says Bono, a “radical act”, something akin to buttering your bread only on one side and taking one bottle into the shower.

Stop Press: In other news, the EU plans to keep the same flag after Brexit, with the UK’s star being adopted by planet Bono.

 

Posted: 30th, August 2018 | In: Celebrities, News, Politicians | Comment


Copper called Pyle arrests woman for slapping his bum

She was only “copping a feel” puns the Sun in its take on Inspector Owen Pyle, 28, who arrested a woman at the Notting Hill Carnival for “patting” him on the bum. Yeah, this is story about a man called Pyle’s arse. Oh, nominative determinism.

Having nicked the “boozy reveller”, Pyle did as all police must and took to twitter. “I didn’t come to work to be sexually assaulted while doing my job,” he tweeted. That kind of behaviour is unacceptable.” To say nothing of it being illegal, which his tweet didn’t. The paper says the Met Police have not said if the woman “faces action”.

 

police notting hill

 

But over in the Mail, Pyle is repotted as having said the women was arrested for being drunk and disorderly – which is not the same as being arrested for “patting”. She was issued with a dispersal order banning her from the carnival.

Scotland Yard has issued a statement:

“At 21:45hrs on Monday, 27 August a 26-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly in Westbourne Park Road, W2.

“She was taken to a central London police station, where she was issued a dispersal order requiring her to leave the Carnival footprint.”

The Carnival what?

Posted: 29th, August 2018 | In: News, Tabloids | Comment


Sun and Mail at odds over Newcastle vicar who allegedly groped man on flight

To Newcastle Crown Court, where vicar Peter McConnell is accused of groping a fellow traveller aboard a flight from the US to London. Innocence is assumed, of course. Mr McConnell denies any wrongdoing. The trial continues. This is not about Mr McDonnell, rather reporting on the matter. Might it call be a case of mistaken identity?

The Daily Mail identifies Mr McConnell thus:

 

vicar flight allegation crime

The Mail

 

But the Sun spots a different man apparently of the same name:

 

vicar flight allegation crime

The Sun

 

A look at the Newcastle Chronicle reveals that the Sun’s photo is the correct one.

Posted: 29th, August 2018 | In: News, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann in hijab horror

Did you “remember Madeleine McCann” this summer, heeding the advice of Mirror columnist Fiona Phillips to not “let your holiday be the one we all read about”? You all must of because the papers did not make single mention of any new child getting kidnapped on holidays, let alone launch into a voracious feeding frenzy as the media did in 2007 when Madeleine McCann became ‘Our Maddie’. Eleven years on, Operation Phillips is a success. Cheers, Fi, we don’t know how many children your advice to “forgo all of the adult holiday pleasures all over again to make sure our kids were safe” saved. Maybe none. Maybe one. Phillips has a story:

I thought of this when I read about Janet Alexander who’s suing Thomas Cook after her daughter was “abducted” from a holiday kids’ club.

Was the child abducted or not? Pull up a sun lounger and play detective.

She left five-year-old Rose at a supervised play area at their hotel in Turkey while she took her other daughter scuba diving. When she returned an hour later there was no sign of Rose. Janet thought her daughter was dead or faced being abused.

Was she?

Thankfully, another guest spotted Rose near a main road with a strange woman wearing a hijab.

It seems a pretty safe bet to say that Janet doesn’t wear an hijab and this was not a case of mistaken identity. It might also be that women in hijabs arouse more suspicion among columnists than those who do not, or are very good at helping kids who have wandered off cross the road. Discuss.

And here’s some more, also via the Mirror:

A frantic search for the child was then launched and Janet has described seeing staff turn to a woman in a hijab and speak to her in Turkish…

In Turkey!?

It is believed the ordeal came to an end 40 minutes later when another hotel guest spotted the blonde youngster walking with a woman in a hijab near a main road within the hotel grounds.

If only we knew what colour hair the hijab woman has we could form a better opinion of her intentions. Blonde hair: likelihood of innocence high (see Myra Hindley); dark hair: likelihood of guilt high (see Mother Teresa).

