When seeing a shocking headline, it’s useful to turn it around. The Telegraph brings news that “Pollution wipes out the benefits of walking”. Turn it about and its reads: “Walking wipes out the harm caused by pollution.” Given that it’s cheaper to walk than it is to stop polluting, the solution to better health is simple, right?
The news is rooted in a study by the Imperial College London and funded by the British Heart Foundation, which looked at a sample of the over 60s, inviting 119 people to take a single two-hour stroll through London’s Hyde Park and neighbouring Oxford Street. The park stroll was good for the lungs, opening them up and improving arterial flexibility by up to 24%. But walk down the bus car park that’s Oxford Street and the walkers saw less improvement in lung capacity and up to 4.6 per cent rise in artery flexibility.
The Telegraph is putting a spin on the news. But in the Huffington Post it gets more confusing. It says:
Volunteers who took a walk in Hyde Park experienced a decrease in the stiffness of their arteries, a benefit normally seen after exercise. In contrast, volunteers who walked on Oxford Street had a “worrying increase” in artery stiffness following exercise.
You can read the study in full here. And it suggests that the media is picking data. The walkers’ health and what medication they were on might be vital. It might even be that some drugs prove an effective barrier to the detrimental effects of pollution.
The study’s authors write:.
In healthy participants, walking in Hyde Park led to a reduction in arterial stiffness that persisted up to 26 h, a benefit that was not only lost but even reversed after walking on Oxford Street. Participants with COPD or ischaemic heart disease also exhibited a reduced pulse wave velocity after walking in Hyde Park but increased pulse wave velocity after walking on Oxford Street. All three groups showed reductions in augmentation index following Hyde Park; and this beneficial change was significantly attenuated (even reversed at a few timepoints) after the Oxford Street walk.
Imperial says CODP is “a chronic lung condition linked with smoking”. It continues:
There are some limitations to this study. Because we did not include a resting control group, it would not be possible to be certain that walking contributed to the changes in lung function or arterial stiffness.
Our short-term study is unlikely to inform on the long-term benefits of exercise in relation to pollution. Moderate physical activity might protect against the adverse effects of air pollution on arterial stiffness
We have noted that adults free of chronic cardiopulmonary diseases lose the benefits of walking on pulmonary and cardiovascular function in a polluted environment. In participants with COPD and ischaemic heart disease exposed to traffic pollutants, the pulmonary benefit from walking seem to be lost too, but the improvement in arterial stiffness caused by walking is relatively well preserved in ischaemic heart disease participants, likely due to concomitant routine medication use.
So if you’ve got a sickly heart, walking in polluted environment might not do you as much good as walking in the park.
In 2016, Imperial College reported: “Walking and cycling in cities is good for health, despite worse air pollution.”
Dr Marko Tainio from the MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge, who led the new study, said:
“Our model indicates that in London health benefits of active travel always outweigh the risk from pollution. Even in Delhi, one of the most polluted cities in the world – with pollution levels ten times those in London – people would need to cycle over five hours per week before the pollution risks outweigh the health benefits.
“We should remember, though, that a small minority of workers in the most polluted cities, such as bike messengers, may be exposed to levels of air pollution high enough to cancel out the health benefits of physical activity.”
“These findings are important as for many people, such as the elderly or those with chronic disease, very often the only exercise they can do is to walk,” said senior author Fan Chung, Professor of Respiratory Medicine and Head of Experimental Studies Medicine at National Heart & Lung Institute at Imperial College London. “Our research suggests that we might advise older adults to walk in green spaces, away from built-up areas and pollution from traffic,” he added.
It’s interesting. But to look at the study and thunder “Air pollution wipes out benefits of exercise” as the Telegraph and Indy do it misleading.
Meghan Markle has a “rift “with her father. Well, she had, apparently, because in a video from when she was 19 in the summer of 1999 that’s now the Sun’s front-page news (“MEGHAN: MY RIFT WITH DAD”), the actress tells her pal “my dad and I aren’t on the best of terms”. We’d like to keep up with the Markles, but we’d have to check a new source because the video shooter was Ninaki Priddy, a woman no longer mates with Meghan, 36.
Alongside a photo of Meghan in a short dress, we read that Thomas Markle “now lives a nomadic life driving between rented homes on LA and Mexico in an old Volvo” – a car the Mirror tells us is an “old batted blue Chrysler PT Cruiser”.
The Sun says Thomas’s home is a “cliff shack”. He “proudly tells the locals Meghan’s is his daughter”. Odd because the Mail was looking for the “elusive” Thomas and telling readers that “placed in his position, many fathers would be singing their joy from the rooftops”. The Sun says Thomas’ roof might not take the weight, given that it’s atop a “tiny red-tiled home…on a 120ft cliff overlooking the Pacific.”
Having given a front page and two inside pages to Ninaki Priddy’s scrapbook, the Sun today finds space for Jane Moore to accuse Priddy of “betrayal”. So the tabloids don’t do chequebook journalism any more, expose celebs and feature kiss ‘n’ tells about the beautiful people? Or is it different for Royals? Why shouldn’t a woman sell her story for loadsa money when her ex-pal – and do we know why they fell out?; Priddy says “What came to light after Trevor [Engelson – Meghan’s ex] and I spoke ended my friendship with Meghan”? – is due to remarry, this time to a billionaire’s scion?
We never did get the full story of Princess Diana and Charles when they were engaged. The media kept the knobs on a pedestal by delivering a narrative soaked in magic and star-written love. Let’s not have it again.
Much guff has been written about Meghan and Harry. “Don’t underestimate the symbolism of a royal marriage. From now on, it will be impossible to argue that being black is somehow incompatible with being British,” trumpets the Guardian. “Is it too mad to wonder, once the Brexit dust settles, whether the younger royals may – against all the odds – represent a Britain looking forward to the future rather than an imagined past?” the Indy muses. Once more the royals are showing us the way. But if we want to be modern – and wouldn’t that involve getting shot of them? – then surely we should know who they are and why we need to crane our necks to see them.
If we are what we eat, news that Donald Trump eats McDonald’s interests us. You might suppose it’s a clear sign that Trump is of the people. No, not at one with the abstemious dieters and juicers; rather allied to the fat Untermensch who like fast food. It might also indicate that if you put his name on something he has to have it.
Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and aid David Bossie, have written a book about working with the President. Just as it is with showbiz weddings in OK! magazine and death row prisoners’ last rights, we want to know about the eats. “Trump’s appetite seems to know no bounds when it comes to McDonald’s, ” they write “with a dinner order consisting of two Big Macs, two Filet-O-Fish, and a chocolate malted.”
They continue: “On Trump Force One there were four major food groups: McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, pizza, and Diet Coke.”
Fried food chased down by the lo-cal beverage. The man can be restrained.
As Melania Trump watches her man eat and eat and eat from behind dark glasses, her nails taping on the ceiling of Air Force One as if if counting heartbeats, we read that the plane’s galley is “stacked with Vienna Fingers, potato chips, pretzels, and many packages of Oreos”.
But hold on. James Hamblin looks into the entrails of Trump’s lunch and sees the whole man. Writing in the Atlantic, he opines:
Decisions to live this way would seem to offer insight into Trump’s ability to assess risk. In light of a nuclear standoff with North Korea, rapidly warming oceans, and a looming tax bill that would leave millions more Americans without health insurance, his approach to self-maintenance is not reassuring.
