News | Anorak - Part 8

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FASCIST! Spiked wrongly accused of being part of a ‘broad trend towards (far) right-wing politics’

Indy Nazis SPiked

No. Spiked magazine is not part of a “broad trend towards (far) right wing politics”. If you believe it is, you don’t understand what far-right wing politics is. Nazism isn’t about allowing everyone to speak and to be heard, championing free speech with no ‘buts’ and respect for the individual. Nazism champions fear. It is the opposite of courage, a moral force we should value most.

And on Spiked, open discussion rules. So can we talk about the lockdown? It invites a myriad questions, perhaps the biggest for many of us being when schools and colleges will reopen? But the Independent used Spiked!, a magazine I know well, to illustrate the rise of how the “libertarian right” are getting it wrong over Covid-19. The article notes:

With his contrarianism and pseudo-radicalism, as if a global pandemic was nothing but another opportunity to exploit, Brendan O’Neill, editor of Spiked!, condemned the closing of pubs and called for “Dissent in a time of Covid”, criticising the “chilling” and “dangerous” “witch-hunting of those who criticise the response to coronavirus”. This led to a backlash from mainstream commentators and even his fellow travellers.

O’Neill and Spiked! are only marginal examples of this reaction – albeit with disproportionate access to popular platforms and attention – operating as part of a broader trend towards (far) right-wing politics.

Brendan wasn’t having it. He wrote this to his followers on Facebook:

So, here's a story for our times…. I hope you will take the time to read it.A couple of weeks ago, the Independent…

Posted by Brendan O'Neill on Friday, 8 May 2020

Posted: 8th, May 2020 | In: News | Comment

Dumb Coronavirus lockdown question of the day: why are DIY shops open and not museums?

Simon Jenkins Covid-19

Simon Jenkins has a question for Guardian readers. There are many question about the Covid-19 pandemic – when will there be a cure?; will there be a cure?; if you survive it are you immune? – and governments’ reaction to is – is total lockdown right?; should more countries have followed Sweden’s model?; is China lying?. But he wants to know: “Why can I visit a DIY shop but not a museum?” Opening DIY stores and not museums is evidence, he reasons, that lockdown is failing. The simple answer to his puzzler is: because you can’t fix a leak with a statue.

Says Simon Jenkins:

Why can I crowd Oxford’s supermarkets but not its Ashmolean Museum? Why are people trusted to “socially distance” in a DIY shop but not in a garden centre or a National Trust park? My local hardware store can sell from its front door, but not my local pub.

Well, a pub is not an off licence. See here. And a visit to the Ashmolean is not comparable to buying food to survive, even if the cafe is open (which it isn’t). Also: you can look at statues and stuff online and get some kind of mental sustenance, but pictures of food will not supply the necessary vitamins and nutrients.

Posted: 8th, May 2020 | In: News | Comment

Warning: you may find Tara Reade upsetting

Tara Reade sex biden

Tara Reade claims US Presidential hopeful Joe Biden sexually assaulted her. Biden, the Democrat Party’s candidate to take on Donald Trump in the next Presidential election, is accused of pushing Mr Reade against a wall and penetrating her with his finger. That was 1993, when she was employed as a staff assistant to Mr Biden when he was a senator for the US state of Delaware. Several women have accused Biden of unwanted touching.

“So, he had one hand underneath my shirt, and the other had, I had a skirt on,” she says “and he went down my skirt and then went up and I remember I was up almost on my tippy toes. When he went inside the skirt, he was talking to me at the same time, and he was leaning into me and I pulled this way away from his head. He looked at me and said, ‘What the hell, man, I heard you liked me’… He pointed his finger at me and he said ‘You’re nothing to me. You’re nothing’.”

Biden says “It never happened”. Someone’s lying. Who do you believe? Biden wants you to make a judgement. This is his own statement from 2018 about Christine Blasey Ford’s claim that Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s nomination to the Supreme Court, sexually assaulted her more than three decades earlier: “For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of focus nationally, you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she is talking about is real, whether or not she forgets the facts, whether or not it’s been made worse or better over time.”

The BBC selects an interesting photo to illustrate the story and issues a warning: “WARNING: Some readers may find details of this story upsetting.”

No warning appears on other BBC stories published today, such as:

West Mercia Police officer charged with rape

India rape: Six-year-old victim’s eyes damaged in attack

Princess Alexandra Hospital security guard charged with rape

Why does the story of a man who once said all women should be believed and called fighting violence against women “the passion of my life” being accused of sexual assault carry a warning when tales of child rape don’t? Is the warning for Biden’s fans who can’t grasp the idea that due process is for everyone, even for people you don’t like who brag about grabbing women’s genitals.

