News | Anorak - Part 8

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Marijuana: THCP is THC x 30


In Nature, researchers in Italy tell of a test of a form of cannabis that could be 30 times more potent than standard doses of THC. We read of the test on mice: “In the cannabinoid tetrad pharmacological test, 9-THCP induced hypomotility, analgesia, catalepsy and decreased rectal temperature indicating a THC-like cannabimimetic activity.”

The Metro blows some smoke up its own backside: “the stoned rodents also experienced a drop in the internal temperature of their bottom – which is not generally acknowledged to be the most popular effect of weed among the humans who choose to smoke it.” No doofus. Rectal temperature is used on mice because researchers are seeking evidence of changes in core body temperature, and whereas pulmonary artery temperature measurement is the gold standard for such measuring internal body heat, it’s easier and cheaper to insert a thermometer inside a mouse’s arse than to insert a pulmonary artery catheter. And mice aren’t simply stoned. They’re held captive and drugged.

So much for the reporting. What of the weed, named tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THCP)?

The authors assessed the ability of THCP to bind to human cannabinoid receptors found in the endocannabinoid system by sending the compound to a lab to be tested in a tube. The endocannabinoid system’s job is to keep our body in homeostasis, or equilibrium, and it regulates everything from sleep to appetite to inflammation to pain and more. When a person smokes marijuana, THC overwhelms the endocannabinoid system, latching on to cannabinoid receptors and interfering with their ability to communicate between neurons. THCP bound strongly to both receptors – 33 times more than THC does, and 63 times more than another compound called THCV. The finding led the authors to wonder if THCP might explain why some particularly potent cannabis varieties have a stronger effect than can be explained by the presence of THC alone.

The Italian researchers re interested in the drugs anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-epileptic activity, which are typical of CBD.

Spotter: CNN

Posted: 4th, February 2020 | In: News | Comment

Streatham Terror attack video: cafe owner asks police for 30 minutes so diners can finish eating

Sudesh Amman

The terrorist shot man shot dead by police after he stabbed two people in Streatham, south London, was called Sudesh Amman. Police were quick to the scene of his heinous crime because they were watching him. Amman was released from prison in January after serving time for terror offences.

After he was shot dead, police attended a cafe:

Posted: 2nd, February 2020 | In: News | Comment

American Dirt: when critics attack

Jeanine Cummins’ American Dirt is the hottest book you haven’t read. Reportedly bought for a seven figure sum, the work hailed as the “Grapes of Wrath for our times” by someone in the know tells the story of a Mexican mother and her son who escape the drugs cartels. Sounds great. But not everyone’s a fan:

The publisher of the controversial novel American Dirt has canceled the remainder of the author’s book tour as critics and many in the Latinx community criticize the book for its portrayal of immigrants.

In a statement Wednesday, Flatiron Books president and publisher Bob Miller acknowledged the controversy surrounding the novel and its author, Jeanine Cummins, and said they decided to cancel the tour because of “specific threats,” including that of physical violence, that have been made against her.

Salman Rushdie is over here

Posted: 30th, January 2020 | In: Books, News, The Consumer | Comment

Nigel Farage celebrates Brexit with a portrait called ‘Mr Brexit’ – and are those lip fillers?

Michael Deacon was there to see a painting unveiled: Nigel Farage has just unveiled a portrait of himself entitled ‘Mr Brexit’. Jim Davidson is now giving a speech to mark the occasion. Happy Brexit everyone.”

Want a close up. Be brave…

Lip service

Can you be our own waxwork?

Posted: 30th, January 2020 | In: News, Politicians | Comment

Watch the live Coronavirus tracking map

Coronavirus tracking map

You can keep track of the coranavirus with this tracking map run by America’s Johns Hopkins University.

In response to this ongoing public health emergency, we developed an online dashboard (static snapshot shown below) to visualize and track the reported cases on a daily timescale; the complete set of data is downloadable as a google sheet. The case data visualized is collected from various sources, including WHO, U.S. CDC, ECDC China CDC (CCDC), NHC and DXY. DXY is a Chinese website that aggregates NHC and local CCDC situation reports in near real-time, providing more current regional case estimates than the national level reporting organizations are capable of, and is thus used for all the mainland China cases reported in our dashboard (confirmed, suspected, recovered, deaths). U.S. cases (confirmed, suspected, recovered, deaths) are taken from the U.S. CDC, and all other country (suspected and confirmed) case data is taken from the corresponding regional health departments. The dashboard is intended to provide the public with an understanding of the outbreak situation as it unfolds, with transparent data sources.

