Newspaper Watch

Seriously Telegraph, nul points

A Michael Deacon column, sure, why not? Revive Way of the World, sure why not?

Starting today, Way of the World – Michael Deacon’s new twice-weekly column for the Telegraph – casts a satirical eye over the news …

Just no.

We want the choler, vindictiveness and pure menacing hatred if you’re going to call it Way of the World. Without those is to trample on the blessed memories of Peter Simple and Auberon Waugh.

Do understand the point – it’s not anti-Mr D columns. It’s more where has the Feudal Times and Reactionary Herald gone?

Lefty hand waving

Robert Kushner:

Back in May, President Biden did something worth celebrating. He authorized U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to reverse the long-standing U.S. opposition to waiving the patent, copyright, and trademark protections of the WTO treaty known as TRIPS, to which the U.S. is a party.

With that waiver, countries with vaccine manufacturing capacity, such as India, could produce the Pfizer vaccine at cost, at adequate quantities, and deliver it worldwide. But since that brave gesture, career U.S. trade officials based at WTO headquarters in Geneva have slow-rolled the TRIPS waiver, and there has been no progress at getting vaccines actually produced in quantity.

Patents are the problem, are they?

ADAR POONAWALLA, CEO of Serum Institute of India (SII), on Friday said they were building a facility to make mRNA vaccines, even as SII was scaling up its production of Covishield vaccines from the present 160 million doses monthly to 200 million doses from October.

While the facility for mRNA vaccines will take two years to be completed,

Oh, no, patents aren’t the problem.

Gee, the real world is a complicated place, ain’t it?

Oooooh, Cool!

Willy:

Britain’s broadcast media is too valuable to be the toy of politicians and moguls
Will Hutton

Privatise everything to get the politicians out of it!

Except, of course, that’s not what he means. Instead, he means that the taxpayers should still pay for it all. But elections shouldn’t be allowed to change either what is reported, how it is reported, nor who pays for it.

So even if we revolt against Willy we still have to put up with Willy.

A truth in The Guardian

Well, yes:

From crackpot Covid theorists to antivaxxers, hubris and fear haunt the wellness community
Brigid Delaney

The randomness of illness is far too frightening for many to contemplate – so they rely on a fiction they’re special and can control their bodies

People nutty enough to believe one stupidity do tend to end up believing many.

Understanding this is the only logical explanation for The Guardian of course.

So this is interesting

I wonder:

Failure of GB News is a warning to the right
An alternative to the BBC is welcome but the channel has turned into a humourless echo chamber for Ukip supporters

Does this mean I could get a show?

Apart from that face made for radio thing?

Hmm, maybe?

GB News is looking to hire more of Nigel Farage’s former Brexit party stablemates as channel bosses look set to rebuild the station as a full-throated culture war outlet after the departure of Andrew Neil.

Could be, but I doubt it

One for the file on today’s journalists having no bottom, no wider knowledge:

Evergrande, founded in 1966 by billionaire Xu Jiayin,

Yes, OK, so it’s a typo. But who would see a date in the middle of the Cultural Revolution and decide that’s a likely time for a private sector property developer to be founded? Yes, I know, I know, typos and all that, but seriously, should be a glaring klaxon going off over that one.

That it’s all going tits up is obviously true, as said elsewhere.

This is Worstallesque in its ignorance of SI units

Some 7,000 years ago the Scottish Highlands was home to 15,000 square metres of ancient woodlands, a habitat for great herds of wild grazing animals, lynx, wolves and native red squirrels.

Great grazing herds of red squirrels is fun.

So, one sq metre is 1×10*0 m2, right? 10 is thus 1×10*1 m2? Or have I got that wrong already? But 15,000 is therefore 1.5×10*4 m2. And what they almost certainly mean is 1.5×10*7 m2, yes? Or is it 1.5×10*8 m2? Umm, 10k metres to a hectare, 1,000 hectares to a km, 15,000,000,000,00andhowmanymore?

Easier, for me at least, to say 15,000 square metres and 15,000 square hectares or even something like the accurate number, 15,000 square kilometres. Or ten thousand square miles in real money.

Given my inability with SI – it’s all just a blur of numbers to me – I have sympathy with those who also don’t instinctively grasp relative and likely sizes. But that the arts graduates manage to get it wrong with words does still astonish.

Edmund Burke comes back into fashion

Slung Low’s food bank was, like its theatre performances, a large-scale production. But it was by no means the only initiative of its kind to emerge during the pandemic. Over the past 18 months, 4,000 mutual aid groups formed across the country, staffed by millions of volunteers, who patched together safety nets for those in need. Whether delivering food, helping elderly people or supporting those with deteriorating mental health, many mutual aiders fast realised that help is a two-way street. For some, it provided an immediate way to practise political values. Other volunteers I spoke with said it offered them meaning and purpose in a way that actual, paid work did not.

