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News | Anorak - Part 12

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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


Treason charges should apply to those excessively loyal to the European Union

Or so the claim is from David Campbell Bannerman, a Tory MEP, that those excessively loyal to the European Union should be charged with treason. Some of us Leave types would say that this could be a little extreme but there’s merit to the idea – then we’ll recall who it is suggesting it:

British people undermining the country through “extreme EU loyalty” must be tried for treason, a Tory MEP says.

David Campbell Bannerman has been accused of “putting the knife into free speech” after demanding the revival of an archaic law to prosecute strong allegiance to the EU.

The background here is a report out today suggesting that the offence of treason itself should be brought up to date. The current law dates from the time of Edward III and isn’t exactly attuned to modern circumstances. For example, none of the varied jihadis and terrorists have been charged under it even though they were quite obviously taking up arms against the Queen and her army. So, logically, change the law so that people like the Beatles can be charged with something which carries a significant sentence. Like life in prison, not the current maximum 10 year stretch.

David Bannerman, who represents the East of England constituency, was responding to a new report by the Policy Exchange think tank calling for an overhaul of treason laws. The Treason Act 1351 remains in force in the UK, but no longer provides secure ground for prosecuting terrorists who conspire to attack the UK, the group said.

Campbell Bannerman’s addition is that this should apply to those who would undermine the British state by excessive accordance with the EU’s wishes. And there’s certainly a theoretic possibility of such being treason, of course there is. If we pass a law stating such and such, then you conspire with foreign powers to undermine that law then arguably that really is treason. Despite it being fun to dream of hanging Peter Mandelson it’s unlikely that anyone has quite reached that stage as yet though.

All most fun and arguably entirely correct as well. Then we recall who it is that is making the suggestion:

Campbell Bannerman was a former Conservative Special Adviser to Northern Ireland Secretary Patrick Mayhew in the 1990s, before defecting to UKIP in 2004, and writing the bulk of their 2010 manifesto as Deputy Leader, which advocate limiting immigration down to 50,000 people a year, and included a five year freeze on permanent settlement.

Campbell Bannerman returned to the Conservatives in 2011, and has been an MEP for the East of England since 2009.

I was working for Ukip back then as a press officer. I saw that manifesto creation process – saw, sadly, some parts of the manifesto. We had to take it down rather swiftly – C-B had posted it up on the internet before anyone else had read it – because it was littered with truly bad ideas. Having met the man a number of times I don’t take this as an aberration either.

So it is with this idea of extending the definition of treason. I’m entirely minded to agree with it but considering the source there must be some appalling problem with it even if I can’t, as yet, work out what that problem is.

Posted: 29th, July 2018 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Billy Joel: Trump and the rise of magical Nazis

Finally someone has had the guts to stand up and say it: “Nazis aren’t good people.” Well done, Billy Joel:

 

 

Billy Joel, the singer, thought it a good idea to wear a yellow Star of David stuck to his jacket during a concert to remind President Trump that “Nazis aren’t good people”. The stars are not yet official tour merchandise but give it time.

In the meanwhile, should all people who don’t like Trump wear the yellow stars Jews were forced to wear on pain of enslavement and death under the laws of the Third Reich? Or might it be that if you keep evoking Nazis, turning the horror of the Holocaust into a live event, you demean what went before, you reduce the horror and turn genocide into a routine happening?

The Hill notes:

Joel told CBS News that the president’s comments after a woman was killed last August when a suspected white supremacist struck a crowd of counterprotesters with a car “enraged” him.

“The president said, you know, ‘There’s some good people on that side …’ No, Nazis aren’t good people,” Joel told CBS in an interview that aired Sunday.

Said Joel:
“It really enraged me, actually. My old man, his family got wiped out. They were slaughtered in Auschwitz. Him and his parents were able to get out. But then he was in the U.S. Army during the war and fought with Patton and was shot at by Nazis. My family suffered. And I think I actually have a right to do that.”

You don’t need murdered relatives to advertise your opinion that Nazis were bad dudes. Plenty of Germans whose family were Nazis – real ones – agree with you. But you do need to wonder how calling a prat like Trump a Nazi serves the victims of the greatest crime? Is Trump gassing people to death in industrial ovens? Are racial laws banning untermensch from marrying Gentiles and owning property on account of their race? Are we so needy and lacking in direction and moral purpose that we eye the Holocaust with envy, and invest huge power in every act of racism by some dickhead so that the knowing are elevated to the rank of saviours? It looks like it.