As that legal matter grinds on, we rejoice in the news that the case of Madeleine McCann has been “SOLVED!” So goes the National Enquirer’s front-page headline, which heralds the the story of a convicted pedophile who allegedly stole Madeleine McCann. Who is this wine? Well, he’s dead. He died a year ago. His name? Dunno. But he is “This man kidnapped little girl & sold her into slavery!” Fact! And where’s Maddie? “She’s still alive,” declares the Enquirer. But where? Dunno. Maybe they’ll find out in time for next week’s deadline.

Meanwhile, the South West Londoner website has conducted a poll:

We went out into the streets of Wimbledon and asked: “Should the government stop spending money searching for Madeleine McCann?”

Yes: 72% No: 28%

How many women wearing the hijab were questioned is not stated. But you just know most of them who were said ‘NO!’

 

Posted: 28th, August 2018 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, National Enquirer, News | Comment


Green Party attacked over prospective leader’s rapist father

The Green Party has issued a statement on the sentencing of David Challenor, 50, father to the Green Party equalities spokesperson Aimee Challenor. He has been convicted of torturing and raping a 10-year-old girl in the loft of the family’s home in Coventry. Aimee is transgender, having been born a boy and transitioned at age 16. Those are the facts all media shares.”The Green Party was not aware of any of these allegations until the case concluded and Mr Challenor had been sentenced,” says the statement. Which seems a bit remiss.

 

David Challenor

David Challenor

 

It continues:

Mr Challenor has not held any elected positions in the Green Party although Aimee appointed him as her election agent for the General Election in 2017 and local election in May 2018.

But he was a member of the Green Party until his sentencing. The Party did know who he was. And reports say those  appointments to help his daughter took place after his arrest. Again, the Greens seem a little less than thorough when it comes to checking things.

Innocent until proven otherwise, of course. But some of the reporting seems to be targeting innocent Aimee as much as her disgusting father and the slapdash Greens.

Aimee Challenor, 20, planned to become the party’s deputy leader. The Guardian says ‘she had had no idea about the crimes but was withdrawing from the race to prevent the election process becoming “dominated by what my father has done”.’

She too has issued a statement:

“I did not know about the full details of the crimes my father has been found guilty of until very recently. It is also very difficult to believe that a parent can be guilty of such abhorrent acts. That might be hard for you to understand, or to believe, but it is the truth. I was taken into care a few years ago and have also lived in independent supported housing. There were sustained periods where I did not live in the family home.

“But I cannot be held responsible for the actions of my father. I am not to blame for his behavior. Yes, he was my election agent. This was one of a number of ways I was seeking to reconcile my relationship with my father after coming out of care. On reflection, I can understand that it was unacceptable for me to appoint my dad as my election agent when he had been arrested. I can now understand the potential risks of that decision. For that I am sorry.”

The Times is a little less sympathetic, saying “she had used her father as her election agent even though he faced charges of raping and torturing a 10-year-old girl”. Readers are told “Aimee lived with him in a small two-up, two-down house”. Why mention the size of the family home if not to cast aspersions? And this:

On both occasions she appointed her father as her election agent, legally responsible for running her campaign, even though he had been accused of or charged with the crimes, which were reported to police in late 2015. By the time of May’s elections he had a trial date.

Candidates’ election campaign leaflets are legally required to include the name of their agent or promoter. Challenor’s leaflets for both campaigns, seen by The Sunday Times, did not show her father’s correct name, instead giving it as “Baloo Challenor”.

Baloo, a character from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, was a nickname used by Challenor’s father in his work as an assistant Scout leader and volunteer with children’s gymnastics. He used his proper first name on the election nomination forms as Challenor’s agent.

The Mail is doubting, headlining the story: “Top Green Party star quits the party after hiring her father as her election agent despite knowing he was about to stand trial for rape and torture of a child.” The story begins:

“A transgender politician campaigning to be deputy leader of the Green Party hired her father as her election agent – despite knowing he was facing trial for the rape and torture of a child.”

Aimee Challenor’s gender is given top billing. She has condemned his “abhorrent crimes”, as anyone sane must. But the story of a depraved crime is being given a whiff of conspiracy. And over in the Sun, it’s pornographic: “ATTIC OF HORRORS Inside grotty torture den where sick rapist whipped girl, 10, and gave her electric shocks while dressed as a BABY.” Want to see where a child was tied to a beam, electrocuted and raped by man wearing an adult nappy? Maybe not.

