Manchester City can have Alexis Sanchez for £60m. Arsenal have agreed to sell the Chilean star who shone in Arsene Wenger’s mediocre side to Pep Guardiola’s project.
The deal – £55million up front and £5million in add-ons (if City win the Premier League; if Sanchez wins the Balloon d’Or; if Sergio Aguero doesn’t sulk) – will allow Arsenal to sign Monaco’s Thomas Lemar for – get this – £90m.
The Times says it is “understood that Monaco have accepted Arsenal’s club-record bid”.
Of course, not everyone agrees that Lemar will go to the Gunners. No deal is done until the player kisses the badge and books an appointment at a local hairdresser.
The Metro says Lemar wants to join Liverpool. Although their report contains not a single word from anyone saying that he does.
Let’s see what happens…
Arsenal are dead. So says the Sun, which links the club’s pulse to Alexis Sanchez’s whims, declaring that when the Chilean quits the club today – it is “inevitable he will, says the paper’s Neil Ashton – he’ll be leaving behind a corpse where there was once a club.
Sanchez would also be leaving the leeches, footballers whose presence at Arsenal is more parasitic than proud. Granti Xhaka, Shkodran Mustafi, Lucas Perez and Calum Chambers are rubbish on the “Arsenal scrapheap”.
But might it be that the Sun’s trash talk is a little late? It was last March 8 when the Sun’s Ashton told readers:
Arsenal Football Club, Rest In Peace. This institution, one of the most famous clubs in the world, is dead and buried. Here at the Emirates, the heart finally stopped beating.
Can you die twice? And can a thriving football club with millions in the bank die once? Because having watched Arsenal breathe its last in March, on June 1, the same Neil Ashton wrote:
Arsenal, no matter how many times they win the FA Cup, are only ever one defeat away from another meltdown among their fans..
To wit the obvious question: is Neil Ashton a Gooner?
Just in case you hadn’t heard, it’s 20 years since the death of Princess Diana. The Diana Industry is in full cry. In today’s instalment, former royal servant Paul Burrell is seen eying the site of the car cash that killed his boss in Paris and sharing his “troubling questions” over her death.
Paul’s thoughts are front-page news in the Mirror. And on pages 4 and 5 you get a lot more of them. Burrell, who has made a career from being Diana’s “Rock”, says, “My heart tells me it was a terrible accident.” To say nothing of the countless books, coroner’s reports, police inquiry, TV specials and a million to-deadline opinions about the car crash.
Paul then takes time out to gives us a city tour. He says he “never realised how close the Eiffel Tower was” to the Pont de l’Alma tunnel, where Diana died, an underpass he “never realised” was so small. “Now I realise it [the Tower] must have been the last thing she saw before the crash,” says Paul.
Having realised much and shared her last view, Burrell then shares Diana’s demise, albeit mentally. “I dreamt last night I would crash and die in the exact same place,” says Burrell. Not all dreams come true. And Paul is alive to place a “touching” card on the bridge. It says – and it’s all written in easy-to-read capital letters:
YOU WILL BE WITH ME FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE … AND ONE DAY WE WILL BE RE-UNITED AND SIT AND LAUGH AND LOVE.
Always nice when a staff member enjoys their work, but Paul seems a tad besotted with Diana. He says it took a few hours before he realised “she had left me”. In the hospital where she died, coppers showed him the room where Diana is lying, her hair washed, her body carrying the scent of formaldehyde – “I can still smell it, like I still smell her perfume, Hermes 24 Faubourg.” The Mirror plays along, saying Burrell was “the first person to see her body” (if so, who washed her hair and declared her dead?). He says he entered the room to “stare death in the face”. Lest you think facing the Grim Reaper something you do when faced with your own mortality, Burrell opines: “I’d lost my reason for being.”
But he found a new one, and whether it be talking about Diana in the tabloids, writing about Diana in your book, eating ‘roo gonads on I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!. judging would-be Dianas on Australian Princess, working out anagrams of ‘CROK’ on Countdown, singing on Celebrity Stars in Their Eyes, or shopping on Celebrity Big Brother, Burrell’s soldiered on.
The Times‘ scoop became a big talking point: a five-year-old, white, native English specking Christian girl had been placed with a Muslim foster family by London’s Tower Hamlet’s council. What problem with that? If the vulnerable child needed help and help was forthcoming, what matter respective religions? The council surely vets foster parents and made an informed choice.
The girl spent four months with her substitute family. She says the family did not speak English in the home, encouraging her to speak Arabic. Her primary foster carer veiled her face in public. When placed with a second foster family, also Muslim, the girl spoke of regularly eating meals on the floor. The girl was scheduled to return to the first foster carers, but a council worker heard her complain of having had her necklace removed and not returned. The necklace featured a cross-shaped pendant. The girl claimed the family had refused to let her eat carbonara prepared by her family because it contained bacon.
The girl is now back with her family, living with her grandmother on the orders of Judge Khatan Sapnara – the Mail tells readers on its front page, the judge is a Muslim; a fact the Times repeats on page 6 in a lengthy profile on the woman who arrived in the UK as child from her native Bangladesh. Judge Sapnara told the council to seek “culturally matched placements” for children. She also made a stand for free speech. Tower Hamlets tried to block the Times story but failed when Judge Sapnara made it clear she “would not stand in the way of the freedom of the press to report, within the law and in a responsible manner, in respect of this case.”
