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News | Anorak - Part 41

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Irma destroys tax exile Richard Branson’s private Necker island

Hands up who feels sorry for Richard Branson, whose private Necker island was smashed up by Hurricane Irma? I said, “Hands up who…” Oh, never mind. The billionaire would-be rocket-shop operator has shared pictures of Necker after Irma hit. He tweets that he’s looking at ways to help people in the British Virgin Islands left destitute: “Necker damage huge, but BVI #Irma story is not about Necker – about 1000s of people who’ve lost homes & livelihoods.”

But how can such disasters be prevented? Better houses? More money? How about stopping climate change? On the Virgin Group website, Branson explains all:

“Man-made climate change is contributing to increasingly strong hurricanes causing unprecedented damage. The whole world should be scrambling to get on top of the climate change issue before it is too late – for this generation, let alone the generations to come.”

That’s the same Richard Branson who operates an, er airline and is looking to develop commercial spaceflight through Virgin Galactic. You might wonder how he reaches his Caribbean Island? Rowing boat? Balloon? You might also wonder if paying taxes in the country that helped you get stinking rich is its own way performing an act of social responsibility, allowing governments to sort out the cash and improve standards of living.

Branson is a tax exile.

But Branson has issued a call for help. “We were very fortunate to have a strong cellar built into Necker’s Great House and we were lucky all of our teams who stayed on the island during the storm are safe and well,” says Branson in a Virgin blog post.

He then pulls on the the missionary’s hat and tells the unfortunates without power, clothes, food, windows and roofs but who are nonetheless tuned into Branson’s views via the wind-powered internet: “There are worrying reports of civil unrest spreading. I urge everybody to stay safe, remain calm and support each other. Help is on its way.”

Virgin Atlantic is transporting aid to the region, he says. And that can only be a good thing. Think not of the rich man’s grandstanding but of the needy being helped. His son Sam is delivering supplies aboard Virgin’s 105ft catamaran, Necker Belle. “The region needs a Disaster Recovery Marshall Plan,” says Branson.

He then tells us: “There’s this image of the British Virgin Islands — yes there are wealthy people here but the very vast majority are ordinary working people,” he notes, reminding us that staff are not volunteers and not everyone’s there on holiday. Who knew?

 

Posted: 12th, September 2017 | In: Celebrities, News | Comment


What does it say on Ernest Shackleton’s CV?

Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton

What does it say?

 

Sir Ernest Shackleton (5 February 1874 – 5 January 1922) died on an exhibition to the Antarctic. In December 1903 the great explorer applied to be Secretary of the The Royal Scottish Geographical Society (RSGS). Indeed, he got the job on January 11 1904, acting as the RSGS’s Secretary from 1904-1905.

The RSGS’s current writer-in-residence Jo Woolf has found a copy of Shackleton’s CV. They want to know what it says in the margin. There are pencil notes (see above).  You can let them know by writing to enquiries@rsgs.org.

Spotter: Mysterious Universe 

Posted: 12th, September 2017 | In: Celebrities, News | Comment


Manchester United wanted Arsenal’s Wenger but ended up with Mourinho and his questionable values

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger turned down the role at Manchester United. According to former Man United chairman Martin Edwards, the Red Devils approached Wenger to manage the club when Sir Alex Ferguson announced his intention to retire. On May 18 2001, Ferguson told MUTV: “I will be leaving Manchester United at the end of the season and that is it.” In 2016, Ferguson called the decision his “biggest mistake”. He changed his mind in January 2002.

That was a blow to Sven Goran-Eriksson, the former England manager who has said that he signed a deal in 2002 to replace Ferguson. In Sven: My Story, Eriksson notes: “I knew it would be tricky. I had a contract with England until the 2006 World Cup and I would be severely criticised if I broke that contract. But this was an opportunity to manage Manchester United.
A contract was signed — I was United’s new manager.”

In his autobiography, Fergusson admits as much. “The head-hunters were due to meet a candidate to succeed me the following week,” wrote Ferguson. “Sven-Goran Eriksson was to be the new United manager, I believe. That was my interpretation, anyway.”

But this is about Wenger, who says he didn’t move to Old Trafford because he was happy at Arsenal. “I love the values of this club,” says Wenger, “and a club is about values first.”

….

Meanwhile, in Harrod’s department store, London, current Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has bumped into TV presenter Piers Morgan, who reports their conversation. “How the hell is Arsene still in his job?” asks Morgan. “No idea,” says Mourinho, whose family live in London, “but I hope she stays for a long time.”

Clubs can pick a manager but they can’t pick their fans.

 

Posted: 11th, September 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment (1)


Paul Hollywood’s Nazi shame – Bake Off star battered

Paul Hollywood, 51, once pulled on a Nazi uniform and strode into the White Stag pub in Monkon, Kent. His wife was dressed a member of the French Resistance, albeit unarmed and of a sort imagined by writers of British sex comedies (low cut top, perky beret, fishnets and lots of ooooo-la-la).

 

paul hollywood nazi

 

That Hollywood pretended to be a Nazi officer 14 years ago as part of a private fancy dress do is neither here nor there.

The British public accord unquestioning respect to presenters on TV cooking show The Great British Bake Off, and as a role model for impressionable amateur bakers, Hollywood should be rightfully shamed. Yes, the Pope wore a Nazi uniform, often, so too Kurt Waldheim, the fourth Secretary-General of the United Nations, Prince Harry, and rockers like Lemmy, Keith Moon, Siouxsie Sioux, Sid Vicious and Brian Jones also pulled on the feldgrau and Swastika, but they never made cakes on the telly. And for that we should be grateful.

 

Keith Moon Nazi

Keith Moon

 

Pricne Harry NAzi

 

Ed Balls Nazi

Former Labour Party MP and shadow Chancellor Ed Balls

 

“I am absolutely devastated  if this cased offence to anyone.” says Paul, whose picture emerged in yesterday’s Sun. “Everyone who knows me, knows I am incredibly proud of the effort of those, including my own grandfather, who fought the Nazis during the war.”

In the Daily Mail, the paper that once infamously cheered for Hitler’s blackshirts, we hear not advice on how to sport the Nazi uniform and why Hollywood’s get-up is an affront to the shirt, rather the words of former Bake Off finalist Ruby Tandoh, who opined on Twitter: “Absolutely creasin at pple telling me: “IT WAS TEN YEARS AGO” as is the Nazis weren’t bad back then.”

To say nothing of them not being on he telly all that much.

We march at dawn.

