Friday, November 26, 2010

Hate to say I told you so...

The blogs are alive with the sound of facepalms this morning, as the Daily Express looks like this:

I pointed out a while ago that the Express is fond of applying results of its self-selecting reader polls to the wider population. So, following that logic, that's 61,174,080* people who want us out of Europe. Only 617,920 people in the whole country either want the UK to stay in the EU, or are agnostic on the matter.

Which brings me again to the vexed issue of babies. There are 784,200 under-ones in the UK. That means that there are at least 166,280 babies who have developed the language skills and mental agility (or lack of) to agree with the Express. Plus, of course, every single man, woman and child over 12 months in the whole of the UK. Every politician, every foreign EU citizen (who, we are told, love nothing more than exploiting the UK's membership of the EU for their own financial gain), every sectioned mental patient, every serial killer - we all agree with the Express.

The Express hasn't, on this occasion, chosen to multiply its poll results by the population of the UK. But it did a few weeks ago, when the results were less overwhelmingly in its favour. The anomalies and absurdities above show just how little regard the Express has for its readers' intelligence. But somehow, I doubt they'll notice.

Hat-tips: Enemies Of Reason and Minority Thought and doubtless many others.

*2009 figures

Saturday, November 20, 2010


For the uninitiated, Openbook is a great little site. In the guise of exposing Facebook's lax default security settings, it offers a terrifying insight into the thought processes of people who are too thick to change their security settings away from the default. You enter a search term, and Openbook shows you all the status updates containing that term.
A good one to start with is "not racist but". Most of these are copy-and-paste jobs about the poppy-burners from last Sunday, but you get a few gems like:
Julia Mullan I love christmas but it hasnt been the same for me since I was in playschool and we went to visit Santa in fantasy island, that Santa turned out to be a black man, I'm notracist but it was the first black person I'd ever encountered at that tender age and it's stuck with me until this day! Plus the book he gave me was shite so I dropped it behind the radiator and stole someone elses!
In her haste, Julia has created a new compound word: Notracist. This does not mean 'not racist', rather it means 'not wanting to be seen as racist but Christmas has forever been tainted by the fact that I once spied a black fellow'.
David Jones y do people give a shit what imigrunts n others think thay are visiters in our country y should thay have a say in what we do we went to war to fight for our country n now its over run by peps hu carnt talk english its not right poor lil pigs lol thay wont remove peper pig though to much money to be maid im not racist but i am british n proud of it
Poe on David. Surely that must be a pisstake. 'Imigrunts... carnt talk english... ' pull the other one. Surely, surely he can't be for real...
Now let's try 'Muslims'. Again, it's 90% burning poppies and removing pigs. Not all copy and paste - one guy at least is speaking his own mind (using the term loosely)...
Phil O'donovan Muslims burn poppys in r country I say we all burn turbans and those bedsheets they were on there head ! N them
Can you picture Phil? Can you imagine his face as he realised how much better his post would be when he added 'N them' at the end, to show that he doesn't just want to burn the clothes he imagines Muslims to wear, but he wants to burn THEM too? Can you picture him? Does he look like this...
Yes, yes he does. And ladies, he's single. You can click through to these dickheads' full profiles, you see. One of Phil's 656 friends pointed out that it's Sikhs who wear turbans, not Muslims, and he replied that he didn't want an R.E. lesson. Cunt.
Ah, but he's one of the ones polite enough to use the word 'Muslim' rather than an actual racial swear word. Unlike...
Jimmy Smith i cant wait till my kids are old enough to understand that it was you who fucked things up and stopped me seeing them... another point for the welfare system free legal representation while working dads suffer the consequences... id rather be a paki
Classic Facebook. This is presumably directed at the mother of his children, poor things. After airing his dirty laundry in the most public way possible, Jimmy spits out a racist slur for no discernible reason, other than to get everyone on his ex's side.
Sammii Latham Had a gr8 nyt last nyt wid lou n after aswell, had a good chat <3 + cannot believe we saw tht dirty horrible paki agn lol! Ewwwww
I feel a bit harsh for highlighting Sammii in this way because she's clearly about 14 - but if you're racist enough, you're old enough.
Sam Livesey What a stupid effin PAKI, cant believe he tried to run me over i hope all your effin family die tomorrow smelly ARAB GRRRRRRR@ asif our benefits aint enough you want our effin lives anall !!!!!!!!!
Better luck next time mate.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Incredible, Holmes!

The latest report from the Institute For Pointing Out Really Obvious Things is out. Apparently, far-right nutters like the EDL 'can encourage extremists'. Join us after the break to find out if bears will leave the woods to answer a call of nature... and for a little rumour we've heard about the Pope's religious persuasion...

