A flood, a torrent, a tidal wave
Returning from a recent trip abroad, I was shocked and stunned at the numbers of Bulgarian and Romanian economic migrants, health tourists, potential benefit scroungers and other foreign looking ne`er-do-wells thronging the arrivals terminal.
Given all the dire warnings of an influx of criminal gang masters, I was outraged to find not a single one of them coming over here and stealing our jobs. It would seem that they are coming tomorrow, or next week, or next month or possibly on the day before an election. That very smartly dressed young man being met by officials from a local Premier League football club doesn`t count because it was 12 hours prior to the close of the transfer window and it`s absolutely wonderful when they come over here scoring our goals. There is something charmingly comic when football fans scream racist abuse when an opposing overseas player clogs lumps out of one of their own overseas players or when the overseas manager fails to come up with the end of season silverware. (more…)
There can be few things sadder than seeing formerly dignified and noble institutions descend into squalid decay or once respected and decent individuals fall from greatness into the gutter of ruined reputation.
First among equals in the downward spiral towards derelict oblivion seems to be parliamentary democracy. According to our government, doctors, nurses, support staff and ambulance crews wilfully neglect their duty and are deliberately harming every single NHS patient. By this bizarre logic, the NHS is evil and has to be dismantled. Teachers and their sinister assistants have blighted the lives of children and ruined state education. State education, therefore, is failing and needs to be put out of its misery. What passes for government thinking might also conclude that every police officer constantly tells lies about cabinet ministers, fire fighters start fires, badgers cause floods and fracking will cure cancer. The welfare state, constructed in the aftermath of war and a litmus test of just how compassionate and civilised a nation is, is dead. The illness was mercifully short. It has been less than (more…)
By any stretch of the imagination, it has been a difficult week for former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. Setting aside allegations of electoral fraud, the poisoning of his main political opponent and the imprisonment and torture of a woman Prime Minister, poor Viktor has been getting a lot of bad press lately. Imagine being a democratically elected leader and being forced to flee your native land with only a large Antonov transport aircraft stuffed with gold bullion for comfort. Fortunately he is now under the protection of Putin and continues to claim legitimacy even as Russian troops mass on the border with Ukraine. The people of Kiev and the western provinces might include right-wing fascists armed with Kalashnikovs but they can all spot a crook when they see one. (more…)
Daily Mail January 1934
As far as I am aware, there is no statute under English law that allows a conviction on the grounds of guilt by association which, all things considered, will come as something of a relief to newspaper editors, MPs past and present and a variety of celebrities.
The Daily Mail has a long association with fascism, false allegations, bigotry, hypocrisy, shockingly inaccurate reporting, downright lies and a rather unhealthy obsession with pictures of pre-pubescent girls in bikinis. The self proclaimed arbiter of taste and decency in Middle England and their extensive legal team know the boundaries of the law and know that guilt by association is not a legal thing. Ludicrous smear campaigns against people the Daily Mail don`t like very much is, however, well within the law. Little wonder that the tawdry rag in the repulsive form of editor Paul Dacre and, by implication, the current Viscount Rothermere who owns the voice of Britain without paying any tax in the UK are implacably opposed to any regulation of the gutter press as recommended or not, as the case may be, by the Leveson report. (more…)
Image via news.bbc.co.uk
You have to admit that we have been spoilt rotten recently with the salacious details of celebrity court cases where soap opera becomes indistinguishable from the legal system, but one largely unreported court case will have major implications for the fourth estate and for anyone tempted by self-indulgent social media.
The case of Svensson and others v Retriever Sverige before the European Court of Justice might not have contained lurid tales of dressing rooms, hotels, Rolls Royce`s, massive egos, drugs, coitus and irrelevant emails about phone calls from alleged former Prime Ministers but it does indicate the direction of travel for the appallingly named “new media”. Svensson and others earn a crust at Goteborgs-Posten. For the record, Retriever Sverige is not a breed of Scandinavian dog and Goteborgs-Posten is not the organisation that Pingu`s dad works for. (more…)