Seats are pricey at Manchester United. Even a footballer on astronomical wages is upset at the cost of watching the Red Devils. The Daily Mirror says Victor Lindelof’s fiancee “blasts” Man United over “‘disgusting £82,000 cost for Old Trafford executive boxes'”.
And where one tabloid leads, another dutifully follows – although in the Sun, Maja Nilsson, for that is she, is reduce to a “WAG”:
The story tells readers:
“Jose Mourinho’s squad can hire the luxury suites for their family and friends at home games with prices ranging from £24,000 to £81,600.”
So the top price is just under £82,000. And what did she say? This:
“Players have the option to rent a box,” Nilsson said on her podcast, called Livet På Läktaren (Life in the Stands). “I’m not even going to tell you for how much, but a disgusting amount. If you don’t buy one you’re considered a loser. But having a box is wonderful. You get your own waiter.”
The story has been removed from both the Sun and Mirror’s websites.
You mugs drinking water for ‘hydration’ deserve all you can get. Fruit and vegetable juice are the drink of choice for the health conscious, especially when they’re rebranded as cider, wine and beer. And now via Bloomberg more news to chill water drinkers:
Nestlé Makes Billions Bottling Water It Pays Nearly Nothing For
True enough that the water flows freely
But as Tim Worstall notes, it’s not still free when it arrives at your table or sports bag:
So, let’s consider that other essential for life, oxygen. Say you’re in hospital, and need an extra supply. The people who stuck that compressed oxygen into that bottle and transported it to where you need it not to die. They got it for free! Just sucked it out of the common atmosphere they did!
The story is, of course, that bottled water is for idiots. But you can buy what you like. You choice. In 2009, we read that “wine is now cheaper than water”. In 2015, Meurig Raymond told BBC Radio 4’s Today that “milk… is now cheaper than water”.Surely he meant milk was cheaper than bottled water, some of which retails at £80 a litre.
Don’t panic, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the Arsenal player who left the club for Liverpool in a £40m transfer. Four matches into his rosy-fingered dawn and ‘The Ox’ has yet to be on the winning side.
No need to panic, though.
When Gareth Bale was at Spurs, it took 25 matches (!) for him to be on the winning team. The Sun’s Pat Sheehan covered Tottenham’s 1-0 defeat by Everton on 30 November, 2008, writing: “One glance at the score and any Spurs fan will tell you without looking at the line-up that Gareth Bale must have played.” Bale went on to be brilliant.
Of course, the problem is that Oxlade-Chamberlain is nowhere near as good as Bale. He’s a mediocre player who went for a stupid amount of money. Arsenal did very well in getting shot of the nice middle class boy in the final year of his Arsenal contract. ESPN says Arsenal had a “disastrous” transfer window. Balls. They hung on to Alexis Sanchez – their best player – and waved goodbye to the player who has always promised much and delivered less than a geriatric Deliveroo cyclist.
Last night Liverpool were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Leicester City. And Oxlade-Chamberlain was every bit as ineffective as he was at Arsenal. Someone has produced this damning compilation of his night’s work:
Oxlade-Chamberlain did not have the best of games for Liverpool. 😂pic.twitter.com/ztbKyRgupM
— Arsenal News (@ArsenalFC_fl) September 19, 2017
This is the Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who left Arsenal because he wants to play centrally, rather than waste his talents at wing-back.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain wants to be a central midfielder…
— Football Expose (@FootballExpose) September 19, 2017
Well played, Arsenal. Well played.
Prince Harry got lucky. Moreover, Sid Vicious, Keith Moon, Brian Jones, Siouxie Sioux, Ron Asheton, Peter Rabbit, TV baker Paul Hollywood and Paul Dutton, 48, who was ejected from his local branch of Asda in Cambridge after a fellow shopper complained about his attire – a classic formal black suit of the type produced by Hugo Boss in the 1940s and favoured by Hitler’s notorious SS. Had any of those people who like to dress as Nazis been spotted walking about Seattle, they’d have been beaten to a bloody pulp by intolerant, bigoted, lazy-thinking, needy anti-fascist thugs.
The person using the @teethnclaws account asked not to be identified, citing concerns over his personal safety. He said he wasn’t aware of who actually threw the punch, but credits anti-fascist Twitter networks for making it happen.
“I would say that we successfully identified, tracked and coordinated to neutralize a clear and present danger to Seattle. Whether we coordinated the actual punch or not,” he said, “I, for one, applaud the anonymous hero.”
@teethnclaws described himself as an active anti-fascist fighter for the last 20 years and said that the punch in Seattle was the coordinated effort of “horizontal organizing between concerned neighbors.” He said nobody knows who threw the punch and that he wouldn’t help anyone find out.
“When anti-fascists, casual or organized, have their identity broadcast they are put in extreme danger,” he said.
This is how our saviours communicate:
Of course the guy in the armband’s a knob. He’s making full advert of that. His swastika is notable and maybe even shocking because of its rarity. The idiot on the bus isn’t at the vanguard of the Fourth Reich.
The white man seen punching the neo-Nazi fool in the face, having joined others in cornering their target and engaging him in conversation, doubtless sees himself as a noble champion of ethnic minorities. He’s the antithesis of fanatical, thuggish white supremacists and their agenda of elitism and violence. He’s pitifully wrong. Like the neo-Nazis they obsess over, the so-called alt-Left celebrates violence in the pursuit of moral superiority, in which the Untermensch are expelled. The cretin in the Nazi get-up is punched because he’s transgressed the limits of what these alt-Left vigilantes deem acceptable speech and dress. Free speech and free expressions are cornerstones of democracy, but neo-Nazis and antifa share a monocular view: agree with us or else.
The Sun enjoys the “Crying Dutchman” pun, using it to describe Dutch football managers who aren’t ever crying. In May 2016, the Sun said “Crying Dutchman Louis van Gaal” was “disappointed” at being sacked by Manchester United. But the hammer-headed Dutchman today returns to the Sun in a feature entitled “The Crying Dutchmen”.