Pissing in the wind

Roy Greenslade has taken a break from foretelling the doom of the of the newspaper industry. Instead, he's wondering if we should mourn this or celebrate it. The Mail and the Telegraph took a story about a council restricting the smell from a cafe and they pretended it was about Muslims. When two daily papers, one of them a 'quality' broadsheet, can publish such lies, what's to mourn?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ups and downs

The beauty of the Daily Mail's reader comments is that they can be voted up as well as down. So just as you can often tell if you'll get along with someone by comparing the people and things you dislike, I find it a great time-saving tip to look at the worst-rated comments and base my opinions on those. Saves a lot of, you know, thinking about stuff.
So, some Celtic fans unfurl a few banners complaining about the poppy on their heroes' shirts, on the grounds that the British Army hasn't always been a great friend of Republicans and Catholics. What do I think? Over to Chloe in London...
Wearing a poppy is an individual decision. A freedom that soldiers died for in the past. If Celtic fans disagree with the wearing of the poppy, they are entitled to protest. They should not be prevented from doing so.
A net loss of 136 Daily Mail fwends for Chloe there. KT in the South-West has more...
The danger with the poppy is that it is almost like we continue to support our Government whilst they send our wonderful and brave men/women into ridiculous wars which do not make any difference ... I support the British Legion and Help for Heroes campaigns and happy to put money in a box but I wonder whether the plastic flower, which was a great idea during the two World Wars, is relevant today?
Boooooo, KT. Boooooooo 40 times.

What's this I hear from 5CC? Someone has put the word 'person' after the word 'gingerbread', in contravention of the Use Of Words 'Gingerbread' And 'Person' (Correct Order) Act of 1863? I don't know what to say. Save me, Neil in Wales...

I'm really, really trying to be outraged by this non story but I have a life. Sorry.
I'm afraid your apology isn't good enough for 97 Mailites.

Come clean and admit this is yet another piece of rubbish fiction from an under-employed DM journalist - send her/him on a course - or sack her/him.
Jimmy Vegas in Preston, if that is your real name and location (though one seems more likely than the other), your use of gender-neutral compounds is not wanted here. 55 Mail Maries for you.

Finally, a woman falsely accused a man of rape. Look at these two comments and try to guess what rating each of them has. First up, Dave in Gloucester:
It makes my blood boil. If this poor man had been convicted of rape he would probably have been sent to prison for 8 years or so yet this woman only gets 12 months for making the false allegation. She should have been given the same sentence he would have got had he been convicted!
So, Dave in Gloucester thinks making a false rape accusation against somebody is as serious an offence as raping somebody. He thinks this so vehemently that it 'makes his blood boil' that a charge of perverting the course of justice carries a lesser sentence than a charge of rape. The man who was falsely accused in this case has obviously been cleared of any wrongdoing, as his accuser has admitted making it up. Police time has been wasted and the man has been put through the wringer, but no-one's been raped.
In the opposite corner, Mrs B in London:
To all of you arguing that she should have received the same sentence as a rapist I ask this question: If, god forbid, you had to endure either one of the two crimes, which would you opt for? Think. The offences are completely different and therefore have different sentencing policies. Same your ire for killer motorists.
Right, let's have your answers.

And the results are...
Dave: +736
Mrs B: -483

You couldn't make it up.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tony Pulis is wrong. Here's why...

So, according to Stoke City manager Tony Pulis, Premiership referees should face relegation to the Championship, based on an annual rating from Premiership managers. No, they shouldn't. And here's why.

  1. Championship games need good referees too. Better, sometimes. I'd want a better ref for Cardiff v Swansea in the play-off final than for a meaningless end-of-season kickaround between Fulham and Bolton. At the moment, the biggest games get the top referees. Top referees will still make mistakes.
  2. It doesn't make any sense. He said: "Every club should have one vote [annually] and mark referees after every game. Then they have a chance of being relegated to the Championship. It would be a great system." What does that mean? Which part of this 'great' system gives refs a 'chance' of being relegated? Is it the annual vote or the after-game marking? 
  3. Why would a Championship manager vote honestly when they know that, under another part of Pulis' idea, the best-rated refs from the Championship will be promoted?
  4. Picture the scene: United v Chelsea, near the end of the season. The referee knows he's got a few big decisions wrong over the course of the season, and fears the managers may be gunning for him. Both teams have dropped points in games he's refereed, and both sets of players are getting in his face about it. If he goes down to the Championship, his pay goes down and his family will have to move house. Drogba goes down in the box and everybody's shouting. The ref really should have been concentrating on the game.
  5. Managers are people too - they are flawed, they are biased, they are petty, they bear grudges. They will vote against referees who made decisions which may not have been wrong, but which turned out badly for their team, or well for rivals.
  6. This is the main one, so it goes in bold: The only reason Tony Pulis has come up with this idea is that Stoke have had a few bad decisions go against them. Any match will involve tight decisions and mistakes that go against both sides. It's pure luck that the referee didn't see a handball here, or did see a push there, or thought this player or the other touched the ball last. Any of these decisions - from a penalty to a throw-in on the half-way line - has the potential to influence the result of the game one way or the other. It's like flipping a coin. And had Pulis not had a few tails in a row, he would not have come up with his 'great' idea.
Look, football fans whinge. I still bear a grudge against Roger Milford which I shall take to my grave. It's part of the fun and we can't expect managers to be any different. But when they start coming out with rubbish like this, we shouldn't indulge them. Because next week, things will go his way again - and this 'great' idea will be forgotten.