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Friday, March 30, 2007

Healthy Debate

It’s an accepted fact in today’s society that any use of the word ‘Muslim’ by government ministers (or indeed by anyone in authority) is ill-advised; whatever you might say, and however justified or factual your comments, people will attack you, and people will accuse you of being at best inflammatory and at worst, an outright bigot.

Problem is, denying people’s rights to discuss the role of faith – any faith – in society is actually potentially very damaging to social relations, not the other way around. Open debate is always the best way forward, and if one can’t observe and comment upon what one sees and hears (as is the case with Patricia Hewitt expressing concern about GP confidentiality in heavily-Muslim communities) for fear of upsetting people, then you run the risk of allowing wrongful practices to continue. Hewitt almost certainly should’ve had something more concrete to hand before going public, yes, but that doesn’t actually negate the fact that women are telling her there is a very real problem for them:

“Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt is embroiled in a row over whether some Muslim GPs are guilty of breaking the confidentiality of their patients. Two medical magazines reported that Ms Hewitt said some Muslim women feared raising sensitive issues with their GP in case it got back to their families.
The Department of Health said she was not accusing GPs of breaking the rules. She told Pulse magazine: "I have had Muslim women give me chapter and verse on very distressing breaches of confidentiality by Muslim GPs. Some women patients feel they cannot trust their own GP, who knows the patient's extended families. If they go and talk to him about a very difficult situation concerning domestic violence or sexual health problems they fear that he will share that with other members of the community. They are very close-knit communities."


By allowing wrongful practices to continue, (everything from the alleged breach of GP confidentiality to domestic violence to female genital mutilation), because you are scared of criticizing those of another faith, ethnic group or political ideology, you are condoning those practices by default. Put simply, it is not Islamaphobic to look critically at the practices of Islam, just as it is not anti-Semitic to look critically at some of the more misogynistic elements of Orthodox Judaism. On a political level, neither is it anti-Semitic to take a critical stance on Israel, nor is it any kind of a betrayal of the anti-war movement to admit that Saddam Hussein and the Baa’thist Party probably weren’t the best people to govern Iraq.
(Incidentally, this is a point that Nick Cohen makes very well in is book about the failures of liberal politics, ‘What’s Left?”)

Bottom line is, if there is a legitimate concern that British women, living in dangerous domestic situations, are being compromised by their health professionals, then this is something that Muslims – and the wider community – needs to address or alternatively to prove unfounded. Would it be right for the health minister to ignore the complaints of women through a dangerously misplaced notion of maintaining religious sensitivities? Of course it wouldn’t.

And now, having actually defended the actions of Patricia Hewitt, I feel a little dizzy and may need a lie down…

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Disabilities - they're ggrreeeeat!

Jerry Hall has announced to the world that all her kids are dylsexic.

It's sad to hear, because dyslexia can be an unfortunate affliction for any child. Being compromised in your ability to read, write or recognise the written word and/or numerals must be a very frustrating condition to live with, is often embarrassing to admit to and often leads people to intellectual self doubt.

I don't think it's exactly insightful of me to suggest that dyslexia as a condition demands a significant effort to overcome - particularly so if you happen to attend a school in which additional help is not adequately available, as is often the case with children less privileged than Ms Hall's.

What dyslexia is not, however, what it definitely is not, is "a gift":

'The Texan model Jerry Hall has revealed that all her children with the lead singer of the Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger, have dyslexia. Elizabeth, 23, a model, James, 21, Georgia May, 15, and nine-year-old Gabriel all have the learning difficulty, said Hall, who has herself been diagnosed with dyslexia. "They all take after me. Being dyslexic is difficult at the very beginning but as you get older you learn to cope with it and I think it's great."
The condition is inherited, and is believed to affect one in 10 people in the population. Ms Hall, 50, told Closer magazine she believed the condition was "a gift because it makes you think differently".'


