Reviews | Anorak - Part 5

Reviews Category

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.

Brexit brings an end to the Common Fisheries Policy’s bloodsports

Animal lovers should be delighted the UK is leaving the European Union. The UK’s farmers and fishermen tend to abide by the rules. What kind of reaction would there be if British farmers adopted the French habit of force-feeding geese to make foie gras? In 2013 it emerged that Spanish farmers were getting cash under the Common Agricultural Policy to rear bulls for bullfighting.

The latest news from Theresa May’s Brexit folder is that she’ll take Britain out of the Common Fisheries Policy. That’s the agreement that allows European fishing vessels to access waters six to twelve nautical miles from British shores.

The EU says the Common Fisheries Policy aims to ensure that fishing is “environmentally, economically and socially sustainable”. But the quotas, agreed under Ted Heath’s Tory government, allowed Britain’s fishermen 13 per cent by value of the new “common resource”. This led to the depletion of Britain’s fishing feet and the hideous fact that fishermen were forced on pain of law to return to the sea millions of dead fish for which they had no quota.

In 2015 fishermen targeting certain demersal species such as haddock, sole and plaice were told to “land all their catch”. From 01 January 2019, vessels of all gear types will have to land all catches of quota species and count the landings against quota. And: “Non-quota species such as gurnards, lobsters or pipefish can continue to be discarded. Prohibited species will have to be discarded.”

The landed fish – which the fisherman has caught and brought to land at no small effort and cost – can then be used as…landfill.

As for the alternative – and it’s hard to think of a worse one than throwing away tonnes of fish – the BBC notes, a 2016 House of Commons Library paper suggests the UK could allow foreign vessels to fish in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) – “Outside the EU, an EEZ extends 200 nautical miles (370km) off a country’s coastline, giving the state the authority to exploit and control the fish resources within this zone.”

Over to you, Theresa…

Spotter: Telegraph


Posted: 26th, March 2017 | In: Money, Politicians, Reviews | Comment

‘Workshy’ Prince William cheats death by being on holiday

First up, we can reassure you that Prince William is ok. Alpine nightspots, rhinos and the Surrey ribbon-makers guild can all sleep easy. Your patron is safe. But had Williams been at work he could have been a little less safe. Anglia Two, the rescue helicopter William occasionally pilots, was in the air when a remote-controlled drone flew too close for comfort. No-one was hurt. Although the mentally negligible berk flying a drone in the ‘copters air space should be, or at least have his toy confiscated.


prince william helicopter

William split-second from next holiday


And how does the Mail on Sunday interpret the news? “Wills cheats death,” it thunders. Wills was not onboard when, as an official report into the incident states, “a collision had only been narrowly avoided”. Two pilots and three medial staff were on the helicopter then the “terrifying near-miss happened at 1,900ft”. The vehicle was “flying almost directly over a McDonald’s restaurant filled with families”, none of whom are believed to have been the Windsors.

Other media agree that this was William’s helicopter.

“WILLS’ CHOPPER DRAMA Prince William’s horror as drone comes within ‘half a second’ of hitting his air ambulance in shocking near-miss” – The Sun

“Prince William’s air ambulance in near miss with drone” – Telegraph

The Mail says it was a” fluke” that Wills was not on board at the time.

Was it? Just one week ago, one Mail on Sunday writer called William an “idiot”, an “ungrateful, workshy party-goer who doesn’t think he or she has to put a fair shift in to justify their lavish life at the tax-payer’s expense”. William’s part-time job with the East Anglia Air Ambulance service “requires you [Wills] to do a maximum of just 80 hours a month”.

It’s more of a fluke he’s ever on the thing.


Posted: 26th, March 2017 | In: Reviews, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment

Case against alleged Cornish pasty crimping Facebook ‘porn star’ collapses

When is a pastry crimper not a pasty crimper? Or to put it another way, can a porn star crimp pasties? The Daily Mail brings news of the “Cornish pasty crimper, 27” who allegedly “posed as a voluptuous 22-year-old Asian porn star”.

This would be some pose if the pasty crimper turns out to a skinny, pasty-faced bloke called Keith. Disappointingly, the alleged porn star impersonator, who, the paper reports, “met her victim on a Facebook page dedicated to introducing young ladies to wealthy older men”, is a woman. (“Ladies” not woman. “Men” not gentlemen. The Mail can be so prudish when its not gawping at woman “showing off their curves”.)

The 69-year-old alleged victim and the Cornish pie mangler never met in the flesh. We read that she allegedly “pretended to be a Bangladeshi exotic dancer” and sent her admirer a “series of steamy photos of a mystery woman, claiming to be her”.

The matter reached Truro Crown Court because over the course of a year-long relationship, the ‘porn star’ allegedly “offered to marry him if he could stump up cash for a wedding”. Reportedly the alleged scam cost him £35,000. She was charged with committing the alleged fraud and spending the money while knowing that it came from criminal conduct.

