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News | Anorak - Part 3

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Spurs relinquish title of world’s greediest football club

Tottenham will not be milking the State, taking advantage of the government’s furlough scheme for some non-playing staff during the coronavirus crisis. Following Liverpool’s belated relation that a corporation, sorry, football club, owned by a billionaire that makes millions in profits should not be seen to be so greedy, Spurs have seen the light. Says the Spurs chairman (pay: £7m a year):

“We regret any concern caused during an anxious time and hope the work our supporters will see us doing in the coming weeks, as our stadium takes on a whole new purpose, will make them proud of their club.”

More marketing guff dressed up as sport every day….

As for what the new Spurs stadium will be without football, how about a toilet paper silo?

Posted: 13th, April 2020 | In: Money, News, Sports, Spurs | Comment


Prince William says Britain is ‘best’ in a crisis and coronavirus is media hype

Prince William coronavirus
Smile and wave, just smile and wave

Prince William says Britain is “at its best” when people are suffering. How he knows this is moot. “I think Britain is at its best, weirdly, when we’re in a crisis,” says Wills. “We all pull together and that community spirit and that community feel comes rushing back quicker than anything else.” A week earlier, Wills, who belongs to the very rich landed community, was at a reception at Guinness Storehouse. He told a medic: “Does it seem quite dramatic about coronavirus at the moment? Is it being a little bit hyped up, do you think, in the media?”

It’s he kind of bone-headed comment that gets people’s backs up.

Smile and wave, Will, stick to the smile and wave…

Posted: 13th, April 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family | Comment


No-one is crossing Abbey Road – live cam

Abbey Road cam

The Coronavirus is keeping traffic flowing on Abbey Road, London. The EarthCam, affiliated to Abbey Road Studios, delivers a live view of the zebra crossing at Abbey Road, the one the Beatles strolled over in 1969.

You can keep abreast of nothing happening here in St. John’s Wood here.

Posted: 13th, April 2020 | In: News | Comment


Ross Kemp saves the nation by pulling on PPE and strolling through an intensive care ward treating coronavirus patients

By now you’ll be wondering what Grant Mitchell, aka Ross Kemp, is up to? Have pretended to be a soldier on EastEnders, the BBC’s fly-on-the-wall documentary on London life, fearless, selfless Ross Kemp now goes to war against the coronavirus in Milton Keynes.

Ross Kemp is real. No-one bothered to make him up.

Posted: 12th, April 2020 | In: Celebrities, News | Comment


The Government Coronavirus advice vs Cards Against Humanity

coronavirus

Lots of us got the Government’s letter telling us to stay indoors for at least 12 weeks and protect the NHS. Amy Allen had updated the missive with a a few rounds of Cards Against Humanity, “a party game for horrible people”. The game simple: “Each round, one player asks a question from a black card, and everyone else answers with their funniest white card.”

Cards Against Humanity coronavirus
Cards Against Humanity coronavirus
Cards Against Humanity coronavirus
Cards Against Humanity coronavirus

Spotter: Amy Allen

Posted: 12th, April 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, The Consumer | Comment


Cambridge police patrol the aisles at Tesco supermarket

Cambridge police coronavirus

A tweet from the Cambridge police force aka twitter’s ‘Cambridge Cops’: “Officers visited Tesco Barhill this morning as part of their patrols around supermarkets and green spaces this weekend. Good to see everyone was abiding by social distancing measures and the non essential aisles were empty. #1732”

File under: essential policing.

Update: the Cambridge Cops have deleted their tweet.

