Great news from Scotland. Having downgraded thousands of school exam results – for exams pupils trained to take for years and were then banned from taking – the Scottish government has bowed to pressure and agreed to accept teacher estimates of scores. The swine had thought it decent and proper to downgrade 125,000 results for more than 75,000 pupils. The boffins ignored individual students and teachers who know their pupils best and reduced education to a data sheet from past years. Grades will now be replaced by the original teacher-predicted results.
Education Secretary John Swinney apologised for the “feeling of unfairness”. It is “deeply regrettable we got this wrong”.
This is, of course, encouraging news for English and Welsh students who are about to be shafted when their GCSE and A-level results come out later this month. Sit tight, kinder, the Cabinet of no talents will see sense.
In the drive to divide the population into the knowing and the stupid (surely deplorables and non-deplorables – ed), the Indy declares: “There’s now a dating site for ‘lockdown sceptic’.” Those lockdown sceptic idiots (aka the Swedish et al who might questioned why schools shut, exams were canceled and people were locked inside small flats with small children and no outside space) are thinking of mating.
There is a reason as to why the Indy is agog and finds some of the profiles on the new dating site “unbelievable”. That reason is because – get his – it’s a spoof. In the race to shout ‘Look at them idiots!’, the Indy has stepped into an elephant trap. It might even be “Beyond Parody”:
The Indy’s story is tosh:
If you’re interested in something niche – whether that’s flat earth conspiracy theories or Dungeons and Dragons – there’s probably a dating website out there for you.
That includes the “Covid-sceptical” – essentially people who think that all of this lockdown and fear about a deadly pandemic has gone on for too long, and who want to return back to normal life.
Can “niche” include people who want to portray others as agenda-driven idiots and in so doing present themselves as what they fear? The truth is that it’s just people larking about on a forum called Love in a Covid Climate. Created by Tory columnist Toby Young, the forum is open to anyone who wants to take the mick. Here are a few samples of message of Lonely of Lockdown the Indy thinks are serious:
But in place of any research, the Indy has a story:
The conclusion to the Indy’s article is choice:
Young has defended the creation of his website, telling the Guardian, ““I’ve created Love in a Covid Climate for people who are properly informed about the risk, realise how small it is and want to meet other scientifically literate people who haven’t succumbed to what Bernard-Henri Lévy calls ‘psychotic delirium’.”
So it looks like this dating site isn’t going anywhere.
It’s not a dating site. But it might be in lockdown.
Where were you when the BBC was on a boat in the English Channel watching migrants trying to stop their rubber dingy from sinking? You might have seen the BBC’s tweet and a short video of its report:
Simon Jones, our man on the scene (in a bigger, dryer boat), talked us through the drama on a “choppy” sea. The migrants were using a plastic container to try to bail out the boat. Faced with people in a “dangerous” situation, what did the man in the bigger, dryer, safer boat do? Yes: he shouted: “Are you ok?” That was after “spotting” (aka looking for and finding) the migrants half an hour earlier, and, presumably, staying close to them.
The BBC’s bloke went full sailing regatta and asked them, “Are you all right?” He then gave them a thumbs up. Not an old Roman Emperor’s signal for them to be spared death at the circus, but an attempt to get some kind of reaction. Jones then asked them where they were from?; “How many people” (on the boat?; under the boat?; fallen from the boat?); and “Where do you want to go?” Not one wag replied ‘Your house” or “Mars”, settling instead on Dover.
Stay tuned for when one boat carrying migrants is capsized by the wash from a TV crew’s launch, and a reporter can lower their voice and talk about a ‘tragedy’.
Jadon Sancho will not join Manchester United this summer, says the BBC. He will remain a Borussia Dortmund player. The German club’s sporting director Michael Zorc tells everyone: “We plan on having Jadon Sancho in our team this season. The decision is final. I think that answers all our questions.”
Or as the papers put it: the deal is on! But how much is the transfer fee? And how much will Sancho earn at Manchester United? The papers have all the facts:
Such are the facts.
Labour MP Dawn butler says racial profiling led to police stopping a car she was travelling in. The MP for Brent Central recorded the incident in Hackney, east London. She says police must “stop associating being black and driving a nice car with crime”. It’s the Guardian’s lead news story.
The Guardian reports that Butler says the car was being driven by her male friend, who is black. She says officers said the vehicle was registered in North Yorkshire. It wasn’t. And so what is it was? Apparently police were looking at people travelling into the area. But when did driving over a certain distance become a crime?
So who was in the car? The Standard writes:
After details of the incident emerged, some Twitter users claimed that Ms Butler had flipped her camera to make it look as though she was the driver of the car. Some also said she had blurred out the driver’s face because he is white.
Insisting she did not flip the camera and confirming that her friend is black, Ms Butler said: “It was quite interesting to go onto Twitter late last night and then start seeing all these sort of conspiracy theories.
“And it just made me think… the length that people will go to just to excuse racism away, or discrimination away, or injustice away.”
Ms Butler had earlier told Channel Four News that there was “no other reason” for being stopped “apart from the colour of our skin and we were driving a nice car.”
The Metropolitan police say an officer had entered the registration number wrongly into a computer system. They have apologised.
“I had no intention of speaking about this until the officers became very obnoxious,” says Butler, who made a video recording of the incident on her phone. “I just felt that if I don’t use my platform to talk about this, I’m doing a disservice to everyone who gets wrongly stopped and searched, and all the black people who are constantly unjustly profiled.”
One note: Butler was a shadow minister under Jeremy Corbyn. She campaigned for Corbyn to be made PM. Writing in The Critic, Nick Cohen looks at the Left’s little problem:
As for the Labour relationship with Jews, the story changes so fast it’s as if we are back in the USSR. Yesterday’s far-left line was that accusations of racism were “smears” by right-wing “Zionist” enemies. All of a sudden, the smears turn out to be true or at least plausible charges that anti-Corbyn Labour officials deliberately ignored as part of a plot against the very party they were duty bound to serve. ..