Posted: 8th, May 2020 | In: News | Comment

Professor Ferguson tests the theory: can sex with a married blonde cure coronavirus and end lockdown?

Prof Neil Ferguson

Prof Neil Ferguson was a government adviser on coronavirus. He helped the Prime Minister work out the coronavirus-controlling lockdown campaign. The Sun calls him the “scientist who sent Britain into lockdown”. Unless we adhered to the lockdown rules, his warning was that as many as 500,000 (Telegraph) or 250,000 (BBC) of us could die from Covid-19. Drastic action was needed. And we were all in it together. But then the expert who judged it all fell victim to an “error of judgement”. What did he do? The headlines tell us all:

Prof Neil Ferguson

Prof Ferguson regrets “undermining” the messages on social distancing by reportedly hooking up with a married woman called – get this for nominative determinism – Antonia Staats. Indeed, what maths bod can resist Staats?

The Sun says, “Ms Staats and her husband live together with their two children in a £1.9million home but are understood to be in an open marriage”. She reportedly visited her lover twice during lockdown:

Her first visit, on March 30, coincided with a public warning by Prof Ferguson the lockdown measures would need to stay in place until June.

She made a second trip on April 8 despite telling friends she suspected her husband – an academic in his thirties – had coronavirus symptoms.

“I accept I made an error of judgement and took the wrong course of action,” says the expert who told us all to stay on or else, and was listened to by a PM who has a history of extra-marital shagging. “I have therefore stepped back from my involvement in Sage [Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies – do they think of the acronym then find the words?]. I acted in the belief that I was immune, having tested positive for coronavirus and completely isolated myself for almost two weeks after developing symptoms. I deeply regret any undermining of the clear messages around the continued need for social distancing.”

Focus on the blonde Antonia Staats in the Mail – Prof gets second billing in his own story
Antonia Staats
Ferguson and Antonia ‘Vital’ Staats

Prof Neil added that the government advice on social distancing is “unequivocal”, adding that it was there “to protect all of us”.

Unless, of course, you fancy a shag, in which case, wear full PPE.

Posted: 6th, May 2020 | In: News | Comment

Buzzfeed v Financial Times: culture clash exposed by Zoom spying story

Mark Di Stefano was media and tech correspondent at the Financial Times. That’s a great news beat. Media writing about media is pretty fun. And media loves reading about media. It’s a beat that gets your name known among your peers. But he blew it. Last Friday the Australian journalist tweeted: “Hi, letting everyone know today was my last day at the FT. This afternoon I offered my resignation. Thank you everyone who has given support. I’m now going to take some time away and log off x.” What he did is a tale best told by the Independent, one of the two publications he upset (the other being its sister organ The Evening Standard):

Mark Di Stefano, media and technology correspondent for the FT, listened in as staff at The Independent were told of pay cuts and furloughs on 23 April in response to the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. Before the call had concluded, and before staff employed in America and elsewhere had been told the news, Di Stefano tweeted the details. Shortly afterwards he published an article on the Financial Times website, revealing confidential information about the advertising downturn experienced at The Independent and quoting the company’s chief executive, Zach Leonard. He attributed the information to “people on the call”.

The FT apologised for one of their own breaking their rules. The FT’s code of conduct states:

“The press must not seek to obtain or publish material acquired by … intercepting private or mobile telephone calls, messages or emails. Engaging in misrepresentation or subterfuge … can generally be justified only in the public interest and then only when the material cannot be obtained by other means.”

Entertainment reporter Peter Ford is quoted in Media Week:

“Hope you learn from this. You’ve orchestrated campaigns against many people, including myself, in the past. You’ve encouraged pile-ons and a cancel culture against anyone you consider ‘conservative leaning’. Despite this I hope in time you bounce back as you’re clearly not a fool.”

It’s worthwhile looking at a few words on Di Stefano’s training and readiness for the role:

His remit at BuzzFeed in 2014? “Simon [founding editor Simon Crerar] said just break news.” His title was breaking news reporter. Looking back at those years, he said: “I had no idea what to do. I tweeted a lot and chased the biggest story of the day. For the first year and a half I wrote up any story I could find and then I was appointed political editor.”

And then he joined the FT, working with Janine Gibson, who he’d worked with when they were both at Buzzfeed:

I networked as much as I could taking people out for coffees and drinks. I realised the way to be a reporter in 2020 hasn’t changed that much – it’s all about who you know, having mobile phone numbers and being able to call and text message sources. Old school reporting techniques make for the best stories.”

Journalism can’t be about anything is fair game if you can gain access to it. The editor of The Independent Christian Broughton goes on the record:

“We respect freedom of speech and understand the challenges of newsgathering, but The Independent considers the presence of a third-party journalist in a staff briefing to be entirely inappropriate and an unwarranted intrusion into our employees’ privacy. Our spokesperson had a full statement prepared for the press – any interested reporters only needed to call and ask.”

It wasn’t a scoop. It was just a journalist breaking a press embargo in a rush to yell ‘first’.

Posted: 5th, May 2020 | In: News | Comment

Clap for the NHS with Nigel Farage

NHS Farage

Every Thursday since (how long has it been now?) people have been coming onto the street to clap for the NHS. If you can’t clap, either download the Clapp App (TM) or bang a spoon on your saucepan or tin hat. And, as in Stalin’s Russia, no-one wants to be the first to stop clapping. Everyone’s doing in. Here’s Nigel Farage:

Anyone know what he’s tapping out in Morse Code?

Posted: 1st, May 2020 | In: Celebrities, News | Comment

British newspapers marks Hitler’s death with bizarre tribute

Adolf Hitler died on April 30 1945. The Independent newspaper seems to want to thank the German leader for doing his bit to end World War 2. The headline marking 75 years since the genocidal, mass murderer’s death chimes: “How Hitler met his death 75 years ago and brought the Second World War and brought the Second World War to a close.”

Hitler death independent

Not all bad, then, right?

On 20 April, Adolf Hitler made his final appearance above ground as he emerged from the sanctuary that had become his prison to hand out the Iron Cross to members of the Hitler Youth, among the devastated remains of what had been the Chancellery’s garden.

It was his 56th birthday and the last time he would feel the brush of sunlight against his cheek.

Aw. Shucks!

On 23 April, Eva Braun wrote to her sister Gretl, sending gifts of coffee and tinned food for their parents and giving instructions for the disposal of her gold and diamond watches, photograph albums and her love letters.

You want more? You should see what he did for gender equality:

On his last morning on earth, a pallid Hitler is said by biographer Hans-Otto Meissner to have greeted Magda Goebbels, the Nazi Party’s unofficial “first lady”, by taking the gold party insignia from his grey overcoat and fastening it to her lapel with trembling hands, prompting her to burst into tears at the honour. It was the highest recognition ever awarded to a woman by the Third Reich.

Adolf Hitler – gave his life to end the war. Whaddaguy! Such are the facts.

Posted: 1st, May 2020 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment

Boris Johnson’s daughter in Prada headband storm

Laura Johnson Boris

When they invented prime ministers, they also created Prime Ministers’ children. Unlike the SADDOS (sons and daughters of stars) who can mime, pose and pout in their instagram branded knickers as they work on their celebrity status, the politicians’ kids can either join the Party or find their own way. Carol Thatcher went into Golliwogs, for her brother Mark it was Africa, and Euan Blair went into the boozer and then vomited over Leicester Square. Lara Walker-Johnson went to Oxfordshire and bought a Prada headband. We know all about her purchase because Laura wrote about for Vogue magazine in a story entitled How Time-travelling To My Teen Wardrobe Helped Me Understand Who I Am Today. It’s the kind of vapid tosh made to reassure the unconvinced that minted toff Meghan Markle’s editing of the expensive magazine that advertises expensive things was not a seismic moment in race relations.

“I’m trying my best not to buy more clothes right now, uncertain about future financial prospects and conscious it isn’t the time to splurge,” says Lara in Oxfordshire. The posh always name the county they’re visiting not the village or town. A town has windows, public transport and numbered doors. A county has sprawling mansions, bridle paths and land. “But, I must confess, I did buy two headbands,” she adds, “one black and fluffy, from Shrimps, and one pink and from Prada – that I’ve been drooling over for months.”

The critics some fast. “Lara who, according to her website, is a fashion writer,” snipes one writer, adding: “I have no idea what her future financial prospects are, but her recent accessories acquisitions make me think that she’ll be okay.” The mind boggles to think what the backstory will do to the bands’ resale value. “In a moment when economic inequality, globally, and in the U.K., has never been more conspicuous – and when so many peoples’ lives are in her father’s hands – I might have kept this confession to myself.”

Two headbands in and Boris Johnson is King Herod.