 

Posted: 11th, September 2017 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News | Comment


New study links fast food to fat

Can it proven that fast food makes you fat? Researchers at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) examined 1,500 state primary school pupils aged four to 11, looking at their postal addresses and weight. Turns out that the kids living closer to fast food outlets – within around half a mile – were more likely than their peers to gain weight during the primary school years.

This is, of course, all about protecting children from being fat – a physical state that once marked you as jolly but now casts you as a mentally negligible victim.

So can it proven that fast food makes you fat and is a danger to children’s health? Or is this more about correlation than causation? Poorer people eat the most fast food. Relocate the eateries, or make them sell just salads and watch the fatties slim down. Or better yet, turn the fried chicken shacks into gyms and therapy suites.

And what of the business angle? If you’re going to open a fast food franchise or fish and chip restaurant, you’ll do best locating where poorer people live and the rents are cheaper. Unsurprisingly, the study noted a higher density of fast food outlets – i.e. cheap food – in poorer areas.

In July, Cambridge University’s Centre for Diet and Activity Research counted 56,638 takeaways in England. And it too noted that fast food shops are more prevalent in England’s poorest areas.

NHS employee Matthew Pearce, who led the research, tells media: “We know from national data that the number of children classified as obese doubles between the first and last year of primary school. Understanding the reasons for this is important to protect the future health of children. Obesity is driven by many complex factors. Our study adds to existing evidence that the neighbourhood environment plays an important role in the development of obesity.”

“While ultimately it is down to individuals on how they choose to live, it is widely accepted that we live in environments that make managing our weight increasingly difficult,” Pearce adds. “We therefore need national and local policymakers to take decisions that support more favourable conditions that enable people to eat healthier and become more physically active.”

So what’s the plan, then? Put simply: tell the idiots how to live. Much harder to implement is the other plan: let’s get richer.

Spotter:  Journal of Public Health.

 

Posted: 11th, September 2017 | In: News, The Consumer | Comment


Cromer lock down: Norfolk police lies and fears of a pogrom

cromer police

 

At 13:33 on August 19 2017, Norfolk Constabulary declared that the seaside town of Cromer was a no-go area. Hurricane? Terrorists? What happened to close a town? Deprived of a Town Crier, police reached out to the locals via Facebook, whereon the following message appeared:

We have additional resources in Cromer tonight following reports of low-level disorder earlier today. We are aware licensees of local pubs have taken the decision to close this evening and we will have additional officers on patrol to provide reassurance to the local community. We are also aware of mentions on social media relating to a stabbing in the town tonight – we can confirm no such incident has been reported to us.

Curious minds might wonder why an entire British seaside town had been closed. Are Norfolk people so fearful that one rumoured stabbing sends them scuttling for the cellars? No serious crime occurred. The police statement was clear on that.

Helping us get to the bottom of the story was the Eastern Daily Press. Published by Archant in Norwich, a mere 24 miles from the scene, the paper told readers:

Norfolk police moved to reassure residents, saying they had only been called to reports of low-level disorder on Saturday, including thefts from Morrisons and a pitch and putt course.

No big deal, then. Although the EDP did note that the decision of many businesses to shut on a what should have been a busy Saturday night..:

The move coincided with the arrival of a group of travellers who set up camp in the town’s Runton Road car park…

With few places open in town, a large group of people were spotted walking in the middle of the road from Runton Road to Seacroft caravan and campsite in Cromer.

However, police later blocked the entrance before the crowd were later seen leaving the site.

Over on the BBC, no word on the travellers. But we do hear from the police:

Supt Malcolm Cooke of Norfolk Police said: “We acknowledge there have been a number of incidents in Cromer over the weekend, which will understandably cause concern. However, I can assure residents these incidents have been dealt with appropriately and are of a nature routinely dealt with in towns such as Cromer on a busy August weekend.”

No-one reported what really happened. Indeed on the Norfolk police know what did not happen

 

cromer police rape travellers

On the Norfolk Police website

 

Norfolk Police Deputy Chief Constable Nick Dean told media on August 21:

“Cromer is a very safe town, this is an isolated incident. We can’t deny a group of the travelling community were in north Norfolk at that particular time. But to put the blame completely on the travelling community as a whole, I think is totally disproportionate.”

The police were on message. But they are worried that the good people of Cromer were not. Why did police send out the wrong information? Do they view the good people of Cromer as a pogrom in waiting, knuckle-heads who will turn on Travellers, blaming them all for the alleged crimes of a few? The message seems to be that you should be less on the look out for the alleged villains than you should watch yourself for signs of prejudice. Rather than policing the streets, the police were examining minds for signs of possible hate crimes.

On September 6, police issued a new statement. Chief Constable Simon Bailey explained what constitutes low-level crime:

 “There were a number of incidences of theft, of anti-social behaviour, of criminal damage and we misjudged our message, and I’m sorry that we got that message wrong. We got it wrong, we’ll learn the lessons. It won’t happen again. Part of our review will look at our media messages. I’m genuinely sorry that we created the impression that this was a low-level disorder. We had a rape which, whilst at the time we didn’t connect to the group, we are now absolutely connecting.” “

Alleged theft and rape are now classified as “low-level”crimes.

 

 

Hats of to the police for admitting their error. But why not just stick to the facts? Why send out a ‘message’? They’ve yet to explain why they did that.

 

Posted: 10th, September 2017 | In: News | Comment


Chelsea asks fans to police themselves but abusing Spurs is all part of the game

yid army Morata Chelsea Spurs

 

Chelsea want their fans to stop hailing new striker Alvaro Mora with the song: “He came from Real Madrid he fucking hates the Yids.” ‘The Yids’ is, for those of not au fait with footballing abuse, a reference to Tottenham Hotspur football club. The rich irony being, of course, that Chelsea are owned by Roman Abramovich, a Jew. Mr Abramovich is Chairman of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia. This might be a shock to the Chelsea goon who in the early 1980s sniffed my friend and hymned: “Fe-fi-fo-fum, I smell Yiddish scum.”

In blood, Abramovich is more of a yid than Spurs’ Harry Kane. But this isn’t really about racism. This is about finding ways to insult the opposition and upset their fans.

Most Spurs fans couldn’t give a toss about the song. The club’s self-styled Yid Army demand to sing what they want to, and good on them. The press ridiculously call it “The Y-word” (Daily Mail), fetishising the word through censorship, making it all the more exciting and daring to say aloud.

Chelsea have issued a statement:

“The club and the players appreciate the fans passionate support away from home, of course, but the language in that song is not acceptable at all.  We’ve spoken to Alvaro after the game and he does not want to be connected to that song in any way and both the player and the club request that the supporters stop singing that song with immediate effect.”

