At last night Europa League match between Cologne and Arsenal (-0 to the Germans), the Daily Mirror heard fans offering some tag-team anti-Spurs abuse. The headline is unequivocal: ‘”Tottenham are s***!” Arsenal and Cologne fans “join forces to troll Spurs” during Europa League tie”.
They did? No, of course they didn’t. The Mirror is trolling Arsenal and Spurs fans. But Mark Jones is hearing what he wants to, telling Mirror readers:
Arsenal fans seemingly joined forces with their counterparts from Cologne to troll Tottenham Hotspur during their Europa League tie in Germany on Thursday night… the two sets of fans linked up in perfect harmony at the RheinEnergieStadion, although Spurs fans won’t want to hear it.
Wrong. The Cologne fans chant “Come on FC!” or “Come on Effzeh!” over and over and over at every match. Cologne fans are not trolling Spurs fans. They don’t give a s*** about Spurs fans. But the Mirror’s advertising clicks do.
They’re gunning for Jack Maynard, the YouTuber who left the I’m A Celebrity Jungle accused of making alleged racist and homophobic tweets. Exposed by the Sun, Maynard is hammered by the Mirror, which leads with his face and the headline:”Teenage girl: I’m A CelebJack begged me for pic in my bra.” It might have been kinder to have Jack Maynard buried in a cockroach-infested hole in the Australian jungle with Dennis Wise for company. But that’s not to diminish from his apparent offence. Being buried alive for TV entertainment was too good for him.
On page 8, we read: “Your boobs are nice & would look good in bra shot…Ever take one?” The claim is that Jack “pestered the girl” when Jack was 17. We’re told there is “no suggestion he knew the girl was only 14 at the time”.
We then get introduced to the ‘victim’, who says she was a fan of Jack’s brother Conor Maynard and “sought his advice on becoming an online model”. They then allegedly got into an exchange, in which Maynard was told he is only famous through his brother and he told her: “Who the fuck even are you? You’re an ugly freak.”
We then hear from her: “I looked up to Jack as a role mode and I found his persistence annoying. But I saw it as relatively harmless flirting given the small age gap… I don’t think he was aware I was younger than him. He was just a bit of a dickhead…” The Sun ignores the bra and says, “he had also begged a 14-year-old fan to send him nude pictures.”
The Sun also quotes the ‘victim’, no aged 10, who says: “He was 16, I was 14. It was something that happens to everyone. [The Mirror said he was 17.] I never once felt harassed. We were kids, it’s not once harmed me at all in any way. It’s in the past. It is a serious allegation to make, but you’re a kid, you make mistakes. He didn’t know how old I was, and I didn’t know how old he was at the time. I cannot stress enough that the messages were harmless.”
And that’s it. “I’m sorry to anyone that I upset, anyone that I offended, anyone I made feel uncomfortable,” says Maynard. “Growing up I was all over social, my entire life was on social media an through that it led to be my job. I’ve tweeted some bad things, some horrible things, that I’m just ashamed of.” The Sun says he wad “grinning” and “smirking” when he apologised in a video.
Thankfully, no journalists ever said anything that might have caused offence.
Arsenal were beaten by the mighty FC Cologne in the Europa Cup. The German side was poor, needing a pretty soft penalty to hit the net; but even when faced with the Bundesliga’s worst side Arsenal couldn’t score. But fear not, Arsenal fans. The Gunners can still win the second-rate cup. No team to have captured the trophy since the first winners in 2010 has gone the course undefeated.
The following is a guide to how many matches the eventual winners lost by. Defeats in two-legged knock-out rounds are in brackets.
2010: Atletico Madrid 3 (1)
2011: Porto (2)
2012: Atletico Madrid 1
2013: Chelsea 2 (2)
2014: Seville (3)
2015: Seville 1
2016: Seville 4 (2)
2017: Manchester United 1
Onwards and upwards, Arsenal. One the best players take part it’ll be shoo-in, right. Ozil and Sanchez will fire Arsenal home – unless thy leave the club in January.
Jon Venables, the child who killed a child, is back in the news. News is that he’s been caught in possession of child abuse images, just as he was in 2010. This means he’s back in prison.
The Sun leads with the news, saying how Venables’ probation officials spotted the images on a computer belonging to the 35-year-old who together with Robert Thompson killed James Bulger in February 1993. Over pages 4 and 5, we see the familiar photos: Venables at age 10 stood for the police cameras; his partner in crime Robert Thompson in the same pose; and that haunting CCTV picture of James Bulger being walked form a Merseyside shopping centre to his gruesome death.
Venables, of course, is not known by that name. He got a new name, one which cannot and should not be revealed. Right now he’s in a category A prison, his alleged offences under investigation. If it goes to court, the paper says Venables will be afforded a crown court trial. Venables keeps costing the State money. Last time in prison, we learn he was given around-the-clock protection, and “access to guitar lessons and a rowing machine”. Before his release in 2001, he was given “years of costly treatment”.
The crime was heinous, one that shocked us all. But the story is without end. The country does try to seek out Venables, much less exact vigilante justice. So what is the purpose of the Sun’s story? Is it to show that rehabilitation does not work. Surely not because Robert Thompson is “now hailed as rehabilitation success story”.
Venables served seven years of a life sentence for the murder of James Bulger. In 2001, aged 18, he was set free, albeit under license, able to be recalled for any misdemeanour. He got a new name, a job that enforced unsociable hours on just above minimum wage and a place to live. The press were forbidden by law from revealing any details on Venables’ new identity. But we only knew their real names because the judge told us the killers’ names in an adult court, moving on from ‘Child A’ and “Child B’. Was that right? Venables was ordered never to reveal his original identity to anyone. He must live a lie. Was that freedom?
Then, aged 27, Venables was back in prison, serving a two-year sentence for downloading and distributing indecent images of children. Now he’s back inside again. And the media continues to stoke the fires. Denise Fergus, James Bulger’s mother, is back on our screens, her pain clear to all. Her lot is to be a media celebrity dished up for us to gawp at. On Sky News, once more she is encouraged to revisit the horror. Our utmost sympathy must be with her and Ralph Bulger, James Bulger’s father. They have no need to forgive.
But why are we invited to stare? Why are we being invited to be entertained by their suffering?
It was ever so. The rare murder of a child by children might have been sui generis had the Labour spokesman on home affairs not milked the story. Tony Blair, for it was he, seized the moment to amplify the murder into a national crisis. Thompson and Venables’ crimes were “hammer blows struck against the sleeping conscience of the country, urging us to wake up and look unflinchingly at what we see”. He told us: “A solution to this disintegration doesn’t simply lie in legislation. It must come from the rediscovery of a sense of direction as a country… We cannot exist in a moral vacuum. If we do not learn and then teach the value of what is right and what is wrong, then the result is simply moral chaos which engulfs us all.”
