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News | Anorak - Part 47

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Jeremy Corbyn finds his natural home in Glastonbury’s police state

Jeremy Corbyn at Glastonbury is perfect. Corbyn will preach about the rich who aren’t able to tell you the cost of a pint of milk (cow’s not almond) while addressing the middle-aged and middle-classes who can afford the better drugs and cosier tents, who can take a few days off work to spend £238 to stand in their Jerusalem and even more on bottled water, sparkling wine, a cutting of AK47 and sanitary wipes.

 

Glastonbury Labour

 

Corbyn is among his people at Glastonbury, the big BBC-endorsed party of organised rebellion and spiritual bollocks headlined by Ed Sheeran – the ultimate box-ticking performer Simon Cowell would decant into his cloning machine.

As the middle-classes realise they’re paying a fortune to watch Newsnight Live! whilst striving to make little suburban front gardens in the mud, the rest of us can laugh our heads off enjoying the televised rain-soaked hell of all those poor sods at Glasto, knowing that the campers are staring into bucketfuls of projectile rectal pebble-dashing wondering if spending the price of a Tuscan holiday and a good plumber pretending to be homeless and incontinent was worth it.

Go Jezza! Yay! You really are at home in your curtained-off, self-governing, hard-border mini-state patrolled by millions of police – a city-dweller’s vision of the countryside that runs on Boden, bankers and bands they play on Radio 2.

Posted: 22nd, June 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


DAY OF RAGE: tabloid facts and figures from the Grenfell Tower march

How many people attended the “DAY OF RAGE” March? Was it a success? What did they protestors achieve? The tabloids review the action.

 

day of rage

 

Daily Mirror: “Rage against the Maychine” – “400 people passed Downing Street shouting ‘Theresa May – murderer'”. The protest is front-page news. The protestors are seen behind a banner demanding: “We Need Justice for Grenfell Tower.”

The Mirror finds one person who survived the disaster at Grenfell Tower who supports the march. She wasn’t on it, however. It makes no mention of survivors who did not agree with the march. Says survivor Anita Mohamed, 46: “I blame the council and the Government. More than 100 people could be dead because of their policies.”

Daily Star: “DAY OF RAGE MARCH FURY.” The paper says protestors “clashed with police”. The Mirror made no mention of any aggro. The march “erupted in violence”. There were “several arrests”. How many were on the march to topple the Government? “Around 250,” says the paper.

 

day of rage sun

 

The Sun: “TOO HOT TO TROT.” The march to “bring down the Government” “fizzled out”. In all “around 400 turned out to march 5 miles from Shepherd’s Bush to Westminster”. How many people were nicked? “There were two arrests.” We don’t hear from any Grenfell Tower survivors who support the march. We do hear from aid worker Zeyad Cred, 29, who says: “The community are still trying to recover – the last thing we need is a day of rage.”

On Page 10, the Sun calls the marchers “the furious few”. It was a day out for “freshly-minted Socialist Worker propaganda”.

On Page 13, Rod Liddle tells readers the march was organised by “another tiny left-wing organisation, the Movement for Justice By Any Means Necessary”. They are “nasty, self-righteous, thick-as-mince Trots and snowflakes”. He says the people who suffered and the charities helping the Grenfell survivors “did not approve” the march. Their “misery has been hijacked by Left-wing nutters” – it was “egged-on by by the Labour Party”, specifically Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.  When McDonell doesn’t get his way “he can always be found standing in a street surrounded by furious anti-Semitic Muslim protestors, radical lesbians… bedwetting students and professional agitators”.

Daily Express: “Militant mob clashes with police outside Downing Street.”

There were “fewer than 500” on the march. The march continued “despite the pleas of victims’ families who said their grief was being hijacked”. One volunteer helping the Grenfell survivors tell the paper: “It’s politicising the anger. Now is not the time… They are running around saying how can we get Jeremy Corbyn in.”

 

day of rage mail signs

 

day of rage mail signs

 

Daily Mail: “‘THIS is class war!’ yelled a thug at an old boy in a blazer.”

“Hey! Hey! Theresa May! How many kids did you kill today?” ask the “few hundred” fair-minded marchers. One woman carries a poster of Jeremy Corbyn with the word “Hope” over his face. We learn that the march did include “some who had been personally affected by the fire”. One woman whose young son had lost a friend in the blaze in marching. We see a few banners. “WHY DO TRAGEDYS [sic] always happen UNDER TORIES?” asks one, the holder seemingly oblivious to goings on in Iraq and Libya.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 22nd, June 2017 | In: News, Tabloids | Comment


After Grenfell Tower: let’s envy the ‘victims’ in their luxury flats

Kensington Row grenfell tower

 

After Grenfell Tower, news that displaced residents will be rehoused in “Posh New £5m Flats” (Star) at a new-build complex called Kensington Row located around a mile and a half from the disaster. The development has 68 flats, where the three-bed and four-bed flats are worth “around £5m” each.  These bigger flats, says the paper, are where “a majority of the survivors” will live.

Over in the Express there’s news that only “some of the victims” will be rehoused in the new flats. I’d say none of the victims will be. They’re dead – at least 79 of them. It’s the survivors who are being rehoused because their last home was a toxic time-bomb.

The flats, secured by the City of London Corporation, are worth even more in the Express. Now homes on the plot are worth up to £8.5m. Residents have access to a “gym, swimming pool, spa, private cinema and 24-hour concierge”. Are we supposed to envy them, or just marvel at the insane London property market which keeps so many people off the property ladder?

 

Kensington Row grenfell tower

The Mail says those survivors are living the dream

 

And then we learn that the City of London Corp paid around £10m (source: The Sun) for the 68 flats. That’s not £5m each is it – even if Diane Abbott is doing the maths. The majority of survivors are not living in £5m flats. It’s just under £150,000 for each, on average. Yes, I know that’s not the asking price, but the base price. The developers have “sold the properties at cost price”. But it proves that the flats’ monetary value is affected by many forces, not least of all guesswork and the legal requirement that all new complexes contain an element of low-cost housing.  The government defines affordable housing as “social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing provided to specified eligible households whose needs are not met by the market”.

The need for a decent roof over your head is not a luxury or an investor’s punt. It’s a basic human requirement.

Oddly, the Mirror makes no mention of the new flats until Page 5. Buried in the 14h paragraph of a story on how Grenfell Tower became enveloped in a “deadly cyanide cloud”, we learn that “some Grenfell residents” will be rehoused “in a £10m deal”.