That’s a rather clever twist on the usual ham-fisted demands for football fans to stop saying things or else. If Chelsea fans are annoying their own new star turn, then surely they’ll stop singing the song. It’s progress. Chelsea are not threatening fans with the police or lifetime expulsion from watching the team for the crime of singing songs. They’re politely asking for the fans to sort it out amongst themselves.

Good-oh.

Posted: 10th, September 2017 | In: Chelsea, Key Posts, News, Sports, Spurs | Comments (13)


Gun heroes vow to shoot Hurricane Irma clean out of the sky

Ply board and corrugated iron won’t stop Hurricane Irma. But guns might. The terrifying and immense Hurricane Irma is heading to Florida. Over six millions Americans have been told to pack up and leave. But Ryon Edwards, 22, is staying. And he’s going to end the storm by shooting it out of the sky.

 

hurricane irma guns

 

Ryon’s Facebook event page has 46,000 repondents who say they might well join him in shooting at the wind.  “A combination of stress and boredom made me start the event,” Ryon tells the BBC. “The response is a complete and total surprise to me. I never envisioned this event becoming some kind of crazy idea larger than myself. It has become something a little out of my control.”

Take care, though, shooters. Aim wrong and the the bullet might not come back and kill you.

The better ideas might be to do as one man told Sky News. When asked what his plan to survive the Hurricane was, he replied: “Well, I got a big Chinese takeaway and some beers in the fridge.”

Give up, Irma. We have you surrounded.

Posted: 10th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment


Uganda vows to attack gays with a ‘homos’-sniffing machine

The Ugandan government is on the look out for homosexuals. Helping it to detect “homos and porn actors, especially those misusing applications like Whatsapp with sex acts” is a gadget imported from South Korea – that’s the country exporting porno fridges.

The machine was ordered last year. It’s just been delivered, reportedly. But who ordered it? And does it work?

In 2016, Uganda’s Red Pepper newspaper spoke with Father Simon Lokodo, the country’s Minister of Ethics and Integrity. Red Pepper is the Ugandan tabloid that in 2014 named the country’s “200 top homosexuals”, a day after President Yoweri Museveni signed into law a bill toughening penalties for gays: a fine of UGX 10 million ($3000) or up to 10 years in jail, or both.

 

 

The paper has an enthusiastic interest in gay sex.

 

 

uganda gay bum driller red pepper

 

The story began with a photo of the gay-hunting politician underscored with the caption, “Homos Want To Rape Me – Fr. Lokodo.” Readers were told:

The amiable man of God, who quit priesthood after being appointed minister in 2011, told Red Pepper in an exclusive interview that ever since he waged a war on homosexuality, shameless homos have decided to fight back by insulting him with gay sex advances. Lokodo’s most recent brush with the bum-drillers happened last week when — together with police — he stormed and foiled a gay pride parade that was being planned at Kabalagala in Kampala city.

 

 

Thoughts soon turn to the gay-detecting machine. Lokodo explained his “war” on homosexual love:

“We are going to attack and attack. I have fresh tactics. One of them is a censor gadget or machine. We are going to procure this machine and it will detect homos and porn actors especially those misusing applications like WhatsApp with sex acts. The South Koreans are programming it. And very soon we will ship it into the country and all the evil will be busted.

How the machine works, we don’t know. Perhaps the machine works a bit like the mysterious E-meter, the Scientology device, which, according to that group “does nothing. It is an electronic instrument that measures mental state and change of state in individuals and assists the precision and speed of auditing.” But does nothing.

TechZim has a theory about the G-meter.

The machine will detect pornographic pictures, videos or graphics taken or saved on phones, computers or cameras…. How does the pornography detection machine work though? This machine is not the first attempt at detecting porn on devices. There are several products already available, the Paraben Porn Detection Stick being an example. The Stick uses advanced image analysing algorithms to identify facial features, flesh tones and body parts that are potentially pornographic among other things.

The Stick actually works to a certain extent. It errs on the side of over-zealousness as it flags normal photos as pornographic more frequently than the opposite. The Stick however only scans for images and not videos which are harder to scan. Uganda’s machine does both, which it should at $88,000 because the Paraben Porn Detection Stick costs around $129.

Worryingly, the machine can also tap Virtual private networks (VPNS).

An interesting tidbit about the machine’s technology is that it can trace traffic from VPNs and proxy networks such as Tor. With such leads, they can they block the nodes routing traffic from the VPNs in question.

This means that we are unlikely to see a repeat of what happened during the social media blackout that was instituted in February during election time, when VPN clients were downloaded 1.5 million times to bypass restrictions.

Here’s the anti-porn committee being sworn in:

Worrying stuff.

Posted: 9th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Technology | Comment


Harriet Harman wants ‘deadbeat dad’ Jacob-Rees-Mogg to wake up and small the shit

rees mogg nappy

 

If you go to work, make money and provide well for the large family you love, you are, in the words of Harriet Harman, a “deadbeat dad”. To be a good dad, a lively one who matters, you need to wake up and smell the shit, literally.

Harman, the former deputy leader of the Labour Party last seen wooing women to vote Labour by driving around in a – I kid you not – pink bus in her bid to “bring politics to the school gate and the shopping centre”, turning women into a special-interest group, says Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg is a prime example of a “deadbeat dad”.

Celebrity stuff-shirt Rees-Mogg thought it wise to tell everyone after the birth of this sixth child Sixtus that he’d never changed a nappy. “Men who don’t change nappies are deadbeat dads – and that includes Jacob Rees-Mogg,” said Harman.

It’s the kind of preachy micro-management of our lives we should all kick back against. Do we care that the State approves of our ability and willingness to change a nappy? The State should get its nose out of your business – and your kid’s business, too.

For added look-at-me nonsense, Harman also wants all MPs to get six months’ paid parental leave. Hard cheese, mum and dad. You earn enough to hire child care, but Harman wants you at home. You can’t be a working parent. You just can’t.

Who pays for Harman’s regressive ideas? Is there a locum MP to step-in? Or maybe Harman and lots of other nannies can be left to run everything..?

Spotter: Guardian

Posted: 9th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Charity trekker discovers Mount Kilimanjaro is no longer in Wales

Mount Kilimanjaro is not in Wales. Never has been. But Nikki Barnett didn’t know that when she signed up for a charity hike to the summit. “I just thought it was a mountain,” Barnett is quoted in the Metro, which gives her age as 51, one year younger than she is the Sun said. “I’m not being funny, but I’ve always struggled with the pronunciation of names in Wales, so I thought that’s where it was. It was a shock when we found out where it really was.”

