Reviews | Anorak - Part 22

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We don’t just report off-beat news, breaking news and digest the best and worst of the news media analysis and commentary. We give an original take on what happened and why. We add lols, satire, news photos and original content.

Westminster paedophiles: the Welsh government’s conspiracy theories

The National Assembly for Wales has a few words on the VIP paedophiles.

You will recall, no doubt, how the story of a ‘ring’ of murderous Westminster paedophiles had abused children for decades. The Met Police created Operation Midland to gather evidence and bring these high-ranking paedos to trial. After 16 months of frenzied looking, hyperbole – Labour MP called the dead Sir Leon Brittan “close to evil” (he later apologised – whoops!) – and voracious reporting, often around Nick, the assumed name of a man who claimed to have been raped and witnessed child murder at Dolphin Square, a block of flats close to Westminster – DS Kenny McDonald, told journalists “I believe what Nick is saying is credible and true” –  Operation Midland failed to find a murder victim, evidence of criminality and bring any charges against a co-called VIPs.

And to the website of the National Assembly for Wales. Surely it will stick to facts.

EXHIBITION: Wall of Silence

Date: Monday 27 June 2016 to Sunday 3 July 2016

Location: Pierhead Main Hall

Description: The Wall of Silence is the inspiration of Carl. Carl grew up in Powys and is in recovery from child sexual abuse. He was abused by some powerful people and is now decades on seeking justice…

Bit vague, no? For this to appear on an official government website is peculiar. Why mention ‘Powerful people’. Surely anyone can be a child abuser. We know that. It smacks of sensationalism and in light of the Operation Midland debacle undermines the issue.


VIP paedophiles


Posted: 27th, July 2016 | In: Reviews | Comment

Father Jacques Hamel: the front pages and a Daesh murder mystery

How do you report the murder of Father Jacques Hamel in a Normandy church?

The International Catholic News Weekly reports: “The nun – who did not want to be named – told Le Figaro newspaper: ‘They entered brusquely and took over. They spoke in Arabic.'”

Any ideas what the men wanted?

The Telegraph is clueless: “The men shouted ‘Daesh’ and cut the priest’s throat before being ‘neutralised,’ police said. Le Figaro newspaper reported that the priest died after his throat was cut. The men’s motives are still unknown.”

What did they want? Any clues?

As the Press muse on what two self-declared Islamists murdering a priest in France could possibly mean, let’s look at the front pages?

The Metro nails it.

Father Jacques Hamel


The Star is also good. “Scum” is the language we can all understand.


Father Jacques Hamel


The Express is conniving. The murder of an elderly unarmed man in a church is juxtaposed alongside a story of migrants.


Father Jacques Hamel


The relays the words of the French President. Daesh has declared war on France.


Father Jacques Hamel


As the tabloids get it, the broadsheets miss. The Guardian’s story is poor. It talks of the “killing” of Father Jacques Hamel. No, he was murdered. This killing “shocks France”. It appalls every sane one of us. It shocks the West. But Christians under persecution in places like Egypt, Iraq, Yemen and Pakistan will be less shocked.

Coptic Priest Father Rafael Moussa was killed instantly when a man shot him in the head in North Sinai capital El-Arish in June. This month, Coptic pharmacist Maged Attia was stabbed and beheaded in Tanta. Five Coptic Christian homes have been torched in Abu Yacoub, Minya, after rumours spread that a church was being constructed in the area. The Archangel Mikhail Coptic Church was burned to the ground in village of Naj al-Nassara in Madamoud. And a 27-year-old Coptic Christian man stabbed to death in the village of Tahna al-Gabal, Minya, where the local priest’s family was also attacked…

His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, has issued the following statement:

What must be considered very clearly and with great concern however is that an attack on any individual member of a society is an attack on that same society and what it stands for, so our prayers are not only with those who have suffered these unspeakable and horrid violations, but for the society that is undermined and made more vulnerable with each and every one of these incidents. The system of law and order in Egypt is not one for Christians, Muslims or any other individual group of people, but it is for all Egyptians, and so when violated this violation is against all.


Father Jacques Hamel


The Times leads with news of a “religious war” and “fears” over one. France is not at war with Islam. the President did not say that. France is at war with Islamic State and the nihilists who adhere to it doctrines.


Father Jacques Hamel



Posted: 27th, July 2016 | In: Reviews | Comment

Brexit: 98% of Daily Express reders want Article 50 triggered – 2% want Princess Diana return

The Daily Express brings news of a new poll: “98 per cent say NO to EU deal.”

Brexit daily express


98% of whom?

A NEW Daily Express online poll has revealed that 98 per cent of respondents…

So 98% of people who read the Brexit-supporting Daily Express want out now. Were the other 2% Daily Mirror readers looking to corrupt the perfect score?