The Mail leaves it to pages 20 and 21 to focus on the flats. Now the flats are in “£2bn blocks” and worth up to £13m. The flats are “the stuff of dreams”. Well, the privately owned ones next door the council flats on the same £2bn development are. The council homes will have a lower spec.

The rehoused Grenfeell Tower survivors will, the paper observes, “live near multi-millionaires”. Not everyone’s a multi-millionaire in London – yet. There are people in the city who live in social housing and do menial and blue collar jobs. Who knew?

Posted: 22nd, June 2017 | In: Money, News, Tabloids, The Consumer | Comment


Someone stole the amputated toe from the Sourtoe cocktail

Amateur drinkers drink cocktails. They’re the Happy Hour dross fuel, the drinks the witless and bovine sup at moments of enforced joviality and acute self doubt. At Dawson City’s Downtown Hotel, Yukon, Canada,  the cocktail of choice is Sourtoe Cocktail Club. It might well be the perfect anti-cocktail cocktail, a lampooning of the usual pretentious swill . The Sourtoe cocktail is 1 oz of whisky, mostly a decent bourbon, with a severed toe.

You don’t drink the toe – it’s not pureed. You just chin the proper booze and let the toe touch your lips. It’s the literal kicker to the hard liquor slap.

And now it’s gone. Not swallowed. Stolen. Someone has stolen the toe.

“We are furious,” says Terry Lee, the hotel’s Toe Captain. “Toes are very hard to come by.” No, they’re not. You just need to look in the right places. The inside of rugby boots, graves and building sites have plenty. The original Sourtoe toe was found in a jar.

 

sourtoe cocktail

 

CBCNews has more:

The hotel says the suspect is from Quebec and had earlier boasted about wanting to steal the toe. Lee says the man reportedly coaxed the bartender to serve him the drink after the nightly 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. “Toe Time.”

“One of the new staff served it to him to be nice. And this is how he pays her back. What a low life.”

If you can’t trust a toe sniffer, who can you trust? But, then again, all cocktail drinkers lack spirit in the hard drinkers’ race to the bottom.

Posted: 21st, June 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment


2 minutes of Hew Edwards not reading the BBC News is compelling TV

hew edwards news

 

BBC 10 o’clock News anchor Hew Edwards sits in silence. A technical glitch meant viewers saw Edwards sitting alone and in silence as the cameras rolled on last night’s live news feed. News continues inexorably. Even if there’s no news, there must be rolling news. If Prince William flying a helicopter can be news or Cheryl Cole getting a tattoo, why not Edwards sat at a desk?

The video of Edwards looking at his table top, contemplating the meaning of EastEnders, if taking two bottles into the shower is right and proper, and if the next BBC makeover show should feature amateurs auditioning as news readers, is compelling. We want to know what happens next.

And given the doom and gloom in the news of late, no news might be the luckiest thing we’ve experienced for some time. More no news, BBC, we need a break.

 

Posted: 21st, June 2017 | In: News, TV & Radio | Comment


Barbie’s Ken’s got a manbun and cornrows

man bun ken

 

Keeping in step with the times, Mattel has unleashed a new range of Fashionistas Barbie and Ken dolls. This 40-strong platoon of dollies come in a range of shapes to reflect modern humanity’s obsession with individuality. You can buy a “slim” Ken, a “broad” Ken or an “original Ken” –  “for the ultimate storytelling experience.” You can create whole worlds of narration as Ken bulks up on protein shakes and ‘roids,  slims down with tape worms and stays just the way he is.

The gang also comes in 11 skintones and 28 hairstyles. Bu the picks has to be Ken’s Manbun.

 

barbie fashionistas

 

 

Ken might not be able to talk, but he sure can issue a loud cry for help.

And look of the Cultural Approbation Ken, who sports cornrows.

 

Man-bun-Mattel-dolls barbie

 

Spotter: The WOW Report

Posted: 21st, June 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, The Consumer | Comment


Peak Clickbait: Arsenal player transfers to Arsenal

Have we reached peak clickbait in the Daily Telegraph? In “Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to leave Arsenal? Seven destinations and seven replacements”, the paper of record ticks all the boxes in how to create clicks from nothing.

 

clickbait arsenal telegraph

 

Having asked the question to which you’d once-upon-a-time have expected a national newspaper with experts to answer – and the answer is always ‘No’ to any question posed in a headline – the paper then sets about making a Transfer Balls list.

 

The Tele argues that Oxlade-Chamberlain could leave Arsenal for – deep breath – Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, West Ham, Everton, Manchester United and…Arsenal! Can you leave and remain at the same club?

As the paper mangles the English language, it also lists 7 players who could replace the underwhelming Ox. One of them is Kylian Mbappe, a striker, which Oxlade-Chamberlain most certainly isn’t.

 

Posted: 20th, June 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Broadsheets, News, Sports | Comment


Otto Warmbier and me: The Huffington Post’s disgusting attack on North Korea torture victim

Not long after Otto Warmbier was arrested in North Korea, the Huffington Post produced a hatchet job on the man. Entitled “North Korea Proves Your White Male Privilege Is Not Universal”, writer La Sha laid into Warmbier, using his suffering to nourish her status as the real victim.

Warmbier was a 21-year-old University of Virginia student on a visit to North Korea with China-based travel company Young Pioneer Tours when he was arrested on January 2nd 2016.  The North Koreans claim the “student entered the country under the guise of a tourist and plotted to destroy North Korean unity with the tacit connivance of the U.S. government and under its manipulation”.

The dastardly US plot involved Warmbier allegedly attempting to steal a propaganda poster from a hotel the tour group was staying at. For this Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years hard labour at a March court hearing. Warmbier had already been shown “confessing” to “committing a crime” and begging the Korean people and government for forgiveness.

According to the North Koreans, Otto Warmbier “fell into a coma” that same month. The North Koreans never mentioned his stricken state. On June 13 2017 a comatose Otto was flown back to the US. On June 19, 2017, Otto Warmbier died. His family has released a statement:

“Unfortunately, the awful, torturous treatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today.

Although we would never hear his voice again, within a day the countenance of his face changed – he was at peace. He was home and we could sense that.”

 

otto wambier huffington post

 

The Times saysthe brain damage he suffered was more consistent with the effects of respiratory arrest, which can be caused by physical trauma, suffocation or the misuse of drugs.” Sources suggest he lost a significant amount of brain tissue. Horrific stuff, then.