The Mail adds that the girl’s family had “pleaded” with the council to let her live with her grandmother. The girl “begged” not to be returned to the Muslim family. By page 17, Sarah Vine is telling readers about the value of “a granny’s love”. But taken in isolation, without us knowing why the child was in care at all, why grandma was overlooked in favour of foster parents and what the foster parents hope to gain from their role, opinion rides roughshod over fact. But Vine tells us that Tower Hamlets advertises foster carer allowances of “£313 and £253 a week”. “That’s a nice little earner,” says Vine.
Easy money? On the Tower Hamlets website we read:
If you are interested in becoming a foster carer you will need to meet with a social worker many times to talk about yourself, your family and your experiences of looking after children. Some people find the idea of this daunting, but our social workers are highly experienced and will do everything they can to help you feel reassured during this process. You will also need to have police and medical checks and will need to ask employers, friends and families to give references.
And Vine’s undersold the job: “Fostering fees and allowances up to £474 per week (per child in placement depending on age).” But, yes, the payments for a five-year-old are as she says. Fostering is a cottage industry. Why the public sector is turning child care into a job creation opportunity is not touched upon. And it costs:
In the 2013/14 financial year an estimated £2.5 billion (gross expenditure) was spent on the main looked after children’s services in England. The majority of expenditure (55%) was on foster care services (around £1.4 billion, 55%) and children’s homes (around £0.9 billion, 36%).
So much for the money.
What’s wrong is when Vine says the “real scandal” is that social services “would rather pay someone, irrespective of whether or not he child will be miserable, than find a home where someone wants to offer the one thing that has no price: a mother’s love.”
Eh? Surely is can be argued that the “strict Muslim” women was offering just that: a place where the child would be treated like one of their own. Moreover, where is the child’s mother? Is she able or capable of offering the kid of love Vine seeks? Let’s not pretend a mother’s love is the ultimate nurturer of life and love.
Also troubling is that the story is presented as one of child abuse. The child was refused food. The child was with “strict” adults. The child was upset. The child “sobbed”. Everything is presented to make readers suspicious of adults. The child’s view is pure and passes challenged. We’ve not heard from the Muslim women at the centre of the story. The overriding impression from reading this story is that when society revolves around child protection, everyone who works with children is cast as a suspect.
Big news is that a mock terror attack on the Houses of Parliament shows that it “could” take just 5 minutes to kill 100 MPs. In the “middle of the night” police pretending to be terrorists pulled up by the Commons, climbed the steep wall to the terrace and then gained access to the debating chamber. The Sunday Telegraph says that had the house been sitting “more than 100 MPs” would have been massacred.
An unnamed source described the MPs as “sitting ducks”. Another adds: “I remember thinking ‘Jesus Christ, if that’s where we are at and that can happen, then the public would be horrified’.” (Discuss.)
Is such an attack likely? The water around Westminster can be sea-like, choppy and tidal. It’s very tricky to pull up. The east front of the Palace of Westminster – the bit on the river – measures approximately 265m, and is the longest façade of any building in London. So plenty to room. But navigating the building can be tricky. Take a left turn instead of a right one and a seasick jihadi could end up in House of Lords Chamber!
The summer’s been light on Madeleine McCann news. What with there being no news to report (there’s not been any every since she vanished – Ed) and August being renamed ‘Diana’, the media’s largely ignored ‘Our Maddie’. But now the news arrives that the school Madeleine McCann would have attended to study for her GCSEs has kept her place open.
Madeleine would /could have been a pupil at Catholic academy De Lisle College in Loughborough, Leicestershire. And if she wasn’t missing she’d be with other 14-year-old girls getting ready to begin her GCSEs.
This we know because the Rev. Rob Gladstone, the family’s “local vicar” (not a Catholic), has told the Sun: “She would be going into Year 10 and they welcome her return. There is no evidence Madeleine has died. We encourage Kate and Gerry in faith, hope, strength, perseverance and courage.”
Lest we find this story less than illuminating, a “friend of the McCann family” adds: “It is both touching and fitting that the ‘big’ school where she would have gone holds a desk for her.”
In other news: Madeleine McCann is missing. There are no suspects.
Anyone who drinks Carling pretty much get what they deserve. The revolting, fizzy pisswater Anwar Sedat and other urophagiasts (people who drink their own urine; as opposed to perverts (people who drink everyone else’s and flavoured cider)) would eschew as too weak is even worse than it appears. We hear the allegation that Molson Coors, the company that makes the stuff, has realised Carling drinkers are fools. The Mail reports:
Carling is marketed in Britain at 4 per cent alcohol strength, but brewers Molson Coors have admitted it is weaker for tax reasons. Court documents reveal the lager has been made to a strength of about 3.7 per cent for the past five years.
But Molson Coors did not change the strength recorded on Carling labels to prevent drinkers from ‘demanding a slice’ of the saving, tribunal documents said. The brewer insists customers have not been misled and its labelling was ‘entirely consistent with the law’.
The details emerged in a tax tribunal brought against the beer makers by HMRC over an alleged unpaid multi-million-pound duty bill.
We’ve been here before, of course. In the 1970s, Watney’s introduced Star Light – “this beer was so weak in strength that a 1971 Sunday Mirror investigation discovered that it could have been legally sold in the United States during Prohibition.”
Star Light had an alcohol content of about 1.4%.
Carling said: “Due to their natural ingredients, all beers are permitted to have a slight variation between the finished product and the alcohol content stated on the label. For most beers, the allowed variation is 0.5 per cent.”
Lucky, then, that the change was down not up. Drink drivers take note. “The beer was lying to me, occifer.”
Spotter: The Grocer
In today’s Daily Express, it’s another game of join the dots, of which there are just two. Page 5 tells readers of an “illegal immigrant” called Hani Khalaf. He’s been handed a 26-year prison sentence for murdering Jairo Medina, beating the man to death in London’s Hyde Park.