Want to use a man’s sick crimes to cast a shadow of an innocent woman? Go ahead…

Posted: 27th, August 2018 | In: News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment


Liverpool to play in Levi’s jeans?

When Liverpool players aren’t shaving their chests and rubbing Nivea into the stubble, expect to see them sliding on pairs of Levi’s jeans. Levi’s are Liverpool’s “official denim partner”. It’s a big deal for mankind. Be in no doubt. The club says Liverpool FC and Levi’s are “two organisations dedicated to making a difference around the globe”.

 

liverpool denim levis shorts

A pre-plucked Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – footballer and denim ambassador – models the new Liverpool kit

 

Cynics might wonder if playing football in jeans is the way forward? The current fashion is for footballers to pull their sock up high like stockings over their knees and tether them possibly with garter belts under the hem of their big skort-style shorts. It’s a small step to wearing trousers, or A-line skirts. But this is about “giving back to fans through football, lifestyle and music”, it says hear. Fans no longer care about winning cups and having a laugh at the match; they come to Anfield for tips on skin care, yoghurt and if carrot-cut denim can lead to deep vein thrombosis in quieter matches.

The plan is for the Levi’s LFC “capsule collection”. We look to it with excitement, as must too rival clubs keen to link their brand with fabrics. Arsenal velvet perhaps, Spurs chiffon or Manchester City oilskin?

 

Posted: 26th, August 2018 | In: Fashion, Liverpool, News, Sports | Comment


NBC announces death of Senator John McCain with mating human dolphins

 

RIP John McCain (August 29, 1936 – August 25, 2018). Victor in six elections to the US Senate, McCain was the US navy pilot who crashed twice. He was was on the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal when his A-4 Skyhawk jet caught fire. He was hit by shrapnel by the plane’s exploding bombs. The accident cost 134 men their lives. He was shot down during the Vietnam War, bayonetted, beaten badly and held for five-and-a-half years as a prisoner in inhuman conditions at the infamous Hoa Lo prison. The admiral’s son survived months in solitary confinement and torture. When he ran for Congress in Arizona, he told a journalist who accused him of not being local:

“Listen pal. I spent 22 years in the Navy. My father was in the Navy. My grandfather was in the Navy. We in the military service tend to move a lot. We have to live in all parts of the country, all parts of the world. I wish I could have had the luxury, like you, of growing up and living and spending my entire life in a nice place like the First District of Arizona, but I was doing other things… The place I lived longest in my life was Hanoi.”

And on CNN

Posted: 26th, August 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Strange But True, TV & Radio | Comment


Pound Falls On Brexit Fears – The Solution Has Already Happened

It’s entirely possible to be concerned about Brexit, the costs and pains of leaving the European Union. I think anything is worth the joy of doing so but am aware that not all share that view. However, there’s less to worry about when the pound falls because everyone thinks that it’s going to be more terrible than we all thought it was yesterday. Because the pound falling is the very cure for it all being more terrible than we thought it was going to be yesterday.

Thus Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, says that a Hard Brexit has become more likely. The pound falls – this is good, this is the correct reaction to, the solution to, a Hard Brexit becoming more likely:

Sterling dropped against the dollar in early Friday trading after Bank of England boss Mark Carney said he believes the chances of a no deal Brexit are “uncomfortably high” and warned the government needs to do all it can to avoid leaving the EU with no agreement in place.

Contained within that reaction to the news is the solution to the news:

The pound declined on the currency markets in the wake of Mr Carney’s comments, falling below the $1.30 mark, but had recovered by early afternoon.

Mr Carney said that if a no-deal Brexit were to happen, it would mean disruption to trade and economic activity, as well as higher prices for a period of time.

Well, yes, a Hard Brexit would make Britain’s trading position more difficult. The cure for that is a lower pound:

Sterling went as low as $1.2975, or down 0.3%, following the comments, while British government bond prices rose.

Britain would be forced to revert to trading under World Trade Organisation rules it fails to reach an agreement on the terms for its exit from with the EU in March 2019.

WTO rules would mean that British exports would face tariff barriers when exported into the EU. That makes it more difficult to export and presumably, prices having this sort of effect, mean that we’d export less.