In the Coventry Telegraph, which first published the story three days ago, Nicki (51!), says she’s doing the climb for the hospice that cared for her late sister.

You can back them both here. I’ve done a trek for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Raising the money can be very tough. A little bit can go a long way.

 

Posted: 8th, September 2017 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment


Hetty Douglas should join the Labour Party and really belittle the working class

By way of a follow up to the story of Hetty Douglas, the artist who sneakily took the piss out of scaffolders as they all waited in line for a McDonald’s in central London, the victims’ employer has issued a statement. It alerts readers to people, like Hetty, who equate high-vis jackets and steel-toe boot with stupidity. GKR scaffolding also notes that many highly successful businesses have been created by people with few or no academic qualifications – to say nothing of self-taught artists:

 

GKR hetty douglas

 

Hetty Douglas has now deleted her Instagram account. But her work remains online. As they say, no publicity is bad publicity. Although Hetty may be a little put out that the people she publicly labelled thick are appraising her work and, as the Sun says, finding it wanting. “Too much time on Facebook does this to you,” comes one comment. “Probably done at 5am after a late night,” is another.

 

 

Not that Hetty is of the same planet as her critics. On her website, Hetty’s bio presents Hetty in the third person.

Hetty Douglas makes work that represents both the light and dark that comes with simply existing. Douglas simultaneously conveys, subverts and celebrates the complexities of trust, sexual boundaries,and the labyrinth of unspoken intimacies of masculine/feminine truths.

The flippant and challenging textual content of this work is a deeply personal response to past and present relationships. It is obscure and hidden, and thus serves its unintentional purpose – to provoke an exploration of sincere emotions.

Underneath the tantalising layers of Douglas’s work lies a clear pursuit for something that truly matters – astable place and a true identity in a world that can happily chew you up, spit you out and not think twice about it.

Can Hetty turn adversity to her advantage? After all, the best bit of this story is that her Instagram photo is the most artful thing she’s produced. A series is surely in the offing, in which Hetty gets to the essence of what it is to exist today with a series of images in which she derides not only workmen, but also bankers, grammar school children, men on trains, the fat, smokers and Essex men. She should find a ready market for her stuff in the Labour Party.

 

Posted: 8th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Arsenal balls: Wenger on the legends, Liverpool and Thursday nights

Arsène Wenger’s Arsenal press conference revealed that he can talk about what might have been just as well on a Thursday as he can do on a Friday. Moving his usual press conference a day forward could be part of the club’s general shift towards Thursday night activities, such as the demand of the Europa League dictate. It’s about re-establishing body lock rhythms. Whereas once Thursday night meant a light supper in a Hertfordshire bistro and Bake Off on catch-up,Wenger is now faced with the tricky prospect of finding BATE Borisov on the SatNav and airplane snacks.

Ahead of the latest must-win game, this one against Bournemouth at the Emirates, where Arsenal boast an impeccable 100% win record this season (they’ve only played one match – ed), Wenger did his usual thing of reminding fans how close the club came to singing the cream of French footballing talent. None arrived, but it’s good for the Arsenal fanbase to know that the very best players have heard of Arsenal. Could the same be said of Hull, say, or Cheltenham?

Wenger than called for the transfer window to shut before the Premier League season begins. This, he reasoned, keeps players focused on their club. It might also stop managers selecting want-away footballers from playing the very team they are about to be flogged to, as Wenger did when he picked the anodyne Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to face Liverpool  hours before he joined them for an inflated £35m.

Wenger then turned his mind to those Arsenal ‘legends” grabbing the arms of BBC office furniture and sniping at the current crop. “I always have problems understanding what a legend is and what a legend isn’t,” said Wenger. “I’ve had all the players here and we speak about today but they all had their weaknesses, as well, don’t worry about that. They had their weak games and their weak behaviours. Nobody was perfect.”

Although they did win the Premier League. They did have that, Arsene.

Posted: 8th, September 2017 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comment


Everton star Wayne Rooney’s holiday romance – and Gary Neville’s advice to Coleen

Rooney laura simpson

 

For those of you wondering how Wayne Rooney and the lovely Coleen are getting along, the Daily Star has front-page news: “ROONEY GIRL TRACKED COLEEN.” The Rooney girl is his could-have-been-shag Laura Simpson, who had been “tracking Coleen for six weeks” before having what says was a “kiss and a cuddle” with the married footballer.

Laura “knew when Coleen was on holiday”. How so? Did she bug the house? Stick a tracker on her car? Hack her phone? No. The devious Laura FOLLOWED Coleen on twitter and “RETWEETED” Coleen’s message: “So basically…yes on holiday again.” Coleen also “revealed” – not boasted? – she was on holiday again in another message on August 26. Just two nights later, Wayne was on the lash and driving Laura’s car when he was pulled over by the fuzz for alleged drink driving.

It’s a no-shag ‘n’ retweet story, a far cry for the 1980s, when footballers and even snooker players were making headlines five-times-a-night.

But what about those holidays? Laura’s not the only one watching Coleen testing sun creams. The Mail says  “Already this year she has visited Amsterdam, Madrid, Mallorca, Ibiza, Las Vegas, Barbados and Portugal.” And this is relevant, apparently, because the Sun reports on its front page: “Drink-drive footie ace Wayne Rooney gives wife Coleen an ultimatum ‘You quit the holidays and I’ll quit the boozing’.”

And the chauffeur service, Wayne, let’s not forget about that.

But we’ll end with some advice from Gary Neville, Wayne’s former Manchester United teammate. “Look at Wayne Rooney there,” said Neville, spotting the striker in the tunnel before a match. “Old-school, looking forward, not hugging, kissing.” Wise words that Wayne and Coleen – but especially Wayne – can hang on to.

 

Posted: 7th, September 2017 | In: Back pages, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Kak-handed Spanish police alienate Saudi King

Look out Bournemouth, here come the Saudis! Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz is most displeased with the treatment meted out to his eldest son, Prince Abudullah, as he dined with his entourage at Marbella’s Finca Besaya eatery. Spain’s Territorial Security Unit raided the place, reportedly acting on a tip-off that members of the royals’ security detail were not carrying the required permits.

The prince’s party were asked for IDs and interrogated, and, as one eyewitness claims, “treated like terrorists”. For a double-whammy, the armed police then raided another restaurant, El Ancla, where Prince Abdullah’s daughter, Princess Susu, was celebrating her 17th birthday, again the story goes that two of her bodyguards had not been properly certificated.