Today the case against her collapsed. We’re not sure why it did. Judge Simon Carr called in the jury and told them: “New information has come to light, which sometimes happens in cases, which has caused the Crown to consider it is not appropriate to pursue the matter further in front of you.”

Intriguing stuff.

What we do know is that the innocent woman’s husband, Jynal Khan, has already pleaded guilty to the fraud and is being dealt with in a separate court case.

What we also know is that you can work as a full-time pasty crimper.

Posted: 24th, March 2017 | In: Reviews | Comment

The Westminster terrorist can’t win if we carry on regardless

The man who killed and maimed in Westminster yesterday has not been named by the authorities yet. The British born killer’s actions were those of a coward.

Much of the talk is of not letting the terrorists win. It can sound trite and easy. But it’s spot on. But the way we go about achieving it differs.


westminster terror


All day the TV has been broadcasting pictures from Westminster. Things look wonderfully normal. Westminster Bridge is open to traffic and walkers again. Tourists with selfie sticks are snapping away. A man is stood on the crossing, not waiting for the ‘green man’ to flash, but dashing between vehicles. Lots of people are talking to one another.

There is no sense of fear in the air.


farage westminster terror immigration


Yesterday’s horror was the actions of one man armed with a car and knives. One human being caused havoc, ruining and ending lives. But the rest of us have carried on. Society has not changed.


arab news westminster killer

It’ll take more than that


London has not fallen, as the Arab News oddly declared on its front page. The beating heart of the UK was not stopped by a cowardly killer. One man will not put and end to democracy.

But some of us want to use the murders to promote our own prejudices – Muslims are inherently dangerous; immigration means death; only the State can protect us; the Jews did it; Islamophobics will race riot; white people have done worse; and more. They make misstep after misstep. The way to defeat the terrorists is to neuter them by celebrating freedom and trusting people. Don’t be like the killer by seek victimhood and fomenting fear and otherness.

You can keep calm and carry on. And as you carry on also keep having fun, keep being rigorous, energetic, saucy, curious, challenging, boisterous, vibrant, loud, welcoming, rude and defiant. The bigots hate that. Keep it up.

Posted: 23rd, March 2017 | In: Key Posts, Reviews | Comment

Czech zoo chops off rhinos’ horns to deter poachers

Geography is not the Independent’s strongest suit. It tells readers today about a zoo in the Czech Republic, a country I know well. The paper says a “Prague Zoo” has been lopping off rhinos’ horns to deter poachers. The thieves sell the keratin horns to buyers in the Far East, where they are prized for

Earlier this month, poachers shot dead Vince, a 4-year-old male white rhino at France’s Thoiry Zoological Park, and removed his horn with a chainsaw.

“It’s an incredibly shocking and distressing occurrence,” said Crawford Allan, of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). “It’s also a game-changer for zoos. They’ve woken up today and realized their world has changed if they have live rhinos in their collection.” The Zoo called was understandably shocked. “Vince was found this morning by [his] caretaker, who is very attached to the animals she cares for, and is deeply affected,” the zoo stared on Facebook. “This odious act was perpetrated despite the presence of five members of the zoological staff living on the spot and surveillance cameras.”



prague zoo rhino horn


So valued is rhino horn that people are willing to take great risk to get it. But back to the Indy, which is confusing readers and poachers by turning the Prague zoo into a moving target. It then rehashes an AP newswire report:

Prague zoo cuts off rhinos’ horns to stop poachers… Přemysl Rabas, the director of the Dvur Kralove zooaround 70 miles north-east of the country’s capital, Prague, said it was a tough decision, but their priority was the safety of the four southern white rhinos and 17 black ones – the largest group of its kind in Europe.

It’s actually just over 80 miles from Prague. There is a zoo in Prague. But there are no rhinos there.


Posted: 23rd, March 2017 | In: Reviews | Comment

Fake News: Channel 4 names wrong man as Westminster Bridge terror attacker

No sooner had a lunatic murdered a policeman and two others in Westminster, London, before being shot dead by police, than the mainstream media raced to see which of them could be first to name the alleged killer.

Channel 4 news was fast from the traps. Abu Izzadeen, also known as Trevor Brooks, was allegedly named as the person responsible by Channel 4. But his lawyer says he is in prison. There’s no way it was him. Whoops!

No sooner had one news source delivered the ‘facts’ than others rehashed Channel 4’s report and without bothering to check its veracity beamed it to their audiences. The media went full Trump!

The Indy dived in, allegedly mistakenly naming the alleged killer:


westminster wrong killer bridge terro

Unilad spread the wrong news:


westminster bridge attack


Lots more publishers joined in.

MaCleans in Canada even added a bit about the police “confirming” the alleged killer’s alleged identity. We’ve not seen police do anything of the sort.


trevor brooks wrong westminster

trevor brooks wrong westminster


On Twitter, voices called for circumspection, respect for the victims and to wait for the police to tell us more.


westminster bridge attack


And then Channel 4 began to sweat:


westminster wrong killer bridge terro



No need for facts. No need for fact-checking. Has Channel 4 been hacked by the Russians? Is Sean Spicer, the White House  spokesman, moonlighting as editor? Is Channel 4 discredited, indecent and dire?



Posted: 22nd, March 2017 | In: Reviews | Comment (1)

Europe’s robot sex brothel provides stiff competition for sex workers

The robots are coming! Well, not yet. But one day they will. The Daily Express says flesh and bone prostitutes have forced a mechanical sex parlour in Barcelona to shut. What the paper calls “Europe’s first sex robot brothel” is no longer open for business because women complained that the plug and play sex dolls were ruining their livelihoods.

We hear from Janet, a sex worker in city’s Raval district. “It is another strategy of the patriarchy that presents us as objects without rights or soul,” says Janet. “A privilege of the wealthy classes.”


lumidoll sex brothel

Live cam


For those of you uncertain if you were shagging an on-the-clock polymer sex doll or an on-the-clock woman, the Express tells its readers who have been on Stag dos, rugby club dinners and business trips to the Spanish city that the the house of ill repute was at 2 Baixada de Sant Miquel “in the Spanish city’s Gothic quarter, north of the cathedral”.

“The rooms are decorated with candles,” the paper noted in a previous story, “a single glass of cava and a bowl of strawberries, with pipped music that is similar to Michael Bolton. The TV also plays pornography.”

Yeah, that one. The one that shows Keeping up with the Kardashians on loop.

Posted: 22nd, March 2017 | In: Money, Reviews | Comment (1)

Irony Overload: Labour MP Yvette Cooper wants to save us from online anti-Semites and other virtual haters

Yvette Cooper wants to set you free from fake news, horrible words and unpleasant images online. The UK Home Affairs Select Committee, which Cooper chairs, challenged directors of big social media companies – Facebook’s Simon Milner, Google’s Peter Barron and Twitter’s Nick Pickles – to explain why their businesses engage in “commercial prostitution” by allowing ad placements alongside nasty videos made by, amongst others, neo-Nazis and white supremacist David Duke, whose video Jews admit organising white genocide Labour MP Cooper called antisemitic and shocking. “I think most people would be appalled by that video and think that it goes against all standards of common decency in the United Kingdom,” said Cooper.

The charge is that in equipping nasty videos with ads, the likes of YouTube (owned by Google) is funding hate because the publisher takes a slice of the ad revenue. But if hate’s not a crime, the problem is one of taste not law?

Overlooking the sensational news that a Labour MP is now an expert in spotting anti-semitism, and just marvel at an MP of any hue deciding and defining the limits of good taste.

Google’s Matt Brittin told the committee, “I want to start by saying sorry” for allowing tax-payer funded Government adverts to feature alongside extremist material on YouTube. Cooper seized on it. “They are right to apologise for failing to stop extremists making profits from hatred, and for making profits themselves from advertising on these videos,” she said. “They need to say whether they will be paying back any of that advertising revenue. And to answer our questions on what more they are doing to root out extremism or illegal activity on YouTube. Because they are still failing to do enough to remove illegal or hate filled content from YouTube.”

And there it was again, that casual merging of what is illegal and what is legal and nasty. Not all unpleasant things are criminal, nor should they be made so.

Bannon helped Cooper out. “There is no clear definition of hate speech in British law,” he explained at length. “We have our own guidelines around hate speech. The guideline that we follow, which is very close to the law, is that a general expression against a country, for example, wouldn’t qualify as hate speech, but if you are promoting or advocating violence against a particular group based on their race or ethnicity, that would constitute hate speech. … I am not going to defend the content of the video; I found it abhorrent and offensive. However, the important question, which relates to wider issues of freedom of expression, is whether that content is illegal and whether it breaks our guidelines. Our policy and legal experts arrived at the conclusion that it didn’t. I think everyone in this room would agree that it was deeply distasteful.”

Cooper replied: “How on earth is the phrase, ‘Jews admit organising white genocide’, as well as being clearly false, not a statement that is a malicious or hateful comment about a group of people solely based on race, religion or the other protected characteristics that your own guidelines and community standards say are unacceptable?’

Guidelines are not laws, Yvette. Google is free to set its own rules. As is the Commons. So when Labour MP Tam Dalyell, aka Sir Thomas Dalyell of the Binns, 11th Baronet (9 August 1932 – 26 January 2017), warned in dead-tree magazine Vanity Fair of a “cabal of Jewish advisers” unduly influencing Tony Blair, he wasn’t censored and banned. When Tam told the Zayed Centre, an organisation “established in fulfilment of the vision of his highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan” – that “there were 400,000 Jews in Britain who enjoyed a very strong and stunning influence” he was not sacked.

