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News | Anorak - Part 9

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Saudi Arabia ‘dressed Jamal Khashoggi look-alike in dead man’s Western clothes’

Did Saudi Arabia use a body double to pose as Jamal Khashoggi, the US-based Saudi journalist last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey around three weeks ago and now dead, presumed murdered? Is this footage of a body double wearing the newly dead man’s clothes?

 

 

And vitally, what does it mean for the moralising West, which can turn a blind eye to mass killing, murderous homophobia, a virulent and open anti-Semitism to which the Labour Party can only aspire, misogyny and slavery, but is aghast at the death of one man ?

For their part – and let’s be fair – the Saudis say Khashoggi was not tortured – did not have had his fingers cut off before being dismembered by a team of Saudi agents armed with a bone saw. He left the place fully intact and in good health, they said. Then they said he perished in a “fist fight”. Khashoggi was at the consulate to finalise his divorce. Those things can be tough, and when the other party’s lawyers look like trained killers, it might be time to let her keep the house and car.

The Saudis reviewed the matter and decided Khashoggi was offed by “rogue” Saudi agents – a hard bunch to find in an absolute monarchy. But thanks to Turkey’s vigilance and Saudi Arabia’s burning desire for justice, 18 men had been arrested in connection with the incident and two senior officials dismissed.  “The individuals who did this did this outside the scope of their authority,” Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told Fox News. “There obviously was a tremendous mistake made, and what compounded the mistake was the attempt to try to cover up.”

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has got a few servants to wash his hands and embarked on an urgent review of Saudi intelligence. He’ll have the report into his actions ready for his own desk to review very soon.

Fingers stuck back on and crossed it can be proven that the Crown Prince is an okay kinda guy. “I would love if [he] wasn’t responsible,” said Donald Trump, showing that he possesses the power to duck the big decisions.

As we await the result of the whitewash, sorry, investigation, into a man’s vanishing, the world’s super-rich are shunning the meeting, the so-called Davos in the Desert which they signed up to when Saudi Arabia was merely killing Yemenis, executing people for such crimes as “incitement to protest”, “chanting slogans hostile to the regime”, “attempting to inflame public opinion” and “filming protests and publishing on social media”, and having lifted the ban on women drivers, arresting the campaigners (aka “traitors”) who campaigned for that very change.

So which side are we supporting: the women and men who want democracy – or the Divine Right of Kings to murder at will in it role as go-ahead partner against Arab nationalism and Iranian power?

Posted: 23rd, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Julian Cole: after five years of waiting police sacked for lying over paralysed man

julian cole

 

Julian Cole was on night out at Elements nightclub in Bedford on May 5 2013. He was 19. Things went badly wrong. Having been asked to leave the club, which he did, Julian Cole asked for a refund. He was refused. He tried to get back into the club. A bouncer ‘took him to the ground’. Police were called. He was then “taken to the ground” – that’s a police term –  by PCs Nicholas Oates, Sanjeev Kalyan and Hannah Ross. Julian Cole was handcuffed with “his face down on the ground”. The three coppers pulled him off the ground and dragged him to the police van.

At the station, Mr Cole was not breathing. Paramedics were called. Julian Cole had a broken vertebra. He is now brain damaged and paralysed.

 

 

Today an independent panel found all three officers guilty of gross misconduct and dismissed them:

The panel found that PC Ross “made up her account” of Mr Cole moving his legs in an “attempt to demonstrate she had taken Mr Cole’s report of neck pain seriously when she had not”. The hearing was also told that PC Kalyan tried to “shift responsibility” over what happened to the student.

He was found to have lied in his statement when he stated that he had heard PC Ross ask Mr Cole if he could move his legs, and that he moved them in response.

PC Oates had also said that Mr Cole had walked to the police van during his arrest, which the panel said he knew was not true.

PCs Ross, Kalyan and Oates “did not ask any basic questions concerning his welfare”. However, the panel added this was “most unlikely to have changed the outcome for [Mr Cole]”…

The panel also said that Sgt Andrew Withey failed to make “any enquiry” when PC Ross asked whether Mr Cole should go directly to hospital or custody, and failed to “react” to hearing Mr Cole say his neck hurt.

A crime? No:

None of the police officers were accused of causing Mr Cole’s injuries and The Crown Prosecution Service decided there was no criminal conduct following lengthy investigations…

“Julian Cole was a young athletic man whose life was changed forever. It will never be known exactly how his neck was broken, or if swifter care could have prevented the awful consequences of the break,” Independent Office for Police Conduct Regional Director Sarah Green said.

“The panel today have concluded however that the officers failed in their duty to provide adequate welfare checks, and worse, that three of them were dishonest in how they presented their version of events.

“This dishonesty has only added to the anguish of Mr Cole’s family.”

No crime?

Posted: 22nd, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


The Peoples’ March was futile: 700,000 demand the impossible

There’s really only one explanation for the Peoples’ March today in London – an advertising of personal virtue. For absolutely nothing else will be achieved at all, that time and money has been completely wasted.

 

people's march

Big media pretty much ignores the futile march

 

But out they came, to march through the streets of London:

No one knows where negotiations over the U.K.’s exit from the European Union will end up. (Things are not looking great.) But it’s now obvious that no one heading to the polls in 2016 could possibly have grasped the full implications of this misguided decision — and that the British people deserve another say.

That’s not an entirely ridiculous claim. I say this as a committed Leaver too – rethinks are indeed part of responsible governance and democracy. There are two good arguments against another vote though:

Organisers say more than 600,000 people rallied in central London on Saturday to call for a referendum on the final Brexit deal
People’s Vote march: ‘more than half a million’ rally for new Brexit referendum

That’s part of the battle over numbers. Don’t trust that count for a moment:

Protesters seeking a referendum on the final Brexit deal have attended a rally which organisers say was the “biggest” demonstration of its kind.

Young voters led the People’s Vote march to London’s Parliament Square, which supporters say attracted more than 600,000 people.

MPs from the main parties backed the event calling for a fresh referendum.

This is something which has already been ruled out by Prime Minister Theresa May.

The People’s Vote campaign said stewards on the route estimated 670,000 were taking part.

Scotland Yard said it was not able to estimate the size of the crowd.

No, really, do not believe that number.

Still, why shouldn’t we?

The first reason is that we’re British dammit. It’s the Europeans, the continentals, who keep having referenda about the European Union until the proles vote the right way. As was done in Ireland, France, Denmark. Admittedly, that’s an argument unlikely to find favour with those who like the EU.

So, the killer one. We’re out the door on 29 March next year. The deal, whatever it is going to be, is not finished yet. Reasonable people – that is others than me – think it might actually get sealed on March 28 at 11.59 pm. But even if it were sealed today then what?