With Ronald Koeman mired at Everton and Frank de Boer already sacked by trigger-happy Crystal Palace with a 100% record of played 4, lost 4, Dutch managers in the Premier League are an endangered species. Both men feature on the Sun’s story on Dutch managers who”‘struggle to set the English top flight alight”.
You could, of course, make a longer list of English manger who have failed to shine in the PL – an English manager has yet to win the Premier League. But it’s the Dutch in the crosshairs. And overlooking Martin Jol, who did pretty well at Spurs (2004-2007), notably becoming the first Spurs manager since Keith Burkinshaw (Spurs manger 1976-1984) to qualify for European football in successive seasons, the paper spots Guus Hiddink.
That’s the same Gus Hiddink who while still managing Russia was appointed as Chelsea’s interim manager in 2009, leading them to the FA Cup. The Sun says he “came back in 2015 after Jose Mourinho was axed but the Blues toiled to finish tenth”.
Hiddink rejoined Chelsea on 19 December 2015, with the club in 16th place. Under Jose Mourinho, Chelsea has lost nine out of sixteen league games. Hiddink set a new record for the longest unbeaten streak by a new manager in Premier League history with 12 games unbeaten. Under Hiddick, Chelsea lost just two more league matches.
Crying? No. Far from it. He was very good.
“Is THIS the Tube bucket bomber?” (Daily Star). Or to put it another way, “ON HIS WAY TO BOMB TUBE?” (The Sun). Or “Is this the Bucket Bombed On Way To Tube?” (Daily Express). To which the answer is ‘Dunno, is it?’
All that cash once earmarked for pre-Leveson shag ‘n’ tells could to be used to investigate jihadis in our midst. But the big-budget tabloids are content with playing catch-up. So around a grainy photo of a figure dressed in a grey tracksuit carrying a Lidl shopping bag in Sunbury-on-Thames, we get to wonder if he’s the one who placed a bomb at Parsons Green station. And, of course, we don’t know what to make of the video caught on a homeowner’s CCTV. We also don’t know why a homeowner in leafy Surrey is filming the street. Is it a dangerous area?
The Express has more on the attack over pages 4 and 5. Two men have been arrested. One arrived in the UK when he was 15, having “fled” Iraq. He was fostered by Penelope Jones and Ronald Jones. The other man is 21. He’s an Iraqi refugee also once cared for by the Joneses. The couple’s neighbour says the lad “wanted to leave home”. Well, job done. Another neighbour says the 18-year-old “seemed a really nice chap”. But he “seemed to be up at unusual hours”. In the Mail, however, he’s a “tearaway” who “was held by police just two weeks ago at Parsons Green station”. The Mirror hears him called “out of control”.
In other news, the terror threat has been reduced from ‘critical’ to “severe”. Just two weeks ago, it was at ‘Armageddon’, what with North Korean threats and Hurricane Irma. We live in hyperbolic times.
Think Of The Children
In the Sun, we get to know the name of the 21-year-old suspect. He’s Yahyah Farroukhm who was pinched at Aladdins [sic] Fried Chicken in Hounslow, West London, not far from his home in Stanwell, which is within inhaling distance of Heathrow Airport. At the time of his arrest, Farroukh was carrying a Kitkat and a drink can, which he dropped. The Mail says he has posted about his passion for smoking weed and anti-Israel images. But if those interests mark your out as a jihadi, then so much the worst for snowflake students and the hard-Left, although neither of those groups would be seen dead with a high-sugar KitKat.
Only in the Mail do we see the story couched as an asylum issue. “Council struggle to cope with influx” of “thousands of troubled teenagers” says the paper. It counts them all: a “staggering 4,2010 asylum-seeking juveniles” in council care across Britain”. The Mail says this is not to say they are all nutcases, just to highlight how many “vulnerable” children could “fall prey to radicalisation”.
A few words from some loon on the internet, and the normal, caring lad morphs into a mass murderer. Well, so goes the narrative. What it misses, of course, is the bit about what draws people towards radical and violent Islam? Why do they think it’s a worthy cause?
Policymakers and the media continually refer to young Muslims as ‘vulnerable to radicalisation’. The term ‘vulnerability’ suggests passivity, powerlessness and gullibility. It suggests, in short, that those called vulnerable lack the intellectual resources necessary to cope with challenges. No doubt there are some weak and confused individuals drawn towards the jihadist subculture. But the reality is that most people who travel to Syria, for example, do so because they are inspired by a cause they believe is worth fighting for. Often such individuals show a capacity for planning, dissimulation, inventiveness and, above all, initiative.
The idea of vulnerability invokes individual characteristics that are often the very opposite to those actually possessed by people making the risky voyage to the Middle East. Contrary to the myth of vulnerability, these young people are – albeit misguidedly – attempting to exercise a measure of agency over their life.
If the would-be killer is so vulnerable – groomed by sick adults – is he recast from perpetrator to victim? It’s not terrorism. It’s child abuse. And how can the vulnerable be protected? The Mail says we should clamp down on Google and all that easy-to-reach knowledge. Yvette Cooper, the Labour MP, agrees. “The internet giants have made it much harder for people to find child abuse images online,” she says. “It’s time they showed the same commitment to tackling terrorism.” See images of child rape and become a paedophile, goes the thinking? See instructions on bomb making and blow up the London Underground. To see is to download and do.
The terrorists will never win, comes the declaration. But if their aim is to reduce our hard-won freedoms and make us distrustful of adults, then the enemy is having some success.
WIN a VIP family ticket to Disney On Ice presents Passport to Adventure, and be part of the show!
The ad is targeted at readers who arrive on a page on which the topic of discussion is:
Thread: blow jobs and takin it up the bum tmi sorri but need advice
And it’s not just Disney. A search for ‘Anal Sex” brings up lots of tips on how best to lube up – plus adverts for BMW, ALDI (‘Everyday Amazing’) and Nationwide building society.
And the Financial Conduct Authority, which wants to know if you’ve been shafted:
It’s what Snow White would have wanted.
In 1967 the Monkees sold more records than the Beatles and Rolling Stones combined.