In the Daily Mirror, Lara’s purchases are given no lesser importance: “Meanwhile, more than 100 NHS and care staff have died after testing positive for COVID-19 – as keyworkers beg the government for more vital PPE to protect themselves on the frontline.”

Meanwhile is the literary split screen. There’s Lara shopping online for fancy goods and a fashion philosophy while below her the huddled masses look up beseechingly and wonder if all this coverage of to-die-for Prada headbands means Lara will never need buy one again, and if they make face masks?

Posted: 29th, April 2020 | In: Celebrities, Fashion, News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment

Full spin ahead: Biased media covers the PM’s coronavirus update

Boris Johnson coronavirus

Can you spin the coronavirus to make a story favourable to your own political agenda? As James Ball (@jamesrbuk) puts it: ‘Half of twitter’s idea of a good question to Number 10: “How many more people will you murder for the profit of your donors, Boris Johnson.” Other half: “Do you have a message for a grateful nation, oh heroic prime minister?”’

Most of the papers lead on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plans for the next stage of the UK’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, ones he outlined in his first televised statement since recovering from Covid-19. The Times listens to the latest briefing and says the PM will reveal a “limited” set of changes to the lockdown “within days”. Plans include allowing shops selling “not-essential” items to reopen, it says, although schools will stay closed until June.

The Daily Mirror says that after more than four weeks of being indoors, people have been given some hope over a return to normality. “Not much longer”, is the paper’s front page headline. The i headline says there’s “hope in sight”. The BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg writes: “Boris Johnson’s statement at the lectern this morning was a request to the public to be patient, to keep going, to hold firm through the frustrations of living life mainly behind closed doors for a while longer.

Or as the Telegraph puts it:

Thankfully you can hear Johnson not saying ‘it’s time to fire up the engines’ without the Daily Telegraph’s filter:

Such are the facts.

Posted: 28th, April 2020 | In: News, Politicians | Comment

Gotcha journalism – Priti Patel out of context: shoplifting down on last year

biased journalism priti patel

All these televised briefings from our top politicians tell us one thing: we see too much of them and the journalist gets the answers their Gotcha! style of questioning deserves. Her; Home Secretary Priti Patels talking about crime:

The conceit is that Priti Patel is so thick or conniving she can’t link that shops are shut with reduced theft from shops. Thankfully, people on twitter can expose the madness by clipping part of her address to fit a tweet and holding it up for ridicule.

What Patel said was about how the forces of law and order are cracking down on crime in these “unprecedented times”. “Any criminal seeking to exploit this virus for their own gain, our outstanding police and law enforcement agencies are absolutely on to you., ” she said. She went on to talk about drugs seizures and child abuse.

New European bias

The New European newspapers isn’t listening. The paper set up to block Brexit is so desperate to mock Brexiteer Patel that it mangles her message to fit its agenda, sniping: “Priti Patel ridiculed after announcing ‘shoplifting is down’ compared to year before.” No word in the paper’s report about child abuse nor Class-A drugs. No word on how the reduced shoplifting might just be used to show the affect the lockdown is having on another aspect of our lives. Just partisan reporting designed to end with the sign off, ‘Gotcha!’

Posted: 26th, April 2020 | In: News, Politicians | Comment

Tory councillor in hot cross bun swastika row

Tory councillor Portsmouth hot cross buns swastika

Usually a hot cross bun is embossed with a cross, to symbolise Christianity. English folklore says that buns baked and served on Good Friday will not spoil or grow mouldy during the subsequent year. Supermarkets offer non-believers a sell-by date printed on their ready-to-eat buns. They do not feature the words ‘SEX’ or ‘FUCK’, the flag of Scots nationalist nor a Swastika. Doing so would mean them no longer being hot cross buns, rather Swear Buns, SNP Buns or National Socialism Buns.

Tory councillor Lee Mason, a former Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, has been removed from his party while bun investigators look into his tray of home-baked buns which featured in a Snapchat post “leaked” to Portsmouth’s local paper, The News. Mr Mason denies baking any bun with a swastika on it. He suggests the image of the Swastika bun may have been altered, and we note that whoever made it or don’t make it has the arms pointing anticlockwise, which as any caterer for Nazi-themed parties and weddings will tell you is the wrong way. He has however admitted to baking the other buns.

“I have not baked a bun with a Nazi symbol. You can see from the picture that is not a Nazi symbol,” Mr Mason tells Portsmouth News. “I baked some cakes, yes, but I haven’t done a Nazi symbol on any of them. And there’s no Nazi symbols there.”