The Daily Damian: a look at de-facto Deputy Prime Minister Damian Green in the newspapers. We kick off on page 2 of the Daily Mirror, where former Tory minister David Mellor says Green would not be missed for a “millisecond”. Mellor, who fell on his bellend (surely sword – ed) in 1992 after a sleaze scandal, tells one and all: “Damian Green should have said, ‘I will resign to clear my name’ and he would have lots of sympathy.” But no job. Mellor adds: “Damian is the sort of guy who, under Mrs Thatcher, would have been the Minister of State for Latrines and would have lived in total obscurity.”
Sorry. Yes,. Mellor. M.E.L.. He’s the top bloke who told a London cabbie (something he later apologised for): “You’ve been driving a cab for 10 years, I’ve been in the cabinet, I’m an award-winning broadcaster, I’m a Queen’s Counsel. You think that your experiences are anything compared to mine?”
Ring a bell? No? This bloke:
Yeah, him. But not her:
In the Sun, Green’s story is a police issue. On page 6, the paper hears Cressida Dick, the Met’s top copper, say is was “quite wrong” for “ex-Detective David Lewis to go public on the contents of Mr Green’s machine”. (That’s Green’s computer which allegedly contained lots of porn. He denies it.)
Nick Cohen writes in the Spectator:
The police, or rather the retired officers, want to use legal but shameful behaviour to destroy their target. In Russia, Putin’s agents send women to lure opposition activists into honey traps, then post sex tapes on the web. Our police seem too close to their colleagues in Moscow for comfort…
I am sure an eager detective could find something to discredit you. Everyone has legal but potentially shameful secrets, and if you do not, you are too good for this world…
…the inquiry into Damian Green’s conduct has nothing to do with computer pornography real or imagined. Green is accused of the sexual harassment of Kate Maltby, a women 30 years his junior, and a family friend to boot.
I am told on good authority that it is not just Maltby’s story the inquiry is hearing. Other women have gone to Sue Gray, the director-general of propriety and ethics at the Cabinet Office, to tell stories of their own.
Should we hear them, too?
The Mail (page 4) continues to stick it to the police. Cressida Dick “condemns” police leakers. A Tory MP says Green is a “steady pair of hands”. No, not wandering. Steady.
On page 14, the Mail rages against “police flouting the law”. Police have made a “clear attempt to ruin Mr Green’ career”. On page 17, Richard Littlejohn wonders: “If the Deputy PM isn’t safe, what chance have we got?” Which makes you wonder why the Deputy PM should be viewed as being any different to the rest of us?
“Ex-officers may face court over MP porn claims’,” says the Express (page 2).
Meanwhile… the Cabinet Office has still to report on Green’s computer and Maltby. Why not let them do their job and see what occurs?
To New York, where offence-seekers and defenders of sound morals are demanding the Metropolitan Museum of Art remove Balthasar Klossowski’s (1908-2001)painting, Thérèse Dreaming. Mia Merrill was “shocked” to see the painting. “It is disturbing that the Met would proudly display such an image,” Merrill told Care2, the self-styled “social network for good”. “They are a renowned institution and one of the largest, most respected art museums in the United States. The artist of this painting, Balthus, had a noted infatuation with pubescent girls and this painting is undeniably romanticizing the sexualization of a child.”
In 2013, when the Met created the 2014 exhibition Balthus: Cats and Girls—Paintings and Provocations the show came with a warning that read: “Some of the paintings in this exhibition may be disturbing to some visitors.” It stopped short of saying that the best art is unsettling and much of the other stuff is ‘meh’ – and failed to say why only “some visitors” would be disturbed. Why not all? That show also featured Thérèse Dreaming, one of 10 portraits of Thérèse Blanchard (1925-1950), Balthus’ young neighbour in his native Paris.
“If The Met had the wherewithal to reference the disturbing nature of Balthus in the 2013 exhibit, they understand the implications of displaying his art today,” Merrill laments. “Given the current climate around sexual assault and allegations that become more public each day, in showcasing this work for the masses, The Met is romanticizing voyeurism and the objectification of children.”
When asked about the poses of preadolescent girls in his work, Balthus said, “It is how they sit.” When asked why they did it, no child abuser cited Balthus.
But in the minds of the ‘good’ and caring, to see is to do. They have judged the art and found it wrong. It must be banned. Ideas that make them feel uncomfortable must be suppressed.
One look at the intense painting of a glowing and self-possessed Thérèse Blanchard, who was about twelve or thirteen at the time this picture was made, will turn the mentally negligible masses into child abusers. It must be censored by they who know best, those shiny-eyed seers who view the rest of us as suspects. Down the memory hole with this paintings, the statues, the art, the gender, the books, free expression and the birth names. The world’s being changed into a safe space. We’re all in therapy now.
Like so many of you, I am a huge fan of the Premier League referees. Sadly, my Mark Clattenburg replica kit is now a ‘vintage’ item on match days following ‘Clatts’ departure to Saudi Arabia.
Clattenburg (‘REF – HERO – LEGEND’) has been on NBC’s Men in Blazers podcast, reliving the glory days when he “allowed Tottenham to self-destruct” in their 2-2 draw with Chelsea in May 2016. Spurs had to win the match to keep their Premier League title challenge alive.
And for such an important match they were awarded Clattenburg, who booked nine Spurs players. Argy-bargy after the match also helped Chelsea and Tottenham receive record fines from the Football Association, and Spurs’ Mousa Dembele was banned for six games for violent conduct.
“I allowed them [Spurs] to self-destruct so all the media, all the people in the world went: ‘Tottenham lost the title’,” says Clatts. “If I sent three players off from Tottenham, what are the headlines? ‘Clattenburg cost Tottenham the title.’ It was pure theatre that Tottenham self-destructed against Chelsea and Leicester won the title.”
Football’s Andrew Lloyd Webber (surely Webber is theatre’s Clattenburg? – ed) continues: “Some referees would have played by the book; Tottenham would have been down to seven or eight players and probably lost and they would’ve been looking for an excuse. But I didn’t give them an excuse, because my gameplan was: Let them lose the title.”
Who needs rules when you have a ref like Clattenburg? All together now for that familiar match-day chant one last time: Whose the w***** in the black? “One FA Cup and three UEFA Finals, do-dah, do-dah.”
The Sun (page 6) says Education Secretary Justine Greening “all but called for him to be sacked”. Greening told BBC viewers to Andrew Marr’s Sunday morning show that “most employers” would think it unacceptable to watch porn at work. On the other side (ITV) was Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, telling everyone that he trusts Damian Green and “I believe what he says”.
0800GREEN – HOW MUCH ABUSE CAN HE TAKE?
On Page 10, Trevor Kavanagh says the story is based on a “politically motivated vendetta” against Green by two “bitter” former police officers, Bob Quick and “co-conspirator” Neil Lewis. We learn that Quick “led the scandalous raid” on Green’s office in 2008 over alleged leaks from the Home Office. Quick “seized the computers. Lewis fund the porn.” And then comes the worrying bit: “thousands of perfectly legal images were copied – against orders – and squirrelled away by Lewis for future use.” Kavanagh alleges it’s part of moves to get back at Theresa May for threatening to “smash their Mafia-style trade union”.
Over in the Mirror (page2 ), Justine Greening is telling Green to “fall on your sword”. Which isn’t a euphemism for masturbation, rather a euphemism for career suicide, or maybe actual suicide. On page 8, Kevin Maguire wonders if the Tories would back an “ordinary worker” – are MPs made extraordinary in anything but the glorious building they occupy? – “if police found thousands of indecent images on his or her desktop.” Dunno. Maybe police should all check their PCs and let us know what occurs?
And how is watching porn on your PC any different from watching porn in a magazine or newspaper, say, perhaps one that on Page 41 offers readers the chance to call premium-rate phone numbers and get some “X-RATED CHEAP CHAT” from “18-94 years olds” and “REAL HOUSEWIVES”? The Mirror does. And it offers no warning against doing so whilst at work, nor displaying the porny images that go with the adverts lest it offend workmates and paymasters.
The Mail (pages 6 and 7), says Lewis “could be prosecuted – as watchdog accuses him of ‘flagrant violation of the public’s trust in police.” New Met commissioner Cressida Dick says the force is thinking about investigating Lewis. Dick, you will recall, was in charge when armed police shotdeadinnocentJeanCharlesde Menezes as he waited for a train on the London Underground. No police employee was disciplined for that.
Speaking on BBC Radio London today, Dick said: “All police officers know very well that they have a duty of confidentiality, a duty to protect personal information. That duty in my view clearly endures after you leave the service. And so it is my view that what they have done based on my understanding of what they’re saying… what they have done is wrong, and I condemn it.”
We also hear in the Mail from Eleanor Laing, who says deputy speaker of the Commons, who says in a letter dated November 14:
A member of my parliamentary staff has told me that, several years ago, before we had effective screening of our parliamentary computers, she used to find pornographic images on her computer every morning when she switched it on…
She was certainly not accessing pornographic sites deliberately or even accidentally. The material was just there on her computer every day. She simply deleted it. This happened before 2010.Thus, it would appear that material found in the parliamentary computer system can be proved to have been put there by some other means than by the deliberate actions of the person operating the computer.
Lax security in parliament. Who knew?
Over in the Guardian, a columnist thunders: “!If Damian Green harassed a woman or lied, he must go.” Yeah. If. But do consider it for as long as it takes to read 500-odd words about today’s burning issue.
In other news: I took up porn to help me stop smoking, says man looking for five-minute work break.
We are all going to starve because of Brexit. Over the newswires we read that the chief executive of Chapel Down, a Kent wine maker that supplies plonk to 10 Downing Street, telling us that Britons will “starve” if Brexit means an end to cheap fruit pickers imported from overseas.
Frazer Thompson opines: “The biggest potential impact of Brexit is on agricultural labour. Kent has had eastern Europeans picking fruit in recent years, but we’ll all starve if the labour issue is not sorted after Brexit.”
Dead. All dead. And you thank Brexit for it. But hold on moment, why don’t we – and let’s just toss this out there – trade with other countries who have lots of fruit? Says Thompson: “We want a resolution to allow us to have freedom of movement for labour to pick the fruit. This is something that affects all fruit farmers across the south-east of England. I’m hoping it will be sorted out and I hope they won’t close the doors, as if there’s no one to pick the fruit, we’ll have to import everything.”
So British fruit remains unpicked because it’s too expensive to pick here and because it’s less expensive to pick over there we import the stuff. So what’s the problem? Is that the English wine made from English grapes will be more expensive than the English wine made from Greek, Portuguese, Hungary or Romanian grapes? Or why not go outside the EU and buy grapes from places where labour is even cheaper, like Chile and South Africa?
Or why not get the fruit-pickers from within the EU zone visas?
Once upon a time, of course, fruit was picked by seasonal workers – you know, people who went somewhere to do a job and then moved on. But if the peasants are too expensive for the farmer, why not invest in a machine?
Meghan Markle has a “mysterious dad”. And by mysterious we mean not a man who weaves mysteries, vanishes in puff of smoke or is, as one dictionary defines it, “difficult or impossible to understand, explain, or identify.” We mean a man who doesn’t much fancy being a celebrity.
The Daily Mirror makes Thomas Markle Senior its front-page story. They say that aside from his family, “no-one even knows where Thomas Markle Senior is.” It might be less a mystery than a question of budgets and being bothered to track down a man who was living in Rosario Beach on Mexico’s Baja California Peninsular. He moved on, says the Mirror, “determined to avoid any chance of public attention”.
Not that the man’s absence detracts from the story. He “gets by on his £1,307 monthly pension”, we learn. How the Mirror knows what money he earns and spends is moot. The ‘facts’ are provided to fit the narrative of the future princess’s dad living if not in poverty then at least in humdrum simplicity. Thomas is “driving around in an old batted blue Chrysler PT Cruiser”. His new family-to-be are “one of the richest and most powerful in the world”. He “devoted his life to his daughter”. He “may” be avoiding the spotlight “due to the humiliation of bankruptcy”.
Thomas Markle’s “solitary life means Harry has still not met his future father-in-law”. Or as the Mail puts it: “EXCLUSIVE: Prince Harry has met his girlfriend Meghan Markle’s father.”
That’s not to say the Mail isn’t also on the scent.
“Why is Meghan’s dad so determined to hide from the world?” wonders the Mail. “Where is the elusive Mr Markle? Why has this enigmatic man concealed his whereabouts so determinedly?” And: “After all, placed in his position, many fathers would be singing their joy from the rooftops.” Why, because an American – a citizen of the world’s greatest republic, a bastion of freedom and hope to the world – is getting shackled to a man who symbolises inequality? Maybe not because the Sun says Meghan’s dad is “said to be impressed by Prince Harry”.
Shedding light on the international man of mystery is Thomas’s brother Michael, who tells everyone: “Tom is trying to comply with the royal directive to keep a low profile so that’s where he’s coming from. He doesn’t want to upset the Royal Family.” Indeed, there’s nothing like a normal bloke to undo the ‘magic’ of monarchy.
How poor is your side performing? One Sunderland fan allegedly expressed his dissatisfaction with doings at the Stadium of Light by pulling down his trousers and laying a pipe. As the Black Cats toiled to a 3-1 loss to Reading, twitter users claims the man pulled down his pants and pooed on the seat, causing a fan sitting nearby vomit.
Reports abound that police took the site-down protestor away.
It’s always big news when a journalist becomes the story. Access is easy. The newspaper with the hack’s number on speed-dial gets to ride high on the news cycle and be relevant. And all other media can take sides and judge. Kate Malby is the young Conservative activist in the limelight, writing in the Times about how “awkward I felt” when Damian Green, the Tory MP and first secretary of state, allegedly came on to her. He denies doing so. But the story is out there. And it’s open season on Green and Maltby, teh story veering between the invasive and the endemic.
Maltby kicked off her story with context. “After the Weinstein scandal we are asking new questions about the sexual abuse of power: all to the good,” she wrote, linking a powerful Hollywood figure’s alleged rapes and serious sexual assaults to her experience. What did Green do? Was it criminal?
Mr Green is almost exactly 30 years older than me. He has always cropped up in the peripheral circle of my parents’ acquaintances; he generously agreed to be interviewed by my school newspaper when I was the 16-year-old editor and he the shadow education minister.
Oh, god no!
I did not conduct the interview myself, and had no contact again until I became involved in Tory activism in my twenties.
Ah. Phew! The 16-year-old and the man in this 40s is not a story laced with sex and crime. We rejoin the story with Maltby in her twenties…
At that point I began to ask him for advice on internal matters. We met for a daytime coffee in 2014 to discuss a political essay collection I was co-editing. He was helpful and avuncular…
We fast forward to 2015, Maltby and Green are meeting once more:
He steered the conversation to the habitual nature of sexual affairs in parliament. He told a funny story about finding himself in a lift with the Cameron aide Rachel Whetstone and her alleged lover, Samantha Cameron’s stepfather, Lord Astor. He mentioned that his own wife was very understanding. I felt a fleeting hand against my knee – so brief, it was almost deniable. I moved my legs away, and tried to end the drink on friendly terms. I then dropped all contact for a year. I wanted nothing to do with him.
