Madeleine McCann news on the Daily Star’s front page. The paper’s lead news story is – get this – “TOP BRIT COP: WE MAY NEVER FIND MADDIE.”
The “Top Brit cop” is “tough-talking detective Colin Sutton”? Who? And can a man who says something “may” not happen be accused of talking tough? The”we” part of the headline surely means all of us, the millions who have followed the story of the missing child ever since she vanished in My 2007.
Undaunted by the palpable lack of fact, the Star continues to tell readers on page 7 that Sutton “rejected the opportunity to head the Madeleine McCann inquiry” and “believes finding her her could be ‘almost impossible'”. Can you believe something that might not be possible; or can you disbelieve something that might be impossible?
Read the rest of this entry »
With relegation looming, Stoke City need a galvanising force to stir team. Stoke are currently 19th in Premier League. They are circling the Premier League plug hole. So step forward, Stoke’s Swiss international Xherdan Shaqiri to tell his team-amter how rubbish they are. The 26-year-old (!) attacking midfielder told Swiss magazine Sport:
The feeling that even a Ronaldinho could do little in this team is sobering.
I had to realise that it’s a bit different when you have players like (Franck) Ribery and Thiago (Alcantara) at Bayern or (Mauro) Icardi and (Mateo) Kovacic at Inter.
Here at Stoke I can not exert too much influence, simply because there is a lack of quality around me.
I can not just Löffel verwerfen (down tools) but it would take something extreme for Stoke in the transfer market this summer to revive my enthusiasm.
It’s not me. It’s them. What a great bloke.
Some stats on the player’s PL season to date:
Matches played: 29
Shooting accuracy: 47%
Big chances missed: 2
Passes Per Match: 29.93
Duels Won: 93
Duels Lost: 124
Aerial Battles Won: 5
Aerial Battles Lost: 14
Shaqiri the Legend – the movie will be great.
Ray Wilkins, the former England captain who played for Manchester United, AC Milan, Paris Saint Germain, Ranger, QPR, Crystal Palace and Chelsea (debut at 17 and club captain a year later; assistant manager at Chelsea under no fewer than four different managers; two terms as caretaker manager), is unwell. Wilkins is in a London hospital. He is critically ill. His wife says things are “very bad” with the 61-year-old.
‘Butch’ Wilkins, a media mainstay, has been a favourite ever since when he explained his love for football as being payed to do his hobby.
Until his sacking in 2013, Wilkins represented continuity at Chelsea, a rare quality for club that treat staff as sundries.
And not forgetting this:
Get well soon, Ray.
Have we forgotten about the Holocaust? You might think it’d be hard to. It’s taught in schools and there are some movies entertaining enough to keep industrial mass murder palpable, even humorous. But the mood has changed. The oldest story is back. Antisemitism is rife and mainstream.
Well, in The Spectator, Alistair Thomas outlines why Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party excuses alleged Holocaust denial, gives a safe space for members to deny and downplay “the reality of anti-Semitism” (the words of Christine Shawcroft, the head of the Labour Party’s disputes panel in her resignation apology for opposing the suspension of a council candidate accused of Holocaust denial); and can have in its ranks MP for Bradford West, Naz Shah, who a year before she won her Commons seat shared an image of Israel’s outline superimposed on a map of the US below the headline “Solution for Israel-Palestine conflict – relocate Israel into United States”, with the comment “problem solved”, compared Israel to the Nazis and stated “the Jews are rallying” – she said sorry and left her post as – get this – John McDonnell’s parliamentary private secretary. How does someone with such abhorrent views rise to high in Corbyn’s Labour? And there’s the mural, the Facebook Posts about “powerful” Jews and Corbyn’s “friends“. And Ken Livingstone. And… And…
For anyone unsure what anti-Semitism looks like, Andrew Neil has provided this handy guide:
“That, dear viewer, is anti-Semitism. At its deadliest and most depraved. Which is how it always ends up. Which is why it can’t be tolerated. Those still in doubt need to educate themselves. Fast.” @afneil opening #bbctwpic.twitter.com/MFi7pYorkB
— BBC This Week (@bbcthisweek) March 29, 2018
…for Corbynites of my age (early twenties), the whole issue remains just another attempt to delegitimise Corbyn’s bid to become prime minister. That’s why Twitter accounts were awash with the hashtag #PredictTheNextCorbynSmear, which mocked all accusations of anti–Semitism. It demonstrates the Corbyn faithful’s remarkable capacity for indifference…
It’s all a conspiracy. And like any good conspiracy, it feature the Jews. You can read all about it on The Protocols of the Elders of Facebook.
They’ve all studied the second world war at school; they know how much Jews suffered and how dangerous discrimination is. Surely they must have a problem with that blatantly anti-Semitic mural that Corbyn himself had endorsed?..
They find Israel, as a country, guilty of all kinds of crimes, and regard Jews, anywhere, as Zionist sympathisers. Within the far left, the de facto position is one of hostility and distrust, not just towards Zionists but towards Jewish communities wherever they are. This attitude infects the whole party, even my friends.
The Jew can be a good Jew or a bad Jew. But being a Jew is what defines you totally. Jews are traduced and homogenised. Howard Jacobson understands, of course:
Christianity is key here…. Christianity’s had to leave [Judaism] behind, so it’s had to hate it, it’s had to say, we are not that, we are not that anymore, and then to say we were never that – so that’s a necessary hatred. And then out of that grew a sense of the possibility that all cultures have to have someone to hate. Not just a scapegoat. It’s more essential than that. Who am I, what am I? I am not that. To the degree you know that, you know who you are.
Today on Good Friday many Christians will utter their Prayer for the Jews. The third of the Solemn Collects in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England is as follows:
O merciful God, who hast made all men, and hatest nothing that thou hast made, nor wouldest the death of any sinner, but rather that he be converted and live; Have mercy upon all Jews, Turks, Infidels, and Heretics, and take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of thy Word; and so fetch them home, blessed Lord, to thy flock, that they may be saved among the remnant of the true Israelites, and be made one fold under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
The Catholic Church’s Prayer for the Jews has been changed a little. This is the 1955 version (via):
Let us pray also for the faithless Jews: that Almighty God may remove the veil from their hearts so that they too may acknowledge Jesus Christ our Lord. (‘Amen’ is not responded, nor is said ‘Let us pray’, or ‘Let us kneel’, or ‘Arise’, but immediately is said:) Almighty and eternal God, who dost not exclude from thy mercy even Jewish faithlessness: hear our prayers, which we offer for the blindness of that people; that acknowledging the light of thy Truth, which is Christ, they may be delivered from their darkness. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The bigotry never vanished. The Jews continue to define what the righteous reject. And once again anti-Semitism is to the fore.
These are worrying times to be a British Jew. If you would not excuse any other form of racism, don’t excuse anti-Semitism.
This is a mainstream journalist. She doesn’t write for some obscure blog with Pepe the Frog in the comment threads. She has bylines at The Independent (https://t.co/GfKUwsrDKd). pic.twitter.com/PMPZ2y1zic
— Stephen Daisley (@JournoStephen) March 30, 2018
In response to her tweet the writer who, as Stephen Daisley notes, contributes to the Indy added on Twitter (before blocking us):
Vote now and vote often.