3,548 people – want the historic Brexit vote to be enacted now instead of Britain being embroiled in months or years of talks with Brussels bureaucrats.

As it happens, Anorak agrees. We want Article 50 triggered now. The waiting smalls funny. So. Read all about it: 100% of Anorak readers want Brexit. No need to vote. You already did.


Posted: 26th, July 2016 | In: Politicians, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment

Daily Mail scare story: dad gives you cancer

The Daily Mail has a new cancer scare story. The headline suggests that dads give their children cancer. No, not through their genes, rather through their guts:

Junk food-loving fathers raise their future daughters’ risk of breast cancer

The picture the Mail uses is not of junk food.


Cancer Daily Mail

Lettuce gives you cancer?


Add it to the list.

Posted: 26th, July 2016 | In: Reviews, Tabloids | Comment

Sports Direct: human rights and Mike Ashley’s legal redress

Former BBC staffer Paul Mason is making some sort of point about Sports Direct and Newcastle United FC tycoon Mike Ashley and his underlings:

What is striking, when you consider the modern reality of precarious work and coercive management, is how the concept of human rights stops at the factory gate.

Human rights?


Paul Mason sports direct


The workers of Georgian England had no democratic rights or access to law. But the 21st century is supposed to be an age of universal rights. Every one of the practices described at Sports Direct appears to not just have broken employment law, but also violated the human right of the citizen not to be bullied, shamed, endangered or sexually harassed.

So things are better now because there are laws and human rights. Sports Direct’s working practises can be tested in a court of law. The workers have redress. Things are much improved. So what exactly is Mason’s point?

Spotter: Guardian

Posted: 26th, July 2016 | In: Broadsheets, Money, Reviews | Comment

Bernie Ecclestone’s mother-in-law has been kidnapped in Sao Paulo

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone’s mother-in-law has been kidnapped in Sao Paulo, not far from the race track:

According to Brazilian magazine Veja, Aparecida Schunck, 67, was taken on Friday in the neighbourhood of Interlagos, Sao Paulo with her kidnappers said to be demanding a ransom of 120 million Brazilian reals [£28m].

As sports fans head to Rio for the Olympics, and athletes put their running skills to good use avoiding muggers, jihadis attacks and the Zika virus, we learn that Aparecida is mother to Ecclestone’s current wife Fabiana Flosi, 38.


Aparecida Schunk


The Mail says the ransom is the largest ever demanded in Brazil. Veja says the criminals requested that payments be made in pounds sterling. (The crooks don’t want euros – in yer face, Juncker!)

Will 85-year-old Bernie pay up?

Will his daughter Tamara Ecclestone forgo another exclusive handbag to see a woman freed from the criminals?

Posted: 26th, July 2016 | In: Celebrities, Reviews | Comment

Cambridge man drinks six pints, passes out on shopping centre’s glass roof

Isaac Moore is casting a shadow over the Grand Arcade shopping centre in Cambridge.


Peterborough drunk cambridge roof shopping centre


Peterborough Today says Moore scarfed six pints – he had scored a new job (as what we’re not told) and wanted to celebrate – before climbing atop the 75 foot high curved glass roof and taking a nap.

“He had gone out on Saturday to celebrate a new job, clearly he drank too much and has no recollection how he ended up on that roof,” says his solicitor.


Spotter: Peterborough Today.

Posted: 24th, July 2016 | In: Reviews | Comment

Free Speech: Australia’s ABC fails to understand comically

Thanks to Tim Blair for this wonderful moment in the debate over Free Speech and Me Speech. On Australia’s ABC idiots, the talk if on the “negative effects of free speech”.

Scott Stephens:

There’s something quite disturbing about our response to the events we’ve witnessed in places like Orlando or Nice. I’m hearing things being said that not that long ago would’ve been unthinkable …

It seems to me that we are going through a period in the west of a moral regression, and because of that I’m wondering whether we as moral agents can still be trusted with the privilege of freedom of speech. I think we’re at the point where we have to re-examine what we mean by that and if there is a deeper moral obligation that puts constraints on what we ought to be able to say in public.

Bloody hell.

Waleed Aly:

Certain speech and the proliferation of certain speech can have real world harms … it’s part of whipping up a mood that has seen people bashed and may well see more people bashed.

William Cavanaugh:

We tend to think of free speech as self expression—it’s just the expression of whatever it is on your mind, it’s the expression of the self whether or not the self is worthy of being expressed. So Donald Trump for example is congratulated for speaking his mind even if he doesn’t necessarily have a mind that’s worth speaking.