This crass, historically illiterate narcissism destroys the past. It undermines the truth. It buys into the nastiness that wonders why the Jews and the gypsies and the gays didn’t just fight harder. It makes the dead weak and complicit and the living their betters. It turns the Nazis into something eternal and magic, an anti-human that can be summoned at any moment and never beaten. What a low opinion of humanity that is.

 

Posted: 25th, July 2018 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


The high price of puking in an Uber

uber vomit

 

That stench inside the Uber mini-cab might be fart spray. And the vomit some passengers claim they are being charged lots of money to clean up might be a scam. The Miami Herald reports:

“I requested an Uber from Wynwood to the Edgewater area. At one point the driver told me a road was closed and that he could drop me off near my destination to avoid an extra charge. I agreed and got off,” Miami resident Andrea Pérez said about one trip last year.

But the next day Uber emailed her a bill with an additional $98 cleanup charge. It included a photo of vomit on the seat of the SUV she had used.

Real vomit? That fake vomit looks the business. And cleaning effort can be affected by the vomit’s constituent parts: milk sinks into the upholstery. In 2016, New Yorkers claimed they were being scammed by Uber drivers using fake vomit to charge high prices for cleaning their cars.

Says Andrea:

“I immediately contacted Uber through the app. I told them that I was alone, sober, that I was not carrying any drinks and that it was impossible for me to have caused that damage,” she said. “But every new email from Uber came from a different representative and always favored the driver.”

Get that puke down to forensics.

The upshot is that Uber refused to reimburse Andrea the cost. But her credit card company did get back her $98. Uber canceled her account. And the rest of us should take care: if your Uber puke is only on the car’ easy-wipe plastic parts and contains no hint of your kebab, cry foul.

Posted: 24th, July 2018 | In: Money, News | Comment


Life imitates Scarfolk: Civil Service tells parents to shoot rabid children

“Wow! This has made my week,” says Richard Littler. “This is from the government’s *own* publication about the history of government communications. They mistakenly included a Scarfolk poster which encourages the killing of children. Clearly, nobody thought it was too extreme.”

 

government scarfolk

The original Government pamphlet

 

rabiesshoot scarfolk government

UK Government says ‘shoot yer kids’

 

“You can download your own copy of this Scarfolk/UK government ‘collaboration’ from the government’s own site: quarterly.blog.gov.uk/download-a-pdf… (Hurry before they realise!).” They did realise that the fictional town of Scarfolk created by Richard as “a dystopian satire of the 1970s that somehow leaks into and reflects on current affairs” had become Government approved. And chances are whoever compiled the collection realised, too. The image has now been removed.

 

scarfolk shoot children cabinet office

 

The advice to shoot your children appears in the July edition of Civil Service Quarterly. Produced by the Cabinet Office ‘A century of government communications’ , the publication tells us that top-down communiqués have “helped to shape modern Britain and have themselves been shaped by the changing media landscape and changes in society”.

We are warned:

In an era when the spread of social media and the proliferation of digital information sources makes us question the very nature of news and what constitutes a ‘fact’, it is worth remembering two things. First, we have been here before: communications can, often deliberately, distort and mislead. A royal proclamation in 1688 specifically referred to tackling the spread of ‘false news’ (echoing the ‘fake news’ of today). And, second, at their best – honest, open, informative and effective – communications can help to shape, improve and even save lives.

Adding:

As we continue to listen, we are more likely to act appropriately on what people are telling us about what they need – and earn their trust – if we understand the public we serve. The Civil Service’s ambition to be the most diverse and inclusive employer in the UK by 2020 supports this aspiration.

Excellent communication that people trust is essential to a properly functioning democracy. That trust, built on the dialogue between public and state, is the touchstone of modern government communications.

It’s all about trust.

 

Detail from James II's 1688 proclamation "to restrain the spreading of false news"

Detail from James II’s 1688 proclamation “to restrain the spreading of false news”

 

“I have never seen the government move so quickly in my life (and certainly not because of me)!” says Richard. ‘From my announcement of their error to them deleting and editing the documents was about 5 mins.”

Richard adds: “On the last page of Discovering Scarfolk (2014), I warned about the dangers of a Scarfolk-based, apocalyptic cult infiltrating the civil service… You’re welcome.”

