News | Anorak - Part 4

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Manchester United: medics investigated for prying into Alex Ferguson’s medical records

Can it be that the joy of spotting a famous face is not confined to the well? I’m talking not of grave hunting, rather of the two medics and a senior hospital consultant under investigation for allegedly and illegally spying into former Manchester United manger Sir Alex Ferguson’s medical records. At the time, Fergie was very ill in hospital with a brain haemorrhage.

The matter appears to be founded on fact because the Sunday Times says the hospital has “apologised unreservedly to the patient and their family”.

Dr Chris Brookes, chief medical officer for the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group, which runs Salford Royal where Ferguson  was treated, tell media: “Investigations are ongoing to determine if the individuals have accessed a patient’s record electronically without a clinical requirement or authorisation to do so.” If found guilty, they could be struck off.

You wonder what they were looking for? The paper says the alleged prying was born of “personal curiosity”. And we can forgive that, can’t we? We all like a sneaky gawp at the famous.

Posted: 2nd, December 2018 | In: manchester united, News, Sports | Comment

Poo found on every McDonald’s touchscreen tested

McDonalds poo


Is McDonald’s chasing the authentic farm-to-table experience by smearing poo on its touchscreen monitors, Touch. Inhale. And in an instant you’re cow-side at the farm. Metro reports on findings by the London Metropolitan University whose researchers found fecal matter on every touchscreen they tested across eight different McDonald’s restaurants – six in London and two in Birmingham. On all screens the researchers found coliforms – bacteria found in digestive tracts and turds. 

Paul Matewele, a microbiology lecturer at London Metropolitan University, is quoted: “Touchscreen technology is being used more and more in our daily lives but these results show people should not eat food straight after touching them. They are unhygienic and can spread disease. Someone can be very careful about their own hygiene throughout the day but it could all be undone by using a touchscreen machine once.”

No proof that it has. But the theory is there. Maybe McDonald’s customers should be sheep-dipped on entry and exit? And is eight screens a big test? Surely not. McDonald’s operates approximately 1300 restaurants in the UK of which around 1100 are franchised. The Metro doesn’t say who owns the eateries the researchers checked. McDonald’s says it said cleans the self-order screens throughout the day. Sadly it doesn’t clean its patrons. 

This research is thinner than, well, anyone who eats at a McDonald’s. The fact is that anywhere where people touch things without first washing their hands thoroughly present a risk of contamination. Why else do you think Ronald McDonald wears gloves? 


Posted: 1st, December 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, The Consumer | Comment

Loving Jamal: the righteous use bullied Syrian refugee to showcase their moral superiority

syria bully huddersfield


Just when you thought the story could reach no higher, Theresa May sees the video of Syrian refugee Jamal being assaulted in the playground of his Huddersfield school and declares the outpouring of sympathy and cash for the lad “the best of British”. She didn’t say this to an aide or to husband Phil when putting the bins out. She took a break at the G20 summit in Argentina to opine:  “I thought it was absolutely terrible … what (he) went through. Our thoughts are with him. But I think if you look at what happened, the real spirit of Britain came in the response of the British people to that incident. As you say, most people were sickened and angered by it. The huge response of support … that we have seen from the British people shows our true spirit and shows we are a welcoming people.” In attendance at the huge meeting of global leaders, the subject at the forefront of May’s working brain is Jamal. Why?

We already know the UK is a welcoming place for refugees. One yob behaving horribly doesn’t change that. Jamal and his  family arrived in the country from war-ravaged Homs in 2010. They were housed in a three-bedroom home in Almondbury on the outskirts of Huddersfield. They were placed with thought. The town has a “higher than average number of residents from ethnic minorities. The largest (making up nearly 16 per cent of the population) describe themselves as Asian. Around 100 Syrian refugees, in particular, ended up in the Huddersfield area.”

What the Prime Minister means, of course, is that the teenager can be adopted as a cause by the right-minded to cement their authority and scare us into submission. We’re told the bully has prejudices, but what of May’s bias? Refugees being beaten up at school will not be tolerated. We know that. The school has expelled Jamal’s attacker and other bullies. It’s the incident’s rareness that makes it newsworthy. But the moral message is what the elites enjoy: stay vigilant lest we all become Jamal, they tell us. The matter has not yet reached the UN but give it time. The contest to see who can shout “I’m not a racist” loudest is well underway. 

From BBC DJs and TV presenters to a voracious press desperate for a cause, MPs, the far-Right and vested-interest groups, the nasty teenage twat pulling a smaller teenage boy to the floor and squirting water in his face has become a warning to us all. May’s not talking about Jamal’s “terrible”experiences in Syria, where death gangs stalk the streets and skies; she’s talking about the terror in a school playground in West Yorkshire. One is bit easier to deal with. 

The Sun recognises the hyperbole driving the story and seeks to give it some more solid ground, telling readers Jamal did not merely have water squired in his face – he was “waterboarded”. Also, “bullies allegedly pelted him with eggs and set his hair on fire”. Jamal made the claims in an email to Kirklees councillor Bernard McGuin. It was, says the Mail, a “Cry for help that shames Britain.” But was he waterboarded, you know, like the US military does to detainees in the War on Terror? Jamal was attacked by a violent knob end. But tortured? And is one 16-year-old berk more shameful than selling bombs to Saudi Arabia so it can bomb the hell out of Yemen? 

Jamal seems to want things to end. “I am very concerned about the violent comments going out on social media about the bully,” he says. “I don’t want anything terrible to happen to him at all. I just don’t want anything bad to happen to anyone.” The scrote’s ok. He’s “fled the country“. 

But the story’s not about the bully. It’s not about Jamal, not as an individual. It’s about those who know best, the people who see in the white woking class a race riot-in-waiting. The 16-year-old bellend morphed into the exemplar of the prejudiced underclass. It’s not only the bully who wants a piece of Jamal. Did the knowing high-five when the video went viral, allowing them to use Jamal to showcase their goodness through annihilating inferior humans? Surely they did. 

Posted: 1st, December 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment

Huddersfield Bully: Jamal says thanks as bigots feed on his story

Jamal huddersfield


Jamal, the 15-year-old Syrian boy allegedly attacked by a school bully, is grateful for £130,000 raised by well-wishers to help his family. Yesterday he appeared at a protest outside his school organised by the Huddersfield Pakistani Alliance. Jamal was at the school with his father to thank members of the public who had donated money. The cash will allow the family who fled Homs in 2010 to leave West Yorkshire and begin a new life. 

Mirban Aslam, 41, who organised the school protest, is quoted in the Times. He says the “system” had failed Jamal and his family. “What other issues have this family and others faced, is there others across the country?” he asked. But it only took a few days from the video of the alleged assault going viral for the police to get stuck in. As for “other issues”, well, why speculate? Guessing and filling in the blanks is a dangerous game. MPs and BBC personalities have waded into the playground spat. Agendas and prejudices are piggy-backing on a minor incident. 



syria bbc huddersfield

The BBC’s Andrew Neil says the playground row “shames our country”



As soon as the Mail introduced the name Tommy Robinson into the story – the paper claims the 16-year-old who’d allegedly attacked Jamal had liked the former EDL leader’s videos (so what? – the BBC also considers his opinions worth listening to) – it wouldn’t be long before the rabble rouser rocked up. The Times looks at where speculation and monocular ‘journalism’ can get you:

Tommy Robinson, the former English Defence League leader, defended the 16-year-old boy accused of attacking Jamal and claimed that the Syrian boy had attacked two schoolgirls.

That claim is bunkum. But then – get this – a playground row between a teenage twat and a Syrian refugee goes to the heart of the nation and our politics. Yeah, really. The Times makes links:

John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, called on Labour supporters and “anyone who cares about the future of our country” to join a Momentum demonstration in London on Sunday to oppose Robinson and other far-right figures.


This is how you make Robinson appear relevant. You big him up by supporting trammels on free speech. You promote what you are not by restricting conversations on migration, Islamism, cultural tensions, racism, grooming gangs, division fuelled by identity politics, police bias, multiculturalism and individuality. And into the vacuum where debate and the free and open exchange of ideas should be slide opportunists able to present their opinion as the ‘truth’. The Times continues:

Yesterday Robinson, 36, a convicted fraudster whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, uploaded a Facebook video in which he claimed that Jamal was not “innocent”.

Robinson reposted a screenshot of a message on his Facebook page supposedly from the mother of one schoolgirl claiming that her daughter had been bullied. He attached a message to the post that said: “Here’s the truth. But fear of Muslim gangs silences it.”

Utter tosh. Robinson’s ‘truth’ is censorship’s bastard child.

Three hours later he published another message, referring to another Facebook post in which it was claimed that the schoolboy had attacked another schoolgirl with a hockey stick. He added: “There’s always two sides to a story. The media just want to lap up the ‘poor Syrian refugee’ story. “I was sent [the post] the minute the story came out. I have been contacted by loads at the school. They are all scared.”

Later the mother of the schoolgirl referred to in the first posting added another message on Robinson’s site denying that it was Jamal who had attacked her daughter. Her Facebook page has since been deleted…

A spokesman for West Yorkshire police said that the force was not aware of any reports of the Syrian boy allegedly being involved in an assault on a schoolgirl.

Best of luck to Jamal and his family. They’re in the West, where free expression and free thought are theirs for the taking. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Posted: 30th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment

You can buy the console Led Zeppelin used to record Stairway to Heaven

Recording console led zeppelin


The Helios console Led Zeppelin used it to record Stairway to Heaven is for sale. And that’s not all. The mixing desk is the combination of two recording consoles pulled together n 1996 by Elvis Costello and Squeeze’s Chris Difford.

This slice of history is for sale at Bonhams:

They used part of the Island Records Basing Street Studio 2 Helios Console (1970-1974) and part of Alvin Lee’s Helios console from Space Studios (1973-1979).

The two consoles were combined in 1996 after Difford and Costello acquired both from storage in order to set up their own studio HeliosCentric Studios ‘which would be for everyone to use – a chapel of music in a quiet spot.’ They sought advice from the original creator of Helios, Dick Swettenham, and carefully amalgamated the pair to create what is arguably one of Swettenham’s first, last, and largest project.

The newly combined console was installed on a peaceful farm in Rye that became a haven for musical artists and has been in constant use ever since. Artists who have used the console in both their original and amalgamated guises include: Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley & The Wailers, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, George Harrison, Jeff Beck, Stephen Stills, Jimi Hendrix, Mott The Hoople, Cat Stevens, Free, KT Tunstall, Athlete, Paolo Nutini, Sia, Olly Murrs, Dido, Pet Shop Boys, Scouting For Girls, David Bowie, Paul Weller, Mud, Gary Barlow, Supergrass and Keane.

Department Specialist Claire Tole-Moir comments: ‘It is hard to overestimate how crucial a role this console has played in the British rock and pop scene. It is entirely unique, being an amalgamation of two already incredibly influential and important consoles, and in its current form has hosted some of the most popular bands of recent years. Songs and albums recorded on this bespoke console and its original parts rank among some of the most recognizable and best-loved pieces of music in existence, and have resulted in Grammys, Brit Awards and multiple number one spots. This console is a piece of Britain’s modern cultural history.’

Spotter; Dangerous Minds, Flashbak

Posted: 30th, November 2018 | In: Music, News, The Consumer | Comment

Job hunting with cancer – forget it

Would you tell a prospective employer you have cancer? The blurb on the job advert says they are an equal opportunities employer and committed to anti-discriminatory practices. But would you tell them? The answer should be ‘no’. Don’t bother taking the chance. New research says one in five cancer patients report discrimination upon their return to work. Macmillan Cancer Support conducted a YouGov poll of 1,500 people – 87% of people with cancer want to work. But 4% of respondents claimed to have lost their job as a result of their diagnosis. There was not data on the effects the disease has on those looking for work. But my advice is: if you mention it you’ve no chance of getting the job.

“We know how important it is to many people to work during cancer treatment, or return to employment afterwards, and this is entirely possible with the right support. However, some managers may have misconceptions about employees with a cancer diagnosis,” says Liz Egan, Working Through Cancer programme lead at Macmillan Cancer Support. “The rise in calls we have experienced to our helpline is staggering and shows just how vital it is that people with cancer have support and advice with their choices around work. Employers must be aware of their legal obligations under the Equality Act and ensure that there are appropriate policies and processes in place to best support their staff.”

All employees are aware of the law. But that’s not to say they believe it helps their business. You automatically meet the disability definition under the Equality Act 2010 from the day you’re diagnosed with HIV infection, cancer or multiple sclerosis. Big deal. A second YouGov poll of 1,000 line managers revealed that some were wary of retaining employees with cancer. Fear of not getting value for money governs thinking – eight per cent say they’d worry a cancer patient would sue their illness an excuse not to perform; 34% were concerned the sufferer would not stay long in the job.  

Jordan Taylor, a cancer patient, tells the charity: “When I returned to work after treatment I was called into a meeting by my boss, who said performance was down in my absence and that companies had complained. There was no time to ease back into my role or any mention of reasonable adjustments to help me during recovery. Shortly after my return, I was told my whole team was facing redundancy. A few colleagues insinuated that it was my fault, even though I was ill – it was awful and caused me a huge amount of worry.”

Legally, you don’t have to tell your employer if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer. But if you don’t tell them, they don’t have any obligation to make reasonable adjustments to help you. But worse of all is being self-employed. The golden rule is not to be. You’re screwed if you are. 

Posted: 29th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment

Huddersfield Bully: MP shocked, £125 raised and grooming gangs appeal

huddersfield syria bully


It’s not been since news of rape gangs that Huddersfield has made it to the top of the nation’s news cycle. You’d suppose the town once famous for rhubarb and football was a haven for ultra violence given the latest news belch. That video of the 15-year-old Syrian refugee allegedly being bullied by a bigger white-skinned lad is occupying minds in London and on twitter.  

Having labelled the alleged bully a fan of far-right politics and the dread Tommny Robinson, police have interviewed the 16-year-old for the alleged attack at Almondbury Community School. He will report for summons for an offence of assault ahead of a youth court appearance. No caning and short-sharp shock. That was inhumane. These days we opt for public shaming and a criminal record. We like the wound to be permanent. 

The Indy shares a second video, this time of the alleged victim’s 14-year-old sister being pushed about. That aggro resulted in her attacker being excluded from school. Done, then. No.

The Syrian lad filmed being pushed to the floor and squirted in the face with water is on ITV, telling viewers: “I woke up at night and just started crying about this problem. They think I’m different – different from them. I don’t feel safe at school. Sometimes I say to my dad, ‘I don’t want to go to school anymore’. I was just crying and I didn’t do nothing because I respect the school rules.”

And so the story of a bout of playground nastiness rises in the public consciousness. Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman says the video is “absolutely shocking”. He tweets: “Understand from council that the school have taken strong action. Will be following up to ensure all available support is being given.” 

No word from Sheerman on other Huddersfield news, notably the Examiner’s story on those grooming gangs. This from today’s local Huddersfield newspaper.

Nearly every member of the Huddersfield grooming gang has lodged an appeal – including one man who is believed to be on the run.

Last week ExaminerLive reported that the ringleader Amere Singh Dhaliwal is appealing his life sentence, Zahid Hassan is appealing his convictions and Mohammed Kammer is appealing his sentence. Now, the Court of Appeal has elaborated that Dhaliwal and Kammer are also appealing against the jury’s decisions, as well as that 13 of the other men have lodged appeals.

Among the appeals lodged is one made on behalf of Sajid Hussain, who went missing before he was convicted.

As the MP is shocked by an alleged teenage bully picking on a smaller peer, Almondbury Community School headteacher Trevor Bowen, someone who might actually know more than the grandstanding MP and voracious media, says: “Since the incident occurred in October, the school, the local authority and the police have all taken action. We must allow the legal process to take its course, but I want to be absolutely clear that we do not tolerate unacceptable behaviour of any sort in our school. I can also assure you that we are working very hard to ensure it is ‘business as usual’ across the school and that there is no disruption to the children’s education.”

In other news: the video has sparked reaction to the extent of £125,000 in pledges for the boy’s family. Good for them. And here’s hoping your attack by knife or grooming gang is videoed and goes viral. Or are those crimes too shocking?

And football tickets are for the taking. Huddersfield FC’s commercial director Sean Jarvis said on Twitter: “We are trying to get in touch. The whole club wishes to meet and support the family. This very sad story involving our town continues to unfold. I guess we need to leave it to the authorities to deal with at the moment – but simply there is no place for bullying.” No tickets for victims of grooming gangs have been offered. Some offences reflect better on the sympathisers than others. 


Posted: 29th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment

Huddersfield racism: the right-on race to ruin a boy’s life

bully-syrian student huddersfield


Today Twitter invited the morally good and knowing to pile in on a 16-year-old twat. Lots of people were excited by a video of a school playground incident at Almondbury community school on 25 October 2018. We see a bigger white boy apparently grab a smaller darker skinned boy and pull him to the ground. The bigger lad then pours water into the smaller lad’s face. Someone filmed it. Lots of other kids of all colours, genders and sizes just stood about doing nothing.

The 30 seconds-long video wound up on Twitter and in the midst of lots of misinformation about it taking place in Sheffield – it’s Huddersfield – and calls to name the bigger lad and tell us where he lives, West Yorkshire police got involved. Police say the 16-year-old boy will be charged with assault on the 15-year-old.


bully-syrian student huddersfield

BBC Radio DJ calls for action


Reports say the alleged bully and his family have been moved from their home for their own safety after “vigilantes” harassed them. The Sun highlights one Facebook post in which “a man threatens to stab him, saying: ‘I’ll be there tomorrow with a knife, ready to stab the c***’.”

Should we hate the minor? If you’re still in doubt as how best to answer that, the Mail adds: “Teenager accused of ‘water-board’ attack on 15-year-old Syrian refugee is ‘a Britain First supporter’ who has shared posts from Tommy Robinson on Facebook.” That’s the same Tommy Robinson who appears on BBC news shows. And if a newspaper puts something in inverted commas its means it might not be true. So why say it? 

It then turned out that the alleged victim is a Syrian refugee. Tasnime Akunjee, a solicitor representing the boy’s family, said they were considering moving away from the area and had received offers to be rehoused in Oxford. Last week a student at the school who forcibly removed the boy’s sister’s hijab was expelled. A fundraising page for the boy and his family has received more than £77,000 in donations since it was launched yesterday.

Mohammed Tahir, who set up the page, says: “I’m overwhelmed by the support that we’ve received and I can’t thank everyone enough for the generous donations they have made. I am working alongside GoFundMe so we can make sure every last penny gets to the family and I want to thank them for their support.” Best of luck with that – GoFundMe is a profit making business, taking 5 percent fee on transactions. 

As for the police, well, they tell everyone: “The incident occurred on 25 October this year and has been subject to thorough investigation since it was reported to us the day after. The alleged victim and his family are receiving ongoing support from police and other agencies.”

Fair enough. And good that the school condemns bullying and racism. Not all schools punish the racist by removing them from the group. Full disclosure: my own child was the victim of (alleged) racism at her school. The perpetrator was not excluded. They didn’t even get a detention. But we never shouted about it. Life goes on. Resilience matters. And the prat in this video needs the chance to apologise and not have the nastiness define their life. (We never got an apology. But the daughter learned a lesson about self-reliance. She’s strong and stood up for herself. Good-oh.)

Now can we adults talk about something else? Like, say, the war in Syria?

Posted: 28th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment

Manchester United cheat and win: blatant Fellaini handball secures Champions League win

manchester united cheating


Manchester United’s 1-0 win over Young Boys sees them progress in the Champions League. Their winning goal scored in stoppage time by Marouane Fellaini should have been ruled out for handball. When will VAR be used in big games? It cannot come soon enough.

Here’s Fellaini using his hand to control the ball, which is against the rules of the game:



But did the media see the cheating? Marca, the Spanish newspaper, says Fellaini’s handball was blatant. His goal not only put United through to the next round but knocked Spain’s Valencia out.

The Manchester Evening News: “Belgian international Fellaini touched the ball with his hand before he unleashed a ferocious effort into the net, however the player insists there was no intent behind the action.”

He’s got a twitch that makes his hand control the ball involuntarily? And “ferocious”? The MEN continues:

“No,” he [Fellaini] told BT Sport when asked if he had handled the ball. “For me it was not a handball, I controlled the ball. If it touched my hand it was not on purpose. I think it was the right moment to score a goal in the end.”

The Valencia coach, Marcelino, is quoted by Marca as saying: “If the goal of Manchester United featured a handball then you become even angrier. The little details matter. What is strange is that VAR isn’t present in such a big competition. It’s no consolation to us. But this is football.”

Manchester United march on. Valencia go into the Europa League. And Fellaini, well, he’s no Raheem Sterling.




Posted: 28th, November 2018 | In: Back pages, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment

Brexit: Donald Trump warns British to stock up on Netflix and Xanax as trade war looms

Queen Donald Trump: The Don becomes Her Majesty and Vice Versa in these unsettling pictures


Shrewd dealers will stock up on chlorinated chickens, baggy satin vests and TV boxsets because the US-UK trade deal is in dire peril. Donald Trump has looked at Theresa May’s Brexit agreement and says it “sounds like a great deal for the EU”. He also says it means the UK might not be able to trade with the US. The chances of Trump having read all 500-plus pages of the winter fuel allowance are thinner than a parrot’s lips. The deal is crap. The UK is stuck in the EU, liaising with le club with the enthusiasm of a baby seal.

May counters that she is ready to defend her deal in a TV debate with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. He’s unlikely to have read the corpulent pamphlet either. Even a trainee MP knows the deal is dire, but Corbyn has never had his ideas encumbered by power so there’s every chance he’ll struggle to get past the coherently phatic before panicking and belatedly realising that student politics is best left to students. The excruciating TV debate could take place on 9 December – two days before the Parliamentary vote on May’s deal. It’ll make not a sop of difference to the outcome, but might finally trigger a rebellion among Labour MPs as Corbyn spends an hour incontinently telling a tired and irritated electorate that all options are open and he’s not a racist. 

Back to Trump, then, who assured that his lacquer is made in China and not Chelmsford, guffs: “Right now if you look at the deal, [the UK] may not be able to trade with us. And that wouldn’t be a good thing. I don’t think they meant that.” Cabinet Office minister David Lidington – he’s the one who looks like a hairy lemon sorbet, an amuse bouche of an MP whose job is to cleanse the pallet before something of substance arrives (spoiler: it doesn’t) – says Mr Trump’s comments “were not unexpected” and trade deals with the US are “challenging”. “The United States is a tough negotiator,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today. “President Trump’s always said very plainly ‘I put America first’. Well, I’d expect the British prime minister to put British interests first.”

Boom! Boom! Oh, he wasn’t joking.

Meanwhile, whispering from the shadows is Lord Kerslake, a former head of the civil service, said government officials were probably working on a “Plan B” in case the deal was rejected but there would be “no whisper of it” publicly until the outcome of the Commons vote. Failing that we can all vote for Boris Johnson, who’ll paste over the huge gaps in his and our political knowledge by lavishing on cheap gags and gratuitous insults. We’ll all be chortling and eating our young by teatime – but it’ll be British kids and taste better than that imported US chicken.

Posted: 27th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment

Police approve killing suspects riding mopeds

moped thieves police ramming

Spot the criminal


Police spend astronomical amounts of time and cash repositioning themselves as therapists but still reveal their base nature of State-endorsed thuggery. In a break from tweeting about thought crimes and advising us to be nice to one another, police are ramming suspects from their mopeds. Police officers are allowed to use their vehicles to knock moped thieves off their bikes. The mopeds don’t ned to be stationary, sat outside the jewellers or kebab shop, but can be travelling at high-speed. It matters not if the perp is wearing a helmet or is a child. It’s less a case of what can go wrong then what can’t go wrong. 

Tim Rogers of the Police Federation of England and Wales reminds serving coppers that it is “dangerous to drive a car deliberately at another road user. The law clearly classifies this as dangerous driving, and officers could be prosecuted. No defence, no exemption.” Good. But the police are all about telling not listening. So they just tug the helmets one their ears and press a foot to the floor. 

The Metropolitan Police points at the stains on the tarmac and says there had been a 36% reduction in thefts involving mopeds since the tactics were adopted. West Midlands Police tweets: “Some brave decisions being made regarding bike crime and the pursuit of offenders using bikes. Something I strongly suspect the public support?” The only thing braver than ramming someone on a bike are strangling guinea pigs and taking two bottles into the shower. 



In tomorrow’s news: Brave police cut down on squatting by torching buildings! Courageous police push Tube fare dodgers in front of trains! 


Posted: 27th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment

Elvis: ‘I was kidnapped and tortured’ and Brad Pitt loves Jennifer Aniston

elvis letters


Brad Pitt still loves Jennifer Aniston. The National Enquirer breaks the news. In doing so the magazine finds reason to restore Pitt and Aniston to its front page, which is lucky. We have to wade into the magazine, not reading more until page 10, where we learn of Brad’s “rekindled” romance with ex-wife No. 1 Jennifer Aniston.

A “source” tells that Brad has “never stopped loving Jen”. And what speaks more of timeless love than divorce, 13 years of separation and marriage to Angelina Jolie? Sainted Jolie will be doubtless delighted to learn that Jen is the only women Brad ever truly loved. 

Bigger news from that that is news that Elvis Presley has been “kidnapped and tortured”. Can it be that didn’t die but was stolen to order, possibly by a nefarious Eastern mogul who wanted Elvis to croon for him and him alone?

The truth, according to the NE, is revealed in a “trove” of secret letters Elvis penned 50 years ago. Apparently in reaction to Harum Scarum, a 1965 movie flop starring the singer, thugs drugged, kidnapped and abused The King. The villains ripped off Elvis’ clothes, burnt his flesh with lit cigarettes and a red-hot poker, kicked him repeatedly, forced him to drink a blood cocktail, injected him with all manner of drugs and stabbed him in the leg with a corkscrew. He was “near death” when he was rushed to hospital. All true. And all revealed in letters Elvis sent to “Hollywood spiritual advisor Carmen Montez”. Sadly, she and Elvis are both dead – but you can read all about in a new book by someone who isn’t. 

Lastly, Jennifer Garner is to “secretly” marry John Miller. When they will secretly marry is unsaid, but should it happen remember: you read it first in the Enquirer… 

Posted: 26th, November 2018 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, National Enquirer, News | Comment

Arsenal balls: Ozil victim of tabloid copy and paste factories

The Daily Express’ report on Arsenal’s 1-2 win at Bournemouth is the same report you can read in the Daily Mirror. Both are written by Neil McLeman. The Express and Mirror are both owned by Reach. Surely this sharing spells the end for one of the titles. A clue to which tabloid is getting sidelined comes on the Express‘ back page. In a story about Spurs player Dele Alli, the paper tells readers the article continues on page 55, column 3. But page 55 doesn’t mention Alli once. In fact, it doesn’t mention football at all, preferring to focus on England’s win over Australia in the rugby union. There is news of Alli on page 53, column 2. 


daily express

DailyExpress: Dele Alli story is continued on Page 55


daily express football

Page 55 contains not a single word on Dele Alli


As for the Ozil story so good it’s repeated in two daily tabloids, well, it’s some balls about Mesut Ozil being left in the “cold”. The German was an unused substitute in Arsenal’s win. Asked why Ozil didn’t play, Emery replied: “It depends how the match is going, what the result is. I decided for other options.” He added: “The match was very demanding…with physicality and intensity.” Put that though the tabloidese machine and you get: “Unai Emery admitted he needed players who could cope with the physicality and intensity of Bournemouth.” Can anyone think of a Premier League game that isn’t intense and physical? Answers to the Mirror and Express. Two cover prices – but one second-class stamp should cover it. 

Posted: 26th, November 2018 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Key Posts, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment

RIP Ricky Jay, master magician and small riot instigator

rocky jay magic


Ricky Jay was 72 when he died (June 26, 1946 – November 24, 2018). The actor, writer, historian and close-up magician features in a terrific article by Mark Singer for The New Yorker in 1993. The opening bars are great: 

The playwright David Mamet and the theatre director Gregory Mosher affirm that some years ago, late one night in the bar of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Chicago, this happened:

Ricky Jay, who is perhaps the most gifted sleight-of-hand artist alive, was performing magic with a deck of cards. Also present was a friend of Mamet and Mosher’s named Christ Nogulich, the director of food and beverage at the hotel. After twenty minutes of disbelief-suspending manipulations, Jay spread the deck face up on the bar counter and asked Nogulich to concentrate on a specific card but not to reveal it. Jay then assembled the deck face down, shuffled, cut it into two piles, and asked Nogulich to point to one of the piles and name his card.

“Three of clubs,” Nogulich said, and he was then instructed to turn over the top card.

He turned over the three of clubs.

Mosher, in what could be interpreted as a passive-aggressive act, quietly announced, “Ricky, you know, I also concentrated on a card.”

After an interval of silence, Jay said, “That’s interesting, Gregory, but I only do this for one person at a time.”

Mosher persisted: “Well, Ricky, I really was thinking of a card.”

Jay paused, frowned, stared at Mosher, and said, “This is a distinct change of procedure.” A longer pause. “All right-what was the card?”

“Two of spades.”

Jay nodded, and gestured toward the other pile, and Mosher turned over its top card.

The deuce of spades.

A small riot ensued.


Posted: 26th, November 2018 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News | Comment

Brexit: May agrees democracy’s death sentence

It’s not yet a crime to hate Brexit or the EU. It will be, of course. Hating most things is a crime. Most of us don’t rate the Brexit deal Theresa May wants to sign off. But many Leavers and Remainers hate it. The newspapers pick up the scent. They are full of Brexit news. The Daily Mail sums up best: “Let’s just get on with it.” Most of us just can’t wait to get it done and dusted. But what it is is up for debate. Can it be right that May has delivered a deal worse than no deal? The Guardian says the fight continues. The Telegraph focus on the backstop, a melting fudge designed by the EU to stop other countries – they have borders, right – to never leave the group. And the Sun says it’s all just dire. 




Tellingly, the Mirror can’t lead with Brexit because the party it supports, the mess masquerading as Labour, has all positions covered. Their plan is to scupper May’s deal, encourage the great unwashed to vote for Labour in a General Election and then, well, just you want and see. It’ll be great. Jeremy Corbyn, a man who has pushed for Brexit pretty much all his adult life, now says he’s not all that into it and will every bit ‘Remain by another name’ as May, the arch Remainer pretending to deliver Brexit . That 17.4 million of us voted for Brexit in the great rebellion is a minor irrelevance to the powers that be. 


mirror brexit


Robert Tombs, professor of French history at St John’s College, Cambridge, gives a view that pretty much sums things up:

“May’s deal seems to mean the most extraordinary set of constitutional innovations. It would give, for an indefinite period, power over a large part of our economy and legislation not only to a foreign power but also to an unelected committee. The EU will have the power to decide upon and implement a whole load of laws and regulations. We will be required to accept them and we will have to pay for the pleasure…

…we are putting ourselves in a position where we will have to depend on the goodwill of a body that hasn’t been conspicuous in goodwill since June 2016. The EU has openly said it wants to make life more difficult for us. It has pushed us far enough already. It has made demands that have been accepted by a weak government. I’m sure even the EU could not have expected this at the beginning of these negotiations.

What the EU is clearly and openly worried about is disunity among its members and the possibility of other countries following in our footsteps. We would be voluntarily putting ourselves under the control of people whose interest is to make sure that we are not seen to prosper after Brexit. It is so stupid, it is almost unbelievable.

Spotter: Spiked

Posted: 23rd, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment

Manchester United sell kit that does not actually exist



Dreaming up news to market the band is hard graft. But Manchester United are very good at it. The Brand are selling a replica kit that does not exist in the real world. The kit is a “digital concept” within the world of FIFA 19. The “Adidas x EA Sports Manchester United” kit has been designated as the club’s fourth kit. But it only exits in the the computer game. The horror show continues as Adidas announce that only “limited quantities” of the hideous neon leopard skin shirt will be produced and put on sale. So if you want to dress like a video game avatar pretending to an actual footballer, get in there fast. Yours for €90.

Bayern Munich, Juventus and Real Madrid are also prepping to flog digital kits to the slack-jawed masses. 


Posted: 23rd, November 2018 | In: Fashion, manchester united, News, Sports, Technology, The Consumer | Comment

Women’s March and Corbyn fans agree: it’s ok to hate Jews

The Stranger at our Gate, by Frank Beard


It’s ok to be anti-Semitic. This we know, some claim, because Jeremy Corbyn is still leader of the Labour Party. Had Corbyn othered blacks or Asians in the same way he othered British Jews would he still be there? No chance. So to the Women’s March (WM), which will convene on 19 January 2019. Come one, come all. But Jews may not be welcome.

One of the WM’s founders, Teresa Shook, thinks current co-chairs, Bob Bland, Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez should leave the organisation. Shook writes on Facebook:

Shook has taken issue with the women’s relationship with Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam. He is no friend to Jews. He has called Hitler a “great man”. This is Farrakhan who told his supporters: “I’m not an anti-Semite. I’m anti-termite.” He says: “The Jews, a small handful, control the movement of this great nation, like a radar controls the movement of a great ship in the waters.” Jews are, says Farrakhan, “satanic“. He says gay sex is a sin. But Mallory and Perez thought it fine to pose for pictures with Farrakhan and post them on the web. Mass outrage did not follow. There was no public shaming. 

The WM responded to Shook’s call by, well, get a load of this. The WM wrote on Facebook:
 “Today, Teresa Shook weighed in, irresponsibly, as have other organizations attempting in this moment to take advantage of our growing pains to try and fracture our network. Groups that have benefited from our work but refuse to organize in accordance with our Unity Principles clearly have no interest in building the world our principles envision. They have not done the work to mobilize women from diverse backgrounds across the nation. Our ongoing work speaks for itself. That’s our focus, not armchair critiques from those who want to take credit for our labor.” 

Calling out Jew hatred is “irresponsible”. She was an “armchair” activist. This is a liberal group that doesn’t like Donald Trump – the ‘America First’ President who says so long as you work with us it’s no problem if you murder journalists, smash women’s suffrage and kill free speech. It’s no problem if you’re a bigot, says Trump, so long as my message prospers. Isn’t that position shockingly similar to what the Women’s Movement says? Don’t worry about Jew hatred and monstering gays. Look at the good we do. Women First!

But thankfully, others see racism for what it is – and they call out those who acquiesce to bigotry as the cowards they are. Now Sarsour tells Jewish and LGBTQ members WM is sorry “for the harm we have caused”. Sorry you were offended. There was no condemnation of Farrakhan. Why not? Is it because it’s ok to attack Jews and tolerate those who do?

Image: The Stranger at our Gate, by Frank Beard (1890)

Posted: 22nd, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment

Prince Charles dead secret daughter meets Meghan Markle



Know this: Prince Harry’s wife “Meghan Meets Diana’s Secret Daughter!”. This exclusive is brought to you by Globe. Th daughter is Princess Sarah. She was allegedly “conceived in a bizarre fertility test before Prince Charles and Diana wed”. She met Meghan on Mrs Harry’s trip to New Zealand. And that’s huge news for many reasons. 


prince charles love child



We’ve been here before, of course. In September 2016, Globe told us Charles has now fewer than “four! secret love children”. They had been “Found!”. So big was this news Globe was tempted to punctuate each word with an exclamation mark. 

We read that Princess Sarah was living in New England, USA. Her “surrogate” mother was “secretly” impregnated by her doctor husband who’d stolen a royal embryo produced by Charles and Diana on the orders of his mum, Her Maj. Sarah discovered the ‘”truth” because everyone told her she was a “dead ringer” for Princess Diana. 




But Sarah’s parents and Diana are all dead. And Sarah is also dead. In June 2016, Globe told us: “Prince Charles Murdered Princess Diana’s Secret Daughter!” He did it, allegedly, on May 15. 

So who can we ask to corroborate the story? Meghan? More to follow as Princess Sarah communicates from beyond! the! grave!

Posted: 22nd, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment

The myth of underage problem gambling

The Daily Mail today warns about the “Epidemic of Child Gamblers”. Yippee! The future for betting companies is sound. If there is one industry that has truly embraced the internet it is betting. The Mail understands this. Just cop a load of the offers and inducements to gamble on its website. Kids should look away now:


daily mail gambling

 daily mail gambling


The Mail is upset by underage gamblers. Apparently 55,000 under 17s “have a problem”. A further 70,000 are “at risk”. One in seven 11-16s year olds bets regularly, which is “worrying”. The cash – on average £16 a week – is risked on bingo, betting shops (online) and fruit machines. And “close to a million youngsters have been exposed to gambling through ‘loot boxes’ in computer games or on smart phone apps.” To say nothing of adverts to gamble in newspapers, TV ads and slogans slapped across football kits. 

But that’s not all. Tim Miller, of the Gambling Commission  – “We regulate commercial gambling and lotteries in Great Britain” – says kids prefer to gamble in “informal environments”, like on private bets between friends and or “playing cars with their mates for money”. In other words: kids are doing what their parents and their parents and their parents did.  

The Gambling Commission’s Young People and Gambling report “reveals that gambling participation by 11 to 16 year olds has increased in the last 12 months but remains lower compared to all previous years. However, the research indicated that more children are at risk of being harmed by gambling”.


gambling commission

‘Our children’


“Key findings” are:

14% of 11-16 year olds had spent their own money on gambling in the past week, this is up from 12% in 2017 but still lower than rates seen prior to 2017

This compared to 13% who had drunk alcohol in the past week, 4% who had smoked cigarettes and 2% who had taken illegal drugs

The Mail nots that “More than one in ten young people (12%) follow gambling companies on social media”. A pox on social media! It does not relay the report’s other facts, chiefly:

  • 59% agree that gambling is dangerous and only 14% agree that it is OK for someone their
    age to gamble
    • Almost half of young people (49%) said that someone had spoken to them about the
    problems gambling may lead to
    66% of young people have seen gambling adverts on TV, 59% on social media and 53%
    on other websites
    • 49% had seen or heard TV or radio programmes sponsored by a gambling company and
    46% had encountered gambling sponsorships at sports venues
    7% claimed that they had been prompted to gamble by a gambling advert or sponsorship

Isn’t all media part of the “problem” then? The report found that 33% of under 16s had seen adverts for gambling in newspapers. The Mail makes no call to ban such ads.

As for the survey: just 2,619 under 16s were polled. And most “problem gamblers” are aged 16 – old enough to get married and join the Army:




Is it a big problem? It all smacks of authoritarianism. And whenever a censor is about, they pull out their trump card: what about the kids? They must be protected. But by and large they seem fine – no worse off than their predecessors. It’s just that now the nippers are presented as victims-in-waiting – abused by the internet, children sit around in a perpetual state of slack-jawed passivity unable to think for themselves. Paternalistic government wants to ban adverts that turn the young on to gambling. And, yep, many of these same knowing politicos and protectors want 16 years olds to have the vote.  

Posted: 21st, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment Frenkie de Jong to Manchester City is a ‘done deal’

Transfer Balls: Following the Mirror’s news that Frenkie de Jong had agreed to join Manchester City for £60m comes news in the, er, Daily Mirror that he hasn’t. But he might. The paper of record (surely clickbait factory – ed) says City will have to pay a club record £75m for the Ajax and Netherlands midfielder.

It’s been three days since the Sun said Frenkie de Jong to City was done deal – three days since the Mirror told its readers City “have beaten Barcelona” to the signing. Manchester City “have blown the competition out of the water”. 


Frenkie de Jon

Frenkie de Jon signs for Manchester City – BBC


frenkie de jong

Daily Mirror says Frenkie to City is done



Frenkie de Jon signs for Manchester City -

Frenkie de Jon signs for Manchester City – The Sun



That was all tosh. But worry not because the Mirror has more news: 


Frankiede Jong

A day is a long time at


The paper reports in an “exclusive”:

Manchester City will have to pay a club-record £75million in the upcoming bidding war with Barcelona for the new Johan Cruyff…

However, Spanish champions Barca are also very keen on De Jong, and several other top clubs are monitoring the rapid progress he’s making this season.

Why is £75m the fee in a “bidding war”? It’s more than the £60m it cost city to sing Frenkie three days ago. 

Posted: 21st, November 2018 | In: Back pages, Key Posts, Manchester City, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment

Deke Duncan: DJ who broadcast to an audience of one gets BBC radio show

deke duncan stevenage


“I genuinely thought this was a well-crafted parody, something that the likes of @serafinowicz & @robertpopper would conjure up, but no…it’s 100% genuine – All hail Deke Duncan from Stevenage,” tweets John Morter. A video from the BBC archives takes us back to 1974. We meet Deke Duncan, the producer, presenter and pretty much most other things at Stevenage’s Radio 77 his wife Teresa can’t or won’t do. With no licence, Radio 77, based in a shed at 57 Gonville Crescent in Stevenage, can only be beamed through a speaker in his living room, where Teresa listens. It might be the most romantic thing ever. 



This week, Deke Duncan, now 73, was invited to present a show on BBC local radio. He fulfilled his “ultimate ambition” to broadcast to the rest of Stevenage.

“We used to record all the shows and play them back and think – that’s cool – but we couldn’t afford to keep buying spools of tape so recorded over them,” he said. “That house was our ship. We took the fantasy so far we said we must not go out the front or back door because you’ll fall in the sea.” The nautical theme followed his love of pirate station Radio Caroline, which broadcast from a boat off the coast of Essex in the 1960s.

Mr Duncan, who has since moved to Stockport, Greater Manchester, still broadcasts Radio 77 to “the smallest audience in the country” – his wife.

He said he felt “emotional” when station editor Laura Moss invited him to present his own one-hour special over Christmas.



Spotter: Flashbak

Posted: 21st, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True, TV & Radio | Comment

Massachusetts mayor plans to pickle the state’s first legal marijuana

weed boston

“I am not pickled – but my weed is”


From today you can buy weed legally in Massachusetts for fun. The state’s first commercial marijuana stores opened for business. Stood first in the queue was Northampton, Mass. mayor David Narkewicz. CBS News tells us:

When asked whether the purchase is simply ceremonial or it will be consumed, Narkewicz said, “I am actually going to probably preserve it and display it…because it is historically significant.”

It isn’t. Really, it isn’t – not unless you also have the first bag of crips sold in a pub and other humdrum consumables in a home museum to the everyday. A lump of pickled weed is simply a waste of weed.

“There has been marijuana use going on in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for a long, long time. What’s changing is it’s now being regulated. It’s now being tested. It’s now being strictly monitored. That’s really the major change that’s happening,” Narkewizc said.

Ah, smell that – it ain’t freedom blowin’ in the wind, folks. It’s the stench of regulation. 

Posted: 20th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, The Consumer | Comment

Unions deeply upset that Tory minister Claire Perry allegedly swore

Claire_perry swearing


Claire Perry is accused of swearing and shouting at staff. The Guardian carries the news that the … Yeah, she’s the energy minister. Well, done, Claire and Claire’s mum for getting it right. Hard luck the rest of you. The paper’s story is choice:

Trade unions have written to the top official in the business department to raise concerns about claims that the energy minister, Claire Perry, has sworn and screamed at civil servants, the Guardian understands.

Trade unions are famously bastions of polite and civilised behaviour. No-one swears. No-one shouts. Right it is that they and the Guardian alert us to allegedly uncouth behaviour. In a welter of acronyms and counter-acronyms, the PCS, FDA and Prospect unions wrote a joint letter to Alex Chisholm, permanent secretary at the BEIS, noting Perry’s alleged behaviour. Civil servants are not there to be sworn at. What they are there for is to, well, again, shout out your answers; closest to the truth wins a job for life. No swearing. 


fuck the guardian

The Guardian says ‘so fucking what’ to saying ‘fuck’


fuck the guardian

Swearing is ok if you’re target is one disliked by Guardian readers


The paper continues:

It is understood that the complaints given to the unions include claims that Perry screamed and shouted, texted one civil servant to say “Fuck off”, and wrote, “What’s this shit?” on a memo produced by staff. The MP for Devizes became energy minister in June last year, a role that involves attending cabinet.


fuck the guardian

Guardian writer auditions for government



To think a woman who allegedly uses such filthy words is that close to the seat of power. If we’ve learned anything from the Brexit vote it is that liberals love using the words “fuck”, “bollocks” and “shit”, often on placards. There is a time and there is a place. Journalists at the Guardian are understood to be dismayed.

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

Madeleine McCann: Rangers fans, David Baddiel and ‘active leads’ keep the story moving

That the story of Madeleine McCann has taken on a life of its own is not news. The single thread story – child vanishes – has been spun. But the tabloids love to find a new angle. And they do it in the shape of David Baddiel, the comedian, who “lashes out at McCann trolls”. What he actually did was to see ‘Our Maddie’ trending on Twitter and tweet: “Most people don’t know what it’s like to lose a child and should shut the fuck up.” That’s considered polite discourse on Twitter. But a BBC comic exchanging barbs with fellow twitter users passes for news. And it allows the Star to fill half a page with no news of the missing child.

The Sun also has no news. “‘MADDIE ‘COULD BE ALIVE’,” says the headline. “Madeleine McCann investigator claims missing child could still be ALIVE and hidden in a lair.” Could. Claims. More facts? Can we handle more facts? “David Edgar is convinced Maddie was abducted by a child sex gang and could still be being held in Portugal, where she vanished 11 years ago.” Edgar pulls on his media suit and tell us: “She is most likely being held captive, possibly in an underground cellar or dungeon and could emerge at any time.” 

Is that the “new hope” another Sun story hints to? “NEW MADDIE HOPE,” says the paper. “Madeleine McCann parents meeting with Scotland Yard detectives to discuss TWO ‘specific and active’ new leads.”.The Mirror echoes the news: “Fresh hope in Madeleine McCann search as police pursue two vital new leads.” Both scoops stem from a “Whitehall source” telling the Daily Mail: “Metropolitan Police officers had a sit-down meeting with Madeleine’s parents to tell them exactly where they were with their inquiries. They informed them they had two specific and active leads that still needed to be chased and that although the investigation was taking longer than they initially thought officers said they were confident and hopeful they could get a result.”

Why the source is unnamed is moot. Is it a secret? What are the leads? We’re not told.

But let’s end this round-up with where we began: trolls. “‘MADDIE 0 RANGERS 21’ Madeleine McCann troll slammed after comparing £11.75m search fund to Rangers footballer’s price tag,” says the Sun. It’s a tweet the Sun is happy to reproduce:

“Cost Of Madeline McCann Search: £12,000,000
“Cost Of Alfredo Morelos: £1,000,000
“Goals For Rangers: Madeline: 0 Morelos: 21”

The Sun senses a story. “But a number of people were furious at the comparisons, replying to the post with fury,” says the paper, possibly contains its furious fury. “One person commented: ‘Not a good tweet!!!'” No. A better tweet would be from someone famous or in a position of authority. Then it could be front-page news, and they could be publicly shamed and hounded from their job. Try harder, twitter. 

Posted: 20th, November 2018 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment