The Price of Justice
Sarkozy is sentenced for corruption, but because he’s white and powerful, he’ll get to just kick it at home for a while.
It’s sent ripples through the French ruling class in the way you might expect a serious threat of ‘grounding’ from your parents except those doing the actual grounding here would be judges that Sarkozy has been trying to bribe (Sarkozy and his lawyer have been deemed guilty of attempting to bribe a judge).
It’s difficult to feel any sympathy for him & it’s incredibly annoying that every major news outlet seems hell bent on describing this as a ‘jail’ sentence. Kicking it in a stately home is not a jail sentence, in fact it’s probably scarcely distinguishable from the past 14 months for such people and their ilk.
Cheese Eating Bribe Monkeys I say.
It’s All Just Shiny Rocks
We’ve all been there, buying $36m worth of copper sight unseen. Geneva based Mercuria energy got screwed like it was going out of fashion when they received a shipment of spray-painted paving slabs.
So, to be totally honest, we’ve not got a huge degree of sympathy with Mercuria, because there is no world in which you pay that amount of money to an unknown supplier before you get the goods, or somebody you trust very well has seen said goods getting loaded onto the ship.
The best part of the BBC News article covering this though was the following line: “Bietsan Bakir, the Turkish firm which sold Mercuria the copper, did not respond to requests for comment when contacted by Reuters.” Yeah, no shit. Bietsan and Bakir are far too busy spending their Swiss Francs on tasty cocktails in the carribean.
American History Whoops
The American far-right made a bit of an oopsie this week in terms of the neo-nazi mask slipping, when pictures showed the stage at the Conservative Political Action Commitee (CPAC) conference. Aforementioned stage is in the shape of an ‘Odal Rune’, a norse symbol co-opted and worn as a badge by the SS in the second World War, and since 2016 the official symbol of the National Socialist Movement (the successor of the American Nazi Party). And yes, the American right unanimously hate socialists (the dirty leftists), whilst some of them call themselves socialists, when in fact they mean fascists, and none of them understand what socialism actually is, so yes, it is a total shitshow.
CPAC’s typically mature defense was: “No, you’re an anti-semite!”. Literally, the chairman said the issue was actually the antisemitism of “cancel culture extremists”. SMOKE-BOMB!
The conference also featured an utterly bizarre golden statue of Trump wearing board shorts adorned with the US flag. Yeah, you didn’t get that one right Orwell, did you?!
The Orange Leader, a “newspaper” in “Texas” recently published an article (which appears to have since been taken down, disappointingly) elaborating on all of the reasons to believe that dinosaurs and humans walked the Earth at the same time.
Naturally the author was called Karen and is what those of us from the North of England might describe as a ‘god botherer’.
It appears The Independent picked this story up after a blogger covered it on their site friendlyatheist which is a more than slightly disingenuous and pretentious site name given the following excerpt of their piece;
“It’s not hard to point out the errors. No one at the newspaper did it. No one in Stevens’ life did it. She’s just extremely confident about her ignorance and no one seems to have the heart to tell her she’s an idiot. It’s sad, really.”
The charitable reading and the obvious place to focus productive work is of course for the sake of those around such people and ideas. Specifically, with about 1 in 3 Texans believing humans and dinosaurs coexisted, we must think of the children.
But When is International Men’s Day?!
If you’ve avoided hearing about Conservative MP Ben Bradley so far then we congratulate you, as you lived in a more pleasant version of the world than those of us who have. To celebrate Bradley’s appointment to Women and Equalities Committee in the House of Commons, Central Bylines have collated his greatest moments, of which we bring you some highlights:
- That time in 2018 when he was suspended by the Conservatives for defending Islamophobia,
- The occasion when he wrote that “chavs” on benefits (social security) should get vasectomies to prevent us “drowning in unemployed wasters”,
- When he tweeted that “Police brutality should be encouraged”, so he could watch “splat the chav” on the news,
- The time when he pushed back hard against Marcus Rashford’s Free School Meals campaign because the vouchers were: “£20 cash direct to a crack den and a brothel”.
Yep, sounds like a progressive voice for equalities!
Rattled Gilded Cages
The Torygraph published a very direct headline which for whatever reason confronted one of WJH’s authors on LinkedIn this week “Britons’ sympathies still lie with the Queen over Meghan and Harry despite Oprah interview, YouGov poll finds”. Yes it’s possible that Monarchists don’t like being confronted with the deep set traditionalism and blatant racism of the monarchy although I doubt this survey really shows that. “It found 48% percent of the 1,664 respondents had a negative attitude of Harry compared to 45% with a positive view, the first time his net favourability rating had been negative, and a fall of 15 points from a week earlier.”
A 15% difference in surveys of about ~1,500 people is not necessarily indicative of a 15% divergence in the opinions of ~60 million people; particularly when those answering the survey have nothing better to do with their time than answer surveys asking them their opinion of the Royal family.
Pandering aside, the Oprah appearance has put the Royals in an amazingly uncomfortable position; as is evidenced by William having to come out and “reassure” everyone that the royals are “very much not racist”. Well, if you have to say it, it’s probably not true.
More charmingly, we enjoyed learning that Tyler Perry had been the short term host and guardian of the Royals-in-exile when they arrived in the states.
Dripped into the Ocean
Renowned Douchebag Piers Morgan has finally been kicked off the prolific breakfast TV trauma of Good Morning Britain. 41,000 people complained to Ofcom (the communications watchdog/regulatory agency) about Pier’s public gaslighting of The Duchess of Sussex (Meghan Markle) when he opined that “he didn’t believe a word” of her interview in which suicidal thoughts and (perfectly predictable and reasonable) observations of racism with the royal family were shared. Truly, tens of thousands of people taking the time to go to Ofcom to tell them that Pier’s Morgan is a dickhead is but a drop in the ocean of public disapproval of the snarky little weasel that he is (with apologies to weasels in relatively esteemed repute).
Way back in the halcyon days of 2016 the UK passed an incredibly controversial bill called: “The Investigatory Powers Act”, more popularly known as “The Snooper’s Charter”. It gave government bodies sweeping powers to collect data on the online activities of everybody in the UK, regardless of whether there was any suspicion of a crime. It was essentially a nice little stepping stone towards the detection of ‘Pre-crime’, the detection of a crime not yet committed.
At the time, everybody was pretty disturbed and generally pretty pissed off (what’s new, we’re British, disturbed and pissed off is kinda the zeitgeist), but the act wasn’t really used, so the news went pretty quiet.
Fast forward to 2020/21, when being disturbed and pissed off would be the state of mind you strive to attain on a beach holiday, having been an enthusiastic raving lunatic for most of the last twelve months. News has broken (extraordinarily quietly, because we have Royal bullshit to worry about) this week that a trial has been underway for some time which utilises the 2016 powers to have two unnamed Internet Service Providers (ISPs) collect data on every single website that their customers visit, which can be viewed by the Home Office and National Crime Agency.
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