 

government scarfolk

The original Government pamphlet

 

rabiesshoot scarfolk government

Discovering Scarfolk – 2014

 

To prevent unnecessary bloodshed, Scarfolk Council has issued the following cease and desist letter to HM Government:

 

scarfolk shoot children

 

 

“The Government has tried replacing the Scarfolk poster with something patriotic. Is this some kind of photoshop challenge?”

 

scarfolk government

Now updated – don’t shoot yer kids; shoot Germans instead

 

But it’s not gone. You can download the original pamphlet here.

 

Posted: 21st, July 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Strange But True | Comment


China and the EU check your toilet for signs of illegal drug use

To China, where a wonk is hiding in your toilet bowl checking your poo and wee for signs of banned substances. Well, soon. for now the burgers have gotten only so far as checking sewerage for levels of narcotics. They want to see if anti-drugs campaigns are working. Chinese dictator / king / president for life Xi Jinping thinks human waste surveillance programs are just dandy:

Zhang Lei, an environmental policy researcher at Renmin University in Beijing and a collaborator with Li, notes that WBE studies are a more objective way of measuring whether government initiatives to reduce drug use in the community are working. She says that solely relying on traditional methods of monitoring changes in drug use, such as the number of arrests of users or the number of drugs being seized by police, can be misleading because they are indirect measures. “WBE offers an unequivocal measure of the effectiveness of efforts,” says Zhang.

Don’t most drugs users just go in a bush or their trousers?

Li and his team put this to the test when they measured two popular synthetic drugs, methamphetamine and ketamine, in waste water across China two years after local and national agencies launched campaigns to crack down on drug use and manufacturing in 2013. Zhang’s team found that following these initiatives, methamphetamine use dropped by 42% and ketamine use decreased by 67%. Li thinks the drop in drug use is a result of police campaigns.

That’s a huge impact. Can it be that drugs enforcement initiatives in China re so fantastically effective? Or can it be that the people who measure the poo are talking crap?

This year the EU drugs agency EMCDDA checked the sewers in 56 cities in 19 European countries. It turns out that Barcelona is the sewer cocaine capital of Europe, just ahed of Zurich and Antwerp. Amsterdam is number one for MDMA. Germany leads the amphetamine league table. The EMCDDA admits its tests “cannot provide information on prevalence and frequency of use, main classes of users, and purity of the drugs”.

Just wait til they link it to your DNA.

Spotter: Nature.com

Posted: 20th, July 2018 | In: News, Technology | Comment


Kindly Mandalay Bay massacre hotel sues the victims

If there’s blame, there’s a claim. And because you can blame pretty much anyone for anything if you think about it enough, The Mandalay Bay Hotel, Las Vegas, from where Stephen Paddock murdered scores of people in October 2017, is suing his victims. Be warned: should you in any way gold MGM, he hotel’s owners, in any way responsible for the horror, it will come down on you with a mighty force.

“Plaintiffs have no liability of any kind to defendants,” the complaints argue.

It says the security company it hired was certified by the Department of Homeland Security and was therefore protected from liability under a 2002 federal act.

MGM argues that this protection extends to the hotel giant, as it hired the security firm.

A spokesperson for MGM said in a statement: “Years of drawn out litigation and hearings are not in the best interest of the victims, the community and those still healing.”

Las Vegas attorney Robert Eglet, who has represented several Oct. 1 victims, said the grounds of the litigation are “obscure.”

MGM is a Nevada company, so any lawsuits belong in state court, Eglet said. He viewed the decision to file the complaints in federal court as a “blatant display of judge shopping” that “quite frankly verges on unethical.”

“I’ve never seen a more outrageous thing, where they sue the victims in an effort to find a judge they like,” he said. “It’s just really sad that they would stoop to this level.”

File under:

 

Posted: 20th, July 2018 | In: News | Comment


No anti-racist should vote for Corbyn’s Jew hating Labour

Funny, no, how so many self-styled anti-racist campaigners on the Corbyn Left have no problem with Jew baiting and Jew hatred. Might it be – and this is just a wild theory – they are anti-Semites? Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge noticed that Labour’s new anti-Semitism guidelines mark the Jews out as special. Whereas other races get to know when they are being attacked, when it comes to Jews, Corbyn’s Labour knows better.

Labour did adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA’s) definition of anti-Semitism. But it made a few tweaks. Corbyn’s Labour says it is not necessarily anti-Semitic to say Jews are more loyal to Israel than the UK. Jews are all Israelis, then – the country Corbyn and his fans hates above all others. And saying Jews / Israelis / Zionists are like Nazis is only bad if “anti-Semitic intent” can be proven. Not content with goading living Jews, Cobyn’s Labour attacks the dead ones too, especially the 6 million Jews murdered by actual Nazis. His Labour makes the murdered deserving of genocide. It is revolting. But the Left can’t see it – or doesn’t want to.