Posted: 10th, April 2020 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment


Forget Coronavirus and let’s all hate Robert Jenrick

Robert Jenrick

Meet Robert Jenrick. He’s one of those Tory ministers from central casting. He is (checks facts) the Communities Secretary. Jenrick’s on the front pages of the Mail, Guardian and Telegraph because he allegedly twice broke government restrictions to help to stop the spread of coronavirus. The papers says Jenrick broke the rules on only moving for essential reasons by motoring from London to a second home in Herefordshire. He then made a trip to see his mum and dad 40 miles away in Shrophire. This we know because someone apparently saw him and grassed him up to the Guardian. Jenrick says he did nothing wrong. He tweets:

For clarity – my parents asked me to deliver some essentials – including medicines. They are both self-isolating due to age and my father’s medical condition and I respected social distancing rules.

https://twitter.com/RobertJenrick?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

Having helped the aged, he also helped the young. The Mail says that his country pad is his “family home”; his family travelled there “before any restrictions on travel were announced”; and: “I have been working in London on ministerial duties, putting in place the system to shield the group most vulnerable to coronavirus and organising the response at a local level. Once I was able to work from home it was right that I went home to do so and be with my wife and also help care for my three young children.”

The Guardian says Jenrick’s second home is worth £1.2m, which depending on your agenda either inspires envy (rich basta…) or understanding (why have such a lovely home if you can’t live in it?) The paper also finds room to quote former Tory minister Anna Soubry, who says Jenrick is guilty of “selfish arrogance”, which might be tautological, and Steve Reed, Labour’s new communities spokesman, who says Jenrick should think about resigning.

But hold on. The Mail says his London home is worth £2.5m. So it might be around twice as good as the country home. Or not. The Mail adds: “Mr Jenrick insisted Eye Manor in Herefordshire, built by an 18th century slave trader, is seen as the family home, rather than their house in Westminster, despite needing to be there most of the week for his work.” And: “Mr Jenrick, who has a £2,000-a-month taxpayer funded third home in his Newark constituency, said last night he considers the Herefordshire property to be the family home.” In 2014, the Mail claimed Jenrick also owned a second London property worth £2m.

Maybe Jenrick just became confused about his properties? But no. His statement is clear. He is innocent. And who are we to disprove it. We live in straightened times when there are calls for an MP to lose his job because he’s a loyal family man. Can’t at least one of them house a brothel or a secret family?

Posted: 10th, April 2020 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


RIP the great American artist Mort Drucker

Mort Drucker

Like many of you, I grew up reading MAD magazine and enjoying the famed getting lampooned. Mort Drucker drew much of the magazine’s best artwork. He died this week aged 91. Why did he draw? Because he had to. As he put it: “My mother told me that when the doctor was delivering me I did a caricature of him on my way out.”

Posted: 10th, April 2020 | In: News, The Consumer | Comment


Northants police : we will check your shopping trolley – just not yet

Northants police : we will check your shopping trolley - just not yet

Northants Police go on the record: “To clarify some suggestions made in the media, we absolutely will NOT be searching people’s shopping trolleys – at this stage.”

Not “at this stage”. But when they do, we won’t be under any illusion that they will set up road blocks, martial our supermarkets and check the items in baskets and trollies.

First they came for my Pringles…

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


Coronavirus: Mrs Michael Gove checks Boris Johnson’s prostate in the Mail

Writing in the Daily Mail, Mrs Michael Gove, aka Sarah Vine, looks at the health of Boris Johnson and other leading politicians. The Prime Minister is very unwell with the coronavirus Covid-19. We wish him a speedy and full recovery. Says Vine:

Boris Johnson
Sarah Vine

Adding: “…there is something about Boris’s predicament and that of his family that brings us, as a nation of strangers, closer together. Boris is us, and we are Boris.”

Michael Gove is a British MP who has been Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster since July 2019 and Minister for the Cabinet Office since February 2020.

Spotter: @brokenbottleboy

Posted: 9th, April 2020 | In: News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment


Jewish Chronicle newspaper goes bust

Jewish Chronicle newspaper goes bust

The Jewish Chronicle, aka The JC, is seeking a creditors voluntary liquidation of Jewish Chronicle Newspapers Ltd. The oldest continuously published Jewish newspaper in the world has gone bust. It was once part of every British Jew’s life, an integral part of things that Jews did.

The paper says (on its website, natch.):

Despite the heroic efforts of the editorial and production team at the newspaper, it has become clear that the Jewish Chronicle will not be able to survive the impact of the current coronavirus epidemic in its current form.