 

finca besaya raid

 

So incensed is King Salman by the police’s actions that he’s threatening to pack up his millions – his presence is estimated to be worth €100,000 a day to the local economy; and that’s just in handbags – and never to return to Spain.

 

saudi king row marbella

saudi king row marbella

 

Well, that’s if you read EuroNews and believe my source who claims to be close to the King’s circle. The local Costa del Sol news paints a very different picture:

A National Police inspection of the private security guard detail of the Saudi royal family, carried out last week at a restaurant and a private property in Marbella, revealed that four guards had no license to act as security guards and were carrying blank-firing pistols, not real ones. Police officials said a representative of the Saudi royal family thanked the department and told it that the guards would be fired [no pun intended].

El Mundo also reports the fiasco as a triumph of Spanish policing – via Google Translate:

The National Police has detected irregularities in the escort service of members of the Saudi royal family who spends their holidays in Marbella when they discover that the four men in charge of their security do not have the professional qualification required to carry out this function…

In the first, Princess Susu celebrated her 17th birthday and in the second her father, Prince Abdullah, son of King Salman of Saudi Arabia, dined with his family to fire his vacation. Faced with this situation, Prince Abdullah lodged a complaint with the Spanish Ministry of Interior for a supposed vexatious treatment of the police to his family and his entourage . The officers, according to their version, came to gag their daughter. For their part, escorts of the royal delegation denounced that the police action was excessive and that they asked for passports and documentation without allowing them to give any explanation.

The police argue that the inspections were carried out with “absolute respect”, without “at any time” occurring “no violence or intimidation” . He also underlined that the identifications were carried out by plainclothes agents and uniformed police officers to avoid “any confusion in the inspection”.

The troublesome thing for the heavy-handed Spaniards is that a source tells me that when the French upset the King a few years ago – he wanted a public beach reserved exclusively for his use; locals objected with a 100,000-name petition – he left and vowed never to return to his family’s seafront home in Vallauris, preferring to take his summer hols at his palace on the beach in Tangier. He’s not holidayed in France since.

So with France and Spain out, Bournemouth it is.

 

Posted: 6th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family | Comment


Ted Heath, Jim Hemming and the evidence gap

John Hemming

 

Police have stopped investigating former LibDem MP John Hemming for his alleged part in a paedophile ring. The former MP for Birmingham Yardley – he left the Commons in 2015 – was accused along with two other men of being a paedophile. His accuser, Esther Baker, claimed Mr Hemming had abused her when she was six. In 2015, Baker, then 32, waived her right to anonymity.

She told Sky News that police took part in the alleged abuse:

“I got the feeling very much that they were protecting somebody, that they were with one of the men. One of them (police officers) I knew from church. There were a few occasions where they would be in uniform, and I kind of knew, I learnt that when they were in uniform that it was going to be a rough night.”

Sky added:

Abuse survivor Esther Baker has named a politician as one of the men who abused her while police officers stood guard. She told detectives at Staffordshire Police that he was one of a number of men who would regularly abuse her in the 1980s and 1990s.

She believes a Lord and a judge may also have been among her abusers. Ms Baker described the political figure as: “One of the core members. He was there quite often – I was one of his favourites.”

Mr Hemming has always denied any involvement with alleged child abuse and any wrongdoing. On his website he’s posted this message:

I am pleased that the Police have now made it clear that there has been a concerted effort to promote false criminal allegations against me and that the allegations had no substance whatsoever.

I would like to thank Emily Cox, my children, Ayaz Iqbal (my Solicitor), my local lib dem team and many others who supported me through this dreadful experience. There are many worse things that happen to people, but this was a really bad experience.

It is bad enough to have false allegations made about yourself to the police, but to have a concerted campaign involving your political opponents and many others in public creates an environment in which it is reasonable to be concerned about ill founded vigilante attacks on your family and yourself. Luckily there was a more substantial lobby to the contrary as well, which included many people who were themselves real survivors of abuse, which has helped.

I am normally someone who helps other people fight injustice. Being subject to an unjust campaign of vilification is something I do not wish to repeat.

The police themselves have handled the allegations well. However, although it was obvious from the start that the allegations were nonsense, it has taken two and a half years for this to be resolved. Identifying why that is will take time, but I believe that the system is too tolerant of false allegations. The current CPS guidelines on handling false allegations are in my view too tolerant of malicious allegations and need review. The unnecessary delay of around 2 years in resolving the issue I believe arises from procedures that are being used being flawed.

It has been in the public domain for 2 years that the complainant changed her allegations in early 2015 from those she had made publicly previously and that she had stated publicly that she had never met a politician.

It is worth people more generally learning a little about criminal procedure particularly that when someone is not arrested they are most likely to be innocent – even an arrest does not imply guilt. The police asked me not to put key information in my defence into the public domain, I agreed to keep that out of the public domain. That obviously made the public campaign against me harder to handle.

This sort of situation is inevitably an attack on my family not just myself. I am still in discussion with the police about some of the criminal incidents involving my family and myself during this process. Therefore I do not wish to make further comment on those at the moment.

It should be noted that the newspapers generally have handled the issue reasonably well. Exaro and Exaro’s funder have behaved dreadfully. Sky should recognise that not only was their broadcast of the original allegations in May 2015 a complete nonsense, but also had it been based upon truthful allegations that it would have undermined a criminal investigation. The attempts to drum up additional false complainants through the use of publicity highlights a difficulty with publicising cases whilst a police investigation is going on. There are people who will make false allegations merely because someone suggests that they are looking for such allegations.

Some members of the Labour Party, including my opponent in the last two General Elections, have invested considerable time in promoting these allegations. The promotion of the complainant as an expert in this subject area as a consequence of these allegations has caused addtional difficulties for my family.

I am not myself aware of another situation where members and supporters of a political party have promoted such allegations in such a public manner – essentially arming the villagers with torches and pitchforks and setting off on a lynching. There were public attempts to prevent me from standing as a candidate because of allegations made maliciously by a Labour Party member backed by other members of the Labour Party. Many Labour members will find this unacceptable and it is an issue that needs consideration by the Labour leadership.

I have asked the police to investigate this attempt to pervert the course of justice and await their response. There are, of course, many procedural options that are open to me to obtain justice for my family. I will consider those over the near future.

Meanwhile, what of Ted Heath, the stubbornly dead former Tory PM accused of being part of a Satanic cult that abused and murdered children? Not much. But you can read about him in European Psychiatry Volume 33, Supplement, March 2016, Page S456 under the headline: “The Satanist cult of Ted heath: Ethical implications of authority compromise.”