British law insists that there be a 6 month run in to a referendum. Which is, of course, what a peoples’ vote is.

Our own laws say that we cannot have a Peoples’ Vote therefore. So why were half a million people pissing away their Saturday?

Posted: 21st, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Police escape and race riots averted as Huddersfield rapists jailed

At Leeds Crown Court 20 men have been found guilty of raping and abusing 15 girls as young as 11 in and around Huddersfield between 2004 and 2011. One of their victims had the mental age of a seven-year-old. Who are the criminals? We’ll get to that, just as soon as the BBC has told us their nicknames, like “Dracula”, “Bully”, “Beastie” and “Nurse”. The ringleader was Amere Singh Dhaliwal, 35, a married father of two. He’s starting a life sentence. He’ll be in prison for a minimum of 18 years. The other child rapists “are all British Asians mainly of Pakistani heritage”, says the BBC.

 

 Amere Singh Dhaliwal

Amere Singh Dhaliwal

 

Deeper into the BBC story we get to the police. One victim told police: “Every time I went out something bad happened. I risked my life every time. I was a mess.” Another escaped only by moving home, saying: “It was the best thing I ever did, and that’s bad saying that burning your house down is the best thing you ever did.” How did police view the victims – as fair game? As someone once said of teenage girls: “If you think they’re doing it, they’re doing it.”

So after the stories of rapes and abuse by men mainly of Pakistani heritage in Rotherham, Oxford, Rochdale, Derby, Banbury, Telford, Peterborough, Aylesbury, Bristol, Halifax, Keighley, Newcastle we get to Huddersfield. Is that the end of it?

 

Top row left to right: Amere Singh Dhaliwal (Pretos), Irfan Ahmed (Finny), Zahid Hassan (Little Manny), Mohammed Kammer (Kammy), Raj Singh Barsran (Raj). Bottom row left to right: Mohammed Rizwan Aslam (Big Riz), Abdul Rehman (Beastie), Nahman Mohammed (Dracula), Mansoor Akhtar, (Boy) and Mohammed Irfraz, (Faj). Photograph: West Yorkshire police/PA

Top row left to right: Amere Singh Dhaliwal (Pretos), Irfan Ahmed (Finny), Zahid Hassan (Little Manny), Mohammed Kammer (Kammy), Raj Singh Barsran (Raj). Bottom row left to right: Mohammed Rizwan Aslam (Big Riz), Abdul Rehman (Beastie), Nahman Mohammed (Dracula), Mansoor Akhtar, (Boy) and Mohammed Irfraz, (Faj).

 

And one question pervades all others: why didn’t the police and authorities act sooner? The BBC’s Home Editor Mark Easton has a theory:

The grooming gangs of provincial England tend to operate where the disinfectant of public scrutiny struggles to reach – poorer neighbourhoods on the edge of town, around the mini-cab ranks and fast food joints, the twilight zones of urban life.

Public scrutiny wasn’t needed. Local media might have got wind of something ill, but local newspapers are dying. The BBC has reach and resources but it missed the scandal as it failed to notice its in-house paedophile Jimmy Savile, preferring to focus on innocent men with higher profiles. So what then of the local child minders, councils, schools and police? Huddersfield is not hundreds of miles from civilisation. Oxford is no cultural wasteland. Easton adds:

Child abuse thrives in such dark corners, where people look the other way, not asking questions or following concerns because the subject matter is uncomfortable and scrutiny is potentially damaging. But when we look, we find.

 

Top row left to right: Nasarat Hussain (Nurse), Sajid Hussain (Fish), Faisal Nadeem (Chiller), Mohammed Azeem (Mosabella), Wiqas Mahmud (Vic). Bottom row left to right: Manzoor Hassan (Big Manny), Niaz Ahmed (Shaq), Mohammed Imran Ibrar (Bully), Asif Bashir (Junior) and Mohammed Akram (Kid).

Top row left to right: Nasarat Hussain (Nurse), Sajid Hussain (Fish), Faisal Nadeem (Chiller), Mohammed Azeem (Mosabella), Wiqas Mahmud (Vic). Bottom row left to right: Manzoor Hassan (Big Manny), Niaz Ahmed (Shaq), Mohammed Imran Ibrar (Bully), Asif Bashir (Junior) and Mohammed Akram (Kid).

 

This was child rape on a huge scale. It wasn’t behind closed doors, within the family, where child abuse can go undetected. This was on the street. People knew. Did the wives of these men suspect? If every time we look we find, as Easton says, why don’t “we” look more often? Or is it that the “we” – police, social workers and other State employees – are scared of what “we” might find? Are they less bothered about the rule of law and teenage girls being abused than they are scared of the white working class, a group the State views as a race riot-in-waiting? So crime is allowed to fester. One rape become countless rapes. One rapist tells his friends the fun he’s having, and a gang is formed. So who suspected and knew, and why was nothing done earlier?

During the trials, the court heard girls would be driven up to remote moorland late at night and abandoned if they refused the men’s sexual demands. A sheep farmer told the BBC how he found distressed girls on the doorstep of his isolated home on a number of occasions…

At house parties, girls would be plied with alcohol and drugs before being sexually abused “one by one” by the men, sometimes without contraception.

The court heard they were abused in cars, car parks, houses, a snooker centre and a takeaway, often with other defendants and fellow victims watching on.

And now the hammer blow:

Victims and their families said they repeatedly told West Yorkshire Police what was happening but no arrests were made until years later.

Who police’s the police? Drive over the speed limit, smoke a joint or fail to pay your TV licence and the law is all over you. Rape a vulnerable child and, as is alleged, the police ignore it. Why?

Detective Chief Inspecor Ian Mottershaw tells one and all:

“The investigation into this case has been extremely complex and the investigative team have worked tirelessly for the past five years to ensure that no stone has been left unturned. We welcome the convictions and sentences which have been passed down throughout the year to these depraved individuals, who subjected vulnerable young children to unthinkable sexual and physical abuse.”

But the victims’ families say the police knew. Now the police tell us how hard they worked. But did they listen?

Barry Sheerman, Labour MP for Huddersfield, nails it: “Let’s be honest: no-one, local authority leadership, police, many of the people that should have been taking this more seriously earlier did not. But also, what happened in Rotherham and the publicity of Rotherham galvanised the action.”

So this is huge news, right? Wrong. Only the Guardian leads with the story. It mentions the men’s ethnic heritage only once, in paragraph 18. The paper quotes Judge Geoffrey Marson QC we’re told:

“Amongst the aggravating factors are that these girls were young when the abuse started, they were targeted because of their extreme vulnerability. They were threatened and intimidated and plied with drink and drugs often to insensibility and often in order to facilitate sexual abuse. These were planned offences by a large group of Asian men.”