See it here.


Posted: 30th, January 2020 | In: News | Comment

The Entartete Kunst – when Nazis banned ‘degenerate’ art and music

Entartete Kunst

The Nazis were not ones for jazz and free expression. They damned all as entartete kunst (degenerate art). To let fellow Ubermensch know what wrong thinking looked like, the Nazis created a travelling exhibition called – predictably – Entartete Kunst. The show opened in Munich in 1937, displaying works deemed to be “an insult to German feeling”. How they flocked to be educated and disgusted by stuff purged from museums and stolen by the State for the common good. More than two million visitors attended the exhibition from July 19 to November 30, 1937, in Munich alone.

Part of the purge was listed in the 10 Rules for Combatting Jazz. The whole shebang of depravity formed a brochure, of which London’s V&A holds the only known copy of a complete inventory of Entartete Kunst.

The museum notes:

The list of more than 16,000 artworks was produced by the Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda (Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda) in 1942 or thereabouts. It seems that the inventory was compiled as a final record, after the sales and disposals of the confiscated art had been completed in the summer of 1941. The inventory’s two typescript volumes provide crucial information about the provenance, exhibition history and fate of each artwork.

The inventory consists of 482 pages (including blank pages and a missing page), split into two volumes. The entries are organised alphabetically by city, institution and artist’s name. Volume 1 covers the cities Aachen to Görlitz, while Volume 2 covers Göttingen to Zwickau.

It’s pretty much a guide to everything you should enjoy.

Spotter: Flashbak

Posted: 30th, January 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Strange But True | Comment

Sub-editor misses open goal in Chester city centre

As newspapers die is the art of sub-editing going with them?

Chester preacher

The Chester preacher’s message is not thought to be for the sub-editor who missed the word “manic”.

Manic Chester preacher

Spotter: Chest Live

Posted: 30th, January 2020 | In: News | Comment

Prince Andrew and the WILL to do nothing

Prince Andrew

How’s things with Prince Andrew? The Daily Express has the grandiose Duke Of York telling us he “WILL” talk to the FBI about his dead peado pal Jeffrey Epstein. The word ‘WILL’ is in capitals and underlined. It’s a triple vow. And then in a trice it’s nothing. This is all news from “a source” reportedly “close to” Prince Andrew. “The duke is more than happy to talk to the FBI, but he hasn’t been approached yet,” says the source. The FBI says Andrew has offered precisely zero help in their investigation.

The Daily Telegraph says royal sources “believe” the FBI’s criticism was a “publicity stunt” designed to “pile on pressure” and force the duke’s hand. (So long as it is his hand – in his coach crash TV interview Prince Andrew said the picture of him with his hand around Virginia Roberts’ waist might not be real.)

Back to the Express’s front page, and the sleazy Prince is below a picture of the late TV and radio star Nicholas Parsons (10 October 1923 – 28 January 2020). The charming, erudite, gracious and lovely Parsons is dressed in a top hat, like a proper gent. But the boy from Grantham could only dream of such a rank. True-born gentlemen of honour, like Prince Andrew, get titles, palaces and billionaire pals. The rest of us can only pretend.

Posted: 29th, January 2020 | In: News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment

Let’s swap Prince Andrew and Anne Sacoolas

Prince Andrew is “too honourable”. We know this because he told us so during a televised interview with the BBC on his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein (now dead). Since that televised coach crash, Randy Andy might have imagined the story would go away, blown off the news cycle by bigger events: Brexit, Meghan Markle’s seaplane, a killer virus in China. But it didn’t. And now the ambulatory advert for a republic has been called out by lawyers in New York City as having provided “zero co-operation” to an inquiry into the rotting sex offender.