Khalaf, an Egyptian national, arrived in the UK in the back of lorry back in 2014, posing as a Syrian asylum seeker.
Judge Wendy Joseph QC tells the court:
“It is clear that Hani Khalaf, having absconded, came to the attention of authorities on at least six occasions. On each, he was re-bailed because they could not make arrangements for securing his deportation in a reasonable amount of time.”
The news is part of a page given over to immigration stories.
The phone poll on the same page asks: “Is Britain still letting in too many migrants?”
The story of how Hani Khalaf was free to murder is troubling. Why was a man in the country illegally not dealt with by the authorities? Joseph makes the valid point that Khalaf had no way of “lawfully maintaining himself”. How can man in the country illegally keep the rules?
So much for the Express. But how do the other paper report on the story?
The Daily Telegraph leads with the killer’s legal status:
Illegal immigrant murdered man in Hyde Park after Home Office repeatedly failed to deport him
It tells readers that the victim, a carer by profession, was born in Colombia. He was a Colombian national. The Express omits that fact. The Express also doesn’t say that Mr Medina, a migrant, has, according to his sister, won an award in 2015 for his “service to care in London”.
The paper adds:
The day before he [Khalaf] met Mr Medina, he was arrested for shoplifting in Regent Street and gave police the false name he had previously given to immigration officials.
He appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court and was bailed hours before the killing.
On August 11, Khalaf met Mr Medina in Hyde Park, where the victim had gone hoping to have sex with a younger man, the court heard.
Khalaf murdered and robbed Mr Medina. The judge ruled that it was a “murder for gain”.
Over in the London Evening Standard, the killer’s status is is once more the leading fact:
Illegal immigrant jailed for beating carer Jairo Medina to death in London’s Hyde Park
It was only good police work that saw Khalaf arrested:
Khalaf was arrested on August 16 for fare evasion and told police he was Hanni Hassan and later gave the name Khalaf, prosecutor Oliver Glasgow QC said.
Then on August 18, he was arrested again for shoplifting and taken to Charing Cross police station, where an “eagle-eyed” police officer recognised him from CCTV as the suspect seen with Mr Medina on the night of his death.
The BBC delivers the headline:
“Illegal immigrant jailed for Hyde Park murder”
And in the Guardian? Well, this is the headline:
It’s story begins:
A homeless man has been jailed for at least 26 years for murdering a “kind and peace-loving” carer…
To the Guardian, it is not Khalaf’s illegality that matters most. “Homeless man jailed for Hyde Park murder,” says the headline. Its report carries not a single mention of the words “migrant”, “illegal immigrant” or “immigrant”.
The Express and Guardian both massage the facts to fit an agenda. Neither is helpful.
The Daily Star picks up the sound of “punters’ fury at Lotto card Farce”.
Those “angry punters” have branded the National Lottery a “rip -off”. The Star says “nearly a quarter” and “most of the top prizes” on Lotto’s 42 scratch card games currently on sale offer prizes that have already been won. “What a waste of money,” says one unnamed gambler, without irony.
We do hear from Camelot, which operates the cards. “There are only two scratchcard on sale that have no top prizes remaining. No new packs of these scratchcards can be put on sale.”
That seems fair.
What seems a little less fair is that the Daily Star does not mention that its owner (Richard Demond) is chairman of Northern & Shell, parent company of the Health Lottery, a Lotto rival which sells virtual scratchcards for online games. How it deals with scratchcards after the top prizes have been claimed is not mentioned.
We called the Health Lottery to ask them. Calls to The Health Lottery Helpline are charged at 7p per minute plus your telephone provider’s access charge. It took 59 seconds for us to be able to press ‘4’ to speak with an advisor.
We were directed to the Ts and Cs. They tells us:
The result of each Instant Lottery Game shall be pre-determined at the time of purchase and shall not include any element of skill. The Health Lottery Computer System will determine prizes based on the probabilities and not from a limited pool of prizes…
The chances of winning a Prize will be exactly the same at the point of purchase and shall not be affected by previous wins in the same Game or other Prizes previously paid in other Instant Lottery Games . The advertised prize structure shall remain in place at all times, with each prize tier always available for a win as the Instant Lottery Games do not use a limited pool.
It’s different system to the Lotto, then. Whether or not it’s any fairer is moot. Both systems are after all, odds-based punts.
It’s the Daily Diana, and the Sun leads with Sun readers remembering the day Princess Diana died 20 years ago. The story is headlined “Diana AND ME”. Because it’s all about ME.
Reader Louise Voss says, “I went into labour with my daughter as she died.” Louise “worked out” that just as the car carrying Diana slammed into a tunnel wall in Paris, she had her first contraction, and daughter Gracie began her journey down her own sort of tunnel. Spooky! ”
“Gracie was born the next day, and we always told her she was the reincarnation of Diana,” says Louise. Although Diana wasn’t dead yet, and only soap actors get to be the reincarnation of someone still alive. It detracts little from the drama to note that Louise never met Diana – well, not in her previous lifetime.
As the paparazzi and land mine charities dash over to see Gracie, we meet others, like Jo who says of her late sister: “That night marked Diana’s death – and the beginning of my sister’s decline.”
Tess agreed to marry her boyfriend the day before news of Diana’s death broke. She says the day was a “true rollercoaster”.
Marianne Berry, a nurse who like Jo and Tess never met Diana, offers context. A newsflash appeared on the telly: “We thought it was the announcement of World War Three. Then the newsreader says Dodi had died, and Diana was on her way to hospital. Another nurse came over and joined us and we watched the horror unfold.”