Posted: 24th, July 2016 | In: Reviews | Comment

Liverpool balls: Danny Ings catches banter but Aki Riihilahti was funny

Liverpool FC striker Danny Ings writes exclusively for the Liverpool website. In case you missed it, “For the duration of the Reds’ tour of the USA, Danny Ings will be writing an exclusive blog for”

Good oh. We like a footballer’s diary. We recall when Finland’s Aki Riihilahti wrote a diary of life with Crystal Palace, which The Times sensibly picked up. It was witty, concise, pithy and engaging

August 26, 2002:

HAVE YOU EVER HEARD A secretary starting to yell and run around the office just because she succeeded to answer the phone? In football this is considered normal. If you score you often just bellow like a horny animal and do these ridiculous madman celebrations that would in the normal life get you hospitalised. And when the ball goes a bit wide from the target everybody raises their hands, throws their neck and sighs ooooh! Can’t really see a barber doing that just because he cut the customer’s mullet a bit too short.

September 9 2002:

So the truth is, Roy Keane is a much better player but also a very different type of person than I am. Well, I prefer it to stay this way. And maybe after this article I have to be careful if I ever play against him. But whatever happens, I am not going to sue him, because I enjoy watching him playing.

 October 7 2002:

A FOOTBALLER ATE GREASY fries, coke and a burger and actually played like Ronald McDonald next day.

Highlight October 21, 2002:

“RIIHILAHTI WON THE game for Finland”. “Finnish football is flying high thanks to Riihilahti”. “Riihilahti is leading Finland to his nation’s first European Championship tournament”. These are the headlines I could have made. Instead I just got 5 in the players’ ratings in the local papers and a little mention in the side paragraph: “Riihilahti could have won the game for Finland but finished poorly

Brilliant. So to Danny Ings.

Usually at this level, a lot of players do actually know each other from previous experiences, but of course some don’t. Things like we did today, going to Alcatraz and having a walk around together, means people can get to know each other’s personalities a bit better, find out who can speak which languages and find out who has got banter and who hasn’t.

To be fair, the majority of the new boys have got banter…

Aki wrote in English as his second language. Danny Ings is English.

Posted: 23rd, July 2016 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Munich Massacre v Jo Cox: Biased British Press avoid ‘Islam’

The Munich massacre is all over the Daily Mirror’s front page. The word is “terror”. But why did the killer do it? Lunacy? Narcissism? Nihilism? Anger? Because he could? Nazism? Islamism? Racism? Brexit? Low blood sugar? The NRA?

The killer is dead. Can we guess, then, why a young man would slaughter so many at a shopping mall?

The Mirror calls the 18-year-0ld Iranian-German the “crazed killer”. He is the “lone gunman”.


Munich massacre


When Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered on a street in England, the Mirror knew everything about her alleged killer, Thomas Mair, in an instant. The Mirror was backing the Remain vote in the EU Referendum:


Jo Cox mirror killer brexit


The Star also knew about Mair:


the star brexit jo cox


And the Sun knew Mair was a far-right loon:


Sun brexit jo cox


But now the Star can only muster: “…the shooting may have been carried out by Islamic extremists or far-right sympathisers.”

And the Sun just settles on nationality:


Munich massacre


The Press are pussyfooting around.

The Mirror does quote an eyewitness, who spoke with CNN:

The woman named Loretta told CNN: “I come out of the toilet and I hear like an alarm, boom, boom, boom. He’s killing the children. The children were sitting to eat. They can’t run.”

She also said the man yelled: ‘Allahu Akbar!’

She said she recognised this phrase as she herself is Muslim, according to CNN.

Surely people of all religions and races know that phrase by now. The Greater Manchester Police have used it in their terrorist training for attacks on shopping malls.

So. Why did he do it? Discuss. And here’s a clue: it’s never a simple answer (unless myou want it to be).

Posted: 23rd, July 2016 | In: Key Posts, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment (1)

Munich Massacre: blaming Brexit

The Munich massacre, the Press are calling it. A Iranian-German nutter has murdered many a German shopping mall. Who can we blame. They know. We can blame ourselves:


munich killer 18 Iranian


The New York Times blames Europe:

First came Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. Then the horrific attack in Nice, France, which killed 84 people. Then, on Friday, a shooting near a shopping mall in Munich, which the police are treating as a possible terrorist attack.

These events alone would be cause for a continental nervous breakdown. But still unresolved is an even bigger threat to European stability: a failure to develop a coherent, humane plan to deal with the inexorable flow of desperate people fleeing violence and persecution in the Middle East and Africa and seeking a new home in Europe …

The refugee issue continues to stoke fears and xenophobic politics. If Europe fails to face this problem squarely and humanely, more migrants will die, and a union that has kept the peace in Europe for decades could well unravel.

Globe & Mail:

Anger and fear drove Brexit just as Donald Trump fans the flames of a disenfranchised America, which as Baton Rouge proves, is as racially and ethnically divided as Europe, which is dealing with mass immigration, an attempted coup in Turkey and seemingly relentless terrorism borne out civil war-torn Syria. Mark MacKinnon reports on the relationship between seemingly unconnected events across the globe..