Well, yes. Having dyslexia DOES require you to think differently - just as having a physical disability requires you to MOVE differently. Being autistic requires children to think differently too, and while some of the effects of that different thinking can be positive - and in some cases near miraculous (think Stephen Wiltshire) it is nothing short of insulting to suggest that such a disability is anything other than that - a DISABILITY.

It's great that she is supportive of the condition from which her children suffer, and it's great that she is in a financial position to be able to offer them the best educational care (and thus ensure that it doesn't necessarily compromise their chances of future success) but it's fairly insulting to the many millions of people whose educational and professional lives have been made more difficult by dyslexia to blithely declare to the world that you think "it's great"...

It's all going swimmingly

"I hope we manage to get the Iranians to realise they have to release them. If not, then this will move into a different phase"

- Tony Blair

Is it just me or does this really not bode well?

Tip top parenting

So, how does that work then?

He writes songs in which he graphically describes, to his daughter, the act of killing her mother, and he's allowed to perform them to his heart's content, but she's actually been legally bound not to call him "uncaring" in the public domain?

Tis a very rum do, and no mistake.

'Rapper Eminem and his ex-wife Kim have reached a court agreement to stop insulting each other in public.
The pair, who divorced for the second time last year, pledged to stop trading insults for the sake of their 11-year-old daughter Hailie.
The deal came after the rap star took legal action to stop Kim Mathers making "derogatory, disparaging, inflammatory and otherwise negative comments".
In a recent radio interview, she branded him "uncaring and unfaithful".
According to Ms Mather's lawyer Michael Smith, the order does not prohibit Eminem - real name Marshall Bruce Mathers III - from performing songs that are critical of his former wife. The 34-year-old rapper sung about killing her in his 2000 hit Kim.'

Now, I'm not Prince Charles....



...and I don't generally consider myself to be an architectural luddite (who knows, perhaps I'll change my mind when it's built), but the extention they're now going to build on the side of the Tate Modern building just does NOT seem right to me.

Apart from the fact that the existing brick building will immediately lose its imposing and majestic feel, this new addition shows absolutely none of the sympathy and respect for it's former industrial purpose that the original architectural renovators were so careful to employ.
What's even more bizarre is that they're actually the same people.

'Plans for a £215m extension to London's Tate Modern gallery have been given the go-ahead by Southwark Council.
"We are delighted," said Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota, who hopes to open the 11-floor glass building in time for the 2012 Olympics in London.
The site is intended to provide more space for the Tate's collection and will help combat overcrowding at the gallery, which received 4.9m visitors last year. The 23,000 square metres of space will include areas for contemporary art, several galleries and two performance zones.
The project was designed by Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron. Last month, they received the Royal Institute of British Architects' gold medal for work including their redevelopment of the Tate Modern.
The cost is expected to be comparable to Tate Modern's original construction bill.'

Monday, March 26, 2007

What's wrong with paracetamol?

Anna Nicole Smith's official reason for death: drugs overdose. No surprises there. A little more startling, however, is the revelation of what the woman was supposedly taking as 'pain' relief:

"Broward County's chief medical examiner Dr Joshua Perper said Anna died of "combined drug intoxication" with the sleeping medication chloral hydrate as the major factor.

Anna was taking a lengthy list of other medications, including methadone for pain, he said, and a form of 'longevity' drug, often used by celebrities to make them look younger."


She must have had one HELL of a headache.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Big Top Babies

I’ve tried so hard to avoid commenting on this month's celebrity adoption circus, which seems to roll around these days with depressing regularity. I did very well – until I saw the look of abject terror on the face of Angelina Jolie’s newly adopted child as it was being whisked away from the only life it has ever known. By a complete stranger (earning herself the more common moniker, ‘the womb raider’, but I digress). Then I couldn’t bite my tongue any longer.

The pattern is always the same: celebrity picks up cute brown baby, within the same timeframe and signing the same amount of paperwork that would normally go into the purchase of a second hand car.