The paper highlights the corrosive impact on society of powerful pedophile rings that are protected by compromised authority representatives and professionals.

To say nothing of the corrosive effect of being accused of heinous crimes that are never tested in court.

Staffordshire police have also released a statement:

We have now concluded a thorough and sensitive investigation into a number of non-recent child sexual abuse allegations made by Esther Baker.

Throughout this process our priority has been to support Esther and ensure all potential lines of enquiry were carefully assessed and investigated. We submitted the findings to specialist lawyers at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) who have now concluded that there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction of any suspect in this case.

We recognise this investigation, and subsequent review by the CPS, has taken a great deal of time.

Supt Amanda Davies said “It was vital we gave the victim the time, space and support she needed to disclose the information. Over 100 hours of interviews were conducted by specially trained officers, and throughout the investigation we have kept her informed and continued to provide support.

“In this case Esther made the difficult decision to waive her right to anonymity and we will continue to support her, as we would with all victims of crime. We want to take this opportunity to reassure other potential victims that their identity is protected by law.”

“Supporting victims remains our absolute priority, rest assured you can contact us confident that you will be listened to and we will provide the support you need.”

Three people were interviewed under caution during this investigation, one of which was arrested, he has now been released from bail.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 6th, September 2017 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Hetty Douglas is your internet hate figure of the day

Vying with Robbie Travers for the title of Hate Figure of the Minute is Hetty Douglas, a 25-year-old artist, it says here, living in south London. On anthropological manoeuvres in the McDonald’s restaurant in London’s Piccadilly, Hetty thought it a good idea to take a photo of three men in the queue and caption the image: “These guys look like they got 1 GCSE.” The men were not jumping in the air for joy, clutching their exam results and screaming ‘YES! DONE IT!!!”. They were facing the other way and minding their own business.

Superior Hetty Douglas was making fun of them in a snide and sneaky way. It adds grist to the mill that Hetty is as the Star captions her photo, “posh”, although how it knows this we’re not told. It fits the narrative of the rich looking down on the poor, and that’s enough to bash her with.

The Sun tells Hetty to “Burger off!” The paper finds out that the three men are scaffolders with have a combined total of 8 GCSEs. It also tells reader where they can find Hetty, who works at “skate shop Supreme, in Soho, central London”. Is that fair?

The Sun is disgusted that anyone should mock another person like that. It’s not as if the scaffolders play football, like Wayne Rooney.

 

 

rooney wayne shrek fat

The Sun salutes the captain’s intellect and physique

 

In the Mail, “a close friend of the family says Hetty was actually speaking up in defence of the McDonald’s staff who were being abused by the construction crew”. The unnamed source tells the paper:

“They were being rude and swearing at those youngsters working behind the counter and Hetty thought they were out of order. I’m sure the builders would just dismiss it as banter but they were very unkind and intimidating… It was bullying to her mind. So she thought she would take these lads down a peg or two. Sadly it has backfired but she meant well. It’s typical of social media that people go off half cocked with their opinions and threats without knowing the full story. Well now the real facts are out there a lot of people will be regretting what they have said about Hetty. She’s not some posh little rich girl. She’s actually as working class as they come it’s just as a model some of the pictures of her are upmarket.”

Assumptions can be a problem.

 

 

On student website The Tab, art graduate Hetty Douglas has her entire being analysed. You can know everything about someone from a single Instagram post, apparently:

The real reason so many people have rounded on Hetty is because we all know someone exactly like her. Posh, privileged and seemingly not really aware of what’s going on in the world around them.

Johnny Long (wealth not noted) adds:

This upbringing has afforded these types of people a lot, but sometimes it appears as though they don’t have the empathy to think about anything from the point of view of people who are not like them

Bitchy stuff.

Tomorrow… some other poor sod will get it in the neck.

PS: Hetty Douglas might be auditioning for a leading role in the Labour Party. After all, Emily Thornberry is the hard Left’s choice to replace Jeremy Corbyn as Party leader. More about her empathetic attitude to workmen here.

 

Posted: 6th, September 2017 | In: News, Tabloids | Comment


Double rapist who underwent sex change harasses inmates in his women’s prison

Here’s one to ponder. Martin Ponting, 50, a father-of-three, is serving a life sentence for raping two young girls. Jailed in 1995, Ponting became Jessica Martina Winfield after a sex change operation paid for by the NHS. In 2007, Winfield told prisoners’ newspaper Inside Time:

“Unfortunately there is a minority of staff and inmates that give me a hard time because of my sexuality, possibly through lack of understanding and empathy.

“So not only do I have the problem of dealing with serious emotional issues surrounding my gender reassignment sex change but also added pressures and issues due to comments and abuse from certain individuals… I work in the main kitchens here at Whitemoor and the majority of staff and management, along with most inmates, have been extremely supportive. The same on my wing.

“I have changed my name to that of a female to prove to the authorities and everyone concerned that I am very serious about my gender and that I do not feel right being a man. I feel like a female trapped in a male body.

The State stepped in, helping through surgery Ponting solve any self-declared incongruence between his biological sex and gender identity, what the NHS terms ‘gender dysphoria’.

In March 2017, the rapist now known as Winfield was transferred from Cambridgeshire’s male-only HMP Whitemoor to Europe’s largest female-only prison, HMP Bronzefield in Surrey.

He’s now been segregated from other prisoners for allegedly making inappropriate advances.

One of his victims told the Sun in March: “There are not enough words to describe him and the evil he has done. It is diabolical they have allowed him to have a sex change and diabolical that he could be freed this year. He may have changed physically but his brain is still the same.”

When Winfield is released, she can use women-only colleges, women-only cab services, women-only changing rooms and women-only toilets. Might it be that feeling like you imagine a woman thinks and is does not necessarily make you one?

You might also wonder under what tyranny a rapist is housed in a female prison.

Posted: 6th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Free speech: Robbie Travers, Esme Allman and the great Macaroon War

We’re all suspects now. What we say is written down on Twitter and Facebook can be used to ridicule and incarcerate us at any time. News reaches us of Robbie Travers, a 21-year-old law student at the Edinburgh university. Travers has 1980s hair and, reportedly, an ongoing investigation for having committed a hate crime.

 

Robbie Travers

Not Carol Decker

 

The 21-year-old third-year student wrote on Facebook post after the US Air Force bombed an ISIS stronghold in Afghanistan in April: “I’m glad we could bring these barbarians a step closer to collecting their 72 virgins.”

The Mail says his fellow student Esme Allman, a second-year history student and the former black and ethnic minority convenor of the university’s students’ association, accused Travers of Islamophobia. Her complaint goes:

“Not only do I believe this behaviour to be in breach of the student code of conduct, but his decision to target the BME Liberation Group at the University of Edinburgh, and how he has chosen to do so, puts minority students at risk and in a state of panic and fear while attending the University of Edinburgh.”

The Sun says her accusation has triggered “outrage”.

Travers adds an update on Facebook:

“Afraid I’ve been a little more quiet as I have been accused of Islamophobia because I mocked ISIS, and I’m being investigated on such a ground by my University. Mocking ISIS allegedly made Islamic and minority students feel ‘threatened’ and ‘unsafe,’ so goes the complainant’s ramblings. Have engaged legal advice to dismiss this nonsense. Wish me luck.”

The Times hears from Travers:

He said: “I am deeply worried that I am being investigated for comments which are expressions of opinion in a jovial way . . . I do not incite the harassment or racist treatment, nor attack anyone with an illegal suggestion or suggest, indeed, that they be deprived of their human rights.”

Allman is quoted further – and for those of you not versed in student speak, this is pretty much what now passes for the norm:

“I value inclusivity as well as building and preserving safe spaces for us. Creating a truly intersectional campaign is incredibly important to me and my first job will be to work alongside the other liberation groups to ensure EUSA are fully representative of our views. Here at Edinburgh I want BME Students to engage in conversations about the issues that affect us.”

The big news is that Robbie Travers is in the news. And he might well like it that way.

 

 

In 2015, he told The Tab:

“I can also talk about football and rugby, if you like. And, sometimes, I just like to go and have a little dance at a party”, he said. “But being a public figure means that people engage with you as a ‘brand’ rather than as a real person”.

Meanwhile…on Twitter Ido Bock – “Writer for the New Statesman, Haaretz, Prospect, CapX” – has some claims regarding Travers’ postings:

 

 

Exciting times on campus, where everyone’s a victim.

Posted: 5th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Spiders alert: Daddy Pig places Peppa in mortal danger

Peppa Pig’s parent are lying to her. In ‘Mister Skinny Legs’ Daddy Pig tells Peppa that spiders are lovely. They are “very very small” and “can’t hurt you”. Daddy Pig does this to stop Peppa freaking out when she spots a spider in his room. Daddy Pig does not vacuum the spider nor does he flush it down the toilet. The pigs pick up the spider, puts it to bed in a dolls’ house and Peppa offers it tea.

Nobody dies.

It turns out, of course, that Daddy Pig’s lies are putting his kids in mortal danger. As Australians know ABC, spiders are huge and terrifying. ABC, the national public broadcaster, says the show is “inappropriate for Australian audiences” and banned it from future broadcast in 2012

But on 25 August 2017, the episode was broadcast on Nick Jr, a children’s channel affiliated with Nickelodeon. When one mother complained, a spokesman for the TV station opined:

“The context of the way the spider is portrayed in the episode lessens any impact of scariness or danger; the spider does not look real, it has a smiley face and is shown in context of a show with other talking animals.”

Whatever you say, Skippy:

 

peppa pig spider

 

Posted: 5th, September 2017 | In: News, TV & Radio | Comment


Nurse Alex Wubbels arrested and assaulted for obeying the law

To Salt Lake City, where police detective Jeff Payne intends to take blood from an injured man undergoing treatment at the University of Utah Hospital’s burns unit. To remove blood you need the patient’s consent. But he’s out cold. What to do, then? The injured man is not under arrest. But Payne wants that blood. So he tells Nurse Alex Wubbels to take it. She refuses. Wubbels seeks advice. Her supervisor tells her not to take the blood – doing so would mean breaking the law. But Detective Payne disagrees.

So he grabs her, bundles her outside, pushes her against a wall and slaps her in handcuffs. A host of other overweight, unsympathetic cops look on. Thankfully, one of them films the whole assault on a body camera.

The Washington Post has more:

Nurse Alex Wubbels politely stood her ground. She got her supervisor on the phone so Payne could hear the decision loud and clear. “Sir,” said the supervisor, “you’re making a huge mistake because you’re threatening a nurse.”

Payne snapped. He seized hold of the nurse, shoved her out of the building and cuffed her hands behind her back. A bewildered Wubbels screamed “help me” and “you’re assaulting me” as the detective forced her into an unmarked car and accused her of interfering with an investigation.

The explosive July 26 encounter was captured on officers’ body cameras and is now the subject of an internal investigation by the police department, as the Salt Lake Tribune reported Thursday. The videos were released by the Tribune, the Deseret News and other local media.

On top of that, Wubbels was right. The U.S. Supreme Court has explicitly ruled that blood can only be drawn from drivers for probable cause, with a warrant.

Wubbels, who was not criminally charged, played the footage at a news conference Thursday with her attorney. They called on police to rethink their treatment of hospital workers and said they had not ruled out legal action.

 

 

Salt Lake police says Detective Payne is still on active duty – sleep easy, people – but that he has been “suspended” from the department’s blood draw unit.

Indeed, readers, what happened to the good old days when police obtained blood by smacking you over the head in the back of the van, where nobody could see?

Posted: 4th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Dear Coleen: Wayne Rooney tips and where you can find Laura Simpson

laura simpson

 

Everton’s former Manchester United and England footballer Wayne Rooney only had a “kiss and a cuddle” with Laura Simpson, 29, whose car he was driving when police nicked him for drink driving. All the tabloids wonder what this means for his marriage to Coleen Rooney. The Mirror says she’s fearful for the couple’s three children, “worried about playground taunts” because kids can be cruel.

Coleen, we learn, is also worried about media intrusion. Which is presumably why she, as the Sun reports, uploaded photos of her boys on Instagram and wrote: “No matter where I am they always follow me, and I hope that last forever.” No, not a coded message to the paparazzi, marketeers and celebrity magazines. That was a “heavy hint that she would keep the kids with her if Wayne and she split”.

 

laura simpson

 

By now you’re itching to know more about pneumatic Laura Simpson, who “boasts” (Mirror) of having 32E breasts, which Wayne “ogled”, hair extensions, false eyelashes, Botox and lip enhancers. Unlike Wayne, she does not smoke and have a spouse, but she does have a child.

The Sun then pinpoints the single mother struggling to make a living, helping anyone who wants to bounce into and off of Laura find her. We learn that she works at a lettings agency (wages: £38,000 a year); once went on two trips to Dubai in one month; is “cash-strapped”; and lives in a “terraced house in Irlam, Greater Manchester”. If you can’t find her there, maybe you can reach her on the sugar daddy website, where the Sun says she functions under the name “Lolaura”.