Could this flourishing of mutual aid and volunteering have a sustainable effect on the way we do politics, or will it simply evaporate as the pandemic recedes from view? Regular contact with Holbeck’s community, many of whom live in deprivation, has been an altering experience for Slung Low volunteers, one they can neither forget nor untie themselves from. Food banking is an exchange of much more than groceries: care, connection and trust passes between people, too. “We are part of the community and beholden to each other now,” Alan Lane, the theatre’s artistic director, told me when I visited the food bank in June.

The only pity here is that The Guardian doesn’t realise it’s echoing Burke and all that stuff about the little platoons. They’re just too ignorant to see the connection.

Votes are worth more, are they?

It’s because conservative politicians have been more adept at exploiting the deep cross-currents than progressive rivals, made easier by a first-past-the-post voting system. The young are concentrated in cities, while the elderly are segregated and in smaller towns so their votes count in more constituencies and many more vote.

Doesn’t that just seal Willy Hutton’s validity as a political commentator?

Urban constituencies tend to have a smaller number of voters in them. That’s what the Boundary Commission changes are all about, the urban seats tend to lose population over time. Thus, at any particular time, given the historic nature of the information used to set boundaries, there are fewer voters in each urban const than in rural.

So, da youf’s vote is worth more than those of the crocks, not less.

Abominations unto Nuggan

As I’ve remarked before there are useful comparisons between Nuggan and William Keegan:

Just how long will it take the electors of this benighted country to realise that they have been conned by the Brexiters?

By this I do not mean all the electorate – after all, nearly half those who voted on that fatal June day in 2016 were in favour of remaining in the European Union, and as a proportion of those eligible to vote, the Leave tally was 37%.

Since then, to use a phrase much used by their generation, many older Brexit voters have “dropped off the perch”; meanwhile, the evidence is that the young who have come on to the voting register are predominantly in favour of the EU.

The evidence mounts that Brexit is an almost unmitigated disaster.

Cries of abominations from a mind rather stuck in its groove…..

Read the story properly

For years, nonunion labor brokers in the New York City construction industry have targeted workers who have recently been released from prison and are under parole supervision or other court surveillance programs, in a move that many say ensures low wages and poses a serious safety risk for employees.

Known as “body shops”, these labor brokers hire and pay workers to perform work for third party companies, profiting by taking a cut of the wages paid by the company. The labor brokers end up competing in a race to drive down labor costs through wage suppression and cutting corners on training and safety.

Former prisoners are usually required to look for work as a condition of their release, so they may be willing to take any job they can get to avoid being returned to jail on a parole violation. It’s not an idle threat: New York imprisoned individuals nearly three times the national average in 2019 for technical parole violations, consisting of 40% of all individuals admitted to prisons in the state.Body shop employers exploit those work requirements to pay parolees’ low wages under unsafe working conditions.

Terrible, just terrible.

Now read the story properly:

while union members in the New York City construction industry start at more than $28 an hour plus benefits.

“Now that I’m in the union, I don’t have to do anything negative to make a dollar,” added Coley. “It’s changed my life dramatically in a positive way and not only financially, but being able to help other individuals in their next step in life.”

This is a planted – OK, PR’d = story to make the union look good.

Well, yes, suppose so

‘The far Left have won and taken over America’s elite institutions – we need to start again’
Journalist and culture war warrior Bari Weiss tells Zoe Strimpel her plan to help the US fight the ideological rot enveloping it

One useful guide to how far left that ruling oligarchy – culturally that is – is is that Bari Weiss is seen as being significantly to the right of it.

It’s like finding David Aaronovich being included in the same cultural milieu as Nigel Farage. Which indeed some lefties here would claim was true – an indication of quite how far left they are, not how equally right the two are.

Happens to every conservative commentator in the end

At least four mega-trends are conspiring to break the West’s grip on the world: the emergence of non-democratic capitalism; the misuse of technology; the net zero revolution; and America’s and Europe’s ideological decadence.

Eheu fugaces, the young just aren’t what they were. Morals, sex, clothes, and the popular beat combos!

Ideological decadence, after me the deluge…….it’s come for Allister Heath now.

Wow!

The intern learned something:

I was an intern in the cubicles of Salon.com’s San Francisco office, around the time it was shifting from respectable online magazine into inane outrage content mill.

Yes, definitely learned something:

If you’re committed to marketing sports overall, you’re marketing, at the very least, a brand of masculinity. Dominating your opponents isn’t the only way to be a man and doing so isn’t exclusively the province of men, but the act itself is a disproportionately male endeavor, and also something that really appeals to male audiences. The nation that contains more female than male sports fans … doesn’t exist.

Willie Keegan’s analysis

Keegan is the most obdurate of remainers:

So much for Global Britain. The fiasco and tragedy of the retreat from Afghanistan have laid bare the folly of the Brexiters’ Faustian pact: choose the irresponsible but vote-winning Boris Johnson as your leader; say “goodbye European Union, hello world”; and, oh dear, it turns out not to be the triumph they promised.

The EU’s reaction to – influence in – Afghanistan is what?