Epstein was not killed. As the BBC states: “Convicted US sex offender Epstein took his own life in a jail cell in August, aged 66, while awaiting trial on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges.” Fact. A billionaire who abused underage girls and hung out with the super-entitled, super-rich suddenly ended it all alone in a jail cell. No guards saw it. No CCTV recorded it. It just happened. Barbara Sampson, New York’s chief medical examiner, says she stood “firmly behind our determination of the cause and manner of death for Mr Epstein”.

Kicking over the dead body, the piles of cash and the abused women is attorney Geoffrey Berman, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. He says the FBI and his office had requested to interview Andrew as part of their inquiry into Epstein’s crimes, but “to date, Prince Andrew has provided zero co-operation”. Maybe they’ll have more luck making Epstein talk?

Maybe the US can extradite Andrew? This country is interested in Anne Sacoolas, a suspect in the death of Harry Dunn. So far the US has refused to extradite her. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Home Secretary Priti Patel and PM Boris Johnson have all criticised the US decision to reject the request for Anne Sacoolas to return to the UK. Mr Johnson’s spokesman tells media: “We believe that this is a denial of justice and the individual concerned should return to the UK.”

anne sacoolas

So how about they get Andrew and we get Sacoolas – one national embarrassment for another? The Americans can turn it into a TV event. And we can sleep easy knowing America respects out laws, investigates the suspicious deaths of our citizens, whether it be by drone or car.

Posted: 28th, January 2020 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment

Aviva treats every customer just like ‘Michael’

Aviva typing pool

Cheap words at insurer Aviva, which undid the pretence that letters are tailored to each individual customer by addressing thousands of missives to just one: ‘Michael’.

The boss doesn’t sit on a big chair dictating a new letter for each customer. Someone in marketing simply cooks one up and a machine guffs them out. Aviva tells us: “We sent out some emails to existing customers, which, as a result of a temporary technical error in our mailing template, mistakenly referred to customers as ‘Michael’.”

We tell them it’s time to bring back the typing pool.

Posted: 28th, January 2020 | In: Money, News, The Consumer | Comment

Black activist cropped from Greta Thunberg Davos photoshoot

Vanessa Nakate,

If Greta Thunberg was black, would the world’s media prick up its ear when she spoke? It’s not what she says, but that the white, blonde from Sweden is saying it. Time to meet Vanessa Nakate, a 23-year-old climate activist from Uganda who like Greta has been at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

On Friday, Vanessa was at the Fridays for Future protest in the rarified Swiss town. Big media covered the event. And when the Associated Press portrait of the young activists hit the newswires, Vanessa was noticeable by her absence. The four white girls stayed in the picture, each looking a bit miserable and concerned. It might be modelling shoot for some mid-market brand. To the side, the smiling black girl, the young woman from lands the West presents as places to nurture, control and save, is gone.

Says Vanessa: “I cried because it was so sad not just that it was racist, I was sad because of the people from Africa. It showed how we are valued. It hurt me a lot. It is the worst thing I have ever seen in my life.”

She’s right, isn’t she. Climate change activism looks a lot like colonialism. We know best. We must save them. Their job is to provide the noble cause. And if they’re really lucky, maybe a TV celebrity will come and adopt them and fly them to a place where the knowing really understand what’s going on …

Posted: 25th, January 2020 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment

28 animals you can eat at China’s Wuhan Market

These are the 28 animals identified by the South China Morning Post for sale at the Huanan (Wuhan) market in China. Many animals do not feature. And the thinking is why not? If you can eat camel and donkey, why not llama or flamingo? And are Hoxton’s hipsters lagging, sticking to ostrich, emu and crocodile when those food-forward Chinese are dining on Asian badger, otter and scorpion? As the West weeps over footage of the burnt Australian wildlife, are Chinese sympathies fogged by the scent of roast koala?

bat soup
Best served accompanied by a young Robin with a Penguin chaser

Some science suggests the coronavirus spreading in China started in bats served at the aforementioned Wuhan market. Analysis shows the virus’s genetic makeup is 96% identical to that of a coronavirus found in bats. “I would be very surprised if this were a snake virus,” says Timothy Sheahan, a virologist at the University of North Carolina. Bats were also the ultimate source of SARS, scientists believe.

bat soup
Apple News

“evil! Chinese eat bat – movie exposure, ” says a headline to an Apple News story shared by the Daily Mail. The video features a woman eating bat soup. Why eating bat should be evil and, say, eating newborn lamb the stuff of daytime telly cooking shows and Easter treats is moot, moreover eating kangaroo testicles for slots of entertainment dished up between ads for insurance, holidays and mobile phones?