The News tells readers that the “swastika-style emblem – similar to one used by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, whose party slaughtered millions of Jews during the Second World War – appeared to have been baked on a bun.”

A spokesman for a local Jewish group is upset. Another former Tory councillor named – get this – Jezz Baker says: “I’m a Pompey Jew, born and bred, and my hatred for swastikas is enormous. But if there is one person that is not anti-Semitic and has nothing Nazi about him whatsoever it’s Lee Mason.”

Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth South MP (Labour), puts the bun in context of the fight against racism, the Covid-19 pandemic and given time probably global warming. “At a time when our whole community is pulling together to support each other, anything suggesting the use of the most offensive of symbols is shockingly inappropriate and shameful,” he says. “If true, it may also breach the members’ code of conduct. It is only right that serious and legitimate concerns be reported to the city council under its complaints system for councillors.”

No word yet from victims of the Crusades, crucifixion nor Christian fundamentalists about why the cross is unsuited to cakes and anyone who serves such a symbol of persecution, idolatry and suffering with butter and jam deserves to rot in hell for all eternity.

Posted: 25th, April 2020 | In: News, Politicians, Strange But True | Comment

Liverpool finish first but don’t win Premier League title; Leicester, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United qualify for Champions League; Wolves, Sheffield United and Arsenal get Europa League

The Dutch have cancelled their domestic football season. And it’s bad news for Liverpool and very good news for Norwich and other teams facing relegation from the Premier League. There will no champion of the Eredivisie, the Netherlands’ top league. There will be no relegations. One option was to take an average of points scored so far and add them to games still to play. But that would have made no difference to the teams qualifying for the Champions League and Europa league, respectively. In the Premier League, it would – and it means Arsenal (currently in 9th spot) qualifying for the Europa League ahead of Spurs (8th).

Manchester City’s (2nd) ban from the European competition means Manchester United (5th) take their place in the Champions League, where they will be in the mix with Leicester City (3rd) and Chelsea (4th).

It is the most likely scenario. Already all football in England below the three divisions that make up the National League has ended and all results expunged.

It’s time for the upper tiers to follow suit and present a clear path ahead. The Dutch have set the agenda – and it’s the right one.

Posted: 24th, April 2020 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, manchester united, News, Sports, Spurs | Comment

Nicotine to fight Covid-19 – study says smokers have reduced risk of catching coronavirus

Can it really be that smoking tobacco, inhaling all that nicotine, reduces the risk of catching Covdi-19? Can smoking tobacco prevent really you from getting this hideous respiratory disease? A French suggests it’s true. Maybe.

A team at Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris questioned 480 patients who tested positive for the coronavirus. Of the 350 ill enough to have been to warrant a prolonged stay in hospital – median age: 65 – just 4.4% were regular smokers. For those released home – median age: 44 – 5.3% smoked. But around 25% of French people are smokers. So either those with Covid-19 are liars – you told the insurance company you don’t smoke, right? – or maybe smoking is good for you?

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine at the end of March said that only 12.6% of 1,000 patients were smokers, a figure that was significantly lower than expected. Some 28% of people in China are smokers.

French neurobiologist Jean-Pierre Changeux thinks nicotine might stop the virus from reaching cells in the body preventing its spread. Nicotine may also lessen the overreaction of the body’s immune system that has been found in the most severe cases of Covid-19 infection. To test the theory, frontline health workers, and hospital patients with the Covid-19 virus will be slapped with nicotine patches.

“Our cross-sectional study strongly suggests that those who smoke every day are much less likely to develop a symptomatic or severe infection with Sars-CoV-2 compared with the general population,” say the Pitié-Salpêtrière researchers. “The effect is significant. It divides the risk by five for ambulatory patients and by four for those admitted to hospital. We rarely see this in medicine.”

Meanwhile: emphysema.

Posted: 23rd, April 2020 | In: News | Comment

Kick It Out: Newcastle United’s Saudi Arabia money is perfect for the greedy, moralising Premier League

Newcastle United: Saudi Arabia money  is perfect for the greedy, moralising Premier League

The latest plot to make Newcastle United winners is under attack. beIn Sports wants the Premier League to stop Newcastle’s proposed £300million takeover from a Saudi Arabia-led consortium. The prospective buyers have funds from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund – money controlled by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Qatar media network beIN SPORTS has an exclusive deal to broadcast all Premier League football matches in the Middle East and North Africa for the three seasons 2019/20-2021/22. “Nothing brings people together and excites passions and emotions like sport; particularly football,” guffed beIn’s spots chairman as the £400m deal was signed. But sport can only do so much. The hand of friendship can be cut off at the wrist. The two countries are not on the best of terms:

Since 2017 Qatar has been subject to a boycott by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt (the Arab Quartet), creating a deep rift in a region already beset by civil wars and insurgencies

CityAm explains:

BeIN is locked in a bitter dispute with illegal Saudi-backed broadcaster BeoutQ, which it has accused of pirating its coverage of Premier League fixtures.

“In light of the Saudi Arabia government’s facilitation of the near three-year theft of the Premier League’s commercial rights — and in turn your club’s commercial revenues — through its backing of the huge scale BeoutQ pirate service, I would strongly suggest that you fully interrogate this deal, and ask the Premier League to do the same, as a matter of urgency,” al-Obaidly wrote.

“It is no exaggeration to say that the future economic model of football is at stake,” he added.

Pick a side: Qatar or Saudi Arabia? And don’t forget to pull on your rainbow laces. This is what Human Rights Watch says of each bastion of the beautiful game:

Qatari laws continue to discriminate against women, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals

The Premier League says: “The Premier League, proudly stand alongside Stonewall in promoting equality and diversity… we ask that all fans support LGBT people in football and beyond by making them feel welcome.”

Premier LEague kick it out

Saudi Arabia faced unprecedented international criticism in 2019 for its human rights record, including continuing repression of dissidents and activists and the failure to provide accountability for the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents in October 2018. Amid the criticism, Saudi authorities announced landmark reforms for Saudi women that, if fully implemented, represent a significant step forward, including allowing Saudi women over 21 years old to obtain passports and travel abroad without male guardian permission for the first time. However, women’s rights activists still remained in prison or on trial for their activism. In 2019, Saudi Arabia carried out 184 executions, 84 for non-violent drug crimes. Through 2019, the Saudi-led coalition continued a military campaign against the Houthi rebel group in Yemen that has included scores of unlawful airstrikes that have killed and wounded thousands of civilians.

Racism and sexism are the norm in Saudi Arabia. The moralising PL must be shocked. It support Kick It Out, stating:

The Premier League is making it clear there is No Room For Racism as we continue to work with all our clubs, fans, the FA, EFL, PFA, Kick It Out and the police to tackle discrimination across all areas of football.

The League’s No Room for Racism campaign demonstrates its continued commitment to equality and diversity, using the power and popularity of the League to oppose racism in football.

Racism is not acceptable in our competition or the wider sport.

The Saudi and Qataris are just the sort of people, then, that our moralising Premier League can do business with. Time for the PL to make a tough decision and stop using football to teach the fans how to think.

Posted: 23rd, April 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Sports | Comment

Newspaper editor begs to be on Harry and Meghan’s censorship list

Now that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have banned tabloid newspapers and the wrong kind of readers from keeping up to date with their wokeness, branding (Archie of Archewell) and trips to Sicily (mode of travel: barefoot), Vancouver (seaplane), the south of France (Rocket Man), Davos (hot air), and Los Angeles (flying yoga mat), journalists on other titles look on with envy. Why can’t Harry and Meghan ban us from receiving press releases about their lives and elitism, they wail. Former Daily Telegraph editor Charles Moore has issued such a plea.

Posted: 22nd, April 2020 | In: News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment

Covid-19 dies naturally after 70s days – lockdown is useless


Israel’s Health Ministry supported the country’s lockdown to fight Covid-19. But academic Isaac Ben-Israel says it mattered not. He reasons that Covid-19 runs to a pattern. Ben-Israel, chairman of the National Council for Research and Development, looked at the data and discovered that Covid-19 outbreaks peak after about 40 days and decline to almost zero after 70 days.

“Our analysis shows that this is a constant pattern across countries. Surprisingly, this pattern is common in countries that have taken a severe lockdown, including the paralysis of the economy, as well as to countries that implemented a far more lenient policy and have continued in ordinary life,” Ben-Israel wrote in a study published April 16.

So let’s get back to work and school…

Image: Towards Data Science

Posted: 22nd, April 2020 | In: News | Comment

RyanAir sent this greedy email to customers who asked for a refund for flights cancelled over Covid-19

RyanAir have found a new way to make life harder for the poor sods who pay the airline money. If your flight was cancelled due to Covid-19, you were offered a full refund. Just go the RyanAir website, punch in your details and the refund would be yours. Or not. Because RyanAir has ignored its own refund option and instead issued vouchers. Here’s their mealy-mouthed email in full. Bear in mind they have your money in their bank account and did not deliver the goods or services you paid for. In short: you RyanAir customers have all become investors in RyanAir.

Ryanair Group Customer Care (Ryanair DAC, Lauda & Malta Air)

Our Ref: ********

Dear Customer,

Over the past months the spread of the Covid-19 virus has caused many EU governments to impose flight and/or travel bans which grounded over 99% of Ryanair’s flights. We are doing everything we can to support our customers, our people and protect jobs. We are ready to return flying when Covid-19 is defeated, hopefully sooner rather than later.

We regret that these Government travel restrictions have forced the cancellation of your Ryanair flight(s) under booking reference:: *******.

Please see below details of your travel voucher for ****.**GBP, the full value of your unused booking. This amount can be used for the purchase of Ryanair flights and other services at any time over the next 12 months. It is simple to use this voucher when making a booking on the Ryanair website or app.

Click on the below link to accept your voucher.

Voucher Name:   ***** ********
Voucher Number:   ****************
Voucher Value:   ****.**GBP
Voucher Expiry Date:   20/April/2021
If you do not wish to accept this voucher option and wish to move your flight or request a refund, please click here to contact us. Please note that as our customer care agents are required to work from home to limit the spread of COVID-19 virus, payment security restrictions prevent us from processing refunds as quickly as we would like to.

We invite you to use your voucher to book your next trip and we look forward to seeing you again on a Ryanair flight in the near future. Passengers who made their bookings using travel agents, or on line travel agencies should contact these companies from where they purchased their tickets to find out more about their options.

Our priority always remains the health and well-being of our people and customers.

Yours sincerely,

Ryanair Group Customer Care (Ryanair DAC, Lauda & Malta Air)

You click the link NOT to accept their voucher and you get:

RyanAir voucher Covid-19

But I don’t want to use my voucher, you say. I want my money.

You scroll down the page looking for the bit about getting your refund.

RyanAir voucher Covid-19
RyanAir voucher Covid-19
RyanAir voucher Covid-19

And at the bottom of the page, finally you get news on the refund:

RyanAir voucher Covid-19

Can I receive a cash refund instead of voucher?

You can request a cash refund however bear in mind we will place your request in the cash refund queue until the COVID-19 emergency has passed. We highly recommend using the refund voucher as these are readily available and you can book flights on all Ryanair Group airlines in over 200 destinations in Europe and the Middle East.

But you already did request the refund.

A typical email from RyanAir from March 2020. You applied for the refund but didn’t get a refund. Instead you got offered a voucher with a 12 months expiration date.

But RyanAir says you still need to do it but now doesn’t tell you how to. But if you DM them on twitter of message them on Facebook you can at least log your details and ask for a refund.

RyanAir – finding news ways to make your life more difficult.

Posted: 21st, April 2020 | In: News | Comment

The contents of a UK Government coronavirus care package

The contents of a UK Government coronavirus care package

If they think you need it, the UK government send you a care package to keep you eating in the coronavirus crisis. The contents are:

1 loaf of white sliced bread

1 bag of apples

1 bag of small oranges

1 bag of potatoes

2 cartons of long life milk

1 roll of toilet tissue

2 tins of cooked peas

1 tin of hotdogs

3 tins of tomato soup

1 can of tuna

1 packet of porridge oats

1 tin of peaches

1 pouch of teabags

1 bag dried pasta

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 packet of digestive biscuits

2 tins of backed beans

1 pouch of dried coffee

2 jars of pasta sauce

1 vial of shampoo

1 bar of soap

Posted: 20th, April 2020 | In: News, The Consumer | Comment

Tabloid readers flock to buy Vogue for news of Harry and Meghan as former royals ban the Sun, Express, Mirror and Mail from doing their PR

prince harry meghan
Harry and Meghan – live cam

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will no longer “offer themselves up as currency for an economy of clickbait and distortion”. The couple, now living in LA and functioning as the ambulatory Archewell brand, tell four of the main British tabloids, The Sun, Daily Mail, Daily Express and Daily Mirror, they are above such things. They are beginning “a new media relations policy”. They tell the media:

“It is gravely concerning that an influential slice of the media, over many years, has sought to insulate themselves from taking accountability for what they say or print – even when they know it to be distorted, false, or invasive beyond reason. When power is enjoyed without responsibility, the trust we all place in this much-needed industry is degraded.”

From now on the tabloids will have to rely on gossip, paparazzi photos and ‘sources’ close to the couple for news. Yeah. Plus ca change. Harry and Meghan will bar the media they don’t like from receiving official updates and photographs. The four newspapers of the apocalypse will not receive the couples press releases telling of their unique inspiring love and where you can buy their news range of scented candles. The papers will have to wait for other approved organs to publish the PR before splashing the statements across their web pages. The papers will also be banned from attending official Archewell events.

Tabloid readers will be distraught at the news and flock to buy Vogue and therein read of the couple’s wonderful lives and where to get their merchandise.

Posted: 20th, April 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment

The NHS advert for staying at home during coronavirus crisis features a headless woman trapped beneath two laughing women and a dog

The NHS advert tells us to Stay At Home. Yeah, you can go out to exercise for an hour a day. And you can go shopping. And if you’re in the police force you can stand on a bridge and clap. But STAY AT HOME! One tip to prevent any urges to leave the home is to trap yourself beneath two fiends and a dog.

File under: it’s amazing what you can find down the back of a sofa.

Posted: 19th, April 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment

Everything explained in one huge conspiracy theory graphic

Everything explained in one huge conspiracy theory graphic

The conspiracy theory about the conspiracy theories has been pulled together in one graphic. Of course, what you can’t see is the real evidence just just off the page to the right. And it will blow your mind!

Posted: 19th, April 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Strange But True | Comment

Coronavirus coppers filmed harassing and threatening journalist in Finsbury Park

police london

We don’t know why the police were talking to a woman and her dog in Finsbury Park, North London. But one journalist who tried to find out was harassed and threatened with a fine by the coronavirus coppers. The best part might be when one copper asks Michael Segalov for his “credentials”. It’s journalism and free speech, officer, you don’t need any:

Posted: 18th, April 2020 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment

The Communist Party of China is lying about coronavirus but the Left only cares about Boris Johnson

china coronavirus lies

All those graphs showing the death rates by country for Coronavirus Covid-19 are bunkum. In Belgium, any deaths thought to be from the virus are counted as deaths from the virus. In Germany dying with the virus is not counted if you did not die from the virus. And in the UK only deaths of people who tested positive are counted. In China they just make it up.

A local government taskforce in Wuhan charged with virus prevention added 1,290 fatalities to the city’s toll, taking the confirmed count to 3,869 from a previously reported 2,579. Wuhan, a city of 11 million people, suffered more fatalities than any other city in China as residents struggled get help from its overwhelmed medical system.

Hold your nose, this stinks:

“Medical workers at some facilities might have been preoccupied with saving lives and there existed delayed reporting, underreporting or misreporting, but there has never been any cover-up and we do not allow cover-ups,” said China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian at a news briefing in Beijing.

And anyone who says there’s been a cover up will not say it twice.

A second Chinese citizen journalist who had been covering China’s deadly coronavirus outbreak from its epicenter in Wuhan has gone missing just days after the disappearance of Chen Qiushi, a former rights lawyer who was video blogging from the city.

Fang Bin, a Wuhan businessman who had been posting videos filmed from city hospitals, was allegedly arrested on Sunday (Feb. 9, link in Chinese), according to Hong Kong broadcaster RTHK, the same day he posted a 12-second video of a piece of paper with the words “resist all citizens, hand the power of the government back to the people” written on it, which he read aloud. RTHK, which didn’t name its source, said that plain-clothes police officers accompanied by fire fighters broke down Fang’s door to enter his flat.

Meanwhile in the UK, the agenda-driven media is looking at the wrong story and its Gotcha! moment:

Previously: When China Wiped Out the Common Sparrow And Slit Its Own Throat (1958)

Posted: 18th, April 2020 | In: News | Comment

Sign in Bronx booze shop tells customers the 7 Coronavirus rules

coronavirus the bronx

In The Bronx, New York City, a sign in the booze store winder lays out the 7 rules of coronavirus for all shoppers.

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

10 Questions for journalists to ask Government about Coronavirus

Journalism matters. It’s not all talking truth to power and showing us things other people would rather we didn’t know. Sometimes it involves talking about the latest shoes, if Meghan Markle takes one or two bottles into the shower and pandering to your audience’s prejudices. The clip above was a Channel 4 News anchor not asking a question to shed light on the Government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, but simply demanding something. The anchor’s grandstanding serves only his needs, which are: look important; display your sense of entitlement; show your Labour voting audience how right they are to dislike a Tory Government; and give it up for the narcissists. Robbie Gibb has heard enough of this self-aggrandizing point scoring. Journalists with access are letting us down:

coronavirus 10 questions to ask journalists
coronavirus 10 questions to ask journalists


Posted: 15th, April 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment