Monthly Archives: May 2010

Donkey Rides Not Banned, Mail Reveals

In July 2008 Richard Littlejohn squeezed out a column attacking his normal targets – ‘elf  ‘n’ safety’, PC killjoys and the like, you all know the routine by now – which included a nice big picture:

Along with the following statement:

Councils from Blackpool to Bournemouth are already busy banning donkey rides, on animal cruelty grounds

Yet, here we are nearly two years later and the Daily Mail Reporter – dribbling on about what a chilly bank holiday weekend it was, a ‘story’ that never gets tiring for the Mail – accompanies the ‘news’ with this photo:

Someone should inform the ‘killjoys’ immediately that people in Norfolk are flouting the ‘ban’.

Did a Chinese Woman Really Stamp on a baby?

A reader has been in touch with another story that has appeared in a few newspapers today (Daily Mail, The Mirror and the Metro) about a suspected female thief who for some reason became enraged enough at being challenged to throw her child on the floor and stamp on it, in full view of a group of people who either stood around and did nothing or just took two photos.

The Daily Mail includes these two photos:

Zoomed in on the 'stamp'
After the 'stamp'

Notice how the child looks identical in each – same facial expression, arms in exactly the same position and identical shadow. Judging by the way everybody is stood around ignoring the baby, I would suggest this is a photoshop job, or a doll – unless these newspapers are seriously suggesting that ‘foreigners’ are so evil they just stand, a few inches away from a screaming child lying on the road after being thrown and stamped on and do nothing. I certainly think this is a made-up story, although Google hasn’t helped me find anything concrete. Well, more concrete than a child that has been thrown on the floor, stamped on, yet appears unharmed and according to all three press reports: ‘Miraculously, the baby escaped uninjured.’

I am pretty confident that I have conducted more research into the veracity of this story than any of the newspapers did, and I’m sure someone with a sharper eye and more experience in faked images could probably point out some faults here and tell-tale giveaways.


Update

This story is currently the top editor’s pick on the Mail website:

Chinese mum 'stamps' on baby
What a load of absolute rubbish

So, in this age of reason does the fact the child sustained no injuries, despite being ‘thrown’ and ‘stamped’ on, suggest:

a) the event clearly did not happen, or
b) a miracle has happened.

Clearly, the journalists at the Mail have chosen option b, for some good old-fashioned evidence free hysteria.

Update 2

A reader (who wishes to remain anonymous) has emailed me with details of a website that attempts to demonstrate whether an image has been altered. Read about how the technique works here, and view image 1 here and image 2 here. I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions, I think the results suggest the image could be worth further investigation and it certainly doesn’t do anything to alter my opinion that this story is complete rubbish.

For those of you reading this story and thinking that they couldn’t possibly make up a story like this, I’ll just remind you about this Express front page:

Which turned out to be completely made up.

Daily Mail in X-Men Fail

The Daily Mail – always quick with a movie exclusive if it involves a semi-naked celebrity – has some NEW shots of James McAvoy in his lead role in the new X-Men movie:

British actor James McAvoy has landed another Hollywood action franchise with the lead role in the latest X-Men film – and he has a tough new image to match.

The 31-year-old Scot, who rose to fame in UK TV’s Shameless, will play a young version of the Marvel superhero team’s iconic leader Professor X in a prequel to the blockbuster trilogy.

A new still from the film shows the actor in peak condition, with his tanned torso looking incredibly toned and taught.

Firstly, love the Daily Mail Reporter’s mistaken use of ‘taught’ instead of ‘taut’, secondly, here is the picture:

James McAvoy
James McAvoy's 'new' toned body

Even better the caption underneath the picture states: ‘Fighting fit: James McAvoy as a young version superhero Professor X in the upcoming X-Men: First Class’.

Except it isn’t. The photo is of James McAvoy, but isn’t from the new X-Men film. It is, in fact, from the 2008 film ‘Wanted‘.

And to think this useless newspaper spent weeks telling over 2 million people how to vote in the general election…


Thanks to @soddie_d who informed me of this sizeable Daily Mail fail.