And it must be true because in 1986 the Washington Post told its readers:
In 1967 they sold 35 million albums, twice as many as the Beatles and Rolling Stones combined.
In 2016, Vice repeated the fact:
In 1967, The Monkees TV show was a smashing success, and the self-titled album released to complement the show sold 35 million records, outselling The Beatles and The Rolling Stones combined.
The Daily Mail also backed up the fact:
They ended up being pretty much the biggest thing on the planet; in 1967 the ‘Prefab Four’, fronted by Jones, outsold the Beatles and the Rolling Stones
The story of The Monkees being bigger than The Beatles and Rolling Stones combined has made it into books:
And, of course, it’s on Wikipedia. In The Beatles Wikipedians, we learn:
All facts. And all utter balls. Mike Nesmith, one of The Monkees, tells us how the story came about in his autobiography Infinite Tuesday. The Monkees were in Australia. It was November 1977. Nesmith was being interviewed:
As we sat down for the interview, before he asked the first question, I told him that I was going to lie to him. He was taken aback, then seemed a little nonplussed and asked why. I said it was because I didn’t trust the press, that I didn’t expect him to tell the truth, so neither would I …
I said that some of the things I would say would be true and some false, and it was up to him to figure out which was which, according to the normal standards of journalistic responsibility. He asked how he would tell the difference between when I was lying and telling the truth, and I said, “You won’t. That is the point of the lie …”
Then came a point where he asked me about the sales of the Monkees records, and I saw the chance. It isn’t too well known, I said flatly, that we sold over thirty-five million records in 1967. More than the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined … he diligently wrote all this down, and I wondered for a moment if I had chosen too outrageous a lie to tell, but it turned out it had been just right.
The next day in the paper, there it was, printed as fact.
Nesmith calls the story a “complete fabrication, totally bogus, class-A mendacity lie”. In 2015, Nesbitt told all to Gilbert Gottfried.
Fake news, eh. It’s nothing new.
You don’t like Israel. Fine. Debate and discuss. March and shout. Being offended and outraged is good for the soul. It’s not hate speech to decry a country. It’s free speech. It’s good speech. It makes you think and seeks answers to hard questions. So answer me this, why does Israel excite the righteous so very much? Why do the knowing want to boycott Israeli goods, academics, musicians and humans and not those of other countries? Why are there not marches against Burma, Saudi Arabia, and Islamists? Is your hatred of Israel a little, you know, discriminatory?
Why is it that when a hangover of Nazis (is that the collective term?) mass in Charlottesville, the Left tell us to #punchaNazi and declare a return to the 1930s – as if a decade is a living, breathing thing – chilling us with dire warnings that fascism is rife and unless we coalesce into anti-fascist groups, America is lost to white supremacists, but when Islamists murder hundreds of people in Europe, the buzzwod is ‘Islamaphobia’?
Censorship is a horror. Anti-Israel protests should be admired for their fervour. But, then, British Jews are seen as soft targets. Muslims less so.
Which leads to other questions: are you locked in a dictatorship of a monocular mind, where reason, tolerance, free speech and independence are trashed in favour of a conformity which says Jews are unique in their barbarism and represent the leading threat to world peace? Would a Jewish state ever be welcome in the Middle East, however benign, unarmed and free? When you say Israel is guilty of a Holocaust against Palestinians, do you aim to show your own ignorance of that horror or just to assault Jews with their own grief? Why is Holocaust Day attacked when Israel is in the crosshairs and riding high on the news cycle as war with Hamas turns civilians into human shields and the dead, so making all Jews guilty and underserving of the vow ‘Never again’?
One Londoner has an idea:
— 4IL (@4ILorg) September 9, 2017
You aren’t an anti-Semite if you criticise Israel. But it really does help if you are.
The bomb on the London Underground is wrapped in a shopping bag. On the side you can read ‘Lidl’, the name of the German discount supermarket chain. That the bomb – believed to be a peroxide device – fails to detonate fully at Parson’s Green Tube station is blessed relief. But some of the 29 people injured are badly burnt by the explosion shortly after 8am.
One ay on the media tuck in.
In the absence of a bomber’s face to feature on the front pages, the paper opts instead for the bomb, and with the Lidl carrier bag it was contained within. Once a byword for cheap and trusty family goods, will Lidl become synonymous with terrorism? It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds. Lidl has offered to assist a police investigation. The company states: “We are shocked and concerned to have learned of an incident at Parsons Green this morning and our thoughts are with those affected. We will, of course, support the authorities should they need our assistance in their investigations. We are closely monitoring the situation as it develops over the course of the day.”
Meanwhile…the Daily Mail blames another brand for an act of would-be mass murder.
Got that? The Mail says that because knowledge can be accessed through Google rather than simply buying a book, say, or talking to someone on the phone, the messenger is to blame.
Like most of you, I have no idea how to build a bomb. But I did pick up a few pointers in the.. Daily Mail.
The Lidl coolbag was used to ‘keep the device stable’. Got it.
There’s more. After the Manchester bomb, the Mail captioned a photo: “Suicide bomber Salman Abedi carried the explosive in a metal container, believed to have been in a Karrimor backpack.” The paper said the bag costs £20.
Other tips came:
A 12-volt lead acid battery found at the scene suggest the makers were careful to reduce the risk of it not going off, experts say. It is more powerful than most seen in backpack bombs or suicide vests and is commonly used for emergency lighting.
If you want more, the Mail directed loons as to where more could be found:
AL-Qaeda has published detailed instructions on how to build a ‘hidden bomb’ to use to blow up a passenger jet… In the latest issue of its online magazine, Inspire, the group outlines how to make the bomb from household goods and without using metal components that would show up in airport security checks.
But hold on. The Mail has other news – bigger news:
‘Newspaper Giant Triggers Armageddon.’ What you won’t read in the Mail.
At last night’s Arsenal v Cologne match in the Europa League, things did not go smoothly. Fans behaved as football fans used to, arriving at the stadium without tickets and in high spirits. Around 20,000 fans of FC Koln arrived with just under 3000 tickets between them.