Our societies are fracturing into tribes. In the U.K., it’s Leavers versus Remainers. In Turkey, the failed coup has cleaved society into Erdoganites and Gulenists (after the movement accused of supporting the failed putsch). Almost everywhere, lines are being drawn between immigrants and the native-born. Black and white. Us and them.

And the tribes are turning on one another.

Leave v Remain is like black v white? What utter balls.

And on NBC:

TODD: Do you draw a straight line? I mean, do you draw a straight line from basically the Syrian refugee crisis to Brexit to what we are seeing in Germany and France?

ENGEL: I think you can draw a straight line.

So. Why did you murder so many people in Germany? Narcissism? Islamism? Poverty? Racism? No. It was Brexit…

Posted: 23rd, July 2016 | In: Key Posts, Reviews | Comment (1)

Iranian-German ‘wanker’ commits mass murders in Munich

A man has murdered 9 people at Munich’s Olympia shopping centre. The  killer, an 18-year-old German-Iranian dual national who lived in Munich, took his own life.

Munich police chief Hubertus Andrae says, “The motive or explanation for this crime is completely unclear.”

Completely unclear? No clues?

CNN reports:

A witness who will only be identified as Lauretta told CNN her son was in a bathroom with a shooter at the McDonald’s. “That’s where he loaded his weapon,” she said. “I hear like an alarm and boom, boom, boom… And he’s still killing the children. The children were sitting to eat. They can’t run.” Lauretta said she heard the gunman say, “Allahu Akbar,” or God is great. “I know this because I’m Muslim. I hear this and I only cry.”

The BBC: “Police urged the public to avoid speculation on social media and to desist from using photos or video of their deployments online.”

Don’t speculate, says the BBC, which then immediately invites speculation:

German security forces have been on alert since a teenage migrant stabbed and injured five people on a train in Bavaria on Monday, in an attack claimed by so-called Islamic State.

The ghouls are out. Or are they citizen journalists?


munich shooting Iranian
The Times leads with the picture of the killer:


terror in munich


The German Press uses language that needs no translation


bloodbath munich


And all Press have a transcription of this exchange:

Gunman on the roof of a carpark: “”I am a German!”

Onlooker: “You are a wanker”

One site has more:

00:00 A) You … you asshole! B) … I have never made… A) You wanker you! You are an asshole!
00:06 B) And now I have to buy a weapon to (shoot you? — insecure) A) Weapon? You know what you need to have your head chopped, asshole! B) ??
00:12 A) HEY! B) ??? A) ??? Wanker!
00:18 B) Shit Turks! — A) Shit Kanaken man!
00:22 A) HEY! He has got a shooting weapon, he — C) (a woman’s voice) A) … is in there, he has loaded his weapon
00:29 D) (woman filming commenting in probably Russian) A) Get the cops! He is walking there!
00:34 E) (man filming commenting in probably Russian) A) The wanker, bloody! B) I am German!
00:38 A) A wanker you are! B) Stop filming! A) What is this
00:41 shit you are doing? B) (??) was born here! A) So what? What is this shit you are doing?
00:44 B) … in this Hartz IV area, … in the Hasenbergl… A) (??) you asshole down there!
00:50 B) I have been in residential treatment in Giesing. A) Yes treatment you belong into a psychiatric asylum you asshole!
00:55 B) How is that my fault, I haven’t done anything, I (???) . A) (??)
00:58 B) Yeah shut up man. — A) You wanker you!
01:01 A) HEY! On the upper deck he is wandering about, you complete morons! (D and E who are filming commenting in probably Russian)
01:09 2 shots fired, people screaming.
01:14 2 shots fired (and D and E who are filming’s voices)
01:17 D and E who are filming’s voices
01:21 A) You are not right in your head you wanker you!
01:26 D and E who are filming’s voices
01:33 (Cracking sound) F) Go over there!
01:36 A) Asshole you shitty old!
01:39 D and E who are filming’s voices, A ranting A) They shat in your brain! B) No they haven’t! That’s the issue!
01:45 A) They have shat in your brain you complete moron! B) They have not!

Such are the facts.

Posted: 23rd, July 2016 | In: Reviews | Comment

Vote for Melania Trump and reject the Clintons’ model marriage

donald-trump-attack-hairMelania Trump is riding high on the news cycle. The critics says she’s a bit thick, unable even to speak for herself and is no way a role model. The New York Times doesn’t much like Melania:

The qualities Mr. Trump seeks in his romantic partners are remarkably retro. Melania Trump is a former model with her own QVC jewelry line and skin care brand who emphasizes that her role as a mother comes before all else; Mr. Trump… expects women to be more aesthetically appealing than intellectually substantive.