The then Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, whose Jewish ancestry (one grandparent too many, apparently) caused Dalyell to sense something sinister in his blood, offered the grown up response: “These remarks are too unworthy to be worth a comment.”

When old-Etonian Dalyell died, tributes were fulsome. Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said: “The Labour movement has lost a giant… As Father of the House his wisdom was passed on to countless MPs.” Current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the Jew-sniffer had been a “good friend and comrade”. Other “friends” of Corbyn work at Hamas, whose mantra is the annihilation of Jews. As one Guardian writer notes, “Corbyn has associated with the worst type of antisemites: Holocaust deniers, men who think Jews made bread from Christian blood or were behind the 9/11 atrocities. No blood libel was too bloody for them. He keeps saying he’s not a racist, but he’s happy to keep racist company.”

James Bloodworth wondered: “Why is no one asking about Jeremy Corbyn’s worrying connections?” Having stated his belief that Corbyn is no anti-Semite, Bloodworth looked at context:

Corbyn wrote a letter defending Stephen Sizer, the vicar disciplined by the Church of England for linking to an article on social media entitled 9/11: Israel Did It. [He] Presented a call-in programme on Press TV, a propaganda channel of the Iranian government which was banned by Ofcom and which regularly hosts Holocaust deniers.

Is Corbyn advertising these people by being among them? Should he be blocked from doing so, lest his meeting with bigots be seen as an endorsement in the same way anyone watching an advert for Marks and Spencer’s on a jihadi recruitment drive fall into thinking M&S is enlarging its underwear range and selling thermal suicide vests in all sizes? Should Labour Party members get their money back when the context gets nasty?

Or are well robust grown ups, who enjoy freedom of expression and the right to offend, who baulk at the idea of State censors demanding we adhere to their interpretation of “common decency”, those prudes who trammel free speech and treat people as a problem to police and patrol?

Let’s trust that we are.

Posted: 21st, March 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Reviews | Comment

Anti-Trump swastika billboard in Phoenix road is more stupid that anything you’ll see in the White House

Phoenix billboard Nazis Trump


Let’s be clear: whoever erected the billboard calling Donald Trump a Nazi understands neither democracy nor history. The billboard on the 1000 block of Phoenix’s Grand Avenue is, according to reports, the work of Karen Fiorito. For those of you not au fait with the name ‘Karen’, Fox News tells us she’s a “female artist”. She is not a male artist, nor is she a coffee table.

“I got the opportunity to have a platform to say something, and I took that opportunity, and I take full responsibility for it,” Fiorito says. Shame that what she says is so crass and lazy.

Her portrait of Donald Trump sat before the nuclear mushroom clouds is the stuff of teenage angst. But the real misstep is the dollar signs that bear some resemblance to swastikas on each side of the orange lunk’s head. Irony of ironies, the other side of the same billboard carries the message “unity”, something history tells us Adolf Hitler and the Nazis were very much in favour of.

Her drawing is all about division. It’s childish, self-satisfied and regressive. It’s entirely in keeping with the shrill reaction to Trump’s presidency. It screams that the people – millions and millions of people – who voted for Trump, rejecting Hillary Clinton’s paternalism and the technocratic oligarchs who see democracy as something to be kept from the ‘low-information’ poor, are fascists akin to the Black Shirts. Taking the greatest evil and slapping it on a poster to attack someone who is not this age’s Hitler – really, he isn’t; read some books other than the one that reinforces your prejudices – demeans the Holocaust’s victims, negates actual Nazism and monsters the tens of millions of Americans who exercised their right to vote.

Using Nazi death camps to buttress your anti-human argument that the electorate voted for Trump because they were duped by Russian newbots and he spoke to their slack-jawed inherent racism co-opts the murdered millions into your monocular world view. It’s a hideous abuse.

In a game of Spot the Bigot, I’d point to the one screaming ‘Hitler!’ at everyone whose view they don’t agree with.

This lazy reductivism abates any need for reflection and the need to work out how progressive Left-wing politics mutated into a cloying, narcissistic hissy fit of entitlement, and why it is that the working classes seized their chance to storm the citadel and hope for a rosy-fingered dawn.

Posted: 19th, March 2017 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians, Reviews | Comment (1)

Trump apologists apologise for saying British spied on him for Obama

The good thing about post-truth is that you can never be right or wrong. You just get to accept dodgy dossier pushing Tony Blair’s invitation to ‘join the debate’. The truth is out there. But getting to the truth, reaching that actual kernel of fact, involves hitting a moving target, like being a Michael Jackson impersonator or getting through to Apple customer support. And so having heard Donald Trump tell the world that Barack Obama ‘wire-tapped’ his Trump Tower pad and White House spokesman Sean Spicer say the British spooks did it, we now get the other truth: it never happened. Maybe.