We are meant to forget too that Corbyn might have decided to combine support for Palestinian rights with a recognition of Israel’s right to exist. He might not have befriended terrorists who wanted to kill Jews for being Jews. He might have defended Jewish MPs, and stopped the left driving them from his party. He might have refused to become the willing and paid servant of the Iranian state’s propaganda service. He might have recognised racist caricatures straight out of fascist Europe and denounced rather than defended them. He might have refrained from descending into the banter of every saloon-bar bigot and not scoffed that, despite “having lived in this country for a very long time” Zionists “don’t understand English irony”.
Some Labour MPs left the party over its attitude towards Jews. Dame Louise Ellman left the Labour party because, “Under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, antisemitism has become mainstream in the Labour party. Jewish members have been bullied, abused and driven out. Antisemites have felt comfortable and vile conspiracy theories have been propagated. A party that permits anti-Jewish racism to flourish cannot be called anti-racist.” Labour stands accused of being institutionally racist.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission is due to announce the findings of its formal investigation into allegations of antisemitism in the Labour Party. It set out to determine whether the party “unlawfully discriminated against, harassed or victimised people because they are Jewish.”
Butler has spoken about anti-Jewish racism in the Labour Party. “I believe that Labour has badly let down the Jewish community,” she wrote on her site.
Racism is disgusting. Call it out when you see it. And above all, don’t vote for it. Before the last election, The Jewish Chronicle published a cry for help: “If this man is chosen as our next prime minister, the message will be stark: that our dismay that he could ever be elevated to a prominent role in British politics, and our fears of where that will lead, are irrelevant.”
Helen Lewis put it well: “Britain’s Jews are used to feeling that their safety is provisional, that they are not fully accepted, that they will always be treated as outsiders. The Labour Party now joins a long list of those who have let them down.”
Can you make political capital out of former Labour MP Eric Joyce being given a suspended sentence after admitting to making an indecent image of a child? The 59-year-old for MP for Falkirk was handed an eight-month sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work. Joyce had in his possession a film depicting “penetrative sexual abuse of very young children”. Said the judge: “That film showed the penetrative sexual abuse of very young children. That these acts of abuse happened is because there are people like you who want to watch these films. If there was no market, those children wouldn’t be subjected to these very serious offences.”
Joyce has been caught. Good. Paedophilia is a sickness. It steals life. It destroys lives. That a former politician has been caught committing such a repulsive crime should make him front-page news. But not all papers have gone studs up on Joyce, who dates a Sunday Times columnist.
At the end of the report on Joyce’s depravity, the Guardian notes:
It comes after the former Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke was last month found guilty of sexually assaulting two women… Separately, a Tory MP is under investigation by the police after being accused of rape by a former parliamentary aide.
Are those heinous crimes, both real and alleged, relevant to the story of a man who kept films of children being sexually assaulted, one victim allegedly as young as 12 months old? Why does the Guardian tack those cases on to the end of a report on Joyce? No word on the Tory MPs in the BBC’s report, nor that of the Express, Telegraph, Mirror, Indy or Sun. What was the purpose of the Labour supporting Guardian’s editorialising, and what kind of angle were they pushing?
No newspapers will lead with pictures of teenage girls jumping for joy at their exam results. Instead media has opted to parrot the Government line that education is under control. It isn’t. Children have been let down badly by State-led reactions to Covid-19. Rather than allowing children to sit tests in English and maths – a grade 4 at GCSE is the minimum score required to continue in education – all exams were cancelled. Why were they cancelled so quickly? Why were they not postponed?
Today’s Times appears to offer hope, telling readers: “Thousands more pupils could get the right of appeal over their A-level grades next week after a key concession by the exam regulator.” That’s wrong. The concession from Ofqual is for schools to appeal if they believe their year group was above average and so deserving of higher than normal grades.
For anyone not in the know, this is how the exam system currently functions:
Exams were cancelled this year and teachers had to provide grades for each child and put them in ranked order within the class.
These grades could be changed by exam boards according to the school’s previous performance. For example, if a teacher gave large numbers of pupils an A* in English but no pupil had reached better than a C grade in previous years they could be marked down.
Ofqual says it is “not surprising” that grades calculated by many schools and colleges are optimistic, as teachers “naturally want to do their best for their students”. Overall, teachers’ best guess has seen A-level and GCSE results pushed up by 12 per cent and nine per cent respectively compared to 2019. “Improvement on such a scale in a single year has never occurred and to allow it would significantly undermine the value of these grades for students,” says Ofqual. To which the response is, so what? We’ve not had a pandemic called Covid-19 before. When was the last time the State cancelled school and all exams. You want to study the trends. But an obsession with data risks overlooking the glaringly obvious.
Children have been short-changed. Having worked towards an end point for two years, judgement day when years of schooling gets validated is cancelled. School is all about following a curriculum geared towards the exam syllabus. Children are reared on the idea that exams are everything. And then at the moment of truth, the Government says you can get a grade with a guess made by somebody who has never seen your work.
The individual matters not. It’s all trends and tracking. Schools closed in March with education replaced by “blended” learning (lessons on the iPad). So what happens in 2021 – do we get GCSE and A-level exams and if not what are the grades to be based on? According to the Sutton Trust, two-thirds of children have not engaged with online lessons during lockdown. You need the internet, a parent at home and a laptop to make it work. Pupils from independent schools are twice as likely to have taken part in online lessons as those at state schools. They can also afford tutors.