Under Labour’s rules criticising a Muslim, a woman or a transsexual requires no proof of intent to label the speaker a bigot? Labour adheres to the Macpherson definition of racism: an act perceived by the victim to be racist is racist. Unless your a Jew in which case: prove it. Macpherson is a bizarre rule that necessitates the ability to read minds and judge another’s thoughts. It can make you an unwitting racist. It’s an absurd, anti-democratic ruling that makes us all potential racists. But Labour supports it. Criticise the London mayor, a Muslim, and you are Islamophobic, says Labour. Abuse the Windrush Generation and you are a racist, says Labour. But go for a Jew and Labour says its all about free expression and free speech.

Why is it different for Jews? Labour says it’s about freedom of speech, the need to be able to criticise Israel, which, after all, is one of its pet hobbies and a cornerstone requirement of being a caring and sensitive Corbynista. Fair enough. But why aren’t Muslims or blacks treated the same way? Why is freedom of speech vital to Labour when it comes to lambasting Jews and the world’s one Jewish State but unimportant when criticising Islam? Why-oh-why are Jews singled out? Is it because, you know, Labour is a haven for anti-Semites?

 

The Jeremy Corbyn and Jewdas Seder abridged

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour turn things upside for Jews. So here’s a message for those contortionists.

 

Dame Margaret, the MP for Barking, wrote in The Guardian that she “confronted Jeremy Corbyn in Parliament and told him to his face what I and many others are feeling”.  Labour was “so distrusted by the Jewish community, we are the last people on earth, at this time, who should think about amending a widely accepted definition of anti-Semitism.” No Jew should vote Labour. I’d like every Jewish MP to become an independent. The idea that voting for a Jew and thus helping Corbyn become Prime Minister

To Corbyn’s Labour, Jews are ok to demonise. They are the useful Other, the uniquely barbaric enemy within against which everyone of a sound mind and good morals can rail and mass.

The BBC reports:

Labour MP Margaret Hodge faces “action” by the party after reportedly swearing at Jeremy Corbyn and calling him an “anti-Semite”. A spokesman for the Labour leader said what had happened was “clearly unacceptable between colleagues”.

Sod the Jew hatred in Labour. Just clamp down on anyone who dares to speak out. So much for freedom of expression…

Posted: 20th, July 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Sir Cliff Richard: victim of the paedo inquisition

cliff richard

 

In the post-Savile era, the BBC is so desperate to look decent and worthy that it broadcast live a police raid on an innocent man’s home. The celebrity in the Beeb’s cross-hairs was Sir Cliff Richard, who had been implicated in an incident at a Billy Graham evangelist rally in Sheffield in the 1980s involving a boy under the age of 16. The Metropolitan Police’s Operation Yewtree shoved the allegation on to South Yorkshire Police in June 2014. A month later the police and the State broadcaster colluded in the interests of “breaking news” and PR to show us Cliff’s home being turned over. He was out at the time. It was revolting stuff. But it wasn’t out of keeping with the BBC and police’s frenzied pursuit of salvation and purpose, in which accusers became ‘victims’, accusations are considered “credible and true” and the accused branded guilty without any need for such nuisances as evidence, proof and a trial.

Sir Cliff, who was told in 2016 that he’d face no charges, sued. And yesterday the 77-year-old singer was awarded £210,000 in damages. More damages are sure to follow. South Yorkshire Police has already paid £400,000 in damages.

Mr Justice Mann told the court:

“The material at trial demonstrated not only that people were very excited at the prospect of this scoop, but also that they were very keen to preserve it as their own. The latter point is demonstrated by a number of things, including the very questionable (in contractual terms) exclusion of ITN from knowledge of the launch of the helicopter and the fear, expressed in emails, that Sky News might pick up the event.

“I think and find it likely that this is what motivated the BBC in relation to timing at the end of the chain of events. It was important, if possible, to get the news to broadcast for 1pm (ITN would have a lunchtime broadcast at 1.30pm), rather than waiting any longer.

“That led the BBC to truncate, unfairly, the opportunity for Sir Cliff to get in a reply before the first broadcast.

“I emphasise that I am not finding that there is anything inherently wrong with a desire to beat a rival to a story. What happened in this case was that that view unduly skewed other judgments that had to be made.”