But to the Huffington Post’s writer, Otto Warmbier’s horrific ordeal is something to be celebrated. On March 23, 2016, the Post stuck the knife in. La Sha tells us:

…my reaction to [a] young white man who went to an Asian country and violated their laws, and learned that the shield his cis white male identity provides here in America is not teflon abroad.

As shocked as I am by the sentence handed down to Warmbier, I am even more shocked that a grown man, an American citizen, would not only voluntarily enter North Korea but also commit what’s been described a “college-style prank.”

La Sha is shocked by a man’s curiosity to see North Korea. Dennis Rodman (not white) has visited the place. Shocked? She continues:

That kind of reckless gall is an unfortunate side effect of being socialized first as a white boy, and then as a white man in this country.

The “reckless gall” of being a tourist whilst white. Salon thought as much, telling its readers: “This might be America’s biggest idiot frat boy – meet the UVA student who thought he could pull a prank in North Korea.” He had it coming. Lark about, get tortured and killed. They’d pick out bits of brain through his nose if they could find it. Ha-ha. What a dick.

La Sha is not alone in her nastiness.

She then slips into full on English student mode, using the kind of convoluted language kids employ when they want to look smart:

Every economic, academic, legal and social system in this country has for more than three centuries functioned with the implicit purpose of ensuring that white men are the primary benefactors of all privilege.

It’s not been working that well of late, then. Barack Obama is away, so too is Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Kim Kardashian, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Sarah Palin, Angelina Jolie, Alice Walton and more and more women and non-white male faces who have made a decent fist of making it in the USA. The list of white males who didn’t rise to the top is long. But who cares for those millions of losers who frittered away all that privilege in The Rust Belt and elsewhere in America’s hinterlands? Maybe there’s a wrinkle in the Matrix?

And on and on she goes:

The kind of arrogance bred by that kind of conditioning is pathogenic, causing its host to develop a subconscious yet no less obnoxious perception that the rules do not apply to him, or at least that their application is negotiable.

Let’s interject, break up this hideous hatchet job. We can share another aspect of Otto Warmbier’s life:

In a tearful statement made before his trial, Warmbier tells a gathering of reporters in Pyongyang he tried to take the banner as a trophy for the mother of a friend who said she wanted to put it up in her church.

He says he was offered a used car worth $10,000 if he could get a banner and was also told that if he was detained and didn’t return, $200,000 would be paid to his mother in the form of a charitable donation.

Warmbier said he accepted the offer because his family was “suffering from very severe financial difficulties.”

Check your privilege, whitey.

But the Huffington Post’s writer isn’t listening. She’s making it all about race. It’s very nasty:

Yeah, I’m willing to bet my last dollar that he was aware of the political climate in that country, but privilege is a hell of a drug. The high of privilege told him that North Korea’s history of making examples out of American citizens who dare challenge their rigid legal system in any way was no match for his alabaster American privilege.

She then likens Otto Warmbier – a young man who allegedly tried to nick a sign for larks – to mass murderers who gun down innocent people in a church and run amuck at a fast food restaurant. You see, Otto’s skin colour makes him a suspect:

When you can watch a white man who entered a theatre and killed a dozen people come out unscathed, you start to believe you’re invincible. When you see a white man taken to Burger King in a bulletproof vest after he killed nine people in a church, you learn that the world will always protect you.

Not stopping there, she attacks his parents.

And while I don’t blame his parents for pressuring the State Department to negotiate his release, I wonder where they were when their son was planning a trip to the DPRK.

Dunno. Is it relevant?

What a mind-blowing moment it must be to realize after 21 years of being pedestaled by the world simply because your DNA coding produced the favorable phenotype that such favor is not absolute. What a bummer to realize that even the State Department with all its influence and power cannot assure your pardon. What a wake-up call it is to realize that your tears are met with indifference.

A “bummer” to see your son ripped away from you and vanished. Biased, bigoted and wholly objective, the article is the antithesis of good journalism. Pause from casting aspersions over all whites and the dead man’s grieving parents to wonder how this bilge passed before the editor’s eyes and wasn’t spiked.

She continues:

As I’ve said, living 15 years performing manual labor in North Korea is unimaginable, but so is going to a place I know I’m unwelcome and violating their laws.

No. Visiting North Korea is not unimaginable. It’s something you can do legally with a ticket. And if you find it so hard to imagine the hell of enslavement in a work camp, I can commend If This is A Man by Primo Levy and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Reading when you’re a writer can be useful. Also manual labour – yeah, who does that for 15 years? That question to coal miners and anyone else employed in one of those “unimaginable” blue collar industries that keep the lights on and writers in laptops.

She concludes:

I’m a black woman though. The hopeless fear Warmbier is now experiencing is my daily reality living in a country where white men like him are willfully oblivious to my suffering even as they are complicit in maintaining the power structures which ensure their supremacy at my expense. He is now an outsider at the mercy of a government unfazed by his cries for help. I get it.

No. You don’t. Because in the race to the bottom that is competitive victimhood, your moral compasses has gone haywire. Otto Warmbier appears to have been tortured to death. His trial and treatment should earn our utmost sympathy. To use his plight as a means to showcase you’re own victimhood and self-aggrandisement, to stand on his grave and shout ‘But what about me?’ is anti-human, needy and ultimately self-defeating.

Posted: 20th, June 2017 | In: Key Posts, News | Comments (3)


A movement towards free abortions on the NHS for Northern Irish women

Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP Scottish government will look at providing free abortions for Northern Ireland women on the NHS. Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, is reported in the Belfast Telegraph as having discussed the plan with the country’s Chief Medical Officer, Catherine Calderwood.

Abortion is illegal in Northern Ireland under the terms of the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act. A woman is a criminal for having an abortion unless the State decides her physical or mental health is at serious risk. Anyone carrying out an abortion in Northern Ireland faces being jailed for life.

Who owns your body? The Northern Irish government exerts more control over women’s reproductive organs than women themselves do. And it’s the same in the Irish republic.

The choice for women seeking an abortion in Ireland is stark: an illegal abortion and prison – and if something goes wrong with the abortion, where do you turn for help if those pills you bought online turn out to be dangerous?; or a flight to Great Britain and lies.

Here’s one example of how woman suffer. In 2016, a Belfast woman was given a suspended one-year sentence for a self-induced abortion. She told her housemates that she tried to travel to England for an abortion but could not afford it. So she bought some pills over the web to induce a miscarriage. Her housemates were “taken back by the seemingly blase attitude” and called the police. Police raided her home and discovered a male foetus inside a black bag in a household bin. They arrested the woman. She was 19.