Peter Kay dodges the bombs to recall that he heard the news via a note on the fridge from his mom. It read: “Princess Diana dead. Shepherd’s pie in fridge.”
It’s what she would have wanted.
A 38-year-old British man banned from having sex with his wife has won £10,000 compensation. The secret Court of Protection ordered the man to “abstain” from sex until he had passed a sex-education course run by his local council. And his wife had best watch out, too. The court told her that because her husband has Down’s Syndrome he cannot consent to sex. If she shags him, she could be committing a criminal offence.
Neither of the pair are virgins. They had been having sex for five years before the law stepped in to pull them apart, a clinical psychologist deciding that the man lacked the capacity to provide his consent. The couple, who had applied for fertility treatment, were assessed by the experts and found wanting.
Anyhow, now things are ok. The man has received a pay out. But it wasn’t for the State locking a chastity belt on he and his wife’s reproductive organs. He scored some cash because for over a year the council failed to provide the sex-education course that the court had ordered. This and not the sex ban breached the couple’s human rights.
The Court of Protection describes itself thus:
We make decisions on financial or welfare matters for people who can’t make decisions at the time they need to be made (they ‘lack mental capacity’).
We are responsible for:
deciding whether someone has the mental capacity to make a particular decision for themselves
appointing deputies to make ongoing decisions for people who lack mental capacity
giving people permission to make one-off decisions on behalf of someone else who lacks mental capacity
handling urgent or emergency applications where a decision must be made on behalf of someone else without delay
making decisions about a lasting power of attorney or enduring power of attorney and considering any objections to their registration
considering applications to make statutory wills or gifts
making decisions about when someone can be deprived of their liberty under the Mental Capacity Act
Good that a court exists to make decisions on the welfare and affairs of those who lack the capacity to do so themselves. But the man is married, and should expect the life that comes with such a commitment. To think the State knows the man better than his wife does is abhorrent. Too many horrible stories are hidden in the shadows.
Have you seen the “SEX PICS” of the “TWO TO TV STARS”. The saucy photos “LEAKED ONLINE” are front-page news on the Daily Star. Nasty stuff, indeed, to have your private moments stolen and shared with the world. The two celebs, two of the country’s “biggest stars”, have called in the lawyers.
The Star is appalled. And anyone looking for the “explicits naked snaps” of the “2 telly babes” – the “extremely intimate shots” – of the “beauties”on an “X-rated” website should be ashamed of themselves. Says a spokesperson for one of the women:” “The selfies were taken from social media accounts but the topless images claiming to be of her are fake.”
So there are no sex pics. The images weren’t leaked, rather shared and photoshopped. Aside from that the Star’s lead story is, er, correct.
Meanwhile, in other celebrity naked news, Katharine McPhee is “fighting back”.
The actress and singer, 33, filed suit in Los Angeles County Tuesday in response to intimate photos of her being published on pornographic websites after her phone got hacked.
Miley Cyrus is naked in public – again:
Intimate pictures allegedly showing Miley Cyrus and Stella Maxwell together, Kristen Stewart apparently topless and former couple Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn apparently naked have surfaced online.
Vonn and Woods are considering legal action.
The odd things about all this is that while the newspapers report on the story of leaked sex photos, anyone who cares is online looking for the images. If there’s any one story that shows how out-of-step the dead-tree Press is, it’s when dirty photos get leaked online.
Many men like dressing up as women: sailors, rugby players, the headmistress at St Trinian’s school, East German athletes and Glamour magazine’s woman of the year. So too men on a fundraising drive for Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust. The lads dressed up as female nurses and shook their tins in the streets of Ludlow, Shropshire. People dug deep in their pockets and donated a none-too-shabby £2,500.
But the money is no good. It’s dirty. The hospital has rejected the cash, saying the way it was earned was “highly-sexualised” and “demeaning”.
The Trust’s letter to the Ludlow Hospital League of Friends, which raised the cash, opines: “The presentation of men dressed as female nurses in a highly-sexualised and demeaning way is wrong, very outdated and insulting to the profession.”
Indeed. If nurses are to be demeaned by anyone it will be by pen pushers, male doctors and MPs, which is far more modern and progressive.
Twitter can be nasty place, full of angry prudes, prigs, bigots and berks. And then you’ve got the nastier types. The Fawcett Society says Twitter is “failing women” threatened online. The Fawcett Society is, as it says it is, the “UK’s leading charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights”. Created in 1866 to campaign for women’s suffrage – from championing equality the group now wants special rules to protect women (facepalm) – the charity is now looking at free speech and law in partnership with a group called Reclaim the Internet. Which is? Well, it’s mission statement begins: “The internet must be a forum for freedom of speech. But…”
If there’s a ‘but’ there’s no free speech, is there. Yvette Cooper, the Labour MP who set up the organisation that seeks to control what can and cannot be said, might not be able to see the irony of her position, but anyone who values free speech should.
This comes after last week’s news that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has vowed to “treat online crime as seriously as offline offences”. The CPS will “prosecute complaints of hate crime online with the same robust and proactive approach used with offline offending”.
The Telegraph has more:
The two groups identified 14 cases of threats and abuse against women including the MPs Luciana Berger, Diane Abbott and the late Jo Cox, as well as the campaigner Gina Miller, and reported them to Twitter earlier this month.
Tweets reported by the two groups also included threats of rape as well as images and video of apparently non-consensual sexual acts alongside abusive comments aimed at groups of women including migrants and Muslims.