Awkward, right enough.
For a while I wondered if I’d imagined the incident. I had no proof. And was I self-regarding to think myself attractive? Women are trained to doubt our desirability.
Only women? Aren’t men also presented with ideals? They go loopy for a man with his shirt off drinking a Coca Cola or serving a yoghurt, but can only pity the hapless husband who can’t operate soap. And aren’t men now being recast as suspects? An LA Times article told us: “Sexual harassment is neither a Republican problem nor a Democratic one. It’s a man problem.” Like womanhood before liberation, manhood is a restrictive condition.
In May 2016, Maltby was” persuaded by The Times to write a piece about the history of corsets… It ended up being quite light-hearted, and I was talked into posing in a not-very-revealing corset.” The phone rang. It was Green:
“Long time no see. But having admired you in a corset in my favourite tabloid I feel impelled to ask if you are free for a drink anytime?” I ignored the message.
Indeed. She “wanted nothing more to do with him”.
Six weeks later, David Cameron fell and Mr Green was suddenly one of the most important men in Theresa May’s cabinet. As an aspirant political writer, it seemed impossible to avoid him professionally. So I sent him a message. “Many congratulations on joining the cabinet — you and your family must be delighted. I’ll look forward to seeing what you achieve in government.”
Cue Jan Moir, Mrs Michael Gove, the apogee of school gates knowing, who tells Mail readers:
Clearly driven mad with lust by the sight of the 31-year-old in a lace-up bodice and lumpy leggings, Green had only one thing on his mind. The brute! So she ‘actively ignored him’ until this June, when he was suddenly promoted to Deputy PM in Theresa May’s new government. The fact that Green was suddenly hugely important did not escape the single-minded Miss Maltby, who put the trauma of what had happened behind her and began texting him again.
Will anyone stick up for ‘Miss’ lumpy legs? The Mail won’t. It’s Team Green, backing the man allegedly involved in Daily Mail scoops? The Mail’s double-page spread comes with a free hatchet:
One very pushy lady: Kate Maltby’s dad is a banker who dated Ann Widdecombe, and a family friend of the minister she accuses of touching her knee. ANDREW PIERCE profiles a woman determined to make it in politics – whatever the cost
Isn’t being determined a good thing?
Kate was brought up in Geneva, Switzerland, before the family moved back to Britain and into their £5 million home in Holland Park, West London. Kate, a highly- strung teenager, dropped out of Cheltenham Ladies’ College and moved to the £25,000-a-year St Paul’s Girls’ School.
Well-travelled, well-connected and well educated. Maltby can either spend her days lunching or work hard to put her nous to good use. Good on her for having a go, right?
In 2012, Maltby moved into a £1.3 million flat in Notting Hill… She bought the flat, now worth around £2 million, with no mortgage.
Which surely garners the reaction: so what? If this were a story about how anyone seeking a career in media needs to have private means, then we’d get it. We’d expect every Mail’s byline to come with a word on the writer’s schooling, market rate of their home and a family tree linking them to the owner. But it’s a story is about a woman feeling uncomfortable.
While she was in Notting Hill, the ambitious Maltby targeted Samantha Cameron… One member of the now defunct Notting Hill set recalled: ‘She was relentless and persistent in courting Mrs Cameron and others. We all got bombarded with emails and calls from her after she just sort of appeared in our midst. But I’m afraid there was something not quite right. I wasn’t sure we could ever fully trust her.’
And who better to trust than the anonymous source? The same or maybe it’s another anonymous voice tells us: “She might be more careful the next time she’s asked to write a piece trashing a decent man.”
Team Green is in full cry, then? But in the New Statesman, Sarah Ditum says Maltby is “paying the price” for speaking out as a woman. Damian Green’s relations with Maltby are being investigated by Cabinet Office. Green is also being investigated for alleged misuse of his Commons computer, namely to access porn, something he denies. Anna Soubry, a Tory MP, says he should be suspended. A “senior figure” tells the Sunday Times Green should contemplate suicide: “It’s time for the whisky and the revolver.”
Ditum wonders: “How posh does a woman have to be for her account of a man’s behaviour to be dismissed? How ambitious?”
The questions are rhetorical. It’s also clear Ditum is writing less about Maltby than the Mail’s reaction to her. You see. Media loves to talk about media. It’s the easiest news beat there is.
And if accusations of betraying friends, shaming family and publicising herself are too mild for you, don’t worry: Jan Moir is there on the facing page, calling Maltby “poison”, “disingenuous” and “not afraid to use all her charms to get herself noticed”.
But what about Maltby?
When a woman comes forward, she knows her credibility will be undermined, her past picked over and her character demolished. She might, like Labour activist Bex Bailey when she reported a rape, simply be told to hush up.
Rape? Is the heinous crime of rape relevant to Green? Isn’t that, you know, a bit unfair? Isn’t this about an alleged light brush of the knee, and flirtation? And if the media wants to investigate young vulnerable women being abused by older men, why don’t they talk more about attitudes to poor women in Rotherham and elsewhere? No #MeToo hashtags for the poor, ordinary and isolated. You stat to wonder if this about women or class? To rework Ditum’s question: How poor does a woman have to be for her account of a man’s behaviour to be dismissed? And does she have to live in London?
When a national paper is willing to go to war for the hand on the knee and the presumptuous text, it’s not because they fear for one man’s career (which, again, was never threatened by Maltby): it’s because these are the things that keep women where we are.
Which is…where? Writing a column in a national newspaper or magazine? Four days after her original story, Maltby wrote in the Times:
Baroness Helena Kennedy QC came forward to confirm that I had confided in her a year ago about Green and was unlikely to have fabricated the story. At least two other women have said the same in public — and there are others who have offered to give similar evidence in private to a forthcoming Cabinet Office inquiry.
So my accusers changed tack. Seeming to accept that I genuinely believe my own claims, “friends of Damian Green” now suggest I may not have been able to tell the difference between the touch of a human hand and the flicker of tablecloth. This is the only story in a very difficult week that has given me reason to crack a hollow smile. Women know the difference between a hand and a tablecloth.
Women do. But do men, who are clueless when it comes to household items and laundry. Discuss.
Who do the police work for? Asking because Cabinet Office Minister Damian Green, effectively Prime Minister Theresa May’s deputy, allegedly had porn on his computer when police raided his office in 2008. Neil Lewis, a former Scotland Yard detective, tells media he found “thousands” of thumbnails of dirty photos in Green’s computer’s browser cache. There was, says Lewis, “no doubt whatsoever” that the porn was accessed by Green.
Green says if there was any porn found, it wasn’t his.
Which leads us to wonder: why would Lewis allegedly keep personal copies of potentially damaging information on an elected MP and cabinet minister? If the information was obtained during paid work hours, why has he got it out of the office? Or is this just about two men allegedly sharing the same taste in smut, storing thumbnails being the modern take on finding a jazz mag in a hedge?
Lewis told the BBC:
“The computer was in Mr Green’s office on his desk, logged in, you know, his account, his name. In between browsing pornography he was sending emails from his account, his personal account, reading documents, writing documents and it was just impossible it was exclusive and extensive that, you know, it was ridiculous to suggest that anybody else could have done it.”
A spokesman for Mr Green tells us, precisely:
“From the outset he has been very clear that he never watched or downloaded pornography on the computers seized from his office.”
The police add in a statement:
“Confidential information gathered during a police inquiry should not be made public. The appropriate course of action is to co-operate privately with the Cabinet Office inquiry as the Metropolitan Police Service has done.”
Jim Waterson, of Buzzfeed News, tweeted:
“The headline on this Damian Green story should be ‘The police don’t delete your data when ordered to do so and are liable to leak details of the legal porn they found in order to embarrass you’.”
And what about the quality of that porn? Thumbnail photos? Is looking at small aides to masturbation likely to make you go blind faster that the A4 shots?
Matthew Parris in the Times:
Be clear: all sides agree that none of the alleged material was illegal, and his accusers have withdrawn any claim it was “extreme”. Nobody is suggesting this was anything other than mainstream internet porn of the kind millions of men, probably most men, many journalists and many policemen, have accessed. There is a debate about pornography and the law but the fact remains: if Mr Green did what the police alleged (and he denies) he would have broken no law. Yet, now he is wounded, they close in on him.
Lewis’s claims are also subtly different from other police leaks aimed at Green: a month ago Bob Quick, a disgraced former assistant commissioner of the Met, described Green as having “extreme” porn – which is illegal to own. Quick was sacked from the Met for letting press photographers see details of a secret briefing document as he walked into Downing Street, though he was also head of the police inquiry which decided to arrest Green.
And the backstory?
Green is under investigation by Parliamentary authorities for allegedly inappropriate behaviour with a young Conservative activist. He denies any wrongdoing.
The Guardian has more backgroundbin a story entitled “Damian Green and the decade-long feud with ex-Met officer Bob Quick”:
The decade-long feud between Damian Green and Bob Quick, now coming to a head with a Cabinet Office investigation into Green, can be traced back to a day in 2006 when a young civil servant working in Jacqui Smith’s Home Office was allegedly told by the now first secretary of state to get “as much dirt on the Labour party, the Labour government as possible”…
The Jacqui Smith who in 2011 was reported on the BBC thus:
Jacqui Smith has revealed she felt “frozen rather than angry” when told her husband had entered a parliamentary expenses claim for pornographic films. The former Labour home secretary told Radio Times she felt “protective” towards Richard Timney, despite the episode ending her political career.
Ms Smith said she had not gone “through the expense form closely enough”…
Despite outlawing violent pornography while she was home secretary, she said she was “shocked” at the amount of hardcore material still available on the internet. Asked if her husband had known about this, he might not have chosen pay-per-view films, she replied: “Yes, that’s what my 17-year-old son said: ‘Dad, haven’t you heard of the internet?'”
Back to the Guardian:
Over the course of the next two years Galley got a job in the home secretary’s private office and passed at least 31 separate documents, some classified restricted, from the heart of Smith’s department including from her private office’s inbox and private outer office safe.
Green made maximum use of the documents to secure damaging headlines in the Daily Mail, Sunday Telegraph and other papers…
In the Mail, any word on that?
Damian Green and Bob Quick crossed swords in 2008 when the Met assistant commissioner took dramatic action in an inquiry into leaks from the force. Mr Quick decided to arrest then then shadow immigration minister.
The Tory MP was held for nine hours while his Commons office, two homes and constituency office, were searched and computers removed by counter-terrorism officers.
The episode sparked a huge inquest at the Commons into whether parliamentary privilege should have protected the material held by an MP.
In the ensuing political storm, it emerged Mr Quick’s wife was running a car hire firm from their home and details of their address were published on a website.
Or as the Guardian reports:
Three weeks later Quick, in a move he later regretted, publicly accused the Tories “and their press friends” of “acting in a wholly corrupt way” to try to undermine his investigation into Green.
What had provoked his anger was a Mail on Sunday article detailing a wedding chauffeur business run by his wife, Judith, from the family home.
As newspapers score points by omission and inclusion, Parris has the last word:
What Damian Green was alleged to have watched might be thought disgusting, but what two former Met officers have been up to is little short of sinister. Disgust can rule the headlines and may win the day, but former police officers are trying to destroy a senior minister with whom they have clashed. This is London, not Chicago. Parliamentarians, in retreat for a decade now, should unite to push back.
As Robert Mugabe spends time with his money, it’s worth noting how the Mail knew he was going well before anyone else. On November 19 at 5:08 pm, the Mail thundered: “Robert Mugabe STEPS DOWN to end 37 years in power.” The was wrong, of course, Mugabe resigned two days later.
How did the Mail know? And what were those people celebrating – Mugabe’s staying and going? The Mail’s Facebook page published this update:
Follow the link and the Mail story now reads: “Robert Mugabe now faces impeachment after REFUSING to resign”. Indeed, the paper’s Twitter link is confused. Having stated that Mugabe was gone, the updated teaser was picked up and tells readers: “Robert Mugabe REFUSES to step down.”
Do we like Harry Redknapp the property developer more than Harry Redknapp the wheeler dealing football manager? The Guardian is upset by the man who once upon a time looked a shoo-in to be England manager. “Harry Redknapp ‘will make 30 people homeless’ with flats plan,” runs the headline. Those inverted commas should tell you something about plans to replace the unlisted Victorian Belgravia Hotel in Bournemouth with flats. The hotel, says the local Echo newspaper, is divided into 24 bedsits.
Plans by the football manager Harry Redknapp to demolish a former hotel and replace it with “posh” apartments would result in 30 people being made homeless, including several with disabilities, cancer sufferers, ex-offenders and other vulnerable individuals, according to opponents to the scheme.
What a basta…
Clifford Henley, one of the residents, claimed Redknapp… stood to make a fortune from the 21 flats and three mews houses, adding: “To be chucking 30 blokes on the streets with no consideration whatsoever – it’s brutal.”
Class war? “It’s walking over poor people,” says Henley. and then comes a right to reply. A spokesman for Redknapp’s company says the proposed homes range in price from £160,000 to £300,000.
In February 2017, Bournemouth councillors rejected Redknapp’s plans to replace the Belgravia with a four-storey block of 32 flats. East Cliff Conservation Area board chairman and East Cliff ward councillor David Kelsey opined: “We can’t just pull a building down because we don’t like the people living in it, we all have a right to live somewhere. I am fed up of developers just pulling buildings down for the sake of pulling them down.”
If it’s about housing people, isn’t the plan an improvement, offering space for more people than the current situation? You might suppose not because the Guardian has also delivered such stories as: “The truth about property developers: how they are exploiting planning authorities and ruining our cities” and “Virtual realty: can a computer game turn you into an ‘evil’ property developer?”
The Guardian ends by telling readers: ‘…in an interview last month, another footballing legend, the former England and Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman, said that owning too many properties was “just greedy and expensive”.’
Any journalists own more than one home? Or is it just footballers whose morals get examined?
David Dearlove is starting a life sentence for the murder of Paul Booth. David Dearlove is 71. He will serve at least 13 years behind bars. Paul Booth is 19 months old. He will always be 19 months old because on October 1 1968 David Dearlove swung him by the ankles and smashed his step-son’s head into a fireplace.
We only know what happened because Paul’s brother Peter saw it all when he went downstairs to fetch a drink. Peter was three-years-old when he peered through the crack in the door and saw the horror. Having seen his brother murdered by their stepfather – Dearlove had moved into their home in Stockton, Teesside, one month earlier – Peter ran back upstairs.
How did the authorities think the toddler died? The inquest into Paul Booth’s death delivered an open verdict.
In 2015, Peter did tell the police what he’d seen. His sense of injustice and anger was triggered by a photograph posted by a family member on Facebook. The photo (above) shows his younger brother sat on Dearlove’s knee. “Dearlove’s son David posted an image of his dad with Paul and I got angry,” Mr Booth told jurors at Tyneside Crown court. “I did not want it on there because of what he had done to Paul and what he had done to me.”
The killer denied it all. He said Peter was a liar. He said Paul Booth was instrumental in his own death, claiming he’d fallen out of bed on to a concrete floor.
The court heard Dearlove had a history of violence towards Peter, Paul and their sister Stephanie Marron.
“What happened behind closed doors stayed behind closed doors,” Peter told jurors. “You didn’t tittle-tattle. You don’t tell tales. So everything that happened I just kept it to myself. You just got on with it. You’d cry yourself to sleep.” Peter told how Dearlove tortured him. He held him under water in the bath. He stood him outside in the cold and ran his hands under ice-cold water. He beat him.
Stephanie told the court that Dearlove punched her “full force” in the stomach. He’d lay on top of her until she could not breathe. “I can still feel his weight,” she said.
And then we know this: the Crown Prosecution Service told the court it had not been able to exhume Paul’s body as burial records had been lost. On October 7 1968 Paul Booth was buried at the Haverton Hill baptist church, since closed and demolished. The case would reply on the documents prepared for his inquest at the time. Paul’s mother Carol Boot died in 1991.
Would the records be enough?
Thankfully, the coroner’s report contained photographs (above). They showed injuries to Paul’s feet and ankles, older bruising to his body, that his front teeth had been knocked out and, most damning, a Z-shape injury that crossed two plates in his skull. Had he hit the floor, as Dearlove claimed, the wound would have been in a straight line.
Indeed. Why didn’t that occur to anyone at the original inquest? Why did a postmortem cause the police spokesman to “rule out foul play”?
Paul Booth was remarkably accident prone on Dearlove’s watch. He fell down the stairs. And:
Pictures from inside the Rodney Street home [above] show the hot water pipes Dearlove claimed little Paul had burned his hand on. They also show a moped he claimed had fallen on Paul, which left him with visible bruising.
And then there was that fatal wound to his head.
Outside court, Paul’s family make a statement:
“Thinking about this makes us sad, as Paul would have been a man, no doubt married and more than likely with children of his own.
“However, sadly Paul was not given the opportunity to live his life due to the cruel and wicked actions of David Dearlove.
“This was a man who entered Paul’s life and was supposedly to act as a father figure to Paul. A man, who was supposed to care for him and look after him. Instead of doing this he ended Paul’s life in the most violent way.
“The actions of David Dearlove on 1st October 1968 not only physically killed Paul but also destroyed his memory. He was buried into an unmarked grave the location of which remains unknown and he was not spoken about for many years.
“However, we now believe as a family that this court case has shown everyone that Paul did live a life and that his memory will never be forgotten. Naturally we are delighted as a family that justice has now been done, even if it did take 47 years to achieve it.
“David Dearlove is now behind bars.
“This has been a long journey to get to this point and we would like to thank Cleveland Police and those that assisted in bringing the case to court. We now hope to move on with our lives, and with justice having been served, hope that Paul can now rest in peace.”
As Tottenham slip to 7th place in the Premier League, the Sun elbows its way to front of the queue to bash team manager Mauricio Pochettino. In “Chapter And Worse”, the paper wonders, “Is Posh book to blame for Spurs’ Real Shocker?” The answer is, of course, no.
In case you missed Pochettino’s book, Brave New World: Inside Pochettino’s Spurs “revealssecrets behind his success”. He reveals: he likes eating crisps; “Whenever I am slightly down, I like to smell Argentinian wine”; “Poch is very keen on building-up an unbreakable team, spirit”; “the ever-professional Poch…likes to quiz his stars on selected topics from their most recent team meeting if he bumps into them in the corridors… just to make sure they were listening”; and he “once dropped a player for eating LASAGNE”. All those killer facts are in the Sun’s review of the book in an article dated October 27.
One month on and, according to the Sun, the book that told of Poch’s “success” and his skill for building team spirit is the catalyst for disaster.
In the online version of the story of the cursed book, the Sun answers its own question with a ‘YES’:
The Spurs boss’ book, Brave New World, appears to have jinxed his title-chasing side since it reached shelves on October 26.
In the paper version (pages 56 and 57), the story begins by answering that same question with a ‘NO’:
It is surely coincidence that since the story of Mauricio Pochettino’s ‘Brave New World’ was published, Spurs’ title dream has died.’
Mark Irwin tells us that five games ago, Spurs were “Manchester City’s most likely challenges”. Fourteen matches into the season, Spurs are seventh. After nine matches played, Spurs were in third place, five points behind Manchester City. Manchester United were second, surely making them the side most likely to topple City.
Reading on we learn that the book “has not gone down well with certain players, who are uncomfortable with some of the manager’s revelations”. The crisps, right? Or was it how he likes to pick the washing powder for the team’s kit?
This is the same Pochettino who was subject to the Sun’s story of September 23 2017, which focused on his talent for team bonding:
MAURICIO POCHETTINO took his Tottenham stars and Daniel Levy out to dinner this week – at a cost of £7,000. The generous Spurs boss picked up the whopping tab after inviting FIFTY of his club colleagues, including chairman Levy, to his team-bonding get-together at posh West End diner Beast on Wednesday night.
Is a retweet an endorsement? It is if you’re cuddly Donald Trump, who has amplified anti-Muslim propaganda tweeted by Jayda Franse, the woman who fronts Britain First, the odious far right group.
That Trump has the brain of a cretinous adolescent is certain. It’s also a sure thing that when Trump tweets, it’s news. Four national newspapers lead with Trump’s retweets. The Times, Telegraph and Guardian all lead with Theresa’s May’s condemnation of the tweets Tump broadcasted to his millions of followers.
The i goes further. It says Trump’s sad, deeply pathetic and short-fingered grasp on the big issues of diplomacy, bigotry and racism, his undermining of the weight of high office, call into question his State visit to the UK. His retweets, says the paper, constitute “an attack on Britain”.
Should the UK be a safe space, where Donald’ Tump is banned from entering?
Trump takes pride in claiming to be saying the ‘unsayable’, telling it like it is. In his head, Trump’s engaging in home-spun wisdom. He’s a plain talking pioneer stripped of politicians’ artifice and cunning. His Twitter account’s a virtual stoop wherefrom he shares wisdom with the simple folks who gather at his feet. Little surprise he finds kindred spirits in fringe groups who purport to be doing the same, self-styled brave souls daring to speak the truth at a time when free expression is increasingly oppressed.
As debate withers and dies on the vine – free speech stymied by policed speech, activists posing as journalists and offence-seekers watching us for any misstep; when accusation is enough to establish guilt; when identity is all (and you know who agrees with that liberal view? Yeah: Nazis) – extremists with loud mouths position themselves as the voices of freedom. You want an alternative to the suffocation. There it is on the side, circling life’s plughole.
The last word is with Trump. Having been called out for his actions, he tweets:
@TheresaMay, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!
No, Donald. No! That’s the wrong Theresa May.
America. Would someone over there please take Trump’s phone away from him and put him to bed. Grown-ups are talking. Well, we will just as long as those progressive liberal voices who view human interaction as a potential crime scene allow it…
The DailyMail today publishes the “Terrifying truth about what your child watches on YouTube”. There is a welter of bilge on YouTube, some of it troubling. But is the Mail best placed to criticise? The paper tells readers that YouTube hosts “sexualised child content”. Another story is headline “3-year-olds watching YouTube”. The story is that paedos are out there. And what looks innocent to kids, appeals to perverts.
So should Mail Online be accessible only to adults?
This has all appeared on the website:
* Chloe Moretz appears to have aged rather rapidly since her first turn in film Kick-Ass.With flowing blonde locks, and artfully applied make-up, she looked rather mature for her 15 years…
* She’s still only 15, but Chloë Moretz…The strawberry blonde stepped out with a male friend in a cute Fifties-style powder blue sleeveless collared shirt which she tied at her waist – revealing just a hint of her midriff.
* “Classy Chloe: Teen actress Moretz, 14, looks all grown up…
*“Rather risqué for a 14-year-old? Kick Ass star Chloe Moretz sports a sheer blouse and short leather skirt at film premiere…But it seems her rising Hollywood star might have caused 14-year-old Chloe Moretz to grow up a little too fast.The young actress stepped out on the red carpet at the Toronto Film Festival last night wearing a rather risqué outfit…”
Remember when Suri Cruise was big news:
Heidi Klum’s daughter was spotted. She was eight years old, when the Mail reported on the pre-pubescent “leggy beauty“:
Model in the making: Klum’s daughter Leni has model stems like her mommy
Iran has set out to prove that sport is pointless. Iranian wrestler Alireza Karimi-Mashiani was winning a quarter-final fight in the under-23 world championships. Russian fighter Alikhan Zhabrailov looked set to lose the 86kg bout. The winner would take on Israel’s Uri Kalashnikov. A voice calls out, reportedly, “Alireza, you have to lose!”
“In a moment, my whole world seemed to come to an end,” Karimi tells the Iranian Students News Agency. “I was told that the Israeli wrestler defeated his American rival, and that I must lose to avoid facing an Israeli opponent. I have trained hard for months to win a gold medal, and it was easy for me to win.”
Poor sod. But no matter about your sporting prowess. The State loves you. You’re not an athlete. You’re a role model. Iran’s sports ministry posts a statement: “Your noble and heroic action in the world competition in Poland, abandoning the medal and the podium in support of the highest human values, is a source of pride and praise.”
What those values are is not noted. But we believe them to be not a lot unlike the values extolled at the 1936 Olympics. Front Page Mag goes further: “The Mullahs transform international sport into Jew-hate.”
Now those results in full.
Iranian wrestler Alireza Karimi about to beat Russian, but will have to face Israeli next round. His coach his calling him from the sidelines, telling him to “lose.” Iran forbids its athletes to play Israeli’s. Iranian wrestler gives up. pic.twitter.com/nX9KHaH8Jn
By now you’ll be wondering what Prince Harry and Megan Markle are up to. Thankfully, the tabloids understand your thinking and have produced a few words on the prince and his paramour.
The Sun: 25 pages. Daily Mail: 18 pages Daily Star: 6 pages, including one of Page 3 stunna “Royal fan Megan” Daily Express: 7 pages Daily Mirror: 9 pages
What about the wedding:
“Tourits flocked to Kensington Palace last night to salute the happy couple and tell of their excitement that ‘new Diana’ Meghan’ will become a royal… She’s very appealing to people, like Diana was” – Star
“Diana would have been thrilled – Meghan’s just the kind of woman she wanted to be” – Mail
“Meghan Markel’s wedding dress with a glamorous red-carpet gown” – Express
“EXCLUSIVE: Fit for a Princess! Will Meghan Markle choose an Australian designer to make her bridal gown for the ultimate modern Royal wedding?” – Mail
“Meghan Markle is likely to opt for a low-key, cool designer to create her wedding dress” – Standard
“She once revealed what her dream dress would be when talking about her character Rachel in legal drama Suits, who wore a wedding gown in one episode. She revealed the dress worn in the show wasn’t her “personal style”, adding: “I’m a lot more relaxed than Rachel… Classic and simple is the name of the game, perhaps with a modern twist. I personally prefer wedding dresses that are whimsical or subtly romantic.” – Star, “Meghan Markle’s wedding dress REVEALED: Harry’s fiancee’s dream gown PICTURED”
“Did you spot Meghan Markle’s subtle fashion nod to Princess Diana?.. With the photocall taking place in Princess Diana’s former residence, it seems only fitting that Meghan would wear white, a nod to Diana and the memorial white garden that was created in her memory this year to mark the 20 year anniversary of her death.” – Marie Clair
“Meghan wore a white coat…it did slighlty resemble a dressing gown” – Sun
The coat “was not unlike something her future sister-in-law the Duchess of Cambridge would wear” – Mail
“Meghan’s journey to fashion icon status continued yesterday when she wore a white-belted coat” – Mirror
THE WEDDING FOOD
“Roast chicken, sweet potato and white-bean soup” – Mirror
Bostwana; Croatia; Bordeaux, Athens, Madrid, New York – Mirror
In the twilight zone between fact and fiction, sits football reporting. Today’s Manchester Evening News turns a simple story on Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil’s bout of the sniffles into “positive news” for Manchester United fans. Before we get to Samuel Luckhurst’s story, the headline:
Manchester United get Mesut Ozil boost from Arsenal
Rumours abound that Manchester United will move for the Arsenal star whose contract expires at the season’s end. Notions of pending transfer business is the meat to the story. That’s only reinforced by the teaser:
Mesut Ozil is interested in moving to Man Utd next year and Jose Mourinho has received some positive news from Arsenal.
Can it be that Ozil is on his way to Old Trafford? Are Arsenal and United arranging things? Before reaching the story, we’re told that the MEN is part of the ‘Trust Project’. What’s that?
The Trust Project is an international consortium of news organizations collaborating to use transparency to build a more trustworthy and trusted press.
It’s clear, then. Ozil to Manchester United is on.
The story begins:
Mesut Ozil could be a doubt for Arsenal’s weekend Premier League fixture with Manchester United due to illness.
And… And nothing. The entire story is that Ozil was ill and couldn’t play for the Gunners at Burnley. He might be ill for when Arsenal play United next weekend. Arsenal have offered no boost for any transfer. The ‘good news’ is that Ozil is ill.
Not content with ignoring facts to have a pop at Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil, Martin Keown is making historically incontinent comments about his other former club, Everton. Buying into the hype that everything in Premier League football is of monumental importance, Keown notices that Everton are playing badly, furrows his brown, leans in and tells Match of the Day viewers: “You think now, Wednesday they play West Ham at home. Is there a bigger game in Everton’s history?”
A bigger game? No. Many bigger games? Yes. Even if you buy into Keown’s bilge that football began in the Premier League era, Everton have had big games. In 1994, they secured a momentous 3-2 win over Wimbledon.
Two goals down, with nine minutes of the season remaining – and needing to win to stay up – Everton scored the winner.
Four years later, Everton endured more last-day drama.
Everton stayed up by way of superior goal difference over Bolton. Everton needed only a point against Coventry if Bolton lost at Chelsea, which they did. Everton were one goal up – then with five minutes to go missed a penalty. With two minutes to go Coventry scored. Tension. You betcha.
But none of that nor the glory nights, when Everton won Cups and league titles matters. Because 14 games into the season, Martin Keown says a home match with West Ham is the biggest match in Everton’s history.
No topless photos of Paul Hollywood, 51, the TV baker leaving his wife of umpteen years. No photos of Paul in his undies, posing with a cheeky glance to camera as his taps his buttocks. And no revelations that he likes to hang homemade ring donuts on his manhood in the way the actor John Bindon used to hand five half-pint glasses on his penis.
Instead we get Paul telling us that years ago a fortuneteller told him he would be “very wealthy and very famous” (Daily Star), and two big photos of Summer Moneys Fulham, a 22-year-old barmaid (Daily Mail). In one, Summer does the splits on the bar of a Kent pub where she met the TV oven stuffer. In another she smiles in a low-cut top.
The Mail recalls Hollywood’s affair with Marcel Valladolid, his co-judge on the US version of the Great British Bake Off, telling readers that he called it “the biggest mistake of my life”.
On the Mirror’s front page, it’s “Bake Off Paul” and the “barmaid”. Hollywood ‘Splashes the dough” (geddit?) on “young barmaid Summer Monteys-Fulham”, now given a hyphen.
The message is clear: he is money and fame; she is seduction and regret. Love and sex are different for girls.
We read that Summer has “apparently quit her job”, deleted her social media profiles and moved out her parent’s “£1m home”. Her life seems to have been changed since the Sun on Sunday broke news that she and Hollywood had become friends. “It has clearly upset her a lot,” says an unnamed source to the Mail.
So the single woman gets profiled and finds herself in the paper, the object of our heated debate and judgement. Wonder what the stars said lurked in store for her.
Madeleine McCann has been found. Or, rather, someone has self-identified as the missing child.
Harriet Brookes noticed a mark in her eye an another on her leg similar to the missing child. “Right guys,” said Harriet. “I don’t usually believe in conspiracy theories but honestly I think I’m Madeleine McCann…I’m Madeleine McCann and I don’t know what to do with myself.” Harriet published photos of her face and leg next to images of Madeleine McCann’s face and leg.
What looks to anyone sane like a joke becomes The Tab’s“We spoke to the Leeds student who thinks she’s Madeleine McCann… What started as a bit of group-chat banter has now become a fully-fledged internet conspiracy theory.”
No. It hasn’t. What started out as joke is till a joke, albeit one in the news. And what says the woman who “thinks” she the missing child? Says Harriet: “Well I wasn’t really convinced, I just thought it was funny we looked similar… I just sent it for a joke hahaha.”
News that Harriet’s parents have ben arrested are wide of the mark.
Have you boycotted Paperchase, sellers of printed stationery – yep, people really do still send letters (though not to Daily Mail readers who communicate by holding their noses and yelling into the wind)? Hope not. Paperchase tried its best to shine a light into society’s darkest recess. It reached out to the DailyMail’s Untermensch readership, hoping that in offering them two free rolls of Christmas wrapping paper, they’d be put on the path to decency.
Paperchase – not fan of Brexit
But Stop Funding Hate thought Mail readers beyond salvation and bombarded Paperchase’s social media account with complaints. Paperchase didn’t rescind the offer, but did vow never again to reach down into the sewer. It was “truly sorry”. Some people are just not worth the effort. Wrapping paper is a not a right; it’s a moral choice. The tree gods gladly give up their own to wrap useful gifts like photos of Jeremy Corbyn, DVDs of The 100 Best Silences and the Pop-Up Book of Safe Spaces. But save for the odd Japanese knot weed and leylandii, no vegetation wants to be seen dead around the kind of stuff Mail readers buy at Christmas – jackboots, flaming torches and Jeremy Clarkson audio tapes.
Sarah Baxter tells Times readers Stop Funding Hate is interested in muzzling the Press. The group’s founder, Richard Wilson, ‘admitted on Newsnight that “the end point for us is a media that does the job we all want it to”.’ Which is? Baxter says it’s “suppressing the array of opinion reflected in the British press… Stop Funding Hate, however, has morphed into an arrogant group of hate-mongering activists who are outraged about an ever-expanding range of subjects”.
The idea is simple: starve the publication you don’t like of advertising money and watch it die. If this also deprives thick-as-custard people of reading the tabloids, all to the good. If those mouth-breathers can’t be banned from sharing views of the right-minded, their reading material must be censored. The caring Left knows best.
The Advertising Association is concerned, stating: “The UK has a free press and advertising plays a vital role in funding that. Pressure group lobbying of this kind has negative implications for our press freedom.” Advertising body Isba, warns: “We shouldn’t take for granted the freedom of the press.”
Over in the Guardian, which would surely be the only newspaper on the bottom shelf when the anti-haters have won the day, Peter Peston thunders:
Stop Funding Hate may legitimately urge Mail readers to quit (and Mail readers may, equally legitimately, examine the causes SFH espouses and make up their own minds). But trolling rather nervous companies such as Paperchase isn’t legitimate. It’s the thin end of a dangerous wedge – with no winners in sight, from left or right.
As last week’s Ipso complaints ruling on Trevor Kavanagh’s “The Muslim Problem” column for the Sun mordantly observes: “There is no clause in the editors’ code which prohibits publication of offensive content”. Nor should there be.
In the same paper, Stewart Lee writes beneath the headline: “My futile attempt to sell satire to the Daily Mail.” Well, the paper does employ the sublime Craig Brown, so maybe he’s enough? Guardian readers are told:
Usually, I am the sort of person who thinks that anyone who has ever worked for the Daily Mail is worse than Adolf Hitler, even the temps and the tea lady. And I’m not alone. So disgusted are youth voters by the repellent newspaper, it’s now clear that the Daily Mail’s increasingly hysterical attacks on Jeremy Corbyn, the coddled egg of British politics, may even have helped secure his triumphant loss in the last general election.
Worse than Hitler? Satire, right? Phew! And people not voting for Corbyn because the Mail told them, too? I thought it was about anti-Semitism. But, then, I’ve not been keeping up with the Guardian’s news on Jews and Jezza’ Labour Party, not since one of their columnists wrote in the Guardian: “I have developed a habit when confronted by letters to the editor in support of the Israeli government to look at the signature to see if the writer has a Jewish name. If so, I tend not to read it.”
I didn’t call for a boycott. And the sport pages are good. Boycotts are, after all, for censors and Nazis.
Lee also turns to the subject of Nazis, riffing on when the Mail hailed the blackshirts.
And a sepia-toned card of the first Viscount Rothermere, the paper’s 1930s proprietor, declares, in Daily Mail font, “I urge all British young men and women to study the Nazi regime in Germany. There is a clamorous campaign of denunciation against ‘Nazi atrocities’ which consist merely of a few isolated acts of violence, but which have been generalised, multiplied and exaggerated to give the impression that Nazi rule is a bloodthirsty tyranny. Congratulations on passing your driving test.”
Haha. Got one about the Guardianopposing the creation of the National Health Service as it feared the state provision of healthcare would “eliminate selective elimination”?
This is not to defend the Mail. It’s to highlight how censorship is formed by bigotry.
Owen Jones disagrees. He writes in the Guardian: “Paperchase rejecting the Daily Mail is another victory against hatred.” No, he’s not being ironic.
This paper, whose less than glorious history includes cheerleading for the Nazis and Oswald Mosley’s blackshirts, is one of the most vindictive bullies in Britain.
And the Guardian? The Spectator tells us that not all leading figures in the Left, including eugenicist George Bernard Shaw, minded tyranny. ( In March 1933 Shaw was a co-signatory to a letter in The Manchester Guardian protesting at the continuing misrepresentation of Soviet achievements: “No lie is too fantastic, no slander is too stale … for employment by the more reckless elements of the British press.”)
Malcolm Muggeridge, was initially supportive of the Soviet regime. But then he went to Moscow as a correspondent for the Manchester Guardian and learned about the Ukrainian famine. The Guardian censored his reports. The left was divided by the atrocities of the Soviet Union into honest, moral people and those who turned a blind eye.
Is this a row between newspapers: the Guardian in need of the Mail to showcase what it is not; the Mail and right-wing Press, doing much the same? The difference is, though, that only one side supports censorship.