The Disinformed March Again

So, another weekend, another planned march (Newcastle) by the EDL, who are remember, not at all racist. This weekend features a live performance by Anglo-Saxon, a one-man band who was arrested for in 2007 for incitement to racial hatred for the lyrics of his song, This is England. I imagine the lyrics the Police objected to were these:

Take this as a wake up call
See the writing on the wall
Is this the land you want to leave to your children
They bleed the state and ask for more
It’s time Britannia closed the door
They crossed these shores for thirty pieces of silver
They took the passport, they took the pound
And now they’ve bombed the underground
They’ll never destroy the land of Hope & Glory
This is England…………X 4

Once again it is not surprising to see another nationalist repeating tabloid lies about immigrants – it is almost as if Anglo-Saxon have attempted to put Richard Littlejohn’s entire repertoire of made-up slurs against immigrants to music. Naturally Anglo-Saxon claims to be ‘not remotely racist‘, he just happens to be obsessed with his ancestral race and is happy to write off a whole range of diverse people as ‘those who bombed the underground’. No doubt people will be rushing to point out how I’m one of those evil thought-police who are rushing to shut down the debate about immigration because remember: you cannot talk about immigration.

However, I’ll just reiterate once again: talking about immigration is not racist. What is racist is being happy to believe media narratives about a diverse group of people and believing that all of them crossed ‘the shore for thirty pieces of silver’ and all of them are responsible for ‘bombing the underground’. That is the very definition of racism: the negative stereotyping of a whole race based on the actions of a couple of individuals who are in no way representative of anyone but themselves.

The EDL march because the tabloid media have carefully constructed a series of narratives for them. If they are poor it is because the welfare state has given more money to ‘them’, if they have no job it is because one of ‘them’ took it, if they have no council house it is because ‘they’ get priority and it is they that ‘bleed the state and ask for more’. None of these concepts grew organically inside the head of Anglo-Saxon, all of them were carefully planted by a corporate media that is creating someone to blame for the fundamental inequality of society.

The corporate tabloid media pursue a corporate agenda, they sell us the ‘American Dream’ in which any one of us might just become rich and have the kind of lifestyle we see on TV. This is the carrot that is dangled in front of us, making us docile consumers, each individual trampling on those around them in order to claw their way just one step closer to owning more and more expensive stuff. Because the corporate world knows that such social mobility is getting less likely with every passing year and as the gap between the rich and the poor widens as more and more money in concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer people they must create believable narratives as to why you aren’t living the American Dream.

Currently the in-vogue tabloid narrative is that immigrants are to blame, they are the ones draining the system, stealing the jobs and taking the houses. If it wasn’t for them your life would be full of opportunities, you’d be living the American Dream, clawing your way towards more pay and more consumables. But instead, because of the immigrants your life is failing and you want to lash out at the ones to blame.

I feel sorry for EDL members who march to reclaim a country that has been firmly taken over by a global corporate elite, not by immigration. We live in a society in which corporate narratives are so successfully disseminated by the corporate-controlled media that we want public sector pay and benefits slashed, rather than private sector pay and benefits raised. We actually get outraged over certain people having the right to a decent pension, annual leave and job security; when we should be getting outraged by the fact that corporations earning billions of pounds a year for shareholders do not provide these things to the majority of their staff.

As the lyrics to ‘This is England’ testify: the nationalist EDL are a direct result of dishonest media narratives. Narratives designed to create a disinformed public who lash out at other social groups – usually the disenfranchised and weak – as being the cause of poverty, unemployment and so forth. The real causes of poverty and unemployment is this warped version of capitalism that is regulated in favour of transnational corporations – many of them creating more GDP per year than most of the countries on earth. Moving between countries and avoiding tax through inter-company charges these global corporations are gradually placing a price tag on everything on earth – including human DNA – accumulating the world’s wealth without any social responsibility, just a pathological desire to exploit, monetise and avoid taxes.

Sadly, the EDL will not be marching to the doors of Newscorp or any other global abomination, instead they’ll be singing songs about how it is all the brown person’s fault.

Judging Millions by the Actions of a few

Diversity is a bit of a swearword for the Daily Mail and its readership, and it is a word that is often used to make people scream in outrage and miss the real point of something. Take this story from today’s Daily Mail: ‘‘We don’t want to upset 9/11 families but we have to balance diversity': Mosque near Ground Zero gets go-ahead‘.