This was the stodgy BBC engaging in competitive journalism with commercial broadcasters. It wanted to use Sir Cliff to prove that in the new arena it too could shout “First!” The police used the reality show to trawl for more ‘victims’.

 

Cliff Richard police raid

 

BBC News director Fran Unsworth has issued an apology, albeit one with a sympathetic back story and mealy-mouthed lament:

“We are sorry for the distress that Sir Cliff has been through. We understand the very serious impact that this has had on him. We have thought long and hard about how we covered this story. On reflection there are things we would have done differently, however the judge has ruled that the very naming of Sir Cliff was unlawful.”

Why name an innocent man? Was he a danger to the public? Was Cliff more Pied Piper than Peter Pan? What evidence did the police hope to find at his unoccupied home? What would this compelling evidence look like on the telly? Where was Sir Cliff – wasn’t he the story, rather than his house?

“So even had the BBC not used helicopter shots or ran the story with less prominence, the Judge would still have found that the story was unlawful; despite ruling that what we broadcast about the search was accurate.”

Man has home searched. Fact. Broadcasting it live and naming the celeb, who must be presumed innocent to showcase your own sound morals. Sensationalist horror show. This is a pathetic apology.

“This judgment creates new case law and represents a dramatic shift against press freedom and the long-standing ability of journalists to report on police investigations, which in some cases has led to further complainants coming forward.”

Trawling for ‘victims’ on a live reality TV show is not an investigation, at least not one any sensible and circumspect institution should be dabbling in.

 

Cliff richard police

 

And it could be you:

“This impacts not just the BBC, but every media organisation. This isn’t just about reporting on individuals. It means police investigations, and searches of people’s homes, could go unreported and unscrutinised.”

Balls. The BBC went for Sir Cliff because he is famous.

“It will make it harder to scrutinise the conduct of the police and we fear it will undermine the wider principle of the public’s right to know. It will put decision-making in the hands of the police.”

If it is so awful, how the bloody hell did you – top State-approved journalists – all agree it was a good idea? Why didn’t the BBC apologise earlier? Why did the BBC fight the case? Has anyone been sacked? Will ‘lessons be learned’?

Ubiquitous Tory MP Anna Soubry has called for “Cliff’s Law” to ban media from naming suspects before they are charged. Oh, the sick irony of Sir Cliff having his own law, thus cementing his name with an accusation of which he is entirely innocent. Bad practice makes for bad laws. Soubry is as vain and monocular as the BBC reporters who sought to make names for themselves on Sir Cliff’s back.

“We don’t believe this is compatible with liberty and press freedoms – something that has been at the heart of this country for generations. For all of these reasons, there is a significant principle at stake. That is why the BBC is looking at an appeal.”

Ha. So much for the apology. The show goes on…

Posted: 19th, July 2018 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News | Comment


European Union fines Google €4.3 billion over Android

It sounds a bit odd that someone has to pay a fine to the European Union for giving something away but such are the twists and turns of antitrust law. The EU has fined Google €4.3 billion (£3.8 billion) over Android, the operating system that they simply give away to anyone who asks for it.

Ah, well, not quite, it comes with some conditions, even if payment is not required, and it’s those conditions which matter:

The European Commission fined Google €4.3 billion ($5 billion) on Wednesday for antitrust violations related to Android, its popular mobile operating system.

The penalty represents the largest ever antitrust fine levied by Europe’s competition authorities against a single company, and marks a significant step by Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s antitrust chief, in her ongoing stand-off with the U.S. search giant.

There’s a significant problem here concerning the very definition of what is bad behaviour concerning antitrust law. Being a monopoly and then rooking everyone is indeed bad behaviour about which we’d like government to do something. But just being dominant may or may not cut it. It’s this distinction which is at the heart of why the EU’s decisions are different from those of the US.

Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition commissioner, said Google has used its Android mobile phone operating system “to cement its dominance as a search engine”, preventing rivals from innovating and competing “and this is illegal under EU antitrust rules”.

The following isn’t exactly accurate but it’s close enough. The US system says that consumers must actually be harmed before there’s a monopoly or antitrust issue that must be addressed. Near all economists agree on that point, that if harm is being done then do something. The EU position is rather more, well, if people are working themselves into a position where they could do harm if they decided to, then we must do something. The actual harm doesn’t come into it. Not that many economists agree with this formulation.