But as with the BBC’s report, there is space to mention the criminal actions of Tommy Robinson, former leader of the anti-Islam English Defence League. The BBC injects its report on depraved criminality to tell readers:

In May, the former leader of the English Defence League Tommy Robinson was arrested for reporting on the case live on Facebook during the second of the trials.

He was jailed for contempt of court but his conviction was quashed because of a number of procedural errors. He faces a fresh hearing in relation to the alleged breach.

Anyone doing what Robinson did would have been arrested. As Luke Gittos notes:

The men he targeted are entitled to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence. Robinson was not arrested because of what he said. He was arrested because of when and how he chose to say it…

Free speech is too important for us to allow it to be consistently warped and slandered by both left and right. Free speech is about allowing a free and unhindered exchange of ideas. But, at the same time, we must recognise that the reason Robinson has a career is that we have become overly sensitive as a society to the kind of arguments he makes. He is a product not of too much free speech, but of too little. His arrest is not symbolic of a state conspiracy to shut him up. But it is at least connected to our continuing discomfort with discussing certain ideas.

Which brings us to how so many vulnerable children came to be raped by so many men over such a long period? Were certain lines of investigation taboo? Was there a cover up? In the absence of transparency and honesty, censorship grows, legitimate concerns are sidelined and damned; conspiracy theories fester, seeping to the surface.

There are no race riots. Huddersfield is not an outpost of the Fourth Reich. Trust us with the truth. We can handle it.

The Criminals:

Amere Singh Dhaliwal, 35, of Holly Road, Huddersfield, guilty of 54 counts, including 22 counts of rape, sentenced to life with a minimum term of 18 years

Irfan Ahmed, 34, of Yews Hill Road, Huddersfield, guilty of one count of sexual assault and two counts of trafficking for sexual exploitation, sentenced to eight years

Zahid Hassan, 29, of Bland Street Huddersfield, guilty of six counts of rape, one count of attempted rape, one count of sexual assault, one count of trafficking for sexual exploitation, two counts of child abduction, two counts of supplying class A drugs sentenced to 18 years

Mohammed Kammer, 34, of West View, Huddersfield, guilty of two counts of rape, sentenced to 16 years

Mohammed Rizwan Aslam, 31, of Huddersfield Road, Dewsbury, guilty of two counts of rape, sentenced to 15 years

Abdul Rehman, 31, of Darnely Drive, Sheffield, guilty of supplying a class C drug, one count of rape, one count of assault and one count of trafficking for sexual exploitation, sentenced to 16 years

Raj Singh Barsran, 34, of Caldercliffe Road, Huddersfield, guilty of rape and two counts of sexual assault, sentenced to 17 years

Nahman Mohammed, 32, of West View, Huddersfield, guilty of two counts of rape and one count of trafficking for sexual exploitation, sentenced to 15 years

Mansoor Akhtar, 27, of Blackmoorfoot Road, Huddersfield, guilty of two counts of rape and two counts of trafficking for sexual exploitation, sentenced to eight years

Wiqas Mahmud, 38, of Banks Crescent, Huddersfield, guilty of three counts of rape, sentenced to 15 years

Nasarat Hussain, 30, of Upper Mount Street, Huddersfield, guilty of three counts of rape and one count of sexual assault, sentenced to 17 years

Sajid Hussain, of 33, of Grasmere Road, Huddersfield, guilty of two counts of rape, sentenced to 17 years

Mohammed Irfraz, 30, of North Road, Huddersfield, guilty of child abduction and two counts of trafficking for sexual exploitation, sentenced to six years

Faisal Nadeem, 32, of Carr Green, Huddersfield, guilty of rape and supplying class A drugs, sentenced to 12 years

Mohammed Azeem, 33, of Wrose Road, Bradford, guilty of five counts of rape, sentenced to 18 years

Manzoor Hassan, 38, of Bland Street, Huddersfield, guilty of administering a noxious substance, inciting child prostitution and supplying a class A drug, sentenced to five years

Mohammed Akram, 33, of Springdale Street, Huddersfield, guilty of two counts of rape and two counts of trafficking for sexual exploitation and awaiting sentencing

Niaz Ahmed, 54, of Woodthorpe Terrace, Huddersfield, guilty of sexual assault and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and awaiting sentencing

Asif Bashir, 33, of Thornton Lodge Road, Huddersfield, guilty of, rape and attempted rape and awaiting sentencing

Mohammed Imran Ibrar, 34, of Manchester Road, Huddersfield, guilty of trafficking for sexual exploitation and assault and awaiting sentencing

Posted: 20th, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Brexit 1 Nick Clegg 0: Facebook seduces Mr EU to Leave for California

See ya, Nick Clegg. The man who wants a second EU referendum in the hope the great unwashed will vote for the status quo has opted to leave for the US, where he’ll work for Facebook. The former Deputy Prime Minister is now Facebook’s head of global affairs and communications.

On Facebook, natch., Clegg told us: “Having spoken at length to Mark and Sheryl [Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg] over the last few months, I have been struck by their recognition that the company is on a journey which brings new responsibilities not only to the users of Facebook’s apps but to society at large.”

A journey…to Luxembourg to pay less taxes? Clegg continues his travels into X Factor speak:

“I hope I will be able to play a role in helping to navigate that journey. Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, Oculus and Instagram are at the heart of so many people’s everyday lives – but also at the heart of some of the most complex and difficult questions we face as a society: the privacy of the individual, the integrity of our democratic process, the tensions between local cultures and the global internet, the balance between free speech and prohibited content, the power and concerns around artificial intelligence, and the wellbeing of our children.”

Maybe. Or you could just, you know, disable the app? Life will go on. But Clegg’s already at work, it seems, assuring us that Facebook is life itself. It’s not a company geared to make money from a leisure activity; it’s part of who we are.

 

nick clegg facebook

 

He adds: “I believe that Facebook must continue to play a role in finding answers to those questions – not by acting alone in Silicon Valley, but by working with people, organisations, governments and regulators around the world to ensure that technology is a force for good.”

Or as he put it in a 2017 column: “Other critics of Silicon Valley are just plain disingenuous: traditional newspaper groups vilify social media companies for scooping up the lion’s share of advertising revenue. What do they expect? Social media companies – notwithstanding their occasionally pious New Age slogans – are profit-making companies, not charities.”

Good job he’s gone for the betterment of humankind and not the money.