For starters, the planned Mosque is actually 2 blocks away from Ground Zero, so it isn’t literally being built on the rubble of the World Trade Centre. The Mosque is also merely part of a much larger ‘proposed 13-storey Muslim community centre, which will include a swimming pool, gym, theatre and sports facilities’. The purpose of the proposed building is to:

meet a growing need for prayer space in Lower Manhattan as well as provide a venue for the dissemination of mainstream Islam, to counter extremism.

They have previously said they picked the spot precisely because of its location near Ground Zero.

Building a mosque ‘where a piece of the wreckage fell…. sends the opposite statement to what happened on 9/11, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the cleric leading the project, told the New York Times last year.

‘We want to push back against the extremists,’ Feisal, 61, added.

So it is really an attempt to demonstrate that there is a significant difference between mainstream Muslims and the minority of extremists, its location is supposed to be significant. Unfortunately, the Daily Mail has picked up one word (diversity) and used it to imply that this is just another act of appeasement, and one that is disrespectful because it is being proposed very close to where they blew up the Twin Towers. The diversity comment was made by Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer who supports the project:

‘I don’t think anybody wants to do anything to disrespect those families. They made the ultimate sacrifice,’ he said.

‘At the same time, we have to balance diversity and look for opportunities to bring different groups together.’

…’What I want people to do is to take a look at the totality of what they are proposing,’ Mr Stringer said. ‘What we’re rejecting here is outright bigotry and hatred.’

Bringing ‘different groups together’ seems like a pretty good idea, for how else are we supposed to combat extremism? Sadly, the response by the families – and I can understand their anger in a way – is to lump all Muslims together:

Rosemary Cain, whose fireman son was killed, said: ‘I think it’s despicable. That’s sacred ground. It’s a slap in the face.

‘How could anybody give them permission to build a mosque there?’

And this attitude is what we find in the comments:

I could go on, but it just too depressing watching an entire culture being demonised for the violent actions of a few deluded people.

The Madness of Melanie Phillips

So, Dr Andrew Wakefield is now just plain old Andrew Wakefield after being struck off for – in the words of the Telegraph’s Tom Chivers:

[being] one of the principal authors of perhaps the stupidest and most unnecessary health scare of recent Western history… [and] for being “dishonest”, “misleading” and “irresponsible” in his research into the MMR vaccine and its purported links to autism.

If you want a wonderful comic-book account of the whole affair then go here and read this wonderful summary – pay close attention to the role that the media played in hyping up the non-existent link and making measles commonplace once again.

If you’re aware of this story then you’ll be aware of just how completely discredited both Wakefield and his ‘research’ is. You’d also probably expect an author of a book titled ‘The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth, and Power’ which is supposedly about our irrationality:

In what we tell ourselves is an age of reason, we are behaving increasingly irrationally. An astonishing number of people subscribe to celebrity endorsed cults, Mayan armageddon prophecies, scientism, and other varieties of new age, anti-enlightenment philosophies. Millions more advance popular conspiracy theories: AIDS was created in a CIA laboratory, Princess Diana was assassinated, and the 9/11 attacks were an inside job.

To be glad that rationality has won the day and Andrew Wakefield has been struck off. However, you then realise that the author of the above book is Melanie Phillips, and she is – for want of a better phrase – absolutely batshit insane. For starters, her book seeks to blame irrationality on:

the slow but steady marginalization of religion. We tell ourselves that faith and reason are incompatible, but the opposite is the case. It was Christianity and the Hebrew Bible, Phillips asserts, that gave us our concepts of reason, progress, and an orderly world on which science and modernity are based.

And that:

Without its religious traditions, the West has drifted into mass derangement where truth and lies, right and wrong, victim and aggressor are all turned upside down. Scientists skeptical of global warming are hounded from their posts, Israel is demonized, and the US is vilified over the war on terror—all on the basis of blatant falsehoods and obscene propaganda.