That’s why we’ve got activity which is entirely legal under US law being fined here in the EU. My own view is that the US is right here.

There is one little delight though:

Vestager said Google has become dominant across Europe for internet search, licensable smartphone operating systems and for the Google Play app store. “With market dominance comes responsibility,” she explained.

It’s that Google Play part that amuses. Google has some 90% of the market for places which people can download Android apps from. Hmm, OK.

Apple has 100% of the market for places people can download iOS apps from. If I were Apple I’d be a little worried right now.

Posted: 18th, July 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Technology | Comment


The Aubergene Revolution – Cheltenham protests over lack of veg at Tescos

The normally staid – even respectable – town of Cheltenham is apparently in uproar over the lack of aubergines for sale in the town’s Tesco supermarket. To the point of, whisper it softly, actual complaints out loud and even tweets. Thus, to follow the Orange Revolution in Ukraine which overthrew the corrupt oligarchs we have the Aubergine one to demand their return to the fruitnveg racks.

The things is, it’s true:

Those stewing over their loss have launched an online protest and even told the police of their upset.

The furore started when an aubergine fan tweeted Tesco to ask where the veg — which cost 70p each — had gone in the town’s superstore.

A customer services rep said they’d been discontinued, adding: “I wouldn’t be too happy about this myself.”

Shocked shoppers vented their rage on the Twitter page “Bring Back Our Aubergines”.

We could make a comment or two about this. I’ve lived in the place myself and I’m just absolutely certain that it had more than one food shop. Meaning that those essential Moussaka supplies are undoubtedly available somewhere. But there’s something else, too:

SHOPPERS in a posh English town say they are outraged after its Tesco pulled AUBERGINES from the shelves.

Customers at the branch in Cheltenham were told the superstore would only restock the velvety-soft vegetable on request from customers.

Well, why would a supermarket stop stocking something? They are in the business of trying to make a profit by selling things, aren’t they? The answer – obviously enough – being that people weren’t buying them. Or not enough of them to make it worthwhile stocking them.

At which point, those complaining. Why are you complaining, given that people weren’t buying them?

Posted: 17th, July 2018 | In: News, Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment


Nigel Farage duped by anti-refugee photshop

nigel farage duped

 

Nigel Farage, former leader of UKIP and now LBC radio opinion jock, says the photo above is an “insult” to “victims of sexual abuse and rape in Malmo”. He adds for good measure: “These people are sick.” Which people is a little unclear when it’s pointed out that the photo is clearly a fake to all but the most monocular tweeters and was taken in Saskatoon, Canada, back in September 2015.

 

nigel farage duped tweet

 

In 2017, a Syrian refugee told local media about her plight: “We lived five years within the war there, so it’s too hard for us to talk again.  It’s always the same story. People die every day by different ways, but they die every day.”

Also in 2017, the BBC did a “reality check” in claims that Malmo is the “rape capital of Europe”.

 

farage malmo

 

The BBC:

Reality Check verdict: Malmo, along with other urban centres in Sweden, has one of the highest levels of reported rapes in proportion to population in the EU, mainly due to the strictness of Swedish laws and how rape is recorded in the country.

The rate of reported rapes in Malmo has not dramatically risen in recent years and has in fact declined from its peak in 2010, before the recent large increases in refugees.

It is not possible to connect crimes to the ethnicity of the perpetrators as such data is not published.

In 2017, Donald Trump told an audience:

Here’s the bottom line: We’ve got to keep our country safe. You look at what’s happening. We’ve got to keep our country safe. (Applause.) You look at what’s happening in Germany. You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden? Who would believe this? Sweden? They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible.

And what of the alleged victim’s identity? The Local noted:

The number of rapes reported to authorities in Sweden increased by 10 percent in 2017, according to new preliminary figures from the country’s National Council on Crime Prevention (Brå)…

The number of sex crimes reported in Sweden increased by eight percent (1,600 reports), with the number of reported rapes in particular increasing by 10 percent – 663 reported rapes more than 2016 and reaching a total of 7,230.

What can we learn from the stats?

Mid Sweden University Criminologist Teresa Silva told The Local that the statistics should be treated with care.

“We always have to be careful with analyzing reported crimes. We don’t know from the reported crime statistics whether the crime has actually occurred more, or if it’s just that people report it more. They are always tricky, you have to think beyond the statistics themselves. Years ago these kind of crimes, sex crimes, were not spoken about and had stigma attached to them.”

“So what do these stats not tell us? Detailed characteristics of the victims for example – we don’t know their demographic and social profile, or if more immigrants are reporting these crimes after becoming more integrated in Sweden and aware that they can report them.”

Police do not record the ethnicity of either criminals or victims. But there is a problem. How bad is it and how much of it is down to refugees? In January 2018, The Times wrote:

Statistics published last week revealed the percentage of women who reported being victims of sex crimes rose from 1.4% in 2012 to 4.1% in 2016. In 2014 a study on the geography of outdoor rape in Stockholm found two-thirds of the suspects were non-Swedish citizens.

“Our government declared itself the world’s first feminist government, yet they have quietly abandoned women,” [Paulina] Neuding said. “There is mounting evidence that large-scale migration of men from extremely patriarchal cultures is limiting women’s freedom.”

And the police? In January 2016, Swedish police and media were accused of covering up a spate of sexual offences involving young migrants at We Are Sthlm, a free summer youth festival in Stockholm. When truth gets censored and mangled, you only see what you want to see. Andrew Brown notes:

…the Stockholm police failed to report the sex assaults at the festival for fear of worsening ethnic tensions. And it was understood by all parties that this would lead to an electoral advantage for the Sweden Democrats…

So teenage girls were systematically assaulted and robbed by gangs of young foreign men because too many powerful people found their suffering was inconvenient. The result of this cover-up will be far more damaging than the truth could have been.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 15th, July 2018 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Anti-racists and Corbyn march against Trump but ignore the plight of Jews

On Twitter, Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Party leader and Prime Minister in waiting, tells his followers that Donald Trump should not be on a State visit to the UK because: “When we divide ourselves by racism, misogyny and hate, we all lose. When we are united in hope, with common goals, we can all win.#TrumpProtest #TrumpVisitsUK.” Wise words. But is Corbyn listening to them?

As Charlie Peters tweets, Jezza might be a bit of hypocrite:

Hamas and Hezbollah: had tea with them in Parliament

The IRA: had tea with them in Parliament

Anti-Semite Raed Salah: had tea with him in Parliament

President of the United States: “I wouldn’t have invited him”

Corbyn then followed this up with a wonderful tweet:

The #DurhamMinersGala shows the strength of our movement. History teaches us that those at the top never conceded anything without it being demanded from those below.

So that’s why he supports Brexit – which the nuanced and slippery Corbyn sort of does and sort of doesn’t.

Doubtless Corbyn will also be supporting Iranian women defying their totalitarian regime – the one he worked for when fronting shows for Press TV. Corbyn was paid £20,000 by the broadcaster described by one Guardian writer as “a platform for the full fascist conspiracy theory of supernatural Jewish power”. Not that Corbyn’s all that good at spotting such nastiness. He thinks he is, however, because Labour has rewritten the rules on what anti-Semitism is, deciding that it knows better than Jews what constitutes Jew hatred.

Over in Iran women are dancing to show their disgust for the country’s absurd laws on chastity and modesty. How absurd? Well, Maedeh Hojabri, 18, was arrested for the apparent crime of posting on Instagram videos of herself dancing – without her headscarf! Banged up by the hijab police, Hojabri soon apologised in public. What brought about her change of mind can only be guessed at. But other Iranian women are inspired by her bravery. They’re posting videos under the hashtag #dancing_isn’t_a_crime and #dance_to_freedom.

As Corbyn’s retweets those hashtags (not yet – but he’ll get round to it, we’re sure), here’s the good news: lots of people in the UK like to protest against racism, misogyny and assaults on human autonomy. Many were doing just that when they formed The Stop Trump Coalition and created the ‘Carnival of Resistance’ to President Trump’s visit to the UK. Unless it was just self-aggrandizing, monocular tosh. Nah! Hundreds of thousands of these good people who tell us we’re heading back to the 1930s and Hitler is among us once more will surely march against the rampant rise and rise of Jew hatred. And Corbyn will be marching at their head – just as soon as he’s finished his tea with the people whose charter calls for all Jews to be killed. And you know who else liked genocide and wanted all Jews to be murdered…

Posted: 14th, July 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Being dead breaches Paypal’s contract terms

It would appear that all of us with a Paypal account should live forever. Presumably Elon Musk’s old firm has some idea as to how this should or even could be achieved. For their contract seems to indicate that the popping of clogs is a breach of their terms.

A widower told last night of his shock after receiving a letter from online banking company, PayPal, threatening his dead wife with debt collection and legal action.

Howard Durdle was contacted by the ‘insensitive’ company, which claimed the death of Mr Durdle’s wife, Lindsay, constituted a ‘breach’ of their rules.

Well, yes and no actually:

The death of the 37-year-old British woman, Lindsay Durdle, who passed away from breast cancer, apparently violated PayPal’s account holder policies. After being notified by her surviving husband, Howard, of her tragic end on May 31, the American company demanded, in a quite peculiar way, repayment of about £3,200 that she owed.

“You are in breach of condition 15.4(c) of your agreement with PayPal Credit as we have received notice that you are deceased,” PayPal scolded, in a letter addressed to Mrs Durdle, after her husband provided copies of her death certificate, her will and his ID.

It’s badly worded, that’s true.

But here’s the full situation. She had borrowed money from Paypal Credit – OK, that’s what it’s for. There are certain repayment terms on such loans – that’s normal enough, when are you going to repay? Death does make following such terms a little difficult. But the debt’s still owed of course. It’s part and parcel of her estate in fact. What she owns is bundled up, what she owes – if secured of course – is also bundled up, one is used to pay the other and then what’s left over is distributed according to her will. This will be true of any other debts she has as well. The whole process is called probate.

So, yes, badly worded, possibly even a source of amusement for us out here, but nothing terribly odd about it at all. Being dead means the last chance they’ve got of getting the loan repaid is her estate. Thus the letter demanding immediate – for which read, the executor of the will out of that estate – repayment.

After all, a little delay here’s not going to harm her credit rating all that much, is it?

Posted: 14th, July 2018 | In: Key Posts, Money, News, Technology | Comment


Britain’s 35th place in international broadband speeds – simply appalling

It appears that the UK is 35th in a listing of countries by the average speed of the broadband enjoyed there. This is appalling, a condemnation of all that is holy, a product of Tory Austerity and—-actually, it’s meaningless. Entirely unimportant, except for the reason that Britain has slow broadband, which is that we’re a rich nation already. The places doing better than us are, with a few exceptions, largely poor places. Which is why they’ve thrown a large amount of money at this new technology. They didn’t already have the one that came before that is:

The UK has slipped to 35th place in an annual league table of global broadband speeds, putting it in the bottom third of EU countries and below the likes of Madagascar and Bulgaria.

An analysis of more than 160m broadband speed tests conducted across 200 countries revealed Singapore was once again the world’s fastest country, followed by Sweden, Denmark and Norway, while Yemen came last.

The Scandis are different, that’s obvious enough in many different ways. The rest of the list who are faster, well, there’s a good historical reason for it:

Analysis of 163 million broadband speed tests across 200 countries indicates Singapore ranks as the world’s fastest country, with Yemen the slowest.

Well, yes, Yemen’s in the middle of a bloody civil war and the place has never, ever, risen above medieval poverty. Singapore, well, that’s an island city state. Damn near everyone lives in tower blocks. As you can imagine, it’s a lot easier to wire up the one city than it is to run fibre to every village and hamlet in the country.

When it comes to internet provision, the situation varies both by country and region. Generally speaking though, you can apply the rule that the larger and less developed the nation is, the slower the internet access tends to be.

The economy of Singapore, for example, relies heavily on digital infrastructure, while the country itself occupies a relatively small space. There is economic necessity, coupled with the relative ease of delivering high-speed connections across a small area.

That’s from the report itself and yes, well, quite.

Britain has slipped four places in the world broadband speed league, leaving its network lagging well behind the likes of Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary and Romania.

There is that other technical issue though. When the internet arrived we in Britain already had a copper telephone network which reached damn near every house in the country. Something like ASDL – which runs internet over such copper cables – was and is a fine technical solution for us therefore. We’ve got near everything already, we just have to stick the right equipment in the telephone exchanges. Countries that were very much poorer when that internet arrived – and yes, this very definitely includes all those ex-Warsaw Pact and socialist countries – didn’t have that basic and effective telephone network to start with. They couldn’t piggy back off that extant system, they had to go build the whole thing from scratch. At which point fibre to every home is a sensible idea.

That is, the reason that UK broadband is comparatively slow is because we were already a rich country, already had that telephone network. This isn’t unusual by the way. The British ATM network is, in its capacity to do things other than just spit out money, really pretty shite. That’s because we’ve had ATMS since the mid-1960s. Poorer places didn’t start to install them until the 1990s which is why they’ve installed a more advanced form of the technology.

Posted: 12th, July 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Technology | Comment