Image via Parliament UK
The former Chairman of the Co-operative Bank and former Labour councillor and presumably still suspended Methodist minister might not be the brightest button in the box but perhaps the question that should be asked is whatever happened to Mark Hoban.
It is generally accepted that Paul Flowers is not a real banker in terms of qualification, experience or fitness for purpose but he has displayed the arrogance, denial and contempt that real bankers usually reserve for the real world. He is not the first or indeed the last banker to allegedly partake in recreational, if illegal, substances nor the first to relieve understandable stress by paying for the companionship of younger and considerably more attractive people who do not earn a living in the financial sector. His guilt, if fallibility is a crime, is based not just on his status as a man of God but also his gullibility in walking into an entrapment scenario worthy of George Michael and the Los Angeles Police Department.
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…)
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…)
Image via metro.co.uk
With what seems like half of 1970s television light entertainment on trial for being perverts, it is good to see the ghost of Benny Hill chasing around in fast forward to a Yakety Sax soundtrack; you can almost hear the hoof beats pound. Clearly, any comment relating to old, male c-list celebrities well past their sell-by date who are innocent until proven guilty in ongoing court cases should not be offered in order to avoid charges of contempt. However, the dead, the convicted and those not yet arrested or charged are fair game.
The Liberal Democrats now find themselves embroiled in an internecine bun fight worthy of Two-Ton Ted from Teddington over the alleged historical behaviour of Baron Rennard of Wavertree in the county of Merseyside. It must be made clear that Rennard`s supposed misdemeanours are not in the same league as the odious Stuart Hall or the vile Savile, but he did once state that the fat, now dead, pervert Liberal from Rochdale was his “personal inspiration”. Nice one Chris; rot in Hell Cyril. Fortunately the Liberal Democrats and before them the Liberal Party have a long and noble history of propriety going back as far as Gladstone, Lloyd George and, in more recent times, Jeremy Thorpe. It seems like only five minutes ago since David Laws was caught fiddling and had to resign and remember how amusing Chris Huhne proved to be. To suffer the loss of one cabinet minister might be unfortunate just days after assuming power, but the loss of two suggests that Liberalism is not as squeaky clean as the Benny Hill Show. Thankfully Laws is back in cabinet with a responsibility for education and perhaps one day Huhne will return to oversee speed cameras and the spread of STDs. (more…)