But war with the bats has begun. And you need to pick sides. (I’ll have a side of chicken wings and foie gras.)

Posted: 24th, January 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, The Consumer | Comment

Microblading gives woman felt tip-style eyebrows


To Kalamazoo, Michigan, where Shannon Bozell has paid $350 for an eyebrow ‘improvement’ process called microblading. She alleges Anne Hicks, salon owner and microblading artist, didn’t do such a great job. Hicks says she a professional and offered to do extra work on them.

“I went from having zero eyebrows to having these monster eyebrows, and it’s hard to swallow,” says Bozell. “They’re big caterpillar eyebrows that don’t fit my face.”

Which begs the questions: whose face would they fit? And can they be hired out?

Spotter: CBS Austin

Posted: 22nd, January 2020 | In: News, Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment

Brenda from Waddington solves global warming

Brenda from Waddington solves global warming

Brenda from Waddington, Lincolnshire is 89. She knows what caused global warming: space travel.

Spotter: @angrypiln

Posted: 19th, January 2020 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment

Marcus Wareing ‘loses’ £2m in home heist

How to serve up news that TV chef Marcus Wareing’s home was burgled? The Mail makes it about foreigners. “Gem raiders fly in from Chile to ransack TV chef’s £7m homes,” thunders the headline across pages 4 and 5. We see the “cruel burglary tourists who bring misery to British victims”. The Mail says men traveling from Chile to the UK to commit crime has “shown no let up”. No figures are given as to how many people this involves. But the Mail cites two cases. Might it be that Chilean gangs we read of are getting away with it – or not all the active?

As the chart above show, Chile isn’t in the top 10 of countries supplying felons to UK prisons. Albania is top. It has a population of under 3m. Chile’s population is around 18m.

As for other facts, well over in the Star, Wareing was robbed of goods to the value of £33,000 from his “£5m” home. Yeah – the home has gone down in value by a whopping £2m.

As for the capture, the Met reports:

On Tuesday, 15 October, officers from Surrey police on patrol in Linkfield Lane, Redhill discovered the vehicle and stopped it.

The occupants – Carvajal-Donaire, Portilla-Astorga, Donoso and Rojas – were all arrested on suspicion of burglary and going equipped to steal after officers found gloves, torches, a screwdriver and a glass-breaker.

All four were taken into custody and officers from the South West Command Unit informed.

As officers investigated, they discovered a number of photographs advertising jewellery for sale – these included items stolen during the burglary on 11 October.

A photograph of Carvajal-Donaire and Portilla-Astorga was located which showed them wearing stolen items, while officers would also discover that Rojas was wearing a distinctive necklace, stolen during the same burglary, at the time of his arrest.

All four will be deported once their sentence has been served.

Posted: 16th, January 2020 | In: News | Comment

Wolverhampton measuring stick challenges global warming stats

climate change wolverhampton

The UK Met Office says that 2019 was the second warmest in a record dating back to 1850. The Met says 2020 will be warmer still. The news came via a press release. NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) got their figures from scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.

You can read more about the data and how it was interpreted at the link above. As the Express and Star reports, one reader in Wolverhampton want to see the measuring sticks,

Spotter: APILN

Posted: 16th, January 2020 | In: News | Comment

Sex toy mishap at Bongo’s Bingo rips out woman’s eyelashes

eyelashes sex toy

Eyes down for news from Newcastle. The headline in the local Chronicle: “Woman’s eyelashes ripped out after sex toy hits her at Bongo’s Bingo in Newcastle.” Says Tegan Denham on twitter:

“You actually couldn’t write my life, tonight I went to Bongo’s Bingo and got hit in the face with a double ended dildo and it took a full lashes work of extensions off. What. The. Heck.”

One for the family album. Wye-eye!