There are other murders. But this one served a purpose. Blair tapped into the trial judge’s comments on it being a crime of “unparalleled evil and barbarity”. If that was evil the likes of which had never been seen before manifest in our midst, then Tony Blair was the force for good. And so it was that the murder of James Bulger became a totem for the nation to rally around. James Bulger, the innocent child, became a New Labour symbol and a political football. The crime was submerged in the age’s reaction to it. And there was the video and the pictures to promote the message on rolling news. They’re still being used in a crime packaged for our age.
Transfer Balls: Having secured a new talent spotter in the shape of Sven Mislinat from Borussia Dortmund – he helped the Germans recruit Robert Lewandowski, Shinji Kagawa, Ousmane Dembele and their want-away striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (any Gooners think he’s heading to the Emirates?) – news is of players leaving the club. And chief among them is Mesut Ozil.
The Sun says Ozil “is keen on joining Barcelona”. Arsenal are apparently eager to get £20m for the 29-year-old this January. The Manchester Evening News says “Ozil is keen on a move” to Old Trafford for £17.7m. The London Evening Standard says “Arsenal players expect Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez to stay”.
Much blather, then. But one story has roots: the Sun’s story is sourced in a report in Mundo Deportivo – the sports newspaper published in…Barcelona. Just as the Manchester-based paper knows Ozil wants to play for Manchester United, the Barcelona based newspaper knows he wants to play in Barcelona. As for the London-based Standard, well, it’s balls is based on the opinion of Nacho Monreal, who told a rival organ, “I can’t say much about it. It does not depend on me… If the club want them to stay beyond December [the January transfer window] they will follow. Yet, I do not know the club’s intentions.”
Let’s put the not-in-the-least-bit-biased Deportivo story through Google Translate and see what we learn:
Dr. Erkut Sogut , who represents Mesut Özil , has negotiations with Barça . The agent has confessed to the Barça club the tremendous interest of his represented in playing at the Camp Nou, but he has also made it clear that there are six sets more interested in the German international of Turkish origin.
Ozil played for Barcelona’s dread rivals Real Madrid.
In addition to the offer to Özil , they want to know what they will do to Arsenal , their current club. And, above all, the time of the duration of the contract, which would want it to be at least the rest of the season and two more years. The club would want that third season was negotiated between the two parties, taking into account the age of the German, 29 years.
Not exactly chomping at the bit, then.
The advantage of Barça is that Özil has the thorn in the “no” of Pep Guardiola in 2010 and wants to show that he has a place in the Catalan team. He really likes the way Barça played since he was at Werder Bremen .
The advantage? In Ozil’s Die Magie des Spiels, he states:
“Arsenal were interested in signing me after the 2010 World Cup, as were Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid. My agent sat down with Bayern to discuss a move. The club told him about their plans with me and how they intended to use me. He had similar talks with the other clubs that wanted me.
“Before I travelled to Barcelona, I was convinced that was my next club. I was leaning toward joining Barcelona. There was no team in the world that played more beautiful football. But Guardiola did not attend talks and he did not call me either the days after. He did not even send me a text. He did not show me that he wanted to sign me as well. My interest in a move to Barcelona quickly decreased.”
Got that? Barcelona’s “advantage” is that they ignored him. Undaunted by fact, the paper continues:
In addition, Özil believes that if he signs for Barça , playing alongside Lionel Messi , he could hope to win, for the first time, the Champions League .
If he wants to win that, his agent should court PSG.
The Arsenal has given the ‘OK’ to Erkut Sogut that Özil can march on the January market to earn some money, which would not happen at the end of the season to be free. They have the direct permission of Arsène Wenger .
Wenger said he can go? No quote to back that up. But Wenger did says last month: “I cannot tell you what is in his mind. I genuinely think he wants to stay. But I am always positive about that.”
Such are the facts.
So farewell, Jack Maynard, aka ‘YouTuber Jack Maynard’, who has left I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! to sort out “circumstances outside camp”. Maynard wanted to “do the internet proud”. And he did just that, introducing the TV-watching tribes to life on the web. As the Sun thunders: “YouTube sensation, 22, was forced to apologise for racist and homophobic slurs on his Twitter account where he branded users ‘retarded’.”
Twitter’s a bit like a 1970s comedians showcase, albeit without the wit, laughs, likeable characters and fun.
The Sun took it upon itself to “reveal” some of Maynard’s “racist and homophobic tweets”, although it saw reason to edit them. Too rude for the paper that used to feature stunnas on Page 3 and still advertises phone lines for onanists seeking on-the-clock relief – yesterday readers were invited to call “X-Rated Cheap Girls – 18-94 Year Olds” and “HOT GIRLS [age unspecified]”. Thankfully, Pink News is less prudish. Damning Maynard as someone “famous for being the younger brother of singer Connor Maynard”, we read:
When an abusive commenter suggested he had profited off of his brother’s fame, Maynard hit back: “Completely forgot you know how I got it YOU RETARDED FAGGOT”.
He also used what the mainstream media terms ‘the N-word”. Censorship is provided by the Sun. (If you want to read the bad words, you need to get yourself on twitter.)
So Jack’s gone to spend time with his selfies, denying his accusers the chance to watch him being locked in a buried coffin and terrorised by rats. You had your chance.
Even better is the “spokesperson for the vlogger” – yep, even narcissists have their limits – who tells the Sun:
“Jack is ashamed of what he said in these tweets, many of which were deleted a long time ago and were sent in response to a neighbour who was bullying him. Jack was a lot younger when he posted them in 2012 but realises that age is no defence.”
Anyone else read that and see an adult explaining the action of a child? Jack is a big boy, says the grown up, and he knows he has done wrong. That leads to the a classic non-denial denial with sympathetic back story:
“He would never use that language now and realises that, as someone who was bullied himself, this kind of retaliatory, inflammatory, insulting language is completely unacceptable.”
Look at Jack Maynard less as the perpetrator, but as a victim living out fantasies born of a difficult childhood.
Madeleine McCann returned to the newspapers yesterday with news that the “Maddie hunt woman” is a…”waitress”. The Mirror saved this news for page 4, and reading on you wonder how it made it into the paper at all.
The story begins in typical ‘Our Maddie’ reporting style, using a shortened version of the child’s name in a report based on opinion. We read: “A criminologist claims to have identified a mystery woman being sought by British police in connection with Madeleine McCann’s disappearance.” Is a claim newsworthy?
We read that “Scotland Yard detectives want to speak to a female dressed in purple who was seen by two people standing outside the youngster’s apartment.”
And criminologist Heriberto Janosch Gonzalez “claims to have identified the woman as Bulgarian waitress Luisa Todorov”.
Grab your torch. Let’s go!
The 58-year-old was working with her husband at the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz when Madeleine vanished in 2007. Luisa and her husband Stefan, 50, gave statements to police five days after the three-year-old’s disappearance. They both denied having any knowledge of the case and have not been spoken to again for over a decade.
Seems fair. But then this: “British police are now scouring the globe for the pair so they can ask them if they saw anything suspicious.”
Scouring the globe? Not looking to speak with them. Scouring. That’s what you do when you want to reveal what’s beneath the dirt and grime. You scour. Is “scouring” the way to find two innocent people?
Luisa is believed to be the woman seen standing by a lamp post just outside the apartment at 8pm on May 3, 2007.
Claims. Believed. Any facts?
Gonzalez is quoted:
“I have been combing through all the police files trying to identify who the woman in purple could be. It has been widely reported that Yard officers are in Bulgaria. Examining all the known statements it seems highly likely the police are seeking the Todorovs. They are the only known people with a clear link to Bulgaria. I have been unable to trace them in Portugal and believe they could have moved away. It is widely known that many workers at the Ocean Club were made redundant so it is possible they went to Bulgaria seeking work.”
And after that speculation presented as news, we get the unchanging fact of this long-running story:
Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry, from Rothley, Leics, were dining in a tapas restaurant when she vanished.
Child vanishes. And that’s the story’s single thread. But the reporting remains frenzied. The Mirror’s story, which supports a Daily Express ‘exclusive’, is repackaged to read:
Madeleine McCann: Mystery ‘woman in purple’ sought by Met police identified as waitress – Indy
‘Woman in purple’ mystery witness tracked to Bulgaria. Waitress Luisa Todorov, seen twice near the holiday apartment on the night Maddie disappeared, could be a significant witness – International Business Times
Madeleine McCann mystery woman spotted outside Portugal apartment is identified – Leicester Mercury
MADDIE CLUES – Madeleine McCann cops hunt Bulgaria for waitress believed to be ‘woman in purple’ – The Sun
Madeleine McCann: Police hunt waitress believed to be mysterious ‘woman in purple’ – Daily Express
The Express’s story is pretty incredible:
Waitress Luisa Todorov, 58, is believed to be the mystery woman seen by two witnesses standing outside apartment 5a of the Ocean Club from where Madeleine was taken 10 years ago.
She has become the focus of Yard inquiries for months as officers want to know if she saw anything suspicious on the night of Madeleine’s abduction from Praia da Luz when she was aged just three.
But she spoke to police already, right? We were told that. And given that she worked in manual labour, might that huge reward have tempted her to talk more?
One witness saw her standing by a lamp post just outside the apartment at 8pm on May 3, 2007 and another saw her about half an hour later nearby.
They saw her, or they saw a woman dressed in purple who we are told might have been her?
Luisa’s husband Stefan Todorov, 50, was working at the Tapas bar, where the McCanns and their seven holiday friends were dining when Madeleine was abducted.
Unless she wondered off, of course.
The Express adds:
In August 2007 a British woman reported seeing a child who looked mile Madeleine at Varna airport in Bulgaria, but the information was very sketchy and did not check out.
And hold on a moment. The Indy had other news, reporting on November 6:
The story began:
Detectives working on Madeleine McCann’s case have travelled to Bulgaria in search of a paedophile’s widow known as the “woman in purple”.
On the evening of Madeleine’s disappearance an eyewitness saw a woman startng [sic] intently at the apartment block next to where the McCann’s were staying in Portugal.
The woman is believed to have been the wife of a man of a convicted peadophile, who has is now believed to be dead.
The name of this convicted, dead paedophile? It’s not given. But two “believed” in one sentence is peak reporting.
And what about the woman in purple? British expat, Jenny Murat, introduced us to her. She said: “She caught my eye because she was dressed in purple-plum clothes. It struck me as strange. It’s so usual for anyone, particularly a woman, to be standing alone on the street in our resort, just watching a building. The next morning, we heard that a little girl had gone missing, and I later told police about the woman I’d seen right outside. I didn’t recognise her and don’t have a clue who she is, but she seems a bit suspicious.”
Such are the facts.
Gaia Pope continues to occupy minds in the tabloids. How the 19-year-old died, we do not know. but we do know she was not murdered. And there is no evidence anyone else was involved in her death. Today the papers carry the image of Conor Hayes. The Star says Gaia Pope”was on the verge of a nervous breakdown” after “learning Connor Hayes may be released early”.
Who is he? Well, we read that Gaia Pope accused Hayes of sexually assaulting her two years ago. The Star says he was not prosecuted for the alleged crime. Why Conor Hayes in in prison is featured on the Dorset police website.
Two men jailed for child sex offences
18 April 2017
Two men who filmed a video of themselves having sex with a teenage girl that was subsequently published on the internet have been jailed.
Connor Hayes, 24 and of Namu Road in Bournemouth, pleaded guilty at Bournemouth Crown Court on Monday 5 December 2016 to taking an indecent moving image of a child, possession of indecent images of a child and paying for the sexual services of a child.
William Wright, 24 and of Andover Green in Bovington, pleaded guilty at Bournemouth Crown Court on Friday 3 February 2017 to taking an indecent moving image of a child, intentionally obtaining for himself the sexual services of a child under the age of 18, distributing an indecent moving image of a child and making indecent images of a child.
The pair were sentenced to two years in prison at Bournemouth Crown Court on Thursday 13 April 2017. Both of them were also handed a Sexual Harm Prevention Order for five years.
The court heard that Hayes befriended his victim in 2014. The girl was over the age of consent, but under the age of 18, meaning it is illegal to make or possess indecent images of her.
In November that year, Hayes got his victim to take part in a sex video with his friend Wright, telling the girl that the video was just for them and would not be shown to anyone else. Hayes told her that if the video got out he would be in trouble as she was under the age of 18, the court was told. After it had been recorded the victim asked the pair to delete the video.
The video was discovered to have been uploaded onto the internet around November 2015…
An examination of the iPhone belonging to Wright showed that there were ten video clips and 27 still images of the victim. Examination of a laptop used by Hayes showed there were 18 images of the victim which were indecent.
Nasty and sad stuff And the tabloids are happy to pile in on the “revenge porn convict”. The paper quotes Hayes’ mother, who says in a statement:
“I am aware that my son had a brief friendship with Gaia Pope when she was 16 and had just started college. Within weeks of their friendship ending Gaia made an accusation to the police which was not upheld. To the best of my knowledge my son has not had any contact with Gaia since their friendship ended at least two years ago.”
In the Mirror, we read about the police. On page 2, the paper quotes Greg Elsey, related to three people arrested on suspicion of murder – all of whom have been cleared. “They totally mishandled it,” he says, “and the guy in charge want to walking the beat.” In the Express, we hear Mr Elsey accuse the police of launching a “vendetta” and “witch-hunt” against the trio. He asks, “For anybody in the future, why should their family members be accused of murder when they absolutely no evidence it has happened.”