Figures from the Department of Health in England revealed last week that 724 women from Northern Ireland made the journey to England or Wales for abortions…

The Sunday Times reported yesterday that some Northern Ireland women were already gaining free abortions in Scotland by naming the address of a Scottish friend as their home.

Medics are alleged to turn a blind eye to the fact the women are not living in Scotland.

It’s awful. Abortion should be removed from the criminal law. The State has no business ruling over what a woman can do with her womb.

 

Posted: 20th, June 2017 | In: News | Comment


Brian Cant explains whatever happened to Brian Cant

 

Brian Cant has died. The face and voice of children’s TV in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s was from an era when men on pre-school telly looked like your dad. An actor by trade, Cant was working on programmes for schools when he got wind of Play School, a BBC show for toddlers. He became the show”s lynchpin, first appearing in May 1964 and staying at ‘School’ until March 1988.

His voice gave life to characters on the brilliant Camberwick Green (1966), Trumpton (1967) and Chigley (1969). That was Cant doing the roll call: Pugh, Pugh, Barney, McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, Grubb.

 

 

Brian Cant (12 July 1933 – 19 June 2017).

Posted: 19th, June 2017 | In: Celebrities, News, TV & Radio | Comment


After Finsbury Park: hate crime hunts and usual suspects

The righteous are taking sides, using the ‘facts’ to mutate the Finsbury Park murder to fit a cause. On twitter there is mention of anything and everything.

At London’s Al Quds march one know who understands things better than any of you told the masses that Jews were to blame for the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Find your prejudice and look for someone to affirm it.

 

terror is iliberal finsbury manchester

 

What is clear is that we are not united.

If we cannot speak our minds publicly for fear of being branded a bigot a racist or occupying ‘the wrong side of history’- shut down by the knowing and shut out of decent society by illiberal liberals – society splinters into groups and shibboleths of the ‘loving right’ and ‘disintegrating wrong’.

Officials strive to keep certain topics out of reach because they are scared of public opinion. What is ‘hate crime’ but a means by which to control speech and thought? We are left in a state of intellectual cowardice in which views fester and mutate into something nasty.

Posted: 19th, June 2017 | In: News | Comment


Oregon offer citizens a choice of three genders

From next month Oregon drivers can select any one of three genders for their licenses and state IDs. You can opt for M, F, or X.

The first recipient of the new rule will be Portlander Jamie Shupe, a US Army veteran, who became the first non-binary person in the United States to be officially recognized.

“Imagine I had a white mother and a black father,” Shupe explains. “I would be a mixed-race child. Well, take the word ‘race’ out of there and replace it with ‘sex.’ I feel like nature just popped me out as this mixtures of sexes.”

For ages women were defined as being the opposite of men. How would we define men and women now? Is gender fluid? Is gender constructed by society? If gender is no longer fixed is public affirmation of self all important?

Oregon has moved on. But it’s got some way to go to match the virtual world – Facebook offers over 50 gender options for people to choose from.

Spotter: The Oregonaian

Posted: 19th, June 2017 | In: News | Comment


Schools use loaned laptops to spy on students

Rhode Island schools operating ‘1-1’ programs are spying on students. Under the terms of the program adopted by 22 of the state’s 33 school districts, students each get a laptop supplied by a third party. The issue is that everything students do on those laptops gets seen by the State.

Even if you use the machine at home, the State is watching you.

If you can afford your own laptop, no problem. What you do at school can be monitored but at home you have a right to privacy. But if you’re poorer, a child in a family that can’t afford laptops, you are watched day and night.

Something that was intended to open up young minds and increase freedom and free thought is being used to control and limit. The people behind these schemes have a pretty low opinion of the students they teach, treating them as suspects.

How that webcam, kiddo?

The ACLU adds:

It also discovered that a majority of those districts allow school officials or administrators to remotely access the device — while a student is at home, without their knowledge, and without any suspicion of misconduct. We know from an outrageous Pennsylvania case, in which school administrators were found to have activated webcams to spy on students in their homes.

 

Blake Robbins computers

Blake Robbins: a screenshot of the sleeping student taken by the school district

 

CBS reported on that appalling abuse of trust in Pennsylvania’s Lower Merion School District. The school had captured over 50,000 screenshots o! students using their computers:

Holly Robbins, Blake’s mother, told CBS News, “I don’t feel this school has the right to put cameras inside the kids’ home, inside their bedrooms and spy on them.”

The Robbins family claims they learned of the breach after the assistant principal showed Blake pictures of himself and confronted him for engaging in “improper behavior in his home.”

Blake said, “She thought I was selling drugs, which is completely false.”

That’s when Holly and her husband, Michael Robbins, filed a federal lawsuit against the Lower Merion School District, claiming officials had “spied” on their son.

School officials admitted they’d captured thousands of webcam photographs and screen shots from student laptops in a misguided effort to locate missing computers.

The school district agreed a $610,000 settlement. Blake received $175,000 in a trust and $25,000 up front. The lawyers got a huge slice of it, naturally.

Spotter: RicCentral,High School Non-Confidential: How School-Loaned Computers May Be Peering Into Your Home.

 

Posted: 19th, June 2017 | In: News, Technology | Comment


Phoenicopterus Rex: a giant pink flamingo looms over Black Rock City

Phoenicopterus Rex

 

The fetish for big man-made things is one of our pet loves. A trip round Australia in the 1990s introduced me to The Big… Ant, Apple, Avocado, Banana, Chook and lots, lots more big plastic landmarks. Artist Josh Zubkoff had added a Big Flamingo to the platoon of big objects. His 40-ft Phoenicopterus Rex will loom over Black Rock City.

Phoenicopterus allows flamingo enthusiasts to climb a ladder and look around inside. Naturally, the pink flamingo will be perched on a bright green lawn of fake grass and surrounded by the white picket fence.

 

Phoenicopterus Rex

Phoenicopterus Rex- prawn-eye view

 

The original pink flamingo lawn ornament was created by artist Donald Featherstone. His creation came to epitomise American suburban kitsch, an attempt at beautification in mass-produced, bright pink plastic.

The ornament’s ubiquity and inoffensiveness inspired John Waters’ to name his breakthrough film Pink Flamingos. Waters told Smithsonian:

“The only people who had them had them for real, without irony. My movie wrecked that.”