The BBC reports that Spicer will not repeat claims GCHQ spied on Trump. CNN adds that the White House ‘apologized to the British government’ over its latest fiasco.

National security adviser H.R. McMaster spoke with Q, telling him / her/ it that  Spicer’s comment was “unintentional”. He did not say it. It just was said.

Such are the facts.


Posted: 17th, March 2017 | In: Reviews | Comment

Arsenal balls: Wretch ‘wraps’ with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Typo of the Day arrives via the Daily Mail, wherein the paper has constructed a story from Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s Instagram account. The talented but often-injured player nicknamed ‘The Ox’, presumably on account of it being a reduction in his name and not because he runs like a castrated bullock, has been passing the time with ‘wrapper Wretch 32’ as he recuperates from his umpteenth injury.


Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Arsenal Daily Mail


Yes. Wretch is a Wrapper. Christmas is his busiest period and in the run-up to Mothering Sunday he’s not too busy to talk about music with the Arsenal player.

The best bit about the Mail’s error is that it’ repeated over and over.


Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Arsenal Daily Mail


Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Arsenal Daily Mail


Such are the facts.

Posted: 17th, March 2017 | In: Reviews | Comment

Manchester City ball: do we have any advance on 19 players getting sacked?

When Manchester City narrowly lost to Monaco in the Champions’ League, the media began to wonder which players would be looking for new jobs. Football is a brutal, nasty, venal business. Players kick a ball to the best of the abilities over a short career. The day after a match the hacks give them marks out of ’10’ and tell the failures they’d best start looking for new clubs.

In the excitement of guessing which working men will be shunted out the door, the press roll the dice. How many players are leaving Man City?

13: ‘Manchester City to axe THIRTEEN players in summer as Pep Guardiola plots squad overhaul’ (Daily Mirror).

15: ‘Skipper Vincent Kompany is set to head a potential 15-player Etihad exodus as boss Guardiola recognises his squad is not fit for purpose’  (The Sun) 

17: ‘Pep Guardiola set to axe Manchester City flops with 17 players fearing for their futures ahead of clear-out’ (Daily Mail).

18: ‘Pep Guardiola set for Manchester City clearout with 18 players at risk’ (The Guardian).

19: ‘There are doubts over the futures of as many as 19 of his [Guardiola’s] existing squad

Any advance on 19?

Posted: 17th, March 2017 | In: Reviews | Comment

George Osborne takes second job as editor of free newspaper

Never let it be said that Tory MP George Osborne is not a man of the people. The former Chancellor has taken a second job as the editor of the London Evening Standard freesheet. You do what you can to make ends meet in the expensive capital city. And where better to learn the true meaning of austerity than in a newspaper office?

Anyhow, it’s big news for the man once rejected by the Times’s graduate recruitment scheme.


george osborne standard sex drugs


Osborne will keep his job as Conservative MP for Tatton while he oversees the newspaper, working out how many times the owner’s son, Evgeny Lebedev, can appear in it before readers notice and care.

Anyhow, it’s a big job editing a newspaper, whereas being an MP is obviously a doddle.

Posted: 17th, March 2017 | In: Reviews | Comment

Sean Spicer’s tie is infiltrated by foreign powers

When Donald Trump’s spokesman and part-time East Bunny Sean Spicer claimed former President Barack Obama asked GCHQ to spy on Donald Trump at Trump Tower, the British spooks replied:  “Recent allegations made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct ‘wire tapping’ against the then President Elect are nonsense. They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored.”

Of course, spying on people is what spies do, and if they are not doing it, what is the point of them? They can’t all be moonlighting as tabloid journalists?

Senate Intelligence Committee members Richard Burr, of North Carolina, and Mark Warner, of Virginia, say they’ve seen no evidence that The British spied on Trump for Obama. “Based on the information available to us, we see no indications that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the United States government either before or after Election Day 2016,” they said in a joint statement.

But Spicer knows better. He;s been watching the telly. He told the press:

“Last, on Fox News on March 14th, Judge Andrew Napolitano made the following statement: ‘Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command. He didn’t use the NSA, he didn’t use the CIA, he didn’t use the FBI, and he didn’t use the Department of Justice. He used GCHQ, what is that? It’s the initials for the British Intelligence Spying Agency. So simply, by having two people saying to them, “The President needs transcripts of conversations involved in candidate Trump’s conversations involving President-elect Trump,” he was able to get it and there’s no American fingerprints on this.'”

Trump, of course has accused Obama of espionage on a tweet. This week he told Fox News that he would be vindicated by new information “very soon”.

Time adds: “The White House has argued that Trump’s use of quotation marks around the phrase wires tapped implied he meant all manners of surveillance against him, but hasn’t offered any official proof of the claim, beyond reports in the press.”

Meanwhile, the internet notices Spier’s green tie. And gets to work:


spicer trump wiretap tie


Buzzfeed’s Jesse McLaren has more:

Posted: 17th, March 2017 | In: Reviews | Comment

McDonald’s twitter account to Donald Trump: ‘You are actually a disgusting excuse of a President’

Looks like McDonald’s might be more wholesome that otherwise thought. At 9:15 a.m today the McDonald’s official twitter account pinged a tweet to President Donald Trump: “You are actually a disgusting excuse of a President and we would love to have @BarackObama back, also you have tiny hands.”


twitter trumps tiny hands mcdonald's



Was someone clowning around with the McDonald’s account? The restaurant chain has deleted the tweet. It then tweeted (officially):

Twitter notified us that our account was compromised. We deleted the tweet, secured our account and are now investigating this.

Round up the usual suspects:



Spotter: Gizmodo

Posted: 16th, March 2017 | In: Reviews | Comment

Gay marriage outrage causes Cooper’s to cancel Bible Society deal

To Australia, where Coopers Beer is in trouble because the brand featured in a Bible Society video debate about gay marriage. The video features Liberal MPs Andrew Hastie (against) and Tim Wilson (for) supping Coopers Light ale as they talk about the rights and wrongs of gay marriage, which is not enshrined in Australian law. The film’s motto is ‘Keeping it light’.

Coopers say they didn’t pay for the beer to be drunk in the video. But they issued ‘commemorative cans as a celebration of the Bible Society’s 200 years of charitable work in Australia’, they said in a statement.


Coopers gay marriage bible

Bottled off


The reaction was monocular and predictable. You can see the video of people breaking Coopers beer bottles in the streets, flushing it down the loo and proclaiming that it will never again be served at a number of venues in Australia and New Zealand.

The reaction to a debate has been prejudicial, intolerant and regressive. And the worst part is that Cooper’s has panicked. With sales at stake, and with that people’s jobs, too, Cooper’s director of corporate affairs Melanie Cooper tells media: “Offence has been taken by our recent involvement, for which we are deeply sorry. We have listened to a range of community views, we acknowledge this feedback and respect everyone’s individual opinions and beliefs. We have consequently cancelled the release of our Bible Society commemorative cans and will be taking steps to show further support for our community, including joining Australian Marriage Equality.”

And that’s how you smash debate.

On one thing The Bible Society was right. It said the Keeping it Light campaign was intended to build a “national conversation”, to enlarge a debate which had  become “fraught with shallowness and contempt for those who have a differing opinion”.

So much for freedom.


Posted: 16th, March 2017 | In: Reviews | Comment

The F-rating doesn’t give an F-word about movies

The movement towards creating explicit codes of behaviour for every aspect of life – especially the messy bits about sex –  welcomes the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), which is now using the ‘F-rating’ to signal films of a feminist type. This is “so [viewers can choose films that fairly represent women on screen and behind the camera.” It is “applied to all films which are directed by women and/or written by women and/or have significant women on screen.”

That part about ‘significant women’ opens up a few issues, not least of all when it comes to grot movies, especially the girl-on-girl sort. The F-rating might not be the best guide to family entertainment or indeed anything approaching entertainment of any strain. But, then, the F-rating is not about films; it’s about educating the masses and turning people – wonderfully complex humans – into quotas. The official F-rated website explains the vision:

‘The stories we see on screen need to be told by a broad spectrum of people to represent our diverse culture. Without change, we will train the next generation to only recognise white males as the protagonists and the ones in control of the cameras, scripts and budgets. As well as equality on screen and behind the camera, more female film critics from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities need to be welcomed into the industry so that opinion and feedback is balanced.’

It’s certainly not about viewers, many of whom are women. It’s about gender. The thinking is that female film fans go to the cinema not to seek escapism but to reaffirm their identity. You’re not watching them; you’re looking at yourself. But you’ve already got free use of Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook to gawp at idealised filmic versions of yourself, so why spend good money on watching a narcissistic film?

Note 1: If equality is the mantra, then the IMDb could look at itself. According to Wikipedia, the IMDb ‘originated with a Usenet posting by British film fan and computer programmer Col Needham entitled “Those Eyes”, about actresses with beautiful eyes.’ Col is a white male – and since he flogged the site to Amazon, a very rich one.

Note 2: Amazon is owned by Jeff Bezos, a rich white male. Amazon Inc. has 7 ‘Officers’. All are white. One is a woman. Amazon has 11 directors – 9 of whom are male. Should businesses get an F-rating, too – and if so would the IMDb warrant one?

Posted: 15th, March 2017 | In: Film, Money, Reviews | Comment

Powerwashing with Tourettes Syndrome

Powerwashing with Tourettes features Lewis Qball Nickell washing his garden patio. “Decided to do a video on just what Tourette’s syndrome really is,” says Lewis. “Let’s continue spreading awareness together! Oh and it was so much effort being serious this entire video.”



In another video, Lewis plays golf:



Follow Lewis on twitter.

Posted: 15th, March 2017 | In: Reviews | Comment

‘Beware of Jews’ sign erected in London

To Stamford Hill, North London, where someone has stuck a ‘Beware of Jews’ road sign-style warning on a lamppost. This Jew is in a triangle, which signals danger ahead. If the Jew was in a circle it would be informative and more suited to a police diversity conference badge.

This sign isn’t the usual anti-Semite’s portrait of a Jew, such as you see at Egyptian airport bookshops, British University campuses, Nazi get-togethers and on the hustings with the liberal Left. This terrifying Jew who wants to suck your blood, steal your granny and not cross at the crossing is a ‘Stamford Hill Cowboy’, a traditionally-dressed Orthodox Jewish man.

Viewed in silhouette, this Jew looks a bit like silent film comedian Buster Keaton or George Galloway.

But it’s not funny. It’s nasty.


beware of the jew


Barry Bard, of Jewish neighbourhood watch Shomrim NE London, says whoever did it “has obviously gone to an effort to cause alarm and distress to local people”.

Shadow home secretary and MP for Hackney North Diane Abbott calls it it was “disgusting”. Labour’s MP for Tottenham David Lammy said it amounted to “despicable, nasty behaviour that has absolutely no place in our community”.

The number of anti-Semitic attacks is rising exponentially. Jews no longer feel as safe as they did.

Posted: 15th, March 2017 | In: Reviews | Comment

Saudi Arabia’s new girls’ council doesn’t have any girls

saudi girls council men


Saudi Arabia’s inaugural girls’ council meeting in al-Qassim province was a hoot. As is the way whenever girls are invited to a cool new hang-out, lots of boys turn up in the hope of getting lucky. It gets a bit awkward when no girls arrive and the first Qassim Girls Council meeting attracts 13 men.

Of course, Saudi Arabia is not modelled on an Ibiza nightclub, but the penal system, wherein all women are treated as suspects and kept imprisoned lest they lead the lads astray. The men assure us that girls were at the meeting but in another room and accessible via video link. You can see the girls but not touch them. The Qassim Girls Council is more peep show than talking shop.

Saudi Prince Faisal bin Mishal bin Saud heads the shindig. “In the Qassim region, we look at women as sisters to men,” he says, “and we feel a responsibility to open up more and more opportunities that will serve the work of women and girls.”

Hear that, ladies. You get to wash AND dry!

Spotter: The Real Stig

Posted: 14th, March 2017 | In: Reviews | Comment (1)

Woman accused of raping a man was born a man

Hear the one about the woman accused of raping a man – twice? The Indy delivers the facts in headline and teaser: ‘Woman appears in court charged with raping man twice – Newcastle woman will face four-day trial in December.’

Rape, as defined in English law, is:


The elements of rape are:

(A) intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis;
(B) does not consent to the penetration, and
(A) does not reasonably believe that (B) consents
Penetration of the mouth is included.

The story of the woman accused of rape is, thus, an unusual one. The accused is named as Katie Brannen. Katie appeared at Newcastle Crown Court ‘accused of two offences of rape after allegedly attacking the man in January in South Shields’.

In all reports Katie is described as a woman, and self-identifies as such. The interesting part is that Katie has a penis. Katie is out on bail. Katie is banned from contacting the alleged victim and from all licensed premises.

Rachel Johnson tells Mail readers that Brannen was born male. Johnson says that this fact was ‘omitted in the moral panic around both privacy and misgendering, the progressive cause de nos jours. To call someone by the wrong title is considered verbal assault and even bigotry.’ This self-censorship has led to what Johnson calls a ‘fake fact – that women can and do rape men – rather than telling us the literal truth.’

It leads to all manner of questions. Is this a case of misattributed pronouns? Should we stick to gender-neutral language? Has liberation become censorship? How does this impact on the world beyond words – do we have gender-neutral prisons? To what extent can simple biological fact be altered? Is gender located not in culture, biology or society but in performance?

Transgender people should be free to identify however they choose but what about the rest of us? It’s confusing, no?

Posted: 12th, March 2017 | In: Reviews | Comment (1)

Tinder Select is quarantine for every syphilis-sacked SADO

Tinder select

The VIP entrance


Good news, shaggers. As you swipe left and right, chances are thinner than Donald Trump’s skin you’ll encounter a Hooray Henrietta, Premier League footballer, third-world despot or SADO (sons and daughters of…) because there’s a secret breeding stables called Tinder Select.

This is where the inbreds and syphilis sufferers in the celebrity Petri dish get quarantined, leaving functioning people for the rest of us to squire.

I’d imagine Tinder Select operates bit like the mobile toilets on a Hollywood film set or the broom cupboard in a London eatery, where dynasty-building nepotists and narcissists grab a life affirming knee-trembler.

You mustn’t feel jealous of the Tinder select crowd. They’ve been out in their place to spare the rest of us.

Spotter: Engadget

Posted: 9th, March 2017 | In: Reviews, The Consumer | Comment

Lincoln University’s student union awards itself a super-injunction against free speech

Is irony dead? Lincoln University’s Student Conservative Society has been banned from using official social media accounts because it posted Spiked’s news that the Student Union is “very intolerant” to free speech.

Upset at being branded intolerant and censorious, the student union banned the people who said they were. Talking about censorship has been censored. Lincoln University’s student union has awarded itself a super-injunction against free speech.

Lincoln MP Karl McCartney calls the ban “intolerant, illiberal and totalitarian”.

Spiked notes:

According to a statement from the society, this was due to ‘an anonymous complaint over two tweets’. ‘The first, in relation to freedom of speech, linking an article from spiked, and the second was in relation to an SU questionnaire that had to be completed before voting in recent SU elections.’

After reading spiked’s Free Speech University Rankings (FSUR), the society decided to publicise the fact that Lincoln Students’ Union had received a Red ranking. Screenshots of the offending tweet, seen by spiked, show a picture of Lincoln’s ranking page, alongside emojis with their mouths zipped shut.

The SU’s action is so stupid, you wonder how its absolutists function in every day life? When confronted with such slack-jawed, mentally negligible dumb-arness the temptation must be to do things just because they upset these twerps. Too easy, of course. The challenge is to find the most ludicrous thing and run with that.

Suggestions to the usual address.


Posted: 8th, March 2017 | In: Reviews | Comment

TSA expects more sexual assault claims from its new pat-down search technique

To enter America, you might need to let America enter you. If the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) thinks that you’re suspicious, you get the pat down. Your genitals are cupped, your anus is probed and your breasts undergo a vigorous investigation. And it’s getting more invasive. Now TSA offices have been advised to tell police to expect more accusations of sexual assault from holidaymakers and other travellers.




The TSA’s new standardised pat-down is more “comprehensive”, says  Bloomberg. Right now, the TSA tells uniformed frotters:

TSA officers use the back of the hands for pat-downs over sensitive areas of the body. In limited cases, additional screening involving a sensitive area pat-down with the front of the hand may be needed to determine that a threat does not exist.

The front hand will now be used more frequently.

“I would say people who in the past would have gotten a pat-down that wasn’t involved will notice that the [new] pat-down is more involved,” TSA spokesman Bruce Anderson said Friday. The shift from the previous, risk-based assessment on which pat-down procedure an officer should apply was phased in over the past two weeks after tests at smaller airports, he said.

The TSA screens about 2 million people daily at U.S. airports. The agency doesn’t track how many passengers are subject to pat-down searches after they pass through an imaging scanner. People who decline to use this screening technology are automatically subject to physical searches.

While passengers may find the process more intrusive, the new screening procedure isn’t expected to increase overall airport security delays. However, “for the person who gets the pat down, it will slow them down,” Anderson said.


Especially if they have trouble walking afterwards.

Spotter: Consumerist

Posted: 8th, March 2017 | In: Reviews, The Consumer | Comment

The intimacy issue: Millennials are having less sex than their grandparents did

It’s not surprising to read in the Archives of Sexual Behavior that American adults are having sex less than they were in the 1990s. What with ‘rape culture’, STDs, consent classes and contracts, moralising, the formalisation of choice and reduction of human autonomy, unwanted pregnancy, opportunity cost (women’s choices have increased over recent generations) and the proliferation of porn that fills the void created by the age’s fear of intimacy, it’s pretty remarkable anyone’s having sex at all.

Give it another twenty years and problematic, spontaneous sex will be gone, leaving human beings to replicate at the factory that seems to always give Hollywood A-listers his ‘n’ hers twins.

Jean M. Twenge, professor of psychology at San Diego State University and author of the book Generation Me,  and co-authors Ryne Sherman at Florida Atlantic University and Brooke Wells at the Center for Human Sexuality Studies at Widener University, found that millennials had fewer sexual partners and less sex than their Generation X predecessors.

Sex is all around us. But it’s not about passion. Sex is an objectified conversation piece through which we get to know ourselves. Sex has been turned into a form of therapy. Show us your knickers, and the government and media’s invasive sexperts will analyse them with a forensic curiosity.

Yeah, spot the perverts.

Spotter: San Diego University


Posted: 8th, March 2017 | In: Reviews | Comment