Only things are not quite as they seem. For this poor, desperate and bereft child, that has just been WAITING for a crazed American actress to swoop down and bundle it into a private jet before it has chance to learn the words, “who the fuck are you?” in English, never mind say them, isn’t an orphan. Either it has known and named living parents (as was the case with the most vulture-like smash-n-grab adopter, the ever lovely Madonna), or it has been abandoned as an infant (as is the case with Angelina’s child-of-the-week, her second choice from the South East Asian baby menu).

Perhaps these selfish, ignorant people think that there is no difference between being an abandoned child and being an orphaned one. Wrong. It makes the world of difference to any adopted child to have a sense of belonging, some sense of genetic rather than selected history. Living genetic parents provide that sense of history. For Angelina Jolie’s children, who appear to be acquired in much the same way other people buy shoes – one in each colour – this is even more pertinent a truth, for these children haven’t got any real chance of feeling as though they are valued and that they belong in their cobbled-together family, because their ‘mother’ is clearly less interested in her children’s wellbeing than she is in her disgusting crusade to bring a Benetton advert to life.

This time around, Angelina has even gone the Meg Ryan route and renamed her latest acquisition. She has RENAMED a frightened three year old child, as we might a goldfish that we were getting bored of; she has conveniently repackaged human life to suit her own ends.
Have a think for a moment about the sheer insensitive, self-indulgent shamelessness of such an act, and then tell me whether anyone – ANYONE AT ALL – could honestly believe that this woman actually cares about the needs of the vulnerable infants she seems to be making a collection of?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Balls

Now this, I'm sure you'll agree, is just absurd:

'Ronnie O'Sullivan and Ding Junhui have been drawn together in the first round of April's World Championship.
That means one of the favourites for the title will not make it past the opening hurdle at The Crucible.'

Monday, March 19, 2007

Tickbox Thinking

‘There is controversy over moves to let university admissions tutors see the educational attainment and occupations of applicants' parents.
The admissions service, Ucas, also says its form for 2008 entry will ask applicants about their ethnicity and whether they have been in council care.
Vice-chancellors and ministers say the information helps widen participation.
Others say it can be used for "social engineering", discriminating against those with well-educated parents.’



So, the university business has come under criticism for its decision to request information on the educational background of an applicant’s parents. As well it should.

I’ve never been much of a fan of ‘equal opportunities’ forms. For one thing I’ve never really understood why it was that such forms ordinarily offer around 10 or more different options with which to describe non-white respondents (British Pakistani, or British West Indian, for example) but I only ever get the chance to tick one box – ‘white’. Always seemed a little peculiar to me to utilise two entirely separate categories (skin colour AND nationality) in one survey. If someone of Pakistani origin can be ethnically categorised according to their Pakistani sense of nationality rather than simply by their skin colour, why can’t I be Scottish-British? Or Pacific-British? Apart from being accurate, it’s long been an ambition of mine to sound more exciting than I actually am.

While these forms exist ostensibly to allow the authorities to monitor the intake from different sectors of our society, who do they actually benefit? Moreover, can we be sure that they are not used to discriminate against any particular group? Every time I apply for a job I’m asked to fill in a form telling any potential employer that I’m white: why shouldn’t my CV be allowed to speak for itself?

Many years ago, in a job interview, I was asked (by a particularly pompous magazine editor) what my father did for a living. Apparently the man in question was amazed that a London comprehensive-educated oik could be in any way academically capable, and he was trying to get his (small) mind around what my personal background might be – he needed to be able to place me in a specific ‘box’ in order to make his decision on what kind of a candidate he thought I was.
At the relatively tender age of 21 I remember thinking that this attitude was really rather pathetic (I walked out of the interview shortly afterwards), and yet Professor Drummond Bone (what a lovely name) seems to be employing much the same logic here:

‘The president of Universities UK, Drummond Bone, said its members placed a high priority on attracting students from families and communities with little or no previous experience of higher education.
"It is therefore useful for a university to have at its disposal a wide range of information to build up a full and rounded view of an applicant," Prof Bone said.
"It allows institutions to understand more about how the applicant got to where they are, and their potential."’