 

http://phoenicopterusrex.com/

 

Spotter: Josh Zubkoff

 

Posted: 19th, June 2017 | In: News, The Consumer | Comment


Biased BBC identifies three Palestinian murderers as victims of Israeli violence

Three-Palestinians-killed-police Israel BBC

 

When Israeli police officer Hadas Malka, 23, was stabbed to death, the BBC headlined the story: “Three Palestinians killed after deadly stabbing in Jerusalem.” Let’s put some other recent news event through the BBC’s news shredder.

Briton killed after deadly stabbing on Westminster Bridge – BBC

The story: British-born Khalid Masood murdered three people on Westminster Bride. He injured 50 more. He fatally stabbed PC Keith Palmer.

British man killed in Manchester bomb – BBC

The story: Twenty-two people were murdered and 116 injured in a suicide bombing at Manchester Arena. The dead British man is identified as Manchester-born Salman Abedi, 22. He detonated a home-made bomb as families were leaving a concert by US singer Ariana Grande.

British, Moroccan and Italian among killed after deadly stabbing in London – BBC

The story: Khuram Butt, Rachid Redouane and Youssef Zaghba screamed “This is for Allah” as they murdered eight people and injured 48 others in an attack at London Bridge.

Others noticed the BBC’s twisting of facts to paint the killers as victims.

 

Hadas Malka biased BBC

 

Here’s Hadas Malka, the woman the BBC is at pains to paint as anything but the victim.

 

Hadas Malka

 

The BBC changed the headline. It now reads: “Israeli policewoman stabbed to death in Jerusalem.”

 

Hadas Malka bbc

 

But the story is still easy on the murderers. It begins:

Israeli police have shot dead three Palestinians after a deadly knife attack outside the Old City of Jerusalem, in which a policewoman died.

The policeman “died”. She was not murdered or “killed” in a what the BBC might call a ‘deadly stabbing’. She just “died”. But the killers were” shot dead” by “Israeli police”. The killers were armed with guns and knives.

Such are the facts.

 

Posted: 18th, June 2017 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Extremists’ demands for collective guilt unite Grenfell, Manchester and London

Grenfell Tower: Get angry, stay angry. Overthrow the Government. ‘Blood, blood, blood on your hands.’
Manchester and London: Don’t get angry. Let’s love one another.

 

 

Horrific events have claimed many lives in London and Manchester. But the message being delivered to the masses is different. After the horror of fire at Grenfell Tower, the message is, as one Labour MP demands, to “get angry, stay angry”. “Burn neoliberalism, not people,” says another Labour MP. Others on the Left want to marshall the dead to overthrow the Government. “Blood, blood, blood on your hands,” comes the chant. “May must go.” There will be a march on Number 10, the protesters demanding change and promoting the narrative that only a socialist government prevents such horrors; that only the Left does compassion.

As one commentator puts it: “The protesters outside No10 seem to be using the template of the Mark Duggan affair, which preceded the 2011 London riots: ‘no justice, no peace.'”

 

 

 

Justice delayed is justice denied. We want to know what happened whilst the matter is high on the news cycle and all parties involved are compos mentis. After Hillsborough, we fear that the long march towards justice will be a limp towards no-one being to blame. The dreaded “lessons must be learnt” must not be the end game. That must not happen.

But this protest and demand for justice is being shaped by party politics. The horror at Grenfell Tower is rooted in so much bad planning, greed and neglect perpetuated by successive Governments for decades.  If you blame the Tories, then surely you must blame Labour, too, and the coalition which oversaw social housing.

As the far Left clambers over the ruins and co-opts the dead into campaigning for a Labour win at the next General Election, we should recall how different things were after Islamists attacked London and Manchester. Then it was all about love. Only the Far Right were using the dead to promote their own monocular agenda and bigotry, demanding collective blame for all Muslims. Love not anger was the watchword. “Be unified. Feel love. Don’t give in to hate,” ran the mantra delivered by media and politicians. There was no circumspection and sensible, rational debate about an ideology that kills children at a pop concert. No-one sane wants to be branded a racist or Islamophobe. But to talk openly about such things is to foment civil unrest and unleash the impressionable masses – those race-rioters-in-waiting. Better to hold up the light on your mobile phone and sway in unity.

In Manchester, officialdom and the media’s fear of public opinion drowned out a quest for the truth, the central responsibility of journalism. After Grenfell, public opinion is sacrosanct. Both responses are founded on the same matters: fear of the masses and a profound lack of leadership, “somebody who can help us overcome the limitations of our own individual laziness and selfishness and weakness and fear and get us to do better things than we can get ourselves to do on our own.” Corbyn is slippery and nuanced. May is stark and spent. Where’s the leadership?

 

The Truth.

I don’t agree with politicising the Grenfell Tower horror. Politics matters, but to divide the response along party lines limits us. The horror was eminently preventable. Political policies is at least partly to blame. But to make it all about the Tories is wrong, just as it is wrong to blame the actions of deranged mass murderers on to much freedom of speech, radicalising preachers, religion or a response to our behaviour.

Narrowing the debate applies blinkers to any inquiry and stymies a clear quest for truth. That’s not to invalidate the activism and the anger. We feel the passion, the sense of outage and hurt. Not just hashtags and candle-lit vigils for Grenfell. Fury. Protest. Noise. The people will be heard. Good.

But it wasn’t so after Manchester and the attack on Borough Market and London Bridge. When children and families were murdered at a pop concert, we were told to behave, to embrace one another and to remain passive. As another voice notes: “If the massacre of children and their parents on a fun night out doesn’t make you feel rage, nothing will. The terrorist has defeated you. You are dead already.”

We need openness to discern right from wrong. We need gritty, unflinching commitment to say what we believe in, not to have our views dampened by official decree. Making a statement is not a simple state of being. We work hard at what we want in a disciplined way. We crave integrity. But without clarity, and objectivity, our demands are shrill, bigoted and shallow.

Posted: 18th, June 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Reviews | Comment


After Grenfell: the revolting clamour for Theresa May’s tears and Corbyn’s embrace

“This is what leadership looks like,” says one tweeter by a photo of Jeremy Corbyn hugging a woman after the Grenfell Tower horror. It looks like compassion. It looks like sympathy. But we’re being told that leadership looks like emoting in public. Leadership does not, say the tweeters, look like Theresa May. She doesn’t do public emoting. She does old-school stuff upper lip. Her problem is that even the royals don’t do that anymore. If there’s one thing Her Majesty learned from the Dianification of British society, it is that you must seen to be upset in public.

