Showing posts with label columnists. Show all posts
Showing posts with label columnists. Show all posts

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Ignoring other parts of the paper

Would it be a bit rich for the columnist of a newspaper that has had a topless girl on it's third page for nih-on thirty years, many of them only just 18 and even 16 before the law was changed in 2003, to be wailing about early sexualisation of children? Apparently not.

Nadia Knows...
“Why are girls having sex so young?” Jane Moore demands in today’s print edition of the Sun. Her article is inspired by the number of 14-year-old girls having abortions – which has increased from 135 to 166 over two years. (On a side note, that’s an increase of 31 girls and may have something to do with rising population.)

However the statistics are interpreted, no one would argue that 14-year-olds having abortions isn’t worrying. But the way Moore discusses the issue shows a disregard for the context in which she writes:

“A spokesman for the Department of Health said extra funds had been invested in contraceptive services… It’s not the bloody point.

The issue here is self esteem… the early sexualisation of young girls.”

This of course is the paper where 18-year-old Rosie from Middlesex can happily strip off on Page 3. I’m not familiar with Rosie’s work, but one might guess this high-profile shoot isn’t her first. But she’s 18 now. So that’s OK.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Mackenzie is sensitive no longer.

Kelvin Mackenzie makes an appearance in Private Eye 1248 too.

It seems that some words, in Kelvin's mind, are now perfectly acceptable on the BBC that weren't not so long ago...

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Making it personal

Jon Gaunt featured in Matthew Norman's Diary yesterday.

Matthew started of his column taking about Liz Jones of the Daily Mail but soon gets to Gaunty...

Gaunty's grudge

Over at The Sun, another leading columnist has, for now at least, survived a change of editors. Jon Gaunt ploughs elegantly on in his Friday slot under new boss Dominic Mohan, and on current form, no wonder. In his own special way, Gaunty is barely less committed to sharing his life with readers than Liz, and while Friday's effort fell short of the memorable account of how he used to masturbate over the underwear of the stepmother known to his teenage self as "the slag", there was much else to delight. His update on a continuing struggle with the debt-collection department of David Lloyd Leisure was particularly enthralling. If there's one thing that marks the great columnist apart, it's the courage to use public space to execute private grudges. Well done, Gaunty.

Yes, well done indeed.

The problem with content like that is, should the Ed put it on the outside of the paywall to entice visitors to pay for more, or on the inside once NewsCorp have got the money? Tough decision.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009


Is it just me, or have the columnists pages mysteriously disappeared from the Sun's website? I've noted over the last couple of days that the links on the Sun's main news page have gone, but the link to them entirely now also seems to have gone. The page still exists, but the last update was Saturday's columns. Is this the first phase of Murdoch's supposed charging for content plan, or just that no one really gives a stuff what the Sun's monkeys with typewriters churn out?

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Flee! Run for your lives!

This post was just gonna be a quick media-watch post with a snippet from Matthew Norman:
Kelvin MacKenzie has a pop at the remade Reggie Perrin starring Martin Clunes. I thought the first episode was hilarious, but that seems the minority view, and Kelvin took grave umbrage. "Some between-jobs idiot at the BBC decided it could be updated," he harrumphs. "Having seen the first show, the answer is clear – no it couldn't." Well, he has a point. It can be pitiful when people try to reinvent a memorable triumph of old. Kelvin's paper, meanwhile, featured Gordon Brown's face in a 60 watt bulb beside the headline "Will The Last Young Family To Leave Britain For Australia Or New Zealand Please Turn Out The Lights".

Presumably the quote came from Kelvin's column of the same title, with the same light bulb picture.
A read through of Kelvin's piece this morning shows that either Matthew Norman is mistaken and was obviously thinking of a different Kelvin Mackenzie or the bit about trying to re-invent old triumphs was removed. As The Sun doesn't let Google cache its pages we shall never know...

Anyway, I read Kelvin's piece and, after much scrubbing of the eyeballs, thought it needed a few things pointing out.

All the time he [Brown] took credit for the global boom, never once criticising the bankers, the private equity guys or the hedgies.

He loved them because they paid huge taxes and he was able to conduct his Scottish social experiment of giving money away to the useless and the layabouts, making sure that the great unwashed would vote Labour for ever.

Ah, of course, anyone without a job or is unable to work are naturally layabouts and useless and I also seem to remember the Sun being huge fans of New Labour before Gordon rose to the Premiership.

With our vaults deserted thanks to his profligacy, the economic tsunami hits us and then it becomes a global phenomenon.

His solution is to borrow even more, knowing, of course, he is going to be thrown out in a massive humiliation next June. But then it will be Cameron’s problem.

Perhaps that’s considered, in his twisted little obscene world, to be clever politics. But perhaps I could remind you, Mr Brown, that it’s OUR money and OUR future you’re playing with, not yours.

'OUR money and OUR future'. Man of the people is citizen Mackenzie. But he seems to forget that his paper and editor also plays with people lives.

Well, it’s time to do something about it. Normally I would advocate going up to No 10 and punching him firmly on the nose...

Because violence really does work, normally, but these are exceptional times.

...but if you have a family and are under 40 years of age could I urge you to take another course — desert our country as swiftly as you can and head for Australia or New Zealand and a new life.

Yes, you read it right, The Sun advocating immigration! It's ok though, because this is different. This is Brits going abroad, so it's emigration and everyone loves us Brits. Except those evil Muslims that want to destroy western civilisation, of course.

I thought that the Sun was supposed to be patriotic? First sign of trouble from a party that the Sun helped install and keep there for over twelve years and its ex-editor columnist is advising us all to swamp another country.

After all, we won’t have paid the debts run up by the socialist swindlers until 2032, so the only thing you will be missing is rubbing shoulders with the thick and the skint.

If everyone buggers off, won't it take longer for the debt to be paid off?

Such a move will upset your parents, but what with email, mobile phones and the low cost of flying you’ll probably hear and see more of each other than you do at the moment.

I doubt it very much. If you don't see or hear much of your family when you're in the same country, why would you when you're the other side of the planet?
Yes, there is email and to begin with, you may send photos and stuff back to family but that will taper off as you get used to the place. There are mobile phones, but what that has to do with anything, I have no idea. Has Kelvin seen the prices for calling Europe, where we are all supposed to be equal, never mind Australia?
And the flights, yes they are cheaper, but £500 is still a lot of money for some people and with 12 hours of flying and then the jet lag, it's not quite feasible to pop over for the weekend.

And now we see who Kelvin is really talking to...
Personally I will miss you because you think like me. You don’t want state handouts, you simply want to do your work, come home and be with your family without the state constantly looking over your shoulder or stealing 50 per cent of your money

People earning over £150,000, not the more common (as in more of them) reader who earns much less.

When Trevor Kavanagh warned us about the flight of the rich, I wasn't expecting the same paper to be urging them to leave.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Defending the rich

Trevor Kavanagh has a piece in the Sun, published on Monday just gone (27/04) full of woe for Alistair Darlings budget.

It was a silly budget because now not only is everyone going to lose their jobs but all the wealth creators are going to flee:
The Budget is less than a week old and already Britain’s wealth creators are deserting the sinking ship.

The Sunday Times’ latest Rich List shows our star earners have lost hundreds of millions. Why would they stay in a hostile tax environment?

And what about those who simply aspire to be in that Rich List some day? It’s not just so-called fat cats who are leaving.

Queues are forming for visas to Australia, Canada and the USA.

Wow. I'm not much into finance myself, but that sounds like a seriously rubbish budget.
The examples that Trevor chooses to use to highlight the plight of the poor little rich boys are, erm, dubious at best: Michael Caine, actor and all round national treasure; Tony Blair, ex-Prime Minister now peace envoy to the middle east on behalf of The Quartet,palm greaser special advisor for Morgan Stanley and after dinner/public speaker; Richard Branson, industrialist and the only real wealth creator out of the three.

First off, Michael Caine:
“We’ve got three and a half million layabouts on benefits and I’m 76 and getting up at 6am to go to work to keep them,” says the star of Billion Dollar Brain.

Sir Michael will move to America rather than pay more than half his earnings in tax to bail out these scroungers.

“I will not pay the Government more than I get. No way, ever,” he says.

Does anyone care about an actor packing up his £45million fortune and leaving in a huff?

Micheal is indeed 76 and probably does get up at 6 am to go to work, but he isn't going to work to keep anybody. Trevor points out Michael has a £45 million fortune so if he is still working way past the age when ordinary people are wanting to, if not able to, retire he is doing it out of love for his profession. An actor doesn't really create employment, like a businessman might.
Michael owns and co-owns a few restaurants in Britain, about 5 I think, and a couple of other countries. So not exactly a big employer there either.

Tony Blair, is an ex PM and is not really what you could call a wealth creator either, beyond his office staff. He makes his money from advising Morgan Stanley and giving speeches. He is now an employee, not an employer.

Richard Branson is a slightly different kettle of fish. Branson is a true entrepreneur, starting with nothing and working his way to where he is now but selling and trading and starting companies and building a group of companies. The only good example here.

It's not too good overall so far, 1 good example out of 3. That score gets worse when you consider:
Sir Richard Branson has a complicated series of offshore trusts and companies that own his business empire. Branson, whose wealth is calculated at £3,065m, pays relatively little tax as his wealth is tied up in these companies.

It means that when he retires, he could move abroad — to the island he owns in the Caribbean — and liquidate his assets virtually tax-free.

and I would bet that Michael and Tony have very compentent accountants to help minimise their tax burden.

The Sun is asking the reader to i) feel sorry for rich people that can and do avoid paying their full share of tax and ii) fear for the future of the country by screaming about the flight of wealth creators by using examples of extremely wealthy people that either do not create wealth or avoid paying their taxes.
If these three do leave, their businesses won't. Michaels restaurants are profitable and Virgin isn't just going to up sticks and go and Tony will look a right arse if he turns his back on Britain.
So if these guys do go they will still employ people here who have no choice but to stay andpay their taxes.

Hmmm. I wonder what how much Trevor earns...?

Friday, 20 February 2009

Pure Propaganda

The Sun:
HARRY REDKNAPP believes Sky TV’s new £2billion deal with the Premier League “secures the game’s future”.

Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand joined the Tottenham boss and a host of top football names in hailing the three-year contract.
SunSport columnist Harry said: “It’s a great relief to the game to get this deal in the bag.”

England defender Rio added: “It’s great Sky will show all the drama of the Premier League for another three years.”

Richard Bevan, chief exec of the League Managers’ Association, said: “Sky’s investment has revolutionised viewing.

Who owns the Sun? Who owns Sky? Here's a pencil, join the dots.


Friday, 13 February 2009

Now with added emotion!

The Sun:

HEARTBROKEN TV star Lorraine Kelly has told of her agony over the murder of her local Big Issue seller.

Tragic Paddy McDade was found in his flat last month in what police described as a “particularly brutal” scene.

Now GMTV favourite Lorraine has paid tribute to the 37-year-old who worked outside Dundee’s Marks and Spencer store.

The Scottish Sun columnist said: “I used to buy my Big Issue from Paddy whenever I was in Markies.”

Speaking to the mag, she added: “He was always so cheery. He’ll be sadly missed.”

Heartbroken? Agony? Lorraine must've known Paddy very well to be in such grief, otherwise Lorraine would just be 'shocked' or 'saddened'.

Could the Sun be exaggerating their columnist's feelings?
The Sun's piece says 'Speaking to the mag' so nobody at the Sun's office has spoken to Lorraine and the piece has been lifted wholesale from The Big Issue...

Lorraine spoke of her sadness when she heard of the death of Paddy McDade, who used to sell the magazine outside Marks and Spencer in Seagate.
“I used to buy my Big Issue from Paddy whenever I was shopping in Markies,” she said. “He was always so chatty, optimistic and cheery even when the rain was hammering down. He will be sadly missed.”

Ah, 'sadness'. Ms Kelly's' heart is still in tact, spared of agony for someone she barely knew. The words she spoke in the Big Issue are pretty stock for a celeb that had a passing acquaintance with someone.

Thanks to the Sun, though, she has a couple of extra emotions added and viola, Lorraine seems more sensitive and caring and so, when she writes her column, you know she's not a hard nosed woman, but is writing from the heart and has our best interests in mind.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Three in a row

It's Wednesday which means it's Private Eye day.

This week, though The Sun gets its hat-trick. First up, the News of the Screws may be the Sun's sister paper, but that doesn't stop it having a go...

Next up we return to a column by Julie Burchill...

And finally, the Eye has noticed how the Sun likes to know that the kiddies enjoy Christmas...

Friday, 2 January 2009

The dead horse needs another flogging

The Guardian/Paul Carr:
So, anyway, yes, New Year - and the second in a series of columns (the first being Christmas Eve) when it's traditional to write bugger all about anything important, safe in the knowledge that no one is reading.
But what to write in a week when nobody's reading? It's a tricky question and last night, hurtling towards my deadline and still absolutely bereft of inspiration, I decided to click over to the websites of the Daily Mail and The Sun to see how professional journalists deal with the problem. And sure enough there it was - a ruse so simple I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of it myself.

"Shameless Jonathan Ross still joking about Andrew Sachs messages" screamed the headline on the Mail's site.
Brilliant. An entire story created out of the fact that Jonathan Ross has a Twitter account, and occasionally uses it to make quite funny jokes about his personal situation.

Meanwhile, Sun hack Cara Lee went one better, hacking out not one, but two pieces from that same non-story under the headlines 'Ross jokes about Sachs' and 'Ross: I'm having so much fun'. And never one to switch dead horses mid-flog, the paper then passed the bloodied news baton to Julie Burchill who wrote a whole column starting with yet another of @wossy's Twitter updates and ending with her calling Ross "a big ugly baby". The woman is nothing if not self-aware.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Monday morning quickie

Just a couple of bits from Matthew Norman this morning:
The first about that nice chap who spends half his life in Florida:
Kelvin MacKenzie leaps aboard Charles Moore's licence fee-avoidance bandwagon. Kelvin doesn't reveal whether he's criminalised himself like Charles intends, but he urges readers to do so, and well done to him for that. No one speaks with more moral authority on the failure to sack Jonathan Ross than the man who retracted a most sincere apology for libelling the dead of Hillsborough.

And the second is about your friend and mine, Gaunty:
During a joint appearance with Shami Chakrabarti on Jeremy Vine's Radio Two show last week, Jon Gaunt declared that "Magna Carta is for the nobs but the Human Rights Act is for the ordinary working man." Meanwhile, in his latest Sun meisterwork, he distances himself from every aspect of that legislation other than its enshrinement of the right to freedom of expression he believes should restore him to his berth on TalkSport.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Even stopped clocks...

...are right twice a day. And today is one of those times.

Jon Gaunt:
I’VE never smoked but I HAVE been in care and I know what it feels like as a kid to be alone, completely alone, with no one to love you.

So that’s why I know that the politically correct twits (with an A) at Redbridge council, East London, who have banned smokers from fostering children are completely and utterly wrong.

Tonight in Britain more than 60,000 children won’t have a special person to tuck them in at night, read them a story or take an interest in what happened during their day at school

But Jon just couldn't help himself:
TalkSport presenter Jon Gaunt has been suspended by the UTV-owned station after he called a London councillor a "Nazi" during a live debate.

Sony award-winning Gaunt, who writes a column for the Sun, also called the councillor an "ignorant pig" during the discussion about a local authority plan to ban smokers from fostering children.

Godwins Law, anyone?

Hat-tip, Scaryduck

Update 18/11/08:
Jon got the sack from Talksport.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Jon Gaunt is the most appalling hypocrite

Oh this really got my goat.

Having spent the last few years railing against the "nanny-state", Jon Gaunt wrote in his most recent column about how the parents of Danny James (who was left paralysed after a serious Rugby injury) travelled with him to Switzerland, in order for Danny to visit a euthanasia clinic.

After vilifying Danny's loving, and no doubt grieving parents, Gaunty points out that "Assisted suicide is a crime in this country and it should remain so."

That may be true, but it doesn't make it right. What right does the State really have to force a person to suffer a life they find unbearable? Surely the ultimate line between state authority and personal liberty is one of life itself.

Jon Gaunt is all very well bitching endlessly about the Labour government's interference in our daily lives, but then he takes utterly illiberal positions like this. I know I say this every time, but the guy's a 24-carat gold hypocrite ::

But no, his parents took him to Switzerland and instead of truly confronting the horror of their actions, politicians are now turning a blind eye to the death clinics and refusing to even have the moral debate in this country.

This is not a theocracy, Jon. I couldn't give a monkeys what politicians think about this, there is no "moral debate" worth having. The State has no legitimate right to block suicides - assisted or not.

Taking their son to Switzerland must have been a harrowing experience, but Danny's parents understood that his fundamental human right is to self-determination.

It was Danny's wish to die. That's all we need to know.