One imagines that Melanie Phillip’s arguments are undermined somewhat for her track record of drawing vastly different conclusions from the witnessing of any event. Her verdict on Andrew Wakefield being struck off is this short statement utterly bereft of any relationship to reality:

Following the risible kangaroo court set up by the General Medical Council Andrew Wakefield, the doctor at the heart of the MMR controversy, has now been struck off the medical register while his colleagues have yet to learn their own fate. This is a tragedy and a travesty. I believe a monstrous injustice has been done here, which has crucified the one doctor who tried to alleviate and prevent the suffering of a particular group of children and which has also betrayed their parents. The full story of how this sinister travesty was accomplished and the full range of people who were complicit in it — along with what it means for both medicine and public safety — has yet to be revealed. Over time, I hope this will eventually be achieved.

I’d suggest after reading the above statement we could all be justifiably skeptical that Melanie Phillips has anything rational to add to the topics of global warming, Israel and the war on terror. The worst thing is that this isn’t out of character for Melanie at all, she has a proud record of arguing ridiculous points.

Like, for example, claiming that the BBC’s decision to sack Carol Thatcher for her racist remark was:

a chilling insight into the totalitarian universe of the closed BBC mind… If the BBC had intended to convince the public that it had departed altogether from reality and common sense and resided instead in some alternative Stalinist universe, it could hardly have done a better job

Or, for example, claiming that a 13 year old father (who turned out in the end not to even be the father):

vividly reveals how our children are being abandoned and betrayed… And we all know why this is. A sexual free-for-all legitimated by the mantra of ‘lifestyle choice’, promoted from the top by narcissistic liberals and funded at the bottom by welfare benefits, has caused a catastrophic rate of family breakdown and fragmentation which is now repeating itself in an endless generational cycle

Or, for example, claiming that the increased deposits in sharia banking in the UK means that those banks accepting deposits are:

effectively endors[ing] the extremist ideology behind it of conquering the west for Islam

Or, for example, claiming that recent teenage pregnancy figures are evidence (even though with one odd exception teenage pregnancy rates are falling year-on-year) that:

Labour is doing nothing less than trying to reshape the sexual and moral behaviour of an entire society

Or, for example, equating a nurse being suspended for praying at work and a ‘private remark’ (what, it never left the confines of her head?) made by Carol Thatcher being reported with the UK:

sliding inexorably into a culture of control which would have been very familiar to the Stasi or the KGB

Or, for example, how turning away a slightly batty Dutch MP was a sign that Britain is:

sleepwalking towards cultural suicide… If anyone had doubted the extent to which Britain has capitulated to Islamic terror, the banning of Geert Wilders should surely open their eyes

If, after all this, you still think Melanie Phillips has anything sane or rational to add to any debate, then I’d politely suggest that you’re a bit mad as well.

The PCC Idea of ‘Resolved Complaints’

Looking through the Press Complaints Commission’s recently resolved complaints you become aware of just how unsatisfactory such resolutions often are for the complainant. The PCC and editors seem to think it is enough to merely remove offending articles, rather than actually attempt to offer any kind of redress or explanation.

Take the example of teacher Michelle Smith who complained to the PCC that the Daily Mail had:

published a story about a personal photograph that was uploaded to her school’s website by mistake. She said the article contained inaccuracies and was generally misleading to readers as it failed to explain the full circumstances behind the taking of the photograph

This complaint was resolved – according to the PCC – ‘when the newspaper removed the online article and photograph’. No mention of investigating the inaccuracies, no right of reply for the victim, merely the removal of the article. Is this really satisfactory? If you search for ‘teacher Michelle Smith’ on Google you can still find the outraged headlines from both the Daily Mail and The Sun (to whom Michelle Smith also successfully complained), complete with the first paragraph of each article. Should you then click on the link to either the Daily Mail article or The Sun article you end up with a 404 error page, stating that the content is no longer there.

You do not get informed that the article has been removed following an upheld complaint made to the PCC. You are not informed of why the offending article has been removed, nor given the right of reply from the victim. You merely end up with the conclusion that the page has been mislaid, rather than purposefully removed because of shoddy journalism.

Next up Amanda Platell writes the following about Heather Mills in November:

Why does she roll up one trouser leg to show her prosthetic limb, yet leaves the other one covered? Not still milking the sympathy vote, are we pet?”

Luckily Heather Mills was able to issue a response through other media outlets to this question:

“She says I kept my trouser leg rolled up to show off my prosthetic, UNTRUE, It was rolled up so Bob Watts the prosthetic could see the alignment and work out why i could not do crossovers without catching my blade and falling over.

“If the lazy woman did her homework she would understand how near impossible it is to skate with one limb to raise money for a needy charity programme.

“And she would know this was a private lesson, no cameras allowed, someone obviously sneaked a pic and she presumes the worst, how about a face to face Ms Platell?”

But even so, how many Daily Mail readers would have found this alternative media response, seeing as it was not covered in the Mail? The PCC say the issue was resolved when the Mail removed the offending article from its website and ‘sent a private letter of regret to the complainant’. Why is it that a public entity like a newspaper is allowed to apologise in private? Why was Amanda Platell not publicly rebuked for such a malicious, pathetic and completely untrue swipe at someone?

Organisations also receive the same treatment. Wellington College complained about Daily Mail coverage of an alleged assault at the college, claiming it was ‘inaccurate and misleading’. Again, rather than attempt to investigate and if necessary correct the coverage, they simply removed it from their website and ‘marked its cuttings library to ensure that there would be no future reference to it’. Is this really enough? To not publicly acknowledge the removal of an article gives the Daily Mail readership the impression that the Daily Mail is largely infallible as a source of news. In reality, things are very different, but you’ll only know that if you spend your time trawling the PCC website looking at just how many articles are removed without any sound at all from the Mail website. No explanation, no apology, no right to reply. The inaccuracies of purposeful misleading of its readership just disappears into the void.

It also again raises the issue of just why should editors bother to adhere to the PCC Editor’s code of practice, when the only result of publishing inaccurate articles is their quiet removal from the website? The original article still scored Internet traffic and raised advertising revenue, essentially archived content of low level attraction such as the above stories have no revenue value to the Daily Mail, so all the PCC really achieve is helping the Daily Mail prune past stories from their website.

It has been suggested by the excellent Mediawise (more about them will be appearing on this blog in the next few weeks) that newspapers should have dedicated places to post details of PCC rulings / resolved complaints etc against them, both online and in print editions, so that readers can readily find out what their newspaper has been up to recently. This seems more than reasonable and that editors do not voluntarily do this demonstrates still further how utterly unwilling the press actually is to even get into the spirit of self-regulation.

Look into the future with Peter Hitchens

Peter Hitchens makes an interesting claim in the Daily Mail today about how he can help you ‘see the future’. His evidence for this is his amazing prediction in 2007 about the next election:

How you, too, can see the future

I told you so. Yes I did. Here’s what I wrote on October 16, 2007: ‘The result of the next Election is already decided – the Left will be in office, either with a Labour majority, or a Lib-Lab pact, or a Lib-Con pact, or a Tory government in thrall to Left-wing ideas. No radical change, on the areas which Tory voters care about most, will take place.’

See? You can look into the future, if you visit my blog.

So, he predicted that the election could end up with a Labour majority, a Lib-Lab pact, a Lib-Con pact or a Tory government and it turns out that one of those cover-all-bases predictions was right. Considering that Peter is about as far to the right as you can get, it also isn’t much of a bold prediction that whoever got into power would be – according to Peter –  ‘in thrall to Left-wing ideas’, considering that Peter considers pretty much everything apart from his own column to be evil left-wing drivel. I think Peter could have summed up his ‘prediction’ more succinctly if he simply said: ‘whoever gets into power will not satisfy my deeply backward, reactionary right-wing views.’

Something for the weekend 22 May 2010

I realise I haven’t done a round up of links for quite some time which has meant that several new and interesting websites have cropped up without any mention from me (apart from on Twitter), so here they are:

Daily Mail Sadface – this is an amusing collection of the sad people photographed in the Daily Mail that accompany stories that are essentially just someone moaning. You can also follow them on Twitter here.

Hold The Front Pages – this is an excellent resource for bloggers who need to know what the front pages are saying. I shall certainly be using it. You can also follow them on Twitter here.

Like Punk Never Happened – this is the blog of Simon Brett and it might seem strange to link to a blog with just two posts so far, but he’s eloquent and thoughtful and both are worth reading. Here’s to many more. You can also follow him on Twitter here.

Here are some other blogs I read, I now realise that I am too lazy to write about all of them so shall just give a link and Twitter link. Many apologies to those below, but in my defence it is stunning outside:

Careful Man, There’s A Blog HereTwitter

Where is the world from here?Twitter

I’m sure I’ve forgotten many more, but I will try and do this more frequently.

In the meantime, if you have any constructive criticism of this blog theme, then let me know. It is still a work in progress as I just wanted to start using this blog because the comments system died on the old blog. As you may notice, content from the old Angry Mob site is being imported post-by-post, comment-by-comment so may take some time (and it may drive me insane).

If you want to self-host your blog and create your own WordPress template then can I point you in direction of Blue Globe Web Hosting, they’re blog hosting specialists with 100% Dell servers and 100% Cisco Gigabit technology, they offer great starter packages and they also offer a complete step-by-step guide to styling your own WordPress theme. You’ll see that the creation of this theme forms the basis of the guide (and making this theme didn’t take long at all). Parts 1-4 of the guide are already online with parts 5-6 being uploaded shortly and best of all, they even offer support in creating your own theme. Normally hosts only support the installation and basic function of scripts, Blue Globe have a team who will code check to solve any problems you might have creating your own blog theme.

The ‘Dudley 2′

Just received my latest email from the EDL discussing a march taking place in London tomorrow. The email stresses the importance of ‘mobilising divisions’ (as if they are an army) quickly in support of the ‘Dudley 2′ who are:

being persecuted for standing up for the rights of everyone in this country

Actually, as far as I can determine they were arrested for breaking into a disused factory and staging a roof top protest in Dudley. Presumably they were campaigning to maintain the age-old right of indigenous Brits to break into to disused buildings and from the rooftops rain down such awe-inspiring messages as ‘E, E, EDL. E, E, EDL.’, interspersed with racial slurs against Muslims. An arrest which is portrayed in the email as ‘being persecuted for speaking the truth’.

What martyrs they are.

If you are a fellow ‘patriot’ (a term ironically formed to express the rejection of all things English and the embracing of all things American) then you might want to read the full email which is reproduced below. Or you could just read it to make sure you avoid this colossal group of ignorant thugs who want to do nothing more than drink Stella and repeat nonsensical terrace chants whilst looking for a ruck:

Hi fellow Patriots.

Many of you are aware that there will be a march in London tomorrow (Sat 22nd May) and though this is not being organised by us, this is a very important statement to make. We need numbers there.

We have proven in the past that divisions can mobilise fast, so lets see if we can repeat this. The Dudley 2 are being persecuted for standing up for the rights of everyone in this country who have accepted England for the Country it is, and do not want to change it to suit their own ideologies, and this march is to protect like minded patriots like us from being persecuted for speaking the truth.

Details are below:

Date: Saturday, May 22, 2010
Time: 2:00pm – 6:00pm
Location:

March from Tothill Street, Great George st up whitehall past Downing st, Trafalgar Square, Cockspur Street into Waterloo Place where speeches will be made against the Government and their intention to ban English Patriots

Every Muslim child that is born in England and is thoroughly islamized through Shariah Law indoctrination and extremism, is a time bomb for English children in the future. The latter will be persecuted when they have become a minority unless we act for them now.

Therefore we are organising a major march to Parliament to protest at the values and culture of Britain being destroyed by traitors determined to promote a minority who clearly despise Britain and all it stands for.

Time is short and we have to get out and reclaim our Country. In Dudley the police used firearms to suppress opposition to Shariah law by English patriots. On 22nd May we need all English Patriots to descend on London and fight for our country by passive protest. Time is against us and it is action that is needed now not words. By attending this event in the thousands we can make our voice heard. Welsh Scottish and Irish patriots are all joining the English patriots in this as we are all suffering under the British government persecution of our rights to national identity and keeping our culture secure.

It’s our Country so lets go get it back…

No Surrender,
Trevor Kelway