 

theresa may

Theresa May on Newsnight

 

So what has Theresa May been doing when she’s not declining the demand to sob on the telly, to wallow in an X Factor moment, when the camera draws close on the rheumy eyes, the crowd look sympathetic and we’re all manipulated by the visual grammar into voting with our hearts for not the most talented but the most needy, and in these therapeutic times thus the most deserving? Well, she visited the survivors in hospital, talked with the emergency services, met charity workers in St Clement’s Church, talked with Grenfell residents in Downing Street and organised an inquiry.

What does leadership look like, then? David Foster Wallace has an idea:

…a real leader is somebody who can help us overcome the limitations of our own individual laziness and selfishness and weakness and fear and get us to do better things than we can get ourselves to do on our own.

I don’t think May is a great leader. She fails to inspire. But she works and gets on with things. Jeremy Corbyn encourages laziness. He does not foster autonomy but strives for reliance and dependence.

Elie Wiesel has more:

…a true leader cannot function without those whom he or she leads. By the same token, the leader cannot work or live in their midst as one of them. Hence the ambivalence of his or her position. There must be some distance between the leader and those being led; otherwise the leader will be neither respected nor obeyed. A certain mystique must surround the leader, isolating him or her from those whose servant he or she is called upon to be or has been elected to be. Is there a leader, here or anywhere, who does not find time to complain about the terrible solitude at moments of decision?

May or Corbyn to lead? In time of crisis, who would you trust?

 

This is the letter:theresa may grenfell tower

theresa may grenfell tower

theresa may grenfell tower

 

 

Posted: 17th, June 2017 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Theresa May waits for the nation say story to her

Theresa May is reeling. This is not the time for her to be confronted by people by Grenfell Tower. Mrs May is in a weakened position and has housing and employment concerns to focus on, namely her central London council house at Number 10 Downing Street and the caretaker’s job that goes with it.

 

Fundamentally, she feels let down, disappointed and betrayed by the British electorate that refused to do as it was told and vote for her. Is it so very hard to say sorry?

 

May tells the BBC’s Dead Ringer:
 

 
Helmut Kohl is away:

Posted: 17th, June 2017 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


After Grenfell: Kensington and Chelsea warns children to stop playing football or else

How’s that London Olympic Legacy coming along? How goes the spirit of 2012 and all that euphoria? Not well. Not well at all if you’re poor. Residents in the flats opposite Grenfell Tower recently received a warning letter from those bleeding hearts at Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Association.

Under the terms of the “Anti-Social Behaviour” clause of their tenancy agreements, the residents must stop – get this – their children playing ball. Should the budding Wayne Rooney, Andy Murray or Rachael Heyhoe Flint continue to play balls games in the area around his own home, the family will face legal action.

Just as so much of public space has been zoned into areas of (in)tolerance by successive governments, the area about these people’s homes is a no-ball zone. It’s not a public space whose purpose is shaped by the people who enjoy it; it’s a restricted zone patrolled by the public authority. Socialising is messy, you see. Football, music, talking loudly, larking about, being a berk, smoking, drinking, skateboarding, hanging out and, well, anything, is messy. Your betters will control the area and in their doing control you.

 

Grenfell tower letter ball games

Grenfell tower letter ball games

 

This letter is dated 14 June 2017 – the day after the fire. ITV says the letter was hand-delivered to residents three days after the fire.

Safety regulations are not strong enough but the full weight of law will be brought down heavily on children living their lives and having fun. No sprinkler systems in the flats: no problem. Playing football whilst young: you are a criminal.

And don’t blame the Tories for this nastiness, this branding of people living in social housing as lesser beings deserving of less rights, less autonomy and less enjoyment has been going on for decades. Labour were very keen on this sort of thing. All politicians are.

Posted: 17th, June 2017 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


After Grenfell Tower arrests and party politics: ‘life is a game with many rules but no referee’

After Grenfell Tower the media and politicians are demanding that we find someone to blame. The horror invites many questions about the 24-storey tower block’s cladding, sprinklers, fire-alarms, house building, the cost and availability of new homes, social-housing, gentrification that makes you look at London and wonder where the working class and poor live in the shiny, super-pricey city – where cladding Tower blocks rather than rebuilding them is a priority – and the ‘decanting’ of poorer people living in crowded accommodation on land that has soared in value following policies like the Urban Task Force with its mantra to build up not out.

 

criminal grenfell

 

As the acid stench of burning permeates the air and the painful, painstaking work of finding and identifying the victims continues, a cynical cloud has seeped in. The clamour to blame and make arrests quickly, to play party politics over the destruction of so many lives is nasty and limiting.

 

David Lammy Grenfell

 

touched on this race to blame yesterday, noting a section of former US poet laureate Josef Brodksy’s speech to students in 1988. This is more from that address to the graduating class. You can read it all here. It’s a terrific read. In six rules for successful living, Brodsky words on politicians and blame resonate.

3.) Try not to set too much store by politicians — not so much because they are dumb or dishonest, which is more often than not the case, but because of the size of their job, which is too big even for the best among them, by this or that political party, doctrine, system or a blueprint thereof. All they or those can do, at best, is to diminish a social evil, not eradicate it. No matter how substantial an improvement may be, ethically speaking it will always be negligible, because there will always be those — say, just one person — who won’t profit from this improvement. The world is not perfect; the Golden Age never was or will be. The only thing that’s going to happen to the world is that it will get bigger, i.e., more populated while not growing in size. No matter how fairly the man you’ve elected will promise to cut the pie, it won’t grow in size; as a matter of fact, the portions are bound to get smaller. In light of that, or, rather, in dark of that — you ought to rely on your own home cooking, that is, on managing the world yourselves — at least that part of it that lies within your reach, within your radius.

Yet in doing this, you must also prepare yourselves for the heart-rending realization that even that pie of yours won’t suffice; you must prepare yourselves that you’re likely to dine as much in disappointment as in gratitude. The most difficult lesson to learn here is to be steady in the kitchen, since by serving this pie just once you create quite a lot of expectations. Ask yourself whether you can afford a steady supply of those pies, or would you rather bargain on a politician? Whatever the outcome of this soul-searching may be — however much you think the world can bet on your baking — you might start right away by insisting that those corporations, banks, schools, labs and whatnot where you’ll be working, and whose premises are heated and policed round the clock anyway, permit the homeless in for the night, now that it’s winter.

But more than that, this. It’s one of the most motivating pieces of advice I’ve read.

5. ) At all costs try to avoid granting yourself the status of the victim. Of all the parts of your body, be most vigilant over your index finger, for it is blame-thirsty. A pointed finger is a victim’s logo — the opposite of the V-sign and a synonym for surrender. No matter how abominable your condition may be, try not to blame anything or anybody: history, the state, superiors, race, parents, the phase of the moon, childhood, toilet training, etc. The menu is vast and tedious, and this vastness and tedium alone should be offensive enough to set one’s intelligence against choosing from it. The moment that you place blame somewhere, you undermine your resolve to change anything; it could be argued even that that blame-thirsty finger oscillates as wildly as it does because the resolve was never great enough in the first place.

After all, a victim status is not without its sweetness. It commands compassion, confers distinction, and whole nations and continents bask in the murk of mental discounts advertised as the victim’s conscience. There is an entire victim-culture, ranging from private counselors to international loans. The professed goal of this network notwithstanding, its net result is that of lowering one’s expectations from the threshold, so that a measly advantage could be perceived or billed as a major breakthrough. Of course, this is therapeutic and, given the scarcity of the world’s resources, perhaps even hygienic, so for want of a better identity, one may embrace it — but try to resist it. However abundant and irrefutable is the evidence that you are on the losing side, negate it as long as you have your wits about you, as long as your lips can utter “No.” On the whole, try to respect life not only for its amenities but for its hardships, too. They are a part of the game, and what’s good about a hardship is that it is not a deception. Whenever you are in trouble, in some scrape, on the verge of despair or in despair, remember: that’s life speaking to you in the only language it knows well. In other words, try to be a little masochistic: without a touch of masochism, the meaning of life is not complete. If this is of any help, try to remember that human dignity is an absolute, not a piecemeal notion, that it is inconsistent with special pleading, that it derives its poise from denying the obvious. Should you find this argument a bit on the heady side, think at least that by considering yourself a victim you but enlarge the vacuum of irresponsibility that demons or demagogues love so much to fill, since a paralyzed will is no dainty for angels.

Regulation is lifeless without the will to make things better.

Posted: 16th, June 2017 | In: News, Politicians, Reviews | Comment


After Grenfell: the rush to be the victims’ conscience

The horror at Grenfell Tower fire dominates the news. The fire shouldn’t happened. After fires at King’s Cross station and Bradford football ground took many lives, prevention became the watchword. A fire and building inspector told media “if there is a fire in any of these buildings, you’d expect it to be contained to an individual apartment. You wouldn’t expect it to spread in anything like the way, and certainly not in the time, that we’ve actually seen here.” But the level of prevention was inadequate.

The appalling scene at the 1974-built tower block in West London scars the mind. Volunteers are flocking to the site of the disaster. The stricken and bereaved are not echoes. We see them.

 

 

The faces of the dead pepper the front page like bullets holes. Most of us didn’t know them but, boy, can we feel the pain.

And it spreads. Already the newspapers are out of time. The present is fleeting. Twelve dead, says the Mirror’s cover. The figure is now 17. The newspapers try to report and make sense of the terrifying blaze. The Daily Mail produces a special edition with 21 pages, all led by the question “How the hell could it happen?” “Tragic. Horrific. Avoidable,” says the ‘i’ newspaper. The Sun has 18 pages of coverage, leading with “They were told it was safe”. “Warnings were ignored,” says the Guardian’s front page.

 

 

 

 

The papers’ questions can be distilled: who is to blame? Surely we should wait until we know the facts before naming and shaming any guilty parties, if there are any. If we trust the brave and heroic firefighters who race in as others run out, we must trust them to investigate fully. But in the void, many like to use the horror to score points. This should be avoided.

Nobel Prize winner Joseph Brodsky put it well in his 1998 address to students in Michigan:

“Of all the parts of your body, be most vigilant over your index finger, for it is blame-thirsty. A pointed finger is a victim’s logo – the opposite of the V-sign and a synonym for surrender. No matter how abominable your condition may be, try not to blame anything or anybody: history, the state, superiors, race, parents, the phase of the moon, childhood, toilet training, etc. The menu is vast and tedious, and this vastness and tedium alone should be offensive enough to set one’s intelligence against choosing from it. The moment that you place blame somewhere, you undermine your resolve to change anything; it could be argued even that that blame-thirsty finger oscillates as wildly as it does because the resolve was never great enough in the first place.”

But the rush to blame is contagious. The Tories did it. It’s part of their war on the poor. Labour did it. It’s their nannying, cod environmentalism, lack of home building and lowering of expectations. The media did it, with its assault on health and safety regulations and monstering the poor. Resist the urge to blame. Don’t rush to position yourself as the victims’ conscience. A disaster like Grenfell did not happen by chance and did not happen as the result of one mistake. It’s far more complex than that.

Brendan O’Neill notes:

If this mass burning of homes feels Dickensian, then so too does the hunt for the fat, evil, Tory-like landlord to hold responsible: that’s a Dickensian-style moralism that prefers the thrill of hating immoral individuals to the far harder task of looking at the economy and politics over the past 30 years and asking what might be done to improve both.

We don’t know all the names of the victims. But in this coming together of a community in the face of horror – a genuine community of people who live together, not individuals bunched together by ethnicity or age to further a divisive agenda – let’s take time to focus on those who have lost so much. They’re not looking to blame. They’re looking at how they can carry on. We should be circumspect. We should be kind, stoic and humane.

Posted: 15th, June 2017 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Madeleine McCann: Mallorca mum has nasty experience with would-be child snatcher

Madeleine McCann: a look at the missing child in the news. With the media full of huge and often terrible stories, Madeleine McCann has been largely absent from the tabloids’ pages. But she pops up in the Daily Star. 

 

Maddie Mallorca

 

On page 11, readers are told: “BRIT MUM: I STOPPED ‘MADDIE’ KIDNAPPER.” To Mallorca, where mum Blaise Deacon says a “mystery blonde” woman “put her arms around” 23-month-old daughter Darcie and “said he was taking her”.  Blaise “grabbed her child” and “refused to let go”.

At which point you wonder where Madeleine McCann comes into this? She went missing in Portugal. Are we to think that anyone who took her in what some theorise to have been been a well-executed crime, is now simply grabbing kids in broad daylight on a Spanish island?

The paper says this “Madeleine McCann-style kidnapper ran to a waiting car and fled”. Only, this person was not a Madeleine McCann-style anything.  Moreover, Spanish police have CCTV footage of the incident, which cops investigating what happened to Madeleine McCann do not.

Blaise says the police were “excellent “. She says: “From what we understand they have a match of the suspect and are now looking for her.”

Meanwhile, Madeleine McCann is missing. The police have nothing. But the tabloids have another sensation.

Posted: 15th, June 2017 | In: Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


Man of the Establishment John McDonnell wants mass protest to bring down the Government

We should like it that John McDonnell speaks his mind. The shadow chancellor wants people to “get out on the streets” in support of Labour, to force Theresa May from office and to further the cause for another General Election and with it what he hopes will be victory for his Labour Party.

“We need people doing everything they can to ensure the election comes as early as possible,” says McDonnell. “What we need now is the TUC mobilised, every union mobilised, get out on the streets,” the Shadow Chancellor said in comments reported by the Morning Star. “Just think if the TUC put out that call – that we want a million on the streets of London in two weeks’ time.”

 

Brexit Labour

Via Private Eye

 

McDonnell, who went on to talk about his “comrades” in Labour, has much form when it comes to saying what’s in his head. He refused to apologise for calling Esther McVey a “stain on humanity”. “Sometimes it is better to be honest with people about how you feel,” he said. “At times, in parliament in particular, it means using strong language that reflects your honest views.”

I’m no fan of McDonnell, his calls for revolution mask a man steeped in conformity, who wants a society funded on taxation and welfare.

I enjoy his call for protest, a cornerstone of any democracy. But does a raucous protest – Occupy, anyone? – do anything other than gain media attention? The suspicion is that McDonnell, an MP and with that job title a member of the Establishment, would rather the marchers and Left presented themselves as victims of oppression than as active agents in a fight for meaningful change. If you can’t win through political argument – and twitter is wrong; Labour lost – you call for those already on your side and with time on their hands to get together and hope that being there is enough.

 

Posted: 15th, June 2017 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Brexit: we’re edging towards Remain by another name

Are we edging towards Remain by another name? Last June, 17.4million people voted in a legal and free election for the country to leave the EU. On twitter, Jo Maugham QC (@JolyonMaugham) tweeted: “This is the *only way* for the Tories to remain in Government: outflank Hard Brexit Labour on the Remain side.”

But Labour and the Tories both vowed to support Brexit. Over 80% of the electorate backed the two parties at the election. The LibDems wanted a second referendum, echoing the EU’s habit of keeping citizens voting until they produce the ‘right’ result. But the LibDems were thrashed, existing now more as focus group than a political party that could win power.

The referendum result must stand. Mick Hume wonders:

The anti-democratic EU expresses the fear and loathing which our ruling elites feel towards the mass of people. If they manage to overturn, ignore or emasculate the Brexit vote, the largest political mandate for anything in British political history, it would represent an historic setback for popular democracy.

Agreed. The troubling thought is that if the Tories adopt the policy of ditching Brexit to remain in Government – and both Theresa May and Philip Hammond were Remainers – we get the worst of all worlds: a hapless Prime Minster and a rejection of Brexit. The chance to try something new will have taken from us.

Democracy is in peril. Who will shape the best argument to save it?

Posted: 14th, June 2017 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Transfer balls: Arsenal look to Liverpool to resolve Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City transfer

Transfer Balls – with Alexis Sanchez Watch: The Arsenal player wants to leave the Gunners. Will he join Manchester City or Bayern Munich? Arsenal should get shot of him, of course. Any player who wants to leave isn’t committed to the cause. You cut them out. Let’s see what the paper’s are saying:

 

alexis sanchez man city

 

The Daily Mirror leads with news that Sanchez ” fears” Arsenal will block his move to Man City. The paper says City will “trump Bayern’s £40m offer and give Sanchez £280,000-a-week”.   Arsenal, we read, have offered Sanchez “in excess of £275,000-a-week to stay at Arsenal”.

 

sanchez arsenal mirror

 

But hold on. On June 8, the Mirror told us that Bayern were offering Sanchez £350,000 a week. Are we to believe Sanchez will take less money to play for Man City? Is he in a Dutch auction?

 

sanchez arsenal mirror

 

The Evening Standard relays what Sanchez has been telling the local Chilean Press: “I’m looking at what my agent is doing. For now, I’m focused on the Confederations Cup in Russia and trying to do well. The truth is that my agent will see to it. He knows and he will sit down with the club to look for the best option for me. I’d like a lot of things but I’m only thinking about the national team.”

Is all the drip-feeding of information the agent’s work, a ploy aimed at gaiting the best terms for his client? As it stands, no deal has been done. Sanchez remains an Arenal player.

The Metro says “Manchester City are reportedly getting increasingly confident that Arsenal will buckle and end up selling Alexis Sanchez this summer instead of losing him on a free transfer in a year’s time.” The Metro presents it as Sanchez holding all the cards. But does he? He’s 28. He’s on £130,000-a-week at Arsenal. Unless he plays to his optimum level next season that huge pay rise will vanish. As for a loss of transfer fees, well, if he fires Arsenal into the Champions’ League or to the Premier League title, £40m will be worth the gamble, and that’s not taking into account the £7.5 in extra cash Arsenal will pay Sanchez under a new deal nor the cost of recruiting his replacement. Add in the fact what selling your best player to a rival says about your club’s ambitions and negotiations look less biased towards the player.

Jeremy Wilson notes:

Arsenal should this time call the player’s bluff. They should make a statement about their ambitions in relation to a Chelsea or City, just as Liverpool did at their expense in the summer of 2013 over Luis Suarez.

Liverpool were in an admittedly stronger position but Arsenal’s offer of £40 million, even allowing for the extra £1, was hardly derisory. Arsenal thought that Suarez’s very public desire to join them would force Liverpool’s hand, in the same way as they had felt obliged in previous summers to let star players leave. Liverpool said no and how did it work out? Suarez eventually settled down and signed a new contract four months later on the understanding that he would leave the following summer. Liverpool almost won the Premier League and then still received a far bigger fee – £65 million – from Barcelona for their player.

Over to you, Alexis.

The Manchester Evening News says, “Manchester City have been left hoping Alexis Sanchez can hold his nerve long enough to force a move to the Etihad.” the paper cite’s anonymous sources who “claim Sanchez has set his heart on a reunion with Guardiola, who signed him for Barcelona in 2011.”

Finally, the Daily Mail says Arsenal will accept no bids from English clubs. It says Manchester City and Chelsea “are ready to pay £45m” for Sanchez. “But due to Arsenal’s stance, he will have to look at offers from the likes of Bayern Munich, Juventus or Paris Saint-Germain instead.”

Or he could stay at Arsenal. The Telegraph says: “Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, does, however, retain some hope of convincing Sanchez to stay. Watch this space…”

 

Posted: 14th, June 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Liverpool, Manchester City, News, Sports | Comment