Spotter: Financial Times 

Posted: 19th, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Technology | Comment


Brexit 1-0: mature student waves adieu to insignificant Englanders

Warned of impending doom, dropping off a “cliff” and “crashing out” of the European Union, it’s a relief to see the rosy-fingered dawn breaking in the Guardian, which reports, “Top linguist: ‘I’m leaving the UK because of the disaster of Brexit’.” Alex Rawling was 27-years-old when he was named the UK’s “most multilingual student” in 2012. He’s taking his mastery of 15 language and moving to Barcelona. “Just booked a one way flight out the UK,” said Rawling on Twitter in English. “Not an easy decision to leave family and friends behind, but there’s a bad atmosphere in the country and I need to get out.”

Ta-ra, Alex. The Observer sees him off. “This whole country is on the brink of the worst disaster since the second world war, and everyone is just sipping coffee, going about their daily business as if nothing is happening,” says Alex, who is “half-Greek”, but not the half, perhaps, vigorously shafted by the EU.

“One of the things I was always most proud of in the UK was that this is a place where anyone can belong, which is an amazing achievement,” he continues.” That is now being threatened by the populist rhetoric of politicians and the laziness of the media in not challenging it.” So he’s taking his dictionaries to live in Catalonia, a part of Spain where lots of people campaign for the right to protect their wealth from the tentacles of austerity the EU’s technocrats enforced on the country.

Says Alex by way of a parting shot: ““I have huge faith in the people of the UK to sort this out eventually. It will take a generation… and in the long term, it will be good for the country to realise its own insignificance.” Anyone else think that last part would sound better in German?

Posted: 18th, October 2018 | In: News | Comment


Fugitive Daley Smith lets Madeleine McCann do his PR

Daley Smith is getting to be quite famous. On the run from police, Daley Smith has now upped his game by comparing his escape to the police search for Madeleine McCann. On Facebook, Smith says he’s going to throw a party when he reaches the milestone of 100 days at large. It’s been 88 and counting. But this is about the media’s favourite missing child, and the Sun says, “Smith has sparked fury with his sick posts about Madeleine McCann”. Do we need to hear the man’s sickness?  Apparently, yes. He is “claiming: ‘It’s my personal opinion that her mum and dad covered the whole thing up’.” If the police don’t get him, doorstepping journalists, internet trolls or the McCanns’ lawyers might. (Just to state: the McCanns are not suspects.)

And now he’s added to the sickness with a poem:

“Cheshire police have got more chance of finding Madeleine Mcann [sic], I may as well be in Japan, they’ve even been harassing my nan, but everything hasn’t gone to plan. They’ve fucked with the wrong man, I feel like Peter Pan. So far I don’t know how far I’ve ran, but it’s been mad since this Journey began.”

Daley, who has been charged with possession with intent to supply class B cannabis and concerned with the supply of cocaine, according to police, seems fully aware of how using Madeleine McCann can further his own career, such as it is. Last night his account featured this ‘sick joke’:

 

daley smith mccann

Speech bubble ours

 

That message was posted after Smith found a message from someone claiming to represent ‘Kennedy News’. All the photos in the Sun’s story carry the ‘Kennedy News and Media’ watermark, which seems odd given that you can see the same images for free on Facebook.

 

daley james sun maddie mccann

 

Madeleine McCann is missing. Daley James Smith is in the papers, on tour and on Facebook.

Posted: 18th, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


The Civilian Action Trining Program protects Snowflake police from bad words and thoughts

Civilian Interaction Training Program

Objects in the mirror are more heavily armed and prone to ruin your life than they appear

 

When men and women are added to the every-growing list of “protected characteristics” that can make you the victim of a hate crime, we wondered if every group was now deemed special? Like the cosseted child of helicopter parents, our governments see us as victims-in-waiting, vulnerable and in constant need of their supervision, direction and protection. (How they fear us.)

And now you can add police to the list. The State’s enforcers are sensitive types who can be triggered by you thinking and saying mean things. Compliance is all. Officer Snowflake demands it.

To Texas, then, where the “Civilian Interaction Training Program”, a project of the Texas Commission On Law Enforcement, is teaching children how to be nice to police. As Boing Boing says, “Reviewing these training materials is mandatory for anyone hoping to receive a diploma from a Texas high school.” Compliance is all in the era of total control:

 

Posted: 18th, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Punters at Ohio haunted house subjected to mock-rape attack

At Ohio’s Akron Fright Fest, an “extreme haunted houses”, visitors sign a disclaimer stating they realise the place features not actual ghouls and demons, but actors who might touch them. According to reports, the actors might also shove the paying punters to the ground and simulate rape. Hollywood should sue Akron Fright Fest for allegedly nicking its intellectual property.

Ryan Carr claims he was shoved over and assaulted. The Huffington Post reports Carr’s girlfriend, Sarah Lelonek, tried to stop it:

“She comes over and yells, ‘Stop! What are you doing? That’s my boyfriend,’” Carr recalled Lelonek saying. He then described the masked person’s response: “‘Not anymore, he’s mine now. I’m going to rape him,’ and then he started thrusting against me.”

The Huffington Post also hears claims that a 16-year-old boy was tossed onto a mattress and subjected to a mock rape, during which the actor told him to “squeal like a pig”. A spokesman for the venue says he’s “shocked” and “appalled”. The staffers “who worked in the area where the incident allegedly occurred have been suspended”. “Obviously, rape is a horrible act,” he said. “Even a mock rape scene has no place as part of any entertainment.”

Unless it’s on the nightly news, of course…

Posted: 17th, October 2018 | In: News, The Consumer | Comment


Steve Punt is a more convincing Eric Idle than Eric Idle is

BBC Breakfast used a photo of Steve Punt and not Eric Idle during their interview with the former Monty Python stalwart (that’s Idle not Punt):

 

eric idle steve punt

Eric Idle (left) and Steve Punt (right)

 

Punt played Eric Idle in the BBC show Holy Flying Circus, which covered the release of Monty Python’s Life of Brian. 

 

Posted: 17th, October 2018 | In: News, TV & Radio | Comment


Hate crimes keep on rising as more victims sought

Is being rude and setting out to cause offence a crime? The latest Home Office data shows that religious hate incidents rose by 40%, from 5,949 to 8,336 from April 2017 to May 2018. Overall hate incidents rose to 94,098, up 17% over the aforesaid period. Of those, 71,251 were marked as race hate.

If you want a definition of hate crime, the BBC provides one:

“Hate crime is defined as an offence which the victim considers to be driven by hostility towards their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity.”