Melania survives on her looks? No. She thrived on them, working as a well-paid model. But the NY Times doesn’t see modelling as a proper job. It sneers at her choice of profession. Women who make a living from their aesthetic appeal are dumb, we’re told. The Times should read the story of the wonderful Lydia Lova and get a grip.

The problem with Melania, of course, is that she is no Hillary Clinton:

The distinctions between the Clinton marriage and the Trumps’ reflect an uncomfortable evolution also happening in homes across the United States.

The Clintons’ marriage is the model. His alleged cheating and lying, and her alleged bullying of his mistresses is the model, the American ideal? A woman who get to the top by using her husband’s name and contacts is the model?

In the past half-century, American women have undergone a transformation in roles, and married couples now look a lot more like the Clintons  than whatever traditional view of women and home life that Mr. Trump holds: Most women work outside the home full time, and men increasingly marry women who are their educational and professional equals.

Melania speaks 6 languages. Hillary misspeaks one.


Posted: 22nd, July 2016 | In: Key Posts, Politicians, Reviews | Comment

Plagiarism balls: Melania Trump is Joe Biden with better hair

So Melania Trump, wife of could-be US President Donald Trump, plagiarised words used by Michelle Obama, wife to current US President Barack Obama, in a speech to believers. Salon is outraged:

Yes, plagiarism is a big deal: Melania Trump’s stolen words show how cynical Trump’s campaign is. The would-be First Lady and her husband’s campaign is counting on America not caring about her speech and ethics

The wife’s words matter than much? What, then, of current Vice President Joe Biden, who plagiarised former wannabe British Prime Minister Neil Kinnock’s speeches?

Words on that in Salon come there none.

Posted: 20th, July 2016 | In: Politicians, Reviews | Comment

World’s saddest polar bear lives in world’s best aquarium

Animals right activists say the “polar bear” living at the Grandview aquarium at the Grandview shopping centre in the Chinese city of Guangzhou is the “saddest polar bear in the world”. Every newspaper in the world agrees.

Animals Asia want punters to boycott the zoo. The group has posted photos of the animals looking lacklustre and trapped:


Guangzhou aquarium Guangzhou aquarium


Neale, welfare director at Animals Asia, says, “This bear has no peace and nothing natural to take comfort in. What’s more, information on how best to try to meet the complex physical and behavioural needs of captive polar bears is freely available, and yet this animal has been wilfully incarcerated in this way.”

And that’s not all. The mall, which Animals Asia calls a “prison”, is home to two more bears (although this site says the bears are not polar bears but “hybrid” polar-brown bears), six beluga whales, five walrus calves, arctic foxes and a wolf.  The group says all animals are housed poorly.

The South China Morning Post takes measurements:

An Arctic wolf, about 1 metre long, was seen pacing back and forth in its pen, which measured about 130 square feet. The wolf scratched at the glass and the walls of its enclosure, causing the paint – which depicts the bluish hues of the Arctic – to fall off…

Six beluga whales, each about 2 meters long, were swimming in a glass tank about four metres deep, six metres wide and 15 metres long.

Countering this is the website, ” he leading English-language city portal of Guangzhou”. It says:

A giant aquatic corridor stretches before you, blazed with bright light and color. Various tropical fish are sliding freely upon the colorful corals. Big sea turtles, kite-like ray fish, small sharks and many other beautiful fish are accessible now in the big and fancy emporium of Grandview.

On the site’s ‘About’ section we learn that it is “sponsored and supervised by the News Office of the Guangzhou Municipal Government” – where lunch is always exotic.


Posted: 20th, July 2016 | In: Reviews | Comment

Brexit: Mishcon De Reya and Theresa May kicks democracy into the long grass

More than three weeks ago, the British electorate voted to Leave the European Union. But Article 50, that part in the Lisbon Treaty dealing with Brexit, has not been invoked. Article 50 gives Britain a maximum two-year deadline to leave the EU.

Theresa May, the new prime minister, says she won’t invoke the mechanism before the end of the 2016.

Today legal outfit Mishcon De Reya made progress in its bid to thwart the will of the people. Mischons wants Brexit be put to a vote in parliament. The courts will hear their bid in October.

judges ruled that the lead case in the action should be that of Mishcon client Gina Miller, 51, an investment manager and philanthropist living in London who voted Remain in the EU referendum. Other applicants include London hairdresser Deir Dos Santos, 37, as well as Britons living in France campaigning as Fair Deal for Expats.

They should be laughed out of court. They won’t be. The powers that be are scared. They don’t want change. They want to kick it into the long grass.