Forgive me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this a tacit admission that UK university admissions operate a system of ‘positive discrimination’? And if so, isn’t that completely unfair, utterly discriminatory, and potentially damaging both for the students they’re misguidedly attempting to help as much as to the middle-class and/or privately educated school children that they appear to regard as being less deserving?

When I was at school, in one of the early experiments dreamt up by enthusiasts of this offensive, do-gooder wooly thinking, I was sent on a trip to Oxford University. Unbeknown to us, myself and the other girls on the trip had been selected specifically because we were potential candidates for higher education despite our attending the school that we did; we were modern-day Eliza Doolittle characters who, through some sort of miracle, had survived a state school education with our intelligence intact. We were being asked to wipe the coal-dust from our inner-city eyes, and feel somehow inspired by the dreamy brilliance we saw around us in Oxford’s many colleges. We too could aspire to greatness, they told us. (One student did so quite literally: “You mustn’t think you’re not as good as us, you know”, screeched this particularly delightful specimen, into my increasingly-horrified 17 year old face).

You probably don’t need me to tell you that we didn’t feel inferior to these people at all. In fact, we knew we were a hell of a lot smarter than half of them, on the grounds that we had achieved strong academic results WITHOUT the benefit of an expensive private education. Back then, we wanted and expected to compete, in the higher education establishments of our choice, on a level playing field – as I imagine any “students from families and communities with little or no previous experience of higher education” would upon achieving strong exam results off the back of their own hard work.
Life isn’t fair, and society is far from kind to everyone, but if a kid is smart enough to do well at school, they will expect to be treated as being on the same level as their peers, regardless of their gender, their social background, or any other factors you care to think about. It’s what we call ‘equality’.

How pissed off do you suppose those same students would be if they realised they weren’t being admitted to university entirely upon their own academic merit, but because their dad happened to be a builder or their mother a cleaner, instead of the head of Goldman Sachs?

Girls’ World

Continuing the education theme, why don’t we just accept that females are more intelligent than the males of the species, and be done with it?

‘Every secondary school should have a bookshelf of "boys' stories" to try to encourage them to read and close the literacy gap with girls, ministers say.
Education Secretary Alan Johnson said working class boys in particular were falling behind in English lessons.
They should be encouraged to read with action and spy stories and to learn by fast-paced, practical lessons, he said.’

Friday, March 16, 2007

Maureen Lipman, the unlikely legend

Maureen Lipman, my unlikely new hero. You may not have seen it, but my goodness it was very special television.

Trinny Woodall, of Trinny and Tranny fame, was on Maureen Lipman's team in the BBC's Comic Relief 'Apprentice' show last night.

She was COMPLETELY BONKERS, which of course will come as no surprise (at one point launching a bizarre physical attack on Alistair Campbell and Piers Morgan - then again, who wouldn't given the opportunity...)

However, what was hilarious was that Tranny was flying about being all jolly hockey sticks and doing all the clean, nice jobs available (did you know she was called Trinny at school after St Trinian's? Her name is actually Sarah...).
This seemed to involve tarting around town, calling all her rich mates, getting them to give lots of money to "charidee" and thinking she was oh so clever.

Meanwhile, the others - the ever-fabulous Jo Brand, Maureen Lipman and Karen Brady - were doing the shitty jobs, like gutting squid and so forth for the food they were going to serve.

You could see they were already getting annoyed when they were standing there in plastic aprons saying, "It seems that even where charity is concerned, the elite in life get the elite jobs".

Just as they were just getting down to making 400 portions of chicken satay, Tranny rang up, screeching, "Darlings, darlings, who are these people on the list? Whose guests are these? Darlings, angels, I need to know darlings" (literally).

Lipman says, 'give me the phone'.

Gets phone.