Posted: 15th, January 2020 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment

Sheffield University hires students to work as thought police

“Getting a job whilst at University is a great way to gain work experience and develop your employability skills,” says the University of Sheffield. So hands up which 20 students want to earn £9.34 per hour policing your peers?

The University of Sheffield will pay students to face down “microaggressions”. Come again? Tsk! Ignorance is no excuse. The university tells us they are “subtle but offensive comments”.

To help you understand better how you unwittingly caused offence and are at heart a racist, the job description features these examples of phrases that mark you out as bad:

“Stop making everything a race issue”
“Why are you searching for things to be offended about?”
“Where are you really from?”
“I don’t want to hear about your holiday to South Africa. It’s nowhere near where I’m from”
“Being compared to black celebrities that I look nothing like”

Telling on or correcting people who use such phrase will be “opening up a conversation”. Presumably, the 20 race champions will have to eavesdrop on chatter, have remarkably good hearing and be blessed with the right kind of thoughts.

It’s pretty easy to see what could go wrong. A misheard word, the nark’s own prejudices, or a comment taken out of context could create problems. Better no-one speaks. And if you could all curtail your sex lives to watching porn alone, so much the better. Here’s to a brighter tomorrow!

Posted: 15th, January 2020 | In: News | Comment

God bless Victoria Agoglia : Charlene Downes is still missing

Victoria Agoglia

So now we know. The BBC puts it well: “Social workers investigating child sex exploitation in Manchester knew children were suffering ‘the most profound abuse… but did not protect them’.” Why not? And where is Charlene Downes, the teenager who vanished in Blackpool?

After a child’s death in 2003, police identified at least 97 “predominantly Asian” suspects, but “very few” faced justice, the independent review found. The police operation was “prematurely closed down” after senior officers decided to “remove resources”, it said.

We only know about this because the media got involved. Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham commissioned the report after the BBC broadcast The Betrayed Girls in 2017. The show shone a light on Victoria Agoglia. The teenager was placed in the case of Manchester City Council after her mother died. Victoria died after being injected with heroin by an”older Asian man”. Before she died, over the course of 18 months Victoria told adults in positions of trust that she was being abused, raped and plied with drugs by paedophiles. In 2004, a 50-year-old man was cleared of her manslaughter. He admitted two offences of injecting her with heroin and was jailed.

The Guardian reported on her death:

Manchester city council is investigating how Victoria Agoglia, known to her family and friends as Vicky Byrne, managed to run away from her care home and take the drug. She moved to a house on the outskirts of Rochdale in April with a team of residential care workers who were supervising her 24 hours a day. She absconded in the middle of last week, before she took the drug, and became ill on Saturday morning… Shortly after she was admitted to hospital, a man of 50 and a woman of 29 were arrested. They were released on police bail.

And what did the police do? Well, they looked busy. The GMP launched Operation Augusta. It would tackle “the sexual exploitation throughout a wide area of a significant number of children in the care system by predominantly Asian men”. It spotted at least 57 children “as potential victims” and up to 97 “persons of interest” involved in the crimes against them. They identified eight men who had gone on to commit rapes against children. And then they shut the thing down. The BBC notes, “one suspect vehicle uncovered in the initial investigation was linked to a GMP officer, who was later dismissed from the force.”

And what of the council? The Manchester Evening News wrote in 2007:

Simon Crabtree, representing Manchester City Council, said: “In the context of guidance there was nothing further the local authority could have done to prevent Vicky’s untimely demise … Vicky clearly was a child who by conventional standards behaved in a way in which many children and young people would not behave, and in a way which parents would not, or at least should not approve. However that does not make her an unworthy individual, quite the contrary, she had many redeeming qualities. She was not ‘bad’ but misguided in her youth”


Coroner Simon Nelson, giving a narrative verdict, said: “Vicky was a vulnerable young person who died of opiate intoxication following a lethal ingestion of heroin. The local authority should have properly anticipated Vicky Byrne’s propensity to abscond, abuse drugs and alcohol and mix with inappropriate people. However, no inference can be made that these events were foreseeable. Her death was not the result of a breach of the council’s protective duty.”