So, what do we want to happen in such circumstances? We’d like some method of making our exports cheaper even though they face those tariff barriers. A decline in the value of the pound does that nicely, it makes our exports cheaper. That is, a fall in the value of the pound is the cure for a no deal Brexit and the imposition of WTO barriers to our exports. The cure is in the very reaction to the news.

It’s worth pointing out that the pound has fallen, since the referendum vote, by more than we would need to compensate for a no deal Brexit. The reaction to the possibility has already taken place.

Posted: 24th, August 2018 | In: Money, News, Politicians | Comment


Thank heavens we regulated Wonga into bankruptcy, right?

Or at least that we managed to regulate Wonga into near bankruptcy. For that’s what was done when we imposed limits upon the interest rates that they can charge. We set their business off into a declining spiral which brought them close to bankruptcy:

Britain’s biggest payday lender, Wonga, has received a £10m emergency cash injection from shareholders to save the company from going bust. The short-term loan firm said the development was a way of coping with a surge in claims from former customers seeking compensation.

The claims, said Wonga, related to loans taken out before 2014, when outrage over its payday lending offers prompted new rules to cap the cost of borrowing.

The thing is, lending small amounts of money to people for short periods of time is something expensive to do.

Leading technology venture capital funds Accel Partners and Balderton Capital have taken part in an emergency fundraising in the last few weeks, in news first reported by Sky News.

So, when we insist that people don’t charge enough to cover the costs of that expensive thing then they’re likely to go bust:

Wonga, which employs about 500 people, has been loss-making for the last few years after encountering a string of regulatory hurdles such as the City watchdog’s cap on the cost of short-term loans.

So, as it used to be. Company makes loans with high interest rates. It makes a profit and, obviously, the people taking out the loans were happy enough. Because they took out the loans.

This shocks people who practice GoodThink, that people will be charged that much in interest. So, the law is changed so that high interest rates cannot be charged. What happens next?

Wonga nearly goes bust and large numbers of people aren’t able to borrow the money they want to. Which is a problem, isn’t it? Because the people taking out the loans obviously believed that the high interest rates were worth it to them. It was other people, those GoodThink types, who stopped them. But the GoodThink types haven’t solved the problem of people needing small loans for short periods of time – that expensive thing to provide – they’ve just made it illegal to do so at a price which makes sense.

And yes, it really does work this way. This is the Federal Reserve (like the Bank of England, just in America) on the subject:

Even though payday loan fees seem competitive, many reformers have advocated price caps. The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), a nonprofit created by a credit union and a staunch foe of payday lending, has recommended capping annual rates at 36 percent “to spring the (debt) trap.” The CRL is technically correct, but only because a 36 percent cap eliminates payday loans altogether. If payday lenders earn normal profits when they charge $15 per $100 per two weeks, as the evidence suggests, they must surely lose money at $1.38 per $100 (equivalent to a 36 percent APR.)

Cap the prices and you abolish the industry. But you’ve still not solved the problem of people needing the loans, have you?

Posted: 8th, August 2018 | In: Money, News | Comment


Forget Muslims – we want Boris Johnson to attack Jews

When Boris Johnson criticised Denmark’s absurd decision to ban the wearing of the burka in a to-deadline article for the Telegraph, he went on to liken women wearing the niqab to “letter boxes” and “bank robbers”. This, said many, was Johnson “fanning the flames of Islamophobia”. We’re with Johnson on his view that it’s wrong to tell “a free-born adult woman what she may or may not wear in a public place when she is simply minding her own business”. Denmark’s move to ban an item of clothing follows burqa bans in France, Austria and Belgium. The problem is that he’d ask a constituent visiting him at his MP surgery to to remove her veil – “If a female student turned up at school or at a university lecturer looking like a bank robber then ditto: those in authority should be allowed to converse openly with those that they are being asked to instruct.”

Reactions are many:

“They are absolutely demonising, misogynistic, hurtful comments and they are fanning the flames of Islamophobia. As a result, the thugs who are already snatching the headscarves of Muslim women will feel empowered that someone who is part of the establishment, who has been our foreign secretary, is giving them licence.” – Imam Qari Asim, an imam who sits on the government’s Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group, in The Times.

“We’re still waiting for that to happen, which is not lost on a community that still feels vulnerable … My own congregation are increasingly reporting Islamophobic abuse, from having their headscarves removed to facing racist chants.” – Finsbury Park imam Mohammed Mahmoud.