If comparing year groups is worth anything, every year has to get the same chances. That has not happened. Instead, pupils deemed to have failed exams they were banned from taking will be invited to resit them in November. Why bother? Why not just pass them all and recognise that children – ambitious, resilient and full of life – want to get on with their lives and not be dragged back to virtual classroom to be tested by people who have taught them only one valuable lesson: most things are done by guesswork.
How long will it take German police and prosecutors to nail Christian Brueckner, the rapist and paedophile they suspect of kidnapping and murdering Madeleine McCann? Today, judges at the European Court of Justice, says Bruckner’s appeal against a 2019 rape conviction for an attack in 2005 is unlikely to succeed.
Christian Brueckner’s lawyers argue that the European arrest warrant issued over the 2005 rape charge was invalid. In 2018, he was extradited from Italy to Germany on drug trafficking charges. Back in his homeland, Brueckner was convicted of the rape of the 72-year-old American woman in Praia da Luz and sentenced to seven years in prison.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has considered the details and expressed its opinion that the German authorities did not have to get permission from Portugal to nick him. Although “an advisor” to the court says Germany did not follow the correct procedures when they extradited him.
It’s not over yet. If his appeal is successful, Christian Brueckner could walk free from prison next year, at the end of his jail term for the drug offence.
And he can do. Because – get his – Christian Brueckner has not been charged of any crime related to Madeleine McCann. And – get this also – police have yet to prove what crime befell Madeleine McCann, if any did. There are theories and circumstantial evidence. There are likelihoods and hunches. But there is only one fact: in May 2007, Madeleine McCann vanished.
But the good news for sleuths looking to nail Brueckner for a crime he says he did not commit, is that police will most likely know his precise location for the next seven years. What price we will still basking ‘What happened to Maddie’ in 2027?
The Daily Mail hits gold with news linking Princess Diana to Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein. “Princess Diana Bridesmaid was guest on Epstein island: Clemmie Hambro who took two trips on paedophile’s private jet says ‘I was young, naive and lucky to escape’.” Paedos and Princess Diana. This is tabloid gold. (Jimmy Savile is away.)
Was Clementine lucky to escape the paedophile’s clutches? Didn’t Jeffrey Epstein only abuse the poor and naive, not the minted and connected? Clemmie – posho name, posho connections – is the great grand-daughter of Sir Winston Churchill. His paternal great-grandfather, Carl Joachim Hambro, founded the Hambro Bank. She took the jaunts in 1999, when she was 23-years-old and employed at the Christie’s auction house in New York.
Clemmie Hambro took two flights on the paedophile’s jet. She went to Epstein’s luxury homes “where he spent many years abusing young girls. One of them was on Little St James in the US Virgin Islands, known to locals as Paedo Island.”
Innocent Clemmie, whose name appears in the dead paedophile’s flight records, has issued a statement:
“The first flight was a work trip with female colleagues to look at Epstein’s new home in Santa Fe to discuss what art he was going to buy. The second trip, to Little St James, was a personal invitation, which I thought would be fun to accept, but I didn’t know anyone there, didn’t really enjoy myself, and never went back. My heart breaks for all the survivors, now I know what happened on that island.In the course of those two trips, I was not abused, nor did I see anyone abused, or anything untoward happen, with minors or otherwise. I have been completely horrified about the revelations of his conduct since then. I was clearly very lucky, my heart goes out to those who were abused by him, and I trust they get the justice they so deserve.”
Lucky? To travel the world by private jet, flogging art to the mega-rich? Or lucky that as a 23-year-old woman she was not abused by a paedophile?
In the hunt for Madeleine McCann, even the most factual of facts can be wrung through the mangle and come out altered. The Sun looks at Christian Brueckner and thunders: “Madeleine McCann latest news: Prime suspect Christian B to learn outcome of appeal over 2005 Portugal rape TODAY.”
In 2005, Brueckner broke into a woman’s apartment in Portugal and raped her at knife point. In 2006, Portuguese authorities dropped the rape investigation due to lack of evidence. He was charged with the rape as recently as 2019. In December that year, Brueckner was convicted and sentenced to seven years for the rape. His prison term has yet to start because he argues that the conviction was unlawful. He is in prison in Germany on a 21-month sentence for drugs.
And the Sun says “TODAY” the convicted paedophile suspected of kidnapping and murdering Madeleine McCann could walk free. Which is…wrong. Today judges at European Court of Justice will give their opinion ahead of a final verdict on that appeal. Their final judgement, which is binding on courts across the EU, will be delivered soon afterwards. But not today.
Feted and minted former US First Lady Michelle Obama is worried. The BBC tunes into her podcast and hears her say: “I’m waking up in the middle of the night because I’m worrying about something or there’s a heaviness.” The older we get the less well we sleep. “These are not, they are not fulfilling times, spiritually,” says Mrs Obama. “I know that I am dealing with some form of low-grade depression.” Depression is a disease. It’s not to be confused with feeling low or blue. It comes from somewhere other, an invasion that kills your sense of reason and infects your being with a “lie of the mind”.
Rod Dreher likened his depression to walking around the house “as if I were wearing a heavy wool blanket soaked in cold water almost all the time.”
Depression kills. So why is Michelle Obama a little bit depressed? She explains: “Not just because of the quarantine, but because of the racial strife, and just seeing this administration, watching the hypocrisy of it, day in and day out, is dispiriting.”
Pathologising the Trump presidency and being woke – literally awake – might be a step beyond. And you don’t need therapy to cure yourself of Trump-phobia – you need better politics and ideas.
And if we are going to talk about mental illness, can we talk about Donald Trump? The man does not seem to be well.
Madeleine McCann: a look at repotting on the missing child. In the stead of any news on the hunt for the missing child, the Daily Express gawps at the parents. News is that Gerry McCann had an ‘image fixed indelibly’ in his memory from less than an hour before his daughter disappeared”. This was “revealed during a book written by the parents on the missing toddler”. First up, dear Daily Express: get a sub-editor. Yesterday’s garbled news form Reach plc titles (the Express, Star and Mirror) was riddled with typos and literals.