 

laura simpson

 

As journalists and pornographers stampede to Laura’s door, the kindness of strangers kicks in. In “Dear Coleen”, Coleen Nolan, writes an open letter to her namesake. “Oh love, my heart ached for you yesterday,” says Coleen, to say nothing of her mouth and she dictated 300 words of to-deadline advice. “Back from holiday, piles of washing to sort, school uniforms to get ready,” says Nolan, proving she has the inside track on the life of a woman who counts her millions by the dozen. “Whenever anyone askw me for advice,” says Nolan, “my first tip is…” Call my agent? “…never, ever, make life-changing decisions when emotions are high.” Coleen’s life is far from over because as Nolan reminds her, she too has been cheated on by a wayward and well-known husband, and had her private life scrutinised in the national press. She moved on, forging a new life as the Woman Whose Famous Husband Cheated On Her And Had Her Life Scrutinised In The Press in the Mirror and on TV’s Loose Women. Hang in there, Coleen. There’s a multifaceted career in this, maybe.

More advice for Coleen in the Mail, where Bel Mooney has “inimitable advice” for the Rooney. “Dear Coleen,” begins the heartfelt advice once more, it being a well-established fact that Coleen is a dear and likes to surround herself with dear things, some very dear, some very, very dear. “Bloody men, eh,” says Bel. “At it again!” As with Nolan, Mooney presents herself as Coleen’s kindred spirit. Coleen was born in Liverpool and so too was Mooney. Wayne was boozing with Laura in Alderley Edge’s Bubble Room.”My best friend lives in Alderly Edge,” says Money, “and I’ve been to  those upmarket joints, Piccolino’s and  the Bubble Room”.

“Good luck, Bel,” says Mooney, which sounds a bit like Rooney, and a bit self-obsessed.

Good luck, Coleen!

 

Gina McCarrick

Picture 1 of 4

In a Sunday Mirror exclusive, 37-year-old brunette Gina McCarrick, dressed in her favoured cowgirl outfit, said: 'Wayne didn't turn me on at all. He was ugly. He had a face like a smacked arse.' Rooney later confessed to having visted the den around 10 times.

Posted: 4th, September 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Malta equal Spurs striker Harry Kane’s haul of Cup Finals

“Any time we play a team like Malta,” says Spurs and England striker Harry Kane, “it’s their Cup Final. They’re going to want to win, going to want to surprise the world.”

Number of Cup Finals Kane has been in: one – the League Cup final. And in that his Tottenham Hotspur side lost to Chelsea.

And this is the same Harry Kane who played the full 90 minutes when plucky England lost 2-1 to mighty Iceland at the European Championships in June 2016.

England losing to Malta would not surprise the world. It would surprise only Harry Kane – who given his record in Cup Finals, suggests that the Spurs star is a man as lacking in humility as he is in winner’s medals.

 

england iceland harry kane

 

In case Harry Kane is still grandstanding, these are highlights from the Guardian’s live blog from when England treated Iceland – the smallest nation ever to grace a major tournament – to a Cup Final:

66 mins: “England win a free-kick from about 30 yards and Harry Kane’s effort is appalling.”

83 mins: “Now it’s Harry Kane’s turn to miscontrol a simple pass and gift possession to Iceland.”

87 mins: “Harry Kane takes it and sends the ball soaring over the penalty area and straight out of play. That is absolutely pathetic.”

 

england iceland malta

 

Good luck in all those Cup Finals, Harry!

Posted: 3rd, September 2017 | In: News, Sports, Spurs | Comments (3)


Liverpool wanted £183m for crying Coutinho

Nobody from Sky News stood in the Anfield car park to herald Philippe Coutinho’s move from Liverpool to Barcelona. The Sun said the deal was done. But until a man wearing a Sky Sports pin, possibly with a large blue sex toy propositioning their earhole, tells us the move is done and dusted, we’re reaming circumspect. Coutinho stayed. And, if reports are to be believed, sobbed that the chance to play for Spain’s second or third best team passed him by.

 

Philippe Coutinho liverpool the sun

 

Panicky Barcelona had offered Liverpool the lunatic sum of £138 for the Brazilian. Swollen by the cash earned from Neymar’s sale to the PSG, Barcelona spotted another small Brazilian and thought if they slap him in the club’s colours fans wouldn’t notice. But Liverpool were having none of it. And now we know that the Reds wanted – get this – £183m for this their best player.

A source on the Barcelona board says Liverpool valued Coutinho at €200m (£183m). Liverpool say they placed no price tag on the player. He wasn’t for sale, so why mention a fee, says the Premier League club? So is Albert Soler, Barcelona’s club’s director of professional sports wrong when he said: “Late last night, Liverpool priced the player we wanted at €200m, and we decided we would not do it.”

Meanwhile, in a wind-batted car park, Sky’s reporter on the frontline wonders if Abu Dhabi or Qatar can buy out his contract…

Posted: 3rd, September 2017 | In: Liverpool, News, Sports | Comment


Chile star says story of Sanchez to Manchester City is total balls

What really happened with Alexis Sanchez’s aborted move to Manchester City? The papers are unsure. The Sun says Arsenal called Manchester City to “flog” their star player for £60m. Arsenal then called Monaco to buy Thomas Lemar for that £60m plus another £32m. But Lemar “snubbed” the Gunners. So the whole deal was off because Arsenal only said they would sell Sanchez if Lemar agreed to join them.

The odd bit is that Manchester City – who only made their first offer for Sanchez as late as last Tuesday – apparently told Sanchez it was a done deal. He told his Chile team-mates, who – get this – “gave him a round of applause” (Sun). The other less odd bit is that Arsenal maintained they would not sell Sanchez – and they didn’t.

The result is that Sanchez is “disappointed” (Mail) and “furious” (Sun). But the player has made no comment. The fury comes from unnamed sources, who add that Sanchez could now go on strike (Express). He could also decide to knuckle down and play brilliantly, perhaps even signing a new deal at Arsenal and so earning £300,000 week, up from his current £140,000 a week.

The papers are guessing. But one man is willing to go on the record. Bayern Munich and Chile’s Arturo Vidal says Sanchez never did get that round of applause. He says Sanchez was focused on Chile’s game against Paraguay and never mentioned joining Man City. “To whom? No, no, to nobody. Not to me. I don’t think so,” said Vial when asked abut Sanchez. “I think it was all made up because he was very focused on today’s game.”

What price that anonymous source was already counting 10% of £60m until Arsenal stuck to their guns..?

Posted: 1st, September 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Manchester City, News, Sports | Comment