On Monday night five of the 14 accounts remained active with the tweets in question still on the site, while Twitter had taken up to nine days to suspend the other accounts reported to it…
The offending tweets included a vile slur on the late MP Jo Cox, who was murdered by a constituent in 2016, and racist and misogynistic abuse directed at the shadow home secretary Diane Abbott. Other tweets included a description of raping migrants as “ethnic cleansing”.
Can you sue someone for saying something nasty about a dead person? Seems pretty incredible. Especially given that the prop is that online threats carry the same weight as threats carried out in the real world, where real sticks and stones can break your bones.
It all creates more questions. What’s abusive? Who gets to decide when words are illegal? Is it up to the police and then the CPS to decide? The law is sure to be very busy looking into every tweet someone found beyond the pale and reported? Are there enough resources? And do you want to live in a nation of narks getting off on setting the full weight of law on a fool who made a moronic, challenging or rude comment online?
Might be best to debate all this and more face to face, say in the pub, where notes are not taken and used in evidence against you. Problem is that since our protectors brought in the smoking ban and pubs started to become gastro-led family creches or flats, that option’s not all that attractive. Pub’s are out. Graffiti’s illegal and any conversation could take years. And no-one reads the papers, so letters to the editor are useless. So shouting at pigeons in the precinct it is, then. How’s that for progress?
Clooney looks “ace” in the Daily Mirror. The paper has a paparazzi shot of George Clooney and Amal Clooney at a tennis match lose to their home in Italy. Neither is holding a racket, but they are holding hands. They look like a well-groomed couple minding their own business.
But over in the Mail, Clooney is “frazzled”. He’s a new dad “after two months of sleepless nights”. No, not or the couple’s umpteen nannies, for George. To prove its point (surely to spin a story from a papped photo? – Ed) the Mail shows us Clooney looking “fresh-face and beaming” in April.
PS: on the day the the Mail leads once more with news of Princess Diana 20 years after her death, odd indeed it should feature a half-page paparazzi photos of the Clooneys. After all, it was in the wake of Diana’s death that the Mail made this pledge:
8 September 1997, eight days after the death of Princess Diana:
“Mail leads the way in banning paparazzi pictures.
“The proprietor of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Evening Standard announced last night that his papers will not in future purchase pictures taken by paparazzi
“Viscount Rothermere, chairman of the Daily Mail and General Trust plc said: ‘I am, and always have been, an admirer of Diana, Princess of Wales, and nagged my editors to protect her so far as they could against her powerful enemies.
“In view of Earl Spencer’s strong words and my own sense of outrage, I have instructed my editors no ‘paparazzi’ pictures are to be purchased without my knowledge and consent.'”
Such are the facts.
It’s Diana-mania all over again in the tabloids as papers mark the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death.
The Mirror leads with a Diana pullout, four pages of revision featuring the wedding day kiss on the Buckingham Palace balcony (awwww!); Diana getting Charles’s name wrong at the altar (d’oh!); Charles mentally repeating “Must not call her Camilla” over and over (cheating, lying bastard!); and how the couple, as Marje Proops told us on July 30 1981, “could have been quite alone. It was look of love and longing” – her love for him and his longing to be Camilla’s tampon.
Too harsh on Charles, the poor lamb? Nah. The Press are all diving on the swine. The Express, with the vanishing of Madeleine McCann deemed a story no longer to be of much interest, leads with the pre-Maddy blonde Diana and news that she “saved” the Royal Family. This follows news that, when polled, most time-rich Britons who respond to YouGov polls think Charles is unfit to be King.
The Mail begins its Daily Diana by looking at a poll. This one says only a third of Britons think Charles is worth his salt and 14% think Camilla should be Queen (yeah, that many). How many think Diana was murdered is not investigated, but it might be more than the number who think Charles should put his hair in a bun and his **** in a toaster.
Over on the Sun’s cover, big news is that Diana was not in love with Dodi Fayed. This we know because Michael Gibbins, her private secretary, believes she was simply “having a lovely summer at somebody else’s expense”. Diana was freeloader? A tart? “When the summer was over, everything would have disintegrated,” says Gibbons. He then adds: “If she’d lived she would have been looking for other things – and rushing into my office saying why hadn’t I found them for her?” Although her husband Dodi might have been with her, carrying their child, little Michael Paul Burrell-Gibbins and his twin sister Fergie.
In tomorrow’s papers: why Diana loved the paparazzi.
To mark the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, we’re seen lots of photos of the funeral procession. In today’s Mail, we see the family shot of the young princes, William and Harry, their father Prince Charles, Diana’s brother Earl Spencer and the Duke of Edinburgh. The story of why the princes were walking behind their mother’s coffin seems confused.
The Mail on Sunday says: “The decision for the boys to join the cortege was not made until an eve-of-funeral family supper when their grandfather, Prince Philip, promised them: ‘If you walk, I’ll walk.”
We know this was an act of selflessness by the caring Duke because on the ITV documentary Diana: The Day Britain Cried, The Queen’s senior aide Sir Malcolm Ross, opined:
“And I understand that it was at a family supper on the Friday night in Buckingham Palace that the decision was made and Prince Philip, after some discussion, said to the boys, ‘I’ll walk if you walk’.”
But talking to Newsweek magazine, Prince Harry tells us:
“My mother had just died, and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin, surrounded by thousands of people watching me while millions more did on television. I don’t think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances. I don’t think it would happen today.”
And there’s Earl Spencer, who told the BBC is was a “very bizarre and cruel thing” for Diana’s two sons to be told to walk behind her body. He says the Palace “lied” to him, telling them the boys had wanted to walk behind the coffin, which, he says, they did not want to do.
Not that anything about Diana is new. We’ve heard it all before, sort of.