Naz Shah – yep, her – wants the Conservative chair, Brandon Lewis, to send Johnson for mandatory equalities training. Shah, who once called for all Jews for be deported from Israel (she later went on a “journey” and apologised) is Labour’s shadow equalities minister. She calls Johnson’s comments “ugly and naked Islamophobia”.

 

boris johnson islam

An extract from Naz Shah’s letter

 

And:

“Muslim women are having their burkas pulled off by thugs in our streets and Boris Johnson’s response is to mock them for ‘looking like letter boxes’. Our pound-shop Donald Trump is fanning the flames of Islamophobia to propel his grubby electoral ambitions.” – David Lammy MP.

Nothing to do with Jews, then. Right? No. Because on Twitter, Channel 4 News anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy is introducing Jews:

 

Jews burqa

Channel 4 News anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy wonders about Jews

 

Why bring the Jews into it? Is the argument that Jews get more protection? Are Jews too powerful? Is it supposed Jewish privilege he’s wafting into the debate? What’s Guru-Murty’s point? The language around anti-Semitism has become nuanced, vague, deceptive and downright dishonest. Would a criticism of a Jew’s kippah or a woman’s sheitel (a wig be worn by very religious married Jewish women) be anti-Semitic? Is it racist to call orthodox Jews living in North London ‘Stamford Hill Cowboys’? We live in a time when many anti-Semites don’t like to make their hatred too explicit. You’re left looking for the verbal wink. And you get to the point where comparing a woman in a burqa to a letter box is presented as anti-Muslim – an assault on all Muslims and the religion of Islam – and not a lazy joke about an item of clothing worn by a relatively few Muslims.

 

It always comes back to the Jews

 

Over on the BBC, it’s all about Jews. On Newsnight – ” In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day’s headlines with Evan Davis -we get this:

 

 

A crass comment about women in burqas and you “have to ask” a question about Jews? To the knowing, sensitive and caring everything is about those pesky Jews, a group now portrayed as underserving of that ultimate 21st accolade: victimhood.

Posted: 7th, August 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Jeremy Corbyn copies and pastes his commitment not to exterminate British Jews

“I will root antisemites out of Labour – they do not speak for me,” says Jeremy Corbyn, whose “friendship” with those who would see all Jews dead is finally riding high on the news cycle. Having spent an age denying accusations of anti-semitism in Labour (and rewarding those who agreed with him), Corbyn says Jew hatred is rife in Labour but it’s got sod all to do with him, its leader.

Jez does not “for one moment accept that a Labour government would represent any kind of threat, let alone an ‘existential threat’, to Jewish life in Britain, as three Jewish newspapers recently claimed.” There is no threat to Jews from Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour. Zis ist vy he now tells readers of der Guardian zat Juden vill not be forcibly deported and / or shot:

That is why I want to make it absolutely clear that any government I lead will take whatever measures are necessary to guarantee the security of Jewish communities, Jewish schools, Jewish places of worship, Jewish social care, Jewish culture and Jewish life as a whole in this country.

As Jews sleep easy in the knowledge that a British Government led by Corbyn (as seen on Press TV!) will not seek to exterminate them, let no-one deny that the Labour leader is deeply commited to protecting Jews, including many of the wrong kind of Jews (see ‘Zios’, ‘baby killers’, blood-munchers, confident Jews, Tories, ‘Jew-Nazis’, Trump-ists, Jew bankers enslaving the other races, the uniquely barbaric Jews who never learn, Jews in the mainstream media and possibly the bloke with the drum at the front of Spurs’ Yid Army, although he might be Greek). Jeremy is not just trotting out any old guff. He means it. Just as he meant it when he said it on April 24 in the Evening Standard.

 

jeremy corbyn copy and past jews

In today’s Guardian

 

jeremy corbyn copy and past jews

In April’s Standard

 

“I am not antisemitic” says Jeremy Corbyn over and over and over. And if you don’t believe him, you can read his words and ask his friends

Posted: 4th, August 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Giza’s Great Pyramid and those Electromagnetic Secrets

Yes, it’s officially here, silly season for the newspapers. The entire Northern world is off on their holibubs and there’s near nothing to write about. Therefore near nothing does get written about. For example, this story that the Great Pyramid at Giza has some special electromagnetic energy thing going on. That it concentrates waves in secret chambers. That this can all be used to make better solar cells and the like.