Willie is 83 and the fictional character he most reminds me of is Nuggan.

His brother, Victor, I have a lot of time for – although no contact in well over a decade now I guess. So perhaps not that much time but still. He used The Guardian to campaign for the abolition of agricultural subsidies in order to aid poor countries. They could – should – be growing food for rich folks to make they, themselves, richer. As he pointed out once, to be against this is to miss the founding ethos of the paper itself, that background in Cobden etc.

He’s obviously correct but think of the brass balls needed to make that argument at The Guardian…..

Lionel Messi is paid 100 times a CEO

Barca was paying Messi £200 million a year apparently.

The annual pay of FTSE 100 chief executives fell during the pandemic but still equates to what a key worker would earn in a lifetime, according to a report that highlights the UK’s wage divide and the taxpayer support that has kept some companies afloat.

The bosses of companies in the blue-chip share index were paid £2.69m on average in 2020, the High Pay Centre said, with vaccine-maker AstraZeneca’s chief executive, Pascal Soriot, taking top spot thanks to a £15.45m deal.

CEOs should not get one hundredth of Messi’s pay because reasons.

The left is sugar and spice

Look, we’ve all met this argument before. My side is everything nice, if it’s not nice then it’s not my side.

See! Proof!

Republicans claim to fear left-wing authoritarianism — but there’s no such thing
Yes, dictators sometimes cloak themselves in “socialism.” But tyranny, here and elsewhere, is always right-wing

Err, yes.

During and after the Cold War, the right undertook a relentless campaign that rages on to this day of falsely smearing Democrats and the left as the cause of authoritarianism, like the horrendous dictatorships of Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union, Adolf Hitler in Germany, Fidel Castro in Cuba and Hugo Chávez in Venezuela.

Umm….

The truth is that left-wing policies, broadly speaking, are popular and beneficial to society, while dictatorial regimes are right-wing, with policies that are unpopular and horrendous for society.

Yep, it really is the argument that the existence of puppy dog tails proves that it’s the right.

Unfortunately, it was hijacked by a right-wing dictator in Stalin, steered into the opposite direction, and transformed into a right-wing totalitarian state, all under the false pretense of being a left-wing movement. This too was a Big Lie. Stalin falsely proclaimed to be governing under left-wing principles for the people, when in fact he was concentrating power into his own hands and governing as a right-wing dictator.

We agree that Stalin was bad, therefore Stalin must be right wing.

This transformation of the Soviet Union by Stalin from a beneficial left-wing movement into a hideous right-wing dictatorship was masterfully described by George Orwell in his famous novel from 1945, “Animal Farm.”

That’s possibly not the correct reading of that book. Of a would be beneficial left wing movement into, yes, maybe.

Therefore, to say that Stalin, dictatorships and totalitarianism are left-wing is the exact opposite of the truth. It is indeed a Big Lie.

This writer is going to be so pissed with his earlier self when he turns 13, isn’t he?

The societies ruled by Castro and Chávez were never left-wing democracies, and cannot truly be considered “socialist.”

“Proper socialism has never been tried” cannot be far behind, eh?

Indeed, the theory of communism may be riddled with many problems and contradictions, although it’s fair to say it has never really been implemented anywhere in the world.

Oh, look!

Seriously, the wonder is that this got published. Even in Salon. Are we sure Cody Cain isn’t Skokal?

Sturgeon Moon?

Now there’s a vision I need mind bleach over. Nicola hanging out, or partially so, the window of a passing Saltired vehicle?

August’s Sturgeon Moon: when it will peak in the UK and full moon dates for 2021
Full moons illuminate the sky every month – but why do they have different names and when will August’s Sturgeon moon peak?

And there’s something about our society today. Something different from the First Minister giving us all a flash. This past year or two has me noting an distinct increase in newspaper pieces about this Moon and that Moon. Red, Sturgeon as here, Harvest no doubt and others I can’t be bothered to look up nor remember.

So, why? Blame Google. Or, at least, blame people writing for Google.

Google does indeed drive traffic to a website, traffic means showing advertising to readers, advertising means money. So, write a piece that gains position for something people search for in Google and CASH!

Just as an example, when I was at Forbes I was paid on traffic. I did a piece about Henry Ford and his $5 a day wages. For years it bounced between first and third result for “Henry Ford $5 a day”. That’s not a query that brought hundreds of thousands of readers at any one time but 4 years after I wrote it it was still paying me (after Forbes had their cut) 50 or 60 cents a day. Yes, I know, not great riches. But a portfolio of such pieces does make a difference to income.

Or, as with these Moon things. Find something that people are going to look up. All these different names for phases of the Moon. Write a piece on a website with a decent Google position and watch the traffic roll in. Sure, it’ll be only for a few days, a week. But the traffic volume will be such that it’ll be at the very least a nice addition to the overall. And near certainly worth more in revenue than the $100 paid to the person who wrote it.

That is, these Moon pieces are written to capture Google traffic. We can see the influence of the internet on journalism in the very headlines and story selections themselves.