In 2015, Hello magazine reported:
When the late Princess Diana died in 1997 her sons William and Harry did not want to walk behind the coffin, but Philip thought they would regret it later and told them: “If you like, I’ll walk with you.”
In 2007, the Daily Express told its readers:
Vanity Fair also prints excerpts of The Diana Chronicles, by former magazine editor Tina Brown, which reveal how the Princess and the Duke of Edinburgh clashed before her divorce from Prince Charles.
Philip is claimed to have threatened to remove her HRH title if she failed to behave properly.
But the Princess is said to have responded by informing the Duke that her title as Lady, referring to the lineage of the Spencer family, was a lot older than his. Ms Brown also claims Philip cajoled Princes William and Harry to walk with him behind Diana’s coffin at her funeral, overruling objections from her brother Earl Spencer.
In his Diaries, Tony Blair’s spin doctor, Alistair Campbell, noted:
William believed the plan was designed to appeal to the media. Campbell writes: “William was refusing to speak to anyone and he was consumed by a total hatred of the media … I sensed the boys were holding firm, and they seemed to feel it was being done for the media and the public, not for their mother.”
The Mirror reported in 2011: “William and Harry walked behind Diana’s coffin to prevent a mob attacking Prince Charles.”
Such are the facts.
At least no-one is still harping on about her having been murdered. Which she wasn’t. Right?
To Boston, then, where thousands of well-meaning fools are marching to shut down free speech.
Thousands of counter-protesters crammed Boston Common and marched through city streets on Saturday morning in efforts to drown out the planned “free speech” rally.
The aim was to precent white supremacists from talking.
Blessedly, some people understand how things work:
Free speech for Nazis is free speech for anti-Nazis. You cannot have one without the other.
Spotter: Washington Post
Media Bias: a look at bad reporting in Stoke City’s 1-0 win over Arsenal in the Premier League. Stoke scored a perfectly good goal, a swift strike on the counter attack that ws waved on by Arsenal’s lacklustre and horribly overrated Mesut Ozil. But should Arsenal have had a penalty or three? What say the reporters?
The Arsenal website has the figures: “Seventy-seven per cent possession, six shots on target, one big penalty shout and one disallowed goal – but ultimately no points from Saturday’s Premier League clash with Stoke City.”
Seems fair. Arsenal manger Arsene Wenger offers his appraisal of the match. He says Lacazette’s “goal” was “one hundred per cent” a good goal. “I’ve just watched it and it’s not offside at all. Even his foot was not offside. We have to swallow that and we should have scored despite that.”
Managers have their own views. But the Arsenal website has more on the Lacazette goal:
Alexandre Lacazette did have the ball in the net with 20 minutes to go, only to be flagged offside when replays suggested he was level.
Over on the Stoke City website, no word on how the Potters were overran in possession. Indeed, they were the team that always looked more likely to score.
Hughes’ men started the second half in scintillating fashion when Berahino did well to find Jese inside the box and the attacker finished brilliantly past Cech to give City the lead they thoroughly deserved.
The Stoke win was emphatic:
City remained comfortable for the remainder of the match, with the Gunners hardly threatening.
Stoke City readers might wonder why if the Potters were such easy winners the team’s goalkeeper, Jack Butland, was Man of the Match, which he was.
What about the penalty Arsenal thought they should have been awarded in the first half?
No word on the Stoke City website, but as one write on the Stoke Sentinnel website Wenger a moaner and the “boy who cried wolf”, another notes “the referee’s failure to spot Mame Diouf’s first-half challenge for what should have been an obvious penalty“.
On BBC’s Match of the Day, pundit Jemaine Jenas says Arsenal should have had – get this – three penalties.
Such are the facts.
Caitlin Moran has been writing in the Times about Donald Trump and his cheerleader, Piers Morgan. It’s a snappy read, taking in Nazis and Jews.
This week, however, Morgan… faced the big dilemma, which is, in the words of Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, “When are you gonna come down? When are you going to land?” Trump’s disturbed press conference on Charlottesville — “There were some fine people there” ABOUT A NAZI RALLY — seemed to make Morgan realise that Jimmy Kimmel’s words were true: “When you’re with people who are chanting things like ‘Jews will not replace us’ and you don’t immediately leave, you’re not ‘a very fine person’.”
A “very fine person” leaves when the anti-Semites turn up. That’s “true”. But Trump is an “entrenched old bastard”. He stays.
Mindful of that, see if you can make the link between the next two images:
A) Jeremy Corbyn is not all that far from a man holding the Hezbollah flag, a group the Labour Party leader called “friends” after inviting them and Hamas to Parliament for a chat.
As reported in the Guardian:
The leader of the Labour party has defended supporters of every variety of ancient prejudice: the Palestinian activist who revived the medieval libel that Jews used the blood of Christian children to make bread; the Anglican vicar who promoted the views of modern neo-Nazis that the Jewish conspiracy was now so malign and supernaturally powerful it was responsible for 9/11. After reviving old prejudices, Labour members adopt new ones just for fun. Jews were the chief financiers of the slave trade, they say as they repeat a fantasy promoted by the US race-huckster Louis Farrakhan. Jews collaborated with Hitler, they continue as they repeat the fantasies of 20th-century Marxist‑Leninis
The Jewish Chronicle also questioned the banners at the Stop The War Coalition sponsored Al Quds Day rallies where Corbyn regularly speaks. Corbyn is also chair of the Stop The War Coalition. I have been to these racist rallies where Hezbollah flags are proudly waved and banners, which I have photographed, state: “Israel is a disease we are the cure” and “For world peace Israel must be destroyed”, “Israel your days are numbered”, “Death to Israel” and “The world stopped Nazism and Apartheid the world must stop Zionism”.
B) Vote Jeremy Corbyn.
Do we judge people by the company they keep?
Corbyn later added on Hamas, a group that calls for all Jews to be murdered (“The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him” – Hamas covenant) and Hezbollah:
“I use (the word ‘friends’) in a collective way, saying our friends are prepared to talk. Does it mean I agree with Hamas and what it does? No. Does it mean I agree with Hezbollah and what they do? No. 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.”
Was Trump just enabling the peace, enlarging the conversation, when he blamed both sides for the violence in Charlottesville? Was he doing a Corbyn?
I don’t believe Corbyn is an anti-Semite nor Trump a Nazi. But to the sensitive and morally right who offer no excuses for bigotry and profess to know it when they see it, not voting for Corbyn makes you a “cunt” and voting for Trump means supporting a “bastard”.
Were that a Confederate flag or Nazi banner behind Corbyn, what then? Of course, the modern day Nazi party is, thank god, relatively amateur when it comes to mass murder. Islamists remain the current market leaders in barbaric anti-Semitism.
Brendan O’Neill muses:
I just wish the people rightly shocked by the anti-Semitism on the Charlottesville march had been equally shocked by the big London demo against Israel’s war with Gaza a few years ago at which I saw loads of swastikas (“Israel is Nazi”), placards making accusations of collective Jewish guilt for crimes against humanity, and a man in a grotesque “Jew mask” pretending to eat a doll covered in blood while young Arab kids laughed their heads off. Some of the leftists furious over Charlottesville were on that march. People need to clean out their own stables too. Anti-Semitism is a serious problem and it exists on the right and the left.
Such are the facts.
After mass murder on the streets of Barcelona, how are people responding? When a nutcase allegedly murdered a woman at a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, hashtags exhorted us to #PunchaNazi. The Guardian wrote 31 stories on the fight between Nazis and counterprotestors in a small US city.
British TV news featured Social Justice Warriors toppling the Confederate Soldiers Monument in Durham, North Carolina, and kicking it. Rage was the watchword.
The Nazis were not true Americans, we were told. Calls came to sack protestors from work places and colleges, to make them unemployable. The SJW presented a few hundred Nazis who move their lips when they once read bits of Mein Kampf as the vanguard of a Fourth Reich, with themselves cast as the embodiment of the Dunkirk spirit, ‘The Few’ giving no quarter in the bloody battle for civilisation.
And then came the slaughter of 13 people out and about in a touristy part of Barcelona. In the past three years, 460 (and rising) people have been murdered by Islamists in Western Europe. #PunchAnIslamist was not tending on Twitter. It never has done. Symbols of Islamism are not being torn down. The racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, misogynistic, rapacious, murderous, thieving, barbaric Islamists who seek to colonise the world will be defeated with candles, repurposed pop songs and hugs. Because in the playbook of the right-on, it’s not about them. It’s all about us.
From being hymned “Don’t look back in anger” after the jihadi attack on Manchester and encouraged to “Imagine” John Lennon’s anodyne world of total peace, we will not rage against the horror in Barcelona. We will stand together with candles and stare into the light until it dies.
Photo above: Marina Ginesta, anti-fascist fighter during the Spanish Civil War. This picture was taken in Barcelona in the summer of 1936.
In a Sun “exclusive”, the paper says “BBC chiefs are facing claims they are sabotaging shows from the firm behind The Great British Bake Off.”
That company is Love Productions, who have brought to your telly such treats as Bake Off and: Junior Bake Off, Newlyweds, Famous Rich and Homeless, Tower Block of Commons, Young, Autistic & Stagestruck, The Baby Borrowers, Young Mums’ Mansion and Naked, Underage and Having Sex, and Britain’s Youngest Grannies.
Industry insiders say Love Productions believe the Beeb deliberately nabbed stars from other shows they have made.
Industry insiders say Love Productions believe the Beeb deliberately nabbed stars from other shows they have made. It’s an alleged “bid to sabotage the firm”. What stars have been “nabbed”?
Claudia Winkleman, who presented The Great British Sewing Bee and The Great Pottery Throwdown’s host Sara Cox.
Claudia, 45, is to co-host new BBC show Britain’s Best Cook, alongside former Bake Off judge Mary Berry, 82. While Sara, 42, is now presenting BBC2 series Back In Time For Tea.
Negotiations for new series of the sewing and pottery shows have now stalled.
Can we get a insider to go on the record?
A TV source said: “The sheer arrogance of it all is astonishing.”
“There’s a view in the industry that the BBC is acting out of spite and not in the best interest of the licence fee payer.”
What the story in the Sun (prop. Rupert Murdoch) omits to mention is that in 2014, British Sky Broadcasting acquired a majority stake in Love Productions. News Corporation (prop. R. Murdoch) owns 39.1% of BSkyB. 21st Century Fox (pro R. Murdoch) has formally lodged its £11.7bn bid to take full control of Sky.
Most old tat is great. Talia Rappa and Skyler Ashworth got some terrific gear at a Florida thrift store’s fire sale: for $1.20 they bought five NASA flight suits.
According to experts at the American Space Museum, the astronauts’ names and flight dates on the white labels seem to match the time astronauts, PhD, Robert A. Parker, PhD, and Charles D. Walker, a payload specialist, flew shuttle missions between 1983 and 1985.
You can buy one of these fantastic artefacts when the finders auction them at the American Space Museum auction on November 4.