Andrew Neil presents must-see TV. Brilliant work by @afneil and @bbcthisweek in explaining what anti-Semitism is to the uneducated, and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters who have difficulty spotting it:
“That, dear viewer, is anti-Semitism. At its deadliest and most depraved. Which is how it always ends up. Which is why it can’t be tolerated. Those still in doubt need to educate themselves. Fast.” @afneil opening #bbctw pic.twitter.com/MFi7pYorkB
— BBC This Week (@bbcthisweek) March 29, 2018
Mireille Knoll was found dead inside her Paris flat. Police think she was killed for being a Jew. The killer then her home set alight. French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, opines: “It reminds us of the fundamental and permanent side of this battle” against antisemitism.
On the same day Ms Knoll was killed, Islamists murdered Arnaud Beltrame, a 44-year-old police officer. He was a true hero.
A year before Knoll’s slaying, Sarah Halimi, a retired Orthodox doctor and kindergarten teacher, was killed in her Paris apartment, her body then hurled out a window. In 2012, three children and a teacher were murdered in an attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse. In 2006, Ilan Halimi, a 23-year-old cellphone salesman, was tortured by gang members who assumed his middle-class parents could pay a hefty ransom because they were Jewish. Halimi’s charred body was found by the side of a road three weeks after his abduction.
The oldest story is back. The Jew – the ‘rich’, ‘powerful’, uniquely barbaric and deserving Jew – is seen as fair game. Don’t yield to anti-Semitism. I’ve been confronted with it recently – things I never thought I would have said to me, and threats made to me. Jew bating is normalised. It’s unnerving.
Labour MP David Lammy wants an apology from everyone who voted for Brexit. He’s collecting names. He’s going to be busy, what with there being 17.4million of us who voted Leave to process. But Twitter, where Lammy made his reasoned request, can handle some of the admin. And he can ask fellow Labour MP Naz Shah to help. She’s also outraged by a nasty tweet from a Brexit-supporting group. Like Lammy and Jeremy Corbyn, Shah is highly sensitive to racism following a cathartic “journey”. The adult woman voted into the Commons by the good people of Bradford West discovered that advocating for the mass deportation of Jews to the American mid-West was a bit, you know, akin to Nazi and Stalinist methods for dealing with the ‘Jewish problem’. She apologised and is now on the side of the knowing.
The trigger for Lammy and Shah’s ire was this tweet from the account @leave.eu.
Is it any wonder that Labour can’t be bothered to deal with the disgusting antisemitism in their party when they are so reliant on the votes of Britain’s exploding Muslim population? It’s a question of maths for these people, not justice!
To blame Muslims for creating Labour’s cesspit of anti-Semitism is wholly wrong. To pick the word “exploding” to describe Muslim families is pathetic, nasty, divisive and anti-human. To claim all Muslims vote as a block demeans their autonomy. The tweet stinks.
Although that’s not to say Labour with its commitment to identity politics doesn’t use craven means to shore up its vote. Perhaps the party believes taking on any anti-Semitic Muslims not worth the effort if it affects the polls? Perhaps Labour is not all that in to individuality, equality and free will. Perhaps Labour doesn’t trust voters, preferring to package us into boxes according to our race, religion, age and gender, before proposing policies that appease each ‘community’ by pandering to what they perceive our prejudices to be?
But why is Corbyn’s Labour not so bothered about speaking up for Jews, being more blind to anti-Semitism than other forms of racism? Does the Labour Party need and value Jewish support? In 2012 former Labour London mayor Ken Livingstone told BBC’s Newsnight programme:
“People vote according to their income. Now that can change – it might be a generation before people catch up. If we were talking 50 years ago, the Roman Catholic community, the Irish community in Britain, the Jewish community was solidly Labour. Still the Irish Catholic community is pretty still solidly Labour because it is not terribly rich. As the Jewish community got richer, it moved over to voting for Mrs Thatcher as they did in Finchley.”
So much for the politics. Lammy’s upset by the tweet. And he wants you – all 17.4m of you deplorables who voted Brexit – to apologise for one bellend’s sad message. He has not called for every Labour Party member and voter to apologise for anti-Semitism in the ranks. But surely that will come.
Hello @metpoliceuk I would like to report this crime. Please investigate. This tweet is a crime under the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006: “Use of threatening words or behaviour, or any written material which is threatening or intends thereby to stir up religious hatred.”
He followed that with:
Hate speech is a crime. I am reporting you to the police. @BorisJohnson @michaelgove @Nigel_Farage and all people that voted to Leave on June 23rd 2016 must condemn this immediately and unequivocally. This is absolutely disgusting.
All 17.4 million of you “must” condemn this tweet now. Or..? Be arrested? Be named and shamed? Be forever branded a racist? Be disgusting?
PS: The problem is, if course, that Lammy has nailed it. He’s correctly reasoned that Brexit only won because the 17.4 million of us who usually vote for the BNP would not be denied. Of course, had we known how racist Labour was*, we’d most likely have gone with them. But their official position was unclear during the EU Referendum vote, as nuanced and slippery as their leader, so Brexit was the chance for every racist – all 17.4 million us – to win the day. Finally.
* Labour’s gonna walk the next election if it keeps the anti-Semitism thriving. The BNP never stood enough candidates to make us believe bigots could form a Government. But with Labour’s anti-Semitism being well advertised, it’s all vote now and vote often.
First they came for the EU… Raus!
The latest claim of racism is that Superdrug has, in a very racist manner indeed, put more CCTV cameras onto the section selling black hair products than onto that selling shampoos etc. for pinkish people. The claim is that this is an assumption by the company, that black people are more likely to shoplift. There’s something of a problem with this assumption. What if it is more likely that black hair products are stolen?
This is the old correlation is not causation point writ small. Yes, it’s entirely true that greater surveillance of the black products could be a racist assumption. But it’s also possible that such products are stolen more often. Just the observation of the correlation isn’t enough to tell us which way around this is going.
Superdrug has become embroiled in a racism row after apologising over claims it placed double the number of CCTV monitoring signs by black hair products.
Customer Xavy Wright complained that she saw twice the number of warnings at the store in Brighton compared to the rest of the aisle, which she claimed implied black people are more likely to steal.
We could certainly construct an argument to explain why more stealing is possible. Theft is, as some would tell us, driven by poverty. Black incomes are lower in the UK than those for pink people. We could, if we thought that poverty drives crime, therefore assume, reasonably enough, that there would be more lifting of such black products.
We might also recall back to the last time this was alleged, then it was cans of a Jamaican food – from memory, ackee – which were more protected than other goods from such theft.
I don’t say that’s a correct argument, only that it is internally logical and not racist at all – it’s the impositions of a racist society in the form of those lower incomes causing it.
Fortunately we don’t have to speculate fact free. For the stores will have excellent information – they do track this sort of stuff – on what does get stolen. And they’ll deploy their anti-stealing resources in the most cost effective manner. That we’re seeing the signs, perhaps the tags, on certain products is our evidence that those are those being stolen.