It’s subjective. If you think the offence was powered by the alleged villain’s prejudice, then it was. And what is meant by “hostility”? The CPS explains it employs the “everyday understanding of the word” which includes “ill-will, spite, contempt, prejudice, unfriendliness, antagonism, resentment and dislike”. Being unfriendly could be a crime.

And – get this: the CPS will “accept the victim’s perspective, even where we are unable to identify sufficient evidence to prosecute the case as a hate crime”. To say it is, is to establish a truth.

Crimes targeted at people because of their sexual orientation made up 12% of the total (11,638), with religious hatred at 9%, disability hate 8% (7,226) and transgender hate crimes 2% (1,651).

Do we hate more? Do loud mouths and the criminally minded pick on soft targets for abuse? Do some people complain more than others? And is being a nasty, racist sod online the same as screaming into someone’s face in the street or firebombing a kosher restaurant? The CPS says it is all on the same page.

And you can add the old, women, men, boys and girls to the list of protected characteristics, too. Yesterday the Government announced plans to included other “protected characteristics” in hate crime law, including age and gender. You wonder which group will be left off the list – and if in leaving them off, they become a group in need of protecting?

Be in no doubt that hate crime numbers can only rise:

According to the police figures, the number of hate crimes has more than doubled since 2012/13, when 42,255 were recorded. And one quirk of the figures is that a single hate crime offence can be recorded more than once if it is deemed to have multiple motivations – for example, if an individual feels that they were targeted because of their race and their religion.

So an elderly, one-eyed, heterosexual, black, female, French Jew dressed as a teenage Goth can be the victim of nine hate crimes at once.

And there are more quirks. The BBC adds:

Curiously, police recorded 237 incidents where the perceived target religion was “no religion” at all. We’ve asked the Home Office to explain how that can be a religious hate crime – they don’t know why the police recorded the figures that way. They stress that this is the first set of statistics and – as such – is experimental, adding that it will be improved in the future…

One element these figures simply don’t cover is sectarianism – where one branch or sect of a faith targets another. While this is fully understood in Northern Ireland, it goes less noticed in the UK, despite the fact that it does happen.

There is definitely evidence of tensions between some Sunni and Shia Muslims, the two traditions of Islam, and documented persecution of the separate small Ahmadiyya community, which is theologically rejected by others.

Confused? Don’t worry if you are – the police can read minds. They’re in control of this. If they believe hate was involved in a crime, the miscreant can expect an “uplift” in their sentence. Good-oh.

Posted: 16th, October 2018 | In: News | Comment


Norfolk police showcase dashcam footage of exciting near-fatal accidents

Police! Cameras! Whoah! Or maybe the show based on dashcam footage could be called Narks!? Norfolk police says they are receiving hundreds of videos from civilian drivers with dashcams. Videos like this one below from September 1 2018 of a van hitting a roundabout and taking off. Three people were injured. No-one died. It’s not a snuff video.

 

 

Bad driving is criminal. It’s also a really pathetic way to end a life. But do we need civilians to start filming each other being rude and discourteous and then contacting the police in pursuit of revenge  justice? Film only shows so much, offering a limited view. Context matters.

Posted: 14th, October 2018 | In: News | Comment


The death of Palestinian Aisha Muhammad Talal Rabi

It’s vital Israeli authorities treat the death of 47-year-old Palestinian Aisha Muhammad Talal Rabi with the same seriousness as when Israelis have been killed by Palestinian rock throwers. Mrs Rabi died after Israeli settlers near Nablus on the West Bank allegedly threw a rock that struck the windshield of the car in which she and her husband were travelling last Friday night.

 

Aisha Muhammad Talal Rabi rock

 

Aisha Muhammad Talal Rabi rock

 

Reporting is loaded. The Times of Israel notes it was “a stone-throwing attack that caused her car to crash, and which has been blamed on Jewish settlers”.

According to Yesh Din, which documents alleged Israeli rights abuses in the West Bank, the stone-throwing at the Tapuah Junction caused 47-year-old Aisha Muhammad Talal Rabi’s husband to lose control of the car.

Or as Maan News puts it:

On late Friday, Aisha Muhammad Talal al-Rabi, 47, a mother of eight children, from the Bidya village near Salfit in the northern West Bank, was killed and her husband was injured, after Israeli settlers hurled rocks at their vehicle near the Zaatara checkpoint in Nablus in the northern West Bank.

And then it escalates. The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called it “a heinous crime under international law, and holding the Israeli government, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, directly and fully responsible for her death.”

Police are investigating.

Posted: 14th, October 2018 | In: News | Comment


Meeting Buddah the Nazi dog

When Buddah the pug was outted as a recreational Nazi, his owner, Count Dankula (aka Markus Meechan), was arrested and found wanting. Dankula was found guilty of being ‘grossly offensive’, which is the kind of branding all the cool kids can only dream about achieving. No Jews were hurt. Buddhists have not taken offence and declared religious war on Count Dankula. Buddha is not barking for a final solution at the pigeons in the precinct.

Andrew Doyle went to Glasgow to meet the self-styled peer of the meme:

 

 

Next week: meet the parrot who can recite the entire Nuremberg address in French, the chameleon that displays a Swastika on its rump on the command “Juden raus!” and Mohammed the stick insect who can play Frank Zappa’s We’re Turning Again on the bongos.

 

Posted: 12th, October 2018 | In: News | Comment


Womxn replaces womyn replaces women at Wellcome show for people who identify as women

womxn

 

Wellcome Collection, the “free museum for the incurably curious, exploring health and what it means to be human through medicine, art and science” has renamed women as “womxn”. Men remain as they were, but women are now womxn because, well, you can dick around with women and not worry about the consequences. This earnest rebranding comes with a supporting show:

Typeset women back into history with #Daylighting our four-day programme of letter printing presses, zine workshops, discussions on how womxn can challenge existing archives, wikipedia 101 & more. 18-21 Oct. Explore the programme: ow.ly/sXTm30m7g98 #free

Wellcome explains:

We’ve had some questions about why we’re using the word womxn for this event. We’re using it because we feel that it is important to create a space/venue that includes diverse perspectives. It was agreed during our conversations with collaborators as the programme developed.

Oh, what utter twxts.

Replies are fruity:

 

 

Adding:

 

Look out for womin; for women who ‘i’-dentify as women; woden, for women with a god complex; and woken for the kind of bellends who use the word womxn.

Posted: 10th, October 2018 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment


Gay Cake bakers rejoice: Supreme Court say bakery was right to refuse to make gay wedding cake

gay cake leaving do cake

 

Gay cake haters are cock-a-hoop, moreover Gay Cakes R Us, which can now own the market in gay cakes. The UK supreme court has sided with the bakers in a row over their right to refuse to decorate a cake with a pro-gay marriage – a political message – for a customer who wanted them to. Things kicked off in 2014 when Ashers, a Belfast bakery run by evangelical Christians, declined gay man Gareth Lee’s request to produce a cake carrying the order “Support Gay Marriage”.