Spotter: Click on Orlando
Carnage in Barcelona. Islamists have driven a truck into the city centre, murdering 13 and injuring 100 more. #punchanislamist is NOT trending on twitter, as #punchanazi has done. Barely a week has passed since a woman was killed by a nutcase at a far-Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Those gaggle of losers look like amateurs compared to Islamists.
The newspapers report on the horror. Do they mention Islamists at all? And know that Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the slaughter.
The Star spots “terrorists in a speeding white van” marauding down Las Ramblas. The Mirror says a “van was driven into crowds”. The “terrorist driving a van” ran into anyone in his path.
Both newspaper lead with a photo of Maghrebi Driss Oukabir, the Moroccan-born man suspected of hiring the van. He says his ID was stolen. He says he’s innocent. But Spanish police handed out his photo, and the media pepper his face over the papers.
The Star’s story makes not a single mention of Islamists. Odd, indeed, for a newspaper that once supporting he anti-Muslim EDL to leave religion out of it.
The Sun leads with “BARCELONA BASTARDS”. Again we seen Oukabir, now under arrest. We’re told the killer was a “maniac driver”. Was he an Islamist? The paper does not say. But we do hear over two pages about Driss Oukabir is a “fan of dope, rap & booze”. Well, that’s what it says on his Facebook Page, where his likes include Durex condoms, Heineken larger, marijuana, hip-hop and “several Islamist pages”.
As Durex and Heineken’s PRs wonder if all publicity is good publicity. we learn that Oukabir might have handed himself into the police. He’s innocent, then? No, says Piers Morgan, paragon of virtue, he’s a “snivelling, pathetic, loathsome, deluded cowardly little prick”. And presumed innocent, right?
Oukabir’s there again on the Express’s cover. It’s an old photo of the suspect from a past run-on with the police. Not much more on him is reported.
But the Times says Oukabir’s “identity documents were believed to have been used to rent” the van used in the attack. We learn that Oukabir walked into a police station in Ripoli, north of Barcelona, and said his papers had been stolen by his 18-year-old brother Moussa, who lives in Barcelona. Oukabir did hand himself in. We also learn that Oukabir likes Prison Break, the song AK47 by the Albanian rapper Noizy and has 725 friends on Facebook. None of them have been rounded up nor abused by Piers Morgan – yet.
Only the Times makes “Islamists” the main thrust of its report, leading with “EVIL strikes again – Islamists mows down innocents in Barcelona.” You wonder why the other papers don’t?
Compare that to the Guardian, which begins: “Thirteen people were killed and at least 50 injured after a van rammed into a crowded street…” A van did it? “At around 5pm a large white Fiat van veered off the road… ploughing its way through the crowd…” It ended “by a colourful mosaic by the artist Joan Miro. It was here that the van, with its front bumper smashed up, came to a halt.” Words on the driver come there none. But the magic, driverless van’s on the mend.
Such are the facts.
More on the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a would-be white supremacist is casting off his white polo, cap and khakis (apparently dressing like a golfer makes you a fascist. Who knew? Discuss) and tells the counter-demonstrators chasing him he’s not Nazi. He’s just playing dress-ups and shouting in public. He might even be golfer in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“In the hole!”
CJ Hunt recored their conversation:
Since I’m a person of color, my identity is not a uniform I can take off when I am feeling unsafe—when I’m stopped by police or when my white girlfriend and I travel through southern towns where Confederate flags billow from porches and pickup trucks. Like all minorities, I’ve grown used to the way that difference marks me—the burden of being ever ready for the moment my skin turns me into a target for angry white men determined to take back what they think the world owes them.
Maybe the lad’s an actor? In the run-up to the fighting, an LA-based company posted an advert of Craigslist. The company called Crowds on Demand, a “public relations firm specializing in innovative events”, was looking for protestors. For a decent $25 per hour “actors and photographers” were invited to get involved in events in the Charlotte, NC area”n If you’re “ok with participating in peaceful protests:, then get in touch.”
The ad chimed:
Actors and Photographers Wanted in Charlotte
Crowds on Demand, a Los Angeles-based Public Relations firm specializing in innovative events, is looking for enthusiastic actors and photographers in the Charlotte, NC area to participate in our events. Our events include everything from rallies to protests to corporate PR stunts to celebrity scenes. The biggest qualification is enthusiasm, a “can-do” spirit. Pay will vary by event but typically is $25+ per hour plus reimbursements for gas/parking/Uber/public transit.
For more information about us, please visit www.crowdsondemand.com
If you’re interested in working with us, please reply to this posting with the following info:
Prior relevant experience (as an actor/performer, photographer, brand ambassador, political activist, etc)
When are you usually available for work?
If you’re a photographer, what equipment do you use?
Are you ok with participating in peaceful protests (optional)?
And a screenshot of the original post:
Are you looking to create a buzz anywhere in the United States? At Crowds on Demand, we provide our clients with protests, rallies, flash-mobs, paparazzi events and other inventive PR stunts. These services are available across the country in every major U.S city, every major U.S metro area and even most smaller cities as well. We provide everything including the people, the materials and even the ideas. You can come to us with a specific plan of action and we can make it happen. OR, you can approach us with a general idea and we can help you plan the strategy then execute it.
We’ve made campaigns involving hundreds of people come to action in just days. We have a proven record of delivering major wins on even the toughest campaigns and delivering phenomenal experiences with even the most logistically challenging events.
The CEO of Crowds on Demand tells Snopes:
“We were not involved in any capacity with the recent tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those impacted by the violence”
As he asks: “Silly question, but if your cause is worthy of protest then why would you need to pay $25 per hour to get people to show up?”
Fake news isn’t just being made in journalism boiler rooms; it’s being made on the street.