The scoop is that Kate McCann wrote something in her book, Madeleine: Our Daughter’s Disappearance and the Continuing Search for Her. That book was published in 2011. The Express has taken 9 years to tell its readers what was “revealed in it”.
Here’s the extract – “the heartbreaking account of Gerry’s final memory of seeing his daughter”:
“Madeleine was lying there on her left-hand side, her legs under the covers, in exactly the same position as we’d left her. For Gerry, this became one of those images I described earlier, pictures that fix themselves indelibly, almost photographically, in the memory. He paused for a couple of seconds to look at Madeleine and thought to himself, she’s so beautiful. After pulling the bedroom door to, restoring it to its original angle, he went to the bathroom before leaving the apartment.”
As the Express reads old books to ‘reveal’ nothing new, the Mirror looks at Christian Bruckner, the convicted German peadophile and rapist accused of kidnapping and murdering Madeleine McCann, a claim he denies. The headline is a sort of anti-news:
Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner ruled out of raping and murdering girl, 11
Claudia Ruf was kidnapped from Grevenbroich, Germany, in 1996, while walking her neighbour’s dog – before her partly burned body was found dumped around 40 miles away
A police spokesman told German newspaper Bild: “After comparing the information obtained, it can be said that Christian B was not in Grevenbroich at the time in the case of Claudia Ruf. In addition, a DNA comparison is said to have been negative.”
Are we now at the point where every unsolved case of child abduction and murder is to cross-checked with Christian Brueckner’s life? Good to look but why now – why not check him before? It all looks a b it ike PR, as if the police having pointe the finger at the revolting Brueckner are desperate to keep his name in the frame. This might be in hope that someone who knows something comes forward. But right now the is only circumstantial evidence linking Brueckner to the worlds most famous missing child. And in light of any evidence saying he committed a crime against her, we should presume he did not.
Do “powerful men” have sex with underage girls? Isn’t it the needy, weak, perverted men who do that? Perhaps by “powerful”, the Sun means merely wealthy and connected, the men’s power rooted not in moral fibre but base possessions, those chattels amassed by men who need to prove themselves through job titles, fast cars and vapid, innocent girls who lacking the weltschmerz of their equally minted brood mares are unlikely to know them out as the pathetic bellends they undoubtedly are?
The Sun’s story is that dead paedo Jeffrey Epstein’s former lover Ghislaine Maxwell “recorded videos of powerful people having sex with under-age girls, according to a former friend of the pair.” Oh that dead tabloid news source, the depraved Max Clifford, should not be around to miss this one. Tales of two-way mirrors at sex parties for the great and good were his stock in trade. Clifford died in prison, convicted of eight historical indecent assaults on women and young girls. Epstein also died in prison. Did he leave behind videos of his guests molesting minors?
A “reformed jewel thief, who uses the pseudonym William Steel, claims the couple made him watch some to prove how they “owned” people”. Made to watch [insert name here] having sex with underage girls? And made not to tell the police? “I saw videos of very powerful people – celebrities, world figures – in those videos having sex, threesomes, even orgies with minors.” So you told the police, right?
“They wanted to impress me and intimidate me. They were so powerful because of who they knew worldwide.”
Fear kept him quiet?
Steel, who stole millions of dollars in art and jewellery across the US, also revealed how Epstein and Maxwell used to buy his stolen goods – even though they were both so wealthy – to give to the girls they were grooming.
He sold it to them out of fear?
“I saw Jeff with a young girl who looked only about 13 or 14 and he had his hand in the back of her shorts. That’s what first got my attention. was so young and he was much older. That’s when I knew that he was dirty.
“I had about 200,000 dollars worth of jewellery that I was getting rid of and later I struck up a conversation with him. He later said the girl he was with was his niece but I called bulls**t on that, telling him I saw what he was doing with her.”
And then you sold him a load of stolen goods and kept quiet – from fear?
It’s a good story. But until we see the videos, it’s just that. Says the Sun: “Steel is now planning to write a book about his experiences with the notorious pair.” With all proceeds going to their alleged victims? Don’t count on it…
Madeleine McCann: a look at reporting on the missing child.
Let’s begin with the Daily Star and its news that Christian Brueckner and the allegation that he kidnapped and murdered Madeleine McCann. He denies the claims. The headline tells us pretty much everything about the case so far: “Madeleine McCann cops ‘may not have concrete evidence she is dead’.” The story begins: “German police may not have “concrete evidence” that Madeleine McCann is dead, it has been claimed.” Claimed by? On June 26, the Sun was adamant:
Now more news on that “concrete evidence”. Meet Mick Neville, a former copper billed as the man who helped create the Met Police’s Central Forensic Image Team in 2012. This new face on the media roster “spent a number of years working with the military police in Germany”. He tells the paper: “A big issue here is the phrase ‘concrete evidence’. The German prosecutor has stated several times that he has concrete evidence that Madeleine is dead. But the meaning has been lost in translation. In English the phrase means ‘irrefutable’ but in German it means ‘reasonable suspicion’ or ‘more than a rumour’. German police need to ensure that there is concrete evidence before they make an arrest – but it not enough to convict [sic].”
Police expert says you need evidence to make an arrest. Who knew? So what did Wolters say? Here he is on Sky News saying in English there “no opportunity she is still alive”:
Wolters later said: “Because there is no forensic evidence there may be a little bit of hope. We don’t want to kill the hope and because there is no forensic evidence it may be possible.”
As the German prosecutors attempt to build a concrete case from sand and water – and the Star searches high and low for a German-English dictionary – the Sun notes, “Christian B allegedly boasted to a pal about performing a sex act in front of a room full of sleeping British girls.” The convicted rapist and paedophile did what? He “told a close friend he crept into a holiday home in Portugal naked and started masturbating. He fled when one of the teens woke up and began to alert her friends, it’s claimed.”