Posted: 19th, July 2016 | In: Reviews | Comment (1)

Brexit balls: nationalists stole my brie

Brexit Balls aplenty in the Guardian, where Rachel Cooke is remembering past holidays in those halcyon days of the 1970s, when Europe was still called ‘The Continent’:

In France she eats a croissant:

Even as I finished it, licking my finger to gather every last flake, I worried that such an ambrosial delight might never pass my lips again. If this turned out to be so, I wasn’t sure life was going to be worth living.

She would go on to drink fizzy water, eat white yoghurt, “sticky cheese that was stinky”, snails and enjoy the “superiority of French food”. She was a “miniature gastronomic zealot” high on French supermarket fodder. And then it all ended:

You know where this is going. Brexit feels to me like grief, and, deep in mourning, I can’t stop thinking of the loved one, and all that she brought me. Of course, it’s possible to exaggerate the effect the EU has had on our eating habits.

Possible. And here it is. The European Union makes the apricot jam thicker and the butter more creamy. The EU allowed you to travel to France and eat food. The EU gave you bottled water. The EU did it all.

Things would have changed anyway, in the end; British supermarkets, for better or worse, sell sushi now.

Sushi is from Japan – a country NOT in the EU (yet). We eat sushi and more expensive foods because we are richer than before, and many of us spend large chunks of our considerable down time watching cheap-to-make cooking shows and celebrity travelogues on the telly.

In the 1970s, British foodies could watch Graham Kerr on telly, The Galloping Gourmet, a celebrity chef the Guardian calls “The Roger Moore of the mandolin, the Nigel Havers of the hob, the David Niven of the knife block”.

The wealthy British imported coffee and tea and spices long before the EU existed.

Buy Cooke says “it’s difficult not to see this as a door closing – a refrigerator door, behind which there sits, in my dreams, an oozing brie de Meaux, a blushing hunk of culatello, and a small bowl of salty Nardin boquerones. How much more expensive are such treats likely soon to be?”

Well, that would depend on demand for already pricey foodstuffs. There’s a reason they don’t sell frozen snails at Tesco and they do sell sushi – “for better or worse.” They also sell Thai food (again, not from the EU) and lots of things from Australia, Canada and America.

She then accuses the people who voted for Brexit of being culturally backward, tasteless to the core, a slack-jawed, reactionary majority of bad-food lovers.

The celebrating Brexiteers are in a frenzy of nationalistic pride right now… Do they think freedom lies in grey meat and flaccid pastry?

No. See The Great British Bake Off.

Is it a case, for them, of better-the-cheap-British-cheese-you-know-than-the-dubious-foreign-stuff-you-don’t?

No. It’s a case of wine, a box of curry, a few spring rolls, kebabs, nachos, burgers and reruns of Fanny Cradock’s Fanny’s Kitchen  on the magic box.

Posted: 19th, July 2016 | In: Broadsheets, Reviews | Comment

Dutchman jailed for insulting King Willem-Alexander

To Holland, where a Dutchman has been locked up for 30 days for insulting King Willem-Alexander. Did he mention the ears? The chin? That gap-year incident with the chicken? No. The criminal insulted the king on a Facebook post, accusing the regent of being a murderer, thief and rapist.

The 44-year-old idiot also stuck the king’s face on images of peoples being executed.


Dutchman jailed for king insult king-willem-alexander

Sheikh Willem the Magnificent (and not at all chinless)


Said the Dutch courts “This behaviour is unacceptable in our society and demands that a penalty be imposed on the suspect.”

Amsterdam is now twinned with Riyadh.

Spotter: DutchNews

Posted: 18th, July 2016 | In: Reviews | Comment

Hebdo, Jews, Paris and Nice – the evolution of a death cult

What a sad and twisted little story on the BBC. In “Attack on Nice brings danger to France closer to home”, Hugh Schofield follows up the story of how Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel murdered scores of people at a Bastille Day celebration by noting:

Through the last 18 months of jihadist terror in France, a simple pattern is emerging: it keeps getting worse.

Worse than mass murder?

If the January 2015 attacks were aimed at specific groups – Jews and blasphemers – the November follow-up was more indiscriminate.

Murdering Jews and blasphemers is not worse – is it better, then? – than killing anyone else.

Is it time to update Pastor Martin Niemöller’s poem:

First they came for the Satirists, and I did not speak out—
Because I agreed that ‘You can’t say that!’, words are criminal and US Secretary of State John Kerry saw a “rationale” in the slaughter at Charlie Hebdo.

Then they came for the Jews at the supermarket, and I did not speak out—
Because Jews are behind everything and fight with Palestinians, says the man at the BBC.

Then they came for the rock fans, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a rock fan and they are “hedonists”.

Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.

So goes the evolution of a death cult.

At the Bataclan Massacre, the scene was gruesome. HeatStreet says:

A French government committee has heard testimony, suppressed by the French government at the time and not published online until this week, that the killers in the Bataclan appear to have tortured their victims on the second floor of the club…

Or as Schofield puts it:

At the Bataclan and at the cafes the Islamists killed young adults, out being European hedonists. This time, it’s gone a step further.

