‘Coz we’re special we are

Dame Emma Thompson joined climate protesters in London on Thursday to declare that she wants to be among those demonstrators arrested by police.

However, it has emerged that the Oscar winning British actress was photographed a day earlier arriving at Heathrow Airport after apparently flying from Los Angeles where it is believed she had been celebrating her 60th birthday.

The Extinction Rebellion group, which is calling for flights to be used only in emergencies, insisted that any flight she had taken was an “unfortunate cost in our bigger battle to save the planet”.

Obviously it’s different when the revolutionary vanguard do it….


Then, advertising specifically targeted at racists.

Leave.EU paid for Facebook adverts targeted at supporters of the National Front, the BNP, Britain First and the EDL.

The number of recorded hate crimes in England and Wales spiked after the Brexit referendum. The Home Office specifically mentions the increase in xenophobic hate crimes.

We already know that Leave.EU was involved in illegal election activity, but this is a whole new level of wickedness. In any sane country this would be a national scandal and we’d be putting heads on spikes.

Persuading people not to vote for the National Front is a bad thing?


Ever since judges lost their exemption from doing jury service, members of the bench have struggled to find inventive reasons to avoid it — but Judge Keith Cutler’s excuse will take some beating.

The resident judge of Winchester and Salisbury has been excused from a stint on jury service after it became clear that he was to be the judge on the same case.

At first even that clear breach of the principles of natural justice was not enough. Judge Cutler replied to the jury summons by pointing out that he was listed to be the judge in the trial but was told that his reason was not a sufficiently strong excuse.


Bully for social and economic rights then

Enhancing the status of economic and social rights in the UK legal system would lead to important changes. For example, English law currently unfairly permits landlords to evict tenants without giving a reason, but to comply with the right to adequate housing no-fault evictions would have to be abolished.

If someone wishes to change the use of their own property then why shouldn’t they? Isn’t the right to property a social and economic right?

Apologies, I just find this very funny

A prominent awards show for Indigenous music in Canada has been plunged into turmoil after a group of Inuit performers accused a Cree folk singer of cultural appropriation.

Several well-known Inuit singers have cut ties with the Indigenous Music awards (IMA), an annual show due to held in Winnipeg on 17 May, over the nomination of Connie LeGrande, who they accuse of improperly using Inuit throat singing.

In recent years, Canada has started to grapple with the issue of cultural appropriation as Indigenous people publicly challenge white artists for the use of Indigenous iconography and stories in their own work.

The current row, however, centres on an Indigenous artist, and raises questions over cultural borrowings between separate aboriginal groups.

“This is new ground – this is not ground we’ve walked on before,” said Kelly Fraser, an Inuk singer who has withdrawn from the award show in protest, along with throat singer Tanya Tagaq and the duo Piqsiq.

LeGrande, a singer from Alberta who performs under the name Cikwes, was nominated for best folk album for her album Isko, but Inuit performers said that the work uses a specific throat-singing style with deep cultural and historical ties to the Arctic. Nearly two months of talks between between the artists failed to produce an acceptable outcome, said Fraser.

LeGrande’s biography on the IMA website describes her singing as a “style of throat singing and chanting [which] celebrates the Matriarch, with a raw powerful and sexual presence”.

LeGrande did not respond to a request for comment, but has previously dismissed claim she is appropriating another culture, telling the Edmonton Star: “What I do is not Inuit throat singing. I went on and put my own expression and my own sounds because I don’t know their sounds.”

Much of the Inuit artists’ frustration centres on what they say is LeGrande’s failure to acknowledge the history and importance of throat singing in Inuit culture.

Throat singing, or katajjaq, was originally as a traditional game played between two women or girls. Guttural vocalizations are volleyed between the partners until one person breaks the rhythm and laughs – an exchange requiring intense concentration and focus.

Other times, it was used to help put small children to sleep.

Why are they all discussing this in English?

Would you hire this bloke?

The Anglo-Saxon world is now learning the economic price of trying to turn the clock back. Through a referendum and an election in 2016, many Britons and Americans expressed a wish to return to a recognizable time before the disruptive elements of globalization, the digital revolution, and the increasingly free movement of peoples. As a result, the governments of both countries undertook explicit policies to unwind fundamental regulatory conditions to recreate the world order that preceded them: Brexit for Britain and the attempted repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for the US.