Police had received this note written by Victoria and “ignored” by police:

“I am only 13. I got the rest of my life ahead of me. I have slept with people older than me. Half of them I don’t even know there [sic] names.”

And get this from 2013:

Margaret Oliver, a former detective constable, quit the force in disgust over the way three separate inquiries into gangs of men having sex with underage girls were handled. In one instance, an aborted foetus from a 13-year-old abuse victim was kept in an evidence store after officers took it without the mother’s knowledge or consent. Officers established the identity of the father — a married Pakistani taxi driver in his thirties — through DNA evidence in February 2009 but did not charge him for almost two years. Oliver, who has been commended for her work during murder and gang crime inquiries and who worked on sex abuse investigations in 2004 and 2010, later broke the news to the 13-year-old and her mother that the foetus had been retained. She believes that hundreds of cases of alleged abuse were mishandled or ignored by Greater Manchester police (GMP).

This new report notes:

 “(Victoria’s) exposure to sexual exploitation by adult males was known to police and social services and, despite the risk of significant harm caused by the men who were sexually exploiting her, statutory child protection procedures, which should have been deployed to protect her, were not utilised and the strategies put in place to protect Victoria were wholly inadequate.”

Children are ignored. Poor children are seen as fair game and damned. We know some of what happened then. What’s happening now?

Posted: 14th, January 2020 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment

Paris Museums pushes 100,000 gorgeous images into the public domain

Paris Museums pushes 100,000 gorgeous images into the public domain

Paris Musées has made available 100,000 works of art. You an see them on their website. Fill your boots on the usual suspects – Rembrandt, Monet, Picasso, Cézanne – and thousands of lesser known artists.


Paris Musées is a public entity that oversees the 14 municipal museums of Paris, including the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Petit Palais, and the Catacombs.Users can download a file that contains a high definition (300 DPI) image, a document with details about the selected work, and a guide of best practices for using and citing the sources of the image.

“Making this data available guarantees that our digital files can be freely accessed and reused by anyone or everyone, without any technical, legal or financial restraints, whether for commercial use or not,” reads a press release shared by Paris Musées.

Spotter: Flashbak

Posted: 14th, January 2020 | In: News, The Consumer | Comment

US newspaper mistakes Iraq for Iran

herald-times iraq

The Herald-Times in Bloomington, Indiana, reported that Iraq had attacked US soldiers in the country. The apology was almost as swift as the attacks: “To our loyal and treasured print subscribers: We owe you this letter, and our deepest apologies for the error. A single character can make a huge difference.”

Posted: 14th, January 2020 | In: News | Comment

Naff Orf: papers react to Meghan and Harry meeting The Queen

The papers all lead with Harry and Meghan’s meeting with his grandma, the Queen. But what kind of picture will sum up the news that she says they can settle in Canada?

The Metro and Telegraph lead with an image of familial love. Although with Her Majesty’s “reluctance” to agree to the Sussex’s resignation to the fore, the Telegraph’s kiss has a Mafia feel.

harry meghan front -pages
harry meghan front -pages

The Sun shows a beaming Harry and Meghan waving us a cheerio – she turning her back on being an also-ran in the Princess Anne brood mare stakes; he eschewing the chance to be the next Prince Eddie or Andy. The Queen is stoic.

harry meghan front -pages

There are three people in this relationship – and only one of them is happy on the Express’s cover. Harry has the mien of a London estate agent wondering about his bonus; the Queen looks fierce; Meghan is chuffed to bits. The Guardian also shows only one of them smiling – Meghan.

The Mail can’t bare to look at the couple’s faces as they upset the matriarch. They can go. They are no longer relevant. And you can read about their irrelevancy over eight pages.

The Times opts for an image of Prince William’s chin and mouth. He is tight-lipped. “Defender,” says the legend on his car. Wills is the big winner here. Harry and Meghan can flog perfumes and a range of Canadian products: weed, syrup and wood. But it will be Wills who gets to see his head on coins and stamps in the coming years. He gets the real money.

harry meghan front -pages f

And the Star? It goes for three puns.

harry meghan front -pages f

Next up: will Meghan play herself in The Crown? And can a chocolate teapot ever really replace Harry?