In Nice, it is the people at large – families and groups of friends – doing nothing more provocative than attending a national celebration. Ten children were among the dead.

People at large are not Jews and “hedonists” at a pop concert. Jews shopping for Shabbat dinner were being more provocative than non-Jews walking about in Nice?

Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, we learn, is a victim, who “fell prey to the torrent of jihadist propaganda emanating from so-called Islamic State (IS), and elevated his personal grievances into matters of cosmic importance.” He had a “weakness for Islamist ideology”.

And then comes the inevitable story that it’s not them, it’s us.

This is the moment when the attacks become so outrageous they provoke a backlash. A mosque is burned to the ground. Some white youths go on a rampage through a banlieue (suburb).

Don’t react. Don’t be furious. Fear yourselves. Fear the masses – irony of ironies – the very people who stormed the Bastille and gave rise to democracy and human rights founded on universalism and enlightenment values. Treat people as suspects.

There will be no debate about why and who? Why is Islam a lightning rod for these horrors? Why are young, third generation Muslims radicalised? Why has identity-based politics come to the fore? Why France? Why now?

Schofield adds:

This is what IS desperately wants to happen, of course, because France could then be on course for a truly bloody civil conflict.

What were the murders of 84 people in Nice; the murders of Charlie Hebdo journalists; the murders of 89 freedom lovers at the Bataclan theatre; mass murder on the Rue de Charonne, Rue de la Fontaine-au-Roi and Rues Bichat and Alibert if not truly bloody?

Stand up for freedom. Don’t be scared to uphold the values France epitomises.

Vive La France!

Posted: 17th, July 2016 | In: Key Posts, Reviews | Comment

UN and ISIS repeating a cowardly and barbaric war in France

Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel murdered 84 people when he drove a lorry into crowds marking Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais, Nice, France. The massacre was “cowardly and barbaric”. We know this because the UN tells us so. It’s been telling us so for quite some time.

NICE: UN Security Council: “[A] barbaric and cowardly attack … the perpetrators of these acts [need to be brought] to justice”.


UN Nice barbaric attack



UN Paris barbaric attack



UN Paris barbaric attack


Always cowardly and barbaric. And always nothing is done.

Posted: 16th, July 2016 | In: Politicians, Reviews | Comment (1)

Starbucks offers a fat-free degree for transgender student

To America, where Maximo Cortez has been working part-time in Starbucks in Houston, Texas “on and off over the last eight years, first while in school and now to save up some money.”

Cortez, a transgender man, is trying to accumulate enough to afford top surgery, something that will cost him $10,000. Meanwhile, he also needs to pay back student loans, pay his car expenses, and try to afford his apartment.

“Giving everyone a 5 percent wage increase, from barista to management, that’s a great step forward,” he said. But for him, currently making $8 an hour, that increase won’t mean much. “It won’t even be a dollar,” he noted.

Mr Cortez has a degree he paid for. He works in Starbucks part-time. Join the dots.


Posted: 16th, July 2016 | In: Money, Reviews | Comment

Fail: CNN illustrates Nice horror with advert for tyres

So how did CNN illustrate the story of the Islamist maniac who murdered scores of people on Bastille Day in Nice, France? With an advert for Falken tires [sic] that grip:


breaking news ads nice cnn


Native advertising is a horror, Whoever invented it should be taken from this place and forced to live in an echo chamber.

Posted: 16th, July 2016 | In: Key Posts, Reviews, The Consumer | Comment

After the Nice massacre experts remind us to conform and die

Nice, France. Many words will be said about the barbaric horror that has left so many dead. An Islamist in a lorry mowed them down at Bastille Day celebrations along the Promenade des Anglais. The victims are being mourned by those who knew them and loved them.

Others want to wallow and retreat. Where there might be fury and outrage at the hideous actions of one Islamist in a truck, there is this:


nice vigil


Can we get angry that people are being slaughtered? No, said one writer in the Huffington Post“ISIS counts on anger… to advance its cause.” We are told to conform, not to speak out and speak freely. We are only in the Safe Space if we all agree to say little and do nothing. The masses must not be heard.

What if cowardice and candles are not enough? One Washington Post writer said changing our Facebook status to feature the Tricolor could be interpreted as “an endorsement of the far right”.

What about singing the stirring anthem of France? No way. One Guardian writer tells us La Marseillaise is “not a million miles from the ISIS anthem”.

Maybe we should sing this instead:

I went to the place where every white face is an
invitation to robbery
an’ sitting here in my safe European home
I don’t wanna go back there again

– The Clash


Is it an isolated view that the West and ISIS are natural bedfellows? No. As President Barak Obama, champion of free speech and liberty told one and all:

“Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history. And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.