We are still all at sea over why those are the ones being stolen but it’s not racism to point out features of reality. That product x gets stolen more than product y is no more racism than is remarking upon the distinct lack of pink people in Olympic 100 metres finals. It just is.
How goes the Labour Party’s response to accusations of anti-Semitism in the ranks? Party leader Jeremy Corbyn admitted to “pockets of anti-Semitism” within the Labour Party. He then went on to talk of “newer forms of anti-Semitism… woven into criticism of Israeli governments… Criticism of Israel, particularly in relation to the continuing dispossession of the Palestinian people, cannot be avoided. Nevertheless, comparing Israel or the actions of Israeli governments to the Nazis, attributing criticisms of Israel to Jewish characteristics or to Jewish people in general and using abusive phraseology about supporters of Israel such as ‘Zio’ all constitute aspects of contemporary anti-Semitism.”
Is the anti-Semitism really that “new“.
On Facebook, around 2.000 users purporting to be Jeremy Corbyn supporters have reacted to an open letter saying Monday’s Jewish-organised protest against anti-Semitism was the work of a “very powerful special interest group” wielding its “immense strength” to “employ the full might of the BBC”. The open letter posted to a open group garnered 936 comments before the admin disabled commenting, writing:
…exaggerating the influence/power of Jewish groups is a form of antisemitism. Jewish groups have the right to lobby and influence the same as other religious or ethnic groups do. You do not specify what ‘special interest groups’ you are talking about. If you are talking about groups like JLM etc, phrases like “very powerful” are totally inappropriate. I would also suggest the reason why the BBC ran the story at the top of it’s headlines all Monday is down to the Westminster clique, _not_ because of any Jewish lobby groups!
I’m turning off comments. The reason I’m not deleting this post is because screenshots are all over twitter, and keeping the post will help us get to the bottom of what’s happening here. Please do not delete it without talking to us first…
I deeply question the motives of the person that took this screenshot to score political points, rather than reporting it to us. This group has about 400 posts a day and about 10,000 comments. We are unpaid volunteers. We rely on people to report any concerns, especially when overwhelmed by a tsunami of posts from the subject being top of the news agenda.
One twitter screenshot is here:
Not everyone “endorsed” the letter as the Indy claims they did. Many who did respond have have. But, as noted, there have been dissenting voices, not least of all the group’s “admin”.
The open letter on the Facebook group “We Support Jeremy Corbyn” runs:
“Yesterday we witnessed the full onslaught of a very powerful special interest group mobilising its apparent, immense strength against you.
“It is clear this group can employ the full might of the BBC to make sure its voice is heard very loudly and clearly. It is a shame not every special interest group can get the same coverage…
“But, and it is a very big BUT, we live in a democracy, a one member one vote democracy and no special interest group, regardless of their history or influence, can be allowed to dictate who the rest of us can vote for or how we vote.
“I am writing this letter to say that I support you and I trust you, more than I would trust any politician, to do the right thing in terms of racism, antisemitism, and any hate mongering from anyone against anyone.
“We know that any politician who stands for the many and not the few will have very many powerful enemies and it is expecting an awful lot of a person to put up with the pressures that are put on you. But thank you, thank you, for your inspiration and steadfastness and be sure that you still have my support.”
As said, not all reactions have been supportive of the letter – the majority have been, but not all:
“Do people not realise how how absolutely ironic it is that in response to accusations of antisemitism that people accuse people of Jewish background of backroom organising and conspiracy?”
Beneath a link to the story on the letter published by the Indy, there is talk of conspiracy:
This is the first time ive actualy seen first hand how a smear starts from actually reading the letter in question when put on the group to how they have spun it in an almost villian like way
Anyone with an iota of common sense realises the anti semitic problem is an attempt to wreck the labour party. When it has the full support of the BBC it is patently obvious that there is collusion with the tory party, as we all know it is now totally controlled by these corrupt brigades who are up to their necks in corruption. The only way you would get an honest answer from them is if they were constantly wire up to a polygraph. We must bring them to account for the sake of all of our futures. Make no mistake we are being manipulated by pure evil…
Just to alert you guys. There’s a journalist mole on this group who’s shared Frances Naggs letter.
Over on the BBC, the Jewish-organised anti-Semitism protest was followed by a new revelation. We meet Christine Shawcroft, 62, head of the Labour Party’s disputes panel who has “quit after it emerged she had opposed the suspension of a council candidate accused of Holocaust denial”. The accused Labour Party member denies any wrongdoing.
Are attitudes towards Jews finally changing within Corbyn’s Labour? Will Labour finally extend its self-aggrandised and self-hymned intolerance of all racism towards its members who attack, bait and demonise Jews with calls for them to be mass deported (that was from a serving Labour MP), monstering them as a people so uniquely barbaric that Jews are not worthy of the Holocaust – which, you know, might all be big ‘fake news’, a revolting and sneaky claim which makes liars of every survivor, their families and the murdered millions? Thankfully, we live in a democracy. So you can give two fingers to racism at the next election.
Vote now and vote often!
Only around a thousand people turned up on Parliament Square to protest against anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. The polite request was that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn works to expose and confront the hatred of Jewish in his party’s membership – and that he stops acquiescing to anti-Semitism. Some Labour MPs did attend. And that’s great. But only about a dozen of them bothered to make the shot walk from the Commons to the grassy roundabout.
Accompanied by chants of “enough is enough”, the crowd heard from Haringey Council leader Claire Kober, and Labour MPs John Mann, Louise Ellman and Wes Streeting, Ian Austin, Chuka Umunna and Luciana Berger, who said antisemitism is “very real” and “alive in the Labour Party”. Some Conservative MPs also turned up, including Priti Sushil Patel, and cabinet ministers Sajid Javid and Penny Mordaunt.
Mr Streeting told the throng: “To those Jewish members who felt enough is enough and cut up their membership cards and walked away, our commitment to you is to work with every ounce of strength to drain the cesspit of antisemitism in the Labour Party so you can come back. We know what needs to be done. We don’t need any more mealy-mouthed statements from the leader of the Labour Party, we need actions. The actions are very simple: Ken Livingstone should not be in the Labour Party. Antisemites need to be drummed out of the Labour Party. And that whitewash of a report – the Chakrabarti Report – can we at least implement every one of those recommendations. We had a wishy-washy report, it got someone a place in the House of Lords, but let’s at least make sure its delivers a genuine fight against antisemitism in our party.”
Slippery and nuanced Jeremy Corbyn wasn’t there, of course. He never is. But he did address the Jews via a letter:
“I recognise that antisemitism has surfaced within the Labour Party, and has too often been dismissed as simply a matter of a few bad apples. This has caused pain and hurt to Jewish members of our party and to the wider Jewish community in Britain. I am sincerely sorry for the pain which has been caused, and pledge to redouble my efforts to bring this anxiety to an end. I must make clear that I will never be anything other than a militant opponent of antisemitism.”
Not a single world on how he has contributed greatly to that “pain”. Not a single word from his supporters, those intolerant people who if this were a Tory or anyone else they did not like giving a big thumbs up to anti-Semitism would be demanding their resignation. They screamed in outrage when Conservative MP Anne Marie Morris said “nigger in the woodpile”. They howled for Toby Young’s removal because he’d tweeted about women’s looks and described wheelchair ramps as part of “ghastly” inclusivity in schools. They pilloried Tim Farron for his views on homosexuality (he called it a “sin”) – ubiquitous Corbyn fan Owen Jones called Farron’s comments “an absolute disgrace”.
To his supporters, Corbyn can do no wrong.
Some Corbyn fans are Jews. A small number arrived carrying signs that said “Jews for Jez”, the words written on a yellow star. If Brass Eye did protests:
Instead of being upset by Corbyn’s links to anti-Semitism, his supporters tasked themselves with getting the hashtag #PredictTheNextCorbynSmear to trend on Twitter. Blessedly, not everyone thinks anti-Semitism is no big deal:
Nobody promoting #PredictTheNextCorbynSmear tonight (trending) can expect to be taken seriously as an opponent of anti-semitism; those doing so undermine any commitment or future effort to ensure that the Labour party does not tolerate anti-semitism.
— Sunder Katwala (@sundersays) March 25, 2018
#predictthenextcorbynsmear just proves the point that people are making about Corbyn, his supporters and anti Semitism. Rather than address the issue they create a mocking hashtag that dismisses the concerns of the Jewish community & all those opposed to racism
— Eddie Marsan #FBPE (@eddiemarsan) March 25, 2018
5 stages of Corbynista:
1) Denial – It’s all Tory Smears
2) Anger – Blairites & Murdoch & the MSM are out to get him
3) Bargaining – He apologised (in a vague tweet)
4) Depression – Whatabouttery responses at the ready.
5) More anger – Create a #PredictTheNextCorbynSmear hashtag pic.twitter.com/EhN8EERQUI
— Chris Rose (@ArchRose90) March 25, 2018
Corbyn did have more to say. And it, as ever, vague:
“Sometimes this evil takes familiar forms – the east London mural which has caused such understandable controversy is an example. The idea of Jewish bankers and capitalists exploiting the workers of the world is an old antisemitic conspiracy theory. This was long ago, and rightly, described as ‘the socialism of fools’. I am sorry for not having studied the content of the mural more closely before wrongly questioning its removal in 2012.”
Amazing, no, how Corbyn, a man who presents himself in public as highly sensitive to anti-Semitism can looks at the picture above and not realise its might be even a tad anti-Jewish without “study”. Is he blind to anti-Semitism or does he think it’s ok?
As Brendan O’Neill puts it: “Corbyn is in essence saying: ‘Ah, I didn’t notice the anti-Semitism.’ And that is precisely the problem. This section of the left never notices anti-Semitism. It always seems to pass them by. Or worse, they acquiesce to it in the belief that objecting to it might lose them support among some of their key bases, in particular the old left and young Muslims. I didn’t see it, they say, not realising that their failure to see anti-Semitism is the crux of the problem. It is a wilful blindness to hatred that they would treat as unforgivable in relation to any other racial or religious group.”
Anti-Semitism is a sickness. It’s been excused time and time again under Corbyn’s watch. You can look at Corbyn and his fans and ask yourself: if it looks like a duck, quack likes a duck and talks like a duck, what is it? And you can vote in the election.
If you’re still unsure whether or not the mural painted on an east London wall (see above) was anti-Semitic, you are either:
a) possibly not fully aware what anti-semitism is (see Shami Chakrabarti’s absurd report into anti-semitism in the Labour Party)
b) unaware that the artist, Mear One, said of his 2012 creation: “Some of the older white Jewish folk in the local community had an issue with me portraying their beloved #Rothschild or #Warburg etc as the demons they are.”
c) did not hear Lutfur Rahman, the Tower Hamlets mayor at the time, say he wanted it removed because “the images of the bankers perpetuate antisemitic propaganda about conspiratorial Jewish domination of financial and political institutions”.
d) have yet to hear a Corbyn spokesperson tell everyone last week: “In 2012, Jeremy was responding to concerns about the removal of public art on grounds of freedom of speech. However, the mural was offensive, used antisemitic imagery, which has no place in our society, and it is right that it was removed.”
Before this was news, Jeremy Corbyn rather liked the mural called “Freedom of Humanity”. When the artist wrote on Facebook, “Tomorrow they want to buff my mural. Freedom of expression. London calling. Public Art”, Corbyn replied: “Why? You are in good company. Rockerfeller destroyed Diego Viera’s mural because it includes a picture of Lenin.”
Corbyn was, apparently, referring to an incident in 1934, when a work by Mexican artist Diego Rivera was removed from New York’s Rockefeller Centre.
This might be tricky one to spin, then, even for nuanced and slippery Corbyn. As Rod Liddle puts it in the Times (“Nothing proves Jeremy Corbyn is anti-semitic — just everything he says and does): “I suspect most Jewish people will take the view that if it walks like an anti-semite and repeatedly quacks like an anti-semite, then it probably is an anti-semite.” Over in the Jewish Chronicle, Stephen Pollard (“There is only one word for Jeremy Corbyn”) writes: “Mr Corbyn is a liar.” Yeah, I thought he was going to call him something else, too. Pollard thinks Corbyn is a liar because of what he said then and what he said this week don’t really tally. Here’s Corbyn’s latest apology for having “friends” who dabble in anti-semitism:
“In 2012 I made a general comment about the removal of public art on grounds of freedom of speech. My comment referred to the destruction of the mural Man at the Crossroads by Diego Rivera on the Rockefeller Center.
“That is in no way comparable with the mural in the original post. I sincerely regret that I did not look more closely at the image I was commenting on, the contents of which are deeply disturbing and anti-Semitic.
“I wholeheartedly support its removal.
“I am opposed to the production of anti-Semitic material of any kind, and the defence of free speech cannot be used as a justification for the promotion of anti-Semitism in any form. That is a view I’ve always held.”
But that’s not what he said before. How closely do you have to look at the image to think it anti-semitic, especially when you are as sensitive to anti-semitism as Corbyn says he is?
Maybe everyone is wrong? Maybe the Guardian is right to cast the whole thing as a matter of opinion. The paper uses inverted commas to soften the racism, saying Corbyn is in an “antisemitism row after backing artist behind ‘offensive’ mural”. Are you offended by what the Guardian calls a mural that “pictured several apparently Jewish bankers playing a game of Monopoly, with their tabletop resting on the bowed naked backs of several workers”? Corbyn wasn’t. The Guardian is unsure if its readers are.
But blessedly some Labour MPs have backbone.
Labour peer Stewart Wood said: “The German Social Democrats had an expression in the 1890s: ‘antisemitism is the socialism of fools’. Sadly, Labour’s leadership now faces the challenge of having to convince our party and country that they will not tolerate those who confuse the two.”
Dudley MP Ian Austin said: “Jeremy would never have defended racist imagery aimed at any other group.”
But some Labour MPs are just as slippery as their leader:
Corbyn’s Deputy Tom Watson, you know the bloke who takes money from Max Mosely (not a Jew) and who called dead Tory Leon Britton (was a Jew) “as close to evil as any human being can get” (he later apologised for that error) was shown the mural on BBC TV and asked for his reaction to it. “My reaction is that is a horrible anti-Semitic mural that was rightly taken down… You are showing it to me on a 32-inch screen on national television and I have seen it about 100 times on social media. It’s very different from seeing it on Facebook when you are on the move.”
There’s only move that chills us: Jeremy Corbyn’s relocation to 10 Downing Street. And he clearly doesn’t care if Jews vote for him are not. It was Corbyn’s old mucker Ken Livingstone who explained Labour Party thinking on BBC’s Newsnight programme in 2012:
“People vote according to their income. Now that can change – it might be a generation before people catch up. If we were talking 50 years ago, the Roman Catholic community, the Irish community in Britain, the Jewish community was solidly Labour. Still the Irish Catholic community is pretty still solidly Labour because it is not terribly rich.
“As the Jewish community got richer, it moved over to voting for Mrs Thatcher as they did in Finchley.”
And we’re back to those Jewish bankers.
Stephen Pollard is right. Jews know what you are, Jeremy Corbyn. The terrifying thing is that not enough of your colleagues think it’s all that big a deal.
The oldest prejudice is back. And it is rampant.
Smith Smith is no longer captain of the Australian cricket team. His deputy David Warner has also stepped down. Both players cheated and got found out. Smith admitted that the team’s “leadership group” had discussed a plot to tamper with the ball in the Test series against South Africa. Cameron Bancroft was caught on camera on the third day of the third Test between in Cape Town taking a yellow tape from his pocket before rubbing the ball. Aware he;d been spotted, he then stuffed the tape down his trousers.
“We had a discussion during the [lunch] break and I saw an opportunity to use some tape, get some granules from the rough patches on the wickets and change the condition,” said Bancroft. “It didn’t work. The umpires didn’t change the ball. Once I was sighted on the screen I panicked quite a lot and that’s why I shoved it [a piece of sticky tape] down my trousers.”
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was upset. “I am shocked and bitterly disappointed by the news from South Africa,” said Turnbull. “It seems beyond belief the Australian cricket team have been involved in cheating. Our cricketers are role models and cricket is synonymous with fair play. How can our team be engaged in cheating like this? It beggars belief.”
Role models. Haha. No. They’re not. But they are cheats.
The Biblical ways are always best. Obey the 10 Commandments. If you see a burning bush talk to it. And the best way to slay a lunatic Philistine bristling with weaponry is to sling stones at them. It might just work in Pennsylvania, where one school district is arming teachers and students with buckets of rocks.
Every classroom in the Blue Mountain School District in rural Philadelphia is equipped with a 5-gallon bucket of river stones. “We always strive to find new ways to keep our students safe,” Superintendent David Helsel tells The Associated Press. “Throwing rocks is more effective than just crawling under desks and waiting, and it gives students and teachers a chance to defend themselves.”
The rocks form the ‘C’ part of the “ALICE” action plan in case of emergency – Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate.
There has never been a mass school shooting in Pennsylvania. In much the same way there has never been a Islamist attack on a school in the UK, but children in many prepare for such a horror with a drill. In 2017, when the bells sounded at Craigie High School, Dundee, children hid under desks. The school went into lockdown. It was a false alarm. They were given no prior warning.
“In common with other schools across the city, Craigie High School periodically tests the resilience of its procedures,” said a spokesman for Dundee City Council. “Clearly it is important that any drill is as realistic as possible, but as soon as the procedures had been tested, the school community was informed that it was an exercise.”
Should we be worried that the threat of a rare attack is now part of growing up in the West? What happened to terrorists not changing our way of life?
As for life in Blue Mountain School District, if reason can’t defeat the shooter and change US gun laws, maybe an army of Davids can.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has paid for a full-page advert in today’s LA Times newspaper to hail his arrival in the US of A. Earlier this week, Manchester United ripped up Zlatan’s contract, allowing him to sign a two-year deal with LA Galaxy. He’s still’s full of swagger, but is the 36-year-old Ibra worth it?
He might well be. With 33 top trophies in his cabinet, Ibrahimovic has aged well. Since his 30th birthday, Zlatan has scored – get his – 251 goals. Didier Drogba scored 141. Teddy Sheringham scored 124. Before turning 30, he scored 232. Ibrahimovic has scored ten or more league goals in every season from 2006/07 to 2016/17.
All hail, Zlatan, then.
You don’t need to be all that bright to row for Oxford. Take Benedict Aldous, 20, an ex-Etonian who thought it “satirical” to rock up to a party at Christ Church College, Oxford, dressed as a Klu Klux Klan member. ” I arrived at the bop dressed in a jumper and jeans with a sign reading ‘Middle America’ and wearing a pillowcase resembling KKK regalia,” he tells Cherwell, a weekly student newspaper published by students of Oxford University.
First up, Benedict, mate, only idiots and Hilary Clinton think everyone in Middle America is a violent bigot. In case you missed it, Clinton was on a trip to India when she rubbished millions of Americans, saving particular derision for the less well off. This is what she told a dinner-and-speech crowd in Mumbai:
“If you look at the map of the United States, there’s all that red in the middle where Trump won. …
“I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward. And his whole campaign, “Make America Great Again,” was looking backwards.
“You know, you didn’t like black people getting rights, you don’t like women, you know, getting jobs. You don’t want, you know, to see that Indian-American succeeding more than you are. Whatever your problem is … working for a woman now, you don’t like it — whatever the reason was, he stirred that up.”
Aldous then went on to say:
“It was meant as a comment on Donald Trump’s possible connection to KKK members after the US election. I did not intend to offend anyone and removed the costume within two minutes of arriving after realising the inappropriateness of it.”
So why is this news in the Times (prop R. Murdoch) and the Sun (prop. R Murdoch) – “RACE CREW Who is Benedict Aldous? Why was he called into the Oxford Boat Race crew and what was the ‘Ku Klux Klan’ incident?”? Well, the story first appeared on The Tab, the student news website in which Rupert Murdoch has invested. And the angle is that Aldous is set to row in the Boat Race, an annual rowing contest between crews from Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Clubs. Is he fit to hold the paddle? As a result of the KKK incident, Aldous was “blocked from attending all future JCR events” and “instructed to apologise in writing”. But he;s not banned from rowing for the University.
“Benedict made a mistake,” says a Boat Race spokeswoman. “He has apologised and the incident was dealt with appropriately.”
And there’s that thing: this obsession with appropriate behaviour. No laws broken; no crime committed; but if you’re thought bad of, you’ve had it. It’s a pretty fair bet to say most MPs would rather be caught breeching parliamentary rules than behaving ‘inappropriately’. It’s the moralising catch-all with a diffuse and expansive definition that can snare anyone deemed to have caused offence.
If young Aldous wants to spend his life rowing backwards against the current. Let him.
You can no longer browse the personals section of Craigslist in the US. The owners of the online classified ads site have closed personal listings in reaction to Congress’s passage of a law that makes websites accountable for users who “misuse” personal ads. A click on the “casual encounters”, “strictly platonic” or any other romance-seeking connection tabs coughs up this message from San Francisco-based Craigslist:
US Congress just passed HR 1865, “FOSTA”, seeking to subject websites to criminal and civil liability when third parties (users) misuse online personals unlawfully. Any tool or service can be misused. We can’t take such risk without jeopardizing all our other services, so we are regretfully taking craigslist personals offline. Hopefully we can bring them back some day.
To the millions of spouses, partners, and couples who met through craigslist, we wish you every happiness!
Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) aims to curb online sex trafficking.
Electronic Frontier Foundation opposes the bill, stating last month:
“Facing the threat of extreme criminal and civil penalties, web platforms large and small would have little choice but to silence legitimate voices. Platforms would have to take extreme measures to remove a wide range of postings, especially those related to sex.”
The fear is that only the the most moneyed platforms will survive. Forced to err on the side of caution and view users as suspects, platform owners will shut down accounts.
You can still use the personal ads on the UK site. But the impact of the new riling is spreading. Reddit has switched off a raft of its community pages. On Reddit’s r/announcements we learn:
As of today, users may not use Reddit to solicit or facilitate any transaction or gift involving certain goods and services, including:
- Firearms, ammunition, or explosives;
- Drugs, including alcohol and tobacco, or any controlled substances (except advertisements placed in accordance with our advertising policy);
- Paid services involving physical sexual contact;
- Stolen goods;
- Personal information;
- Falsified official documents or currency
In the comments of the announcement, it was further clarified that relatively benign activities like beer trades and e-cigarette giveaways are also likely to fall under the purview of this rule, which encompasses not just purchases but transactions of any sort.
So much for freedom.
James Milner, the Liverpool player, has tweeted a photo of himself doing a very James Miler thing: he’s ironing a T-shirt. It really is James Milner and not the famous joke Twitter account “Boring James Milner” that updates its hundreds of thousands of followers with news of him sorting his cupboards, lining up his socks and, yep, ironing.
— James Milner (@JamesMilner) March 22, 2018
Looks like Milner, the super-focused footballer has a sense of humour.
He’s also a lesson in now drive and ultra-professionalism can take a player to the top of the game. Here are few words from people who’ve worked with ‘boring” James Milner:
Roy Hodgson: ”We know what James will do. James isn’t and doesn’t pretend to be as exciting as some of the wingers we sometimes use these days.”
Steven Weeks, who taught Milner at school: ”James is still exactly the same really nice, calm, quiet, totally unassuming, popular lad he was at school but I always thought that, inside, he had the sort of controlled aggression that takes people to the very top.”
Glenn Roeder: “James can seem a goody two shoes but he deserves every bit of success going. Unlike the vast majority of professional footballers he works to his maximum and extracts every last ounce of ability.”
The Times is going pretty big on news of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s Facebook activity. The Conservative-supporting Guido Fawkes website says Corbyn was a member of pro-Palestine Facebook group “History of Palestine”. Fawkes claims Corbyn was added to the group in 2014. He left it today. We’ve seen no comments made by Corbyn on the group, but the Times says there are posts saying things like: “Rothschild Zionist agenda and new world order”; “Jewish organ trafficking centre where kidnapped Syrians are stripped of their entire bodies”; and “Ambassador says Jews control 90 per cent of Canadian media.”
Mr Corbyn’s spokesman has responded thus: “Jeremy condemns antisemitism in all its forms in the strongest possible terms. He was added to this group without his knowledge.”
Dang! It just keeps happening.
Earlier this year we learnt that Corbyn had been commenting on the Facebook group “Palestine Live”. The group has about 3,000 members, “who have to be invited or added by administrators.”
Members have included Paul Eisen, a Holocaust denier, and Jackie Walker, who has been suspended by Labour over accusations of antisemitism.
Corbyn, who left the group shortly after becoming Labour leader in 2015, made a few comments under group posts. Asked whether Mr Corbyn had known about antisemitic posts when using the group, a spokesman said: “I’m sure that he didn’t.” He added that any members found to have made such posts would “be investigated and action will be taken on the evidence”.
Also in the Times, Melanie Philips (“Labour can’t see its cesspool of antisemitism”) has enlarged on Corbyn’s Facebook pals. Noting the work of David Collier in finding Corbyn’s link to Palestine Live – in a long report, Collier alerted us to members calling Jews “demons”, stating that Jews were behind 9/11 and the 2015 Paris terror attacks, and linking to far-Right websites – and that “several” Labour Party members were suspended for participation in this group, she cites the words of the group’s creator, Elleanne Green, who posted in February 2016: “Jeremy was a member of this group for several years until a few weeks after his election as Labour leader.”
Why did he leave? We’re not told.
During this time, according to other posts on the group’s forum, Corbyn was thanked for helping members organise an Israel-bashing meeting in the Commons. He posted an apology for not attending that meeting.
Yet Corbyn said he “was joined on to that group” without his knowledge and that he had merely replied to a “couple of things” posted there. He had “never trawled through the whole group”.
Putting it at its most charitable, Corbyn and other prominent participants never registered the vile nature of some of those alongside them in this forum. The reason for this moral myopia illustrates why the Labour Party finds it impossible to deal with the antisemitism in its broader ranks and why this is the problem that won’t go away.
Meanwhile, over in the Guardian, there’s no word on Corbyn’s alleged links to “History of Palestine”, but there is one article on his relationship with “Palestine Live”:
Corbyn posted several times in the group after being tagged in posts…
He was more passive than active?
Corbyn said he had not seen the other antisemitic posts on the group. “Had I seen it, of course, I would have challenged it straight away, but I actually don’t spend all my time reading social media… I have never trawled through the whole group. I have never read all the messages on it. I have removed myself from it. Obviously, any antisemitic comment is wrong. Any antisemitism in any form is wrong.”
So how did he become a member?
The Palestine Live group was founded in 2013 and was set up in a way that allowed administrators to add people to the group without their consent. It is understood that Corbyn believes he may have been added to the group by an acquaintance, who simultaneously added him as a Facebook friend when he was a backbench MP.
Understood. Believes. May. Surely we can find out the facts, no?
The Labour MPs Clive Lewis and Chris Williamson were members of the group, as were two former Liberal Democrat politicians, Baroness Jenny Tonge and the former MP David Ward.
Jacqueline Walker, a former Momentum steering group member, is also a member of the Facebook group. Walker has been suspended from the Labour party twice over allegations of antisemitism.
In one post, Walker appears to ask: “How safe is this group?”, to which the group’s founder, Elleanne Green, replied: “Very. no one is allowed in who is not trusted. I am very very careful, it is a secret group.”
So can you add people to a “secret” Facebook group without them knowing? It looks like it. This is on Facebook:
The bigger worry than any of this is why Jew hatred does not matter to Corbyn’s Labour? Why are they obsessed with Israel? Why is it okay for the Left to attack Jews if they can link their barbs to Israel – the skin between anti-Semitism and criticism of Israel is porous?
And another question: how does showing a Facebook group Corbyn was a member of stymie anti-Semitism? To work under the assumption that membership of a Facebook group with a low barrier to entry represents tacit endorsement of every view espoused in it can’t be helpful. It runs the risk of turning the need to call out anti-Semitism into a hunt for people saying things that, however horrible, should not be unsayable.