Posted: 14th, January 2020 | In: Broadsheets, News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment

BBC shortchange women : Samira Ahmed wins £700,000 backpay

Hold your ire about what the Royals cost, and know that the BBC have been forced by law to hand one its presenters, Samira Ahmed, £700,000 in backpay in a discrimination equal pay case.

Ahmed (female; £440 per episode) claimed she was underpaid for hosting audience write-in show Newswatch when compared with Jeremy Vine (male; £3,000 per episode)) who earned shedloads more for hosting audience write-in show Points of View. The Beeb said he gets more because he’s more widely known and so gets picked to present a more widely-watched show.

The judgment ruled: “Her work on Newswatch was like Jeremy Vine’s work on Points of View under section 65(1) of the Equality Act 2010… [the BBC] has not shown that the difference in pay was because of a material factor which did not involve subjecting the claimant [Ahmed] to sex discrimination”.

The BBC goes on the record: “We’ll need to consider this judgment carefully. We know tribunals are never a pleasant experience for anyone involved. We want to work together with Samira to move on in a positive way.”

Or to put it another way: the BBC made her sweat, spunked a load of cash on lawyers and then lost. And you, the licence-fee payer, funded it. Now wait for Samira’s predecessor, a man, to ask for his backpay. And the rest of us can wonder why Vine was paid so much.

Posted: 10th, January 2020 | In: Money, News, TV & Radio | Comment

Prince Charles ‘incandescent with rag’ [sic] says Daily Mail as Harry and Meghan go full celebrity

By now you’ll be wondering what Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been up to. Well, after a six-week holiday (Canada) and resignation from the Family to become full-time celebrities, they’ve been upsetting Prince Charles and Prince William. The Mail reports that both are “incandescent with rag”. Which rag is not said. But let’s hope it’s not that one!

prince harry meghan markel  daily mail

Kate Middleton is 38.

Posted: 9th, January 2020 | In: News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment

So Long Meghan and Prince Harry – can you take Andrew and the Yorkies with you?

beatrice eugenie

Royals are lining up to replace The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who have announced they will step back as “senior” royals and work to become financially independent. It’s the moment the Yorks have been waiting for, surely.

Princess Eugenie cost us a few million in security when she married last year in a televised event. But Eugenie never gelled with the public. Prince Andrew honourably tried to promote his girls and keep the York torch burning by appearing on the BBC in a one-on-one interview. It had worked for Diana when she sat down to chat with Martin Bashir. But whereas Diana came across as likeable, abused and isolated, he came across as an entailed prig who’d been mates with a prolific paedophile.

Diana perished in a car crash. Andrew created a car crash of his own and tried to creep away unscathed.

Maybe Meghan Markle’s abdication from guest editing Vogue as a Royal to guest editing Vogue as a celebrity, becoming the kind of Hollywood star Liz Hurley pretends to be as Harry demures and self-deprecates at her side, can provide the distraction Andrew needs to get away and push his kids and brand to the fore?

The Mail has 17 pages on Harry and Meghan’s decision to do what those in the know call “not the done thing”. People who know what done things are include: anyone who says “gels”; anyone who can recognise a horse from a pony; anyone who knows which spoon is proper to scoop out a serving wench’s foetus. The rest of us wonder why any one of these minted toffs are on the public payroll and if the Sussex’s pile we paid a couple of million quid to do up will now provide shelter for the homeless?

Meanwhile, what of Princess Beatrice, the other Yorkie, notable until now for having once worn a hat modelled on a vampire quid’s entrails, eating a pizza and, well, anyone got anything else? But worry not because Beatrice’s story is to swell. She is to marry a property developer. Neither the BBC nor ITV plan to broadcast the wedding live. But in this busy media landscape they’re not all, and any one of Netflix, Amazon or Dave could step in and fill the void between reruns of Cash in the Attic.

Farewell, then, Meghan and Harry. Your leaving is a new beginning for the Royal Family. And if you can take the rest of the hanger-ones and freeloaders with you, perhaps as part of a US trade deal with the post-Brexit UK, we’ll consider the chlorinated chicken a fair exchange for Princess Michael of Kent.

Posted: 9th, January 2020 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Royal Family | Comment