“In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”

Don’t get angry. Don’t fight. Get retrospective. Seek therapy. Heal thyself.


nice vigil


US Secretary of State John Kerry saw the murders of Charlie Hebdo staff in Paris and opined:

“There’s something different about what happened from Charlie Hebdo, and I think everybody would feel that. There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of – not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they’re really angry because of this and that.”

Hebdo staffers, those free speech extremists, were asking for it, said the gilded elite, those champions of free speech and free expression.

And when once again the nihilists struck Paris, Kerry had more to say:

“This Friday was absolutely indiscriminate. It wasn’t to aggrieve one particular sense of wrong. It was to terrorize people. It was to attack everything that we do stand for. That’s not an exaggeration. It was to assault all sense of nationhood and nation-state and rule of law and decency, dignity, and just put fear into the community and say, “Here we are.” And for what? What’s the platform? What’s the grievance? That we’re not who they are? They kill people because of who they are and they kill people because of what they believe. And it’s indiscriminate.”

Having heard a leading figure in the so-called Free West provide ISIS with a list of legitimate targets, there was the Guardian writer who told us all beneath the headline, “The Isis women’s manifesto is grotesque – but some in the west would agree with every word” that an alleged rapist employed as a footballer is like women who think a man marrying a nine-year-old girl is fine:

Ched Evans, in believing that it’s fine for him to have sex with a woman without her consent – if she is drunk and already having sex with a stranger anyway – probably has a good deal of common cause with the ideas of these women of the Islamic State.

As the bodies pile up in Nice, just as they did in Paris, the intelligent and knowing warn the thick and reactionary not to be angry that our hard-won values and freedoms are being attacked. Don’t summon the sprit of Bastille Day, and take on the bigots in the name of liberté, égalité, fraternité. All we need do is light a candle and huddle round in the dim light. This introspection serves no useful purpose other than to allow the enemy a better shot at us in the dark.

Allons, enfants de la Patrie
Le jour de gloire est arrivé!
Contre nous, de la tyrannie
L’étendard sanglant est levé

Vive La France!

Posted: 15th, July 2016 | In: Key Posts, Reviews | Comment (1)

Brexit: grow up, trigger Article 50 and ignore the cry babies

When not leaving for her place in Tuscany, Polly Tonybee remains at his keyboard talking to Guardian readers about Brexit and all that inconvenient democracy.

Having called David Cameron “the man who sauntered effortlessly along a privileged path”*, Polly Toynbee – old school: Badminton (day pupil fees £5,650 per term); daughter of the literary critic Philip Toynbee (school: Rugby; friend of the Mitford sisters); granddaughter of the historian Arnold J. Toynbee (Winchester College), and great-great niece of philanthropist and economic historian Arnold Toynbee (after whom Toynbee Hall in London is named); dated the man who would become Boris Johnson’s uncle – adds:

What is to become of us? Cameron has led us into a state of paralysing uncertainty, at the mercy of erratic negotiations with 27 countries over which we have no say. Take back control?

Those are 27 countries over which the UK has no control.

Are you paralysed with uncertainty? Are you unable to find your own arse without a politician taking your hand and showing you the way? Are you wailing and weeping about the future? Get this in the Mirror:

A Labour official who voted on Jeremy Corbyn’s future wept today as she claimed colleagues were “bullied and intimidated” ahead of the crunch ruling.

Johanna Baxter was one of the 32 National Executive Committee (NEC) members who voted 18-14 to put Mr Corbyn on the ballot paper in the Labour leadership election – without MPs’ backing.

Listen in:

Or are you just getting on with things, like a grown-up should?

Let’s end the uncertainty just Trigger Article 50. Get on with it. The working-classes have spoken. Join here.

*No problem with Tonybee’s good fortune, but why use another’s good fortune as a stick to beat them with?

Posted: 14th, July 2016 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians, Reviews | Comment

Eagle tries to carry off boy

To Australia, where a wedge-tailed eagle is wowing the crowds at the Alice Springs Desert Park. Witnesses says the bird swopped for a young onlooker and tried to make off with him “like a small animal”.


eagle boy australia park

Nice hat


The boy, aged around 7, was running his zipper up and down just before the bird made its play. Keenan Lucas was there:

“We’re at the bird show in the afternoon, having a great time and looking forward to seeing the wedge-tailed eagle come out for the finale.

“The bird then flew over the crowd and tried to grab on to a young boy’s head. He screamed, the mother was distraught and the presenters wrapped up the show very quickly.”

The brochure promises: “Get up close with Australia’s largest bird of Prey, the Wedge-tailed Eagle. Discover the interesting lives these magnificent birds live!”

Posted: 13th, July 2016 | In: Reviews, Strange But True | Comment