No, really, just no. This is getting much too close to the idea that you sharpen your razor blades by putting them under a cardboard pyramid:

The Great Pyramid of Giza can focus electromagnetic energy through its hidden chambers

No, this isn’t what is being said at all. At least, not by the researchers it ain’t:

The Great Pyramid of Giza may be able to focus electromagnetic radiation into pockets of energy inside its network of internal chambers and underneath its base, a new study has suggested.

Theoretical research by a team of Russian scientists aimed to understand how the pyramid would respond to radio waves directed at it, with the goal of recreating its shape at a nanoscale.

That’s getting closer but the initial claim is still wrong.

Its ability to concentrate electric and magnetic energy was discovered by a team of researchers led by scientists from ITMO University in the Russian city of St Petersburg.

No, the whole thing works the other way around. Assume that the shape of a pyramid can concentrate electromagnetic radiation. Then look at the size of the Great Pyramid. So, what sort of electromagnetic radiation would be concentrated by it? Radio waves of a particular wavelength.

OK, good, now we want to go play with light. How big should our pyramid be? Nanoscale, that’s how big. We’re not actually saying anything at all about what the Great Pyramid can do. We’re saying that this shape can, in certain circumstances, now, given the wavelength we want to play with how big should the pyramid be?

And we already know that the shape can indeed filter and concentrate electromagnetic spectrum. What does anyone think a prism it? That white light in, rainbow out – and the rainbow in, white light out as Newton showed – is exactly that. This is all science that’s been known for hundreds of years. It’s only the details of size that are being worked out now.

So, no, it’s still true that you’re going to need new razor blades, that pyramid won’t sharpen them.

Posted: 1st, August 2018 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment


Nobody’s stockpiling blood because of Brexit

It’s certainly true that there could be problems flowing from Brexit. If we crash out without a deal then we can all imagine more than just the one cockup or traffic jam until people come to their senses. But despite what the papers – and the Health Secretary – are saying it’s really very unlikely indeed that we’re going to stockpile blood:

Any wise government has to plan for outcomes it would not have chosen to happen. And so it is with Brexit. The health minister Matt Hancock has revealed that the NHS is stockpiling medicines and blood supplies in the case of disruption should there be no agreement over the terms under which the UK leaves the EU next year.

The basic idea is entirely sensible. Sure, plan for disasters that might not happen. But blood?

The government is making plans to stockpile vital blood products and medicines in case of a no-deal Brexit, the new health secretary has said.

Matthew Hancock admitted he had already met with industry leaders to discuss building up NHS reserves of vaccinations and other medical supplies if Britain crashes out of the European Union without a deal.

Well, no, not really. Despite half the press delighting in being able to report something so gory, even sanguinary:

“We are working right across government to ensure that the health sector and the industry are prepared and that people’s health will be safeguarded in the event of a no-deal Brexit,” he told MPs on Tuesday.

“This includes the chain of medical supplies, vaccines, medical devices, clinical consumables, and blood products.

“And I have asked the department to work up options for stockpiling by industry.”

There’s good reason to be suspicious concerning blood and blood products though, even if that basic idea is sound.

The thing is, the UK is pretty much self-sufficient in blood. That system of voluntary donations of blood works pretty well, we extract enough from Brits to pump into Brits. Where the donation system doesn’t work is with blood products – by far the most important of which is plasma. Voluntary donation systems just don’t produce enough of this. Not enough people are willing to take the time to donate it for the demand. This then affects such things as Factor VIII for haemophiliacs and so on.

And the thing is that no voluntary system anywhere extracts enough of these. Meaning that the UK – and largely so European – system which bans payments for body products means that we’ve not got enough. Everyone therefore relies, for plasma and the like, on the American system of paid donations.

Which is why there’s good reason to be suspicious of the claims of stockpiling blood – which we produce domestically – and blood products. For we get the blood products from outside the EU right now, something that won’t be affected by Brexit.

Sure, nice story, but not a great deal of truth behind it.

Posted: 30th, July 2018 | In: News | Comment