Belfast county court and the Court of appeal had earlier ruled that Ashers discriminated against Lee on the grounds of sexual orientation. In 2016, Lee, a gay-rights activist, was supported in his case by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland. Ashers was no longer a private business providing non-essential goods and services, a family-run store free to discriminate in its private choices, but a public cause. In the new hierarchy of ideas and morals, sexual orientation held more sway than religious conviction.

Now the five judges on the Supreme Court have decided that Asher’s were not bothered by Lee’s homosexuality. That’s not why they refused to fill his order. There was no discrimination on those grounds.

“It is deeply humiliating, and an affront to human dignity, to deny someone a service because of that person’s race, gender, disability, sexual orientation or any of the other protected personal characteristics,” Judge Hale said in the judgment. “But that is not what happened in this case and it does the project of equal treatment no favours to seek to extend it beyond its proper scope.”

The court pointed to freedom of expression, as guaranteed by article 10 of the European convention on human rights, which says we have the right “not to express an opinion which one does not hold”. Hale says “nobody should be forced to have or express a political opinion in which he does not believe. The bakers could not refuse to supply their goods to Mr Lee because he was a gay man or supported gay marriage but that is quite different from obliging them to supply a cake iced with a message with which they profoundly disagreed.”

It’s a triumph for tolerance, then. We can reject ideas. But it might not end there because Lee is reportedly considering appealing to the European court of human rights in Strasbourg. And I’m off to the kosher deli to order my ‘Holohoax’ almond ring.

Posted: 10th, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Your Facebook account hasn’t been cloned

There’s an old concept called chain mail. There’s nothing actually to it at all, it’s just that a letter contains the message “pass it on.” Thus it gets passed on until everyone has had multiple copies of it. The older versions always used to die out because it cost actual, real, money to send letters. In an age when we can reach hundreds, or thousands, in moments and at zero cost there’s a greater likelihood of that sending on. This is what is happening here with this Facebook message:

A hoax message on Facebook is being spread that warns users their account has been cloned.

The fake warning is being spread due to its chain mail format with the message encouraging those who receive it to pass it on to more users.

No one’s even making anything out of this. There’s no malicious code contained, this doesn’t lead on to phishing or anything. It just makes people panic and the originators get to look and laugh as they do:

The hoax message reads: “Hi….I actually got another friend request from you yesterday…which I ignored so you may want to check your account.

“Hold your finger on the message until the forward button appears…then hit forward and all the people you want to forward too….I had to do the people individually. Good Luck!”

It’s that pass it on to all your friends part which makes it replicate. But thankfully that is all it does, replicate:

A range of similar messages have spread across Facebook in recent months, including similar posts about making sure that posts appear in your feed. It’s not clear why such hoax messages begin, since there is nothing really to be gained by starting one, though they have been going on for decades in the form of chain letters.

Quite so. There’s nothing to this at all. Other than the flood of messages themselves, nowt to worry about. Just delete them – and don’t, don’t send it on. There’s just something about us humans which makes us prey to this sort of thing. It’s of no matter, merely slightly boring.

Posted: 10th, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Technology | Comment


Innocence unproven in the Brett Kavanaugh witch hunt

Can you tell the difference between real life and fiction? One is messy, complex and unpredictable. The other is written to a script, an idealised version of things built to entertain and reach a satisfying climax. Slate, the online magazine, has watched the Brett Kavanaugh witch hunt and come up with the headline: “No One Could Be Further From Atticus Finch – Defenders of Brett Kavanaugh liken themselves to the hero of To Kill a Mockingbird. That’s appalling.”

To Kill a Mockingbird is a work of fiction. Atticus Finch was never an actual person. No-one made up Brett Kavanaugh, and if they did the only ponderable would be: why did they bother.

Yesterday, Kavanaugh was worn in as a Supreme Court justice. At the signing in shindig, Donald Trump said Kavanaugh was “proven innocent” of allegations of sexual assault. The Guardian calls that a “baseless claim”. Of course it is. You don’t need to prove yourself innocent, unless it really is a witch hunt in which case you die trying. Said Trump of his man:

“On behalf of our nation, I want to apologize to Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family for the terrible pain and suffering you have been forced to endure. Those who step forward to serve our country deserve a fair and dignified evaluation, not a campaign of political and personal destruction based on lies and deception.What happened to the Kavanaugh family violates every notion of fairness, decency, and due process. Our country, a man or woman must always be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

And that’s it. End of. Christine Blasey Ford made for a compelling and credible accuser when she claimed Kavanaugh had at age 17 and she 15 pinned her to a bed, placed his hand over her mouth, groped her and tried to remove her clothes. He denied it all in a testimony that was no less compelling and credible. The world’s richest country became transfixed and frozen as two adults debated what they did and didn’t do as teenagers in the 1980s. What was worrying was that to question Ford’s story, to ask for evidence, to wonder why she never told the police, a friend, her family, and to look for witnesses to corroborate her story was heresy.  We were told to “believe” her. We should do this because she is a woman. But women can lie, right, forget or misremember.

To believe without evidence was to support victims of sexual violence, we were told, and say #timesup to the oppressors. To believe the anti-abortionist Kavanaugh or seek facts and evidence was to advocate rape and misogyny.

Kavanaugh wasn’t proven innocence. Trump’s a berk for saying he was. But to believe without question, to assume guilt on the strength of a single word is to undo democracy. But if you still want Kavanaugh lynched, let’s hark back to another era in American history were one group were always believed:

In 1931, a fight occurred between black and white boys on a freight train traveling through the town of Scottsboro, Alabama. The police rounded up all black boys riding on the train and ultimately arrested nine black boys, ranging in ages from 12 to 19 years old. Two white girls then came forward alleging that they were gang raped on the train. All nine defendants claimed innocence. After four separate one-day trials with all-white juries, eight of the nine were convicted and sentenced to death.

Their appeals would last over 20 years. On re-trial, one of the rape victims testified that the rape was fabricated, yet all-white juries again returned guilty verdicts. In the end, after facing multiple re-trials, all of the Scottsboro boys had their convictions dropped or were sentenced to lesser charges.

Believe without question? Check your bias at the door and consider the facts.

Posted: 9th, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Meng Hongwei: Missing head of Interpol found in Chinese prison

Panic over. The head of Interpol, Meng Hongwei, has been found. He’s in a Chinese jail being investigated by the country’s anti-corruption body. His crimes are “unspecified”.