Over two pages in the Sun, we hear of “GAIA COPS’ CLCOK GAFFE”. Rosemary Dinch, 71, was one of the trio hauled in. She and they are now billed as “a frail pensioner and her family”. She says: “We gave hem [police] CCV footage that showed Nathan going to his gran’s house round the corner. When they questioned him, he time didn’t match because the clocks went back and the time on there didn’t change.” Paul Elsey adds: “The police got it all wrong but it was like talking to a brick wall.”
It’s fair to say that Martin Keown is no fan of Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil, offering to to-deadline opinion in October: “I think in some departments he’s already left. Psychologically, mentally, he’s already left the football club.” And on it went, Keown alluding to world Cup winner Ozil being a malign influence on teammates – “I think [Wenger] doesn’t want that sort of player around the youngsters in the group,” – and that Ozil has “downed tools”.
Pundits like to hammer home a point, even if it’s wrong. Ozil played superbly well in Arsenal 2-0 win over Spurs, putting in a man-of-the-match performance and earning a standing ovation from the fans. But Keown spots a hole in his Daily Mail column and offers: “This weekend, we have learned nothing new about Ozil.”
We who spotted Ozil’s record equalling 19 assists in the 2015-16 season, his 12 chances created when Arsenal played Sunderland in May and keeps Arsenal moving forward. But to Keown, Ozil invites the questions, “Will he work as hard on Sunday when Arsenal travel to Burnley?” Probably. Ozil ran further last season than every Arenal player bar Nacho Monreal. But Keown has the blinekrs on: “This weekend, we have learned nothing new about Ozil. We know he is immensely talented. But if he does not perform and Arsenal fail to get three points at Turf Moor, this victory will have been for nothing.”
No. It’ll have been for three points and bragging rights . Ozil will have been instrumental in defeating Spurs, a team billed as potential Premier League title winners and the coming force in English football. To make that worth nothing is to flush Ozil’s sublime play down the memory hole.
But we’re not looking at Ozil, who remains easy on the yes. We’re looking at Keown, whose opinions tell us much about his attitude to football: scream, shout, go in hard and show off your scars. The difference between Keown and Ozil is acute: whereas Keown was lucky to have a role in a pragmatic Arsenal side; a more progressive Arenal are lucky to have Ozil.
Mesut Ozil needs to be challenged every week to put in as special a performance as he did in the north London derby.
When you play Tottenham, you do not need any motivation. If anything, you have to keep your emotions in check. You have to play with your head, not your heart.
A cynic would say that Ozil’s performance merely guaranteed him his move in January. Will he work as hard on Sunday when Arsenal travel to Burnley?
If both Ozil and Alexis Sanchez perform as they did against Spurs for the rest of the season, they will be able to leave Arsenal with everyone’s blessing. They will have given their all until the last.
Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil fired Arsenal to victory as they beat bitter rivals Spurs 2-0 +5
Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil fired Arsenal to victory as they beat bitter rivals Spurs 2-0
Arsenal are a different animal at home but Arsene Wenger needs to equip his team to win on the road. They have lost four of their six Premier League away games, winning just once at Everton in Ronald Koeman’s last match in charge.
To get into the top four, Wenger needs to map out the upcoming fixtures and keep pushing Ozil to shine in every game.
This weekend, we have learned nothing new about Ozil. We know he is immensely talented. But if he does not perform and Arsenal fail to get three points at Turf Moor, this victory will have been for nothing.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-5098353/Mesut-Ozil-needs-challenged-week-reach-peak.html#ixzz4z3tFfU1x
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Paperchase is “truly sorry” for speaking to Daily Mail readers, offering them two free rolls of wrapping paper in Saturday’s newspaper. Stop Funding Hate, the group that hates the Daily Mail and its pressie-wrapping readers, promising without irony to “tackle the culture of hate, demonisation and division that is poisoning our political discourse”, encouraged tweeters to complain, just as it did when Lego advertised in the Mail. Lego responded by vowing never again to advertise in the popular tabloid. One minute you’re a Danish-based company selling plastic figurines to children; the next you’re a force for moral good. Life moves pretty fast when your in the censor’s crosshairs.
Stop Funding Hate spotted the Paperchase promotion in the Mail and opined: “After a torrid few weeks of divisive stories about trans people, is a Daily Mail promotion what customers want to see from @FromPaperchase?” Paperchase, of course, laughed this off, arguing that pricey envelopes and novelty pens should be available to all people, even those who only send emails. No, of course not. It said: “We now know we were wrong to do this – we’re truly sorry and we won’t ever do it again. Thanks for telling us what you really think and we apologise if we have let you down on this one. Lesson learnt.”
With any luck, all ‘responsible’ advertisers will pull their ads and the Daily Mail will be much reduced, existing on a sponsorship of Nazi memorabilia, cricket bats and Downton Abbey merchandise before dying with their last reader’s final breath.
Not far enough, of course. Paperchase, which as you can see from the images above, thinks nothing of supporting arcane gender stereotypes, disappointing we who look it for guidance on all manner of pressing issues (such as: when does Christmas shopping begin? when are 2018 diaries discounted?; is there life after death?) needs to do more. Sam White suggests: “Paperchase, not good enough. You should question people wishing to enter your stores as to whether they have ever handled or looked at a Daily Mail. Those who have can be refused entry, or possibly sent for re-education.”
And there’s a card for everything, even the Untermensch:
When you see a card declaring ‘Intolerance will not be tolerated’, you know where to send it…
On the heels of Jessica Winfield, the rapist born Martin Ponting who was moved to a women’s prison after undergoing a sex change, and who, allegedly, was isolated from female lags after making unwelcome sexual advances, we meet Davina Ayrton, formerly David. Davina Ayrton is starting an eight year prison term for taping a 15-year-old schoolgirl in a Portsmouth garage. Davina is still in possession of her male genitalia.
And so to the moral maze: in court Ayrton expressed a desire to serve her time in a women’s prison. Is it right that rapist is housed in a women’s prison? Can it be right that female prisoners are housed with a convicted rapist? Whose rights are at stake here: the rapist who wants to be a woman; or women?
It can only be right and proper that the government works hard to understand the lot of transgender prisoners. Government figures suggest there are 0.8 transgender prisoners reported per 1,000 prisoners in custody. There are about 88,000 people in UK prisoners. Is it time for a trans-only prison?
In 2015, trans woman Tara Hudson was sentenced to 12 weeks in the all-male Bristol Prison. Her mother Jackie Brooklyn told the Bath Chronicle: “I want Tara to be the last victim of a system which desperately needs bringing into the modern world.” Hudson told the BBC: “I could tell that they weren’t really ready for a prisoner like myself. Because of my gender identity they felt they had to lock me up in segregation and keep me away from the main population of the prison. I felt like I was being persecuted by the state… I felt I had no rights.. I felt like an animal in a zoo.”