Both policies were aggressively prosecuted by conservative governments. Both lost steam when they encountered political realities. Both have fallen afoul of constitutional obstacles that prevent the simple implementation of their goals. And both of these efforts have done economic damage to the countries that pursued them as solutions.

Our Tory govt aggressively pursued Brexit?

Dr. Sam Natapoff is the President of Empire Global Ventures LLC (EGV) where he helps companies scale both internationally and abroad and is a leading expert in international economics and business consulting. He has a Ph.D. in International Relations from George Washington University.

One consultant not to hire, eh?

Well, yes, they’re animals

A Peak District farmer has been forced to give up his “gentle” highland cattle after a single dog walker complained that they felt unsafe around the herd.

Alex Birch, 32, has roamed his 27-strong herd on Baslow Edge in the Peak District for 40 years, ever since his grandfather David Thorp first introduced them to the land as a young man.

Walkers in the national park regularly encountered the red-haired cattle, described as “the most photographed cows in the world”, as they grazed on the bracken.

They were even the face of BBC Look North’s weather programme.

But ramblers cannot find the animals on Baslow Edge anymore, as Mr Birch has been forced to sell and slaughter his cattle following a complaint to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) from an anonymous dog walker.

The complaint stressed concern after a walker claimed that one of the highland cows attempted to attack their dog.

One complaint about maybe an attempt?


One thing I don’t know. Is this private land? Or a commons?

Kidde 7COC Carbon Monoxide Alarm (replaceable batteries) 10 Year Sensor and Warranty

Well, yes Owen, quite so

Pop stars such as Mariah Carey may well be fooled by publicists into thinking that, by performing in countries ruled by abhorrent regimes, they will advance progressive causes. They do no such thing: they simply help legitimise tyranny. They became pop stars because of their love of music. They must surely ask themselves if they really ever aspired to become the propaganda devices of one of the worst regimes on Earth.

We’re awaiting your apologies for praising Chavez and Maduro even now…..in fact, didn’t you go there to do so?

How secret?

Mountain bothies’ locations should be kept secret, walkers say amid fears over stag parties and adventure tours

Really secret so no one knows where they are?

Or just rather secret, known only to the Illuminati?

Hillwalkers have also complained some bothy users have exploited a loophole in smoking legislation to set up a pipe smoking club at another shelter in Durness, in the far north of Scotland.

Ah, yes, I think we can guess the sort of people complaining. Those who go hill walking as no one will have the little cunts in the house.

Agitprop doesn’t pay like it used to

When I was a teenager, older relatives hustled me off to summer jobs with tales of paying for college by working summers at the local grocery store. By contrast, my wife and I will start paying for our kids’ college expenses before we finish paying off our own student loans. Last year, I had three side jobs alongside my full-time position at a thinktank. That’s how we afford to save (and pay for emergencies). If a straight white guy like me has to grind like this to reach – and stay in – the middle class, know that it’s much more difficult for folks with fewer privileges.

Both he and his wife are paying off graduate school loans.

Conor P Williams is a fellow at the Century Foundation, a progressive thinktank.

Maybe a different job might help?

Everything is new to those with no experience

Is it a boy? Is it a girl? No, it’s a terrible new trend that needs to be aborted. I speak of “genital-reveal parties”, which appear to have become de rigueur these days. OK, so technically they are called “gender-reveal parties”, but since gender is socially constructed, you’re really just revealing what genitals your unborn baby comes attached with.

In case you are unfamiliar with this extremely gender-normative phenomenon, it is a ritual in which a couple simultaneously finds out and reveals the sex of their unborn child in “creative” ways.

So, you hoping for a boy? Or a girl?” is just the sort of thing that no one has ever asked.

How so very Guardian

Drag queen (his description) meets nutter on bus. Nutter screams at drag queen. This is because:

Britain’s acute culture of intolerance breeds this conviction that “the other” deserves to be denigrated. Rather than critique our own systems of power, we are taught to blame immigrants for economic turbulence; instead of protecting trans women from acts of patriarchal violence, some of the British press seeks to vilify them as its culprits. Current waves of divisionism foster an environment in which violence towards minorities is pitched as protection, and it’s conducive to toxic forms of masculinity. For instance, in the three months following the hate-fuelled Leave campaign, attacks on LGBT people rose by a startling 147%. And during the World Cup, searches for helplines and resources about domestic violence markedly increased following matches where England lost to foreign competitors, another instance of national disappointment provoking male violence.

Maybe, y’know, you just met a nutter on the bus?

Dear Ms Solnit

I keep the newspaper clipping inside a Milan Kundera novel: it shows demonstrators in Prague in 1989, one of them carrying a badly chipped bust of Stalin around whose neck hangs a placard that says nic netrvá věčně: nothing lasts forever. It’s not a war cry, nor a prophesy, but a bald statement of fact at the moment when the Soviet bloc Stalin had been critical in establishing was falling apart and Czechoslovakia was liberating itself.

It must have seemed like forever to those who lived under totalitarianism until all of a sudden “forever” crashed and burned. People worked to make it so at terrible risk; some were imprisoned, or otherwise punished. Some died. They worked without knowledge of how and when their efforts might matter, and the faith that drove those activists is still stunning to contemplate. I think of that history when I think of our present predicament in the United States.

I know a lot of us have rage fatigue and moral exhaustion from a little over a year and a half of the hell of Donald Trump’s ascendancy. I know that seeing the vulnerable crushed, and the sabotage of the things that we fought for from reproductive rights to climate policies, and in particular the recent efforts to destroy small children weighs on most of us.

Trump’s shouting about things is not totalitarianism. Get a grip woman.

And what about this then?

Leeds City Council has ordered the noise of a herd of cow to be monitored for a year, after a dispute between two neighbours about excessive mooing spilled into a planning hearing.

James Bullock, of Swillington just outside of Leeds, played councillors the sounds of cows mooing during a retroactive planning hearing for a barn to house animals at neighbouring Swillington Organic Farm.

‘The noise has been intolerable. I have to lie there in bed listening to this bellowing,’ he said.

That’s what happens when you live next to a farm. You have the sounds of a farm next door to you.

What do you think happens in the country?

How did we end up here then?

A group of neighbours have been told to take down their communal paddling pool in case a burglar drowns in it overnight.

Residents of a block of flats in Strood Kent, were warned the 12ft pool could pose a health and safety risk should someone try to break into a nearby home.

Officials at mhs Homes, which manages the properties, said the pool must be emptied and taken down each night to avoid such risk

Dear Lord above, are these people serious?

Casual workers in the Wimbledon catering operation are being paid the same hourly rate for night shifts as day ones and earning well below the London living wage.

The Guardian has learned that Compass, whose subsidiary FMC is the official caterer, is paying some night workers at the tennis championships in south-west London £8 an hour, the same as their colleagues working during the day.

Bar work. Waiting table. Apparently, you should be paid more to do this when people want to go for a rink or to eat. You know, working 6 – 11 being unsociable hours or summat?

And so the RNLI dies

He said he suspected he was targeted as he struggled with the new form-filling regime, adding: ‘Thirty-four years of service with not one disciplinary mark against my name, and skill, experience, knowledge and the sacrifices that I’ve made count for nothing.’

Darren Lewis, RNLI regional lifesaving manager, defended the charity’s decision to sack Mr Clark. He said it was down to a ‘number of breaches of our policies and procedures’ and followed a ‘lengthy investigation’.

Asked if there was a change in culture at the charity, he said a new management structure meant paid managers were able to keep a closer eye on the activities of volunteer crews at lifeboat stations. He added: ‘Any actions we do take are not taken lightly.’

No, no, the forms are the important thing, aren’t they?

Polly and eugenics

Despite the non-emergence of an “intelligence gene” and the predominant importance of environment over heredity, the far right’s search for reasons why the poor are inferior has a long history. Steve Jones, renowned geneticist, puts it this way: he points out that wealth is considerably more heritable than genes. He says moving to affluence increases a working-class child’s IQ by 15 points. As for super-breeding, Darwin asked a racing dog breeder how he succeeded: “I breed many and I hang many,” was his reply. Not so easy with humans.

Young’s New Schools Network is an odd beast, a charity drawing £2m, 90% of its income, from the state, to advocate and help people set up new schools. But there haven’t been any successful applications since before the 2015 election.

The closing date for the renewed contract to the NSN is 19 January – though it has always gone to the same outfit. Toby Young earns some £90,000 per year as its head. There is, in the tender, no mention of applicants being fit and proper – or non-eugenicists.

Isn’t this fun?

The Fabian left attacking someone for believing in eugenics?