Meng, how has gone missing while on a tip to his native China, resigned from the presidency of Interpol today. Interpol are not thought to be investigating an event that appears to be right up its street. And as ever, the more powerful the suspects, the more dilatory the police response. What looks like the State-sponsored kidnapping of a leading figure representing an international public service is fine; get spotted DWB (driving whilst black) and you’re nicked.

It’s not very rare for China to lock people up for things the details of which are sketchy.

When the actress Fan Bingbing re-emerged, having vanished in China in July, she issued a public apology for tax evasion and any other offences [insert list here]. Expect Meng to be very apologetic very soon, and thereby mitigate the need for more intense forms of questioning.

Looking on, China’s getting a bit like the West in this race to purge the landscape. PC (Police China) is rewriting history. Had Fan Bingbing not apologised, chances are she’d have been airbrushed out of all her films. It’s zero tolerance the world over…

 

Posted: 7th, October 2018 | In: News | Comment


Free speech for Jew haters: Mahathir Mohamad addresses Oxford University students

Is Mahathir Mohamad a fan of Katie Hopkins, the rent-a-gob former Mail columnist and LBC radio presenter? Both seem to have missed the memo from Josef Mengele, the Nazi who when not dreaming up new ways to murder Jews in his lab was measuring Jews’ anatomy to check for nose size. It turned out that despite Nazi propaganda painting Jews as hook-nosed freaks, Jew noses were no different in dimension to the Aryan master race’s. So when Hopkins reportedly says “I got the nose but not the Jewish bit, which is shit” and Mohamed, the Malaysian prime minister, states that all Jews are “hook-nosed”, you might think they’re harking back to anti-Semitic tropes. You might also get the feeling that the sighting of “Jew noses” is not meant as a compliment, but intended to other the Israelites and mark out Jews as, well, “shit”.

Hopkins is no longer a regular presence on the mainstream British media. But you can catch Mohamad on the Beeb and on stage during his tour of the UK. He’s a lovely bloke. Not in the least bit of an anti-Semitic bastard. “If you are going to be truthful, the problem in the Middle East began with the creation of Israel,” he opined knowingly on BBC’s Hard Talk, pointing to those fabled pre-Israel lands flowing with the milk and honey of human comradeship [see the Bible, Islamic history, the big book of beheadings and the Horrible Histories series for children]. That is the truth. But I cannot say that.” He also knows that 4 million not 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust – which means 2 million dead Jews are liars, so too the ones who mourn them.

Not that the bigger figure is not without its appeal:

“1.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews,” he said at the Organization of the Islamic Conference summit in 2003 in Kuala Lumpur. “There must be a way. And we can only find a way if we stop to think, to assess our weaknesses and our strength, to plan, to strategize and then to counterattack. We are actually very strong. 1.3 billion people cannot be simply wiped out. The Europeans killed six million Jews out of 12 million.”

He “wrote on his personal blog in 2012 that ‘Jews rule this world by proxy,” The Associated Press reported’.

But why read the case notes when you can catch him live? The man who says he’s “proud” to be called an anti-Semite appeared at Oxford University’s Islamic Centre, Imperial College and Chatham House. Good to see universities are not full of snowflakes after all – at least those sensitive students didn’t issue a ‘no platform’ decree when Jew-baiters and Jew haters are delivering the address…

 

Posted: 4th, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Madeleine McCann: Scotland Yard’s ‘unofficial’ investigation

Madeleine McCann – a look at reporting on the missing child. Today the Star brings ‘Our Maddie’ news on page 19. The paper says “official cash” to fund the search for the missing child has “dried up” – so “Scotland Yard  is “footing the bill”. Is Scotland Yard an unofficial outfit, a private company or some kind of rogue agency?

Reading on we get a fuller picture: the Metropolitan Police is continuing its investigation – Operation Grange – without knowing if it will get more government funds. So all that’s happening is the Met is investigating the vanishing as it would investigate any other alleged crime. An unnamed Home Office wonk is quoted as saying requests for more funds are “being considered”.

In other news: there is no news.

 

 

Posted: 4th, October 2018 | In: Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Grenfell fraudster Jenny McDonagh spent stolen money on a huge dildo

grenfell jenny fraud

 

Jenny McDonagh, 39, has been sentenced for five and half years choky for using her finance manager’s job at Kensington and Chelsea council to get pre-paid credit cards that should have been given to survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire, which killed 72 people.

Part of her £62,000 haul – £48 of it – was invested in a 12-inch dildo from Ann Summers, the high-street aide-to-masturbation store, says the Sun. Judge Robin Johnson told Isleworth Crown Court, McDonagh splashed out on meals out, gambling, and £51.4k on trips to France, Iceland, America and the UAE. She also defrauded the NHS of more than £35,000.

But it’s the huge phallus that catches the eye. And it seems fitting. After all, Jenny McDonagh is a massive ****.

Posted: 2nd, October 2018 | In: News | Comment


Grenfell won’t work – the problem with banning combustible cladding

Grenfell Tower was a horror, a grotesquery. That doesn’t, though, mean that any and every plan to make sure something like that never happens again is going to work. This latest insistence being a good example – all combustible claddings for buildings are to be banned. There are two problems here, one just a facet of reality, the other a rather more subtle piece of economics.

But they’re going for it all the same:

Combustible cladding ban set to be announced

As we know, one of the problems at Grenfell was that the covering they put on the building could – and did – itself burn.

Plastics, wood and products that include combustible materials such as aluminium composite panels will be banned in the external wall systems used in residential buildings more than 18 metres tall, as signalled by ministers earlier this summer. The only materials that will be allowed are those classed as A1 or A2, which includes materials such as metal, stone and glass, which seldom contribute to fires; or plasterboard, which makes no significant contribution.

It’s important to note what is being said there.

All combustible materials on outside of new buildings to be banned

Because that’s not what is being said.

The problem that reality presents us with is as with Paracelsus and his comment that it is the dose that is the poison. With fire what is combustible depends upon the temperature. Absolutely everything will burn at a high enough temperature – stars themselves rather show that. OK, different sort of burning but still. The argument is instead that things which might burn at any likely temperature are to be banned. Which is nice, but then we thought we’d already done that under the old building regulations. Those cladding panels on Grenfell weren’t supposed to burn either.

But we’ve that other economic point too. It is never true that we want to be perfect. The entirety of life is a series of compromises. We want everything to be “good enough” for the purpose to which it is being put, not so good that nothing bad can ever happen. Sure, bad things have costs – and people being burnt to death is a high cost indeed – but then so does preventing bad things. What we need to do is balance these out. We can make every car entirely safe for example, but they’ll move at 3 mph if we do. Thus we don’t even want to ban all combustible materials, we just want to ban those where the costs of not using them are lower than the costs of using them.