The liquidation is expected to be finalised in the coming 2 to 3 weeks and every effort will be made to ensure that the paper continues to be published over this period and the website continues to provide regular updates.

The Kessler Foundation, owners of the Jewish Chronicle, are actively working to secure a future for the Jewish Chronicle after the liquidation. Further announcements regarding this will be made in the coming days.

One problem for the JC is that you can get the Israel news anywhere on the web. And thumbnail pics of so-and-so’s Bar Mitzvah now live on an Instagram Page. And why pay for something you can get for free on the web? Where’s the added value?

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


Manchester United plan to use coronavirus to get players on the cheap

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer  coronavirus

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems like a decent bloke. But today the Mail tells us that the Manchester United manager has promised to behave with all the morals of, well, Spurs. “Ole Gunnar Solskjaer warns rivals that Manchester United will ‘exploit’ the coronavirus mayhem to poach top stars when football returns, with Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish firmly in his sights,” says the Mail. In times of crisis the richest clean up. The story beings:

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is confident Manchester United can ‘exploit’ the mayhem caused by coronavirus to secure their summer transfer targets. The United manager believes some clubs need to offload players after taking a financial hit during the crisis and it could work in their favour.

Here’s what he told Sky Sports (which might like to refund their customers a few quid owing to the lack of football):

“Football is going to get back to normality at one point, and it’s very important we’re ready when that happens. We want to be the best at everything, and of course now is a chance to spend more time, you discuss players, discuss plans, we’ve evaluated what we need, of course with the coaching staff we’ve looked at games, evaluated games, discussing on video calls like this.” Asked whether United can exploit the market when football returns, Solskjaer said: “Then, the market, who knows how the market is going to react to this? Who knows which clubs need to sell players? There might be just a situation there where you can exploit, and I know that we at Man United, we are one of the biggest, and financially well off. I’m sure we are capable, when we get back to normality, that we can do the business that we want to.”

Charming. So much for the ‘football family’. Manchester United is just another big business driven by greed.

Posted: 8th, April 2020 | In: manchester united, News, Sports | Comment


Bonds and demand: Guardian get it wrong

In a story on the global bond market’s response to coronavirus, the Guardian tells its readers: “The global bond markets, which handle hundreds of billions of trades every day, are where governments and companies go to borrow funds from investors.” There are not hundreds of billions of trades in bonds every day. The hundreds of billions is the value of the bonds being traded not the number of trades.

We’re then told:

At the outset of the Covid-19 outbreak, bond markets froze as investors panic bought highly rated government bonds and the number of sellers shrank.

The US Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan and the European Central bank, which oversee the largest debt markets, stepped in to expand the number of bonds on offer and promised to meet demand while the crisis continued.

Demand has been supported by the Bank of England’s pledge to “create” £200bn of electronic funds to purchase more bonds as part of its quantitative easing programme, adding to the £435bn of assets on its balance sheet.

That’s not supporting demand. That’s meeting demand by enlarging supply.

As for the US, Bnaron’s notes:

“We have no idea how long this will be,” said Yousef Abbasi, global market strategist for U.S. institutional equities at INTL FCStone said. “Right now, fundamentals don’t matter because there is very little clarity as to when the economy can restart — and depending on how long this goes — what the economy will look like when it does restart.”

These uncertainties aside, there are several indicators that bolster the case that a recovery for the stock market may have begun, said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors.

“The severe indiscriminate selling we saw prior to last week has abated,” he said, noting that through last Monday, nearly every asset class, including gold, U.S. Treasury bonds and stocks were being sold off. “It was that classic capitulation move to cash,” whereas in more recent sessions, bonds have rallied when stocks retreated and vice-versa, typical of normal behavior in financial markets.

Cash is king.

Posted: 8th, April 2020 | In: Money, News | Comment


John Prine sings Sam Stone

John Prine sings Sam Stone

Chicago folk musician John Prine (10 October 1946 – 7 April 2020) recorded Sam Stone “to say something about our soldiers who’d go over to Vietnam, killing people and not knowing why you were there”. He told Rolling Stone in 2018: “And then a lot of soldiers came home and got hooked on drugs and never could get off of it. I was just trying to think of something as hopeless as that. My mind went right to ‘Jesus Christ died for nothin’, I suppose.’ I said, ‘That’s pretty hopeless.’” Sam Stone was voted the 8th saddest song of all time in a Rolling Stone readers’ poll. It’s beautiful:

Posted: 8th, April 2020 | In: Music, News | Comment


Liverpool back down leaving Spurs to win title of world’s greediest football club

Liverpool have listened to the fans and media who decried their decision to place some non-playing staff on temporary leave and take advantage of the Government’s furlough scheme to let the taxpayer pay 80% of their wages. Liverpool – owned by a billionaire and posting profits last season of £43m – will muddle along some how. Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Bournemouth and Norwich City are sticking with their plans to furlough some non-playing staff. Bournemouth and Norwich are not big clubs. Newcastle are a basket case. But Spurs with that swanky new stadium and billionaire owner can afford it, surely? With Liverpool no longer doing the wrong thing, Spurs might be the world’s greediest football club. Finally, they win something.

Posted: 7th, April 2020 | In: Liverpool, Money, News, Sports, Spurs | Comment


China is ground zero for a pandemic – 2017 article alerts us to Coronavirus

In November 2017, Smithsonian magazine article published the article “Is China Ground Zero for a Future Pandemic?” Usually I’d to defer Betteridge’s law of headlines, an adage that states: “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.” But let’s see what we were told:

At least two flu pandemics in the past century—in 1957 and 1968—originated in the Middle Kingdom and were triggered by avian viruses that evolved to become easily transmissible between humans. Although health authorities have increasingly tried to ban the practice, millions of live birds are still kept, sold and slaughtered in crowded markets each year. In a study published in January, researchers in China concluded that these markets were a “main source of H7N9 transmission by way of human-poultry contact and avian-related environmental exposures”…

China is uniquely positioned to create a novel flu virus that kills people. On Chinese farms, people, poultry and other livestock often live in close proximity. Pigs can be infected by both bird flu and human flu viruses, becoming potent “mixing vessels” that allow genetic material from each to combine and possibly form new and deadly strains. The public’s taste for freshly killed meat, and the conditions at live markets, create ample opportunity for humans to come in contact with these new mutations….

Despite such shortcomings, Western experts say Chinese officials have come a long way since their wobbly handling of the 2002 outbreak of SARS, the severe respiratory disease caused by a previously unknown coronavirus; Chinese apparatchiks initially tried to cover up the epidemic, creating a worldwide scandal.

Do we trust China over coronavirus?

Posted: 6th, April 2020 | In: News | Comment


Brighton copper puts out coronavirus barbecue with helmet full of seawater

No need for police to follow smoke signals. The barbecuers are pretty easy to spot:

Meanwhile… in Peckham, London:

Posted: 6th, April 2020 | In: News | Comment


New York City tiger has coronavirus – avoid tigers

tiger

To the Bronx Zoo in New York City, where a tiger has tested positive for Coronavirus. Yeah,. How come they test tigers before humans? This news comes from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which operates the zoo, and announced the sick tigers tory in a press release. “Nadia, a 4-year-old female Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo, has tested positive for COVID-19. She, her sister Azul, two Amur tigers, and three African lions had developed a dry cough and all are expected to recover,” the WCS said in a statement.

How did they get it? “Our cats were infected by a person caring for them who was asymptomatically infected with the virus or before that person developed symptoms,” the statement adds.

The advice is to avoid tigers in New York. And if you’re in Wuhan, make sure they’re cooked through.

Posted: 6th, April 2020 | In: News | Comment


Manchester City’s Kyle Walker is not a role model – he’s just a gilded bellend

Kyle Walker

“I want to take this opportunity to issue a public apology for the choices I made last week,” says Manchester City and England footballer Kyle Walker. “I understand that my ­position as a professional footballer brings the responsibility of being a role model.” No, Kyle, it really doesn’t. Your responsibility is to your employer and maybe your children, more of whom later.

Walker guffed out that apology after the Sun reported he’d allegedly hired two prostitutes to service him and a pal in his rented home a day before telling others how to fight the coronavirus. “Stay indoors, keep washing your hands, keep following the protocols and just protect the NHS,” said Walker. “It’s been tough, but first and foremost, we have to think about other people’s health and protecting the elderly and family members that can spread it.”

If Kyle is the role model he claims to be, right now thousands of his fans are pulling on gold-coloured Shine condoms and paying £2,200 in cash for on-the-clock sex with “classy” escort Louise McNamara, 21, and “a 24-year-old ­Brazilian call girl”. Although prices for both might have increased now they have scored a celebrity endorsement, men who wash their hands like Kyle and look to him for moral and medical guidance will be cracking open their piggybanks and gilding their knobs. Says Louise: “I didn’t know who he was at the time. But I took a few photos of him.” Thoughtfully, she shares them in the Sun.

Other things you can do to be like “role model” Kyle Walker, are, as the Sun also reports, to “split from long-term girlfriend Annie Kilner” after getting “model Lauryn Goodman pregnant”. Kyle is father to Annie’s three sons. He’s their role model.

Posted: 5th, April 2020 | In: Manchester City, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Coronavirus: Queen urges ‘self-discipline and resolve’ – Prince Andrew leads by example

Queen coronavirus
The Queen during The International Driving Grand Prix at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.

Her Majesty the Queen says to endure the coronavirus crisis we need “self-discipline and resolve”. Prince Andrew, how has been self-isolating from Royal duties and the FBI leads by example.

“I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time,” says Her Maj. “A time of disruption in the life of our country: a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many, and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all. And those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any. That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humoured resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterise this country.”

Anyone feeling trapped, vulnerable and isolated should not try to track down Andrew for company, should he be staying on a billionaire’s private island, which he isn’t, and call 0800PrincessDiana and ask for Squidgy.

Posted: 5th, April 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family | Comment


Marie Dinou: Woman arrested and fined under coronavirus laws for committing no crime

When police approached Marie Dinou, 41, and asked her why she was at Newcastle Central Station “loitering between platforms” she didn’t want to speak with them. They wanted her name, address and reasons for travel. She was not obliged to tell them anything. But the police do not listen. They tell. So they arrested her and carted her off to the station.

Charged with an offence under the Coronavirus Act 2020, meant to deal with “potentially infectious persons”, a non-infected Marie Dinou was summoned to appear at North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court. She refused to leave her cell, where she’d been held for 48 hours. A district judge thought it legal, fair and proper to fine Dinou £660 and order her to pay a £66 victim surcharge and £85 in costs. “Defendant refuses to identify herself, sent back to cells and proved in absence,” runs the ruling.

“Officers approached Dinou and engaged with her in an attempt to understand her reasons for essential travel, but following several more attempts by officers to explain and encourage she refused to speak to officers,” says a spokesperson for British Transport Police. “Having explored all options, Dinou was arrested on suspicion of breaching the restrictions imposed under the Coronavirus Act 2020.”

Assistant Chief Constable Sean O’Callaghan chimed: “Enforcement of any sort under the new regulations really is a last resort, especially arrest. In this case, officers tried their upmost best to engage with Dinou. I can assure you we would much rather not have to take such action. We strongly urge the public to do the right thing and help us save lives by staying at home and slowing the spread of the virus.”

Dinou. Not Ms Dinou. Respect is a two-way street. But the law is clear.

British Transport Police (BTP) now realise they made an error. In cahoots with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) they “established that Marie Dinou was charged under the incorrect section of the Coronavirus Act 2020”. In other words: she was doing nothing wrong, had done nothing wrong but was nicked, judged and fined. “Having reassessed the matter, BTP will not pursue any alternative prosecution,” a spokesperson tells the Indy.