Alleges. Claims. May. May not. In search of facts, the Express peers into a hole: “Madeleine McCann suspect ‘dug out cellar at a second cabin’.” The inclusion of inverted commas alerts readers to the fact that the suspect might not have dug out a cellar in a converted cabin. Reading on, we learn:
The suspect, 43, is said to have had access to an isolated German bungalow beside a vegetable plot for three years before vanishing in April 2016. Residents are now urging police to dig at the site in Braunschweig, northern Germany.
The plot of land is about 50 miles from the allotment near Hanover where police found a hidden chamber during a three-day digging operation this week.
Chilling similarities have emerged as neighbours told how the suspect fell foul of officials at the Braunschweig site after digging a cellar beneath the house without permission.
A friend of the suspect told German television that the suspect had planned to turn the basement of his “garden colony” house into a “cellar dungeon” like that of Josef Fritzl, the Austrian monster who held his daughter prisoner for 24 years.
Another “friend” said his pal wanted to be like the notorious paedophile Josef Fritzl? Where does Brueckner meet his so-called friends? The Mirror hears a witness say:
“Brueckner excavated the floor of the house. He took out the rocks and the earth. He dug a big hole.He carried out the rocks and earth by hand and dumped it out by the front of the house. He put put [sic] planks of wood over the top of the hole. It took him two months to complete. He started in the morning and worked until evening. Doing this work got him in trouble with the authorities in charge the gardens.”
They watched him dig. And the authorities knew about it. And how can this be linked to Madeleine McCann? Says the Mirror:
His first allotment in Hanover was excavated this week. Buildings on the site were demolished in late 2007 or 2008 but the cellar remained hidden. Neighbours told how he set up camp there in 2007 – the year Madeleine disappeared. Neighbours in Braunschweig now believed this site will also be probed by police.
Another owner of an adjoining garden in Braunschweig told reporters how Brueckner never seemed to do any gardening, but instead would work in his shed and spend time with his young girlfriend, Nakscije Miftari.
This was before he suddenly disappeared.
They referred to him as a “strange man” and would occasionally have a beer with him.
Is having beer with him another act of ‘friendship’? The Express picks up the story – and yet again there’s a typo. The Star, Express and Mirror are all owned by Reach plc. Someone there should invest in a sub-editor
Such are the facts.
In the article “Systemic oppression and Wiley”, The Voice, “the only British national black weekly newspaper operating in the United Kingdom”, looks at the musician “banned from all social media platforms for spouting Anti-Semitic views”. The Voice then wonders: “But within his ranting were there any salient points?” The Voice thinks it might be worthwhile seeing if Richard Cowie, aka Wylie, was making an important point when he called Jews the “vilest people in the history of humanity”, invited them to “hold my corn” (The Campaign Against Antisemitism says “hold corn” is slang for “take bullets”), compared Jews to the KKK and said they have too much and too much power. You know, that classic anti-semitic stuff.
Booted off Twitter, Facebook and instagram for his blatant racism, Wiley was invited to speak to Sky News. Why Sky gives him the oxygen of publicity is unusual. But the pick of the media balls is not in the Guardian, which couched Wiley’s words chiefly as a rant about Israel (something that might make anti-Semitism more understandable to the fair and knowing), but in The Voice.
Here are some lowlight from an abysmal article. We hear more from Wiley. And if you want to read it all all you can here. We’ve already heard from him at length.
This is more about how a reputable newspaper came to write this sort of nastiness:
…Wiley is adamant, and he’s not alone in his thinking, that there is an unspoken systemic oppression that blights the lives of young black creatives in the entertainment space.
The Jews, right?
…Grime music’s God Father lambasted the Jewish community for their role in his business dealings over the years.
The Voice understands that some of those tweets are being scrutinised by the police for being tantamount to Anti-Semitism.
Tantamount: Equivalent in seriousness to; virtually the same as. So not actual anti-Semitism. Just sort of the same thing. So why did he say such iffy things?
…some of the views espoused by Wiley are the great unsaid outside of the black community.
“The Great Unsaid”? So he was brave to take on the Jewish masters who (it says here) control everything? And then get a load of this. It reads as though it’s been put through Google Translate. But the message is simple: Wiley says Jews have blacks in a “stranglehold”. Is that a “salient point’?
Putting anything remotely near considered Anti-Semitic to one side of course, in fact out the window in the bin, not too many seem prepared to vocalise their consternation for some of the recurring themes Wiley believes is the stranglehold one community seems to have over another in particular relation but not confined to, the music business.
And now this:
A picture of black people has been sold and fostered through the lens of negativity, misconstrued narrative and misconceptions about who we are, how we do what we do, how we live, work, walk, talk, sing, pray and so and so on.
Jewish communities lay claim to the same disconcerting and often demeaning rhetoric plaguing their existence, so how did Wiley get here?
Unless there’s some or indeed a whole heap of truth in what he is saying, what’s stopping this discussion from being had between ‘them’ and the artists?
There is no way to put this all in one nutshell but the hypothesis that you need to get a Jewish lawyer in order to progress in the music business may be a complete fallacy (I haven’t done the numbers, looking into the correlation in respect of who is and isn’t successful with or without one), but yet it remains.
He might be wrong that you must pay Jews to make a record. Which can be turned around to says, he might be right.
I’ve never seen anyone Jewish refute or confirm this (maybe there was never a need felt to do so), but maybe, it’s a discussion that needs to be had?
Got that? Jews need to explain anti-semitism. Jews need to answer their critics.