The sensible move would be to flog tickets on the gate, letting fans be with their mates and follow their side without need to register with clubs, load up credit card details and be processed in a way the Stasi would find a bit much. But no. Everyones needs a seat. And with a seat comes a number. And with that number comes control.
(Cologne’s 50,000 capacity: 50,000 has space for 8,175 standing fans.)
And so it is that 20,000 Germans football fans in London for their side’s first European match since 1992 are portrayed as an army of Nazis. “Thug urinate in street, make Nazi salutes and storm the turnstiles,” says the Mail. If pissing in the street makes you a thug, well, we’re all doomed. The definition of ‘thug’ according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is: “a brutal ruffian or assassin: gangster, tough.” Hold the prison tats, knives, guns and bare-knuckle fighting. You just need a full bladder and a lack of public loos to be a thug.
— Bryce Dunn (@BryceDunn11) September 15, 2017
And what of the Germans being Nazis? Well, for that there is but one source. “ITV political editor Robert Peston reported Nazi salutes and ‘peeing on doorsteps’.” Jim White on talkSPORT (“FANTASTIC! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU MY FRIEND THANK YOU FANTASTIC! etc…”) introduced “highly respected Arsenal fan Robert Peston”, who complained that the Germans “made a terrible mess” by dropping litter and urinating – “and I’ve got a few mates who live near the ground”.
Deary dear, eh. But Peston’s not alone is being upset. On the BBC website, the corporation has collected a narrow range of views, which were it not for any knowledge of what football now represents – moralising, family-friendly entertainment for a TV audience – we’d think the work of a parodist.
Rachel: “In the Emirates as a home fan. Ashamed of Arsenal right now. All the warnings about turning away fans away and they’ve done nothing. No stewards to be seen. Feeling so intimidated.”
Ade: “Currently inside the Emirates, thousands upon thousands of German fans everywhere around us. Horrible tense atmosphere. Tens of thousands of fans being made to feel very unsafe, including very young children.
Foz: “Got to my usual seats in Club level with my 11-year-old son. Surrounded by Cologne fans. So unsafe we have been moved to the other side of the ground. Worst feeling at football in 40 years of watching home and away.”
Chris: “Currently in the home end at Emirates – away section (corner) full and in full voice. Hundreds of people joining in the singing in the adjacent section behind the goal that should be for Arsenal supporters. Can only assume they are Cologne fans.”
Steve: “Don’t feel safe inside and won’t feel safe outside. Should be called off and the Cologne fans sent packing. Arsenal fans who sold their tickets should be banned.”
All pitiful stuff. But at least in the Sun, Dave Kidd does note:
But this did not feel like the bad old days of hooliganism…. A walk around the outside of the Emirates shortly before the original kick-off time, before the turnstiles finally opened, simply showed thousands of English and German supporters shrugging their shoulders and asking each other politely what the hell was going on.
Blitzkrieg! We march at dawn.
Hard luck on the four fans expelled from Boston’s Fenway Park during a baseball game yesterday after waving a banner carrying the legend: “Racism Is As American As Baseball.” Ambiguous much? One of the banned banners tells us:
“There were originally about eight people involved who had this idea, and those eight people come from various organizing groups in the Boston area. Mostly groups that affiliate with racial justice causes. And the banner came in response to the racist comments at the beginning of the season at Fenway. But overall, we saw, we see Boston continually priding itself as a kind of liberal, not racist city, and are reminded also constantly that it’s actually an extremely segregated city. It has been for a long time, and that no white people can avoid the history of racism, essentially. So we did this banner as a gesture towards that, to have a conversation about that.”
Here’s the banner:
The Boston Red Sox make a statement:
“During the fourth inning of tonight’s game, four fans unfurled a banner over the left field wall in violation of the club’s policy prohibiting signs of any kind to be hung or affixed to the ballpark. The individuals involved were escorted out of Fenway Park.”
Spotter: Bleacher Report
Thanks to ProPublica, we know that you can book adverts on Facebook that target anti-Semites. Most Facebook user of would ignore these ads, of course. Active Nazis are thin on the ground. And as the Jewish joke goes, “If anyone was going to hate us, thank God it’s the Arabs.” But Jew hating is increasingly popular. I am amazed and disappointed that here isn’t more outrage about rising anti-Semitism.
Propublica, whose stated mission is “to expose abuses of power and betrayals of the public trust by government, business, and other institutions, using the moral force of investigative journalism to spur reform through the sustained spotlighting of wrongdoing” has Facebook in its crosshairs.
Want to market Nazi memorabilia, or recruit marchers for a far-right rally? Facebook’s self-service ad-buying platform had the right audience for you. Until this week, when we asked Facebook about it, the world’s largest social network enabled advertisers to direct their pitches to the news feeds of almost 2,300 people who expressed interest in the topics of “Jew hater,” “How to burn jews,” or, “History of ‘why jews ruin the world.’”
All this stuff exists offline. And thanks to the internet, readers and collectors of such racist nonsense can be monitored – all 2,300 of them in the gigantic Facebook ecosystem. I’d argue that if Facebook – owned by a Jew – can take their money, then good for them. Free speech and free thought are cornerstones of democracy. If people want to talk about hating Jews and conspiracy theories, let them.
So ProPublica paid £30 for “promoted posts” targeted at those Jew-hating Facebookers.
In all likelihood, the ad categories that we spotted were automatically generated… Facebook’s algorithm automatically transforms people’s declared interests into advertising categories.
Which begs the question: who programmed the computer?
Rob Leathern, product management director at Facebook, has issued the following statement:
“We don’t allow hate speech on Facebook. Our community standards strictly prohibit attacking people based on their protected characteristics, including religion, and we prohibit advertisers from discriminating against people based on religion and other attributes. However, there are times where content is surfaced on our platform that violates our standards. In this case, we’ve removed the associated targeting fields in question. We know we have more work to do, so we’re also building new guardrails in our product and review processes to prevent other issues like this from happening in the future.”
Of course, hate speech is free speech. That doesn’t mean you should set out to assault and intimidate people. It means you are free to say what you want and for it to be freely debated in public. Calling something hateful is too-often used to shut down free expression. So what did Facebook do wrong?