Says,

"DARLING, DARLING DARLING. Those people are my guests. I suggest you just take it as a given that I have booked those tickets. I don't think you need to know the exact details, right now, this minute, do you DARLING?
'At this exact moment, I am up to my elbows SPLITTING FUCKING chickens. When I am finished doing this terribly glamorous job, DARLING, then I shall turn my attention to the matter of splitting hairs. Goodbye".


Then hangs up, smiles, and goes back to her poultry.

LEGEND.

If that weren't funny enough, Cheryl Tweedy, back at the office with Tranny, turns to her and says, "Are you that...what's
it called, OCD?"


Unmissable.

Condimental





Tis a sad, sad day, it really is.

If it wasn't enough that SPAM has gone over to our (apparently cheaper?) edam-eating friends already. If it weren't shameful enough that not only ketchup but now even Marmite comes in a squeezy, environmentally-unfriendly plastic container (with a new recipe to boot, FOR SHAME!!).

If these things weren't distressing enough for those of us who don't consider it undue effort to whack the bottle of a recyclable glass sauce bottle (perhaps they're worried that the exertion will cause cardiac arrest in our diabetes-addled, morbidly obese children?)...now it seems that it's HP, RIP.

Tell me, are there any jobs LEFT in Birmingham these days?

'The last bottle of HP sauce has been produced in Birmingham, marking the end of more than 100 years of sauce making at the site. Production is moving from the plant in the Aston area of the city to The Netherlands with the loss of 125 jobs.
The closure has been opposed by unions and civic leaders but US owners Heinz decided the factory was not viable.
Businesses near to the factory launched a Save Our Sauce campaign and protests were held in Birmingham and outside the American Embassy in London in a bid to get the company to change its plans. Birmingham City Council leaders met with Heinz managers to try to draw up fresh plans and MPs tried to get HP banned from tables inside the Houses of Parliament as it was no longer "a symbol of Britishness", but all to no avail.'

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Pig Mucka





Heather 'celebrity dancer/porcine protester/divorce settlement vulture' Mills, or as she was beautifully dubbed by Sky News this morning, "Mills Pig Campaigner", is upset about the fact that despite her "seeking no publicity for my own financial pockets [sic]", she still somehow manages to keep drawing unwanted attention to herself. It really is an absolute mystery, isn't it?

Anyway the police in Brighton have, it seems, finally had enough of her calling 999. She has apparently made what they charitably describe as a "disproportionate" number of calls to emergency services - often as many as four a day. This she does because she finds herself being followed. Not by stalkers, rapists or irate soon-to-be-ex husbands, you understand, but by those evil violent photographer types. Diddums.

Anyway, here's her line of defence:

"The 38-year-old former model, who is divorcing ex-Beatle Paul McCartney, has complained of being followed by photographers near her home in Hove, East Sussex. Her sister, Fiona Mills, has made an internet appeal for an end to what she called media harassment of Lady McCartney and her daughter Beatrice, because of concerns for their safety.

Phil Hall, Lady McCartney's spokesman, said: "She has been followed late at night by people she does not know.
"The danger is that she will not call police in future and something serious will happen. What is she supposed to do?"'


I'm obviously no expert, but I'd say that if you don't want to be followed by camera-wielding folk in the dark, then avoiding illegally breaking and entering into other people's farms in the middle of the night while accompanied by a camera crew might be a good place to start.

Someone get me some smelling salts...

...for I am fainting with shock:

'The final budget for the 2012 London Olympics will be £9.325bn - four times the original estimate of £2.4bn.
The Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell told the commons that central Government and the national lottery will both contribute more.
The exchequer's contribution has risen to £6bn and the lottery will provide an extra £675m on top of the £2.1bn already committed. The cost of building the venues has risen from £2.4bn to £5.3bn.
Ms Jowell said despite the increases the olympics would still be "great for Britain."
But the Shadow Olympics minister Hugh Robertson accused her of "raiding" the Lottery to make up the funding shortfall, penalising clubs and small organisations.
Delays in setting the budget have frustrated MPs and heightened concerns about the final bill.
At a stormy session of the Commons Public Accounts Committee last week, officials were accused of presiding over "Alice in Wonderland" finances.'