Add her ordeal to the fates of Vicky Thompson, 21, and Joanne Latham, 38, from Nottingham, who were both sent to male prisons and the picture for trans prisoners is bleak.
Something needs to be done, for certain. But housing convicted rapists with women is not it.
Stop sniggering. News is that sex education “may need to become more graphic” to keep pace with experimental teens engaging in “taboo practices”.
Boffins at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and University College London have been monitoring what the Telegraph terms the “changing sexual practices of youngsters since 1990”. Is monitoring young people having sex a kink, one of those taboos? The sex researchers’ findings are published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, and via a press release. In it we read:
Whilst vaginal intercourse and oral sex remained the most common combination of sexual practices experienced in the past year, the proportion of sexually active 16-24 year olds who said they have had vaginal, oral and anal sex during the last year has risen, from approximately one in ten women and men in 1990-1991, to one in four men and one in five women in 2010-2012. Some of the largest increases in the prevalence of oral and anal sex over the past decade were observed among those aged 16-18.
Observed? No. Just what those surveyed felt able to say they engaged in. No need for a dark room anymore when you can just click and save. Every generation likes to feel as though they invented sex, and him, her and the turkey baster did it just the once in order to create the wonder of you. But the sex that doesn’t lead to a missionary’s idea of procreation has always been popular. (Have you seen Catherine the Great’s furniture?) Still, we’re at the bleeding edge of sex, so the Sun can read the researchers’ notes, overlook the fact that in 1275, the first age of consent was set in England at age 12, and declare: “Brits are having sex younger than ever – and experimenting more in bed.”
And it’s all about the internet, sink of porn and depravity.
The press release tells us:
Lead author Dr Ruth Lewis, who conducted the work while at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine but is now based at the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow, said: “At a time when much sex and relationships education is being updated, keeping pace with current trends in sexual practices is crucial so that curricula are tailored to the realities of young people’s experiences.”
“By shedding light on when some young people are having sex and what kinds of sex they are having, our study highlights the need for accurate sex and relationships education that provides opportunities to discuss consent and safety in relation to a range of sexual practices. This will equip young people with the information and skills they need to maximise their wellbeing from the outset of their sexual lives.”
Kaye Wellings, senior author and Professor of Sexual and Reproductive Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, echoes the view that sex is a problem. “It is important to keep up to date with trends in sexual lifestyles to help young people safeguard their health and increase their well being,” she says.
They found that the number of 16-24s moving away from traditional sexual intercourse had doubled, with experts claiming that the easy access to internet pornography was partly behind the rise..
After the febrile reporting and shadowy photos of innocent people, police say foul play played no part in the death of Gaia Pope, the 19-year-old who went missing in bucolic Dorset.
You might wonder why police arrested three people on suspicion of murder. All three were released under investigation. Greg Elsey, whose son Paul Elsey was arrested by police, accuses investigators of behaving like “wooden tops“. He says his son can prove he was elsewhere when Gaia Pope went missing. So why was Paul Elsey arrested and subjected to harsh media scrutiny?
The newspapers piled in, as ever they must when a photogenic blonde is missing. But from front-page news, the Express relegates the case of “tragic” Gaia Pope to page 4. The police says the young woman might have taken her own life or died of natural causes.
The Mail presents her death as a mystery, asking a question we will never know the answer to. “Did fear of prisoner who assaulted her push Gaia to suicide?” asks the Mail, wrapping two questions into a headline to which the only sensible answer is ‘no’.
As for that assault, a “friend” tells the paper: “She was assaulted when she was 17 and I think she thought the man would be released early from prison.”
We are free to speculate, of course, but why did an apparent objective police investigation lead to the arrests of three people and talk of murder? Surely they knew of Gaia Pope’s past, and of her severe epilepsy, which, we are told, could take her life at any time? We read now that Paul Elsey, Nathan Elsey and Rosemary Dinch, the three innocent people arrested for a crime that never took place, are planning to sue police for wrongful arrest.
Over in the Sun, which talked of police “swooping” on Paul Esley’s “prized” car – no, not that car – the story (page 7) is one of “Tragic Gaia’s Attack Agony”. The paper reads the dead woman’s mind. “She feared fiend’s release,” says the paper. She did? Well, maybe. Maybe not.
In the Daily Mirror (page 9), Gaia is the “tragic teen”. She is “Gaia from Langton Matravers”. In the Sun she is “Gaia from Swanage”. Gaia Pope was from Langton Matravers. She was staying at an address in Swanage when she disappeared on Tuesday 7 November 2017.
Such are the facts.
UPDATE: Det Supt Paul Kessell, of Dorset Police tells everyone:
“We have today released from our investigation two men, aged 19 and 49, and a 71-year-old woman, all from Swanage, who had been arrested and were assisting with our enquiries. I appreciate our enquiries would have caused these individuals stress and anxiety, however we have an obligation in any missing person investigation to explore every possible line of enquiry. The public would expect Dorset Police to fully investigate the sudden disappearance of a teenage girl. Our aim was not only to find Gaia but to find out what happened to her. Gaia’s family has been informed of this latest development and our thoughts remain with all her family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.”
What happened to people ‘helping he police with their enquiries’? Why the rush towards arrest?
Gaia Pope is dead. The Press have been speculating over her cause of death. Murder has been the word most used. Now police say there is no evidence “any other person was involved” in the death of the 19-year-old, whose remains were found in a field near Swanage, Dorset. This is after police arrested three people on suspicion of murder.
Det Supt Paul Kessell tells us: “The post-mortem examination has not identified any injuries to suggest any other person was involved in her death. The cause of death is undetermined, pending toxicology. The coroner is involved in the oversight of these examinations but at this time this remains an investigation into an unexplained death.”
Did the police stuff up? Being accused of murder is no small thing.
The Mail had more:
Her father Richard Sutherland, a business development manager, said his ‘distressed’ daughter had been told she could die at any moment because her epilepsy was so severe.
And she was also battling post-traumatic stress disorder after a ‘devastating’ assault by ‘some guys’ when she was 17, he said, made worse because the main perpetrator is reportedly set for release from prison.
Now the Sun tells us: “Gaia Pope cops reveal teenager was NOT MURDERED.”
Below is the photo the Sun used to introduce readers to Paul Elsey, one of the three people arrested on suspicion of murder and released under police investigation.
Is that the kind of photo that suggests anything to you? Innocence is presumed, right? The Sun reported: “Forensic officers made a midnight swoop on the prized VW Golf of Paul Elsey, 49.” Prized? Why prized? Why swoop?
Mr Paul Elsey’s father Greg told media:
“Paul is fine but all this attention isn’t fair, please just give him some space. What I will say is the way the police have handled this is terrible, it’s shocking. My family has totally been the victim of a witch hunt. They should start looking elsewhere. I think of the public money which has been wasted, which could have been spent searching for Gaia and finding those clothes a long time ago.”
“I’m totally disgusted. Paul’s solicitor has asked me not to say anything. You will be gobsmacked how the police have formed [their investigation]. Absolutely disgusting. What I said this morning is that I would find [Paul] and have a chat with him. He was going to ring the police station and arrange to see them if they wanted. That was the agreement we came to. That’s the agreement I and the solicitors made. I can’t say anything more but you will find out and you will be disgusted, the same as I was.”
“The officers running this investigation seem to be a bunch of wooden tops. It especially feels like they arrested Paul just to make it look like they were doing something. It’s felt like they can’t find the poor girl so they said ‘ let’s go and nick him’. We have only ever tried to help – both Gaia and the police.”
As Robert Mugabe is toppled, protesters in the depot’s native Zimbabwe turn to the next great dictator: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
Lest we forget:
Overstating the situation somewhat! pic.twitter.com/CMebS5nh3y
— Andy Kelly (@Gooner_AK) March 13, 2017
“I used to live in Zimbabwe and I’ve watched Robert Mugabe ruin the country, and Wenger is doing the same. He’s the Mugabe of Arsenal.”
Police searching for Gaia Pope have found a body on land near Swanage, Dorset. The family of the 19-year-old woman are “absolutely devastated”. Detective Superintendent Paul Kessell tells media: “Although the body has yet to be formally identified, we are confident that we have found Gaia.”
Gaia, who had severe epilepsy, had been missing since November 7. Last Thursday her clothes were found in a field near cliffs.
What happened? A 71-year-old woman, a 19-year-old man and a 49-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of murder. All three have been released under investigation. No crime has been established.
The Sun names the innocent trio:
Nathan Elsey, 19, who starred in Christopher Nolan’s film Dunkirk with Harry Styles, was arrested alongside his grandmother, Rosemary Dinch, 71…
Gaia had been temporarily staying at Mrs Dinch’s house at the time of her disappearance. Paul Elsey, the uncle of friend Nathan, was then arrested on suspicion of Gaia’s murder on 16 November.
The Sun zooms in on 69-year-old Greg Elsey, taking a photo of the man and captioning it: “Greg Elsey accused the police of a ‘witch hunt’ against his family.”
Doorstepped, he tells the Mail:
“I’m absolutely bewildered that he was arrested, I’ve got no idea why he was taken. I mean, for God’s sake, he was working all day in Weymouth when Gaia went missing, he had nothing to do with it. He lives with his mother Rosemary and takes care of her, he goes back there each night, that’s the only link he’s got with it. Police took him in and he said ‘look, what on Earth am I doing here? I’ve got nothing to do with this. He’s staying with a friend at the moment just chilling out. I saw him last night and he’s alright. I’ve got no way of getting hold of him, they’ve taken his phone, they’ve taken everyone’s phones. It’s ruined Rosemary and Nathan’s life, she was just being nice on the day, all police had to do was say to her they want to ask her a few questions and that would be fine but they arrested her.”
The Mail‘s headline is at odds with the URL, which tells readers and the Google bots
“Hiding”. Is that a loaded term?
The Mail adds:
Mrs Dinch, who shares a first-floor flat with her son Paul, was the last person to see the missing teenager alive.
Was she? The Sun tells it readers:
She [Gaia] was last seen in Swanage on 7 November, when CCTV captured her running past a house in Manor Gardens on Morrison Road. She was also filmed in a petrol station buying ice cream.
The BBC says:
The 19-year-old, who has severe epilepsy, was last seen on 7 November at 16:00 GMT by family friend Rosemary Dinch, off Morrison Road, Swanage. Dorset Police believes she was captured on CCTV running past a house in the same street about 20 minutes before.
Less than an hour before her last confirmed sighting at 3.39pm, she was being driven between Langton Matravers and Swanage by a family member when they stopped off for fuel at St Michael’s Garage on Valley Road in Swanage. Gaia went into the garage to buy an ice cream at around 2.55pm before leaving.
The last reported sighting of Gaia was at an address in Manor Gardens on Morrison Road at around 4pm on 7 November.
The Sun speculates:
THE last sighting of Gaia Pope may have been caught on chilling dashcam footage, which appears to show the teen leaning into a mystery car on the night she vanished.
The video, obtained by Mirror Online, shows a figure, dressed in similar clothing to those Gaia was wearing when she went missing, on the outskirts of Langton Matravers, just before midnight.
May, Appears. What facts? Undeterred by that exclusive’s lack of substance, the Mirror adds in a second story to its tasteful logo-heavy video: “Final footage of Gaia Pope before she went missing? Driver’s dashcam captures haunting ‘sighting’ of teen.” Adding: “A driver believes his haunting dashcam footage could have captured the last sighting of missing Gaia Pope.”
Believes. Could. No facts.
As for the state of Gaia Pope’s mind and body, The Guardian writes:
Pope had severe epilepsy, and her father had said earlier in the week that it may have played a part in her disappearance as she had been warned by doctors she was at risk of sudden death from the condition.
Such are the facts.
Ever see Toy Freaks? It was the 68th most popular channel on YouTube. It ‘was’ because it’s gone, banned for flouting YouTube’s “community guidelines”. Google, YouTube’s owners, were super cautious not to act too rashly, allowing Toy Freaks to post more than 500 videos over six years and garner over 7 billions views. Social Blade estimates the channel earned up to £8.7 million a year for the creators and just over £7m for Google.
As advertisers baulked at having their brands associated with Toy Freaks and other weird and often frighteningly unsettling YouTube channels, Google pulled the plug. Community guildines are nothing compared to the bottom line.
What you missed was single dad Greg Chism, 46, aka “Freak Daddy”, filming his two daughters – named Annabelle and Victoria; age nine and seven, respectively – being freaked out by his antics. They are filmed “wearing baby clothes, sucking dummies and being terrified by live snakes”. One commentator saw “videos of the children vomiting and in pain”.
It turns out that you can’t dictate you audience, and if you publish videos of children in the bath screaming their heads off as dad tosses in a toy toad and claims it to be real, a few nasties arrive to take a long look. Below a film of the daughters playing in a swimming pool, a viewer wrote:
“Victoria, Annabelle, I’ve been wanting to call you for years and I want to call you today how do I call you what’s your number anyways please.”
Mr Chism, 46, offers:
“I am a single father of two daughters and solely focused on providing for their future. I am blessed that our family has been able to take such a remarkable journey in life while entertaining millions on YouTube.”
He’s swallowed the marketing guff. But he’s right: millions did watch; not all them children and bots. He continues:
“Unfortunately, allegations such as these are truly dangerous and reckless and sadly demonstrate the point that in today’s irresponsible internet culture, the truth is often rendered irrelevant.”
Carolyne Keenan, a child psychologist, adds:
“The Toy Freaks content contains footage of activities that a lot of children would not be allowed to do. One of the videos shows a child smashing a bowl of cereal off the table, encouraged by a much older man, a dad figure, to kill a fly for example.
“Videos like this allow children to explore a world that in real life would feel scary, dangerous or get them into trouble.”
It’s fantasy, right, but featuring actual children, which is peculiar. But is the broader issue here less the alleged exploitation of minors than fears of humanity being in thrall of technological advance? What is “irresponsible internet culture”? Printing, comic books, radio and TV were all met with a large doses of fear. But it’s not the kids freaking out; they’re alright. It’s the adults affecting young people’s lives with their own prejudices, perversions and anxieties.
To the Tops Day Nurseries, which all 19 branches have banned the 3,000 children they care for from using…glitter. Tops’ MD Cheryl Hadland says the glitter is harming the planet.
“We did a survey a few months ago and 86% of our parents want us to be eco-sustainable,” says Hadland. “I think a lot of our parents really want us to do this.”
Those are the parent who drop their children off at the daycare centre in cars, right? And do any of these children have siblings or pets? Are we not all the human virus? Shouldn’t we all be sterilized? Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn opined:
“Humans represent the most obscene, perverted, cruel, uncivilised and lethal species ever to inhabit the planet and [we look] forward to the day when the inevitable asteroid slams into the earth and wipes them out, thus giving nature the opportunity to start again”
If children want an eco-friendly alternative to glitter, they can always try mixing snot with dandruff.
Steve Mnuchin, the US Treasury Secretary, and his fragrant wife Louise Linton (top notes of mink perineum and aviation fuel over a puppy farm base) walked into the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington DC to see his signature on the new notes posed with the new lucre.
Not a Parody: These two bring the worst optics since the taxpayer-funded eclipse vacation to Fort Knox. Oh, that was them, too.https://t.co/Fn3coj4tdr
— Crooks and Liars (@crooksandliars) November 15, 2017
For purposes of identification, she’s the one dressed as Dick Dastardly’s getaway driver.
This is real pic.twitter.com/wX2gy5xlWf
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) November 15, 2017
Fixed it. pic.twitter.com/bG2OxfUbtx
— ElElegante101 (@skolanach) November 15, 2017
Picking out wallpaper for the cognac-swirling room pic.twitter.com/gAqp6wostD
— Andy Richter (@AndyRichter) November 15, 2017
Steve Mnuchin and his wife show off their new line of luxury toilet paper pic.twitter.com/aoKa6WM0Ka
— jordan (@JordanUhl) November 15, 2017
So much going on in this photo but I am shocked to find out Steven Mnuchin’s wife killed Han Solo pic.twitter.com/Ic2GBIemGC
— Dusty (@DustinGiebel) November 15, 2017
This is real pic.twitter.com/wX2gy5xlWf
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) November 15, 2017
Copy and past news now, as the Metro tells us that Kenneth Branagh is starring in a remake of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. On set he was delighted to see fellow star “Michael Pfeiffer“. Any relation to screen goddess Michelle Pfeiffer? Dunno. But the rest of the busy tabloid media also salute the great Michael Pfeiffer:
Speaking with ITV’s Lorraine, he said: “There was a lot of mutual respect.
“The first time they met on the platform I was on the train watching them all getting ready to come on. They were so sort of shy with each other, it was like the first day at school… Then the first person up the steps was Michael Pfeiffer and she had tears in her eyes and I thought, ‘Christ, we haven’t started and she’s already upset!’ And I said, ‘What’s wrong?’ and she said, ‘I just met Judi Dench!’”
He told Lorraine: ‘There was a lot of mutual respect. The first time they met on the platform I was on the train watching them all getting ready to come on. They were so sort of shy with each other, it was like the first day at school. ‘Then the first person up the steps was Michael Pfeiffer and she had tears in her eyes and I thought: “Christ, we haven’t started and she’s already upset!”
“They were so sort of shy with each other, it was like the first day at school, then the first person up the steps was Michael Pfeiffer and she had tears in her eyes and I thought, ‘Christ, we haven’t started and she’s already upset!’ and I said, ‘What’s wrong?’ and she said, ‘I just met Judi Dench!’”
He added: “Judi Dench is the secret to casting movies basically, you cast her and she’s an actor magnet.”
Isn’t modern journalism great. (Copy and paste at your leisure.)
Former Crystal Palace and Arsenal footballer Ian Wright is an ambassador for Cartoon Network’s anti-bullying campaign CN Buddy Network. Helping to promote the cause, Wright is telling media about his own experiences with bullies.
Alyson Rudd writes in the Times:
It is the silence that worries Ian Wright. The silence of those who suffer at the hands of bullies. The former England striker wants children who are picked on to speak up. If they keep their secrets they will, he says, find themselves suffering in the shadows.
We are introduced to Crystal Palace club captain Jim Cannon, there when Wright started out at the London club at the tender age of 21. In 2005, Cannon was part of Palace’s Centenary XI, losing the title “The Player of The Century” to – yep – Ian Wright.
“He was oppressive, a bully and he was nasty,” says Wright, who comes over as a resilient and engaging character. “He was threatened by me for some reason and I don’t know why. He was a horrible bully. It didn’t last long because once I started playing well, my confidence came and I didn’t feel that if I said anything they would let me go. When I told Steve Coppell [the manager] about it, he said he [Cannon] wouldn’t be around for long, that I should carry on doing what I was doing and stand up for myself.”
Cannon gets a right to reply. “I wasn’t a bully, he was just a loud-mouth upstart,” says the 64-year-old. “I was an experienced centre half and I knew he was going to come up against people worse than me so I gave him a little slap one day and that was the extent of the bullying. I’m not interested in Ian Wright, he was an exceptionally good player and if he thinks I bullied him maybe I bullied him into being a good player.”
Not altogether a bad point. For some individuals, being bullied can damage your confidence, leading to depression and isolation. For others, there can be less negative outcomes. It might be even positive, making the victim tougher, better able to navigate society and more self-aware. Professor Dennis Hayes, co-author of The Dangerous Rise Of Therapeutic Education, argues: “The more you talk about bullying, the more it sensitises people to every social slight and the more it becomes a problem.”
So, Wrighty, any more bullying? Wright recalls a lift home with another player, Micky Droy: “He never spoke to me in the car but he knew I needed a lift. It felt like a headmaster driving you home after being in trouble.”
Wright says that he does not know why Droy never spoke but that “deep down he was a good man and knew if he didn’t give me a lift I wasn’t getting home.”
This gives rise to the headlines:
Is bullying the right word? Wright’s experiences suggest a fraught adult relationship, perhaps one based on professional rivalry. Upsetting? Yes. Life-defining? No. If you look for toxic human relationships, surely you’ll find it in many places. How Wright’s story speaks to youngsters suffering abuse is moot. The story and cause seem to be all.
Transfer balls: Jack Wilshere, once the saviour of English football, is making his way back to the fore after a trying time with injuries. Having clawed his way back to the Arsenal bench, Wilshere is now being tipped to get his reward: a career at Real Betis.
Well, so says the BBC, which reasons that once Wilshere’s Arsenal contract expires in the summer, Betis are “confident” they will get their man and make him part of Spain’s eighth best side.
Over in the Sun, the story is given added oomph: “BET ON IT Arsenal news: Jack Wilshere set to leave the Emirates as Real Betis ‘believe they are close’ to signing England midfielder on a free.”
Only a loon would bet on Wishere heading to Real Betis. He wants to remain at Arsenal, and the Gunners are pretty keen on keeping him. The Sun’s “exclusive” looks a lot like an advertorial for its betting operation, SunBets. The paper’s scoop comes wrapped around two large calls for readers to sign up to SunBets .
It’s all utter balls. But in the race for clicks, where one news source leads, the other dutifully follow.
The Mirror and Mail both cite the Sun, which has no quotes and facts to support its story. At which point the story takes on a life of its own, with ESPN saying a deal is all but done (taking care to namecheck two big clubs for SEO purposes) – “Jack Wilshere set to spurn Premier League giants Chelsea and Manchester City for Real Betis” – and 90mins.com reading the player’s mind: “Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere Could be Interested in Joining Real Betis.”
But hold the bet! The Sun has more news:
Best save your money.
Today’s hate figure is Josh Rovers, editor of Gay Times magazine, now suspended for tweeting things between 2010 and 2015. Examples of Rivers’ tweets are many. One mocked women and the fat:
“I’ve just seen a girl in the tightest white tank & lord help me if she’s not pregnant, she should be killed. #gross.”
And, of course, there’s always the nastiness about Jews:
“I wonder if they cast that guy as ‘The Jew’ because of that fucking ridiculously larger honker of a nose. It must be prosthetic. Must be.”
In the Guardian LGBTQ rights campaigner Peter Tatchell is aghast: “His history of grossly offensive tweets is such a letdown. It undermines whatever good he was planning to achieve in the magazine.” Looks like equality rules: LGBT people can be every bit as nasty as the rest of us. Who knew?
Want some more examples of Rivers’ tweets? Of course you do. Here goes:
By way of background, it turns out that Rivers is not a person: he’s a walking box-ticking exercise. The Guardian notes that Rivers “is the first BME editor of a gay men’s magazine, and took on the role with a mandate to promote inclusivity and diversity.” And you thought he was just the best person for the job on account of his editing abilities and cutting-edge wit.
Outed and suspended from the post he only got in October, Rivers has issued an apology, the language of which might be a better reason than the lame tweets to dislike him:
To every single person who is hurt, offended and disappointed: I’m sorry. pic.twitter.com/XAwz7llKxc
— Josh Rivers (@_joshrivers) November 15, 2017
The apology is terrific, isn’t it. It’s not about you, it’s about him. Josh, an arch narcissist, is now on a therapeutic journey, taking “steps” to self-discover a better him, to be the kind of wonderful person he truly is and knows he is. After guffing about “pivoting” and “empowering”, Rivers – he used to work in marketing, natch. – co-opts us all into his ugliness, hoping that “we” can “grow”, “heal” and move “forward”. It’s a journey. Get on the bus. You too, fatso.
But I’ll pass. I’m okay, Josh. You’re the berk, not me, the dick who thought it clever to make jokes about Jews, women, Asians and pretty much anyone not just like you.
Rivers’ sentiments expressed in his tweets are pathetic, puerile and horribly unfunny. He appears to be aiming at waspish humour, a snarky, offensive, live-it-loud gay laugh-in where anything goes. He fails miserably. Josh Rivers is not like his namesake Joan Rivers, the caustic, tough-talking American who wielded a comic stiletto with gusto and precision. Josh’s attempts at humour are every bit as wet as his name suggests. And he’s a fool. Rather than explaining it all as misplaced banter, stupidity, letting off steam and the result of his over-arching vanity, Rivers tells us that the tweets actually explain him, each presenting an insight into his mind. To wit, he was a racist, sexist, anti-Semitic misogynist. Those tweets weren’t just idiotic. They really meant something.
Let’s not trivialise Rivers’ tweets, but remind ourselves that Rivers has committed no crime. He’s apologised and that should be an end to the matter. He can hold the most abhorrent views on Jews, women, Asians and more but if he keeps them to himself, or else voices them to an audience more sympathetic to his prejudices – just as many of us have down in the privacy of our own homes and amongst friends – I’m fine with it. Shocked? Offended? “Oh, grow up!” as the aforesaid Joan advised.
Josh Rivers’ offence wasn’t to hold childish and nasty views; it was to voice them in the wrong context. Now, back to work. But time for a quick survey: anyone out there actually read Gay Times?
In 2015 then Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn went on the telly to explain why he addressed Islamist militant organisations Hamas and Hezbollah, a group that calls for the murder of all Jews, as “friends”. (Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah opined: “If Jews all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.” Hamas states in its charter a mission to “fight the Jews and kill them”.)
Saying he met his “friends” Hamas in Lebanon and Hezbollah in this country and Lebanon, peacenik Corbyn told us: “What it means is that I think to bring about a peace process, you have to talk to people with whom you may profoundly disagree.”
Can this be the same Jeremy Corbyn, now leader of the Labour Party and with a decent shout of becoming Prime Minister, who called for an investigation into anti-Semitism in his Labour Party and found it squeaky clean (in much the same way a defecating bear cannot see the wood for the trees) and of whom the Sunday Times reported on October 29 2017:
Jeremy Corbyn has refused to attend an official dinner with the the country’s [Israel’s] prime minister this week to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, which helped to pave the way for a Jewish nation state.
The Labour leader’s snub came as Israel’s ambassador to London told The Sunday Times that those who oppose the historic declaration are “extremists” who reject Israel’s right to exist and could be viewed on a par with terrorist groups such as Hamas…
The move is reminiscent of last month’s Labour Party conference in Brighton, where Corbyn avoided a Labour Friends of Israel reception attended by Regev.
So much for talking with people with whom you profoundly disagree…
Dyslexia news in the Guardian, where the paper infamous for its typos relays news that dyslexia may be caused by the light-receptor cells in “the human eye”. Scientists noticed a difference between the arrangement of cones between the eyes of dyslexic and non-dyslexic people. Might it be that vision is linked to dyslexia?
In non-dyslexic people, the blue cone-free spot in one eye – the dominant one, was round and in the other eye unevenly shaped. In dyslexic people, both eyes have the same, round spot.
“The lack of asymmetry might be the biological and anatomical basis of reading and spelling disabilities,” said the study’s authors.
Interesting stuff. But dyslexics and non dyslexics alike can then work out what the hell the Guardian means when in its rehashed press releases, the news becomes:
About 700 million people worldwide are known to have from dyslexia – about one in 10 of the global population.
There’s no helping some people…