To Sheffield, where the Labour council has drawn up a list of 17,500 trees that must be killed. The trees, say the council, are dangerous. Many people disagree. But to prevent protestors saving healthy trees from the chop are lots and lots of police – as many as 30 officers can attend a single tree being felled.
And today the madness reached new heights.
@M_caveman tweets: “Here it is. 7 police vans, a CCTV van, 2 inspectors, 20-30 police – keeping our streets safe from a toy trumpet player. Unbelievable.’
Here it is. 7 police vans, a CCTV van, 2 inspectors, 20-30 police – keeping our streets safe from a toy trumpet player.
— M (@M_caveman) March 21, 2018
On 3 February 2018, this statement from Sheffield City Council was intended to make sense of the lunacy:
“We welcome todays statement by South Yorkshire Police’s Assistant Chief Constable, Dave Hartley, with regards to police support around our legitimate tree replacement works on the highway.
“Whilst we respect the right to campaign and protest peacefully, some members of the campaign group are now adopting increasingly violent tactics as well as breaching a high court injunction. This is simply not acceptable.”
See: plastic trumpet.
“It is disappointing that, on so many occasions, this unnecessary division in the city has led to on site activity shifting from peaceful protest to criminal behaviour and our priority must be to ensure the safety of the public and staff who are undertaking this work in increasingly dangerous and challenging situations.
“We once again ask that people respect the law to ensure this vital work, which will enable the upgrade of the city’s roads, pavements, street lights and bridges, can continue.”
The council is replacing mature trees of diverse species – cherry trees, lime trees and elm trees – with saplings. The existing trees are baring the brunt of a £2.2 billion plan to improve the city’s roads and pavements. But local residents are happy with the trees. And you can imagine the police are happy with getting paid to watch them. So why is his madness happening?
To Florida, where the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office claims Derrick Irving and John Silva, who was dressed as a bull, broke into their ex-boyfriend’s house and tried to burn the place down with spaghetti sauce. It’s alleged that Irving and Silva nicked several items and left pasta sauce boiling on the stove with a cloth close enough to catch light and start a fire. The alleged plot failed because the victim’s security system alerted him.
Police arrived at the peoperty in time to find Irving and Silva driving away. Silva was behind the wheel. Irving was in the passenger seat dressed as a bull. Police also noted in the car: a marijuana grinder, a vacuum, a window air conditioning unit, a flat-screen television, a heater in the back seat, and an empty jar of Ragu sauce.
Says the alleged victim: “He was trying to make it look like I left the stove on but who gets up 2am and fixes skett. It started out as a relationship, that lasted about a week. I’ve let him use my car for four months, maybe he’s angry about that. Or maybe he’s angry because I gave him $150 to fix his teeth.”
Both men have been charged with unarmed burglary, grand theft and arson.
That’s not quite the result from the latest research into fun and tooting habits, that 1 in 10 of us are cocaine fiends. What is actually shown is that enough of us are into Bolivian marching powder that the entire environment is infested with traces of the stuff. Enough that fingerprint testing shows that 1 in 10 of us could be, if we’re not careful, adjudged to be users ourselves. That’s about 10 times what we think is the real level of usage in the country:
Cocaine is now so prevalent in society that one in 10 people who have never used the drug have traces on their hands, a new study has shown.
Researchers at the University Surrey tested the fingerprints of 50 drug free volunteers and 15 drug users who had taken cocaine or heroin in the past 24 hours.
Around 13 per cent of fingerprints of those who had never used the drugs were found to contain cocaine, while one per cent contained a metabolite of heroin.
There’re some technical bits here- it’s not just traces of the drugs, but also of what the human body turns drugs into when they’re used. As with just about everything else anyone ingests some parts of those “metabolites” end up in the sweat. That’s what’s being tested with these fingerprints and also how it all gets out into the environment.
The reason it’s all so prevalent is cash. OK, sure, we’ve that mental image of someone using a bank note (a £50 to show off) to snort coke but that’s not really it. There’re some 700,000 people who are thought to use cocaine and they’re not infesting enough bank notes for us all to be infected. And that certainly doesn’t explain the heroin – no one using heroin ever has any money, the drug’s quite famous for that.
What’s actually happening is that some small portion of notes are getting contaminated. In the normal course of things they get spent and sent off to the banks. Where they use money counting machines then stick the notes back in ATMs. And it’s the rollers on the counting machines and the ATMs which end up with traces of cocaine on them, spreading those traces over every note that passes through. This isn’t, therefore, really a story about how we’re all drug fiends. Rather, it’s one about how much better science has got. We can now check for such minute traces of things that we find them everywhere.
Presumably the whole story will go away at some point when we’re all using contactless payment cards. For at that point only the people actually using drugs will have them on their fingertips.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has spoken on the Cambridge Analytica (CA) horror – CA company improperly harvested data on 50 million Facebook users without their consent. Zuckerberg has vowed to “protect your data”. To which the obvious response is: from you or from them? It was slack data policies that damaged Facebook, wiping tens of billions from its stock market valuation. The big worry is that Facebook’s lax protocols and CA’s conniving lead to a more regulated internet.
It also invites us to wonder if the data was worth the hassle? The idea is that CA gathered enough information to target individuals with messages geared to their prejudices. At voting time, this can give candidates an edge, so they claim, either by bigging up a candidate or disparaging rivals.
Does it work? Did Facebook win the US election for Donald Trump as it is helped Barack Obama in 2012? At what point does using data move from being cutting-edge and down with the kids to something sinister? Whatever the outcome, the narrative is the same: voters are perceived as fools, slack-jawed consumers devoid of circumspection and reason.
Zuckerberg made his thoughts known in a Facebook post, naturally.
I want to share an update on the Cambridge Analytica situation — including the steps we’ve already taken and our next steps to address this important issue.
We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you. I’ve been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn’t happen again. The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago. But we also made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we need to step up and do it.
Here’s a timeline of the events:
In 2007, we launched the Facebook Platform with the vision that more apps should be social. Your calendar should be able to show your friends’ birthdays, your maps should show where your friends live, and your address book should show their pictures. To do this, we enabled people to log into apps and share who their friends were and some information about them.
In 2013, a Cambridge University researcher named Aleksandr Kogan created a personality quiz app. It was installed by around 300,000 people who shared their data as well as some of their friends’ data. Given the way our platform worked at the time this meant Kogan was able to access tens of millions of their friends’ data.
In 2014, to prevent abusive apps, we announced that we were changing the entire platform to dramatically limit the data apps could access. Most importantly, apps like Kogan’s could no longer ask for data about a person’s friends unless their friends had also authorized the app. We also required developers to get approval from us before they could request any sensitive data from people. These actions would prevent any app like Kogan’s from being able to access so much data today.
In 2015, we learned from journalists at The Guardian that Kogan had shared data from his app with Cambridge Analytica. It is against our policies for developers to share data without people’s consent, so we immediately banned Kogan’s app from our platform, and demanded that Kogan and Cambridge Analytica formally certify that they had deleted all improperly acquired data. They provided these certifications.
Last week, we learned from The Guardian, The New York Times and Channel 4 that Cambridge Analytica may not have deleted the data as they had certified. We immediately banned them from using any of our services. Cambridge Analytica claims they have already deleted the data and has agreed to a forensic audit by a firm we hired to confirm this. We’re also working with regulators as they investigate what happened.
This was a breach of trust between Kogan, Cambridge Analytica and Facebook. But it was also a breach of trust between Facebook and the people who share their data with us and expect us to protect it. We need to fix that.
In this case, we already took the most important steps a few years ago in 2014 to prevent bad actors from accessing people’s information in this way. But there’s more we need to do and I’ll outline those steps here:
First, we will investigate all apps that had access to large amounts of information before we changed our platform to dramatically reduce data access in 2014, and we will conduct a full audit of any app with suspicious activity. We will ban any developer from our platform that does not agree to a thorough audit. And if we find developers that misused personally identifiable information, we will ban them and tell everyone affected by those apps. That includes people whose data Kogan misused here as well.
Second, we will restrict developers’ data access even further to prevent other kinds of abuse. For example, we will remove developers’ access to your data if you haven’t used their app in 3 months. We will reduce the data you give an app when you sign in — to only your name, profile photo, and email address. We’ll require developers to not only get approval but also sign a contract in order to ask anyone for access to their posts or other private data. And we’ll have more changes to share in the next few days.
Third, we want to make sure you understand which apps you’ve allowed to access your data. In the next month, we will show everyone a tool at the top of your News Feed with the apps you’ve used and an easy way to revoke those apps’ permissions to your data. We already have a tool to do this in your privacy settings, and now we will put this tool at the top of your News Feed to make sure everyone sees it.
Beyond the steps we had already taken in 2014, I believe these are the next steps we must take to continue to secure our platform.
I started Facebook, and at the end of the day I’m responsible for what happens on our platform. I’m serious about doing what it takes to protect our community. While this specific issue involving Cambridge Analytica should no longer happen with new apps today, that doesn’t change what happened in the past. We will learn from this experience to secure our platform further and make our community safer for everyone going forward.
I want to thank all of you who continue to believe in our mission and work to build this community together. I know it takes longer to fix all these issues than we’d like, but I promise you we’ll work through this and build a better service over the long term.
One thing, Mark: can I have my friends back, you know the ones you want me to pay for to see my posts?
Jack Wilshere has still not committed his future to Arsenal, the club he joined at age nine. Wilshere, 26, will be out of contract at the end of the current season, in which he has made 31 appearances to date – the most in a season since 2013-14. The Gunners have offered him a new deal on reduced terms – he’ll have to accept a pay cut on his £120,000-a-week salary. He wants a better deal. And he wants to stay.
“I have got three months left on my contract,” he says. “Ideally, yes, I want it sorted as soon as possible. I want to go to the World Cup and enjoy it but we have three months until then and a lot can happen. Ideally from my point of view and the club’s point of view, they will probably want it sorted.”
He might have left the club last summer.
“He [Arsene Wenger] gave me the opportunity [to leave] with three or four weeks left in the transfer window,” says Wilshere from the England team base. It will be Wilshere’s first outing for England since that 1-0 defeat to Iceland in Euro 2016.
“I did not find anything that I wanted and at the same time I was not really fit, so I decided that I wanted to stay and build up my fitness. It was an honest conversation. We have known each other long enough where we can have that relationship where we are honest with each other. It was boiling up for a while because everybody knew I had a year left on my deal and I had been out on loan, got injured, and wasn’t really in his plans. He said, ‘I am going to be honest with you and at the moment we are not going to be offering you a contract, so if you can get a contract somewhere else, you can go’. Obviously I was not happy with that, but at the same time I was happy he was being honest.”
Determined and cock-sure, Wilshere is the kind of player Arsenal need more of.
It turns out that TV presenter Ant McPartlin might not be “squeaky clean” after all. To go with the story of alleged drug taking, Ant’s been charged with drink driving. McPartlin was, as you know, arrested following a car crash on Sunday. The 42-year-old will be at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court on 4 April.
And it’s serious. If found guilty, possible sentences include six months in prison, an unlimited fine and a minimum driving ban of a year.
And he’s been banned before. In 2002, McPartlin earned a 30-day driving ban for shifting at 127mph by an unmarked police car near Bowburn, County Durham. “It was silly and I have learnt my lesson,” said McPartlin after the hearing.
Note: According to Government figures, drink-driving is all too common.
The second provisional estimates for 2015 show:
between 180 and 250 people were killed in Great Britain
at least 1 driver was over the drink drive limit
there has been a rise in overall drink drive casualties of all severities from 2014, a 3% increase to 8,480
there was an estimated 180 fatal drink drive accidents
the total number of drink drive accidents of all severities rose by 2% to 5,740
If he is guilty of drink-driving, Ant McPartlin should count himself lucky.
To Chile, where Universidad de Concepcion forward Jean Meneses is taking an interesting tumble in the box, having encountered an invisible force field. He does not go to ground easily. He opts for complexity.
Let’s set the scene. The game between Universidad de Concepcion and Colo Colo is 1-1. Five minutes normal time. Meneses, 25, is inside the Colo Colo box. He has the ball. And then he does not. Here it is:
And the Oscar goes to ….. Jean Meneses of Universidad de Concepcion pic.twitter.com/wV1RXuVcoU
— Lrrr (@coldplague) March 21, 2018
Penalty! Seriously. The referee awarded a penalty kick. Fernando Manriquez scored it. Universidad de Concepcion win the match 2-1.
Says Jean Meneses: “One has to take advantage of the fact that the forwards can not touch attackers inside the area. So I played a little bit with the vividness and I let myself fall.”
File unser: when gravity attacks!
Manchester United’s Old Trafford is a quiet ground. It’s not alone. The quiet at the Emirates is more obvious than a dead nun on a snow-covered hillside. Stamford Bridge is quiet enough for rare newts to breed and raise their young in The Shed end. But help is afoot. United are looking at ways to bring back the noise. Things under consideration: fans with megaphones; song sheets; the return to standing and a reduction in ticket prices, meaning fans can turn up on a whim and not have to book seats well in advance, pay though the noes and sit among strangers. Only one part of that list was made up. The last part.
There will be no standing.
Football as we know it changed on 15 April 1989, when 96 blameless Liverpool fans who “neither caused nor contributed to the deaths” lost their lives at Hillsborough in a “failure of police control” and “multiple failures in other organisations”. The police lied and lied and lied. The victims still await justice. But rather than address why fans were caged and police sent for attack dogs when people were losing their lives, Hillsborough was used an excuse to control football supporters – what the Sunday Times called “slum people, who deter decent folk from turning up“.
The mood against football fans was hostile. And then came the 1990 Taylor Report. The fences were torn down. In their the place came all-seater stadia. The ID card scheme never took off – the Tory government wanted football fans to carry compulsory identity cards at matches. But now all fans did get a number, a booking reference and their bank details taken. New forms of control took hold. Spontaneity was out. Chants and language were policed.
So why is there a palpable lack of atmosphere at the football? Because the fans are shackled, treated as problem to manage and control.