We’re not, therefore, going to ban all combustibles but then we shouldn’t either.

Posted: 2nd, October 2018 | In: News | Comment


Elon Musk got off lightly – Tesla is damaged

There will be, from the fan boys, screeches and wails of discrimination over this decision to fine Elon Musk. They’ll be right too, this is discrimination, wholly in favour of Elon Musk and Tesla. For he most certainly did mislead the markets, a serious financial crime, and there’s a very good argument that he should have been punished much more than he was. The Securities and Exchange Commission could have insisted that he entirely remove himself from the management of a listed company – that would have been extreme perhaps but it was possible.

 

Elon_Musk_ tesla

Elon Musk: trust me I’m a car dealer

 

As has been pointed out before, Musk should have been punished for what he did:

Insofar as (a) is concerned: LSD? Lack of sleep? Impending mental breakdown? Or was there something more desperately Machiavellian about it? Regardless, I can’t think of an explanation that bodes well for Tesla.

With regards to (b). It is so blindingly obvious now (and should have been from word one) that his announcement Tweets were materially false. They had large impacts on the price of Tesla stock. They followed years of other dubious announcements, both on Twitter and in SEC filings and investor disclosures. If the SEC lets this slide it will make a mockery of the securities laws, and suggest that there are different standards for some people.

So, what really is that he did? Well, his actual tweet was along these lines:

The fraud allegation relates to his August tweet in which Mr Musk said he was considering taking electronic car maker Tesla off the stock market and into private ownership.

He wrote he had “funding secured” for the proposal, which would value Tesla at $420 per share. Shares in the company briefly rose after his announcement, but later fell again.

Effectively, he announced that someone was going to buy all Tesla shares at that $420. This, not unsurprisingly, made the price of Tesla shares rise to close to that $420. The problem being that it wasn’t true, he didn’t have a buyer. That’s misleading the markets.

Elon Musk, the billionaire technology entrepreneur, will step down as chairman of the electric car company Tesla and pay a £15 million fine to settle fraud charges.

And that’s the punishment. But there are those who think it’s a pretty light one:

Elon Musk just dodged a bullet. It’s Tesla that bears the scars.

Just a couple of days after the Securities and Exchange Commission sued Tesla Inc.’s chairman and CEO – an action he described as “unjustified” – Musk has settled. Without admitting wrongdoing in connection with his bizarre claims of having teed up a buyout of the company in August, Musk will pay a fine of $20 million and relinquish the position of chairman for at least three years.

Given the apparent strength of the SEC’s complaint, with so much evidence typed and broadcast by Musk’s own hand, this surely counts as a win for him. The fine is immaterial compared to the $8.9 billion value of his stake in Tesla. Crucially, he has avoided the ban on being an officer of a public company, as the SEC was seeking.

It could have been so much more and it wasn’t – yes, that’s a win. Well, a win after having done something so ridiculously stupid as having sent the tweet in the first place.

Posted: 1st, October 2018 | In: Key Posts, News, Technology | Comment


Madeleine McCann: Gerry’s tears, Pope is religious and Maddie is missing

Did you tune in to BBC Radio 4 show on fathers and daughters to hear Madeleine McCann’s father, Gerry McCann, as he “weeps uncontrollably”, as the Daily Star says he did? TV loves tears, from cake baking shows to pro-celebrity dance contests, no broadcast is complete without a close up of someone crying. But does it work for radio? In “MADDIE DAD BREAKDOWN” the Star leads with Gerry McCann saying how he “believed in heaven”. The man who along with his wife, Kate McCann, met the Pope when the hunt for his daughter was in full cry, is religious. Want more news?

 

maddie mccann

 

The front-page story continues on Page 5. The Star’s editorial says “Gerry McCann’s heartbreak over missing Madeleine must touch every parent’s heart… Listeners will have sobbed along with Gerry as his tears flowed.” All of them? Having spent 11 years watching the parents and now listening to them, many people will be interested in the actual investigation and what happened to an innocent child? Well, the Star says the Metropolitan Police should get more cash because “we may be looking for a serial offender” and “it could be money well spent”. May. Could. Reporting on the disappearance of a missing child  continues to be sensationalist and speculative.

 

maddie mccann

 

The Mirror also leads with Madeleine McCann, and news that Gerry “dreams of hugging” her again. Over pages 4 and 5, we’re told Gerry McCann wholeheartedly believes his daughter is alive – “a view backed up up by Scotland Yard’s plea for more funds to probe the mystery.” What plea? There has been some newspaper talk of funds running low and police considering applying for more. Indeed, the Star says there is a “debate” over whether police will request more funds or not. If there is a plea for money – and does Scotland Yard plea or merely ‘apply’? – the Mirror has no details about it. It would be useful to know what progress police think will be made with more fund.

 

maddie mccann

Daily Star

 

The Sun picks up the radio broadcast, and pretty much transcribes the whole thing:

“I couldn’t get the darkest thoughts out of our minds, that somebody had taken her and abused her. I remember just being in the bedroom – the two of us just completely distraught. It was almost feral, the reaction and the pain, feeling helpless, alone.”

And amid the pain and the emotion, the Sun surmises the story so far:

“A number of potential leads have emerged since the little girl vanished, but none amounted to anything and no arrests have ever been made.”

Can you arrest anyone when all you know is that a child vanished?

This is the BBC’s story, and it’s useful to see their take on it:

Madeleine, then aged three, disappeared from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in 2007, sparking a worldwide search for her whereabouts.

A search stoked by a media feeding frenzy.

Mr McCann was speaking to BBC Radio 4 for a programme about the relationship between fathers and daughters. He said that he was sure immediately that his daughter had been abducted.

After being told by his wife Kate that their daughter was missing, Mr McCann said “automation kicked in” and he began searching the apartment.

“We started searching more widely really quickly and then very quickly raised the alarm,” he said.

“You’re in this quiet little holiday resort – that seemed idyllic – out of season and I certainly didn’t speak Portuguese so I asked [our friend] Matt to go to reception and ask them to call the police.”

“I couldn’t get the darkest thoughts out of our minds, that somebody had taken her and abused her,” he continued.

“I felt that every moment that we couldn’t find her was worse.

“I remember being slumped on the floor and starting to call some of my family members and just saying: ‘Pray for her.'”

And the “plea” for money:

The Home Office said last week it is currently considering a police request for an extra six months’ funding for Operation Grange.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 30th, September 2018 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment