Who, exactly, was marking the paper?

A student was disqualified from her GCSE exam after she was accused of making “obscene racial comments” by criticising halal meat.

Abigail Ward, 16, a strict vegetarian, wrote during a Religious Studies exam in June that she found the idea of halal meat “absolutely disgusting”.

The exam board OCR later disqualified Miss Ward from the exam, accusing her of making “obscene racial comments”.

And if Grandpa Death had been marking it, would the same comment applied to kosher have got an A*?

The latest PR nonsense

An organisation that will remain nameless sent a press release.

Working more than 48 hours a week shortens your lifespan! See, see, in the international statistics!

They had not adjusted for income levels. Poor people life shorter lives, yes, poor people work longer hours, yes. But if you don’t adjust for income levels then pointing to shorter lives and longer working hours then…..

Lesbian vampire movies are hardly a new thing

San Francisco’s Frameline43 festival highlights the evolution of trans lives onscreen – from bigotry to complex reality

Things are tense. The 18-year-old who left home to find herself in the big city has just had her first lesbian encounter concluded with a savage bite to the neck. Turns out that her sexual partner is a vampire, and now she’s a vampire too. Will she take the antidote and go back to being human, or will she embrace eternal life and a diet of blood? It’s a tough choice but the fact that years ago she made a different kind of transition makes things easier.

Welcome to the brave new world of trans film. Once dominated by misunderstanding, exoticization and bigotry, transgender film has evolved to explore the complex realities of trans lives.

It’s not entirely a depiction of reality either, is it?

Crazed of the day

It therefore seems a strange time to restore at such cost a monument to the western civilisation that helped create these conditions. It is time to take a hard look at buildings such as Notre Dame and ask what they represent, and whether we should still be treasuring them.

Our current ideas on climate, environment, and inequality are partly the product of medieval Christian states.

Dear God some people are cretins

Well how much innovation have we really seen in consumer tech over the past decade? A 2019 smartphone delivers the exact same core services as the very first generation of iPhones, it just does the same things faster and better: Better processor, better camera, more memory etc., but the core services of the device are the same.

If you factor out the marketing, there’s really next to nothing happening. No leaps that in any way compare to the leap…

They’ve entirely missed price, haven’t they?

The $50 smartphone is am improvement over the $700 one?

‘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….

Eh?

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?

Snigger

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.

Sigh.

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?

SAM NATAPOFF
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?

Sheesh.

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?