It’s easy to see why Wiley riled the Jewish community with his incessant use of the type of terminology that makes it so easy to be targeted for aspects of what he is saying as opposed to the actual substance (and believe me I get how that can happen) but while its clear to me that he is having an internal battle with the team, who have benefitted from his genius and in collaboration as a team elevated to dizzy heights, it’s also clear that he feels stuck in the same circumstances he is pouring scorn upon.
That’s a mainstream newspaper in the UK. these are dangerous times to be a Jew.
Are you “afraid to challenge Traveller culture”? And if you are, what are you afraid of? Writing in the Times, Clare Foges looks at PC Andrew Harper’s killers.
Newly married Andrew Harper was killed by three youths. The facts are: he’d prevented the theft of a quad bike; his feet became entangled in a rope attached to the getaway car; the thieves dragged him behind them for over a mile. Mr Harper, 28, died from catastrophic injuries. Henry Long, 19, Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers admitted conspiracy to steal the bike. At the Old Bailey all three were acquitted of murder. All three were found guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.
Foges has seen the picture of Albert Bowers sticking his tongue out at photographers after appearing at Reading Magistrates’ Court last September, and another of Bowers and Jessie Cole smiling as they left the same hearing. To the adult and sane it was a revolting spectacle.
She says they were “revelling in the attention”. Who were they showing off to? When media calls, media gets its picture. Did the presence of cameras change the mood? And will the media know frame a horrible crime in its terms, and with it take some ownership of the killers and Mr Harper? “When the verdict of manslaughter was handed down the public gallery, packed with their supporters, erupted in cheers,” says Foges. Whether justice has been done is not moot. The jury deliberated for almost two days.
Nasty people have been tried and convicted of a terrible crime. Mr Harper’s family are bereft. Their dignity is commendable. To cost another innocent human being their life is a dreadful, soul-splitting thing. We want the guilty to show remorse and regret. Maybe god will sort them out. Maybe they will realise what they did that night in August 2019 and weep. But nothing will wind the clock back. Nothing will save Andrew Harper. But Foges wants more:
Several reports on this case were careful to brush over certain details. They mentioned that Thames Valley police had raided the Four Houses Caravan Park – but not that the caravan park was a Traveller site, or that these three young men were from the Traveller community. Some may ask if this is relevant. Others may feel that to bring up the men’s background betrays an ugly old prejudice.
If you think their heritage is irrelevant, Foges says you’re wrong. If you suspect her of B, you are again wrong.
It is important to state that it is not communities that commit crimes but individuals. Those convicted are squarely Henry Long, Albert Bowers and Jessie Cole, not thousands of innocent people who share their heritage. Tarring all Travellers with the brush of these men’s callousness is as unfair as tarring all Catholics for paedophile priests or all Muslims for terrorist attacks.
‘Yet…” But what? She says theft is the Long family’s “trade”. Bowers left school at 11. “Their education was in petty crime.” The backstory is directing our thinking. Are the families of the guilty men also on trial? Is their culture in the dock?
The media has the power to transform the rare and local into a national issue. An innocent man is killed by criminals. But now it’s about all of us. Do we really suppose we could be next? Are we living in “fear” of Travellers? How much of the problem is real and now much is perceived?
Such problems do not solely beset Travellers but they are far more prevalent among Traveller communities.
Are they? We were talking about manslaughter. Is that a crime that can be especially linked to Traveller culture? Of course not. But before you can find any facts, Foges tells us that in the pursuit of equality and fairness “we have to end the squeamishness that prevents open talk about Travellers.”
This squeamishness is down to two fears, says Foges – and you might have missed the squirming when you hear the playground taunts ‘pikey’ and ‘gypo’, often issued from adult mouths. The “fears” are:
First, the fear of retribution…The second fear is that of being labelled racist… The fears hush most into silence, and the silence means the stand-off between Travellers and the rest of society continues uneasily.
We must talk about Travellers and crime in the same breath to save society and to save them.
Many feel disquieted to see the mobile homes rolling on to a local beauty spot, a portent too often of littering, mess, anti-social behaviour. Meanwhile those in Traveller communities are hardly “living their best lives”. Travellers die about ten years earlier than the rest of us. They have higher rates of chronic illness. Their suicide rates are six times higher…
You might argue that they choose to live like this, but the babies born into that life don’t.
From the brutal killing of an innocent man we are now talking about littering and spoiling the view. Every offence committed whilst being a Traveller is grouped. Every failure is part of a larger problem for decent society. And when you dig down in search of a solution, the righteous hit f8 on the keyboard and cry: we must do something to save the children. We hear it with calls to end circumcision, because the decent know that ending the Jewish covenant with god is the right thing to do. We hear it whenever the ‘control culture’ spots deviant behaviour. We must burst through the “culturally sensitive force-field” that “exists around Travellers” and save children “abandoned to a fate that should not be tolerated in 21st-century Britain”, says Foges.
Can we see figures for peadophilia among Travellers? Are the children of Travellers “abandoned”? Are their families less close knit, loyal and loving than for other cultures, tribes and religions? And then Foges outlines her plan to save these others: Travellers should stop travelling.
We need a new contract with Travellers. Instead of transience and lives lived in the shadows we must do more to encourage permanence and lives lived in contact with wider society – especially the education system. To achieve this the state must offer carrot as well as stick, not just extra police powers to move camps on but somewhere to go to. Local authorities should be obliged by law to find space for authorised sites. In return for pitches with proper sanitation and energy facilities, each site must have better contact points with the local authorities, particularly schools.
If Travellers are not allowed to travel, what are they? Haven’t they been settled out of existence?