Deputy Chief Constable Adrian Hanstock goes on the record: “There will be understandable concern that our interpretation of this new legislation has r esulted in an ineffective prosecution.This was in circumstances where officers were properly dealing with someone who was behaving suspiciously in the station, and who staff believed to be travelling without a valid ticket. Officers were rightfully challenging her unnecessary travel. Regardless, we fully accept that this shouldn’t have happened and we apologise. It is highly unusual that a case can pass through a number of controls in the criminal justice process and fail in this way.”

“Regardless…” Marie Dinou committed no offence. The police nicked her for a crime that does not exist. But “regardless…” says the copper. Carry on regardless…

Posted: 4th, April 2020 | In: News | Comment


Prince Charles and his faceless friend open the Nightingale hospital for Coronavirus

Prince Charles Nightingale hospital

When Prince Charles opened the Nightingale Hospital in London that will deal with coronavirus patients Richard Little noticed something behind him. There on the dressing table was a framed photo of a ghost. Or is it a smudge? What or who is it?

Prince Charles Nightingale hospita

Richard and Twitter got to work:

Cilla Black By @ReactionsTo2023

Rod Hull @ReactionsTo2023
By @raghard

Posted: 4th, April 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family | Comment


Trump updates The Strategic National Stockpile for Coronavirus: ‘we don’t have enough medical supplies’

The Trump administration has changed the language on the ‘Strategic National Stockpile’ on an HHS website. The Public Health Emergency squad is underfunded. What they previously told you about things before coronavirus happened was wishful at best and bullshit at worst:

Strategic National Stockpile
Before
Strategic National Stockpile
After

Spotter: @aaronblake

Posted: 3rd, April 2020 | In: News | Comment


Eddie Large died with Coronavirus not from it

Eddie Large died “with” Coronavirus, says the BBC. The entertainer, one half of the Little and Large comedy duo, contracted the virus in hospital. He had been suffering with heart failure. So how does the Mirror report on the death of the 78-year-old? Not well. Eddie Large’s death is presented as part of the “Coronavirus Crisis”. “Eddie’s heart wasn’t strong enough to fight the virus.” But the virus didn’t kill him.

Eddie Large coronavirus tabloids

Eddie Large was not killed by Covid-19. Well, not unless you read about his death in the Mirror:

Eddie Large coronavirus

The Mail says Eddie Large “death in hospital from coronavirus while being treated for heart failure”. It adds: “Mr Large, who was famous for his singing and impressions, is the most famous Briton to be killed by coronavirus, which has now claimed almost 3,000 lives in the UK with deaths hitting 500-a-day.” Deep into the story we’re told: “The father of three had a successful heart transplant in 2003 – but it appears that the organ began to fail before his death, leading to his hospital admission in Bristol.”

The Sun notes: “The comedian had been suffering with heart failure and contracted the deadly virus in hospital.” To say nothing of heart failure being deadly, which it doesn’t.

Eddie Large’s son, Ryan McGinnis, wrote on Facebook:

“It is with great sadness that Mum and I need to announce that my dad passed away in the early hours of this morning. He had been suffering with heart failure and unfortunately, whilst in hospital, contracted the coronavirus, which his heart was sadly not strong enough to fight. Dad had fought bravely for so long. Due to this horrible disease we had been unable to visit him at the hospital but all of the family and close friends spoke to him every day. We will miss him terribly and we are so proud of everything he achieved in his career with Syd and know that he was much loved by the millions that watched them each week.”

Eddie Large: Edward Hugh McGinnis (25 June 1941 – 2 April 2020).

Posted: 3rd, April 2020 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment


Bernie Ecclestone fathers child at 89

Benie Eccelstone 89 dad

Formula 1 action figure Bernie Ecclestone is to be a father again at just 89 years young. Is he doing it to distract attention for the fact that his wife is so much teller than he is? People will talk about the age and the baby but not the height. Should size even matter? Of course not. But you noticed it, all the same. There is certain comic element to Bernie being towered over by the willowy Fabian Flosi, 44. We give the ages – and can gasp at the gap – but not the height difference, which is more obvious.

Posted: 3rd, April 2020 | In: News | Comment