Don't fret just yet, though. Tessa tells us that, "Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, did not envisage the city's tax payers having to provide extra funds."

This, of course, is MOST FUCKING REASSURING....

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Golly, never saw that coming...

'Entertainment giant Viacom Media says it will sue web search engine Google and its video-sharing website YouTube for $1bn (£517m). Viacom, which owns MTV and Nickelodeon, says YouTube uses its shows illegally.
Viacom alleges that about 160,000 unauthorised clips of its programmes have been loaded onto YouTube's site and viewed more than 1.5 billion times.
Google says it is "confident" that YouTube has respected the legal rights of copyright holders.
As well as more than $1bn in damages, the legal action seeks an injunction to prevent what Viacom calls "massive intentional copyright infringement".'


Nope...no we definitely didn't. No.

The Whalers



This tale (below) is, of course, most unfortunate, but in fairness to the whale in question: if you were him, and you saw a boatload of Japanese men coming toward you carrying long metal rods, would your first thought be that they were there to rescue you?

'A sperm whale overturned a small boat off Japan, killing one of the fishermen trying to rescue it.
Noriyuki Yamamoto and two other fishermen joined a rescue attempt by local people to coax the whale out of Uwajima Bay and into the open sea. But the 10m-long mammal suddenly thrashed its tail and overturned the boat, killing Mr Yamamoto and throwing the two other fishermen overboard.
One local who watched the rescue said: "We had tried to scare the whale away from the shore by clanking metal rods around him. He obviously noticed the sounds but didn't move much."'

He’s not Popeye

I mean really, poor old Sylvester.
OK so he was taking highly suspect-sounding growth hormones bought under the counter from some dodgy Chinese manufacturer, but who can honestly tell me that they’re remotely surprised by this?
The man has just made a Rocky movie, where he (oh how embarrassing) gets into a boxing ring with a significantly younger chap, while looking suspiciously buff, and attempts to prove that he is still young, strong and virile.
The man in his 60s. Did anyone honestly think he got there by eating spinach?

‘Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone has been charged with importing a banned human growth hormone into Australia. The actor, 60, was stopped at Sydney airport last month by customs officials who claim he had 48 vials of a banned substance in his luggage.
The muscle-building hormone product, Jintropin, is classed as a performance enhancing drug in Australia.’

Friday, March 09, 2007

Clotheshorse

Kate Moss says that four-year-old Lila, whose dad is magazine publisher Jefferson Hack, is already obsessed with fashion. And if she doesn't get her way she can have a diva-like strop.

'She says, "Mum, do you think this is a good look?"' Kate tells Vogue magazine. 'Then she has a fashion crisis...
'But she says she's the adult of the bedroom. We lay the clothes out before she goes to bed but she goes, "Mum, I need options."'


If, god forbid, it is true that these are the utterings of Kate Moss's FOUR YEAR OLD daughter, I think it's fair to say that Moss has got the most grotesquely spoilt and precocious child in Britain on her hands.

As well as her daughter.

Phnar. (OK that was very weak but I couldn't help myself).

World Gone Mad

What in the name of jesus is going on here?

'Pierce Brosnan has agreed to be in the big-screen adaptation of the hit Abba musical Mamma Mia.
The former Bond actor said he leapt at the chance to act opposite Oscar winner Meryl Streep, film industry tabloid Daily Variety reported.'


James Bond? Meryl 'A dingo stole my baby' Streep? In an ABBA MUSICAL? I'm staggered.

Anyway, Meryl Streep can just about be forgiven for appearing in a dumbass chick flick dressed as a bleached-out Anna Wintour (penance, if you like, for making 'The Hours'), but there's really no need for her to throw herself headlong into the lightweight pond. She needs to take a look at the bloated bodies of those who've gone before her, floating as they are on its surface.
When Robert de Niro did it he ended up in a film with Ben Stiller. That's all I'm saying.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Fabulous, FABULOUS bitchery

Elizabeth Hurley. She's going down well in India, by all accounts...

"Is it this old woman who's getting married?" asked Kastury Ghosh, a bridal shop manager in the west Indian city of Jodhpur, as she peered over her glasses at a picture of Elizabeth Hurley.

"Can you tell me even a single hit movie she's been in?" asked one of the hotel staff looking after Hurley for the next few days, who wanted his name withheld for his job's sake.


Oh how we laugh.

The Grim Reaper...





...has apparently come for Captain America. CAPTAIN AMERICA. How on earth can you kill a superhero? Madness, I tell you.

'Superhero Captain America has been killed off after appearing in US comic books for 66 years.
The character, who appears in the Captain America comic book, was created in 1941 to build up patriotic feeling during World War II.
Co-creator Joe Simon told the New York Daily News: "It's a hell of a time for him to go, We really need him now."'

Sadly, so he has come too for John Inman. According to his former colleague Mollie Sugden (who I have just discovered is, happily, still alive) he was 'the best patomime dame in the business'. Now that's the kind of praise you want when you roll of the mortal coil, and no mistake.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

"Deflect, DEFLECT!"

I hereby nominate the following as my choice as the year's most outrageous excuse...

'Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing says Japan should face up to history and take responsibility for its army's use of sex slaves during World War II.
He was speaking after Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe caused controversy last week by questioning whether women were "coerced" into sexual slavery.

Many historians say Japan compelled up to 200,000 women, mostly Chinese and Korean, to become sex slaves. But some Japanese scholars deny that force was used to round up the women, blaming private contractors for any abuses.'


'private contractors', indeed. Now THAT'S what I call passing the buck.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Rock and Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Kate Moss and Pete Doherty got booted out of the NME Awards last night, for not having sufficient intelligence to take their coke in seperate cubicles like everyone else.
Gosh. Musicians, eh? What scallywags!

'The loved-up pair were first caught trying to get into the venue's toilets together,' a source tells NME.com, 'and were later caught in an alleyway at the back of the building.

'They were removed by the bouncers and told to go back to their table...we got their own security guards to put them in a car and take them home.'

Excuse me while I fall into a tedium-induced coma.

Still Dead

WHY????? WHY???? For the love of GOD, someone tell me why....

'The father of Princess Diana's lover won a significant legal battle on Friday when the High Court decided that the inquest into their deaths in a Paris car crash 10 years ago should be heard by a jury.
Mohamed al Fayed, who is convinced his son and Diana were murdered, had sought to overturn a ruling by former top woman judge Elizabeth Butler-Sloss to handle the official inquiries on her own.
Three senior judges ordered that the coroner hearing the inquest "shall do so sitting with a jury".
Speaking to reporters outside the court, Fayed said: "We want to be sure that the jury are an independent jury."
He said he hoped Diana's ex-husband Prince Charles and ex-father-in-law the Duke of Edinburgh would be called as witnesses.'

Ambassador, you are spoiling us

Jude Law has been given the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French ambassador for his acting work. Jude was apparently ‘speechless’.
I should say he was: what in the hell was the ambassador Gerard Errera on about when he said that the award was ‘given in recognition of what you have achieved for France’?
Eh? What has Jude Law ever done for France?

It gets even more surreal, in fact:

"It is given for what you have done as an actor and what you represent in the world of cinema, and in a way maybe more importantly for what you are as a human being."

Riiiiight. So, drugged up wife swapping with your mates, shagging your children’s nanny behind your fiancee’s back (and then demanding that your young children lie about having caught you at it – mmmmm) , then being pompous enough to apologise through a newspaper advertisement. These, in the eyes of Mr Errera, are the actions of a fine upstanding gentleman?

How very French.