Ira Glasser, a former executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, now president of the board of directors of the Drug Policy Alliance, nails it:
How is ‘hate speech’ defined, and who decides which speech comes within the definition? Mostly, it’s not us. In the 1990s in America, black students favoured ‘hate speech’ bans because they thought it would ban racists from speaking on campuses. But the deciders were white. If the codes the black students wanted had been in force in the 1960s, their most frequent victim would have been Malcolm X. In England, Jewish students supported a ban on racist speech. Later, Zionist speakers were banned on the grounds that Zionism is a form of racism. Speech bans are like poison gas: seems like a good idea when you have your target in sight — but the wind shifts, and blows it back on us.
You want to have official endoresment of what can be said? Surely not.
As for Facebook, well, it’s not a public service. It’s a profit-making company not a moralising force for spiritual salvation.
Crisis in Venezuela. A Mis-managed economy has created poverty from riches.
Venezuela’s government has urged citizens to see rabbits as more than “cute pets” as it defended a plan to breed and eat them – even as the opposition says this would do nothing to end chronic food shortages.
The questions must be: what do you feed the rabbits; and how do you cook them?
President Nicolás Maduro went on telly to tell the people that “for animal protein, which is such an important issue, a ‘rabbit plan’ has been approved because rabbits also breed like rabbits”.
As we’ve noted, its not rabbits you need, it’s pigeons, feral ones. In Exeter, England, vagrants are catching the vermin for food. It turn out that when you kill a feral pigeon, more replace it. As Trafford Council notes:
…for most pigeon problems, lethal methods are totally ineffective. They simply reduce competition for food and shelter, and the remaining birds increase their breeding rates to compensate. Although there is an immediate decrease, numbers soon recover, resulting in an endless cycle of killing and re-population.
And eating, too.
And there’s another problem with rabbits: they are adorable. Mr Freddy Bernal, the country’s minister of urban agriculture, says that lots of rabbits were given to communities to breed for food. “A lot of people gave names to the rabbits, they took them to bed,” says Mr Bernal.
And lots more can go wrong when you rear rabbit. “Rabbits were introduced to Australia as part of a broad attempt by early colonists to make Australia as much like Europe as they possibly could,” says Greg Mutze, research officer at the Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation in South Australia. “It was hoped that they would flourish so that the owners could hunt them.” By the 1920s, Australia’s rabbit population had reached to 10 billion.
And, boy, do they eat a lot.
Forget rabbits. Go for pigeons.
Good fun in Soho as a large contingent of Cologne fans marched along singing their songs. The police didn’t kettle them, send for the attack dogs nor smash their heads in. And so about 20,000 Cologne fans clutching 2,900 tickets between them arrived at The Emirates for the club’s match with Arsenal.
— Gary Stonehouse (@garystonehouse) September 14, 2017
They can’t all get in. So the match has been delayed.
Has there been any bother, then? Lots of fighting and broken class? Patio furniture tossed about the place and blood on the pavement?
Oha sayın seyirciler. Köln taraftarı 20 bin kişiyle Arsenal deplasmanına gelmiş. Hepsi içeriye girmeye çalışıyor, maç bir saat ertelendi. pic.twitter.com/ChJSFMIyyK
— Okan Okumuş (@okumusokan) September 14, 2017
A Met Police spokesman tells us: “At around 15:00hrs on Thursday, 14 September a large group of football fans gathered in Oxford Street, W1. The group were at the location for about 30 minutes whilst they boarded public transport to travel to a football match this evening. They did throw bottles and let off flares, but there was no significant disorder, police were on scene and there have been no arrests. The group has now left the area.”
Bit of a laugh, then. A few berks throw bottles but that’s about it. No more (surely much less – ed) than the high spirits you see at rugby matches.
So how does the Daily Mail report on the joyful rowdiness?
Germans invade London: Fights break out as an army of 20,000 Cologne football fans march through centre of the capital as kick-off of Europa League match with Arsenal is DELAYED for ‘crowd safety’
An invading army! The Mail’s ‘Crime Correspondent’ begins his report thus:
Violence erupted onto the streets of London after an army of German football fans marched through the centre of the capital.
Carnage! Or as the small print notes: “footage later emerged of two men being punched and kicked in a street during clashes.” Two men fighting. Call of the RAF. Stand down the nuclear submarine. The war might over as soon as the Hans and Jurgen tire.
At the Ground.
Well, a load of Cologne fans seems to be in the Arsenal end. Good-oh. Lots of atmosphere for a change.
Pretty much everyone you see in this pic are Cologne fans – All those in the Arsenal end. They are everywhere. pic.twitter.com/5ca4X2S8Nt
— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) September 14, 2017
Koln fans fighting with stewards inside Emirates stadium. Group arrived in home end and fought their way into away section. pic.twitter.com/7RC17WZyz2
— Richard Conway (@richard_conway) September 14, 2017
Arsenal home section at the moment pic.twitter.com/ueEMiWaAuz
— Alex (@AlexTasker12) September 14, 2017
And finally… get his down to forensics!
— The Block 5 Gooner (@Block_5_Gooner) September 14, 2017
PS – Arsenal fans are flogging their tickets to Cologne fans.
PPS: Reports that Cologne fans arrived yesterday to reserve their sets with towels as yet unproven.
According to Mumsnet, it is “the UK’s most popular parenting website”. It’s largely monetised through adverts. But the advertisers have begun to look at what the brands are appearing alongside. Turns out that mums who spend their days talking rubbish on Mumsnet are swearing. So ‘bad’ is is that the National Trust and Bulgari are threatening to pull their adds unless it stops.
The Economist has produced a chart of the sweariest places on the site:
Swearing is enjoyably versatile. And any moves to sanitise the web are regressive. But the marketeers are only calling for the kind of ban already enforced at football grounds and on the street: in 2016 Salford City Council introduced a Public Space Protection Order that banned swearing on Salford Quays, site of BBC Media City and new quayside homes. Caught using “foul and abusive language” around the Quays and suffer the consequences. The council said it was “satisfied the ban will improve quality of life” for those living in Salford Quays.
But will such a ban make Mumsnet better or worse? Should soft-porn Bulgari get its own house in order first?
To say nothing of the National Trust’s filth:
The latest health scare is that artificial sweeteners are being linked to an increased risk of diabetes. Can it be that the man-made stuff sold as a safe alternative to diabetes-triggering sugar could raise the risk of developing type 2 diabetes?
Research led by Australia’s Adelaide Medical School in Australia, and presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Lisbon, concluded that taking sweeteners for just two weeks is enough to make a difference.
Lead author Prof Richard Young explains: “This study supports the concept that artificial sweeteners could reduce the body’s control of blood sugar levels and highlights the potential for exaggerated post-meal glucose levels in high habitual NAS [non-caloric artificial sweeteners] users, which could predispose them to developing type 2 diabetes.”
“This study addresses a very important global human health issue, as artificial sweeteners are food additives commonly used not only by patients with diabetes but also by healthy individuals aiming to manage their sugar intake,” adds Dr Inês Cebola, from Imperial College London, a member of the Society for Endocrinology. “Although generally thought as safe and even beneficial, artificial sweetener consumption has actually been previously associated with weight gain and development of glucose intolerance, which can lead to development of type 2 diabetes.”
The test wan’t all that large – just 27 people were involved.
Emma Elvin, clinical advisor at Diabetes UK, is circumspect. “This is a small study with interesting results, but it doesn’t provide strong evidence that artificial sweeteners increase the risk of type two diabetes,” she says. “We need to see the results of larger trials testing in settings more true to real life before we’ll know more. Consuming lots of sugary foods and drinks is very damaging to overall health and can increase risk of type two diabetes. We would advise people to reduce their intakes of sugar, and artificial sweeteners could be an option to help some people achieve this.”
Interesting, no, that the war on sugar might be creating more problems than it solves. Sugar is a source of dietary energy in many foods. If you eat it excessively it can cause problems, just it can be damaging to take in very large amounts of bread, pasta, oranges and even water. This activist-led campaign to cast sugar as a peril to public health is based on much theory and little fact. Choice is good. Sugar isn’t bad.
Real Madrid began their Champions League title defence with a routine win over APOEL. And they did it without Marco Asensio, 21, who has a pimple on his leg. Asensio’s manager Zinedine Zidane told media: “[Marco has] a pimple… which stopped him pulling up his socks.”
Asensio’s pimple, says local Madrid press, is a result of his shaving his legs.
Marco Asensio missing a match because a pimple got infected whilst shaving his legs might well be the most modern football story ever. We only hope it doesn’t get worse for Asensio when his teammates find out:
Footballers live on a diet of creams, depilated, patent skin and self-tanning unguents. Liverpool FC’s players don’t take two bottles into the shower, most likely preferring to take about ten into the almond milk bath before air drying in a wind of imported Fiji Breeze and enrobing their skin and hair in liquidised baby foreskins.
But it’s not just footballers. Man is falling in that most hairy-knuckled of spots: rugby. Gone are the days when the best you could hope for in a rugby union changing room was a bar of coal tar soap and a turd in your kit bag. Now you are more likely to find a range of hair and skin care products.
O tempora, o mores!
Feral pigeons in city centres are vermin. The good news is that homeless people in Exeter have taken it upon themselves to rid the city of these pests by eating them. But not everyone in the city is pleased that vagrants are both cleansing the city and beefing up for the coming winter on a diet of cheap protein.
Devon and Cornwall police are investigating. Police support community officer (PCSO) Sarah Giles has tweeted: “While doing the round of #sidwell street #exeter I have had news of #pigeons being captured for food. We will be looking into this.” Why? What crime has been committed? Police do say it could be a case of causing the animals “unnecessary suffering under the Animal Welfare Act 2006”.
But are wild pigeons, aka rock doves, protected? The Act states:
An animal is a “protected animal” for the purposes of this Act if—
(a) it is of a kind which is commonly domesticated in the British Islands,
(b) it is under the control of man whether on a permanent or temporary basis, or
(c) it is not living in a wild state.
Pigeons are covered by section (a) but legitimate pest control is not regarded as causing unnecessary suffering. All wild birds in the UK are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. And according to the BBC, “feral pigeons can legally be shot”. But what about bagged and then offed with, say, a full can of Tenants Super to the head before being eaten?
On the forums of The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, we’re told, “Feral (urban) pigeons are legal game with an air rifle.” Indeed, if you hold a ‘General License’ you can kill pigeons, both wood pigeons and feral birds. Government advice runs: “You must still follow animal welfare laws and kill birds in a quick and humane manner. You can eat birds killed under this licence, but you can’t sell any for human consumption other than woodpigeons.” And you can use a cage trap.
Melissa Gill of Natural England, which oversees the General Licenses in England adds: “The licensee is at fault if he sells on the meat of a bird he has killed under licence – it is a condition of the licence which he is granted that he does not do that… It would not be illegal to eat it, so long as the individual could prove that they had not killed it and had discovered it dead.”
The laws on eating a feral pigeon are a tad confused. And if you eat them, they don’t suffer as a species. Trafford Council notes:
…for most pigeon problems, lethal methods are totally ineffective. They simply reduce competition for food and shelter, and the remaining birds increase their breeding rates to compensate. Although there is an immediate decrease, numbers soon recover, resulting in an endless cycle of killing and re-population
Forget GM crops. Pigeons are the answer to world hunger.
One local trader at Exeter’s Sidwell Street Market goes on the record. She says the pigeon fanciers seduce the birds with seed and stuff them in a sack. PCSO Giles then puts the vermin catching in context. “Many are alcoholics [the vagrants; not the pigeons], who to keep a certain consumption level, will drink continuously… now we’re eating pigeons, now we’re killing seagulls. It escalates.”
Good. If the vagrants can be directed towards rats, mice and cockroaches, Exeter may become the cleanest city in the land.
PS: On the Exeter City Council website, we read:
Sidwell Street market…
Please note, we are unable to accept applications from catering vans or fast food lines although we do have a limited number of pitches available for unusual street food.
Forget the sack and lighter fluid, lads. It’s a stall you need. Make ready with the retro pigeon a la mode, Spingo. The hipsters will come flocking.
Louella Michie is not the subject of reports on her untimely death. The 25-year-old woman’s body was found dead on her birthday at the Bestival music festival. And ever since that unhappy discovery, the Press have been telling us who did not die: her father. The Daily Mail has produced 7 stories on Louella Michie’s unexplained death. It’s hard to spot Louella as the media zoom in on John Michie, her dad.
The Evening Standard had the news first, sticking to the facts. The body of a young London woman had been found at Dorset’s Bestival. Police were investigating. Murder was one line of enquiry.
And then the media realised that the dead woman’s father is on the telly. The pick of the front pages being the Daily Telegraph’s, which amid talk of her alleged ‘MURDER” described Louella as a “TV detective’s daughter”. John Michie had for a while appeared in Taggart, the Scottish detective show. In the twilight zone between fact and fiction, Telegraph readers might wonder if DI Robert “Robbie” Ross would be investigating.
These are the Daily Mail’s headlines. See if you can spot Louella Michie:
Holby City and Coronation Street star John Michie insists death of his daughter, 25, at Bestival was an ACCIDENT as he mourns his ‘angel’ after a man was arrested on suspicion of her murder – September 11th 2017, 11:54:26 am
Man held after daughter of Holby City star John Michie dies at Bestival – September 11th 2017
Man arrested over actor’s daughter’s death released under investigation – September 12th 2017
Drugs quiz for man held over death of daughter of Holby City´s John Michie – September 12th 2017
Holby City star’s daughter looked ‘odd and unsteady’ in the hours before she was found dead in secluded woods in drug-related death – September 12th 2017
But our pick of the Mail’s barrage of stories on the death of ‘John Michie’s daughter’ is this one about Louella Michie taking the ice-bucket challenge:
The daughter of TV actor John Michie, took part in the internet craze.
Today’s story in the Mail begins in customary fashion, with the victim absent:
The rapper boyfriend of Holby City star John Michie’s daughter has been released by police after being arrested over her death at Bestival, with the actor’s family saying they believe the pair had taken drugs
As the Mail thinks the “dead girl” not worthy of mention by name, the Sun (nine stories so far) knows so little about Louella Michie it’s reduced to focusing on her looks. Today’s update begins:
A festival-goer claims the forest area where the green-eyed 25-year-old died had been used by drug dealers and that she “didn’t look very well” when spotted before her death
As police investigate the death so other green-eyed women and look for a pattern, Sun readers find Louella Michie missing from the paper’s headlines:
FESTIVAL TRAGEDY – Holby City star John Michie’s daughter Louella was found dead at Bestival – 13 September 2017
Pals reveal Holby City star’s tragic girl looked ‘unsteady and odd’ in woods used by drug dealers before she died at Bestival as boyfriend is released by cops – 13 September 2017
BESTIVAL SUSPECT RELEASED Boyfriend of Holby star John Michie’s tragic daughter is released as her devastated family say ‘there was no malice’ in her death – 12 September 2017
BESTIVAL PROBE Man held on suspicion of ‘murder’ over Holby star’s daughter is also being quizzed over supply of Class A drugs – 12 September 2017
BESTIVAL DEATH DASH – Holby City star made 130 mile 1am dash to Bestival after WhatsApp map pinpointed where his daughter was found dead – 12 September 2017
DAYS BEFORE DEATH – John Michie posted haunting photo of daughter sewing outfit for Bestival days before she was found dead – 12 September
HOLBY PAL’S HEARTACHE Strictly star’s heartbreaking message to Holby co-star after his daughter is found dead at Bestival – 11 September
But top prize goes in the John Michie news frenzy goes to the Daily Mirror, which has published no fewer than 11 stories on Louella Michie’s dad, the pick of which being:
Who is John Michie? Tragedy as ex-Coronation Street star’s daughter confirmed dead at Bestival
At a guess, we’d say he’s man grieving for his daughter.
What are your criteria for selecting your children’s school clothes? Washability, durability, affordability, practicality and compliance to a dress code? What about if you see your children’s wardrobe as a chance to define your politics and your values.
And there’s the individuality. That dress isn’t just pretty, on-trend and like the one the pop star wears; it’s an explainer, an insight into the wearer’s anxieties, life goals and morals. The dress is useful if your six-year old boy is considering transitioning to girlhood, but terrible for girls, who should be wearing gender-neutral tracksuits and John Lewis’s non-stereotyping clothes “for boys and girls”.
Should the choice to dress as a boy or a girl be only for those children agonising over their gender? How does it further transgender rights and acceptance to present them as a special case?
Priory School in East Sussex, a mixed co-ed, has banned skirts, ordering girls and boys to wear grey trousers and shirt, jumper and tie. How is limiting what a girl can wear progressive?
Which brings us to the Rowes, who’ve removed their six-year-old son from a Church of England primary school on the Isle of Wight because a boy in his class was allowed to wear a dress. Last year they removed their 8-year-old from the same school when a boy in his class also started wearing dresses. Both will now be home-schooled.
Sally Rowe, 42, and Nigel, 44, plan to sue. Says Mr Rowe: “Our concerns were raised when our son came back home from school saying he was confused as to why and how a boy was now a girl. We believe it is wrong to encourage very young children to embrace transgenderism. Boys are boys and girls are girls. Gender dysphoria is something we as Christians need to address with love and compassion, but not in the sphere of a primary school environment.”
A Diocese of Portsmouth spokesman adds: “Our schools are inclusive, safe spaces where pupils learn to respect diversity of all kinds. We comply with the legal requirements of the Equality Act 2010 and believe that all should feel welcomed, valued and nurtured as part of a learning community.”
This alters gender from a fact into a problem. It recasts children not as pupils in academia, but as trainee adults conditioned to do away with today’s adult issues. Train the children to be gender neutral and gender-fluid and – whammo! – you can eradicate sexism, misogyny and the gender pay-gap. All those life-limiting stereotypes that stopped women getting the vote and told men to suck up the pain and soldier on are gone faster than you can say “unisex toilets”. Women will no longer feel a need to stuff silicone balloons in their chests and men won’t spend years of their lives bulking up in the gym.
The problem is that the boy rather likes wearing blue, dinosaurs and playing football; and the girl likes pink and belting our songs in front of the mirror and nail polish. They don’t have to. Ballet dresses (girls) and monster trucks (boys) are not prerequisites of girlhood and boyhood, respectively. They are society’s norms against which you can rebel and test the boundaries. And doing so makes for a more – dread – diversity.
Things get messier when you link it all to sex. You can wear a dress and be a man. You can wear a business suit and be a girl. You can expand what is is to be male and female. But your biological sex cannot be ended because you prefer dresses to trousers. The boy won’t experience childbirth and menstruation because he feels better in girl’s clothes; just as the girl in trousers won’t grown testicles.
The smart move is to challenge gender roles but leave sex out of it. After all, as all adolescents know, every new generation invented sex.
Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson is soft. Having been kicked hard in the face by Liverpool’s Saido Mane, who has apologised, the Brazilian stayed on the turf for 10 minutes. TV pundit Tony Gale was aghast, telling Sky Sports News on Monday that Ederson isn’t a “proper man”. He’s not like Burnley’s British goalkeeper Tom Heaton, who dislocated his shoulder against Crystal Palace the following day and walked off the pitch with a cheery wave.
— Wingers (@Wingers6) September 11, 2017
We’ve got no photo of Heaton’s shoulder, but we can share this image of Ederson’s face:
To think Tony Gale was on Sky this morning questioning Ederson’s masculinity because he didn’t wave to fans when he was being carried off pic.twitter.com/hushqtVyN2
— Simon Mullock (@MullockSMirror) September 11, 2017
Something narcissistic and the antithesis of stoic about showing the world your wound, but it does look very nasty. But it is to his face and not his hands, which in Tony Gale’s book means Ederson could have carried on playing. After all, it is only a flesh wound.
Hands up who feels sorry for Richard Branson, whose private Necker island was smashed up by Hurricane Irma? I said, “Hands up who…” Oh, never mind. The billionaire would-be rocket-shop operator has shared pictures of Necker after Irma hit. He tweets that he’s looking at ways to help people in the British Virgin Islands left destitute: “Necker damage huge, but BVI #Irma story is not about Necker – about 1000s of people who’ve lost homes & livelihoods.”
But how can such disasters be prevented? Better houses? More money? How about stopping climate change? On the Virgin Group website, Branson explains all:
“Man-made climate change is contributing to increasingly strong hurricanes causing unprecedented damage. The whole world should be scrambling to get on top of the climate change issue before it is too late – for this generation, let alone the generations to come.”
That’s the same Richard Branson who operates an, er airline and is looking to develop commercial spaceflight through Virgin Galactic. You might wonder how he reaches his Caribbean Island? Rowing boat? Balloon? You might also wonder if paying taxes in the country that helped you get stinking rich is its own way performing an act of social responsibility, allowing governments to sort out the cash and improve standards of living.
Branson is a tax exile.
But Branson has issued a call for help. “We were very fortunate to have a strong cellar built into Necker’s Great House and we were lucky all of our teams who stayed on the island during the storm are safe and well,” says Branson in a Virgin blog post.
He then pulls on the the missionary’s hat and tells the unfortunates without power, clothes, food, windows and roofs but who are nonetheless tuned into Branson’s views via the wind-powered internet: “There are worrying reports of civil unrest spreading. I urge everybody to stay safe, remain calm and support each other. Help is on its way.”
Virgin Atlantic is transporting aid to the region, he says. And that can only be a good thing. Think not of the rich man’s grandstanding but of the needy being helped. His son Sam is delivering supplies aboard Virgin’s 105ft catamaran, Necker Belle. “The region needs a Disaster Recovery Marshall Plan,” says Branson.
He then tells us: “There’s this image of the British Virgin Islands — yes there are wealthy people here but the very vast majority are ordinary working people,” he notes, reminding us that staff are not volunteers and not everyone’s there on holiday. Who knew?
Sir Ernest Shackleton (5 February 1874 – 5 January 1922) died on an exhibition to the Antarctic. In December 1903 the great explorer applied to be Secretary of the The Royal Scottish Geographical Society (RSGS). Indeed, he got the job on January 11 1904, acting as the RSGS’s Secretary from 1904-1905.
The RSGS’s current writer-in-residence Jo Woolf has found a copy of Shackleton’s CV. They want to know what it says in the margin. There are pencil notes (see above). You can let them know by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spotter: Mysterious Universe
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger turned down the role at Manchester United. According to former Man United chairman Martin Edwards, the Red Devils approached Wenger to manage the club when Sir Alex Ferguson announced his intention to retire. On May 18 2001, Ferguson told MUTV: “I will be leaving Manchester United at the end of the season and that is it.” In 2016, Ferguson called the decision his “biggest mistake”. He changed his mind in January 2002.
That was a blow to Sven Goran-Eriksson, the former England manager who has said that he signed a deal in 2002 to replace Ferguson. In Sven: My Story, Eriksson notes: “I knew it would be tricky. I had a contract with England until the 2006 World Cup and I would be severely criticised if I broke that contract. But this was an opportunity to manage Manchester United.
A contract was signed — I was United’s new manager.”
In his autobiography, Fergusson admits as much. “The head-hunters were due to meet a candidate to succeed me the following week,” wrote Ferguson. “Sven-Goran Eriksson was to be the new United manager, I believe. That was my interpretation, anyway.”
But this is about Wenger, who says he didn’t move to Old Trafford because he was happy at Arsenal. “I love the values of this club,” says Wenger, “and a club is about values first.”
Meanwhile, in Harrod’s department store, London, current Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has bumped into TV presenter Piers Morgan, who reports their conversation. “How the hell is Arsene still in his job?” asks Morgan. “No idea,” says Mourinho, whose family live in London, “but I hope she stays for a long time.”
Clubs can pick a manager but they can’t pick their fans.