The musician Wiley (MBE for services to music), aka Richard Cowie, is in the news over what the Indy calls “antisemitic social media posts”. Tweets include: “I would challenge the whole world of Jewish community on my own I am not scared I can handle them”; “There are 2 sets of people who nobody has really wanted to challenge #Jewish & #KKK but being in business for 20 years you start to undestand [sic] why … Red Necks Are the KKK and Jewish people are the Law…Work that out.”; “If you work for a company owned by 2 Jewish men and you challenge the Jewish community in anyway of course you will get fired.” In a video reported on by ITV, Wiley says, “crawl out from under your little rocks and defend your Jewish privilege”.
The establishment have loved Wiley. They gave him an MBE. They praised him:
And how did the Press and big brand media respond to Wiley’s recent nastiness? With blinkers on – by making it mostly about Israel. And you know how it’s ok to hate Israel:
Thankfully, some people get it:
You can say what you like about Jews. Anti-semitism is mainstream.
When Harry Dunn died in a road traffic accident by RAF Croughton, Northamptonshire in 2019, his parents were devastated. Harry Dunn was driving his motorbike on the correct side of the road. Harry Dunn was travelling well within the speed limit. The woman driving the car allegedly on the wrong side of the road – the powerful SUV that collided with Harry Dunn – gave police her details. And then that woman fled to the USA. That woman is Anne Sacoolas. She’s a coward.
She could help police with their enquiries into the death of a blameless teenager by retuning to the UK. But she does not. She ran. She runs. But don’t worry. Lessons have been learnt. The “anomaly” that allowed Anne Sacoolas to claim diplomatic immunity has been closed. You may have supposed that an American citizen married to a spook and not privy to diplomatic immunity was not protected by any loophole. You may suppose that Anne Sacaoolas is a coward who could buy a ticket to the UK and help of her own free will.
Anne Sacoolas is protected by privilege not law. She does not speak in public. She does not speak to Harry Dunn’s family. She is a coward who hides behind procedure and channels. But Anne Sacoolas does the right thing, of course. Always the right thing. You do not get a job in the USA’s military unless you do the right thing.
In October 2019, a statement issued on behalf of Mrs Sacoolas told us: “Anne is devastated by this tragic accident. No loss compares to the death of a child and Anne extends her deepest sympathy to Harry Dunn’s family.” Anne Sacoolas has people who speak and double-speak for her. She knows the way things operate. She does things the right and proper way. She says she has helped police and continues to do so. She is an upstanding woman, a pillar of her community. She knows which form is valid and which is not. She knows the system, its departments and how to make things work for her.
Harry Dunn’s parents know their innocent child is dead. They know something went wrong and that it was not his fault. They speak from the heart. Their pain is real. But they do not know which forms to fill in and how to follow correct procedure. Says Charlotte Charles, Harry Dunn’s mother: “We now need Dominic Raab to work with us to make sure that we get her back to the UK to face justice at some point soon.”
The Foreign Secretary is an ambulatory sop. Anne Sacoolas is a coward. Justice may find her guilty of something worse. In December 2019 the Crown Prosecution Service charged Sacoolas with causing death by dangerous driving. The US government will not hand her over. The UK government will not sue for justice. The decision makers say lessons have been learnt. It won’t happen again. Ann Sacoolas lives free in the company of her husband and their children. She continue to do the right thing. She always has done. She complies with the system that protects her.
Change the surname from Dunn to Windsor and imagine if another Harry was lying by the roadside. Harry Dunn was from working-class stock. The US and UK governments have deemed his life to be unworthy of their efforts.
Mr Raab, the Foreign Secretary, says the new arrangements had “closed the anomaly that led to the denial of justice in the heartbreaking case of Harry Dunn”. He says it “won’t bring Harry back” but hoped they may “bring some small measure of comfort” to his family. Imagine your child or brother lying in the road. Watch the woman suspected of having a hand in his death run and hide. Then listen to Raab identify a loophole made of hot air and blow it away. Shameful. Heartbreaking? His heart is broken? Come, come. No emotion needed. Sacoolas is accused of committing a crime. Spare the tears. Deal in facts. That’s what courts do.
“We always live with hope that one day she might just decide of her own accord to put herself on a plane and come back over here,” says Harry Dunn’s mother.
Hope keeps you going. Anne Sacoolas is a coward. The people who protect her are something worse. But they always do the right thing.
Madeleine McCann: a look at reporting on the missing child.
News is that German police have solved the case. Well, they’ve reportedly solved 90% of the mystery as to what happened to Madeleine McCann in 2007. The story of Madeleine McCann has but one thread: child vanishes. A fishing expedition followed her disappearance in 2007, something akin to that scene in the movie Jaws when a flotilla of hapless amateurs and cock-sure professionals head out in search of the big catch. They chuck bait into the waters and pull on a hundred lines. German police on a boat. They can feel something on the other end of their line. Is it a red herring or the murderous predator? They’re reeling it in. We can see 90% of the line. The rest remains hidden.
The Sun and Mail bring news of the nagging 10% hidden from view. German sleuths need evidence to charge Christian Brueckner, the convicted paedophile they suspect kidnapped and murdered Madeleine McCann. He says he’s innocent. German police allege he is not. They need evidence. Is it there, hooked on the end of their line?
Might be worth a look at the source for this story. The Sun explains the story:
The dad of an alleged accomplice says police are close to charging him over her abduction. The father, whose daughter was linked to Christian B during burglaries in Portugal, said: “I was with the police for an hour last month. They said they had 90 per cent solved the case and seemed very confident.”
He added: “They seemed to be very convinced that Christian B was their man.”
No direct word from German police. Although on July 14, the Sun delivered the headline: “MADDIE BETRAYAL Madeleine McCann’s parents’ heartache as German cops prepare to drop investigation.”
The ‘dad’ is Dieter Fehlinger – father of Brueckner’s alleged former lover Nicole Fehlinger. The source for the Mail’s story is the Sun. And that’s it. The fishing continues.
Donald Trump. Discuss. Actually, don’t bother. Forests will be pulped to discuss his presidency. And to get the logs rolling, here’s his niece, Mary Trump (born 1965), profiled in the Guardian. Her new book about Uncle Donald is out there now.
Mary Trump has given numerous interviews this week after being released from a temporary restraining order.
In an interview with the Washington Post, released Thursday, she described the president as “clearly racist”, and linked it to her wider family’s “knee-jerk anti-Semitism, a knee-jerk racism”.
“Growing up, it was sort of normal to hear them use the n-word or use anti-Semitic expressions,” she told the Post.
Racism and racist language were pretty routine in the 60s and 70s, when Mary Trump was growing up.
Spotter: The Guardian
Versed in double-speak and other rhetorical tricks to say not what you really think and leave people to use your words to fit their own agendas, we read what Donald Trump had to say about the alleged murder of George Floyd and police violence. The Guardian heard the President’s words and produced the headline: “Trump twists stats on police brutality: ‘more white people’ are killed.”
In an echo of his comments on white nationalist marchers and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, when he said there were “fine people on both sides”, the president did not take the opportunity to talk about the problem of racially motivated police brutality on Tuesday, but switched to talk about white victims.
He then inaccurately argued that white Americans are dying more often at the hands of police than Black Americans.
He was entirely accurate. The man’s an arsehat and an alleged racist. But what he said was not inaccurate. Here’s the exchange:
CBS News’ Catherine Herridge: “Let’s talk about George Floyd, you said George Floyd’s death was a terrible thing.”
Herridge: “Why are African Americans still dying at the hands of law enforcement?”
Trump: “And so are white people. So are white people. What a terrible question to ask. So are white people. More white people by the way. More white people.”
What he said was true. He did not address the clear and obvious inference being about the increased risk to your health of being American Whilst Black. The Guardian states later in the article: “Black Americans are up to 3.5 times as likely to be killed by law enforcement”, according to research in 2018 by the American Journal of Public Health. The paper adds that a “2016 analysis by the Washington Post also found that African Americans are 2.5 times as likely to be shot and killed by police offers as white Americans.” The story is about the rate of killing. Trump talked about finite numbers. There’s a difference.
More white people than black people are killed by US police. There are more white people in the USA. The President is not “inaccurate”. The story of police violence is in two parts: why do US police kill so many people?; why are US police more likely to kill a black man than a white man? Trump evades the second part and jumps on the first part.
Says the Guardian: “Trump’s claim about more white people being killed by police in the US is misleading.” As is the Guardian’s headline.
Bad news in journalism as Guardian Media Group announced plans to let go 12% of its workforce. That’s 180 jobs, with 70 of those in editorial. The Guardian’s Saturday edition will be hit hard, with The Guide, Weekend, Review and Travel axed. The Press Gazette looks at the numbers:
The news came as Guardian Media Group published its financial results for the 12 months to 29 March… GMG reported a pre-tax loss of £36.8m versus a pre-tax profit of £31m the previous year. It made an operating loss of £17.5m versus an operating loss of £16.6m a year earlier.
Editor Kath Viner, who earned a 5% pay rise, saw her total pay and benefits for the last financial year rise to £391,000.
…outgoing chief executive David Pemsel received a pay-off of £184,275 when he left the company on 2 December last year. His successor, Annette Thomas, has the same salary: £630,000.
A statement published on the newspaper’s website tells readers:
The editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner, and the Guardian Media Group chief executive, Annette Thomas, said in a joint statement to staff that the pandemic had created an “unsustainable financial outlook for the Guardian” with revenues expected to be down by more than £25m on the year’s budget.
They said Guardian Media Group, the parent company of the Guardian and the Observer, was facing “unsustainable annual losses in future years unless we take decisive action” to reduce costs.
Viner and Thomas said they remained committed to keeping the Guardian free-to-read and not following the paywall model adopted by many rivals. Instead, they will concentrate on the Guardian’s digital growth and focus on its reader revenue model.
The Guardian ends every story with a call for a donation. What are you donating to – and does the chief executive need it?
Image: King George V being asked for spare change, 1920s.
Ruth Ellis achieved was the last woman to be hanged in the United Kingdom. Convicted of the murder of her lover, David Blakely, Ruth Ellis was hanged on 13 July 1955 at HMP Holloway, London. Writing in the Daily Mirror, Cassandra looked at the grotesque spectacle that shamed a nation:
On a helicopter flight to a North Sea oil rig I noticed that fellow travellers had their hands pressed on their harnesses’ quick release buttons pretty much throughout the journey. Experienced rough necks let the less experienced passengers sit in the middle seats. The clear message was that helicopter travel is dangerous and you plan your escape route before boarding. So how do you feel about flying in a counterfeit helicopter made in Modolva by criminals?
The Moldovan General Prosecutor’s Office says it located a camouflaged factory allegedly manufacturing fake ‘copters. The 10 machines were discovered “in various states of assembly” east of Moldova’s capital Chișinău and close to the border with the breakaway region of Transnistria.
Who were the customers for the Russian Ka-26 fakes is not yet known. But you know that tank / warship / submarine you bought? Best check the guarantee.
RIP Jackie Charlton. Stalwart of the mighty Leeds United, a World Cup winner with England in 1966, leader of the raucous Green Army when he took the Republic of Ireland into Italia ’90, defying the odds and making a country believe that maybe – just maybe – they could do it, and all-round good bloke. He gave many people a lot of joy. So how to pay tribute to the ‘Big Giraffe’?
Virtually all the newspaper front pages lead with a picture of ‘Our Jackie’. “Forever a hero,”says the Sunday Telegraph. And for millions of us who love football he was. Americans love football too. Well, the marketing says they do. This is how CNN hails the great player and manager:
If only there was something out there, some kind of electronic database, perhaps, where a US researcher could working for the news station of record could find out what the figure dominating the headlines did.